Anastasia Potapova upsets Belinda Bencic to advance to the quarter final in Dubai - UBITENNIS
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Anastasia Potapova upsets Belinda Bencic to advance to the quarter final in Dubai

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Wildcard Anastasia Potapova upset this year’s Adelaide finalist Belinda Bencic 6-1 6-2 7-5 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Former world junior world number 1 Potapova underwent ankle surgery last August and made her come-back last January. She has won two matches against top 20 players against Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic this week. 

Potapova raced out to a 5-0 lead with a two consecutive breaks in the second and fourth games. Bencic saved two break points to hold serve in the sixth game, but Potapova served out the first set on her second chance.

Bencic broke serve in the sixth and eighth game of the second set. Seven games of the third set featured a double fault. Potapova saved three break points in the second game. The decider went on serve until the 11th game when Potapova converted her third break point to take a 6-5 lead. She converted her second match point with a winner down the line.                       

This year’s Australian Open quarter finalist Jessica Pegula took down 2015 Dubai finalist Karolina Pliskova 6-0 6-2. Pegula scored her second win over Pliskova this year one week after beating her Czech rival 6-3 6-1 to reach the semifinal her first WTA 500 semifinal in Doha. 

Pegula becomes the seventh player to take a bagel win set over Pliskova in a WTA main draw match. 

Pegula raced out to a bagel win in a 20-minute opening set, where Pliskova won just 10 points in the first two games. 

Pliskova started the second set with a break in the first game , as Pegula committed six of her eleven unforced errors. Pegula reeled off six consecutive games to win the second set 6-2. 

Former doubles world number 1 Barbora Krejcikova cruised past Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-2. The Czech player earned her only break in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. She went up a 3-0 lead with a double break in the second set. Kuznetsova pulled one break back at love in the fourth game. Krejicikova sealed the second set with a break in the seventh game. 

Aryna Sabalenka knocked out Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-2. Sabalenka broke three times in the fourth game of the first set and in the third and seventh games of the second set. Elise Mertens knocked out Caroline Garcia 6-4 6-2. Both players traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the opening set. Mertens won four games in a row with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games and held on her next two service games to claim the first set 6-4. The second set started with a trade of breaks. Mertens reeled off five of the next six games with breaks in the third and fifth games to close out the second set 6-2.

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Botic Van de Zandschulp beats Joao Sousa to reach the second round in Tel Aviv

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Botic Van de Zandschulp cruised past Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 to reach the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. Van de Zandschulp won 83% of his first serve points and hit 28 winners to Sousa’s six. 

 

The Dutchman will face Liam Broady, who Serbian wild-card Hamad Medjedovic 7-5 6-3. 

Tomas Martin Etchevery edged past 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev 6-2 6-7 (0-7) 6-4  scoring the biggest win of his career. 

Arthur Rinderknech came back from one set down to beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3. Rinderknech set up a second round against third seed Diego Schwartzman. 

Emil Ruusuvuori broke serve five times in his 6-3 6-2 win over J.J Wolf. 

Sebastian Korda beat Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Maxime Cressy. Novak Djokovic is the top seed of the Tel Aviv tournament, which returns for the first time since 2021.

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Holger Rune reaches the second round at the Sofia Open

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Danish Next Gen rising star Holger Rune edged past Tim Van Rijthoven 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) to reach the second round at the Sofia Open in his first appearance at this tournament. 

 

Both players went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Rune earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

The second set started with a trade of breaks in the first two games. There was little to separate both players in the next games, which went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rune saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie-break of the second set and won the final three points to close out the second set 8-6. 

Rune won his first title in Munich and reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter final at Roland Garros. 

 “I did not want to go to three sets. I had the break and led 5-2 in the second set tie-break. If it had happened, I was going to fight for sure and try to take it in three, but I am very happy to win in two. I am really working hard every day and trying to improve any small things I can. I think today I stayed very focused all the time. I lost my focus one time on serve, when maybe I should not have been broken, but other than that I am very happy with my first match. The first match is always a  bit difficult”, said Rune. 

Australia’s Alexander Vukic beat Fabio Fognini 7-6 (13-11) 7-5 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. Vukic broke serve in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead. Fognini converted his fourth break-back point to draw level to 4-4 before saving a break point at 5-5. Fognini went up a 6-3 lead, but he wasted six set points in the tie-break. Vukic closed out the tie-break 13-11 on his third set point. 

Fognini earned a break to take a 2-1 lead. Vukic broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2 in the fourth game. Fognini lost four consecutive points from 4-5 30-0. Vukic earned the decisive break on his first match point to seal the second set 7-5. 

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Dominic Thiem battles past Laslo Djere in three sets in Tel Aviv

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Dominic Thiem came back from one set down to beat Laslo Djere 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in 2 hours and 40 minutes reaching the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. 

 

Djere broke serve in the third game to take a 3-1 lead. Thiem broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Djere earned his second break in the 11th game to close out the first set 7-5. 

Thiem broke serve at deuce in the sixth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Djere broke back in the seventh game to draw level to 4-4. Djere earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Thiem did not face a break point in the third set and converted his fourth break point in the third game to seal the third set 6-4. 

“I did not get off to a great start. I got the break in the second set and I was a bit lucky I could turn the match around. The third set was a real grind. I am vert grateful to everyone who came tonight. It is really nice to play in Israel”, said Thiem.  Roman Safiulin came back from one set down to beat Hugo Grenier 3-6 6-4 6-2 in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Safiulin earned his first ATP Tour win since he beat Mikael Ymer in Belgrade last April.

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