Holger Rune reaches the quarter final in Basel - UBITENNIS
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Holger Rune reaches the quarter final in Basel

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Holger Rune beat Sebastian Baez 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 to reach the quarter finals at the Swiss Open in Basel. 

Rune has boosted his chances to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, especially after nint placed Taylor Fritz and 11th placed Casper Ruud lost their matches against Alexander Schevchenko and Dominic Stricker respectively. 

Rune saved the only break point he faced in the second game of the opening set to hold serve. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rune earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Rune earned his first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The Danish player broke for the second time in the sixth game and served out the win on his first match point. 

Rune has improved his record in Basel to 6-1 after reaching the final last year. 

Rune was watched by his new coach Boris Becker from the stands.

“It was difficult in the first set. I think he was serving well. I was struggling a little bit to find the rhythm on the return, but I stayed there. I kept my focus on my own serve and managed to raise my level in the tie-break. From there, I played some better tennis”, said Rune. 

Defending champion Felix Auger Aliassime broke serve four times in his 6-4 6-2 win over Botic Van de Zandschulp. The Canadian player earned his first break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Van de Zandschulp converted his third break-back point to close the gap to 4-5. Auger Aliassime sealed the first set with his second break in the 10th game. 

Auger Aliassime went up a break in the second game after two deuces to open up a 3-0 lead. He sealed the win with a double break on his third match point. 

Auger Aliassime has advanced to the quarter final without losing more than four games in a set. 

Swiss Next Gen Dominic Stricker upset last year’s Nitto ATP Finals Casper Ruud 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-1) to reach the quarter final for the first time. 

Stricker hit 13 aces and 31 forehand winners and converted just one of the 12 break points. The Swiss player will be aiming will be aiming to reach his first ATP Tour level semifinal outside the Next Gen Finals when he takes on Hugo Humbert. 

Stricker earned his first break in the fifth game of the second set to win the first set 6-4. Ruud saved four break points after seven deuces to take a 3-2 lead. The Norwegian player broke serve in the eighth game to close out the second set 6-3. Stricker saved three break points in the first game of the third set to hold serve. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Alexander Schevchenko saved two match points to beat Taylor Fritz 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5). Schevchenko fended off all 15 break points he faced. Neither player earned a single break point in the whole match. Schevchenko saved eight break points in the second set and seven more chances in the third set. Fritz came back from 1-6 down to win the tie-break of the first set 9-7. In the second tie-break both players traded mini-breaks twice. Schevchenko closed out the tie-break on his third set point. Schevchenko fended off two match points in the 12th game to draw level to 6-6 forcing the match to the tie-break. The Russian player sealed the win with his only mini-break on his first 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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