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Koolhof/Daniell Reach First Team Final In Stockholm

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2018

Koolhof/Daniell Reach First Team Final In Stockholm

Mahut/Roger-Vasselin move into Antwerp final

Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof reached their maiden tour-level final as a team on Saturday, beating Julien Benneteau and Lucas Pouille 7-6(5), 7-6(7) at the Intrum Stockholm Open.

Daniell and Koolhof saved set points in each set to defeat the French duo after one hour and 43 minutes in the Swedish capital. The third seeds also saved six of eight break points and won 55 per cent of second-serve return points en route to victory.

Daniell and Koolhof will meet Nature Valley International titlists Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara for the title. The British duo reached its second tour-level final of the season on Friday, defeating Simone Bolelli and Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-4.

Roger-Vasselin Edges Closer To Second Antwerp Crown
Edouard Roger-Vasselin, alongside countryman Nicolas Mahut, reached his second European Open final in three years, defeating defending champion Divij Sharan and partner Artem Sitak 7-5, 7-6(3)

The French pairing, which owns a 5-1 tour-level-final record, reached its second championship match of 2018, winning 40 of 48 first-serve points to advance after 88 minutes. In 2016, Roger-Vasselin won the inaugural European Open crown with recently-retired Canadian Daniel Nestor.

Mahut and Roger-Vasselin, the Moselle Open titlists, will face Marcelo Demoliner and Santiago Gonzalez in Sunday’s final. The Turkish Airlines Open Antalya champions defeated Gerard Granollers and Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4 in 59 minutes on Friday.

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European Open: Kyle Edmund wins to set up Gael Monfils final

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2018

British number one Kyle Edmund remains on course for his maiden ATP title after reaching the European Open final in Antwerp with a 6-3 6-4 win over 2016 champion Richard Gasquet.

The 23-year-old world number 15 and top seed beat Gasquet, the world number 28, in one hour 17 minutes.

Edmund will meet another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, in Sunday’s final.

Sixth seed Monfils, 32, who is now ranked 38 in the world, beat Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-4.

Schwartzman, a beaten finalist in the tournament’s previous two editions, lost in one hour 17 minutes.

It ensured a French participant in the final for the third year in succession, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga taking the title in 2017.

Edmund broke in the second game against Gasquet and quickly built a 3-0 lead in the opening set, before wrapping up his third win in four meetings.

Meanwhile, in the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Russian world number 14 Daria Kasatkina, who beat Britain’s Johanna Konta in the semi-finals, won the women’s title with a 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victory over Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

In the men’s event, Karen Khachanov beat Daniil Medvedev 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 in an all-Russian semi-final.

Khachanov will face Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who beat Andreas Seppi 7-5 7-5.

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Thiem Leads Field Of London Hopefuls In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2018

Thiem Leads Field Of London Hopefuls In Vienna

Tantalising first-round clashes plentiful at ATP World Tour 500-level event

You won’t have to wait long for thrilling action at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna. Not only are eight members of the Top 15 in the ATP Rankings competing, but four first-round matches will be between players inside the Top 30 of the ATP Rankings. And perhaps more importantly, two of them involve players making a push to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Top seed Dominic Thiem will face a stern test in his first match against the in-form Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman has beaten Thiem in both of their previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings — including in Vienna last year — and he has shown a high level of late.

Gasquet triumphed at the Libema Open and reached the semi-finals of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2018 and this week’s European Open in Antwerp. Thiem has a lot at stake, as he is battling for a spot at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. The Austrian, who will be competing in front of his home crowd, is currently in eighth place in the ATP Race To London. His best performance in Vienna came in 2013, when he reached the quarter-finals.

Thiem could face red-hot Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, in the quarter-finals. The Japanese star, who is currently 10th in the Race, plays #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe in the first round.

The No. 2 seed at the ATP World Tour 500-level event is Kevin Anderson, who is seventh in the Race. The South African, who is trying to qualify for the season finale for the first time, opens against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who has captured two titles (Hamburg, Beijing) at this level this year.

You May Also Like: Anderson Focused On London Goal, One Step At A Time

In 2017, Anderson finished his season on a three-match losing streak, including a first-round loss in Vienna against World No. 81 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The second seed will hope to change that this year, having made the quarter-finals at the Rolex Shanghai Masters and in Tokyo.

The winner of Anderson and Basilashvili could face former World No. 3 Milos Raonic, who plays Jurgen Melzer in what will be the Austrian’s final singles event. Borna Coric, who made his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Shanghai, is in the same quarter of the draw. In the second round, Coric could play the defending champion, Lucas Pouille, who is trying to claim his sixth ATP World Tour title. The unseeded Frenchman kicks off his tournament against German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Fourth seed John Isner, the No. 9 player in the Race, is also on the bottom half of the draw. The American opens against a qualifier, and could face Antwerp finalist Gael Monfils or compatriot Steve Johnson in the second round.

