Danil Medvedev claims his 10th career title - UBITENNIS
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Danil Medvedev claims his 10th career title

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Last year’s ATP Finals champion Danil Medvedev claimed the 10th ATP Tour of his career with a 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 win over Pierre Hugues Herbert after 2 hours and 11 minutes at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille. 

Medvedev hit 13 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced in a highly entertaining match, which presented the contrast of styles between Herbert’s attacking game and Medvedev’s baseline precision. 

Medvedev, who finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in this year’s Australian Open, will overtake Rafael Nadal to move into the top 2 of the ATP Ranking. He will be only the fifth world number 2 since 25th July 2005 joining Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. 

Medvedev has claimed the 10th ATP Tour title. He won six of these trophies on hard court. The Russian player became the first male player to beat the top 3 players Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in ATP Finals history. He ended the 2020 season on a 10-match winning streak and started 2021 on a 10-match streak before finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final. 

Medvedev has extended his win-loss record in his 16 ATP matches to 14-2 and now leads to 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Herbert. He won all his four matches to lead the Russian team to the ATP Cup in Melbourne. 

Medvedev earned his first break in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead after Herbert made a double fault and pushed a volley beyond the baseline. 

Herbert broke straight back in the sixth game with a drop-shot to draw level to 3-3. Medvedev converted his third third consecutive break point in the seventh game, as Herbert hit a volley into the net, and held on his final two service games and converted his second set point with a backhand winner down the line after 37 minutes. 

Herbert earned his second break point in the fourth game of the second set, but Medvedev saved it. The Frenchman hit a mid-court forehand on break point, but he hit his forehand into the net. Medvedev held serve to draw level to 3-3. The Russian player held at 15 sending the second set to the tie-break.  

Herbert won five consecutive points from 2-4 down to clinch the tie-break 7-4 forcing the match to the the third set. The home player hit a shot down the line earning two set points at 6-4 and forced the match to the third set after 59 minutes, as Medvedev hit a backhand into the net. 

The third set went on serve until the 10th game. Medvedev hit his 13th ace holding serve for 5-4. Herbert netted a volley to face 15-30. He earned two championships point with a low return and got his only break of the third set to claim his first Marseille title. 

Herbert beat three seeded players en route to the final: Kei Nishikori, defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and his compatriot Ugo Humbert. “I am really happy about the number 10 title. It gets me to two digits, something wihich I dreamt of when I was a kid. I think it is already a great number but I am going to try to work more and get some more. I really like to play on hard courts. I feel like that is where my game suits me the best. I feel like I know the solutions I have to find during the match and that is what I did today”, said Medvedev. 

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing

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Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai

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Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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