What a way to finish the 2022 Sydney Tennis Classic on a high with Aslan Karatsev as your new men’s champion alongside Spain’s Paula Badosa earlier on in the women’s singles final, he took down opponent Briton’s Andy Murray in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 at Ken Rosewall Arena.
Karatsev off to a flyer who built a decent lead earlier on, it gave him ample time to get himself over the line where he was challenged during occasions by Murray before the Russian successfully beaten him to the punch.
Meanwhile, Murray came from a long, long way when he entered this tournament as the wildcard and worked his route stage after stage until he got into the final. He did his best to catch up & hold off Karatsev in both sets, but it’s too little, too late where a poor start ultimately saw Murray settle as runner-up.
Karastev will enter as the 18th seed on the Australian Open 1st Round on Monday v Spain’s Jaume Munar, while Murray kicks off his upcoming journey in Melbourne when he faces 21st seed from Georgia Nikoloz Basilashvili on Tuesday.
The two-week warm-up/exhibition stage is done, we can’t wait for what it takes over the next two weeks of the opening Grand Slam tournament.
What a cracking Quarter-Final match up last night from Britain’s Dan Evans and American Maxime Cressy, they were always on the same page when fighting for every point and game but it’s Evans who raced to the finish line twice in straight sets (6-4, 7-6 via 7-5 tiebreaker).
Unlucky from Cressy where he didn’t fire off bad, he put in so much effort having fought back at times in order to try & keep himself in the running. However, he just couldn’t find the finish line unlike Evans in the end but he had a great run until this point as we wish him well next week in the Australian Open.
And Evans was brilliant to pull off this game that keep his hopes of winning the Men’s Sydney Tennis Classic alive, he built a great opening set lead before he did his best to keep the momentum up that went into the tiebreaker & smashed his way to the semi-finals.
His next opponent is Russia’s Aslan Karatsev as the winner will meet either Andy Murray or Reilly Opelka in the final tomorrow.
How good is Daria Kasatkina from Russia when she knocked down 2nd seed Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the Quarter-Final last night at Ken Rosewall Arena, Kasatkina always had the upper hand while Muguruza made up some lost time from a poor start but too little, too late when Kasatkina wrapped it up first both times (6-4, 6-4) that sent the Spaniard out of contention.
Not the night Muguruza wanted when she climbed back a few games and tried to bring a 3rd set decider, but a poor start during both sets and her being given little time to move past Kasatkina reflected her loss & elimination in the Quarter-Finals.
And Kasatkina built a great momentum at the beginning that went a long way, now she may been caught up at times by Muguruza before her healthy lead gave her the advantage to bridge that execution which was successful both ways in the end.
She will now face Paula Badosa from Spain who defeated Swiss Belinda Bencic also from last night that will happen later today, the winner in this semi-final tie will go on tomorrow’s final & face either Estonian Anett Kontaveit or Barbora Krejcikova from Czech Republic.
Now this is such competitive tennis last night in Round 2 of the Sydney Tennis Classic between Andy Murray and Nikoloz Basilashvili at Ken Rosewall Arena, brilliant start from Basilashvili even in the toughest of battles but it’s Murray who managed to recover from a set down & brought it towards a 3rd set decider which took his lifeline well through the very end with the win.
Score: 6-7 via 4-7 tiebreaker to Basilashvili, 7-6 via 7-3 tiebreaker & 6-3 to Murray
Love the fight from Murray showed on the Tennis court, he was always side by side with the Georgian which wasn’t easy even though he narrowly missed the first set portion. However, his 2nd and 3rd set spell has gotta be one of his greatest rebound moments that gave himself time to close in & held back Basilashvili accountable.
Murray’s next opponent is 8th seed David Goffin from Belgium in the Quarter-Finals, the winner of this next match-up will face either American in the semis of Brandon Nakashima or Reilly Opelka.
And unlucky to Basilashvili who fired off well with the opening set lead having never gave up without a fight through effort, but he just couldn’t offer the other half such as holding on momentum & consistency that prevented his chance to wrap it up against Murray.
That was quick when World No.9 Elena Rybakina from Khazhstan had an easy go at reigning US Open women’s champion Emma Raducanu as she wrapped it up through straight sets in just under an hour, Ryabakina just smashes left, right and center from start to finish that left Raducanu no room & no time to catch up during the opening Sydney Tennis Classic round.
Score: 0-6, 1-6 to Ryabakina
Ryabakina’s next opponent in the second round will be 75th feed Caroline Garcia from France, the winner of this next game will face either Romanian Jaqueline Cristian or 3rd Seed from Czech Republic Barbora Krejcikova for the Quarter-Final slot.
And tough to look out for Raducanu when she was completely swept for the entire time by Ryabakina, she wowed the fans when she won a game after the break which is incredible to see from a player who won a grand slam at a very young age of 18.
However, it’s just not her night after she was not up to the standard Ryabakina offered in return as this is her first full season on the WTA Tour circuit, so better not putting too much pressure this quick right now.
There’s a grand slam coming her way at the Australian Open next week in Melbourne, Raducanu will surely recharge these batteries again and prepare more off the court as she should at least target the finals.
World No.3 plus 3 x Grand Slam and 2 x Olympic winner Andy Murray too good tonight against Viktor Durasovic of Norway in Round 1 of the Sydney Tennis Classic, there’s really nothing else to describe but an unbelievable spell from top to bottom that was wrapped up quickly in straight sets (3-6, 1-6) at Ken Rosewall Arena. He will advance into Round 2 and face 23rd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia.
