Denis Shapovalov claims his first career title in Stockholm - UBITENNIS
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Denis Shapovalov claims his first career title in Stockholm

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Canadian Next Gen Denis Shapovalov claimed the first title of his career with a 6-3 6-4 win over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in the final of the Stockholm Intrum Open.

 

For the second consecutive edition the Stockholm tournament was won by a Next Gen player. Last year Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first title in the Swedish capital and went on to win the Next Gen ATP Finals. On Sunday it was the turn of Shapovalov, who has already secured his spot for the 2019 edition of the Milan Next Gen Finals.

“I am definitely super happy and just really proud. Me and my team have worked very hard to get into this position of lifting a title, so I am really proud of myself and of my team right now”.

Shapovalov dropped 12 points in 10 service games and saved the only break point he faced in the entire final. The North American player broke serve once in each set.

In the opening set Shapovalov earned a break in the the third game when Krajinovic made a double fault. He consolidated the break with four winners in the fourth game and did not convert another break point chance in the next game. Krajinovic fended off two more break points in the seventh and ninth games at deuce. Shapovalov closed the first set with three winners in the 10th game.

Shapovalov saved the only break point in the fourth game of the second set. He did not convert three break point chances in the fifth game and held his serve in the sixth and eighth games to draw level to 4-4. Shapovalov got the decisive break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, when Krajinovic sent his backhand into the net, and sealed the win in the 10th game with three winners.

Shapovalov is the 15th first-time tour-level champion this year. The 20-year-old Canadian player did not drop a set during this week en route to winning the first title of his career. He beat Alexei Popyrin in the first round, Cedrik Marcel Stebe in the quarter final and Yuichi Sugita in the semifinal.

Krajinovic was also bidding to win his maiden ATP title in his third ATP tour-level final after finishing runner-up in Paris Bercy 2017 and in Budapest 2019.

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Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov secure Canada the spot in Davis Cup semifinal

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Canada reach their third Davis Cup semifinals after Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov won the decisive doubles match.

 

Vasek Pospisil opened the quarter final clash between Canada and Australia with a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 over John Millman.

Millman broke his serve in the second game of the match. Pospisil broke back to draw level to 4-4 and saved two set points to force the first set to a tie-break. Pospisil won a tight tie-break at 9-7. The second set went on serve until the 10th game when Pospisil broke serve at 5-4 to close out the match.

“I have been playing really well this week and trying to keep the momentum going. I am playing pretty relaxed, which is good. I am enjoying my time on the court after being injured, which has changed my perspective a bit, and maybe that’s helped me for the last couple of months”, said Pospisil.

Alex De Minaur rallied from a set down to beat Denis Shapovalov 3-6 6-3 7-5 drawing the tie level to 1-1.  Shapovalov converted his second break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and held on his next service games to win the first set 6-3. De Minaur earned the only break point in the second game to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the decider. De Minaur broke Shapovalov to take a 6-5 lead and sealed the match on his second match point.

Pospisil won both his second match of the day when he teamed up with Shapovalov in the doubles match. The Canadian team beat John Peers and Jordan Thompson 6-4 6-4.

“This is unbelievable. We have a great team and we had the potential to get this far, but the guys put their hearts on the line this week. They are playing unbelievable tennis, and they wanted so bad to play unbelievable tennis. I am so proud of them”, said Canadian captain Frank Dancevic.

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Andy Murray’s Presence In Davis Cup Quarter-Final Clash Undecided

Will the former world No.1 be chosen to play or not?

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 16: Andy Murray of Great Britain during a training session of Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 16, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba / Kosmos Tennis)

Great Britain’s bid to reach the last four of the Davis Cup could take place without three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray amid his current fitness on the court.

 

Murray, who is the only British man in the Open Era to reach world No.1, was absent from his team’s clash with Kazakhstan on Thursday. Instead the duty was down to Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans. Edmund was in impressive form as he downed Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-3, but Evans was edged out in three sets by Alexander Bublik. Leaving it down to the doubles pairing of Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski to clinch the crucial win to claim the overall 2-1 victory.

“I had every confidence in Kyle, saw firsthand what he was playing like indoors in Paris and what he’s been doing in practice. I thought he was going to play well, and he did play well, he played really well.” Team captain Leon Smith told reporters in Madrid.
“Then Evo (Evans) again was totally in the match, a bit like yesterday, bar a couple of points.’
“And then Jamie and Neal got into a great head space again. And the doubles players expressed themselves. And I think that’s where, you know, it is an advantage for us in these situations.”

