Excellent day for Americans as they go five for five on the second day of Australian Open Qualifying - UBITENNIS
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Excellent day for Americans as they go five for five on the second day of Australian Open Qualifying




Tim Smyczek was one of five Americans that won their second round matches in Australian Open Qualifiying (Image via Zimbio.com)

It was a special day if your were an American in action in the Men’s Qualifying draw on the second day of Australian Open Qualifying 2017. All five scheduled to feature in the first day of second round action progressed to the final round.


(18) Denis Kudla defeats Darian King 46 64 64. The eighteenth seed Kudla looked down and out when he went down a break at four-three in the final set. The former Top 50 player recovered to win the final three games of the set and the match to move within a win of the main draw.

(6) Bjorn Fratangelo defeats Stefanos Tsitsipas 46 61 63. An excellent win for the former Roland Garros junior champion, who has struggled at times to improve that junior record at tour level. Tsitsipas like Fratangelo, is a junior prodigy trying to make it in the main tour. The young Greek took the first set but from then on was always second best, Fratangelo breaking immediately in the second set, and also winning the third set by a double break margin.

(2) Frances Tiafoe defeats Yannik Reuter 64 60. No such problems for second seed Tiafoe, as in contrast to his aforementioned compatriots, Tiafoe eased into the final round, dropping just four games as he beat Yannik Reuter. A much easier win for Tiafoe after his close first round encounter with Marco Cecchinato.

(25) Tim Smyczek defeats Mohamed Safwat 64 63. Tim Smyczek is defending full qualifying and main draw second rounds points from 2016. Australia however, is a happy hunting ground for Smyczek, and he continued his fine form by defeating Safwat. Smyczek has not yet dropped a set in his first two matches, but someone will go out when he faces compatriot Frances Tiafoe in the final round.

(21) Ernesto Escobedo defeats Tatsuma Ito 61 63.  Escobedo was the final American in action on day two, and he raced through his match with Tatsuma Ito in straight sets for the loss of just four games. Escobedo qualified for the Brisbane event last week, losing two tie break sets to Kyle Edmund, but will be a favourite now to qualifying for the main draw.

(10) Lukas Lacko defeats Maximo Gonzalez 46 62 62. Tenth seed Lacko rebounded from the loss of the first set to secure a double break in each of the next two to knock out the Argentinian. He will face eighteenth seed Denis Kudla in a section that went with the seedings.

Di Wu defeats Miljan Zekic 64 62. Zekic’s marathon win over Benjamin Becker in the first round became little more than a gift for the Chinese, as the Serbian was unable to back up the win. Wu was comfortable and pulled away in the second set.

Marco Trungelliti defeats Peter Gojowczyk 50 ret. A real shame for Gojowczyk, as the German had been flying in the early part of 2017, winning the Happy Valley Challenger, and dropping just two games in his first round match against Saketh Myneni. He was troubled throughout in this one though, and Trungelliti, who reached the third round of the main draw after qualifying last year, is still alive in this year’s event.

John-Patrick Smith defeats Kenny De Schepper 64 63. De Schepper was another player who struggled through a long first round match in his dismantling of the twenty-seventh seed Norbert Gombos. Smith struggled in 2016, but is in the final round of qualifying and will certainly fancy his chances.

Ivan Dodig defeats Laslo Djere 63 16 62. The Croatian veteran overcame a second set blip to make the final round. Dodig now splits his time between the singles tour and the doubles tour, and his powerful serve returned in the final set to blow away Djere.

Andre Ghem defeats Yuya Kibi 26 63 61. The Japanese started the first set as he had finished against Brian Baker, in excellent form but the defensive persistence of Ghem eventually told, drawing more and more errors through the last two sets to back up his win against Joao Souza and make the final round.

Yuki Bhambri defeats Pedja Krstin 63 64. Bhambri backed up his superb win over Stefan Koslov with another straight sets win, this time against Krstin. He will look to increase the Asian contingent in the main draw but will face the tough task of defeating Ernesto Escobedo if he is to do so.






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Felix Auger Aliassime leads the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan




Felix Auger Aliassime rose to the top of the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan after strong performances at Wimbledon, Cincinnati and at the uS Open. 


