Yoshihito Nishioka battles past Felix Auger Aliassime in roller coaster match at Indian Wells - UBITENNIS
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Yoshihito Nishioka battles past Felix Auger Aliassime in roller coaster match at Indian Wells

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Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka came back from one set down to battle past Canadian Next Gen player Felix Auger Aliassime 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in a roller-coaster third round match at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

Nishioka saved one break point in the fourth game and another chance in the 12th game to send the first set to the tie-break with no break points. Auger Aliassime sealed the first set on the first of his four set points.

Auger Aliassime went up a set and a break in the first game of the second set to build up a 3-1 lead. Nishioka broke twice in a row in the sixth and and eighth games to take a 5-3 lead. Auger Aliassime broke straight back in the ninth game, as Nishioka was serving for the set. The Japanese player sealed the second set with his third break in the 10th game.

Nishioka broke twice in the second and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Auger Aliassime fended off three match points to rally from 1-5 down by breaking twice in a row in the seventh and ninth games before holding serve to 15 to draw level to 5-5. After two holds of serve the decider came down to the tie-break. Auger Aliassime took a 5-3 lead, but Nishioka won the final four points to clinch the tie-break 7-5 after a dramatic match.

Nishioka has reached the fourth round at Indian Wells for the second time in his career two years after advancing to this stage in the 2016 edition of this tournament. Unfortunately he tore his ACL in Miami a few days later.

“It’s very tough to play in that situation. I was feeling very mad when he came back because I had a chance to win already when I earned three match points, but he saved them with really good shots. I just tried my best and I found a way. I am very to come back. I am very happy to come back to the Round of 16. I think I am very fit on this surface and in this weather and with the balls, everything. Two years ago I could not take my chances to make the quarter final, so hopefully I can take them this time”,said Nishioka.

Lucky loser Kecmanovic reach the fourth round

Nishioka will take on Serbian 19-year-old lucky loser Miomir Kecmanovic, who stunned Laslo Djere 6-2 7-6 (7-3). Kecmanovic lost to Marcos Giron in the qualifying round but earned a spot in the main draw after Kevin Anderson retired from the tournament. Nishioka will meet Kecmanovic for the first time in their careers. Kecmanovic had won just match at ATP Tour level before this match.

“It’s crazy to get to the fourth round. I am obviously really happy right now. It was tough to lose in qualies to Marcos Giron. We both played really well, and Marcos made the third round and almost beat Milos Raonic today. So it was a tough match-up, but thankfully I got in, and I managed to use it pretty well. I am relaxed. I am enjoying myself because I am not supposed to be here, so I am just going out on court and enjoying, swinging for it and it’s working well so far”,said Kecmanovic.  

Monfils cruises past Ramos Vinolas

Gael Monfils cruised past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-0 6-3 to reach the fourth round for the third time in his career.

Monfils converted his second break point at deuce after three deuces and went up a double break in the fourth game to race out to a 4-0 lead. He sealed the set with a break at love to take a bagel win in the first set. Ramos Vinolas saved three break points to hold his serve at deuce in the second game but he dropped his serve at deuce on the second break point in the fourth game. The Spaniard broke straight back at 30 in the fifth game and consolidated the break by holding his serve to draw level to 3-3- Monfils won the final three games with a break in the eighth game and a hold at love to serve out the second set 6-3.

The 32-year-old Frenchman clinched his second ATP 500 title in Rotterdam and reached the semifinals in Sofia and Dubai. He is indide the top 20 for the first time since July 2017. Monfils will face either Novak Djokovic or Phillip Kohlschreiber. That match was interrupted because of rain, as Djokovic was leading 1-0.

Rojer and Tecau to face Djokovic and Fognini

Jean Julien Tecau and Horia Tecau beat John Peers and Henri Kontinen 6-3 7-6 (7-1) to set up a a quarter final against Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah cruised past Lucas Pouille and Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-2 to secure a quarter final spot, where they will face Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos, who battled past 2019 Australian Open doubles champion Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 13-11.

