Matteo Berrettini Becomes First Italian To Reach Wimbledon Final After Defeating Hurkacz - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini Becomes First Italian To Reach Wimbledon Final After Defeating Hurkacz

Matteo Berrettini is into his first grand slam final after defeating Hubert Hurkacz in four sets.

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Matteo Berrettini (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

Matteo Berrettini has become the first Italian in history to reach a Wimbledon final after defeating Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-0 6-7(3) 6-4.

 

The Italian produced a complete performance to down the Pole in four sets to reach his first grand slam.

As a result he has become the first Italian male or female to reach the Wimbledon final.

In Sunday’s final he will face world number one Novak Djokovic or 10th seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Both players settled well into the match considering it was their first Wimbledon semi-final.

It was the 7th seed who created a few break points before Hurkacz saved them with some accurate serving and effective patterns of play.

Then it was Hurkacz’s turn to up the intensity on return with Berrettini having to go through an eight minute game as the Pole implemented his net court play.

However Berrettini held and then took the opportunity in the seventh game as his backhand slice was causing the 14th seed all sorts of problems.

The Italian’s all-court game was in supreme condition and new balls arrived at the perfect time as he continued to bang down the aces and forehand winners.

Errors started popping off the racket of Hurkacz as another break was secured for Berrettini as he claimed the opening set 6-3.

The momentum was carried into the second set as Berrettini’s mix of power and variety frustrated Hurkacz.

More errors came from the Pole’s racket as he now lost his composure that he usually has when on the court.

A string of six games saw a complete reversal of roles that happened to Hurkacz against Federer on Wednesday. It was the Pole’s turn to lose a set 6-0 as he was now two sets to love down.

After returning from a lengthy bathroom break, the Pole came back more motivated and played a much cleaner set of tennis.

Despite having more half-chances, the Italian couldn’t convert any of them as the Pole started winning more points behind his first serve.

As Berrettini continued to hold his service games comfortably, the crowd were rallying behind Hurkacz as they wanted to see a fourth set.

Hurkacz continued to show great tactical play and character in the big moments on serve as he edged out service holds to force a third set tiebreak.

In the tiebreak, Berrettini got nervy and tight as Hurkacz started to win return points with ease as he was inspired.

Now it was the Italian’s turn to be frustrated as some simple unforced errors were made as he went 4-0 down.

The Miami Open champion refused to give up and concede his lead as he took the tiebreak 7-3 and force a fourth set to the crowd’s delight.

Now it was Berrettini’s turn to take a bathroom break and reflect on recent events.

It seemed to help immediately as the Italian broke in the first game after some tentative Hurkacz play.

Not being broken in the entire match the Italian seized control of the match and continued to dominate on serve.

Despite the Pole’s strength in character, the Italian’s firepower and mixture of slices was just too much.

Another couple of aces secured Berrettin’s place in history as he becomes the first Italian male or female to reach the Wimbledon final.

After the match Berrettini admitted that this was a dream scenario, “I have no words, really. I need a couple of hours to understand what happened,” the Italian admitted.

“I played a great match. My family is there, my team. I never dreamt about this because it was too much. When you play at this level, you try to be at your best at everything. I felt that I deserved to win the 3rd set, I was feeling the better player and that was I told to myself. It worked.”

Now the 7th seed will face Novak Djokovic or Denis Shapovalov for the title as he looks for his maiden grand slam title.

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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 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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