Kevin Anderson Cruises Past Dimitrov To Reach Toronto Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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Kevin Anderson Cruises Past Dimitrov To Reach Toronto Semifinals

The South African beat Dimitrov for the first time in six years.

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Kevin Anderson (zimbio.com)

Kevin Anderson paired his usual exceptional serving with a pinpoint return game, allowing him to take control of his Toronto quarterfinal and see off Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in just 64 minutes.

 

The fourth-seeded South African hit 12 aces to no double faults, winning more than 80 percent of points on his first serve while taking nearly half from Dimitrov’s racket. He converted break point in every game he earned one while facing none of his own.

“I did a great job on my serve, great rhythm, really controlled [it],” Anderson told ESPN on court. “I was able to make a lot of returns … put a lot of pressure from the baseline.”

The defending US Open and Wimbledon finalist had the better of the play from the opening moments, building an 0-30 lead in the opening game, then 0-40 midway through the set. He secured that lead with a Dimitrov double fault an an exceptional forehand of his own, then converted the break with another well-placed groundstroke.

That break put the big-serving world No. 5 firmly in control of the set, and he further confirmed that with a second consecutive break after winning four consecutive points on Dimitrov’s serve. He then briskly served out a set in which he lost seven points on his serve.

The second set proceeded in strikingly similar fashion. The Bulgarian turned in a poor opening service game and sprayed balls wide and into the net, handing Anderson a love break and early lead. Anderson, in turn, remained untroubled on his serve, dropping one point across his next two service games before facing his only deuce game of the match.

Dimitrov, who will seek to defend his Masters title in Cincinnati next week, appeared to momentarily raise his level. But the South African, who had lost the last five meetings between the two, did so as well. He forced two more break points at 2-4, converting the second with a superb inside-out forehand just inside the sideline.

Fittingly, he then closed out his semifinal berth — just his second ever at a Masters event — with another forehand that Dimitrov could barely reach.

“I knew I had to play good tennis to come through,” Anderson added. “That feels good. I’ve had some really close matches with Grigor in the past.”

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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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