Italy seals its spot in the Davis Cup Final 8 with a win over Sweden - UBITENNIS
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Italy seals its spot in the Davis Cup Final 8 with a win over Sweden

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Matteo Arnaldi and Lorenzo Sonego won their singles matches to guide Italy to the Davis Cup Final 8 with an unassailable 2-0 lead in Group A in front of 6000 enthusastic fans at the Unipol Arena in Bologna. Italy needed just one win from its three ties against Sweden. Italy finished second behind Canada in Group A. 

Arnaldi, who reached the fourth round at this year’s US Open, beat Leo Borg 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 22 minutes. Borg earned the first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Arnaldi converted his second break back point in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Arnaldi broke for the second time in the 10th game to close out the first set 6-4. 

Arnaldi converted his fourth break point in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-3. 

Arnaldi, who didn’t know he was going to play in the Davis Cup two weeks ago, won two crucial singles matches against Chile’s Christian Garin  on Sunday and Borg on Sunday to secure Italy’s spot in next November’s Final 8 in Malaga. Italy had suffered a surprising 3-0 defeat Canada last Wednesday, when Lorenzo Sonego and Lorenzo Musetti lost to lower ranked players. 

“It’s amazing. I was not expecting anything. I wasn’t on the team at first. Then bringing the team there, it’s something crazy to think. I would not have thought about this about a week or two weeks ago”, said Arnaldi. 

Sonego beat Elias Ymer 6-4 6-4 to give Italy a 2-0 lead. Sonego earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Ymer broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Sonego converted his second break point in the fifth game and held on his next service games to close out the first set 6-4. 

Ymer went up a break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Sonego broke straight back in the fifth game and held serve to draw level to 3-3. The Italian player broke for the second time in the seventh game to take a 4-3 and held on his next service games to close out the second set 6-4. 

“The atmosphere was amazing. It was unbelievable. It’s nice to play here in front of the home crowd. I am really happy to reach the Malaga Finals for me, for my team and for the support today”, said Sonego. 

Filip Bergevi and André Goranson beat Simone Bolelli and Lorenzo Musetti 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 10-7 in the super tie-break in the doubles match. 

Spain beats South Korea

Spain beat South Korea with wins by Bernabe Zapata Miralles over Hong Seongchan (6-4 7-5) and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina over Sonwoo Kwon (6-4 6-4), but the former Davis Cup champion were unable to qualify after losing their first  two ties against group winners Czech Republic and second placed Serbia. 

Italy has reached the Davis Cup quarter finals five time times since 2016. 

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard claims his first ATP title in Lyon

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard battled past sixth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4 1-6 7-6 (9-7) in a thrilling final at the Open Parc tournament in Lyon. 

Mpetchi Perricard saved four break points in the first game of the opening set to hold serve at deuce. Etcheverry converted his third break point in the fifth game and held serve at love to take a 4-2 lead. Mpetchi Perricard won four consecutive games to clinch the first set 6-4. 

Etcheverry broke three times to win the second set 6-1. 

The third set went on serve until the 11th game when Mpetchi Perricard converted his third break point to take a 6-5 lead. Etcheverry broke straight back to draw level to 6-6. Mpetchi Perricard was a point away from defeat at 6-7 in the tie-break of the third set, but he reeled off the final three points to win the tie-break 9-7 on his second championship point. 

Mpetchi Perricard won three Challenger Tour titles this year in Nottingham, Cuernavaca and Acapulco. He beat Lorenzo Sonego, Yoshihito Nishioka, Hugo Gaston and Alexander Bublik en route to his first ATP Tour title in Lyon.

Mpetchi Perricard is the son of footballer player Ghislain Mpetchi, who is of Congolese origin. He sister Daphnée Perricard is also a tennis player. 

“It was crazy. It was a very good final. I was down in the second set, but I managed to do better. I am very happy to win this tournament and now I have a lot of confidence for Roland Garros”, said Mpetchi Perricard.

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Casper Ruud claims the third title of his career in Geneva

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Casper Ruud claimed the third title of his career at the Gonet Geneva Open after his previous triumphs at this tournament in 2021 and 2022. 

Ruud did double duty after rain postponed his semifinal match to Saturday. Ruud saved a match point to beat Flavio Cobolli 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinal. He returned less than three hours to defeat Tomas Machac 7-5 6-3 in the final. Ruud clinched the ATP Tour title of his career. 

Machac went up a break in the third game of the first set to take a 3-1 lead. Ruud won three consecutive games from 4-5 down with two breaks in the first set after Machac committed a double fault while he was holding a set point on serve at 5-4. 

Ruud broke serve in the second game of the second set. The Norwegian player held on his next service games and served out the win on his first match point in 1 hour and 47 minutes. 

Ruud improved to 2-0 in his two head-to-head matches against Machac. “It was a challenging week. All the matches are tough, no matter who will play. It was tough to find a groove. The weather has been a bit challenging all week, but today was fantastic. I feel very happy to win again to win again here in Geneva. It’s been a very good season so far”, said Ruud. 

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Casper Ruud saves a match point to beat Flavio Cobolli in the semifinal in Geneva

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Second seed Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat Flavio Cobolli 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 51 minutes in the semifinal of the Gonet Geneva Open. Ruud set up a final against Tomas Machac, who upset Novak Djokovic 6-4 0-6 6-1 in yesterday’s semifinal.

Cobolli earned his first break in the second game with a forehand winner. The world number 56 broke for the second time to love in the sixth game to close out the first set 6-1. 

Ruud earned two breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Cobolli saved two break points in the first game of the third set before converting his third break point to open up a 3-0 lead. Ruud broke back in the seventh game and held serve to 30 to draw level to 4-4. 

Ruud, who won two titles in Geneva in 2021 and 2022, saved a match point on serve at 4-5 30-40 in the third set. The Norwegian player went up a 4-0 lead with three mini-breaks in the tie-break before going on to seal the win. 

Cobolli hit eight aces and won 67% of his first serve points. The Italian player hit 38 winners to 21 unforced errors. Ruud hit 12 winners to 6 unforced errors. 

“It was very difficult. I was one point away from losing. I was able to hang in there and it was a very tough match. I am happy to have been able to come back in the third set and pull through. It was a good confidence win for me and I am looking forward to the final”, said Ruud. 

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