ATP Sofia: Roberto Bautista-Agut picks up second title of 2016 with comfortable straight sets win over Viktor Troicki - UBITENNIS
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ATP Sofia: Roberto Bautista-Agut picks up second title of 2016 with comfortable straight sets win over Viktor Troicki

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Roberto Bautista-Agut is one of the most in-form players on tour in 2016 (Image via Zimbio.com)

Roberto Bautista-Agut is one of the most in-form players on the ATP World Tour this season, as the Spaniard won his second tournament of the year, adding Sofia to the Auckland title he picked up in the second week of the season. He defeated Serbian second seed Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4. 

 

Both men had had good runs in the tournament in reaching the final. Roberto Baustista-Agut did not drop a set, and Troicki dropped just one in a tough three-setter against Martin Klizan in his semi-final.

The match quickly established a pattern. Troicki would try to be more aggressive, coming to the net on occasion, and trying to end points quickly. Bautista-Agut seemed more comfortable waiting out the rallies, before finding a particular ball to engage his forehand, which he let fly when he felt well-placed.

Baustista-Agut had a glimpse of a break chance in game six, at thirty-all, but missed a finishing forehand to allow Troicki to escape. The top seed did not let Troicki off the hook in game eight however, earning love-thirty, and winning an extended rally when Troicki could not control a desperate response to a Bautista-Agut drop-shot, the ball drifting just wide from the Serbian, and Bautista-Agut would serve for the set.

Troicki tried to retrieve the break, earning fifteen-thirty, his best effort against the Bautista-Agut serve, but the top seed drove a angled forehand cross-court, and Troicki missed a smash. Bautista-Agut then took the set on his first set point.

Troicki was under pressure early in the second, as he netted a forehand at forty-thirty to allow Bautista-Agut back to deuce. A double-fault brought up another break point, but Bautista-Agut missed narrowly with a cross-court forehand. Troicki missed an easy backhand to bring it back to deuce again. A poor drop-shot, a shot that had failed Troicki a number of times in the match, forced the second seed to defend another break point. He missed a rallying forehand, and Bautista-Agut led from the first game of the second set.

Troicki was afforded a chance to get back into the match when Bautista-Agut went down fifteen-forty. Troicki broke on his first break point, and the second set at least was back on serve. Troicki looked to be enjoying some momentum when serving at forty-fifteen, but Bautista-Agut hit some excellent returns and earned break point at at deuce-advantage. Bautista-Agut neutralised the Troicki serve, before unleashing a perfect forehand winner into the corner of his opponent’s backhand wing to lead again. Bautista-Agut fended off a attempted comeback from Troicki before nearly breaking again himself, but both men eventually held through the rest of the set, Bautista-Agut serving out to win his second title of the year.

Roberto Bautista-Agut: “It feels great, I can’t be more happy than now… enjoying a lot to be on the court and that’s it. I want to congratulate Viktor, and wish him well for the season.. It was amazing to play on this court today, it was an incredible atmosphere and I hope to be back here next year.”

Tournament Summary: Not one for the underdog fans, as all seeded players contested the quarter-finals. A nice mention for Martin Klizan, who with a semi-final display in Sofia, gets his season up and running. The Slovakian had suffered first-round exits in Qatar, Sydney, and at the Australian Open.

 

 

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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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