Dominic Thiem Powers Past Nadal To Reach Second Barcelona Final - UBITENNIS
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Dominic Thiem Powers Past Nadal To Reach Second Barcelona Final

Dominic Thiem is into his second Barcelona final after powering past Rafael Nadal in the Barcelona semi-finals.

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Dominic Thiem (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Dominic Thiem beat Rafael Nadal for the fourth successive year on a clay court after powering past him 6-4 6-4 to reach the Barcelona final. 

 

It was an impressive performance from the Austrian, who beat the 11-time champion in straight sets to reach his second Barcelona final.

As a result Nadal lost his first ever semi-final in Barcelona and it will be the first time he enters Madrid without a title to his name since 2004.

In the final Thiem will play Daniil Medvedev, who edged past Kei Nishikori 6-4 3-6 7-5 to reach his first ever clay-court final.

The start of the match saw both men feel their way into the contest as the third seed was playing some of the best tennis of his career in Barcelona this week.

But the first break of the match came from some uncharacteristic Nadal errors. A poor serving display saw the Spaniard miss four of his opening five 2nd serves as a fourth double fault sealed the early break for Thiem.

There was still a lot of work to do for the world number five though and he continued to pound his punishing backhand on Nadal.

It wasn’t just the backhand which was creating problems for Nadal as the forehand proved to be equally as powerful, creating opportunities for a double break. Although the gritty world number two remained firm and kept it to the break.

A masterful serving performance sealed the opening set for an efficient Thiem, 6-4.

The second set was a bit better for the king of clay but his footwork and the timing of the forehand continued to haunt Nadal.

A miscued backhand saw the Barcelona crowd silent as Thiem once again broke in the fifth game as he was in control and continued to be the better player.

Variety. Consistency. Risk-taking. It was all there for the Austrian as he mixed up his returning and serving, even using a serve and volley on the odd occasion.

There was nearly hope for Nadal after creating his first break points of the match in the last game after some hesitancy from Thiem.

But the Austrian kept composed, showed some gutsy play and sealed the match to beat Nadal for the fourth year in a row on clay.

After the match Thiem spoke of his emotions after beating Nadal again, “I’m always super proud if I beat him because he’s the best player ever on this surface and it’s always very special to beat him here on clay. We always had great matches today and also today it was very good. I was more lucky today and I got the win.”

The loss means that Nadal will enter the tournament in Madrid having not won a tournament for the first time since 2004 and it’s his first ever loss at the semi-finals in Barcelona.

Although he remains the favourite for Roland Garros, it is cause for concern for Nadal as he looks to improve his game ahead of the second slam of the year.

As for Thiem, he will play Daniil Medvedev in his second Barcelona final after the Russian edged Nishikori in a titanic battle.

The Russian’s win means it’s his 25th win of the 2019 season and his first ever final on a clay-court as we are set for a cracking final tomorrow.

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Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert seal a hard-fought win in decisive doubles match

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Ten-time Davis Cup champions France beat Japan 2-1 scoring the fifth win in as many Davis Cup matches against the Asian team.

 

French star Jo Wilfried Tsonga reeled off seven games from 4-2 in the first set to beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes in his 12th Davis Cup season.

Tsonga saved two break points and converted four of the five break points. The Frenchman held four service games and broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to take a 6-2 lead.

Tsonga broke twice in the second and fourth games and closed out the match in the seventh game after saving two break points.

“It was very important for our team to start well. I am also happy about my game, what I did today, so I hope it continues like this”, said Tsonga.

 Yoshihito Nishioka claimed 9 of the last 11 games in his 7-5 6-2 win over Gael Monfils in 66 minutes to level the score at 1-1 sending the tie into a decisive doubles match. The Japanese player saved one break point and earned two breaks to seal the win in straight sets.

“I wanted to show to the whole world Japan are still strong. Of course, if Key was here we would be strong, but even when he is not here, we can play. Hopefully next time Kei is here and we can play better”, said Nishioka.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the first set and stayed neck and neck until the 11th game of the first set when Nishioka got the break at 5-5 to seal the first set. Nishioka broke twice to seal the second set 6-2.

Last week’s ATP Finals doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert fought back from losing the first set to beat Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchyama 6-7 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 40 minutes.

After losing the first set at the tie-break, Herbert and Mahut broke serve in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Herbert and Mahut went up a break in the third set. Uchiyama and Nishioka got the break back in the 10th game, when Herbert and Mahut were serving for the match. Mahut and Herbert got another break at 5-5 and held at 15 to seal the decisive win for France.

“They played at a very high level. We know we have arrived late from London, but the captain had a lot of confidence in our team. We were 1-1, we really had to win to give France the win. There was a lot of intensity in the win but we are really happy today, this was a really difficult tie”, said Mahut.  

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Canada beats Italy 2-1 in the opening day of the Davis Cup in Madrid

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Denis Shapovalov battled past Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought second match of the round-robin Group F at the Davis Cup in Madrid to give Canada a 2-0 lead over Italy

 

Berrettini faced three break points in the third game of the opening set. Shapovalov earned two break points in the ninth game, but Berrettini held on his serve at deuce. Both players held on their service games. In the 10th game Berrettini earned three set points on return, but Shapovalov fended them off. Barrettini saved another break point to set up a tie-break. Shapovalov took a 6-3 lead earning three set points. Berrettini won two consecutive points to claw his way back to 5-6, but Shapovalov sealed the tie-break with a backhand passing shot.

Both players went on seve setting up a second tie-break. Berrettini got an early mini-break, but Shapovalov broke straight back. Berrettini took another mini-break to take a 3-2 when Shapovalov hit a volley into the net and sealed the second set 7-3 on his first set point.

Shapovalov earned a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a forehand winner. Berrettini held on his serve with his 11th ace. Both players went on serve in the next games setting up a third tie-break. Berrettini got the first mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Shapovalov. The young Canadian player broke straight back, when Berrettini made a forehand volley error. Shapovalov sealed the tie-break 7-5, when Berrettini fired his forehand long on his first match point after 2 hours.

“After making semifinals in the Madrid Mutua Open here, and winning the Junior Davis Cup in 2015, I feel like Madrid is a really good city for me. We will see how this week goes, but it’s a good step today”, said Shapovalov.

Fognini and Berrettini won the doubles match over beating Shapovalov and Pospisil 6-2 3-6 6-3. The Italian team got a double break to win the first set 6-2. Shapovalov and Pospisil drew level by winning the second set with a break in the eighth game. Italy saved two break points in the seventh game of the decisive set before breaking serve in the eighth game. Berrettini sealed the win for Italy with an ace.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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