ATP

Millman sees off Popyrin in epic, Anderson comes back from match point down

By Sports Desk April 26, 2021

John Millman outlasted Alexei Popyrin in a near three-hour marathon to progress to the second round of the BMW Open.

Eighth seed Millman was made to work exceedingly hard to avoid an early exit, eventually coming through a contest in which the two Australians faced a combined 31 break points by a 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 7-5 scoreline.

Ricardas Berankis won a 22-point tie-break in the first set to defeat Maximilian Marterer, while there were also wins for Millman's next opponent Guido Pella, Federico Coria and Ilya Ivashka.

At the Estoril Open, Kevin Anderson saved a match point at 6-5 down in the second set tie-break and turned around a 4-1 deficit in the third set to beat Frances Tiafoe 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).

"It was obviously a very, very close match," Anderson said. "I think there were a lot of positives, a lot of really high-quality tennis, especially from midway through the second until the end of the match, I was really happy with the way I played.

"I think even if I had lost that match, obviously it's always tough losing, but I definitely felt I took a step in the right direction.

"Getting the win is a big added bonus, it gives me another opportunity to come out in a couple days' time."

Eighth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Pablo Andujar in three sets, with Jeremy Chardy and qualifier Nuno Borges also victorious in Portugal.

Related items

  • Laver Cup: Team Europe in control with early lead against Team World Laver Cup: Team Europe in control with early lead against Team World

    Team Europe are on track for their fourth consecutive Laver Cup triumph after earning an early 3-1 lead against Team World.

    Opening-day honours went to Bjorn Borg's Team Europe at TD Garden in Boston, where the defending champions moved into the box seat thanks to wins for Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud in the singles on Friday.

    John Isner and Denis Shapovalov managed to get Team World on the board in the evening's final doubles match against Alexander Zverev and Berrettini 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-1.

    Roger Federer and Rod Laver were in the crowd as Team Europe – headlined by newly crowned US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and consisting of six of the world's top 10 – made a strong start courtesy of Norwegian Ruud, who overcame Reilly Opelka 6-3 7-6 (7-4), improving his career record to 3-0 against the towering American, and beating him in straight sets for the first time.

    Italian star Berrettini then overcame Team World's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 10-8 in the competition's longest match at two hours, 52 minutes.

    Berrettini escaped with the second set after facing two break points in the penultimate game before prevailing against the Canadian in a thrilling match tie-break.

    "One of the best matches bar none that I've ever seen played, absolutely just enthralling," said captain John McEnroe, whose Team World are eyeing their first Laver Cup trophy.

    Rublev rallied past Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, who won the opening set and led 6-2 and 8-5 in the match tie-break before losing 4-6 6-3 11-9.

    "Today we are a bit more lucky; Matteo won a tough match against Felix in a super tiebreak, now you saw my match," said Russian star Rublev.

    "It was so close; Diego was leading all the super tiebreak, but in the end I find a way to win.

    "This happens. This is tennis, this is sport. It’s emotions. Someone has to win, someone has to lose."

    On day two, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Zverev headline the day session against Team World's Nick Kyrgios and Isner.

    In the evening, Medvedev will meet Shapovalov before Rublev and Tsitsipas team up for a doubles battle with Kyrgios and Isner.

  • Hurkacz ends Murray's Metz run, Carreno Busta to meet Monfils Hurkacz ends Murray's Metz run, Carreno Busta to meet Monfils

    Hubert Hurkacz's fine season continued as he ended Andy Murray's run at the Moselle Open on Friday.

    Top seed Hurkacz beat Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer on the way to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, and previously beat Murray in Cincinnati.

    Hurkacz is ranked 13th in the world and is pushing for a place at the ATP Tour Finals, and he edged closer to a fourth career title by defeating Murray again in Metz.

    The 24-year-old prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 over the former world number one, who was playing in his first ATP Tour quarter-final of the year.

    "Andy is an unbelievable competitor, he has achieved so much throughout his career," Hurkacz said. "He is coming back from a tough injury and playing at a very high level, so he is amazing and you can be inspired by his results."

    Next up for Hurkacz is Peter Gojowczyk, who overcame Marcos Giron 3-6 6-1 6-3 and is backing up his recent US Open run in strong fashion.

    The other last-four match will take place between French home favourite and third seed Gael Monfils, who has reached his first tour semi-final since February last year, and Pablo Carreno Busta.

    Carreno Busta, the Spanish second seed, needed three sets to beat Holger Rune, while Monfils had an easier time of it against Nikoloz Basilashvili, winning 6-3 6-3.

    At the Astana Open, second seed Alexander Bublik beat Carlos Taberner 6-3 6-4, as he hunts a first singles title.

    A crowd favourite in Kazakhstan, whom he has represented since 2016, Russian-born Bublik faces a semi-final against Soonwoo Kwon, who got past Laslo Djere.

    Fifth seed John Millman succumbed to fellow Australian James Duckworth, who will face Ilya Ivashka for a place in the final.

  • Olympic champion Bencic ousted by Kontaveit at Ostrava Open Olympic champion Bencic ousted by Kontaveit at Ostrava Open

    Anett Kontaveit beat Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and will face home favourite Petra Kvitova for a place in the Ostrava Open final.

    Estonian Kontaveit, ranked 30th in the world, claimed her fourth top-20 win of the season as she prevailed 6-4 6-3 on Friday.

    Kontaveit also defeated Bencic in the 2020 Australian Open, meaning she is 2-0 in their head-to-head rivalry.

    Czech left-hander Kvitova awaits in the last four, after the second seed defeated Bencic's Swiss compatriot Jil Teichmann 6-4 6-4.

    Teichmann beat Kvitova in their only previous meeting, but the world number 10 had too much on this occasion, along with the backing of the crowd to boot as she chases a 29th singles title of her career.

    The other semi-final will see top seed Iga Swiatek face Maria Sakkari.

    Last year's French Open winner Swiatek reached her first semi-final since May – when she landed the prestigious title in Rome – by overcoming Elena Rybakina 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

    Sakkari, meanwhile, ended Tereza Martincova's hopes in straight sets.

    Greek star Sakkari ended Swiatek's reign as Roland Garros champion in June, beating the Polish 20-year-old in the quarter-finals in Paris.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.