ATP Dubai: Gael Monfils knocks out Marin Cilic, as Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Matthew Ebden in three sets - UBITENNIS
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ATP Dubai: Gael Monfils knocks out Marin Cilic, as Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Matthew Ebden in three sets



This year’s Rotterdam champion Gael Monfils knocked out Marin Cilic 6-3 4-6 6-0 after 1 hour and 45 minutes. Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Matthew Ebden 6-4 3-6 6-3.


The French star started the match with an immediate break at deuce, when Cilic sent a forehand wide. He held his next service games and sealed the first set with a double break in the ninth game on his second chance, when Cilic made another forehand error.

Monfils hit 13 winners to just 4 unforced errors and won 92 % of his first point points in the opening set.

Cilic fought back in the second set and saved a break point to hold his serve at deuce before breaking serve in the fifth game at love to take a 3-2 lead. The 2014 US Open champion saved three break points in the 10th game before holding serve at deuce to close out the second set 6-4.

Monfils dropped just five points in the third set and broke three times in a row to take a bagel win improving his perfect record in his head-to-head matches against Cilic. Monfils has won ten of his 12 matches played this year including a streak of six consecutive winning matches. He set up a second round match against Marcos Baghdatis.

“I think I stepped strong in the match. I have new goals, a new team and a new routine and obviously wins under my belt. Everything is going fine. I am just trying to keep doing what I am doing. Every day a little more to improve. I am trying to reach my goal of returning to the top 10 this year. The first game was key because I knew he is a player who plays with a lot of confidence. It was just a matter of me to step strong in the third set. I had this momentum going on his service game”,said Monfils.

Stefanos Tsitsipas followed up his triumph in Marseille with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Matthew Ebden after one hour and 34 minutes in his first match in Dubai. Tsitsipas has won 92 % of his first serve points.

Ebden saved a break point to hold his service game at deuce in the third game. Tsitsipas earned his only break in the fifth game and held his service game at love to close out the first set 6-4. Ebden got his first break in the sixth game to clinch the second set 6-3. After an early trade of breaks in the second and third games Tsitsipas earned his second break in the sixth game at love to wrap up the third set.

Tsitsipas will face Egor Gerasimov, who edged Robin Haase 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5).

“After winning in Marseille I had to take the flight next day knowing that I am going to have to play the day after. I spent six hours on the plane. I arrived at 2 am in the morning, then I had to play the same day. I don’t know if my level was because of that, but I was expecting a little bit better today”, said Tsitsipas.

Borna Coric had to dig deep to beat Jiri Vesely 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-4) after 2 hours and 49 minutes.


Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert seal a hard-fought win in decisive doubles match



Ten-time Davis Cup champions France beat Japan 2-1 scoring the fifth win in as many Davis Cup matches against the Asian team.


French star Jo Wilfried Tsonga reeled off seven games from 4-2 in the first set to beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes in his 12th Davis Cup season.

Tsonga saved two break points and converted four of the five break points. The Frenchman held four service games and broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to take a 6-2 lead.

Tsonga broke twice in the second and fourth games and closed out the match in the seventh game after saving two break points.

“It was very important for our team to start well. I am also happy about my game, what I did today, so I hope it continues like this”, said Tsonga.

 Yoshihito Nishioka claimed 9 of the last 11 games in his 7-5 6-2 win over Gael Monfils in 66 minutes to level the score at 1-1 sending the tie into a decisive doubles match. The Japanese player saved one break point and earned two breaks to seal the win in straight sets.

“I wanted to show to the whole world Japan are still strong. Of course, if Key was here we would be strong, but even when he is not here, we can play. Hopefully next time Kei is here and we can play better”, said Nishioka.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the first set and stayed neck and neck until the 11th game of the first set when Nishioka got the break at 5-5 to seal the first set. Nishioka broke twice to seal the second set 6-2.

Last week’s ATP Finals doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert fought back from losing the first set to beat Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchyama 6-7 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 40 minutes.

After losing the first set at the tie-break, Herbert and Mahut broke serve in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Herbert and Mahut went up a break in the third set. Uchiyama and Nishioka got the break back in the 10th game, when Herbert and Mahut were serving for the match. Mahut and Herbert got another break at 5-5 and held at 15 to seal the decisive win for France.

“They played at a very high level. We know we have arrived late from London, but the captain had a lot of confidence in our team. We were 1-1, we really had to win to give France the win. There was a lot of intensity in the win but we are really happy today, this was a really difficult tie”, said Mahut.  

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Canada beats Italy 2-1 in the opening day of the Davis Cup in Madrid



Denis Shapovalov battled past Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought second match of the round-robin Group F at the Davis Cup in Madrid to give Canada a 2-0 lead over Italy


Berrettini faced three break points in the third game of the opening set. Shapovalov earned two break points in the ninth game, but Berrettini held on his serve at deuce. Both players held on their service games. In the 10th game Berrettini earned three set points on return, but Shapovalov fended them off. Barrettini saved another break point to set up a tie-break. Shapovalov took a 6-3 lead earning three set points. Berrettini won two consecutive points to claw his way back to 5-6, but Shapovalov sealed the tie-break with a backhand passing shot.

Both players went on seve setting up a second tie-break. Berrettini got an early mini-break, but Shapovalov broke straight back. Berrettini took another mini-break to take a 3-2 when Shapovalov hit a volley into the net and sealed the second set 7-3 on his first set point.

Shapovalov earned a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a forehand winner. Berrettini held on his serve with his 11th ace. Both players went on serve in the next games setting up a third tie-break. Berrettini got the first mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Shapovalov. The young Canadian player broke straight back, when Berrettini made a forehand volley error. Shapovalov sealed the tie-break 7-5, when Berrettini fired his forehand long on his first match point after 2 hours.

“After making semifinals in the Madrid Mutua Open here, and winning the Junior Davis Cup in 2015, I feel like Madrid is a really good city for me. We will see how this week goes, but it’s a good step today”, said Shapovalov.

Fognini and Berrettini won the doubles match over beating Shapovalov and Pospisil 6-2 3-6 6-3. The Italian team got a double break to win the first set 6-2. Shapovalov and Pospisil drew level by winning the second set with a break in the eighth game. Italy saved two break points in the seventh game of the decisive set before breaking serve in the eighth game. Berrettini sealed the win for Italy with an ace.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London



The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.


Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.


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