Noventi Open Mid-Week Numbers - UBITENNIS
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Noventi Open Mid-Week Numbers

Numbers do an interesting job of telling the day’s story at the Noventi Open.

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Borna Coric (@ddsportschannel - Twitter)

By Mark Winters

 

Wednesday, at what was once the Gerry Weber Open, but twelve days ago became the Noventi Open, was warm – sultry says it better. This is not typical for Halle,  Germany’s weather in June. The collection of second round contests, on the day’s match card, were also sultry, but not in the way an attractive woman can be. In truth, they were seductive from a numbers standpoint.

In today’s world many references to numbers bring about a – figures don’t always tell the truth – exclamation. Ordinarily, this may be the case, but tennis is different. Data, actually, opens many discovery doors.

For example, the age range of the participants in today’s four matches ran from 33 (Sergiy Stakhovsky the Ukrainian qualifier) to defending champion Borna Coric of Croatia, who is 22. There was a clot of late 20s performers – David Goffin of Belgium and Pierre-Hugues Hebert of France are both 28; and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany and Radu Albot of Moldova are both 29. Then there were the “Almosts”.  Two players were almost the oldest and almost the youngest – Joao Sousa a qualifier from Portugal is 30 and Karen Khachanov of Russia is 23.

Adding to the counting coincidences, Struff and Khachanov, along with Coric and Sousa, were meeting for the first time in their ATP careers. Consistency continued its run with Goffin being 2-0 against Albot in career play, and Herbert enjoying the same advantage over Stakhovsky.

For each of these players, it would probably be quite safe to say that grass is not their favored surface. Looking at Halle’s win-loss records going into play today, they seem to bear this out – sort of… Since he is making his tournament debut and having won his first match, Albot’s record was a perfect 1-0. Of those who are in the “veterans” category, Coric, at 7-2, was the best. Khachanov, a semifinalist in 2017, was second at 6-2. Goffin at 3-2 and Herbert with 2-1 on his tournament score card, brought up the tail end of the positive grades. Sousa tops the “down but not out” list at 2-4, and Struff, who earned his first tournament victory on Tuesday, is 1-6 in the count game.

ATP ranking (at the beginning of the tournament on June 17th) and tournament seeding are another “count them” qualifier. Khachanov ranked No. 9, is seeded No. 3. Coric, who is right behind him positioned at No. 14, is seeded No. 4. All the rest are unseeded. In by the numbers order, Goffin is No. 33; Struff, No. 35; Albot, No. 41; and Hebert, No. 43. The qualifiers – Sousa and Stakhovsky – are No. 71 and No. 123 – respectively.

The final entry in the numbers of the day saga is a “win one, lose one, win in conscience but lose in the end” item. Stakhovsky was leading 5-1 with Herbert serving at 40-0 . He hit what seemed to be an ace (the ball touched the line and brought up chalk), but it was called a fault. The Frenchman approached the chair umpire and asked for an overrule, but the official informed him that he didn’t have any more challenges. Unable to “officially” contest the call he asked Stakhovsky what he thought. The Ukrainian said the ball was good, but to give Hebert the point, he, Stakhovsky, had to challenge the call. He did and the replay proved the “fault call” was not correct. Herbert had, indeed, hit an ace to win the game.

So Stakhovsky challenged himself; lost the point; gave Herbert the game; but won the first set, serving it out, 6-2. Unfortunately, the “good guy” move result didn’t carry the day. Herbert recovered from the 0-1 deficit to win the next two sets, 7-6, 6-4.

All of this proves that at the Noventi Open, after 26 years under the Gerry Weber banner, the first year sponsor, Noventi will enjoy some very good numbers.

 

 

ATP

Ons Jabeur upsets Karolina Pliskova to reach the quarter final in Doha

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Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur knocked out Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-3 after 1 hour and 47 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Jabeur scored the biggest win of her career by ranking.

 

Jabeur reached her first Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open last January before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin. Last week Jabeur lost to Simona Halep in Dubai. She reached the third round in Doha without dropping a set.

Jabeur had not beaten a top 10 player since 2018, when she defeated Sloane Stephens en route to reaching the final at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Jabeur broke Pliskova in the opening game of the match and did not face a break point on her serve before serving out the first set at love.

Pliskova earned her only break in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead and held on her serve to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

Jabeur got her first break after six deuces in a marathon sixth game to take a 4-2 lead in the decisive set. Pliskova broke straight back for 3-4. Jabeur broke for the second time at 15 to take a 5-3 lead and sealed the win on her second match point.

Muguruza beats Yastremska

This year’s Australian Open Garbine Muguruza beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-4 in 70 metres. Muguruza has reached teh quarter finals or better at all five tournaments she has played in 2020 under the guidance of her new coach Conchita Martinez.

