Wawrinka upsets Djokovic to claim the French title - UBITENNIS
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Wawrinka upsets Djokovic to claim the French title

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TENNIS Stan Wawrinka fought back from a set down to beat Novak Djokovic in four sets with 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 after 3 hours and 12 minutes clinching the second major title of his career in the Roland Garros final held on a sunny day in Paris. For Djokovic the French Open remains the only Grand Slam title missing from his trophy cabinet. Wawrinka was presented with the Coupe des Mousquetaires by three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten who incidentally beat Wawrinka’s coach, Magnus Norman in 2000. Diego Sampaolo

 

Wawrinka had to save an early break point to hold serve after a 39-shot rally in the first game of the match. He had to save another in order to remain on serve. However, the pressure of holding serve got to him as he was broken at love in the 7th game after double faulting. Soon Djokovic was serving for the opening set up 5-4. Wawrinka saved two set points but Djokovic was able to close it out 6-4. The Serbian released a roar as he converted on set point. 

Djokovic looked to be about to run away with the match as he earned a break in the opening Wawrinka service game in the 2nd set. However, the Swiss No. 2 fended it off and later began routinely earning break points on the Djokovic serve. Djokovic found himself continually under pressure to hold serve but he accepted the challenge as he held time each time. Serving to stay in the set down 4-5, Djokovic again looked poised to hold serve as he was up 30-0. “Stan the Man” sensing that the crucial stage of this match, lifted his game to win four consecutive points and earned himself a 6th break point. A backhand error from Djokovic leveled the match as Wawrinka took the 2nd set 6-4. 

Wawrinka held his serve at the start of the third set but Djokovic again have to save break points in his service game. The pressure proved to be too much as Wawrinka broke serve to love in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead en route to clinching the third set with 6-3. Wawrinka hit 15 winners and won 19 of 21 first serve points in that set. Now it was the Swiss who seemed poised to take his 1st French title and not the overwhelming favourite, Djokovic. 

Djokovic sensing that another French Open final failure is near, quickly took control of the 3rd set when he raced out to a 3-0 lead. However, Wawrinka was not about to be denied this chance as he broke back winning 12 of his next 15 points to level the set at 3-3. Djokovic held serve for 4-3 and earned himself triple break points to go up 5-3 and serve for the 4th set. Wawrinka again raised his level and held serve for 4-4. He then broke Djokovic on his 15th break point of the match with another brilliant backhand winner. Serving for the match up 5-4, Wawrinka employed another brilliant backhand to take the match saving break point for his 1st French Open title 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.  

Wawrinka hit 60 winners including nine aces and converted on four of his 15 break point chances. Thanks to his second Grand Slam title Wawrinka will return to World Number 4 in the ATP Ranking. Wawrinka has crowned a magical tournament in which he beat fellow countryman Roger Federer (2) in the quarterfinal and local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (14) in the semifinal. In collecting this title, the Swiss player also made a bit of history as he also won the junior title in Paris back in 2003. He has become the first past junior winner to win the men’s title since Mats Wilander in 1988 and the sixth player to win at both junior and senior level. He is the third oldest first time Roland Garros champion in the Open Era.

“I had a good talk with my coach Magnus Norman before the final. I was feeling realaxed until maybe 15 minutes before to go on the court. Then I started to be really nervous. I am still surprised with the way I played because I think I played amazing today. I was really nervous but I didn’t really choke. I was always going for my shots, always going for my shots. Pierre Paganini plays a key role in my career. He is instrumental in the good results all along my career. It’s always strange when I tell myself that I have a Olympic gold medal, the Davis Cup and two Grand Slams”, said Wawrinka

Djokovic said after his defeat that this defeat and the appreciation from the crowd will give him extra motivation to bounce back next year “You go through emotions I was more nervous than any other match. We both were aware of the importance of the matchand that’s why you tend to have these particular stuations. I am proud of the fight that I put into this match. I tried my best. It wasn’t to be. This is sport. That’s what happens on this level. You have to accept the loss. I respect the respect the crowd showed me. It was more or less the same situation like last year in the closing ceremony. This gies me more motivation to come back and keep on trying”, said Djokovic

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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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John Isner Wins 16th ATP Title In Atlanta

The 6ft 10 American got revenge on his American opponent for the loss he suffered last week in Los Cabos.

