Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens reach the quarter finals in Linz - UBITENNIS
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Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens reach the quarter finals in Linz

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Aryna Sabalenka cruised past Stefanie Voegele 6-0 6-3 to reach the quarter final at the Upper Ladies Austria Ladies WTA International tournament in Linz. 

 

Sabalenka saved two break points before breaking three times to take a bagel win in the first set. 

Sabalenka fended off three break points in the third game after two deuces before breaking serve to open up a 3-1 lead. The Belarusian player saved a total of four break points in the fourth and ninth games to win the second set 6-3. Sabalenka saved all nine break points she faced. Sabalenka will play against French qualifier Oceane Dodin for a spot in the semifinals. Sabalenka could secure the top 10 by reaching the final. She could tie Simona Halep for most titles won in 2020. 

Sabalenka won her sixth consecutive match. At the recent Ostrava tournament she claimed both the singles title beating Victoria Azarenka and the doubles trophy with Mertens. 

“I think I started really well, going for my shots and not missing at all. She missing playing more aggressively and using more power in the second set. I wasn’t as ready for that, but I adjusted quickly and that helped me win the match”, said Sabalenka. 

Elise Mertens beat Vera Zvonareva 6-4 5-7 6-2. Mertens went up a double break to take a 4-1 lead. Zvonareva pulled a break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Mertens won her next two service games to seal the opening set 6-4. 

Zvonareva raced out to a 5-2 lead in the second game with a double break. Mertens got both breaks back in the fifth and ninth games to draw level to 5-5. Zvonareva saved four break points to hold serve after six deuces before breaking in the 12th game to clinch the second set 7-5. 

Mertens broke twice to build up a 4-0 lead in the decider. Zvonareva got one break back in the sixth game for 2-4 but Mertens broke for the third time to close out the third set 6-2 with a letcord winner. 

Sabalenka could face her doubles partner Mertens in the Linz final. 

Mertens could face Veronika Kudemertova, who edged Aranxta Rus 6-4 1-6 6-3. Kudemertova won the opening set with a break in the opening game to take a 6-4 lead. Rus broke twice in the second and sixth games to take the second set 6-1. Rus saved a break point in the second game of the third set but Kudemertova sealed the third set 3-1 with a break in the fourth game. 

This year’s Roland Garros semifinalist Nadia Podorska rallied from a set down to beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 6-4 after 2 hours and 32 minutes. 

The first set started with three consecutive breaks. Podoroska broke twice to take a 2-1 lead. Giorgi reeled off four consecutive games to take a 5-3 lead with two consecutive breaks in the eighth and tenth games. Podorska broke back in the ninth game to draw level to 5-5, but he failed to convert on four break points. The Argentine player fended off three set points to hold serve sending the match to the tie-break. Giorgi reeled off four consecutive points to win the tie-break 7-4. 

Podorska saved two break points to hold her serve and was pushed to six deuce points before racing out to a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game. Podorska reeled the final three games to win the second set 6-1. 

Podorska dropped just four points and claimed the only break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. The South American player held on her next two service to secure her spot in the quarter finals. 

“I did not know it was only four points I have been working on my serve to generate a bit more power, so that I can serve faster and do more damage. I am playing with my legs most of all, engaging the whole body and and not just the shoulder”, said Podorska. 

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Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori claim the doubles title in Cagliari

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An all-Italian doubles team formed by Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori claimed the doubles title at the Sardegna Open in Cagliari with a 6-3 6-4 win over Simone Bolelli and Andres Molteni n 75 minutes. 

 

Sonego and Vavassori got the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Bolelli and Molteni broke straight back in the fifth game for 2-3, but Sonego and Vavassori claimed their second break to win the first set 6-3. Both teams traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set. They held their service games in the next five games before Sonego and Vavassori sealed the second set with their decisive break in the ninth game. 

Sonego and Vavassori, who both come from Turin, had beaten Marcelo Melo and Jean-Julien Rojer in the Cagliari first round. They have become the first Italian doubles team to clinch an ATP title on Italian soil since Giorgio Galimberti and Daniele Bracciali in February 2005 in Milan. 

Sonego will bid to become the first player to win the singles and doubles titles at the same tournament since Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s in London in 2019. 

