Challenger Tour: Matthew Barton continues excellent form in Launceston - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Tour: Matthew Barton continues excellent form in Launceston

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Omar Jasika earned his first Grand Slam win at the Australian Open, but could not find a way past Matthew Barton in Launceston (Image via ZImbio.com)

Matthew Barton is in the form of his career. Yes he is still some sixty places removed from his career-high ranking of 267, but the players he is beating are of a calibre he could not have envisaged when he was down playing Futures just two years ago. The Australian edged fellow in-form Aussie Omar Jasika in three sets 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the quarter-finals.

Barton will face eighth seed and former Top 100 player Andrey Golubev, who dismissed Takuto Niki of Japan 6-1, 6-3 in fifty-five minutes.

Third seed Saketh Myneni had a long match with former Junior No. 1 Filip Peliwo, with Myneni eventually winning 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. The match lasted an hour and forty-seven minutes. The match featured nine breaks of serve, implying that both men were struggling to take control but the Indian eventually prevailed.

The final singles match of Wednesday saw Benjamin Mitchell beat lucky loser Jarryd Chaplin by a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 margin.

Thursday Selected matches and picks (in bold):

Stephane Robert vs Duckhee Lee: The French veteran is having a late career resurgence. At thirty-five years young, he qualified and then reached the third round of the Australian Open by defeating Bjorn Fratangelo and Rajeev Ram before succumbing to Gael Monfils. It was his second best-ever run at the Australian having qualified and reached the fourth round in 2014. Duckhee Lee is a teenager with a bright future. From South Korea, his stock is not quite as high as compatriot Hyeon Chung, but has some decent results so far in his young career. With Robert’s form and experience, the Frenchman should win.

Blake Mott vs Stefanos Tsitsipas: A huge opportunity for both, this match could see the rise of Tsitsipas who had a good run at the Australian Open Juniors. Tsitsipas beat Brydan Klein in the first round and is that form is anything to go by, he should win here too.

Luke Saville vs Max Purcell: Yet another young Australian talent in Purcell takes on former Wimbledon Junior Champion Luke Saville. Purcell fought eventual winner Oliver Anderson all the way in a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 match. This could represent a chance as Saville is inconsistent.

 

 

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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Hubert Hurkacz beats Alexander Zverev to reach the second final of his career in Halle

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Hubert Hurkacz moved past this year’s Roland Garros finalist Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in 1 hour and 33 minutes to reach the second final of his career at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Hurkacz will be aiming to win the second title of his career at this tournament two years after his triumph. 

Hurkacz fired 17 aces and saved all four break points he faced in the first game of the opening set to clinch his fifth top 10 win on grass. The Pole won 81% of his first serve points. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. Hurkacz his only break in the third game of the second set to win the second set 6-4. 

“I really love grass. The game suits my game and the atmosphere here, having the full crowd is incredible. It brings so much joy to the players”, said Hurkacz. 

Hurkacz improved to 1-3 in his head-to-head matches against Zverev. The Polish player will aim to clinch the ninth ATP Tour title of his career in his 11th ATP Tour final. 

Hurkacz won the Halle tournament in 2022 and reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2021. 

Zverev holds a record of 37 wins to 11 defeats this season. 

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