Pablo Carreno Busta secures Spain a semifinal spot in the ATP Cup - UBITENNIS
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Pablo Carreno Busta secures Spain a semifinal spot in the ATP Cup

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Last year’s US Open semifinalist and four-time ATP titlist Pablo Carreno Busta secured Spain a spot in the ATP Cup semifinals with a 6-3 6-4 win against world number 462 Michail Pervolarakis in 70 minutes.

Spain has qualified for the ATP Cup semifinals for the second consecutive year despite the absence of 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, who had to pull out the tie due to a stiff lower back. Spain will face Italy in the semifinal.

Carreno Busta has scored his second singles match after beating Australia’s John Millman on Tuesday. The former world number 10 player has dropped just 13 games in 4 sets. 

The Spanish player hit 19 winners to 11 unforced errors. He broke three times and dropped his serve once from the two break points he faced. 

Carreno Busta earned an early break in the second game after Pervolarakis made a forehand error. The Spanish player hit a service winner to consolidate a break with a hold of serve and built up a 3-0 lead. 

Carreno Busta broke serve for the second time in the fourth game, as Pervolarakis netted an easy forehand. The Greek pulled one break back and held serve to love to claw his way back to 3-5. Carreno Busta hit a forehand winner in the ninth game to hold serve at love closing out the first set 6-3 after 30 minutes. Carreno Busta earned a break at the start of the second set and held five consecutive service games to seal the second set 6-4. 

“I knew that we needed this point. With this victory, we are into the semifinals, so it very important to us. I tried to be focused on myself, to try to play my best game. At the beginning of the match, I think it was perfect. I played really better, to play more aggressive and I tried to continue. Finally I won 6-3 6-4 and I am happy”, said Carreno Busta in his on-court interview. 

Top ten player and 2019 ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas beat 2019 Davis Cup champion and former top 10 player Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5 7-5 after 1 hour and 40 minutes. 

Tsitsipas dropped 15 points in 12 service games and broke serve three times. The Athens-native player fended off two break points in the third game of the opening set. Both players held on their nervice games until the 12th game, when Bautista Agut was two points away from the tie-break. Tsitsipas forced an error from Bautista Agut to break serve and seal the first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas built up a 3-0 with an early break at the start of the second set. Bautista Agut fended off three match points on serve at 2-5 and broke back with a backhand down the line return winner in the eighth game. Tsitsipas sealed the second set 7-5 with a late break after Bautista Agut hit his first double fault on the final point of the match. 

Tsitsipas has extended his winning record in his head-to-head matches to 2-0. The Greek player beat his Spanish player in four sets in the 2019 Australian Open quarter finals to become the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist since a 20-year-old Novak Djokovic at the 2007 US Open. 

Tsitsipas and Markos Kalovelonis returned to John Cain Arena to clash against Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers in the doubles match. Greece won the first set, befor Spain retired. Greece recorded the first tie win in ATP Cup history. 

“It was a good match. I played very solid throughout the whole match and showed aggression. My forehand was on fire, my serve was working really well for me. I executed my game plan very well and had a clear picture of what I was intending to do on the court”, said Tsitsipas. 

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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