Queen's Club: Murray through to the quarters - UBITENNIS
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Queen’s Club: Murray through to the quarters

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TENNIS – Andy Murray edged passed Fernando Verdasco 7-5 6-4 at the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club in London to get through to the quarterfinal where he will face Gilles Muller who beat defending champion Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6(5) . Murray is bidding to win his 4th title at Queen’s Club. Diego Sampaolo

 

Murray scored his 11th win in 12 matches against Verdasco. In their previous match on grass, Murray had to rally from two sets down to beat the Spaniard in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon 2013.

Murray seized control of the 1st set after Verdasco double faulted twice in his opening service game giving the Scotsman break point opportunity. Murray then converted with a forehand winner. However, Verdasco broke back in the 7th game. However, at 6-5 Murray broke serve for the 2nd time and on his third set point, claimed the opening set.

Verdasco did not convert any of the 4 break points he had very early on in the 2nd set against Murray and soon came to regret this as he would never see another for the rest of the set. In the 10th game, serving to stay in the match, Verdasco again double faulted twice. Luck was not favouring Verdasco on this day as two aces he hit during this game were ruled as lets. Eventually, Verdasco was broken when he hit his backhand wide giving Murray the match 7-5 6-4.

Muller beat defending champion Dimitrov 6-4 7-6(5). Dimitrov double faulted at 5-4 in the 1st set and was broken handing Muller the set. Dimitrov fended off a break point at 2-1 in the 2nd set with a backhand winner down the line. That break in the 1st set would be the lone break of the entire match as both players remained on serve in the 2nd set.

In the pivotal tie-break, Muller double faulted for the 1st time and went down 0-3.  The Luxembourger won 6 of the next 7 points bringing up match points with a searing forehand winner down the line for 6-4.  Dimitrov saved the first match point with his serve but Muller converted his second opportunity with his forehand to qualify for the first time in his career for the quarterfinals at Queen’s.

Since winning this event last year Dimitrov has not reached a final since then.

“I don’t think I am playing bad tennis at the moment. I am just doing a lot of good things on the court which really don’t discourage me to play. It’s a tough loss for me but I give credit to Gilles”, said Dimitrov.

John Isner battled past last year’s finalist Feliciano Lopez in three tie-break sets with 7-6(5) 6-7(9) 7-6(4). The 1st set went on serve until the tie-break where Isner was the first to get the mini-break at 5-4 with a down-the line passing shot. He capitalised on this opportunity to take the set. In the 2nd set, Lopez earned a break point at 3-3 but was unable to convert and again a tie-break was needed to decide the set. After trading mini-breaks 4 times, Lopez got the decisive break for 10-9 with his backhand. The Spaniard served it out to level the match.

Breaking serve in this match became mission impossible as no one broken through 36 service games. In the final set tiebreaker, Isner got the early mini-break and closed out the breaker 7-4 points.

Viktor Troicki overcame Marin Cilic 6-7(8) 6-2 6-3 in a re-match of last week’s semifinal in Stuttgart where Troicki won in the tie-break of the 3rd set. Toicki will meet Isner in the quarterfinals. The winner of this match will face either Murray or Muller in the semifinals.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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