Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Gael Monfils in Shanghai - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Gael Monfils in Shanghai

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Greek Next Gen player Stefanos Tsitsipas battled past Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-4 to reach the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, the penultimate ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year.

Tsitsipas saved eight of the eleven break points he faced and converted on three of his eight chances.

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the opening game at 30, when Monfils hit his forehand long.

Monfils converted his third break-back chance in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, when Tsitsipas hit a poor backhand.

Monfils saved three break points in the seventh game to hold his serve for 4-3 at deuce. Tsitsipas fended off a break point chance in a four-deuce eighth game after coming back from 30-40 down to draw level to 4-4.

Tsitsipas saved three break points in a four-deuce 12th game at 5-6 to set up a tie-break. Tsitsipas raced out to a 6-0 lead earning six set points in the tie-break. Monfils saved four set points but Tsitsipas sealed the first set on the next point with a service winner.

Monfils got the only break of the second set on the second chance in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead with a backhand crosscourt winner and converted the fourth set point at 5-4 to win the second set sending the match to the decider, when Tsitsipas sent his backhand long.

The third set went on serve with no break points until the sixth game before three consecutive breaks of serve. Tsitsipas broke serve at 15 in the 8th game to take a 5-3 lead earning a chance to serve for the match in the next game, but Monfils broke straight back for 4-5. Tsitsipas sealed the win with a final break on the second match point after 2 hours and 21 minutes, after Monfils made a double fault.

One year ago Tsitsipas scored his first ATP win in Shanghai as a qualifier, when he was ranked world number 131 before losing to John Isner after two tie-breaks in the second round. This year the young Greek has made a huge progress climbing to world number 15. He has entered the Shanghai tournament as number 10 seed.

“It was a weird game. Lots of service breaks and many long rallies in the match. Gael has a rhythm that’s not very comfortable when you are on the other side of the net. You never know what to expect. Sometime the ball comes slower, sometimes the ball comes faster. So it confuses you. There are not many players that play this way. It was very hard, because  he was serving pretty well. My serve was all right. I managed to open the court, take the forehands and try to come to the net, but I managed to stay patient. I got broken when I was serving in the third set. I remained calm and focused and then went back in the next game and broke him, which is a big strength from my side. It shows good character”,said Tsitsipas.

 Coric beats Wawrinka in three sets

Borna Coric came back from one set down to beat three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Wawrinka saved a break point to hold his serve in the fourth game at deuce to draw level to 2-2 before earning his only break of the first set in the seventh game at love to take a 4-3 lead. Wawrinka saved two break points to serve out for the first set 6-4 at deuce. Coric fended off two break points at 3-3 in the second set before getting his second break point chance to seal the second set 6-4. Coric got the crucial break on his third opportunity to claim the decider.

Klahn stuns Kyrgios in three sets

Coric will take on US qualifier Bradley Klahn, who fought back from one set down to stun Nick Kyrgios 4-6 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Kyrgios saved two break points at 2-3 with a service winnerand a drop shot before breaking serve in the next game with a volley winner. Kyrgios held his serve in the 10th game to seal the first set after 25 minutes.

The Australian player fended off two break points at the start of the second set with two winners and held his service game with a drop shot. Klahn dropped just six points in five service games and sealed the second set with his only break of serve in the 10th game, after Kyrgios made four errors.

Klahn broke serve in the second game at love. Kyrgios was not able to break back, as he won just three points on return. Klahn hit a forehand down the line winner to earn three match points and claimed his fourth ATP Tour match win of the season with service winner.

US Sam Querrey dropped five of his first serve points in his 6-3 6-4 win over Diego Schwartzman, setting up a second round match against Next Gen player Taylor Fritz, who beat Robin Haase

 Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4 to set up a second round match against US qualifier Mackenzie McDonald, who upset Milos Raonic 6-3 5-7 6-3.

Rublev saved a break point in the second game with an ace and took a 3-2 lead, when Bautista Agut sent a forehand long. Bautista Agut broke straight back in the sixth game (the longest game of the match) to draw level to 3-3, which featured six deuces and five break points. Bautista Agut broke serve again in the eighth game and sealed the first set with a service winner. The Spanish player broke serve in the third game with a backhand cross court winner. Rublev broke back in the sixth game, when Bautista Agut netted his backhand. Bautista Agut converted his third break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served for the match in the next game.

This year’s Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato saved a match point on serve in the 12th game of the third set to beat Gilles Simon 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-2). Andreas Seppi scored the second Italian win by beating Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-4.

Round-up of first round matches:

Twenty-two year-old Russian player Karen Khachanov fought back from one set down to edge US Steve Johnson 6-7 6-3 6-4 after two hours and 19 minutes in the first round in Shanghai on Sunday.

