Final Grass Court Tournaments in full swing before Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Final Grass Court Tournaments in full swing before Wimbledon

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TENNIS – Last year’s Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard won her first match on grass this season beating Allison Riske 7-6(5) 6-3 at the Aegon Classic in Eastbourne after early round defeats at s’Hertogenbosch and Birmingham. Diego Sampaolo

Riske took a 2-0 lead in the first set but Bouchard reeled off four consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead. Riske fought back winning three games in a row for 5-4. At 5-5 in the tie-break Bouchard won the final two points to clinch the first-set tie-break. The Canadian broke serve for 4-2 en route to winning the second set with 6-3. After winning the first set at the tie-break Bouchard saved four break points in the first service games of the second set. The Canadian converted the only break point in the second set to clinch the win.

“It’s good to get a win on grass. I was a little bit more aggressive and I was trying to enjoy the moment. It was a tough match. She plays good tennis, especially on grass. I knew to be prepared for a really tough match. I am happy I was able to stay with her when it was tough in that first set and just fight it out, ” said Bouchard

Bouchard will take on Belinda Bencic who beat this year’s Australian Open semifinalist and Eastbourne defending champion Madison Keys 6-2 6-2. It will be the first head-to head match between Bouchard and Bencic

Caroline Wozniacki started her grass season with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over Jarmila Gajdosova. The Danish star went down a break. Gajdosova served for the set at 5-4 but Wozniacki broke back to force the first set to the tie-break where she won 7-4. Wozniacki broke twice for 4-1. Gajdosova recovered the break but Wozniack broke again to clinch the second set with 6-2.

Daria Gavrilova fought back from a set down to edge Camila Giorgi 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. Giorgi, who won her first tournament at s’Hertogenbosch, went up a break twice to win the first set with 6-3 despite six double faults and 40 percent of first serve points: Giorgi went down a break in the secon set on the only break point chance she faced in the second set: Giorgi went up 0-40 on Gavrilova’s serve but she failed to convert her three break points. She managed to break back on her fourth opportunity. In the ninth game the Italian earned a break point which would have enabled to serve for the match but she didn’t convert it. In the tie-break she earned a match point at 6-5 but Gavrilova reeled off three consecutive points to win the second set. Gavrilova broke serve at the start of the decider and again in the fifth game. As Gavrilova served for the match Giorgi broke back but in the following service game she faced the first match point with a double fault. She saved it but Gavrilova converted the second opportunity.

Gavrilova will face Sara Errani who battled past last year’s Wimbledon quarter finalist Barbora Zahlavova Strykova 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (9-7). Errani has won her first match on grass since Wimbledon 2012. Errani was broken in the first game of the first set but she held her service games. Strykova won the second-set tie-break 7-1. The third set also came down to the tie-break. Strykova went up 6-4 and earned two match points but committed a double fault on the second opportunity. Errani earned a match point but Strykova saved it. The Italian closed out on the second match point after 3 hours

Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-3. Kuznetsova broke serve in the fourth game. Pennetta earned a break back point chance in the ninth game as Kuznetsova served for the set but the Russian player saved them with her serve. In the second set Kuznetsova converted her second break point chance in the seventh game.

Dominika Cibulkova beat this year’s Roland Garros finalist Lucie Safarova 7-6 (9-7) 6-4. After a trade of breaks in the third and in the fourth games of the first set Safarova did not convert two points and drooped the first set at the tie-break. Cibulkova broke early in the second set before saving all the six break points

Joanna Konta beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-4. Another British player Heather Watson rallied from a set set down to beat Elina Svitolina 3-6 7-5 6-4. Sloane Stephens defeated Carla Suarez 6-1 7-5

Nottingham: Baghdatis upsets Ferrer

Marcos Baghdatis upsets David Ferrer 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in the second round of the Aegon Classic in Nottingham. The player from Cyprus scored his first win over a top-10 player in more than two years.

Baghdatis hit nine aces and won 73 percent of his service points. Baghdatis broke twice in the first set before closing out in the eighth game. The second set came down to the tie-break where the Cypriot won 7-4.

Baghdatis will face German rising star Aleksander Zverev who fought back from a set down to edge past Tomas Bellucci 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-4.

Gilles Simon fought back from a set down to edge Marcel Granollers 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-0). Granollers was leading 6-4 5-4 40-0 but Simon saved all the three match points he faced before winning the tie-break. Granollers went up a break in the third game of the decider. Simon broke back at 4-2 before winning the tie-break 7-0

Simone Bolelli overcame Martin Klizan 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 setting up a third round against Adrian Mannarino who beat Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

Bolelli held his first service game before breaking serve in the second game. Klizan had to save two break points in the fourth and in the sixth games with his serve. The second set went on serve until 4-4. Bolelli earned two break points which would have enabled to serve for the match but Klizan saved them. After trading mini-breaks Klizan opened up a 4-2 lead but Bolelli drew level to 4-4. Klizan reeled off the next three points to win the tie-break. Bolelli broke serve to love in the sixth game

Andreas Seppi did not recover from the final in Halle and was knocked out by Yen Hsun Lu with 6-4 6-3

Feliciano Lopez defeated 17-year-old Taylor Harry Fritz 6-3 6-3. Fritz, who reached the Roland Garros Junior final and is making his debut on the ATP Tour, upset Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-4.