Muguruza earned two breaks in the fifth and seventh games and served out the first set 6-2 on her first opportunity. Muguruza broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Yastremska broke back in the sixth game to take a 3-3 lead. Both players traded four consecutive breaks. Muguruza served out the win on her first match point, as Yastremska hit her backhand past the baseline.

The two-time Grand Slam champion will face 2019 Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty, who advanced to the quarter finals after Elena Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the match due to an abductor injury.

Bencic reaches the quarter finals after straight-set win over Putintseva

Belinda Bencic beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-3 after 1 to advance to her third quarter final of the year after Adelaide and St. Petersburg. The Swiss player earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Putintseva broke straight back in the third game. Bencic got her second break to open up a 4-1 lead. Putintseva broke back for the second time in the ninth game at 30 to claw her way back to 4-5. Bencic closed out the first set with a break on her second opportunity in the 10th game on the fourth deuce.

Bencic converted her second break point at deuce to open up a 3-0 lead. Putintseva saved two double break points to hold her serve at deuce.

Putintseva earned two break-back points but Bencic held on her serve after five deuces. Bencic served out the win on her first match point in the ninth game.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas moves through to the quarter final with straight set win over Alexander Bublik in Dubai

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Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 in 1 hour and 36 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Tsitsipas beat Bublik for the second time this month one week after scoring a win against the Kazakh player in the semifinal in Marseille.

 

Bublik saved two set points at 5-6 15-40 with a serve and volley and an unreturned serve. Tsitsipas cruised through to a 7-1 win in the first set after 54 minutes.

Tsitsipas saved four break points at 3-4 in the second set and earned a break at love in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Greek player sealed the win with a backhand slice winner.

Tsitsipas will face Jan Lennard Struff, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 6-0 in just 39 minutes.

Andrey Rublev edged past Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 after 1 hour and 41 minutes. Rublev came back from 1-4 down by breaking back in the eighth game at 3-4. The young Russian player saved a set point with a forehand passing shot, as Krajinovic was serving at 5-3 40-30. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to set up a tie-break. Rublev sealed the tie-break with his fifth ace and and cruised through to a 6-0 lead with three consecutive breaks, as Krajinovic won just 10 points. Rublev took a re-match against Krajnovic, who won their previous head-to-head match in Rotterdam two weeks ago.

“He had so many chances, two breaks and serving with one set point. There was no key. I was just lucky and broke back. It was not in these conditions. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy as i lost to him two weeks ago in Rotterdam”, said Rublev.

Rublev set up a quarter final match against Daniel Evans, who fended off three match points in the tie-break of the third set to beat Pierre Hugues Herbert 7-5 3-6 7-6 (9-7) in 2 hours and 47 minutes.

Gael Monfils cruised past Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-1 6-2. Monfils earned a double break in the second and fourth games to win the first set 6-1. After a trade of breaks in the third and fourth games Monfils won four consecutive games with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games.

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Novak Djokovic sets up quarter final against Karen Khachanov in Dubai

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Novak Djokovic cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-1 in just 59 minutes to advance to the quarter final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament. Djokovic beat Kohlschreiber for the 12th time in their 14 head-to-head matches.

 

Kohlschreiber, who beat Djokovic in straight sets one year ago in Indian Wells, won 11 points in 8 service games and never created a break point.

Djokovic converted four of his seven break points to reach the quarter final in Dubai for the 11th time in his career. He hit 23 winners to 10 unforced errors.

Djokovic earned his only break on his second opportunity with a forehand winner to take a 3-2 lead. He backed up the break with a hold of love with another forehand winner and closed out the first set 6-3 with a hold in the ninth game after 30 minutes, as Kohlschreiber hit a backhand crosscourt wide. The Serb reeled off five consecutive games from 5-3 in the first set.

Djokovic held serve with a backhand down the line winner at the start of the second set and held with a service winner. The 2020 Australian Open champion went up a double break with his backhand to build up a 3-0 lead and sealed the win with a return winner, as he was returning at 5-1. Djokovic has extended his unbeaten streak to 15 consecutive matches this year.

“It was a great performance. I enjoyed the way I played, coming out with the right focus and tactics. Knowing Phillip beat me 12 months ago in Indian Wells, I needed to approach this match very seriously regardless of his raning number 80. He is one of the most experienced players on the tour and likes to play on the big stage, so he doesn’t like falter too much”, said Djokovic.

Djokovic set up a quarter final against Karen Khachanov, who beat Dennis Novak 6-3 6-4 in 74 minutes. Djokovic leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Khachanov.

“I have had some interesting battles with him. He is a great guy, a very powerful player. He is one of the guys who is a pretender to be a top 5 player. He is very dedicated, so I will be as sharp as I have been in the past two matches and start well”, said Djokovic.

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