Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Mikhail Kukushkin to lift the Open 13 title in Marseille - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Mikhail Kukushkin to lift the Open 13 title in Marseille

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Greek Next Gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas has clinched the third title of his career in his fourth final following his triumphs in Stockolm and at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan after winning the final of the Open 13 in Marseille against Mikhail Kukushkin by the scoreline of 7-5 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 58 minutes.

 

This year’s Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas hit 14 aces and saved three of the four break points he faced.

 The opening set went on serve with no breaks in the first 11 games. Kukushkin saved the only break point chance in the second game, when Tsitsipas hit hit his backhand long.

Tsitsipas held serve for a 6-5 lead before earning  his only break in the 12th game on his first set point to close out the first set 7-5 after Kukushkin netted an easy backhand.

Kukushkin converted his second break point chance at deuce in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead with a cross-court forehand winner. The Kazakh player held his serve in the sixth game on the fourth deuce after saving two break points to open up a 4-2 lead. Tsitsipas fended off two break points with two good serves to hold his serve in the seventh game before breaking serve at 30 to draw level to 5-5, as Kukushkin was serving for the set. The Athens-born player forced an error from Kukushkin to claim the only mini-break on the 11th point and closed out the tie-break of the second set 7-5 after a forehand error from his rival. Tsitisipas has improved his win-loss record this record to 11-4. At last January’s Australian Open he has become the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist since Novak Djokovic at the 2007 US Open.

Tsitsipas won the Marseille tournament without dropping a set during the whole week. The world number 12 beat Hubert Hurkacz, Sergiy Stakhovsky and David Goffin in his previous matches. He has improved his record in his head-to-head matches to 2-0 against Kukushkin after beating him in Dubai in three sets last year.

Tsitsipas hit 14 aces and won 84 % of his first serve points. He has become the sixth multiple ATP champion born in 1995 or later after Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios, Borna Coric, Danil Khachanov and Karen Khachanov.

The Greek 20-year-old has won his first ATP Tour title since he beat Ernests Gulbis in the Stockholm final. He has reached the quarter final in seven of his nine tournaments.

“This tournament was unreal for me this week. I got a lot of positive. Nice vibes from Marseille. I lost the spark after the Australian Open. I was frustrated because it felt like I could not find again. This week, I can say I am really happy because I felt this hunger back again. I really hope it stays the same because there are many good players out there that play for the same prize. Winning titles is the thing that I am working for. It’s the biggest satisfaction and the biggest joy in tennis”, said Tsitsipas.

Kukushkin was playing his fourth final of his career after winning in St. Petersburg 2010 and losing in Moscow to Richard Gasquet in 2013 and to Viktor Troicki in Sydney in 2015.

 

 

 

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Lorenzo Sonego to advance to the second round in Antwerp

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga broke once in each set in his 6-3 6-4 win in his 6-3 6-4 win over Lorenzo Sonego after 1 hour and 20 minutes improving his win-loss record over the Italian player to 2-0.

 

Tsonga got the first break at 15 in the fourth game and never looked back to win the opening set 6-3 after 31 minutes.

Sonego earned his only break in the fourth game of the second set, but Tsonga saved it before earning the decisive break. The Frenchman held on his service games to take the second set 6-4.

Tsonga will face either Gilles Simon or Steve Darcis in the second round.

Guido Pella fought back from one set down to beat Peter Gojowczyk 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-2) setting up a second round match against either Richard Gasquet or Soonwoon Kwon from South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.

Tipsarevic beats Moutet in Stockolm

 Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic broke serve four times in his 6-2 6-4 win over Corentin Moutet in 73 minutes. Tipsarevic, who will retire at the end of the season, will take on top seed Fabio Fognini. Tipsarevic went up a 3-0 lead with a double break. Moutet pulled back a break in the fourth game, but Tipsarevic broke for the third game to clinch the first set 6-2. Tipsarevic converted his third break point chance in the seventh game and held his final two service games to win the second set 6-4.

Great Britain’s Daniel Evans battled past Bernard Tomic 6-4 1-6 6-3 setting up a second round match against either Casper Ruud or Filip Krajinovic.

Italy’s Stefano Travaglia stunned US giant Reilly Opelka 7-5 4-6 6-4 securing his spot in the second round, where he will face either Yuichi Sugita from Japan or Elias Yimer from Sweden. Opelka had to save a break point in the first game with five aces. Both players went on serve until the 11th game when Travaglia got the break before serving out for the set at love. Travaglia saved a break point at 4-5 15-40 but Opelka converted his second chance to seal the second set 6-4. Travaglia got the decisive break in the ninth game and sealed the win on his first match point.

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Andreas Seppi fends off two match points to beat Christian Garin in Moscow

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Italian veteran Andreas Seppi came back from one set down to beat Chile’s Christian Garin 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) in 2 hours and 45 minutes at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

 

Garin broke serve twice in the second and ninth games to win the opening set 6-3.  Seppi converted his second break point chance in the first game of the second set, but he wasted two break points at 5-4 and dropped his serve. Seppi saved two match points in the 12th game at 5-6 15-40 in the second set before winning the tie-break 7-2.

Garin broke serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Seppi broke straight back to draw level to 4-4, but he did not convert four match points at 6-5. Seppi won five of the final six points in the tie-break of the third set to close out the match.

Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol fended off two match points to beat Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-3. Rosol came back from 4-6 in the tie-break of the second set by winning five of the next six points. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game to win the third set 6-3.

Adrian Mannarino edged past Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 to improve his record in their head-to-head matches to 3-1. Dzumhur got the first break of the match in the opening game. Mannarino broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Dzumhur broke serve for the second time to take a 4-3 lead. Mannarino pulled the break back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 before winning the tie-break 7-2. The Frenchman cruised through to a 6-0 win in the third set with three consecutive breaks.

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Daniil Medvedev Dismantles Zverev To Win Shanghai Masters

It was another clinical performance from one of the sports rising stars.

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World No.4 Daniil Medvedev has continued his unbeaten streak since the US Open after disposing of Germany’s Alexander Zverev in straight sets to win the Shanghai Masters.

 

The 23-year-old, who hasn’t lost a set in his past nine matches, brushed aside his hot and cold opponent 6-4, 6-1, to add to his rapidly rising trophy tally. Medvedev has now won three out of the last four ATP tournaments he has played in. Including two at Masters level. In his latest conquest, he hit 19 winners to 14 unforced errors and saved four out of the five break points he faced.

“This win is also amazing because I think Shanghai is one of the most prestigious Masters events on the tour.” Medvedev told TennisTV. “Especially over the last 10 years with only three players managing to win this.”
“It’s really special to have my photo out in the corridor for many years.” He added.

The clash in Shanghai was somewhat of an historic occasion. For the first time since 2009 two finalists of a Masters 1000 event are under the age of 24. Medvedev was contesting his sixth consecutive final in what has been a sensational second half of the year for him. Meanwhile, Zverev was bidding to win his biggest title since his triumph at the ATP Finals almost 12 months ago.

Billed as a meeting between two players who could take over the reign when the Big Three retire from the sport, it was Russia’s Medvedev who got off to a better start. Breaking the Zverev serve immediately with the help of a backhand drop shot as he eased to a 3-0 lead. However, Zverev managed to regain his focus with an elevation in his game to fight back and draw level at 3-3. Paving way for what was a tightly contested opener. Only a couple shots separated the two and they were a duo of costly errors from Zverev at the worst possible time. Serving at 4-5 30-30, back-to-back double faults from the fifth seed cost him the opening set. Moving Medvedev closer to his second Masters title.

The US Open finalist continued to weather the storm with the help of more errors from across the court. Two games into the second set, a seemingly straightforward Zverev service game collapsed as he lost five straight points after leading 40-0. Rewarding Medvedev another break in the match. Firmly in control of the final, he breezed towards the finish line with little difficulty as his rival grew more frustrated. Serving for the title, Medvedev clinched victory on his first match point with an ace down the line. Although he was rather blasé when it came to his celebration.

“I said that during the US Open, it was going to be my thing because everybody was talking about that they need new guys and something new. So I gave them something new. I don’t celebrate my wins. I just stay calm, do my job and done.” Explained Medvedev.

The world No.4 has now won 59 matches on the ATP Tour this season. Which is 11 more than his nearest opponent (Novak Djokovic has 48 wins). Eight out of his nine wins over top 10 players have taken place over the last six months. He has now overtaken Roger Federer into third place in the ATP Race to London.

“I said yesterday after my victory you’re probably the best player in the world right now. How you’re playing is unbelievable and I wish you nothing but the best.” Zverev said to Medvedev during the trophy ceremony.

Sunday’s win is Medvedev’s first over Zverev after losing to him on four previous occasions. He exits Shanghai with 1000 ranking points and $1,374,995 in prize money.

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