Matteo Berrettini Outlasts Monfils To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Semi-Final - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini Outlasts Monfils To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Semi-Final

Matteo Berrettini survived a last set tiebreak against Gael Monfils to reach his first ever grand slam semi-final.

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Matteo Berrettini (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Matteo Berrettini outlasted Gael Monfils 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-6(5) in a four hour battle to reach his first grand slam semi-final. 

 

In a great opportunity for both players, it was the Frenchman who played the better tennis in the first set as he fended off the Italian’s early power.

Playing well from both corners of the court, his defensive work was to be admired as he isolated Berrettini to the back of the court.

After a long sixth game, Monfils’ good work in the first set had its reward as he converted his second break point opportunity for the break.

Although it wasn’t a bad serving set from the Italian, his return game needed work as he failed to threaten the Monfils serve.

Another comfortable hold sealed the opening set for the experienced Frenchman in 33 minutes.

The momentum continued for Monfils in the second set as some powerful play saw an early break in the second set and a chance for a double break lead.

However Berrettini opted to change his tactical approach as he offered more slices and variety in an attempt to salvage the match.

A plan that worked to perfection as he managed to prevent the double break and get back on track in the second set with a break of his own.

More unforced errors started to appear in the 13th seed’s game as he couldn’t control his forehand in the latter stages of the second some.

Some big-hitting saw Berrettini power to another break of serve as he levelled the match up in a bid to reach his first grand slam semi-final.

As the conditions got more humid as the match went on, the more it favoured Berrettini as the Monfils looked mentally and physically tired.

Another couple of powerful winners sealed the early break as he was now the aggressor and dictating the tempo of the match.

After the roof closed at 4-2 to the Italian, he continued where he left the contest as Monfils’ serves were getting more and more conservative.

One more break and a hold of serve sealed the Italian’s control of the match as he was now one set away from the semi-finals.

Despite losing the fourth set, Monfils was determined to overturn the deficit and as per usual he was going to do it with the help of the crowd.

There was no more injection about his shots and his attitude as his positive energy helped him surge towards to a crucial break in the fourth game.

More clutch serving was also the key as Berrettini’s level slightly dropped and the Frenchman pounced to force a deciding match in front of the electric New York crowd.

The fifth set decided with a share of breaks as the match felt like it was on the Italian’s racket as he tried sometimes too hard to outhit Monfils.

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Both men were desperate to land the crucial blow but it was the 33 year-old Frenchman who was too desperate at times and some uncharacteristic net rushing saw him concede the break to love.

Nerves would continue to play apart in this drama-filled contest though as Berrettini could barely serve on match point up and let a 5-2 lead slip within his grasp.

Another two match points had to be saved from the Frenchman as he somehow forced a final set tiebreak in dramatic circumstances.

A disastarous tiebreak filled with double faults and courageous play, which ended with the Italian being the bravest of them all as he edged past Monfils with a big serve.

One heck of a four hour battle sees Berrettini seal the biggest win of his career and a place in the last four of a grand slam for the first time.

After the match, Berrettini congratulated his opponent as he doesn’t remember much about the contest, “I don’t know. Right now I don’t remember any points, just the match point,” the Italian admitted.

“What a great fight. I would like to congrats to Gael and his team. When I was playing I was thinking that this was one of the best matches I have ever seen. I was playing, but I was watching also. I’m really Happy, I don’t know what to say.”

Next up for Berrettini is either Diego Schwartzman or Rafael Nadal.

 

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Pierre Hugues Herbert to reach the quarter finals in Metz

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Pierre Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-4 in an all French head-to-head match to reach the quarter finals at the Moselle Open in Metz.

 

Tsonga won 82 % of his first serve points and fended off all three set points to reach the quarter finals. He broke in the the fourth game of the opening set and in the first game of the second set to seal the win.

Tsonga has improved his winning record to 4-0 in his four head-to-head matches against Herbert.

Tsonga set up a quarter final against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who came back from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the second set to beat German qualifier Yannick Maden 6-2 7-6 (8-6). Tsonga and Basilashvili tied 1-1 in their head-to-head matches, but the Georgian player beat his French rival won their most recent clash in Lyon last May.

