Alexander Zverev moves into the fourth round at the Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev moves into the fourth round at the Australian Open

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Last year’s US Open finalist Alexander Zverev cruised into the Australian Open fourth round with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino after 1 hour and 43 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena. 

 

Zverev has extended his winnin record to 6-0 in his sixth head-to-head matches against Mannarino. In their most recent clash Zverev beat his French rival 7-6 (13-11) 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after two hard-fought tie-breaks. 

Zverev converted five of his twelve break points and saved all three break points he faced . The number six seed hit 35 winners including 19 aces to move into the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the third consecutive year. The German lost to Dominic Thiem in four sets 6-3 4-6 6-7 (3-7) 6-7 (4-7) in last year’s edition of the Australian Open. 

Zverev faced two break points, as he was serving at 2-2, and won four consecutive points to take a 3-2 lead. The 2018 ATP Finals champion earned a break at 15 in the sixth game with a deep return and sealed the first set 6-3 with a service winner in the ninth game. 

Zverev converted his fifth break point in a five-deuce third game to take a 2-1 lead after a double fault from Mannarino. He consolidated the break by holding his serve with a forehand winner. 

Zverev held his next service games and sealed the second set after forcing an error from Mannarino in the ninth game. Zverev went up a double break at the start of the third set and closed out the match with an ace. 

“I did not feel my best, probably because Sasha was playing too well. He was really consistent, serving well, putting a lot of pressure on me. When you are on the other side of the net, you feel like you don’t have that much time to play, and you need to serve really well. Otherwise, it’s going to be complicated because he is serving too well. I think he was too good”, said Zverev. 

Zverev set up a fourth round match against 2019 Monte-Carlo finalist Dusan Lajovic, who edged Pedro Martinez 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 6-1 6-4 after 3 hours and 13 minutes. 

Grigor Dimitrov won seven consecutive games, before Carreno Busta was forced to retire due to illness. 

Russian 27-year-old qualifier Aslan Karatsev upset last year’s Roland Garros semifinalist Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 52 minutes. Karatsev saved 10 of the 11 break points he faced and hit 50 winners. The world number 114 player was playing just his 16th tour-level match and his first Grand Slam tournament. Karatsev will face Felix Auger Aliassime, who beat his compatriot Denis Shapovalov. 

Karatsev dropped just three first service points and fired 13 winners. Karatsev saved two break points at 0-1 in the second set before breaking twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the second set 6-3. Schwartzman got an immediate break in the first game of the third set, but Karatsev broke serve in a row in the second and fourth games to close out the match. 

Karatsev won 18 of his 20 on the ATP Challenger Tour. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. I qualified, so I was already very happy. I have had a lot of worries over the past few years, so I am relieved, overjoyed, to be at this stage. I had a big knee injury a few years ago, so to be here and represent Russia at the ATP Cup last week really gave me confidence”, said Karatsev. 

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Novak Djokovic reaches the semifinal in Tel Aviv

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Novak Djokovic beat Canadian lucky loser Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. 

 

Djokovic has improved his record to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Pospisil. He has won all 13 sets they have played. 

Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Djokovic earned two mini-breaks to race out to a 4-0 lead. Pospisil won five of the next six points to draw level to 5-5. Djokovic won the next two points to seal the tie-break 7-5. 

Djokovic went up a break at the start of the second set. Pospisil broke back in the fifth game to reduce the deficit to 2-3. Djokovic broke again in the eighth game before serving out for the match in the next game. 

Djokovic set up a semifinal against Roman Safiulin. The Serbian player is aiming to win his third title this season after his previous triumphs in Rome and Wimbledon. He is currently ranked 15th in the ATP Race to Turin. As he won a Grand Slam title at Wimbeldon this year, he will qualify for the ATP Finals if he remains in the top 20. 

“It was a great and positive win. Vasek is one of my best friends on the tour. We have known each other for many years. It is never easy playing someone you respect so much and like so much, but we are both professionals and wanted to win the match and you can see that. ”, said Djokovic. 

Constant Lestienne came back from one set down to beat Maxime Cressy 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3) setting up a semifinal against Marin Cilic, who reached his fifth semifinal this year after receiving a walkover from Liam Broady.   

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Jannik Sinner reaches his third consecutive semifinal at the Sofia Open

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Jannik Sinner cruised past Aleksandar Vukic 6-2 6-3 to advance to his third consecutive semifinal at the Sofia Open. Sinner scored his 45th tour.level win this season moving up to 12th in the ATP Race to Turin. He will rise to 10th if he wins his third consecutive title in Sofia. 

 

Sinner has extended his winning streak to 11-0 at the Sofia Open. He claimed the trophy at this tournament at the Sofia Open in 2020 before he successfully defended his title last year.  

Sinner faced four break points after three double faults in the first game of opening set. Vukic saved a break point with a forehand at 1-2. Sinner broke twice in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. 

Sinner built up a 3-0 lead with a break at the start of the second set. Vukic broke back in the seventh game for 3-4. Sinner earned his second break in the eighth game. Sinner missed out on his first match point with his fifth double fault. Vukic fended off a second match point with a forehand passing shot. Sinner saved a break point with an ace before sealing the win on his third match point. 

“I hope to raise my level in the next match. I am happy to reach the third semifinal at this tournament. I feel at home in Sofia. I will try to play my best tennis in every match”, said Sinner, 

Sinner will face a semifinal match against Holger Rune, who will face Ilya Ivashka 6-2 5-7 6-4 after 2 hours and 22 minutes. 

Rune broke in the fifth and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. Ivashka saved four break points in th third game before breaking for the first time in the match in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5. 

Rune earned a break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashka broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Rune broke for the second game in the ninth game and held serve on his second match point. 

Lorenzo Musetti moved past world number 132 player Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 16 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season. 

Struff earned an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. Musetti came back from 15-40 down to break back in the fifth game with a backhand passing shot winner. Musetti went down 0-2 in the tie-break, but he rallied by winning seven of the next eight points to seal the tie-break 7-3. Musetti broke twice in the second and fourth games and sealed the win on his first match point with a forehand winner after 77 minutes. Musetti set up a semifinal match against Marc Andrea Huesler, who saved two match points in the tie-break of the second set to beat Kamil Majchrzak 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. 

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Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin

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Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas have qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals singles tournament in Turin, Joining Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal and US Open winner Carlos Alcaraz. 

 

Ruud secured his spot in the year-end championships by winning his second-round match in Seoul. 

Ruud reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami and two Grand Slam finals at Roland Garros and at the US Open. He also won three ATP Tour titles in Buenos Aires, Geneva and Gstaad. The Norwegian player has scored 47 ATP Tour-level wins and is ranked third behind only Alcaraz (52) and Tsistipas (49). 

Ruud made his first appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin last year. He won his round robin matches against against Cameron Norrie and Andrey Rublev before losing to Danil Medvedev in the semifinal. 

“I just got the news that I qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin and I am looking forward to coming back to Italy. I had such a great time last year. It’s a great country for tennis”, said Ruud. 

Tsitsipas has become the fourth player to qualify to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals. The Greek player will make his fourth consecutive appearance at the year-end tournament. He won the title in 2019 beating Novak Djokovic in the final. Tsitsipas started the 2022 season with a semifinal at the Australian Open last January. He advanced to the final in Rotterdam where he finished runner-up to Felix Auger Aliassime.

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion won his second consecutive title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Last May Tsitsipas finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. During the US hard-court season the Athens native player lost to Borna Coric in the final of the Cincinnati Masters 1000 tournament. 

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