France and Croatia nominate teams for the Davis Cup final - UBITENNIS
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France and Croatia nominate teams for the Davis Cup final

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French captain Yannick Noah and his counterpart Zeliko Krajan have announced the teams that will fight for the 2018 Davis Cup title at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villenueve d’Asq near Lille.

 

Noah has nominated world number 32 Lucas Pouille, who clinched the fifth decisive match in last year’s final, world number 42 Jeremy Chardy, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who missed this year’s competition due to injury but contributed to the French triumph this year, and Nitto ATP Finals contenders Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert in the doubles.

France has had a difficult year with no players in the top 20 in the ATP singles Ranking. Tsonga won his first singles match in Antwerp since February, when he retired from the semifinal in Montpellier. The 2008 Australian Open finalist dropped to world number 261 in the world. Richard Gasquet was forced to withdraw from the final due to an injury problem.

Croatia seems to be the favourite according to the form of players on the ATP circuit in the most recent weeks. Zeljko Krajan has confirmed the players, who beat the USA in the semifinal last September.

Marin Cilic, who is now playing in the Nitto ATP Finals in London, helped Croatia reach the Davis Cup Final for the second time in three years by winning both his singles matches. After suffering three early defeats in Tokyo, Shanghai and Basel, he reached the quarter final in Paris Bercy. He reached the final at the Australian Open losing to Roger Federer and won the Queen’s final beating Novak Djokovic last June.

Borna Coric, who is alternate at the Nitto ATP Finals in London, recently beat Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro en route to reaching his maiden Masters 1000 final in Shanghai, where he finished runner-up to Djokovic.

Krajan nominated Franko Skugor, who can play both the singles and the doubles, and a strong doubles team formed by Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic.

Pavic is currently playing in the doubles tournament at the Nitto ATP Finals in London teaming up with Oliver Marach. Pavic is currently ranked world number 3 and won five doubles titles in 2018. He returned to the Croatian team for the first time since 2014 in the semifinal against the USA. Dodig has made 31 Davis Cup appearances. Dodig and Pavic will face Herbert and Mahut in what is expected to be one of the decisive matches.

France has lifted ten Davis Cup titles and would be ranked third in the list of the most successful Davis Cup nations with their second consecutive title at the end of November. Croatia is bidding to win their second Davis Cup title, but the first since 2005. Croatia beat France 3-2 in the 2016 semifinal before losing the final against Argentina. Croatia has won won the last four away Davis Cup ties

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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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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