Australian Open Day 12 Preview: The Semi-Finals Conclude - UBITENNIS
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Australian Open Day 12 Preview: The Semi-Finals Conclude

In an ATP rarity nowadays, it’s a Major semifinal with two players in their early-to-mid-20’s. Which will reach their first hard court Slam final?



Dominic Thiem (@atptour - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf


This is the fifth Major semi-final for Dominic Thiem, having advanced this far in Paris the past four years. His hard court skills have vastly improved over the past 18 months, and on Wednesday he finally defeated Rafael Nadal at a Slam. Now he’s one match away from reaching his third Slam final.

This is the first Major semi-final for Sascha Zverev, who has finally broken through at a Slam in surprising fashion. Prior to this event, 17 of his 50 career matches at Majors had gone five sets, which shows how often he’s played extended matches at these events. Despite having significant issues with his serve over the past six months, he’s miraculously turned around his service woes, and advanced to this stage dropping only one set.

Dominic Thiem (5) vs. Sascha Zverev (7)

Thiem leads their head-to-head 6-2, with a 2-0 record at Majors, and a 2-1 edge on hard courts. He certainly has the experience edge in Slam semi-finals, but he’s spent a lot more time on court during this fortnight. Thiem has logged almost 15 hours on court through five matches, four hours more than Zverev. And while their quarterfinal matches both were decided in four sets, Dominic’s was almost twice as long as Sascha’s. Another significant factor will be the weather, as it’s forecast to be oppressively hot even in the evening as this match begins.

There’s a chance the roof on Rod Laver Arena may be closed for the beginning of this contest, though both these men have won indoor hard court titles so that may not considerably favour either one. If the roof is open, that may actually favour Zverev, who will be the fresher player. Plus, Thiem plays better in cooler, slower conditions where he has more time to set up his big swings. All things considered, I give the slight edge to Thiem. His experience in this situation should prove vital. And he played a physically and emotionally demanding match against an all-time great two days ago, he’s one of the fittest guys on tour, and should have plenty of energy left for this one.



Alexander Bublik reaches his third career semifinal with win over Denis Shapovalov in Marseille



Alexander Bublik reached the third ATP Tour semifinal of his career after beating Canadian Canadian Next Gen player Denis Shapovalov 7-5 4-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 18 minutes at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.


Bublik fended off a total of four break points in the first set, including three chances from 0-40, got the break in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5, when Shapovalov hit a forehand volley wide at 30-40 after 45 minutes.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the second set. Bublik did not convert three break points at 3-2, when he hit a forehand into the net on his first break point chance. Shapovalov broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead with a drop shot and wrapped up the second set with his third ace.

Bublik opened up a 2-0 lead with a break in the second game of the third set. Shapovalov broke straight back in the third game. Bublik got another break lead in the eighth lead at 15, when Shapovalov hit a forehand wide. Bublik sealed the win with a hold at love.

“He is a great player and serve. It was our first match, but I have known him for a very long time. I was happy to break in the first set, then in the second set he was better, and I had my chances in the third and I held on. So I am very happy”,said Bublik.

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Daniil Medvedev’s Coach Demands Better Attitude Ahead Of Simon Showdown In Marseille

Daniil Medvedev’s coach has demanded a better attitude from the Russian ahead of his quarter-final in Marseille



Daniil Medvedev (@ddsportschannel - Twitter)

Daniil Medvedev’s coach has demanded a better attitude from his Russian player ahead of his quarter-final showdon with Gilles Simon in Marseille.


Gilles Cervara, who is the coach of the US Open finalist, wasn’t satisfied with the attitude of Medvedev despite his 1-6 6-1 6-2 win over Jannik Sinner.

After a sloppy start from Medvedev, the Russian eventually stormed past the Italian rising star with the loss of three games in the last two sets.

However it was the first set that left Cervara so angry that the French coach left the team box to send a message to Medvedev that he wasn’t going to settle for this attitude.

