Tag: hubert hurkacz

ATP Tour wrap: Thiem exits first round of Roland Garros

THE opening day of Roland Garros proceedings saw plenty of significant results, although none more so than the ousting of fourth seed Austrian Dominic Thiem. Thiem looked well on his way to booking a second round entry with a two sets to love lead, before dropping the remaining sets to be taken down in five sets. The Austrian was the only Grand Slam winner in his favourable half of the draw, ultimately making him a shoe-in for making the latter rounds, however Thiem’s poor recent form continues to plague him as Pablo Andujar took full advantage to claim a huge opening round win.

“It is very special to win here in Roland-Garros, in Court Philippe-Chatrier. Such an emotional win for me, being two sets to love down against an amazing player,” Andujar said.

“In every step I took since I came back after my injury, I really tried to enjoy everything, I really tried to give everything.

“I remember 2015 was a great year for me (third round at Roland Garros).” Maybe I have less legs and I play better tennis. “But I think that’s the most important part of it, it’s the one I’m enjoying the most.”

Andujar claimed the 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory in just under four and a half minutes, hitting 46 winners for 47 unforced errors throughout the marathon encounter. While Thiem hit 20 more winners, he also piled on 14 more unforced errors. Thiem was frustrated by his performance, stating that despite practicing well for the past few months, that form is not showing on court.

“All the shots are missing power. They are not accurate enough. I’m not moving well enough, so everything in my game has some per cents missing,” Thiem said post-match.

“I don’t really know why, because since I stepped back on court it’s already been two months, and I was really practising well, super intense as well.”

While Thiem was the highest seed to fall on the opening day, he was by no means the only one, with 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov forced to retire midway through his clash with American Marcos Giron, while 19th seed Pole Hubert Hurkacz and 25th seed Brit Daniel Evans also fell, with the former downed in five by qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp and the latter succumbing to Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

It was a successful day for the remaining seven seeds, as top 15 talents Stefanos TsitsipasAlexander ZverevRoberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta all reigned supreme, joined by the likes of Cristian GarinKaren Khachanov and Fabio Fognini in the second round.

A fourth Spaniard in Alejandro Davidovich Fokina made his way to the second round, as did a smattering of qualifiers in Henri LaaksonenMackenzie McDonald and Roman Safiullin, and wildcard Frenchman Enzo Couacaud. The remaining winners of the day included former top five talent Kei Nishikori and Argentinian Guido Pella, while both Laslo Djere and Marton Fucsovics took care of Frenchman to head into the second round.

ROLAND GARROS ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

Pablo Andujar (ESP) defeated [4] Dominic Thiem (AUT) 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4
[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 6-3 6-1
[6] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [Q] Oscar Otte (GER) 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-0
[11] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated [Q] Mario Vilella Martinez (ESP) 6-4 6-4 6-2
[12] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-3 6-4 6-3
Marcos Giron (USA) defeated [16] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 2-6 4-6 7-5 3-0 RET
[Q] Botic Van de Zandschulp (NED) defeated [19] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-7 6-7 6-2 6-2 6-4
[22] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 3-6 6-4 7-6 6-2
[23] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-1 6-2 6-3
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) defeated [25] Daniel Evans (GBR) 1-6 6-3 6-3 6-4
[27] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated [WC] Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-4 6-1 6-4
[WC] Enzo Couacaud (FRA) defeated Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 7-6 6-4 6-3
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-4 6-4 6-3
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Corentin Moutet (FRA) 6-3 6-7 7-6 7-5
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-4 6-1 7-6
[Q] Henri Laaksonen (SUI) defeated Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-2
[Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated [Q] Alessandro Giannessi (ITA) 6-4 6-7 6-3 4-6 6-4
Guido Pella (ARG) defeated [Q] Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 6-3 7-6 7-5
[Q] Roman Safiullin (RUS) defeated [Q] Carlos Taberner (ESP) 7-6 1-6 6-0 6-2

Picture credit: Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Italians compete well on Rome Day 2

IT was a successful day of action for home nation hopefuls on Day 2 of proceedings at the ATP 1000 Internazionali BNL d’Italia Masters Open in Rome, as four Italian talents – including three wildcards – reigned supreme and one claimed victory over the only seed of the day.

It was 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti who claimed a big scalp over top 20 Polish talent Hubert Hurkacz, taking out the first set with ease before the 15th seed was forced to retire early in the second.

