Challenger Tour: Cervantes and Daniel join Top 100 for first time - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Tour: Cervantes and Daniel join Top 100 for first time

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Daniel and Cervantes both break the top 100 for the first time

Guido Pella is one of the best clay-court challenger veterans, even at just twenty-five years of age. The Argentine added his ninth Challenger title by defeating up-and-coming Spaniard Inigo Cervantes in three tough sets. As is often the case with two clay specialists, the match was rife with breaks of serve, as there were ten in total. Pella will be disappointed by the fact that he was broken five times from just five break opportunities for Cervantes. But he was able to take five breaks of his own. Cervantes looked like he might surge to the win after winning the second set by a comfortable four game margin, but was unable to maintain his form in the final set, dropping serve three times. Pella is now just three ranking places removed from his career high of seventy-three, whilst Cervantes breaks into the Top 100 for the first time. Final Score 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, Pella

The Yokohama final proved another example of a player reaching his career high ranking and breaking the Top 100. Welcome to the big time twenty-two year-old Taro Daniel. The Japanese right-hander produced a strong week by not dropping a set en route to the final. With highlight wins over the likes of Omar Jasika and Alexander Kudravytsev, his route to the title match was relatively routine. The final would be the only place where he dropped a set, the opening one in fact. Go Soeda broke his young compatriot twice in the opener, making more first serves and winning more points than his opponent. The second set changed dramatically, as Soeda was unable to win points on second serve, and losing serve three times.Daniel dropped serve the one time but the three breaks were enough to level the scores. The third set saw Daniel continue to improve his first serve winning percentage, whilst Soeda suddenly struggled in winning first serve points – down below fifty percent in that regard. The result was another trio of breaks for Daniel, who wins his third challenger title, all of them coming in 2015. Final Score 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, Daniel

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Reigning Champion Simona Halep Pulls Out Of Wimbledon

The Romanian says she is ‘down and upset’ about missing the major.

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There will be a new Wimbledon champion in the women’s draw this year after Simona Halep formally withdrew due to injury.

 

The former world No.1 was in London training with her team but has been forced to pull out of the grass-court major after failing to fully recover from a calf injury. An issue which also sidelined her from the French Open. It is the first time the Romanian has missed Wimbledon since making her Grand Slam debut at the tournament back in 2010.

“It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my withdrawal from The Championships as my calf injury has not fully recovered,” the 29-year-old said in a statement.
“I gave it everything I had in order to be ready to play Wimbledon and after having such special memories from two years ago, I was excited and honoured to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion.
“Unfortunately, my body didn’t cooperate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year.”

Halep first sustained the injury back in May when she was playing Angelique Kerber in the first round of the Italian Open. After undergoing an MRI, it was confirmed that the multiple Grand Slam winner had a tear in her left calf.

“I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision. This period has been difficult but to miss the last two majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically,” she said.
“We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.”

As a result of the withdrawal, Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova has moved into the seedings at 32nd. She has only won one match in four previous appearances at the Championships.

Halep has won 22 WTA titles during her career and has won more than $37.5M in prize money.

The Wimbledon Championships will get underway on Monday.

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Lorenzo Sonego reaches the semifinal in Eastbourne

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Third seed Lorenzo Sonego beat Alexander Bublik 6-1 7-5 in 79 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Viking International in Eastbourne. Sonego claimed his 17th tour-level match win of the year. 

 

Sonego broke twice in  the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Italian player won 65 % of his first service points  in the opening set. 

The 2021 Sardegna Open champion went up a break in the third game of the second game, but he missed two double break points at 4-2. He saved a break-back point at 4-3 before dropping his serve at 5-4. Sonego broke serve from 0-30 down to win the second set 7-5. 

Sonego has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Bublik. 

“I am full of energy because I like playing here. My serve is good for grass court and I like playing in Eastbourne. There are a lot of Italian fans, and it is good for me. Sasha is an amazing player”, said Sonego. 

Sonego will face Max Purcell, who beat Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-4 1-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 58 minutes. Seppi had won his previous head-to-head against Purcell in Kitzbuhel in three sets. 

Purcell bounced back from losing the second set, winning 82 % of his first service points. 

Purcell went up a break twice in the first set to take a 3-2 lead, but Seppi broke back both times to draw level to 4-4. Purcell broke for the third time in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. Seppi broke twice to take a 4-0 lead, but wasted two set points in the sixth game. Seppi broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Purcell broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Purcell earned three match points at 5-4 and converted his second chance on Seppi’s serve. 

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Danil Medvedev reaches the third grass-court semifinal of his career in Mallorca

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Top seed Danil Medvedev beat Casper Ruud 7-5 6-1 at the Mallorca Championships to reach the third grass-court semifinal of his career without dropping a set. Medvedev had prevously reached two semifinals in Eastbourne in 2017 and at Queen’s in 2019. 

 

Medvedev hit 8 aces and won 87 % of his first service points. He did not face a break points and dropped one point behind his first serve. 

Medvedev broke serve in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. The Russian player went up a break in the first game. Ruud broke straight back in the second game. Medvedev broke three times in a row to win nine of the last ten games. He closed out the match with a drop shot and a volley to reach the semifinal after 1 hour and 17 minutes. 

“I feel like it was a funny match. Maybe it was not the highest level, but I am really happy to win and be in the semifinals here. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I don’t think grass is his best surface, but in the first set he was playing top level and I could not get any break points. As soon as he started serving a bit worse and making some errors, I tried to use it as fast as I could. It was important to win the first set and not not in a tie-break”, said Medvedev.

Medvedev will face Pablo Carreno Busta, who fended off all three break points he faced in his 6-4 6-4 win over Jordan Thompson. Medvedev leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Carreno Busta.   

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