Víctor Estrella Burgos have successfully defended his title at the Ecuador Open after defeating Brazilian third seed Thomaz Bellucci 4-6,7-6(5), 6-2.
The route to the final was tough for both players. Defending champion Estrella Burgos overcame a tough three sets match against Argentine qualifier Renzo Olivo followed by a straight sets win over seventh seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Meanwhile Bellucci’s journey to the final was also a tricky experience. After defeating eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-final, the third seed battled past Italy’s Andreas Seppi 3-6, 6-2,6-3.
The encounter between the two clay-court specialists began with little to distinguish between them. Both men were outstanding in their service games during the first eight games of the match. Estrella Burgos dropped only five points in his first four service games as Bellucci dropped only three in his opening quartet. The service consistency was dramatically halted when Bellucci, ranked 23 places higher than his opponent at 35th in the world, applied pressure on the defending champions serve. The attack from Bellucci resulted in him breaking to love to move ahead 5-4. That one lapse in Estrella Burgos game was fatal to his opening set chances as the Brazilian took the first set with his second set point.
Fueled by frustration of losing the first set, Estrella Burgos was forced to fend off two break points before holding his first serve of the second set. In contrast Bellucci continued his impressive display of serving, forcing his opponent to produce a series of errors. Emulating the opening set, both men remained resilient in their service games throughout the majority of the set. As Estrella Burgos served at 5-5, the Dominican republic player produced a series of wild shots during a long service game. Bellucci had a break point chance to serve for the match but failed to convert as Estrella Burgos held his nerve to nudge ahead 6-5 as the proceedings went into a tiebreak.
Continuing the second set trend, the tiebreaker was a close encounter. Initially Bellucci started the strongest after a sharp return forced Estrella Burgos to return the ball out. The mini break was then squandered after a forehand went wide from the Brazilian. As the tiebreaker progressed, it was the defending champion’s turn to pounce. A gigantic forehand broke Bellucci’s serve to lead 6-4, rewarding Estrella Burgos with two set points. After failing to convert his first, the 35-year-old was triumphant with his second after a big serve out wide forced his rival to return the ball out.
After his opponent failed to capitalize on a series of opportunities during the second set, Estrella Burgos inflicted further pressure on Bellucci by breaking him in the first game of the decider. The 35-year-old sealed the early break after a lengthy rally, consisting of numerous slices, concluded with the Brazilian hitting the ball out. The early break positioned Estrella Burgos in control of the match for the first time. The 35-year-old cruised through the final set after grabbing another break. At 4-2, a timid Bellucci fired a forehand into the net to award his opponent the chance to serve for the title. The Dominican Republic player closed out with ease after serving the match to love.
During the marathon match, which lasted a fraction over two hours, the 35-year-old produced eight aces, converted 2/7 break points and won 71% of his service points.
The victory in Quito is Estrella Burgos’ second ATP title of his career. The Ecuador Open is the only tournament where the Dominican has been able to reach the final on the ATP Tour. Last year at the tournament he became the first player from his country to win an ATP title.
Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo
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.
Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo
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.
Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia
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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