The last Italian player to score a double title was Matteo Berrettini, who won the singles and the doubles tournament with Daniele Bracciali in Gstaad 2018. For the first time at least three Italian players have contested an ATP Tour doubles title since Casablanca 1998 when Andrea Gaudenzi and Diego Nargiso beat Cristian Brandi and Filippo Messori.

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Pablo Carreno sets up all-Spanish final against Jaume Munar in Marbella

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Last year’s US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta battled past his compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in an all-Spanish semifinal to secure his spot in the Any Tech 365 Andalucia Open in Marbella. 

 

Carreno Busta has improved his head-to-to-head record against Ramos Vinolas to 3-1. 

Carreno Busta raced out to a 5-0 lead with a double break to win a one-sided first set 6-1. Ramos Vinolas won just one point from ten on his second serve. 

Ramos Vinolas bounced back by winning the second set 6-3 with just one break in the fourth game. For the 12th time in his last 13 matches, Ramos Vinolas sent them into the third set. 

Ramos Vinolas went up a break in the third game and was just two points from victory as he served for the match at 5-4. Carreno Busta broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 after a double fault and a forehand error from Ramos Vinolas. 

Carreno Busta converted his third match point to seal the third set after 2 hours and 11 minutes securing his spot into the eighth final of his career. 

“It was so close. I don’t know what happened in the second set. At the beginning of the match, I was very focused on my game and my aggressive. After that, Albert started to push back more I started to lose my level a little bit. I just kept fighting all the time, and I want to thank everyone in the crowd for their support. This is what we missed last year, the crowd. It’s very important to play these close matches with a crowd like that”, said Carreno Busta.

Carreno Busta set up an all-Spanish final against Jaume Munar, who beat Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. Alcaraz got an early break in the second game of the opening set, but Munar broke straight back and saved a break point to hold serve at deuce for 2-2. Alcaraz earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead, but Munar won seven of the next nine points with two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-4. 

Munar converted his fourth break point in the second game after five deuces to take a 2-0 lead. Alcaraz broke back at love in the third game and held serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2. After four consecutive on serve Munar went up a break at love in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Alcaraz broke straight back at love for 4-5. Munar sealed the second set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game.

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Lorenzo Sonego reaches his third career final in Cagliari

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Lorenzo Sonego battled past Taylor Fritz 6-4 5-7 6-1 after 2 hours and 39 minutes to advance to the final of the Sardegna Open in Cagliari. 

 

Sonego is one match away from becoming the first Italian player to clinch an ATP Tour clay-court title on home soil. Former world number 25 and current Italian Davis Cup captain Filippo Volandri was the last Italian player to win an ATP Tour on Italian soil, when he beat Nicolas Lapentti in Palermo 2006. 

Sonego converted his sixth break point with three powerful forehands in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Fritz broke back in the eighth game with a deep forehand to draw level to 4-4, but Sonego earned an immediate break to love. 

Sonego reeled off five consecutive games from 4-4 to build up a 6-4 3-0 lead with a break in the ninth game of the first set at love and two breaks in the first and third games of the second set. Fritz pulled back both times to draw level to 3-3. The US player earned his third break in the 12th game to claim the second set after 64 minutes when Sonego hit a backhand into the net. 

Sonego started the third set with an early break in the first game with a drop shot. The Turin-native player went up a double break with three consecutive forehands to take a 3-0 lead. The 2019 Antalya champion raced out to a 5-0 lead with his third break. Fritz pulled one break back in the sixth game for 1-5 but Sonego sealed the third set 6-1 with his fourth break to secure his spot in his third career final and his first title match on clay. Last year he upset Novak Djokovic in the semifinal before finishing runner-up to Andrey Rublev in the final at the Erste Open in Vienna. Yesterday Sonego came back from one set down to beat Yannik Hanfmann 3-6 7-6 6-3 in the quarter finals. 

Sonego will take on Laslo Djere, who cruised past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2 6-0. Djere broke twice in the third and seventh games and got three consecutive breaks in the third set.

Djere dropped just one set against Lorenzo Musetti this week. He becomes the second Italian player after Andreas Seppi to reach finals on all surfaces after winning his first title on grass in Antalya 2019 and reaching the Vienna 2020 final on indoor hard-court last year. Sonego has also qualified for the doubles final alongside Andrea Vavassori against Simone Bolelli and Andres Molteni.

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