Sorana Cirstea battles past Magda Linette to reach final in Strasbourg - UBITENNIS
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Sorana Cirstea battles past Magda Linette to reach final in Strasbourg

Sorana Cirstea will face Barbora Krejcikova in Saturday’s final in Strasbourg.



Sorana Cirstea (@WTA_Strasbourg - Twitter)

The Romanian booked her spot in the final after a three set battle that lasted over two hours.

It was semifinals day and we had two amazing three set matches to decide who would face off for the title on Saturday featuring Sorana Cirstea against Magda Linette and Barbora Krejcikova playing the German qualifier Jule Niemeier.

The first match featured the Romania vs Poland battle and the first three games went on serve before the world number 48 managed to earn the first breakpoint of the match and take the early 3-1 lead.

That break was enough for her to serve out the first set and take it by the score of 6-3 in 37 minutes.

The second set followed a similar pattern and once again it was the Pole who would earn the first break of the set but couldn’t consolidate the break and the world number 61 broke right back before being broken once again the following game.

At 3-2 the Bucharest, Romania native had a chance to break to go back on serve and after saving the first two she was able to break the Poznan, Poland native to once again go back on serve at 3-3.

The world number 48 saved two more breakpoints with her aggressive forehand before eventually holding serve and at 5-4 with the Pole serving to stay in the set the Romanian would finally capitalize and break to take the second set and send it to a deciding third set.

After holding her opening service game the Romanian had a chance to break in the following service game but again the world number 48 hung in and saved it before holding serve.

At 3-2 the world number 61 had three more chances to break and this time she would get the break and at 5-2 she would break the Pole serve again to win the match in two hours and eight minutes.

After her match Cirstea spoke about how proud she was to battle back from a set down to get the win today against a very tough opponent.

“I’m very proud because I thought it was a very good match with a very high level, we were both hitting our forehands and backhands and for me to stay there and not drop my level and raise it in the important moments, it was a mental win and it gave me a lot of confidence”.

She will face the number five seed in Saturdays final who is Barbora Krejcikova who managed to end the dream run of the German qualifier Jule Niemeier in three tight sets and a match that lasted two hours and 14 minutes.

The first four games of the match went on serve and at 2-2 it was the German who would earn the first breakpoint of the match and break the following point when the world number seven served a double fault.

It stayed on serve again until 5-4 with the world number 216 serving for the first set and it seems she started to get tight and the Czech number five seed managed to earn a breakpoint and break back to go back on serve.

The break didn’t last long as the Dortmund native earned two breakpoints the following game and broke before serving out the first set to take it 7-5. The world number seven started the second set much better and after holding the opening service game managed to get the early break to take a 2-0 lead.

The 21 year old stormed back the following game and after another double fault broke the world number seven to go back on serve but failed to consolidate the break and was broken again.

At 4-1, the German was struggling with her serve and two straight double-faults gave the Czech a breakpoint and the double break to take a commanding 5-1 lead but the world number 216 battled back to get one of the breaks back and at 5-3 the world number seven served out the second set.

Again the third set stayed on serve the first four games and at 2-2 the German would double fault to give two breakpoints but she would manage to save both and hold serve.

At 3-3 it was world number seven who had a chance to break and she did just that and that break was enough for her to serve out the match and book her spot in the final.

After the final Krejcikova gave her thoughts on her German opponent and told the story of a similar experience that happened to her a couple of years back in Germany.

“This week she (Niemeier) was doing really well, I actually remember when I did something similar in 2017 in Nuremberg when I was a qualifier where I actually reached the finals and I was playing players who are higher ranked than me and I was doing good things so she showed she can play big tennis, serving very well, she’s very solid”.

Saturday final is all set as Sorana Cirstea will face Barbora Krejcikova for the title in Strasbourg and and currently the head to head is 1-1 and they most recently played in Dubai last December and it was the Romanian coming out on top.

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Alexander Zverev beats Alejandro Tabilo to reach the third final of his career in Rome



Akexander Zverev came back from one set down to beat Alejandro Tabilo 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 reaching the third final of his career at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and his first Masters 1000 final since 2022. 