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Rematch? Federer Could Face US Open Conqueror Millman In Basel

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2018

Rematch? Federer Could Face US Open Conqueror Millman In Basel

Federer has reached Basel final in past 11 appearances

Roger Federer might have a chance to avenge his shocking fourth-round loss at this year’s US Open in the second round of the Swiss Indoors Basel, the 37-year-old’s home tournament.

If Federer, an eight-time champion in Basel, wins his first-round match against 2017 Paris finalist Filip Krajinovic, and Aussie John Millman defeats German Jan-Lennard Struff, the pair will meet for the second time in less than two months. Millman stunned Federer at the year’s final Grand Slam, sending the No. 2 seed home after four tight sets.

You May Also Like: Millman Shocks Federer

Federer has long enjoyed success in Basel, holding a 66-9 record at the event and a 15-match winning streak. He has advanced to the final in his past 11 appearances at the tournament. The last time Federer did not reach the championship match was in 2003, when he was just 22 years old.

This will be the 98-time tour-level champion’s 18th appearance in the Basel main draw, where he grew up as a ballboy. Federer first played qualifying at the event when he was 16.

Millman is enjoying the best season of his career, currently placed at a career-high No. 33 in the ATP Rankings. The 29-year-old is making his Basel debut. The first seeded opponent Federer could face is No. 5 seed Jack Sock. But the American is playing Ernests Gulbis, who beat him this week in Stockholm, in the first round. Gulbis is competing in Sunday’s Intrum Stockholm Open final against #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

All eyes will be on a tantalising first-round match in the bottom half of the draw between third seed Marin Cilic and #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov. It will be the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, but an interesting stylistic clash between two players who like to control the match with big serving and aggressive play from the baseline.

Cilic is trying to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the fourth time. The Croatian will enter the week sixth in the ATP Race To London, next in line to earn a spot at the season finale, to take place at The O2 in London from 11-18 November.

Also in the bottom half of the draw is No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev, who begins his tournament against Dutchman Robin Haase. While their FedEx ATP Head2Head series is knotted at 2-2, Haase has won the pair’s two most recent meetings, including a three-set win earlier this year at the Western & Southern Open.

In the same quarter as Zverev is former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka, who is pursuing his first title since Geneva last year. Wawrinka will face Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who is competing in Sunday’s VTB Kremlin Cup final. The winner will face No. 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut or Portugal’s Joao Sousa, who triumphed in Estoril earlier this season.

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With Slick Serving, Edmund Powers Into Antwerp Final

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2018

With Slick Serving, Edmund Powers Into Antwerp Final

Brit to meet Monfils in Sunday’s final

Kyle Edmund reached his second tour-level championship match of the season on Saturday, beating former champion Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4 at the European Open.

While Gasquet beat the Brit in the last four two years ago, this time it was Edmund who came out on top, firing 16 aces in a clinical 77-minute serving performance. The British No. 1, who will attempt to capture his first tour-level crown on Sunday, entered the match with a tournament-leading 85 per cent success rate behind his first serve and improved that figure by dropping just three of 35 points behind his first delivery to earn his 34th match win of 2018.

“I served well today. When I needed my serve it got me out of trouble and also got me some free points,” said Edmund.

World No. 15 Edmund, who is yet to drop serve this week in Antwerp, improves to 3-1 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Gasquet and will look to become the first man outside of France to capture the European Open trophy on Sunday. The Grand Prix Hassan II runner-up will once again meet French opposition in the final, following Gael Monfils’ 6-3, 6-4 victory over Diego Schwartzman.

“Of course, I would like [my final experience] to be different this time,” said Edmund. “But I can’t think about the end result. I have to think about the process of winning a tennis match against a very good player.”

Looking to follow in the footsteps of French champions Richard Gasquet (2016) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2017), Monfils landed 10 aces and converted three of five break points en route to his second final of the season. The Frenchman, who captured his seventh tour-level trophy at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in January, is also bidding to lift multiple tour-level titles in a single season for the first time. Monfils owns a 1-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Edmund after defeating the Brit in straight sets in their only previous meeting at 2017 Wimbledon.

“I am relieved to have been able to win this match in two sets,” said Monfils. “Luckily I could count on my strong first service.”

This year’s Rio Open presented by Claro winner was aiming to extend his record of reaching each championship match at the Antwerp-based event. In his only previous semi-final appearance in 2018, the World No. 17 triumphed in straight sets before beating Fernando Verdasco to win the biggest title of his career in Rio de Janeiro.

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