Diego Schwartman keeps his ATP Finals hopes alive with straight-set win over Richard Gasquet in Paris Bercy - UBITENNIS
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Diego Schwartman keeps his ATP Finals hopes alive with straight-set win over Richard Gasquet in Paris Bercy

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This year’s Rome Masters 1000 finalist and Roland Garros semifinalist Diego Schwartzman beat Richard Gasquet 7-5 6-3 after 84 minutes booking his spot in the third round. 

 

In the opening set Schwartzman broke serve in the second game to build up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet converted his third break point in the seventh game and held serve at love to draw level to 4-4. Schwartzman closed out the first set 7-5 with a break in the 12th game. 

Schwartzman earned an early break in the second game at deuce to open up a 3-0 lead and never looked back holding his next service games to close out the second set 6-3. 

Schwartzman will secure the final qualifying spot for the Nitto ATP Finals in London, if he reaches the semifinal in Paris Bercy. 

“I am feeling great, because I have the chance in my hands. I am trying to do my best, and I am feeling really good this week. After Rome, I got a lot of confidence and I have been playing very good tennis. I want to be in London, and I hope to be there”, said Schwartzman. 

Schwartzman will face Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who beat Benjamin Bonzi 6-4 6-4. The Spanish player earned the first break in the third game to take a 3-1 lead after coming back from 30-40 down. Bonzi broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Davidovich Fokina got his second break in the seventh game to clinch the opening set 6-4. 

Bonzi opened up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the second set. Davidovich Fokina broke back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Bonzi held serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead, but Davidovich won the final three games with a decisive break in the ninth game to close out the second set 6-4. 

Danil Medvedev advanced to the third round at the Paris Rolex Masters, when his opponent Kevin Anderson retired from the match wit a right leg , as he was trailing 5-2 in the tie-break of the first set. Anderson beat Medvedev 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in the quarter finals at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

Anderson saved two break points in the third game and three more chances in the fifth game at deuce. Medvedev fended off a break point to hold serve at deuce in the eighth game. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Medvedev got a mini-break on the fifth point to take a 5-2 lead before Anderson called it a day. The South African player had already withdrawn from the Vienna semifinal against Andrey Rublev last week. 

Medvedev set up a third round match against Alex De Minaur, who beat last week’s Vienna finalist Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 7-5 after 1 hour and 27 minutes. 

De Minaur broke serve at 15 in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, as Sonego made three unforced errors. Sonego made a double fault, as he was serving at 3-5 40-30. De Minaur earned a break point with a return winner and converted his chance to close out the first set 6-3, as Sonego made a backhand error. 

Sonego saved saved two break points in the sixth game and held serve with an ace at deuce to draw level to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur sealed the win with a break at love in the 12th game. 

Milos Raonic hit 11 aces and dropped just four of his first service points in a 6-4 6-4 win over Pierre Hugues Herbert with a break in the fifth game in each set. Raonic, who lost the 2014 Paris Bercy final against Novak Djokovic, will face world number 91 Marcos Giron from the USA, who beat Matteo Berrettini.  

Alexander Zverev broke twice in each set to beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 6-2. Zverev has extended his winning streak to nine consecutive matches, including two back-to-back titles in Cologne. 

Zverev will take on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who beat Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-3. Nishioka saved three break points to hold serve at deuce in the second game. 

Mannarino saved a break point in the third game and two break points in the seventh games before breaking serve at love in the eighth game to clinch the first set 6-3. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games to draw level to 3-3 and held their service games en route to the tie-break. Nishioka went up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. Mannarino got back on serve to draw level for 2-3. Nishioka got his third mini-break to take a 5-3 lead. Mannarino broke back for 4-5, but Nishioka earned two set points at 6-4. The Japanese player converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Mannarino broke serve in the sixth game and sealed the third set 6-3 on his second match point. 

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Another Defeat For Iga Swiatek – Should Her Fans Start To Worry?

Iga Swiatek unexpectedly lost to Beatrice Haddad Maia in the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open in Toronto. This was the third defeat of the WTA world No.1 in a month and a half. Is there anything to worry about?

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Iga Swiatek - Roland Garros 2022 (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Article written by Dominik Senkowski (@dsenkowski07)

 

It was an extremely close match played in difficult conditions. Swiatek lost to Beatrice Hadad Maia 4:6, 6:3, 5:7 in Toronto.

The Polish woman admitted that she could not deal with the strong wind, saying during her press conference “I think without the wind I would manage. But it was pretty crazy out there.”

Haddad Miai, who is the first Brazilian to reach the last eight of a WTA 1000 event, revealed that she also had problems with the weather.

”We have no influence on the weather, we have to deal with it somehow. I think mentally I managed to overcome it,” she said.

Three failures

This was the third defeat for Swiatek in a month and a half. She had been undefeated since February, winning six tournaments in a row, including a Roland Garros. After that, however, she did not reach the semi-finals even once. In Wimbledon she was eliminated in the third round by Alize Cornet and then in Warsaw in the quarter-finals by Caroline Garcia. Now she did not make it past Beatrice Hadad Maia in Toronto. Do fans of the Polish woman have anything to worry about?

Of course, Swiatek as the top seed should have played better against the Brazilian. However, it must be remembered that she is still only 21 years old and has the right to fluctuate in form. Even the best tennis players of recent years – Roger Federer, Serena Serena, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic – did not win all the games in their best time. Swiatek still has a phenomenal balance of 49 wins to 5 defeats this year. She is the undisputed leader of the WTA rankings and will probably end the year as number one in the world.