Zverev reached his 11th career Masters 1000 final, equalling his compatriot Boris Becker for most Masters 1000 final appearances by a German man since the series started in 1990.

Tabilo earned a double break point with a forehand drop shot winner. The Chilean player forced an error with a topspin forehand into the corner to earn his first break in the fourth game for 3-1 after just 13 minutes. Tabilo saved two break points to consolidate the break for 4-1. Tabilo held three break points and hit a forehand return winner to break at love for 5-1. The Toronto-born Chilean player closed out the first set with drop-shot winners. He won 10 of the last 12 points of the first set. 

Zverev won his first service game of the second set to stop his losing streak. The German player held serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. 

Zverev double fault to face a break point. He saved it with a big serve and held serve for 4-3 in the seventh game. This year’s Auckland champion Tabilo held serve at love to force the second set to the tie-break. 

Tabilo earned the mini-break after Zverev made his fifth double fault at the start of the tie-break. Zverev pulled back on serve on the third point as Tabilo netted a backhand. Zverev went up a mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after one of the longest rallies of the match. Zverev converted his second set point to force the match the third set. 

Zverev earned three break points in the third game of the decider with a crosscourt backhand. Tabilo saved the first two break points, but Zverev converted his third break point to take a 2-1 lead, as Tabilo made a double fault. 

Zverev backed up the break with an ace to open up a 3-1 lead. Zverev earned a second break in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead and closed out the win with his 10th ace of the match after 2 hours and 17 minutes. 

Zverev will face either Tommy Paul or Nicholas Jarry in the final. The Olympic champion will rise to world number 4 if he wins the Rome Masters 1000 title. 

Tabilo upset Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-3 last Sunday and backed up this win with a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (12-10) win over Karen Khachanov in the fourth round. 

“I did not play well, but he was the reason why I did not play well. He came out hitting the ball extremely hard. A lot of dropshots. He was playing extremely aggressive. He did not let me play. I have to give credit to him for not allowing me to play my game”, said Zverev. 

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Taylor Fritz overcomes Grigor Dimitrov to reach the quarter finals in Rome



Taylor Fritz overcame a tough battle to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-7 (11-13) 6-1 reaching the quarter final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

Fritz has become the first US player to reach quarter finals at three different clay court tournaments in Monte-Carlo in 2022 and 2023, Madrid 2024 and Rome 2024. 

Fritz broke serve in the third game and saved two break points to hold serve for 3-1. The US player fended off five break points before breaking serve in the seventh game to close out the first set 6-2. 

Dimitrov earned a set point at 5-4 on Fritz’s serve, but the US player fended it off. 

Fritz hit a smash to save a second break point. The Delray Beach champion and Munich finalist fought all 11 break points he faced in the match. 

Dimitrov hit a forehand down the line to earn an early mini-break in the tie-break and took a 2-0 lead. Fritz pulled the mini-break back for 2-3, when Dimitrov missed a forehand. Dimitrov earned a second mini-break with a drop-volley winner to take a 4-2 lead. Dimitrov went up a 6-3 lead to earn three set points. Fritz fired a wide serve to save a third set point. Fritz fended off a fourth set point with a drop-shot. Fritz saved the fifth set point to draw level to 6-6, as Dimitrov made a double fault. Dimitrov hit another drop volley to earn his seventh set point, but Fritz saved it. Dimitrov saved a match point at 8-7 on a second serve. 

Dimitrov earned a seventh set point, but he hit a forehand pass wide to drop to 9-9. Fritz faced an eighth set point at 10-9 with his first double fault, but he saved it to draw level to 10-10, as Dimitrov hit his slice into the net. Fritz saved a ninth set point with a backhand down the line to draw level to 11-11. Dimitrov converted his 10th set point with a forehand down the line to close out the 19-minute tie-break. Dimitrov forced the match to the decider after 2 hours and nine minutes. Fritz dropped his first set at this tournament. 

