The Russian Tennis Federation scores come-back win over Spain to secure quarter final spot in the Davis Cup - UBITENNIS
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The Russian Tennis Federation scores come-back win over Spain to secure quarter final spot in the Davis Cup

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Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev fought back from one set down to beat Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez 4-6 6-2 6-4 in front of a capacity crowd at the Madrid Arena securing a spot in the quarter final for the Russian Tennis Federation in Group A at the Davis Cup by Rakuten. 

 

The Russian Tennis Federation set up a quarter final clash against Sweden. Spain has been eliminated and will not defend the title won in 2019. 

Spain earned the only break when Lopez hit a forehand return into the tramlines. The Spanish 40-year-old veteran player served out the first set 6-4 when Rublev hit a return long. 

The Russian team earned two breaks to win the second set 6-2. Karatsev earned the decisive break in the 10th game with a backhand winner down the line in the 10th game at 00:40 in the night. 

“We are really happy to be in the quarter finals. We are going to do our best to go further. Two years ago we were in the semifinals so we will see if we can do this result, but every player from usi s giving 100% so that’s the most important thing”, said Rublev. 

In the opening singles match Lopez came back from one set down to beat Rublev 2-6 6-3 6-4. Lopez hit 14 aces and won 82% of his first serve points. 

Rublev earned an early break in the first game and broke again to open up a 4-1 lead after two double faults in the first set. 

Lopez hit a crosscourt volley at 15-15 and broke serve to take a 4-2 lead. The Spaniard held serve after four deuces in a long seventh game to race out to a 5-2 lead. Lopez hit a huge ace out wide to close out the second set 6-3. Lopez went up a 2-1 lead with a break in the third game of the decisive set and held his next three service games. He did not convert two match points on Rublev’s serve at 5-3 and was forced to save a break point on his own serve, but he was able to hold serve at deuce with an unreturnable serve out wide. 

“This is over any espectation to be honest. For me it was already amazing to be here represening my country at 40 years old.  I did not expect to be the one playing the singles and I had to take the role. Playing against Andrey at this stage of my career in my home town, it’s over any expectations”, said Lopez. 

Danil Medvedev beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in just an hour and a half in the second singles match to draw level the tie to 1-1. Medvedev hit 14 winners and broke five times. 

Medvedev raced out to a 5-0 lead with three breaks. Carreno Busta pulled one of the breaks back in the sixth game and saved three break points to hold serve in the seventh game. Medvedev rallied from one break down with a break back in the fifth game. Medvedev broke for the second time to take a 5-3 lead. Carreno Busta converted his fourth break-back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Medvedev cruised through to a 5-0 lead with three mini-breaks. Carreno Busta saved two match pointsa at 6-3, but Medvedev sealed the tie-break 7-3 on his third opportunity. 

“Everybody is super happy, because that’s how we all are in the team, all five players. If I am not mistaken, we needed to win just one game to be through. Yet we won a match, and that’s all you need to know about us. We want to win, no matter it’s an exhibition match, a match that doesn’t count maybe for the tie, or an important match. Our goal is to win. It’s very important for the confidence of the team to win against such team as Spain. Even if they didn’t have their best line-up, they are playing at home, and to beat them means a lot”, said Medvedev. 

Serbia sets up quarter final over Germany

Two-time Roland Garros doubles champions Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat the Austrian team formed by Phillp Oswald and 2018 Australian Open doubles champion Oliver Marach 6-3 6-4 with a break in each set in Group F to secure a spot in the quarter finals for Germany in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals. 

Krawietz and Puetz won 82% of his first serve points and did not face a break point to beat Oswald and Marach in 85 minutes sealing a 2-1 win for Germany over Austria. The German team had beaten Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic in a crucial match against Serbia on Saturday. 

Germany will take on Great Britain in the quarter finals on Tuesday in a repeat of the match of the 2019 Davis Cup last eight match in Madrid. 

“I am not sure about being on top of the world but we are pretty happy right now and deservedly so. We deserve to be happy right now and to enjoy tonight. Tomorow we will start preparing for Great Britain”, said Puetz. 

