Stan Wawrinka stopped a three-match losing streak against Milos Raonic with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) over the Canadian player in one hour and 37 minutes in the first evening match to reach the quarter final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Wawrinka, who won the Rotterdam title in 2015 beating Tomas Berdych in the final, avenged his recent defeat against Raonic, who won their recent head-to-head match in the second round at the Australian Open by the scoreline of 6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6 en route to reaching the quarter finals. Stan the Man converted his second match point to improve his win-loss record to 5-3 in his eight head-to-head matches against Raonic. It was Wawrinka’s first win over Raonic since Rotterdam 2015.
The Lausanne player won 91 % of his first serve points and hit 27 winners. He dropped 13 points in his 11 service games and saved the only break point he faced.
Wawrinka got the only break of the match at 30 in the third game with a deep return and held his service game after saving a break point after a fantastic rally at deuce to open up a 3-1 lead. The three-time Grand Slam champion hit 11 winners and dropped just two points on his first serve points. Raonic held his serve in the fifth game after five deuces. Wawrinka never looked back in his next three service games to win the first set 6-4.
The second set went on serve with no break points and came down to the tie-break. Wawrinka hit a forehand passing shot to get the first mini-break. Raonic pulled back the mini-break, but Wawrinka sealed the tie-break 7-4 with a crosscourt forehand winner.
“I was moving way better and reacting better than the past three matches against Milos. I was feeling great physically, so that i show I can start to engage the rally. I was returning better because I reacted better and that gave me way more chances to be aggressive”, said Wawrinka.
Wawrinka will face Denis Shapovalov, who beat this year’s Doha finalist Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 17 minutes. Shapovalov hit 33 winner to 23 unforced errors. The young Canadian lost 10 points in nine service games and faced only one break point in the whole match. Shapovalov converted four of the nine break points.
Berdych saved three break points to hold his serve for 3-2 after three deuces. Shapovalov came back from 30-40 down to get his first break in the seventh game at deuce for 4-3 after a forced error from Berdych and held his next two service games and hit four winners to close out the first set 6-4.
Shapovalov went up a set and a break at love in the third game with a deep return to take a 2-1 lead. Berdych broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Shapovalov broke twice in a row in the seventh and ninth games to wrap up the match 6-3.
Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics
The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.
Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.
The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.
Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.
“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”
It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.
“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”
Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.
Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag
Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag.
Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008.
Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2.
Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours.
Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes.
Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.
Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3.
Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener
Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.
Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.
The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.
A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.
Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.
The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.
Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.
However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.
On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.
A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.
Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.
A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.
Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.
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