Richard Gasquet Wins Hertogenbosch Title - UBITENNIS
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Richard Gasquet Wins Hertogenbosch Title

It is the Frenchman’s 15th career title.

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Richard Gasquet won his 15th ATP title on Sunday, beating fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 7-6 on Sunday in Hertogenbosch to claim his first grass court championship in 12 years and first title on any surface in more than a year and a half.

 

The No. 2 seed strolled through the competition in the Netherlands, dropping just one set across four matches. The 30-year-old was not dominant on his own serve Sunday, winning less than two-thirds of first serve points, but showcased an impressive return game in his first trip to Hertogenbosch in 10 years.

“I’m really happy to win 10 years (after coming here),” Gasquet said. “It’s great for me to win.”

The match often did not resemble a grass court affair, with five total breaks of serve and long rallies pushing the second set, in which Chardy had two set points on his serve, to an hour. The first set was more dizzying, however, with three consecutive breaks late in the proceedings.

Gasquet took first blood, securing a break point thanks to a Chardy double fault and slamming a second serve return crosscourt to edge in front. He then lost four straight points from 30-0 up, but capitalized on poor net play from Chardy — Gasquet converted classy passing shots on consecutive points — to regain the lead.

He quickly served out a set in which he won very nearly half of Chardy’s service points.

The eventual victor pressed Chardy early in the second set, forcing the unseeded player to convert big serves from 0-30 at 2-2 and save two break points in his next service game. The tide appeared to turn, however, when Gasquet paired a double fault and poor slice into the net in the next game, allowing Chardy to serve for the set at 5-4.

He watched a 40-15 lead escape him, handing Gasquet a golden opportunity to level the set and force a tiebreak. Chardy’s serve woes continued there, as he lost five of six tiebreak points that he began, including at 5-6, when Gasquet dropped a slice forehand just across the net that left Chardy helpless and unable to replicate his challenger title in Surbiton last week.

Gasquet celebrated in muted fashion, then had a long embrace with Chardy, who had won nine matches on grass in 11 days but finally encountered an opponent who could match him, at the net.

“He deserved the win today. I’m happy for him,” Chardy said. “For me it was a really good week too. Good two weeks on grass.”

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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