Philipp Kohlschreiber edges unpredictable Lukas Rosol to hand Germany an early 1-0 advantage in the Davis Cup First Round - UBITENNIS
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Philipp Kohlschreiber edges unpredictable Lukas Rosol to hand Germany an early 1-0 advantage in the Davis Cup First Round

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It was Kohlschreiber’s forehand that eventually got him out of trouble, allowing him to pull away in the fifth set (Image via Zimbio.com)

Philipp Kohlschreiber survived a scare as he made very hard work of the Czech Republic’s no. 2 player Lukas Rosol in the first match of the Davis Cup First Round tie, eventually winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in Hannover.

It was absolutely imperative that Kohlschreiber got Germany off to a winning start as Czech Republic, with the services of Top Ten star Tomas Berdych to call upon, were and still are, clear favourites in the tie.

The first set did not go according to plan for the German No.1 player however, as he surrendered an early break to Rosol. The Czech meanwhile was dominant on serve losing just three points on his first serve, and just two (both double-faults) on his second. Rosol had a further break point at five-two, but Kohlschreiber held to ensure that after he Rosol held for the first set that he would get the chance to serve first in the second.

The second set did change things. Rosol surrendered far more points as his attacking style began to fall, conceding fourteen unforced errors, more than twice the number from Kohlschreiber. Both men hit four winners, so it was the error count that saw Kohlschreiber quickly level up, having not dropped a point from seventeen on his first serve.

Kohlschrieber continued the incredible trend, as he held every point on his first serve for a second consecutive set. In a narrow set, Kohlschreiber found a late break, and it seemed that the match would finish as predicted, with a win for the German.

Rosol had other ideas though, as the tables turned, and Kohlschreiber found his game leaking unforced errors, fifteen to Rosol’s nine. Rosol, noting Kohlschreiber’s drop in form, tempered his own game, allowing the mistakes to flow. This earned him two breaks, one of them in the final game of the set, forcing a decider.

It was Kohlschreiber who finally made the definitive breakthrough, turning his game around from the poor showing of the fourth set, he wore a tiring Rosol down, taking control with his forehand, thirteen winners aiding his quest for victory. Rosol could not stop the barrage, and his game , built more for attack than defence, simply could not cope. Kohlschreiber earned two breaks, and could have enjoyed more, but settled for the pair, earning the second in the final game.

Kohlschreiber now owns a 5-1 lead over Rosol in their career head-to-head. This was the first time in three meetings in a best-of-five set encounter that Rosol was able to take a set or more from Kohlschreiber, having lost in straight sets in previous meetings at the US Open and Wimbledon.

Alexander Zverev and Tomas Berdych are next up on court, before the doubles tomorrow, and the reverse singles on Sunday.

 

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Sebastian Korda reaches his second semifinal of the season in s’Hertogenbosh

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Sebastian Korda beat Tommy Paul 6-4 6-2 in 67 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season at Libema Open in s’Hertogenbosh. 

Korda hit 18 winners and won 84% of his first serve points. Korda earned his first break in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead. Paul broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Korda broke for the second time in the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. Korda broke twice in the third and seventh game to close out the second set 6-2. 

Korda has improved his head-to-head record against Paul to 4-1. 

Korda reached the semifinal on grass at Queen’s in 2023. The US player is is aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since 2021, when he won in Parma on clay. 

Korda set up a semifinal clash against defending champion Tallon Griekspoor, who ccame back from one set down to beat Alexandar Vukic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Griekspoor has won his past eight matches at this tournament. 

Vukic broke in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. Griekspoor earned his first break in the sixth game of the second set to win the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve with no breaks en route to the tie-break. Griekspoor earned two mini-breaks to open up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break. Vukic pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Griekspoor held on his serve and sealed the tie-break on his first match point.

“I am very happy to be through. It was a very tough match once again. I think Alexandar played unbelievable grass court tennis, so it was not easy and I am very happy to find my way in the third set. I am enjoying the crowd, the atmosphere and the whole tournament”, said Korda. 

Alex De Minaur beat Milos Raonic7-5 6-2 in 1 hour and 26 minutes. De Minaur has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Raonic, who was playing in just his fourth tournament of he year.

De Minaur earned his first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Raonic broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur broke for the second time in the 11th game and served out on his first set point after saving three break points in the 12th game. De Minaur broke twice in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

De Minaur is aiming to win the second title of his career on career following his win in Eastbourne in 2021.  

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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