Novak Djokovic beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to secure Serbia a spot in the Davis Cup - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to secure Serbia a spot in the Davis Cup

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Novak Djokovic beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 6-4 to clinch the tie for Serbia and secure Serbia its spot in the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga. Djokovic was playing his first match since winning his 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open. 

Djokovic went down 1-4 in the second set but he won five consecutive games to seal a straight-set win. The Serbian star dropped his serve on the only break point he faced in the match, but he bounced back by converting on three of his five break points. 

Both players held their serve in the first seven games. Djokovic held serve at 15 with a service game in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Davidovich Fokina missed seven game points in the eighth game and was broken by Djokovic, who sealed the first set 6-3 with his backhand down the line winner in the ninth game after 51 minutes.

Davidovich Fokina served well at the start of the second set and earned the only break point in the fourth game. The Spaniard earned a break with a backhand down the line winner to open up a 3-1 lead and held on his serve to extend his lead to 4-1. Djokovic broke back in the seventh game to close the gap to 3-4 and held serve at 15 to draw level to 4-4. 

Djokovic broke at love in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead earning his chance to serve for the match. He held serve at 15 after a forehand error from Davidovich Fokina. 

Djokovic ended the match with 10 aces and won 80% of his first serve points. 

Djokovic enjoyed a successful hard-court season this summer winning Cincinnati and the US Open. 

“I am on cloud nine, as you can say, with everything that has happening lately on the tennis court. Obviously playing for Serbia, is something completely different. It’s a huge responsibility and pressure, but also an incredible privilege and honour. I am really glad that I was able to contribute with a crucial point to qualify for Malaga with this win. Davidovich Fokina was playing aggressive, taking the ball early and not giving me much time. It was really tough, but when it mattered, I think I came up with the goods and played some good tennis”, said Djokovic. 

Laslo Djere beat Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-4 6-4 in the opening match. 

Nikola Cakic and Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 (13-11) to complete the 3-0 sweep for Serbia. 

Serbia will take on Czech Republic, who are qualified for the Final 8, to determine the team that finishes on Group B. 

Great Britain beats Switzerland 2-1

Great Britain beat Switzerland 2-1 with wins from Andy Murray and the doubles team formed by Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski. 

Murray came back from one set down to beat Leandro Riedl 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-4 after 3 hours and 10 minutes. Murray broke Riedl in the second game of the first set, but he did not convert two set points on return at 5-3. Riedl broke back to take the match to the tie-break. 

Riedl fended off two more set points and sealed the tie-break 9-7 with a forehand. 

Murray converted his second break point in the seventh game of the second set after a double fault from Riedl. The Swiss player broke straight back in the next game. Murray broke again at love and held serve on a second set point. 

Murray earned an early break in the first game of the third set. Riedl broke straight back with a cross-court. Both players held their next service games, before Murray converted his third break point to take a 3-2 lead. The next five games went on serve. Murray closed out the match with a hold at 30. 

Murray paid tribute to his late grandmother in an emotional on court interview. He was unable to attend her funeral. 

“It was incredible to get through that one. It could have easily gone the other way, and his returning is ridiculous. The shots he was pulling off were amazing and it made very tough for me. I kept fighting and tried to stay focused. I managed to turn it around”, said Murray.  

Stan Wawrinka beat Cameron Norrie 7-5 6-4 in the second singles match to draw the tie level  to 1-1. 

Dan Evans and Neal Skupski beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker 6-3 6-3 in the doubles match to seal the tie-break. Great Britain can reach the quarter final if they beat France on Sunday. 

Italy beats Chile 3-0 

Italy edged Chile with two comeback three-set wins at the Unipol Arena in Bologna. Matteo Arnaldi rallied from one set down to beat Cristian Garin 2-6 6-4 6-3 in his first singles match in the Davis Cup.  

Garin broke twice in the fifth and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. The second set went on serve until the 10th game when Arnaldi earned the break to force the match to the decider. Arnaldi converted his sixth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Garin saved three match points on his serve on his serve, but Arnaldi sealed the win on his fourth opportunity with an ace. 

“It’s never easy for your country. For the first time, so I was bit nervous. I think halfway in the second set I started to play a bit better. I started to put more pressure on him now and then. I think in the third set I played one of the best tennis of the season”, said Arnaldi. 

