Carlos Alcaraz helps Spain reach Davis Cup quarter-final
(Tennis news) Spain will take on last year’s runner up Croatia in the Davis Cup quarter-final in November after the 2019 champions defeated South Korea in the final round of the Group ties on Sunday. World number one Carlos Alcaraz and Roberto Bautista Agut won in straight sets in the singles category to progress to the last eight. Alcaraz, who recently won the US Open, was defeated by Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime on Friday 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 but bounced back against Kwon Soon-woo 6-4 7-6 (7-1) while Bautista Agut overcame Hong Seong-chan 6-1 6-3.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray helped Great Britain secure a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan after defeating Dmitry Popko 6-3 6-4. Great Britain had already lost to the USA and the Netherlands with Cameron Norrie succumbing to a 4-6 3-6 defeat to Alexander Bublik on Sunday. In the decider at Glasgow, Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski overcame Bublik and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (9-11) 7-6 (7-4) with the match momentarily stopping at 20:00 BST with players, coaches and supporters observing a minute's silence to pay respect to Queen Elizabeth II.
Murray, who won the Davis Cup title with Great Britain in 2015 said “I love playing Davis Cup. It's different to anything we experience playing on the tour. I only thought about it at about 5-2 today in the second set. I lost my focus a bit and felt a little bit emotional about that. Maybe that's the last time I play here or get to play for Britain in front of a crowd like that. If it is the last time, it's been amazing what they've done for our team." With Great Britain missing out on the knockout stage, the country is likely to be in the qualifying round early next year.
Murray, who has struggled with injuries featured in the Davis Cup for the first time since 2019. The 35 year old partnered with Joe Salisbury but the pair slid to a 7-6 (7-0) 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 loss to the Netherlands' Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop on Friday. Speaking after that match, Murray said “Hopefully we get another opportunity to play here in the future. If I'm selected, I'll definitely, definitely be involved. Moving forwards, it's obviously not going to be easy with the players that we have. Someone like Jack Draper is improving all the time. Then obviously I don't know which way the captain will go with the doubles after the results here."
Borna Coric wins his first Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati
(Tennis news) The Croatian just dropped one set to the title as Borna Coric crowned a remarkable injury comeback when he captured his first ATP Masters 1000 title, overcoming the World no 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0), 6-2 in the Western & Southern Open final. The Croatian was competing in his second tour-level final since 2020 as the first time he defeated Rafael Nadal to his second Masters 1000 final. With the pressure on Tsitsipas to win the title, Coric on the other hand demonstrated courage against the Greek, coming back from 1-4 in the first set, before he blitzed his way past in the second set to win the match in one hour and 57 minutes in Cincinnati.
Coric last year missed the majority of the season due to a shoulder injury and entered the Cincinnati draw sitting at No. 152 in the ATP Rankings. However after his maiden ATP 1000 trophy, he is up to No. 29 ATP Live Rankings. He has now improved his ATP Head2Head series against Tsitsipas to 2-1. Coric defeated Lorenzo Musetti, Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cameron Norrie on the road to the final. The 25-year-old has now clinched three tour-level titles on all three surfaces, having previously won on clay in Marrakech in 2017 and on grass Halle in 2018. But this win stands out as this was his first ATP 1000 Crown which helped him climb 123 places in a span of 2 weeks in ATP rankings.
Coric in this tournament earned nine victories against Top 5 opponents and climbed to a career-high World No. 12. The Croatian made his comeback in Indian Wells in March and since then lost 8 of his 13 ATP tour matches in 2022 before his dream run in Cincinnati. Tsitsipas on the other hand was aiming to capture his third Masters 1000 title and 10th ATP trophy. The Greek, who has managed to retain the title in Monte Carlo in April, edged Daniil Medvedev in a hard-fought semi-final win as the 24-year-old has risen to second in the ATP Live Race To Turin and he looks to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for a fourth consecutive season. It is the same trophy he won on his debut in 2019.
“It was a very, very tough match. At the beginning I wasn’t playing very well and he was pushing me very hard. But I started to serve better and play better and I was fighting hard,” Coric said in his on-court interview. “Then in the second set I thought I played the best set of the whole year.”
“Thank you to my parents, who are not here, my sister and my team. It has been very tough for us,” Coric added during the trophy ceremony. “With my physio, if I didn’t have him I wouldn’t be on the court... Then of course to my tennis coach, Mate. We have been working very hard and now we are here.”
Norrie defeats Murray while Nadal crashes out in Cincinnati
(Tennis news) Cameron Norrie defeated Andy Murray for the first time in his career 3-6 6-3 6-4 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The two players have only faced each other once before in 2019 and it was far from a one sided fixture between the two players until Murray suffered a cramp late in the third set. The Scot received treatment from the physiotherapist and went on to apply pressure on Norrie in the next game, however, the 26 year old held his ground to secure the win.
Such was Murray’s condition that the player had to undergo more treatment after the match to be able to walk off the court. Norrie will now face American wildcard Ben Shelton, who defeated Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3, in the next round but before that, the 26 year old will partner Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur for the doubles match against Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies on Wednesday.
Speaking after the match, Norrie said “I think there really wasn't much in it. It just came down to a little bit of physicality and it didn't really help him [Murray] that his match with Stan [Wawrinka] went really, really long. He was struggling a little bit towards the end and I just tried to put a lot of balls in the court in the end. For me, I'm still battling with the conditions a little bit, trying to get used to them. I'm trying to find rhythm on my serve. I've got a doubles match later to try and work on that. I really just got through with my attitude, I just tried to stay as positive as I could."
In other results, Rafael Nadal succumbed to a 6-7(9), 6-4, 3-6 defeat to Borna Coric at the Western and Southern Open. The Spaniard was playing in his first match after being forced to withdraw from Wimbledon’s semi-final against Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal tear. Both players went toe-to-toe but Nadal looked visibly rusty and eventually lost to Coric who will now face Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. Nadal will hope to recover his form in time for the US Open and get back on top of the ATP ranking.
During the on-court interview after the match, Borna Coric said “It has been very, very special. I was out for the last two years and I didn't play on the big stage in front of the crowd and everybody. I was honestly just looking forward to playing this match as I haven't had that in the last two years. Now that I won, it's kind of crazy." In other results, Sebastian Korda defeated Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Dan Evans and Norrie progress into the third round of Madrid Open
(Tennis news) British history was created on Wednesday when Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie joined Andy Murray in the third round of the Madrid Open as it is the first ATP Masters 1000 event on clay where three British players are being featured at the stage. A tough test lies ahead, especially for Andy Murray who will face Novak Djokovic in the next match while Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie will play the following day.
Norrie defeated American John Isner in three sets, winning 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-4. The British No 1 could find decisive breaks at important moments in the first and third set and will now face a monumental task ahead of him as Carlos Alcaraz is his next opponent. As for Dan Evans, the 31 year old overturned his poor form to secure an impressive 6-3 5-7 7-6 (2) win over Roberto Bautista Agut and will take on world No 8 Andrey Rublev in the next round.
Rafael Nadal also progressed to the last 16 Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 7-6(4). The Spaniard is competing in his first tournament since March after recovering from a rib injury. Rain suspended play early in the second set which resulted in the Spaniard losing momentum but the 21 time Grand Slam winner recovered from failing to serve out the match at 6-5 and sealed the win in just under two hours.
If Nadal manages to go all the way and win the Madrid Open, it will be his sixth title on home turf in Madrid, having last won in 2017 but will first need to overcome David Goffin in the next round. In other results, German tennis player and World Number 3 Alexander Zverev defeated Marin Cilic 4-6 6-4 6-4 while qualifier Dusan Lajovic beat fifth seed Casper Ruud 7-6(7) 2-6 6-4.