Speaking to L’Equipe after the match, Cervara explained why he left courtside after the opening set, “When I see Daniil with that kind of attitude, that energy during the first set, crying over all the lost points, it annoys me,” Cervara said.

“I told myself, ‘He has to react. Either it’s him or it’s me.’ It was me. I didn’t want to support that behavior at that point, knowing that if he carried on like that he was heading straight into a wall.

“I secretely hoped it would make him react. I didn’t want to wait any longer. I remember once in Cincinnati where we shouted at each other on the side of the court. This time, I just got up.”

Also after the match Medvedev admitted that his coach was right to walk away and inspired him to reach another gear, “With my behaviour on the court, even if my entire box had left I would have said ‘OK.’ He was right,” Medvedev claimed. “At the same time, it enabled me to get my good energy back. Because afterwards I didn’t say a word.”

Should Medvedev want to rediscover his form in Marseille this week, he will need to show better attitude in his last eight clash against Gilles Simon.

The French veteran beat Aljaz Bedene in his second round encounter 7-6(6) 6-4 and is one of the most focused players on the ATP World Tour.

In the other three quarter-finals a trio of Canadians will look to make the last four in Marseille as Denis Shapovalov takes on Alexander Bublik.

While Vasek Pospisil and Felix Auger-Aliassime face Stefanos Tsitsipas and Egor Gerasimov respectively.

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Milos Raonic, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe and Ugo Humbert reach the quarter final in Delray Beach



Milos Raonic hit 11 aces and saved the three break points he faced to beat German Cedrik Marcel Stebe 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 36 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Delray Beach, an ATP Tour 250 tournament.


Raonic earned a break in each set. Stebe earned a break point in the ninth game with a forehand down the line, but Raonic saved it with a forehand. Raonic faced two more break points in the 11th game, but Raonic saved them with service winners. Raonic earned a break with a forehand down the line winner in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5. Raonicwon four consecutive points on return to earn a break and closed out the match 6-3 with a hold of serve.

“I got lucky through that first set and then I tried to be a bit more aggressive, create more things and that put a bit more pressure on him. It opened up the match for me a bit more”, said Raonic.

Raonic set up a quarter final against Steve Johnson, who edged past his compatriot Jack Sock 6-4 5-7 6-1 after 2 hours and 5 minutes to reach his first quarter final at ATP Tour level in six months. Johnson came back from losing the second set by racing out to a 5-0 lead.

“This is just one of those tournaments where you feel comfortable coming back every year. It’s great to see Sock back. I thought he played a really good second set and I just got bit of a momentum in the third set”, said Johnson.

French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert edged Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 (8-6) after 1 hour and 42 minutes to reach his third quarter final in 2020. Humbert fended off eight of the ten break points he faced and earned three breaks to win the last four games of the first set from 2-4 down. Humbert broke Kecmanovic, as the Serbian player was serving for the second set at 6-5. The Frenchman saved a set point and came back from 5-6 down by winning the final three points of the tie-break to clinch the win after 1 hour and 43 minutes. Humbert has improved his win-loss record this year to 8-3.

“It’s always tough to play against Miomir, because he is a great player. He always plays at a high level. I lost to him last week and I was a little bit stressed before the match, so I am very happy to get the win today. You have to enjoy the victory because it’s not easy every week. Winning in Auckland gave me a lot of confidence. I beat some great players, but I have to continue my improvement every day”,said Humbert.

Humbert will face US player Frances Tiafoe, who battled past Tommy Paul 7-5 7-6 (7-4). Both players stayed neck and neck in the first set until the 11th game when Tiafoe earned a break with a return winner. He served out the set 7-5 with a service winner in the 12th game.

Paul earned a break in the sixth game, but he dropped his serve, while he serving for the set at 5-3. Tiafoe closed out the match with a backhand crosscourt winner at 6-4 in the tie-break.

“It’s never easy playing a good friend. It’s awkward, but I thought it was a pretty good match overall. My forehand was definitely on, so that helped. I am starting to play good tennis again and just competing hard in every match”,said Tiafoe.  

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