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John Isner has continued his love affair with the Atlanta Open by ousting Brandon Nakashima to win the tournament for a record sixth time.

 

The sixth seed beat the American teenager 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes. Firing a total of 21 aces and winning 81% of his first-serve points en route to the victory.

“I think if you count the last two weeks playing singles and doubles I played 12 matches in about 10 or 11 days so I have played a lot which is exactly what I need,” Isner said following his win. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for tournaments ahead.’
This tournament has meant everything to my career it’s amazing”. He added.

The first set was extremely tight and neither player gave an inch in their respective service games. The opener was decided by a tiebreaker which Isner is accustomed to. Whilst the first set was tight, the tiebreaker was an even tighter affair Isner squeezing out a 10-8 win to take the first set 7-6.

Again the second set was competitive and again neither player got an edge on their return game. It was only at 5-4 that the Dallas, Texas native found himself at triple match point but the world number 115 saved all three.

Nakashima would save a fourth before holding serve and at 6-5, the world number 35 earned a fifth match point. That’s where he closed out the match and sealed the win and the title.

After the match, Isner was asked about his history of playing numerous tiebreakers throughout his career.

” I play a lot of those and it’s a situation I am comfortable in since I have been on tour forever,” he explained. “Honestly I think today (Sunday) I was just a little bit luckier and that’s what It really came down to. It’s amazing to be out here again playing on a Sunday and it was awesome”.

Isner confirmed that he will not be making the trip to Washington, DC for the Citi Open and instead he will take a week off after playing back-to-back tournaments in Los Cabos and Atlanta. He is next scheduled to be in Toronto for the National Bank Open.

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Casper Ruud Set For Career-High Ranking After Clay Court Hat-Trick

The young Norweigan player is closing in on his top-10 debut following his surge in success on the Tour.

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As some of his peers battle it out in Tokyo at the Olympic Games, Norway’s Casper Ruud has become a dominant force on the European clay.

 

The 22-year-old battled his way to a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 win over Pedro Martinez in the final of Kitzbuhel on Saturday to claim his 12th win in a row on the Tour. It is the third consecutive week where Ruud has won a title after also triumphing at the Nordea Open and Swiss Open Gstaad. The surge in success has made him the first man to have won three ATP titles within as many weeks since Andy Murray did so back in 2011.

“I am shaking all over my body. It feels amazing,” Ruud told atptour.com. “I was very nervous at the end, I knew what I was playing for. Three in a row is something special. What a day to play the final, rain on and off all day.
“I’m just very excited and happy that these three weeks are over, and that I won all of them.”

All three tournaments Ruud has won are ATP 250 events but only once did he play a top 50 player. That was Benoit Paire whom he defeated 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, in the quarter-finals at Gstaad. In Kitzbuhel, he defeated Mario Vilella Martínez (No.167), Mikael Ymer (No.99), Arthur Rinderknech (No.91), and Martinez (No.97).

During his clash with Martinez, the match was interrupted by the rain and it didn’t end until 11:30 PM local time.

“It was tough… we know that the weather was a bit shaky so I was prepared [for the delay],” Ruud said. “It was a bit long there in the end. We came back, only played three games, and then we had to stop again. It was a bit annoying, but we had to keep the focus and try your best. It’s the same for the opponent.”

Ruud has now won four ATP titles this season after also triumphing at the Geneva Open back in May. Since the start of the 2020 season, he has won 45 matches on the clay and has defeated three top 10 players – Stefanos Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartzman and Matteo Berrettini.

The Norweigan is now set to rise to a career-ranking high of 12th when the standings are updated on Monday. He will also go up to eighth place in the ATP Race to Turin.

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