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Cilic Continues Pursuit Of Third Moscow Title

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2021

Two-time Moscow champion Marin Cilic looks eager for a third title in the Russian capital.

Cilic defeated in-form American Tommy Paul 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the VTB Kremlin Cup quarter-finals. After losing his first set of the tournament against Damir Dzumhur in a tie-break, the Croatian has won four consecutive sets.

The former World No. 3 had to work hard against Paul, who advanced to the fourth round in Indian Wells. But Cilic was steadier in the crucial moments to advance after one hour and 43 minutes.


The 33-year-old broke his opponent’s serve four times and won 74 per cent of his second-serve return points to move to 13-2 at the ATP 250. Cilic earned the deciding break in the second set when Paul missed a backhand long, and he never looked back.

Australian John Millman also moved on with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory in two hours and 28 minutes. 

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Brilliant Brooksby Bounces Botic In Antwerp

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2021

US Open quarter-finalist Botic van de Zandschulp has been playing the best tennis of his career in recent months, but he was unable to solve the Jenson Brooksby puzzle on Wednesday in Antwerp.

Brooksby played vexing tennis to cruise past the Dutchman 6-2, 6-0 and move into the quarter-finals of the European Open. The #NextGenATP American will next play third seed Cristian Garin or Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

“It’s never as easy as the score looks sometimes, but I thought I started out [well], I just felt strong today,” Brooksby said in his on-court interview. “I just didn’t let up my focus at all and I think that showed.”

The qualifier, who has not been extended past 6-4 in a set in his four qualifying and main draw matches at the ATP 250, methodically dissected van de Zandschulp’s game. He broke his opponent’s serve five times and saved the only break point he faced to advance after 63 minutes.

“I’m just trying to take it one day at a time,” Brooksby said. “[I want to] enjoy the last few tournaments the rest of the season and then just have a fun offseason getting ready for a big next year, hopefully.”

Brooksby made few mistakes in the match, and even when van de Zandschulp hit impressive shots that would have ended the point against many players, the American found a way to redirect the ball into an uncomfortable position.

The #NextGenATP star is fifth in the ATP Race To Milan, making him next in line to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals. 

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Murray Shares Rare Exchange After Tiafoe Epic

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2021

Andy Murray won’t forget his match-winning drop shot in a hurry after three hours and 45 minutes of battle at the European Open on Tuesday. The Scot eked out a narrow 7-6(2), 6-7(7), 7-6(8) victory against 23-year-old Frances Tiafoe in Antwerp.

But beyond the final point won – which set a second-round clash with second seed Diego Schwartzman – it was not the nature of victory that stuck with the former World No. 1. It was more about a lengthy debrief he shared with his opponent in the immediate aftermath.

“There’s obviously so much that goes into a match like that. The margins were so fine,” Murray said. “I served particularly well at the end, which helped, and when he missed his first serve on that match point.

“I was able to capitalise on that and then in terms of what I’ll remember, I just spent probably 30 minutes in the locker room afterwards just chatting to Frances really.”

Murray recalled only twice from 897 previous tour-level matches in his career having spoken to his opponent after the match in the locker room – both times in victory. The first time was after the opening round of the 2008 US Open and the only other time came after the second round at Wimbledon in 2010.


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“I think maybe once I’ve had that conversation… twice, but very short after matches in the locker room,” he said. “Once was with Melzer at the US Open after I beat him in five sets and we chatted a bit about the match, and then once after playing Jarkko Nieminen because we were waiting to speak to the Queen after we played. We were sort of standing next to each other, so we had a chat about the match.”

“[I had] a long chat with Frances afterwards so I’ll probably remember that and then the embrace at the end. I guess so much went into it that I don’t remember loads of points in the match, but obviously the end was special. I’ve never played a match like that on the tour really… In the locker room we had a much more in-depth chat about tennis, not so much the match… That was kind of rare I would say.”

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