Danil Medvedev continues his title defense with three-set win over Richard Gasquet in St. Petersburg - UBITENNIS
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Danil Medvedev continues his title defense with three-set win over Richard Gasquet in St. Petersburg

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Defending champion Danil Medvedev came back from one set down to beat Richard Gasquet 3-6 6-3 6-0 in 1 hour and 37 minutes with 22 aces at the St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Gasquet converted his third break point in the eighth game and served out the first set 6-3, when Medvedev hit a backhand into the net. 

Medvedev broke once in the fourth game to win the second set 6-3 and three times in a row to close out the decider 6-0. 

The Russian player won 27 of his 30 first serve points in the second and third sets and did not drop serve in the final two sets. 

Medvedev set up a second round match against US Reilly Opelka, who beat Croatian Nino Serdarusic 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2. 

Medvedev won his previous two head-to-head matches against Opelka in Washington 2017 (6-7 6-3 7-6) and in Miami 2019 (7-6 6-7 7-6). 

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka edged past Evgeny Donskoy 6-3 1-6 6-3. Wawrinka will face either Denis Shapovalov or Ilya Ivashka in the quarter final. 

Wawrinka broke twice to win the first set 6-1. The Swiss player did not convert two break points in the second set. Donskoy converted his second break point chance in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Donskoy saved four break points and held serve at deuce in the second game. Wawrinka converted his second break point chance in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and held his next three service games to win the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great match against a tough opponent, but my level was better from the beginning this match. I am happy to keep winning here. Great atmosphere, great people here tonight and I am happy to play in the quarter finals. I think in the second set he started to play a bit more aggressively. I think in the second set he started to play a bit more aggressively. He was dictating a little bit more the game. It was tough. I think the level in general was great from both sides. I am happy to get through. I think I played a really solid match tonight, so it’s great, and I am happy”, said Wawrinka. 

Second seed Denis Shapovalov cruised past Serbian lucky loser Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-3 in 63 minutes. Shapovalov dropped just four of his first-service point and fired ten aces. 

Shapovalov earned two breaks in the third and fifth game of the first set and in the fifth and in the ninth game of the second set. 

Shapovalov is aiming to follow in the footsteps of his coach Mikhail Youzhny, who won the St. Petresburg title in 2004. 

“It’s always great to get the first win, especially against a player like Viktor. We have had a lot of battles before and they have been really long matches, so I am really happy to get a straight-sets win today. Indoor tennis is just natural for me. It’s what I grew up playing on. It’s difficult to have some transitions really quickly from clay court to hard court, but we are having to get used to these situations now and trying to adapt quickly. So I am happy with the way I have been able to transition”, said Shapovalov. 

Six Russian players (Danil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Aslan Karatsev, Evgeny Donskoy and Roman Safiulin) have reached the Round of 16 for the first time since 2009. 

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Reigning Champion Simona Halep Pulls Out Of Wimbledon

The Romanian says she is ‘down and upset’ about missing the major.

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There will be a new Wimbledon champion in the women’s draw this year after Simona Halep formally withdrew due to injury.

 

The former world No.1 was in London training with her team but has been forced to pull out of the grass-court major after failing to fully recover from a calf injury. An issue which also sidelined her from the French Open. It is the first time the Romanian has missed Wimbledon since making her Grand Slam debut at the tournament back in 2010.

“It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my withdrawal from The Championships as my calf injury has not fully recovered,” the 29-year-old said in a statement.
“I gave it everything I had in order to be ready to play Wimbledon and after having such special memories from two years ago, I was excited and honoured to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion.
“Unfortunately, my body didn’t cooperate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year.”

Halep first sustained the injury back in May when she was playing Angelique Kerber in the first round of the Italian Open. After undergoing an MRI, it was confirmed that the multiple Grand Slam winner had a tear in her left calf.

“I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision. This period has been difficult but to miss the last two majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically,” she said.
“We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.”

As a result of the withdrawal, Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova has moved into the seedings at 32nd. She has only won one match in four previous appearances at the Championships.

Halep has won 22 WTA titles during her career and has won more than $37.5M in prize money.

The Wimbledon Championships will get underway on Monday.

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Lorenzo Sonego reaches the semifinal in Eastbourne

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Third seed Lorenzo Sonego beat Alexander Bublik 6-1 7-5 in 79 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Viking International in Eastbourne. Sonego claimed his 17th tour-level match win of the year. 

 

Sonego broke twice in  the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Italian player won 65 % of his first service points  in the opening set. 

The 2021 Sardegna Open champion went up a break in the third game of the second game, but he missed two double break points at 4-2. He saved a break-back point at 4-3 before dropping his serve at 5-4. Sonego broke serve from 0-30 down to win the second set 7-5. 

Sonego has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Bublik. 

“I am full of energy because I like playing here. My serve is good for grass court and I like playing in Eastbourne. There are a lot of Italian fans, and it is good for me. Sasha is an amazing player”, said Sonego. 

Sonego will face Max Purcell, who beat Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-4 1-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 58 minutes. Seppi had won his previous head-to-head against Purcell in Kitzbuhel in three sets. 

Purcell bounced back from losing the second set, winning 82 % of his first service points. 

Purcell went up a break twice in the first set to take a 3-2 lead, but Seppi broke back both times to draw level to 4-4. Purcell broke for the third time in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. Seppi broke twice to take a 4-0 lead, but wasted two set points in the sixth game. Seppi broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Purcell broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Purcell earned three match points at 5-4 and converted his second chance on Seppi’s serve. 

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Danil Medvedev reaches the third grass-court semifinal of his career in Mallorca

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Top seed Danil Medvedev beat Casper Ruud 7-5 6-1 at the Mallorca Championships to reach the third grass-court semifinal of his career without dropping a set. Medvedev had prevously reached two semifinals in Eastbourne in 2017 and at Queen’s in 2019. 

 

Medvedev hit 8 aces and won 87 % of his first service points. He did not face a break points and dropped one point behind his first serve. 

Medvedev broke serve in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. The Russian player went up a break in the first game. Ruud broke straight back in the second game. Medvedev broke three times in a row to win nine of the last ten games. He closed out the match with a drop shot and a volley to reach the semifinal after 1 hour and 17 minutes. 

“I feel like it was a funny match. Maybe it was not the highest level, but I am really happy to win and be in the semifinals here. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I don’t think grass is his best surface, but in the first set he was playing top level and I could not get any break points. As soon as he started serving a bit worse and making some errors, I tried to use it as fast as I could. It was important to win the first set and not not in a tie-break”, said Medvedev.

Medvedev will face Pablo Carreno Busta, who fended off all three break points he faced in his 6-4 6-4 win over Jordan Thompson. Medvedev leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Carreno Busta.   

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