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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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev cruises past Jan-Lennard Struff to set up an all Russian quarter final against Andrey Rublev

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Ninth seed Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Medvedev committed just 12 unforced errors and won 18 of Struff’s 25 second serve points.

 Medvedev broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The young Russian player got two consecutive breaks in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead and held his service game at deuce after saving a break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve to get his first game on the scoreboard, but Medvedev sealed the win on his first match point. The Russian player has improved his head-to-head record to 3-0 againt Struff.

Medvedev has won 11 of his past 13 matches during the North American hard-court season. He has a solid 41-16 record this season. He finished runner in two consecutive finals to Nick Kyrgios at Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal.  In the quarter final the Russian star will face his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who upset Roger Federer 6-3 6-4.

Recent Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2 in just under an hour setting up a quarter final against Richard Gasquet, who beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka beat Australian player Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-4 in 83 minutes with one break in each set. Nishioka rallied from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the first set to edge Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

“It was a great match and I got better as it went on. I am feeling sharp. I am feeling great now and I am looking forward to the quarter finals of a Masters 1000. I have nothing to lose”, said Goffin.

 

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Roger Federer Crashes Out Of Cincinnati Masters

The seven-time champion has suffered a blow to his preparations for the US Open.

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World No.3 Roger Federer has been knocked out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after falling in straight sets to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion struggled to find his range as he was overwhelmed by his fearless opponent during the 6-3, 6-4, loss. Despite the huge disparity in experience between the two, 21-year-old Rublev managed to dominate the majority of rallies with the help of some heavy hitting. Producing 17 winners to six unforced errors, compared to Federer’s tally of 19 and 20.

“I respect him a lot, I respect all the top players a lot, but today when I was going to court I was going there to win.” Rublev said during an interview with Amazon Prime.
“I was not going (to the match) to enjoy. I was going to fight, try to win and do my best.”

Rublev’s shock win saw the underdog outdo the Swiss maestro in almost every area of the match. Winning the most first serves (85% to 63%), second serves (57% to 63) and a bigger majority of points at the net (5/6 to 7/19). Breaking him twice in the opening set and once in the second. The Russian, who is 70th in the world, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Federer on the tour since Thanassi Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Open.

The loss leaves a mark on Federer’s impressive record in Cincinnati, which he has won a record seven times. It is the first time he has failed to reach the quarter-final stage since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the third round back in 2008.

“He was playing well. I was maybe struggling especially on the offensive, because overall I didn’t think I was feeling the ball badly.” Federer reflected during his press conference. “It’s just, you know, sort of fast-court conditions and when you sometimes then can’t rely on that serve to go or on the one-two punch, which I didn’t think was excellent today from my side, you need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that.”
“He was super clean. Defense, offense, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. So it was tough for me, but excellent match by him. I was impressed.”

Rublev now has a meeting with compatriot Daniil Medvedev in what will be his first quarter-final at Masters level. Medvedev has reached the final of tournaments in Washington and at the Rogers Cup since Wimbledon. He is yet to drop a set this week and brushed aside Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-1, in his third round match.

“It’s going to be an interesting match for Russia.” Rublev previewed. “It will be a tough match for me because the way he plays. Nobody likes to play him.”
“I lost to him in a Challenger a few years ago, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow.” He added.

The latest victory is only Rublev’s second over a top five player in his career. His first was against Dominic Thiem at the German Open last month.

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