Tag: pablo cuevas

ATP Tour wrap: Rafa downs Gasquet for 17th time as Alcaraz impresses

IT was a fairly convincing day of action on Day 5 of the Roland Garros, with all men’s matches completed by the end of the fourth set although a smattering of lower seeds succumbed to hungry opponents in the Round of 64. Meanwhile, a teen talent made it through the second round with hopes to continue his great form on clay.

It was no worries for the three top 10 seeds of the day, with Novak DjokovicRafael Nadal and Roger Federer all making it through to the second round relatively unscathed, with only Federer dropping a set on his way to the Round of 32. Djokovic hit 31 winners against Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in their first encounter to reign supreme, while Nadal claimed a 35th birthday win in his 6-0 7-5 6-2 disposal of Richard Gasquet – a whopping 17th time beating the Frenchman.

“Of course it’s better to win 16 in a row than lose 16 in a row,” Nadal said. “When you go to the match and you have been winning all the last 16 times, of course the confidence is a little bit higher than when you have a tougher head-to-head.

“Being honest, I respect (and) I know how good is Richard. “I know he’s coming back after a tough period of time. “I think he played smart, playing aggressive. “I don’t know. “I just went on court with highest respect, with the highest focus possible, and that’s what I try to do every day against everyone.”

“I’m playing well, feeling great. I’m ready to go deep in this tournament,” Djokovic said. “Hopefully that’s going to be the case. “But I’ll take it match by match, and so far the two matches that I have played have been played in a high quality.

“I’m pleased with the performance today, particularly against a very good player, a specialist on clay, someone I have never faced before. [He] has got a lot of spin,” Djokovic said. “[He hits] just a very difficult ball to handle in these kind of conditions when it’s a bit warmer… These balls during the day are bouncing really high.”

“I still do believe there’s no way I’m going to go really, really super deep here or go past the Novak section,” Federer said.

“The first round I didn’t surprise myself per se, but now in the second round, I did,” Federer said. “Now can I keep it up and how will the body react? We’ll see. The mind is getting stronger, I can feel it. I have more clarity, I have more confidence growing in me.”

“I feel like I surprised myself a little bit,” Federer told Tennis Channel. “I didn’t expect myself to play that well or to have the energy left at the end like this and being able to keep on serving so consistently at the end was great.”

Meanwhile, ninth, 10th and 18th seeds Matteo BerrettiniDiego Schwartzman and teen Jannik Sinner all proceeded, while the likes of Gael Monfils (14th seed), Alex de Minaur (21st), Aslan Karatsev (24th) and Taylor Fritz (30th) all failed to proceed with all four only able to steal one set in their respective losses.

One of the biggest wins of the day, however, went to teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who downed the day’s remaining seed in Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets, 6-4 6-2 6-4, in just under two hours.

“Obviously it’s good, the numbers, but I still focus on me,” Alcaraz said. “That means that I’m going the right way. I am doing the right things, and I keep [doing] this. I’m still growing up as a player and as a person, and that’s the important thing.”

“Today the positive emotions were really, really important because Nikoloz is a really, really good tennis player,” Alcaraz said. “He has a lot of great skills. He hits the ball really, really hard, and if you don’t focus, if you are not focused, it’s hard to play against him. You have to be focused all the time.”

The 18-year-old is the youngest male competitor to advance to the third round at the Roland Garros since Nadal in 2004, aged only 17. He finished off the encounter with 27 winners to Basilashvili’s 16, including 10 aces, also hitting less unforced errors (26-33).

“If I went down in that game, it was [going to be] really, really hard,” Alcaraz said. “I was focused, and that’s a good skill for me.”

Five more competitors joined the winners list on Day 5, with Ricardis Berankis and Cameron Norrie taken to four, while Soonwoo KwonLorenzo Musetti and Jan-Lennard Struff all heading into the third round with straight sets wins in the books.

ROLAND GARROS ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3 6-2 6-4
[3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) defeated Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-0 7-5 6-2
[8] Roger Federer (SUI) defeated Marin Cilic (CRO) 6-2 2-6 7-6 6-2
[9] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Federico Coria (ARG) 6-3 6-3 6-2
[10] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated Ajlaz Bedene (SLO) 6-4 6-2 6-4
Mikael Ymer (SWE) defeated [14] Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-0 2-6 6-4 6-3
[18] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Gianluca Mager (ITA) 6-1 7-5 3-6 6-3
Marco Cecchinato (ITA) defeated [21] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-4 6-1 3-6 6-1
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) defeated [24] Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-3 7-6 4-6 6-1
[Q] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated [28] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-4 6-2 6-4
Dominik Koepfer (GER) defeated [30] Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-4
Ricardis Berankis (POR) defeated James Duckworth (AUS) 7-5 2-6 7-6 6-0
Sonwoo Kwon (KOR) defeated Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-4 7-5 7-5
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 7-5 6-3 6-2
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Lloyd Harris (RSA) 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-2
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 7-5 7-6 6-4

Picture credit: Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

ATP Tour wrap: Djokovic equals fifth-most ATP Tour Open Era wins as seeds clean up at Parma

THE Belgrade and Emilia-Romagna Opens continue, with the former entering the Round of 16 stage while the latter played the remainder of its Round of 32 matches a day behind schedule following rain delays yesterday.

