Marco Cecchinato reaches the second round at Roland Garros - UBITENNIS
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Marco Cecchinato reaches the second round at Roland Garros

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Former Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato upset two-time Next Gen Finals runner-up and number 25 Alex De Minaur 7-6 (11-9) 6-4 6-0 to reach the second round at the French Open. 

 

De Minaur rallied from 0-40 down to break serve in the third game of the opening set. Cecchinato broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. De Minaur earned another break from 40-15 down in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Cecchinato broke back at love in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. After another trade of breaks the first set came down to the tie-break. Cecchinato took a 4-2 lead in the tie-break, but De Minaur won the next two points to draw level to draw level to 4-4. Cecchinato saved two set points. The Italian player earned two set points on De Minaur’s serve but he did not convert them. Cecchinato sealed the tie-break 11-9 on his third set point. 

De Minaur saved a break point in the first game of the second set to hold his serve at deuce before breaking serve at 15 in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Cecchinato broke straight back in the third game to draw level to 2-2. In the eighth game Cecchinato saved four break points to hold serve after seven deuces to draw level to 4-4. Cecchinato converted his 11th break point in a 34-point marathon game after 20 minutes to win the second set 6-4. 

Cecchinato broke three times in a row to take a bagel win in the third set. 

Cecchinato will face the winner of the all-Argentine clash between Federico Delbonis and Juan Ignacio Londero. 

Another Italian player Stefano Travaglia cruised past Spain’s Pablo Andujar 6-3 6-4 6-4 in 2 hours and 23 minutes. Travaglia will face Kei Nishikori, who edged Daniel Evans 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-4 after 3 hours and 49 minutes. 

Evans broke three times in the first, fifth and seventh games to win the first set 6-1. Nishikori won the second set by the same scoreline with three consecutive breaks. 

Nishikori took a 5-2 lead in the third set with a break in the second set. The Japanese player wasted two set points. Evans won four consecutive games with two breaks in the 9th and 11th games to take a 6-5 lead. Nishikori broke straight back in the 12th game to force the set to the tie-break. Nishikori won the tie-break 7-3. Evans broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the fourth set 6-1. 

Nishikori broke in the second game to build up a 3-0 lead in the fifth set. Evans broke back in the fifth game. Both players went on serve until the 10th game, where Nishikori converted his second break point from 40-30 down to claim the fifth set 6-4.

“I think I was rushing too much in the first set. With his slice, I think I was trying to hit the winner too early. I was little more patient in the second set onwards. Things start working well for me, because in the first set I was rushing too much and I did not feel well. It was raining heavily. I started playing better. There were many ups and downs, but I think I managed well in the end”, said Nishikori.  

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Steve Johnson beats Marin Cilic for the first time in his career in Cologne

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Steve Johnson beat Marin Cilic for the first time in his career in their six head-to-head matches claiming a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win to reach the second round at the bett1 HULKS Championships in Cologne. 

 

Johnson converted only one of his nine break points, but he saved all three break points he faced. 

Johnson saved a total of eight break points in his three service games in the first set, which went on serve en route to the tie-break. The US player won the tie-break 7-3. 

Johnson got the only break of the match in the first game of the second set. He went down 0-30 as he was serving for the match, but he won four consecutive points to claim a straight-set win after 1 hour and 58 minutes. 

“I would have paid a handsome fee for a couple of aces. I got one. I got one, just got back to 30-30 and played a couple of points where I got lucky. Today things just went my way”, said Johnson.  

Yoshihito Nishioka cruised past Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-0 with four breaks. Adrian Mannarino advanced to the second round with a 6-2 6-2 win over Australian lucky loser Alexei Popyrin. 

Mannarino set up a second round match against Miomir Kecmanovic, who fought back from one set down to beat Sumit Nagal 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1. 

Gilles Simon beat Jordan Thompson 6-3 7-5 to set up a second round clash against Denis Shapovalov. Egor Gerasimov eased past German Daniel Altmeier 6-1 6-0 to earn a second round against Felix Auger Aliassime. 

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Maria Sakkari beats Krystina Pliskova avenging her recent defeat in Palermo

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Maria Sakkari beat Krystina Pliskova 6-3 6-3 in the first round of inaugural the J&T Banka Ostrava. 

 

Sakkari avenged her recent defeat against Pliskova, who beat her Greek rival 6-4 6-4 in Palermo. 

The young Greek player broke four times and fired 28 winners setting up a match against number 1 seed Elina Svitolina, who received a bye into the second round.

Sakkari earned two break points in Pliskova’s first service game. The Greek player got the first break of the match in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and won the final two games including another break at love in the ninth game. 

Sakkari broke serve in the sixth game to open up a 4-2 lead in the second set. Pliskova converted her sixth break point in a marathon game. Sakkari broke serve in the eighth game before serving out on her first match point after 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

“I kept a similar tactic to last time, but I think I executed it better than then. It was just a better performance overall. We worked a little bit differently preparing for Ostrava. I feel like I did what we worked on last week”,said Sakkari. 

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Frances Tiafoe beats Dusan Lajovic in Antwerp

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Frances Tiafoe beat Dusan Lajovic 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in the first round of the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Tiafoe claimed the first set 6-3 with a double break in the fifth and ninth games. Lajovic broke serve in the seventh game of the second set to take a 4-3 lead. 

Tiafoe converted his third break-back point in the 10th game, as Lajovic was serving for the second set. In the tie-break Lajovic earned a set point at 6-5, but Tiafoe saved it and won the final two points to take the win. 

Feliciano Lopez beat Tommy Paul 6-3 6-2 with three breaks of serve. Lopez saved a break point in the third game and held serve at deuce to take a 2-1 lead. The Spanish veteran converted his second break point from 15-40 down in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and held his next two service games to close out the first set 6-3. Lopez got two breaks in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Lloyd Harris cruised past Federico Coria 6-4 6-0 with four breaks. Ugo Humbert beat Kimmer Coppejans 6-4 6-3 with one break in each set. 

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