“It’s always incredible playing here in Rome,” Musetti said. “It’s a fantastic site here in Foro Italico. Even without a crowd, tonight was really fun.”

Musetti hit 13 winners to two unforced errors in a clean first set before Hurkacz was forced to stop play. He is joined by fellow teen Jannik Sinner and other compatriots Gianluca Mager and Stefano Travaglia in the second round, while Fabio Fognini fell to a resurgent Kei Nishikori in straight sets. Mager scalped top-ranked Australian Alex De Minaur while both Sinner and Travaglia earned bragging rights over Frenchmen Ugo Humbert and Benoit Paire, as the remaining French talent on the day in Adrian Mannarino was outclassed by an unlikely victor in qualifying Bolivian Hugo Dellien who picked up his first ATP Tour level win for the year in the process.

A couple of lucky losers in Yoshihito Nishioka and Aljan Bedene could not maintain their luck when they were both disposed of in speedy encounters, falling to Hungarian Marton Fucsovics and German Jan-Lennard Struff in 56 minutes and 66 minutes, respectively. Taylor Fritz and Aslan Karastev executed excellent straight sets victories and will need to bring that form into their next respective encounters, setting up huge challenges in the second round with matchups set against Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. Sinner is dealt with the tough draw of clay champion, Rafael Nadal next up.

“I was really frustrated to give away the early break,” Fritz said following his victory over Brit, Daniel Evans. “He played two pretty good points, then I missed two forehands. I thought I was hitting the ball really well right from the beginning. I just told myself not to get too upset about it, as I was playing well. Dan has been playing well lately, beating Novak in Monte-Carlo, so it’s great to get a strong win. I am going to try my best [against Djokovic].”

“We (Djokovic) played twice on clay in 2018, in Monte-Carlo and Madrid,” Fritz explained. “I got beaten pretty bad those two times. I feel better prepared to play him now, after the match in Australia.”

In other games, Argentinian qualifier Federico Delbonis, Croatian Marin Cilic and Chilean Cristian Garin all claimed wins on their opening day.

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA ROUND OF 64 RESULTS: 

[WC] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated [15] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-4 2-0 RET
Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 4-6 6-2 6-3
[Q] Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Karen Khachanov (RUS) 3-6 6-4 6-0
[Q] Hugo Dellien (BOL) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 2-6 7-5 6-2
Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated Daniel Evans (GBR) 6-3 6-2
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated [LL] Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-0 6-2
Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Lloyd Harris (RSA) 7-5 6-2
Aslan Karatsev (RUS) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 7-6 6-4
[WC] Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated Alex De Minaur (AUS) 6-4 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-3 6-4
Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-2 6-4
Jan Lennard-Struff (GER) defeated [LL] Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-3 6-1
[WC] Stefano Travaglia (ITA) defeated Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-4 6-3

Picture credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

ATP Tour wrap: Beltings galore as top seeds return at Monte Carlo Masters

TOP seeds and clay court specialists made their way through to the third round of the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters event, with a massively one-sided day of results. As the 14 remaining matches in the second round were completed, just one of those – Frenchman’s Lucas Pouille‘s victory over Australian Alexei Popyrin – went went to three sets. Pouille won 7-5 2-6 6-3 in by far the closest match of the day, in an overall event that was highly one-sided.

The only other straight sets match that at least looked like the eventual loser might take a set, was 14th seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov‘s hard fought win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, 7-6 6-4. The remaining head-to-heads did not get beyond 10 games in a set, with the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal returning to wipe the court with Argentinian qualifier Federico Delbonis, whilst top seed Novak Djokovic reminded everyone what he was capable of, dismissing Italian young gun Jannik Sinner in straight sets 6-4 6-2, on his return from injury since claiming his ninth Australian Open title.

“It was solid match,” Nadal said post-match. “Of course, a very positive result. He’s a good player on clay… Nothing unbelievable, but nothing wrong. “Just a solid match, a positive start. “I think I did what I had to do today.”

Other top six seeds that advanced were fifth seed Alexander Zverev and sixth seed Andrey Rublev, who knocked out a couple more Italians in Lorenzo Sonego and Salvatore Caruso. It was a forgettable round for the European nation, as Belgian David Goffin defeated Italian qualifier Marco Cecchinato 6-4 6-0, with the quartet joining Matteo Berrettini – who lost to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina the day before – as omissions from the tournament. There was one more upset in the top eight seeds though, with clay court specialist Casper Ruud getting up over seventh seed Diego Schwartzman. The Norwegian won 6-3 6-3 to advance through to the third round.

