Coppini Tennis Academy's Philip Henning extends winning streak

Philip Henning is seeking back-to-back titles in Sharm ElSheik

by Jovica Ilic
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Coppini Tennis Academy's Philip Henning extends winning streak
© Coppini Tennis Academy - Facebook

The 23-year-old Philip Henning from Coppini Tennis Academy is on the course for back-to-back Futures titles in Sharm ElSheik. Henning claimed his second Futures title last week and will compete in the semi-final at this week's edition, competing as the 5th seed and beating three rivals in straight sets.

Philip reached his sixth Futures semi-final, earning valuable points in his quest toward a place in the top-500. The South African kicked off the tournament with a rock-solid 6-2, 6-2 win over Italy's Alexandr Binda in an hour and 22 minutes.

Henning served at 77% and kept everything under control in his games after defending all three break chances.

Philip Henning & Federico Coppini, M15 Sharm ElSheik Futures© Federico Coppini

Binda felt the pressure and could not endure it, dropping almost half of the points in his games and experiencing four breaks from seven chances offered to his opponent.

Philip denied a break point in the first game of the encounter, avoiding an early setback. Both players served well in the next four games, with a better-ranked player leading 3-2. Binda faced two break points in the sixth game, denying the first with an ace but falling on the second, propelling Henning 4-2 in front.

Philip cemented the lead with a comfortable hold and pushed strong on the return again in the next one. The South African secured his second consecutive break, wrapping up the opener 6-2 after 37 minutes. Like in the first set, Henning defended a break point at the beginning of the second.

Alexandr saved a break point in game two, leveling the score at 1-1. Philip erased a break point in the third game, settling into a fine rhythm after that and keeping the pressure on the other side. The South African held at love in game five and grabbed a break at 15 in the next one, forging a 4-2 advantage.

Philip produced a hold at love in the seventh game and clinched another break a few minutes later, rattling off four games and emerging at the top. Henning faced Germany's Patrick Zahraj in the second round and notched a 6-1, 6-4 victory in an hour and 28 minutes for a place in the last eight.

Philip fired five aces and played well behind the initial shot, facing two break points and getting broken once.

Philip Henning, M15 Sharm ElSheik Futures© Federico Coppini

Philip Henning has won eight consecutive matches in Sharm ElSheik.

Zahraj needed more pace on the return to stay competitive after struggling behind the initial shot, especially in the opening set.

Henning welcomed eight double faults from his rival and turned half of the return points into five breaks from 13 opportunities. Last week's champion made a flying start and gained a boost. Philip broke Patrick in the first game and confirmed it with a hold at 30 in game two.

Zahraj hit two aces in the third game but could not bring it home, experiencing another break and pushing Henning 3-0 in front. The 5th seed backed it with a hold at 15, moving 4-0 ahead in no time. Patrick came from 30-0 behind in the fifth game, clinching it with an ace and getting his name on the scoreboard.

Henning produced another fine hold in the sixth game, moving 5-1 up and forcing his rival to serve to stay in the set. The German hit two double faults in the seventh game and faced three set points. He saved them before the South African clinched the fourth, wrapping up the opener 6-1 in 26 minutes.

Philip held at love at the beginning of the second set and moved 2-1 in front with a hold at 15. Zahraj had to dig deep in the fourth game, facing three break points and saving them to remain on the positive side, locking the result at 2-2.

Henning held after deuces in the fifth game before losing serve at 15 at 3-3 following a costly double fault. The South African pulled it back in the eighth game and denied a break point in the next one, moving 5-4 up and gaining a boost.

Philip stepped in on the return in the tenth game, breaking his rival at love and moving into the quarter-final. Henning had to work harder in the quarter-final versus Georgia's Alexandre Bakshi, overcoming a slower start and prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and ten minutes.

Henning played better behind the first and second serve, losing serve two times from as many chances offered to his rival and mounting the pressure on the other side from the middle of the second set. Philip grabbed 44% of the return points and seized four out of 11 break chances, enough to cross the finish line first.

They served well in the opening four games of the encounter before Henning lost serve at love in game five, falling 3-2 behind.

Philip Henning & Federico Coppini, M15 Sharm ElSheik Futures© Federico Coppini

Bakshi erased three break points in the next one, confirming the break and opening a 4-2 gap.

The Georgian served for the opener in game ten and held at 30 for 6-4 after 46 minutes. Henning lost serve at the beginning of the second set, finding himself 6-4, 2-0 behind. Alexandre held in the fourth game and opened a 3-1 gap, moving closer to the finish line.

Bakshi wasted a game point in game six and lost serve, bringing Henning back to 3-3. Philip held after deuce in the seventh game and broke his rival at 15 in the next one to forge a 5-3 advantage. With a boost on his side, the South African held at love in game nine, wrapping up the set in 37 minutes and forcing a decider.

The 5th seed closed the second game after two deuces and broke at 15 a few minutes later after his rival's double fault. Henning delivered two holds at love and opened a 4-2 gap, moving closer to the finish line. The Georgian saved three break points in the seventh game, remaining within one break deficit.

Philip held at 15 in the next one, forcing Alexandre to serve to stay in the match. The South African notched four straight points from 15-40, securing another break and booking a place in the semi-final, his sixth at the previous ten Futures.

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