Osaka progresses to the quarters of the Miami Open with win over Riske
(Tennis news) Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka progressed to the quarter finals of the Miami Open with a 6-3 6-4 win over Alison Riske. The pair faced each other for the first time since 2019 and their clash lasted 92 minutes, but as expected, it was the former World Number 1 who secured a straight sets victory. The four time Grand Slam winner will now take on American Danielle Collins in the next match after the 28 year old defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2 6-4.
Speaking after the match, Osaka said “It's really funny for me because last year I made it to the quarters too, but it was after I won Australia and I wasn't that grateful, I kind of expected to win. I'm in the same position this year and this is really like one of the most fun times in my life, so I'm really grateful. I want to say, 'Thank you everyone for coming out'.
Meanwhile, World Number 2 Daniil Medvedev inched closer to the summit of the world rankings after defeating Pedro Martinez 6-3 6-4. The third round clash between the pair took an hour and 24 minutes and Medvedev only dropped four points on serve in the first set and secured it via an eighth-game break. Martinez fought back to make it 2-2 and Medvedev broke again in the seventh and produced eight points in a row on serve to secure the win.
Speaking after the match, Medvedev said “I think, in general, I didn't play so badly. Really slow courts here so playing against a Spanish [opponent] is not easy. I felt like we had a lot of rallies where he was bringing the pace down and I couldn't really do much. So I tried to serve well, to keep consistent, and I managed to make fewer errors in important points, and I think that was the key today."
Medvedev will take on American Jenson Brooksby in the fourth round of the Miami Open, the 21 year old World Number 39 defeated 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 5-7 6-4. Meanwhile, defending champion Hubert Hurkacz overcame Aslan Karatsev 7-5 4-6 6-3.
Zverev reaches last four with huge victory at Montpellier
(Tennis news) Alexander Zverev maintained his winning streak against Adrian Mannarino with a demolishing performance. Zverev needed just 50 minutes as he gave away just a single game in the match, he won the first four games in the opening set then took the next 8 games to bagel Mannarino in the second. The Frenchmen was not at his best form as he didn’t seem too happy after the match handshake. Zverev defeated Mannarino 6-0, 6-1.
With Mannarino’s defeat, the Montpellier winner will be a non French player for the fourth time overall and in a one first instance the feat is happening for a second consecutive time as David Goffin had won last year.
Mikael Ymer beat Richard Gasquet in a three set fiasco as the veteran even saved a matchpoint in the second set. Gasquet is a three time champion, one of the most successful players on the event and the only one to win it on consecutive occasions. Ymer broke Gasquet’s serve twice as it was cramped in the opening set with exchange of breaks, in the second there was the 35 year old’s backhand which was the only hope and even went on to save a matchpoint in the 12th game. In the final set, the 23 year old did not struggle to take the first four games and proceeded to the semifinal. Ymer defeated Gasquet 7-5, 6-7(6-8), 6-1.
Filip Krajinovic was the only player other than Zverev to enter the last four with a straight set victory. Qualifier Damir Dzumhur was ranked 23 in 2018 and in the last four years the rankings have dropped at a steady pace until an upward movement last month. Krajinovic took due advantage of unforced errors in the second set as the first set had plenty of chances of break and the Serbian was ahead. In the second set, Dzumhur failed to break the serve and lost half of his first serves to end the match with a double fault. Krajinovic defeated Dzumhur 7-5, 6-2.
Alexander Bublik set up a semifinal clash with Krajinovic as the pair will be meeting for the first time on tour. Bublik beat in form Roberto Bautista Agut as his service games were too strong for the Spaniard in the first set, in the next one it was Roberto who served well to level the score. In the decider, the first four games saw the 24 year old serving 6 aces and in the 12th game hit three aces to make it 6 all. In the tiebreaker, the world number 35 hit his 26th ace to win the match. Bublik defeated Roberto 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7-4).
Gasquet records second victory over Humbert this season
(Tennis news) Richard Gasquet had come from a set down to beat Ugo Humbert at the Australian Open a few weeks ago and this time it was the senior who found himself on the winning side. Humbert was again in the lead in the first set but a few errors gave the veteran the lead, even in the deciding set the 35 year old took the early break to set up a clash against Soonwoo Kwon. Gasquet defeated Humbert 6-7(3-7), 6-4, 6-3.
“I really like to play on this court,” said Gasquet, who was born in nearby Beziers. “With a crowd it’s really special to play here. That’s why I fought a lot in the second set. It was a great match against one of the best players in the world.”
Adrian Mannarino only lost his 6 points on his serve while beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the 1st round at Montpellier. Mannarino started the match well and finished with a four game lead over Fokina, even though the 22 year old was a few places above Mannarino it had no effect in the match. The world no 58 then took the lead in the 5th game of the second set which left Fokina questioning himself at the baseline. Mannarino defeated Fokina 6-2, 6-4.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could not proceed further than the second round as he lost to Filip Krajinovic for the second time in as many meetings. Krajinovic showed good returns on Tsonga’s groundstrokes which seemed to lose the flamboyant touch as the Frenchmen lost the first set as he was unable to finish crucial points. In the second set, Tsonga had two breakpoints at 2-1 but the 29 year old hit a backhand drop shot to save the first one and then an unforced error was given which leveled the scores. At the tie break, Krajinovic was the one to take the points in the start as Tsonga’s court coverage was a bare minimum. Krajinovic defeated Tsonga 6-4, 7-6(7-2).
Roberto Bautista Agut was playing Gilles Simon for the 8th time and the Frenchmen was leading with 5 victories with the last one coming 4 years back in Pune. The Spaniard notched up his 7th victory of the season and it did not last long as Simon retired mid match due to an injury. Simon was down 1-3 in the first set but clawed his way back into the match but came close in the first set. In the second set, Simon signaled the umpire in the 6th game as he could not return the ball and Roberto will now face Alexander Bublik in the quarterfinals. Roberto defeated Simon 6-4, 3-2.
Simon and Tsonga record first victories of the season at Montpellier
(Tennis news) It was a win for France and for two former top ten players at Open Sud de France as they recorded victories after several months on tour. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recorded a victory after 11 months as he beat Kacper Zuk in the opening round. Zuk could not secure 5 breakpoints as Tsonga needed only three breaks to get the win in straight sets. The Frenchmen played his 12th match in a timespan of 3 years, last year he played 9 matches and in 2020 he only played 2 matches. Tsonga defeated Zuk 6-4, 6-4.
Gilles Simon also secured victory at Montpellier after a gap of four months on the tour. Simon was facing fellow country mate Lucas Pouille for the fifth time and was leading the head to head record with three victories. The former world number 6 took the crucial lead in the tiebreaker as Pouille came back in time to take the second. The 37 year old was serving well and after rallying for 3 hours he finally set up a meeting with Roberto Bautista Agut. Simon defeated Pouille 7-6(7-4), 7-5. 6-4.
Hugo Gaston suffered his third consecutive loss this year when he was knocked out by Soonwoo Kwon. Gaston’s poor serve selection gave Kwon 18 breakpoint chances of which he converted 5 of them while Gaston did not have a single breakpoint. Kwon only lost two points of his 27 first serves as he got his fourth victory of the season in an hour. Kwon defeated 6-2, 6-1.
Mikael Ymer continued his form into the season with a well timed victory against Corentin Moutet. It was the first meeting between the pair as Ymer’s defense gave way for most of the points in the match. Moutet tried his best with the forehand groundstrokes but was sliced back at him by Ymer whose returns were even better in the second set. Ymer defeated Moutet 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert had first faced Peter Gojowczyk 12 years back in the Dominican Republic at a challenger event. Herbert now is only four wins away from 100 career victories as he will next face Alexander Bublik for a place in the quarterfinals. Peter had a break in the first set but could not keep the lead as the 30 year old had his powerful serve to make a comeback. Herbert served 9 aces in the match and Peter had 5 double faults. In the second set, an early break gave Herbert the green signal to proceed to the fourth round. Herbert defeated Peter 7-5, 6-2.
