ATP Masters 1000 Rome: Fognini brought home crowd to their feet after win over Dimitrov - UBITENNIS
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ATP Masters 1000 Rome: Fognini brought home crowd to their feet after win over Dimitrov

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TENNIS – Italian star Fabio Fognini got his revenge against Grigor Dimitrov with a 7-6 (11-9) 4-6 6-0 win after losing their two previous matches in Monte-Carlo and Madrid to the delight of Rome fans who packed in the famous Nicola Pietrangeli Stadium. In the match of the day Fognini got through to the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for the first time in his career in nine appearances. Diego Sampaolo

 

Fognini broke serve at 2-2 in the first set and pulled away to 4-2 but Dimitrov reeled off three games in a row to take a 5-4 lead. Fognini won the next game with a cross-court forehand. The first set came down to the tie-break where Fognini rallied from 0-2 to take a 6-4 lead. In a roller-coaster of emotions Dimitrov won three points in a row to take a 7-6 lead but he made a forehand error when he was leading 8-7. Fognini saved a set point at 9-8 before wrapping up a dramatic first set with 11-9.

Dimitrov fought back taking the break for 3-2 in the second set. Fognini drew level to 3-3 but Dimitrov broke in the ninth game to go up 5-4 before closing out the second set with 6-4 after one hour and 48 minutes.

Fognini recovered, taking a 2-0 lead in the decider with a break. He held serve in the third game before getting the double break for 4-0. With a score of 25 points to 10 Dimitrov completed his triumph with a bagel. Fognini will face Tomas Berdych in the third round.

“Finally Rome saw what I am able to do. It’s one of the best wins in my career. I will try to recover for tomorrow’s match against Tomas Berdych”, said Fognini.

Roger Federer won his second match in two weeks against Pablo Cuevas in the re-match of the recent Istanbul final with 7-6 (7-3) 6-4..

Federer earned a break point at 4-3 but he made a backhand error and Cuevas drew level to 4-4. Both players could not break and played once again a tie-break, but unlike the Istanbul final where Federer prevailed after a tight battle, the Swiss Maestro won this time with 7-3 to take the first set. Federer fought back from a mini-break down before pulling away to 6-3 and closed out with a forehand chop after 45 minutes.

Federer was solid on his serve and did not face any break points. He dropped just three points on his first serve. Federer earned two break point chances but Cuevas saved them for 1-0 at the start of the second set. The Swiss legend converted on the first of his two break point chances at 2-2. He served for the match at 5-4 and closed out In the next game.

Federer won 92 percent of his first serve points and hit 32 winners to 21 unforced errors.  

Rafa Nadal, seven-time winner at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, cruised past Turkish player Marsel Ihlan (ATP World Number 87) with 6-2 6-0 in one hour and 14 minutes winning 92 percent of his first serve points and saving two break points he faced.

Nadal broke serve in the third game of the opening set before wasting four set points at 5-1. Nadal, who has dropped to World Number 7, cruised past Ilhan with a bagel

Nadal is looking to reach his 10th final in 11 appearances at one of his favourite tournaments. So far this season Nadal has won the Buenos Aires titles but has had a difficult season on European clay in which he reached his best result with the semifinal in Mont-Carlo,

“I said before the tournament. I feel in good shape and I played a good tournament in Madrid”, said Nadal.

In the third round Nadal will renew his rivaly against John Isner who hit 11 aces in his 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 win over Leonardo Mayer. The Spanish star leads 5-0 in their head-to-head matches, including his recent three-set win in Monte-Carlo.

“John is always difficult to beat. He is always very consistent with his serve. Monte-Carlo proved that he is a tough player”, said Nadal.

Third-seed Andy Murray beat Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-3 extending his winning streak on clay to 10 consecutive matches this season which included his first two clay titles in Munich and Madrid. The Dunblane star fended off two break points from 15-40  in the sixth game of the opening set but he broke serve in the seventh game en route to winning the first set with 6-4. The Scotsman got another break in the second set to clinch the second set with 6-3

Murray committeed 10 unforced errors to Chardy’s 26.

“My legs were a bit tired at the beginning then I started to feel better after the first few games. I felt like I played a really good match.

