Fabio Fognini sets up semifinal against Gael Monfils at Diriyah Tennis Cup - UBITENNIS
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Fabio Fognini sets up semifinal against Gael Monfils at Diriyah Tennis Cup



Fabio Fognini beat John Isner 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 1 hour and 25 minutes in the opening match of the Diriyah Tennis Cup, the first professional tennis tournament in Saudi Arabia. The exhibition tournament is held at the Diriyah Arena in Riyadh.


Fognini saved two break points at the start of the opening set. Isner fended off one break point in the second game. Fognini won eight of the nine break points to open up a 4-2 lead with a break in the sixth game. Isner broke back to draw level to 4-4. Both players went on serve to set up a tie-break.

Fognini earned a mini-break to open up a 3-1 lead in the tie-break. Isner got back the mini-break to draw level to 3-3, when Fognini hit a double fault.

Fognini earned another mini-break on the seventh point to take a 4-3 lead before sealing the opening set 7-4 on the second of his three set points, when Isner made a forehand error from Isner.

Fognini converted his third break point chance in the third game of the second set with a forehand error from Isner and held his service game to take a 3-1 lead. Fognini did not face any break points in his next service games and held his final service game at love to close out the second set 6-4 in 31 minutes with a service winner in the 10th game.

“I won the first game of the tournament. It’s nice. It’s something I will remember for sure and the people will remember as it is first year we play here. I know they want to do something, especially to improve tennis in this country, so I am happy”, said Fognini.

Fognini set up a semifinal against Gael Monfils, who beat Stan Wawrinka 6-3 6-3 after 66 minutes. Wawrinka broke serve at 15 in the opening game and held serve to open up a 2-0 lead. Monfils got the break back in the fourth game in the fourth game when Wawrinka hit his forehand long. Both players traded breaks in the next games to draw level to 3-3.

Monfils earned another break in the eighth game with a forehand down the line winner and sealed the set with a service winner in the ninth game.

Monfils forced a backhand error to get a break at the start of the second set. The Frenchman went up a double break on return at 5-3 to seal the win in straight sets.

“So far it’s great. The offering they have here for us to perform is incredible. The people are very nice. I feel vert nice”, said Monfils.


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Tributes Start To Pour In For Caroline Wozniacki Ahead Of Australian Open Farewell

The 29-year-old is making her final preparations ahead of her last grand slam appearance.



The Australian Open has been a tournament of many happy memories for former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki.


During her 2008 debut, she won back-to-back grand slam matches for the first time in her career en route to the fourth round at the age of 17. Three years later she reached the semi-finals before losing to Li Na. However, the most special moment in Wozniacki’s career didn’t take place until 2018 when she finally claimed her first ever grand slam title. A perfect way to hit back at the many who criticised her in the past for being a world No.1 without a major title of any sort.

It is for these reasons why Melbourne Park is the perfect venue for the Dane to say goodbye to the sport. The upcoming Australian Open will be her 51st appearance in a grand slam main draw and the last tournament she plays before officially retiring.

“There’s been a lot of thoughts. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, for a while. I just looked at my life, at my career, everything else, and I just had a look inside of myself, and it felt right. It felt like the right time for many reasons.” Wozniacki told reporters on Saturday.
“I’m out here, and I love the sport, I love everything that it’s given me, I love being out there and competing, but I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life.”

During her career, the Dane has won 30 WTA titles and spent 71 weeks as world No.1. She insists that her decision to walk away from the sport at the age of 29 is not connected to her health. In 2019 Wozniacki was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. An auto-immune condition that affects a person’s joints.

Life on the tour hasn’t always been plain-sailing for a player who has also endured her injury issues. However, Wozniacki is confident that she will have no ill feelings regarding her decision in the future.

“I’m leaving with no regrets at all because I’ve worked so hard my whole life, my whole career. I’ve given it literally everything that I have to reach where I got.” She stated.
“I can look back at my career and say I’m very proud of everything that I’ve achieved, very proud of the ups and the downs. But especially to be able to just continually push myself to be a better player, I feel like I’ve given a lot to the sport that I can be very proud of.”

The upcoming departure is one that will gap in the women’s game, according to some of her closest rivals. Two out of Karolina Pliskova’s three WTA titles won during the 2017 was due to wins over Wozniacki in the final. The Czech said she was ‘very sad’ to see her opponent stepping away from the tour.

