Fabio Fognini: "I was lucky in the Match tie-break, but I gave everything until the end" - UBITENNIS
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Fabio Fognini: “I was lucky in the Match tie-break, but I gave everything until the end”

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Fabio Fognini came back from 1-2 down on sets to beat his compatriot Salvatore Caruso in an epic all-Italian five-set second round clash by the scoreline of 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-3 7-6 (14-12). 

 

Caruso earned the first break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and went down 0-40, as he was serving at 5-4, but he won five consecutive points to close out the opening set 6-4 after 38 minutes. 

Fognini won 12 of the first 17 points and broke in the second game to open a 3-0 lead. Caruso did not convert two break-back points. Fognini opened up a 4-1 lead and won the final eight points to seal the 35-minute second set 6-2. 

Caruso earned an immediate break at love in the first game of the third set and won seven consecutive points, but he had to save a break-back point in the fourth game. The Sicilian player earned a double beak to open up a 4-1 lead and held his next service games to close out the the 40-lminute third set 6-2. 

Caruso saved a break point in the second game of the fourth set. Fognini converted a break point in the sixth game at 30-40 to open up a 4-2 lead and won his next service games to close out the fourth set 6-3 in 37 minutes. 

Fognini did not convert a total of four break points in the seventh and eleventh games of a thrilling fifth-set. The match came down to a 10-point tie-break. Fognini earned an early mini-break but Caruso won five consecutive points to take a 5-1 lead. Fognini pulled back both break points to draw level to 5-5. Caruso won two consecutive points to take a 7-5 lead. Fognini bounced back by winning three consecuive points to take a 8-7 lead. Fognini saved a match point at 10-11 and got the crucial mini-break at 12-12 with cross-court backhand passing shot winner to earn his fourth match point. Fognini fired a serve out wide to seal the win in 3 hours and 56 minutes. 

Fognini holds a 3-0 winning record in Match Tie-breaks at the Australian Open. He scored his previous two wins in his first two matches at last year’s Australian Open against Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson en route to reaching the fourth round. 

Fognini set up a third-round match against two-time Next Gen ATP Finals champion Alex De Minaur, who beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-3 6-3 7-5. 

“I am tired as I was fighting for every point. I had chances in the fifth set, two at 15-40 in the seventh and eleventh games. I played one really bad, then the other he served well. I was lucky in the Match Tie-break. When you play against a compatriot, it’s always tough. I gave everything until the end. I was 1-5 down, then he played two bad points. At 5-5, anything was possible and I held on”, said Fognini. 

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Petra Kvitova set semifinal against Anett Kontaveit in Ostrava

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Anett Kontaveit upset this year’s Olympic singles gold medallist Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-3 after 74 minutes in the quarter finals of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. Kontaveit set up a semifinal clash against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. 

 

Kontaveit has extended her winning streak against Bencic to 2-0. The Estonian had beaten her Swiss rival in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open. 

Kontaveit scored her fourth win over a top 20 player this year. She won the second WTA title of her career in Cleveland before the US Open. 

Kontaveit hit 29 winners to just 18 unforced errors and converted five of her eight break points. Bencic produced 12 winners to 18 unforced errors. 

In the first set Kontaveit broke serve in the fourth and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead and earned a set point in the seventh game. Bencic fired a winner to save the set point. The Swiss player fended off another set point at 5-3. 

Bencic pulled both breaks back to get back on seve at 5-4. However, Kontaveit converted the first of her three set points. Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the third set. Kontaveit hit a backhand winner down the line to break serve for 4-2 in the sixth game. She held serve at love for 5-2 and sealed the win in the ninth game on her second match point with a crosscourt backhand winner. 

Petra Kvitova knocked out Jill Teichmann 6-4 6-4. The Czech player saved seven of the eight break points she faced. 

Kvitova saved five break points in the fourth game of the first set to hold serve for 2-2. The Czech player earned the break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, as Teichmann sent her forehand long. Kvitova hit her forehand to earn three set points and converted her second chance by forcing an error. 

Kvitova earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Teichmann broke straight back to draw to 2-2. Kvitova hit a series of backhands to get her second break in the fifth game for 3-2 and saved three break points to hold serve for 4-2. The home player earned three set points with a backhand winner at 5-4. After missing her first match point with a double fault, she converted her second chance with an unreturnable serve. 

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Iga Swiatek sets up semifinal against Maria Sakkari in Ostrava

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Last year’s Roland Garros Iga Swiatk reached the first semifinal since May in Rome with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win over Elena Rybakova after 1 hour and 41 minutes. 

 

Swiatek earned the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Rybakina broke back with a crosscourt backhand to draw level to 3-3. Swiatek held serve easily for 6-6 to set up a tie-break. 

Swiatek earned the first set point at 6-5 and converted her chance when Rybakina sent a backhand wide. 

Swiatek raced out to a 5-1 lead with a double break. Rybakina pulled one break back for 2-5 with a backhand down the line winner on break point. Swiatek sealed the second set 6-2 on the third match point. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal clash against Maria Sakkari, who secured a place in her sixth semifinal of the season with a 7-5 6-3 win over Tereza Martincova after 1 hour and 36 minutes. Sakkari has extended her head-to-head lead to 3-0. Sakkari has reached a career-high of world number 12 after reaching two Grand Slam semifinals at Roland Garros and at the US Open. 

Sakkari earned an early break in the first game. The Greek faced two break points in the 10th game of the first game, when she was broken at 5-4 in the first set. Sakkari converted her third break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Sakkari broke twice in the third and ninth games to win the second set 6-3. She has lost all her five semifinals in 2021 so far.  

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Pablo Carreno Busta moves into semifinals in Metz with a win over Holger Rune

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Pablo Carreno Busta beat Danish Next Gen rising Holger Vitus Notskov Rune 6-4 3-6 6-4 after 2 hours and 11 minutes to advance to the semifinals in Metz. Carreno Busta won 77% of his first serve points. 

 

Carreno Busta broke serve in the fifth game to win the first set 6-4. Rune bounced back by breaking serve in the second game to claim the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve until the eighth game when Carreno Busta earned a break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Rune broke straight back in the ninth game but Carreno Busta earned his second break to close out the third set 6-4.

“Rune is playing really well. He is playing really well. He is going to improve a lot in the next months. I am happy as it was a very important victory for me. When you play this kind of player, you have all the pressure to win and at the end it was a really good battle”, said Carreno Busta. 

Carreno Busta won the Olympic bronze medal, won the Marbella Open and his first ATP 500 title on clay in Hamburg. 

Rune beat Lorenzo Sonego en route to the quarter final. The young Dane is aiming to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

Carreno Busta will face Gael Monfils, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-3 with four breaks after 68 minutes. The Frenchman has reached his first ATP Tour level semifinal since Dubai in February 2020. 

“At the beginning I was more comfortable but then in the second set he started to be more aggressive with the returns and I was not as comfortable then. It will be a tough match against Monfils. I will be younger in the next match. I will try to do my best. Gael is an incredible player”, said Carreno Busta. 

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