Novak Djokovic cruises past Denis Shapovalov to advance to the third round in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic cruises past Denis Shapovalov to advance to the third round in Rome

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Four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic cruised past Denis Shapovalov 6-1 6-3 in just 66 minutes on Centre Court of the Foro Italico in Rome to reach the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

 

Djokovic, who won the Rome tournament four times in 2008, 2011, won 80 % of his first serve points and converted four of his thirteen break points. Shapovalov hit 24 unforced errors to 16 winners and did not have a break point chance. In their previous head-to-head match Djokovic beat Shapovalov in four sets 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-0 in the third round of the Australian Open.

Djokovic converted his third break point chance in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead after a double fault from Shapovalov. Djokovic went up a double break at 15 in the sixth game and sealed the first set 6-1 with a hold at love after 30 minutes.

Shapovalov saved a total of seven break points in the first and third games of the second set, but Djokovic converted his eighth chance at 3-3 when Shapovalov made a backhand error. The Serbian player closed out the second set with a double break at 5-3.

Djokovic, 15-time Grand Slam champion and 33-time Masters 1000 winner, set up a third round match against Phillip Kohlschreiber, who beat Marco Cecchinato 6-3 6-3. The German veteran beat Djokovic earlier this year at Indian Wells.

Juan Martin Del Potro knocked out David Goffin 6-4 6-2 in 1 hour and 18 minutes to reach the third round in just his third tournament of the year. Del Potro lost just five first-serve points and broke serve four times. Del Potro drew the first blood by breaking serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Goffin broke back to draw level to 3-3 after a double fault from Del Potro. The Argentine broke for the second time to seal the the first set 6-4. Del Potro broke twice in the first and fifth games to seal the second set 6-2.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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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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