Stefanos Tsitsipas eases past Damir Dzumhur to set up a third round match against Kei Nishikori in Miami - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas eases past Damir Dzumhur to set up a third round match against Kei Nishikori in Miami

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Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-4 to reach the third round at the Miami Open. 

Tsitsipas, who entered the match with a 1-4 win-loss record in his previous five head-to-head matches against Dzumhur, converted his third break point in the second game and needed four chances to win the fourth game on Dzuhur’s serve to build up a 4-0 lead. Tsitsipas won his next two service games to cruise through the opening set 6-1. 

Dzumhur saved a break point in the first game to hold serve at deuce in the first game. Tsitsipas earned his only break in the third game of the second set at deuce and never looked back in his next service games to claim the second set 6-4. 

Tsitsipas is the third player to reach 15 wins this season joining Danil Medvedev and Andrey in the exclusive club. 

“It was a great match, especially against a guy that I probably don’t have a good record playing against in the past. I started the match very strong, breaking him twice and taking a big lead in the score, and I think the things worked out by themselves after that”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas will face Kei Nishikori, who edged past Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 6-4. 

“Kei is a player that has played very well in the past, and even now he can raise his level really high. I will try and be ready for the battle. It’s important for me to have matches against strong opponents like him”, said Tsitsipas. 

The Japanese player claimed his second win over Bedene for the second consecutive week after beating the Slovenian player 6-4 6-4 in Dubai. Tsitsipas will try to beat Nishikori for the first time. Nishikori won their only previous head-to-head match on home soil in Tokyo in 2018.

Bedene started the match with an immediate break in the first game. Nishikori broke straight back in the second game to draw level to 1-1. The first set went on serve until the 11th game, when Bedene got a break to take a 6-5 lead. Nishikori broke straight back in the 12th game to set up a tie-break. Nishikori earned a mini-break to earn three set points at 6-3. Bedene saved all three chances to draw level to 6-6, but Nishikori sealed the tie-break 8-6 on his fourth chance. 

Bedene broke serve in the sixth game of the second set to take a 4-2 lead. Nishikori broke straight back to draw level to 4-4. Bedene saved a break point to hold serve after three deuces before sealing the second set 7-5. 

Bedene fended off a break point in the third game of the decider. Both players went on serve until the seventh game, when Nishikori got the only break of the third set after coming back from 40-30 down. The Japanese player served out the third set in the 10th game on the second match point. 

This year’s Australian Open semifinalist and Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 6-3.

Kukushkin earned the first break of the match in the third game at deuce to take a 2-1 lead. Karatsev won four consecutive games from 2-4 down with two breaks to claim the opening set 6-4. 

Karatsev opened up a 2-0 lead with an early break in the second game. Kukushkin broke straight back in the third game for 1-2. Karatsev earned another break in the fourth game and held his next three service games to close out the second set 6-3. 

Italian Next Gen star Lorenzo Musetti cruised past Benoit Paire 6-3 6-3 after 61 minutes setting up a third round match against either Marin Cilic or Christian Garin. Musetti has won eight of his past nine matches including all his qualifying and main draw in Acapulco, where he reached the semifinals before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Paire earned an immediate break in the first game of the opening set. Musetti broke straight back after Paire made a forehand error and a double fault. Musetti saved a break point in the third game with a running crosscourt forehand passing shot to hold his serve, but he  had to save two break points to hold serve for 4-3 before earning his first break in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. 

Musetti broke serve in the third game after a double fault from Paire to take a 2-1 lead. The 2021 Acapulco semifinalist earned two match points on return with a passing shot down the line and sealed the win 6-3 with a break after Paire made a backhand error. 

Lorenzo Sonego beat US qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to reach the third round, where he will face either Alex De Minaur or Daniel Elahi Galan.

Fratangelo started the match with an immediate break at deuce in the first game of the opening set. Sonego broke straight back in the second game. 

Sonego went up a break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, but Fratangelo pulled the break back and consolidated it with a hold to draw level to 4-4. Sonego got his third break in the ninth game at 30, as Fratangelo was serving to stay in the set. Fratangelo saved the only break in the fourth game of the second set en route to the tie-break. Fratangelo took a 5-4 lead in the tie-break, but Sonego won three consecutive points with two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-5.

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Linda Noskova cruises past Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart to clinch her third top 10 win

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Linda Noskova cruised past number 8 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-1 on her debut at this tournament in just 68 minutes to reach the second round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Noskova has claimed her third top 10 win this year. She beat Iga Swiatek in the third round of the Australian Open en route to her first Grand Slam quarter final and Maria Sakkari in Doha. 

Noskova raced out to a 5-1 lead with two breaks of serve in the first and third games. Ostapenko pulled one break back in the eighth game for 3-5. Noskova earned three set points in the ninth game with a return winner and converted her first chance to clinch the first set 6-3. 

Noskova broke twice in the second and fourth games to cruise through the second set 6-1. 

Noskova converted all her five break points. 

Marketa Vondrousova beat Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes to reach the second round. The reigning Wimbledon champion converted four of her eight break points. 

