TENNIS – Rafa Nadal beat Gael Monfils 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 19 minutes in the semifinal of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart to qualify for his first final on grass since Wimbledon 2011 Diego Sampaolo
Nadal, winner in Stuttgart in 2005 and 2007 when the tournament was held on clay, converted 2/6 break points and fended off all the 4 break points he faced, 3 of which came in the opening game of the match. The match went on serve until the sixth game when Nadal broke en route to winning the first set with 6-3. In the 4th game of 2nd set, Nadal saved another break point as both players held serve until the 9th game. Monfils committed a series of unforced errors to give Nadal the crucial 5-4 lead. Nadal closed out the match at love on the first match point to seal his spot in Sunday’s final.
Nadal will face Viktor Troicki who beat Marin Cilic in the tie-break of the third set with 6-3 6-7(1) 7-6(2). Troicki broke Cilic in the 2nd game to get out to a 3-0 lead. Cilic earned four break points in the 5th game but was unable to convert any of them as Troicki maintained his lead to take the set 6-3. In the 2nd set, both players remained on serve having to save break points. The set was decided in a breaker where Cilic dominated from the beginning taking it 7-1 points.
In the 3rd set, Cilic broke Troicki in the 5th game but Troicki broke back in the 8th game to level the set. Again, the players remained on serve and another tiebreaker was needed to decide the match. However, it is Troicki who dominated this one as he took it 7-2 points and thus the match. Troicki won 6-3 6-7 7-6 to make his 2nd final for the year.
(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win
The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.
World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.
“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’
Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.
Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’
“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”
Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)
Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open
Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.
He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.
Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.
Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.
“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.
Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka
Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.
Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.
Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.
In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.
Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.
Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.
“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.
Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.
Dominic Thiem Ousts Rafael Nadal For Maiden Australian Open Semi-Final
Hsieh-Su Wei and Barbora Strycova set doubles final clash against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic
Tennis Legends Apologise For ‘Violating Protocol’ With Australian Open Protest
Low Expectations Elevates Alexander Zverev To Greater Heights At Australian Open
Living In The Moment Pays Off For Garbine Muguruza At The Australian Open
Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal Branded ‘Selfish’ As Fallout Over Australian Open Conditions Continue
Roger Federer Responds To Criticism From Environmental Activists
Gael Monfils and Benoit Paire lead France to a 2-1 win over Chile
REPORT: Juan Martin Del Potro To Miss Australian Open
As Bushfires Rages, The Australian Open Is Left In Limbo
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day Seven: Roger Federer Fights Back Once Again
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day Four: American Men Continue To Exceed Expectations
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day Three: Roger Federer Gains Momentum As Wind Causes Havoc
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 1: Rain Causes Havoc, But Djokovic And Federer Still Shine
(VIDEO) Season’s Greetings From Ubitennis
ATP3 days ago
Injury-Stricken Juan Martin Del Potro Suffers New Blow And An Uncertain Future
Grand Slam3 days ago
John McEnroe Lashes Out At ‘Offensive And Homophobic’ Margaret Court
Hot Topics2 days ago
Death Of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Sparks Outpouring Of Grief At Australian Open
Grand Slam2 days ago
Rising Stars Of Men’s Tennis Lacking ‘Guts And Balls’ To Shine In Majors, Warns Boris Becker
ATP3 days ago
Thomas Musters Hints At Conflict With Thiem After Sudden Axe From Team
Latest news2 days ago
Rafael Nadal Protest Innocence Of Fellow Player Over Failed Drugs Test
Grand Slam2 days ago
Simona Halep Keeps Her Cool To See Off Mertens Challenge
Hot Topics1 day ago
Roger Federer Survives Injury Scare, Seven Match Points In Epic To Reach Australian Open Semis