Filip Krajinovic upsets John Isner to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career as qualifier - UBITENNIS
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Filip Krajinovic upsets John Isner to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career as qualifier

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Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic upset John Isner 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) after 2 hours and 27 minutes to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career in Paris Bercy at the age of 25.

 

Krajinovic entered the French tournament with just one match win at Masters 1000 level. The number 77 player has become the lowest ranked player to reach a Masters 1000 final World number 191 Andrei Pavel in 2003 and the first qualifier to advance to the final in this category since Jerzy Janowicz in Paris Bercy 2012.

Kraijnovic came into the semifinal after beating Yuichi Sugita, Sam Querrey and Nicolas Mahut and took advantage of a walkover after Rafa Nadal was forced to withdraw from the semifinal due to a knee injury. Isner reached the semifinal after winning three-set matches against Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Martin Del Potro.

Krajinovic made just four unforced errors in the first set, but he saved three break points and converted his only break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, as Isner hit a forehand volley into the net. The young Serbian hit consecutive backhand winners down the line to hold at love for 5-3. He held at love for the second consecutive service game to close out the first set, when Isner sent a forehand into the net after 32 minutes.

In a fifth deuce game Krajinovic hit a forehand wide. Isner came through to hold serve with a backhand volley for 3-2. The US player hit an ace to hold, as he was serving at 4-4.

Both players went on serve with no break points until the tie-break. Isner started the tie-break with ace down the middle and raced out to a 5-0 lead. Krajinovic got his first point on the scoreboard with a second serve ace down the middle. Isner hit two consecutive aces to cruise through to a 7-2 win in the tie-break to force the match to the third set.

Krajinovic saved a break point in the first game of the third set. He came through a tough five-deuce ninth game to hold serve for 5-4. Isner held serve at 15 to force the decider to the tie-break, where Krajinovic reeled off five of the final six points from 2-4 to take a 7-5 win.

Isner got a mini-break on the first point, as Krajinovic made an unforced error. Isner fired his 30th ace to raced out to a 3-0 lead. Krajinovic hit his 12th ace on the fifth point to claw his way back to 2-3. Isner held a 4-2 lead in the tie-break of the final set and was just three points from reaching his second consecutive final in Paris Bercy. Krajinovic got back the mini-break for 3-4, as Isner made a half-volley error. Krajinovic won the next two points to take a 5-4 with backhand down the line and a forehand error from Isner. Krajinovic hit a forehand return to earn a match point and closed out the match with a forehand into the corner.

The Serbian rising star dropped to his knees and kissed the court in joy. His euphoric coach ripped off his shirt to celebrate the incredible win.

Krajinovic, who was ranked world number 234 at the start of the season, will climb to at least number 33 next week, when the the new ATP Rankings will be released.

“The emotions are amazing. When I served for the match my hand was shaking. It was tough to control the emotions. It was the best day in my life but the tournament is not over yet”, said Krajinovic.

Isner fired 91 aces during this week but it was not enough to reach the final. He needed to win the title in Paris Bercy to secure the final qualifying spot for London. Only Jack Sock can overtake Pablo Carreno Busta in eighth place in the ATP Race to London, if he wins in Paris Bercy.

“It was very disappointing. I had an opportunity here to do some things I have never done before. I have been very close in tournaments, especially in Masters events. I just haven’t broken through. This one is going to sting because I knew I was the highest ranked player in the semifinals”, said Isner.

 

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Ons Jabeur upsets Karolina Pliskova to reach the quarter final in Doha

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Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur knocked out Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-3 after 1 hour and 47 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Jabeur scored the biggest win of her career by ranking.

 

Jabeur reached her first Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open last January before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin. Last week Jabeur lost to Simona Halep in Dubai. She reached the third round in Doha without dropping a set.

Jabeur had not beaten a top 10 player since 2018, when she defeated Sloane Stephens en route to reaching the final at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Jabeur broke Pliskova in the opening game of the match and did not face a break point on her serve before serving out the first set at love.

Pliskova earned her only break in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead and held on her serve to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

Jabeur got her first break after six deuces in a marathon sixth game to take a 4-2 lead in the decisive set. Pliskova broke straight back for 3-4. Jabeur broke for the second time at 15 to take a 5-3 lead and sealed the win on her second match point.

Muguruza beats Yastremska

This year’s Australian Open Garbine Muguruza beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-4 in 70 metres. Muguruza has reached teh quarter finals or better at all five tournaments she has played in 2020 under the guidance of her new coach Conchita Martinez.

