Rafael Nadal Eases Past Roger Federer To Reach 12th Roland Garros Final - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Eases Past Roger Federer To Reach 12th Roland Garros Final

Rafael Nadal cruised past Roger Federer in straight sets to reach his 12th Roland Garros final.

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Rafael Nadal (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal overcame tricky conditions as he eased past Roger Federer 6-3 6-4 6-2 to reach his 12th Roland Garros final. 

 

It was a clay-court masterclass as the 11-time champion eased past one of his greatest rivals in straight sets in windy conditions.

The Spaniard will now look for a 12th title on Sunday as he faces either Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem.

On a drizzly and windy day in Paris, it was Nadal who started the better in episode 39 of this historic rivalry as he secured a 3-0 lead.

This was no normal match though as the windy conditions allowed both players good opportunities to create opportunities to break.

A few good shots saw Nadal struggle to hit against the wind as the 20 time grand slam champion broke back and gave himself a chance of getting back into the rhythm of the match.

Both players understandably wanted to shorten the points up at the net, which lead to some entertaining duels with Federer looking to consolidate serve.

A long game though sealed the break back for the Spaniard and a ridiculous backhand cross-court sealed the second hold of serve against the wind to take the opening set.

The game-plan didn’t change for the 2009 champion despite losing the opening set as he looked to rush Nadal’s thought process with some aggressive play.

A quick break of serve gave the Swiss something to build on but unfortunately from his perspective he couldn’t keep up this tactic on serve.

For the second time today, Federer couldn’t consolidate the break as Nadal turned defence into offence with relative ease.

After some comfortable holds and good aggressive play, he couldn’t hold off the 11 time champions’ surge in level with the crowd being treated to the best part of the match.

Some ridiculous play on the forehand showed why Nadal is the ‘king of clay’ as he broke the third seed from 40-0 down to seal the crucial break in the ninth game.

A hold to love saw Federer face a mountain to climb as he was forced to do what no person had done before him and that’s comeback from two sets down to beat Rafael Nadal.

The job was made even harder as a backhand net cord winner saw the 33 year-old grab another break as he was closing in on a 12th final in Paris.

There was nothing Federer could do to stop Nadal’s surge as it was just ridiculous tennis from the world number two with a forehand flick sealing the double break lead.

A masterclass on how to compete on a clay-court was complete as Nadal booked his place in a 12th Roland Garros final in tricky conditions.

Even though it was a decent start by Federer, there was no stopping the 11-time Roland Garros champion as he looks to make more history on Sunday against Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem.

 

 

 

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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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