Durasovic fought back a couple of times especially during the 2nd half of the 1st set when he was two games down from five, however, he was way behind by that stage while trying to keeping in contention after the Norweigan was beaten to the punch not once but twice by a country mile in the end.
Up next at Ken Rosewall Arena is 2021 US Open Winner from Great Britain Emma Raducanu, who will face World No.9 Kazakh Elena Rybakina in Round 1 of the women’s Sydney Tennis Classic tournament.
Ons Jabeur off to a great start against Astra Sharma last night of the Sydney Tennis Classic at Ken Rosewall Arena, she was too good with an easy first set before the 7th seed didn’t have any problems reaching the homestretch in straight sets (1-6, 3-6),
Astra is disappointed not to advance into the next round before the Quarter-Finals, like the way she fought back at times after the break to try and bring it towards a 3rd decider but a poor start cost her time to hold back Jabeur in the end.
Jabeur will face Petra Kvitova from Czech Republic while Astra turns her attention in the doubles with Arantxa Rus from Holland and they will battle it out against another Australian pair of Michaela Haet & Lisa Mays.
Well played by Fabio Fognini tonight against Daniel Altmaier during the 1st round of the Sydney Tennis Classic at Ken Rosewall Arena in straight sets (6-3, 7-5), the 7th seed Italian was set to face Australia’s own Nick Krygios but he had to withdraw from this warm-up tournament due to a positive COVID result that left him no time to prepare for next week’s Australian Open.
His replacement opponent is Daniel Altmaier from Germany, who received the lucky loser berth after he failed to qualify into the main draw. He fired off well with Fognini but couldn’t keep up with the first set loss, although the World No.91 have played much better after the break where he was so close towards tieing 1-1 & lead a 3rd set decider but it’s too little, too late in the end.
We love seeing an underdog battle against an elite player in the Top 10 where Altmaier fought back on occasions before Fognini wasted little time getting the job done, he hopes to learn a thing or two from Fognini tonight that would help him bridge that 2nd half consistency & execute better next time.
It’s not looking good tonight for Australia in this year’s ATP Cup following a great start two days ago v Italy where they were thumped 2-0 through the best of three ties v Russia with the doubles game to spare at Qudos Bank Arena.
Such a competitive first set battle between Russian Roman Safiullin and the returning James Duckworth for Australia, they were both side by side for the whole time but Duckworth just couldn’t pull it over the line as Safiullin held onto top spot in straight sets.
7-6 with 8-6 via tiebeaker & 6-4 to Safiullin as Russia lead 1-0
The same goes with Alex De Minaur and Daniil Medvedev during the next singles tie as De Minaur showed some fight at times especially when he tried to stay in contention following a narrow 1st set loss, he just couldn’t stop the World No.2 who was too good to pull off in the end.
6-4 & 6-2 to Medvedev
All can Australia can do now is to take out the consolation win in the doubles that will begin shortly as well as France on Thursday, and pray that Russia loses v Italy at the same time if there’s still a chance to advance into the semi-finals.
It has been a very close 1st stage for both Daniil Medevev & Matteo Berretini. Medevev may have jumped ahead with the early fire off going into the halfway point 3-1. But Berretini did not give up without a fight. When he gave Medevev some pressure with a few deuces beforehand. Before Medevev broke free past the Italian in the end.
Not only Medevev had to face a few deuces against him to get past him unscathed. The Russian also eventually found some conversions to win the 1st set 6-4. Good game so far for both players. But for Berrettini his match is not over yet. When he was on par with Medevev at the start and began to hold him off a bit. Just unable to find the middle ground to fend him off after a 1st set loss.
Berrettini desperately scrambled to save this 2nd stage set with the initlal lead 1-0. So that possible win can help himself dominate the tiebreaker. And put this series 1-1 for Italy into a decider via the doubles tie for the ATP Cup trophy. But Berrettini unfortunately could not keep up the same momentum as it was in Stage 1.
When Medevev dominated the 2nd set fair and square with a big margin ahead of Berrettini. The Italian may have earned another late point himself 2-5. Where he denied Russia with the 2 championship points at the first attempt. But it is Medevev who got the job done 6-2, 6-2 that sealed not just the series win 2-0. But also the ATP Cup Title for Russia. With the 3rd & final game in the doubles to spare.
This game was done in 1 hour, 20 min & 10 seconds as per Rolex time clock at Rod Laver Arena. What a game from Medevev who came up against Berrettini. Not only he was able to just close down the Italian at the start towards a comfortable lead halfway. The Russian found a bridge to execute these conversions in both sets.
While Berrettini thought he was on the same page as Medevev in the 1st half of Stage 1. It does not mean that he was a bad player overall. But the lack of consistency prevented Berrettini from executing this game at large. With just two points earned in the 2nd set. Despite denying Medevev these championship points at the first attempt. Where Italy forced to settle for a runner-up place behind Russia for the ATP Cup trophy.
Well the post-game ceremonies have already taken place here with Todd Woodbridge as the MC. So the 3rd and final game in the doubles might not have gone ahead. After we saw the three-match series decided beforehand. But what a week it has been of the 2021 ATP Cup. As we now turn our attention to the Grand Slam tomorrow.