Sam Querrey reaches Acapulco semi-finals, Dominic Thiem dismisses Grigor Dimitrov - UBITENNIS
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Sam Querrey reaches Acapulco semi-finals, Dominic Thiem dismisses Grigor Dimitrov

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Querrey is playing his best tennis for a number of years (image via Zimbio.com)

In-form Sam Querrey continued his excellent form with a win over young compatriot Taylor Fritz 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. He was joined in the semi-finals by Dominic Thiem, who ousted Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 6-2.

 

Despite Querrey’s form, it was Taylor Fritz who made the better start, breaking Querrey twice by winning ten points against the 6’6 man’s serve. the eighteen year-old faced no break points, spreading out the loss of six points .

The second set was a very tight affair, as Querrey improved his serve, making 80% first serves, and winning 80% of points on both first and second serve. Fritz matched him on first serve, but proved susceptible on second, and that was enough for Querrey to earn the solitary break of the second.

Querrey eanred eight aces in the third as his serving found a new rhythm. Fritz again posted good numbers, but gave Querrey just enough chances to produce a break. The more experienced man finally prevailed for a place in the semi-finals.

His opponent will be another man in terrific form in the shape of Dominic Thiem, who defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 6-2. An erratic Dimitrov struggled throughout, broken four times in the match and rarely holding serve with any authority. Thiem did offer a break in each set but the Austrian spread his four breaks, two in each set, to win.

The top section of the draw saw the resurgent Alexandr Dolgopolov reach the semi-finals with a comfortable win over Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-3. The Ukrainian broke four times for a win in one hour and four minutes.

Dolgopolov will face Bernard Tomic, who edged Illya Marchenko in straight sets 7-5, 7-5. The match featured eight breaks of serve, five for Tomic and three for Marchenko, with the Australian enjoying five to defeat the world no.85.

Thiem vs Querrey: If this match had taken place three weeks ago, most would have backed Thiem. He might still be considered the favourite, but I’m going to predict an upset here. Querrey in straight sets.

Dolgopolov vs Tomic: Almost impossible to call with questions still lingering over both men. Dolgopolov beat an out-of-form Steve Johnson, and an exhausted David Ferrer before Haase. How much of that was down to Dolgopolov’s form rather than his opponents? Tomic’s win over Marchenko was unconvincing given that he dropped serve three times. Winner: Dolgopolov in three sets.

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Fabio Fognini beats Guido Pella in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Melbourne

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Fabio Fognini beat Guido Pella 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The Italian star converted five of his six break points to close out the match after 2 hours and nine minutes.

 

Fognini saved two break points in the first set with a forehand and a backhand and held his serve. The Italian star did not convert a break point in a long seventh game. Both players went on serve to set up a tie-break. Fognini did not drop a single point to cruise through to a 7-0 win.

In the second set Fognini earned a crucial break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. He held his serve on the second deuce after saving a break point. The 2019 Monte-Carlo champion sealed the second set with another break with a forehand return winner.

Fognini earned a break lead in the fourth game of the decisive set. Pella broke straight back in the fifth game. Both traded breaks again in the sixth and seventh games. Fognini broke for the third time and converted his second match point with a serve up the T.

He is also the 12th player to come back from two sets down at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

With his five-set victories over Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson in the first two matches Fognini made history on Wednesday when the “Come-back king” became the first player to win back-to-back Australian Open matches in final set tie-breaks.

“I am so happy to be in the fourth round again in Australia. Now it’s time to recover. I played a really solid game against a really tough opponent. I am happy with the performance”, said Fognini.

Fognini set up a fourth round match against 2018 Australian Open quarter finalist Tennys Sandgren, who beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 52 minutes. Sandgren fended off nine break points and converted just 2 of his 14 break point chances. Two years ago Sandgen beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem en route to reaching his first quarter final at a Grand Slam event.

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Marin Cilic prevails over Roberto Bautista Agut in five-set thriller in Melbourne

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Marin Cilic overcame Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 after 4 hours and 10 minutes to score his first top 10 win since the 2018 US Open, when he beat David Goffin.

 

Cilic fought back from losing the first set at the tie-break, but he bounced back in the second set by breaking serve in the ninth game, when Bautista Agut made a forehand error. Cilic held on his serve to win the second set 6-4 to draw level to 1-1.

Cilic cruised through to a bagel win in the third set. The Croatian player got an early break in the fourth set to open up a 3-1 lead. Bautista Agut broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Cilic did not convert a break point chance at 5-5. Bautista Agut earned the break at 6-5 to force the match to the fifth set.

Cilic broke serve in the opening game of the fifth set with a forehand winner, but he did not convert a break point at 4-2. He broke for the seventh time in the match in Bautista Agut’s next service game to clinch a thrilling win, as Bautista Agut fired a backhand into the net.

Cilic took a re-match against the Spanish player, who won their previous head-to-head clash at the 2019 Australian Open in five sets.

“I had an incredible patch. It was a surreal level. Every ball I was hitting was going in. It was coming off my raquet incredibly well. I knew Roberto would always fight and he pushed me all the way in the fourth set”, said Cilic.

 

 

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Karen Khachanov edges Mikael Ymer in marathon match in Melbourne

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Karen Khachanov battled past Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

 

Ymer broke serve twice in the second and fourth games of the fourth set to open up a 4-1 lead. Khachanov broke back in the seventh game, but Ymer broke for the third time to take the fourth set 6-3.

Khachanov broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2, but he was broken back in the next game.

Khachanov was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set before trailing 6-8 in the decisive match tie-break. Khachanov came back by winning four consecutive points to clinch a thrilling win.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin beat Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 2 hours and 4 minutes setting up a third round match against Danil Medvedev. Popyrin broke twice in each of the first and third sets and saved all four break point chances.

Taylor Fritz came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2. Anderson was leading by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, but Fritz broke back before winning the third set at the tie-break. Fritz cruised through the fourth and fifth sets. Fritz will face Dominic Thiem in the third round.

“That was huge for me. He played a really tough five setter just the other day and then obviously coming back. Going back to back five setters is going to be tougher for him than usual. I felt fresh, so I just told myself that I have to keep running”,said Fritz.

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