Danil Medvedev sets up Rotterdam semifinal against Grigor Dimitrov - UBITENNIS
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Danil Medvedev sets up Rotterdam semifinal against Grigor Dimitrov

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Danil Medvedev beat defending champion Felix Auger Aliassime 6-2 6-4 in a 83-minute quarter final to reach the semifinal at the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam. Medvedev hit five unforced errors to Auger Aliassime’s 20 and broke serve four times. 

Medvedev has advanced to the semifinal for the semifinal for the second time in Rotterdam after achieving this feat in 2019. The sixth seed forced Auger Aliassime to push a forehand long for his first break of serve in the fifth game. 

Medvedev earned a double break in the seventh game to build up a 5-2 after Auger Aliassime’s forehand clipped the net and flew long. The 15-time ATP Tour titlist went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead, but Auger Aliassime broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. Medvedev earned a second break in the seventh game to extend his winning streak in the head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime to 5-0. 

“Today was my best match of the week, but I have to build on this. Usually, the best weeks you play, many times you are going to play your best tennis in the last match, so that’s definitely a goal. I am happy with my level, because someone like Felix in straight sets”, said Medvedev.

The Russian player will take on Grigor Dimitrov, who saved two match points to beat Alex De Minaur, 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) in 2 hours and 34 minutes in the opening quarter final. 

“I know the plan for the game. He is going to try the same, to make up a good plan. If we take the last two matches, it’s 1-1. I always say a new match is a new match, no matter the head to head. I am preparing for a tough match tomorrow. He is such a great player and today was a great match from him, a great comeback actually. I am ready for a tough fight tomorrow”, said Medvedev. 

Dimitrov has returned to the semifinal in Rotterdam for the first time since 2018, when he reached the match. 

Dimitrov earned his first break in the fourth game to win the opening set 6-3. De Minaur went up a double break in the second and fourth games to race out to a 5-0 lead in the second set. Dimitrov pulled one break back in the seventh game for 2-5, as De Minaur was serving for the set. De Minaur closed it out 6-3 on his second set point. 

Dimitrov saved two match points at 4-6 and won four consecutive points to seal the tie-break with a forehand passing shot. 

Sinner reaches his first semifinal in Rotterdam

Jannik Sinner cruised past 2015 Rotterdam Stan Wawrinka 6-1 6-3 to reach to the ABN AMRO Tournament’s semifinals for the first time in his career. 

Sinner earned his first  break in the opening game and saved three break points in the second game to hold serve at deuce to open up a 2-0 lead. The Italian player broke twice more in the fifth and seventh game to seal the opening set 6-1. 

Sinner went up a break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead, but Wawrinka pulled back on serve in the fifth game and held on his serve to draw level to 3-3. Sinner sealed the win with a second break in the eighth game after 1 hour and 12 minutes. Sinner has extended his winning streak to six consecutive matches. Last week he beat Maxime Cressy in the championships match en route to his sixth ATP title in Montpellier. 

Sinner set up a semifinal against Tallon Griekspoor, who beat Gijs Brower 6-4 6-4 with a break in each set. 

“I just try to play every match with a high intensity, try to play my game, try to adapt to myself. The first round match was very important for me, then I try to keep going, to get more rhythm. Today it was a good match. It’s never easy to play against him, so I am very happy”, said Sinner. 

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister

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Image via x.com/twitter

The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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