Aegon Open Nottingham: Day Two Roundup - UBITENNIS
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ATP Challenger

Aegon Open Nottingham: Day Two Roundup

Joshua Coase

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Aegon Open Nottingham

It was a busy day of action on day two of the Aegon Open in Nottingham, with the schedule packed full of matches from both the WTA and ATP Challenger Tours. Here is a complete roundup of all the results from both the men’s and women’s competitions at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

 

WTA Roundup

Johanna Konta sealed her 300th singles career match win and booked her place in the next round at the Aegon Open in Nottingham following the unfortunate retirement of her opponent Tara Moore due to a left foot injury.

The top seed was leading 6-2, 3-0 before the incident occurred and despite continuing and finishing that game Moore called time on the match. Konta was in control throughout and was not required to play at her best level, with her compatriot struggling on serve, hitting 10 double faults and only managing to make 50% of her first serves in.

Breaks in the third and the seventh game of the first set and two breaks in the second left the world number eight in prime position to secure victory before Moore was forced to retire.

Last year’s runner-up Alison Riske got her campaign off to a strong start at the Aegon Open in Nottingham, defeating British hope Heather Watson 6-2, 6-3. The world number 43 broke the Brit in the first games of both the first and second sets to take command from the outset. Watson was involved in plenty of the American’s service games and came close to earning break points but could not take care of her own serve to stay with Riske. The wildcard broke back midway through the second set but did not win a game after that as the fourth seed wrapped up victory.

The big upset of the day saw the second seed Anastaija Sevastova fall to Christina Mchale in a thrilling contest out on Court 2, 6-0, 5-7, 7-6(2). The American raced through the first set 6-0 before both players traded breaks in the second. Sevastova forced a deciding set after pinching the second 7-5 and after no breaks in the final set it all came down to a tiebreak which Mchale won comfortably by seven points to two.

Third seed Lauren Davis also crashed at the hands of world number 91 Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-3 and Shelby Rogers became the third seeded casualty of the day after she was beaten by Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-3. Both players exchanged breaks during the first set before the Croatian pulled away and she just needed the one break in the second set to claim victory in one hour and four minutes.

Former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova came through a tough test against American qualifier Grace Min in three sets 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2 in the final match of the day on Centre Court. The fifth seed looked as though she may have taken the match in straight sets after fighting from a break down in the second, but despite going close to breaking serve in the 12th game she was edged out in the tiebreak. The Czech regrouped and came through the final set routinely enough to book her place in the second round.

In the first match of the day on Court 4 Magdalena Rybarikova raced to victory over her Ukrainian opponent Dayana Yastremska in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour. The Slovakian won 82% of points behind her first serve and hit seven aces as she cruised to victory over the qualifier.

Finally, Ashleigh Barty came from a set down to defeat Tatjana Maria 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 as well as another unseeded player Maria Sakkari, who also needed three sets to see off Jana Cepelova 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(6) in a lengthy match lasting two hours and 41 minutes on Court 2.

ATP Roundup

Lloyd Glasspool kicked the day off in fine style in front of the home fans as the Brit secured a huge win over fifth seed Go Soeda of Japan. The wildcard, ranked at 487 caused the upset of world number 108 winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 in just 1 hour and 18 minutes.

The Brit had plenty of chances to break his opponent, 12 chances in all and he capitalised twice in each set while only facing the one break point on serve himself. Nine aces and a 72% win rate behind his first serve was enough for to seal a notable victory on home soil out on Court 1.

There was more good news for the British fans as wildcard Brydan Klein advanced to the second round after defeating Alex de Minaur 7-6(5), 6-3.

Their compatriot Cameron Norrie did not fare so well. The wildcard battled back from 3-1 down in the first set to get back on serve but was broken again at a crucial time in the eleventh game, allowing Kenny De Schepper to serve it out 7-5. The Brit was backed by very vocal support on Centre Court and that helped him inspire to comeback and take the second set 7-5. Unfortunately for Norrie he was unable to claim the victory as the Frenchman closed out the final set 6-4 to seal victory in what was a terrific contest in two hours and eight minutes.

Second seed and the highest ranked player in the field following Dan Evans withdrawal, Marius Copil, began his campaign strongly with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Konstantin Kravchuck. Third seed Dudi Sela also got his charge off to the perfect start, racing through his match in under an hour as he saw off American Denis Kudla 6-2, 6-2. Similar to Glasspool’s match, two breaks of serve in each set once again were enough to secure a routine victory.

Along with Soeda, two other seeds exited the tournament on Tuesday. Sixth seed Darian King was beaten in a final set tiebreak by American Bjorn Fratangelo. The 23-year-old battled back from a set down to win 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(1).

John Millman, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Reilly Opelka were also all victorious on day two. There were also first round wins for qualifiers Sam Groth, John-Patrick Smith and Ricardas Berankis.

