s’Hertogenbosch: Bencic sets up final against Giorgi as Mahut to play Goffin - UBITENNIS
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s’Hertogenbosch: Bencic sets up final against Giorgi as Mahut to play Goffin

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TENNIS – Swiss rising star Belinda Bencic beat Jelena Jankovic 6-3 6-3 of Serbia one day after battling past France’s Kristina Mladenovic in a near 3-hour match to reach the final of the WTA s’Hertogenbosch where she will face Camila Giorgi who beat Kiki Bertens 6-2 6-4. Meanwhile, in the ATP event, Nicolas Mahut took out Robin Haase 5-7 6-3 6-4 and will play David Goffin who beat Gilles Muller 7-6 6-4. Diego Sampaolo

 

Bencic broke Jankovic in the 3rd game of the 1st set and closed out on the set on her 2nd set point in the 9th game for 6-3. In the 2nd set, the younger player took command right away of the set as she pulled away for a 3-1 lead. Jankovic broke back in the 6th game to draw level at 3-3 but Bencic won the next 3 to clinch the 2nd set and the match 6-3 6-3. Bencic has qualified for the second final of her career. Bencic will take on Camila Giorgi who beat Dutch woman Kiki Bertens 6-2 6-4

“Everything worked well for me. I played a really good match. My serve could have worked better but it was a little bit windy, so it was tricky. Other than that I played really well against Jankovic, which is always difficult because she gets a lot of balls back and makes you hit hit an extra shot”, said Bencic.

Camila Giorgi prevailed over world’s number 132 Kiki Bertens who reached the semifinal without dropping a set in the whole tournament beating defending champion Coco Vandeweghe on the way. Giorgi broke serve in the 4th game of the 1st set and held her serve easily. She secured double break in the 8th game to take the set 6-2.

Giorgi broke early in the 2nd set to take a 2-0 lead. However, Bertens broke straight back in the next game. They remained on serve with Giorgi leading 5-4. Bertens was serving to stay in the match up 40-15 lead but she made three double faults in a row. Giorgi converted her match point after Bertens again double faulted. Giorgi won 6-2 6-4. Giorgi will try to win her first WTA title and be the second to have won this event as Roberta Vinci did back in 2011.

ATP 250 s’Hertogenbosch:

Nicolas Mahut fought back from losing the first set to beat Robin Haase 5-7 6-3 6-4 in the first men’s semifinal. Mahut is bidding to win his second title at this event having won it in 2011 against Stan Wawrinka. Haase got the break at 5-5 as Mahut committed 5 unforced errors. The Dutchman closed out the set on his serve to take it 7-5. Mahut broke Haase in the 6th game of the 2nd set and maintained this lead for 6-3 and force the match to a decisive set. Mahut rode this momentum into the 3rd set as he broke Haase in his opening service and consolidated the break for 2-0. Mahut again maintained this one break advantage to take the set and the match 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Mahut will face David Goffin who beat Gilles Muller 7-6(4) 6-4. Goffin avenged an earlier loss to Muller this year in Rotterdam. Neither player broke serve in the opening set though Goffin had 2 break points in the 9th game, which had he converted would had led him to serve out the 1st set. Thus the opening set was decided via a tiebreak where Goffin pulled away to take it 7-4 points. Goffin broke serve in the final game of the 2nd set for 6-4 as Muller made some careless errors serving to stay in the match. He sent two forehands long and put his forehand volley wide. This is Goffin’s fourth ATP finals. He is 2-1 thus far.

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(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.

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Novak Djokovic posing for a photo ahead of his quarter-final match with Milos Raonic at the Australian Open (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

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)

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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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.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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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.

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