Federer, Seppi, Kerber and Pliskova in grass court finals. Anderson awaits his opponent - UBITENNIS
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Federer, Seppi, Kerber and Pliskova in grass court finals. Anderson awaits his opponent

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TENNIS – Roger Federer edged Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5) 7-6(4) in one hour and 28 minutes to reach his 10th final at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. Federer will be bidding for his eighth title at the German grass tournament against Andreas Seppi who took advantage of Kei Nishikori’s withdrawal at 1-4 in the first set. Diego Sampaolo

 

It is hardly surprising that this match was decided by tiebreaks as both men have built their game on their serve. Karlovic possesses one of the most formidable  serve in the game. The first set went on serve until the tie-break. Federer hit a backhand passing shot on the seventh point  getting that crucial mini-break before winning the final four points to clinch the first set with 7-5.

Federer fended off the only break point of the match in the fourth game of the second set Federer got a mini-break lead but Karlovic broke back. Federer got another mini-break at 5-4 when Karlovic hit a backhand volley into the net. With this win Federer now leads 13-1 in his head-to-head matches against Karlovic.

“It was a tough match. I was struggling to read his serve in the first set but I handled it better in the second set”, said Federer

Federer leads 11-1 against his final’s rival Andreas Seppi but the Italian beat the Swiss Maestro in the third round at last January’s Australian Open.

ATP 500 at Quuen’s: Anderson qualifies for the final:

Kevin Anderson overcame Giles Simon 6-3 6-7(6) 6-3 to reach the final at the ATP 500 at Queen’s Club.

Simon fended off a match point at 6-5 in the tie-break of the second set. The South African player got the break in the 8th game of the third set before clinching the win on the third match point. He qualified for his 10th final and his first on grass.

The other semifinal between three-time Queen’s champion Andy Murray and Viktor Troicki was suspended because of rain at 3-3 in the first set when Troicki was facing a fourth break point.

WTA Birmingham: Pliskova sets up final against Kerber

Karolina Pliskova beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 7-6 (8-6) to reach her first final on grass at the AEGON Classic in Birmingham. The Czech player will face Angelique Kerber who won the all-German semifinal against former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki.

Pliskova broke serve immediately after the second interruption due to rain. Mladenovic earned three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break but Pliskova bounced back to win it 8-6.

Pliskova will face Angelique Kerber for the fifth time. They are tied 2-2 in their previous head-to-head matches.

“The conditions werehard and Kristina was playig really well, so the second set wasn’t easy at all. As it went on. it was getting work. She was starting to play better and better, so I couldn’t be happier to make it through in two sets ”, said Pliskova

 

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Fabio Fognini beats Guido Pella in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Melbourne

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Fabio Fognini beat Guido Pella 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The Italian star converted five of his six break points to close out the match after 2 hours and nine minutes.

 

Fognini saved two break points in the first set with a forehand and a backhand and held his serve. The Italian star did not convert a break point in a long seventh game. Both players went on serve to set up a tie-break. Fognini did not drop a single point to cruise through to a 7-0 win.

In the second set Fognini earned a crucial break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. He held his serve on the second deuce after saving a break point. The 2019 Monte-Carlo champion sealed the second set with another break with a forehand return winner.

Fognini earned a break lead in the fourth game of the decisive set. Pella broke straight back in the fifth game. Both traded breaks again in the sixth and seventh games. Fognini broke for the third time and converted his second match point with a serve up the T.

He is also the 12th player to come back from two sets down at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

With his five-set victories over Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson in the first two matches Fognini made history on Wednesday when the “Come-back king” became the first player to win back-to-back Australian Open matches in final set tie-breaks.

“I am so happy to be in the fourth round again in Australia. Now it’s time to recover. I played a really solid game against a really tough opponent. I am happy with the performance”, said Fognini.

Fognini set up a fourth round match against 2018 Australian Open quarter finalist Tennys Sandgren, who beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 52 minutes. Sandgren fended off nine break points and converted just 2 of his 14 break point chances. Two years ago Sandgen beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem en route to reaching his first quarter final at a Grand Slam event.

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Marin Cilic prevails over Roberto Bautista Agut in five-set thriller in Melbourne

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Marin Cilic overcame Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 after 4 hours and 10 minutes to score his first top 10 win since the 2018 US Open, when he beat David Goffin.

 

Cilic fought back from losing the first set at the tie-break, but he bounced back in the second set by breaking serve in the ninth game, when Bautista Agut made a forehand error. Cilic held on his serve to win the second set 6-4 to draw level to 1-1.

Cilic cruised through to a bagel win in the third set. The Croatian player got an early break in the fourth set to open up a 3-1 lead. Bautista Agut broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Cilic did not convert a break point chance at 5-5. Bautista Agut earned the break at 6-5 to force the match to the fifth set.

Cilic broke serve in the opening game of the fifth set with a forehand winner, but he did not convert a break point at 4-2. He broke for the seventh time in the match in Bautista Agut’s next service game to clinch a thrilling win, as Bautista Agut fired a backhand into the net.

Cilic took a re-match against the Spanish player, who won their previous head-to-head clash at the 2019 Australian Open in five sets.

“I had an incredible patch. It was a surreal level. Every ball I was hitting was going in. It was coming off my raquet incredibly well. I knew Roberto would always fight and he pushed me all the way in the fourth set”, said Cilic.

 

 

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Karen Khachanov edges Mikael Ymer in marathon match in Melbourne

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Karen Khachanov battled past Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

 

Ymer broke serve twice in the second and fourth games of the fourth set to open up a 4-1 lead. Khachanov broke back in the seventh game, but Ymer broke for the third time to take the fourth set 6-3.

Khachanov broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2, but he was broken back in the next game.

Khachanov was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set before trailing 6-8 in the decisive match tie-break. Khachanov came back by winning four consecutive points to clinch a thrilling win.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin beat Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 2 hours and 4 minutes setting up a third round match against Danil Medvedev. Popyrin broke twice in each of the first and third sets and saved all four break point chances.

Taylor Fritz came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2. Anderson was leading by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, but Fritz broke back before winning the third set at the tie-break. Fritz cruised through the fourth and fifth sets. Fritz will face Dominic Thiem in the third round.

“That was huge for me. He played a really tough five setter just the other day and then obviously coming back. Going back to back five setters is going to be tougher for him than usual. I felt fresh, so I just told myself that I have to keep running”,said Fritz.

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