In the Round of 16 in Serbia, Novak Djokovic made it through his first matchup relatively unscathed, escaping a third set against German lucky loser Mats Moraing, 62 7-6(4). The world number one hit three aces and won 71 per cent of his first serve points off a 59 per cent clip, tying with Guillermo Vilas for the fifth most match wins in the Open Era in the process.

“I was twice a break up in the second set so I maybe could have finished out the job earlier, but credit to him for fighting, for playing really well, for playing very courageous, very bold tennis,” Djokovic said.

Fourth seed Adrian Mannarino was not quite as lucky, as he fell to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-6 6-0. The 90 minute encounter saw Verdasco hit four aces and win 70 per cent of his first serve points off a 77 per cent clip. While Mannarino tested Verdasco in the first, he more or less ran out of legs in the second as the Spaniard claimed a bagel second set. Meanwhile, Federico Coria outclassed in-form Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in just under 75 minutes, winning 83 per cent of his first serve points, while qualifier Alex Molcan blew wildcard Pedja Krstin out of the water with a 6-0 6-0 result and the first double bagel result for the ATP Tour this season.

At the Parma event in Italy, all three seeds reigned supreme with fifth seed Richard Gasquet and seventh seed  Aljaz Bedene not troubled by their respective opposition in qualifier Daniel Altmaier and home hopeful Salvatore Caruso. Whilst eighth seed Yoshihito Nishioka joined his fellow top seeds in the second round, he was certainly tested by American Sam Querrey who took out the early lead, before the Japanese talent commanded the remainder of the proceedings.

Caruso’s five compatriots endured a mixed bag of results, as three more fell but two to the hands of fellow Italians. Wildcard Marco Cecchinato defeated qualifier Raul Brancaccio 6-3 7-6 as in-form Lorenzo Musetti also proceeded, following a come from behind victory over Gianluca Mager.

“I think the Lorenzo of two years ago would not have been able to win this match today for sure after the bad loss of the first set,” Musetti said. “There’s a lot of improvement, we are happy and there is a lot of work to do. We are here to try to go as far as I can and [I] try to do my best.”

“You lost one match, you understand why you lost and you try to do better next time. That’s the goal and that’s the thing that I’m focussing on,” Musetti said. “I think this is the only thing. There is no other way to solve these problems. You just have to understand what you need and try to do your best.”

The remaining Italian in the draw was veteran wildcard Andreas Seppi, who fell to American Sebastian Korda 6-3 6-4.

“I’m excited. It’s another great experience for me. He’s playing some really good tennis,” Korda said post-match. “He made the semi-finals of Rome, which is massive. [I am] looking forward to it and hope that it’s going to be a good match.”

In the remaining matches, lucky loser Norbert Gombos claimed a two hour and 53-minute victory over Finn Emil Ruusuvuori, 7-6(4) 5-7 6-3, while Spanish duo Pedro Martinez and Jaume Munar both won through to the second round, as did Czech Jiri Vesely.

BELGRADE OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated [LL] Mats Moraing (GER) 6-2 7-6
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) defeated [4] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-6 6-0
Federico Coria (ARG) defeated Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3 6-2
[Q] Alex Molcan (SLO) defeated [WC] Pedja Krstin (SRB) 6-0 6-0

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated [Q] Daniel Altmaier (GER) 6-3 6-3
[7] Aljaz Bedene (SLO) defeated Salvatore Caruso (ITA) 6-4 7-6
[8] Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) defeated Sam Querrey (USA) 3-6 6-3 7-6
[WC] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) defeated [Q] Raul Brancaccio (ITA) 6-3 7-6
[LL] Norbert Gombos (SVK) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 7-6 5-7 6-3
Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated [WC] Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-3 6-4
[Q] Pedro Martinez (ESP) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-0 6-4
Jaume Munar (ESP) defeated [Q] Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6-3 7-6
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated Gianluca Mager (ITA) 4-6 6-1 6-2
Jiri Vesely (CZE) defeated Steve Johnson (USA) 7-6 6-2

Picture credit: Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Parma pushed back as Belgrade forges on

JUST the Belgrade tournament went ahead on Day 2, with the entirety of the day’s plans in Parma set aside due to persistent rain.

Two of the day’s three seeds proceeded to the second round in Serbia, with fifth seed Dusan Lajovic and eighth seed Federico Delbonis reigning supreme. Seventh seed Miomir Kecmanovic was not quite so lucky though, falling in straight sets to Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas and leaving Lajovic the only Serbian to advance to the second round, as wildcard Hamad Madjedovic also fell at the first hurdle.

Lajovic was comprehensive in victory, downing Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-3 6-3 in 80 minutes flat, winning 56 per cent of the total points in the process. While Kecmanovic tested Cuevas at times, the Uruguayan starred on serve with an 88 per cent win rate off his first serve points. Delbonis’ encounter with Slovakian lucky loser Lukas Klein went a little different though, losing the first set before working his way back into the contest.

