Tomas Berdych edges past Matthias Bachinger in Montpellier - UBITENNIS
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Tomas Berdych edges past Matthias Bachinger in Montpellier

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Tomas Berdych rallied from one set down to beat Matthias Bachinger 5-7 6-3 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

 

Berdych hit 11 aces and fended off 7 of the 11 break points he faced. Bachinger dropped his serve four times in the second and third games.

Bachinger converted his third break point in a six-deuce second game of the opening set to open up a 3-0 lead. Berdych broke back at 30 in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Bachinger got another break at 15 to build up a 5-3 lead, but Berdych broke back in the ninth game at deuce and held his service game at 30 to draw level to 5-5. Barchinger saved a break point to hold his serve after three deuces before converting his second break point in the 12th game to clinch the first set 7-5.

Bachinger saved four break points to hold his serve after three deuces in the third game for 2-1. The second set went on serve in the first six games. Berdych won the final three games with two consecutive breaks to clinch the second set 6-3.

Berdych got the first break in the fourth game at 15. Bachinger broke straight back after two deuces in the sixth game to claw his way back to 2-3. Berdych broke for the second time at 30 to build up a 4-2 lead. The Czech star held his serve at the fourth deuce after savinving two break points to close out the third set 6-3. Berdych will face Frenchman Benoit Paire, who beat Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 7-5 6-3.

Berdych returned last month to action with a final in Doha after being sidelined by a back injury since June by a serious back injury.

Ernests Gulbis did not face a break point in his 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win over Poland’s 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Hubert Hurkacz after 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Gulbis broke serve at love in the fifth game, when Hurkacz hit his forehand into the net. Hurkacz got the break back in the eighth game to draw levl to 4-4, when Gulbis made a forehand error. Gulbis hit a drop-shot winner in the ninth game get another break for 5-4 and held his serve to close out the first set 6-4.

Hurkacz fended off four break points in the second set to set up a tie-break. The Pole took a 5-4 lead, but Gulbis reeled off three consecutive points to close out the match securing his spot in the Round of 16.

Seventh seed Pierre Hugues Herbert cruised past Denis Kudla 6-2 6-1 in just 56 minutes. Herbert broke serve in the second game, when Kudla hit a forehand long. The Frenchman got a double break in the eighth game with a voley winner to close out the first set 6-2. Herbert broke serve in the second and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the match at 15 with a backhand winner in the seventh game.

French qualifier Antoine Hoang dropped just three games in his 6-1 6-2 win over Steve Darcis. Hoang saved all three break points and converted five of his six break points.

Filip Krajnovic fended off one set point in the tie-break of the first set in his 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 win over Nicolas Mahut. Frajnovic will face david Goffin in the second round.

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Year-End No.1 Not A Priority For Rafael Nadal, Says Murray

Murray spoke about his rival as he gives a update on his current form.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray believes rival Rafael Nadal is not focusing on the prospect of ending the season as world No.1.

 

Murray spoke about the big three during an extensive interview with The Times. A group compromising of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The Brit is currently on the comeback from hip resurfacing surgery and recently reached the quarter-finals of the China Open. His best run on the ATP Tour so far this season. Currently ranked 289th in the world, Murray admits that he still has a way to go to the top. However, the 32-year-old is drawing inspiration from some of his rivals.

“If I do get up there, I’m not going to be focusing on ranking targets. You look at what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and I guess Novak [Djokovic], to a certain extent, are doing to give themselves a chance to play longer.” Murray told The Times.
“Right now, Rafa could be fighting to finish number one in the world and it’s not a priority for him. I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago,” he said.

Nadal is currently closing in on the world No.1 spot despite not playing since winning the US Open. On Monday Djokovic’s lead over him will be reduced to 320 points after the Serbian lost in the third round of the Shanghai Masters. Then on November 4th he is guaranteed to return to the top spot before the ATP Finals. Even more significant is that Nadal has no ranking points to defend for the rest of the season compared to 1600 for Djokovic.

Murray’s comments on Nadal echoes what the Spaniard has previously said. During the US Open in September, the king of clay stated that returning to the top was ‘not his main goal’ with his health being top priority.

“I don’t compete for it. I just do my way. If I am able to be No.1 doing it my way, great. But I always say the same: today is not my main goal.” He explained.
“Of course, it’s great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.’
“With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time to follow the No.1. I need to think about my career in a different way.
‘For me, my main goal is play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. Sometimes if you need to follow the No.1, you are going to lose years of your career.”

