Karatsev wins first ATP title in Dubai ending Harris's cinderella run. - UBITENNIS
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Karatsev wins first ATP title in Dubai ending Harris’s cinderella run.

Aslan Karatsev will break into the top 30 of the ATP rankings next week after winning the title in Dubai.

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Aslan Karatsev (@atptour - Twitter)

The Russian won his first ever ATP title ending the South African amazing run to the finals.

 

Aslan Karatsev won his maiden ATP title on Saturday beating the South African Lloyd Harris in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in a match that barely lasted 90 minutes. He dominated the match from start to finish with 8 aces and 27 winners.

“I’m super happy it was a tight match, really nervous and I want to congratulate my opponent for the final, he did a great week, every final is a different match from the beginning of the week, during the week so I’m happy that I won one”.

The Russian got off to a fast start winning his opening service game and putting pressure right away on the world number 81 serve and would get the early break with his powerful forehand.

The South African had a chance to break back to go back on serve but the world number 42 would save it right away with one of his booming serves. At 4-1 he had a chance to go up a double break but the native of Cape Town would save all three playing some great survival tennis.

Karatsev would serve out the first set with a love hold to take it 6-3 and was one set away from his title.

He was even more dominant in the second set earning breakpoints in the very first game of the set with Harris serving, he would break to once again take an early 1-0 lead.

After consolidating the break the Russian had two more breakpoints to go up a double break but the South African did a good job saving both. At 3-2 the world number 81 had a chance to break to go back on serve but the Russian was up to the task of saving it.

At 4-2 Karatsev earned another breakpoint with a solid return winner and would break the following point to take a 5-2 lead and served out the match to seal the victory.

After the match in his post match press conference Harris touched on the positives he can take from a great week he had in Dubai.

“Absolutely like you said there are so many positives from this week, coming through seven matches, Aslan today was just too good but sometimes it happens like that, you just have to take the big up from the week move forward, and take it into the next tournaments”.

Karatsev in his post-match press conference answered a question from Ubitennis if there had been a major overhaul in his game that led to his early success this season so far.

“We try to play more offensive, more aggressive, to stay close to the line I mean this part we work on a lot and I think the target was the mental part that you have to believe what you are doing, believe more in yourself and that’s how the confidence grow up for me, once you start to believe then you start to feel your game and of course it was a lot work outside the court, inside the court”

Karatsev will now head to Miami to play the Miami Open which begins next week on Tuesday at the Hard Rock Stadium complex.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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