Madison Keys Outlasts Stephens As Bencic Exits Rome - UBITENNIS
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Madison Keys Outlasts Stephens As Bencic Exits Rome

Madison Keys outlasted Sloane Stephens while Belinda Bencic crashed out in Rome.

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Madison Keys (@TickTockTennis - Twitter)

Madison Keys Outlasted Sloane Stephens 4-6 6-2 7-5 to reach the second round as Belinda Bencic lost in Rome.

In a rematch from the 2017 US Open final Keys avenged her loss from then and last month’s defeat in Charleston to reach the second round in Italy.

In a topsy-turvy contest it was Stephens who took the opening set despite heading a break down early in the set.

A crucial break in the ninth game gave her the third break of the set as the Lucky Loser took the first set in 49 minutes.

In the second set Keys responded well, managing to dictate points more comfortably and despite losing the early break advantage broke Stephens in her last two return games to level the match at one set all.

Unlike the first two sets, it was Stephens who managed to break first as she won the opening game of the final set.

The pair then shared a combined three games in a row with Stephens losing her momentum and racking up more unforced errors as the final set was back on serve.

Both players then saved break points on there serve before Keys eventually pushed over the finishing line on her third match point to seal victory.

Despite victory, Keys’ 56 unforced errors doesn’t bode well for her second round match tomorrow against Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek as the American will need to play a much cleaner match to make the last 16 in Rome.

In other results so far in Rome, Belinda Bencic crashed out in Rome after a 6-3 6-4 defeat to Kristina Mladenovic.

Despite a convincing win for Bencic over Mladenovic in Madrid, the doubles grand slam champion managed to control her game in a close match which saw Bencic lose all the close points and games.

Mladenovic will now play Petra Martic in the second round which has seen Serena Williams part of the draw open up nicely.

Speaking of Serena, her first match of the week will be against Nadia Podoroska after the Argentinian beat Laura Siegemund 2-6 7-6(3) 6-1.

Here are some of the other results so far on day two in Rome:

Yaroslava Shvedova def Martina Trevisan 0-6 7-6(4) 7-6(6)

Caroline Garcia def Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-6(8) 6-2

Bernarda Pera def Tamara Zidansek 6-3 6-2

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Simona Halep Provides Injury Update On Knee Ahead Of US Open

The return of Simona Halep looks a long way away from happening as a knee injury continues to bother the Romanian.

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Simona Halep has provided an update on her knee injury as she faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open.

The former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion’s comeback has not gone according to plan so far as she returned from a doping ban in Miami earlier this year.

However playing time has been limited for the Romanian as her second tournament of the year ended in a first round retirement at a Challenger event in Paris.

As a result of her retirement Halep was forced to miss Roland Garros and Wimbledon as she looked to recover from a knee injury.

The injury is more serious than meets the eye though as Halep provided an update on her knee injury and revealed it’s an injury that has been occurring for the last few months, “I wanted to provide a little health update since I have been away from the court lately. It is not the best news, but I wanted to share all the same,” Halep revealed on Instagram.

“For a few months now, I have been struggling with a knee injury. It’s an injury I have never had before and it has been a tough one to manage, with the pain persisting. It has been a very difficult period (almost two years) mentally and emotionally for me and struggling physically on top of that definitely doesn’t help.

“I have decided to take the time needed to recover properly, rather than training and playing through pain. My instinct has always been to try to come back as soon as possible, but I am not a machine, I am a human being and I need time to recover from everything I have gone through.

“I’ll keep you posted and, as always, want to thank you for your permanent support. I hope to be back on court very soon.”

Halep now faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open which starts on the 26th of August.

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Alexander Zverev Commits To Olympics, Speaks About Miscommunication Between Olympics And ATP

Alexander Zverev is preparing for his Olympic title defence.

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Alexander Zverev has spoken out on the miscommunication between the Olympics and the ATP tour with tennis’ top stars set to miss some big events on the tour.

The German is getting ready to defend his Olympic title that he won in Tokyo as Zverev heads to Paris.

After narrowly missing out on Roland Garros glory, Zverev now has an opportunity at redemption as he aims for a second consecutive gold medal at the Olympics.

However there is a dilemma for big players this year as the same week as the tennis event at the Olympics at the ATP 500 event in Washington.

This is an event that Zverev usually plays but will have to miss it due to playing in Paris.

Speaking out on the miscommunication, Zverev said it’s no secret that the ATP are not best friends on the Olympics but has committed to the historic event, “The ITF or the Olympics are not best friends with the ATP, that’s not a secret,” Zverev was quoted by Tennis Infinity as saying.

Everybody continues their own tour. Yes, the Olympics is one of the, if not the, most important events we have in sports. So, the best players in the world are always going to play the Olympics over anything else, over points and over prize money.

All the top players went to Wimbledon a few years back, despite having no points on the line. It’s about prestige, it’s not about points or money. It’s about winning these kinds of titles and having medals for your country.

That’s what it’s about. I would never choose to play a 500 event over the Olympics. There are no thoughts on that, and I think Washington is going to be quite an interesting 500 event, I would say.

The ATP 500 event in Washington will be headlined by Grigor Dimitrov, Ben Shelton, Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe as they are among those that have chosen ranking points over the Olympic experience.

As for Zverev he is continuing his Olympic preparations in Hamburg where he will face Pedro Martinez in the semi-finals.

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Rafael Nadal Reveals Delight At Setting Up Ajdukovic Semi-Final After Four Hour Victory

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the Bastad semi-finals after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

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(ubitennis/Francesca Micheli)

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the semi-finals in Bastad after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion prevailed in a marathon 6-7(2) 7-5 7-5 victory to reach his first semi-final since Wimbledon 2022.

The Spaniard converted ten of his 21 break point opportunities as he reached the semi-finals.

After the match Nadal revealed his delight at reaching the last four and prevailed Navone for his resilient display, “I lost for some moments my concentration, but I was able to hold physically until the end,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“That is so important for me. Let’s see how I am tomorrow, but today I am alive and in the semi-finals, so that’s very important. There were a lot of changing dynamics in every single set. For moments, he was in control. For moments, I was in control. But at the end, no one was in control! That’s true, and I had a good chance in the second with 3-0. Then I was very close to losing the match in the second set.

“In the third [I was ahead] again with 5-2, but he’s a great fighter and he played a great match. I wish him all the very best for the rest of the season.”

Nadal will now play Duje Ajdukovic in the semi-finals as he aims to continue his eight match winning streak in Bastad with this being his first appearance at the tournament since winning the title in 2005.

The other semi-final will be Nuno Borges against Thiago Agustin Tirante with both players reaching their maiden ATP tour semi-final.

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