Andrey Rublev wins his first match as a top 10 player in St. Petersburg - UBITENNIS
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Andrey Rublev wins his first match as a top 10 player in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev beat Vasek Pospisil 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 19 minutes in his first match as a top 10 player to set up a second round match against Frenchman Ugo Humbert. Rublev converted 4 of his 13 break points and saved three of the four break points he faced. He won 87% of his first serve points. 

Pospisil earned a 40-0 lead in the third game, but he wasted four game points and dropped his serve when his backhand landed long. Rublev consolidated the break with a forehand winner and earned another break to open up a 4-1 lead. Rublev fended off two break points in the sixth game to race out to 5-1. The 22-year-old Russian player wasted three set points on return in the seventh game, but he closed out the opening set 6-2 with a service winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the third an dfourth games of the second set. Rublev earned another break with a backhand crosscourt winner to take a 4-3 lead. He closed out the match with four winners at 5-4 to reach the Round of 16. 

Karen Khachanov broke three times and dropped serve once in his 6-4 6-4 win over James Duckworth. Khachanov earned a break in the first game and saved a break point at 5-4 to wrap up the first set 6-4. 

Both players traded breaks in the third and fourth games in the second set. Khachanov won three consecutive games from 3-4 down to close out the second set 6-4. 

Milos Raonic beat US qualifier JJ Wolf 7-6 (7-5) 6-1. The Canadian player hit 21 aces and saved all five break points he faced. Raonic saved all five break points he faced at 4-5 in the first set to force it to the tie-break. Raonic won the breaker 7-5 before breaking twice in a row in the fourth and sixth games to win the second set 6-1.  

Borna Coric beat Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-3 7-6 after 1 hour and 36 minutes. Coric earned two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games to win the first set 6-3. Lopez fended off two break points in the second game of the second set, which came down to the tie-break. Coric got a double mini-break to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Miomir Kecmanovic came back from 3-6 down in the second set of the tie-break of the second set and saved three set points to beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 7-6 (9-7). The Serbian player set up a second round match against Cameron Norrie, who Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Monday.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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