Felix Auger Aliassime wins five set marathon over Bautista Agut - UBITENNIS
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Felix Auger Aliassime wins five set marathon over Bautista Agut

Felix Auger-Aliassime is into the last 16 of a grand slam for the fourth time in his last six appearances.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime (@TeamCanada - Twitter)

The Canadian pulled off a five-set win over his Spanish opponent in a match that went the distance.

 

Felix Auger Aliassime is into the fourth round of the US Open after surviving a five-set win over the 18 seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted three hours and 55 minutes.

The Canadian hit 77 winners and served 27 aces on a packed Louis Armstrong Stadium in front of a lot of loud Canadian fans.

“It was not easy and very tricky and I had to forget losing the third set and it was really frustrating because I felt like I was dominating the match and controlling the match and things turned around quickly and he started gaining confidence and he started being more solid than he was and I wasn’t serving as good so for the fifth set I told myself this it all or nothing and it paid off.”

The number 12 seed got off to a very good start to the match getting the first break to take a 3-1 lead and that one break was enough for him to serve out the first set and draw first blood.

The second set was more competitive with the Canadian pushing for the break but the Spaniard wasn’t going down without a fight and saved breakpoints early in the second set.

At 4-4, the world number 15 finally got the breakthrough getting a breakpoint and breaking serve with a massive forehand winner, and went on to serve out the second set.

The Montreal native kept the momentum going into the third set and got the early break to take a 2-1 lead this time with a return winner that caught the world number 21 off guard.

Unfortunately, the Canadian wasn’t able to consolidate the break and the Spaniard broke right back the following game and it stayed on serve until 5-4 and this time it was the 33-year-old who broke to take the third set.

The number 12 seed continued to push getting chances to break once again early in the fourth set but failed to convert and at 4-3, it was the Spaniard who got the crucial break and saved five break points before sealing the set.

The fifth and final set was a battle royale with the first three games going with serve before the Canadian had two chances to break but only needed one to take an early 3-1 lead.

At 4-2, the world number 15 saved three break points before holding serve, and at 5-3 was able to serve out the match.

After the match in his post-match on-court interview, Auger Aliassime was asked about the Australian Open when he was up two sets on Aslan Karatsev and ended up losing the match in five if he took anything or learned anything from that match.

“You know what happened in Australia happened against Zverev in Wimbledon also being up two sets to love but I managed to win that fifth set so I think remembering that match was good for me and it was good for my confidence and I think today I was just trying to stay focused and trying to stay calm but you never know because things could have gone either way and I am happy it went my way today.”

Auger Aliassime will now face Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round after the American beat the Russian Andrey Rublev in five sets in the last match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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Botic Van de Zandschulp beats Joao Sousa to reach the second round in Tel Aviv

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Botic Van de Zandschulp cruised past Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 to reach the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. Van de Zandschulp won 83% of his first serve points and hit 28 winners to Sousa’s six. 

 

The Dutchman will face Liam Broady, who Serbian wild-card Hamad Medjedovic 7-5 6-3. 

Tomas Martin Etchevery edged past 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev 6-2 6-7 (0-7) 6-4  scoring the biggest win of his career. 

Arthur Rinderknech came back from one set down to beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3. Rinderknech set up a second round against third seed Diego Schwartzman. 

Emil Ruusuvuori broke serve five times in his 6-3 6-2 win over J.J Wolf. 

Sebastian Korda beat Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Maxime Cressy. Novak Djokovic is the top seed of the Tel Aviv tournament, which returns for the first time since 2021.

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Holger Rune reaches the second round at the Sofia Open

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Danish Next Gen rising star Holger Rune edged past Tim Van Rijthoven 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) to reach the second round at the Sofia Open in his first appearance at this tournament. 

 

Both players went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Rune earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

The second set started with a trade of breaks in the first two games. There was little to separate both players in the next games, which went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rune saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie-break of the second set and won the final three points to close out the second set 8-6. 

Rune won his first title in Munich and reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter final at Roland Garros. 

 “I did not want to go to three sets. I had the break and led 5-2 in the second set tie-break. If it had happened, I was going to fight for sure and try to take it in three, but I am very happy to win in two. I am really working hard every day and trying to improve any small things I can. I think today I stayed very focused all the time. I lost my focus one time on serve, when maybe I should not have been broken, but other than that I am very happy with my first match. The first match is always a  bit difficult”, said Rune. 

Australia’s Alexander Vukic beat Fabio Fognini 7-6 (13-11) 7-5 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. Vukic broke serve in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead. Fognini converted his fourth break-back point to draw level to 4-4 before saving a break point at 5-5. Fognini went up a 6-3 lead, but he wasted six set points in the tie-break. Vukic closed out the tie-break 13-11 on his third set point. 

Fognini earned a break to take a 2-1 lead. Vukic broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2 in the fourth game. Fognini lost four consecutive points from 4-5 30-0. Vukic earned the decisive break on his first match point to seal the second set 7-5. 

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