Ash Barty Eases Past Svitolina To Reach Miami Final - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Eases Past Svitolina To Reach Miami Final

The world No.1 is a win away from becoming the first player since Serena Williams to defend a title at the tournament.

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Ashleigh Barty is into the final of Miami Open after a relatively comfortable 6-3, 6-3, win over her opponent Elina Svitolina in less than 90 minutes.

The worlds No.1 hit 28 winners in the process while her rival leaked 34 unforced errors in their clash. Barty’s latest victory improves her win-loss record of 12-2 this season and she has now won 11 match in Miami. She will have a shot on Saturday of becoming the fist woman since Serena Williams to win back-to-back Miami titles after triumphing in 2019. Last year’s edition was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“It wasn’t easy by any means I thought I played a good match,” she said in her on-court interview after the win, ” I tried to be aggressive and I was able to execute, it’s a bit of a fine line sometimes but certainly happy with how today went”

From the word play the Aussie was on her game and earned a breakpoint in the opening game of the match with a sensational forehand winner and broke to take the early 1-0 lead.

Fifth seed Svitolina responded the very next game by trying to break back to go back on serve but she was thwarted by the world number one thanks in large part to her huge serve.

Barty had a chance to go up a double break after holding serve but the Ukrainian was up to the task once again at saving it. At 3-1 the world number one had another chance to do it and this time she would not fail as she would break once more to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

The double break didn’t last long as the number five seed earned two breakpoints the very next game and would break to regain one of the breaks back.

Svitolina was made to work hard once again saving another breakpoint on her next service game and the very next game tried to break once again to go back on serve but the Aussie serve was in full force and she would hold serve.

At 5-3 Barty would earn two set points on her opponents serve and would break again to seal the first set. Before the second set could begin she called for the trainer and took a medical timeout off court for a abdominal issue.

The Ukrainian was in no mood to play games and went on the offensive in the first game of the second set earning a breakpoint but the Aussie would once again save it with her big serve.

After holding serve it was the world number one who went on the attack looking for the crucial break and had three chances to do it but it Svitolina who would come up big saving all three and holding serve.

At 2-1 the Aussie would finally make the breakthrough to take a 3-1 lead but again the break wouldn’t last for long as the number five seed broke right back the very next game.

Once again the very next game the world number one stay determined and would break to take a 4-2 lead and cruised from there to serve out the match.

After the match in her post game press conference she spoke about what it felt like to be back in the final as a repeat finalist.

“It’s really exciting and obviously that’s the goal for every tournament you play in, you want to give yourself a chance to hold the title at the end, it’s an exciting opportunity now that we’re in another final in Miami,” Barty commented.

In that final she will either play Bianca Andreescu who has mentioned this week she is seeing shades of the way she played back in 2019.

“Bianca (Andreescu) I haven’t played her before, haven’t hit with her before so it’s a fresh one for both of us but she’s proven time and time again she loves the big matches, the big tournaments and has the physicality to win them,” she said.

That match is scheduled for last on Grandstand at 8:30 pm local time to decide who will play Barty in the final on Saturday.

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Novak Djokovic sets up blockbuster final against Marin Cilic in Tel Aviv

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Novak Djokovic reached the 127th final of his career and his fourth championships match of the year at the Tel Aviv Open after his 6-1 7-6 (7-3) win over Roman Safiulin in their first head-to-head match. 

 

Djokovic converted three of his seven break point chances. The Serbian player held his opening game with a service winner and earned three break points in the second game. 

Djokovic converted his first break point after Safiulin made a double fault and fired a service winner in the third game. Safiulin faced three break points in the fourth game and saved them. Safiulin saved the fourth break point with a backhand down the fine before dropping serve with a forehand error on the fifth opportunity to trail 0-4. 

Djokovic hit an ace in the fifth game to race out to a 5-0 lead in 17 minutes. Safiulin held serve with a forehand winner to win his first game. Djokovic held serve at love to seal the first set 6-1 in 23 minutes. 

Safiulin hit an ace in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The world number 104 earned his first break point in the sixth game, but the 2022 Wimbledon champion fended it off with his serve. The former world number 1 saved the second break point to hold serve with an ace for3-3. 

Safiulin wasted a game point at 4-4 before Djokovic broke serve with a volley winner at the net. Djokovic dropped his serve after a double fault as he was serving for the match. 

Both players served well in the 11th and 12th game to set up a tie-break. Djokovic built up a 4-1 lead after Safiulin made a double fault in the fifth game. 

Djokovic earned four match points in the eighth game and sealed the second set 6-3 with an ace. 

Novak Djokovic: “I think it was a very competitive match, especially in the second set. I must say I was quite emotional on the court today in the second set. There was a lot of tension. It was due to his aggressive style of tennis”. 

Djokovic dropped just three points to win the opening set 6-1. Safiulin raised his level in the second set, when he broke serve, as Djokovic was serving for the match at 5-4. 

