Frances Tiafoe beats Dusan Lajovic in Antwerp - UBITENNIS
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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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Jannik Sinner: “Rafa Nadal is superior in his head and knows exactly what to do and when to do it”

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Jannik Sinner made a major breakthrough season in 2020 winning his maiden ATP title in Sofia becoming and reached his first Grand Slam quarter finals at Roland Garros in his debut at this tournament at the age of 19. He has become the youngest player to win an ATP Tour title. 

 

“After the final in Sofia I felt emotional. I am human, but I feel the emotions inside me. I was very happy but I know that I have to work very hard. Before the victory ceremony I was a bit angry as I was still trying to understand why I had lost the second set. It was a strange season. I would have liked to play more matches and learn more about the life on the Tour and how to train with the biggest players on the circuit. I am now feeling more comfortable than last year”, said Sinner.

The Italian player is the first debutant beat Alexander Zverev en route to reaching the Roland Garros quarter final since Rafael Nadal achieved this feat in 2005 en route to his first French Open title. 

He lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarter finals in Paris after playing at great level in the first two sets. En route to the quarter final in Paris Sinner beat David Goffin, Benjamin Bonzi, Federico Coria and Alexander Zverev. 

“Rafael Nadal is superior in his head. He pulls very hard but above all he understands the decisive moments. He knows exactly what to do and when to do it. It’s really something else a tennis player. What I am missing to get there ? Well, the blows and the body, as well as the body. Let’s say a little bit of everything. The doctor said I still have to finish growing and developing. The truth is that I have to improve myself in every aspect, both physically and mentally. It takes time to get there”, said Sinner in an interview to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. 

Sinner was disappointed about Zverev’s comments after their match at Roland Garros. 

“I respect Zverev a lot because he has got more experience on the circuit, and he is great player. However, I do not respect his statements after his defeat to me at Roland Garros. He contradicted himself a lot. He said he had fever, but in the third and fourth sets, he ran more than me”, commented Sinner. 

Sinner became the youngest quarter finalist at a Grand Slam tournament since Bernard Tomic at Wimbledon 2011 and at Roland Garros since Novak Djokovic in 2006. The player coached by Riccardo Piatti earned the biggest win in his career when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to his his maiden third round at Masters 1000 level in Rome.

Jannik has reached his career best ranking at world number 37. 

In the interview Sinner talked about his passions outside tennis.  

“I like to go karting and play football every now and then. I cheer on AC Milan because my first roommate was an AC Milan fan and he also and he also made me passionate as the days went by. In general I also follow the chairs on Netflix and I believe that in Australia. ”, said Sinner. 

Sinner talked about his relationship with Riccardo Piatti. 

“Riccardo is my coach, but also a good friend. We talked about tennis all the time. During the lockdown we watched a lot of past tennis matches together”. 

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Fabio Fognini starts training under the guidance of Alberto Mancini

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World Number 17 Fabio Fognini started training under the guidance of former Argentine player Alberto Mancini

 

Mancini was a former Davis Cup captain and coached Guillermo Coria from Argentina and Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay. During his career Mancini enjoyed his best season in 1989 when he won two titles in Monte-Carlo beating Boris Becker 7-5 2-67-6 7-5 and in Rome beating André Agassi 6-3 4-6 2-6 7-6 6-1. He reached his second final in Rome in 1991, but he was forced to retire injured when he was trailing 6-3 6-1 3-0 against Emilio Sanchez. 

He retired from tennis at the age 25 after a series of injury problems. 

Fognini is currently training in Sanremo under the guidance of Mancini and physical trainer Alejandro Lacour. 

Fognini, who won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo, underwent surgery on his ankles last May and ended his season after being tested positive to Covid-19. He achieved his  best result in 2020 at the Australian Open, where he reached the third round. 

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Brandon Nakshima claims ATP his maiden ATP Challenger title in Orlando

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Brandon Nakashima claimed his maiden ATP Challenger title in Orlando at the USTA National Campus with a 6-3 6-4 win over Prajnesh Gunneswaran from India. The 19-year US player did not drop a set at this tournament. 

 

The California native saved all eight break points he faced. The US teenager becomes the youngest US champion since Frances Tiafoe in 2017. It’s the sixth time that a teenager has won a Challenger title in 2020 joining the list that includes Tomas Machac, Lorenzo Musetti and three-time champion Carlos Alcaraz. 

Brandon’s mother grew up in Vietnam and moved to California when he was 5 years old. He began playing tennis at the age of 3 with his granfather. He erolled early at University of Virginia as 17-year-old and named 2019 ACC Freshman of the Year before turning pro. 

Following the resumption of the ATP Tour Nakashima lost to Hungary Marton Fucsovics in the first qualifying round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. The US teenager beat Jiri Vesely and Cameron Norrie in ATP Tour debut to reach the quarter final in Delray Beach as a 18-year-old wild-card. He became the first Delray Beach quarter finalist since Kei Nishikori won this tournament in 2008. 

Nakashima has improved his career-high to world number 136 in the ATP Ranking and is the second best US Next Gen player after world number 117 Sebastian Korda, who won his maiden ATP Challenger title in Eckental (Germany). 

“It means a lot to win the first Challenger title. Playing all these Challengers the last couple years was all leading up to this moment, to win my first title. I could not be happier right now”, said Nakashima to the ATP Tour website.  “Ever since I started playing, I have always wanted to play tennis at the highest level and eventually become number 1 in the world. I think this is just a great stepping stone in that direction. It shows that all my hard work throughout the past couple of years is paying off. I am happy to get the first Challenger under my belt and this will give me a lot of confidence for any future ATP Tour tournaments in the future”, said Nakashima. 

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