After reaching the quarter final at Wimbledon the Canadian player advanced to the last eight at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was the second time he reached the quarter final in a Masters 1000 tournament. 

At the US Open the 21-year-old Canadian player edged Roberto Bautista Agut in a five-set match before beating Frances Tiafoe to reach the semifinals. Auger Aliassime became the first Canadian player to reach the semifinals at the US Open in the tournament history and the youngest player since Juan Martin Del Potro won the tournament in 2009. 

“I am happy with the level I have been playing at times, with the results I have had. It’s a positive week. Things are moving in the right direction”, said Auger Aliassime. Carlos Alcaraz has become the fourth player to secure a spot in the Next Gen ATP Finals after Auger Aliassime, Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda. Alcaraz became the youngest US Open quarter finalist in the Open Era after scoring an upset third-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The player coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero also won the ATP 250 title in Umag and reached the semfinals in Marbella and Winston Salem.

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Liudmila Samsonova sets up semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko in Luxembourg




Liudmila Samsonova upset this year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 6-1 6-4 with three breaks of serve to reach her third semifinal of the season at the Luxembourg Open. 


Samsonova broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Russian player claimed the second set 6-1 with a break in the third game and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Samsonova beat Bencic for the second time this season after beating the Swiss player in the final of the WTA grass tournament in Berlin. 

Bencic dropped serve three times in her first tournament since reaching the quarter finals at the US Open where she lost to eventual champion Emma Raducanu. 

Samsonova will face 2019 Luxemburg Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who edged past Alizé Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. Ostapenko improved her winning streak to 8-0. Ostapenko went down a break twice in the first set. Cornet earned a chance to serve for the set at 5-4, but Ostapenko did not face any set point. Ostapenko saved the first set point in the tie-break before earning the mini-break to win the tie-break 8-6. Ostapenko broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Marketa Vondrousova completed the semifinal line-up with a 7-5 6-2 win over number 2 seed Elise Mertens after 1 hour and 37 minutes. Mertens broke serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Vondrousova won four consecutive games with two breaks to take a 7-5 lead. The Czech player broke twice in a row in the third and fifth games to win the second set 6-2. 

Clara Tauson broke twice in each set to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-2. 

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Venus Williams Explains Met Gala Photo With Maria Sharapova

The former world No.1 says she and her sister Serena have ‘respect and love’ for Sharapova.




Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the 20201 Met Gala (image via Instagram)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams says there are no hard feelings between her, her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova after the trio took a photo together at the Met Gala.


The former world No.1s was seen smiling and laughing together at the New York fundraising event with both of the Williams sisters uploading a photo of them all on their Instagram story. Prompting surprise from some fans considering the at times icy rivalry between Serena and Sharapova that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.

In her 2017 autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova mentioned Serena’s name more than 100 times. She says the American hated her for beating her at Wimbledon that year and that the two were ‘not friends.’

“What I heard when I came in to the locker room was Serena Williams bawling,” Sharapova wrote.
“Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds … I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment.
“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

Responding to the claims, Serena hit back at the book in 2018 by describing it as ‘hearsay’ and said she never had any ‘negative feelings’ towards Sharapova. The two clashed on the Tour no fewer than 22 times with Serena winning 20 of those meetings.

“So I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book,” Williams commented back in 2018. “So I have always, you know, and especially having a daughter, like, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”

Three years later and it now seems that all parties have put their disagreements behind them. At the Met Gala they were seen getting on pretty well. Besides posing for a photo together, they were also seen together in the bathroom at the event. A photo taken by pop star Anitta and rapper Saweetie which showed them in the background.

Speaking about the event for the first time, 41-year-old Williams said she wishes Sharapova was still playing before adding that they still ‘respect and love’ each other.

“First of all, Serena and I were talking about Maria the day before,” the 41-year-old explained on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘Damn, I wish Maria was still playing.’
“And we saw her, and we both told her separately, ‘Oh my gosh, we were just talking about you yesterday, we wish you were still on tour.’
“We were so happy to see each other. There was hugs, there was laughing, there were stories, and there was a photo.
“So the backstory is that even though us players compete really hard of the court for years, we still respect and love each other, and love Maria

Williams, Serena and Sharapova have won a total of 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

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