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Steve Flink: “Serena benefits from long matches. Medvedev’s injuries are a concern”

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UbiTennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta and his colleague, Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink, discuss the events of the tenth day of the American Slam, spanning from the Russian derby to Vika Azarenka’s unbelievable form.

 

The final stages of the 2020 US Open are coming fast, and, despite a whole contintent setting them apart, Ubaldo Scanagatta couldn’t refrain from recording his traditional recaps in the company of Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink. Can this version of Serena Williams defeat Azarenka, who left just one game to Elise Mertens? Who will win the men’s title? All of this and more are tackled in the following video: 

VIDEO SCHEDULE

00:00 – A few words about Wednesday’s opening matches, another Serena Williams comeback (this time against Pironkova) and the Russian derby between Rublev and Medvedev.

01:25 – Ubaldo: “Serena Williams’ performance is surprising, she seems to be improving with time…” Flink: “I agree, long matches are helping her. I thought she was done but she somehow pulled it off.” Which was the key moment?

3:40 – The American is finding her feet, but can she clinch the title against the likes of Osaka and Brady?

6:00 – “Nobody expected Pironkova to play at such a high level, she survived a couple of matches against tough opponents like Muguruza and Vekic. As for last night’s bout against Serena, she was the best player on court for about 90 minutes, but I never expected her to win.” Will she keep on playing?

7:15 – Pironkova’s pride for her popularity in her homecountry of Bulgaria, for her achievements, and for the comparisons with Grigor Dimitrov.

09:00 – The Russian derby: “The two players grew up together, they have played each other countless times in training. I have no idea how Rublev lost the first set…” How would have the match shaped up, had he won the opener?

11:25 – Rublev was furious after losing that tie-breaker, but what about Medvedev’s physical struggles in the third?

14:55 – “The women’s semifinals will take place on Thursday, and Serena will have had a few more hours to rest compared with Azarenka. Their matches have always been very physical…” What will be the outcome of the mothers’ derby?

22:50 – Medvedev will play Thiem next – who’s the favourite? “It really depends on how the Russian’s body holds up, going the distance might be a problem.”

24:20 – The other semifinal match involves Zverev and Carreno Busta: “Not many would have predicted the Spaniard to get back to the semis before the Djokovic affair. He is a player who never beats himself.” Zverev has frequent lapses in focus, will they undermine his chances?”  

Transcript by Giuseppe Di Paola, edited by Tommaso Villa

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Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini reach the quarter finals in Madrid

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Alexander Zverev beats Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to reach the quarter final at the Madrid Mutua Open. Matteo Berrettini moved into the quarter final with straight-set win over Federico Delbonis

 

Evans earned an early break to take a 1-0 lead. Zverev broke twice in the second and fourth games to open up a 4-1 lead and closed out the first set 6-3 with an ace. 

Evans saved the only break point of the second set at 4-4. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Zverev got three mini-breaks to win the breaker 7-3. 

Matteo Berrettini has reached the third Masters 1000 quarter final of his career with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. 

The first set went on serve until the eighth game, when Delbonis saved the only break point. Delbonis went up a 4-1 lead, but Berrettini fought back by winning six consecutive games to take the first set 7-4. 

Berrettini went up an early break to take a 2-0 lead, but Delbonis broke straight back to draw level to 2-2, when Berrettini made two forehand unforced errors. The next games went on serve until the 10th game, when Berrettini earned the break to win the second set 6-4. 

Berrettini will face a quarter final against Christian Garin, who upset Danil Medvedev. Berrettini ties 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Garin. Garin beat Berrettini in the 2019 BMW Open final in Munich. Berrettini avenged this defeat against his South American player in Shanghai later that year. 

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Casper Ruud stuns Stefanos Tsitsipas to take the biggest win of his career

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Casper Ruud scored his first win over a top five player, beating this year’s Monte-Carlo champion and Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 after 1 hour and 34 minutes without facing a break point. 

 

The Norwegian player has reached his third consecutive clay-court Masters 1000 quarter final following the semifinals in Rome in 2020 and in Monte-Carlo last month. 

The first set went on serve with no break points. Ruud won the tie-break 7-4 with two mini-breaks before earning the only break in the seventh game to close out the second set 6-4. 

Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo and lost the Barcelona final after holding a championship point against Rafael Nadal. 

“Stefanos is one of the best players this year on the Tour, one of the ones who has the most matches. He has won his first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo. He was very close to getting the title there, as well, but the conditiions are a bit different here than other clay courts with there, as well, but the conditions are a bit different here than other clay courts with the fast shots, the ball travelling faster through the air because of the altitude. You get a lot of free points with the serve that you don’t usually get on the clay courts. I think that also today went a bit in my advantage. I felt like he was doing some mistakes that he doesn’t always do. I was just trying t take care of the chance that I got”, said Ruud.Ruud set up a quarter final against Alexander Bublik, who beat Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-3. Ruud beat Bublik in their only previous head-to-head match against Bublik in three sets in St. Petersburg.

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Ash Barty Eases Into Madrid Final

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Number 1 seed Ashleigh Barty beat Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 to reach her fourth final of the 2021 season at the Madrid Mutua Open after winning three titles at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and Stuttgart.

 

The first set went on serve in the first nine games. Barty earned two break points in the 10th game with a lob and loose forehands from Badosa. Badosa saved two set points with winners, but Barty converted her third chance after a double fault from Badosa to close out the first set 6-4. 

After an early trade of breaks, Barty earned her second break after a double fault from Badosa in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. The Aussie star saved three break points in the fifth game and held serve for 4-1 with a dropshot. Barty dropped just two more points on serve to close out the second set 6-3. 

Barty has extended her red clay winning streak to 16 consecutive matches and her win-loss record to 25-3 this season. 

Barty has clinched her 16th consecutive win on red clay. The Australian player avenged her recent defeat against Badosa in the quarter finals in Charleston. 

“It was important for me to get that early break back in the second set and keep my nose in front, almost force her to come up with something that was going to be a really high level to be at a high level to be able to get back into the match. I have learnt a lot about clay, without a doubt. I promise you, I am still counting down to the grass court season. It’s one of the my favourite times of the year. I think the memories and the learnings now that we are getting from the red clay has been really cool, to be able to challenge myself in different ways”, said Barty.

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