Viktor Troicki clinches his second consecutive Sydney title after a tight three-set battle against Grigor Dimitrov - UBITENNIS
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Viktor Troicki clinches his second consecutive Sydney title after a tight three-set battle against Grigor Dimitrov

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Viktor Troicki clinched his second consecutive title at the Apia International ATP 250 at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney after saving a match point in a tight tie-break of the third set against Grigor Dimitrov. Troicki came back from losing the first set to win the match in the tie-break of the third set with 2-6 6-1 7-6 (9-7). Troicki has become the first player to win two consecutive titles in Sydney since James Blake’s back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. The Serbian player has lifted his third career title after Moscow in 2010 and Sydney in 2015.

 

Dimitrov and Troicki, who were respectively the third and the fourth seeds in this tournament, met for the second time in the first two weeks of 2016. Last week Dimitrov came back from a set and a break down to edge out Troicki 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 to reach the quarter finals at the Brisbane International.

Troicki came into the final as the defending champion with a winning streak of 11 consecutive victories at the Sydney Olympic Park. He also reached the final in this tournament in 2011.

Dimitrov cruised past Troicki in the first set by getting a double break in the third game for 2-1 and in the seventh game for 5-2. Dimitrov played a one-sided first set in which he did not face a break point chance en route to taking the win with 6-2.

Troicki turned around the match in his favour in the second set where Dimitrov dropped his serve with three double faults in the second set to fall behind 0-2. Both players traded breaks in the next two games. Dimitrov broke straight back on his third break-back chance in the third game after a forehand error by Troicki to claw his way back to 1-2 but Troicki broke again for 3-1. Troicki held his serve in the the next game to pull away to 4-1. Troicki got another break before winning his fourth consecutive game to close out the second set.

The third set was  marked by an exciting battle in which most of the games were decided at deuce. Dimitrov earned two break points at the start of the third set. Troicki fended off three break point chances in the fourth game of the third set to draw level to 2-2. Troicki earned two break points at 4-4 with a backhand winner and converted his first chance for a 5-4 lead as Dimitrov hit a backhand into the net. Troicki served to defend the Sydney title won last year but Dimitrov broke straight back to 30 in the next game to draw level to 5-5 with a one-handed backhand winner when Troicki was serving for the match. Dimitrov won the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead but Troicki forced the match to the tie-break.

In the tie-break Dimitrov went down 1-3 but he clawed his way back to draw level to 4-4. Troicki earned the first match point at 6-5 but Dimitrov saved it. Troicki had to fend off a match point at 7-6 before clinching a very tight and intense tie-break with 9-7 on his second match point with a cross-court backhand passing shot winner. Troicki scored his first win in his third head-to-head match against Dimitrov.

Troicki has enjoyed a great week in which he beat Nicolas Mahut in the quarter final before overcoming Teymuraz Gabashvili in three sets in the semifinal on Friday.

“One ball decided the match. It was my favourite shot of all at the end to win it. So many times that shot brought me a lot of happiness. That’s how I won the Davis Cup title. i could not imagine what would have happened if I lost today. It would have been just crazy to recover from it”, said Troicki

Dimitrov, who was looking to win his first tournament since his triumph at the Queen’s in 2014, lost the fourth final in his seven attempts. Despite the defeat it’s been a good week for Dimitrov who has showed good form at the start of the 2016 season under the guidance of his new coach Franco Davin, who previously trained Juan Martin Del Potro. Dimitrov lost to Roger Federer in three sets in the quarter finals last week in Brisbane before reaching the final in Sydney after winning both the quarter final and the semifinal on Friday after a rain-affected Thursday.

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares win the doubles title:

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares claimed their first ATP doubles title as a team with a 6-3 7-6 (8-6) win over Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea. Murray and Soares, who played their first doubles tournament, rallied from 0-5 down in the second set to win the third set at the tie-break.

“It’s not easy. Me and Jamie played for a long time with our former partners so it’s nice to see we are on the right way at the beginning of our partnership. I think we played two very good weeks. We improved in every single match from the beginning of the year. I think that’s the most important thing. Our goal is to be strong as a team. This week we proved we can be a strong team”, said Soares.

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Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since Kei Nishikori in 2008

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Carlos Alcaraz beat Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-2 in the final of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag becoming the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in Delray Beach in 2008 and the youngest Spanish ATP Tour champion since RafaelNadal in Sopot 2004. 