Zverev looking to bounce back at Montpellier after early exit in Australia
(Tennis news) After a busy tour in the first month, the 2022 season has now made its way out of Australia. The players are on the go as three events are currently going on at the same time. The Tata Open in India, Montpellier Open in France and Cordoba Open in Argentina. Cordoba Open will be the first clay event of the season and it will be the fast moving hard courts to the sliding dirt.
The Montpellier Open is into its 12th edition on tour and has seen three players out of France winning the title. Former player Tomas Berdych was the first player outside France to win the title and did it 10 years ago. This time too there are chances of breaking the tradition, here are four players to watch out for at the event.
Zverev will be needing a deep run in France after his disappointing exit at the 2022 Australian Open. The German lost to Denis Shapovalov in the fourth round, the wildcard entry this year won the title here in 2017 to become the second non French player after Berdych to win the title. The world number three has only played here twice in 2016, 2017 and made the last four in 16. He will start his run against the winner of Mackenzie McDonald and Ilya Ivashka.
One of the most successful players here along with Richard Gasquet, Monfils has always been able to find victories at home. The 35 year old still moves around the court faster than anyone and is a three time champion at Montpellier. He won the inaugural edition 12 years ago and is playing for the first time at the event since winning in 2020. Monfils reached the quarterfinals in the first Grand Slam of the year after five years and already has a title under his belt this season.
Roberto Bautista Agut
Roberto has always had a great opening season act and will now have to shift his form to France. The Spaniard was a tough one to beat at the ATP Cup and suffered a five set loss against Taylor Fritz in the third round at Melbourne. The world number 19 was the runner up last year to David Goffin, this time he will face the winner between Giles Simon and Lucas Pouille in the opening round.
Basilashvili last won a match three months ago as he is yet to open his account in the 2022 season. The world number 21 will be looking for his first victory in his fourth attempt at Montpellier, his hard hitting always has a way of finding itself at times as consistency is not his key strength.
Taylor Fritz reaches fourth round for first time in Grand Slams at Australia
(Tennis news) Day 6 of the 2022 Australian Open saw the draws taking predictable turns in most of the matches. Taylor Fritz reached a personal milestone as he went into the second week of a Grand Slam event for the first time.
Fritz beat Roberto Bautista Agut for the second time in 7 matches and for the first time in three years. The Spaniard had beaten Fritz in the last three matches including their last meeting in 2021 at Monte Carlo. Roberto had been one of the players to watch out for in the ATP Cup but the American hit 73 winners which was more than double of what Roberto hit. Fritz also hit 19 aces and hit more than 10 winners in every set. He bageled the 33 year old in the first set but lost the next two sets as he came back into the match like a true fighter. Fritz defeated Roberto 6-0, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
“It seems stupid, like after that match I was almost close to tearing up a bit” said Fritz. “So many people have made the second week of Slams, but it's just eluded me for so long. It means a ton, I'm proud, it didn't come easy, I beat an incredibly tough guy.”
Felix Auger-Aliassime continued his incredible start to the season as he reached the fourth round for the second consecutive time at the Australian Open. Felix had lost to Daniel Evans last year at Melbourne 2 in the final and wanted to set things right in their second meeting. The 21 year old took the first set under 50 minutes and further decreased the time in the next two sets. He was ahead of Evans in all aspects of the game, Felix had hit one unforced error than his opponent but everything else was just how his coach wanted it to be. Felix defeated Evans 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.
“It’s definitely one of the best Grand Slam performances I’ve had,” said Auger-Aliassime after the match. “It was a tight first set, I was fortunate to get that break point to serve out and after that for some reason everything was working for me today. I’m really happy because the first two matches were really tough for me, so I’m happy to be through in straight sets.”
In women’s singles, Simona Halep has so far spent 3 and half hours on count in her first three matches. The 14th seed has not conceded more than 7 games in a match as she reached the fourth round by beating Danka Kovinic in straight sets. Kovinic had beaten Emma Raducanu in the previous match but failed to crack the Romanian puzzle. Halep defeated Kovinic 6-2, 6-1.
World number 2 Aryna Sabalenka had to come from a set down to beat Marketa Vondrousova. Vondrousova broke Sabalenka’s serve in the 7th game of the first set to take the lead and serve her way to the lead. Sabalenka answered back as the 32nd seed could only win 4 games in the next two sets. Sabalenka defeated Vondrousova 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Also read: Osaka ousted as Kyrgios and Kokkinakis deliver double delight at Australia
Safiullin, Evans among the best players from the 2022 ATP Cup
(Tennis news) The third edition of the ATP Cup saw the young Canadians taking the title for the first time. The season opener gave the perfect start to the 2022 season as it saw many players giving all of their might to see their country winning. There were many senior and junior players who were in their zone on court as they proved to be an invaluable part of the team. Here are the top four players at the ATP Cup.
Roman Safiullin: Russia
When in Rome, do as the Romans do and that is what Safiullin exactly did. He formed a great duo with Daniil Medvedev in doubles and in singles he did what every player should for their country. Russia seemed to have lost its powerhouse as Rublev and Karatsev pulled which made way for Safiullin who unexpectedly became the hero for the team.
Safiullin became a fan favourite in the very first match against France when he defeated Arthur Rinderknech who was 120 places above him in the rankings. In the second match, the world number 167 secured his biggest win by beating James Duckworth and got his first top 50 win on tour. He lost the next two matches to Jannik Sinner and Denis Shapovalov but did his best to make them work hard for the win.
Safiullin and Medvedev were the lowest ranked doubles pair in every match they played but still won three matches and lost in the semifinals to Canada. Safiullin has been the latest Russia to make a mark in the sport and will hope to join the likes of Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev.
Daniel Evans: Great Britain
Britain had everything at the event but luck as Canada’s victory over Germany put them out of the knockout stage. Evans played five matches in the ATP Cup and won every match dropping just one set in the final doubles match against USA. The world number 26 won all his singles matches beating Denis Shapovalov and John Isner in straight sets. He was the most valuable player for the team and partnered with Jamie Murray against Germany and USA.
Roberto Bautista Agut: Spain
Roberto led the Spanish team like a gladiator in every match. The 33 year old has been having fantastic starts to the season for the past 5 seasons piling up more than 40 wins and less than 10 losses. He won four matches and it was painful to watch the world number 17 lose in the final even after picking up two top 10 victories on the way.
Felix Auger-Aliassime: Canada
The Canadian team was led by two youngsters, the rising stars of the sport. Felix and Shapovalov were one the youngest players on the event, they carried the responsibility with quite a bit of maturity. The world number 9 defeated Cameron Norrie in the second match and also paired with Shapovalov to win the tie.
Felix played 5 singles matches and 3 doubles matches at the ATP Cup which showed the young Canadian had a lot of workload and pressure through the event. The doubles win against Russia put the team through the final and his win against Roberto gave the title to the team.
Canada gets the perfect start to 2022 season with ATP Cup victory
(Tennis news) The 2022 season started off perfectly for team Canada with a first ATP Cup title. Canada were not the favourites in the final as they were facing Spain, a team which had reached the finals in the first edition and semifinals last year. The event has now seen three different winners in the last three editions as Spain has been the runner up twice.
The singles matches had all the four players ranked in the top 21 as Spain was against the youngest singles pair in the event. The first singles match was between Denis Shapovalov and Pablo Carreno Busta, the Spaniard had won his last four singles matches in straight sets at the event. Pablo had also won the last three matches in their head to head meetings as Shapovalov’s only victory came in 2019. The Canadian had withdrawn in his first singles match against USA due to fatigue, in the next match he lost against Britain’s Daniel Evans but went on to win the next two matches.
The first game of the final took 14 minutes as Shapovalov saved multiple breakpoints to hold his serve. Pablo had several chances to break the 22 year old’s serve but the next gen player did whatever he could to hold his serve and finished most of the points at the net. It was not until the 10th game that Shapovalov got the first break as he took the set against an defensive Pablo in 54 minutes.
