Challenger Tour: Adrian Mannarino off to strong start, Alejandro Falla recovers - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Tour: Adrian Mannarino off to strong start, Alejandro Falla recovers

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Top seed Adrian Mannarino’s ranking is separate to everyone else’s in the draw by a long margin but he got the win expected of him on the first day (Image va Zimbio.com)

The top seed in Noumea, New Caledonia got his 2016 campaign off to an excellent start. Adrian Mannarino easily dismissed Italian Federico Gaio in straight sets 6-0, 6-4.

Mannarino was joined by the second, fifth and sixth seeds respectively, as there were no early shocks to found on Monday.  Alejandro Falla’s match with American Mitchell Kreuger was the closest to result in a shock, as the American had stormed through the first set only to see Falla recover in an eventual for 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory. Blaz Rola and Jordan Thompson both secured their passage into with considerable winning their respectable matches over Luke Saville and Darian King for the loss of seven games apiece.

James McGee and Jan Mertl both progressed in straight sets, but it was a match between a pair of French wildcards that was the best of the day. Maxime Janvier managed to defeat Nicolas N’Godrela in a marathon match that latest just under three hours. The final score was 7-6, 5-7, 7-5. The match is already a contender to be the longest Challenger match of 2016 here in the first week.

The match of Tuesday is likely to be that of 4th seed Adrian Menedez Maceiras’ encounter with young Frenchman Quentin Halys. These two played out a close match in Segovia last year, with Maceiras eventually winning in the third. Halys has some good wins on the Challenger circuit in 2015, though his biggest came in Valencia Qualifying, where he ousted then No.98 Rajeev Ram in straight sets.

All eyes will also be on Julien Benneteau as he takes to court for the first time in nearly nine months. He starts against fellow Frenchman Florian Reynet.

Tuesdays singles matches (selected picks in bold)

 

Adrian Menendez Macieras vs Quentin Halys

Bastian Trinker vs Alessandro Giannessi

Florian Reynet vs Julien Benneteau

Maxime Chazal vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin

Isaac Frost vs Daniel Brands

Tristan Lamasine vs Stefan Napolitano

Marco Trungelliti vs Maximilian Marterer

Henri Laaksonen vs Mathias Bourgue

Jordi Samper-Montana vs Connor Smith

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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