Muguruza earned two breaks in the fifth and seventh games and served out the first set 6-2 on her first opportunity. Muguruza broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Yastremska broke back in the sixth game to take a 3-3 lead. Both players traded four consecutive breaks. Muguruza served out the win on her first match point, as Yastremska hit her backhand past the baseline.

The two-time Grand Slam champion will face 2019 Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty, who advanced to the quarter finals after Elena Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the match due to an abductor injury.

Bencic reaches the quarter finals after straight-set win over Putintseva

Belinda Bencic beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-3 after 1 to advance to her third quarter final of the year after Adelaide and St. Petersburg. The Swiss player earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Putintseva broke straight back in the third game. Bencic got her second break to open up a 4-1 lead. Putintseva broke back for the second time in the ninth game at 30 to claw her way back to 4-5. Bencic closed out the first set with a break on her second opportunity in the 10th game on the fourth deuce.

Bencic converted her second break point at deuce to open up a 3-0 lead. Putintseva saved two double break points to hold her serve at deuce.

Putintseva earned two break-back points but Bencic held on her serve after five deuces. Bencic served out the win on her first match point in the ninth game.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas moves through to the quarter final with straight set win over Alexander Bublik in Dubai

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Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 in 1 hour and 36 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Tsitsipas beat Bublik for the second time this month one week after scoring a win against the Kazakh player in the semifinal in Marseille.

 

Bublik saved two set points at 5-6 15-40 with a serve and volley and an unreturned serve. Tsitsipas cruised through to a 7-1 win in the first set after 54 minutes.

Tsitsipas saved four break points at 3-4 in the second set and earned a break at love in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Greek player sealed the win with a backhand slice winner.

Tsitsipas will face Jan Lennard Struff, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 6-0 in just 39 minutes.

Andrey Rublev edged past Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 after 1 hour and 41 minutes. Rublev came back from 1-4 down by breaking back in the eighth game at 3-4. The young Russian player saved a set point with a forehand passing shot, as Krajinovic was serving at 5-3 40-30. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to set up a tie-break. Rublev sealed the tie-break with his fifth ace and and cruised through to a 6-0 lead with three consecutive breaks, as Krajinovic won just 10 points. Rublev took a re-match against Krajnovic, who won their previous head-to-head match in Rotterdam two weeks ago.

“He had so many chances, two breaks and serving with one set point. There was no key. I was just lucky and broke back. It was not in these conditions. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy as i lost to him two weeks ago in Rotterdam”, said Rublev.

Rublev set up a quarter final match against Daniel Evans, who fended off three match points in the tie-break of the third set to beat Pierre Hugues Herbert 7-5 3-6 7-6 (9-7) in 2 hours and 47 minutes.

Gael Monfils cruised past Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-1 6-2. Monfils earned a double break in the second and fourth games to win the first set 6-1. After a trade of breaks in the third and fourth games Monfils won four consecutive games with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games.

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Novak Djokovic sets up quarter final against Karen Khachanov in Dubai

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Novak Djokovic cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-1 in just 59 minutes to advance to the quarter final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament. Djokovic beat Kohlschreiber for the 12th time in their 14 head-to-head matches.

 

Kohlschreiber, who beat Djokovic in straight sets one year ago in Indian Wells, won 11 points in 8 service games and never created a break point.

Djokovic converted four of his seven break points to reach the quarter final in Dubai for the 11th time in his career. He hit 23 winners to 10 unforced errors.

Djokovic earned his only break on his second opportunity with a forehand winner to take a 3-2 lead. He backed up the break with a hold of love with another forehand winner and closed out the first set 6-3 with a hold in the ninth game after 30 minutes, as Kohlschreiber hit a backhand crosscourt wide. The Serb reeled off five consecutive games from 5-3 in the first set.

Djokovic held serve with a backhand down the line winner at the start of the second set and held with a service winner. The 2020 Australian Open champion went up a double break with his backhand to build up a 3-0 lead and sealed the win with a return winner, as he was returning at 5-1. Djokovic has extended his unbeaten streak to 15 consecutive matches this year.

“It was a great performance. I enjoyed the way I played, coming out with the right focus and tactics. Knowing Phillip beat me 12 months ago in Indian Wells, I needed to approach this match very seriously regardless of his raning number 80. He is one of the most experienced players on the tour and likes to play on the big stage, so he doesn’t like falter too much”, said Djokovic.

Djokovic set up a quarter final against Karen Khachanov, who beat Dennis Novak 6-3 6-4 in 74 minutes. Djokovic leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Khachanov.

“I have had some interesting battles with him. He is a great guy, a very powerful player. He is one of the guys who is a pretender to be a top 5 player. He is very dedicated, so I will be as sharp as I have been in the past two matches and start well”, said Djokovic.

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