Stefanos Tsitsipas Praises Rising Star Baez Following Tough Win At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas Praises Rising Star Baez Following Tough Win At Australian Open

The world No.4 endured a tricky encounter against the South American who is making his Grand Slam debut in Melbourne.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour

Stefanos Tsitsipas encountered some stern resistance during his roller-coaster second round win over Argentina’s Sebastian Baez at the Australian Open.

 

The world No.4 was pushed to his limits during the 200-minute encounter before eventually prevailing 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, on the Margaret Court Arena. Despite the gap in experience between the two, Tsitsipas struggled at times to pull away from his opponent who saved four out of 18 break points. However, as the match progressed the Greek managed to nudge ahead to close out the win with the help of 44 winners and 12 aces.

“It wasn’t easy. I’m glad I overcame that obstacle today. (There was) lots of fighting, a little bit of swearing but I’m glad to be in the third round,” Tsitsipas said during his on-court interview.
“It was a pretty hot day today but I tried to play with my heart and it paid off.”

21-year-old Baez was playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. Last year the world No.88 illustrated his potential as a future top player on the men’s Tour by winning six Challenger titles. Tsitsipas was the first top 25 player he had faced in his career.

Hes a great player. I haven’t seen him play much. I know he had a good run at the Next Gen Finals which is an event I played a few years ago,” Tsitsipas said of the youngster.
He’s a good player. One of the biggest forehands that I’ve faced so I hope with the right work and mentality he can reach his goals and make an impact on the game.

The clash was a frustrating encounter for the world No.4 who during the first two sets struggled to tame his opponent. In the opener, he failed to convert eight break point chances before finally converting for a 5-4 lead. However, he was then broken in the following game. Tsitsipas managed to regroup and won the opening tiebreak in clinical fashion before Baez once again battled back in the second frame to draw level.

Split at one set all, the match came to a halt when Baez, who was on the court for three-and-a-half hours during his first round match, took a medical timeout for treatment on his leg. Sensing blood, Tsitsipas then went on a five-game which gave him enough of a margin to close out the third set with relative ease.

Despite the spirited efforts of Baez, it was not enough to derail the two-time semi-finalist who broke early on in the fourth set to close in on victory. Serving for the win, he worked his way to three match points after a backhand from the Argentine crashed into the net. He converted his second with a serve down the centre of the court which his rival failed to return.

“I tried to go for my shots a little bit more. At certain moments I got a little bit lucky with trying to get the right depth and coming in. On the return I stay as close to the baseline as possible to cut out the time for him and push him back a little bit more,” Tsitsipas explained when asked how he turned the match around.

The 23-year-old is through to the third round for a fourth consecutive year. Today’s win is his 35th at a Grand Slam and 12th at the Australian Open alone. He will play either Grigor Dimitrov or Benoit Paire next.

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Novak Djokovic reaches the semifinal in Tel Aviv

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Novak Djokovic beat Canadian lucky loser Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. 

 

Djokovic has improved his record to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Pospisil. He has won all 13 sets they have played. 

Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Djokovic earned two mini-breaks to race out to a 4-0 lead. Pospisil won five of the next six points to draw level to 5-5. Djokovic won the next two points to seal the tie-break 7-5. 

Djokovic went up a break at the start of the second set. Pospisil broke back in the fifth game to reduce the deficit to 2-3. Djokovic broke again in the eighth game before serving out for the match in the next game. 

Djokovic set up a semifinal against Roman Safiulin. The Serbian player is aiming to win his third title this season after his previous triumphs in Rome and Wimbledon. He is currently ranked 15th in the ATP Race to Turin. As he won a Grand Slam title at Wimbeldon this year, he will qualify for the ATP Finals if he remains in the top 20. 

“It was a great and positive win. Vasek is one of my best friends on the tour. We have known each other for many years. It is never easy playing someone you respect so much and like so much, but we are both professionals and wanted to win the match and you can see that. ”, said Djokovic. 

Constant Lestienne came back from one set down to beat Maxime Cressy 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3) setting up a semifinal against Marin Cilic, who reached his fifth semifinal this year after receiving a walkover from Liam Broady.   

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Jannik Sinner reaches his third consecutive semifinal at the Sofia Open

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Jannik Sinner cruised past Aleksandar Vukic 6-2 6-3 to advance to his third consecutive semifinal at the Sofia Open. Sinner scored his 45th tour.level win this season moving up to 12th in the ATP Race to Turin. He will rise to 10th if he wins his third consecutive title in Sofia. 

 

Sinner has extended his winning streak to 11-0 at the Sofia Open. He claimed the trophy at this tournament at the Sofia Open in 2020 before he successfully defended his title last year.  

Sinner faced four break points after three double faults in the first game of opening set. Vukic saved a break point with a forehand at 1-2. Sinner broke twice in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. 

Sinner built up a 3-0 lead with a break at the start of the second set. Vukic broke back in the seventh game for 3-4. Sinner earned his second break in the eighth game. Sinner missed out on his first match point with his fifth double fault. Vukic fended off a second match point with a forehand passing shot. Sinner saved a break point with an ace before sealing the win on his third match point. 

“I hope to raise my level in the next match. I am happy to reach the third semifinal at this tournament. I feel at home in Sofia. I will try to play my best tennis in every match”, said Sinner, 

Sinner will face a semifinal match against Holger Rune, who will face Ilya Ivashka 6-2 5-7 6-4 after 2 hours and 22 minutes. 

Rune broke in the fifth and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. Ivashka saved four break points in th third game before breaking for the first time in the match in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5. 

Rune earned a break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashka broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Rune broke for the second game in the ninth game and held serve on his second match point. 

Lorenzo Musetti moved past world number 132 player Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 16 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season. 

Struff earned an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. Musetti came back from 15-40 down to break back in the fifth game with a backhand passing shot winner. Musetti went down 0-2 in the tie-break, but he rallied by winning seven of the next eight points to seal the tie-break 7-3. Musetti broke twice in the second and fourth games and sealed the win on his first match point with a forehand winner after 77 minutes. Musetti set up a semifinal match against Marc Andrea Huesler, who saved two match points in the tie-break of the second set to beat Kamil Majchrzak 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. 

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Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin

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Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas have qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals singles tournament in Turin, Joining Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal and US Open winner Carlos Alcaraz. 

 

Ruud secured his spot in the year-end championships by winning his second-round match in Seoul. 

Ruud reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami and two Grand Slam finals at Roland Garros and at the US Open. He also won three ATP Tour titles in Buenos Aires, Geneva and Gstaad. The Norwegian player has scored 47 ATP Tour-level wins and is ranked third behind only Alcaraz (52) and Tsistipas (49). 

Ruud made his first appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin last year. He won his round robin matches against against Cameron Norrie and Andrey Rublev before losing to Danil Medvedev in the semifinal. 

“I just got the news that I qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin and I am looking forward to coming back to Italy. I had such a great time last year. It’s a great country for tennis”, said Ruud. 

Tsitsipas has become the fourth player to qualify to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals. The Greek player will make his fourth consecutive appearance at the year-end tournament. He won the title in 2019 beating Novak Djokovic in the final. Tsitsipas started the 2022 season with a semifinal at the Australian Open last January. He advanced to the final in Rotterdam where he finished runner-up to Felix Auger Aliassime.

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion won his second consecutive title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Last May Tsitsipas finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. During the US hard-court season the Athens native player lost to Borna Coric in the final of the Cincinnati Masters 1000 tournament. 

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