RG15 Day 3: Djokovic, Nadal, Serena advance as Bouchard and Dimitrov exit - UBITENNIS
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RG15 Day 3: Djokovic, Nadal, Serena advance as Bouchard and Dimitrov exit

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Novak Djokovic (1) beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-2 7-5 6-2 to extend his winning streak to 23 consecutive matches this year. By Diego Sampaolo

 

After taking the 1st set with relative ease, Djokovic had to rally from 2-5 in the 2nd set by winning 20 of the last 25 points. The Finn came within two points of clinching the second set when he led 5-3 30-0. He even went up 40-0 as he served for 6-5 lead but Djokovic clawed his way back into the set with two consecutive breaks of serve and took the set 7-5. In the 3rd set, there was no stopping Djokovic as he opened up with a 4-0 lead as he eventually took the match 6-2 7-5 6-2.

Rafa Nadal (6), 9-time Roland Garros champion, beat last year’s US Open Junior finalist Quentin Halys 6-3 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 50 minutes. Nadal got a double break in the opening set and though Halys was able to break Nadal the 7th game for 3-4, Nadal broke again in the 9th game to clinch the first set with 6-3.

Nadal broke Halys in the 6th game of the 2nd set to take a 4-2 lead and maintained this lead as he served out the set at love for a 6-3 6-3 lead. Nadal sealed the third set with a break of serve in the 5th game. In the second round he will face his compatriot Nicolas Almagro who edged past Aleksandr Dolgopolov 6-3 2-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6)

“I think he played aggressive. He played well. He played with some mistakes but when you want to risk on every single ball, the mistakes are there. The tennis is moving that way. It’s younger and aggressive. The tour is moving to hit the ball stronger and quicker going for the winners all the time”, said Nadal

22-year-old Jack Sock pulled off the biggest upset of the day when he defeated Grigor Dimitrov (10) with 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 6-3. Sock fended off 6 of the 10 break points he faced, hit 30 winners and made 18 unforced errors. Sock won the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title but underwent surgery last December to repair a torn hip muscle. Earlier this year he won his first title on clay in Houston.

The first set came down to the tie-break where Sock rallied from 3-5 to clinch the set with 9-7. In the 2nd set, Sock took control of the set after it was leveled at 2-2 to break Dimitrov twice and won the set 6-2. Dimitrov, who has never recovered from 0-2 set deficit in his career and in the 3rd set, he dropped his serve early to trail 1-4. Sock closed out the match 7-6(7) 6-2 6-3.

“Today was a great match for me. For the most part I took care of my serve fairly well and was able to get into a lot of his service games and make him play some balls … I am able to take my time on clay and kind of maneuver the ball around. Movement is another big part of my game. I feel like on clay. I get a lot of balls.”

 said Sock

Sock’s compatriot John Isner (16) beat Italian Andreas Seppi 7-5 6-3 6-2. Isner hit 21 winners and got six breaks of serve.

“A lot is said about clay and how it’s a defensive surface. I would say it’s a misconception. I think clay is a very good attacking surface. A guy like Nadal plays great defense but knocks the cover off the ball. He is the greatest player of all time. I am a completely animal than anyone. My serve is going to play no matter what the surface and going to keep me in the match” said Isner.

Leonardo Mayer from Argentina, finalist in Nice last week, recovered from a set down to battle past Jiri Vesely 3-6 7-6(6) 6-3 5-7 6-2. After losing the first set Mayer clinched the second set on his fourth set point. Vesely broke serve at 6-5 in the fourth set to force the match to the fifth set. Mayer won the decider with 6-2.

Serena Williams advances to the second round but Bouchard is knocked out

The biggest upset of the day was Eugenie Bouchard (6) who has continued to struggle this year losing her first round match against French Kristina Mladenovic with 6-4 6-4.

The young Canadian, who reached the semifinal last year at the Roland Garros and the final at Wimbledon, lost eight of her last nine matches and has not beaten a top-30 player yet in 2015.

Mladenovic broke serve in the seventh game for 4-3 in the first set en route to clinching the first set 6-4. Mladenovic cruised to 5-0 in the second set. Bouchard clawed her way back into the set by reeling off four games in a row winning 12 of 15 points played at one stretch in the set. However, Mladenovic held serve the 3rd time she serve for the match to take it 6-4 6-4.

Petra Kvitova (4), last year’s Wimbledon champion and Madrid winner earlier this month on clay, was on the verge of defeat at 4-4 in the third set against Marina Erakovic from New Zealand, who reached the third round in Paris in 2013 and was beaten by Kvitova in straight sets last year. Kvitova got the decisive break before serving out for the match to win 6-4 3-6 6-4. Kvitova will take on Silvia Soler Espinosa in the second round.

“I think it was quite cold and the balls are really heavy and they didn’t really fly. It was really difficult to go for the shots. It was really tough to make any winners or ace from the serve, said Kvitova after the match

Serena Williams (1) cruised past Andrea Hlavackova 6-2 6-3. Serena went up a break early in the first set to take a 3-0 lead. Hlavackova broke back in the fourth game but Williams broke again to take 6-2. The World Number 1 player got an early break in the second set and held her serve until the end of the second set to move through to the 2nd round.

This year’s Australian Open semifinalist Madison Keys won the all-US matchup against Varvara Lepchenko (who reached the fourth round in Paris in 2012) with a 7-6(3) 6-3 scoreline. Keys went up 3-1 but Lepchenko rallied to draw level at 3-3 before forcing the set to the tie-break. Keys won the breaker with 7-3 after 51 minutes. Lepchenko got an early break in the 2nd set for 2-1 but Keys recovered and won 5 of the next 6 games. The player from Illinois served out for the match at 5-3 before wrapping up the match with her 8th ace.

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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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