Andrey Rublev follows his Doha triumph with another final in Adelaide - UBITENNIS
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Andrey Rublev follows his Doha triumph with another final in Adelaide

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Andrey Rublev overcame Felix Auger Aliassime 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 in just under three hours to extend his winning streak to 11 consecutive matches. Rublev saved nine of the ten break points he faced.

 

Rublev saved three break points to hold his serve at deuce in the eighth game. The first set went serve until the tie-break. Rublev took a 5-2 lead in the tie-break. Auger Aliassime reeled off three consecutive points to draw level to 5-5. Rublev won the final two points to win the first set.

Rublev did not convert two match points in the second set at 6-6 and at 7-6 in the tie-break, before Auger Aliassime won the final three points to win the second set.

Auger Aliassime earned the first break at 30 in the second game in the third set to open up a 3-0 lead. Rublev broke back at love in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Rublev broke serve in the ninth game at love and served out the win on his second match point in the 10th game. Rublev has improved his win-loss record against Auger Aliassime to 2-0. The 22-year-old Russian player beat his younger rival in Umag in 2018

Rublev has reached his second consecutive final one week after winning the Qatar Open in Doha.

“I did not expect that I was going to do two finals. I didn’t expect that I was going to start the season that well, so we will see what is going to happen next. The most important thing is to keep going, to keep working and to keep improving”,said Rublev.

Rublev will face South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, who battled past US Tommy Paul 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 after two hours and three minutes.

Harris went up a double break to build up a 4-1 lead. Paul pulled back the break in the eighth game but Harris served out the first set at love.

Paul went up a break to take a 3-1 lead. The South African player rallied from a break down to send the second set to the tie-break, which he won 7-3. Harris converted his first break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Paul saved a break point to hold his serve at deuce, but Harris served out the match in the ninth game.

Harris hit 13 aces and won 85 % of his first serve points in the semifinal. He beat Pablo Carreno Busta and Christian Garin earlier this week.

Harris reached his first ATP Tour level semifinal in Chengdu last year as a lucky loser.

“I am so excited to be in the final here in Adelaide. I am just ecstatic with the match I played. I am looking forward to the final tomorrow”, said Harris.

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‘On This Surface I’m Only Inferior To Nadal’ – Pablo Carreno Busta Fires Warning at French Open

The world No.18 explains why he has very high expectations for Paris this year.

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Pablo Carreno Busta in action against Alexander Zverev during a men's singles Semifinal match at the 2020 US Open. (Photo by Simon Bruty/USTA)

Pablo Carreno Busta believes he has what it takes to pose a serious threat at this year’s French Open following his recent success in North America.

 

The world No.18 heads into Paris less than a month after reaching the semi-finals of the US Open for the second time in his career. Carreno Busta boasted a two-set lead over Alexander Zverev to close in on his first major final before the German fought back to clinch the match. Prior to the run, he also won the men’s doubles title at the Western and Southern Open alongside Alex de Minaur.

Taking to the court at Roland Garros on Monday, Carreno Busta eased to a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, win over Australia’s John Milman in the first round. Producing 34 winners and breaking his opponent eight times en route to the win in the night-time encounter. Speaking to reporters afterwards, the 17th seed believes he has what it takes to go deep in the draw.

“I have a very high level, on this surface I am not inferior to anyone, except perhaps Rafa,” EFE quoted Carreno Busta as saying.
“If I am one hundred percent and I am brave and aggressive I am dangerous and it is not easy for them (other players) to beat me. It is what I have to try to do.”

It was at Roland Garros where the 29-year-old made his Grand Slam debut back in 2013. Since then his best run in the tournament was to the quarter-finals in 2017. Overall, Carreno Busta has won 11 out of 18 main draw matches played but has only managed to progress to the second week once in his seven previous attempts.

The next test for the Spaniard will be Argentina’s Guido Pella, who defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4, in his opening match. Pella achieved a ranking high of 20th last year and his only title was on the clay was in Sao Paulo.

“It will be a very difficult game, perhaps more than today (Monday),” he previewed.
“I have to face the game the same, be solid and aggressive. It will be long, but I have played matches like that.”

Regardless of what happens over the coming days, Carreno Busta says he is happy to be playing once again following the break. The ATP Tour was stopped for five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why the French Open is taking place later than usual in trickier conditions due to the cooler weather.

“It has been a very complicated year for all of us, there were moments when we did not know if we were going to be able to play. The important thing is that we are playing,” he states.

Carreno Busta is one of three Spanish players to be seeded in the men’s draw this year along with Nadal (2) and Roberto Bautista Agut (10).

