Kei Nishikori edges Felix Auger Aliassime on day one of Rotterdam - UBITENNIS
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Kei Nishikori edges Felix Auger Aliassime on day one of Rotterdam

Kei Nishikori reached the second round in Rotterdam with a straight sets victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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Kei Nishikori (abnamrowtt - Twitter)

The Japanese world number 42 is through to the second round after beating the Canadian in straight sets.

 

Kei Nishikori is through to the second round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament being held at the Ahoy in Rotterdam after beating him in straight sets 7-6, and 6-1. Nishikori was a perfect 2 for 2 on breakpoints and his first serve percentage for the match was 74%.

A competitive first set :

Both players did a good job holding their serve in the opening games of the match and we didn’t see a breakpoint until the Canadian had a chance to break but it was saved the Japanese player and he managed to hold serve.

The first set would be decided by a tiebreaker and again it was the world number 42 who got off to the better start breaking the Montreal native with a stunning return winner to take an early 1-0 lead.

After that it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the Canadian broke back to go back on serve after forcing the error from Nishikori but would ultimately give it back at 4-4 when he sent a ball long.

The world number 42 would serve out the breaker and take the first set 7-6 one set away from upsetting the number 7 seed.

One way traffic for Nishikori

After holding his opening service game the world number 19 took a medical timeout as he appeared to pull or injure his knee and that seemed to hamper his play.

Nishikori earned three more breakpoints the very next game as the number seven seed was hitting errors left and right and the injury was in fact hampering his movement.

He would break as Auger Aliassime would send a return long to take an early 2-0 lead and at 4-1 had more chances to break and he would do just that with a sublime forehand winner to make it 5-1.

He would serve out the match to take it in straight sets and will either face Alex De Minaur or John Millman in the next round.

Day 1 results

In the opening match of the day session Cameron Norrie beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets 6-0, and 6-3 while two more matches are to come in the night session which will feature Andy Murray take on the home favorite Robin Haase while Marton Fucsovics a qualifier will take on the American Reilly Opelka.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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Alexander Zverev eases past Hugo Dellien to set up a third round match clash against Kei Nishikori in Rome

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This year’s Madrid Mutua Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 on Nicola Pietrangeli Court to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Zverev fired 27 winners and fended off all six of the break points he faced. The German won five consecutive games from 0-1 down with a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the opening set at 15 in the eighth game. 

Zverev went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1, but he had to save six break points in a 12-game fourth game. Zverev managed to hold serve after seven deuces before breaking serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. The German served out the win on on his second match point in the eighth game. 

The  German star will face Kei Nishikori for the second time in two weeks. He beat Nishikori, Dan Evans, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini last week at the Madrid Mutua Open en route to the fourth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career after claiming three previous trophies in Rome and Canada in 2017 and Madrid in 2018.  

Federico Delbonis didn’t face a break point and converted four of his nine break points in his 6-2 6-1 win over David Goffin. The Argentine player will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who cruised past last year’s Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3. 

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Aslan Karatsev beats Danil Medvedev in all-Russian clash in Rome

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Aslan Karatsev beat his compatriot Danil Medvedev 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 18 minutes in an all-Russian match to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Karatsev has scored his fifth career win against top 10 opponents.

 

Karatsev has improved his win-loss record to 21-6 in his 27 matches this year, including the ATP 500 title in Dubai, the semifinal at the Australian Open and the final at the Serbian Open in Belgrade. 

Karatsev has scored his second top 5 win in the past month after taking an upset win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in Belgrade. 

Karatsev earned a double break in the fifth and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. The 27-year-old Russian player earned another break in the seventh game with a volley to take a 4-3 lead. He never looked back and served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Karatsev won 90% of his first serve points and saved just one break point. 

Karatsev faced Medvedev for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. They teamed up with Andrey Rublev at the ATP Cup in Melbourne last winter helping Russia win the final against Italy. 

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