Khachanov saved three of the four break points he faced and hit 50 winners to 17 unforced errors.

Johnson broke serve in the fourth game of the opening set, when Khachanov sent a forehand long. Khachanov broke back in the next game with a deep return. Johnson fended off a break point in the ninth game with a forehand and another chance at 5-5 with a service winner to set up a tie-break. Khachanov opened up a 6-4 lead with a service winner, but he failed to convert two set points. Johnson came back by reeling off four consecutive points to take a 8-6 win, when Khachanov netted a backhand.

Khachanov fought back by breaking serve in the eighth game of the second set with two forehand winners and closed it out in the following game to send the match to the third set. Khachanov broke serve in the third game of the third set and fended off two break points in the sixth game with two powerful serves. Johnson fended off two break points in the seventh game. Khachanov held on his service game until the end of the match. Khachanov wrapped up the match with a service winner in the 10th game to advance to the second round.

Peter Gojowczyk battled past Jack Sock 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to set up a second round match against either Damir Dzumhur or Marton Fucsovics.

Chile’s Nicholas Jarry fired 18 aces to edge past Misha Zverev 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5) to book his spot in the second round against this year’s Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic. Jeremy Chardy beat Maximilian Marterer 6-3 7-6 (7-5) setting up a second round match against this year’s Wimbledon and US Open champion Novak Djokovic.

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Kei Nishikori completes his third came-back win to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open

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Kei Nishikori won his third five-set match at this year’s edition of the Australian Open by completing his third come-back from two sets down with a 6-7 (8-10) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 7-6 (10-8) win over Pablo Carreno Busta after a 5-hour and 5-minute battle.

Kei Nishikori lived up to his reputation as a marathon man, when he completed his third come-from-behind win at the 2019 Australian Open following up his previous two five-set wins over Kamil Majchrzak and Ivo Karlovic.

Carreno Busta went down a break twice in the early stages of the opening set, but he managed to pull back both breaks in the fourth and sixth games to draw level to 3-3. Nishikori got an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead, but Carreno Busta won three consecutive points for 3-2 after three errors from Nishikori. The Spaniard did not convert three set points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7, but he converted his fourth chance for 10-8 with a forehand winner.

Carreno Busta went up a set and a break with two forehand winners in the third game before saving two break points at 2-1. The Spanish player did not convert two set points at 5-3, when he made two forehand errors as Nishikori was serving at 15-40, but he closed out the second set at love in the 10th game.

Nishikori went down a break in the fifth game of the third set, but he broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Nishikori won the tie-break 7-4 to keep his hopes alive Nishikori broke serve in the first game of the fourth set at 30, but Carreno Busta broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. Nishikori broke for the second time in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and earned three break points for 5-2 in the seventh game, but Carreno Busta held his serve. Nishikori held his next three service games at love to seal the fourth set 6-4.

Nishikori converted his third break point chance in the third game of the fifth set to take a 2-1 lead. The Japanese player came back from 15-40 down in the sixth game to hold his serve at deuce for 4-2, but he dropped his serve while he was serving for the match in the 10th game at 5-4. Carreno Busta built up a 8-5 lead in the decisive super tie-break, but Nishikori reeled off the final five points to seal a thrilling five-set match.

“I don’t know what to say. That was the toughest match. I have no idea how I broke back and I fough my way through. It was a great match. I feel like I have not played enough. It hasn’t been easy of course, especially not today. It was hard against Karlovic with a super tie-break, but today had longer rallies”, said Nishikori.

The Japanese star will face Novak Djokovic, who beat Danil Medvedev 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-2 in his fourth round match. Djokovic leads 15-2 in his 17 head-to-head matches against Nishikori.

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Lucas Pouille beats Borna Coric in four sets to set up a quarter final against Milos Raonic in Melbourne

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Lucas Pouille upset Borna Coric in four sets by the scoreline of 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 7-6 (7-2) after 3 hours and 15 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Pouille set up a quarter final against Canadian player Milos Raonic, who beat Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-1 7-6 (7-5). The Frenchman has not won a single set in his three head-to-head matches against Raonic.

Coric broke serve in the first game of the opening set, but Pouille pulled back the break in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Both players held serve in the next games to set up a tie-break. Coric converted the first of his two set points at 6-4 in the tie-break with his ninth ace to close out the first set.

Pouille got the only break in the seventh game of the second set to draw level to 1 set apiece after Coric made his fourth double fault the match and a forehand error.

Both players held their serve in the first ten games of the third set. Coric went down 0-40 on serve in the 11th game, but he managed to saved the first two break points. Pouille converted his third opportunity with a forehand winner to seal the third set 7-5.

