Denis Shapovalov outlasts Jannik Sinner - UBITENNIS
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Denis Shapovalov outlasts Jannik Sinner

Denis Shapovalov battled past Jannik Sinner in the most entertaining match of the day to reach round two in Melbourne.

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Denis Shapovalov (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The Canadian is through to the second round after a 5 set marathon against his Italian opponent.

 

Denis Shapovalov is through to the second round after beating Jannik Sinner in 5 sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, and 6-4 in a match that lasted over three hours and was one of the matches of the day.

A fast start for the Italian

After holding in the opening service game of the match the San Candido, Italy native managed to earn three break points and broke the world number 12 as his backhand sailed wide to take the early 2-0 lead.

He would consolidate the break and from there it was smooth sailing for the Italian who would serve out the first set to take it 6-3.

The Canadian responds

The second set was a much tighter affair with the rallies intensifying and it was looking like this was going to be a great match. We didn’t see a break point in the second set till Shapovalov was up 4-3 and using his trademark backhand broke to take a 5-3 lead and served out the set taking it 6-3.

Canadian dominance

The third set was almost like the second but we saw a lot more chances for both players to break. In the opening service game the Nassau, Bahamas resident had a chance to break once again but was denied by the big serve from the Italian.

Sinner held serve and the following service game had chances of his own to break having three great opportunities but the Richmond Hill, Ontario native saved all three break points before eventually holding playing some great tennis.

At 2-2 Shapovalov had three more chances to break and take the lead and after saving the first two the Italian served an untimely double fault to give the Canadian a 3-2 lead.

The number 11 seed would hold serve and had another great opportunity to extend his lead in the very next game and after saving the first two the Canadian would break as Sinner when he sent a ball out to take a commanding 5-2 lead.

He would serve out the set to take it 6-2 and put himself up two sets to one.

The Italian comeback

Entering the fourth set the Canadian was a set away from booking his spot in the next round while the Italian was trying to stay alive. At 1-1, another unforced error from Sinner gave Shapovalov another early breakpoint and like the third set would gift the break when he served another double fault to give the Canadian a 2-1 lead.

The world number 12 would hold serve and at 3-2 the Canadian would face three break points from the Italian and would eventually get broken as it was Shapovalov turn to hit an unforced error and we were back on serve at 3-3.

From there both players held serve until 5-4 when Sinner earned three set points with more errors from the Canadian and took the fourth set 6-4 sending the match into a fifth and deciding set.

The final set

During the break before the fifth set Shapovalov seemed incensed with the chair umpire for refusing to let him use the washroom due to the fact he had called the trainer.

“I am going to piss my pants, I’m going to pee in the bottle”

The trainer finally came out and the Canadian took a medical timeout to have work done on his left shoulder.

The timeout seemed to work as Shapovalov jumped out of the gates and earned a breakpoint in the first game of the final set and broke the Italian to take a 1-0 lead.

He would consolidate the break once again and at 5-4 he finally got to the point of closing out the match and had his first match point which was saved by Sinner and the next point the world number 12 served a double fault to give the Italian a break point to go back on serve.

The number 11 seed would save it and on his second match point would make no mistake closing it out in style with his backhand to win the match.

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Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.

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Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.

 

Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.

 

The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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