WTA Bad Gastein: Errani will face Knapp in all-Italian semifinal - UBITENNIS
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WTA Bad Gastein: Errani will face Knapp in all-Italian semifinal

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TENNIS – Sara Errani overcame Daria Kasatkina 6-3 3-6 6-2 in two hours and 17 minutes setting up the all-Italian semifinal against Karin Knapp who followed up a win over Johanna Larsson in the match delayed by rain with a quarter final win over Polona Hercog with 7-6 (7-5) 7-5. Diego Sampaolo

Errani raced out to 4-0 lead but wasted three chances for 5-0. Kasatkina recovered one of the breaks and saved seven break points but Errani closed out the first set with 6-3. The Russian player got the break at 3-3 before holding serve in the next game after saving three break points. Kasatkina broke serve to love to clinch the second set with 6-3.

Errani broke serve twice to open up a 3-0 lead. Kasatkina recovered one of the two breaks to claw her way back to 2-3. Errani held her serve and closed out on her third match point after saving two break points.

Errani will meet Karin Knapp who won two matches in one day after her match against Johanna Larsson was delayed by rain yesterday. After beating Larsson 6-3 6-3 the Italian was broken twice to go down 2-5. Knapp recovered breaking serve twice. Knapp earned two set points at 5-4 but she did not convert them. The set came down to the tie-break where Hercog opened up a 4-1 lead. However, Knapp clawed her way back to draw level to 5-5 before winning the final two points to clinch the first set

In the third set both players traded breaks before Hercog took the lead. Knapp broke serve to love to draw level. Knapp saved a break point in the eighth game before converting her thir break point opportunity at 5-5. Knapp won four points from 0-15 to clinch the win with 7-5.

Sam Stosur beat Danka Kovinic 6-3 6-2 setting up a semifinal against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova who defeated Anna Beck 6-2 6-3.

Teenager Zverev sets up semifinal against Robredo in Bastad

Tommy Robredo, who won two titles in Bastad in 2006 and 2008, has reached the quarter final for the 10th time in his career in Bastad after his 6-3 6-3 win over Paul-Henry Mathieu. Robredo will face Aleksander Zverev who rallied from a set down to battle past Tjomas Bellucci with 5-7 6-4 6-2. Zverev, who reached the first semifinal of his career in the ATP Tour, converted seven of his nine break points.

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Urszula Radwanska, the younger sister of Agniewska, edged past Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-5) to achieve her first WTA semifinal in almost three years. The match lasted two hours and featured 17 breaks of serve. World Number 99 player Radwanska, who beat Jelena Jankovic in the first round, went down five times in the third set but edged the Bulgarian player in the tie-break of the third set. Urszula is bidding to equal her sister Agniewska who won this tournament in 2008. They teamed up to win the doubles title in 2008.

Radwanska will face Magdalena Rybarikova who saved a match point when she was down 6-4 5-4 before clinching a 0-6 7-5 6-2 win over Italian Roberta Vinci.

Ukrainian Lesla Tsurenko, who reached the quarter finals at Indian Wells this year, battled past her compatriot Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (15-13) 7-5 after two hours and 29 minutes on a match marked by 13 breaks of serve. Tsurenko saved four set points in the tie-break of the first set

 

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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