Billy Harris falls to Musetti, Jordan Thompson reaches Semis at Queens - UBITENNIS
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Billy Harris falls to Musetti, Jordan Thompson reaches Semis at Queens

Billy Harris went out to Lorenzo Musetti in the Queen’s Club quarter-finals.

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Lorenzo Musetti ended Billy Harri’s dream run with a straightforward 6-3, 7-5 victory on a sold-out Centre court at Queens today.

It was the first meeting between Harris and Musetti, largely because the Brit just has not featured enough on the main tour events. To demonstrate the gulf in experience on the ATP Tour between the two players, consider the career prize earnings of under $300,000 for Harris compared to almost £6m for Musetti. However, this week’s run at Queens has transformed Harris’s confidence and is surely a springboard for greater success even at the ripe old age of 29.

“I’m a little bit emotional right now, because it has been a tough year for me,” said Musetti, who fell to the floor after match point. “A lot of things changed, a lot of downs, not many ups. These two weeks have been amazing reaching the semis, I’m really proud of myself and my team and what we are achieving right now. We struggled a little bit, but in the life of sport, you have to suffer and try again and that’s what makes this win particularly special for me.”

Harris, who had a phenomenal serving performance dropping just seven points on his serve in the previous round taking out Giovanni Mpteshi Perricard in straight sets, was far below the numbers required to get past the talented Italian. Today he only won 63% of first serves and a desperate 27% of second serve points, as his 22-year-old opponent got far more balls back in court and tested him in all baseline exchanges.

Musetti, who also reached the semis of Stuttgart last week, broke early in the first to go 3-0 up and held throughout, and broke serve at five games all in the second. After a long rally and net exchange where his final forehand volley lingered in the air before dropping inside the court, Harris knew his time was up, looking dejected as he trudged back to his chair during the changeover.

“I started really well breaking him in his first game but at the end he was serving a really good percentage of serves and I found it hard. I always stayed focussed,” explained Musetti. “I saved breakpoints and I had a few where I missed my chance but at the end I didn’t shake. I probably served the best game of my tournament at the end so I’m really happy to be in the semis. Every round has been difficult against every opponent. The most important thing now is to rest and recover, try to get some sleep after a big win, it’s never easy as you have so much adrenaline. Hopefully tonight I will sleep a little cooler!”

In the day’s opening match, 30-year-old Jordan Thompson – who also beat Holger Rune earlier this week – put in an impressive display to beat an under-par fourth seed Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-3 to reach an ATP 500 semi-final for the first time.

The pair had met once before with Fritz winning in straight sets on outdoor hard courts in Washington last year, but today he didn’t look his usual smooth self as his Australian opponent took full advantage of loose errors at critical moments.

“[My game was] very solid today,” said Thompson on court afterwards. “It’s probably one of the toughest tournaments in the world, so to come through to the semis is really pleasing – especially as I’ve had a rough run lately, so I’m glad to turn it around on the grass.”

The 30-year-old Thompson, who had benefited from a retirement after just five games from Andy Murray in the previous round, struggled in his opening service game with three double faults in a game taking nearly eight minutes. But thereafter he settled well and began to regularly wrongfoot the 6’ 5” American.  

World number twelve Fritz was constantly looking towards his box for guidance as he missed regulation groundstrokes. He hit twelve unforced errors and managed no breakpoints and threw in a horrible game at the wrong time in the first set.

At four games all, he hit three inexplicable errors and conceded the break when he slipped while chasing a wide forehand.  In the next game, world number 43 Thompson got himself out of trouble at 15-30 with a beautiful down the line backhand, and then when 40-30 up on set point, after he was pushed back off a strong Fritz return who then approached the net, Thompson still won the point with a forehand pass that clipped the top of the net and landed on the line.

Thompson hadn’t won a match since April until this week, but has now beaten two seeds on his way to the last four, and had no doubt that he is still improving at his age. “I’m getting old now, it’s my first semi of an ATP 500, but it just goes to show that if you stick at it long enough you can keep improving no matter how old you are and I feel like I’m getting better.”

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Matteo Berrettini battles past Alejandro Tabilo to reach the quarter final in Kitzbuehl

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Matteo Berrettini beat second seed Alejandro Tabilo 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) to reach the quarter final at the Generali Open in Kitzbuehl. 

Berrettini has extended his winning streak to seven consecutive matches following his second title of the year in Gstaad against Quentin Halys. The Italian player won 79% of his first service points.  

Berrettini went up 2-2 0-30 but Tabilo hit two aces to hold  serve. Tabilo led 30-15 at 3-4, but Berrettini hit three aces to hold serve. Berrettini earned his first mini-break to take a 5-4 lead after a double fault from Tabilo and won the final two points to close out the tie-break 7-4. 

Tabilo saved four break points in the second game from 0-40 down to hold serve at deuce. Berrettini went up a break in the eight game to take a 5-2 lead. The Italian player was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the second set, as Tabilo broke back in the 10th game. Both players went on serve en route to tie-break. Berrettini earned two mini-breaks to take a 5-2 lead. Tabilo pulled one mini-break back, but Berrettini sealed the win on his third match point.

“Having the chance to just play, feeling good and healthy, fighting for matches is just what I wanted for so many matches. So I am enjoying it and I am looking forward for my next match”, said Berrettini.

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Jannik Sinner Withdraws From Olympics Due To Tonsillitis

Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Olympics due to tonsillitis.

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World number one Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Olympics due to tonsillitis.

The Italian was well placed to win a medal in Paris but has now had to withdraw from the games due to illness.

It was supposed to be his first Olympics as he was set to be the top seed in both singles and doubles.

However Sinner seems to still be struggling from his health problems that he had at Wimbledon in his quarter-final match against Daniil Medvedev.

In a statement on Twitter Sinner said he was strongly advised to miss the Olympics and will now watch from home.

Sinner will now be replaced in the singles draw by Andrea Vavassori while Luciano Darderi will now team up with Lorenzo Musetti in doubles.

Now Sinner aims to be healthy in time for his title defence in Canada which starts on the 5th of August.

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Coco Gauff ‘Proud’ Of Being Named Olympic Flagbearer alongside Lebron James

Coco Gauff will be the US flagbearer alongside Lebron James at the opening ceremony in Paris.

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Coco Gauff has explained her pride about being named Olympic flagbearer alongside NBA legend Lebron James.

The American found out when Christopher Eubanks revealed the news to Gauff and the rest of the US tennis team in a video that was posted on Instagram.

It was news that came as a shock to Gauff who is set to make her first appearance at the Olympics.

The incredible news got better as she will be flagbearer alongside idol and NBA legend Lebron James.

Speaking about the news Gauff spoke about the pride she feels and how the Olympics is one of her goals for the season, “I still feel like this is all a dream.” Gauff said to Vogue.

“There is no greater honor than being chosen by my fellow athletes to be this year’s flag bearer, especially alongside one of my idols, Lebron. I would say the biggest things on there are to win another Slam, and a medal at the Olympics.”

Gauff is in a good position to win a medal at the Olympics and will be full of confidence heading into the event having reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros, where the Olympic tennis event is being played.

Now the American gets to complete her Olympic experience by having a moment of a lifetime alongside one of America’s all-time great athletes, “I never thought in a million years I would have the honour of carrying the American flag for Team USA in the Opening Ceremony,” Gauff stated.

“I could not be more proud to lead my teammates with LeBron as we showcase our dedication and passion on the biggest stage there is — at a moment where we can bring athletes and fans together from around the world.”

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday evening while the tennis event gets underway on Saturday.

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