Earlier world number 139 Jurij Rodionov beat Dominik Koepfer 6-1 7-5 in 87 minutes to give an early lead. Rodionov, who was making his first appearance in the Davis Cup, hit six aces and saved four of the five break points he faced. 

Rodionov broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. Rodionov went up a break to take a 2-1 lead. Koepfer, who beat Filip Krajinovic during Germany’s victory over Serbia on Saturday, broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4, but he was not able to convert two set points before Rodionov broke serve in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5.  

“Winning my first Davis Cup match is really a dream come true. It was one on the biggest goals in my career and it is always very special playing for my country and representing Austria in Davis Cup”, said Rodionov. 

Jan Lennard Struff hit eight aces to beat Dennis Nowak 7-5 6-4 in 74 minutes. Struff earned his first break in the opening game. Novak broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Struff earned a second break to win the first set 7-5. Struff broke once in the third game and held his next service games to win the second set 6-4. 

“I am very happy. It is tough as expected against Austria. Dennis is a good friend of mine, but I am very happy with my performance today. I played aggressively and I tried to put a pressure on Dennis from the beginning”, said Struff.

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Clara Tauson scores the biggest win of her career beating Anett Kontaveit in Melbourne

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Danish 19-year-old rising star Clara Tauson beat 2020 Australian Open quarter finalist Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 19 minutes to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the the first time in her career in Melbourne. 

 

Former world junior number 1 player Clara Tauson started the 2021 season outside the top 100 and won her first two WTA Tour titles in Lyon and Luxembourg. Kontaveit had won 28 of her past 32 matches in 2021 to break into the top 10 in the WTA Ranking. 

Tauson hit 20 winners to 13 unforced errors. The Dane broke her Estonian opponent in the first game of the opening set. She broke serve with her service returns to open up a 5-2 lead and held serve at love with a backhand winner to close out the first set 6-2. 

Both players traded breaks twice in the second set to draw level to 4-4. Tauson converted her third break point in the ninth game after a wide forehand by Kontaveit. 

Tauson earned three match points, as she was serving for the match, and sealed the win after a forehand error by Kontaveit. 

The Dane recorded the biggest win of her career by ranking. 

“It’s the first time I am in the third round of a Grand Slam tournament. It’s a big achievement for me. Obviously it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments. Doing it in a Slam is a really great feeling. It’s just a lot of hard work that I have put into it. That it’s here already in one of the first tournaments of the year is a really nice feeling, but I still have some work to do. I cannot be too happy with the win today, but I am really happy”, said Tauson. 

Tauson set up a third round match against 2019 Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins, who beat Ana Konjuh 6-4 6-3. 

Former Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek won 8 of her 10 games en route to her 6-2 6-2 win over Rebecca Peterson in just 67 minutes to advance to the third round at the Australian Open for the the third consecutive year. 

Swiatek recorded her second win against Peterson at Grand Slam level after beating her Swedish opponent in the second round of last year’s Roland Garros. 

“Just starting the match with confidence was pretty important for me. I felt like I was dominating from the beginning, and after getting a couple of breaks. It was much easier to go forward. That was the key”, said Swiatek. 

Swiatek will face Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, who eased past Polish player Magda Linette 6-2 6-3. Kasatkina beat Swiatek in three sets on grass in Eastboune last summer. 

Aryna Sabalenka fought back from one set down to beat Wang Xinyu 1-6 6-4 6-2. 

Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova beat 37-year-old Australian player Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-2. Stosur bid her farewell to her singles career and was honoured on court with a video and video tribute by Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka and Ajla Tomljanovic. 

Pavlyuchenkova set up a third round match against Sorana Cristea, who beat Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova 6-2 6-4. 

Simona Halep eased past Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 6-0 with five breaks of serve in just 66 minutes setting up a third round match against Danka Kovinic, who beat Emma Raducanu in three sets. Halep dropped just nine points on serve and never faced a break point. The two-time Grand Slam champion hit 15 winners to 22 unforced errors. The Romanian player claimed her 23rd career title at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 two weeks ago and has extended her winning streak to seven consecutive matches.

