Australian who had given up on tennis wins Challenger in Zhuhai - UBITENNIS
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Australian who had given up on tennis wins Challenger in Zhuhai

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Alex Bolt found tennis tough for some time. The former Australian Open Men’s Doubles quarter-finalist is back in the groove now though (Zimbio.com)

Alex Bolt. A 25 year-old Australian who for most of 2016 had decided to give up on tennis. Fast forward to March 2018 and the resident of Murray Bridge is set to return to the Top 200 for the first time in nearly three years.

 

Bolt had struggled for some time on the tennis circuit, reaching a career high of No.160. He quit the tour in 2016. Speaking to CNN in 2017, around the time he made his comeback, Bolt said: “It was all getting too much and I just got to the point where, ‘I have to change this and I don’t like what I’m doing.

Bolt spent part of 2016 working putting up fences. Bolt when reflecting on that time: “I didn’t like it at all, sort of got a taste of what the real world was like.

Bolt returned in Australian Open Qualifying in 2017 with a ranking of No.632 and defeated Marius Copil and Julien Benneteau to reach the main draw.

This week Bolt won seven straight matches including two as the top seed in qualifying, to win his second Challenger title in Zhuhai, China.

Bolt defeated the in-form second seed Malek Jaziri, as well as eighth seed Alexey Vatutin, Salvatore Caruso, and 4th seed Oscar Otte in the semi-finals. He dropped just one set all week, in the final against young Pole Hubert Hurkacz.

In that final Bolt was forced to come from behind to win 5-7, 7-6, 6-2.

It was a good week all round for qualifiers in Challengers, as No.356 Carlos Gomez-Herrera stunned the field in Santiago, Chile to reach the final. He defeated former Top 100 players Facundo Bagnis and third seed Rogerio Dutra Silva, as well as Jozef Kovalik and Joao Souza.

In the final, Gomez-Herrera made a sensational start, dropping just one game to second seed Marco Cecchinato. His form finally ebbed as he went down 1-6, 6-1, 6-1. Gomez-Herrera will move to a new career-high ranking as a result of his efforts in Chile.

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Janko Tipsarevic continues his come-back with a straight set win over Peter Gojowczyk in Geneva

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Wild card Janko Tipsarevic beat last year’s finalist Peter Gojowczyk 7-5 7-5 after 1 hour and 43 minutes at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open in Geneva

 

Gojowczyk fended off three break points at 2-2 in the first set and broke serve in the eighth game to open up a 5-3 lead. Tipsarevic reeled off 16 of the next 20 points to close out the opening set 7-5.

Tipsarevic bounced back from 1-4 down by winning six of the final seven games to score his fourth win at ATP level since the 2017 US Open.

Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien overcame Andreas Seppi 6-1 3-6 6-4 after 1 hour and 52 minutes. Dellien converted four of his six break points and got a crucial break at 5-4 in the third set.

Radu Albot battled past Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 54 minutes to score his 17th win this season. Albot fended off a set point in the 10th game converting his sixth break back chance. Sonego earned another set point at 6-5 in the tie-break, but he dropped the next three points to lose the first set. The second set went on serve with no breaks of serve until the tie-break. Albot clinched the tie-break 7-3.

Nicolas Jarry beat Matthew Ebden 6-2 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 2 minutes. The Chilean player fought back 1-4 down to win the second set tie-break 7-4.

Another Chilean player Taro Daniel edged past Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-4 3-6 6-3 after 1 hour and 56 minutes to secure his spot in the second round where he will face this year’s Munich and Houston champion Christian Garin.

Denis Kudla came back from losing the set to beat Jordan Thompson 5-7 6-2 6-4. Kudla got five breaks and saved 8 of the 11 break points he faced. The US player got the decisive break to take a 4-3 lead in the third set.

 

 

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Richard Gasquet saves two match points to beat his compatriot Maxime Janvier in Lyon

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet saved 19 of the 22 break points and 2 match points to battle past his compatriot Maxime Janvier 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 7-6 (7-2) in an all-French first round after 2 hours and 44 minutes at the Open Parc Auvergne Rhone Alpes in Lyon.

 

Gasquet converted his third break point in the first game of the opening set. Janvier broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gasquet saved two break points in the 10th game and three more chances in the 12th game. Janvier sealed the tie-break on his third set point to win the tie-break 7-5.

