21.01.2020 - 17:29 Uhr
tennisnet.com
Es war ein Tag, an dem viele das große Stolpern und Straucheln befürchtet hatten. Das frühe, bittere Ende bei den Australian Open für Angelique Kerber und für Alexander Zverev. Doch kurz vor Mitternacht, fast im Gleichschritt, spielten sich die beiden Frontfiguren der deutschen Tennis-Karawane ziemlich souverän in die zweite Grand Slam-Runde in Melbourne vor – binnen 60 Sekunden.
  

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Roberto Bautista Agut battled hard on Wednesday evening at the Hamburg European Open to defeat home favourite Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, setting a blockbuster quarter-final clash against Andrey Rublev.Bautista Agut is into the last eight at the ATP 500 in his first tournament as a father. The fourth-seeded Spaniard rallied from a break down in the third set to triumph against the Rome quarter-finalist after two hours and four minutes.Last week, Koepfer qualified at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and advanced to his first ATP Tour quarter-final at the Foro Italico. The German was the only player to win a set against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Rome, and his confidence showed against Bautista Agut.The German won three consecutive games from 0-2 down in the decider to lead by a break. But Bautista Agut remained consistent in side-to-side rallies, moving into the forecourt when necessary. The nine-time ATP Tour titlist broke serve seven times from 17 chances. [WATCH LIVE 2]Koepfer got off to a strong start in the match, but Bautista Agut tightened up his game to win five straight games from an 0-2 deficit in the first set. Koepfer once again took early control of the second set by taking a 3-1 lead, but Bautista Agut kept fighting. There were five consecutive service breaks, before Koepfer finally closed out with an unreturned serve.There were 13 service breaks in the match and the server was broken 48 per cent of the time. Bautista Agut will try to shore that up against Rublev, who earned his 22nd match win of 2020 with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Tommy Paul in one hour and 37 minutes. Rublev won 33 of his 40 service points, and he will try to maintain that success against Bautista Agut. The Spaniard leads their ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-1.

We've seen it many times before. A lower-ranked player has a breakthrough week on the ATP Tour, only to return to the Challenger level and struggle to find the same energy and fire on the court.Lorenzo Musetti is having no such trouble. The Italian booked his spot in the quarter-finals at the Internazionali di Tennis Citta di Forli on Wednesday, downing Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 5-7, 6-2. He rallied from a break down in the deciding set to topple the top seed and World No. 67. In what has been an unforgettable nine-day stretch for the teenager, he has now secured three Top 100 wins in that span."I went on court knowing that the match would be very tough from the beginning," said Musetti. "Serving at a high level became key right away. He served very well from the start and it was very difficult to break him. However, I felt that I could have my chances in the rallies and I believe I won almost all the longer points. That was a reassuring thought during the match, so even after I lost the second set and fell behind of a break in the third, I had a very positive reaction. I went up a gear and started dictating with my forehand."For Musetti, it would be understandable to experience a dip in energy. Last week, at the Foro Italico, even the limited fans in attendance created an unforgettable atmosphere for Musetti in his ATP Masters 1000 debut. The 18-year-old native son fed off their passion and enthusiasm to earn his first Top 50 wins over Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori, storming into the Round of 16 at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.Musetti captured all the headlines in Rome, earning instant celebrity status as he surged into the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. One week later, the #NextGenATP star is suddenly the player to beat as he returns to action on the ATP Challenger Tour in nearby Forli."I feel like my shape is really good and my game is following, even the shoulder problem that I had in Rome seems to be gone. I recovered perfectly from last week and I really feel in a good form now and do not fear facing players that are ranked higher than me. Obviously, we will see in the next round."Musetti will bid for a fourth Top 100 win in 10 days when he faces countryman Andreas Seppi on Thursday. Fourth seed Salvatore Caruso and sixth seed Lloyd Harris also remain in a stacked top half of the draw.A first Challenger final appearance remains the top priority for the surging 18-year-old."Especially with so many people out here cheering for me, it would be a little dream of mine if it comes true," Musetti said of potentially winning his first title in Forli. "So obviously, I hope I can win the trophy this week."

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