The only other seed to fall on the day was 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz, who despite good form of late, went down to Brit Daniel Evans rather comfortably, 6-4 6-1. The sole Italian to win on the day and through to the Round of 16 was Fabio Fognini, with the 15th seed winning 6-3 6-3 against Australian Jordan Thompson. The Aussie was one of three Australians to fall in the second round, leaving none alive in the tournament, as John Millman suffered a 6-1 6-4 defeat at the hands of clay courter and 16th seed Cristian Garin, whilst qualifier Popyrin lost in that three-set match to Pouille.

In other results, Spanish seeded duo Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta joined Nadal in the next round with straight sets wins over American Tommy Paul and Russian Karen Khachanov, whilst Serbian Filip Krajinovic cruised through with a dominant 6-0 6-3 triumph over Argentinian lucky loser Juan Ignacio Londero. To recap yesterday’s Round of 32 results, Davidovich Fokina and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas both won to round out the final 16 players in the Monte Carlo Masters third round.

MONTE CARLO MASTERS ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated Jannik Sinner (ITA) 6-4 6-2
[3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) defeated [Q] Federico Delbonis (ARG) 6-1 6-2
[5] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-3 6-3
[6] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [Q] Salvatore Caruso (ITA) 6-3 6-2
Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [7] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 6-3 6-3
[9] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 6-3 6-4
[11] David Goffin (BEL) defeated [Q] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-4 6-0
[12] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-2 6-3
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated [13] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-4 6-1
[14] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 6-4
[15] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3 6-3
[16] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated John Millman (AUS) 6-1 6-4
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) defeated [LL] Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 6-0 6-3
[WC] Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated [Q] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 75- 2-6 6-3

ATP Tour wrap: Popyrin’s stunning turnaround confirms second round spot

AUSTRALIAN young gun Alexei Popyrin has produced a stunning comeback after dropping the first set to love, to book a second round spot in the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters 1000 event. Popyrin fell 6-0 down against Spaniard Pablo Andujar, then somehow managed to pick himself off the canvas to post a 0-6 6-2 7-6 victory in one hour and 58 minutes.

Popyrin served seven aces for five double faults, a far better ratio than his opponent, though Andujar was much more efficient with his serve, producing a 65 per cent efficiency to the Australian’s 47 per cent. Popyrin also won 71 per cent of his first serve points compared to Andujar’s 66 per cent. Neither player was particularly dominant on their second serve, with Popyrin taking 56 per cent of the points off Andujar, while the Spaniard won 48 per cent of Popyrin’s second serve. In the end just four points separated the players as Popyrin won 91 to 87 in the match.

The Australian – who had to come through qualifying – moved to a 12-4 record this season, and won his 14th tiebreaker from 17 chances, a remarkable amount of tiebreakers in just 15 matches – greater than one per match. His maiden title in Singapore has seen him get on the board on the ATP Tour, but he also has four Top 50 victories to his name, and will now take on French wildcard Lucas Pouille in the second round. Popyrin has an open draw into the the quarter finals if he is good enough, following Alejandro Davidovich Fokina‘s upset of Matteo Berrettini.

Davidovich Fokina defeated the eighth seed Italian 7-5 6-3 in their clash, to book a spot in the third round and await the winner of Popyrin and Pouille. The pair met at the Australian Open third round last year, with the Frenchman winning an absolute classic in five sets, 7-6 6-3 6-7 4-6 6-3 after the Australian came from two sets down to force a fifth set, including holding his nerve in the third set to win the tiebreaker 12-10.

Davidovich Fokina was pleased with his upset of Berrettini to advance and have a rest before his next match, and noted he was aware that the Italian rising talent was returning from injury.

“I’m very happy with this win. I’m very excited to defeat a Top 10 player,” Davidovich Fokina said post-match. “Last year I faced a couple of Top 10 players and I came close, but I couldn’t close them out. “But here I am improving every day, I’m playing better and better. “I also knew that Matteo was coming back from an injury and he wouldn’t have a lot of rhythm. I was able to take advantage of that today.”