 

 

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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John Isner Wins 16th ATP Title In Atlanta

The 6ft 10 American got revenge on his American opponent for the loss he suffered last week in Los Cabos.

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John Isner has continued his love affair with the Atlanta Open by ousting Brandon Nakashima to win the tournament for a record sixth time.

 

The sixth seed beat the American teenager 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes. Firing a total of 21 aces and winning 81% of his first-serve points en route to the victory.

“I think if you count the last two weeks playing singles and doubles I played 12 matches in about 10 or 11 days so I have played a lot which is exactly what I need,” Isner said following his win. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for tournaments ahead.’
This tournament has meant everything to my career it’s amazing”. He added.

The first set was extremely tight and neither player gave an inch in their respective service games. The opener was decided by a tiebreaker which Isner is accustomed to. Whilst the first set was tight, the tiebreaker was an even tighter affair Isner squeezing out a 10-8 win to take the first set 7-6.

Again the second set was competitive and again neither player got an edge on their return game. It was only at 5-4 that the Dallas, Texas native found himself at triple match point but the world number 115 saved all three.

Nakashima would save a fourth before holding serve and at 6-5, the world number 35 earned a fifth match point. That’s where he closed out the match and sealed the win and the title.

After the match, Isner was asked about his history of playing numerous tiebreakers throughout his career.

” I play a lot of those and it’s a situation I am comfortable in since I have been on tour forever,” he explained. “Honestly I think today (Sunday) I was just a little bit luckier and that’s what It really came down to. It’s amazing to be out here again playing on a Sunday and it was awesome”.

Isner confirmed that he will not be making the trip to Washington, DC for the Citi Open and instead he will take a week off after playing back-to-back tournaments in Los Cabos and Atlanta. He is next scheduled to be in Toronto for the National Bank Open.

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Casper Ruud Set For Career-High Ranking After Clay Court Hat-Trick

The young Norweigan player is closing in on his top-10 debut following his surge in success on the Tour.

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As some of his peers battle it out in Tokyo at the Olympic Games, Norway’s Casper Ruud has become a dominant force on the European clay.

 

The 22-year-old battled his way to a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 win over Pedro Martinez in the final of Kitzbuhel on Saturday to claim his 12th win in a row on the Tour. It is the third consecutive week where Ruud has won a title after also triumphing at the Nordea Open and Swiss Open Gstaad. The surge in success has made him the first man to have won three ATP titles within as many weeks since Andy Murray did so back in 2011.

“I am shaking all over my body. It feels amazing,” Ruud told atptour.com. “I was very nervous at the end, I knew what I was playing for. Three in a row is something special. What a day to play the final, rain on and off all day.
“I’m just very excited and happy that these three weeks are over, and that I won all of them.”

All three tournaments Ruud has won are ATP 250 events but only once did he play a top 50 player. That was Benoit Paire whom he defeated 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, in the quarter-finals at Gstaad. In Kitzbuhel, he defeated Mario Vilella Martínez (No.167), Mikael Ymer (No.99), Arthur Rinderknech (No.91), and Martinez (No.97).

During his clash with Martinez, the match was interrupted by the rain and it didn’t end until 11:30 PM local time.

“It was tough… we know that the weather was a bit shaky so I was prepared [for the delay],” Ruud said. “It was a bit long there in the end. We came back, only played three games, and then we had to stop again. It was a bit annoying, but we had to keep the focus and try your best. It’s the same for the opponent.”

Ruud has now won four ATP titles this season after also triumphing at the Geneva Open back in May. Since the start of the 2020 season, he has won 45 matches on the clay and has defeated three top 10 players – Stefanos Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartzman and Matteo Berrettini.

The Norweigan is now set to rise to a career-ranking high of 12th when the standings are updated on Monday. He will also go up to eighth place in the ATP Race to Turin.

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