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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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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Hamad Medjedovic wins the Next Gen Finals title in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic came back from one set down to beat Arthur Fils 3-4 (6-8) 4-1 4-2 3-4 (9-11) 4-1 after 2 hours and 11 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic hit 38 winners to 21 unforced errors. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Medjedovic earned a mini-break to take a 3-2 lead and held two set points at 6-4, but he was not able to convert them. Fils won four consecutive points to win the tie-break 8-6. 

Medjedovic earned a break in the second game to win the second set 4-1. 

Medjedovic becomes the sixth Next Gen ATP Finals champion, joining top 10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. The 20-year-old Serbian player is the lowest-ranked champion in tournament history. 

Medjedovic started the third set with an early break in the first game. The Serbian player held on his serve to seal the set 4-2. 

Medjedovic recovered from squandering two match points at 6-4 in a thrilling tie-break of the fourth set at 5-6 and 7-8. Fils saved both chances on second serves and won four of the next five points to win the tie-break 11-9 forcing the match to a deciding set. 

to win the first five-set final in tournament history. The Serbian player won 88% and converted his third match point to clinch the biggest title of his career so far. 

Medjedovic earned a break in the second game of the fifth set. Fils earned himself a penalty point for a smash of his raquet and went down 0-3. Medjedovic held on his next service games and converted his third match point. 

“Two of us from Serbia. Djokovic won the big Masters, the real one, and I won the Next Gen. Obviously it’s a huge thing and I am happy to follow in his footsteps in some way. I can’t believe I have won this title. It’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024. Arthur is an amazing player. He is top 40 for a reason”, said Medjedovic. 

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Elena Rybakina headlines a strong line-up in Adelaide



Elena Rybakina, Zheng Qinwen, Carolina Garcia and Angelique Kerber will highlight the Adelaide International, a WTA 500 tournament.


Rybakina reached the final at the Adelaide International on her tournament debut in 2022, losing to now retired Ashleigh Barty. Rybakina went on to win her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon later last year. The Kazakh player finished runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in the Australian Open final in 2023. 

Zheng won her first WTA 500 title in Zhengzhou and reached the final in Zhuhai, ending the 2023 season at a career-high of world number 15. 

Angelique Kerber will make her come-back to the WTA Tour at the United Cup before playing her first WTA draw in Adelaide. Kerber gave birth to her daughter Liana last February. The German player won titles at the 2016 Australian Open and in Sydney 2018 and reached in Sydney 2014 and in Brisbane 2018. 

Kerber is one of the three former number 1 players, who are making her come-back on the WTA Tour after giving birth to their children. 

Caroline Wozniacki lost to eventual champion Coco Gauff in the Round of 16 at the US Open in her third tournament back. 

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is planning to make her return next January after giving back to her child Shai last July. 

“It’s definitely way more tournaments than I used to play. So I think some people will be happy with that. I realized that I don’t know how the beginning of the year is going to go for me. I don’t know the level of player and I think I have to ease into it. At the very least, I will set myself up for a very good end of the year”, said Osaka.

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Arthur Fils beats Luca Van Assche in all-French semifinal at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



World number 36 Arthur Fils beat his friend Luca Van Assche 2-4 4-1 4-3 (7-1) 4-3 (8-6) in an all-French clash after 1 hour and 37 minutes to reach the final at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Van Assche, who was born in Belgium but moved to Belgium when he was three years old, broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out the first set to 15. Van Assche won 12 of the last 14 points. 

Fils hit a couple of big forehands to earn three break points at 2-1 15-40. Van Assche saved one break point with a volley, but Fils converted his second chance to open up a 3-1 lead, as Van Assche netted a backhand. Fils served out with a hold at 15 to level the match at one set apiece. 

The first five games of the third set went on serve. Van Assche led 2-3 30-40 on Fils’serve to earn two set points. 

Fils saved them before racing out to a 5-0 lead. Van Assche won his first point with a forehand. Fils earned five set points and closed it out when Van Assche netted a backhand. 

Fils won 22 consecutive points on his first serve until 2-1 in the fourth set. Van Assche faced a match point at 2-3, but Van Assche saved it to force another tie-break. Fils opened up a 4-1 with a mini-break. Van Assche won three points to 4-4 before saving two match points at 4-6 and 5-6. Fils hit a forehand to earn a fourth match point and converted it when Van Assche sent a backhand over the baseline. 

Van Assche beat Fils in the boys’ singles final at 2021 Roland Garros. Fils won his first title in Lyon last May. 

“I played every point trying everything with my forehand, moving very good. I was very happy with the tie-break. Today was a tough match against a great friend. We have known each other since we were nine, so it was a little bit tough and I am happy with the win. I came onto the court with the mindset that I can win. The first set was tough, he was playing very good and defending so well, running very fast. I kept my focus and I am really happy with the win”, said Fils. 

Fils set up a final clash against Hamad Medjedovic, who advanced to the championships match, when Dominic Stricker was forced to withdraw in the second set due to a back injury in the semifinal. 

Medjedovic was leading 4-3 (7-5) 2-1 when Stricker walked to the net and ended the match. 

Medjedovic hit 12 winners to 3 unforced errors. The Serbian player won three matches in the round-robin group. 

Medjedovic won 93% of his first serve points in the first set. Stricker did not drop a point on his first serve. Medjedovic earned his only mini-break to seal the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic earned an early break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead before Stricker retired from the match. 

Medjedovic reached two semifinals in Gstaad and Astana. He is coached by Viktor Troicki. Stricker advanced to the semifinals at the 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

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