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Four Things To Know About Semifinals Day At Queen’s

Ubitennis’ guide to what you need to know about today’s last-four showdown at The Queen’s Club.

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On Saturday four players will lock horns for a chance to reach the final of the Fever-Tree Championships. Nick Kyrgios will take on Marin Cilic first on Centre Court. Following that match, 12-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic faces France’s Jeremy Chardy for a chance to reach his first final of the season.

Here are four things to know about today’s semi-final matches at The Queen’s Club.

Chardy looks to break his losing streak

The past few weeks have seen 31-year-old Chardy experience some of his best ever results on the grass. At the start of this month he defeated Dan Evans to claim his first ever Challenger title on the surface in Surbiton. He was able to follow up on that milestone by reaching his third ATP final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch a week later.

Despite Chardy’s recent surge in success, he still faces a tall order against Djokovic. They have already played each other 10 times with the Serbian winning all of them in straight sets. Queen’s will be their first meeting on the tour since 2015 and their first meeting on the grass since 2013.

“I think being able to play that many matches and win in a row builds confidence, especially on this surface where we don’t have a long season on. So he got plenty of matches under his belt in the last couple of weeks.” Djokovic said of his semifinal opponent.
“He is feeling confident and comfortable, as well. I have seen him play a little bit, Chardy. He has a powerful serve and I have played him many times also on grass. Big forehand.”

Route to the semifinals
R1 – Def Tim Smyczek 6-2, 6-4
R2 – Def Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 6-3
QF – Def Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-4

Djokovic aims to extend near-perfect French record

Former world No.1 Djokovic has an almost flawless record against French opposition within recent years. Since 2012 he has won 48 out of 50 matches against French players. The only two players to buckle that trend was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the 2014 ATP Finals and Benoit Paire at this year’s Miami Masters.

Earlier in his career, Djokovic played in eight ATP Finals against French players between 2007-2012. His only loss was at the hands of Tsonga at the 2008 Thailand Open.

“I’m just excited to be in the semifinals. I haven’t had too many of those over the last 15 months. So let’s hope that I can get a chance to fight for a trophy.” Djokovic said after winning his 800th tour match on Friday.

Route to semifinals
R1 – Def John Millman 6-2, 6-1
R2 – Def Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-1
QF – Def Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-1

Kyrgios targets grass-court milestone

23-year-old Kyrgios is aiming to reach his first grass-court final on the ATP World Tour. He has already featured in seven ATP Finals. Six on a hard-court and one on the clay.

Kyrgios has already hit a whopping 32 aces in his two previous matches against Kyle Edmund and Feliciano Lopez. Bringing his total for the week to a tournament record of 82. The tour record for most aces in a two-sets match is held by John Isner, who hit 33 aces during his clash with Radek Stepanek at the 2015 Atlanta Open.

“My serve’s been like this ever since I was a little kid. It was my best shot. I always based my game around it.” Said Kyrgios.
“It was one shot where I didn’t really practice much at all. I would hit maybe 10 or 15 serves a day.
“I used to just throw the ball up and hit it as hard as I could. I guess just one day it started winning me easy points. I was, like, this is better than running, and that’s it.”

Should Kyrgios win, he would become the first Australian to reach the final at Queen’s since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2007. Kyrgios teamed up with Hewitt to play in the doubles tournament this year.

Route to semifinals
R1 – Def Andy Murray 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5
R2 – Def Kyle Edmund 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 6-3
QF – Def Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 7-6(3)

Marin Cilic targets No.4

Earlier in the week Cilic said The Queen’s Club felt like home to him and with good reason. This year is his 12th consecutive appearance at the tournament. Cilic, who won the title back in 2012, currently has a win-loss record of 29-9 at the tournament (not counting walkovers).

“I’ve been coming here since 2007, every single year, and enjoying it. I’ve had great success even though the tournament is extremely strong every single year.” Said Cilic.
“It’s always a pleasure for me to play here. I think it’s very special as every single match is a full crowd, so it makes it even more interesting.” He added.

A win over Kyrgios will elevate Cilic into his fourth Queen’s final. Besides claiming the title in 2012, he also finished runner-up to Andy Murray in 2013 and Lopez in 2017. So far in his career, Cilic has only reached four finals of the same tournament once before. That was back in his home country at the now defunct Zagreb Open.

Route to semifinals
R1 – Def Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4
R2 – Def Gilles Muller 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
QF – Def Sam Querrey 7-6(3), 6-2

The Queen’s semifinals will get underway at 13:00 GMT.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Sinner; now aims for Third Title in Monte Carlo

Stylish Greek completes comeback win and re-enters the top ten.

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After winning two in a row in 2021-2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas is now in reach of a third title at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, after beating World number two Jannik Sinner in three gruelling sets.

