Inconsistent Zverev Advances Into Roland Garros Last 32 - UBITENNIS
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Inconsistent Zverev Advances Into Roland Garros Last 32

Alexander Zverev overcame a couple of obstacles to defeat Roman Safiullin at Roland Garros.

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Alexander Zverev (@rolandgarros - Twitter)

Alexander Zverev moved into the last 32 of Roland Garros with a 7-6(4) 6-3 7-6(1) win over Roman Safiullin.

 

After recovering from a break down in the last two sets, Zverev was able to move past the Russian qualifier.

In the third round, the world number six will play Laslo Djere or Miomir Kecmanovic.

The German made a brighter start than his first round match as he created two break points in his opening two return games but some conservative play saw both those opportunities disappear.

As for the Russian qualifier he made a good start of his own settling into the match well, constructing the points well and trying to outsmart the world number six.

After 10 games of solid tennis from both players it was Zverev who went up a gear as some aggressive play saw him get the break for a 6-5 lead.

However in typical Zverev fashion that break was temporary as some unforced errors mixed with some smart powerful play from the Russian saw Safiullin get the break back to force a tiebreaker.

In the tiebreak, Zverev dominated most of the points and produced some good winners to take the tiebreak 7-4.

At the start of the second set, the relaxed and inconsistent Zverev turned up once again as a double fault as well as some simple backhands going into the net gave Safiullin the break and a 3-1 lead.

Once again though Zverev would eventually increase his level and intensity as the world number 182 failed to capitalise on the German’s inability to finish off rallies quick enough.

A run of five games in a row saw Zverev rather comfortably head into a two sets to love lead.

Just like the second set, Zverev’s inconsistency saw him get broken to love for a 3-1 deficit as some short serves and again lacklustre groundstrokes saw him frustrated.

A break back in the seventh game saw the German capitalising on some conservative play from the Russian.

In the end Zverev proved too strong as he reached the last 32 after winning seven of the eight points in the third set tiebreak.

The German still has a long way to go to prove he’s in the mix of reaching the final in a depleted bottom half of the draw.

Next up for Zverev is the winner of the all-Serbian clash between Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic.

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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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