Djokovic will be aiming to win his third title of the year against Marin Cilic, who beat Constant Lestienne 7-5 6-3. Cilic went down 2-5 in the opening set and saved two set points before taking five consecutive games to seal the first set 7-5. The Croatian player reeled off four consecutive games from 2-3 down to close out the second set 6-3.

Djokovic leads 18-2 in his head-to-head matches against Cilic. “It was a great fight. In the first set he was serving for it, and I just managed to stay In there. I kept my focus and served fantastic from that point. It was a really exciting match. It’s always a fantastic challenge to play against Novak. No matter the tournament, he is an unbelievable competitor and always gives his incredible best. We first played in 2008 and we have known each other since we were 14. It’s going to be another great match”, said Cilic. 

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Holger Rune reaches his second ATP Tour final at the Sofia Open

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Holger Rune reached his second ATP Tour final of the 2022 season and the first on indoor hard court at the Sofia Open after Jannik Sinner retired from the semifinal due to an ankle injury. Rune won his first title in Munich and reached the quarter final at Roland Garros earlier this year.

 

Rune was leading 5-7 6-4 6-2 against Sinner, when the Italian player withdrew from the match. 

Sinner wasted three break points in the sixth and eighth games of the opening set. The Italian player earned the decisive break at 6-5, as Rune sent his down the line backhand wide on the set point. Sinner held his service games without facing any break points. 

Rune broke serve at 2-2 at love after Sinner made three forehand errors. Rune hit a forehand winner on the break point. Rune saved two break points at 5-4 with an ace and a forehand error from Sinner. 

Rune converted his second set point 6-4 with a forehand winner.

Sinner dropped his serve at 15 after three unforced error. Sinner saved a double break point at 1-3 to hold his serve.  Sinner injured his ankle at 2-3 0-15. Rune broke for the second time in the seventh game for 5-2 before Sinner retired from the match.  

“It’s obviously never the way you want to win and it was such a great match. It’s the worst possible way it could end and I just want to wish Jannik all the best. He’s an amazing player and what he has shown this year has been unbelievable. I wish him a speedy recovery. I think it was a great match up until the end. I think I was obviously a little bit tired after yesterday, but I really puhed hard and ran for everything. I am happy with the way f fought and happy with my level”, said Rune. 

Marc Andrea Huesler upset Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 96 minutes to reach his first ATP Tour final. 

Huesler won six consecutive points from 1-5 down to seal the tie-break of the first set 7-5.  The Swiss player saved two match points in the tie-break of the second set against Kamil Majcrzak in the quarter finals. 

The first semifinal featured just two break points. Huesler saved a break point to hold for the second set before converting his only break point in the 12th game. 

Huesler fired 10 aces and won 40 of his 48 first serve points. 

Both players went on serve with no break points en route to tie-break. Musetti raced out to a 5-1 lead in the tie-break with two mini-breaks after a backhand passing shot and a double fault from Huesler. Musetti made his second double fault to give back the mini-break for 5-4. Huesler hit a service winner and drew an error to earn a set point. Huesler sealed the tie-break, when Musetti missed a forehand. 

Huesler saved the only break point he faced with a serve and volley to hold for 5-4. Musetti made his third double fault to face a match point, as he was serving to force the tie-break. Huesler closed out the match with a backhand return in 1 hour and 35 minutes to reach his first ATP Tour final. 

“For sure, I mean I have never been in the final of an ATP Tour event. I am obviously a bit speechless. I can’t quite believe that I was able to win today and make it to the finals. but I played a really great match today and I am just really happy”, said Huesler. 

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Denis Shapovalov sets up final against Yoshihito Nishioka in Seoul

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Denis Shapovalov rallied from a break down in the first set in his 7-5 6-4 win over Jenson Brooksby in 1 hour and 35 minutes at the Eugene Korea Open Tennis Championships in Seoul. 

 

Brooksby earned a break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Shapovalov broke straight back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Shapovalov broke for the second time in the seventh game and held on his service game to take a 5-3 lead. Brooksby broke back to draw level to 5-5. Shapovalov  broke for the fourth time in the 11thgame to close out the first set 7-5. 

Shapovalov earned his first break at deuce in the ninth game to close out the second set 6-4. The Canadian player will be aiming his second career title following his only previous ATP Tour level title in Stockolm in 2019. 

This year Shapovalov has reached the quarter final at the Australian Open and the semifinal in Dubai. Brooksby was aiming to reach his third final this season after advancing to championship matches in Dallas and Atlanta. 

Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka overcame Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3 4-6 6-3 to advance to his second final this year. Nishioka, who reached the championship match in Washington, has moved up to world number 45, has won the only ATP title of his title in Shenzhen in 2018. Nishioka won the first set 6-3 with two breaks in the fifth and ninth games. Kovacevic earned his first break in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Nishioka went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the third set. Kovacevic broke back in the seventh game to reduce his deficit to 3-4, but Nishioka closed out the match with his second break in the eighth game.  

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