Novak Djokovic sets up a third round match against Grigor Dimitrov in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic sets up a third round match against Grigor Dimitrov in Rome



Novak Djokovic overcame a slow start in the first set to beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in 1 hour and 51 minutes in the second round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. 

Etcheverry saved a break point in the second game with a forehand winner to hold serve with a service winner to consolidate the break for 2-0. 

Djokovic forced Etcheverry’s error after a long rally to get his first game on the scoreboard. Etcheverry saved a break point with a serve and volley to hold serve for 3-1 lead. Djokovic broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, as Etcheverry sent a forehand wide.

Djokovic earned two set points with a backhand down the line winner in the 10thgame. Etcheverry saved them with service winners and held serve to draw level to 5-5. Etcheverry went up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. Djokovic won four consecutive points from 3-5 down to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Djokovic forced a forehand error from Etcheverry to earn an early break in the first game of the second set. The Serbian player held to 30 in the second game. The six-time Rome champion won 12 of the final 13 points from 3-2 and broke for the second time in the seventh game to seal the second set 6-2. Etcheverryreached two finals in Santiago and Houston in 2023. 

“I am not at the desired level, still finding the shots and finding that groove on the court. It’s always a little bit tricky playing someone for the first time. He is a clay-court specialist. He started better than I did. I started pretty slow, but I found my groove towards the end of the first set. The second set was good, especially the last three or four games. I am happy with the way I closed out the match”, said Djokovic. 

Djokovic set up a third round match against Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-6 (7-3). Djokovic holds a 10-1 lead in his head-to-head matches against Dimitrov. 

Dimitrov earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Wawrinka saved three break points to hold serve in the seventh game for 3-4. Dimitrov won his final two service games to seal the first set 6-4. 

Dimitrov went up a 3-1 lead with an early break in the first game. Wawrinka broke straight back to force the second set to the tie-break. Dimitrov earned three mini-breaks to seal the tie-break on his third match point. 

“I am just happy to finish the match in straight sets. It’s been a while since I have played matches like that. Off the blocks to play Stan is never easy. We have played so many times against each other. We know what we are going to do in a lot of moments. Today was a very small margin”, said Dimitrov. 

Fabio Fognini beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 7-6 (8-6). Fognini converted his third break point in the first game. The Italian player held on his next service games and closed out the first set with a break on his second set point. 

Fognini earned three break points in three different service games, but he did not convert them. Kecmanovic earned an early mini-break in the tie-break after a double fault. Fognini pulled back on serve with a forehand winner. He earned another mini-break to open up a 4-2 lead. He did not convert three match points at 6-3, but he sealed the tie-break on his fourth opportunity. 

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World No.634 Laura Samson Reaches First WTA Quarter-Final At 16



Laura Samon - image via photo credi: Manuel Queimadelos

Laura Samson has become the first player born in 2008 to reach the quarter-finals of a WTA event after producing a surprise win on Tuesday. 

The 16-year-old wildcard stunned second seed Katerina Siniakova 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the second round at the Prague Open. Her triumph occurred a day after she dropped just two games against Tara Wurth in her opening match. This week is Samson’s Tour debut after playing 10 events on the lower-level ITF circuit. 

“I’m extremely surprised,” she said during her on-court interview after beating Siniakova. “I didn’t go into it as favorite. I’m so proud of myself and I hope I will continue to play like this. As I was going into the second set I thought, ‘I have nothing to lose, I didn’t play good in the first set.’ I’m not really sure when [I thought I could win], I just believed myself in the third set.” 

Samson is the latest Czech player to break through following a sucessful junior career. Last year she won the Wimbledon girls’ doubles title and was runner-up in the French Open singles tournament in June. She is currently No.3 in the ITF junior rankings but has been ranked as high as No.1. 

Earlier this year, Samson decided to change her name on the Tour by dropping the last three letters (ova). The reason why she did so was to avoid getting confused with another player. 

“I first noticed it last year, there was a problem that I was getting strings (the) of Lyudmila Samsonova,” she told

“I also talked about it with her and, for example, according to the schedule, she also sometimes thought she was playing, but it was me,” 

“I would have liked the ending -ová, but unfortunately it turned out like this.”

The teenager will next take on world No.248 Oksana Selekhmeteva with the winner of that match progressing to their first WTA semi-final.  21-year-old Selekhmeteva is a former top 10 junior player who came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw. She is a two-time junior Grand Slam champion in doubles. 

There are five seeds remaining in the tournament, including top seed Linda Nosková who will play Germany’s Ella Seidel in her next match. 

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Alex De Minaur Overcomes Injury To Fulfil Olympic Dream



ASlex de Minaur - Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

Alex de Minaur says it is a ‘dream come true’ for him to represent Australia in the Olympic Games after missing the event three years ago.

The world No.6 had been in a race against time to be fit for the Olympic tennis event after suffering an agonising injury setback at Wimbledon earlier this month. At the All England Club de Minaur reached the quarter-final stage for the first time and was set to take on Novak Djokovic. However, he was forced to withdraw from the match after tearing the fibre cartilage in his hip region after suffering a ‘freak’ injury. At the time of the announcement, it was estimated that he would be sidelined from the Tour for three to six weeks. 

However, the 25-year-old appears to have recovered fairly quickly in time for Paris with the tennis tournament starting on Saturday. It will be de Minaur’s debut in the Olympics after he was forced to pull out of the Tokyo Games due to a positive COVID-19 test. 

“To finally be able to represent Australia in the Olympics is a dream come true,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday morning.

“I’m very passionate when I play for my country and wear the green and gold, so this is another one of those moments. 

“I’m extremely excited to lace up for Paris 2024.”

De Minaur is bidding to become the first male player from his country to win an Olympic medal in the singles event. He has already won two ATP titles this year in Alcapulco and s-Hertogenbosch. Since the start of January, he has won five out of 11 meetings against top 10 players. 

“It’s really great news – we’re actually expecting Alex to arrive in the village ahead of the official draw (on Thursday) and we know he’s been working with his rehab team quite extensively since the conclusion of Wimbledon,” Australian chef de mission Anna Meares told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

“He’s hungry to be here, he wants to be a part of this team and we will offer as much support as we can in that process.

“He’s coming – we will wait to see that process. He still has time … injury can be a really stressful thing for an athlete and the more you rush it, the more problems you can potentially cause.

“We’re leaving it in the hands of Alex and his rehabilitation team … it will be a decision purely by them.” 

De Minaur is one of five Australian men playing in the Paris Olympics. The others are Alexei Popyrin, Matthew Ebden, John Peers and Rinky Hijikata. 

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream



Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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