Stan Wawrinka Overcomes Injury Scare To Topple Dimitrov At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka Overcomes Injury Scare To Topple Dimitrov At US Open

The Swiss No.2 speaks out about his first win in New York for two years.

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Stan Wawrinka scored his second consecutive win over Grigor Dimitrov with an emphatic 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, victory at the US Open.

 

Currently ranked 101st in the world following his injury-related hiatus, the 2016 champion only managed to enter the main draw with the help of a wild card. He was able to justify that decision with a comprehensive win over the eighth seed that saw him hit six aces and 30 winners alongside 36 unforced errors. Emulating his win over the Bulgarian in the first round of Wimbledon earlier this year.

“It’s amazing. The last time I played at this stadium was in the final two years ago.” Said Wawrinka, who missed the 2017 tournament due to knee surgery.
“I knew it would be a really difficult match against Grigor in the first round. But I thought my level was really high.
“I’m really happy right now. There are a lot of positivity and emotions for me. It’s great for me to be back again here on this court.“

Initially there was little disparity between the two players. Wawrinka’s signature backhand shot was matched by an array of impressive winners from Dimitrov’s side. The momentum changed in the favour of the Swiss player in the eighth game. A Dimitrov double fault on break point elevated Wawrinka to a 5-3 lead. Resulting in him closing out the first set at the expense of another mistake from his rival.

Ploughing through the second set with the help of a four-game winning streak, it appeared that the three-time grand slam champion was on course to close out the match with little difficulty. The only issue was that Wawrinka’s body started to play him up. Three games into set number three, proceedings were halted by a medical time out. Wawrinka underwent treatment on his back/hip region. Triggering fears that injury might once again spoil his intentions on the court.

“Some struggles with my body. I have no idea why, but it’s tough conditions.” The former world No.3 explained after the match. “It’s humid, I’m coming back from injury. So there are a lot of doubts about how I would feel. How my body would react. Especially at that level in the first round. There is a lot of tension.”
“I’m happy it more a less went away, but I need to take care of my body for the next round.”

Struggling with a noticeable decline in his service speed, Wawrinka encountered further difficulties as Dimitrov went on to break for a 5-3. Despite the blip, he managed to fight his way back to draw level at 5-5. Raising questions about Dimitrov’s mental strength on the court. Continuing to battle towards the finish line, a forehand winner rewarded Wawrinka another break and this time a chance to serve the match out. Prompting him to clinch his fist at his camp. Victory was then sealed with an ace down the middle of the court.

“It’s always tough to play your best tennis in the first round.” He said.
“I know against Grigor it would be an open match. I expected a great level and I think in general I was really solid.”

Wawrinka will play French qualifier Ugo Humbert in the second round. Humbert is making his grand slam debut and defeated home player Collin Altamirano in his opening match.

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Denis Shapovalov Battles Back To Reach The Quarterfinals In St Petersburg

The Canadian got off to a slow start in his first match but was able to recover nicely for a big three-set win.

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Second seed Denis Shapovalov needed to go the distance at the St Petersburg Open to beat his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Toronto native didn’t have the best start to the match but was able to recover and pull off a comeback to take the win. Serving a total of 11 aces to reach the quarterfinals.

” It’s very tough to play Pablo (Andujar) first round of a tournament, he’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” said Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel so great but I just told myself to keep going because obviously there is still a lot of tennis to be played and I wanted to turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

It was the Spaniard who got off to a better start, earning a breakpoint in the first game of the match before grabbing the early break and he was able to consolidate it. At 2-0, Andujar had two chances to go up a double break but the Canadian saved both and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 92 was able to earn another breakpoint. This time converted for the double break lead and served out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve until 2-1 when Shapovalov broke to love and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve it out and send the match into a decider.

The Canadian continued pushing as his level improved. In the first game of the final set, he broke the Spaniard with a perfectly timed cross-court winner to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break he was hungry for more and broke Andujar’s serve once again to go up a double break. Shapovalov closed the match out with a bagel set.

During his on-court interview, Shapovalov was asked how happy he was back to be in St Peterburg and he mentioned the amazing memories he had playing in the event last year.

” It always feels great to be back and I remember last year playing Andrey (Rublev) in the semifinals. I was one set up and I lost this match but I am happy to be here due to the fact I always get great support from the fans here”. He said.

