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

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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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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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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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