Fabio Fognini set to play in the Dyriah Cup exhibition tournament - UBITENNIS
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Fabio Fognini set to play in the Dyriah Cup exhibition tournament

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This year’s Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini is set to play in the inaugural edition of the Dyriah Cup exhhibition tournament in Unesco World Heitage Site on the outskirts of Riyadh from 12 to 14 December 2019. This is the first tournament to be held in Saudi Arabia.

 

World number 12 Fabio Fognini will start his 2020 season in Auckland. The Italian player broke inside the top 10 in his career this career and won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo after a dream week in which he beat Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev. Fognini reached six more quarter finals during the 2019 season in Auckland, Hamburg, Los Cabos, Montreal, Beijing, Shanghai and the round of 16 at Roland Garros.

“The Middle East is a region that has a lot of hunger for tennis and I believe we should be able to play in this region more often. It would help tennis develop and it would give players more opportunities. It is an honour to play in a new event. I am glad organisers have chosen me to play in this new venue, which is apparently a very unique place. I think it is a great opportunity for the people of Saudi Arabia to be able to attend such world-class events live. I believe it is good for the country as well. It is quite important as it gives you similar feeling and playing conditions as the Australian Open, so for us coming from Europe is very good preparation. I had a good year in 2019, so the goal is always to do a bit better than the previous year”, said Fognini.

 

 

 

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Alexander Zverev: “You can’t imagine what this means to me and I hope it will be the first of many Grand Slam semifinals”

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Alexander Zverev has reached the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career after beating Stan Wawrinka 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the quarter final of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Zverev became the first German player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Tommy Haas at Wimbledon ten years ago.

“It feels awesome. I have done well in World Tour Finals, won Masters, but could never make that breakthrough at a Grand Slam. I am happy to be in the semifinals. You can’t imagine what this means to me and I hope it will be the first of many.”, said Zverev after the quarter final match against Wawrinka.

Zverev set up a semifinal against Dominic Thiem, who beat Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (8-6). The Austrian player leads 6-2 in his eight head-to-head matches against his younger German rival and won their most recent clash in the semifinal of the ATP Finals in London.

“I will have a cold glass of Coca Cola in my hotel room, with air conditioning, hopefully watching Nadal and Thiem play for six hours. That’s my assessment of the match”, joked Zverev in his post-match interview.

Zverev started his 2020 season with three defeats against Alex De Minaur, Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals, but he bounced back at this Australian Open, where he dropped just one set against Wawrinka in the quarter final.

“After losing the first set against Stan, I was getting ready to talk to the press about why I lost in straight sets. I turned it around and my energy picked up a bit. I wasn’t used to his ball. I needed to get used it. Thank God it worked out. I hope you can see in ATP Cup I was horrible, but this is a Grand Slam and this is where you’re meant to play your best tennis and I have been doing that. My energy picked up a little bit”, said Zverev.

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(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 10: Dominic Thiem Stuns Nadal, Zverev Breaks New Ground

A four set thriller resulted in the shock exit of the world No.1.

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Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

Rafael Nadal has become the first member of the illustrious Big Three to exit this year’s Australian Open. The world No.1 crashed out in four sets to Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who is through to the last four in Melbourne for the first time at the age of 26. Awaiting Thiem next will be another semifinal debutante in the shape of Alexander Zverev.

 

Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse both matches with British journalist Stuart Fraser from The Times.

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Hsieh-Su Wei and Barbora Strycova set doubles final clash against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic

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Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova will battle against against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in a clash between the number two seeds in the doubles final at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Hsieh and Strycova beat number 4 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-3 in Thursday’s first semifinal. The top seeds will be bidding for their second title as a team after their triumph at Wimbledon last summer.

Hsieh and Strycova broke twice in each set and never faced a break point in each set.

“It’s always so amazing to be back here, because my first final in a junior Grand Slam was here, so I would like to thank Barbora for bringing me back again”,said Hsieh.

 “I am very happy that we are through to the final. It means so much for me. To have a partner like Su-wei by my side, it’s something very special. Playing another final of a Grand Slam, especially in Australia, which is my favourite country”,said Strycova.

Babos and Mladenovic beat Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-ching 7-5 6-2 in the second semifinal. Neither team faced a break point in the first ten games before Babos and Mladenovic earned the first break to take a 6-5 lead. The Hungarian and French team came back from 4-5 down in the first set by winning eight of the next nine games.

Babos and Mladenovic beat Hsieh and Strycova 6-1 6-3 in their previous head-to-head clash in the final of the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

 

 

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