The other Round of 32 match saw fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas advance with a straight sets win over the dangerous Aslan Karatsev, 6-3 6-4. The Greek star will now await the winner of 16th seed clay court specialist Cristian Garin and Australian John Millman. In other results, the seeds all advanced with Spanish duo Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta, Pole Hubert Hurkacz, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Italian Fabio Fognini all joining Garin – who knocked off Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime – in the second round.

Norwegian Casper Ruud set up a tantalising clash with fellow clay courter Diego Schwartzman, as Argentinian qualifier Federico Delbonis advanced past Adrian Mannarino to have the tough job of matching Rafael Nadal on the clay. Italian teenager Jannik Sinner got past Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-4 and now faces top seed Novak Djokovic in the Serbian’s first match since his Australian Open triumph. It was not a great day for the Serbians overall, with Miomir Kecmanovic, Dusan Lajovic and Laslo Djere all knocked out in the first round, and Filip Krajinovic advancing thanks to a retirement from Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili. Other winners were Great Britain’s Daniel Evans, France’s Jeremy Chardy, Russia’s Karen Khachanov and a trio of Italians in Lorenzo Sonego, and qualifiers Marco Cecchinato and Salvatore Caruso.

MONTE CARLO MASTERS ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[4] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-3 6-4
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated [8] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 7-5 6-3

MONTE CARLO MASTERS ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[9] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-2 7-5
[12] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated [Q] Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 7-5 7-6
[13] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated [Q] Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 6-3 3-6 6-3
[14] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-3 6-4
[15] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-2 7-5
[16] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 7-6 6-1
Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 6-3 6-4
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-3 6-7 6-2
[WC] Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 6-3 6-4
Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-4 6-1
[Q] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) defeated [Q] Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-4 6-3
[Q] Salvatore Caruso (ITA) defeated [WC] Lucas Catarina (POL) 6-7 7-6 6-3
Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [WC] Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (DEN) 6-2 6-1
Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-3 6-4
[Q] Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-5 6-1
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-4 0-6 7-5
[Q] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) defeated Pablo Andujar (ESP) 0-6 6-2 7-6
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-1 2-0

ATP Miami Open 1000: Hurcakz takes out maiden Masters title

EXPERIENCE was the difference in a huge clash between mates and occasional doubles partners as Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner went head-to-head in the Miami Open 1000 final, with the Polish 26th seed winning in their maiden matchup to clinch his first Masters 1000 title.

Hurkacz took just one hour and 43 minutes to dispose of Sinner in a closely fought 7-6 6-4 encounter, reigning supreme credit to his efficiency on serve, winning 69 per cent of his first serve points off an excellent 71 per cent clip compared to Sinner’s 55 per cent off a 60 per cent clip. Hurkacz also boasted a far cleaner return, which saw Sinner pile on 39 unforced errors throughout.

“Last year I spent here almost half a year,” Hurkacz said on-court post-match. “I was practising in the hottest weather during the spring and summer here, so I think that helped me a lot playing now in Florida, especially in these pretty tough conditions here, because it was a little bit slow here.

“The wind was blowing from side to side sometimes, so it’s huge.”

This victory marks Hurkacz’s biggest ATP Tour title of his career thus far and second for 2021, adding to his Winston-Salem ATP 250 title in 2019. He also enters the ATP Top 20 for the first time, rising to 16th in the world from 37th prior to the event.

Sinner was complimentary of his opponent and “best friend on Tour”.

“Hubi, many congratulations for this week and a half,” he said. “I think you showed what talent you have. I’m more proud what kind of person you are. I have to say [you are] maybe my best friend on Tour. Maybe we should play more doubles together.”

“I played [some] of the best tennis I’ve ever played,” Hurkacz said in his post-match press conference. “I was solid throughout the whole tournament, and I was able to get through each round, [and] was even more pumped for the next round. I think that’s something special for me.”

Intriguingly, this victory marked the first time a Polish player had won an ATP Masters 1000 title, with Hurkacz’s rise and milestone victory following compatriot Iga Swiatek‘s Roland Garros breakthrough in 2021.

“I had a big belief in myself from the beginning of the season,” Hurkacz said. “Winning the tournament like this gives you extra motivation and self-confidence that, okay, you’re able to do it. Like, you came through some really hard moments here, and you just try to do it.”

