Casper Ruud a shock casualty in French Open Qualifying, Stakhovsky survives - UBITENNIS
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Casper Ruud a shock casualty in French Open Qualifying, Stakhovsky survives

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Sergiy Stakhovsky rallied after losing the first set to Stefan Kozlov (Zimbio.com)

  • Seeds out Round two: (10, 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 28,)

He has been touted as the future star of clay tennis. Yet the young Norwegian Casper Ruud suffered a disappointingly early exit in the second round of French Open Qualifying.

 

The teenager was beaten 7-6, 6-4 by Bordeaux Challenger quarter-finalist Maxime Janvier. It is the second time in a row that Ruud has failed to qualify for a grand slam main draw. He was beaten by Reilly Opelka in Australian Open Qualifying.

Opelka was in action today and again the tall American flirted with an exit. He lost the first set and faced match point against former Top 30 player Leonardo Mayer before winning 5-7, 7-6, 6-3. This came after a tight win against Daniel Munoz de la Nava in the first round. He faces Nicolas Jarry after the Chilean defeated Dmitry Popko 6-4, 6-3.

There was though a second round exit for a number of other Americans. Tim Smyczek fought hard against twenty-second seed Guido Andreozzi before succumbing 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. The American had recently recovered from a leg strain.

Stefan Kozlov lost 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 to Sergiy Stakhovsky, and Mackenzie McDonald fell to Teymuraz Gabashvili 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. There was some success for Americans as Bjorn Fratangelo edged fellow American Bradley Klahn 6-4, 7-6, and Denis Kudla beat Ricardo Ojeda Lara 6-4, 6-3.

Kudla will face retiring French veteran Paul-Henri Mathieu in the final round after the sixteenth seed beat Alejandro Gonzalez 7-5, 6-1.

Top seed Marius Copil had no trouble in easing to the qualifying round, defeating Ilya Ivashka 6-2, 6-2. Copil will face Peter Gojowczyk in a section that went according to seeding.

Daniel Masur followed up his excellent win over Adam Pavlasek with a strong win against in-form Filip Krajinovic. He will face Arthur de Greef.

Taro Daniel against Andrey Rublev promises to be one of the most intriguing matches of the final qualification round. Rublev edged Mirza Basic 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 and Daniel eased past Matija Pecotic 6-3, 6-2.

Fifth seed Norbert Gombos remained perfect with another straight sets win. He defeated Yasutaka Uchiyama 7-6, 6-3. He faces the unseeded Jozef Kovalik who knocked out twentieth seed Luca Vanni 6-4, 6-4.

The next section sees no seeds take part in the final match as Stefanos Tsitsipas faces Oscar Otte. Tsitsipas continued his strong run with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Gleb Sakharov, and Otte defeated twenty-eighth seed Laslo Djere 7-5, 2-6, 7-6.

Roberto Quiroz will take part in the final round. He defeated American Dennis Novikov who was unable to follow up his excellent win over Henri Laaksonen. Quiroz will face Maxime Hamou who surprised seventeenth seed Blaz Kavcic 7-6, 7-5.

Marco Cecchinato faces Simone Bolelli in an all Italian affair. Cecchinato thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-1, and Bolelli edged twenty-fourth seed Maximillian Marterer 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

Thirteenth seed Guido Pella survived young Aussie Marc Polmans comeback 6-3, 6-7, 6-4. He’ll face Ruud’s conqueror Maxime Janvier.

Stefano Napolitano won a battle of two very in form players by downing Marton Fucsovics 6-1, 6-7, 7-6. He will face Alexander Bublik who beat twenty-fifth seed Peter Polansky 6-4, 2-6, 7-6.

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VIDEO: Novak Djokovic To Lock Horns With Nadal In Rome

Ubitennis looks ahead to the men’s final at this year’s Italian Open.

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Rafa Nadal - Roma 2019 (foto via Twitter, @InteBNLdItalia)

Sunday will see the 54th instalment of one of the greatest rivalries of the Open Era at the Italian Masters in Rome.

 

Novak Djokovic will take on Rafael Nadal in the men’s final. Second seed Nadal is yet to drop a set in the tournament this week and brushed aside Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4, in his semi-final match. Meanwhile, Djokovic has endured a much tougher route. The world No.1 is currently on a eight-match winning streak. In his semi-final match, he ousted Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3.

Whoever prevails at the Foro Italico will become the most decorated Masters 1000 champion in the Open Era. At present both Nadal and Djokovic have 33 Masters titles each.

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Novak Djokovic Keeps Faith Ahead Of Schwartzman Semi-Final In Rome

Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith as he looks forward to a semi-final match with Diego Schwartzman in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

World number one Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith ahead of his Rome semi-final against Diego Schwartzman. 

 

The four-time champion survived a massive test late last night as he battled past Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 in just over three hours.

After saving two match points the Serb proved to be too clinical as he clinched victory at about 1am in the morning on Saturday.

In a short interview after his match Djokovic said that keeping faith was important in his quarter-final victory, I never lost faith I could come back to the match,” Djokovic explained.

“One break of serve, mini break in the tiebreak when he was 6-4, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. I’m just really pleased to overcome.”

In addition to keeping mentally strong, Djokovic also praised Del Potro’s performance as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, “He was playing really good. I tried my best obviously all the way till the end,” Djokovic said.

I lost probably the positioning of the court over him. Towards the end of the first he just started hitting the ball really well from both corners. Also backhand side, backhand down the line. He was playing really well. Gave me a lot of trouble.”

Next up for Djokovic is Diego Schwartzman who is into his first ever masters 1000 semi-final and is yet to drop a set this week.

The Serb leads the head-to-head 2-0 although their last match went to five sets at Roland Garros a couple of years ago. It should be a fascinating match which takes place at 8pm local time as Djokovic looks to keep the faith heading into the French Open.

 

 

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Roger Federer Withdraws From Rome Quarters Due To Right Leg Injury

Roger Federer has withdrawn from his Rome quarter-final with a right leg injury after playing two matches yesterday.

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Roger Federer (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Roger Federer has withdrawn from his Rome quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a right leg injury. 

 

The 20-time grand slam champion spent a combined three hours and 51 minutes on court yesterday after wins over Joao Sousa and Borna Coric.

It was the Coric match in particular that was though as he saved two match points to edge the Croatian 9-7 in the last set tiebreak.

However we now know that has taken its toll on the 37 year-old, who has had to pull out of his anticipated quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a right leg injury.

Despite the withdrawal, Federer takes four good clay-court wins heading into Roland Garros, an event he will play for the first time since 2015.

As a result of the third seed’s withdrawal, Stefanos Tsitsipas now gets a walkover into the semi-finals where he will play either Fernando Verdasco or Rafael Nadal.

Of course Tsitsipas managed to beat Nadal in the Madrid semi-finals last week, as he looks to continue his momentum towards the French Open.

The other quarter-finals see Diego Schwartzman take on Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic faces Juan Martin Del Potro.

 

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