Ernests Gulbis overcomes John Isner in Vienna - UBITENNIS
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Ernests Gulbis overcomes John Isner in Vienna

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Ernests Gulbis overcame a second-set loss to edge past John Isner with 6-4 4-6 6-4 in two hours and three minutes to qualify for his third quarter final of the year at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Latvian player, who lost his previous five matches before this tournament, fired 23 aces to Isner’s 16 and fended off six of seven break points

 

Gulbis broke serve in the seventh game as Isner made a series of errors. Including a costly double fault. Gulbis held his service games en route to winning the first with 6-4. The second set went on serve until the 10th game when Isner broke serve to win the second set. Gulbis broke serve early in the decider and held his service games en route to winning the match with 6-4 in the third set.

Jo Wilfred Tsonga, runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the Shanghai Master 1000 final and arrived to Vienna only on Tuesday, fought back from dropping the second set to overcome Tommy Haas with 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-4. Tsonga hit 15 aces and won 37 percent of his first serve points. The player from Le Mans will face either Lukas Rosol or Jpanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita. Tsonga, who has moved up to World Number 9 in the ATP Ranking, is fighting against David Ferrer for the eighth berth for the ATP Finals in London

The two players traded breaks and spectacular rallies in the first set. Haas won the tie-break with 7-3 forcing the match to the third set. Tsonga got one break in the seventh game to win the third set with 6.4

Haas, who won in Vienna in 2001 and 2013, is coming back after a shoulder injury, fired 41 winners, 14 aces and made 32 unforced errors.

“The shoulder needs to get better. There are a lot of thoughts going through my brain but it is heading in the right direction. I need to get more fit in the off-season and put some muscle on the shoulder”, said Haas.

Number 2 Kevin Anderson, who moved up to the top 10 in the ATP Ranking after reaching the quarter finals in Shanghai, hit 19 aces to defeat Andreas Haider Maurer 6-4 7-5 in a match. Anderson won the first set with 6-4 before the second set went on serve until the 11th game before closing out with 7.5.

Mr Ace Ivo Karlovic fired 10 aces to beat Sergiy Stakhovskiy 6-4 7-5. The match featured just three break points (one in the first set and one in the second set) and very few games went to deuce. Karlovic prevailed with a break for each set.

Eighth seed Fabio Fognini beat Paul Henry Mathieu 6-4 3-6 6-4 to reach the second round. Fognini faced a break point at the start of the match but held his service games. He got the break in the fifth game en route to clinching the first set with 6-4. The Italian broke serve at the start of the second set but Mathieu broke back to draw level. The second set continued on serve until the 8th game when Mathieu broke serve. Mathieu served for the set. Fognini forced the game to deuce in the attempt to break back but Mathieu held his serve to win the second set with 6-3. Fognini had to save break points at the start of the third set, while Mathieu did not have problems to hold his serve. The Frenchman broke serve in the fifth game but Fognini broke straight back. Fognini broke again in the 8th game before serving out for the match for 6-3.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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