Murray set up a third round match against David Goffin who saved three match points to edge Jo Wilfred Tsonga with 6-2 4-6 7-5

Murray will be looking to improve his best result in Rome achieved in 2011 when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

Murray will be now coached by Swedish trainer and former tennis star Jonas Bjorkman while Amelie Mauresmo prepares for the birth of her first child.

“He is going to be with me after Wimbledon, just me and him through potentially right until the end of the year. Both of us are quite motivated to do that. I haven’t got to spend too much time with Jonas so far but it’s been a good start and I will try to keep it up”, said Murray.

Kei Nishikori overcame a tough match against Jiri Vesely with 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 after converting on three of his eight break points.

Nishikori made too many unforced errors and Vesely served for the first set at 5-3. The young Czech player wasted two chances for the double break. Nishikori saved the set point before breaking back to force the set to the tie-break. In an entertaing breaker Vesely got the mini-break with a lob but he committed a double fault and sent his backhand wide to go down 1-2. From 2-2 Nishikori reeled off five of his next six points to win the tie-break with 7-3. Nishikori got the decisive break in the 11th game for 6-5 to serve for the match  He saved a break point in the next game before sealing the win on his third match point.

Nshikori will take on Viktor Troicki who fought back from a set down to edge past Feliciano Lopez with 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 after saving six of his seven break point chances.

Dominic Thiem. Who is making his debut in Rome after missing this tournament last year, was leading 7-6 (7-5) 2-0 against Giles Simon when the French player was forced to withdraw. At 2-2 Thiem break serve but Simon broke straight back. Both players traded breaks again at 5-5. The set came down to the ti-break where Simon built a 5-3 lead but made a forehand error. Thiem was solid on the most important points and closed out on the first set point. Simon called a mediacal time-out because of a neck injury at the start of the second set and withdrew a few minutes later

The young Austrian will be looking to reach his second Master 1000 quarter final of the year after Indian Wells against Stan Wawrinka. Thiem beat Wawrinka in their previous head-to-head match on Madrid clay last year.

Guillermo Garcia Lopez beat Aleksander Dolgopolov 6-4 6-3 continuing his good form on clay after his title in Bucharest and his semifinal at Estoril.

All the top eight seeds qualified for the third round matches which are scheduled on Thursday.

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Christian Garin extends his winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Santiago de Chile

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Chile’s Christian Garin beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 0-6 7-6 (7-4) in the quarter final in Santiago de Chile after two hours to extend his winning streak to 10 consecutive matches including six three-set matches. Garin, who won two titles this year in Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro, will take on Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild in the quarter final.

 

Garin converted on six of his seven break points. The Chilean started the opening set with three consecutive breaks and closed it out with a hold at love thanks to an ace in the eighth game.

Davidovich Fokina broke three times to take a bagel in the second set. Garin fended off two break points at 2-3 and earned a break at 15 in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Garin wasted two match points at 5-4 as he was serving at 5-4. Alejandro Fokina broke back with a drop shot to draw level to 5-5. Garin got another break in the 11th game after a double fault from Davidoch Fokina. The Spanish Next Gen player broke back in the 12th game to set up a tie-break. Garin clinched the breaker 7-4 with a forehand winner.

“This is a very important tournament for me. I hope I can play here every year. I want to compete well here after winning in the past two tournaments. I have won several matches. I have a lot of confidence. I feel the responsibility of always winning and much more in Chile. The crowd’s support helped me a lot. After the second set I started to feel pain in my back. I wasn’t feeling good, but the people’s support was important. It was nice to see the crowd helping me when I came down”,said Garin.

Thiago Seyboth Wild edged Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Seyboth Wild never faced a break point and converted one of his six break points to clinch the win in straight sets. Londero saved all three break points in the opening set, including two set points at 5-6 to set up a tie-break. The Argentine earned a set point with a service winner.

Seyboth Wild fended off the set point with an ace. Londero did not convert a second set point at 7-7 after a forehand error. Thiago Seyboth sealed the tie-break with a backhand down the line winner. The Brazilian player earned a break in the third game of the second set with a forehand down the line winner and lost six points in five service games and closed out the match with a service winner in the 10th game.

