Alexander Zverev Saves Match Point, Reaches French Open Round 4 - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev Saves Match Point, Reaches French Open Round 4

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World No. 3 Alexander Zverev survived another five-set battle, saving a match point against Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia in what was a topsy-turvy third round encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris on Friday. The German prodigy indeed have to thank his stars as he looked to be going out before making a miraculous escape, eventually triumphing 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 to reach round four of the French Open in three hours and 54 minutes.

Bidding to get his first win over a top 50 player at a Grand Slam, Zverev muscled his way through the opening set with a combination of power and delicate drop shots. Bullying World No. 29 Dzumhur around the court, the second seed capitalized on his opponent’s mistakes at crucial moments. His first break occurred in the third game when Dzumhur produced a double fault to move him ahead to 2-1. Zverev went on to extend the lead to a double break following another error from the Bosnian. Then after 29 minutes of play, Zverev clinched set number one thanks to a Dzumhur shot drifting beyond the baseline.

Zverev started the second set in the same vein as he secured an early break once again. Zverev continued to out-hit and out-think Dzumhur at almost every juncture. He moved up a gear in the ensuing game to back up his break and take firm control of the proceeding in the contest.

However, suddenly the German’s consistency went for a toss as he failed to prevent Damir from mounting a comeback in the match. The Bosnian broke back in the sixth game to even out the scores at 3-3. Dzumhur’s hot streak continued in the subsequent games as well as twice he caught his rival at the net before hitting a winner down the line to break again in the 8th game. Dzumhur won his fifth game in a row to level the match at one set apiece. Zverev fell away after looking the more dominant player at the beginning of the encounter.

Zverev steadied the ship at the start of the third as he quickly got himself on the board. He couldn’t sustain his momentum for a longer duration, though, as he lost his serve in the third game. But, then Dzumhur helped him by producing an erratic game, committing a string of unforced errors to hand the break right back. However, the relief Zverev felt at that stage was short lived as Dzumhur got the all important break of serve in the ninth game before showing his superior net skills to volley his way to a two sets to one lead in the next game.

The quality of tennis went up a couple of notches in the fourth set as neither player was willing to give an inch to the other. It was Dzumhur who raised the bar of his game first as he smashed a sensational crosscourt winner way beyond Zverev to earn a massive break for a 3-2 advantage. But, Zverev wasn’t willing to go out without a fight as he upped the ante and drew a flurry of errors out of a tense Dzumhur to level the scores at 4 games all.

Thereafter Zverev continued to live dangerously. He fell triple break point down, but somehow managed to save all three including one of them with the assistance of a sublime drop shot before holding to his serve for 5-4. His adventurous shot-making, however, couldn’t save him from dropping his serve in the 11th game. Dzumhur served for the match in the 12th game, but nerves got the better of him as he was easily broken Zverev. At 6-6, set No. 4 moved into a tiebreaker.

The tiebreak was a complete disaster for Dzumhur as he completely went off the boil. Zverev on the other hand was hitting his spots well, surging to a 5-1 lead in no time whatsoever. Minutes later, Zverev took the match into a decider with a straight forward 7-3 victory in the tiebreak.

Dzumhur’s poor run continued in the fifth set as he immediately lost his serve in the opening game. In fact, nobody seemed to get going on serve as both players continued to trade breaks. Zverev could see the finish line at 4-3 when he served to take a 5-3 lead, but lost his concentration, handing the break back to Dzumhur for 4-4.

In the tenth game Zverev was forced to dig incredibly deep to stay alive. He saved a match point after surviving several deuce points before hanging on to his serve. The crucial service hold turned out to be the most pivotal moment of the match as he sprang forward and broke Dzumhur’s serve in the next game. The break gave Zverev the opportunity to serve for the match, which he duly did as he went on to accomplish another come from behind victory.

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‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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