Simona Halep Survives Tomljanovic To Reach Last 32 In Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Simona Halep Survives Tomljanovic To Reach Last 32 In Melbourne

Simona Halep showed her champion qualities as she battled past Ajla Tomljanovic to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

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Simona Halep (@WTA - Twitter)

Simona Halep reeled five games in a row to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-4 7-5 to reach the third round at the Australian Open.

 

The Romanian came back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to edge past a very good Ajla Tomljanovic on Margaret Court Arena.

Next for Halep is Veronika Kudermetova while on Rod Laver Arena, Naomi Osaka made short work of Caroline Garcia, winning 6-2 6-3.

The start of the match saw a few nerves from Tomljanovic as she looked to be over-aggressive against Halep’s consistency early on.

This saw the former finalist control points and take advantage to take the early break.

However the Australian quickly responded and started to find solutions as she controlled points but found the aggression at the right times when needed.

Good depth mixed with angles and Tomljanovic took control winning four games in a row for a 4-2 lead.

Although Halep quickly responded with a break of her own, the Romanian was seemingly frustrated with the amount of errors she was producing.

As Tomljanovic consistently mixed up her power and shot direction, Halep was struggling to find quick patterns of play to shorten the points.

A 14 minute long 10th game saw Tomljanovic cut down her errors more and claim a 58 minute set, 6-4.

There was no sign of letting up in the second set as she continued to move Halep around the court and control her aggression in a productive manner.

After four breaks in a row and a service hold each, the tempo started to slow down which gave the former finalist a chance to dictate the rhythm and show her consistent quality that makes her one of the best players in the world.

Observing the weaknesses, Halep gained the crucial break in the seventh game and held on to force a deciding set.

The final set saw Tomljanovic unwilling to fade away from the battle as she continued to deliver hammer-like forehands past Halep as she took an early 2-0 lead.

A resilient Halep dug deep and continued to work the angles as she won the next two games to level the set up.

There was no drop in quality from either player as these rallies were some of the best of the tournament with regular 20+ shots testing both players fitness.

However Tomljanovic’s mix of incredible power, exceptional court coverage and use of drop-shot was a recipe to out-play and outmanoeuvre the Romania.

Three games in a row saw the Australian storm to a 5-2 lead and move within one game of the biggest victory of her career.

However Halep was too experienced to know that this match wasn’t over just yet and she used her experience to force the issue as a cautious Tomljanovic couldn’t close out the match.

Three games in a row for Halep this time saw the match level at 5-5 in a tense match with the crowd heavily involved.

The level of quality increased with each rally as Tomljanovic didn’t seem to let the match slip between her fingers.

In the end though, Halep outlasted the Australian in a match that lasted two hours and 36 minutes to book her place into the third round.

A match of the year contender which had all the elements of a dramatic grand slam match.

Although Tomljanovic outhit and outplayed Halep for most of the contest, it was the Romanian who dug deep and found her champion qualities to come through.

Next for Halep is Veronika Kudermetova on Friday.

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Marcell Granollers and Horacio Zeballos claim their third Masters 1000 title in Madrid

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Marcell Granollers and Horacio Zeballos claimed their third ATP Masters 1000 title with a 1-6 6-3 10-8 win over Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic after 73 minutes. 

 

Granollers and Zeballos avenged their 3-6 7-5 10-4 defeat against Mektic and Pavic in the semifinal at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. 

Both teams were tied at 1-1 after the first two games of the opening set before Mektic and Pavic earned two back-to-back breaks to win five consecutive games en route to claiming the first set 6-1 after 22 minutes 

Zeballos and Granollers got their first break of the match in the eighth game of the second set and served out for the second set in the next game forcing the final to the Match tie-break. 

Granollers and Zeballos won five of the next six points from 3-3 and converted their third match point to claim the Match tie-break 10-8. 

Granollers and Zeballos have extended their record to 5 wins to 3 defeats in eight ATP Tour finals. 

Mektic and Pavic have claimed 32 of their 36 matches in 2021. They won titles at the Antalya Open, at the Murray River Open in Melbourne, Rotterdam and finished runner-up in Miami and Monte-Carlo.

