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TENNIS – Top-seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic fought back from a set down to battle past Thomas Bellucci with 5-7 6-2 6-3 to advance to the quarter finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. With the win Nole has improved his winning streak to 19 match wins. The third round matches were highlighted by Tomas Berdych’s hard-fought win over Fabio Fognini after three exciting sets. Federer and Nadal advance to the fourth round but Murray withdrew Diego Sampaolo


Djokovic won their only two previous matches in Rome 2010 and Madrid 2011 on clay.

The first set went on serve until 5-5 when Bellucci capitalized on his first break point chance in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead in the opening game before closing out the first set after 51 minutes. Djokovic, who also needed three sets in his second round match against Nicolas Almagro, bounced back in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead in the second set as Bellucci sent a smash into the net. In the sixth game of the third set Bellucci recovered from 0-40 on his serve but Djokovic broke serve to take a decisive 4-2 lead. Bellucci broke straight back. Djokovic managed to break again before closing out the match after two hours.

In the quarter final Djokovic will take on Kei Nishikori who defeated Victor Troicki 6-4 6-3 reaching the best result of his career in Rome.

Nishikori wasted a 40-15 but he won the seventh game at deuce. In the next game Troicki went down 15-40 and dropped his serve. Nishikori went up 0-40 on Troicki’s serve and broke again for 6-4 in the 10th game. Nishikiori went up a set and a break and opened up a 3-0 lead but Troicki broke him in the fifth game. Troicki saved two break points and drew level to 3-3. Kei got the decisive break in the 8th game.

Nishikori and Djokovic met five times in their careers. Djokovic leads 3-2 over Nishikori. The Japanese player won the 2014 US Open semifinal but the Serb prevailed in Paris Bercy and at the ATP World Finals.

Roger Federer beat Kevin Anderson 6-3 7-5. After winning the first set with 6-3 without facing any break point chances, the Swiss legend faced a tough challenge only at the end of the second set when Anderson fought back from a double break down to recover from 2-5 to 5-5 but Federer got another break before closing out the match at his third opportunity. Federer has reached his seventh quarter final in Rome, one of the two Master 1000 Tournament missing from his trophy cabinet

Federer set up a quarter final match against Tomas Berdych who recovered from losing the second set to edge past Fabio Fognini with 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-2) after two hours and 35 minutes in front of enthusiastic Italian fans who strongly supported their hero in a packed Nicola Pietrangeli court. Berdych had to fend off six of his 10 break point chances. It was the first time that Berdych beat Fognini on clay.

Fognini led 2-1 over Berdych in their previous three head-to-head matches. The Italian won twice in Monte-Carlo, while the Czech prevailed at the US Open.

Berdych opened up a 2-0 lead in the first set. He faced a break point but he saved it before pulling away to 4-1.

At 2-4 Fognini brought up a break point but Berdych saved it. The Czech player never looked back holding his serve to close out the first set with 6-3 after 44 minutes. Berdych won 32 points to 27 for Fognini

Berdych broke serve in the first game of the second set and held his serve for 2-0. Fognini broke back and reeled off five consecutive games from 0-2 to take a 5-2 lead after winning 21 points to 5 before closing out the second set with 6-3 to force the match to the third set.

Berdych saved a break point in a hard-fought first game of the third set. The two players held their serve and after a hard-fought 10th game the third set was decided by the tie-break. Fognini started with a mini-break but Berdych pulled away to 4-2 thanks to his serve en route to winning the breaker with 7-2 with three consecutive points after 2 hours and 44 minutes. Fognini had nothing to regret. He won 46 points in the third set, two more than Berdych but Berdych is in his best form this year.

“I have no regrets. I did my best until the end. I thank the crowd for the strong support. I have a great motivation ahead of the Roland Garros”, said Fognini.

David Goffin took advantage of a a walk- over following Andy Murray’s withdrawal. The Belgian player will face David Ferrer who won the all-Spanish clash against Guillermo Garcia Lopez with 6-1 6-3.

Four-seed Rafa Nadal beat John Isner 6-4 6-4 extending his winning streak to 6-0 over the US player.

Nadal missed a chance at 0-40 in the first game before breaking serve in the fifth game of the opening set. The seven-time Rome champion got the break in the ninth game of the second set with a forehand return to take a 5-4 lead before serving out for his 47th win in 50 matches at the Foro Italico after 80 minutes.

Nadal will take on Stan Wawrinka who beat Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

Wawrinka earned a break point at 2-1 but Thiem saved with an ace. Thiem brought up a break point chance at 3-3 but Wawrinka saved it with another ace. The first set went on serve until the tie-break where Wawrinka opened up a 4-0 lead en route to winning the first set with 7-3. Wawrinka got the decisive break for 3-2 in the second set. He held his serve until the end winning the match with 6-4

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



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



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



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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