Novak Djokovic holds off Stefanos Tsitsipas to secure a spot in his fifth Roland Garros final - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic holds off Stefanos Tsitsipas to secure a spot in his fifth Roland Garros final

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Novak Djokovic survived a come-back from Stefanos Tsitsipas to secure his spot in his fifth Roland Garros final and his 27th Grand Slam final with a thrilling 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 win in a 3-hour and 54 minute semifinal. Djokovic has improved his win-loss record to 4-2 in his six head-to-head matches against Tsitsipas. 

Djokovic earned eight breaks and dropped serve four times.

Djokovic saved four break points with four winners to hold serve in the first game of the opening set. He hit a crosscourt forehand winner in the next game to open up a 2-0 lead. Djokovic held serve in the third game with a service winner. Tsitsipas got his first game on the scoreboard with a forehand crosscourt winner in the fourth game.

Djokovic fended off a break point at the net after a 23-shot rally, as he was serving at 4-2, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner to hold his service game. Djokovic sealed his first set on his fourth set point at 5-3 with a service winner.

Tsitsipas led 40-0 in his service games at 2-2 and 2-4, but Djokovic broke him both times to open up a 5-2 lead, when Tsitsipas made a forehand mistake. The World number 1 and 17-time Grand Slam champion held at love with a service winner to seal the second set 6-2.

Tsitsipas held serve four times in the third set and earned a break point in the second game of the third set, but Djokovic saved it with a winner. They produced six consecutive holds to stay neck and neck at 4-4 before Djokovic earned the first break of the third set to take a 5-4 lead with his drop-shot. As Djokovic was serving for the match, Tsitsipas saved a match point to draw level to 5-5 with a backhand error from Djokovic after saving 10 of the 11 break points. The young Greek star held  serve to 30 and hit a forehand up the line to break serve, when Djokovic hit his forehand long. Tsitsipas saved 10 out of the 11 break points he faced after taking a 2-0 lead in the fourth set. Tsitsipas saved eight break points in the fifth, seventh and ninth games forcing Djokovic to serve to stay in the set.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the fourth set. As Djokovic was serving at 4-5 40-15, Tsitsipas hit a drop-shot to earn a break point. The 2019 ATP Finals champion got the crucial break in the 10th game, as Djokovic committed consecutive backhand errors and netted a drop shot. 

Djokovic got the decisive break in the third game of the fifth set with a crosscourt drop-shot to take a 2-1 lead. The Serbian player forced an error from Tsitsipas and broke serve at 15 to open up a 4-1 lead. The 2020 Australian Open champion closed out the match with a return winner in the seventh game on his second match point. 

Djokovic has scored the 37th win in 38 matches this year. The Serb has joined an elite club of seven players to have qualified for five finals at Roland Garros. 

“I was definitely not pleased with the way I played the finishing stages of the third and fourth sets, but I was very pleased I kept my composure mentally throughout the entire match. I felt that even though I lost the third and fourth sets, I still felt like I was the better player on the court. I had more control. I just felt comfortable playing”, said Djokovic.

Djokovic has fended off 76 %of break points in the tournament and dropped one point on his first serve. 

If Djokovic wins Sunday’s final against Rafael Nadal, he would become the first player in the Open Era to win multiple titles at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Djokovic beat Andy Murray in the 2016 Roland Garros final to claim his first title in the French Grand Slam tournament. 

Djokovic holds a 29-26 win-loss record against 12-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal, including a win in the quarter final in 2015. 

“This is Rafa’s house, but I also won against him in 2015 at Roland Garros in the quarter finals. I hope to recover. It’s the biggest challenge that you could have in sports on all suurfaces to play against Nadal here at Roland Garros. I am also motivated to possibly win”, said Djokovic. 

Tsitsipas came back from two sets down for the first time in his career to beat Jaume Munar in the first round before beating Pablo Cuevas, Aljaz Bedene, Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev to qualify for the second Grand Slam semifinal of his career. 

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Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart

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Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

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Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

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