Fiona Ferro Stuns Kontaveit To Win Palermo Open - UBITENNIS
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Fiona Ferro Stuns Kontaveit To Win Palermo Open

The unseeded Frenchwoman has become the first player to win a title on the Tour following its five-month suspension due to COVID-19.

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France’s Fiona Ferro will rocket up the world rankings to a career best of 44 on Monday after claiming her second WTA title at the Palermo Open.

 

The 23-year-old unseeded player roared her way to a 6-2, 7-5, win over Estonian fourth seed Anett Kontaveit who is currently ranked 31 places above her on the Tour. Producing a series of blistering shots from both the forehand and backhand side, Ferro was relentless throughout the at times roller-coaster 103-minute encounter. Hitting a total of 51 winners to 24 unforced errors and converting five out of her seven break points.

“It was a very tough match, very close. Anett is a very consistent player and I had to fight for every point,” Ferro said during the trophy ceremony.
“At 3-5 in the second set I just had to keep fighting for every point.”
She added.

Playing in only her second WTA Final and first since July 2019, Ferro got off to the perfect start by breaking Kontaveit in the very first game of the match. Continuing to weather the storm, the Frenchwoman had all the answers to the questions her opponent asked of her during the opener. Breaking once again en route to clinching the opening set after 42 minutes of play.

Ferro didn’t have it all her own way with the second set seeing her being forced to come back from behind twice. At one stage it looked as if proceedings would be heading into a decider as she trailed 3-5, 30-30. Nevertheless, Ferro managed to battle back with the use of some more heavy hitting. Finishing the match off with a four-game winning streak, she triumphed on her first championship point after a Kontaveit return drifted beyond the baseline.

“Congratulations to Anett on a great week and congratulations to your coach as well. I wish you the best of luck in the next tournament and in the future,” the new champion said in tribute to her rival.

Prior to this week Ferro hadn’t won back-to-back matches on the Tour since the US Open last year. However, she has managed to regain her form during the five-month break by participating in a series of exhibitions organised by her federation. Where she won 10 matches in a row. Although it is her latest victory that is the most notable against Kontaveit, who last lost to a player outside of the top 50 at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It’s been so exciting that all of our people came to watch and I’m so thankful. I was really excited to play today,” said Kontaveit.
“I would also like to thank my coach for being with me always and supporting me. Not the result we wanted today but we will make it next time.”

After a mixed start to 2020 that saw Ferro win just four out of nine matches played over four tournaments, she is hoping Palermo will elevate her to more success in the future. She is currently entered to play at the Prague Open, which will start on Monday. In the first round she has been drawn against Spain’s Aliona Bolsova with a potential clash with Dayana Yastremska lurking in the second.

“I don’t want to speak so much about the rankings. My goal is to keep working as hard as I always do and bring home more trophies,” she stated.

Ferro exits Palermo with 280 ranking points and €20,161 in prize money.

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Dan Evans On The Look Out For New Coach

The 30-year-old has come to a surprise decision to end his current coaching agreement despite achieving a career ranking high earlier this year.

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British No.1 Dan Evans is making a big change to his team after confirming that he will part ways with coach Mark Hilton at the end of the season.

 

The world No.35 reunited with Hilton just last year after also previously working with him prior to his drugs ban in 2017. Under his guidance Evans has achieved several wins over top 10 players, reached his first ever semi-final of an ATP 500 event in Dubai and peaked at a ranking best of 28th in March.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for his work and efforts over the past 12 months and we are both excited for what is next for each of our respective careers,” Evans said.

Evans’ announcement came on the same day he ended his five-match losing streak on the Tour. In the first round of the European Open on Tuesday he defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso in three sets. Making it his first win since the US Open when he defeated Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Hilton will now return to working for the British LTA. A former player himself he reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Wimbledon boys doubles championships and peaked at a ranking high of 202 on the ATP Tour in singles. His best performance at a Grand Slam occurred at Wimbledon when as a wild card he stunned Spain’s Albert Costa in the first round of the 2004 tournament. Besides Evans, he has also previously worked with the likes of Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund.

“After discussing our plans for 2021, Dan and I have made the mutual decision to part ways at the end of November,” Hilton said in a statement.
“Both of us are very proud of our collaboration this year, helping Dan achieve a career-high ranking of number 28, seven wins over top-20 players and reaching his first ATP 500 semi-final.
“I’m looking forward to taking the experience I have gained over the last three years at the highest levels of the ATP Tour and re-investing that back into the LTA’s Performance Team for the benefit of our British players and coaches.”

It is unclear as to who may step in as Evans’ next coach. The Brit will return to action on Wednesday when he plays Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Evans’ win-loss for 2020 currently stands at 14-11 on the ATP Tour.

