Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Jan-Lennard Struff to secure his spot in the quarter final in Sofia - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Jan-Lennard Struff to secure his spot in the quarter final in Sofia

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This year’s Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes to secure his spot in the quarter final at the Sofia Open, where he will face Gael Monfils.

Struff fended off four of the five break points he faced. Tsitsipas won just eight points more than Struff and got a single break in the second set. The Greek Next Gen player dropped 18 points in 11 service games and fended off the only break point he faced.

Tsititsipas won his service game after two deuces. Both players held their serve in the next 11 service games. They did not face any break points until the last game of the first set, when Struff served at 5-6. Tsitsipas did not convert a set point before edging past Struff 7-5 in the tie-break with a service winner after 50 minutes.

Tsitsipas held four service games and broke serve in the fifth game, when Struff made a forehand error. Struff earned his break point of the match, when Tsitsipas was serving for the match at 5-4. Tsitsipas saved it with a volley winner before closing out the match with a smash winner.

The world number 12 player is bidding to win the third ATP title of his career after lifting his maiden trophy in Stockolm and winning the second edition at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

Tsitsipas was in the spotlight at last month’s Australian Open, where he beat defending champion Roger Federer in the fourth round en route to reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal.

“It was a dream true. After that match I felt like my brain was exploding. It was a magical moment that I will never forget. The first time is always special. Beating your idol. Next time we face again, it is going to be different. He will know what to expect. I have to be more prepared for that. I like to play this kind of players. You can learn a lot of things. These are the moments I am playing tennis for”,said Tsitsipas at the press conference on the eve of the tournament.

Tsitsipas will take on Gael Monfils, who edged Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5 6-3. The Greek player saved eight of the eleven break points he faced in his only head-to-head match against the Frenchman in Shanghai last October.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the match. Monfils served well in his next service games and earned the break in the 12th game with a return winner to close out the first set 7-5.

Monfils came back from 1-2 down by breaking serve in the fourth and sixth games to win five of the next six games. The Frenchman sealed the win, when Kukushkin made a volley winner in the ninth game.

Russia’s Danil Medvedev came back from one set down to beat Dutchman Robin Haase 5-7 6-3 6-2 in one hour and 35 minutes.

Haase earned two breaks to win the first set 7-5, when Medvedev hit a forehand into the net. Medvedev dropped just nine games on serve in the second and third games and converted four break points to secure his spot in the quarter final, where he will face Martin Klizan.

Medvedev hit a forehand winner to get the break at the start of the second set. The Russian player went up a double break at 4-2 when Haase sent a forehand long. Medvedev got a double break to race out to a 5-2 lead and closed out the match with an ace in the eighth game.

Medvedev has reached a quarter final for the second time in 2019 and will be bidding to reach his second final this year after losing to Kei Nishikori in Brisbane. Medvedev, who won three ATP titles in Sydney, Winston Salem and Tokyo, will take on Martin Klizan, who Daniel Brands 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Fernando Verdasco edged past 2018 Sofia and Basel finalist Marius Copil 6-2 4-6 6-1 setting up a quarter final match against Italy’s Matteo Berettini, who beat Karen Khachanov in the second round yesterday. Verdasco won four of his five breaak points in 2018 and reached the final in Rio de Janeiro.

 

 

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Dominic Thiem Edges Cuevas To Remain Unbeaten In Buenos Aires, Schwartzman Awaits

Dominic Thiem has extended his unbeaten streak to 11 matches in Bueno Aires after edging past Pablo Cuevas to reach the semi-finals.

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Dominic Thiem (@SectaDeportivaa - Twittter)

Dominic Thiem won an 11th consecutive match in Buenos Aires as he edged out Pablo Cuevas 4-6 6-4 6-3 to reach the semi-finals. 

After a slow start the Austrian won 73% of first service points to seal a place in the last four as he made it 11-0 in the Argentinian capital.

In the semi-finals he will play good friend and doubles partner this week Diego Schwartzman, who comfortably beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The other semi-final will see Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato take on Guido Pella, who saved match points against Jaume Munar.

There was a threat to Thiem’s unbeaten streak early on as his Uruguayan opponent got off to the perfect start with a break in the third game.

Struggling on serve and failing to create any break point opportunities Thiem surrendered the first set in 34 minutes to the world number 78.

However the world number eight adjusted tactically and remained focused on the task at hand as he took a 3-0 lead. Despite being broke back while serving for the set, the top seed broke straight back to force a deciding set as he looked a relieved figure.

The deciding set went in similar fashion with the only exception being that Thiem wasn’t broken back this time. After holding his lead from 3-0 up, Thiem served out the match to secure his first ATP semi-final of the season.

https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1096580571327799299

After edging past Cuevas, the world number eight will now play Diego Schwartzman in the last four in what is set to be a busy day for the duo.