MIAMI OPEN 1000 FINAL RESULT:

[26] Hubert Hukacz (POL) defeated [21] Jannik Sinner (ITA) 7-6 6-4

ATP Miami Open 1000: Sinner and Hurkacz to put friendship aside for Miami Open title fight

DOUBLES partners and rising stars on the ATP Tour, Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz will put their friendship aside when they do battle on the Grandstand Court to determine the 2021 ATP 1000 Miami Open winner later today. Hurkacz and Sinner both toppled Top 10 opponents in respective upsets, and will now face off in the decider, with one player to record the biggest win of their career.

The 26th seeded Hurkacz knocked off the red-hot Andrey Rublev in straight sets 6-3 6-4 in a remarkable effort to book his pot in the final. The Pole served up eight aces to two, and won 75 per cent of his first serve points off a 60 per cent efficiency. He also broke three times to one, saving four of five break point opportunities created by the Russian. Rublev could not get his second serve success rate going, winning just 38 per cent of his points, while Hurkacz won 48 per cent.

“It means a lot, especially after winning a title at the beginning of the year, I had a couple of rough matches,” Hurkacz said post-match. “So I’m so happy that I came over and I was still trying to improve my game and trying to be a better player. “This is really huge for me.”

The match lasted one hour and 28 minutes, and after winning the Delray Beach Open earlier this year, Hurkacz is on a nine-game winning streak in Florida, ad eyeing off a third ATP Tour trophy. The Pole underdog said they Sinner was a good friend, but looked forward to taking him on in the final.

“We played doubles together last week in Dubai,” Hurkacz said. “Now we’re playing in the final of a Masters 1000 event, so it’s going to be a fun match.”

On the other hand, Sinner triumphed in a come-from-behind victory over seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut, winning 5-7 6-4 6-4 to secured his spot in the Miami Open final. The Italian 19-year-old served up five aces to two, and broke four times to three in the tight contest, only winning seven more points than his opponent. He marginally shaded him across all the service and returning statistics to be able to keep his run going in style, hitting 37 winners to 12.

“It feels unbelievable,” Sinner said post-match. “It’s always tough to play against Roberto. Two weeks ago we played in Dubai, we had a tough one there. Now, a tough one here. I’m very happy about reaching the final here in Miami.”

Sinner joins an illustrious class of Miami Open teenage finalists in Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic being the only other teenagers to reach the tournament’s final.
“Joining [those names] feels great obviously but, as I always say, I’m 19,” Sinner said. “The road to have this big name is long. It’s not done in one week of tournament. [It] is a long process to [get] there.”
ATP MIAMI OPEN 1000 RESULTS:
[26] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated [4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) 6-3 6-4
[21] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated [7] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 5-7 6-4 6-4
Picture credit: Getty Images

Miami Open 1000: Barty books semis spot as Hurkacz upsets Tsitsipas

WORLD number one Ash Barty is through to the 2021 Miami Open final after defeating fifth seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets. The Australian talent took one hour and 27 minutes to shake off the Ukrainian and advance through to the decider, continuing her run of good form this year after reaching a quarter final at the Australian Open.

Barty served up seven aces to two, and while she only served at a 46.2 per cent efficiency, she did win two thirds of her first serve points, and 54.3 per cent of her second serve points. By contrast, Svitolina had a much higher efficiency at 61.9 per cent, but only won 48.7 and 41.7 per cent of her first and second serve respectively. While Svitolina did break twice from seven chances, while Barty brought up 14 break point chances and converted five of them.

“Every time you’re on the court you’re able to improve, try to get a little bit better and grow every single day,” Barty said post-match. “And I think that’s come with every single match. Every single match I feel like I’ve done something a little bit better and that’s all you can ask. Just try to get that little bit better, that one percent that half-percent just trying to do things right each day.”

At the time of publishing, 11th seed Bianca Andreescu was set to take on 23rd seed Maria Sakkari in the other semi-final.

WTA MIAMI OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated [5] Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6-3 6-3
[11] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) [23] Maria Sakkari (GRE)

 

Hubert Hurkacz reached a semi-final on the back of a huge upset win over second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, coming from behind to win 2-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 20 minutes. The Polish star fell behind early, but then turned it around with 15 aces to seven, and one and three double faults. The serving efficiency was fairly even, with the Greek second seed topping the first serve points won, 70 to 65 per cent, whilst Hurkacz won 53 to 43 per cent in the second serve.

“It is so big [to be in my first Masters 1000 semi-final], especially in front of the crowd here in Miami,” Hurkacz said post-match. “It is a super big win for me and I can’t wait for the next match.