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Alex De Minaur rallies from a set and a break down to beat Richard Gasquet in Antwerp

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Alex De Minaur came back from one set down to beat Richard Gasquet 3-6 7-6 6-3 in the opening round of the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Gasquet had led by a set and a break and served for the match before De Minaur rallied to take a thrilling win. 

De Minaur recently beat Gasquet 6-4 6-3 6-7 7-5 in their recent head-to-head clash in the second round of the US Open,

De Minaur earned an immediate break in the first game of the opening set with a forehand winner into the corner. Gasquet broke straight back in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Both players held serve until the fifth game before Gasquet broke serve at 30 in the sixth game. The Frenchman consolidated the break for a 5-2 lead. De Minaur held serve with a drop-shot in the eighth game for 3-5. Gasquet served out the first set 6-3 with his forehand. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Gasquet converted his third break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Frenchman saved a break point to hold his serve at deuce for 4-2. 

Gasquet saved three break points in the eighth game at 4-3, but De Minaur broke back on his fifth break point to draw level to 5-5, as Gasquet was serving for the match. Gasquet made an unforced error, as he was serving for the win. De Minaur won the next two points to get back on serve. 

After two holds of serve the set came down to the tie-break. De Minaur got an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Gasquet broke back on the fifth point to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur earned his second mini-break on the 11th point, as Gasquet double faulted at 5-5. 

De Minaur broke in the seventh game with an inside-in forehand winner. Gasquet fended off a first match point on his serve with a volley. The Aussie player closed out the decider on the second match match point after 2 hours and 18 minutes, as Gasquet netted his forehand.

De Minaur scored his first win on the ATP Tour since reaching the quarter final at the US Open. The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up only dropped five service points in the decisive set. 

Daniel Evans edged past Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-2 3-6 6-3 in 1 hour and 57 minutes to  set up a second round against Frances Tiafoe at the European Open in Antwerp. Evans fired nine aces and won 77 % of his first serve points. 

In the opening set Evans went up a double break to race out to a 4-1 lead. Caruso pulled one break back in the sixth game in the sixth game for 2-4. Evans broke for the third time in the seventh game and served out 6-2 on his second set point. The world number 35 hit 35 aces and won 64% of his first serve points. 

Caruso earned the break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and served out the second set at love.

Evans broke serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1, but he did not convert a double break point in the sixth game. Evans did not face any break points in his next service games to win the third set 6-3. 

Cameron Norrie rallied from 0-3 down in the second set to beat Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hhour and 37 minutes setting up a second round match against either Milos Raonic or Aljaz Bedene. 

Spain’s Pablo Andujar eased past Argentine lucky loser Federico Coria 6-2 6-3. Andujar will take on fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov. Coria replaced Kei Nishikori, who pulled out of the tournament due to a right shoulder injury. 

US qualifier Marcos Giron came back from one set down to beat Italian 17-year-old player Luca Nardi 4-6 6-4 6-1. Giron got the first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Nardi broke serve twice in the sixth and ninth games to win the first set. Giron won nine consecutive games from 4-6 3-4 down with four breaks. 

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Jannik Sinner cruises past James Duckworth in Cologne

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Jannik Sinner swept past James Duckworth 6-1 6-2 in 61 minutes minutes to reach the second round at the Bett1 HULKS Championships in Cologne. Sinner converted five of his seven break points and saved both the break points he faced in the fifth game of the second set. 

 

Sinner got the first two breaks of the match at love in the first and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. The 2019 Next Gen player and 2020 Roland Garros quarter finalist converted his third break point at deuce after a double fault from Duckworth in the seventh game to close out the first set 6-1 after just 23 minutes. 

The second serve went on serve in the first four games before Siinner saved two break points to hold serve at deuce after a 12-minute marathon game. The Italian 19-year-old star broke twice in a row to close out the second set 6-2, when Duckworth missed a forehand volley wide. 

“Not many unforced errors, I served quite well. I am very happy about my first match. I felt great on court, moving quite well. Obviously the second set there was one game when I was serving in which he pushed a little bit more the ball, so I was a little bit rushed, but I think it was a solid performance”, said Sinner. 

Sinner set up a second round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat Tennys Sandgren 6-3 3-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 17 minutes. 

Sinner has moved up to world number 46 after reaching the quarter final at Roland Garros. 

Spanish Next Gen player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Damir Dzumhur 6-2 6-3 with two breaks i each set scoring his 10th match win of the season. Davidovich Fokina, who lost to Alexander Zverev last week at the bett1 HULKS Indoors last week in Cologne, will face Steve Johnson in the second round. 

German brothers Alexander and Misha Zverev beat Aisam UI Haq Qureshi 6-4 6-2 to reach the second round of the doubles tournament. Sasha and Misha fended off all three break points they faced to set up a second round match against either Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Fernando Verdasco. 

Max Purcell and Luke Seville edged Felix Auger Aliassime and Robert Lindstedt 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (1-7) 10-7. 

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