Ivo Karlovic becomes the first player since 1995 to win an ATP Tour match at the age of 40 - UBITENNIS
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Ivo Karlovic becomes the first player since 1995 to win an ATP Tour match at the age of 40

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Ivo Karlovic has become the first player in history to claim an ATP Tour match win at the age of 40 with his 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) victory over Matthew Ebden after 1 hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Croatian giant, who was playing his first match since turning 40 on 28th February, became the first player aged 40 to win an ATP match since Jimmy Connors in Halle in 1995. Earlier this year he also became the oldest finalist on the ATP Tour since 1977 when he reached the title match in Pune.

Karlovic saved three break points in the first set before closing out the tie-break with an ace at 6-3. In the second set Karlovic rallied from an early break down by breaking back in the 10th game when Ebden made a double fault as he was serving to serve a third set.

Karlovic set up a second round match against his countryman Borna Coric. Karlovic won their previous two head-to-head matches in Bucharest 2015 and Wimbledon 2016.

Leonardo Mayer battled past US giant Reilly Opelka 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-2) after 1 hour and 48 minutes to score his 24th Masters 1000 win.

Mayer fended off two break points at 4-4 in the first set. In the tie-break the player from Argentina saved three set points in the tie-break, before closing out the first set 8-6, when Opelka made a forehand error on the 14th point. The second set was marked by 11 holds of serve. Opelka earned two set points at 5-4, but he did not convert them. Mayer sealed the tie-break 7-2 with a volley winner.

Jordan Thompson from Australia converted his fifth match point to battle past Federico Delbonis 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) in a marathon match after 3 hours and 23 minutes.

Thompson served for the match when he was leading 6-4 5-3 and held two match points in the tie-break of the second set before Delbonis reeled off four consecutive points to set up a third set. Thompson went up a break twice to take a 3-1 lead but Delbonis broke back to draw level to 3-3. Thompson edged Delbonis in a tight tie-break 7-5 to set up a second round match against Dominic Thiem.

Sam Querrey edged Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 6-4.  Berrettini went up a double break to open up a 3-0 40-0 lead earning three game points for 4-0 but Querrey pulled both breaks back to draw level to 3-3. The first set came down to the tie-break where Querrey edged Berrettini 7-5. Berrettini broke twice in the second and eighth games to seal the second set 6-2 forcing the match to the third set. Querrey got an early break at 30 in the first game of the decider. Berrettini saved two break points to hold his service game after three deuces in the third game. Querrey held his four service games to close out the third set 6-4.

Qualifier Marcos Giron stunned Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-1) in his first match at Masters 1000 level. Martin Klizan cruised past Misha Zverev 6-1 6-4 setting up a second round match against Misha’s younger brother Alexander Zverev.

 

 

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1406612207086059528

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

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Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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