After a four-minute bathroom break Fritz converted his fourth break point to open up a 2-0 lead in the third set. Fritz won 12 of the 13 break points on his serve to open up a 4-1 lead. Dimitrov faced a two break points in the sixth game. Fritz broke for the second time in the sixth game with a forehand to race out to a 5-1 lead. Fritz sealed the win with his 13th ace on his first match point. 

After losing in the first round at the Miami Open, Fritz reached the final in Munich and the semifinal in Madrid, where he avenged a 2023 Roland Garros loss against Francisco Cerundolo in the quarter final. 

“I feel like normally in those situations. I would be a lot more uptight and nervy, but honestly I felt pretty calm. I think it was tough because the sun was moving the whole match, and right in the tie-break is the first time it was bad for me on that side, so I threw in the double fault. I had a really good opportunity on a second serve return, and he hit it into my body and a bit slower than the other ones. I just caught it a bit early trying to get out the way of it. It’s easy to go back and dwell on that the whole third set, but I did a really good job at just putting it behind me and not thinking about that second serve return”, said Fritz. 

Fritz set up a quarter final match against Alexander Zverev, who beat Nuno Borges 6-2 7-5. Zverev has reached at least the fourth round at all Masters 1000 tournaments this year. 

Zverev earned an early break, but Borges broke back to draw level to 2-2. Zverev won four consecutive games to close out the first set 6-2. Zverev earned the decisive break in the 11th game to seal the win in 86 minutes. Zverev hit 25 winners to Borges’ eight and his 82% of points on his first serve. Zverev has improved his seasonal record to 25 wins to 9 defeats. The German player reached three semifinals at Los Angeles, Miami and Los Cabos.  

Zverev leads 4-3 in his seven head-to head matches against Fritz, but the US player won two of their last three matches. Zverev and Fritz have never faced off on clay. 

“We were lined up potentially last week to play in the quarter finals, but it will be fun. We will see what happens. We have played each other a good amount and known each other a long time, said Fritz.

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Danil Medvedev battles past Hamad Medjedovic to reach the fourth round in Rome



Defending champion Danil Medvedev battled past 2023 Next Gen Finals champion Hamad Medjedovic 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 7-5 after 2 hours and 50 minutes on Centre Court to reach the Round of 16 at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

Medvedev is the highest ranked player left in the men’s draw since Novak Djokovic lost against Alejandro Tabilo on Sunday. Medjedovic beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina without dropping a set to reach the third round of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time in his career. He faced a top 10 player for the first time in his career. 

Medvedev broke serve in the first game and held on his serve to take a 4-2 lead in the opening set. Medjedovic broke serve at 15 in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Medvedev converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Medjedovic broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 en route to the tie-break. Medvedev went up a mini-break three times, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve each time. Medvedev sealed the tie-break with a fourth mini-break. 

Medjedovic broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Medvedev broke in the fourth game of the third set to open up a 4-1 lead. Medjedovic broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Medvedev broke for the second time in the 12th game to close out the third set 7-5. 

Medvedev won his first title on clay in Rome last year. He is seeking to defend a tour-level title for the first time in his career. 

Medvedev has now reached the Round of 16 at all five Masters 1000 tournaments this season. 

“I felt like I started the match well and then in a way it was going downhill. My serve was not there, my shots were not aggressive enough when I needed to. Because many times I would like to play the rhythm I played, but I would like from time to time to surprise my opponent with some good shots. Today I was not able to do it. At one moment in the match I thought what I was doing would not be enough to win the match, so I am happy that even by playing not my best I could win. Tomorrow I am going to try to find my best tennis”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev set up a fourth round match against Tommy Paul, who beat Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-4. 

Sebastian Baez came back from one set down to beat Holger Rune 2-6 6-2 6-3. Baez has reached the fourth round of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time in his career. 

The Argentine player has scored his third top 10 win after beating Cristian Garin in Cordoba and Andrey Rublev in Bastad in 2022. 

Baez set up a Fourth round match against Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. 

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