Danil Medvedev books a spot in the ATP Cup semifinal for Russia after straight-set win over Kei Nishikori - UBITENNIS
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Danil Medvedev books a spot in the ATP Cup semifinal for Russia after straight-set win over Kei Nishikori

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Last year’s ATP Finals champin Danil Medvedev booked a spot for the Russian team in the ATP Cup semifinal for the second consecuive year with a 6-2 6-4 win over 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori.

 

Medvedev’s win moved Russia to 2-0 in the tie against Japan after Andrey Rublev eased past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 6-3 in 64 minutes. 

Rublev and Medvedev have not dropped a set at this tournament this week. 

In the first match Rublev hit 21 winners to 17 unforced errors. Nishioka started the match with an early break after Rublev lost five consecutive points fom 40-0 in the first game. 

Rublev forced an error from Nishoka in the second game to break straight back and hit a backhand winner in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Rublev broke again with a forehand winner to race out to a 5-1 lead. The Russian star hit a service winner to closed out the first set 6-1 with six consecutive winning games. 

Nishioka missed a volley at the net to drop serve in the second set, but he wasted a break point. Rublev fended off a break point at 4-3 and closed out the match with a break in the ninth game. 

Rublev claimed his first win in two ATP head-to-head clashes against Nishioka. 

“I played really well today. I am happy the way I am playing. I am happy that I am feeling confident in my shots, that I am trying to big and in the end I feel that I will make it. I was missing this feeling, I was missing competing and the first two matches went really well so we will see what’s going to happen next”, said Rublev. 

In the second match Danil Medvedev has claimed his 12th consecutive win since the 2020 Paris Bercy Masters 1000 tournament with a 6-2 6-4 win over Kei Nishikori after 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Medvedev dropped serve once and broke serve four times. The 2020 US Open finalist hit 19 winners to 17 unforced errors. 

Nishikori dropped serve at the start of the first set after a long rally and saved a break point at 0-2 to win his first game. Nishikori pulled the break back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Medvedev won 16 of the next 21 points to claim the opening set 6-2 with two consecutive breaks. Medvedev earned his second break, as Nishikori netted a backhand in the fifth game. The Russian player opened up a 5-2 lead, when Nishikori sent his volley wide and sealed the first set with a hold at 15.

Both players went on serve in the first eight games, before Medvedev earned the decisive break at deuce. The Russian player sealed the win with a service winner in the 10th game to secure Russia the spot in the semifinal. 

“I am really happy for the team. Reaching the semifinals is a big step. I am really happy that we made it in both singles. Both matches were straight sets, so I am really happy for the team and hopefully we can go further than that”, said Medvedev. 

Last year Russia set up a semifinal clash against Serbia with an unbeaten 4-0 tie record. Medvedev pushed Novak Djokovic to a third set, but he was not able to force the tie to a decisive doubles match. Russia will face the winner of Group A. Serbia and Germany remain in contention for the semifinal spot in this group. 

Ben McLachlan and Yoshihito Nishikori saved a match point to beat Evgeny Donskoy and Aslan Donskoy 4-6 6-3 12-10 in the doubles match. Karatsev made a double fault at 10-9 in the match tie-break. Mclachlan sealed the win two points later with a powerful serve.

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‘Another Level’ – Nick Kyrgios Praises Rising Star Jannik Sinner

This week the world No.11 is bidding to win his third consecutive indoor tournament.

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Jannik Sinner (ITA), (Erste Bank Open 2021, Wiener Stadthalle); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger

Jannik Sinner’s recent dominance when it comes to playing tennis indoors hasn’t gone unnoticed with one of his peers praising him on social media.

 

The 20-year-old defeated Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Vienna Open on Wednesday in what is his fifth consecutive win on the Tour. Impressively Sinner has now won 18 straight sets on indoor hardcourts. Last Sunday he claimed his fifth Tour title at the European Open to become the youngest ATP player to win that many ATP trophies since Novak Djokovic back in 2007.

Sinner’s achievements were highlighted on social media by journalist Ben Rothenberg who posted a tweet of the 18 sets he has won. That caught the attention of former top 20 player and two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios who paid his own tribute to the Italian.

“He is another level. That’s for sure, played him in Washington doubles. Never played someone who hit the ball as hard,” he wrote.

The two are yet to play against each other in singles competition. In Washington Kyrgios and Frances Tiafoe lost 4-6, 4-6, to Sinner and his partner Sebastian Korda.

Sinner’s latest win in Vienna has boosted his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin next month. He has risen back up the standings to 10th in the race after overtaking Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie. Norrie will play his second round match on Thursday.

“I think I had not so many chances and I used them. I think that was the key today,” Sinner said of his latest win against Opelka. “I served well. My service holds were always quite fast and good. I felt well on the baseline, so I knew when I went in a rally that somehow I was going to win the point. But it’s never easy playing against him. You never have rhythm.”

Awaiting Sinner in the next round will be Austria’s Denis Novak who is currently ranked 116th in the world and is yet to beat a top 10 player in his career.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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