“I was trying to keep fighting and that’s what I did. “[I am] super pumped and happy that I was able to turn this match around.”

At the time of publishing, fourth seed Russian Andrey Rublev was on court against unseeded American Sebastian Korda in the other quarter final.

ATP MIAMI OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[26] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated [2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 2-6 6-3 6-4
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) vs. Sebastian Korda (USA)

 

Picture credit: Getty Images

ATP Miami Open 1000: Korda continues run with Schwartzman upset

SEBASTIAN Korda will have the hopes of a nation on his shoulders after being the sole United States representative through to the 2021 Miami Open ATP 1000 quarter finals from a brutal day of Round of 16 action. Korda had a fantastic win over fifth seed Diego Schwartzman, 6-3 4-6 7-5 in two hours and 35 minutes to book his spot in the final eight.

He served eight aces to one, and capitalised with 73 per cent of his first serve points to Schwartzman’s 57 per cent, and served at a higher clip (62 to 56 per cent). The American broke four times from 11 chances, whilst his opponent won three games off Korda’s serve from eight opportunities.

Korda was the sole American left standing in the final eight, following losses to three of his compatriots. Top ranked United States competitor, John Isner lost out to seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets, going down 6-3 4-6 7-6. He joined Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz on the sidelines after Round of 16 losses. Top seed Daniil Medvedev won through against Tiafoe in straight sets 6-4 6-3, while Alexander Bublik triumphed in a come-from-behind victory over 22nd seed Fritz, 6-7 6-3 6-4.

“It was definitely a tough match,” Medvedev said of reaching his maiden Miami Open quarter final. “[There were] a lot of great points, some of them he won, some of them I won… The serve helped me a lot today, especially in the second set.”

It was a great day for up-and-coming ATP Tour players, with Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz both winning their respective matches. Italian teenager Sinner won through to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter final following a 6-3 6-2 win over Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, while Hurkacz toppled 12th seed Milos Raonic in a come-from-behind upset win 4-6 6-3 7-6.

Sinner will now take on Bublik in a tantalising semi-final, which the Kazakh 32nd seed said he was ready for despite the Italian’s obvious talent.

“[Sinner] is so young,” Bublik said. “He is an unbelievable athlete and he runs forever… He is an unbelievable player and sharing a quarter-final with him is a pleasure for me. I hope to have a great match.”

In the two matches yet to be completed, two top four seeds were out on court, with second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas taking on Italian Lorenzo Sonego, while fourth seed Andrey Rublev was engaged in a battle with unseeded Croatian Marin Cilic.

MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-4 6-3
[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) [24] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) Marin Cilic (CRO)
Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated [5] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 6-3 4-6 7-5
[7] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated [18] John Isner (USA) 6-3 4-6 7-6
[26] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated [12] Milos Raonic (CAN) 4-6 6-3 7-6
[21] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-3 6-2
[32] Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated [22] Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-7 6-3 6-4

 

Picture credit: Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports

ATP Miami Open 1000: Korda dominates on home soil as Hurkacz upsets Shapovalov

IN a day that largely went the way of the higher ranked player in each Miami Open ATP 1000 contest, the fourth round of the tournament was decided following eight singles matches played out overnight. Unlike the day before where all bar two matches were three-setters, this day was a little different with many of the matches racing through quickly and all bar one being over in straight sets results.

The biggest upset was arguably American Sebastian Korda who took out the red-hot Aslan Karatsev, with the Russian now-17th seed no match for the home nation hero. Korda won 6-3 6-0 in a one-sided affair to advance to the last 16 to be one of only two unseeded players in that half of the draw. The other is Croatian Marin Cilic, with the veteran toppling Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets, 6-3 6-4.

“[It was] my third match in a row on the same court and I just got used to the conditions,” Cilic said post-match. “I felt quite good on the ball today and I returned well. I felt that I put a lot of returns back in comparison to the first two matches. It was a very good performance and definitely something motivating for the next matches.”

Polish up-and-comer Hubert Hurkacz defied his 26th seeding with a tight straight sets win over sixth seed Canadian Denis Shapovalov. Hurkacz won 6-3 7-6 to hold off the fellow youngster, winning 8-6 in a nail-biting second set tiebreaker. It was better news for Shapovalov’s compatriot Milos Raonic, who toppled 20th seed Ugo Humbert 6-4 7-5 to advance to the Round of 16. Humbert was one of two Frenchman to depart on the day, with 25th seed Adrian Mannarino bowing out to fifth seed Argentinian Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-4.

