ATP Tour: The 2015 Grass season in full swing at Halle and Queen’s - UBITENNIS
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ATP Tour: The 2015 Grass season in full swing at Halle and Queen’s

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TENNIS – The grass season is in full swing this week with two historic tournaments, the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club in London and the Gerry Weber in Halle, Germany. Both tournaments have been upgraded this year to ATP 500 and have attracted 16 of the top 20 players in the ATP Ranking. Diego Sampaolo

 

Five of the top 10 players will be in action at the Queen’s Club: Top-seed Andy Murray, Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Rafa Nadal and defending champion Grigor Dimitrov.

Murray won the Queen’s Tournament three times in 2009, 2011 and 2013. He is making his 10th appearance at the Queen’s Club. In 2013, he scored the Queen’s/Wimbledon double as he won both titles. He is in good form as he won his first two clay tournaments in Munich and Madrid and reached the semifinals at Roland Garros. Murray will take on Yen Hsun Lu on Tuesday.

Nadal won the Queen’s in 2008 some weeks before winning the epic final against Roger Federer at Wimbledon for his first of two Wimbledon titles. He has won his first grass title since Wimbledon 2010 last weekend in Stuttgart. Nadal will open against Aleksandr Dolgopolov.

Wawrinka will make his return to the court after his triumph at the Roland Garros couple of weeks ago. Last year he lost against Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinal and lost the quarterfinal against Federer at Wimbledon.

Queen’s first round match round-up:

Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a break down against Sam Querrey to win the second set with 6-3 after losing the first set with 6-4. However, because of poor lighting, the match was suspended and will be on Tuesday. Dimitrov is the defending champion at these championships.

Milos Raonic, who is making his first appearance after undergoing foot surgery which forced him to miss the French Open. He had a tough test in his opening match as he had to fight back from a set down to edge past James Ward with 5-7 6-3 6-2.

Ward played a solid first set in which he won 81 percent of his first serve points and broke serve in the 11th game. The British player came close to breaking serve early in the second set. However, it was Raonic who converted on his break point opportunity to take the 2nd set 6-3 winning the decider with 6-2.

“It’s past me. I am just trying to make the most of being back on court”, said Raonic

Raonic will face Richard Gasquet who cruised past Italian Simone Bolelli 6-1 6-2 to clinch his 400th career win. The Frenchman has become the 13th player and the third player from his country after Yannick Noah and Fabrice Santoro to reach the milestone 400th win. Gasquet broke serve four times in the first set. The Frenchman won 73 percent of his service points

Also noteworthy at these championships is the fact that Australian Lleyton Hewitt lost his last match on his 16th and final appearance at the Queen’s Club against Kevin Anderson with 7-6 5-7 2-6.

The match was a hard fought contest as Anderson faced 5 break points in the opening set saving all of them to force the set to be decided in a tiebreaker. Hewitt got a mini-break at 2-0 en route to winning it with 7-5 points. The second set went on serve until the 7th game when Hewitt broke Anderson’s serve to love. The Aussie player had a match point at 5-4 in the second set but Anderson saved it and went on to win the set 7-5. In the third set Anderson stepped up his game to clinch the decider with 6-2.

“This has been one of my favourite tournaments. I am going to have so many memories in this tournament”, said Hewitt, who won the Queen’s four times in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006. In 2002, Hewitt also won Wimbledon.

Fernando Verdasco fought back from a set down and saved three match points to win the all-Spanish first round match against Roberto Bautista Agut with 3-6 7-5 7-6(4). Bautista Agut broke serve for 3-1 and dropped just four points on his serve en route to winning the first set with 6-3.

Bautista saved the first break points of the second set in the seventh game but he dropped his serve in the 11th game with a double fault. Verdasco clinched the second set 7-5 forcing the match to the second set.

The third set remained on serve and thus the match had to be decided by the tie-break where Verdasco maintained his early lead to take it 7-4 points and thus the match.  Guillermo Garcia Lopez beat Pablo Andujar 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 in another all-Spanish match.

Halle Gerry Weber Open: Federer opens with a hard-fought win against Kohlschreiber

Roger Federer fought back from a second-set loss and a mini-break down to battle past another Gerry Weber former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(8) 3-6 7-6(5). Federer, who is playing for the 13th time in Halle, went up a break for 4-2 but Kohlschreiber broke straight back to force the first set to the tie-break.

Federer had to fend off two set points in the tie-break of the first set before clinching a hard-fought set 10-8 points.

Kohlschreiber converted his second break point chance in the 8th game and held his serve to love in the next game to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

The German fought off two match points at 4-5 in the 9th game of the third set. As neither player broke in the decisive set, another tiebreaker was needed to decide the match. The German player got the early mini-break for 3-2. Federer rallied from 4-5 in the breaker by reeling off the final three points. He converted the match point to clinch the match after two hours and 11 minutes.

Federer will play either against Sergiy Stakovskiy (who beat the Swiss player and then defending champion in the 2nd round of Wimbledon in 2013) or Ernests Gulbis.

Roger Federer won the Gerry Weber Open a record seven times. He reached the final in Rome and the quarterfinal at the Roland Garros on his less favourite clay surface but he is determined to add more titles in Halle and Wimbledon. Federer is projected to play against Bernard Tomic in a possible quarter final.

The Halle line-up features Tomas Berdych who is making his return to the Gerry Weber Open for the first time since 2012. He has been drawn in the same quarter as rising stars Borna Coric won his first match on grass with his 6-4 3-6 6-3 over Donald Young and Alexander Zverev.