Lucas Pouille cruised past this year’s Antalya champion Lorenzo Sonego 6-1 6-4 setting up a quarter final against Filip Krajinovic. Pouille raced out the last five games of the first set and fended off both break points he faced. The Frenchman broke twice in a row in the fourth and sixth game to win the first set 6-1. Pouille rallied from 15-40 down to break serve in the seventh game at deuce. He served out the win after saving two break points in the 10th game.

Pablo Carreno Busta upset David Goffin 6-3 6-2 with four breaks of serve avenging his recent defeat against the Belgian player. Carreno Busta set up a quarter final against Aljaz Bedene, who beat Gilles Simon 7-6 (11-9) 6-2. The Slovenian player fended off two set points at 5-6 and at 7-8 in the tie-break of the first set and won the first four points of the second set en route to closing out the second set 6-2.

 

 

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Daniil Medvedev Scores Sponsorship Deal With BMW

The 23-year-old is set to attend a series of activities organised by the car manufacturer over the coming months.

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Daniil Medvedev’s recent surge in success on the tour seems to be also boosting his profile away from the court after he teamed up with car manufacturer BMW.

 

The world No.4 will take part in a series of activities involving the Russian branch of the BMW company in both his home country and abroad. A contract was signed earlier this week following a meeting in St Petersburg, where Medvedev is playing his latest competition on the ATP Tour. He has agreed to feature in a series of campaigns promoting the BMW M, which specialises in sports cars. No financial details of the contract have been published.

“BMW M is BMW’s fastest, most powerful and most innovative sports car. And Daniil Medvedev is the brightest and most titled Russian tennis player right now.” The director general of BMW Russia, Stefan Teuchert, said in a statement.
“On the tennis court, Medvedev demonstrates qualities typical of BMW sports cars – speed, power, intelligence and a strong character. We are glad that we managed to agree on cooperation, and we look forward to future joint projects.”

23-year-old Medvedev has triggered a surge of interest in him following his summer breakthrough. Prior to the final grand slam of the season, he reached three consecutive finals in Washington, Canada and Cincinnati. Becoming only the third man in history to do after Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi. It was in Cincinnati where he won his first Masters title. Then at the US Open, Medvedev finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal after contesting a five-set epic against the Spaniard.

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Medvedev will be hoping to continue his surge of form this week at the St Petersburg Open where he is the top seed. He is yet to contest an ATP final on Russian territory. However, the rising star has stated that his recent surge in success has given him extra belief on the tour.

“I have become convinced: when I am in good shape, I can beat anyone, or at least give a fight. It is most important. I seemed to know this before, but was not completely sure. Now I know this for sure.” Medvedev said during an interview with Sport Express.

According to the ATP, Medvedev has been the most successful player in indoor tournaments on the Tour within the past 52 weeks. Claiming two trophies and winning 22 matches overall. Giving him a 0.786 winning percentage.

He will open up his campaign in St Petersburg on Thursday against compatriot Evgeny Donskoy.

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Casper Ruud beats Alexander Bublik to win his first indoor match in St. Petersburg

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Norway’s Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat Alexander Bublik 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 at the St. Petersburg Open to win his first win at an indoor ATP Tour tournament.

 

Bublik got the first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ruud broke staright back to draw level to 4-4. The first set went on serve until the tie-break which Bublik sealed 7-3 on his first set point. Ruud earned the only break in the third game to win the second set 6-3.

Ruud reeled off the final five games from 1-2 with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games to set up a second round match against Italy’s Salvatore Caruso, who rallied from one set down to beat his compatriot Thomas Fabbiano 2-6 6-3 6-3.

Mikhail Kukushkin came back from 2-4 down in the first set to beat 2017 St. Petersburg champion Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to secure his spot in the quarter finals.

Russian qualifier Egor Gerasimov cruised past Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-1.

Marton Fucsovics came back from 1-5 down in the first set and fended off five set points to beat Alexey Vatutin 7-5 6-1 setting up a match against Borna Coric.

Joao Sousa cruised past Jozef Kovalik 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-3 without dropping a set to set up a second round match against second seed Karen Khachanov.

 

 

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