Alexander Zverev came back from a break down in both sets to edge Giles Simon 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 2 hours and 20 minutes to claim his 54th win of the season. The German Next Gen star scored his fourth win in four head-to-head matches against Simon but had to dig deep to beat the French veteran, as he had to save 8 of the 12 break points he faced and won just two points than his rival.
Zverev converted five of his 10 break point chances and won 64% of his first serve points. Simon missed a set point in the first set and three break points for a 5-2 lead in the second set
The Rome and Montreal Masters 1000 champion hit 32 winners to 46 unforced errors, while Simon had a 18-30 ratio. Simon earned five break points, while Zverev brought two chances.
Simon converted his second break point in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Zverev broke straight back in the third game for 1-2 after Simon made a backhand error. Zverev saved two break points in the sixth and eight games before breaking serve on his first chance to take a 5-4 lead. As Zverev had a set point in the 10th game on his serve, Simon broke straight back in the 10th game at deuce to draw level to 5-5. The Frenchman earned a set point at 6-5, as Zverev served to stay in the set. The German held his serve to love with a smash winner to force the set to the tie-break. Simon earned a set point at 6-5 but Zverev won a 27-shot point to earn his second set point and closed out the first set with a service winner.
The second set was marked by 15 break points. Zverev held his first service game at deuce after saving two break points but dropped his serve at 30 in the third game. Zverev converted his third break point at deuce to draw level to 2-2 with a lob. Simon won two consecutive games to open up a 4-2 lead with his second consecutive break, as Zverev sent his forehand long. Simon missed three break points for 5-2 in the seventh game.
Zverev saved all three break points with winners and converted his fourth break point chance to draw level to 4-4, as Simon made a double fault. Zverev sealed a hard-fought win with his second consecutive break after winning a 27-stroke rally in the 10th game to reach his 12th quarter final of the season.
Zverev has withdrawn from the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan to focus on the ATP Finals in London.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from one set down to edge past Karen Khachanov 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-3 keeping his hopes alive to qualify for the ATP Finals in London.
Tsonga, who won his fourth title of the season last week in Antwerp and reached the final in Vienna in 2016, held his serve after saving two break points (one in the third game and another in the ninth). Khachanov made four double faults in the 12th game but fended off three set points on Tsonga’s serve. In the tie-break Khachanov got a mini-break to take a 4-2 lead and won three consecutive points to close out the first set.
Tsonga went up 15-40 on return in the first game of the second set earning two break points and converted his chance, as Khachanov netted his backhand. The French player faced two break points and made a double fault on the second chance in the fourth game to drop his serve for 2-2. Tsonga got another break in the ninth game to go ahead 5-4, as Khachanov sent his backhand wide. The Frenchman served out for the second set with a forehand at 40-30.
Tsonga earned a break point with a backhand passing shot down the line in the third game and converted his chance with his forehand to take a 2-1 lead. The Frenchman held his service game at deuce after saving a break point for 3-1. He earned a match point on Khachanov’s serve in the ninth game and converted it with an inside-out forehand to set up a next round against Damir Dzumhur, who beat Ricardas Berankis for the second time in just a few days after winning their recent head-to-head match in the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last Sunday. Dzumhur went up a double break to take a 3-0 lead. Berankis pulled both breaks back to draw level to 3-3. Dzumhur broke for the third time in the ninth game at deuce to take a 5-4 lead and held his service game to 15 to close out the first set. Dzumhur converted his third break point in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. The Bosnian player broke for the second time on his second opportunity in the fifth game to race out to a 4-1 lead and held his next two service games easily to close out the match in the eighth game.
Argentine’s Diego Schwartzman saw off Fabio Fognini 6-1 2-6 6-2 after 1 hour and 28 minutes. Schwartzman, who reached the final in Antwerp last week, broke for the first time in the second game and went up a double break on his fourth opportunity after a hard-fought sixth game. He served out on his first chance in the seventh game for 6-1 after 27 minutes.
Last week’s Stockolm semifinalist Fognini saved a break point in the first game of the second set. He held another serve in the third game before breaking serve to 15 in the fourth game. The Italian sealed the 30-minute second set with a break on the first of his set points in the eighth game.
Schwartzman got the first break of the decider on his second opportunity in the opening game. The Argentine held his next service games in a one-sided third set and sealed the win with a double break on his first chance in the seventh game. He served it out on his first match point after 30 minutes setting up a next round against Pablo Carreno Busta, who won their only previous head-to-head match in the quarter finals at this year’s US Open.
Three-time Vienna finalist Phillip Kohlschreiber beat Pierre Hugues Herbert 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 to become the first player to reach teh quarter finals. The German won 82 % of his first serve points to improve his head-to-head record against Herbert to 3-1.
Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019
The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.
Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.
Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.
“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”
The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.
In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.
“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”
Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.
Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat
The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.
The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.
On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.
“Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”
Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.
“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.
Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.
The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.
“Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”
Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.
Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour
23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.
Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.
The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.
Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.
“I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
“It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.
Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.
“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”
Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.
Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.
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Maria Sakkari beats Jelena Ostapenko to reach the quarter final in Ostrava
Roger Federer Eyes Laver Cup Captaincy Role Post-Retirement
Novak Djokovic ‘All In’ For History After Outlasting Zverev In US Open Semis
ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval
Boris Becker Hits Out At ‘Unacceptable’ Treatment Of Novak Djokovic
WTA Luxembourg Open Axed Over Disagreements Between Tour And Organisers
Top Names Come In Support Of Openly Gay Players On The Men’s Tour
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