Klein’s qualifying compatriots worked hard for their respective wins though, as Andrej Martin overcame fellow qualifier Chris O’Connell in three, utilising the Australian’s errors to reign supreme 3-6 7-6(7) 7-5 in two hours and 42 minutes. Alex Molcan joined Martin in the second round after completing his 6-4 6-3 sweep of 17-year-old Madjedovic.

The remaining two matches saw Fernando Verdasco overcome Frenchman Lucas Pouille in two, as another lucky loser in German Mats Moraing proceeds through to the second round after defeating Egor Gerasimov 4-6 7-6 7-5, and has drawn Novak Djokovic in the second round.

BELGRADE OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Dusan Lajovic (SRB) defeated Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-3 6-3
Pablo Cuevas (URU) defeated [7] Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-3 6-2
[8] Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated [LL] Lukas Klein (SVK) 3-6 6-3 6-4
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) defeated Lucas Pouille (FRA) 7-5 6-2
[Q] Andrej Martin (SVK) defeated [Q] Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 3-6 7-6 7-5
[Q] Alex Molcan (SVK) defeated [WC] Hamad Madjedovic (SRB) 6-4 6-3
[LL] Mats Moraing (GER) defeated Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 4-6 7-6 7-5

Picture credit: Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Shapovalov to face Ruud in Geneva final

TOP three seeds Denis Shapovalov and Casper Ruud are through to the final of the 2021 Gonet Geneva Open following respective straight sets wins in their semi-finals overnight. The second seeded Shapovalov defeated Uruguayan qualifier Pablo Cuevas 6-4 7-5, while Ruud continued his great success on clay with a 6-3 6-2 triumph over Spain’s Pablo Andujar.

Shapovalov needed one hour and 42 minutes to knock off Cuevas in straight sets, serving eight aces to four, and winning 75 per cent of his first serve points off a 67 per cent clip. Both players tried to take advantage off their opponents’ second serve, with Shapovalov breaking four times from 10 chances, and Cuevas twice from five chances.

“I do enjoy faster tennis, but [clay] is not really just an adjustment, I just have to be a little bit more patient and play a little bit safer or smarter perhaps,” Shapovalov said post-match. “You have to actually almost like play chess and and construct the points.”

After finding out Ruud was his opponent for the Geneva Open final, Shapovalov said he was looking forward to the first official ATP Tour head-to-head clash, though they were familiar with each other.

“I know Casper very well,” Shapovalov said. “We played in the juniors together and we go way back. He’s improved a lot. He’s playing at a really high level the past couple of weeks, the past couple of months. So it’s going to be a fun battle tomorrow.”

Ruud was even more efficient, scoring the strong win over Andujar in just one hour and 19 minutes. Serving at a 69 per cent efficiency, Ruud won 79 and 69 per cent of his points on serve – only dropping 10 in total – whilst Andujar was 56 per cent off both though a 73 per cent clip. In the end, Ruud broke four times from nine break point opportunities, without ever having to face a break point chance himself.

“Denis has also been playing very good on the surface recently and took [Rafael] Nadal to his knees last week in Rome and had match points,” Ruud said post-match of his chances against Shapovalov. “And I was watching the match. He was playing very well and has been playing well here as well.”

Meanwhile over in Lyon, three of the four quarter finals were completed following rain delays in the previous days. Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised through with a strong win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, setting up a semi-final clash with Italian young gun Lorenzo Musetti. The teenager knocked off Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene to secure the spot in the final four. Meanwhile Karen Khachanov took care of Richard Gasquet in a tight two-setter 6-4 7-6, and will now await the winner of Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie and French lucky loser Arthur Rinderknecht who play first-up today and then double up with the semi-final at night.

GONET GENEVA OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

[2] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-4 7-5
[3] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-3 6-2

OPEN PARC AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-3 6-4
[8] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-1 7-6
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-3 7-6

Picture credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Norrie claims Thiem scalp as Shapovalov and Cuevas go two from two for the day

IT was another huge day on clay in both Switzerland and France as both the Geneva Open and Lyon Open played out the Round of 16, whilst Geneva also saw the quarter finals completed.

It took an impressive effort, but two from three of the Round of 16 victors at Geneva made their way through two matches in the one day to head into the semi finals. Denis Shapovalov continued his solid form, first outclassing qualifier Marco Cecchinato in a 6-7 7-5 6-1 matchup, before backing it up with a 6-4 6-4 win over fellow Round of 16 winner in Laslo Djere. Djere was also tested in his Round of 16 matchup and could not compare against a tough Shapovalov effort following an Italian three setter of his own against sixth seed Fabio Fognini, only able to claim the ‘W’ over one seed for the day.

“I definitely think I played amazing today,” Shapovalov said. “Obviously a very tough day playing two matches, but super happy to get the win and super excited to be in the semi-finals.”

Shapovalov will take on qualifier Pablo Cuevas in the semis, after the Uruguayan also won both of his matches on the day, first ending teen wildcard Arthur Cazaux‘s run with a 6-2 6-4 victory and then downing fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 6-3.

