Holger Rune battles past Tomas Martin Etcheverry to reach the semifinals in Basel - UBITENNIS
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Holger Rune battles past Tomas Martin Etcheverry to reach the semifinals in Basel

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Holger Rune battled past Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-1 3-6 7-6 (8-6) after 2 hours and 41 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Swiss Open in Basel. 

Rune held serve from 15-40 down to win his first service game. The Danish player earned two breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the first set 6-1 after 35 minutes. 

Rune saved three break points from 0-40 down to hold serve at deuce in the second game. Etcheverry rallied from 0-40 down to break serve on his seventh break point at deuce in the fourth game for 3-1. The Argentine player held his final three service games easily to seal the second set 6-3 on his first set point after 44 minutes. Etcheverry ended the second set with 10 winners and did not make any unforced errors. 

Rune saved a break point in the first game of the third set. The 2022 Paris Bercy Masters 1000 champion did not convert three break points in the fourth game of the third set. The world number 8 player saved the ninth break point he faced in the match to hold serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead. Etcheverry held serve at 15 to send the match to the tie-break. 

Rune earned a mini-break to open up a 4-1 lead. Etcheverry pulled the mini-break back to draw level to 4-4. Rune earned two match match points at 6-4 with a backhand passing shot, but he squandered them to allow Etcheverry draw level to 6-6. Rune hit the netcord with a heavy forehand and sealed the win on his third match point after Etcheverry made a double fault. 

“It was super difficult and Tomas has played great all tournament and had a super season. It was a fun match to play. I was super lucky at the end. I have never had as much luck in my life. Of course I am happy to win but I feel for him as I know how it feels myself when these kind of things happen. I am happy with my level. It was a tough match physically, so I am proud of myself”, said Rune. 

Rune set up a semifinal against Felix Auger Aliassime 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 7-6 (7-1) after 2 hours and 36 minutes. Rune leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime. 

Schevchenko earned an early break in the first game of the opening set and held on his serve at 15 to open up a 2-0. Auger Aliassime saved a break back in the third game before breaking back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Auger Aliassime earned two mini-breaks to clinch the tie-break 7-2. 

Schevchenko broke serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Auger Aliassime saved two break points in the eighth game to hold serve at deuce clawing his way back to 3-5. Schevchenko served out the second set 6-3 on his third set point. 

Schevchenko earned a break point in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Auger Aliassime broke back in the fourth game to 2-2. Schevchenko earned a second break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. 

Auger Aliassime fended off a match point on Schevchenko’s serve in the 10th game of the third set and broke straight back to draw level to 5-5. Auger Aliassime earned three mini-breaks to race out to a 6-0 lead and sealed the win on his second match point. 

Hubert Hurkacz came back from one set down to beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4. The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Griekspoor came back from 2-4 down to win the tie-break 8-6. Hurkacz converted three break points in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Griekspoor saved four set points on return to claw his way back to 4-5. Hurkacks served out the second set with a hold serve to 15. 

Hurkacz saved the only two break points he faced at 1-2 in the third set. The Polish player broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead before closing out the match with a love hold after 2 hours and 19 minutes. The Polish player fired 23 aces. 

Hurkacz set up a semifinal against Hugo Humbert, who beat Dominik Stricker 6-4 2-6 6-2. 

Hurkacz earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Stricker broke straight back in the third game and held serve at love to draw level to 2-2. Humbert broke serve on his second set point in the 10thgame to close out the first set 6-4. 

Stricker earned his first break in the opening game of the second set to take a 1-0 lead. Humbert broke straight back to love in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Stricker won four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-1 lead and served it out on his second set point. 

Humbert broke serve in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the third set. The Frenchman held on his next three service game before closing out the third set 6-2 with a break on his second match point. 

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Jasmine Paolini reaches the first WTA 1000 final of her career

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Italy’s Jasmine Paolini saved six set points in the second set to beat Sorana Cristea 6-2 7-6 (8-6) in 1 hour and 57 minutes in a match between two unseeded players at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Paolini reached the first WTA 1000 Final of her career. 

Paolini earned her first break after four deuces in the fourth game and held her serve at 30 to open up a 4-1 lead. The Italian player closed out the first set 6-2 on her second set point in the eighth game.  

Paolini converted her second break point in the fourth game of the second set to build up a 6-2 3-1 lead. Cristea broke straight back in the fifth game, but Paolini hit two forehand winners to regain the break lead for 4-2 in the sixth game. Cristea, who saved six match points to come back from 6-2 5-1 against Marketa Vondrousova in the quarter finals, saved a match point with a backhand winner down the line. 

Paolini had to fend off five set point, as Cristea served out the second set at 6-5. Cristea converted her fifth break point with a forehand winner on the return. 

