Daniil Medvedev Finally Ends French Open Jinx With Win Over Bublik - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Finally Ends French Open Jinx With Win Over Bublik

Four years after his debut, the world No.2 has brought his run of bad luck in Paris to an end.

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On his fifth attempt Daniil Medvedev has won his opening match at the French Open after knocking out world No.37 Alexander Bublik.

 

The 25-year-old, who had only ever recorded 11 Tour wins on the clay before the tournament, surged to a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5, win on Court Philippe-Chatrier. During the match Medvedev hit 28 winners to 16 unforced errors as he broke his Kazakh rival seven times. He now leads Bublik 3-0 in their head-to-head and has recorded 19 wins so far this season.

“I’ve warmed up really well before the tournament. I’ve never won at Roland Garros before. I was really happy and determined to win,” Medvedev said in French afterwards.
“Even when I was down in the third set. I think I played a very solid match.”

Despite entering the men’s draw as the second highest ranked player, Medvedev’s record at Roland Garros has been full of disappointment. Despite his numerous accolades achieved on the Tour, he had never won a match in Paris. Illustrating his turbulent relationship with the clay. Bidding to end his losing streak, Medvedev took on the unorthodox Bublik who has reached the quarter-finals of Masters tournaments in Miami and Madrid already this season.

After dropping his opening service game, the Russian soon found his footing in the match with the help of a four-game winning streak. Capitalizing on some tentative play coming from across the court. In the lead, the world No.2 looked determined and comfortable as he closed the first set in just 30 minutes following a Bublik double fault.

In the driving seat, Medvedev continued to take advantage of what was some sluggish play from Bublik who continued to leak errors on the court. Racing around the court he dictated the second frame from the onset which brought delight to his camp watching from the sidelines. Ironically, he has a French coach and speaks the language fluently. The only blip occurred five games into the match when he was leading 4-0 before Bublik retrieved one of those breaks.

Besides his opponent, Medvedev also had to contend with the wind moving the ball all over the court. Nevertheless, he failed to derail him as he sealed a two-set lead with relative ease. Doing so on his fourth set point after a forehand shank from Bublik.

However, the showdown wasn’t completely one-sided to the annoyance of the former US Open finalist. An elevation in Bublik’s form saw him pose as a more fierce threat during the third frame as he broke for a 5-3 lead before a nightmare game saw him get broken once again. Overcoming the blip, Medvedev went on to seal the win with a love service game.

“I felt that I was playing not so well in my previous tournaments on clay but as soon as I arrive here (in Paris) I felt extremely comfortable,” said Medvedev.
“The balls are suiting my game, I can really hit them and everything goes inside the court. I’m running and moving well as well.’
“I hope to try to go as far as possible and to keep keep playing that level of tennis.”

Medvedev will play either Tommy Paul or Christopher O’Connell in the second round.

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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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