Not only will they play against each other in singles, they will also team up with each other in doubles as they reached the semi-finals there as well.

The talented Argentinian defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-q 7-5 to reach the last four in his home country and will look to end Thiem’s unbeaten streak on Saturday afternoon.

The other semi-final will see Marco Cecchinato play Guido Pella with the action starting at 2pm local time.

While in New York the action starts at 4pm local time with Brayden Schnur taking on Sam Querrey and John Isner playing Reilly Opelka in the semi-finals.

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Dominic Thiem Extends Unbeaten Run As Ferrer Says Farewell To The Argentina Open

There were mixed emotions for players at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on Thursday.

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Dominic Thiem (image via @sportsvision)

Top seed Dominic Thiem has made a winning start to the Argentina Open after triumphing in what was his first competitive match for a month.

The Roland Garros finalist has been absent from the tour in recent weeks after retiring from the Australian Open due to illness. During his absence, Thiem underwent a series of tests to establish the root of his problem and has been cleared to return to the tour.

Taking on Germany’s Maximilian Marterer in his opening match on Thursday, the Austrian powered his way to a 6-4, 6-4, victory. Converting four out of his eight break point opportunities. However, there is still room for improvement for Thiem, who only managed to win 48% of the points behind his second serve. The victory is his 10th consecutive at the tournament in Buenos Aires.

“I like the conditions here. I was able to develop a good performance to win it.” Thiem said afterwards.

This week the world No.8 is being mentored by Nicolas Massu. A former top 10 players who is best known for winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. It is understood that the partnership is set to last only a week, however, Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung have suggested that it could be extended if proven successful.

In the quarter-finals Thiem will take on Pablo Cuevas. Cuevas, who has won all six of his ATP titles on the clay, knocked out Portuguese fifth seed Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5.

“He is one of the best players on the clay.” Said Thiem. “We already played at Roland Garros and a Master 1000, so I’m expecting an open match.”

Thiem is currently tied at 2-2 in his head-to-head with the Uruguayan player.

Farewell continues his goodbye tour

Three-time champion David Ferrer has played his last ever match at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. The Spaniard, who will officially retire from the tour in May, was edged out in a three set roller coaster against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Ferrer failed to convert two match points during the second set as he suffered a 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-3 defeat.

“I feel at home because of the love they (the crowd) have for me. Loved.” Ferrer said following his loss.
“Without a doubt. It is very special since I will not step on this court again. What I will miss most is your affection.”

Ferrer is one of only two players in history to have won the tournament three years in a row. The other was Argentine legend Guillermo Vilas during the 1970s. Following his first round win there was a special presentation conducted to honour his career. Attendees to the on-court presentation included Gabriela Sabatini, Martin Jaite, Federico Delbonis, Marc Lopez, Diego Schwartzman, Juan Ignacio Chela, Mariano Zabaleta, Juan Monaco and Gaston Gaudio.

Ferrer’s conqueror Ramos-Vinolas will take on fourth seed Diego Schwartzman next. Schwartzman defeated Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

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Kei Nishikori cruises past Ernests Gulbis to cruise through to the quarter final in Rotterdam

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This year’s Brisbane champion Kei Nishikori cruised past Ernests Gulbis 6-1 6-4 to advance to the quarter final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Nishikori reeled off the first 12 points of the match and broke serve twice to race out to a 5-0 lead. The Japanese star went up an early break at 15 in the first game of the second set. Gulbis broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, but Nishikori broke for the fourth time in the ninth game and served out the match 6-4 with an ace in the 10th game.

Nishikori lost just once in his eleven matches played this year. He beat Danil Medvedev in the final in Brisbane and reached the quarter final at the Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Nishikori sets up a quarter final against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

Basilashvili got the first break of the match in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Fucsovics pulled the break back in the tenth game at 15 to draw level to 5-5 before winning the tie-break 7-1. In the second set Fucsovics broke three times in the first, third and seventh games to win the third set 6-1.

Fucsovics continues his impressive period of form one week after finishing runner-up to Danil Medvedev in the final of the Sofia Open.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga edged Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 to secure his spot in the quarter final against Danil Medvedev. Tsonga lost to Medvedev 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 in the semifinal of the Brisbane International.

Griekspoor fended off four set points on serve in the first set, before Tsonga closed out the tie-break 7-5 with an unreturned serve after 54 minutes. Tsonga broke serve in the third game of the second set when Griekspoor made two consecutive forehand errors. Tsonga got his third break with a backhand return winner to close out the match improving his winning streak to seven matches.

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