Simona Halep rallies from one set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka in Dubai - UBITENNIS
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Simona Halep rallies from one set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka in Dubai

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Simona Halep came back from one set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-2 6-2 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in one hour and 35 minutes to advance to the semifinals in Dubai one day after saving a match point against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.

 

Halep earned her third win in four head-to-head matches against Sabalenka.

Halep broke in the second game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead, but Sabalenka broke straight back in the next game. Halep broke serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and never faced any break point in the next games.

Halep earned a break in the fourth game of the decider and backed it up to open up a 4-1 lead. The 2019 Wimbledon champion was taken to deuce once in her last eight service games of the match.

“I think I started to play a little bit stronger in the second set and find rhythm. It’s always tough to play against her because she is very strong and hits the ball really hard, so I had to play faster, be quicker on court and give everything I had to win”, said Halep.

Halep will face US qualifier Jennifer Brady, who clinched a win against a top 20 player for the third consecutive year by beating this year’s Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4. Brady has reached her third WTA semifinal and the first at Premier level.

Muguruza earned a break point with a forehand winner, as Brady was serving for the set. Brady was broken, when she hit two consecutive forehands into the net. Muguruza rallied from 1-3 to draw level to 5-5 and earned her first set point. The Spaniard sealed the tie-break, as Brady sent her backhand long.

Muguruza earned a break point in the sixth game with a backhand winner. Brady saved the break point with a forehand crosscourt winner and held serve with a backhand winner down the line. Brady broke serve to take a 4-3, as Muguruza made two forehand errors and hit two double faults. Muguruza dropped her serve again with another double fault.

Both players held serve in the first nine games of the third set. Muguruza held three break points in the third game, but Brady saved them with a backhand crosscourt winner. Brady sealed the win with a break on her second match point, as Muguruza sent a backhand long.

 

 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas: “I will miss Wimbledon and I can’t wait to 2021”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas said that the Wimbledon cancellation news was just an April fool after organizers of the famous British tournament called off their Grand Slam event due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and public health concerns.

 

Tsitsipas made his debut at Wimbledon in 2017 and reached the fourth round in 2018. He lost to Stefano Travaglia in the opening round at Wimbledon last year, but he bounced back winning the ATP Finals in London.

This year Tsitsipas won the Marseille title for the second consecutive year and lost the Dubai final against Novak Djokovic in Dubai. He lost to Milos Raonic in the third round at the Australian Open. At the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in Australia he beat Alexander Zverev and lost to Denis Shapovalov and Nick Kyrgios.

Tsitsipas was the first Greek player to break into the top 5 and the first player from his country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in 2019. Last year he scored the biggest win of his career against Novak Djokovic in Shanghai and won three titles in Marseille and Estoril. He finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai and to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

“I went to bed thinking this was all a bad April fools joke but I woke up today to find that Wimbledon is actually cancelled. I will miss this special event and I can’t wait to 2021. Stay home. Stay sane”, wrote Tsitsipas in a Twitter post.

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Roger Federer: “We experience difficult times, we arise from it strengthened”

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has confirmed that he is planning to play in Halle in 2021 after the historic German grass tournament was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ATP has extended the suspension of the tour until 13th July. Federer was expected to play in Halle, a tournament where he won ten times and reached 13 finals. He made his debut in Halle in 2000 during his career.

 

“We experience difficult times, however, we will arise from it strengthened. Already today I am glad and excited about my return to Halle next year. Stay healthy”, said Federer in a statement released on the Halle tournament website.

 Federer also won eight Wimbledon titles, which was also called off for the first time since 1945 due to public health concerns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

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Gerard Tsobanian: “I can’t see the events being held behind closed doors”

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The ATP and WTA have suspended the tennis season until 13th July cancelling all the clay and grass tournaments, but players expect the suspension to get expected.

 

The Madrid Mutua Open was originally scheduled from 3 to 10 May 2020. Madrid Masters Chef Executive Officer Gerard Tsobanian doubts that the tennis season will resume this year. Tsobanian said that playing tournament behind closed doors is not possible during an interview to French sports daily L’Equipe.

“I am worried about the future. There are so many question marks. Playing without fans is an option but I doubt that the events will go that route. I can’t see the events being held behind closed doors. It will take time for everything to return to normal in tennis”, said Gerard Tsobanian.

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