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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Marco Cecchinato saves seven break points he faced to beat Dominic Thiem in Geneva

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Marco Cecchinato saved all seven break points he faced to beat 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-4 in 1 hour and 34 minutes in the opening round of the Gonet Geveva Open. 

 

Cecchinato avenged his defeat against Thiem, who beat the Italian player in straight sets in the Roland Garros semifinal in 2018. 

Thiem missed the second part of the 2021 season due to a wrist injury. The Austrian player made his come-back last March at the ATP Challenger tournament in Marbella and he has not scored a single win in his six matches. 

Cecchinato saved two break points in a long third game after four deuces in the third game of the second set. Cecchinato dropped just three points in his remaining two service games to close out the first set 6-3. 

Cecchinato missed a break point at 1-1 in the second set before saving five break points in the fourth game to hold serve after four deuces. Cecchinato earned the decisive break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held his next two service games easily to seal the second set 6-3 after 1 hour and 33 minutes. 

Cecchinato set up a second round match against Kamil Majchrzak, who overcame Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-3. 

John Millman cruied past John Millman 6-3 6-1 setting up a second match against Danil Medvedev, who will play his first clay-court match of the year after a hernia problem. Federico Delbonis edged past Lithuanian wild card Rikardas Berankis 6-4 6-4. Last year’s Winston Salem champion Ilya Ivashka came back from one set down to beat Marcos Giron 4-6 6-3 6-2. 

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Daniil Medvedev ‘Happy To Play Wimbledon’ If Ban Is Lifted

The world No.2 says he is willing to speak with other players about the situation ahead of his return to action following surgery.

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Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in action against Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Daniil Medvedev says he is still hopeful that he might be able to play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships should officials at The All England Club decide to change their stance.

 

At present the reigning US Open champion will not be allowed to play at the grass court major due to his nationality. Officials at the Grand Slam have confirmed that Russian and Belarussian players have been banned from the event due to the war in Ukraine. Ian Hewitt, who is the chairman of The AELTC, said the action was taken in order to prevent ‘the propaganda machine of the Russian regime’ from potentially benefiting from their players’ success.

The ban is a controversial move for the sport which until now had a united approach when it came to allowing those players participate in tournaments but only as neutral athletes. Former Wimbledon champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokopvic and Andy Murray have all expressed some degree of opposition to the decision. Meanwhile, the ATP and WTA are considering the possibility of removing the allocation of ranking points at the event.

Speaking about the ban ahead of this week’s Geneva Open, Medvedev acknowledges that it is a ‘tricky situation’ but is still hopeful that a u-turn could occur which would allow him to play. The 26-year-old has made four main draw appearances at Wimbledon with his best result being a run to the fourth round last year.

“There has been a lot of talk around it. I just tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make. It’s right now about Wimbledon itself, the ATP, maybe the British government is involved,” news agency AFP quoted Medvedev as telling reporters in Switzerland.
“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.
“I can play: I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love this tournament.
“I cannot play: well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

The former world No.1 has been among a group of Russian players who have previously called for peace in the region. Although none of them have gone as far as publicly condemning the actions of their government. Something which has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s Elina Svitoliva.

“I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it’s very upsetting,” Medvedev commented on the war.

Geneva will be the first event Medvedev has played in since reaching the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. He took time away from the Tour to undergo hernia surgery but has confirmed he intends to play at next week’s French Open despite his lack of match play on the clay.

During his time at those events, the tennis star says he is more than happy to speak with other players about the Wimbledon ban should they want to.

“Since I haven’t been on the tour, I haven’t talked to any of them face to face. It was the first time when I came here on Saturday when I can talk to players, and if they start talking about this, we can discuss,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly what’s happening, what’s going to happen, if there are going to be more decisions made.
“Same about Wimbledon. I don’t know if this decision is 100 percent, and it’s over.”

Granted a bye in the first round, Medvedev will start his Geneva campaign against either Richard Gasquet or John Millman.

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Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic win their fourth ATP Masters 1000 doubles title

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Defending champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic battled past John Isner and Diego Schwartzman 6-2 6-7 (6-7) 12-10 to claim their fourth ATP Masters 1000 doubles title together at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Mektic and Pavic broke twice to win a one-sided opening set 6-2. Both teams went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break of the second set. The Croatians earned a championship point at 6-5 in the tie-break, but Schwartzman hit a pair of forehand winners to force a Match Tie-Break. 

Both teams did not convert match points before Mektic and Pavic won the final two points to seal the Match Tie-Break 11-9. 

Isner became the first player to reach three Masters 1000 doubles finals with three different players in the same year. The US player won two consecutive Sunshine Double trophies in Indian Wells with Jack Sock and the Miami Open with Hubert Hurkacz.  Mektic and Pavic won nine ATP Tour titles last year and finished the 2021 season as the world number 1 team in the ATP Doubles Rannking. They had not won a title so far in 2022 before the Rome tournament, but they showed their form this week, as they dropped just one set during the tournament. The Croatian Doubles team beat Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in the semifinal on Saturday.

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