Jannik Sinner reaches his second Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner reaches his second Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open

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Jannik Sinner has reached the first quarter final of his career at the Australian Open after a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 win over Alex De Minaur. Sinner has dropped just one set in his four matches at this tournament. 

Both players went on serve in the first three games. Sinner saved three break points in the fourth game to hold serve after three deuces. Sinner earned his first break point in the seventh game but De Minaur fended it off to hold serve. There were no breaks in the next games until the tie-break. Sinner earned an early mini-break, but De Minaur pulled back on serve to draw level to 2-2. Sinner earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Sinner went up a set and a break at the start of the second set and held on his next service games to secure a two-set lead. The five-time ATP Tour titlist earned a double break in the first and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. De Minaur pulled one break back in the sixth game, but Sinner held on his next service games to seal the third set. Sinner won 75% of his first serve points and 81% of points at the net. 

“I think in the beginning I was just serving well. He had more chances than me in the first set, then after that I tried to push a little bit more, especially in the tie-break, which made the difference. Then I went into my confidence, and I tried to move him a little bit, but it’s very tough playing against Alex, especially here in Australia. He always plays very well”, said Sinner.

Sinner will make his second appearance in a Grand Slam quarter final after reaching this stage at Roland Garros in 2020 before losing to Rafael Nadal. 

The Italian 20-year-star has extended his lead to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against De Minaur following his previous wins in the title match at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan in 2019 and in Sofia. 

Sinner joins his compatriot Matteo Berrettini in the quarter finals at the Australian Open. It’s the first time in the Open Era that two Italian players have reached this stage in a Grand Slam tournament since 1973 when Adriano Panatta and Paolo Bertolucci achieved this feat at Roland Garros. Berrettini beat Pablo Carreno Busta in yesterday’s fourth round to become the first Italian player in history to reach the quarter finals in each of the fourth Grand Slam tournaments. 

Sinner has become the youngest player to reach the quarter finals at the Australian Open since Nick Kyrgios in 2015. 

“Last year was a long year. I played myany tournaments for the first time. I have gained a lot of experience in the past few months. I have grown as a player and also as a person. At 20 you can only grow. I am very happy to be here to be in the quarter finals.

Sinner will face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Taylor Fritz. The Italian player coached by Riccardo Piatti trails 1-2 against Tsitsipas and 0-1 against Fritz. 

After his win over Taro Daniel in the third round last Saturday Sinner talked about the possibility of working with John McEnroe, who could join his coaching team. McEnroe had already worked with Milos Raonic helping the Canadian player reach the Wimbledon final in 2016. Raonic was formerly trained by Sinner’s coach Riccardo Piatti.

McEnroe talked about the possibility of joining Piatti’s team in Eurosport’s Cube during the Australian Open. 

“I am definitely available on a part-time basis, helping Sinner getting over the hump, which I believe he will get over whether I coach him or not. I told Riccardo Piatti I can save him some time if he wants some time to get this young, beautiful Italian player to step up. I would love to”, said McEnroe. 

Sinner confirmed that he would like to work with McEnroe. 

“When John speaks, he is a tennis legend. He has won many tournaments, he was a great player. I would like to be coached by him. Let’s what comes out”, said Sinner. 

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Rafael Nadal makes a winning come-back against Flavio Cobolli in Barcelona

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Rafael Nadal made a winning come-back by beating Italy’s Flavio Cobolli 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The twelve-time Barcelona champion won his third match this year. 

Nadal is playing just his second tournament of the year and his first since last January, when he reached the quarter final in Brisbane. 

Nadal converted two of his eight break points and held four service games in the first set. The Spaniard held serve from 0-30 down in the first set. Cobolli faced two break points in the fourth game and saved them. The Italian player wasted a game point and was broken on Nadal’s third break point after a backhand error. Nadal consolidated the break by holding serve with a service winner to take a 4-1 lead. Cobolli faced four break points in the sixth game, but he saved three of these break points with service winners and held serve with a powerful serve to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve at love in the seventh game with a service winner.

Cobolli missed a game point after Nadal’s backhand crosscourt winner, as he was serving to stay in the set in the eighth game. Nadal earned a set point after a forehand error from Cobolli and converted it, when the Italian player netted a forehand. 

Cobolli earned his first break point in the opening game of the second set. Nadal fended it off with a drop shot winner to hold serve after Cobolli’s forehand error. 

