Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut aim at winning the Olympic gold after completing the doubles career Grand Slam in Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut aim at winning the Olympic gold after completing the doubles career Grand Slam in Melbourne

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Frenchmen Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat Henri Kontinen and John Peers and Henri Kontinen 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in the Australian Open men’s doubles final to complete a career Grand Slam.

 

Herbert and Mahut did not convert a total of six break points early in the first set, but drew the first blood by breaking serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. They served out for the first set in the 10th game.

Herbert and Mahut fended off four break points at 1-2 and did not convert two break point chances in a 16-point game in the second set, which came down to the tie-break. Herbert and Mahut dominated the tie-break cruising to a 7-1 win to become the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the Career Grand Slam after winning the US Open in 2015, Wimbledon in 2016 and Roland Garros in 2018. The Frenchmen converted just one of their nine break point chances and saved all four break point chances they faced.

Herbert and Mahut have become the first doubles team to complete a Career Grand Slam since Mike and Bob Bryan achieved this historic feat at Wimbledon 2016.

“We knew when we won Roland Garros that it was the one missing, so for sure it added maybe a special motivation when entering the tournament. I think we wanted it, but we also wanted it, but we also wanted to be good on court in each match and we focused on the game, and that’s why maybe we could achieve what we achieved here at the Australian Open”,said Herbert in the post match interview.

The Frenchmen lost their first doubles final at the Australian Open against Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in 2015.

“We started off here in 2015, our first tournament together, and we went all the way to the final. We missed the title by one match, but we did not know at that time if we would be in a final again. We have now all the Grand Slams together. I don’t know what to say. Thank you for sharing the court with me. I have had so much fun with you”, said Herbert.

Herbert and Mahut became the second all-French team to win the Australian Open doubles title after Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro.

“When I choose a partner when Michael Llodra retired, then I had no doubt that I had to play with Pierre Hugues, because I was sure we would have so much success. After five years, we learned about each other. We spent so much time on court and out of the court. As I said on court, I love him like my brother”, said Mahut.

The French team, who also finished runner-up to Jack Sock and Mike Bryan in the Nitto ATP Finals, have many more goals to achieve in their career.

“In Rio 2016 we did not play well, so I still this in mind. I won’t think about retirement until after the next Olympic Games in Tokyo”,said Mahut in the post match interview to the Australian Open website.

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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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