Pouille got an immediate break in the first game of the fourth set. Coric converted his fourth break-back point chance at deuce to draw level to 4-4 setting up a second tie-break. Pouille sealed the win on his first match point, when Coric made his 55th unforced error of the match.

Pouille fired 57 winners and won 66 % of his second serve points.

Lucas Pouille has become the 13th French player to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open and the first since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2017. The Frenchman reached the third quarter final at Grand Slam level in his career after Wimbledon and the US Open in 2016.

Pouille lost in the first round for the fifth consecutive year at the 2018 edition of the Australian Open and won his fifth title in Montpellier against his compatriot Richard Gasquet after saving two match points in the semifinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Pouille reached a career-high of world number 10 after advancing to his third ATP Tour level final in Dubai, where he lost against Roberto Bautista Agut. After a difficult second half of the season Pouille hired Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach.

“It feels great. It has been a tough match against Borna. He is one of the best players in the world. The last time we played I lost 6-4 in the third set, so I knew what to expect. A few points here and there. In the first tie-break I had 5-4 and made two lets and the ball went out. It was just a few details that made the difference. I am now very happy to be in the quarter final. The atmosphere is great here. In the previous round I played against Popyrin, an Australian guy, and the atmosphere was just electric”,said Pouille.

Pouille has not won a set in his three head-to-head matches against his next rival Milos Raonic and lost in straight sets against the Canadian player in their previous head-to-head match at the 2016 Australian Open.

“He is playing well. I watched the match against Alexander Zverev. I am going to be ready for it and try to reach my first semifinal”,said Pouille.

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Racket-Smashing Alexander Zverev Unfazed By Shock Australian Open Exit

The world No.4 reacts to his disappointing loss at Melbourne Park.

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‘I’m not happy, but I’m not depressed’ was Alexander Zverev’s response to his surprise defeat to Milos Raonic at the Australian Open.

The German fourth seed produced an erratic performance during his 6-1, 6-1, 7-6(5), loss to the world No.17 as he failed to hold serve in six out of his first seven service games. Zverev’s lacklustre performance saw him make more unforced errors than winners (23-21) and produced 10 double faults. At one stage of the match, Zverev let his own emotions get the better of him. Trailing 1-6, 1-4, he decided to destroy one of his rackets on the court. An act that unsurprisingly earned him a code violation.

“It made me feel better. I was very angry, so I let my anger out.” Zverev said during his press conference.
“I played bad. The first two sets, especially, I played horrible. I mean, it’s just tough to name one thing. I didn’t serve well, didn’t play well from the baseline. Against a quality player like him, it’s tough to come back from that.”

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1087214145957752833

Monday’s loss continues Zverev’s patchy record in grand slam tournaments. Tipped by many as a future world No.1 in the sport, he has only managed to reach the quarter-finals of a major in one out of 15 attempts. His sole success was at the French Open last year. On the other hand, his run to the last 16 in Melbourne was his best run yet at the tournament.

“I’m not happy, but I’m not depressed, either. It’s fine. It’s a tennis match.” He reflected.
“I have learned to take tennis matches as tennis matches and not the end of the world. If I would think it’s the end of the world every time I lose a tennis match, I would be very depressed about 15 to 20 times a year. So I’m not going to do that.”

Heading into the Australian Open, there were concerns about Zverev’s fitness. The week prior he was dealing with issues concerning his hamstring and foot. However, the 21-year-old ruled out that any kind of injury had an impact of his match against Raonic.

Trying to pinpoint the cause of his display, the world No.4 admitted that he would have liked a longer off-season. Zverev ended 2018 by winning the ATP Finals on November 19th and returned to action on December 30th to play in the Hopman Cup alongside Angelique Kerber.

“For sure, I didn’t have a very long off-season, didn’t have a lot of rest. But, you know, this is us as tennis players. I’m happy how the season ended. I wouldn’t want it the other way.” Zverev stated.
“It’s always a give and take. If the season is 11 months long, it’s always that kind of give and take in what you do, how you rest, and how much work you put in. That’s just how it is for us tennis players.” He added.

Zverev’s conqueror Raonic will play either Lucas Pouille or Borna Coric in the next round.

Zverev’s grand slam record

Tournament 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 W–L Win %
Australian Open A Q1 1R 3R 3R 4R 7–4 64%
French Open A Q2 3R 1R QF 6–3 67%
Wimbledon A 2R 3R 4R 3R 8–4 67%
US Open Q2 1R 2R 2R 3R 4–4 50%
Win–Loss 0–0 1–2 5–4 6–4 10–4 3–1 25–15 62%

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