Nadal earned two break points, as Cobolli netted a backhand in the second game. The home star converted his break point to open up a 2-0 lead, as Cobolli hit a forehand long. Cobolli broke back in the third game after Nadal made a backhand error. 

Nadal broke serve again in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead, when Cobolli made a double fault. The former world number 1 player held his service game with a service winner in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Cobolli held serve to love in the sixth game with a forehand winner to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve in the seventh game after a forehand error from Cobolli to open up a 5-2 lead forcing the Italian player to serve  to stay in the match. Cobolli held at love to cut the deficit to 3-5. 

Nadal served out the win with a hold at 15 after Cobolli’s backhand error. Cobolli made 41 unforced errors, including 27 in the opening set. 

Nadal set up a second round match against Alex De Minaur. The 92-time titlist leads 3-1 in his four head-to-head matches against his Australian opponent. 

“Every time it is more difficult and especially when you are at an advanced age. It makes things even tougher. I am going through tough moments but at the same time, when I am able to be on Tour for a few days and practise with the guys then be able to compete a little bit, it means a lot to me. It’s still enjoyable enough to keep going. I am happy to start with a victory without a doubt”, said Nadal.

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Rising Star Mirra Andreeva Teams Up With Wimbledon Champion Martinez

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Mirra Andreeva – Australian Open 2024 (foto: X @WTA)

Teenage sensation Mirra Andreeva has begun working with a former Grand Slam champion on a trial basis ahead of the French Open.

The 16-year-old has linked up with Conchita Martinez, who is overseeing her run at this week’s Rouen Open in France. Martinez peaked at a ranking high of No.2 during her career and won 33 WTA titles. After retiring from the sport, she has coached Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. 

Andreeva’s latest partnership was formed with the help of her agent ‘two or three weeks ago.’ According to the WTA website, their practice week went well and now they are testing working together during a tournament. 

“So far, so good,” said Andreeva“I like it, I hope she likes it too. We will see how it will go and then we will decide about our next tournaments. I cannot say there are special aspects we are working on. But the first thing we worked on was my slice, because she was a good slicer. So she told me some tricks, and I’m trying to use it when I have time and a good possibility on court.”

Andreeva is currently ranked 43rd in the world and is the youngest player in the top 100. She has already reached the fourth round of both Wimbledon and the Australian Open but is yet to win a WTA title. So far this year the Russian’s best result was a quarter-final appearance at the Brisbane International. 

Martinez, who also reached the last 16 of a major at the age of 16, spoke about the teenager with Ubitennis during last year’s Wimbledon Championships. At the time she pointed out that consistency is key for the youngster.

“The most important thing is that she keeps practising and focusing on what she has to do to get better. It’s great what she is doing now but she has to maintain it,” she commented.

Andreeva kicked off her campaign in Rouen with a 6-1, 6-3, win over Nadia Podoroska. 

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Carlos Alcaraz In Doubt For Madrid Open Title Defence

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Carlos Alcaraz admits that he is not certain if he will be ready in time to play at next week’s Madrid Masters.

The 20-year-old is yet to play a clay tournament in Europe due to a forearm injury which ruled him out of both Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He hurt his right arm whilst training shortly before the Monte Carlo event began. 

It is the latest in a series of injury issues that has affected Alcaraz throughout his young career. Since the start of 2023, he has also been derailed by issues with his abdominal, hamstring, post-traumatic arthritis in his left hand and muscular discomfort in his spine. 

“My feeling isn’t right, but it is what it is. Now I’m fully focused on recovery and I have a little more time,” Alcaraz told reporters in Barcelona on Monday.
“My goal is to try and go to the Madrid Open, but at the moment nothing is certain. I was given specific recovery times and I’ve respected them, but I haven’t felt good. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
“I can’t say I’ll be 100% in Madrid, but that’s my intention. We’ll train and do everything we can so that the feelings improve so I can play a match … It’s also a very special tournament for me.”

Alcaraz has won the past two editions of the Madrid Open, which is classed as a Masters 1000 event. In 2022 he defeated Alexander Zverev in the final and then 12 months later he beat Jan-Lennard Struff in the title match.

The setback comes after what has been a steady start to the year for Alcaraz who has reached the quarter-finals or better in four out of five tournaments played. He successfully defended his title in Indian Wells and then reached the semi-finals in Miami. 

Should he not play in Madrid, it is likely that the Spaniard will lose his No.2 spot to Jannik Sinner who is just over 100 points behind him in the standings. He will still have the chance to play a clay-court event before the French Open with Rome taking place early next month. 

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