Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Alexei Popyrin at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Alexei Popyrin at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Alexei Popyrin 17-12 20-9 19-8 15-16 in the match which concluded the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy near Nice.

 

Tsitsipas took the early lead racing out to a 6-2 lead. Both players made a lot of errors and and struggled to find their rhythm. Tsitsipas hit a huge forehand to take a 11-9 lead. Popyrin hit a backhand passing shot to draw level to 11-11. Tsitsipas pulled away to 13-11 and sealed the first quarter with a double fault from Popyrin.

Tsitsipas took a 6-2 lead in the second set and raced out to 10-4. Popyrin hit a double fault, as Tsitsipas was leading 13-6. Tsitsipas hit an ace when he was using a x3 Winner card and raced to a 20-9 win in the second quarter.

Tsitispas raced out to a 6-2 lead for the third consecutive quarter. Popyrin opted to use the “Steal Serve” card, when Tsitsipas was leading 9-5. Tsitsipas reeled off the next four points and cruised through to a 19-8 win in the third quarter after a double fault from Popyrin.

Tsitsipas hit a backhand into the net at 5-2 in the fourth quarter. The Greek player raced out to a 7-3 lead. Popyrin came back to 8-9 after using the -1 Serve Card. Popyrin clawed his way back to draw level to 11-11. Popyrin took a 14-13 lead on the next two points on Tsitsipas’ serve. The deciding point came on Popyrin’s serve at 15-15. Tsitsipas could not return a ball and Popyrin clinched the fourth quarter 16-15.

“It was a fantastic day. It was a fantastic night, going well so far. I like night sessions because I am a night owl. I am a night person. I like doing my job during the night. I am surprised it came so close to the super tie-break because I started very well. I was leading by a lot of points and he managed to come back. My momentum slipped away and I was not there when I needed it”, said Tsitsipas.  

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Andrey Rublev, Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut secure their spot in the semifinals at Thiem’s 7 tournament

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Andrey Rublev edged Casper Ruud 6-2 3-6 10-4 at the Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel. After losing the first set Ruud came back to win the second set forcing the match to the third set. Rublev won the super tie-break when Ruud made a double fault on the match point. Rublev needed a win from Dominic Thiem against Jan Lennard Struff to secure his spot in the semifinal.

 

Thiem beat Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to score his third consecutive win at this tournament after defeating Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev in the first two days.

The first set went on serve until the 10th game, when Thiem converted on his first break point at 5-4 to clinch the first set in 30 minutes. In the second set Thiem did not convert two break points at 3-2 and another chance at 4-3. It came down to the tie-break. Thiem earned a mini-break to take a 2-1 lead and held on his serve to create three match point at 6-3. The home player converted on his first chance, as Struff’s backhand sailed long. Thiem set up a semifinal clash against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spanish player converted five of his six break points and won 73% of the rallies of the rallies in his service game in his 6-0 6-1 win over Dennis Novak to get the second point in his round robin group and secure his spot in the semifinals in the Group B.

Bautista Agut won 5 of the 7 games of the match before Novak earned his only game of the match by holding his first service game in the second set. Bautista Agut won five consecutive games to win the second set 6-1.

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Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios pull out of Berlin exhibition tournament

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Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios have withdrawn from the exhibition bett1 ACES tournament in Berlin. Both players were expected to join Dominic Thiem in the tournament, which will take place in the Steffi Graf Stadium from 13 to 15 July and in the Hangar 6 from 17 to 19 July. Caroline Garcia has pulled out from the women’s tournament due to a knee injury and will be replaced by Anastasija Sevastova.

 

“I was planning to play in Berlin this month, but I have made the decision to stay put and train with my team and not play any tournaments at the moment. It’s never nice to miss the chance to play, but I will be back soon”, said Zverev on the social media.

Zverev updated his fans on his latest news on his twitter account.

“I wanted to update you on a few things. First, on Friday I took my third test for Covid-19 and I am happy to say it also came back negative. Secondly, I am going through a trial period with David Ferrer on my team. I could not be more excited to get to work. I can’t wait for the tour to be back”, said Zverev.

Berlin organizers doubt that Zverev will play in Berlin. Last week Edwin Weindorfer said that he was considering refusing to allow Zverev to play in Berlin and warned he would have zero tolerance of any player who parties during the exhibition tournament.

“Zverev’s management said that he is not planning to play in any tournament at the moment. We are obviously disappointed, because he would have had a good opportunity to play in front of his fans”, said Weindorfer.

 Dominic Thiem, Jannik Sinner and Jan Lennard Struff in the men’s field and Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and Andrea Petkovic are the top names of the Berlin tournament.

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Donna Vekic Splits With Coach, Disputes The Reason Behind Move

The world No.24 has questioned a statement from her ex-coach concerning the reason behind his departure.

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Croatia’s top women’s player has been left searching for a new mentor on the Tour after parting ways with her coach after more than two years.

 

Donna Vekic has confirmed that she is no longer working with Torben Beltz, who previously guided Angelique Kerber to two of her Grand Slam titles. Under Beltz’s guidance, the world No.24 reached three WTA Finals as well as the quarter-finals of her first Grand Slam at the 2019 US Open. Last year the 24-year-old also broke into the top 20 for the first time in her career.

News of the split was confirmed by Beltz after the German coach posted a statement on his Instagram account. In it, he cites ‘different views’ in practicing and scheduling as the reason behind them going separate ways.

“Unfortunately Team Donna and I had different views in setting up the practice and tournament schedule for the restart of the tour which is why we will go separate ways! Thanks Donna for the last 2.5 years, it was a great ride and I always enjoyed our time together. Good luck for you in the future. Ready for a new adventure,” Beltz wrote.

However, it appears that there is more to it than what Beltz has said. Taking to Twitter, Vekic called him out by questioning his view on why the two split. Although she didn’t comment on why the decision was made.

“Well this is the first time I’m hearing of different views in practice and tournament schedules…?” She wrote on Twitter.

The separation comes after what was a mixed start to the season for Vekic prior to the Tour suspension. In her first five tournaments she only won back-to-back matches in Adelaide and at the Australian Open. Her 2020 win-loss record currently stands at 5-5.

So far in her career Vekic has earned more than $4.2 million in prize money which is the fourth highest tally ever made by a female Croatian player. Petra Martic holds the record with $5,128,866 in earnings.

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