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.
Kei Nishikori recovers from a slow start to beat Taylor Fritz in Barcelona
Kei Nishikori beat Taylor Fritz 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 41 minutes to advance to the second round at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Kei Nishikori raliied from 1-4 down in the first set to reel off 12 of the next 15 games.
Fritz converted his second break point in the fourth game and held his service game to open up a 4-1 lead. Nishikori broke twice in the seventh and eleventh games to take a 6-5 lead. The Japanese player served out the first set 7-5 at deuce after saving a break point.
Nishikori went up a double break in the third and fifth games to seal the second set 6-2.
Nishikori and Fritz met once before in the 2016 Memphis final, when the Japanese player beat his younger US rival to clinch his fourth consecutive Memphis title.
Nishikori bounced back from his opening round defeat against Pierre Hugues Herbert last week in Monte-Carlo.
Nishikori claimed two consecutive titles in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015 and finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal, who won the Barcelona title 11 times.
The Japanese player will face Canadian 18-year-old Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime or Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.
Jaziri came back from one set to beat Guido Andreozzi 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 after 2 hours and 42 minutes.
Spanish veteran David Ferrer dropped just 11 points in his service points to ease past Germany’s Misha Zverev 6-3 6-1 after 65 minutes. Ferrer will face Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the second round.
Teenager Nicola Kuhn from Spain edged past Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 30 minutes scoring the biggest win of his career.
Matteo Berrettini beats Mikhail Kukushkin in Budapest
Italy’s Matteo Berrettini claimed his first win on clay this season with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin in the opening round of the Hungarian Open.
The first set started with four breaks of serve in the first five games, as Berrettini built up a 4-1 lead. Kukushkin pulled back one of the three breaks in the sixth game for 2-4. Berrettini held his final two games at love to claim the first set 6-4.
Berrettini went up a double break in the first and fifth games to open up a 5-1 lead. The Italian player wasted his first match point. Kukushkin got one break back and saved another match point to hold his service game to win his third consecutive game for 4-5, but Berrettini served out the win at love in the 10th game.
Berrettini set up a second round against Aljaz Bedene, who came back from a double break down in the opening set to beat Bernard Tomic 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
Radu Albot from Moldova broke serve twice in each set to seal a 7-5 6-4 win over Sergiy Stakhovsky on his fourth match point after 1 hour and 41 minutes setting up a second round against Filip Krajnovic, who edged Andreas Seppi 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 after wasting four match points in the second set.
Marco Cecchinato has pulled out of the Hungarian Open and will not defend the title he won last year.
Fernando Verdasco wins all-Spanish clash against Feliciano Lopez in Barcelona first round
Fernando Verdasco beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-3 in 81 minutes at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Former Barcelona champion Verdasco, who won this tournament in 2010, improved his win-loss record against his compatriot to 6-5 in their 11 head-to-head matches.
Verdasco claimed his only break point at love to close out the first set 6-4. Lopez got his first break at deuce in the opening game of the second set. Verdasco won four consecutive breaks from 2-3 down with two breaks to wrap up the second set 6-3. Verdasco will face Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.
Taylor Fritz won an all-American first round clash against giant Reilly Opelka 6-3 6-4 after just 55 minutes In the match between two US rising stars Fritz never faced a break point and converted one break point in each set from the four chances he created to cruise into the second round.
Fritz earned the only break in the fifth game of the first set at 15 to take a 3-2 lead after Opelka made a volley error in the fifth game. Fritz hit three service winners in the ninth game to seal the opening set 6-3.
Fritz went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set with a forehand winner. He hit a forehand winner to close out the match, as he was serving for the match at 5-4.
Diego Schwartzman came back from one set down to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6 6-4 6-2.
Nishioka converted his fourth break point in the first game, but Schwartzman broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. After a trade of breaks in the sixth and seventh games Nishioka saved saved three break points to hold his serve in the eighth game. The Japanese player converted his fifth break point after a double fault from Schwartzman in the ninth game. Nishioka served out the first set at love.
Both players traded breaks twice in the second set en route to drawing level to 4-4. Schwartzman broke serve in the 10th game to close out the second set 6-4. Schwartman reeled off four consecutive games from 2-2 with two breaks of serve to win the third set.
Schwartman was playing his third match in Barcelona because he had to play the qualifying round. He forgot to sign before the tournament deadline.
Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer battled past Marius Copil 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 after two hours and 36 minutes to score his ninth match win of the season.
Mayer earned his first break to race out to a 3-0 lead and saved four break points at 3-1. He held his final two service games to close out the second set 6-3. Both players saved a total of four break points in the second set to hold their service games en route to the tie-break. Copil earned three mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-3 forcing the match to the third set. Mayer got the only break at love in the 12th game to seal the third set 7-5.
German Jan-Lennard Struff cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-3 6-1 after just 51 minutes. Struff saved all three break points and dropped 14 points in 8 service games. He broke once in the fourth game of the first set and three times in a row to seal the win.
Jaume Munar came back from one set down to beat Portuguese qualifier Pedro Souza 2-6 6-4 6-0 setting up a second round match against US Frances Tiafoe. Sousa got four of the six breaks to win the first set 6-4. The second set went on serve until the 10th game, when Munar got his first break on his third chance to close out the second set 6-4. The Spaniard broke three times to take a bagel win in the third set.
Mackenzie McDonald saw off Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-2 6-2 in just 57 minutes. Mackenzie converted four of hi sten break points and dropped nine points in eight service games. He won the final four games of the first set from 2-2 with two breaks to close out the first set 6-2. He got two more breaks in the third and eighth games to wrap up the match with with a forehand crosscourt winner.
Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics cruised past Denis Kudla 6-4 6-1. The Hungarian player saved two break points he faced and converted four of his nine break points.
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