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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Kei Nishikori recovers from a slow start to beat Taylor Fritz in Barcelona

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Kei Nishikori beat Taylor Fritz 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 41 minutes to advance to the second round at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

 

Kei Nishikori raliied from 1-4 down in the first set to reel off 12 of the next 15 games.

Fritz converted his second break point in the fourth game and held his service game to open up a 4-1 lead. Nishikori broke twice in the seventh and eleventh games to take a 6-5 lead. The Japanese player served out the first set 7-5 at deuce after saving a break point.

Nishikori went up a double break in the third and fifth games to seal the second set 6-2.

Nishikori and Fritz met once before in the 2016 Memphis final, when the Japanese player beat his younger US rival to clinch his fourth consecutive Memphis title.

Nishikori bounced back from his opening round defeat against Pierre Hugues Herbert last week in Monte-Carlo.

Nishikori claimed two consecutive titles in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015 and finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal, who won the Barcelona title 11 times.

The Japanese player will face Canadian 18-year-old Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime or Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.

Jaziri came back from one set to beat Guido Andreozzi 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 after 2 hours and 42 minutes.

Spanish veteran David Ferrer dropped just 11 points in his service points to ease past Germany’s Misha Zverev 6-3 6-1 after 65 minutes. Ferrer will face Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the second round.

Teenager Nicola Kuhn from Spain edged past Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 30 minutes scoring the biggest win of his career.

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Matteo Berrettini beats Mikhail Kukushkin in Budapest

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Italy’s Matteo Berrettini claimed his first win on clay this season with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin in the opening round of the Hungarian Open.

 

The first set started with four breaks of serve in the first five games, as Berrettini built up a 4-1 lead. Kukushkin pulled back one of the three breaks in the sixth game for 2-4. Berrettini held his final two games at love to claim the first set 6-4.

Berrettini went up a double break in the first and fifth games to open up a 5-1 lead. The Italian player wasted his first match point. Kukushkin got one break back and saved another match point to hold his service game to win his third consecutive game for 4-5, but Berrettini served out the win at love in the 10th game.

Berrettini set up a second round against Aljaz Bedene, who came back from a double break down in the opening set to beat Bernard Tomic 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Radu Albot from Moldova broke serve twice in each set to seal a 7-5 6-4 win over Sergiy Stakhovsky on his fourth match point after 1 hour and 41 minutes setting up a second round against Filip Krajnovic, who edged Andreas Seppi 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 after wasting four match points in the second set.

Marco Cecchinato has pulled out of the Hungarian Open and will not defend the title he won last year.

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Fernando Verdasco wins all-Spanish clash against Feliciano Lopez in Barcelona first round

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Fernando Verdasco beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-3 in 81 minutes at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

 

Former Barcelona champion Verdasco, who won this tournament in 2010, improved his win-loss record against his compatriot to 6-5 in their 11 head-to-head matches.

Verdasco claimed his only break point at love to close out the first set 6-4. Lopez got his first break at deuce in the opening game of the second set. Verdasco won four consecutive breaks from 2-3 down with two breaks to wrap up the second set 6-3. Verdasco will face Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.

Taylor Fritz won an all-American first round clash against giant Reilly Opelka 6-3 6-4 after just 55 minutes In the match between two US rising stars Fritz never faced a break point and converted one break point in each set from the four chances he created to cruise into the second round.

Fritz earned the only break in the fifth game of the first set at 15 to take a 3-2 lead after Opelka made a volley error in the fifth game. Fritz hit three service winners in the ninth game to seal the opening set 6-3.

Fritz went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set with a forehand winner. He hit a forehand winner to close out the match, as he was serving for the match at 5-4.

Diego Schwartzman came back from one set down to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6 6-4 6-2.

Nishioka converted his fourth break point in the first game, but Schwartzman broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. After a trade of breaks in the sixth and seventh games Nishioka saved saved three break points to hold his serve in the eighth game. The Japanese player converted his fifth break point after a double fault from Schwartzman in the ninth game. Nishioka served out the first set at love.

Both players traded breaks twice in the second set en route to drawing level to 4-4. Schwartzman broke serve in the 10th game to close out the second set 6-4. Schwartman reeled off four consecutive games from 2-2 with two breaks of serve to win the third set.

Schwartman was playing his third match in Barcelona because he had to play the qualifying round. He forgot to sign before the tournament deadline.

Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer battled past Marius Copil 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 after two hours and 36 minutes to score his ninth match win of the season.

Mayer earned his first break to race out to a 3-0 lead and saved four break points at 3-1. He held his final two service games to close out the second set 6-3. Both players saved a total of four break points in the second set to hold their service games en route to the tie-break. Copil earned three mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-3 forcing the match to the third set. Mayer got the only break at love in the 12th game to seal the third set 7-5.

German Jan-Lennard Struff cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-3 6-1 after just 51 minutes. Struff saved all three break points and dropped 14 points in 8 service games. He broke once in the fourth game of the first set and three times in a row to seal the win.

Jaume Munar came back from one set down to beat Portuguese qualifier Pedro Souza 2-6 6-4 6-0 setting up a second round match against US Frances Tiafoe. Sousa got four of the six breaks to win the first set 6-4. The second set went on serve until the 10th game, when Munar got his first break on his third chance to close out the second set 6-4. The Spaniard broke three times to take a bagel win in the third set.

Mackenzie McDonald saw off Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-2 6-2 in just 57 minutes. Mackenzie converted four of hi sten break points and dropped nine points in eight service games. He won the final four games of the first set from 2-2 with two breaks to close out the first set 6-2. He got two more breaks in the third and eighth games to wrap up the match with with a forehand crosscourt winner.

Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics cruised past Denis Kudla 6-4 6-1. The Hungarian player saved two break points he faced and converted four of his nine break points.

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