Rafael Nadal Reacts To First Round Win At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Reacts To First Round Win At Australian Open

It was a strong start to the tournament from the top seed in the men’s draw.

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World No.1 Rafael Nadal overcame some spirited play from underdog Hugo Dellien to move into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

 

The former champion rallied to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-0, victory against the world No.73. Who is the only player from Bolivia to have a top 500 ranking at present. Despite the straightforward score, Nadal was at times made to work hard for victory due to some big hitting coming from across the court, but it was not consistent enough to derail the Spaniard as he dropped serve twice in the match.

“For me it is a positive start. What you want in the first round (of a grand slam) is to win and to do it in straight sets is even better.” Nadal said during his on-court interview.
“I’m happy and excited to be back here in Melbourne.”

Seeking only his second title in Melbourne and first in a decade, the top seed blasted 38 winners to 21 unforced errors in his latest encounter on the Rod Laver Arena. Nadal also had the edge when it came to serve as he won 70% of his first service points and 59% of his second. Converting eight out of his 18 break point opportunities.

Nadal’s form on the court elevated as the match progressed. After manoeuvring his way through the first two sets against Dellien, he switched up to another level in the third. It was during the decider where he dropped only six points behind serve and broke three consecutive times en route to victory. Clinching the win with the help of a clean forehand winner

“It was a tough first five games for me. I was leading 5-0, but he had a lot of chances to win games during that tough time.” He reflected after.
“He’s (Dellien) a fighter. He has a great story behind him. He is playing at a very high level and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”

The 32-year-old enters this year’s tournament with plenty of match practice following his run to the final of the inaugural ATP Earlier this month. At the tournament Nadal played a total of eight matches (including two doubles) and won six of them. Although he is not phased by the busy start to 2020 for him.

“There has not been much time between seasons this year. I finished late (last year) with the Davis Cup and then started (2020) with a demanding competition at the ATP Cup,’ he admits.
“But I’m happy. I’ve started to take it a bit slow at the end of last week and then I started to increase my intensity on the practice court.”

Nadal has now won his first round match at the Australian Open in 14 out of his 15 appearances. The only exception was in 2016. He has now won 62 main draw matches at the tournament since his debut back in 2004.

Up next for the top seed will be a meeting with either Portugal’s Joao Sousa or Argentina’s Federico Delbonis. He currently leads both player’s 3-0 in their head-to-head and is yet to drop a set against them.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas, Gilles Simon and Felix Auger Aliassime reach the the semifinal in Marseille

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Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Vasek Pospisil 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 17 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

 

Both players stayed neck and neck until 5-5, before Tsitsipas earned his first break, when Pospisil hit a backhand long. The Greek star wrapped up the first set with an ace after 45 minutes.

Tsitsipas claimed his second break at 3-3 with a backhand return and reeled off 10 consecutive points to seal the second set 6-3.

Tsitsipas fired 8 aces and won 26 of his 30 first service points.

“It was not easy. I knew I would have to fight and be dynamic. He plays a very aggressive brand of tennis, so every point has to be treated respectfully. I played with passion and patience, and my fighting spirit, when I am in the right zone. It means good things can happen”, said Tsitsipas.

Gilles Simon cruised through to an upset 6-4 6-0 win over Danil Medvedev to advance to the semifinal. Simon converted five of his six break point chances and lost his serve only once.

The French veteran will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who beat Egor Gerasimov 7-5 6-2. The young Canadian star broke serve four times and and won 83 % of his first serve points.

Gerasimov earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead, but Auger Aliassime came back by winning two consecutive games to win the opening set 7-5. Auger Aliassime converted his fourth break point in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and sealed the second set with another break in the eighth game.

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

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

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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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