Carreno Busta’s French Open record

2013 – R1
2014 – R1
2015 – R2
2016 – R2
2017 – QF
2018 – R3
2019 – R3

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Felix Auger-Aliassime Blasts Own Performance After French Open Misery

The Canadian says he didn’t play good enough in what was his main draw debut at the event.

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Rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime said he failed to ‘step up’ after crashing out in the first round of the French Open.

 

The 19th seed struggled to find a range throughout his 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, loss to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in what was his first ever main draw appearance at Roland Garros at the age of 20. A below-par Auger-Aliassime produced six double faults and hit 58 unforced errors During what was a frustrating encounter. The Canadian also had 13 chances to break the Nishioka serve but only managed to convert twice.

“He played good. Also, I wasn’t good, and I could have been better on many of those opportunities,” the world No.22 said after the match.
“I give him credit and I take responsibility for that because I just felt like there were too many times where I just didn’t step up and played a decent point.”

Trying to find an explanation for his latest defeat on the Tour, Auger-Aliassime admits that he is unable to provide a specific reason. It is his fourth first round loss at a Grand Slam.

“The issue wasn’t technically. The issue could have been mentally, tactically,” he reflected.
“You always see what you could do better but when you’re in the moment you try your best. You try to win, but sometimes it’s not enough, you’re not good enough on the day.’
“Now it’s past me and I’ve got to accept that. It’s not easy. It’s tough. I felt like today I was just not playing good enough.”

Monday’s loss caps off what has been a somewhat disappointing clay court swing for the Next Gen star. Since reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open, Auger-Aliassime has only won one match in three tournaments played on the clay. Doing so at the German Open against Lorenzo Sonego.

“I had some good moments last clay-court tournaments in juniors, challengers, etc. This year there have been three tournaments, three complicated tournaments for me,” he said.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played on clay, I haven’t had time to adjust and train.
“I could have done better, there was no reason. It’s obvious to everyone and myself that I haven’t been able to adapt and do what it takes to play better and win matches.”

Auger-Aliassime is the youngest player currently ranked inside the top 50 on the ATP Tour. The French Open was only his sixth appearance in a Grand Slam main draw.

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Marin Cilic Undeterred By French Open Loss But Wary Of The Next Generation

The former Grand Slam winner was in a reflective mood following his exit from Roland Garros.

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Despite a brief stay at this year’s French Open an upbeat Marin Cilic believes there are more positives than negatives when it comes to his current form.

 

The former top 10 player crashed out in the first round on Monday to recently crowned US Open champion Dominic Thiem. The showdown saw the Austrian prevail in straight sets to hand Cilic his earliest loss in the tournament since 2016. A bitter pill to swallow for a player who reached back-to-back quarter-finals in 2017 and 2018.

Although Cilic, who turned 32 on Monday, believes there is a silver lining to his latest match and he has ironically gained some confidence. It is the second time he has lost to Thiem in as many months after also doing so in New York.

“I feel that I’m not playing too bad. I’m feeling that I’m playing quite good,” Cilic told reporters.
“The match I played against Dominic at the US Open, the last two sets were really high quality. I was not far from extending it to a fifth set.’
“Here (at Roland Garros) I felt that I played still quite well considering it’s the first round, obviously I was gonna be a bit rusty but I felt I played quite solid.”

Whilst there are positives, questions are starting to mount about if Cilic has what it takes to once again be a contender at the major tournaments. He is currently ranked 40th in the world and was last inside the top 10 in February 2019. Furthermore, it has been more than two years since he won an ATP title with his last triumph occurring on the grass at the Queen’s Club.

It isn’t just the Big Three that is posing a threat, it is also the resurgence of the Next Generation of players. Both Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev have reached a major final and Stefanos Tsitsipas is a former semi-finalist. All of those players are under the age of 25.

“In the last 12 months you can see that these youngsters, there are so many. I was looking the other day to see how many under the age of 25 there are in the top 50 and there are 18,” Cilic said.
“You have that great generation that came up (the ranks) and are getting more experience. They are playing better and better. Seeing possibilities with their game that they can go forward in these tournaments.”

Whilst in the larger view the Big Three remain the dominant forces on men’s tennis, Cilic believes a shift in power is starting to gradually happen. Which he admits is going to hinder his own chances of winning titles again in the future.

It is definitely becoming tougher to win these kinds of tournaments and you have to at the top of your game to win a grand slam,” he concluded.

Cilic’s win-loss record for the season now stands at 12-8.

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