Aslan Karatsev beats Jenson Brooksby to advance to the second round at Roland Garros - UBITENNIS
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Aslan Karatsev beats Jenson Brooksby to advance to the second round at Roland Garros

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Aslan Karatsev faced just one break point en route to to his 6-3 6-4 6-4 win en route to Next Gen player Jenson Brooksby 6-3 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 59 minutes to reach the second round at Roland Garros. 

Karatsev will face a second round round match against either Philip Kohlschreiber or Fernando Verdasco. 

At last year’s edition of the French Open the Russian player was outside the top 100.

Karatsev won the first two sets with a break in each set. Brooksby earned his only break point in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead, but Karatsev fought back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks and held on his next service games to close out the match in straight sets.  Karatsev hit 34 winners to 20 unforced errors. 

“I never saw him before, but I heard that he won a couple of Challengers in a row. He passed the qualifying round. For me the main target was just to start to feel more the game, the get the rhythm, and to close it as fast as possible”, said Karatsev. 

Marco Cecchinato rallied from losing the first set to beat Yasutaka Uchiyama 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4. 

Cecchinato saved a break point in the first game of the opening set, but Uciyama got his first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The Japanese player held on his next service games to win the first set 6-3. 

Cecchinato went up a double break in the fourth and sixth games to close out the second set 6-1. The 2018 Roland Garros semifinalist earned an immediate break in the first game of the third game at deuce. Uchiyama saved two break points in the third game. Cecchinato got his second break in the seventh game to claim the third set 6-2. 

Uchiyama earned an early break in the second game of the fourth set to take a 2-0 lead. Cecchinato broke straight back in the third game to draw level to 2-2. Cecchinato raised his level and got his second break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Uchyama saved two break points to hold serve at deuce. Cecchinato served out the fourth set at love. 

Cecchinato set up a second round match against Alex De Minaur, who edged another Italian player Srefano Travaglia 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7-4). De Minaur earned a double break in the third and fifth games to win the first set 6-2. 

Travaglia did not convert five break points in the second game of the second set. De Minaur broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. De Minaur broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. The Australian player earned his second break in the ninth game after a double fault from Travaglia to take a 5-4 lead. The Australian player saved a break point in the 10th game to hold serve for 6-4. De Minaur fended off a break point in the second game of the third set before breaking serve in the third game. The 2018 and 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up saved two break points in the fourth game to hold serve for 3-1. Travaglia converted his third break-back point to draw level to 3-3. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. De Minaur earned three mini-breaks to race out to a 5-1 lead. Travaglia pulled one of the breaks back, but De Minaur held on his next service games to win the tie-break 7-4.

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing

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Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai

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Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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