Jack Sock Stuns Kevin Anderson To Set Up A Auckland Showdown With David Ferrer - UBITENNIS
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Jack Sock Stuns Kevin Anderson To Set Up A Auckland Showdown With David Ferrer

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Jack Sock during the 2016 ASB Classic (image via photosport.nz)

World No.26 Jack Sock recovered from a first set hammering to defeat third seed Kevin Anderson 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

 

The American suffered back-to-back breaks during the first set to allow the world No.12 to cruise to take the opener after only 29 minutes of action. It was a routine opening set for Anderson, who produced seven aces and won 80% of his service points (16/20).

After dropping the opening set, Sock was still under attack from Anderson during the early stages of the second set. During the fifth game the third seed had a chance to break to extend his lead to a set and a break before Sock successfully saved it. Anderson’s inability to convert that breakpoint went back to haunt him at the end of the middle set. Trailing 4-5, the South African was leading 40-0 in his service game before Sock clawed his way back to 40-40 with the help of some Anderson unforced errors. The decline in Anderson’s form occurred at the worst time as sock ease to his first set point. After failing to convert the first, he was triumphant on his second thanks to another costly error from the third seed.

After taking the match into a decider, a rejuvenated Sock was outstanding in his service games throughout the third set. The American won 92% of his first service points and 100% of his second. In contrast Anderson posted an almost impressive first serve percentage (87%) but only claimed 50% of his second. As nine games went according to serve, Anderson was forced to serve to stay in the match. Identical to the second set, the world No.12 came undone at the worst possible moment to allow Sock to take advantage. The American failed on his first attempt to take the match before he was handed another opportunity thanks to an unforced error from his opponent. It was second time lucky for the American after a sharp return forced Anderson to hit the ball out.

After his triumph over Anderson, Sock shared an unusual celebration with the crowd. Usually when a player is triumphant they might give away their racket or sweatband. On the other hand, the American has instead decided to give out socks to fans to coincide with his surname.

“We were talking about it in warm-up today,” Sock said.
“Jo (Jo-Wilfred Tsonga) has got his thing, a few people have their own things. I think with such a unique name that I have, we figured I might start a new tradition and give a sock away if I win.”

If the 23-year-old wants to give away more socks in Auckland, he will have to overcome top seed David Ferrer in the semifinals. Ferrer spent 83 minutes on the court during his 6-3, 6-4, win over Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol. The world No.8 fended off four break points and won 72% of his service points.

The top seed will play in the last four in Auckland for the fifth consecutive year. Shortly after clinching his quarterfinal win, the Spaniard said that he is improving every day.

“It was a good, I am playing well and better than the first day,” The top seed said.
“I hope I’m improving every day with my game and now I’m in the semifinal.”

The world No.8 also spoke about how he maintains his advantage in matches against players with big weapons such as a fast serve.

“Being consistent is my game and it’s very important for me,” he said.
“To be focussed on every point and try to play aggressive with my forehand. But most important is my concentration on the match and trying to be focussed point by point.”

The other semifinal will be between second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut. Tsonga endured a two close sets before edging out Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-6(4). Meanwhile Bautista Agut required an hour and 43 minutes to overcome former champion John Isner (7-5,2-6,6-3).

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Daniil Medvedev Eyes Further Improvement Despite Straight Sets Win At Australian Open

The world No.4 rates his performance so far in the grand slam tournament.

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Daniil Medvedev (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev believes he is yet to reach full throttle at the Australian Open after cruising into the third round of the tournament with a straight sets victory.

 

The US Open runner-up eased to a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3, win over Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez Portero. Who was playing in the main draw of a grand slam for only the second time in his career at the age of 22. Dropping serve only one during the match, Medvedev blasted 19 aces and 40 winners past his rival. He also won 74% of his first service points.

Through to the last 32 in Melbourne Park for the second year in a row, the 23-year-old still believes that he could improve further on the court. Earlier in the week he also defeated Frances Tiafoe, who was a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open last year.

“I think there are still some things to improve. I think I could be more aggressive few moments of the match.” Said Medvedev.
“At the same time when you win three sets, you don’t want to discuss too much your level or something.’
“Of course, my next match is going to be completely different, so I’m happy with the win and happy to finally win in three sets without a tiebreak.”

As well as battling Martinez on the court, Medvedev was also forced to temporarily halt his match due to a nose bleed. Which occurred during the second set when he was leading 5-0. The Russian insisted that his bleed was not tension related and is something he has gotten used to.

