Alex De Minaur secures his spot in the semifinals at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan - UBITENNIS
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Alex De Minaur secures his spot in the semifinals at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan

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World number 18 and top seed Alex De Minaur cruised past Casper Ruud 4-1 4-0 4-2 to secure his spot in the semifinals at the Next Gen ATP Finals at the Allianz Cloud in Milan.

 

The Sydney native player has reached the semifinals undefeated for the second consecutive edition of the Next Gen Finals in Milan. The Aussie has scored the seventh win of his career in Milan breaking the record of match victories at this event held by 2017 finalist Andrey Rublev.

Ruud won the opening game of the match, but De Minaur reeled off nine consecutive games with breaks in the third and fifth games of the first set and in the second and fourth games of the second set.

Ruud saved two break points in the fourth game of the third set, but De Minaur broke serve in the sixth game with a backhand winner on the match point to close out the third set 4-2.

De Minaur won three titles in his home city Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai and finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Basel.

“I knew from playing Casper before that he would dictate any short ball without a purpose. The game plan was to play on my own terms, play aggressively, play different styles of tennis. The goal I had was to take any half-chance, go up and back myself at the net. I am gladi t worked out today. I am looking forward to the semifinals”, said De Minaur.

De Minaur has enjoyed the format of the Milan tournament so far.

“The conditions make it a bit tougher in the sense that things can change direction really quickly, so I feel like you have got to be constantly focused. That’s something that helps me in a way, to stay in the moment. A lot of work has been done for me to achieve that, but it’s a work in progress and I am happy to be through to the semifinals”, reflected De Minaur.

De Minaur thinks that there are some rules of this innovative format that he would like to take into other ATP Tour events next year.

“There are a lot of different things that obviously I really like. The Hawk-Eye live, you know, I think you don’t take away any sort of problem on the court. You believe Hawk-Eye. So it’s called out, it’s out. If it’s a close call, they show you the replay. No more troubles. You don’t have bad calls. If you don’t challenge and you should have challenged, then you realize you end up losing the point. But obviously sort of the instant replay. That helps a lot, as well. If you don’t challenge and you should have challenged, then you end up losing the point. But obviously sort of the instant replay, that helps a lot, as well. There is a couple of things that I do like here.”. 

The Next Gen Finals have been a chance to know the other players better and have new friends on the circuit.

“I don’t think I have ever had much to do with Jannik Sinner. After this week, I have been able to hit with him, and things like this that otherwise probably don’t happen in other tournaments. There is a lot of a lot more going on, a lot more players. But here it’s just eight of us. We are bound to get to know each other a bit better, so I enjoy that aspect for sure”, said De Minaur.

 

 

 

 

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Rafael Nadal Hoping Coronavirus Will Not Spoil His Olympic Dreams

The 19-time grand slam champion speaks out about the worldwide outbreak.

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World No.2 Rafael Nadal has said he is hopeful that a remedy can be found to contain the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak in order to stop what he describes as ‘fear’ erupting.

 

Several countries have declared major medical emergencies in order to tackle the illness, which also goes by the name of Covid 19. It is believed to have originated in China, where the most infections and deaths from the illness have been recorded. However, Iran is also struggling with an outbreak, Italy has quantified 11 towns, Saudi Arabia is preventing foreign pilgrims from entering their country and Japan has closed schools.

Coronavirus has also had an impact on various tennis events with a string of Chinese ITF and Challenger events cancelled. Meanwhile on Sunday, the final of the ATP Bergamo Open in Italy was cancelled due to concerns. Making it the first time an European event has been impacted by the threat posed by Coronavirus.

“I hope it is controlled, that a remedy is found and this uncertainty is stopped, this psychosis, this fear. It is the most important thing, not only for the Olympic Games, but for humanity, “ Nadal commented on the issue following his second round win at the Mexican Open.

One of the biggest sporting events is also under threat – the Olympic Games. This year’s edition will be held in Tokyo, Japan. IOC council member Dick Pound has recently said the sporting event will be cancelled if there is ‘world health at stake.’ The World Health Organisation is currently working with Olympic organizers, who are keen to empathise that they have no intention of cancelling the event.

“Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled,” Committee chief executive Toshiro Muto recently told Japanese reporters.
“For the time being, the situation of the coronavirus infection is, admittedly, difficult to predict, but we will take measures such that we’ll have a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Nadal is one of many tennis players hoping to win a gold medal later this year. The Spaniard is already a three-time Olympic after competing in 2004, 2008 and 2016. He has previously won two gold medals. Claiming the singles title in 2008 and the doubles trophy alongside Marc Lopez in 2016.

“Regarding the Olympic Games, to say that it is one of the most special events in the world. It is a unique experience to be there and I consider it the most difficult tournament to win because you only have two or three chances in your career, “ Nadal commented.

The Olympic tennis tournament will get underway on July 25th. It will be held at the Ariake Coliseum.

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Novak Djokovic reaches the semifinal in Dubai for the ninth time in his career

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Novak Djokovic cruised past Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-2 in one hour and six minutes to reach the semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament for the ninth time in his career.

 

Djokovic dropped 13 points in eight service game and converted on five of his nine break points. He dropped his serve only once in the first set.

Djokovic held serve with a drop shot winner in the third game and broke serve at love with a forehand return down the line winner in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The 2020 Australian Open champion held his serve with a drop shot winner in the third game and broke serve at love with a return down the line winner.

Djokovic held serve at love with a volley winner to consolidate the break. The Serbian player went up a double break earning his chance to serve for the set, as Khachanov netted a backhand in the sixth game. Khachanov pulled one break back after a forehand error from Djokovic, as the Serb failed to convert a set point in the next game. Djokovic got another break in the eighth game to clinch the opening set 6-2 on his third set point in 32 minutes, as Khachanov hit a backhand into the net.

Khachanov fended off a break point in the second game of the second set before Djokovic earned a break at love in the fourth game with a lob. Djokovic sealed the second set with another break at 5-2.

“I don’t know if I am playing the best tennis of my career. That’s a big statement, but I am feeling and playing well.  I like the conditions, but in windy conditions it’s not easy to serve and find rhythm. I know it wasn’t Karen’s day, but I think I played a very solid match. I am trying to be in the present and execute my game plan”, said Djokovic.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches his second consecutive semifinal in Dubai

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Last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas came back from one set down to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4 6-4 reaching the semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second consecutive year.

 

Struff earned three set points at 5-4 in the opening set. Tsitsipas recovered to 30-40, as Struff hit two forehands into the net. The German player converted his third break point chance to win the first set 6-4 after 45 minutes.

Tsitsipas earned an early break in the first game of the second set, as Struff hit a forehand long at 15-40. Tsitsipas rallied from 15-40 down, when he was serving for the second set at 5-4, and converted his second set point with a forehand down the line winner.

Struff fended off four break points in the first game of the decisive set. Tsitsipas earned the decisive break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 and sealed the win on his first match point. Tsitsipas will face Daniel Evans, who beat Andrey Rublev 6-2 7-6 (11-9).

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