Marin Cilic leads Croatia against India in Davis Cup qualifier in Zagreb - UBITENNIS
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Marin Cilic leads Croatia against India in Davis Cup qualifier in Zagreb

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Former US Open champion Marin Cilic will lead Croatia against India in Zagreb in the Davis Cup Qualifiers taking place on 6-7 March 2020. Cilic won five singles matches and one double match in 2018 to guide Croatia to their first Davis Cup title since 2005.

 

The Croatian team also features Borna Gojo, who lost his first Davis Cup singles matches to Andrey Rublev and Rafael Nadal in his debut in the 2019 Finals in Madrid, Nino Serdarusic and experienced doubles specialists Franko Skugor and Ivan Dodig.

The Indian team includes Sumit Nagal and 46-year-old veteran Leander Paes, who will play in his 93rd Davis Cup match.

Gojo will face Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the first singles match on Friday before Cilic takes on Ramkumar Ramanathan. Skugor will team up with Pavic in the doubles match against Leander Paes and Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Last year’s Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 champion Fabio Fognini will be bidding to continue his unbeaten streak when Italy hosts South Korea in Cagliari behind close doors due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The Italian team captained by Corrado Barazzutti will also feature Gianluca Mager, Lorenzo Sonego, Stefano Travaglia and doubles specialist Simone Bolelli.

Fognini will play in Friday’s opening match against Duckhee Lee, who became the first deaf player to win a match in the main draw of an ATP tournament beating Henri Laaksonen in Winston Salem.

Gianluca Mager will face Ju-Sung Nam in Friday’s second singles match. Mager made a major breakthrough last month, when he came through the qualifying round to reach his first ATP 500 final in Rio De Janeiro after beating world number 3 Dominic Thiem.

Christian Garin will lead Chile against Sweden in Stockolm. Garin won two back-to-back titles in Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro. Sweden will be represented by brothers Mikael and Elias Ymer.

Brazil’s Next Gen player Thiago Seyboth Wild will play his debut match in the Davis Cup against Australia’s John Milliman in Friday’s second match in Adelaide. Seyboth Wild has become the first player born in 2000 to win an ATP title at the Chile Open in Santiago de Chile last week. Thiago Monteiro will take on Jordan Thomspon in the opening singles match. Australian debutant James Duckworth will team up with his doubles partner John Peers against Marcelo Demoliner and Felipe Meligeni Rodriguez Alves.

Austria’s Dennis Novak will face Uruguay’s Martin Cuevas on the opening singles match in Graz before debutant Jurij Rodionov takes on former top 20 player Pablo Cuevas. Experienced Austrian player Oliver Marach and Juergen Melzer will face Pablo Cuevas and Ariel Behar.

Mikhail Kukushkin and Robin Haase will face off in the opening match between Kazakhstan and the Netherlands in Nur-Sultan. Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik will face Tallon Griekspoor in a clash between two players, who made their debut in the Davis Cup in 2019. Andrey Golubev and Aleksander Nedovyesov are set to face Dutch doubles specialists Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer.

Dusseldorf will host the match between Germany and Belarus. Jan Lennard Struff will play against Ilya Ivashka in Fiday’s opening match, before German veteran Phillip Kohlschreiber faces Egor Gerasimov. Last year’s Roland Garros champions Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz will play against Dzmitriy Zhyrmont and Andrei Visilevski in the doubles match.

Hungarian number 1 player Attila Balazs will face Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans, before Marton Fucsovics takes on Kimmer Coppejans. Doubles specialists Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen are set to face Balasz and Fucsovics.

Neighbouring teams Slovakia and Czech Republic will meet for the first time in a Davis Cup tie. Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik will face Czech Republic’s Jiri Veseli in the opening match, before Andrej Martin takes on Lukas Rosol in the second match.

Kei Nishikori has pulled out of the Davis Cup qualifier between Japan and Equador. Go Soeda will take on Emilio Gomez in the opening match, before Yasutaka Uchiyama squares off against Robert Quiroz. The tie will be played behind closed doors at the Bourbon Beams Dome in Miki just outside Kobe to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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‘Another Level’ – Nick Kyrgios Praises Rising Star Jannik Sinner

This week the world No.11 is bidding to win his third consecutive indoor tournament.

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Jannik Sinner (ITA), (Erste Bank Open 2021, Wiener Stadthalle); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger

Jannik Sinner’s recent dominance when it comes to playing tennis indoors hasn’t gone unnoticed with one of his peers praising him on social media.

 

The 20-year-old defeated Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Vienna Open on Wednesday in what is his fifth consecutive win on the Tour. Impressively Sinner has now won 18 straight sets on indoor hardcourts. Last Sunday he claimed his fifth Tour title at the European Open to become the youngest ATP player to win that many ATP trophies since Novak Djokovic back in 2007.

Sinner’s achievements were highlighted on social media by journalist Ben Rothenberg who posted a tweet of the 18 sets he has won. That caught the attention of former top 20 player and two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios who paid his own tribute to the Italian.

“He is another level. That’s for sure, played him in Washington doubles. Never played someone who hit the ball as hard,” he wrote.

The two are yet to play against each other in singles competition. In Washington Kyrgios and Frances Tiafoe lost 4-6, 4-6, to Sinner and his partner Sebastian Korda.

Sinner’s latest win in Vienna has boosted his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin next month. He has risen back up the standings to 10th in the race after overtaking Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie. Norrie will play his second round match on Thursday.

“I think I had not so many chances and I used them. I think that was the key today,” Sinner said of his latest win against Opelka. “I served well. My service holds were always quite fast and good. I felt well on the baseline, so I knew when I went in a rally that somehow I was going to win the point. But it’s never easy playing against him. You never have rhythm.”

Awaiting Sinner in the next round will be Austria’s Denis Novak who is currently ranked 116th in the world and is yet to beat a top 10 player in his career.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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