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Jannik Sinner reaches the third round at the Australian Open for the first time in his career

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Eleventh-seed Jannik Sinner cruised past Steve Johnson 6-2 6-4 6-3 on Margaret Arena after 1 hour and 43 minutes to advance to the third round at the Australian Open for the first time in his third appearance of his career at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Sinner fired 29 winners and broke five times. 

 

“It’s a real pleasure to play here. I played on this pitch against Shapovalov in the first round last year. I love playing in Australia, so having a night game is very special”, said Sinner. 

Sinner raced out to a 4-0 lead with a double break and closed it out on his first set point after 26 minutes. The 20-year-old Italian star earned a decisive break in the ninth game to seal the 41-minute second set 6-4. 

Sinner broke serve in the first game of the third set to take a 2-1 lead. The world number 11 faced a break point in the fourth game to hold serve after three deuces. The Italian star held serve at love in the eighth game, when Johnson hit a backhand return into the net. The Italian star closed out the third set with his second break, when Sousa hit his forehand into net. 

“I started the match very well, which gave me a lot of confidence. When I had to break in every set, I was quite relaxed. I tried to stay focused on my service games which I think I have done. I am very happy to be through in three sets. It was not easy to play against him. We had already played twice, and I tried to return his serves because his first serve is very precise This was my first goal, and obviously trying to mix up a little bit the game, try to move him. I think I was solid. I had a couple of break chances which I used, so I am very happy”, said Sinner. 

Sinner set up a third round match against Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel, who beat Andy Murray 6-4 6-4 6-4. Daniel has already beat four Italian players this year, but Sinner has not dropped a set in his five matches this year. 

“Taro Daniel has reached the third round because he is playing very well. I did not know that he had already beaten four Italian players this year. It is not easy to beat them. Matches are always tough at any level. Daniel beat Murray and it is not easy to win against the Scotsman. I lost against Murray last year in Stockolm”, said Sinner. 

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Danka Kovinic becomes the first player from Montenegro to reach the third round at a Grand Slam tournament

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Danka Kovinic has become the first player from Montenegro to reach the third round at a Grand Slam tournament after a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over last year’s US Open champion and number 17 seed Emma Raducanu after 2 hours and 38 minutes on Margaret Court Arena in the second round at the Australian Open. 

 

Kovinic had lost in the second round in her six previuos appearances at a Grand Slam tournament. The World number 98 recorded her fourth career top 20 win and her first on hard-court. 

Raducanu broke serve in the opening game and cruised into a 3-0 lead with a double break. Kovinic bounced back by winning the next two games to claw her way back to 2-3, before Raducanu took was hampered by a blister on her raquet hand and took a medical time-out for treatment on her hand. Raducanu double faulted, as Kovinic broke again to draw level to 3-3. Kovinic completed the turnaround by winning five consecutive games to take a 5-3 lead. Raducanu broke for the third time for 4-5, but Kovinic closed out the first set 6-4. 

Raducanu opened up a 3-1 lead in the second set with an early break in the first game but Kovinic broke back in the eighth  game to draw level to 4-4 . Raducanu broke for the second time in the ninth game with two consecutive forehand winners to take a 5-4 lead. The British teenager fended off two break points in the 10th game to clinch the second set 6-4. 

Raducanu missed four break points in the first and third games of the third set. Kovinic converted her break point in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Raducanu broke straight back at love in the fifth game. Kovinic broke for the second time in the sixth game with a lob to take a 4-2 lead and sealed the win on her second match point with a backhand winner down the line. 

Kovinic was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo due to calf and back injuries. 

“Basically only one good result was in Charleston last year. Everything else was really struggling and trying to recover my body for next events, which I wasn’t really successful. I was rushing a little bit, so I never really healed my back injury, but I took some time during the pre-season to really take care of that, so hopefully that’s in the past”, said Danka Kovinic. 

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