“We’ve only played once before on hard courts and he beat me there,” Shapovalov said about Cuevas. “He’s an amazing clay-court player, so it will definitely be a tough battle ahead of me.”

The other semi-final will comprise of third seed Norwegian Casper Ruud and Spaniard Pablo Cuevas, after both players came from behind to claim three set victories over Dominik Koepfer and Dominic Stephan Stricker, respectively.

“It was a tough match. Dominik played very well in the first set, I think. He answered me with great backhands when I tried to play heavy down to his backhand corner,” Ruud said. “I think I was able to find a way today and I was happy with the way I was playing in the second and third sets.”

At Lyon, it was a different story entirely with just the Round of 16 playing and a whopping four seeds falling at the hurdle. The biggest of the lot saw Cameron Norrie claim his maiden top five victory over Dominic Thiem, with the returning Austrian unable to compete with the firing Brit in a shaky 6-3 6-2 clash.

“I’m so pleased to win today, it’s the biggest win of my career and my highest-ranked win,” Norrie said post-match. “It’s such a beautiful day in Lyon… I couldn’t be happier to get the win today and to get another match on the clay before Roland Garros.”

Norrie won a whopping 91 per cent of points off his first serve off a 73 per cent clip, showcasing just what he is capable of in the 65 minute victory.

“I’m moving well and I’ve played a lot of matches [on clay],” Norrie said. “I’m feeling good on my feet and hitting my forehand well and serving well. I’m looking forward to the next match, it’s going to be a tricky one as both those guys are great players.”

“It was a huge disappointment just now. Just also a big, I would stay, step backwards after promising tournaments in Madrid and Rome. I don’t really know why,” Thiem said. “I was preparing well here, practising well and just didn’t find any rhythm, any strokes. Don’t really know what happened.

“It’s not good for the confidence. To be honest, the way I played today, I was expecting that more to come in Madrid because I hadn’t played for so long,” Thiem said. “But now I was back in the match rhythm and actually hoping for good tennis. I don’t know what to say or what to think. That’s why I need to analyse it and just need to work hard for Roland Garros and [I am] hoping for the best there.”

Thiem is joined on the sidelines by third, fifth and sixth seeds in Diego SchwartzmanGael Monfils and Jannik Sinner, with the former and latter downed by hometown hopefuls in Richard Gasquet and Arthur Rinderknech on home soil, while Monfils was downed by Japanese left-hander Yoshihito Nishioka. The only winning seed for the day was Stefanos Tsitsipas, with the second seed Greek overcoming American Tommy Paul with ease in 75 minutes, 6-1 6-4, becoming the first player to rack up 30 wins for the season thus far in the process.

“I [took] control of the match from early on, and after that I didn’t let go,” Tsitsipas said post-match. “I had a few opportunities in the second set to go up a double break and I missed a shot that I felt like I shouldn’t have missed. But [overall] I was playing good tennis today. I was able to move him around the court and find angles, press with my forehand. It wasn’t my best day on serve, but I found solutions when things proved difficult.”

GONET GENEVA OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[2] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-7 7-5 6-1
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated [6] Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-3 6-7 6-1
[Q] Pablo Cuevas (URU) defeated [WC] Arthur Cazaux (FRA) 6-2 6-4

GONET GENEVA OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[2] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-4 6-4
[3] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 2-6 6-1 6-4
[Q] Pablo Cuevas (URU) defeated [4] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 7-6 6-3
Pablo Andujar (ESP) defeated [WC] Dominic Stephan Stricker (SUI) 4-6 6-4 6-4

OPEN PARC AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES LYON ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated [1] Dominic Thiem (AUT) 6-3 6-2
[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 6-1 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated [3] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 6-3 7-5
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) defeated [5] Gael Monfils (FRA) 4-6 6-3 7-6
[LL] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) defeated [6] Jannik Sinner (ITA) 6-7 6-2 7-5

Picture credit: Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Rain forces delays at Geneva and Lyon

RAIN delays in Geneva and a combination of first and second round matches in Lyon painted an intriguing day at the respective ATP 250 events. There were very little surprises compared to the past round, with just one seed falling across the two competitions.

At Geneva, two matches are yet to complete with second seed Denis Shapovalov and Marco Cecchinato unable to take the court for their clash and forcing the match to be played tomorrow. Meanwhile, Laslo Djere leads Fabio Fognini in the third set and qualifier Pablo Cuevas leads wildcard Arthur Cazaux, with the remainder of the two matches to play from 12pm.

Third and fourth seeds Casper Ruud and Grigor Dimitrov both claimed straight set wins, as did home town hope and teenager Dominic Stephan Stricker. Ruud was challenged in the first by American Tennys Sandgren before reigning supreme in the second and winning a huge 82 per cent of points off a 67 per cent first serve clip. He also converted three break points to claim the 7-5 6-2 match. For Dimitrov, the victory over Ilya Ivashka looked to be a lot more clinical and one-sided before the Belarusian bit back in the second, coming from 0-5 down to eventually lose 6-4 6-4.

“Today was honestly just a good day for me, I was very pleased with the way I fought,” Dimitrov said post-match. “I’ve been quite misfortunate in my past two or three matches that I’ve played in Madrid and Rome. I felt that I fell short with a few points here and there and therefore lost the matches.

“That can be very discouraging, but I’m very thankful that I actually got the opportunity to compete here again. Getting a wild card meant a lot to me, so I really wanted to execute every chance that I have when I’m out there on the court.”

18-year-old Stricker took down Marton Fucsovics to head into his maiden tour-level quarter final, saving eight of 11 break points and cruising past two rain delays to eventually take out the 7-5 6-4 victory.

“It feels great to be here, to beat two of these guys,” Stricker said. “I’m very happy with my performance today. I played a good match. It was hard with these rain delays, but I just tried my best. I’m pretty happy with what I did today and I’m just looking forward to my match tomorrow and just trying my best.”

Stricker won 53 per cent of the overall points to claim victory. The final match saw Dominik Koepfer challenged by Feliciano Lopez throughout their two hour and 18-minute contest, with the former clinching victory 7-5 6-7(1) 6-3.

At Lyon, five matches played out with the two Round of 32 matches going the whole hog, as sixth seed Jannik Sinner claimed victory over Russian Aslan Karatsev despite giving away a 0-6 bagel to start, coming back to win 0-6 6-3 6-4, while lucky loser and hometown hopeful Arthur Rinderknech overcame a mid-match challenge from qualifying Swede Mikael Ymer to claim 6-3 6-7 6-2 victory.

In the day’s Round of 16 matches, it was fourth seed David Goffin who fell in straight sets to Aljaz Bedene, as eighth seed Karen Khachanov reigned supreme over qualifying Pole Kamil Majchrzak and Lorenzo Musetti continued his good form with a win over American and fellow youngster Sebastian Korda, overcoming a mid-match hiccup and rain delays to claim the 6-3 1-6 6-4 win.

“I lost my focus and he won the second set easily,” said Musetti. “I started the third set well with a break up, but then Sebi came back and he was playing really well. I played with my heart and my body. I am really proud of myself.”

GONET GENEVA OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[3] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Tennys Sandgren (USA) 7-5 6-2
[4] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) defeated [Q] Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 6-4 6-4
Dominik Koepfer (GER) defeated Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 7-5 6-7 6-3
[WC] Dominic Stephan Stricker (SUI) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 7-5 6-4

Laslo Djere (SRB) leading Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-3 6-7 2-0
[Q] Pablo Cuevas (ARG) leading [WC] Arthur Cazaux (FRA) 6-2 4-3
[2] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v. Marco Cecchinato (ITA)

OPEN PARC AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES LYON ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[6] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 0-6 6-3 6-4
[LL] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) defeated [Q] Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6-3 6-7 6-2

OPEN PARC AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES LYON ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Aljaz Bedene (SLO) defeated [4] David Goffin (BEL) 7-6 6-3
[8] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated [Q] Kamil Majchrzak (POL) 7-6 6-3
[ALT] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated Sebastian Korda (USA) 6-3 1-6 6-4

Picture credit: Laurent Gillieron

ATP Tour wrap: Roger ousted in opening match

JUST the one Round of 16 match played out across the two ATP 250 events on Day 2, as both the Gonet Geneva Open in Switzerland and Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon in France continue. But that one match saw Spaniard Pablo Andujar oust top seed and returnee Roger Federer, with the result the biggest win of Andujar’s career.

While Federer bounced back well after a shaky first set, it was the Spaniard who broke away from a 2-4 start to the third to eventually claim the win that made it such a triumph, eventually claiming the 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory and winning the remaining four games of the match to win in just under two hours.

“As [far as wins, this is] number one for sure,” Andujar said. “To win a tournament could be more emotional, but this is something I think I will remember my whole life.”

Whilst Federer was form from his career-best, returning to the clay for the first time this year and playing his first match since mid-March, the Spaniard had a clear game plan for negating the Swiss Master’s influence across the court.

“I was trying to keep the gap between the games small, trying to have faith that he was going to serve a little bit with second serves and at that moment I hoped I would have the chance to break him,” Andujar said. “For me it was very difficult, I couldn’t see his serve and he was serving pretty well, so it was difficult for me to return. I just got the chance at 4-3 when he didn’t serve with first serves and lucky me, I was able to break him.”

This is Federer’s first loss on home soil in Switzerland since 2013, but Andujar admitted Federer was not at his most potent, with the Swiss talent himself suggesting that he did not deserve a victory.

“Of course he’s much better than me and if he plays a [normal] match, he would beat me for sure. But I don’t think he played a really bad match,” Andujar said. “That’s my point of view. I think in some of the points, in some of the facets of the match, he played pretty well. I couldn’t return his serve, his first stroke after the serve is always very good. During the match, there were some good points.”

“Of course at 4-2 in the third you feel like, ‘Oh, that’s nice that I was able to turn around the match.’ You start feeling better and that’s when it dips and everything is over 10 minutes later,” Federer said. “But we know how tennis goes and that’s where it’s so brutal sometimes. But I feel like I didn’t deserve it at the end. There was just not enough happening in my game.”

In the rest of the day’s action, the remainder of the Round of 32 was complete with just one seed playing in sixth seed Fabio Fognini, claiming a speedy 6-2 6-2 victory over Argentinian Guido Pella. Qualifier Marco Cecchinato joins his higher ranked compatriot in the second round following a retirement mid-match from Stefano Travaglia, well on track to win in two before the 29-year-old pulled out of the matchup at 6-3 3-0.

A couple more qualifiers in Pablo Cuevas and Ilya Ivashka claimed straight set wins with the former downing a perhaps fatigued Reilly Opelka, who came in fresh off a run to the Rome Masters semi finals, and the latter cleaning up veteran Fernando Verdasco.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Swiss wildcard Dominic Stephan Stricker downed Croatian Marin Cilic, Hungarian Marton Fucsovics defeated Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen and Feliciano Lopez claimed victory over lucky loser Daniel Altmaier, with all three winning in straight sets, as Laslo Djere was tested in the only three setter in the day’s Round of 32 proceedings, eventually overcoming Brazilian Thiago Monteiro.

Meanwhile in Lyon, it was another shaky day for Frenchmen as just Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet proceeded to the Round of 16 from a pool of five. Fifth seed Monfils was tested by Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild in their 7-5 6-4 clash and Gasquet was forced to come from behind against compatriot and qualifier Gregoire Barrere, eventually claiming the 5-7 6-4 6-3 victory with his ability to save Barrere’s break point opportunities proving crucial.

Eighth seed Karen Khachanov was certainly put through his paces by wildcard Benjamin Bonzi in a tough two hour and 19 minute, 6-1 4-6 7-6(4) battle. Khachanov weathered Bonzi’s 10 aces and hit seven of his one, with his marginally better second serve efficiency proving to be the match winner.

19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti had the tough task of taking down seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, but that’s exactly what he did in a two hour and 46-minute blockbuster, 7-6 3-6 7-5. With a recent clash behind them, the Italian turned the tides on the 20-year-old Canadian this time around to record his fifth Top 20 victory.

“We played a really intense match, a real fight,” said Musetti. “I learned from the loss to Felix in Barcelona. It’s a good start and I hope to continue like that.”

While errors crept into both youngsters’ games, it was the Italian who was able to maintain composure, and despite winning the exact same total points as Auger Aliassime (104 apiece), claimed the victory.

The remaining matches saw qualifier Kamil Majchrzak defeat Joao Sousa, while Tommy Paul also reigned supreme over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

GONET GENEVA OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[6] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 6-2 6-2
[Q] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) defeated Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-3 3-0 RET
[Q] Pablo Cuevas (URU) defeated Reilly Opelka (USA) 7-6 6-2
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-7 6-3 7-5
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated [Q] Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 7-5 7-5
[Q] Ilya Ivashka (BLR) defeated Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 7-6 6-4
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) defeated [LL] Daniel Altmaier (GER) 7-6 6-4
[WC] Dominic Stephan Stricker (SUI) defeated Marin Cilic (CRO) 7-6 6-1

GONET GENEVA OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Pablo Andujar (ESP) defeated [1] Roger Federer (SUI) 6-4 4-6 6-4

OPEN PARC AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES LYON ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Gael Monfils (FRA) defeated [LL] Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA) 7-5 6-4
[ALT] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated [7] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 7-6 3-6 7-5
[8] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated [WC] Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) 6-1 4-6 7-6
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated [Q] Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 5-7 6-4 6-3
[Q] Kamil Majchrzak (POL) defeated [Q] Joao Sousa (POR) 6-3 7-6
Tommy Paul (USA) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-3 6-3

Picture credit: Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Seeds all advance in Munich and Estoril

IT was a largely predictable day in the ATP 250 events across Europe as all six seeds out on court in Munich and Estoril advanced through to the quarter finals after the Round of 16 matches got underway. The only Top 10 talent in action was top seed Alexander Zverev, with the BMW Open favourites dominating 6-2 6-4 against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis to book his spot in the final eight. The match lasted one hour and 27 minutes before the German advanced, putting up six aces and winning 73 per cent of his first serve points.

“I haven’t played much tennis the past few weeks, so I know I’ll need to improve for the next match,” Zverev said post-match. “I’ve had success in the past and I feel good here. I’ve played well in the practice and hopefully I can do better on the match court.”

Zverev will be difficult to beat at home on the clay, though second seed Casper Ruud would be in with a shot, cruising through his first match in the tournament by taking care of Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, 6-3 6-2. Ruud was tough to beat on serve, only dropping nine points – including only two on his second serve – whilst not facing a break point and breaking the Uruguayan three times.

In other results, John Millman knocked off Guido Pella following the Argentinian’s retirement early in the second set. Despite being a set up, Pella dropped the first two games of the second set and was forced to retire in the 75th minute of the match. Meanwhile, Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka knocked off fellow qualifier, United States’ Mackenzie McDonald in three sets, 6-7 6-1 6-2, cruising home to book his spot in the next round against Zverev.

Over in Portugal, it was a good day for the seeds there too, albeit with a few more complications. With the exception of eighth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina‘s whitewash of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-1 6-2, the other two seeds needed three sets to overcome their opponents. Third seed Ugo Humbert got up in a tight struggle over Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4 3-6 6-3, while sixth seed Marin Cilic dropped the first set in a tiebreaker to home nation qualifier, Nuno Borges before coming back to win, 6-7 6-4 6-4. In the other match, South African Kevin Anderson took care of Spanish lucky loser Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets, 6-3 7-6.

BMW OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [LL] Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-2 6-4
[2] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3 6-2
[8] John Millman (AUS) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 4-6 2-0
[Q] Ilya Ivashka (BLR) defeated [Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-7 6-1 6-2

ESTORIL OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[3] Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-4 3-6 6-3
[6] Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [Q] Nuno Borges (POR) 6-7 6-4 6-4
[8] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-1 6-2
Kevin Anderson (RSA) [LL] Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 6-3 7-6

Picture credit: ATP Tour

ATP Tour wrap: Martinez overcomes Bublik as McDonald downs Lajovic

PLENTY of interesting results were had on the second day at both the Estoril and Munich Open events, as the clay season continues on the ATP Tour.

At Estoril, qualifier Pedro Martinez upset fifth seed Alexander Bublik in a dominant straight sets outcome, easily accounting for the Kazakh 6-3 6-0 in just 51 minutes. Whilst Bublik piled on six aces to Martinez’s one, the Kazakh fifth seed was uncharacteristically error-ridden and failed to convert a single break point from four chances. Martinez heads into the second round with the comfortable win behind him, with an excellent 82 per cent winning rate off his first serve, off a 70 per cent clip.

Meanwhile, sixth seed Marin Cilic was challenged by upcoming Spanish talent Carlos Alcaraz, winning the first set before dropping the second as Alcaraz created a huge turnaround in momentum. But it was not enough, as Cilic returned to his first set form in the third to eventually claim the 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory.

“I’m extremely happy to be here in Portugal, in Estoril for the first time,” Cilic said post-match. “It was a very difficult match. Carlos is a great young talent… Definitely he’s got an unbelievable future ahead of him.”

Cilic hit six aces to Alcaraz’s one, and whilst he also more than doubled Alcaraz’s three double faults, he was still more effective on serve, winning 60 per cent of his first serve points off a 64 per cent clip. Cilic was only marginally better on return, and won just one more point throughout the contest in the narrow win, which stretched out to two hours and 14 minutes in length.

“I was extremely happy to win after dropping the second set. He played really well,” Cilic said. “I was a break up in the third set and he broke back. In the end it was just a couple points that made the difference in the match.”

Three Frenchmen proceeded to the second round, with only Corentin Moutet realistically challenged for his spot in the second round by American Marcos Giron, forced to overcome a second set tiebreaker to come away with the 6-4 6-7(7) 6-4 victory. Richard Gasquet claimed a 6-3 7-5 victory over Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero, whilst Pierre-Hugues Herbert downed compatriot Gilles Simon 7-5 6-3 to head into the second round. Seventh seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas disposed of compatriot Fernando Verdasco in straight sets, as Marco Cecchinato and Cameron Norrie were the remaining winners of the day.

At Munich, American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald provided the win of the day after disposing of sixth seed Dusan Lajovic 6-4 6-4, requiring just under 90 minutes to claim victory. McDonald boasted a 79 per cent winning rate off his first serve off a 66 per cent clip throughout and also saved two break points on his way to the win. The other two seeds of the day waged better battles to head into the second round, as both Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili and German Jan-Lennard Struff reigned supreme, both claiming straight sets wins.

Two more German competitors won on home soil and will join Struff in the second round, with Yannick Hanfmann and Dominik Koepfer overcoming deficits to win in three sets. Meanwhile, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas and Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan round out the remaining winners of the day, both disposing of Americans in Tennys Sandgren and Marcos Giron in straight sets.

MILLENNIUM ESTORIL OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[Q] Pedro Martinez (ESP) defeated [5] Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-3 6-0
[6] Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [Q] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6-3 1-6 6-4
[7] Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-3 6-3
Marco Cecchinato (ITA) defeated Lloyd Harris (RSA) 6-3 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 6-3 7-5
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 7-5 6-3
Corentin Moutet (FRA) defeated Marcos Giron (USA) 6-4 6-7 6-4
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated [WC] Joao Sousa (POR)

BMW OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-2 6-3
[Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) defeated [6] Dusan Lajovic (RB) 6-4 6-4
[7] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated [LL] Andrej Martin (SVK) 6-4 6-3
Pablo Cuevas (URU) defeated Tennys Sandgren (USA) 7-6 0-6 6-1
[Q] Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) defeated Sebastien Korda (USA) 6-1 7-6
[WC] Yannick Hanfmann (GER) defeated [SE] Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-2 3-6 7-6
Dominik Koepfer (GER) defeated [WC] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 4-6 6-4 6-3

Australian Open Men’s Round of 64 wrap: Kyrgios and Fritz come back from brink, as Fucsovics holds on in thrillers

THREE epic five-set matches were the talking point of the Round of 64 action at Melbourne Park yesterday, featuring two unseeded players toppling higher ranked opponents, and another winning against a compatriot, to book their place in the third round of the Grand Slam. Australian Nick Kyrgios and American Taylor Fritz both advanced through to the Round of 32, coming from two sets to one down in order to win, while Marton Fucsovics survived a mighty scare to hold on in a nail-biting tiebreak.

The longest match of the day went to Fritz and fellow American Reilly Opelka, with the match lasting a whopping four hours and seven minutes. Opelka won the first set 6-4, which followed three consecutive tiebreak sets – with Opelka being two sets to one up before Fritz levelled in the fourth – and Fritz eventually ran away with it in the fifth to post a 4-6 7-6 6-7 7-6 6-2 victory. Opelka served a casual 43 aces on his way to 91 winners, whilst his opponent had 18 and 54 respectively. However despite both serving seven double faults, Fritz only had an additional 26 unforced errors compared to the wild Opelka (79).

At night, Kyrgios also had to come from two sets to one down against the talented Ugo Humbert, posting a remarkable five-set win over the 29th seed. Kyrgios won 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4 having been a break down late in the fourth set, but forced a tiebreaker which he won 7-2. Both big servers, Kyrgios marginally shaded Humbert with 30 aces to 27, as well as an 80 per cent first serve success rate, ahead of 78 per cent for his French opponent. Humbert was superb off the return, hitting 11 return winners to five (and seven more overall), as well as four less unforced errors. In the end it was Kyrgios’ ability to stand up when it counted for him to move through to the next round.

In a different style of match, Fucsovics had to hold on against a fierce and determined Stan Wawrinka in five sets, causing the upset of the day during the 7-5 6-1 4-6 2-6 7-6 victory. He won the first two sets and looked good, until the Swiss star clicked into gear, roaring back into the match. It was fitting that a massive 20-point tiebreaker would split the two, with Wawrinka two points away from victory at one stage, leading 8-4 in that super tiebreak. He won just one of the next eight points – though did have two match points against the Hungarian, before Fucsovics could finally collapse in jubilation. Fucsovics hit 34 winners to Wawrinka’s 49, but also had many less unforced errors (46-73) in the win.

The three five-set matches were complemented by a number of unseeded players pushing their seeded opponents in matches. Frances Tiafoe took a set off tournament favourite and world number one Novak Djokovic before going down 6-4 6-7 7-6 6-3, while Corentin Moutet, Jiri Vesely and Alexander Bublik did the same against Milos Raonic, Pablo Carreno Busta and Dusan Lajovic respectively. Unseeded Spaniard Pedro Martinez needed four sets to dispose of Finn Emil Ruusuvuori – who defeated Gael Monfils in the first round – coming back from a disappointing first set to win 1-6 6-3 6-2 7-6.

Most of the other seeded wins were one-sided as Dominic Thiem and Diego Schwartzman cruised through without too many headaches. Three Australians departed in straight sets at the hands of seeds, as Denis Shapovalov knocked off Bernard Tomic, Grigor Dimitrov took out Alex Bolt, and Felix Auger-Aliassime claimed a win over James Duckworth. In other matches, 32nd seed Adrian Mannarino continued his good form with a convincing 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, whilst the most one-sided result of the entire day was Russian qualifier Aslan’s Karatsev‘s 93-minute rout of Belarusian Egor Gerasimov, dropping just one game on his way to a 6-0 6-1 6-0 win.

The Round of 32 matches that the day two results have set up include blockbusters such as third seed Thiem up against Kyrgios, Carreno Busta taking on Dimitrov and an all-Canadian battle between Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime. Completing the Round of 64 matches today, Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alex de Minaur are in action against fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas respectively, while rising stars Carlos Alcaraz and Mikael Ymer face off, and Casper Ruud takes on Tommy Paul.

ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3 6-7 7-6 6-3
[3] Dominic Thiem (AUT) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-4 6-0 6-2
[6] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [Q] Maxime Creesy (USA) 7-5 6-4 6-3
[8] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated [LL] Alexandre Muller (FRA) 6-2 6-0 6-3
[11] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-1 6-3 6-2
[14] Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated Corentin Moutet (FRA) 6-7 6-1 6-1 6-4
[15] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-3 7-6 2-6 6-4
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated [17] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-5 6-1 4-6 2-6 7-6
[18] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) defaeted [WC] Alex Bolt (AUS) 7-6 6-1 6-2
[20] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated James Duckworth (AUS) 6-4 6-1 6-2
[23] Dusan Lajovic (SRB) defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-4 7-6 4-6 6-3
[27] Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated Reilly Opelka (USA) 4-6 7-6 6-7 7-6 6-2
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) defeated [29] Ugo Humbert (FRA) 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4
[32] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-1 6-2 6-4
[Q] Aslan Karatsev (RUS) defeated Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 6-0 6-1 6-0
Pedro Martinez (ESP) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 1-6 6-3 6-2 7-6

Picture credit: Getty Images