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McLachlan/Salisbury Reach Shenzhen Open Doubles Final

  • Posted: Sep 28, 2018

McLachlan/Salisbury Reach Shenzhen Open Doubles Final

Japanese/Brit pairing will go for their first team doubles title

Top seeds Ben McLachlan of Japan and Brit Joe Salisbury, playing in their first tournament together, will play for the Shenzhen Open doubles title on Sunday.

McLachlan/Salisbury beat third seeds Roman Jebavy/Andres Molteni 6-4, 7-6(4) and will meet fourth seeds Robert Lindstedt/Rajeev Ram in the final.

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Lindstedt/Ram defeated Max Mirnyi/Philipp Oswald 7-6(4), 6-3. McLachlan has celebrated one ATP World Tour title (2017 Tokyo), while Salisbury will go for his first title.

In Chengdu, top seeds Ivan Dodig/Mate Pavic advanced to the final with a 5-7, 6-4, 10-8 win against Santiago Gonzalez/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi. Dodig/Pavic will meet Austin Krajicek/Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who beat Guido Pella/Joao Sousa 7-5, 6-1 in Friday’s other semi-final.

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Andy Murray beaten by Fernando Verdasco at Shenzhen Open

  • Posted: Sep 28, 2018

Andy Murray’s progress in the Shenzhen Open ended with a straight-set defeat by fifth seed Fernando Verdasco.

Briton Murray beat world number 11 David Goffin on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals and defeat his highest-ranked opponent since returning from almost a year out after hip surgery.

But the 31-year-old former world number one lost 6-4 6-4 to Spanish fifth seed Verdasco in the last eight in China.

Compatriot Cameron Norrie is also out, losing to Yoshihito Nishioka.

Norrie, the world number 73, was beaten 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 by an opponent ranked almost 100 places below him.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, has slipped to 311th in the world as a result of his lay-off.

The tournament in China was his sixth since returning in June and he will compete once more – at the China Open in Beijing in October – before ending his season early.

It was Verdasco who beat Murray in the second round of the US Open and, after this victory in an hour and 39 minutes, the 34-year-old will go on to meet Japan’s Nishioka for a place in the final.

Alex de Minaur, the Australian 19-year-old, will meet Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the other semi-final.

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Verdasco Ends Murray's Run In Shenzhen

  • Posted: Sep 28, 2018

Verdasco Ends Murray’s Run In Shenzhen

Nishioka beats Norrie for second tour-level semi-final

Fernando Verdasco ended Andy Murray’s bid for a second Shenzhen Open crown on Friday. The Spanish veteran reached his first ATP World Tour hard-court semi-final for almost 12 months with a 6-4, 6-4 victory in one hour and 40 minutes.

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Verdasco was solid on serve – dropping just five of his first-service points (27/32) and hitting 11 aces, including on match point – to beat Murray for just the third time in 16 FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings.

“Beating a player like Andy, it’s always a tough thing to do. You have to push yourself to the limit and you know that you have to play really, really good from the first point to the last point, because he’s always there, he’s always fighting… You really have to be focused the whole match,” Verdasco said.

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The 34-year-old withstood two break points at 4-4, prior to breaking Murray’s serve in the next game. He opened up a 3-1 lead in the second set, and finished with 36 winners (14 off his forehand wing). Verdasco, who also beat Murray in the US Open second round, last reached a tour-level hard-court semi-final in October 2017 at the Intrum Stockholm Open (l. to Del Potro).

“First set I think I had quite a few chances. Didn’t take them. When he had his opportunities he played well,” Murray said. “In the second set, he deserved to win. He served well. He was very aggressive from the back of the court and didn’t make too many mistakes.”

Earlier in the day, Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka advanced to his second tour-level semi-final by beating Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 7-6(2), 6-2 in 90 minutes. Norrie lost just five of his first-service points, but won 11 of 28 points on his second serve.

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De Minaur On A Roll, Into Shenzhen SFs

  • Posted: Sep 28, 2018

De Minaur On A Roll, Into Shenzhen SFs

Young Australian to next meet Herbert

Alex de Minaur is on a roll and closing in a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals in November. The fast-rising 19-year-old moved to within one victory of a place in his third ATP World Tour final on Friday.

The seventh-seeded Australian overcame fourth seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-3, 7-6(7) in one hour and 43 minutes at the Shenzhen Open for a place in the semi-finals.

The Australian led 4-0 in the second set, but Dzumhur battled back from 1/5 in the tie-break and held one set point opportunity at 5/6.

“Everything was going according to plan, I was playing great tennis,” De Minaur told “Then, I relaxed a bit and my intensity wasn’t as high as before, and he started to play better tennis. I got up 5/1 in the tie-break, almost home and dry, but he is such a good competitor he fought until the end.”

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Should World No. 40 De Minaur beat France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a 6-7(6), 7-6(1), 6-4 victor over Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, he will rise to a new career-high in the ATP Rankings. He began the year at No. 208.

With a 21-17 match record in 2018, De Minaur has reached finals at the Sydney International (l. to Medvedev) and the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (l. to A. Zverev). He is currently in fourth position in the ATP Race To Milan.

“I feel like I’m really solid out there, making a lot of balls and playing smart tennis,” said De Minaur. “I’m not making any unforced errors and I’m doing what I need to do.”

Doubles Final Set
Top seeds Ben McLachlan and Joe Salisbury will take on fourth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Rajeev Ram in the Shenzhen doubles final. McLachlan and Salisbury defeated third seed Roman Jebavy and Andres Molteni 6-4, 7-6(4) in 87 minutes, while Lindstedt and Ram beat Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald 7-6(4), 6-3 in 87 minutes.

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Williams to miss China Open & season could be over

  • Posted: Sep 28, 2018

Serena Williams will miss the China Open and may not play again this season after her controversial US Open final defeat by Naomi Osaka.

Her name, along with sister Venus, was not in the draw for the event, which starts in Beijing on Saturday.

At the US Open, Serena was given a code violation for coaching, incurred a point penalty for racquet smashing and was docked a game for verbal abuse.

It is thought unlikely that the 37-year-old will play again this season.

The American, who was aiming to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles against Osaka, says she wants to move on from the controversy.

She denies being coached from the stands, despite her coach Patrick Mouratoglou saying he was sending her signals.

“I just don’t understand what he was talking about,” she said.

After being punished for coaching and racquet abuse, she called umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar” and “thief”.

She was later fined $17,000 (£13,100) for the code violations.

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Fognini Downs Edben To Reach Chengdu Semi-finals

  • Posted: Sep 28, 2018

Fognini Downs Edben To Reach Chengdu Semi-finals

Italian owns 39-18 tour-level record this year

Fabio Fognini continued his pursuit of a fourth tour-level title of the season on Friday, beating Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-2 at the Chengdu Open.

The top seed, who has already lifted trophies in Sao Paulo, Bastad and Los Cabos this year, converted four of six break points to advance after 66 minutes. Competing at a career-high No. 13 in the ATP Rankings, Fognini improves to 39-18 this season. The 31-year-old is just three victories away from matching his best calendar year win total, achieved in 2013 (42-27).

Fognini will face Next Gen ATP Finals contender Taylor Fritz for a place in the championship match. Fritz notched his fifth victory in six matches at the event, beating countryman Sam Querrey 7-6(1), 7-5. Fognini, an eight-time tour-level titlist, and 21-year-old Fritz have never met at tour-level.

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Did You Know?
Fognini will be competing in his seventh tour-level semi-final of the season in Chengdu (3-3). The Italian has won his past two semi-finals, en route to titles in Bastad and Los Cabos.

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