Stanislas Wawrinka Breezes Past Pablo Carreno Busta To Reach First Indian Wells Final - UBITENNIS
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Stanislas Wawrinka Breezes Past Pablo Carreno Busta To Reach First Indian Wells Final

Joshua Coase

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Photograph of Stanislas Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka produced his best performance of the tournament so far as he dismissed Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The first six games of the semifinal were very competitive, but from there on in the Swiss took control, bullying his opponent at times with his raw power. The third seed won nine of the last 11 games in the match to set up a clash with fellow Swiss Roger Federer in Sunday’s final.

Carreno Busta made a strong start, looking to take the ball early and play aggressively from the outset. Somewhat surprisingly the 21st seed’s average groundstroke speed was five miles an hour faster than Wawrinka’s in the opening exchanges (75mph compared to 70mph). In the fifth game the Spaniard opened up a window of opportunity after striking a forceful forehand return of serve followed by a forehand winner to move to 15-30. The Swiss was able to close the door and turned the tables in the next game after a missed forehand gave the third seed a break point of his own. After missing the return of serve the Spaniard escaped with a hold of serve to level at three games all.

After showing his opponent the warning signs, Wawrinka delivered a crucial blow in deciding the fate of the first set in the eighth game. The Swiss ripped two returns of serve deep, right at Carreno Busta’s feet, leaving the 21st seed scrambling as the third seed struck a forehand cross court winner to earn a pivotal break.

Wawrinka caught fire and quickly secured the set advantage, winning 11 of the last 12 points as he held to love to wrap it up 6-3 after 29 minutes. Just a 60% win rate behind his first serve and a 50% win rate behind the second did the real damage to Carreno Busta, particularly in the eighth game.

Carreno Busta faced further pressure to try and stay with his opponent early on in the second set as he faced two break points in the third game. Wawrinka went long with a forehand to squander the first before the Spaniard took control in the following point, bossing proceedings with his forehand. The third seed failed to convert on two more opportunities before finally capitalising with a ferocious forehand to secure the break in a game which lasted just shy of 10 minutes.

That proved to be Carreno Busta’s final stand as Wawrinka continued to go from strength to strength. The Swiss secured a double break before closing the match out on serve to love, booking his place in his fourth Masters 1000 final, his first on US soil.

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(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win

The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.

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Novak Djokovic posing for a photo ahead of his quarter-final match with Milos Raonic at the Australian Open (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

 

The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.

“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’

Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.

Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’

“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”

Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.

 

He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.

Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.

Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.

“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.

 

Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.

Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.

Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.

“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.

Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

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