In the second set, it was team Canada again as the left handed player kept Spain in the back with his paradisiacal groundstrokes. In the next half an hour, Canada was halfway through the finish line as Shapovalov joined the crowds in celebration. The second match was between Roberto Bautista Agut and Felix Auger Aliassime as Spain needed their top player more than ever. Roberto had won his last four matches which included two top ten wins and a bagel in the first match. Felix had lost to Daniil Medvedev in the previous match as he was bageled in the second set, the 21 year old had also lost his first match to Taylor Fritz but defeated Alexander Zverev in his third match.
Felix was 12 years junior to Roberto yet he was the one who had a more vintage style than the Spaniard. Although both the players were finishing most of the points from the baseline, Felix came into the net 16 times and only lost four chances. Roberto only won 4 points out of 9 at the net as he was hesitant to leave from the baseline. Spain was in the lead as it won the first two games but the rising star came level in the next few games. The 33 year old had a major breakpoint at 4-3 on Felix’s serve but could not savor it as the match reached the tie break and there were no chances left as Canada was a set away from victory.
The second set saw Spain’s chance further deteriorate as the world number 9 was bringing his team closer to the Cup. Felix broke Roberto’s serve in the 8th game and four minutes later a chest bump celebration started off for team Canada with its first ATP Cup title.
Canada defeated Spain 2-0
Shapovalov defeated Pablo 6-4, 6-3, Felix defeated Roberto 7-6(7-3), 6-3
Also read: All eyes on Yuki, Ramkumar at Australian Open qualifiers
Spain beats Poland to reach finals for second time of ATP Cup
(Tennis news) Day 7 of ATP Cup saw the first semi final match between Spain and Poland. Spain was the runner up in the 2019 edition and reached the finals last year. Now they have a second chance at winning the title as the opponents will be decided in the match between Russia and Canada.
Spain defeated Canada 2-1
Things went according to plan in the first match as it looked like Pablo Carreno Busta wanted to save as much energy as possible for the final. The world number 20 had magical footwork and Jan Zielinski could only take notes as he could not interrupt the flow. The Spaniard hit 11 winners in both the sets and had only 1 unforced error in the second as opposed to 2 in the first set.
Zielinski was in good spirits as he saved a matchpoint by playing a trick drop return which even shocked the crowd as they started cheering him on and then he hit a blazing forehand cross court winner to save another. It got the crowd going but after 53 minutes it was time for both of them to sit and cheer for their teammates as Spain was now in the lead.
The second match was filled with intense competition between Roberto Bautista Agut and Hubert Hurkacz. The players had met each other twice before with Roberto winning both and each match had a tie break. Both of them did honour the tie break tradition as this time there were two and it took almost 3 hours for the 2nd point to emerge.
The stats were enough to read what was going on the court. Hurkacz hit 61 winners, 24 aces and came to the net 46 times in which only lost 10 of them. Roberto had 28 winners, a single ace and came to the net 27 times while losing just 6 of them and both of them won 108 points. Hubert was leading in the first set tie break by 4-2 until Roberto started attacking every point and went on to win the set in 55 minutes which was longer than the first match itself.
In the second set, Roberto’s smash hit the net cord and went wide as Hubert broke his serve in the first game which was the overall tone of the set. Hubert leveled the score in half an hour as the match now looked in favour of Hurkacz. Roberto became more defensive in the set as he came to the net thrice, in the previous set he did the same 11 times and ended up doing 16 times in the third set. In the final set, Roberto had three match points before the tie break but Hurkacz’s skill at the net saved him. In the tiebreak Hurkacz again came into the front and saved two more match points until a forehand volley went into the net as Spain won the tie and the team mobbed Roberto as he walked in the box.
In the final doubles match, Poland signed off with a victory as Zielinski and Szymon Walkow won the last two sets after losing the first one to Pedro Martinez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Pablo defeated Zielinski 6-2, 6-1, Roberto defeated Hurkacz 7-6(8-6), 6-2, 7-6(7-5), Walkow and Zielinski defeated Martinez and Ramos-Vinolas 4-6, 6-3, 10-6.
Poland and Spain end group stage with victories at ATP Cup
(Tennis news) Day 5 of the ATP Cup saw Spain and Poland finish on top of their respective groups. It was the last group stage match for a few teams as the weekend is nearing and the finals will take place in three days. Poland, Spain and Russia are so far the only teams to have won all their ties at the event this time as Russia will play their final group stage match today.
Poland defeated Argentina 3-0
It was curtains down for Argentina as they lost the bid in the final match. Poland saved it’s best performance at the end as both the teams had won their previous two matches and the winner would get a place in the last four. Kamil Majchrzak was the first one to break the Argentine spirits when he beat Federico Delbonis, Hubert Hurkacz closed out the tie as he took some time in understanding Diego Schwartzman’s defense. Szymon Walkow and Jan Zielinski then made it a perfect score of 3-0 with their straight set win.
Majchrzak defeated Delbonis 6-3, 7-6(7-3), Hurkacz defeated Schwartzman 6-1, 6-4, Walkow and Zielinski defeated Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-5).
Spain defeated Serbia 2-1
In a repeat of the 2020 finals, Spain were on top this time as they along with Poland became the second team to record three victories in the group stage. Pablo Carreno Busta delivered the early blow as he hammered 30 winners in his win against Filip Krajinovic. Roberto Bautista Agut continued his great form to beat Dusan Lajovic to confirm the top finish in Group A. The Serbian pair of Nikola Cacic and Matej Sabanov Pedro Martinez won their last match of the event as Spain proceeded to the semifinals.
Pablo defeated Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 , Roberto defeated Lajovic 6-1, 6-4, Cacic and Sabanov defeated Pedro Martinez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 10-5.
Greece defeated Georgia 2-1
It was a battle of bottom placed teams as Greece faced Georgia. Both of them had lost the first two matches as Greece managed to end their campaign with a victory. Michail Pervolarakis recorded his first tour level victory by beating Aleksandre Metreveli in an hour for the advantage. 30 minutes into the second match, Stefanos Tsitsipas gave them the first victory for the team this year as Nikoloz Basilashvili retired early due to breathing problems. In the doubles, Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli survived three matchpoints in the final set and managed a consolation win.
Pervolarakis defeated Metreveli 6-3, 6-2, Tsitsipas defeated Basilashvili 4-1 Retired, Bakshi and Metreveli defeated Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas 4-6, 6-3, 16-14.
Chile defeated Norway 2-1
Norway ended their campaign at the event without a win as they lost to Chile to join Georgia with three defeats. Alejandro Tablio was the MVP in the Chilean side as he overcame Viktor Durasovic in the first match, Casper Ruud brought Norway back into the court with a one sided performance over Cristian Garin. In the final match, Tablio and Tomas Barrios Vera made sure the farewell theme would be favouring them as they even bageled the Norwegian pair in the first set.
Tablio defeated Durasovic 6-1, 6-7(5-7), 6-1, Ruud defeated Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-1, Tablio and Tomas Barrios Vera defeated Leyton Rivera and Andreja Petrovic 6-0, 6-4.
Argentina and Spain closing in on top finish at the ATP Cup
(Tennis news) Day 3 of the ATP Cup saw Argentina and Spain maintain their perfect record for the second time. The teams will be looking to win matches in the next two days as the bottom placed teams will be eliminated and won’t proceed to the knockout stages later in the week. There were two matches in Group A and two in Group D as Norway along with Greece lost their second consecutive tie.
Chile defeated Serbia 2-1
Chile secured their first victory in the event with a long fought victory over Serbia. The three matches altogether spanned for over 6 hours as Chile is now second placed behind Spain in Group A. Cristian Garin had a bumpy start against Dusan Lajovic as the Serbian took the first set even though there were many chances of breaking the serve for both the players. In the later stages of the second set, Lajovic started getting cramps which brought down his game and finally losing the set and retiring midway of the match.
