Mikhail Youzhny Falls To Bautista Agut In Final Career Match - UBITENNIS
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Mikhail Youzhny Falls To Bautista Agut In Final Career Match

The Russian ends his career one victory short of 500.

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Mikhail Youzhny (US Open via Twitter)

Mikhail Youzhny bid his bittersweet farewell to competitive tennis on Thursday, falling to Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets in St. Petersburg and falling just one match short of 500 career victories.

 

Bautista Agut, the No. 5 seed, won 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes.

The final games proceeded in heartbreaking fashion for the 36-year-old Russian. After failing to convert break point from 15-40 at 3-3, he double faulted on his own break point in the next game, handing Bautista Agut an opportunity to serve for the match. He did so at love, sending Youzhny into retirement with a serve-and-volley that hushed the crowd and brought the two together at the net for a brief exchange.

A somewhat-stunned crowd then saw “the Colonel”, a two-time US Open semifinalist and onetime world No. 8, depart for one final time, with a career mark of 499-416. He would’ve been just the 46th man to win 500 career matches.

His final contest was a high-quality one, with dozens of punishing rallies ended only with superb winners. Youzhny hit a stellar backhand for a 2-0 lead in the second set, capping a stretch of eight in 10 points, hit a precise lob to close out a tricky service game later in the set, then capped a grueling point with a running backhand up the line to give himself a set point. He converted it, setting up a deciding set.

The parade of winners continued there: The 10-time tour victor dug out of a hole at 2-3 by pairing backhand and forehand blasts. But much as in the first set, he could not take advantage of the opportunities he generated, and the more steady Spaniard used that to take control of the match at crucial points.

In the first set, Youzhny lost an early break at 4-3, then couldn’t convert two set points in the tiebreak before Bautista Agut made full use of his first. It summed up a match in which Bautista Agut, the No. 5 seed, won only one more point — of 203 in the match — but saved 10 of 12 break points and hit just one double fault.

Youzhny had struggled in his farewell season, winning just seven main draw tour matches and making no quarterfinals. The 20-year pro ends his career ranked No. 110 in the world.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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Brandon Nakashima shocks John Isner to reach first ATP final in Los Cabos

Brandon Nakashima stunned John Isner to reach the final in Los Cabos.

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Brandon Nakashima (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The American became the youngest American to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

 

Brandon Nakashima booked his spot in the final beating an out of sorts John Isner 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes firing 12 aces and winning 82% points with his first serve.

“It’s always going to be tough playing against him, It’s always so hard to return his serve and try to get into the rallies with him but I tried to get back as many returns as I could and there was blocking or chipping the return or hitting over it and just try to mix it up a lot while getting different looks and I knew when I had the opportunities and when I got close in games I knew I had to take advantage of that as much as possible so luckily I was able to do it and of course taking care of my service games was important as well”.

For the first six games of the opening set, neither player had an issue holding serve but at 3-3, it was the San Diego native with the first chance to break but was denied by the world number 39’s big serve.

At 5-4, the world number 134 had two more chances to break and he got the crucial break and served out the first set.

Winning the first set seemed to invigorate the 19-year-old and he earned an early chance to break in the first game of the second set and broke to take a 1-0 lead. Once again that one break was enough to serve out the match and seal the victory.

After the match, Nakashima spoke about becoming the first American player to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

“It feels great and it’s a big accomplishment for me and of course all the Americans, we like to play in the US but it’s nice to see that I am playing well outside the US and luckily it’s not too far from my home here so I have been enjoying it here a lot both on and off the court and really looking forward to playing tomorrow again”.

Nakashima will face the number one seed Cameron Norrie in the final and can feel confident as the last time these two players met, the American beat him.

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