Bernard Tomic Ends Three-Year Title Drought With Win Over Fognini In Chengdu - UBITENNIS
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Bernard Tomic Ends Three-Year Title Drought With Win Over Fognini In Chengdu

The Australian is set to break back into the world’s top 75 on Monday for the first time in more than a year following his latest win.

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Australia’s Bernard Tomic has won his first ATP title since 2015 after stunning top seed Fabio Fognini 6-1,3-6, 7-6(7), in the final of the Chengdu Open.

 

Tomic, who dropped down to as low as 243rd in the world in May, banished his recent demons on the tour with a thrilling win over his Italian rival. Hitting 12 aces and saving seven out of the 11 break points he faced. In total, he won just six more points than Fognini (107-101) in the entire match.

“I can’t describe. I haven’t won a tournament like this one for a couple of years.” An emotional Tomic said during his on-court interview.
“I was lucky. I think all week I have been lucky. I was supposed to lose in the second round of qualifying to Gerasimov. I was down 3-0, 4-0, in the tiebreaker. Then I was down in the first round on centre court. I was also down match points in the second round. I’ve played so well this week and I’m so happy that I won (the tournament).
“For me to play Fabio today was also really good.”

Playing in his first final since the 2016 Mexican Open, Tomic was initially tested during the early stages of the match. Successfully fending off a total of six break points during his first two service games. In contrast, a lacklustre Fognini struggled to control his unforced errors due to Tomic’s ability to mixed up the pace with the help of his slice during rallies. Enabling the Australian to clinch the opening set after just 28 minutes of play.

Fognini, who was bidding to become the first Italian player to win four ATP titles within a season, illustrated glimmers of his talent during set number two. Coming through a marathon serving game before breaking for a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately for the world No.13, he struggled to sustain that form to thwart the threat posed by a spirited Tomic as he rallied back to draw level at 3-3. Prompting a furious Fognini to be hit with a code violation after smashing his racket onto the ground out of anger.

https://twitter.com/doublefault28/status/1046333829726826497

Despite the setback, the Italian held his nerve to force the match into a decider. Breaking once more for a 5-3 lead with the help of a Tomic backhand error, before snatching the second set.

Heading into the decider, the momentum was very much in the favour of the Italian. Prior to the final, Fognini has rallied back from a set down 18 times this season. More than any other player on the men’s tour. Nevertheless, it was Tomic that came out on top during the roller coaster clash. After trading breaks of serve twice in the decider, the Australian then saved four match points in the tiebreaker. Doing so with some audacious play. Eventually he prevailed on his first match point opportunity with a forehand cross-court winner. Resulting in him collapsing onto the floor out of delight.

“This is a very special tournament and it is one of the nicest 250 tournaments. I always enjoy playing in China.” He said.

The win is Tomic’s first against a top 20 player since Kei Nishikori at the 2016 Cincinnati Open. He is now set to break back into the world’s top 75 when the rankings are updated on Monday. Making it the first time he has done so since July 2017.

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Doubles Player Dream French Open Debut Ended By Instagram Message

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral said he found out he will not be playing in Paris through social media.

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Francisco Cabral - Image via https://twitter.com/EstorilOpen/

Playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam is the pinnacle of many players’ careers but one player missed out on that opportunity due to an unfortunate situation. 

 

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral was set to play in the men’s doubles tournament for the first time at this week’s French Open. The world No.72 is currently at a career-high after winning his maiden Tour title in Estoril last month with compatriot Nuno Borges. In Paris, he entered into the draw alongside Denmark’s Holger Rune. 

However, shortly before he was set to make his Grand Slam debut Rune pulled out at the last minute. Leaving Cabral unable to look for another partner in such a short time. Rune’s withdrawal from the doubles was based on medical advice after he hurt his ankle during his second round clash against Henri Laaksonen. The Dane tripped over the court cover at the back of the court but fortunately wasn’t seriously injured and managed to continue playing. 

“Right now I feel a huge sadness because it’s a dream to play in a Grand Slam tournament. I’ve been here since Saturday training, waiting, watching games, experiencing a new world because it was my first Grand Slam and it’s another dimension and I was really, really looking forward to being able to play,” Cabral told Raquetc. “And having waited until 15 minutes before game time to know that I wasn’t going to play after all, it cost me a lot, but I did everything I could.”

Caral went on to criticize the behavior of Rune who informed him that he would not be playing in the doubles event via a message sent on Instagram. It is unclear why the two never spoke face-to-face. 

“He only told me that he had sprained his foot, that he was at the doctor’s, and that he had told him not to play the doubles. I’m sad about his attitude because he didn’t even say this to my face, he just sent me a message on Instagram. I don’t think it went well, but as I said, I couldn’t have done anything differently, so I’ll just wait for the next opportunity.” He said. 

25-year-old Cabral is targeting Wimbledon as the event where he will play his first main draw match. 

Meanwhile, Rune will continue his singles campaign at Roland Garros on Saturday when he plays Hugo Gaston in the third round. The former world No.1 junior has shot up the rankings this season to a high of 40th. 

Cabral and Rune has been replaced in the draw by Sander Arends and Szymon Walków. 

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French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur

The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.

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Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.

 

The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.

During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.

“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”

De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.

“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“

Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.

Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.

Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”

As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.

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Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.

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Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.

 

Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

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