Grigor Dimitrov digs deep to beat Malek Jaziri in Barcelona - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov digs deep to beat Malek Jaziri in Barcelona

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Grigor Dimitrov saved two match points at 5-6 30-40 and at 7-8 in the tie-break to battle past Malek Jaziri 7-5 3-6 7-6 (10-8) after 2 hours and 50 minutes and advanced to the quarter final at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

 

The 2017 ATP Nitto Finals champion took a re-match against Malek Jaziri, who won their most recent head-to-head match last February in Dubai.

Dimitrov will face either fifth seed and last year’s US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta or Adrian Mannarino.

Dimitrov had to dig deep when he rallied from 2-4 down. He won five of the next six games and sealed the first set on his fifth set point, when Jaziri hit his forehand into the net.

Jaziri took the initiative and broke twice in the first and ninth games to win the second set 6-3. The Tunisian player broke in the fourth game to race out to a 4-1 lead. Bulgarian reeled off three of the next four games to claw his way back to 4-5. After Jaziri took a medical time-out, Dimitrov went down 0-30 and saved one match point at 30-40, when Jaziri hit his backhand into the net.

Dimitrov built up a 6-4 in the tie-break. Jaziri drew level to 6-6 after a forehand winner from Jaziri and a forehand error from Dimitrov. The Bulgarian star hit a backhand wide on his third match point. Jaziri earned a second match point at 8-7 after a forehand error from Dimitrov. Jaziri hit a forehand wide at 8-7, before sealing the win, when Jaziri hit a forehand into the net.

Third seed Dominic Thiem and last year’s runner-up Dominic Thiem fended off five of the eight break points he faced to beat world number 146 Slovakian lucky-loser Jozef Kovalik 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in one hour and 44 minutes.

Jozef Kovalik earned the break in the fifth game of the first set to take a 3-2 lead, when Thiem sent an easy forehand long. The 2017 Barcelona finalist bounced back by winning the next three games with a double break to take a 5-3 lead. Thiem broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3 with a backhand cross court winner. Kovalik did not convert a break point in the seventh game and dropped his serve, when he sent a forehand wide. Thiem was broken for the second time, when he was serving for the set at 5-3. Both players held their next three service games to set up a tie-break. Thiem won four of the first five points of the tie-break to build up a 6-2 lead and sealed the first set on his fourth set point.

Kovalik dropped his first game in the opening game of the second set. Thiem fended off a break point in the second game. Kovalik failed to convert a break point in the fourth game.

The Austrian player converted his fourth break point in the first game of the second set and went up a double break at 15 in the fifth game with a forehand winner to race out to a 4-1 lead. Kovalik pulled one of the two breaks back in the sixth game at love, when Thiem made a forehand winner. The Austrian star broke for the third time in the eighth game of the second set on his fourth opportunity, when Kovalik made a backhand error.

Thiem served at only 48 % and dropped serve three times from the eight break points he faced during the match. He converted five of his twelve break points.

Thiem set up a very interesting quarter final match against Greek Next Gen rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“I am really happy that I went through. It was not the best performance. I didn’t feel that great on court today, but still I still managed to win. I am proud that I did it in two sets especially”, said Thiem during the on-court interview after the match.

 

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Canada beats Italy 2-1 in the opening day of the Davis Cup in Madrid

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Denis Shapovalov battled past Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought second match of the round-robin Group F at the Davis Cup in Madrid to give Canada a 2-0 lead over Italy

 

Berrettini faced three break points in the third game of the opening set. Shapovalov earned two break points in the ninth game, but Berrettini held on his serve at deuce. Both players held on their service games. In the 10th game Berrettini earned three set points on return, but Shapovalov fended them off. Barrettini saved another break point to set up a tie-break. Shapovalov took a 6-3 lead earning three set points. Berrettini won two consecutive points to claw his way back to 5-6, but Shapovalov sealed the tie-break with a backhand passing shot.

Both players went on seve setting up a second tie-break. Berrettini got an early mini-break, but Shapovalov broke straight back. Berrettini took another mini-break to take a 3-2 when Shapovalov hit a volley into the net and sealed the second set 7-3 on his first set point.

Shapovalov earned a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a forehand winner. Berrettini held on his serve with his 11th ace. Both players went on serve in the next games setting up a third tie-break. Berrettini got the first mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Shapovalov. The young Canadian player broke straight back, when Berrettini made a forehand volley error. Shapovalov sealed the tie-break 7-5, when Berrettini fired his forehand long on his first match point after 2 hours.

“After making semifinals in the Madrid Mutua Open here, and winning the Junior Davis Cup in 2015, I feel like Madrid is a really good city for me. We will see how this week goes, but it’s a good step today”, said Shapovalov.

Fognini and Berrettini won the doubles match over beating Shapovalov and Pospisil 6-2 3-6 6-3. The Italian team got a double break to win the first set 6-2. Shapovalov and Pospisil drew level by winning the second set with a break in the eighth game. Italy saved two break points in the seventh game of the decisive set before breaking serve in the eighth game. Berrettini sealed the win for Italy with an ace.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei

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Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.

 

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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