Shapovalov will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals after the German upset seventh seed Alexander Bublik in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).

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Former World No.8 And Grand Slam Champion Jurgen Melzer Retires

Melzer ends a career which has seen him crack the world’s top 10 in both singles and doubles.

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Jurgen Melzer (AUT) - Alexander Zverev (GER) vs John Peers (AUS) - Filip Polasek (SVK), (Erste Bank Open 2021 #glaubandich Court); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger,

After more than two decades on the Tour, Jurgen Melzer has played his final match after bowing out of the Vienna Open on Wednesday.

 

The 40-year-old confirmed earlier this year that he would end his career at his home tournament. Teaming up with Alexander Zverev in the doubles, the duo lost in straight sets to third seeds Filip Polášek and John Peers. Melzer is a two-time champion in Vienna after winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. He later went on to win the doubles title in 2014.

I was a bit afraid that not so many would come after all. Thank you very much, it was a huge honour for me to leave here,” Melzer said during his on-court interview.
“He (Zverev) didn’t hesitate five seconds to play here with me, that is not a matter of course when you’re at number four and you’re close to the Masters. Unfortunately, it was a short undertaking, but thank you.” He added.

Melzer first rose to prominence as a junior when he became the first Austrian to win the Wimbledon boys’ title back in 1999. He would go on to play in a total of 53 Grand Slam main draws during his professional career with his best run being to the semi-finals of the 2010 French Open. On the ATP Tour he claimed five titles with his most prestigious being at an ATP 500 event in Memphis during the 2012 season.

Against top 10 opposition, Melzer has beaten every member of the Big Three at least once. The most notable being against Novak Djokovic where he battled back from two sets down to stun the Serbian at the 2010 French Open. Overall, he recorded 13 wins over top 10 players during his career.

“My career started here (in Vienna) on an international level almost 22 years ago, in 1999 here in the town hall, where for the first time I was allowed to dream of really going the way as a professional tennis player. 22 years later and I would have signed everything, what I have achieved. It was an unbelievable journey that ends today. That I couldn’t have dreamed of.”

It wasn’t just in the singles where Melzer enjoyed success on the Tour. As a double player he achieved a ranking high of sixth and won two men’s Grand Slam titles with Philipp Petzschner, as well claiming the 2011 Wimbledon mixed doubles trophy with his ex-wife Iveta Benešová. More recently, Melzer reached the final of the 2020 ATP Finals alongside Édouard Roger-Vasselin. That was to be the last Tour final of his career.

“Of course you still hope to be at the top, but at some point you will be realistic enough to be able to assess that it will not be enough. It was an unbelievable journey that was a lot of fun. It is over, but it is also good that way.” He concluded.

Whilst his time on the Tour has come to an end, Melzer will remain involved in tennis. He is currently working as the Sports director of the Austrian Tennis Federation (OTV). A role he has held since January.

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Carlos Alcaraz Gets Revenge On Andy Murray To Reach Vienna Last Eight

Carlos Alcaraz is into the Vienna quarter-finals after beating Andy Murray in straight sets.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz got revenge on Andy Murray after beating the former grand slam champion 6-3 6-4 to reach the Vienna Quarter-Finals.

 

The Spaniard lost to Murray in a three set battle at Indian Wells earlier this month but was victorious in Austria.

Despite being a break up in the second set, the three time grand slam champion couldn’t consistently out-power the aggressive Spaniard.

Alcaraz will now play Nikoloz Basilashvili or Matteo Berrettini in the last eight.

Alcaraz was aggressive from the very first ball as he controlled rallies behind the baseline and punished Murray’s weak second serve.

After being broke in the first game, the Brit got his revenge in the fourth game as he converted in his sixth break point of the game to seal the break back.

However Alcaraz’s firepower was too much and the Spaniard’s consistent firepower was too much for Murray as two hard-fought breaks followed as he sealed the opening set in 65 minutes.

Murray utilised a more attacking style of play in the second set and was rewarded with an early break of serve as he would take a 4-2 lead.

But Alcaraz displayed too much power and accuracy as he reeled off four games in a row to complete his victory and progress into the Vienna quarter-finals.

Alcaraz will now play Basilashvili or Berrettini in the quarter-finals as he looks for a strong finish to a career-best season.

As for Murray that will be the end of his season unless he gets a wildcard into Paris next week or makes the Davis Cup Finals team for Great Britain.

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