“I’m sure she’s going to be missed. I think she’s a great person and a great player, too.” Said Pliskova.
“I think she played very good tennis and very good to watch, too. Also in the practice, she always tried hard. Always in the matches, I think it was always great quality against her.”

Simona Halep was the player who Wozniacki beat to win the 2018 Australian Open. The Romanian echoed similar sentiments to Pliskova when speaking out about her.

“She’s a very nice person. We (my team) actually got used to seeing her every day in the tournaments on tour, for sure.” Said Halep.
“She’s going to be missed. Also, I’m sure she has many good things ahead. She will be happy.”

Petra Kvitova played down the idea that Wozniacki’s retirement is premature. The two have locked horns 15 times on the tour at events including the WTA Finals, 2016 Olympic Games Wimbledon. However, they have never got to face off against each other in a final.

“She looks very happy, so I hope that she going to be happy when she stop playing tennis as well. I just wish her the best.” She said.

Wozniacki, who is unseeded in the draw, will start her Australian Open campaign on Monday. In the first round she plays America’s Kristie Ahn.

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John McEnroe: “Jannik Sinner is one of the most talented players I have seen in the last years”



Seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe praised 2019 Next Gen ATP champion Jannik Sinner and predicts that the young Italian star will break into the top 10 in a couple of years.


“Jannik is one of the most talented players I have seen in the last ten years. He is going to be hunted a little bit and people are going to dig in a little bit more and not want to lose to an 18-year-old. He will have to deal with it in the coming months. I suspect that in a few years you are going to see him in the top 10, give him two or three seasons. Jannik looks to be physically very gifted. Along with many other tennis fans and tennis players, I have been watching him from a distance and understanding that this guy is a rare talent”, said McEnroe.

Sinner started the 2019 season ranked world number 553 and reached his career high as world number 78. The Italian 18-year-old player won three ATP Challenger titles in Bergamo, Lexington and Ortisei, the Next Gen ATP Final in Milan as Italian wildcard and advanced to Antwerp semifinal as a 18-year-old wildcard. He became the youngest ATP Tour semifinalist since Borna Coric in Basel 2013. At the Rome Internazionali d’Italia Sinner saved one match point against Steve Johnson in ATP Masters 1000 debut as wildcard before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round. Sinner lost to Stan Wawrinka in the first round in his debut Grand Slam tournament at the US Open.

Sinner became the youngest player to win three Challenger titles in a season since Richard Gasquet and one of the five under 19 players in the year-end top 80 since 2000 joining an exclusive club that includes Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

Sinner started the 2020 season with two first round defeats in Bendigo and Auckland. He will face a qualifier in the first round at the Australian Open before a possible second round clash against Denis Shapovalov.

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‘Bone Bruising’ Delays Andy Murray’s Comeback

More bad news for fans of the British tennis star.



It is unclear as to when former world No.1 Andy Murray will start his 2020 season after he pulled out of two key events on Friday.


The three-time grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since the Davis Cup in November due to a pelvic problem. Forcing him to miss the upcoming Australian Open for the second time in the past three years. It was at the tournament in 2019 where he said he may have to retire from the sport due to a hip injury before undergoing resurfacing surgery a few weeks later that saved his career.

Providing a new fitness update on Friday, Murray has confirmed that he is also pulling out of events in Marseille and Rotterdam. Both of which will take place during February. The reason is because the ‘bone bruising’ in his pelvic region is taking longer than normal to heal.

“I don’t want to rush anything or put a timeline on my recovery,” Murray said in a statement.
“I’m going to listen to my body and step back on the court to compete when the time is right.”
“The bone bruising is taking longer to heal that first thought, so I won’t be playing in Montpellier or Rotterdam in February.” He added.

It is the latest setback for the injury-hit Brit, who missed almost 12 months of the tour between 2017-2018 and a further five months in 2019 due to his hip. Despite his misfortunes, Murray continues to be working hard in the gym with his recovery. Dismissing speculation that this latest setback might be the final straw in his decision to walk away from the sport.


Towards the end of last season Murray made a breakthrough in his return prior to the pelvic injury. In October he defeated Stan Wawrinka to win the European Open in Antwerp. Claiming his first singles title since 2017. Overall, the two-time Olympic champion has won 46 trophies on the ATP Tour.

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