The second seed is Kei Nishikori who will face a tough first round match against Dominic Thiem before a possible quarterfinal against this year’s Istanbul finalist Pablo Cuevas.

Gael Monfils, who reached the semifinal in Stuttgart, could face a potential quarter final against Tommy Robredo.

“I am looking forward to Halle and Wimbledon. It’s a big goal. I want to win it and I feel like my game is good. It’s been solid. It’s been positive and I have just got to keep it up”, said Federer

Dustin Brown, a German player of Jamaican origin who plays very well on grass and beat Rafa Nadal last year in Halle, beat Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-5 6-2 after losing just six of his first service points. German rising star Aleksander Zverev beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-4. Florian Mayer edged Jan Lennart Struff 6-2 0-6 7-6 (7-4).

ATP

Updated Entry List For Toronto

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After Washington, the US Open Series will continue with the prestigious Master 1000 event in Canada.

 

Having been played since 1968, the Canadian Master 1000 tournament is one of the most historically significant events on the men’s tennis tour. This year the National Bank Open will take place in Toronto from the 9th to the 15th of August.

The defending champion Rafael Nadal is committed to play the tournament, as well as Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer, while Novak Djokovic has decided to skip it. All the other top-20 players are in the list, excepting Dominic Thiem and David Goffin. Canada’s Vasek Pospisil and Australia’s Nick Kyrgios have been given a Wild Card for the main draw.

NEWS: The former champion Roger Federer and the home favourite Milos Raonic have withdrawn due to injury. They have been replaced by Sebastian Korda and Jan-Lennard Struff.

NEWS: Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Pablo Carreno-Busta have pulled out from the tournament. Jenson Brooksby has received the final Wild-Card for the main draw.


ATP Master 1000 Toronto (CAN, Hard), entry list:
OUT Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
OUT Zverev, Alexander (GER)
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
OUT Federer, Roger (ITA)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
OUT Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
OUT Goffin, David (BEL)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
OUT Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Isner, John (USA)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
OUT Coric, Borna (CRO)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
(SE)
WC Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
WC Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
WC Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
Alternates:
IN Cilic, Marin (CRO)
IN Fritz, Taylor (USA)
IN Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
IN Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
IN Millman, John (AUS)
IN Korda, Sebastian (USA)
IN Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)

OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
IN Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
IN Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Paire, Benoit (FRA)

Alt.1 Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Alt.2 Paul, Tommy (USA)
Alt.3 Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Alt.4 Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Alt.5 Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)


ATP Master 1000 Toronto, qualifying:
OUT Millman, John (AUS)
OUT Korda, Sebastian (USA)
OUT Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)

OUT Paire, Benoit (FRA)
OUT Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)

Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
OUT Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Musetti, Lorenzo (ITA)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
OUT Ivashka, Illya (BLR)
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)

OUT (RA)
OUT (RA)
OUT (RA)

WC Diez, Steven (CAN)
WC Polansky, Peter (CAN)
WC Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
WC Draxl, Liam (CAN)
Alternates:
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
IN Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
IN Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
IN Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
IN Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
IN Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)

OUT Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
IN Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
OUT Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Wolf, Jeffrey John (USA)
IN O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)

Alt.1 Nakashima, Brandon (JPN)
OUT Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
Alt.2 Broady, Liam (GBR)
Alt.3 Soeda, Go (JPN)
Alt.4 Bolt, Alex (AUS)
Alt.5 Cressy, Maxime (USA)
Alt.6 Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
Alt.7 Jung, Jason (TPE)
Alt.8 Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
Alt.9 Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
Alt.10 Ymer, Elias (SWE)

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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Seppi in Washington

The Canadian looked down and out early in the match but bounced back to avenge a loss he suffered at the French Open in June.

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Second seed Felix Auger Aliassime survived a huge scare in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington.

The Canadian was on the verge of being upset by the Italian Andreas Seppi but battled back to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 59 minutes. Blasting a total of 25 winners and nine aces in the win.

 

“In my mind, I wanted to find a way to come back. To get that early break in the second really helped me a lot and I think I served a little bit better and I put more volume and height on my shot,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was more patient and in the first set I was missing too quickly in the rallies so digging deep physically and mentally allowed me to come back nicely in the match and to finish strong in the third set. I am happy with the way things turned around for me today”.

It was the world number 88 with the better start to the match and after both players held their opening service games he had two chances to get the early break and took a 2-1 lead. After consolidating the break, the Italian set up another breakpoint with a stunning forehand winner, broke again for a 4-1 lead, and served out the first set.

Auger-Aliassime was keen on getting back into the match and wanted to avoid a second straight upset loss to the Italian. After holding serve in the first game of the second set he had two chances to take an early lead and broke for the 2-0 lead with a forehand up the line of his very own on breakpoint. That was enough for him to serve out the second set and send the match into a decisive third set to decide the winner.

It was the Canadian who repeated what he did in the second set holding the opening service game and breaking Seppi’s serve with a sublime passing shot. The Italian responded the next game by breaking right back but failed to consolidate the break as the world number 15 broke again with his powerful backhand winner.

At 5-2, the Auger-Aliassime found himself at match point and it took him five attempts before being able to convert and seal the match. Avenging a loss he suffered at Roland Garros.

After the match in his post-match press conference, the Canadian was asked if he had the loss to Seppi at the French Open in the back of his mind during the match.

” In a way yes of course because we played once and he beat me and as a player, you never want to go down twice in a row against a player but it happens but in my case, I really wanted to find a way to win that match and get revenge just for myself to try and get the win”. he said.

Auger Aliassime will now face the winner of the second-round match between Jenson Brooksby or Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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