Vondrousova went down 2-4 down in the first round, but she came back by winning four games to clinch the first set 6-4. Vondrousova broke in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. The Czech player earned three game points to lead 4-1, but Vekic pulled back on serve at 3-2 with a passing winner. Vondrousova earned another break to take a 5-3 lead after a drop-shot misfire by Vekic and served out the win with two consecutive aces. Vondrousova now leads 2-1 in her head-to-head matches against Vekic. 

Elise Mertens overcame Tatjana Maria 6-1 4-6 6-0 to set up the first clash of her career against world number 1 Iga Swiatek. 

“At the age of 22, it’s unbelievable what Swiatek has already achieved. Definitely in the future, she will achieve a lot more. She is a bit like an all-court, all-around player, so you don’t really find a lot of weaknesses. That’s why she is world number 1”, said Mertens. 

This year’s Abu Dhabi champion Jasmine Paolini cruised past her doubles partner Sara Errani 6-1 6-0 with three breaks of serve in each set. 

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Rafael Nadal makes a winning come-back against Flavio Cobolli in Barcelona

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Rafael Nadal made a winning come-back by beating Italy’s Flavio Cobolli 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The twelve-time Barcelona champion won his third match this year. 

Nadal is playing just his second tournament of the year and his first since last January, when he reached the quarter final in Brisbane. 

Nadal converted two of his eight break points and held four service games in the first set. The Spaniard held serve from 0-30 down in the first set. Cobolli faced two break points in the fourth game and saved them. The Italian player wasted a game point and was broken on Nadal’s third break point after a backhand error. Nadal consolidated the break by holding serve with a service winner to take a 4-1 lead. Cobolli faced four break points in the sixth game, but he saved three of these break points with service winners and held serve with a powerful serve to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve at love in the seventh game with a service winner.

Cobolli missed a game point after Nadal’s backhand crosscourt winner, as he was serving to stay in the set in the eighth game. Nadal earned a set point after a forehand error from Cobolli and converted it, when the Italian player netted a forehand. 

Cobolli earned his first break point in the opening game of the second set. Nadal fended it off with a drop shot winner to hold serve after Cobolli’s forehand error. 

Nadal earned two break points, as Cobolli netted a backhand in the second game. The home star converted his break point to open up a 2-0 lead, as Cobolli hit a forehand long. Cobolli broke back in the third game after Nadal made a backhand error. 

Nadal broke serve again in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead, when Cobolli made a double fault. The former world number 1 player held his service game with a service winner in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Cobolli held serve to love in the sixth game with a forehand winner to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve in the seventh game after a forehand error from Cobolli to open up a 5-2 lead forcing the Italian player to serve  to stay in the match. Cobolli held at love to cut the deficit to 3-5. 

Nadal served out the win with a hold at 15 after Cobolli’s backhand error. Cobolli made 41 unforced errors, including 27 in the opening set. 

Nadal set up a second round match against Alex De Minaur. The 92-time titlist leads 3-1 in his four head-to-head matches against his Australian opponent. 

“Every time it is more difficult and especially when you are at an advanced age. It makes things even tougher. I am going through tough moments but at the same time, when I am able to be on Tour for a few days and practise with the guys then be able to compete a little bit, it means a lot to me. It’s still enjoyable enough to keep going. I am happy to start with a victory without a doubt”, said Nadal.

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Rising Star Mirra Andreeva Teams Up With Wimbledon Champion Martinez

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Mirra Andreeva – Australian Open 2024 (foto: X @WTA)

Teenage sensation Mirra Andreeva has begun working with a former Grand Slam champion on a trial basis ahead of the French Open.

The 16-year-old has linked up with Conchita Martinez, who is overseeing her run at this week’s Rouen Open in France. Martinez peaked at a ranking high of No.2 during her career and won 33 WTA titles. After retiring from the sport, she has coached Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. 

Andreeva’s latest partnership was formed with the help of her agent ‘two or three weeks ago.’ According to the WTA website, their practice week went well and now they are testing working together during a tournament. 

“So far, so good,” said Andreeva“I like it, I hope she likes it too. We will see how it will go and then we will decide about our next tournaments. I cannot say there are special aspects we are working on. But the first thing we worked on was my slice, because she was a good slicer. So she told me some tricks, and I’m trying to use it when I have time and a good possibility on court.”

Andreeva is currently ranked 43rd in the world and is the youngest player in the top 100. She has already reached the fourth round of both Wimbledon and the Australian Open but is yet to win a WTA title. So far this year the Russian’s best result was a quarter-final appearance at the Brisbane International. 

Martinez, who also reached the last 16 of a major at the age of 16, spoke about the teenager with Ubitennis during last year’s Wimbledon Championships. At the time she pointed out that consistency is key for the youngster.

“The most important thing is that she keeps practising and focusing on what she has to do to get better. It’s great what she is doing now but she has to maintain it,” she commented.

Andreeva kicked off her campaign in Rouen with a 6-1, 6-3, win over Nadia Podoroska. 

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