Pablo Carreno Busta And Pablo Cuevas Both Reach Maiden Masters 1000 Quarterfinal - UBITENNIS
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Pablo Carreno Busta And Pablo Cuevas Both Reach Maiden Masters 1000 Quarterfinal

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Pablo Carreno Busta (Photo: zimbio.com)

Pablo Cuevas celebrated reaching his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal after defeating last year’s semifinalist David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in Indian Wells. The Uruguayan set up a clash with another first time quarterfinalist in the form of Pablo Carreno Busta, who saw off Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-6(5)

Both Cuevas and Carreno Busta made strong starts, needing just the one break of serve to help secure their opening sets respectively. Goffin bounced back against the Uruguayan to force a decider, but the 27th seed made a pivotal breakthrough in the sixth game to help secure victory. Meanwhile the 21st seeded Spaniard squandered an early second set lead against Lajovic but recovered from 5-3 down in the tiebreak to see off the Serb.

Cuevas Shocks Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Cuevas looked in complete control of his game early on, capitalising on errors from his Belgian opponent to break the 11th seed to love midway through the set. Holding serve was routine for the 27th seed as he sealed the set with an ace after exactly half an hour.

In the second set the Uruguayan dropped his opening service game after back to back unforced errors. The seventh game saw Goffin under pressure at 30-30 on serve but the 11th seed won a 17 shot rally with an overhead to hold for a 5-2 lead.

When serving for set, a double fault and sprayed forehand left Goffin facing break point. The Belgian saved it with a strong first serve, but sprayed another forehand wide to face a second break point. The 11th seed showed great discipline in the next point, closing with a cross court forehand winner back behind his opponent before a mishit one handed backhand flew long from Cuevas to secure the second set for Goffin 6-3.

Cuevas faced the first pressure which either player had faced on serve in the fifth game of the final set, getting pushed to 30-30. Goffin narrowly missed an attempted backhand cross court winner wide, allowing the Uruguayan to keep his nose in front in the set. After missing that, a couple of errors from the 11th seed left him having to save a break point of his own. His opponent broke down in an extended rally to spurn the chance but earned another opportunity to make a crucial breakthrough. It was a chance which the 27th seed duly took, forcing Goffin into an error to move two games away from a maiden Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

Cuevas closed out the match with a strong second serve, much to his delight as he let out a roar to celebrate a landmark win in the 31-year-old’s career.

Carreno Busta Sees Off Lajovic 6-4, 7-6(5)

In the opening match on Stadium 2 Carreno Busta ended the qualifier Lajovic’s excellent run in the desert. The 21st seed had only played one match prior to this encounter having received a bye in the first round and due to Roberto Bautista Agut’s injury withdrawal in the previous round. By contrast, his opponent had already come through the qualifying and had played six matches, three of which went to three sets.

The huge difference in the two players court time looked to be an important factor early on as Carreno Busta broke in the fifth game. The Spaniard was exceptional when serving, dictating the play after dropping just one point behind his first serve (93%) and only losing one point behind his second serve too (86%). That form allowed him to wrap up a routine first set, which he finished with a forehand winner to take it 6-4.

Lajovic looked a beaten man as he dropped serve in the opening game of the second set. However, that set back spurred him on as the Serb broke back after finding more joy in returning his opponent’s serve, taking three points on the first serve and six points on the second over the course of the set.

After a series of holds Lajovic moved close to forcing a decider at 30-30 on Carreno Busta’s serve when leading 5-4. An attempted cross court backhand pass from the Serb narrowly went wide and the 21st seed was able to escape with the hold.The Spaniard had a half chance of his own in the following game at deuce but missed a guilt edged chance after his attempted forehand cross court winner struck the net.

The second set went into a tiebreak and the match looked set to go the distance following errors from the 21st seed, which saw him squander a 2-0 advantage to quickly find himself 5-3 down. With Lajovic on the verge, Carreno Busta raised his level, nailing a backhand down the line winner to stay in touch before serving strongly to reach match point. The Serb went wide with an attempted slice backhand, securing a quarterfinal spot for the 25-year-old.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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