Lorenzo Sonego saved four match points to beat Nicolas Jarry 3-6 7-5 6-4. 

Sonego dropped his serve in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player fended off three break points in the third game. 

Sonego saved another break point in the fifth game, but Jarry converted his second break point in the ninth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

Sonego earned an early break in the first game of the second set. Jarry broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. 

Sonego fended off four match points in the 10th game to hold serve for 5-5 before breaking serve in the 11th game. He closed out the second set forcing the match to the decider. 

Sonego converted his first break point in the third game of the decider to take a 2-1 lead. Sonego did not take advantage of two match points on Jarry’s serve, but he he closed out the match after 2 hours and 43 minutes by holding his serve at love. 

“Crazy emotions. My heart was set on fighting and I am really happy to make a win for my team . I am delighted to have brought the point home. I really gave my soul. It’s always a thrill to play in the Davis Cup. I was good to pull this match up because the opponent was really strong. We stuck together. We ar all friends. We know that we can beat anyone. This team spirit gives us so much strength”, said Sonego. 

Sonego and Lorenzo Musetti completed the sweep with a 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-2) win over Alejandro Tabilo and Tomas Barrios in the doubles match. 

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Danil Medvedev saves a set point to beat Nuno Borges in Halle

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Danil Medvedev started his grass campaign with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win over Portugal’s Nuno Borges in 1 hour and 31 minutes at the Terra Wortmann Open Open in Halle. Medvedev is still chasing his first title this season. 

Borges converted his third break point in the second game of the first set. Medvedev broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Borges earned a set point at 6-5 in the first set, when Medvedev hit a double fault long. Medvedev hit a first serve out wide to save the set point. 

Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Medvedev raced out to a 4-0 lead with two mini-breaks. Borges pulled one of the two mini-breaks back for 2-5. Medvedev earned his third mini-break to take a 6-2 lead. Borges saved two set points for 4-6, but Medvedev sealed the tie-break 7-4 on his third chance. The second set went on serve until the 10thgame, when Medvedev broke serve on his second match point. 

Medvedev won five more points than Borges, but he saved five of the six break points he faced. 

Medvedev has a win-loss record of 22-1 against players outside of the top 20. 

Medvedev set up a second round match against Chinese number 1 Zhang Zhizhen, who battled past Sebastian Ofner 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (3-7) 6-4. Medvedev will play his first head-to-head match against Zhang Zhizhen. 

Lorenzo Sonego won 85 % of his first serve points in his 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) win over Miomir Kecmanovic. 

Sonego saved the only break point of the first set in the 11th game. Both players went on serve until the tie-break. Sonego raced out to a 4-1 lead. Kecmanovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 4-4. Sonego earned a first set point at 6-5, but Kecmanovic saved it. Sonego sealed the first set 7-5 on his second set point. 

Sonego earned a break point in the first game of the second set, but Kecmanovic saved it. The Serbian player fended off another break point in the ninth game. Sonego went down 2-5 in the tie-break, but he won five consecutive points to win the second set. 

Sonego will face the winner of the German clash between this year’s Roland Garros finalist Alexander Zverev and world number 471 Oscar Otte. 

Hubert Hurkacz beat Flavio Cobolli 7-5 7-6 (7-5). The first set went on serve until the sixth game, when Hurkacz earned the first break to take a 4-2 lead. Cobolli broke straight back in the seventh game and draw level at 15 to draw level to 4-4. Cobolli saved a set point in the 10th game, but Hurkacz sealed the first set with a break in the 10th game. The second set went on serve until the 12th game when Cobolli saved two match points. Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2.  

Hurkacz will face either Brazilian wild-card Joao Fonseca or James Duckworth. 

Dominik Koepfer was leading 6-4 4-3 against Felix Auger Aliassime, when the Canadian player withdrew from the match due to a left hip injury. Fabian Mazoszan overcame last year’s Wimbledon quarter finalist Roman Safiulin 7-5 4-6 6-1. Maroszan could face world number 1 Jannik Sinner, if the Italian player beats Tallon Grieksppr. 

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Alex De Minaur beats Sebastian Korda in s’Hertogenbosch to win his second title of the season

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Alex De Minaur beat Sebastian Korda 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 31 minutes to win the ninth title of his career at the Libema Open in s’Hertogenbosch. De Minaur claimed his second title of the season after winning in Acapulco last week. 

