Nadal Clinical in his win over Dimitrov in Monte Carlo - UBITENNIS
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Nadal Clinical in his win over Dimitrov in Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal produced another statement win as he dismantled Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

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Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The Spaniard and the number three seed needed less than an hour and only lost two games in his win over the Bulgarian.

 

Rafa Nadal continues to show he is the king of clay despite not playing many matches as he demolished Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 in a mere 56 minutes on court hitting 11 winners while his opponent hit 32 unforced errors.

“I am sorry for him, he played a bad match, he made a lot of mistakes, I was there, I was doing the right things but It’s true that today was more his fault than my good tennis”.

The conditions didn’t suit the number 14 seed as it was cold and windy and that seemed to affect his serve and his play. After holding serve the world number three had his first chance to break and took full advantage as an out of sorts Dimitrov double faulted to give the early break.

After consolidating the break the Spaniard had a chance to go up a double break and on his second chance would break again as the Bulgarian would hit one of many unforced errors.

Nadal would serve out the first set in a mere 28 minutes and was in full control of the match.

The second set was more of the same and the Bulgarian looked out of it getting broken once again in the first game and then being broken once again to stare down a 3-0 defecit.

After being broken again the number 14 seed finally exploded and destroyed his racquet in anger and what was becoming a very bad day. The number three seed would serve out the match in less than a hour to book his spot in the next round.

He will either face Roberto Bautista Agut or Andrey Rublev and in an on court interview gave his thoughts on the match.

“I know It’s tough when you are out for a while on the tour but I think I did the right thing both days to stay focused on every single point even if the score was in my favour don’t lose the concentration, don’t lose the intensity and that’s the goal today but at the same time when I am playing well just don’t lose it, just keep going and keep making the things that I need”

In other action today spots in the quarterfinals were on the line and Fabio Fognini booked his spot by beating the Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 7-6 (1), David Goffin the number 11 seed upset the number five seed Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6 (7), and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat the Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-6 (2).

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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 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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