Leandro Mayer beat 19-year-old Hyeon Chung 6-3 6-1. Dominik Thiem won over Malek Jaziri with 6-3 6-1 Sergiy Stakhovskiy beat Viktor Troicki 6-4 6-2 setting up a third round match against Denis Istomin who cruised past Juan Monaco 6-1 6-2. Alexander Dolgopolov overcame Pablo Andujar 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4

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Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Sinner; now aims for Third Title in Monte Carlo

Stylish Greek completes comeback win and re-enters the top ten.

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After winning two in a row in 2021-2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas is now in reach of a third title at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, after beating World number two Jannik Sinner in three gruelling sets.

The 25-year-old had to battle hard and come from a break down in the third to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and now plays Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s final. The Greek has had an indifferent start to the year with a 11-6 win-loss record, but today was his first top three victory since the 2022 Cincinatti Masters – where he beat Daniil Medvedev – and ensures a return back into the top ten of the men’s rankings.

Tsitsipas recognised how hard he had to fight and revealed after the match just how satisfied he was of his performance:

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play. Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far. He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game. He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game and the way I overcame it is true excellence.”

Sinner double faulted at 30-40 to gift the break early with the score at one game all. From there, Tsistipas rallied with poise and confidence in a brilliant opening set lasting 44 minutes including a stunning backhand down-the-line winner to open the game when serving at 4-3. He took the first set 6-4 after a tiring 18-shot rally – where both players hit all angles of the court – before Sinner hit a forehand wide.

However, 22-year-old Sinner struck back immediately on his first breakpoint at the start of the second set when he won a close exchange at the net and then took a 3-0 lead.  He later survived a breakback point when 4-2 up and crucially held on for 5-2. He faced more pressure when serving for the set at 5-3 and was taken to deuce but levelled the match at one-set-all on his second set point to give the crowd exactly what they were asking f

Sinner was now in full flow hitting powerfully from the baseline and once again broke early at the start of the final set to take a 3-1 lead. But with the match now entering the third hour he began to tire physically and called for the trainer during the changeover with the score at 4-3.  When the match resumed, he lost the next three games and the Greek had completed a remarkable turnaround, handing his opponent just his second defeat of the season in two hours and forty minutes.

“It helps a lot knowing I have a win like this under my belt. Having a win like this and getting to the levels of tennis again brings a lot of satisfaction to me,” Tsitsipas said. “When there is a lot of work put in each day, these are the type of matches you are aiming for.”

Sinner’s only loss prior to today was against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells semi-finals. He has been the stand out player this year after already winning titles in Rotterdam, the Miami Open, and his maiden Grand Slam in Australia. Despite having won 25 matches overall though, he now trails Tsitsipas 3-6 in their head-to-head rivalry.

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Casper Ruud Reveals Shock After Knocking Out Novak Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud is into his second career Masters 1000 final after beating Novak Djokovic for the first time.

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Casper Ruud is into his second Masters 1000 final of his career after recording his best ever win by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 6-4.

The Norwegian defeated the world number one for the first time in his career as he overcame a mini-comeback from Djokovic to seal his place in the Monte-Carlo final.

Having lost his five previous meetings to Djokovic, Ruud played some fearless tennis under pressure as the eighth seed broke to close out a career-best win.

Speaking after the win Ruud admitted he was in a state of shock and was pleased with the victory, “I am super happy,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“This is a day I will remember for a long time. Beating a World No. 1 is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done. I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

After achieving the seemingly improbable, Ruud will now look to win his first ever ATP title that’s above a Masters 1000 event when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Monte-Carlo final.

That’s a prospect Ruud is looking forward to as he prepares for one final challenge, “There is always one more match in tennis,” the Norwegian explained.

“Tomorrow is going to be a special day, playing a final here in Monte-Carlo. It is a great result but I have been chasing a big title for a few years now and tomorrow I will have another shot at it. I am going to give it my all. Stef is playing well. He is a great player on clay and on other surfaces as well, but I guess clay is maybe where he has had the most success and especially this tournament.

“So it is going to be another tough task, but I am up for it.”

The final will take place at 14:00 BST.

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Rafael Nadal Set For Opening Round Test Against Cobolli In Barcelona

Rafael Nadal will look to make his ATP tour return in Barcelona this week.

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Rafael Nadal is set for his return to tennis in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Nadal has been struggling with injury after being injured again in Brisbane this year.

The tournament in Brisbane was his first tournament back for a year as he suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open last year.

Now Nadal aims to return to competitive action in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Speaking earlier in the week Nadal was hopeful of a return to the tour in Barcelona, “Excited to be here for a few days before the start of the tournament,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“I’m here to see how it goes… can’t wait to try and play. I’ll let you know. Important to say that I don’t want to confirm I’ll be playing, but I hope so. We’ll see.”

Should Nadal play and win his opening round match then the Spaniard will play fourth seed Alex De Minaur in the second round.

The former world number one has won the title on 12 different occasions but hasn’t won the title since 2021.

Elsewhere in the draw defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin against Luca Van Assche or Zhizhen Zhang with the Spaniard projected to meet Borna Coric in the third round.

Alcaraz suffered an injury in Monte-Carlo and will be beginning his clay court campaign in Barcelona.

Also in action in Barcelona are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Main draw action will begin on Monday.

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