 

Alcaraz earned his first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead with an inside-in forehand winner and he never looked back by holding his next service games. The Spanish teenager broke serve in the third game as Gasquet made a double fault. Alcaraz converted his third break point in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet earned three break points but he was not able to convert them. 

“I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players. I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and  I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It’s going to be useful for the future”, said Alcaraz. 

Gasquet was aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since s’Hertogenbosch in 2018. 

“It was tough for me to play with his full intensity. I had a tough match yesterday. It was tough, and especially with a guy like Carlos, who is playing really fast with a lot of energy and spin. He is playing unbeievable. He is only 18 and of course he had a great future and Ijust could not play at his level and his intensity”, said Gasquet. 

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches the semifinal in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz edged past third seed Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-1 after 2 hours and 18 minutes to reach his second tour-level semifinal at the Playa Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the second youngest semifinalist in Umag tournament history. Nadal was the only player who reached the semifinal in Umag at a younger age. Nadal achieved this feat at the age of 17. 

Alcaraz broke serve in the fourth game at deuce to open up a 4-1 lead. Krajinovic broke back in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Both players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games and held their next service games en route to the tie-break. Alcaraz earned four mini-breaks to take a 7-3 lead. 

Krajinovic broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the second set 6-2. Alcaraz got three breaks to claim the third set 6-1. The Spaniard attacked a second serve on break point in his first return game of the third set and hit a forehand volley to earn the break. Alcaraz did no drop his serve in his next service games to set up a semifinal against his compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas, who cruised past Stefano Travaglia 6-1 6-1 after 68 minutes. Ramos Vinolas went up a 2-0 lead with an early break. Travaglia broke straight back in the third game. Ramos Vinolas broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to win the second set 6-2. 

The Spaniard earned two more breaks in the second and sixth games to claim the third set 6-2. 

Richard Gasquet edged past Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-6 (9-7). Gasquet fended off a break point in the opening game before breaking serve in the second game. Dzumhur earned another break point in the fifth game but Gasquet saved it to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet served out for the first set in the ninth game. 

The Frenchman broke Dzumhur in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and earned a chance for the double break, but Dzumhur saved three break points to claw his way back to 3-4.

Gasquet was not able to convert any of his three break points in the seventh game and Dzumhur broke back in the eighth game. 

Gasquet broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, but he was no able to serve out for the match in the 10th game. Gasquet earned a chance to get another break in the 11th game, but Dzumhur saved two break points to take a 6-5 lead. 

Gasquet served out the 12th game to force a tie-break. Gasquet converted his third match point to reach the semifinal. 

Gasquet set up a semifinal clash against Daniel Altmeier, who beat Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-3. Gasquet has become the oldest semifinal in the tournament’s 31-year history behind Paolo Lorenzi, who reached the 2017 semifinal. 

“I started well. I could not manage to break him at 4-2 in the second set and then I struggled a little bit on my serve. It was tough, but I fought a lot to finish the match in the second set. It was a great tie-break and important to win. I need to be physically ready to go further, as I try to reach the final”, said Gasquet. 

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Astra Sharma beats Natalya Vikhlyantseva to reach the quarter final in Palermo

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Astra Sharma beat Natalya Vikhlyantseva 6-4 7-5 at the Ladies Open in Palermo to reach the quarter finals for the first time since her Charleston title. 

 

Vikhlyantseva made 11 double faults, including six in the second set. Sharma came back from 0-4 down by winning six consecutive game to take the first set 6-4. The Australian player was broken back, when she was serving for the match. 

Sharma set up a quarter final against Danielle Collins, who beat Maddison Inglis from Australia 6-4 6-1 after 1 hour and 20 minutes. Sharma has never met Collins before. 

After three trades of break Collins broke serve at love in the 10th game to win the first set 6-4. Collins broke twice in the first and sixth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Olga Danilovic beat Katarina Zavatska 7-6 (7-4) 7-5. Both players traded breaks twice in the first set en route to the tie-break. Danilovic won a tight tieak with three mini-breaks. Zavatska went up a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Danilovic broke straight back in the sixth game. The next games went on serve until the 12th game when Danillovic got the decisive break to win the second set 7-5. 

Lucia Bronzetti beat 2011 US Open Junior champion Grace Min 6-3 6-1. Bronzetti broke serve in the second game of the first set to take a 2-0 lead. Min broke straight back in the third game. Bronzetti converted her third break point in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. 

Bronzetti went up a 3-0 lead with two breaks after two very long games. Min pulled back one break back in the fourth game, but Bronzetti earned two breaks in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-1. 

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