Danil Medvedev reaches the third round at the US Open - UBITENNIS
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Danil Medvedev reaches the third round at the US Open

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Third seed and last year’s finalist Danil Medvedev cruised past Christopher O’Connell 6-3 6-2 6-4 in two hours and 16 minutes in Louis Armstrong Stadium to advance to the third round at the US Open in New York. Medvedev has not dropped a set on his serve in his first two matches. 

 

Medvedev fended off both break points he faced and converted on four break point chances. The Russian player broke in the eighth game of the opening set, twice in a row in the third and fifth games of the second set and once in the first set of the third set. 

“The biggest positive is that I won in three sets. Late match, so I didn’t want to finish too late. Great level and he is not an easy opponent. I am happy with my performance to go through”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev set up a third round clash against US wildcard JJ Wolf, who beat Roberto Carballes Baena 6-2 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 57 minutes. Wolf broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and won five of the last six games in the second set. 

Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics came back from 1-2 down on sets to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-4 6-1 after four hours and five minutes in the longest match of the tournament so far. Fucsovics earned eight breaks. Dimitrov wasted four set points at 5-4 in the second set. Dimitrov got the break to take a 3-1 lead in the fourth set. Fucsovics got three consecutive breaks in the third set, becoming the first Hungarian player to reach the US Open third round since 1975. 

Vasek Pospisil upset last week’s Western and Southern Open finalist Milos Raonic 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 after 3 hours and 18 minutes. 

Pospisil saved all five break points and converted two of his ten break point chances. Both players fended off four break points in the opening game before earning three break points at 4-3. Pospisil saved them to set up a tie-break. Raonic got three mini-breaks to win the first set 7-1 after 54 minutes. Pospisil lost six points on his first serve in the second set and earned a break at 3-2. Pospisil wrapped up the first set with a forehand winner in the ninth game. All five break points were saved in the third set, which came down to the third set. Pospisil claimed the tie-break with two winners at 5-4. 

Both players held their serve in the first seven games of the fourth set. Pospisil broke serve in the eighth game to open up a 5-3 lead, as Raonic netted a forehand and sealed the win in the ninth game with an ace. 

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic overcame Norbert Gombos 6-3 1-6 7-6 7-5 in just under three hours. Cilic reeled off the last three games to win the opening set 6-3. Gombos broke twice to win the second set 6-1. The Slovakian player broke serve to take a 4-2 lead. Cilic pulled the break back to force the third set to the tie-break. The Croatian player cruised through to winning the tie-break 7-2. Cilic fended off two set points at 4-5 in the fourth set and broke serve in the next game before holding serve in the 12th game.  

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Simona Halep cruises through to the second round with a straight-set win over Anastasia Potapova in Moscow

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Simona Halep cruised through to the second round at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow with a 6-1 6-4 win over Anastasia Potapova after 90 minutes. 

 

Halep has extended her winning record against Potapova after beating her Russian rival in their only previous head-to-head match at the Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne last winter. The Romanian star is making her first appearance since she won the title in 2013.

Four of the first six six games went to deuce. Halep went up an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Potapova broke straight back, but Halep earned two breaks at deuce to take a 5-1 lead before serving out the set at love. 

Four of the first six games of the second set went against serve. Halep converted the first of her two break points to take a 5-4 lead. As Halep was serving for the match at 5-4, Potapova earned three break points.

Halep saved them, before converting her second match point to secure her spot in the second round, where she will face world number 32 Veronika Kudemertova. Halep beat Kudemertova 6-1 6-3 in the third round at this year’s Australian Open. Kudemertova came back from one set down to beat Oksana Selekmetheva 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 after 2 hous and 20 minutes. 

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Andy Murray battles past Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match in Antwerp

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Andy Murray battled past Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 3 hours and 45 minutes to advance to the second rund at the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Murray came back from a set down in the first set before prevailing in the tie-break. 