Filip Krajinovic had stalled Chile for a period of time as he secured the first point for Serbia with a win over Alejandro Tabilo. Krajinovic held on to every bit of hope he could in the final set as it was won over a tie break. In the doubles, the young Chilean pair of Tomas Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo confirmed the win in an hour and 20 mins as the tie finally came to an end.
Garin defeated Lajovic 4-6, 6-4, 3-0, Krajinovic defeated Tabilo 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7-5), Tomas and Alejandro defeated Nikola Cacic and Matej Sabanov 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.
Poland defeated Georgia 3-0
Poland recorded their second victory in as many matches as they are one win away from making the semifinal stage. Kamil Majchrzak demolished Aleksandre Bakshi as he won under an hour to give Poland a satisfying victory and then in the second match there was a little hope from the Georgia camp. Hubert Hurkacz played Aleksandre Metreveli instead of Nikoloz Basilashvili and was taken aback losing the first set in a tie break. Hurkacz then re-energised and sealed the tie for Poland.
In the doubles, Szymon Walkow and Jan Zieliński completed a full sweep with a win over Aleksandre Bakshi and Aleksandre Metreveli.
Majchrzak defeated Bakshi 6-1, 6-1, Hurkacz defeated Metreveli 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-1, Walkow and Zieliński defeated Zieliński and Metreveli 6-7(2-7), 6-2, 10-6.
Spain defeated Norway 3-0
Spain maintained their winning record as they did not lose a single set in three of the ties against Norway. Pablo Carreno Busta got off to a flying start as he had no trouble against Viktor Durasovic in the opening match and Roberto Bautista Agut continued his fine form by beating Casper Ruud for victory. The young Spaniards Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez once again laid down the final touches by beating Lukas Hellum-Lilleengen and Andreja Petrovic in the doubles match.
Pablo defeated Viktor 6-3, 6-3, Roberto defeated Ruud 6-4, 7-6(7-4), Fokina and Martinez defeated Andreja and Lukas 6-4, 6-1.
Argentina defeated Greece 3-0
Federico Delbonis gave the early positive news for Argentina with a smooth victory over Michail Pervolarakis. The second match gave a classic lesson on defense and tackling high balls with ease as Diego Schwartzman toppled Greek god Stefanos Tsitsipas to confirm their second win. In the final match, Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni beat Markos Kalovelonis and Petros Tsitsipas in a close encounter for a clean slate.
Delbonis defeated Pervolarakis 7-6(7-5) ,6-1, Schwartzman defeated Tsitsipas 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-3, Gonzalez and Molteni defeated Kalovelonis and Petros 6-3, 4-6, 11-9
Argentina sets the benchmark against Georgia on opening day of ATP cup
(Tennis news) The first day of the ATP cup saw four ties take place as only the Serbia vs Norway tie is yet to finish. There are still two matches remaining in the tie as only the first singles has been completed with Serbia taking the lead. Group A and D were in action on the 1st day as Stefanos Tsitsipas withdrew from his opening match showdown due to a right elbow injury. Tsitsipas as of now will still be seen in action in the next few matches.
Spain defeated Chile 3-0
World number 20 Pablo Carreno Busta started the proceedings for Spain as he was up against Alejandro Tabilo. Tabilo made most of his chances in both the sets as Busta had to cover the lead but made up for his poor start with a dominating performance in the end. Tabilo put up a brave show as he was ranked 100 places below Busta but did not let Chile down with his performance as he took the Spaniard to the tie break in the second set. Busta defeated Tabilo 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Roberto Bautista Agut brought his new celebrations onto the court as he bageled the opening set against Cristian Garin. Garin was two places above Roberto but could not match the Spaniard’s A game as the first set got over in half an hour. In the second set, Roberto continued his onslaught as he took the first four games until Garin won his first game of the match but the party never started for him as Spain closed out the tie with two straight set wins. Roberto defeated Garin 6-0, 6-3.
In the doubles match, it was the turn for youngsters to blow the final whistle as Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez defeated Tomas Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo. Spain lost a set only in the doubles match as Tomas and Alejandro scrambled to try and get hopes up and did come close but it was a hat trick of victories for Spain. Alejandro and Pedro defeated Tomas and Tabilo 7-6(7-3), 4-6, 10-7.
Argentina defeated Georgia 3-0
Argentina gave a warm welcome to Georgia to the event but it did not last long. Federico Delbonis only lost three games in the opening match against Aleksandre Metreveli as the first singles match wrapped up in no time. Delbonis was making his event debut and his forehand took the chance to push Metreveli further away from victory. Delbonis defeated Metreveli 6-1, 6-2.
Diego Schwartzman followed his teammate with a surprisingly swift victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili. Basilashvili is known to possess one of the fastest groundstrokes on the ATP tour but the firepower did not ignite as Schwartzman confirmed victory for the team with the second victory. Schwartzman defeated Basilashvili 6-1, 6-2.
In the third match of the tie, Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni put their experience together to beat Saba Purtseladze and Zura Tkemaladze. With the win already on their hands, the Argentinian pair did not want a single point taken from the tie as they too played like their singles players for a comprehensive win. Gonzalez and Molteni defeated Purtseladze and Tkemaladze 6-1, 6-2. Argentina had the same scores in all the three matches as the team only lost 9 games in the tie.
Poland defeated Greece 2-0
Greece suffered a huge setback as Tsitsipas had to withdraw in the second singles match against Hubert Hurkacz. Kamil Majchrzak opened up with an impressive performance against Michail Pervolarakis With constant support from the sidelines, Majchrzak did not let the spirits down to get the points on board. Majchrzak defeated Pervolarakis 6-1, 6-4.
The second singles match result was predicted as soon as Aristotelis Thanos was set to face Hurkacz. Hurkacz was a 1000 places above Thanos in the rankings and the match went as expected for Poland. Hurkacz secured the tie in under an hour and conceded three games in the process. Hurkacz defeated Thanos 6-1, 6-2.
Also read: Sinner and Berrettini boost Italy's chances of maiden title at ATP Cup
Sinner and Berrettini boost Italy's chances of maiden title at ATP Cup
(Tennis news) The third edition of the ATP Cup is due to start from January 1st 2022 as the 16 teams have been divided into four groups. Former champions Serbia will be without Novak Djokovic as defending champions Russia are also without Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy. There are strong chances for the third time that a team will get its maiden trophy. Italy seems to be one of the favourites as they have their top players participating. Here are the top four teams to watch out for at the season opening tournament.
Italy: Group B
The strongest team in the event has four players in top 40 including two players in the top 10 and a doubles player ranked in the top 25. Among the top three ranked singles players, the oldest is Lorenzo Sonego who is 26 as the youngest is Jannik Sinner aged 20. Sinner and Matteo Berrettini will be leading the attack in singles as Simone Bolelli can team up with Sonego or Fabio Fognini for the final blow in doubles.
They can run into trouble against Daniil Medvedev when they play against Russia other than that Italy can finish as table toppers or can come second behind Russia. Group B will be one of the most competitive as compared to the rest of the groups as France and Australia will take every opportunity they get.
Great Britain: Group C
Britain has a complete set up for singles and doubles as they have seasoned players to stir up trouble. Cameron Norrie alongside Daniel Evans will be on the singles front while Joe Salisbury and Jamie Murray will be up for the doubles matches. Norrie has been the top player on his team this season and if the matches go till the decider then their doubles pair are also capable of making a comeback.
They can face tough competition from Germany as Alexander Zverev will be making the move in singles, Canada can pose problems with Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov forming a match winning singles combination. Britain will also be facing the US team which can field Taylor Fritz and out of form John Isner in their attack; they also have doubles multiple Grand Slam winner Rajeev Ram and next gen star Brandon Nakashima.
Spain: Group A
Spain will be playing without their hero Rafael Nadal but has Tokyo Olympics Bronze medalist and world number 20 Pablo Carreno Busta who is ranked just one below Roberto Bautista Agut. Their singles squad looks to be sorted but the doubles pair will have to be tested as youngsters Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez will have to provide support for the team.
