Ryan Harrison progresses in Australian Open Qualifying, but six other seeds fall - UBITENNIS
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Ryan Harrison progresses in Australian Open Qualifying, but six other seeds fall



Harrison is looking to make the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time since losing in the first round of 2014 to Gael Monfils ( Image via http://www.apiainternational.com.au)

American Ryan Harrison may not have won a match in qualifying at the Australian Open in 2015, but the nineteenth seed will have the chance to qualify in 2016 after making the final round. He defeated Denys Molchanov 6-3, 6-1. Despite Harrison’s success, a number of seeds fell out of contention on Friday.


The biggest surprise was the loss of fourth seed Alejandro Falla. Falla, who came close to beating Roger Federer in the first round of Wimbledon 2010, lost to Niels Desein 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. The Colombian was only the highest seed to fall as five others joined him. Jan-Lennard Struff (5) had the misfortune to be drawn against wily veteran Radek Stapanek in the second-round, and the Czech defeated the tall German 6-4, 6-4. Go Soeda (8) followed, as the Japanese took his leave following a defeat to Alexander Kudryavtsev, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Radu Albot (10) completed the loss of five top ten seeds, as he lost to James McGee of Ireland 1-6, 6-1, 6-2.

The losses of seeds did not stop at the top ten however. Konstantin Kravchuk (18) found Yan Bai too difficult to defeat, as the Chinese scored a massive win against the Russian, winning 2-6, 6-4, 8-6 in two hours and eleven minutes. Thomas Fabbiano (26) of Italy was another victim of a Chinese shock, as Di Wu won through instead 6-1, 6-4.

Despite Ryan Harrison’s progression, the United States did see some disappointment, after seeing all their players progress from Thursday’s Men’s Qualifiying Second Round, two departed today. The biggest shock was the loss of young talent Frances Tiafoe, who was surprised by German Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-2. Tatsumo Ito (13) also ended the hopes of Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-2.

Other results:

Daniel Brands (30) defs. Maxime Janvier 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Edouard Roger-Vasselin (11) defs. Jordi Samper-Montana 6-3, 6-2.

Saketh Myneni defs. Lorenzo Giustino 6-1, 7-6.

Alejandro Gonzalez (24) defs. Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

Adrian Menendez-Maceiras defs. Oliver Anderson 6-4, 6-2.

Mirza Basic (22) defs. Marius Copil 6-3, 7-6.

Aleksandr Nedovyesov defs. Aldin Setkic 6-2, 2-6, 6-0.

Marco Trungelliti defs. Dennis Novak 6-3, 6-4.

Pierre-Hugues Herbet defs. Marco Chiudinelli 7-6, 6-4.







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Luca Van Assche rallies from two sets to one down to beat Alex Michelsen



Luca Van Assche came back from two sets to one down to defeat Alex Michelsen 4-3 (7-0) 3-4 (4-7) 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in 2 hours and 36 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah in the second longest match in the history of this tournament. 


Van Assche and Michelsen went on serve in the first three sets. Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first three sets. 

There were three consecutive breaks in the fourth set. Van Assche earned two of them and served out the set at love in the fifth game. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fifth set. Van Assche earned a chance to serve for the match, but Michelsen pulled back on serve to force a tie-break. 

Van Assche built a 3-0 in the tie-break with an early mini-break. Michelsen saved two match points to draw level to 6-6. Van Assche sealed the win with another mini-break on the second match point. 

“He was playing very well the whole match. It was really close. Not a lot of breaks and it was difficult for me but I am very happy”, said Van Assche. 

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Arthur Fils beats Dominic Stricker to end Green Group unbeaten



Arthur Fils battled past Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) after 1 hour and 47 minutes in the final round-robin match to end the Green Group unbeaten with a 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals. 


Stricker knew that he would advance to the semifinals if he won just one set. The Swiss player won the set he needed against the already qualified Fils to secure his spot in the semifinal despite the defeat. 

Stricker saved a break point on the deciding point in the third game of the fourth set. Fils earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out on his second set point. 

Stricker held serve at love in the first game of the fourth set. The Swiss player broke serve on the deciding point to open up a 2-0 lead. Fils broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned three mini-breaks, but Stricker pulled back on serve each time. Fils sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point. 

Stricker beat Fils 7-6 7-6 in Gstaad in their only previous head-to-head match last summer. 

Fils saved two break points in the first game to hold serve. Stricker fended off a break point in the fourth game on the deciding point to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned his first break on his third set point with a forehand return winner in the sixth game to clinch the first set 4-2. 

Stricker saved the only break point of the second set in the fourth game. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker won six consecutive points from 0-1 down with two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Fils won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp

“I knew before the match that I qualified, but I just want to win every match that I am playing. I think I put a little bit more focus out there out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match but I am really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semifinal”, said Fils in the post- match interview. 

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Luca Nardi beats Flavio Cobolli but it’s not enough to advance to the semifinals at the Next Gen Finals



World number 115 Luca Nardi overcame Flavio Cobolli in an Italian match 3-4 (4-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-1) 1-4 4-3 (7-3) in 2 hours and 14 minutes in the final round robin match of Green Group at the Next Gen Finals at King Abdullah Sports Club in Jeddah. 


The win was not enough to earn a semifinal spot for Nardi. Arthur Fils is the first player to qualify for the knock-out stage. The top seeded Frenchman will face Dominic Stricker later today. Stricker needs to win just one set to reach the semifinals. 

Both players went on serve in the first set en route to the tie-break. Cobolli earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-4. 

Nardi saved two break points in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. The world number 115 broke serve in the sixth game to close out the second set 4-2. 

Cobolli converted his second break point in the first game of the third set. Nardi pulled back on serve in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Nardi opened up a 3-0 lead with two mini-breaks. Cobolli pulled one of the two mini-breaks back for 1-3. Nardi won the final four points with two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-1. 

Nardi clutched his groin when he was serving at 0-1 in the fourth set and called a medical time-out at 0-3. Cobolli earned a break in the second game to close out the fourth set 4-1. 

Cobolli saved two break points to hold serve in the second game. Nardi fended off two break points in the fifth game. Both players held on serve en route to the tie-break. Nardi earned his first mini-break with a backhand flick from out wide to take a 2-1 lead. Cobolli pulled the mini-break back to draw level to 2-2. Nardi closed out the match with a return down the line winner.   

Nardi hit 27 winners to 12 unforced errors. 

“I am happy with the win. Even if I did not qualify, I think today was the best match I played out of the three. I am a bit sad I did not qualify, but I did not want to leave Jeddah without a win. I kept fighting today and I am happy”, said Nardi. 

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