ATP Challenger

Dominic Thiem To Return At Marbella Challenger, Joins Wawrinka In Stacked Field

Dominic Thiem will be joining Stan Wawrinka in making his return to action at the Marbella challenger next week.

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Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem (@SK_Tennis - Twitter)

Dominic Thiem will finally make his return to the ATP tour at the Marbella challenger next week.

 

The Austrian hasn’t played a tennis match since retiring at the grass court event in Mallorca last June due to a wrist injury.

Despite being scheduled to play at the Australian Open and at the Indian Wells-Miami swing, Thiem had to postpone his return as he wasn’t quite ready to compete in matches.

However now Thiem has decided to return as he will begin his clay court swing next week at the Marbella Challenger.

The former Roland Garros finalist took to Instagram to announce the news as he looks to climb back up the rankings.

The world number 50 will face tough competition with former Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka also making his comeback at the event in Spain next week.

At the blockbuster event there will also be the likes of Holger Rune, Pablo Cuevas, Jaume Munar and Lucas Pouille competing.

The winner of the event will receive 125 ranking points but much more importantly for Thiem and Wawrinka much needed match practice ahead of a busy European clay-court swing.

Thiem will be the top seed while Wawrinka will be unseeded with their being a possibility of the two heavyweights meeting in the opening round.

Play will start on Monday with Jaume Munar being the defending champion.

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ATP Challenger

Roberto Bautista Agut reaches his second career final in Doha

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Roberto Bautista Agut reached the second final of his career at the Qatar Exxon Mobil with a 6-3 6-3 win over defending champion Andrey Rublev. 

 

Bautista Agut broke serve in the fourth game with a forehand winner to open up a 3-1 lead and held on his next service games to close out the first set 6-3 after 29 minutes. 

The Spaniard started the second set with an early break. Rublev broke straight back in the second game and won his next two service games to take a 3-2 lead. Bautista Agut saved two break points to hold serve before getting two consecutive breaks to claim the second set 6-3. 

Rublev was playing his first match this week after two walkovers. The Russian player claimed the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam last week. 

“It was very difficult to play tennis today, with the windy conditions, but I put a lot of pressure on his second serve and played really good tennis. I played a long match yesterday against Dominic Thiem, but I felt fresh and I had a lot of power on the court. This is one of my favourite tournaments. I played one of my best matches here in Qatar two years ago, and I hope I can win one more match tomorrow”, said Bautista Agut.

Bautista Agut set up a final against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-3) 6-1. 

Basilashvili, who beat Roger Federer in the quarter final, rallied from one break down to win the tie-break of the first set 7-3. The Georgian player broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the second set 6-1.  “To reach the final means a lot. I am playing well and I am relaxed. It’s great to play in front of a crowd and a nice atmosphere”, said Basilshvili. 

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ATP Challenger

Andy Murray defeated in the final of the Biella Challenger

The former world number was runner-up to the Ukrainian Ilya Marchenko. Both will feature in next week’s event in the same location

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Andy Murray - ATP Challenger Biella 2021 (Credit: Felice Calabrò)

Andy Murray suffered a surprising defeat in the final of this week’s tournament in Biella. Playing his second Challenger event in 16 years (the other one occurred in Mallorca in 2019 when, limping on a battered hip, he lost against Matteo Viola in the eighth of finals). Before today’s runner-up finish, he had played twice against his opponent, Illya Marchenko from Ukraine (N.212 in the ATP Rankings), both times at the Australian Open, in 2011 and 2017 respectively, winning both times.

 

But it was the Ukrainian who got off to a flying start, while the Scotsman looked a bit cumbersome and immediately lost his serve, giving a nice boost of confidence to his opponent, who broke his serve once more in the fifth game, taking a 4-1 lead. Murray couldn’t control his changes of pace, while Marchenko was pretty much spotless. The 6-2 score in his favour was the logical consequence, as confirmed by the numbers, which saw him win 83% of points on his first serve (against a meagre 53% for Murray), with no break points allowed.

In the first game of the second set, Marchenko immediately leapt ahead, breaking the Brit’s serve and even earning a chance for a 3-0 lead. Murray managed to stay close and started to play in a more conservative way, with great humility, in an attempt to reduce the number of unforced errors. Murray saved a match point at 3-5 with his second serve, exploiting Marchenko’s clumsiness with the backhand, but couldn’t do the same on the return, conceding defeat at the third match point. must defend with the second. Luckily for him, Marchenko is a bit clumsy in his preparation steps and puts up a not particularly difficult backhand. The former world number one will try to exact revenge in the same location starting tomorrow, as a Challenger 125 will take place once more in Biella, with players like Lorenzo Musetti (the seventh seed), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ATP N.54) and Sebastian Korda (N.88).

Report by Massimo Gaiba; edited by Tommaso Villa

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