The seniors in the team will have to do double duty as it will get tiring but if their singles matches go well then the workload will vanish. They will be up against Chile in the opening match as Spain will also play against Norway and Serbia.
Argentina: Group D
The team has the oldest players on their side with their youngest player being 29 years old. Diego Schwartzman and Federico Delbonis can be in the singles tie as Federico Coria can also walk in for crucial points. Their senior most player, Maximo Gonzalez aged 38 will be working his magic in doubles with Andres Molteni, the team has work to do but has the strongest chance to top Group D.
Argentina will be facing Greece, Poland and Georgia as their doubles pair will hold the final call on crucial matches. Stefanos Tsitsipas will be on top of Greece as Hubert Hurkacz will do the same for Poland but both the players don’t have enough support and experience like Argentina. The 2022 season will start in grand fashion as 16 countries will battle with each other and one will walk away with the trophy after 9 days of combat on court.
Andy Murray receives wildcard for 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Andy Murray is back in the Australian Open after two years, he last played in 2019 where he lost the opening round to Roberto Bautista Agut in a four hour marathon. Murray will be playing the Australian Open for the 14th time next year and is 2 victories away from 50 career wins at the first Grand Slam of the year.
“I’m really excited to be back playing at the Australian Open and grateful to Craig and the team for the opportunity," Murray said in a statement. "I’ve had some great times in Australia playing in front of the amazing crowds and I can’t wait to step back out on court at Melbourne Park.”
The 34 year old had one of his best streaks here a decade ago as from 2010 to 2016 he reached the finals 5 times and reached the quarterfinal and semifinal once. The Scot reached two consecutive finals twice in 2010,11 and in 2015,16; Novak Djokovic defeated him in four of the five finals while Roger Federer defeated him in the 2010 final.
Murray has been making a comeback since his hip surgery which almost brought down the curtains in his career after the 2019 event. The three time Grand Slam winner has shown strength in the toughest phase of his career as currently only Djokovic out of the big four has not suffered major injuries so far. Murray, Nadal and Federer are recovering from injuries as Federer won’t be seen in action this time.
More wildcards will be announced soon by the organizers as the five time finalist did have some convincing victories this year. He defeated Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz, Carlos Alcaraz and the list will grow next year. Murray played 29 matches this year same as Rafael Nadal and won 15 of them as Nadal had 24 wins. Nine more victories will give Murray 700 career wins which is the fourth most amongst active players after the big three.
The former world number one has never defeated Djokovic in five of their meetings at Australia, but has defeated Federer once and Nadal twice in which the Spaniard retired hurt in the second meeting. He has not faced Nadal for over 5 years, Federer for 6 years and Djokovic in 4 years and maybe the 2022 Australian Open can bring the old days back which can inspire the new gen even more.
Jannik Sinner seeking to enter the top five in ATP rankings in 2022 season
(Tennis news) Jannik Sinner is the current youngest player in the top ten as he is only 20 years old and in his third year on the ATP tour. The Italian had a rapid rise to the top this year with four titles in five finals all coming on hard courts. Sinner started the season with a title at Melbourne 1 defeating Karen Khachanov in the semifinals, in the next two events he made first round exits. He will be expected to stage some upset at the 2022 Australian Open.
Sinner had never progressed beyond the fourth in Masters 1000 until this year when he made the finals at Miami defeating Khachanov for the second time this year and beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals. In the finals he lost to Hubert Hurkacz and at Barcelona he reached the semifinals by beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets. In the next 7 events, he did not progress beyond the fourth round until his title win at Washington where he beat four Americans on the way.
Sinner’s next title came at the Sofia Open where he was the defending champion. In the finals he defeated Gael Monfils for the second time in a row as he had beaten the Frenchmen at the US Open. Sinner then didn't drop for the second consecutive to win a title at Antwerp and went on to reach the semifinals at Vienna which projected him to career best ranking of 9.
Sinner was expected to play at the Nitto ATP Finals but a first round loss at the Paris Masters put him in the backseat. He then got a chance at his hometown when fellowmen Matteo Berrettini was injured and Sinner got off to a winning start as the crowd went berserk in his match against Hurkacz.
Sinner’s strokes are always on the offensive and hit flat with incredible force that causes him to master the hardcourts. Sinner has proven that even with very little experience, he can beat the elite players and with more practice can perform well in high pressure matches. The match against Carlos Alcaraz at Paris was supposed to be a trailer for what the rivalry holds in the future. Sinner is quick around the court and can also stretch to hit impressive winners.
Sinner is yet to make an impression at Grand Slams, he reached the quarter final stage at Roland Garros last year and that has been his only appearance at that level so far. He has only played at 8 Grand Slams so far but has many competitors aside him. Now with the top ten entry, Sinner will try to transfer his hardcourts supremacy into the Grand Slams as three of the four Grand Slams are held in fast moving courts. Sinner will need to progress deeper at the majors as he can then have a crack at the top five of the rankings.
Croatia blanks Australia in Davis Cup opener, Spain in trouble as Carlos Alcaraz tests positive
(Tennis news) Marin Cilic led the Croatian team as he took out Alex De Minaur to give a major boost to their victory as they secured their points with a 3-0 victory. Croatia got off to a flying start as world number 276 Borna Gojo beat Alexei Popyrin who was 200 places above him and defeated him in straight sets. It was then followed by Cilic handing out a three set defeat to Minaur as the youngster had a poor run since July. The top doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic completed a white wash as they beat Minaur and John Peers. Croatia is up against Hungary in their next match.
Croatia defeated Australia (3-0)
Borna Gojo defeated Alexei Popyrin 7-6, 7-5, Marin Cilic defeated Alex de Minaur 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic defeated Minaur and John Peers 6-3, 6-1.
Sweden too had a good start as they too won all the three matches against Canada. Brothers Mikael Ymer and Elias Ymer won their singles matches to give Sweden the lead. The doubles pair of Robert Lindstedt and Andre Goransson completed the final bout as they ended the match with a sweet victory, Sweden can enter the quarterfinals if they beat Kazakhstan in their next match.
Sweden defeated Canada (3-0)
Elias defeated Steven Diez 6-4, 6-2, Mikael defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4, Lindstedt and Goransson defeated Pospisil and Brayden Schnur 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
France had a shocking start but managed to record victory over Czech Republic in their opening match. Richard Gasquet suffered a straight set loss to debutant Tomas Machac as Czech gained an early lead. Adrian Mannarino put the 10 time champion back on track as he beat Jiri Vesely to make the scores level and the Nitto ATP Finals champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut overcame a set deficit to complete the win. France will next face Great Britain on 27th November.
France defeated Czech Republic (2-1)
Machac defeated Gasquet 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, Mannarino defeated Vesely 6-7(1-7), 6-4, 6-2, Herbert and Mahut defeated Machac and Jiri Lehecka 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Defending champions Spain took another hit at their title defence as Carlos Alcaraz tested positive resulting in his withdrawal. He is the third player to withdraw as he joins Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut. World number 60 Pedro Martinez Portero will be the replacement for Carlos as Spain will take on Ecuador in their opening tie.
Daniil Medvedev leading a strong Russian team at the Davis Cup
(Tennis news) With the end of the ATP season, the Davis Cup will be starting today as players get ready to represent their countries on court. It will be held in Madrid, Innsbruck and Turin with a total of 6 groups where each group will comprise three countries, it will be a round robin format at first and then will proceed to the knockout stages. The final is scheduled to be held in Madrid. The event is being held after a year’s gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled last year’s event, in 2019 Spain defeated Canada in the final to win their 6th title.
Each tie will consist of two singles and one doubles match and it will be best of three sets. The top players are expected to play as defending champion Spain will be without Rafael Nadal although Carlos Alacarz will be making his debut for the team along with Jannik Sinner who will play for Italy.
