Rafael Nadal gets 2016 off to a winning start at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal gets 2016 off to a winning start at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships

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Rafael Nadal got 2016 off to a winning start beating big server Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to clinch his third win at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships at the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

Nadal earned the first break points in the fifth game but Raonic saved them with a smash and a service winner. Raonic wasted a 40-0 lead in the 7th game as Nadal forced it to deuce but the Canadian held his serve.

The first set came down to the tie-break without breaks. Nadal got two mini-breaks en route to winning the tie-break with 7-2 after 54 minutes.

In the second set Raonic saved three break points in a very tough fourth game which lasted 10 minutes. The Spanish star got an another chance when Raonic hit an easy smash into the net. Nadal converted his chance this time to take a 3-1 lead. Both players served well in the following games and there were no more break chances for both players.

Nadal has lifted his first title at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships since winning twice in a row in 2010 and 2011. After losing the final against Andy Murray in the inaugural edition in 2009, Nadal beat Robin Soderling in 2010 and Roger Federer in 2011.

Nadal will play next week in Doha where he won the title in 2014. Last year Nadal was beaten by Michale Berrer in the first round. He will make his debut agianst his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in teh first round.

Raonic will play his first ATP tournament in Brisbane next week. The Canadian, who announced a coaching collaboration with Carlos Moya yesterday, finished runner-up to Roger Federer last year in the Australian ATP 250 tournament.

David Ferrer won the match for the 3rd and the 4th place beating Stan Wawrinka in three sets with 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 10-8 after one hour and 28 minutes.

Ferrer broke Wawrinka in the sixth game en route to taking a 5-2 lead in the first set and served for the set at 5-3. Wawrinka came back winning three consecutive games to take a 6-5 lead but he was not able to serve out for the set in the 12th game, as Ferrer broke him to force the tie-break. Wawrinka cruised to 7-1 to take the tie-break.

Ferrer broke in the fifth game en route to winning the second set 6-4 forcing the mach to the super-tie-break. Wawrinka got two mini-breaks to race to 5-0 but Ferrer rallied by reeling off ten of the last thirteen points to take the super tie-break with 10-8.

Ferrer will now travel to Doha where he bids to defend his title from last year. Ferrer also reached the semifinal in the Qatar Open ATP 250 in 2012. In the Qatari city the Spanish player will face a star-studded field which features three more top ten players including Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Tomas Berdych.

Wawrinka will defend his last year’s title in Chennai. He will lead the field which features Kevin Anderson from South Africa, Benoit Paire from France, who reached the semifinal in 2012 and the quarter final in 2013 in the Indian tournament, Roberto Bautista Agut, semifinalist last year, Borna Coric and Vasek Pospisil.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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Denis Shapovalov Battles Back To Reach The Quarterfinals In St Petersburg

The Canadian got off to a slow start in his first match but was able to recover nicely for a big three-set win.

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Second seed Denis Shapovalov needed to go the distance at the St Petersburg Open to beat his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Toronto native didn’t have the best start to the match but was able to recover and pull off a comeback to take the win. Serving a total of 11 aces to reach the quarterfinals.

” It’s very tough to play Pablo (Andujar) first round of a tournament, he’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” said Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel so great but I just told myself to keep going because obviously there is still a lot of tennis to be played and I wanted to turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

It was the Spaniard who got off to a better start, earning a breakpoint in the first game of the match before grabbing the early break and he was able to consolidate it. At 2-0, Andujar had two chances to go up a double break but the Canadian saved both and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 92 was able to earn another breakpoint. This time converted for the double break lead and served out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve until 2-1 when Shapovalov broke to love and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve it out and send the match into a decider.

The Canadian continued pushing as his level improved. In the first game of the final set, he broke the Spaniard with a perfectly timed cross-court winner to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break he was hungry for more and broke Andujar’s serve once again to go up a double break. Shapovalov closed the match out with a bagel set.

During his on-court interview, Shapovalov was asked how happy he was back to be in St Peterburg and he mentioned the amazing memories he had playing in the event last year.

” It always feels great to be back and I remember last year playing Andrey (Rublev) in the semifinals. I was one set up and I lost this match but I am happy to be here due to the fact I always get great support from the fans here”. He said.

Shapovalov will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals after the German upset seventh seed Alexander Bublik in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).

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