Alize Cornet stuns Bianca Andreescu in Berlin - UBITENNIS
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Alize Cornet stuns Bianca Andreescu in Berlin

Andreescu was playing in the main draw of a WTA grass-court tournament for only the second time in her career after Wimbledon 2017.

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Alize Cornet’s run at the Bett1 Open in Berlin continues as she managed to upset Bianca Andreescu 7-6(2), 7-5 in two hours and six minutes on Steffi Graff Stadion.

 

“At the beginning of the match I was feeling very good,” said Cornet. “I played some of my best tennis at the start of the match and I think I felt more comfortable than in the first round. The first match helped get me more comfortable on the surface but it was a huge battle playing a match that lasted over two hours and I am really happy that I got through”.

It was the number three seed who got off to a fast start being the more aggressive player earning two chances to break in the opening service game of the match but failed to convert. The very next game it was Cornet with three chances to take the lead and she did just that and it stayed on serve until 4-2 until Andreescu had a chance to break to go back on serve and she would get the break back.

At 5-4 the world number 63 reached set point but Andreescu managed to save it with one of her big serves and held serve before going back on the offensive. Earning another breakpoint but again couldn’t finish and the set would be decided by a tiebreaker.

Cornet ran away with the breaker jumping out to a 4-1 lead and would win it 7-2 to take the first set 7-6.

She carried the momentum into the second frame and in the first game she set up two breakpoints with a stunning forehand winner and broke to take a 1-0 lead. At 3-1 the world number 63 had a chance to go up a double break and she did just that breaking again to get a 4-1 lead but the Canadian responded right away by breaking right back the very next game.

At 4-3 the Toronto native had a break chance to go back on serve which she converted on to level the set at 4-4 and it stayed on serve for two more games until it Cornet managed to get the crucial break to take a 6-5 lead and serve out the match.

” She’s a really talented player, she plays amazing and she is dangerous on every surface but I think today my experience on grass helped me”. Cornet commented on her opponent.

She will now face either Garbine Muguruza or Elena Rybakina in the quarter-finals.

There were three other second round matches being played on Steffi Graff Stadium. The day started with another upset as Ekaterina Alexandrova beat the number two seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 in only an hour and 30 minutes.

Belinda Bencic, the number five seed, had no issue dispatching the Croat Petra Martic 6-3, 6-4. In the final match of the day, a third upset occurred when Madison Keys beat the top seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets 6-4, 1-6, 5-7.

The action continues on Thursday with four more second round matches featuring the local favourite Angelique Kerber taking on Victoria Azarenka.

ATP

‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic advance to the quarter finals at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

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Karen Khachanov came back from one set down to beat James Duckworth 3-6 6-3 6-1 with four breaks of serve reaching the quarter finals at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow. 

 

Khachanov played at this tournament for the first time at the age of 17 in 2013 beating Albert Ramos Vinolas one month after earning his first ATP Tour win in St. Petersburg.

Duckworth saved four break points in the first and seventh games of the first set before breaking serve in the eighth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

Khachanov broke serve in the fourth game and saved two break points in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. The Russian player broke three times to cruise to a 6-1 win in the decider. 

“It always feel great to be back in your hometown, in a tournament where everything started for me as a professional tennis player. This is where I won my first matches. I got my first points. Since then, it’s always great to come back home to see the crowd, get home support. It’s also little bit more nervous, of course, but on the other side, I always enjoy playing at home”, said Khachanov.

Khachanov set up a quarter final clash against John Millman, who overcame Ilya Marchenko 6-1 5-7 6-4 after 2 hours and 28 minutes. 

Marin Cilic broke serve four times to beat Tommy Paul 7-5 6-3. Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games to draw level to 3-3. Cilic earned his break in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5. Cilic got the decisive break in the sixth game when Paul missed a backhand long. Cilic never looked back and held his final two service games to close out the second set 6-3.  

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Jannik Sinner wins all-Italian Next Gen clash against Lorenzo Musetti in Antwerp

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Jannik Sinner edged Lorenzo Musetti 7-5 6-2 in an all-Italian Next Gen clash to reach the quarter finals at the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Musetti showed his impressive shotmaking in the first set, but Sinner broke his younger compatriot in the 11th game at deuce by forcing a volley error with a forehand passing shot. 

Sinner did not drop his serve in the second game and broke twice in the third and fifth game to race out to a 5-1 lead. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game to hold serve at deuce for 2-5. Sinner served out the second set on his first match point. 

Sinner reached the semifinal in Antwerp in 2019 as a semifinal when he ranked outside the top 100. The 20-year-old player is currently 11th in the ATP Race to Turin and is fighting for a qualifying spot for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

“In these past two years some things have changed obviously, I am happy to be in the position where I am right now. There are still a couple of tournaments to play this year, and hopefully I can play great tennis”. 

Sinner will face Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, who edged Dusan Lajovic 6-3 4-6 6-2. Lajovic broke at love in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Rinderknech won five of the next six games with two breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the first set 6-3. Lajovic saved a break point in the third game of the second set and earned his only break in the 10th game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Rinderknech saved three break points in the second game of the third set before breaking serve on his third chance at deuce to take a 2-1 lead. The Frenchman earned a double break at deuce in the seventh game to seal the third set 6-2. 

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