Dominic Thiem announces a busy 2018 schedule - UBITENNIS
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Dominic Thiem announces a busy 2018 schedule

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Dominic Thiem announced his full schedule for the 2018 season, which is going to be another very busy year with 13 tournaments from the end of December to the end of May. The Austrian star will start the new season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, where he will take on this year’s ATP Next Gen Final runner-up Andrey Rublev.

 

Thiem will play in his first ATP tournament in 2018 in Doha before playing in the exhibition tournament in the Kooyong exhibition in the build-up to the Australian Open, where he lost to David Goffin in the fourth round last January.

After Melbourne he will have a busy South American clay season with two touranemnts in Buenos Aires and Rio De Janeiro. He will have to defend the title won in the 2017 Rio de Janeiro final against Pablo Carreno Busta, after a successful tournament in which he did not drop a set. He lifted the 8th title of his career in the Brazilian city, the sixth on his favourite clay surface and his second at ATP 500 level.

He will then move to Mexico to play in Acapulco on hard-court, where he won the title in 2016. Last March Thiem lost against eventual champion Sam Querrey in the quarter final.

In March Thiem will play both US hard-court Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. This year the Austrian player lost the tie-break in the third set against eventual finalist Stan Wawrinka in the quarter finals at Indian Wells. He then lost in his opening round match against Borna Coric in Miami.

Thiem will open his European clay season in Monte-Carlo, where he lost to David Goffin in the second round. He will have to defend a lot of points in the two Spanish clay tournaments in Barcelona and Madrid, where he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal last April. The Barcelona organizers has recently announced that Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov will also play in the Catalan city. Last April Thiem scored his first win against a world number 1 player beating Andy Murray in three sets in the semifinals. In Madrid Thiem beat Grigor Dimitrov in a very tight third-set tie-break, Borna Coric and Pablo Cuevas to reach his first Masters 1000 final where he lost in his second consecutive title match on clay against Nadal.

Thiem will play in Rome, where he upset Nadal in the quarter finals before losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Before the French Open Thiem will also make his appearance in Lyon. At 2017 Roland Garros he beat defending champion Djokovic to reach his first Grand Slam semifinals before losing to eventual champion Nadal in the final.

He will start his grass season in Halle Gerry Weber Open, where he reached the semifinals in 2016 losing to eventual champion Florian Mayer. At Wimbledon he will try to improve the fourth round achieved in 2017, when he lost to eventual semifinalist Tomas Berdych.

The player coached by Gunther Bresnik will return to European clay at the end of July to play in Kitzbuhel in front of his home fans. This year Thiem skipped the Austrian tournament, as he chose Washington on US hard-court. Thiem achieved his best result in Kitzbuhel in 2014 losing to David Goffin in the final.

“I am looking forward to Kitzbuhel. Last year I made the decision with a heavy heart that I would like to try something different and change to hard court, which did not work out that well. Kitbuhel is one my favourite tournaments. I am especially looking forward to the atmosphere with a packed centre court. In the last few years, that has always been the case. I will give my best to eventually take the title here”, said Thiem.

Thiem will play a full US hard-court season with Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open. This year he reached the quarter final in Cincinnati and made it to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows before losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in five sets in one of the best matches of the tournament after failing to convert two match points in the fourth set.

After the US Open he will play in either Tokyo or Beijing, Vienna, Paris Bercy with the goal to qualify for the ATP Finals in London. During the 2017 autumn season he lost three straight matches in Chengdu, Tokyo and Shanghai against Guido Pella, Steve Johnson and Viktor Troicki respectively and lost in his second round match in Vienna and Paris Bercy against Richard Gasquet and Fernando Verdasco and will not have a lot of points to defend in this period of the year.

Thiem broke into the top five for the first time of his career and rose to world number 4 reaching a career high on 6th November 2017.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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Alexander Zverev eases past Hugo Dellien to set up a third round match clash against Kei Nishikori in Rome

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This year’s Madrid Mutua Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 on Nicola Pietrangeli Court to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Zverev fired 27 winners and fended off all six of the break points he faced. The German won five consecutive games from 0-1 down with a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the opening set at 15 in the eighth game. 

Zverev went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1, but he had to save six break points in a 12-game fourth game. Zverev managed to hold serve after seven deuces before breaking serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. The German served out the win on on his second match point in the eighth game. 

The  German star will face Kei Nishikori for the second time in two weeks. He beat Nishikori, Dan Evans, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini last week at the Madrid Mutua Open en route to the fourth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career after claiming three previous trophies in Rome and Canada in 2017 and Madrid in 2018.  

Federico Delbonis didn’t face a break point and converted four of his nine break points in his 6-2 6-1 win over David Goffin. The Argentine player will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who cruised past last year’s Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3. 

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Aslan Karatsev beats Danil Medvedev in all-Russian clash in Rome

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Aslan Karatsev beat his compatriot Danil Medvedev 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 18 minutes in an all-Russian match to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Karatsev has scored his fifth career win against top 10 opponents.

 

Karatsev has improved his win-loss record to 21-6 in his 27 matches this year, including the ATP 500 title in Dubai, the semifinal at the Australian Open and the final at the Serbian Open in Belgrade. 

Karatsev has scored his second top 5 win in the past month after taking an upset win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in Belgrade. 

Karatsev earned a double break in the fifth and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. The 27-year-old Russian player earned another break in the seventh game with a volley to take a 4-3 lead. He never looked back and served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Karatsev won 90% of his first serve points and saved just one break point. 

Karatsev faced Medvedev for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. They teamed up with Andrey Rublev at the ATP Cup in Melbourne last winter helping Russia win the final against Italy. 

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