Egor Gerasimov knocks out Andy Murray in Montpellier - UBITENNIS
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Egor Gerasimov knocks out Andy Murray in Montpellier

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World number 83 Egor Gerasimov edged two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 after 1 hour and 44 minutes in Montpellier. 

World number 121 Murray was playing his first ATP Tour match since October 2020 when he was defeated by Fernando Verdasco in the first round in Cologne. After undergoing right hip suregry following the 2019 Australian Open, the British player made a successful comeback later that year by winning an ATP Tour title at the European Open in Antwerp. The former world number 1 started the 2021 season at the ATP Challenger in Biella, losing in the final against Ukraine’s Ilya Marchenko.

The first set went on serve in the first six games before Gerasimov earned the first break to take a 4-3 lead. Murray broke straight back to draw level to 4-4. 

Murray saved two set points in the tie-break and earned his chance at 6-6, but Gerasimov closed out the tie-break 10-8 on his fourth opportunity. 

Gerasimov went up a double break to race out to a 5-0 lead. Murray saved two match points, but Gerasimov converted his third chance to win the 35-minute second set securing his spot in the second round, where he will face either Jannik Sinner or Aljaz Bedene. 

“I just tried to make good shots, that’s it. I wasn’t thinking about winning or losing the tie-break. I was thinking about the game”, said Gerasimov. 

Dennis Novak beat Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 6-3. Both players traded breaks twice in the first set. Novak got three mini-breaks to take the tie-break 7-5. Simon broke in a row to win the second set 6-1. After a trade of breaks in the third and fourth games of the third set. Novak earned the decisive break in the eighth game to win the third set 6-3 after 2 hours and a half. 

Benjamin Bonzi overcame his compatriot Lucas Pouille 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. Both players traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games and held their next service games en route to the tie-break. Bonzi earned the first mini-break to open up a 2-0 lead. Pouille pulled the break back. Bonzi won the final three points from 5-6 with a mini-break to claim the tie-break 8-6. Bonzi earned two breaks in the first and seventh games to win the second set 6-1. 

Peter Gojowczyk broke serve four times to claim a 6-3 6-4 win over his compatrion Jan-Lennard Struff in an all-German match after 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Tallon Griekspoor battled past US Marcos Giron 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 after 2 hours and 8 minutes setting up a second match against Ugo Humbert. Griekspoor broke twice in the first and seventh games to win the first set 6-1. The second set went on serve en route to the tie-break where Giron took the 7-5 edge with a mini-break. Griekspoor broke serve at love to win the third set 6-3.  

Ugo Humbert and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed their first doubles win as a team by beating Andrey Golubev and Hugo Nys 6-3 6-4. The French team fended off five of the six break points they faced. Tsonga lost to Sebastian Korda 6-4 6-2 in his come-back on the ATP Tour.

Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middelkoop beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-4 7-5 with four breaks of serve. Sander Arends and Andrea Vavassori defeated Dusan Lajovic and Marc Lopez 6-4 6-4. 

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister

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Image via x.com/twitter

The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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