“Let’s say it happens maybe two times a year or maybe once.” He said.
“I remember it actually happened last year Australian Open in first round. I think it was the only time last year, so it can happen sometimes but it’s nothing.”

Medvedev is one of a group of players who have been tipped to break the dominance of the Big Three in grand slam tennis this year. A group consisting of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Last year he won 59 matches on the ATP Tour, which was more than anybody else.

Despite the high expectations, the world No.4 is playing down the hype surrounding him. Branding the Australian Open as ‘just another slam.’ It was during the last major at New York, where he reached his first final before losing to Nadal in three sets.

“I don’t know about other people, but for me, it’s just another slam where I have to win round by round again and again, where I had two tough rounds in my opinion in terms of games, especially the first one against Frances.” He stated.
“So I just take it as any new tournament, as an ATP one, any tournament I play. I just take it round by round. I try to win my matches.”

This year, Medvedev is seeking to go beyond the round round in Melbourne for the first time in his career.

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Fabio Fognini wins epic five-set match against Jordan Thompson

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Fabio Fognini battled past local favourite Jordan Thompson 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 in an epic five set match to score his five-set win at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

 

The first set went on serve in the first five games. Fognini earned the first game in the sixth game, but Thompson broke back to draw level to 4-4. Fognini won the tie-break 7-4 after saving two set points in the 10th game.

Fognini earned an early break in the second game of the second set with a forehand passing shot. The Italian star went up a double break at 15 to race out to a 4-0 lead and closed out the second set 6-1 on his second set point.

Thompson saved two break points in the first game of the third set before breaking serve in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. The Australian player saved a break point at deuce in the ninth game and held his serve to win the third set 6-3.

Both players went on serve with no break points in the first four games of the fourth set. Thompson converted his only break point in the fifth game and held his serve at 15 to open up a 4-2 lead. The home player did not look back in the next games to win the fourth set 6-4 forcing the match to the fifth set.

Fognini started the fifth set with a hold at love. The fifth set went on serve with no break points until the eighth game when Fognini earned the first break point of the set, but Thompson saved it at deuce to draw level to 4-4. Fognini earned his first match point at 5-4 with a forehand down the line. Thompson saved it with a big ace down the middle.

Thompson fended off another match point with a forehand down the line before holding serve after five deuces to draw level to 5-5. Fognini earned two consecutive match points, but Thompson saved them to force a super tie-break. Thompson made a forehand error at 1-1, but Fognini  double faulted. Fognini took a 7-3 lead after two unforced errors from Thomson. Fognini sealed the fifth set 10-4 with a backhand down the line after 4 hours and 5 minutes. Fognini will face Argentina’s Guido Pella.

“It was a good fight. It was amazing. It’s perfect. I feel good. I am tired for sure. I was two sets to zero in front. He was playing better, he was serving unbelievable. I had 75 match points, and it is more sweat, because it is tood easy winning in three sets”, joked Fognini.

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Marin Cilic takes the Match tie-break to beat Benoit Paire in Melbourne

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Marin Cilic battled past Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7 (8-10) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3) in the match tie-break after 3 hours and 33 minutes in windy conditions to advance to the third round at the Australian Open. Paire won 82 % of his first serve points, but he made 51 unforced errors.

 

Cilic broke three times in a row to seal the opening set 6-2. Paire rallied from 3-5 down to win the tie-break 10-8. Paire earned a break of serve at deuce in the eighth game to win the third set 6-3. Cilic broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the fourth set 6-1.

Each player saved a break point in the fifth set, but they held on their service games en route to reaching the the match tie-break, where Cilic sealed the win 10-3.

Cilic booked his spot in the third-round, where he will face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who came back from one set down to beat Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1 after 2 hours and 44 minutes. The match was moved to the Melbourne Arena after it was interrupted by rain, when Mmoh was leading 2-1 in the fourth set.

Last year’s Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the third round, when Phillip Kohlschreiber pulled out of the match due to a muscle injury. Tsitsipas set up a third round match against Milos Raonic, who converted each of his four break points to beat Cristian Garin 6-3 6-4 6-2.

Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics beat last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner 6-4 6-4 6-3 after 2 hours and 16 minutes. Fucsovics earned his first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Sinner broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, but Fucsovics earned another break in the next game to take the opening set 6-4. Fucsovics went up an early break in the first game of the second set, but Sinner broke straight back. Sinner dropped his serve at love in the seventh game to lose the second set 6-4. Sinner went up a 2-0 lead with an early break. Fucsovics broke straight back in the third game to claw his way back to 1-2. Fucsovics broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and sealed the win in the ninth game on his first match point.

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