Marathon Man Gilles Simon Outlasts Weary Medvedev In Epic To Reach Queen’s Final - UBITENNIS
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Marathon Man Gilles Simon Outlasts Weary Medvedev In Epic To Reach Queen’s Final

The Frenchman has come out on top during what was a dramatic encounter in London on Saturday.

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LONDON: French underdog Gilles Simon has secured a place in his first ATP grass-court final for six years after downing a wilting Daniil Medvedev in a three-set epic.

 

Simon, who is a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist, valiantly came back from the brink to knock out the fourth seed 6-7(4), 6-4,6-3, in what was a marathon encounter at The Queen’s Club. Featuring gut-busting rallies lasting 30 shots and more, as well as some injury drama concerning Medvedev.

It was a really, really good performance today with the fatigue from the match yesterday, a lot of tension, and I found a good rhythm. I was hitting the ball well. I had good ball control on both sides.” Simon said during his press conference.
“It was pretty intense, but I found a good rhythm and I was able to hold it until the end, even if it was, like, really, really difficult. But, yeah, that was enough.”

The 34-year-old Frenchman appeared to be unaffected by the events that took place on the previous day. Taking on compatriot Nicolas Mahut, Simon engaged in the longest match to take place at the tournament since the ATP starting keeping records back in 19991. Battling it out on the court for three hours and 21 minutes.

On Saturday little separated the two players throughout their encounter at The Queen’s Club. In the first set, an early exchange of breaks saw the momentum switch between the two. Simon’s use of slice frustrated his Russian rival, who relied on his speedy serve to get him out of some difficult situations.

Eventually, Medvedev secured the breakthrough he was looking for during the early stages of the tiebreak. A four-point winning streak, which was aided by a duo of Simon mistakes, elevated him to a 4-0 lead. Weathering the storm, the margin was enough to gift him the opening set, which he closed out with the help of a forehand down the line.

Despite being in the lead, victory was far from certain during what was a tiring encounter. The inability to get away from Simon infuriated Medvedev, who displayed moments of frustration and stern glares towards his team watching from the sidelines.

The comeback

Two games away from exiting this year’s championships, Simon hit back at the most crucial moment. Leading the second frame 5-4, he once again dismantled the Medvedev serve to suddenly revive his chances of the win and force the proceedings into a decider.

As the momentum changed, more drama erupted towards the business end of the semi-final as Medvedev appeared to be in discomfort. Throughout the match, he was seen putting ice on his shoulder during changeovers. However, it was the back that was the most problematic. Forcing him to bend over sharply and even at one stage collapsing onto the ground. Prompting a worried look from his team.

You have this tendency to stop every time you play a good shot and you hope, oh, okay, it was enough, he cannot do it anymore.” The world No.38 explained when asked how he kept his focused.
“So you just have to focus on what you are doing and not watch on the other side.”

Medvedev’s misfortunes failed to have any impact on Simon’s concentration as he rallied towards victory. Leading 4-3, a cross-court winner from the Frenchman rewarded him another two break points for the chance to serve the match out. Something that was handed to him after a double fault from Medvedev. It would also be another Medvedev error which secured him the victory after the Russian hit the ball beyond the baseline.

Simon in the first Frenchman to reach the final at Queen’s since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga back in 2011. Should he win the title, he would become the first from his country to do so in the Open Era.

“It’s a difficult tournament to win. You see the names from the past champions. You realize how hard it is and the quality of the players who were able to win this tournament.” Simon concluded.

 

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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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