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David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta advance to the second round in Rome

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Former top 10 David Goffin beat Salvatore Caruso 6-4 6-1 after 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the second round after 1 hour and 23 minutes at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

The first set started with four breaks in the first five games, as Goffin raced out to a 4-1 with three break in the opening set. Caruso pulled one break back for 2-4, but Goffin earned his third break to open up a 5-2 lead. Caruso broke back in the eighth game, but Goffin served out the first set at love. 

The Belgian player went up a set and a break in the first game of the second set. Caruso wasted two break-back points in the fourth game. Goffin won four consecutive games with two breaks to claim the second set 6-1.  Goffin set up a second round match against either Karen Khachanov or Federico Delbonis. 

Pablo Carreno Busta came back from one set down to beat Laslo Djere 4-6 6-3 6-1 after dropping just seven of his first service points. Djere claimed an immediate break in the opening game. Carreno Busta saved a double break point in the third game, but he did not earn a chance on return and went to serve only once. 

Last year’s US Open semifinalist and 2018 Madrid quarter finalist Carreno Busta saved two break points to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Spaniard converted his fifth break point in the sixth game and dropped just eight points on serve held his next two service games to win the second set 6-3. 

Carreno Busta broke three times in the first, fifth and seventh games to cruise through to a 6-1 win in the third set. The Spanish player will face either Fabio Fognini or Kei Nishikori in the second round. Reilly Opelka beat Richard Gasquet 6-1 7-5 in 67 minutes. The US player hit 18 aces and won 79 % of his first service points. He won 12 consecutive points to open up a 3-0 lead and faced only a break point at 5-1 but he served out the first set 6-1 at deuce. The second set went on serve until the 11th game when Opelka converted his only break point to close out the second set 7-5. Opelka will face either Hubert Hurkacz or Lorenzo Musetti in the second round.

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Felix Auger Aliassime Goes The Distance To Win First Match In Rome

The Canadian was pushed to three sets in his opening match by Filip Krajinovic.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime is into the second round of the BNL D’ Italia Masters in Rome after beating his Serbian opponent Filip Krajinovic in three gruelling sets 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.

 

The marathon encounter saw the Canadian hit 45 winners and 12 aces en route to victory. Avenging his loss to Krajinovic at the same tournament last year. His win-loss for the season now stands at 13-8.

” It’s always a tough match against him and I was happy I was able to win today,” the world No.20 said afterwards.

It was Krajinovic who got off to a fast start earning a breakpoint on the Montreal natives opening service game of the match and broke to take an early 1-0 lead. The Canadian responded at 2-1 earning his first two breakpoints of the match and breaking with a solid forehand winner to get the break back and go back on serve. At 3-2 the world number 20 had a chance to take the lead but it was saved by the world number 36. Nevertheless, he would go on to break for a 5-3 lead before serving out the match.

Auger-Aliassime started the second set with confidence and broke the Serb’s opening service game. It stayed on serve until the world number 20 was serving for the win when he ended up getting broken to level the set at five. The very next game the Montreal native had three looks at a breakpoint but again was denied and the second set would be decided by a tiebreaker.

The tiebreaker stayed on serve until 4-4 when Auger Aliassime managed to get the crucial break but squandered it the following point and gave his Serbian opponent a chance to serve it out which he did following a double fault.

The third and decisive set was a roller-coaster with the Canadian holding his opening service game and than having three more breakpoints which he would convert to take another early 2-0 lead. Krajinovic would respond once again earning a breakpoint the following game and getting the break back to go back on serve until 3-3 when the Serb had his first chance to take a lead in the third set but the Canadian would come up with a huge point to save it.

The next game Auger-Aliassime would have a look at another breakpoint and this time would convert to take a 5-3 and serve for the match but struggled to close it out and the world number 36 broke serve once again.

With the Serb serving to stay in the match the Canadian increased his game to another level and managed to earn two match points. Sealing his first match win in Rome with a huge forehand winner down the line.

After the match in his post match press conference Auger Aliassime spoke about how he was able to overcome the adversity of having two chances to serve it out.

” You have to believe and be resilient at times, I wanted to win badly so I dug deep and I found a way so I am happy that I was able to find a way with all the circumstances,” he said.

Auger Aliassime will next face the number eight seed at the tournament Diego Schwartzman. The Argentine currently has a 1-0 lead in their head-to-head with their last meeting coming last October in Cologne, Germany on a indoor hard court.

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