At the top of the singles for Britain is Cameron Norrie, the 26 year old is 12th in the World Rankings after winning the ATP Masters 1000 in the Indian Wells. The left-hander had made an unbelievable comeback from two sets to beat Roberto Bautista Agut on his Davis Cup debut in 2018. If Norrie can live up to his potential, he will lead the attack along with world number 25 Dan Evans, doubles specialist Joe Salisbury who made the doubles at the ATP Finals in Turin and Neal Skupski.
Russia has one of the top players in their team as Daniil Medvedev will spearhead the attack along with Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Aslan Karatsev and Evan Donskoy. Khachanov and Karatsev have not been in top form in recent months which means Medvedev along with Rublev will be expected to bring crucial points in singles. The team had won the ATP Cup at the start of the season.
USA will open their tie with tough competitors Italy as both the teams have the top players. Sinner, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego and Lorenzo Musetti will battle against John Isner, Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock in addition to Rajeev Ram in the doubles match.
Colombia made their entry after defeating Argentina as doubles pair of Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal will lead the attack as the singles players are all ranked out of the top 100 and their experience is also very limited. There will be three matches as each group will start out their day in respective venues.
Nick Kyrgios out of 2021 season due to injury, to be back next year at the Australian Open
(Tennis news) World number 96 Nick Kyrgios has become the latest player to finish his 2021 season early due to a knee injury. The Australian had featured in the Laver Cup for Team World, losing the singles against Stefanos Tsitsipas and the doubles to Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev while partnering with John Isner.
Kyrgios had lost in the first round against Roberto Bautista Agut at the US Open and had first round exits at Toronto and Washington. His last victory came at Atlanta against Kevin Anderson in the first round. He has only played seven tournaments this year and did not play in the French Open, his best performance came in the Murray River Open where had reached the fourth round as he lost to Borna Coric.
Kyrgios lost to Dominic Thiem in the third round of the Australian Open after taking a two set lead with the match lasting for four hours and was next seen at Wimbledon where he retired mid match due to an abdominal injury against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the same stage. He has been affected by injuries this season which saw him play a total of 15 matches and had first round exits in his last three tournaments.
The 26 year old had posted in instagram saying he hadn’t been a hundred percent fit lately and in the Laver Cup said that he plans for an early retirement. Known for his temperament and skills, he is planning to return to the Australian Open next year and had reached the quarterfinals in 2015. He is regarded as one of the most talented players on tour but with a troublesome attitude and is known to be a crowd puller.
Kyrgios joins Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominc Thiem who have finished their season early due to injuries. Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka have also ended their 2021 season as all of them hopefully will be seen on court at the first Grand Slam of the year. Last year, the pandemic had played its part on the tour as many tournaments were cancelled in the first half and this year has seen players being affected by injuries.
With only two months of tennis season left, the teenage stars will look to perform in absence of their seniors on tour. In the women’s tour, BNP Paribas Open is the next Masters 1000 tournament and the VTB Kremlin Cup starts right after Paribas Open. The year end championships will be held in November. For the men’s tour, the BNP Paribas Open will be held next month followed by the Rolex Paris Masters in November as the World Tour finals will be held from the second week of November. The fourth edition of next Gen ATP finals will start from November 9th as the youngsters will hope for a US Open scenario to happen again.
Also read: Reilly Opelka enters the top twenty rankings for the first time
Reilly Opelka enters the top twenty rankings for the first time
(Tennis news) Reilly Opelka has been one of the top servers in the past three years along with his country mate John Isner. Opelka is the joint tallest tennis player along with Ivo Karlovic standing at 6 feet 11 inches and both are one of the fastest servers in the court. Opelka turned professional in 2015 and won his first title in 2019 at the New York Open, a Masters 250 tournament but that year saw Opelka finish second in most number aces as he served 1,014 aces in 48 matches.
Opelka’s height has naturally given him a strong serve, his average first serve is around 205 km/hour and given his stature it is tough to return balls from that angle. He also comes to the net very often and has quick reflexes combined with huge reach in both forehand and backhand.
Opelka has won two titles so far as his second title came last year at the Delray Beach Open and will now look to win a Masters 1000 or 500 title. Both his titles have come in hard courts considering his style of play which is suited on fast courts as opposed to clay where there is a lot of sliding and the ball moves slow. Opelka’s movement around the court is a little slower considering the height but his forehands and serve have been his strengths as it comes from a towering position and fierce speed.
Opelka is currently the highest ranked American, two places above John Isner who is ranked 21 in the world and Opelka is currently ranked third in the number of aces this year as he is two aces behind John Isner with 664 aces. His serve has been exceptional and has helped him beat higher ranked opponents and trouble them especially on hard courts. He has performed well in clay courts too as he reached the last four in Rome and reached the third round of French Open this year.
Opelka had two major milestones this year as he reached the semifinals in Rome until he was beaten by eventual champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets which was the first time Opelka reached the last four in a Masters 1000. Opelka then bettered his record by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut and Grigor Dimitrov on the way to the final where he lost to Daniil Medvedev at the Toronto Open.
Opelka will look to emulate Isner’s and Jack Sock’s record of reaching the top ten of the rankings. Both Sock and Isner have been ranked number eight which is the highest by an American in the past 9 years. Mardy Fish was ranked number seven in 2011 and Andy Roddick on top in 2003 which has not been repeated ever since. Opelka reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in this year’s US Open as he lost to Lloyd Harris as he lost his chance for a quarterfinal berth but gained entry into the top twenty of the rankings for the first time. Opelka is now ranked 19 in the world which is also his career best ranking considering the performances this year.
To climb into the top ten rankings would require improvements in all aspects of the game and considering he is only 24 years old, Opelka will have a lot to look forward to in the coming months as there are still two Masters 1000 coming up. Opelka was last seen playing the Laver Cup while representing team world, he played the singles losing to Casper Ruud. While there are a handful of tournaments left in the tennis season the American number one has a lot to do.
Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez lead with huge victories at the US Open
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, 18 year old Carlos Alcaraz Garfia reported a major casualty when he beat World number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round of the US Open. Alcaraz covered over 9 kms during the four hour battle, he even came back from 2-5 in the third set as Tsitsipas simply couldn’t get the ball past him. In the fourth set, Tsitsipas came back roaring with 6 consecutive games to take the match into the decider. Alcaraz played like a true warrior against the Greek god to go into the fourth round. Alcaraz defeated Tsitsipas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7-2), 0-6, 7-6(7-5).
World no seven Andrey Rublev was also knocked out by Frances Tiafoe in another five setter as two top ten players have already crashed out of the US Open. Rublev started well taking the first set but Tiafoe immediately answered as he took the next one. In the third set Rublev had a set point in the tie break but Tifaoe managed to sabotage it and went on to win the set. Things were never smooth for Rublev as he could never carry the momentum in the match as Tiafoe constantly troubled his rhythm to take the match. Tifaoe defeated Rublev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8-6), 4-6, 6-1.
The third five setter match saw Felix Auger Aliassime continue his good run at the Grand Slams as he recorded a victory against Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. Felix had earlier reached the quarterfinals in Wimbledon for the first time, he was on course for a straight set victory by taking the first two sets comfortably until Roberto fought back taking the next two. The match was suddenly even and both of them had equal chances. Felix showed tremendous stamina to come out firing in the final set for a well deserved win. Felix defeated Roberto 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.
In Women’s Singles, 18 year old Leylah Annie Fernandez caused the biggest upset of this year’s US Open so far as she ended the campaign of defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round. Osaka took the first set and was almost close to taking the next one too until Leylah found hope at the right time. Osaka was serving for the match 6-5 in the second set when Lelyah had other ideas and won the set in the tiebreaker. The final set saw Leylah winning 18 of her 19 first serves and had enough energy left in the tank to blast winners as she grew with confidence in the last few games. Leylah defeated Osaka 5-7, 7-6(7-2), 6-4.
