Matteo Berrettini: "It was a shock when the Rome Masters was cancelled" - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini: “It was a shock when the Rome Masters was cancelled”

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Last year’s US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini talked from the United States to Italian Sports channel about the period he is spending at home during the coronavirus pandemic which has forced tournament organisers to cancel their events scheduled until June.

 

“I was ready to play Indian Wells. In this period I am trying to improve my physical form. Tennis is not the priority at the moment. I have to find the form again after being sidelined by an injury problem at the start of the year. My days at home are boring and strange. This happens when we are injured. Health is our priority and we have to fight against the coronavirus. It’s a strange feeling that many tennis tournaments have been cancelled or postponed. The life of tennis players is focused on these tennis tournaments, but they are less important than what is happening in the world now. There are many people without work now. Tennis can wait. I am very sorry that the Rome Massters tournament has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It shocked me more than the news that Wimbledon will not take place this year. Rome is my city and I started my career at this tournament. We will have to get used to this situation for many weeks”, said Berrettini.

Berrettini broke into the top 10 of the ATP Ranking on 28th October 2019 and achieved his career-high of world number 8 on 4 November. He became the first ATP Finals singles qualifier since Corrado Barazzutti in 1978. Berrettini’s 2019 season was highlighted by two titles in Budapest and Stuttgart, and the semifinals at the US Open, Halle, Vienna and Shanghai.

“I believe that the US Open has been the springboard event for my career. It has been a big step forward in my career. I did not think about reaching the top 10, but my goal was to play at my best level”, said Berrettini.

“My idol growing up was Roger Federer. He won every tournament, when I started playing tennis and it was easy to be a fan of Federer. I liked his way of playing tennis and his respect for his rivals. When I started playing against him, I realized that I can no longer be his fan. I have to be focused on myself. I enjoyed playing against Federer in London. He played a perfect match. I was not ready for that stage. I have been lucky to play against Djokovic, Nadal, Federer. I also faced Andy Murray, who was not in his best form, but he beat me last year in Beijing. Twelve months ago I would have said that my favourite surface was clay, but I achieved good results everywhere. The surface where I play better is outdoor hard-court”.

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Petra Martic secures her spot in the semifinal in Palermo after hard-fought win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich

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Top seed and world number 15 Petra Martic from Croatia secured her spot in the semifinal at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo after a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) win over former world number 30 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus. Martic produced 54 winners to 23 unforced errors. 

 

Martic fought back from a break down in the opening set and secured a hard-fought win on her fourth match points, as she served for the match twice in the second tie-break. 

The first set went on serve in the first eight games before Sasnovich broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Martic broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. The Croatian player fended off three break points at 5-5 and did not convert her first set point in Sasnovich’s service game. 

Martic led 5-3 in the tie-break, but Sasnovich won the next two points to draw level to 5-5. Martic hit a forehand that forced a Sasnovich error and an unreturned serve to close out the tie-break after 75 minutes. 

Martic broke twice in the first and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead in the second set. Sasnovich pulled one of the two breaks back in the sixth game. Sasnovich trailed 40-15 at 5-4 on Martic’s serve, but she saved both match points. The Belarusian player later fended off another match point after deuce to draw level to 5-5. Martic broke again in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead, but Sasnovich broke straight back at 15 to force the second set to the second tie-break. Martic won five of the final six points to win the tie-break 7-3 reaching her second semifinal of the season after Dubai. 

“Overall, it was a great fight. I knew she was not going to give up until the match was over, and that’s what she proved once again. I think today was better than yesterday. There was some things that I was happy with, some things that I am not really happy with, but I am really just happy that I managed to win this match in two sets. I had two tough matches and my body’s holding up well. I have no major issues, just maybe soreness that I am sure we all have in the first tournament back. It feels nice to be reminded of how it feels to be that kind of tired, but all in all, I am happy. I had some good weeks of practice and it’s paying off”, said Martic. 

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Dayana Yastremska reaches quarter finals in Palermo

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Number 7 seed Dayana Yastremska cruised past Oceane Dodin 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 17 minutes. The young Ukrainian player fired 11 aces and converted three of the four break points in the opening set. 

 

Yastremska saved a break point in the opening game before breaking twice in the second and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Dodin got a break back, as Yastremska was serving for the set. Yastremska sealed the first set in the eighth game, as Dodin made a double fault. 

Both players traded breaks early in the second set and stayed neck and neck until the 10th game. Dodin saved a match point in the 10th game, but Yastremska secured the second match point with a backhand return to seal the second set 6-4. 

Yastremska hit 39 winners to just 7 unforced errors. 

Earlier this year Yastremska upset 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in Doha. Dodin reached two consecutive quarter finals in St. Petersburg and Lyon. 

“I am very happy to be in a quarter final after so long of playing no tournaments. It was a good match, starting pretty late. All day, I had to be very focused to stay in a good way with the mind”, said Yastremska.   

Yastremska set up a quarter final match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who came back from one set down to beat Slovenian 19-year-old Kaja Juvan. 

Yastremska beat Giorgi 6-3 6-3 in their only previous clash at Wimbledon in 2019. Giorgi joins her compatriots Sara Errani and 19-year-old Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the quarter finals. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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