Nadal Shines Into The US Open Final, Outlasts Berrettini - UBITENNIS
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Nadal Shines Into The US Open Final, Outlasts Berrettini

After a challenging first set, Rafael Nadal found his pace and disposed of Italian Matteo Berrettini in straight set. He will play Daniil Medvedev for the title

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Rafael Nadal at the 2019 US Open (photo Twitter @USOpen)

Rafael Nadal walked through to the 2019 US Open final with a straight-set victory against no. 24 seed Italian Matteo Berrettini with a comprehensive 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-1 victory, but almost an hour and a half the match looked a lot less one-sided than it was expected.

 

The newbie Berrettini was not fazed by the deafening roar the crowd tribute to his 18-time Major winner opponent during the warm-up rallies: he started with a good attitude, sticking to his game that is based on his monster first serve and powerful forehand. Nadal is with his back to the LED wall while he is returning, and Berrettini takes advantage of it with some surgically precise drop shots. But still the Italian was the only one who had to face break points during the first set, five of them (one of which was a set point), all canceled with courageous winners. It took a tie-break to decide who was to get ahead after the first set, and it was a hell of a tie-break: Berrettini sprinted ahead 4-0 capitalizing on an early double fault by Nadal and doubling down with a cross-court backhand return winner. But the Spaniard little by little, point by point inched back to the tail of his opponent, who squandered two set points on 6-4, one of which with a drop shot that died into the net, and ended up conceding the set with an open court forehand unforced error.

The loss of that mammoth 74-minute set would have killed a rhino, but Berrettini shook off the disappointment with nonchalance, canceled two break points in the first two service games of the second set and kept his head down to keep his hopes to level the match alive. But at 3-3, a couple of stunning passing shots by Nadal set up the break that secured the second set for the Spaniard, much more effective than his opponent on his second serve (74% against 45% at the end of the match) and still without a break point faced on his service games. Berrettini’s energy during baseline rallies dropped slightly after the first set, but enough to allow Nadal to get his grip on the match and not letting it go.

Similarly to what happened during the first semifinal between Medvedev and Dimitrov, the third set was completely one-sided: Berrettini could not maintain the intensity of the first two hours of play and ended up giving way to Nadal who closed the match after 2 hours, 34 minutes to clinch his 27th Major final in his career.

Regardless of this match’s result, it has been a dream fortnight for Italian Matteo Berrettini, the first Italian to reach this stage of the competition since Corrado Barazzutti in 1977 (defeated by Jimmy Connors in a controversial match on the Forest Hill’s har-tru): the standing ovation that the Arthur Ashe crowd dedicated to him while exiting the court will certainly be one of his lifetime memories and will spur him to work for even better results starting from the sparkling new no.13 that will be next to his name in next Monday’s ATP ranking.

As to Rafael Nadal, his quest for the 19th Major title will find its last obstacle on Sunday, when he will face Daniil Medvedev, whom he defeated 6-3, 6-0 in Montreal a few weeks ago in the Rogers Cup final.

 

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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.

https://twitter.com/DaniilMedwed/status/1174307458216538112

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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