Tiafoe opened up a 3-1 lead with an early break in the third game and a hold. Murray reduced the deficit to 2-3 before Tiafoe needed a medical time-out to treat a back problem. Murray broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Both players traded breaks in the next two games. Tiafoe wasted a set point. Murray closed out the tie-break with two mini-breaks followed by two consecutive aces.

Both players fended off break points to stay on serve in the second set. Murray saved a set point to hold and forced the second set to to another tie-break. Murray hit a forehand down the centre of the court to open up a 3-1 lead. Tiafoe pulled back on serve after a return into the net from Murray. Tiafoe earned two mini-breaks to take a 4-3 lead. The US player hit a forehand down the line to earn a set point, but Murray saved it to draw level to 6-6. Tiafoe converted his sixth set point with a forehand half-volley to win the 81-minute second set forcing the match to the third set. 

Tiafoe earned a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Murray broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Murray saved two break points to hold for 4-3. Tiafoe held serve to draw level to 5-5 forcing the decider to a third tie-break. Both players earned two mini-breaks in the tie-break before Murray gained a two-point lead, but Tiafoe drew level to 5-5. Murray saved two match points before sealing the win with a backhand dropshot, which Tiafoe could return into the net. 

Murray avenged a defeat against Tiafoe, who beat the Scotsman in the second round at Winston Salem last August. 

Murray will face Diego Schwartzman on Thursday. 

“I think it’s the longest three-set match I have played by quite a distance. I am tired right now, obviously it was an unbelievable battle. Nowadays, obviously my body is old now. I have played a lot of matches on the Tour. I don’t mind playing long matches, but that was taking it to another level. Brilliant match. Amazing atmosphere. Thanks to everyone who came and supported. It’s just so nice. To be back and playing in front of crowd again”, said Murray.  

Murray and Tiafoe played the longest best-of-three set match of 2021, improving the previous record set by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who played for 3 hours and 38 minutes in the Barcelona final. 

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Jenson Brooksby upsets Reilly Opelka to boost his chance to qualify for the Next Gen Finals in Milan

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US Next Gen rising star Jenson Brooksby continues his chase for a spot in the Next Gen Finals in Milan with a 6-4 6-4 win over Reilly Opelka after 1 hour and 12 minutes. 

 

Brooksby earned his first break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Opelka saved two break points to hold serve at deuce, as he serving to stay in the first set. Brooksby served out the first set in the 10th game before breaking at love in the fourth game to seal the second set 6-4.

Brookby won a set against Novak Djokovic in the fourth round at the US Open and lost the semifinal against Jannik in Washington this year. 

“It’s been a great year. I am happy. I feel like I have been focused, playing well. I will hopefully finish this year strong. He has definitely got one of the best serves on Tour. I thought we had a good game plan. I have been hitting them well and executed pretty well here, so I am happy with that”, said Brooskby. 

Brooksby will face this year’s US Open quarter finalist Botic van de Zandschulp. 

Another US Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima cruised past Alex De Minaur 6-4 6-0. Nakashima converted five of his ten break points. 

De Minaur converted his second break point in the fifth game at deuce to take a 3-2 lead. Nakashima broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Nakashima broke serve on his third chance at deuce to close out the first set 6-4 and earned three more breaks to take a bagel win in the second set. 

Nakashima reached his first two ATP Tour finals in Los Cabos and Atlanta. 

Lorenzo Musetti beat Gianluca Mager 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) after 2 hours and 8 minutes in the all-Italian first round match. Musetti set up a Next Gen clash against his compatriot Jannik Sinner, who won their only previous clash 6-7 7-6 6-3 in the pre-qualifying round of the Rome Internazionali d’Italia. Mager earned the first break in the third game at deuce to take a 2-1 lead. Musetti pulled back on serve in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, but he dropped his serve in the seventh game to trail 3-4. Musetti broke back in the 10th game to draw level to draw level to 5-5. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Musetti earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Musetti did not convert two break points in the first and third games of the second set. Mager earned a set point in the 10th game, but Musetti saved it to force the set to the tie-break. Musetti earned three match points at 6-3 with his fourth mini-break and converted his first chance with a spectacular serve and volley.  

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