The 25-year-old had to battle hard and come from a break down in the third to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and now plays Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s final. The Greek has had an indifferent start to the year with a 11-6 win-loss record, but today was his first top three victory since the 2022 Cincinatti Masters – where he beat Daniil Medvedev – and ensures a return back into the top ten of the men’s rankings.

Tsitsipas recognised how hard he had to fight and revealed after the match just how satisfied he was of his performance:

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play. Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far. He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game. He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game and the way I overcame it is true excellence.”

Sinner double faulted at 30-40 to gift the break early with the score at one game all. From there, Tsistipas rallied with poise and confidence in a brilliant opening set lasting 44 minutes including a stunning backhand down-the-line winner to open the game when serving at 4-3. He took the first set 6-4 after a tiring 18-shot rally – where both players hit all angles of the court – before Sinner hit a forehand wide.

However, 22-year-old Sinner struck back immediately on his first breakpoint at the start of the second set when he won a close exchange at the net and then took a 3-0 lead.  He later survived a breakback point when 4-2 up and crucially held on for 5-2. He faced more pressure when serving for the set at 5-3 and was taken to deuce but levelled the match at one-set-all on his second set point to give the crowd exactly what they were asking f

Sinner was now in full flow hitting powerfully from the baseline and once again broke early at the start of the final set to take a 3-1 lead. But with the match now entering the third hour he began to tire physically and called for the trainer during the changeover with the score at 4-3.  When the match resumed, he lost the next three games and the Greek had completed a remarkable turnaround, handing his opponent just his second defeat of the season in two hours and forty minutes.

“It helps a lot knowing I have a win like this under my belt. Having a win like this and getting to the levels of tennis again brings a lot of satisfaction to me,” Tsitsipas said. “When there is a lot of work put in each day, these are the type of matches you are aiming for.”

Sinner’s only loss prior to today was against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells semi-finals. He has been the stand out player this year after already winning titles in Rotterdam, the Miami Open, and his maiden Grand Slam in Australia. Despite having won 25 matches overall though, he now trails Tsitsipas 3-6 in their head-to-head rivalry.

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Casper Ruud Reveals Shock After Knocking Out Novak Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud is into his second career Masters 1000 final after beating Novak Djokovic for the first time.

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Casper Ruud is into his second Masters 1000 final of his career after recording his best ever win by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 6-4.

The Norwegian defeated the world number one for the first time in his career as he overcame a mini-comeback from Djokovic to seal his place in the Monte-Carlo final.

Having lost his five previous meetings to Djokovic, Ruud played some fearless tennis under pressure as the eighth seed broke to close out a career-best win.

Speaking after the win Ruud admitted he was in a state of shock and was pleased with the victory, “I am super happy,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“This is a day I will remember for a long time. Beating a World No. 1 is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done. I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

After achieving the seemingly improbable, Ruud will now look to win his first ever ATP title that’s above a Masters 1000 event when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Monte-Carlo final.

That’s a prospect Ruud is looking forward to as he prepares for one final challenge, “There is always one more match in tennis,” the Norwegian explained.

“Tomorrow is going to be a special day, playing a final here in Monte-Carlo. It is a great result but I have been chasing a big title for a few years now and tomorrow I will have another shot at it. I am going to give it my all. Stef is playing well. He is a great player on clay and on other surfaces as well, but I guess clay is maybe where he has had the most success and especially this tournament.

“So it is going to be another tough task, but I am up for it.”

The final will take place at 14:00 BST.

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Rafael Nadal Set For Opening Round Test Against Cobolli In Barcelona

Rafael Nadal will look to make his ATP tour return in Barcelona this week.

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Rafael Nadal is set for his return to tennis in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Nadal has been struggling with injury after being injured again in Brisbane this year.

The tournament in Brisbane was his first tournament back for a year as he suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open last year.

Now Nadal aims to return to competitive action in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Speaking earlier in the week Nadal was hopeful of a return to the tour in Barcelona, “Excited to be here for a few days before the start of the tournament,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“I’m here to see how it goes… can’t wait to try and play. I’ll let you know. Important to say that I don’t want to confirm I’ll be playing, but I hope so. We’ll see.”

Should Nadal play and win his opening round match then the Spaniard will play fourth seed Alex De Minaur in the second round.

The former world number one has won the title on 12 different occasions but hasn’t won the title since 2021.

Elsewhere in the draw defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin against Luca Van Assche or Zhizhen Zhang with the Spaniard projected to meet Borna Coric in the third round.

Alcaraz suffered an injury in Monte-Carlo and will be beginning his clay court campaign in Barcelona.

Also in action in Barcelona are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Main draw action will begin on Monday.

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