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

ATP

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.

Published

on

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.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

ATP

Daniil Medvedev Ousts Former Quarter-Finalist Tiafoe, Kyrgios Reigns Supreme At Australian Open

Both players endured a testing start to their campaigns at Melbourne Park.

Published

on

Two players tipped to fill in the void when the big three of men’s tennis departs from the sport have got off to a winning start at the Australian Open.

 

US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev manoeuvred his way past a tricky encounter with Frances Tiafoe. Who reach the last eight of the tournament 12 months ago in what is his best grand slam performance to date. Despite the threat posed, Medvedev held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on the premier Rod Laver Arena. The night-time encounter saw the Russian fired 13 aces and 42 winners past Tiafoe en route to the second round.

“It was a really tough match. I think it was a bit up and down from both of us.” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I’m really happy to win because the first round is never easy. Especially against Frances, who was in the quarters last year.”

Medvedev, who turns 24 next month, has been labelled as one of potential players who can end the reign of Roger Federer and Co by winning a grand slam title this season. Last year he claimed 59 wins on the ATP Tour, which was more than any other player. During his breakthrough season he clinched his first two Masters titles as well as a duo of ATP 250 events.

Despite his victory, the world No.4 was far from contempt when it came to his latest performance. Medvedev dropped serve at least once in every set played and also leaked 35 errors. The same amount of mistakes as Tiafoe.

“There were many moments during the match where I felt I was getting momentum and then he came back.” He reflected.
“I think I can do many things better, but for the first round it’s a big win and I’m really happy.’
“I didn’t like my serve today to be honest. But hopefully I can do better in the next round, otherwise I will be in trouble.”

Kyrgios Topples Italian rival

Taking to the court at the same time as Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios also experienced a tricky start to his title bid in Melbourne. Seeded 23rd in the draw this year, the home favourite roared his way to a 6-2, 7-6(3), 7-6(1), win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. Claiming his fourth tour win of the season following his trio of singles victories at the ATP Cup earlier this month.

“I was just excited to get out here. It has been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us,’ Kyrgios commented in reference to the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia.
“I just wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.”

Kyrgios has been one of the driving forces behind Tennis Australia’s series of fundraisers to support the bushfire appeal. He has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he produces during the Australian Open. Working out at $2800 from his latest match along after firing 14 past Sonego. Overall, Kyrgios won an impressive 87% of his first service points during the 135-minute clash.

“I feel good. I’m not looking ahead in the draw at all.” Kyrgios stated.
“Everyone can play in the draw, they are all capable. So I’m just going to take it one match at a time.” He added.

During his on-court interview, John McEnroe make an unexpected announcement. The former world No.1 has said he will donate $1000 for every set Kyrgios wins in the remainder of the tournament to the bushfire appeal. Prompting a huge cheer from the crowd.

Both Medvedev and Kyrgios will play their second round matches on Thursday.

Continue Reading

ATP

Ernests Gulbis upsets Felix Auger Aliassime to advance to the second round in Melbourne

Published

on

World number 256 Ernests Gulbis upset Canadian Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to reach the second round at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

 

Auger Aliassime was the second Canadian Next Gen player to lose in the first round at this year’s edition of the Australian Open after his compatriot Denis Shapovalov was defeated by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Monday.

Auger Aliassime started the 2020 season with just one win in four matches at the ATP Cup, but he reached the semifinal in Adelaide last week, losing to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in three sets.

Auger Aliassime earned the first game in the ninth game at 30 to take a 5-4 lead, but Gulbis broke twice in the 10th and 12th game to win the first set 7-5. In the second set Auger Aliassime saved three break points in both the eighth and tenth games and broke in the ninth game at deuce to seal the second set 6-4.

In the third set Auger Aliassime saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gulbis fended off a break point in the fifth and eleventh games before winning the tie-break 7-4.

Gulbis earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Auger Aliassime broke back in the third game and held his serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2 after saving two break points. Gulbis broke for the second time in the fifth game and held his next service games to close out the fourth set 6-4.

“Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it’s not good. That’s what the result show, but at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches”,said Felix Auger Aliassime.

Continue Reading

ATP

Dominic Thiem beats Adrian Mannarino to reach the second round in Melbourne for the fifth consecutive year

Published

on

Fifth seed and last year’s Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 6-2 to extend his winning record in his head-to-head against the French player to 8-0. The Austrian player hit 36 winners to 34 unforced errors. Thiem set up a second round match against either Albert Ramos Vinolas or Australian wild card Alex Bolt.

 

Thiem earned the first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Mannarino fended off two break points in the eighth game while he was serving at 2-5, but Thiem sealed the first set 6-3 on his third set point after a 27-shot rally.

Thiem went up a set and a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Mannarino pulled the break back to draw level to 4-4, as Thiem sent a forehand long. Thiem got his second break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a 28-shot rally and reeled off 12 of the last 14 points to clinch the second set 7-5.

Thiem started the third set with an early break and won 16 of the first 20 points to seal the win after 2 hours and 21 minutes. The 2019 ATP Finals runner-up reached the Australian Open second round for the fifth consecutive year.

Thiem leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Ramos Vinolas, but the Spaniard won their only clash on hard-court in Chengdu four years ago.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending