with abstractsGreek Talon’s path reached the final of the ATP tournament for the first time in his career. The Dutchman won the tournament in Pune, India 7-6 (4), 6-1 over eighth seed Aslan Karatsev. It featured the first all-Dutch final in nearly thirty years, but Botic van de Zandschulp had to admit he outperformed Benjamin Bonzi in the other semi-final after three sets: 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 1-6.
The Greek track won the first set 7-6, and then drove his opponent crazy in the second. Karatsev, who beat Tim van Ritthoven earlier in the week, smashed his racket and was very frustrated by the Dutchman’s excellent performance. The Greek track won the second set 6-1, which means that the 26-year-old tennis player is in the final of an ATP tournament for the first time. This makes him the first Dutchman to be in a hard court tournament final since Robin Haase in Vienna in 2013.
“It feels great to start the year like this,” said the Greek track, who was hoping to meet compatriot Van de Zandscholpe in tomorrow’s final. If the Dutch top seed also wins the semi-final, it will be the first Dutch ATP final since 1995. Then Richard Krajesek and Paul Harhuis reached the final of the ATP tournament in Rotterdam. “Of course that would be great. I hope so, but let’s wait and see,” said the Greek track.
The Greek track sees Van de Zandscholp lose
The Greek track didn’t cheer up too soon and rightly so, because Van de Zandsholb was full of Benjamin Ponzi from his first service match. The 60th-ranked Frenchman, who had to lose to the tennis player from Wageningen in two previous meetings, immediately took over, but in the end the tie-break in the first set also had to be involved. Van de Zandschulp eliminated three set points, before it was still a prize for Bonzi.
And then the 26-year-old Frenchman kept his foot on the accelerator and in the first half of the second set the break was a reality. However, van de Zandsholb did not want to give up the road and fought again. The Greek finalist, meanwhile, was held on the edge of the track, seeing how fellow Davis Cup winners and Ponzi continued to make it an even battle in the tie-break. The difference was finally made by a netting ball from the French player that fell outside the lines.
The second semi-final thus went to the deciding third set, the first of the week for both Van de Zandscholp and Ponzi. The latter did not notice the setback from the previous set and managed to break his Dutch opponent again in his first serve match. Van de Zandschulp was again counting on the chase at an early stage, and this time he was unable to overcome a 5-0 deficit. Bonzi finished it off on his third match point.
As a result, the Greek track world number 95 will play Ponzi tomorrow afternoon (13:00 Netherland time) in his first ATP final, and this will also be his first match. The 26-year-old tennis players are less than a month apart and have played against each other once in 2017, with the Frenchman winning. Ponzi said, “I wasn’t expecting this. I knew Botic could break me really fast, and that made it hard. It was so close and I kept fighting. It’s been a great week, and I hope I can hold on to that. That’s tomorrow.”
Djokovic’s 100th ‘Down Under’
Novak Djokovic appears to be in good shape for the Australian Open. The 35-year-old Serbian qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament in Adelaide, defeating Canadian Denis Shapovalov in two sets: 6-3, 6-4. This was Djokovic’s 100th win on Australian soil. Djokovic can prepare for a duel with Russian Daniil Medvedev, who was too strong for compatriot Karen Chatsyanov (6-3, 6-3) in the quarterfinals.
The Serb, the 21-time Grand Slam champion, will be chasing a 10th win at the Australian Open later this month. Last year, the former world number one was not allowed to participate in the Grand Slam in Melbourne because he had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Arantxa Ross and Robin Haas
Arantxa Ros reached the doubles semi-finals of the Auckland Women’s Professional Championships in New Zealand with her Slovakian partner Viktoria Kuzmova. The duo beat Mexican Fernanda Contreras Gomez and American Kahryn Harrison in the quarter-finals: 1-6 6-4 10-7. In the semifinals, Ross and Kuzmova will face Japan’s Mio Kato and Indonesia’s Alida Sutjiadi.
Dutch tennis duo Robin Haas and Matoi Middelkop were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament at the ATP Championships in Adelaide, Australia. The sixth seeded couple bowed out to Briton Lloyd Glasspool and Finn Harry Heliovara in three sets: 3-6 7-5 6-10.
Haas and Middelkoop form a permanent couple this season. The 35-year-old Haas decided to focus almost entirely on doubles, while the four-year-old Middelkoop cut ties with Rohan Bopanna of India. In Adelaide, the duo earned a first-round bye defeating Colombia’s Nicholas Barrientos and Ariel Behar of Israel in round 16: 7-6(3) 7-6(5).
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