Aslan Karatsev battles back to beat Felix Auger Aliassime in 5 at the Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Aslan Karatsev battles back to beat Felix Auger Aliassime in 5 at the Australian Open

Aslan Karatsev continued his dream run as he reached the Australian Open Quarter-Finals.

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Aslan Karatsev (@TENNIS - Twitter)

The Russian qualifier is through to the quarter finals of the Australian Open after coming back to beat the Canadian in five sets.

 

Aslan Karatsev cinderella story continues at the Australian Open as he pulled off his second straight upset beating the number 20 seed in five sets 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. The number 114 in the world hit 37 winners in the while the Canadian hit 41 unforced errors and was broken five times in the match.

A quick start for Felix

The world number 21 got off to the better start and after holding his opening service game he would get the early break as you can sense nerves played a factor in the Russian opening service game to take a 2-0 lead.

The break didn’t last long as the world number 114 responded right away breaking the Canadian in the very next game to go back on serve at 2-1 before once again failing to hold serve and trading breaks back and forth.

The Montreal native would eventually hold serve to make it 4-1 and would serve out the first set to take it 6-3.

The Canadian continues to dominate

Auger Aliassime took the momentum of winning the first set and took it into the second set and at 1-1 got his first break opportunity of the set and broke as the Russian hit another unforced error.

The number 20 seed faced breakpoints in the following service game but held on and doubled his lead as the qualifier was once struggling on serve to take a 4-1 lead before serving out the second set and winning it 6-1 converting on all three break chances he earned.

The Russian wakes up

With the Canadian one set away from a potential quarterfinal you could sense nerves were starting to affect him and at 2-2 he lost three points thanks to three straight unforced errors giving Karatsev a chance to break.

The Russian would break to take a 3-2 lead and at 5-3 broke the Canadian as he was struggling on serve and hitting the ball in the court to take the third set 6-3.

A change in momentum

That third set seemed to give the Russian life and that this match was far from being over and once again at 2-1 he earned more breakpoints and would break from another one of the Canadian unforced errors to take a 3-1 lead.

The rest of the set both players held serve and the Russian qualifier would serve out the fourth set to take it 6-3 and force a 5th and deciding set.

The Final Chapter

Funny enough it was the first time both players would play a 5th set to decide the winner of a match and again the Montreal native was struggling with his serve and his consistency with his groundstrokes.

At 1-1 it was the Russian with the first breakpoints of the set and he did a good job working Auger Aliassime forehand until he eventually cracked sending a forehand long to take a crucial 2-1 lead.

At 4-2 the Canadian saved four breakpoints in a tough service game with the world number 114 smelling blood and going on the offensive but managed to finally hold serve.

Karatsev would serve out the match winning four straight points to end the match and book his spot in the quarterfinals where he will face either Dominic Thiem or Grigor Dimitrov.

” It was really tough in the beginning to play with him, he’s a really good player, he’s playing really fast and it took me two sets to find a way how to play and then, in the end, I was good for the 3rd, 4th and 5th”

That was the Russian in his on court interview as he was pleased with the win.

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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Seppi in Washington

The Canadian looked down and out early in the match but bounced back to avenge a loss he suffered at the French Open in June.

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Second seed Felix Auger Aliassime survived a huge scare in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington.

The Canadian was on the verge of being upset by the Italian Andreas Seppi but battled back to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 59 minutes. Blasting a total of 25 winners and nine aces in the win.

 

“In my mind, I wanted to find a way to come back. To get that early break in the second really helped me a lot and I think I served a little bit better and I put more volume and height on my shot,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was more patient and in the first set I was missing too quickly in the rallies so digging deep physically and mentally allowed me to come back nicely in the match and to finish strong in the third set. I am happy with the way things turned around for me today”.

It was the world number 88 with the better start to the match and after both players held their opening service games he had two chances to get the early break and took a 2-1 lead. After consolidating the break, the Italian set up another breakpoint with a stunning forehand winner, broke again for a 4-1 lead, and served out the first set.

Auger-Aliassime was keen on getting back into the match and wanted to avoid a second straight upset loss to the Italian. After holding serve in the first game of the second set he had two chances to take an early lead and broke for the 2-0 lead with a forehand up the line of his very own on breakpoint. That was enough for him to serve out the second set and send the match into a decisive third set to decide the winner.

It was the Canadian who repeated what he did in the second set holding the opening service game and breaking Seppi’s serve with a sublime passing shot. The Italian responded the next game by breaking right back but failed to consolidate the break as the world number 15 broke again with his powerful backhand winner.

At 5-2, the Auger-Aliassime found himself at match point and it took him five attempts before being able to convert and seal the match. Avenging a loss he suffered at Roland Garros.

After the match in his post-match press conference, the Canadian was asked if he had the loss to Seppi at the French Open in the back of his mind during the match.

” In a way yes of course because we played once and he beat me and as a player, you never want to go down twice in a row against a player but it happens but in my case, I really wanted to find a way to win that match and get revenge just for myself to try and get the win”. he said.

Auger Aliassime will now face the winner of the second-round match between Jenson Brooksby or Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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John Isner Wins 16th ATP Title In Atlanta

The 6ft 10 American got revenge on his American opponent for the loss he suffered last week in Los Cabos.

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John Isner has continued his love affair with the Atlanta Open by ousting Brandon Nakashima to win the tournament for a record sixth time.

 

The sixth seed beat the American teenager 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes. Firing a total of 21 aces and winning 81% of his first-serve points en route to the victory.

“I think if you count the last two weeks playing singles and doubles I played 12 matches in about 10 or 11 days so I have played a lot which is exactly what I need,” Isner said following his win. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for tournaments ahead.’
This tournament has meant everything to my career it’s amazing”. He added.

The first set was extremely tight and neither player gave an inch in their respective service games. The opener was decided by a tiebreaker which Isner is accustomed to. Whilst the first set was tight, the tiebreaker was an even tighter affair Isner squeezing out a 10-8 win to take the first set 7-6.

Again the second set was competitive and again neither player got an edge on their return game. It was only at 5-4 that the Dallas, Texas native found himself at triple match point but the world number 115 saved all three.

Nakashima would save a fourth before holding serve and at 6-5, the world number 35 earned a fifth match point. That’s where he closed out the match and sealed the win and the title.

After the match, Isner was asked about his history of playing numerous tiebreakers throughout his career.

” I play a lot of those and it’s a situation I am comfortable in since I have been on tour forever,” he explained. “Honestly I think today (Sunday) I was just a little bit luckier and that’s what It really came down to. It’s amazing to be out here again playing on a Sunday and it was awesome”.

Isner confirmed that he will not be making the trip to Washington, DC for the Citi Open and instead he will take a week off after playing back-to-back tournaments in Los Cabos and Atlanta. He is next scheduled to be in Toronto for the National Bank Open.

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