Stefanos Tsitsipas On The Verge Of Top Five Breakthrough In Washington - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas On The Verge Of Top Five Breakthrough In Washington

The 20-year-old is a win away from a new milestone in his career.




Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the quarter-finals of the Citi Open after dismissing Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-3, 7-6(4).


Easing his way through the opening set, the Greek was given a much sterner test in the second. Struggling to find a way to dismantle Thompson’s serve, he was forced to save a set point before going on to prevail in the tiebreaker and seal the win. Dropping only six points behind his first serve throughout the match.

“There was a lot of tension in the match, and it was very close. I kept doing silly mistakes at some points in the tiebreak and I was not happy about it, so that was it.” Tsitsipas said during his press conference.

This week Tsitsipas is seeking his fourth title on the ATP Tour and the third of 2019. Should he win his next match in Washington, he will achieve another milestone in his career. Breaking into the world’s top five for the first time at the age of 20. Becoming the first player from his country to have ever done so.

“I think winning matches that I have to win.” He replied when asked about what has caused his rapid rise in the sport.
“For example, I knew that I would end at top 10 when I played Gael Monfils in Dubai this year. It wasn’t easy for me, but it was one of the best matches I’ve played this year. The key was to overcome myself and to just be extremely focused on every single match.”

Standing in Tsitsipas’ way to breaking into the top five will be 10th seed Benoit Paire, who knocked out John Isner in straight sets on Thursday. It will be the second meeting between the two and the first since Metz in 2017. On that occasion Paire won 6-2, 6-4.

“He’s a very dangerous player. I mean, he has an unbelievable backhand. His serve can be very damaging.” Tsitsipas said of Paire.
“I just have to be careful. He’s very unpredictable. He plays with a lot of fierce, and you never really know what to expect from him. Also emotion and also the way he is on the court. It’s going to be a tricky one.”

Kyrgios marches on

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Elsewhere in the American capital, Nick Kyrgios is another player to book a place in the last eight of the tournament. Kyrgios, who teamed up with Tsitsipas to play in the doubles draw earlier this week, downed Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 7-5. Blasting 15 aces past his opponent.

Unseeded in the tournament, Kyrgios says he is growing in confidence after winning three matches without dropping a set. Prior to Nishioka, he also scored wins over 11th seed Gilles Simon and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski.

“I haven’t played that many matches in the last couple weeks, so to come out here and being able to produce a level that I’ve brought three days in a row, pretty special, and hopefully I can just keep it going.” Said Kyrgios, who is seeking his second ATP 500 title of the season.

The Australian faces Norbert Gombos on Friday. A 28-year-old Slovakian qualifier who has reached his first quarter-final on the ATP Tour since February 2017. Gombos ousted Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanović in three sets.

“I played him in Marseilles indoors a couple years ago, so very good competitor, good backhand, and obviously he’s feeling confident.” Kyrgios previewed.
“He’s played a lot of matches this week, so he knows how the conditions are, and I’m not even thinking about that at the moment. I just need a good rest and play my game and see how it goes.”

Should Tsitsipas and Kyrgios win their next matches, they would face each other in the semi-finals.


Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.




Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.


Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.




Novak Djokovic (@atptour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.


The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome




Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 


Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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