Nadal is set to return to action in November at the Paris Masters. Meanwhile, Murray returns to the court tomorrow at the European Open where he will play Kimmer Coppejans in the first round.

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Danil Medvedev beats Stefanos Tsitsipas in Shanghai semifinal to reach his sixth consecutive final

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Danil Medvedev reached his ninth final this year and his sixth consecutive title match after beating Greek Next Gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 38 minutes in the semifinal of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

 

The 23-year-old Russian player has now beaten his 21-year-old Greek rival in all their five head-to-head matches. Medvedev has reached his third Masters 1000 final after finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal and winning the Cincinnati final last August. In an impressive hard-court season Medvedev lost the US Open final in five sets against Rafael Nadal and won the indoor tournament in St. Petersburg. Since losing to David Goffin the Moscow player has won 28 of his last 31 matches. He has become the 16th player in the Open Era to reach six consecutive finals.

Medvedev hit 25 winners to 18 unforced errors and saved four of the five break points.

Tsitsipas earned three break points at 4-4 in the opening set. Medvedev saved them with two serves and a forced error from Tsitsipas. The first set came down to the tie-break where both players stayed neck and neck until 5-5. The first 10 points of the tie-break went on serve. Medvedev got the decisive mini-break in the 11th game, when Tsitsipas made a forehand error. Medvedev closed out the first set after a backhand error from Tsitsipas.

In the second set Tsitsipas wasted game points at 1-1. Medvedev got the break in the third game of the second set with a backhand down the line winner. He consolidated the break by holding his serve with three service winners. Tsitsipas broke back at 15, when Medvedev was serving for the match. Medvedev broke for the second time in the 11th game with a forehand return before sealing the win in the 12th game with three service winners. Medvedev has become the 13th player since 1990 to reach three consecutive Masters 1000 finals.

“I think it’s a great achievement. I am proud of myself. Hopefully I can get the win tomorrow. It’s actually quite crazy. Here I had a lot of opportunities. to lose sets. I was close to losing a lot of them, especially with Vasek Pospisil with five set points. I think that’s also the confidence and the dynamic I am going through”, said Medvedev.

Tsitsipas was bidding to reach his second consecutive final after finishing runner-up to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

 

 

 

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Alexander Zverev beats Roger Federer in Shanghai to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal

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Alexander Zverev battled past Roger Federer 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 in 2 hours and 4 minutes to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal and the first since Shanghai last year.

 

The German star has moved up to seventh in the ATP Race to London after reaching two consecutive semifinals in Beijing and Shanghai and has a good chance to qualify for his third consecutive ATP Finals.

Zverev hit 43 winners (including 17 aces) to 23 unforced errors and faced three just three break points in the entire match. He dropped his serve twice and broke four times.

Zverev did not convert five match points in the final stages of the second set.

Zverev dropped three points in his service games and hit 11 winners to 6 unforced errors. The Hamburg native earned a break at 3-2 and held his next service games to close out the first set with four service winners in the ninth game after 27 minutes.

Both Federer and Zverev traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set and held their serve in the next seven games to draw level to 5-5. Zverev broke serve in the 11th game with a forehand winner, when Federer was serving in the 11th game. Zverev wasted three match points on serve in the 12th game and was broken by Federer, who drew level to 6-6 to set up a tie-break.

Federer saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in the tie-break and closed out the second set with an ace.

Zverev held at 15 in the first game with a service winner in the first game and broke serve in the second game after a forehand error from Federer.

Zverev held serve at love in the third game to build up a 3-0 lead. He earned two break points in the fourth game, but Federer saved them. The Swiss player fended off another break point at 1-4 with a forehand winner. Zverev held serve at love to build up a 5-2 lead.

Zverev closed out the match with a hold at 15, as he was serving for the match in the ninth game, to set up a semifinal against either Dominic Thiem or Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev adds to his ATP Race to London ranking with 2615 points to take seventh place ahead of  Roberto Bautista Agut.

“Finally starting to kind of play the way I should play, I was really playing really defensive the whole year, and I was not with a lot of confidence. He will always find a way. He will always make it tricky for you like he did today with me, and always got to play your best tennis to have a chance. I knew if I am going to keep playing the way I played the first two sets, I am going to have a chance in the third set as well”, said Zverev after the match.

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