Seyboth Wild reached the second round in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month

Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro beat Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 6-4 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. The Brazilian player saved all three break points chances and broke three times to reach his second quarter final of the season after Buenos Aires.

Monteiro will face Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas, who beat lucky loser Juan Pablo Varillas 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes. The Spanish player rallied from 3-5 down in the first set and fended off a set point at 4-5 to clinch the tie-break of the opening set 7-3.

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Novak Djokovic saves three match points to reach the final in Dubai

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This year’s Australian Open champion and four-time Dubai winner Novak Djokovic came back from losing the first set to beat Gael Monfils 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 after 2 hours and 35 minutes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament. He will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in tomorrow’s final.

 

Monfils wasted a chance of defeating Djokovic for the first time in 16 head-to-head matches, when he did not convert three match points at 6-3 in the tie-break of the second set.

Djokovic dropped his serve three times in the first and second set and went down a set and a break in the second set.

Monfils dropped six points on his serve and broke Djokovic twice to win the first set 6-2. Djokovic saved a break point in the first game of the opening set before dropping his serve in a marathon third game, when he hit his backhand long. Monfils hit a service winner to open up a 3-1 lead. The Frenchman earned another break in the seventh game after a drop shot error from Djokovic. Monfils sealed the opening set 6-2 with a service winner in the eighth game after 45 minutes.

Monfils went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set at love after a loose forehand from Djokovic. Monfils earned a break with a forehand crosscourt winner. Djokovic broke straight back to draw level to 3-3 in the sixth game after Monfils netted a forehand. Djokovic held serve with an ace for 4-3. Monfils won his service game in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Djokovic held his third consecutive service game to take a 5-4 lead, but he wasted a set point in the next game with a loose forehand.

Djokovic earned five set points in the second set, but Monfils saved them to set up a tie-break. Monfils forced an error from Djokovic to take a 4-2 lead and hit a backhand down the line winner in the eighth game. Monfils brought up three match points with a forehand winner, but Djokovic saved them to draw level to 6-6.

Monfils fended off a set point at 6-7 with a service winner. Djokovic earned a mini-break, but he made a forehand error in the next point. Djokovic earned his eighth set point at 8-8 and converted it, as Monfils made his sixth double fault.

Djokovic earned two consecutive breaks in the third and fifth games and closed out the match with his third break at 5-1 in the seventh game with a forehand winner to complete the come-back setting up a final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“It’s anybody game really. Stefanos has won eight matches in a row now from last week in France winning the Marseille title, now playing more or less every single day, which is quite impressive. It’s not easy. I hope I can recover. I hope I can be atm y best be at my best because I need to start better than I have tonight. Hopefully I can get a title. Today I just wasn’t taking my chances when I was having rallies on those first five set points. That kind of turned around from 3-6 in the tie-break. From that moment onwards I felt I was going through the ball better”, said Djokovic.  

 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches the final in Dubai for the second consecutive year

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Daniel Evans 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 21 minutes in the semifinal of the Dubai Duty Free Championships to reach the final at this tournament for the second consecutive year. Tsitsipas will play his second consecutive final one week after lifting the Open 13 Trophy in Marseille.

 

Tsitsipas converted on four of his ten break points and did not face a break point. The Greek player has dropped just one of the 17 sets he has played since arriving in Marseille last week.

Tsitsipas earned his first break with a backhand winner in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead and consolidated it with a hold at love. Tsitsipas converted his second break point in a three-deuce seventh game after a forehand error from Evans before claiming the first set in the eighth game with an ace after 34 minutes.

Evans saved four break points at the start of the second set. Tsitsipas earned an early break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead and backed it up with a service winner for 3-1.

Tsitsipas held serve for 5-3 before closing out the second set with his fourth break in the ninth game.

Tsitsipas finished runner-up to Roger Federer in the final of last year’s edition of the Dubai tournament. Tomorrow the Athens native player will face either Novak Djokovic or Gael Monfils.

“I just managed to stay solid throughout the whole match. I didn’t have massive breakdowns and just played a quality of tennis which I enjoyed. I am really impressed by the quality of my game today and I really hope to bring the same and probably better in the next round”, said Tsitsipas.

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