The Brits have topped their group with two out of two wins after beating the Netherlands earlier in the week. Their reward is a quarter-final meeting with Germany, who has three top 100 singles players and two top 20 players in doubles. However, it is uncertain if Murray will be present in the tie after recently admitting that he is not in his best form. Saying he had ‘lots of cake and junk’ following the recent birth of his third child Teddy.

“I told you guys I wasn’t feeling in the best shape coming in, and it showed a little bit in the match,” Murray said earlier in the week.
“The weight and things like that, that’s my fault. I won’t put myself in that position again.
“If you’re weighing four or five kilos more than you’re used to, that is probably going to affect how you feel moving around the court.”

The frank admission has placed Smith in a predicament concerning who to play in the quarter-final clash, which only features a total of three matches. The tie will not take place until tomorrow afternoon. Meaning a final decision on Murray will likely occur tomorrow instead of this evening.

“It’s important after five weeks of not playing any competitive tennis that you play a match. It wasn’t his ideal match at all, but it was a match nonetheless, and that gets you going again, it gets you going.” Smith said of Murray.

Meanwhile, Germany is keeping quietly confident over their chances of ending British hopes. They have already scored wins over Argentina and Chile in the group stages. It has been 26 years since they last won the Davis Cup trophy.

“I think this new format is a little bit closer, the nations are a little bit closer together. So we have actually a very, very good doubles team, and I think every other nation knows that. So they are a little bit tight also against us to win both singles.” German captain Michael Kohlmann said.
“We are going to prepare the best and hopefully our singles guys and everybody’s fit and ready to play tomorrow.”

The upcoming tie will be the first meeting between the two countries since 1973.

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Jack Sock and Sam Querrey take late-night decisive doubles clash over Italy

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The clash between Italy and the USA came down to a decisive doubles match at the Caja Magica in Madrid after Fabio Fognini and Taylor Fritz won their respective singles matches.

 

Fabio Fognini  beat Relly Opelka 6-4 6-7 6-3 after 1 hour and 54 minutes to give Italy a much-needed win to the Italian team.

Fognini earned an early break at 1-1 after two errors from Opelka and dropped just five points in five service games. Fognini did not face a break point to close out the first set 6-4 in 33 minutes.

Both players stayed neck and neck setting up a tie-break. Opelka earned a mini-break to take a 5-3 lead in the tie-break and earned three set points. The US player sealed the first set point, but Opelka converted his second chance 7-4.

Opelka saved the first break point with an ace, but Fognini converted his second chance with a forehand passing shot in the second set to take a 2-0 lead. Fognini dropped just three points to build up a 5-2 lead. Fognini served out the win on his first match point to give Italy a 1-0 win.

“I am tired for sure because it was tough. One of the things I did today was my serve, don’t ask me why. I am surprised about that”, said Fognini.

Taylor Fritz came back from one set down to beat Matteo Berrettini 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the second match. Berrettini saved a break point in the second game with a forehand down the line and a service winner. In the fifth game Fritz saved two break points in the fifth game. Berrettini broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 and sealed the first set on his first set point.

In the third set both players stayed neck and neck til the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. In the seventh game Fritz saved a break point. Berrettini held his serve at love. Fritz closed out the second set at 6-5 after 51 minutes.

Berrettini saved two consecutive break points in the first game of the third game. Fritz rallied from 0-30 down to hold his serve for 1-1. Fritz broke twice in the third and fifth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Berrettini saved a match point and held his serve for 2-5, but Fritz sealed the win on his second match point.

“Playing for my country is all the motivation I need. I just kept digging, kept fighting. It was really close. I lost the first set by close margin, and I told myself to tough out the second set like I know I can do, and my aggressive and fitness carried me through the third”,said Fritz.

Jack Sock and Sam Querrey came back from a set down in the decisive doubles match to take a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to give the USA a 2-1 win. The doubles match ended shortly after 4 am and was one of the latest finishes to a match in tennis history.  The USA finished second in the Group F behind Canada, who secured the first spot with their wins over Italy and the USA earlier this week. Neither team  was able to earn a break in the first two sets. Italy broke serve to take a 3-1 lead. Sock and Querrey broke back immediately before earning the decisive break at 4-4. The US team served out the win after 2 hours and 30 minutes.

“Reilly played a great match and Taylor came out in in a tough position knowing he needed to win. To get the doubles means a lot”, said Querrey.

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