There is no doubt that the rivals are more motivated to clash with Iga. In addition, they increasingly believe that they are able to defeat her since Cornet, Garcia and Hadad Maia did it. But still, it all depends on Iga. If she improves her serve, she can be unstoppable again. Recently with Garcia and Hadad Maia, she had problems with the second serve. She must pay more attention to it.

Time for Iga

Time should play in favour of Swiatek. Before Toronto, she played exceptionally on clay courts in Warsaw in a tournament organized by her father Tomasz. Frequent changes of the surface from grass to clay and hard courts in 1.5 months are not easy at such a young age. In Poland Iga said that she had no experience with it, she was just learning. She continues to learn valuable lessons and still can be better. We should remember it.

It seems that in the coming days she will be training on hard courts. She could feel more confident and come stronger as in spring. In Warsaw Iga said that she treats the first tournament before the US Open swing less seriously. She was aware that she needed more playing time to get better results. Her increasing self-esteem makes her behave calmer, even after defeats. That is why she can return to the right path soon.

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Rafael Nadal Returns To Cincinnati With Shot At No.1 Ranking

This is what the king of clay has to do to reclaim the top position.

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ATP RAFAEL NADAL OF SPAIN - PHOTO: DIEGO SOUTO / MMO

It has been over a month since Rafael Nadal last played a match on the Tour but in the coming days, he will have a chance to return to the top of the ATP rankings.

 

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been absent from action ever since pulling out of his semi-final match at Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear. He was set to play at this week’s National Bank Open in Montreal but withdrew after feeling a ‘slight bother’ in his abdominal region following training. Nadal decided not to play after consulting with his doctor.

Instead, the Spaniard will return next week at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. He confirmed his return in an Instagram post, where he wrote: “Very happy to play again in Cincy. Flying there tomorrow (Thursday).”

Whilst the Spaniard will be finding his feet in the coming days, in Cincinnati he has a chance to dethrone Daniil Medvedev from the world No.1 position. Medvedev lost his opening match in Montreal to Nick Kyrgios. To do this he would need to win the Masters 1000 event for the second time in his career and hope that Medvedev doesn’t make the quarter-finals. Nadal won Cincinnati back in 2013 after defeating John Isner in the final.

So far in his career, Nadal has spent 209 weeks as world No.1 with his longest streak being 56 weeks in a row (2010-2011). In total, he has been at the top of the rankings for eight separate periods and last held the position in February 2020.

Nadal’s No.1 stints
-Aug 18 2008 – Jul 5th 2009 (46 weeks)
-Jun 7 2010 – Jul 3rd 2011 (56 weeks)
-Oct 7th 2013 – Jul 6th 2014 (39 weeks)
-Aug 21 2017 – Feb 18 2018 (26 weeks)
-Apr 2nd 2018 – May 13th 2018 (6 weeks)
-May 21st 2018 – Jun 17th 2018 (4 weeks)
-Jun 25th 2018 – Nov 4th 2018 (19 weeks)
-Nov 4th 2019 – Feb 2nd 2020 (13 weeks)

At present nine out of the world’s top 10 players will participate in the Western and Southern Open. The only exception is Novak Djokovic who is currently banned from entering America because he isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Jack Draper Considered Skipping Montreal Masters Before Getting Biggest Win Of Career

The rising star completes a trio of British players who have booked their places in the third round of the Masters 1000 event.

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Image via https://twitter.com/OBNmontreal/

British qualifier Jack Draper says his decision to play in Montreal this week has paid off after he scored his first-ever win over a top 10 player on Wednesday.

 

The 20-year-old stunned world No.5 and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-6(4), in what is only his fourth appearance in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event. Draper, who is currently ranked 82nd in the world, won 74% of his first service points and blasted 21 winners past his Greek rival. Recovering from a 1-3 deficit in the second set en route to a straight sets victory.

Leading up to this week, Draper and his team considered not playing in Montreal following his 6-4, 6-2, loss to Andrey Rublev in Washington. However, their decision to do so was the right one. After coming through two rounds of qualifying, he beat France’s Hugo Gaston in the first round before knocking out Tsitsipas.

“This is why I put in all the hard work, for nights like this on stages like this,” Draper said in an on-court interview. “Last week [after] Washington, me and my coach probably were thinking we weren’t even going to come here. We were going to maybe train a week, get a bit of confidence. But it paid off coming.”
“I didn’t really have much of a game plan. I just thought I needed to play good tennis to beat Stefanos. He’s at the top of the game for a reason. [He’s] someone I’ve looked up to the last few years. It’s just good to be out here and try to express myself on this stage.” He added.

Draper’s win comes during what has been a solid season for the Brit who has won four Challenger titles. A former top 10 junior player, he won his first main draw Grand Slam match in June at Wimbledon and reached the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International.

Awaiting the youngster in the third round will be French veteran Gael Monfils who is playing in his first tournament since May. Monfils defeated Maxime Cressy 7-6(10), 7-6(8).

Draper is one of three British players to have reached the last 16 in Montreal. Ninth seed Cameron Norrie will next play home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dan Evans faces Taylor Fritz.

According to the Pepperstone live ATP rankings, Draper will break into the world’s top 70 for the first time next week.

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