Diego Schwartzman Topples Erratic Zverev To Reach US Open Quarters - UBITENNIS
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Diego Schwartzman Topples Erratic Zverev To Reach US Open Quarters

The Argentine is through to his third grand slam quarter-final.

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Diego Schwartzman (image via twitter.com/usopen)

World No.21 Diego Schwartzman has achieved one of the biggest wins of his career after knocking Alexander Zverev out of the US Open.

 

The 27-year-old tamed and frustrated the sixth seed throughout his 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3, triumph at Flushing Meadows. Monday’s clash was a cat and mouse chase between the two with Zverev having numerous break opportunities early on, but he failed to capitalise on those chances. Illustrated by his 65 unforced errors that included 17 double faults. Meanwhile, Schwartzman was also guilty of making mistakes, but proved to be the more solid when it came to the clutch moments of the match.

“I think Alex had many problems with his serve today. Being a big returner, I think I took many chances with that.” Schwartzman said during his on-court interview.
“I think I played great tennis.” He added.

In typical Zverev fashion, his encounter at the New York major was far from straightforward. So far in his career, the German has managed to win back-to-back matches in straight sets at two out of 18 grand slam tournaments. Taking on 20th seed Schwartzman, there was no exception to that trend.

After fighting his way through a turbulent first set where he claimed five games in a row after going down a break, Zverev’s hot and cold play cost him dearly in the second. The inconsistency of Zverev’s play enabled the Argentinian to bounce back with ease. After saving four break points whilst leading 3-2, Schwartzman went on to break in the following game. He then levelled the match at one set all with the help of a lacklustre Zverev service game, which ended with three consecutive unforced errors.

With little to separate both players on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, a single point could prove decisive to the outcome of the match. Schwartzman, who spent more than four hours less on the Court than Zverev heading into the match, refused to go away. Hitting a series of blistering forehand shots to force Zverev on the defensive from the baseline continuously. Exchanging breaks midway through the third set, the Argentine struck at the most crucial moment. A double fault from the German elevated him to a duo of opportunities to lead the match for the first time. He failed to convert his first, but made no mistake on the second time asking. Hitting a backhand down the line after another lengthy rally between the two.

“It was tough because I was feeling that I had the chance to win the match. I had a few break points and couldn’t win them.” Schwartzman commented about the third set. “I recovered really quickly and felt great after that. It was a really big change in the match.”

On the verge of achieving one of his biggest career win in terms of ranking, the 5’7” player roared towards the finish line as Zverev continued to crumble. At one point it got too much for Zverev, who fired a ball in the direction of his team in the crowd. Prompting him to be slammed with a code violation. His mood deteriorated further when he was slammed with a point penalty after committing a second offence for a verbal obscenity. Resulting in Schwartzman moving to a game from victory.

Serving in a place in the last eight, another Zverev mistake granted Schwartzman two match points. He triumphed with his second after hitting a clear cross-court forehand winner.

“Thanks everyone. I don’t know what it is happening here (inside the Arthur Ashe stadium) but I feel like I’m at home.” He said.
“It was great to play with this crowd with me all the time. It helped me a lot in every important moment.”

Schwartzman is through to his third grand slam quarter-final and second at Flushing Meadows after 2017. In the next round he will face either Rafael Nadal or Marin Cilic.

“The next round could be Rafa. He’s my friend, he’s great and a big opponent. It is always great to play against him in the quarter-finals of a grand slam. I’m going to enjoy (the match).” Schwartzman previewed.”

Schwartzman is yet to defeat Nadal on the tour. However, he has achieved two wins over Cilic, including their meeting at the US Open two years ago.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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