De Minaur, who was competing as a top seed for the first time this week, did not drop a set en route to the title at the Dutch grass tournament. He converted five of his 14 break points and saved four of the six chances he faced. 

De Minaur reeled off four consecutive games from 2-2 with back-back breaks in the opening set. The Australian player won eight of nine points breaking at love for 4-2 and consolidated with a hold at 15 for 5-2. De Minaur earned his second straight break to clinch the first set 6-2. 

De Minaur converted his fourth break point in the second game of the second set to build up a 6-2 2-0 lead. Korda broke straight back in the third game and held his serve at 15 in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. De Minaur converted his third break point in the sixth game to open up a 4-2 lead. The 2023 Davis Cup finalist saved four break points in the seventh game to hold serve for 5-2. 

Korda saved a match point in the eighth game as he was serving to stay in the match, but he made his fourth double fault to face a second match point. The US player hit a forehand pass to save his championhip point. 

Korda broke back for the second game in the ninth game at 15 in the ninth game for 4-5 with a forehand down the line, as De Minaur was serving for his second title of the season. On the changeover Korda took a medical time-out to treat a blister. After a five-minute delay Korda hit a between the legs mid-court forehand. 

De Minaur earned a third championship point with a forehand in the 10thgame, but Korda threw down a smash to save it. Korda hit a backhand long to face a championship match. 

Korda faced a fourth championship point after a backhand long. De Minaur broke serve in the 10th game on his fourth championship point to seal his second title of the season after 1 hour and 34 minutes, as Korda steered a forehand down the line wide. 

The Australian player, who beat Casper Ruud at the Mexican Open in Acapulco last February, has won multiple ATP titles in a single season for the third year following his triumphs in Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai in 2019, and in Antalya and Eastbourne in 2021. He has joined Australiana legends Patrick Rafter (1998) and 2000) and and Lleyton Hewitt (2001) as the third player from his country to win the title in s’Hertogenbosch. De Minaur has won his first grass title since Eastbourne in 2021.

“Obviously it was a great match. The conditions were tricky, and Sebastian is a hell of player. I am looking forward to playing doubles with him next week at Queen’s. I am super happy with the week. It’s been great. Happy days. I think it achieves a new career-high for me. That’s always a great title bonus for me. The first week on grass could not have gone better. I am looking forward to next week at Queen’s ”, said De Minaur. 

De Minaur, who had reached a career high of eighth with his semifinal win over Ugo Humbert in the semifinal, will rise two spots to world number 7 in the ATP Ranking next week after winning this title. 

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Sebastian Korda reaches his second semifinal of the season in s’Hertogenbosh

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Sebastian Korda beat Tommy Paul 6-4 6-2 in 67 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season at Libema Open in s’Hertogenbosh. 

Korda hit 18 winners and won 84% of his first serve points. Korda earned his first break in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead. Paul broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Korda broke for the second time in the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. Korda broke twice in the third and seventh game to close out the second set 6-2. 

Korda has improved his head-to-head record against Paul to 4-1. 

Korda reached the semifinal on grass at Queen’s in 2023. The US player is is aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since 2021, when he won in Parma on clay. 

Korda set up a semifinal clash against defending champion Tallon Griekspoor, who ccame back from one set down to beat Alexandar Vukic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Griekspoor has won his past eight matches at this tournament. 

Vukic broke in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. Griekspoor earned his first break in the sixth game of the second set to win the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve with no breaks en route to the tie-break. Griekspoor earned two mini-breaks to open up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break. Vukic pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Griekspoor held on his serve and sealed the tie-break on his first match point.

“I am very happy to be through. It was a very tough match once again. I think Alexandar played unbelievable grass court tennis, so it was not easy and I am very happy to find my way in the third set. I am enjoying the crowd, the atmosphere and the whole tournament”, said Korda. 

Alex De Minaur beat Milos Raonic7-5 6-2 in 1 hour and 26 minutes. De Minaur has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Raonic, who was playing in just his fourth tournament of he year.

De Minaur earned his first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Raonic broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur broke for the second time in the 11th game and served out on his first set point after saving three break points in the 12th game. De Minaur broke twice in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

De Minaur is aiming to win the second title of his career on career following his win in Eastbourne in 2021.  

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