On the Grandstand court, fourth seed Andrey Rublev defeated 29th seed Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-2 6-1 to continue his ripping form, defeating his opponent for the third time in the past month. Last time they played, Fucsovics famously said he would be glad if he “never had to play him again”, and unfortunately for the Hungarian, the tournament draw was not kind to him.

“I was laughing, because of [the] situation and plus Marton also told me, ‘I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to see you,'” Rublev said post-match. “[It was] just a situation that [was] fun, and I feel sorry.”

In the latest match, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori engaged in the best battle of the day, as the Greek won the first set, before the former Top 5 Japanese talent took out the second set. It took a full three sets for Tsitsipas to finally shake off Nishikori, breaking him twice in the deciding set to cruise to a win in just under two hours, 6-3 3-6 6-1.

MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated [28] Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-3 3-6 6-1
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [29] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-2 6-1
[5] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated [25] Adrian Mannarino (GFRA) 6-1 6-4
[26] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated [6] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-3 7-6
[12] Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated [20] Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-4 7-5
Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated [17] Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-3 6-0
[24] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 7-6 6-3
Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) 6-3 6-4

 

Picture credit: ATP Tour

ATP Miami Open 1000: Tsitsipas and Nishikori set for third round blockbuster

WORLD number five Stefanos Tsitsipas and former world number four Kei Nishikori have collected important wins at the Miami Open this morning to set up a blockbuster third round clash between the pair for Tuesday. Tsitsipas breezed past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-4 and became just the third ATP player to claim 15 victories in the 2021 season so far. Meanwhile, Nishikori had it much tougher against Aljaz Bedene, winning 7-6 5-7 6-4 in two hours and 50 minutes. The Japanese star won 73 per cent of points on first serve and won 67 per cent of points on Bedene’s second serve. Bedene has had a tough fortnight against Nishikori, as he was also defeated by the 2014 US Open finalist at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last week.

Tsitsipas was happy with his performance, particularly given that he had lost three of his four previous clashes against Dzumhur. “It was a great match, especially against a guy that I probably don’t have a good record playing against in the past,” Tsitsipas said post-match. “I started the match very strong, breaking him twice and taking a big lead in the score, and I think the things worked out by themselves after that.”

Tsitsipas will attempt to defeat Nishikori for the first time in the third round, as Nishikori was victorious in their one previous matchup (in 2018) 6-3 6-3. With this in mind, Tsitsipas knows that he has his work cut out for him. “[Kei is] a player that has played very well in the past, and even now he can raise his level really high,” Tsitsipas said. “I’ll try and be ready for the battle… It’s important for me to have matches against strong opponents like him. I am very pumped for the match and I’m going to try and put my best performance out there. I’m going to try and take it game by game… It’s a strong third round, I won’t hide it. It’s important for me to be ready for that match and be physically prepared.”

In other results, Australians Alex de Minaur, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson bowed out in their respective matches, and tenth seed Fabio Fognini was shocked by American Sebastian Korda 1-6 6-4 6-2. Former US Open champion Marin Cilic was a big winner, as he saved 11 break points in his 3-6 7-5 7-6 defeat of 13th seed Cristian Garin. Consistent performers Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman and Milos Raonic all cruised through their matches in straight sets.

ATP MIAMI OPEN 1000 ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-1 6-4
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Tennys Sandgren (USA) 6-1 6-2
[5] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 6-3 6-3
[6] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 6-7 6-4 6-4
Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated [10] Fabio Fognini (ITA) 1-6 6-4 6-2
[12] Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-2 6-1
Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [13] Cristian Garin (CHI) 3-6 7-5 7-6
Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) defeated [15] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 4-6 6-3 6-4
[17] Aslan Karatsev (RUS) defeated Mikhail Kukushkin (KAS) 6-4 6-3
[20] Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated Joao Sousa (POR) 6-1 6-4
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated [23] Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-3 6-3
[24] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated [Q] Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 6-4 7-6
[25] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-3 6-4
[26] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated Denis Kudla (USA) 7-6 6-4
[28] Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 7-6 5-7 6-4
[29] Marton Fucsovics defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 7-6 6-7 6-4

Picture credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour