ATP

Tsitsipas, Gasquet claim UTS victories

By Sports Desk June 14, 2020

Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Benoit Paire in his first match in the 2020 Ultimate Tennis Showdown.

The event in France, created by Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou, is aimed at attracting new fans to the sport and is one of the first tennis tournaments to take place since the coronavirus pandemic struck Europe.

The event is played in a league format, with each match consisting of four quarters and a sudden-death fifth if the scores are level.

On Sunday, world number six Tsitsipas defeated Paire 3-1, hitting more than 30 winners en route to victory.

Gasquet beat David Goffin 3-2 after sudden death, with Feliciano Lopez overcoming Lucas Pouille by the same scoreline.

The UTS' first match was won by Alexei Popyrin against Frenchman Elliot Benchetrit, while Matteo Berrettini also claimed a 3-1 victory over Dustin Brown.

Related items

  • Golubic clinches L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo title Golubic clinches L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo title

    Viktorija Golubic won the L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo on Sunday after a straight-sets win over Jasmine Paolini.

    A finalist in Lyon and Monterrey in March, the world number 84 claimed a second career WTA125K singles title after a 6-1 6-3 triumph in 67 minutes.

    Golubic held her nerve at the key moments in a close contest, landing 75 per cent of first serves and saving five of six break points.

    Paolini threatened to make more of a contest in the second set after finally breaking, but the Italian dropped serve with her very next game and saw momentum slip away.

    It was Golubic's first title since defeating Jennifer Brady at this level at Indian Wells two years ago.

  • Berrettini takes downs Ruud to set up Zverev showdown in Madrid Berrettini takes downs Ruud to set up Zverev showdown in Madrid

    Matteo Berrettini will take on Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open final on Sunday after overcoming Casper Ruud 6-4 6-4 in the last four. 

    Eighth seed Berrettini has enjoyed a superb debut tournament in the Spanish capital, the 25-year-old dropping just one set on his way to becoming the first Italian to make the Madrid Open final. 

    Berrettini, who won the Serbia Open last month, is just the third Italian ATP Masters 1000 finalist since the series was established in 1990, after Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner. 

    "It's a great, unbelievable feeling, especially coming from Monte Carlo where I wasn't feeling that good," Berrettini said in quotes reported by the ATP website. 

    "I won in Belgrade and now I'm in the final, so I'm really looking forward to playing against Sascha [Zverev]. I hope I enjoy it tomorrow the way I enjoyed tonight.

    "I saw him [Zverev], he's playing really good. He's solid. He moves well. For his height, he's really good. He serves well. I mean, he's in the final. He beat Rafa [Nadal] and Dominic [Thiem], probably the best players on clay.

    "It's going to be a challenging match, but I'm in the finals. I guess the best two guys are going to play each other."

    Berrettini returned supremely throughout Saturday's match, nullifying Ruud's usually potent serve, and believes his aggressive approach was key to victory.

    "My serve is my weapon, but today I think I returned a lot and I put pressure on him," Berrettini said. "I was just playing more aggressive. He's kind of like me, he likes to run around the forehand and play with spin. But I guess today I was playing better than him.

    "The other time he beat me, so it's always a great fight against him. He reached three semi-finals in a row so he was feeling confident. I guess that's why I'm maybe even more happy with my win today."

    In the earlier semi-final, Zverev followed up his famous win over home favourite and 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal in the previous round by defeating Dominic Thiem.

    Austrian Thiem had won the last four meetings between the two, including in last year's Australian Open semi-final and the US Open decider, where he came from two sets down to win in an incredible fifth-set tie-break.

    However, Zverev was not to be denied this time, a 6-3 6-4 result keeping him on course for a repeat of his 2018 triumph at the event in the Spanish capital.

  • Sablenka beats Barty to win Madrid Open Sablenka beats Barty to win Madrid Open

    Aryna Sabalenka won the Madrid Open after a 6-0 3-6 6-4 victory over world number one Ashleigh Barty on Saturday.

    Sabalenka wrapped up the first set to love in just 25 minutes as an unusually sluggish Barty struggled to find any kind of rhythm to her game.

    Barty, who had won 16 consecutive matches on red clay, rallied in the second set to get herself back on level terms.

    At 4-4 in the deciding set Sabalenka broke Barty and then held her nerve on serve to secure her 10th WTA Tour career title which will see her climb up to fourth from seventh in the world rankings on Monday.

    Barty was on a streak of nine consecutive WTA Tour titles and had not lost to an opponent in the top 10 since the WTA Finals in 2019.

    But in-form Sabalenka had not dropped a single set in Madrid in the lead-up to the final and began in imperious fashion.

    The 23-year-old from Belarus produced a clinical first set, dropping just four points, as Barty failed to win a single game in the set to record a bagel for the first time in four years.

    The pair exchanged breaks in the second set before Australian Barty, 25, finally discovered some momentum to break her opponent again to seal the set.

    Sabalenka squandered a one-set lead to lose to Barty in the Stuttgart Open final two weeks ago.

    And Barty, also playing in the final of the tournament for the first time, had threatened to break her opponent at 4-3 in the decider.

    But this time Sabalenka took her chance when Barty fluffed a drop shot and then double faulted to give her three break points, converting at the first time of asking with a powerful backhand.

    Sabalenka then clinically sealed victory with a flawless service game to love, clinching victory when Barty smashed a forehand into the net.

    "To be honest, after the final in Stuttgart I was injured, I couldn't move and wanted to withdraw," Sabalenka said in an on-court interview after the win.

    "But the recovery was good, in four days I feel better and now I'm the champion. It's been an amazing week."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.