Gasquet broke twice in the sixth and eighth game to win the second set 6-2 forcing the match to the third set. Gasquet broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Janvier broke back in the ninth game and held his service game to draw level to 5-5. Both players traded breaks in the next two games setting up a second tie-break. Gasquet sealed the tie-break 7-2 on the first of his four match points.

Gasquet underwent groin surgery last January and played just three matches in 2019.

“It was very tough. He is a great player. He is very powerful. He played well, he served good. It was very tough for me, but I tried my best. It’s only my fourth match in 2019, so it’s tough for me, but I will try to recover as soon as I can. I tried my best and it’s great for me to win”, said Gasquet.

Taylor Fritz beat Jiri Vesely 7-5 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 38 minutes without facing any break points.

Pierre Hugues Herbert dropped just five of his first service points in his 6-2 7-5 win over Jeremy Chardy.

French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert cruised past Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-1 6-3 setting up a second round match against Felix Auger Aliassime. Humbert broke a four match losing streak to reach the second round. In his previous tournaments he reached the semifinal in Marseille, but he lost in the first round at Indian Wells and Miami, Marrakesh and Munich.

“I am very happy as it’s been a while since I played this well on clay. I know I can do it”, said Humbert.

French wild card Tristan Lamassime edged Italian teenager Jannik Sinner 6- 7-6 (7-5).

Canadian qualifer Steven Diez was leading over Bernard Tomic 6-4 4-1 when the Australian player withdrew from the match due to illness.

 

 

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Andy Murray ‘Kind Of On Track’ For Recovery And Potential Return To Tennis

The brother of the former world No.1 has spoken out about Murray’s chances of returning back to the tour.

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Andy Murray (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray is focused on his rehab with no indication yet of when will return back to the tour, according to his brother Jamie.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a match since his first round loss to Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open in January. Murray has been blighted by hip problems over the past two years and admitted he could be forced to retire from the sport. Earlier this year, he underwent hip resurfacing surgery in his latest attempt to prolong his career. A procedure which involves inserting a metal rod into the joint.

Murray has kept out of the limelight in recent weeks, but has been spotted hitting balls on the court once again. Giving an update on his brother’s recovery, Jamie said he is hopeful Murray will return to the tour. Jamie spoke with reporters on Sunday during an exhibition event to test the new roof on Court One at Wimbledon, which will be used for the first time this year.

“I hope so. I’m pretty sure he wants to be able to do that again at some point.” World No.7 doubles player Jamie told reporters.
“He’s doing his rehab, I think he’s kind of on track with his recovery for where he is in terms of the timing of it right now, and I think his goal is just rehab, get his hip as strong as possible so that when he does get the chance to get back out on court and train properly, he’s best positioned to really find out what is going to be possible for him.”

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Elaborating further, Jamie said the two-time Wimbledon winner is ‘pain-free’ and happier. Although he is yet to properly test his hip on the court in terms of movement. Since the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, Murray has only been able to play in eight tournaments.

“He’s hitting a few tennis balls. He’s not like tanking it around the court or anything like that movement-wise, but that is what he is building up to and I don’t know exactly when that will happen.” He said.
“He’s doing fine, pain-free and a lot happier. So we’ll have to just wait and see. It’s just difficult to know what is going to be possible.”

Murray does currently have a wild card to play in the Fever-Tree Championships, which will start on June 16th. However, he will notify the tournament closer to the time if he will be ready in time to participate. The 32-year-old has a contract to play at The Queen’s Club for the rest of his career, unless injured or ill.

It has been speculated that Murray could return at Wimbledon to play in the doubles alongside his brother for the first time. However, Jamie has now played down the chances of that happening.

“For me, these are the peak years in my career and if I go to play Wimbledon with someone who hasn’t hit a tennis ball in eight months, I’m kind of giving up one of those years, so that’s a big decision for me to take.” He explained.
“Circumstances might dictate otherwise, but I want to give myself the best chance of winning the tournament. Normally I would have a good chance with Andy, but probably right now he’s not in his peak moment.”

So far in his career, Murray has won 45 ATP titles and has spent 41 consecutive weeks as world No.1.

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