Paolini saved a sixth set point with a forehand winner in the tie-break. The Italian player sealed the win on her second match point, as Cristea sent her backhand wide. 

Paolini has improved her lead to 3-0 in her head-to-head matches, to secure her spot in the fifth WTA Tour final of her career. She will play her first title match since Monastir last October. Paolini played in the Billie Jean King Cup final and reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career at the Australian Open. She received a nomination in the WTA Awards for the Most Improved Player. With this result she has moved up to world number 16 in the World Rankings. 

She has become the fifth Italian player to reach a WTA 1000 level final following Francesca Schiavone, Sara Errani, Flavia Pennetta and Camila Giorgi. 

“I gave you a little bit of drama at the end. I had a chance on 4-2 40-15, but she starting to play better, to hit winners. The last two matches I play against her, more or less was the same score. I won the first set, the second set was a little bit complicated, then I won again the third set. I was like, please, if I am going to lose this set, start again in the third set, and to move and to play deep again, to push again, but I was just trying to stay in the present. It was tough. She is playing really well when she is little bit down in the score. She is trying to hit more winners, to play faster. I just said to myself to move the legs and try to keep hitting hard the ball, because if she is not going to move me and if she is going to hit the winner first”, said Paolini. 

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Iga Swiatek beats Zheng Qinwen to extend her winning streak in the Middle East

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Iga Swiatek beat Zheng Qinwen 6-3 6-2 in 83 minutes to reach the semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Swiatek has extended her winning streak in the Middle East to seven consecutive wins. 

Swiatek beat Zheng for the sixth consecutive time in their all-time head-to-head clashes and for the second time this year. The Polish player has won four of her matches against Zheng on hard court. 

Swiatek saved all three break points she faced in the match and broke Zheng’s serve three times. The world number 1 hit 17 winners to 10 unforced errors. Zheng hit 19 winners to 18 unforced errors, but landed just 48% of her first serves. 

Swiakek broke serve in the second game and saved a break-back point the third game to race out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set. The Pole held on her next service games and served out on her first set point in the ninth game. 

Swiatek saved a break point in the fourth game of the second set before winning the final four games with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

“Zheng has great power, great topspin. You have to be ready for that. She wants to really be proactive, so you have to keep up with the intensity. I have been doing that during our matches”, said Swiatek. 

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Next Gen Jakub Mensik upsets Andrey Rublev to reach his first ATP Tour semifinal in Doha

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Next Gen Czech player Jakub Mensik upset world number 5 Andrey Rublev 6-4 7-6 (8-6) to reach his first his ATP Tour semifinal at the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open. Mesnik becomes the youngest player to beat a top-5 player since Carlos Alcaraz defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2021 US Open. 

Mensik was playing in his first ATP Tour quarter final after beating world number 1 and two-time Wimbledon and Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray in the second round in the longest match in tournament history. 

Rublev was not able to convert any of his six break points. 

Mensik converted his second break point in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead in the first set and served out the win with a hold at 15. 

Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rublev went up a mini-break twice in the tie-break, but Mensik pulled back on serve both times to draw level to 5-5. Mensik earned his third mini-break at 7-6, when Rublev netted a mid-court forehand. Mensik closed out the match on the next point to set up a semifinal match against Gael Monfils. 

“It’s just been an incredible week. From the beginning I played very well and I knew I could play with the big players. It’s an amazing feeling to reach the semifinals after beating those goo players, but the job is not done yet. Hopefully I can play like this in the semifinals tomorrow an dgo on to make the final”, said Mensik. 

Several Next Gen players performed very well this week on the ATP Tour. Alex Michelsen beat Alex De Minaur to reach the quarter final in Los Cabos. Seventeen-year-old Brazilian Joao Fonseca upset Arthur Fils to become the first player born in 2006 to win an ATP Tour match. 

Gael Monfils beat Ugo Humbert 6-2 6-4 in an all-French clash to become the oldest semifinalist in tournament history. Monfils won the title in his previous appearance at the Doha tournament. The match started with four breaks in the first five games, as Monfils opened up a 4-1 lead. Monfils sealed the first set on his second set point in in the eighth game. Monfils started the second set with a break in the first game of the second game. Humbert broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Monfils broke for the second time in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Alexei Popyrin beat Alexander Bublik 6-4 6-4 to reach the third tour-level in his career and his first in the 2024 season. Popyrin is aiming to win the second title of his career after winning in Umag last July. 

Popyrin broke serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The Australian player held on his next service games and served out the first set on his third set point. Popyrin converted his fifth break point in the first game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead. The Australian player went up a double break in the seventh game to take a 5-2 lead. Bublik pulled one break back in the eighth game. 

Karen Khachanov was leading 3-0 in the first set as Emil Ruusuvuori was forced to withdraw from the match due to a lower back injury. 

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