David Ferrer’s Auckland Farewell Ends In Heartbreak - UBITENNIS
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David Ferrer’s Auckland Farewell Ends In Heartbreak

It was a bittersweet end to the Spaniard’s last ever appearance at the New Zealand tournament.

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At a tournament where he has enjoyed numerous successes, David Ferrer has been forced to cut short his final appearance at the ASB Classic.

 

The 36-year-old took to the court on Wednesday to take on compatriot Pablo Carreno-Busta in their second round match, but was forced to retire after just two games. Ferrer succumbed to a right calf injury after trying to play through the pain. This year was his 14th and final appearance in Auckland before before he officially retired from the tour in May.

“My last tournament – it’s not good, but there’s no worries, I really have had good memories here. I’m very proud with my career – and for me, my best trophies are your support. I really appreciate everything that you did for me.” The former world No.3 said afterwards.
“I remember when I came in here in 2003, and now, having played my last match, my last point, I am a different person.”

Ferrer remains one of the most successful players in the history of the Auckland Open, which was first played back in 1956. He is the only man in the Open Era to have won the title three years in a row (2011-2013). Ferrer also won the title in 2007. Overall, he has won 32 out of 42 matches played in the tournament since making his debut back in 2013.

“It’s the worst way to reach the quarter-finals.” Carreno-Busta said following Ferrer’s retirement.
“I’m sorry because I know David retires this year. For me it is a pleasure to play against him in one of his last matches (on the tour). It’s an honour.”
“David was an example (to follow) throughout my career and continues to be.” He added.

Opting to skip next week’s Australian Open, Ferrer has confirmed that he will play his final tournament in May at the Mutua Madrid Open. Prior to then, he aims to play tournaments in Buenos Aires, Acapulco and Barcelona.

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Fognini survives as others fall

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Elsewhere at the tournament, Fabio Fognini has become the only seeded player to make it to the quarter-final stage. The Italian second seed withstood 10 aces from Peter Gojowczyk to prevail 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), after just over two hours of play. Fognini, who is yet to reach the final in Auckland, recovered from a break down in the decider to win.

“There was a lot of work to do it (get the win). It’s my first round and I fought with everything.” Fognini said afterwards.
“It was a tough match, but I’m happy to be in the quarter-finals.”

Fognini’s win was not without its blip. During the third set, the animated Italian No.1 received a point penalty after breaking his racket and swearing on court out of frustration. He will next play Philipp Kohlschreiber, who defeated French qualifier Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-4.

Top seed John Isner fired 26 aces during his clash against Taylor Fritz, but still came up short. The world No.10 was edged out 7-6(3), 7-6(5), by his younger compatriot. Isner is a two-time champion in Auckland. Fritz will next take of Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

“One of the strongest parts of my game is how I handle the pressure and play under it,” Fritz told local media afterwards.
“More often than not, when I lose a match it’s because I don’t play the big points well, the pressure points.
“But I’d say that’s what’s made the difference in tiebreakers for me, being able to play well in those pressure situations.”

Finally, Tennys Sandgren knocked out Marco Cecchinato 6-3, 6-3. Setting up a showdown with Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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Alexander Zverev eases past Hugo Dellien to set up a third round match clash against Kei Nishikori in Rome

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This year’s Madrid Mutua Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 on Nicola Pietrangeli Court to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Zverev fired 27 winners and fended off all six of the break points he faced. The German won five consecutive games from 0-1 down with a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the opening set at 15 in the eighth game. 

Zverev went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1, but he had to save six break points in a 12-game fourth game. Zverev managed to hold serve after seven deuces before breaking serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. The German served out the win on on his second match point in the eighth game. 

The  German star will face Kei Nishikori for the second time in two weeks. He beat Nishikori, Dan Evans, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini last week at the Madrid Mutua Open en route to the fourth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career after claiming three previous trophies in Rome and Canada in 2017 and Madrid in 2018.  

Federico Delbonis didn’t face a break point and converted four of his nine break points in his 6-2 6-1 win over David Goffin. The Argentine player will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who cruised past last year’s Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3. 

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Aslan Karatsev beats Danil Medvedev in all-Russian clash in Rome

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Aslan Karatsev beat his compatriot Danil Medvedev 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 18 minutes in an all-Russian match to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Karatsev has scored his fifth career win against top 10 opponents.

 

Karatsev has improved his win-loss record to 21-6 in his 27 matches this year, including the ATP 500 title in Dubai, the semifinal at the Australian Open and the final at the Serbian Open in Belgrade. 

Karatsev has scored his second top 5 win in the past month after taking an upset win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in Belgrade. 

Karatsev earned a double break in the fifth and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. The 27-year-old Russian player earned another break in the seventh game with a volley to take a 4-3 lead. He never looked back and served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Karatsev won 90% of his first serve points and saved just one break point. 

Karatsev faced Medvedev for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. They teamed up with Andrey Rublev at the ATP Cup in Melbourne last winter helping Russia win the final against Italy. 

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