Garbine Muguruza, a two time Grand Slam champion was up against another two time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka. Muguruza started off on a bright note as she took the first set and the duel was bound to go to the third set when Azarenka took the second set with equal ease. In the third set Azarenka lost control of her serve and groundstrokes as Muguruza won the match. Muguruza defeated Azarenka 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Two former US Open champions collided in another exciting contest, Angelique Kerber won here 5 years ago and Sloane Stephens had won 4 years ago. Stephens took the first as she looked more comfortable on court than Kerber, but the next two sets saw Kerber walk all over her opponent. Kerber was striking the ball so well and finished the last two sets in jiffy. Kerber defeated Stephens 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig took the last two sets to win their opening match against the pair of James Duckworth and Jordan Thompson. Bopanna and Ivan Dodig defeated Duckworth and Thompson 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7-1). Third seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert needed three sets which involved two tie breakers to see off Marcelo Demoliner and Marcus Daniell. Mahut and Herbert defeated Demoliner and Daniell 6-3, 7-6(7-3), 7-6(7-1).
In Women’s Doubles, Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi had an easy outing against Rebecca Peterson and Danka Kovinić, Krawczyk and Guarachi just gave four games as they are into the third round. Krawczyk and Guarachi defeated Peterson and Kovinić 6-3, 6-1. Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai continued their good run as they defeated Miyu Kato and Sabrina Santamaria 6-2, 6-4.
In Mixed Doubles, Rajeev Ram and Sania Mirza lost their opening match to Dayana Yastremska and Max Purcell as they couldn’t turn things around in the final set tiebreaker. Dayana and Max defeated Rajeev and Sania 6-3, 3-6, 10-7. Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk had a tough opening match as they defeated Mitchell Krueger and Jamie Loeb 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.
Also read: Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori turn back the clock at the US Open, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić exit in the first round in doubles
Dimtrov and Berrettini notch up victories as Giorgi gets knocked out in Cincinnati
Cincinnati (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, John Isner had a rough start in his opening match against Cameron Norrie in Cincinnati Masters 1000. Norrie raced off to take the first set as Isner was looking at an early exit, in the second set both were players going head to head and a tiebreak was needed to separate the two. Isner took the tiebreak 7-5 as he avoided defeat and in the final set the American made no mistake as he won the match 4-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-4. Isner served his way into the record books as he became the second player to cross the 13,000 aces mark in the match. Ivo Karlovic leads the chart with 13,709 aces followed by Isner and Roger Federer. Isner will next face Jannik Sinner in the next round while another huge server Reily Opelka also needed three sets to advance against Corentin Moutet.
Opelka started strong as he took the first set 7-6(7-3), Corentin fought back to take the second set 6-4. The final set saw Opelka securing victory as he took it 6-4 and will next take on Casper Ruud. Wimbledon runner up Matteo Berrettini made a return to the tour by defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 7-5 in his first match since his incredible run on grass. Grigor Dimtrov defeated Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to set up an exciting contest against Alexander Bublik, this will be their third meeting and they last met in Wimbledon this year where Bublik prevailed. Benoit Paire secured his third win against Denis Shapovalov, he overcame Denis 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 as he looks in form this time around. The young Canadian had an early exit in the Toronto Open as well in the same round of 32 and will look to be his old self as he comes back for the US Open.
Also read: Paire and Shapovalov battle in round three as Murray advances in Cincinnati
In Women’s Singles, Jessica Pegula was in incredible form when she demolished Camila Giorgi when she secured victory as Camila could only win four games in total. Jessica will next face former world number Simona Halep, Halep had earlier defeated Magda Linette and had issues in the second set. Halep won the first set 6-4 and Magda came back with equal power by taking the second set 6-3 but the decisive set saw the two time grand slam winner conceding just a single to take it 6-1. Belinda Bencic also announced her return with a victory after winning the Gold in Singles at the Tokyo Olympics. She won her match against Markéta Vondroušová 6-3,7-5 to set up a round of 32 match against Shelby Rogers. Markéta Vondroušová had upset Naomi Osaka in the third of the Tokyo Olympics, Osaka who finished as runner up last year to Azarenka will start her campaign against teenager Coco Gauff who breezed past Hsieh Su-wei. Victoria Azarenka beat Ludmilla Samsonova 6-2,6-3 in her opening match, Azarenka had won here last year and back in 2013.
In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig exited in their opening match as they lost 1-6, 6-4, 10-7 to Filip Krajinović and Fabrice Martin. It was a tough defeat as they took the first set and things looked set for a victory. They lost the second set and could not stage a dramatic run down the finish line in the final set. John Peers and Filip Polasek shook off a first set setback and took the next two sets against Luke Saville and Matwe Middelkoop to confirm a showdown with Alex de Minaur and Cameron Norrie.
In Women’s Doubles, Japanese pair of Ena Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama toppled Jeļena Ostapenko and Jil Teichman without much trouble with a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Iga Świątek won a marathon match against Petra Martić and Shelby Rogers when finally the scorecard read 2-6, 7-5, 10-5 and they will next face the pair of Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepač in the round of 16.
Isner and Opelka lead the American dream as Aryna sets up a Wimbledon rematch with Karolina in Toronto
Toronto (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Stefanos Tsitsipas dominated Casper Ruud as he beat him in straight sets to book a semifinal clash with Reilly Opelka. Opelka served his way through Roberto Bautista Agut as he swiftly took the first set but had to struggle in the second as it went till tie break but the American eventually came through. Daniil Medvedev was staring at a quarterfinal exit as he had to pull out every trick in the book against Hubert Hurkacz in a marathon three set battle. After winning the first set 6-2, Hubert was two points away from a semifinal spot in the second set tiebreak as both the players were leveled on 6 points each. The third set also saw both the players take it to the extreme as Medvedev scraped through and got himself a semifinal berth against John Isner. Isner defeated Gael Monfils 7-6(7-5), 6-4 as the first was nothing apart from magic when Monfils came back from a 1-5 deficit in the tie break but the American finished with an ace. Isner improved and took the second set with less trouble as he will face the young Russian for a place in the final.
Also read: Isner Upsets Rublev as Bautista saves three match points for a place in the quarterfinal in Toronto
In Women’s Singles, Ons Jabeur who had earlier defeated the defending champion Bianca Andreescu in the round of 16 lost to Jessica Pegula in a three set thriller quarterfinal. Jessica now has two victories against Jabeur in as many matches. Jabeur had a perfect start as she took the first 6-1, in the second set she was serving for the match at 5-4 but couldn’t finish it off as Jessica came back with a bang by taking the second set in a tiebreak 7-6(7-4). She kept improving as she bageled Jabeur to confirm her place in the semifinals. Top seed Aryna Sabalenka powered her way through to the semifinals when she defeated former world no 1 and two time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka 6-2,6-4. The last time they played was last year in the Ostrava final where Sabalenka prevailed. Sabalenka had 33 winners to help her get past her opponent and will be needing those again when she faces Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. Pliskova had earlier defeated Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-0 for a place in the semifinals, she was troubled by the Spaniard early on into the match as she was down 3-1 in the first set but that was the only setback she had in the whole match. She took 10 games in a row as she trounced her opponent in the second set by bageling her and stamping her place in the semifinals. Teenager Coco Gauff's run was halted by Camila Giorgi who is in terrific form this tournament as she had earlier taken out Elise Mertens and Petra Kvitova. The first set saw Camila leading early on as she took the first set 6-4, the second set saw both players go head to head as Gauff denied Camila twice when serving for the match at 5-4 and 6-5. In the tiebreak Gauff started early by securing a 2-1 lead but Camila took the next 6 points for a well fought victory.
In Men’s Doubles, Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna were defeated in three sets in the quarterfinals by Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram. The winners will next face Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen in the semifinals. In the second semifinal, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will be facing Kevin Krawietz and HoriaTecău.
In Women’s Doubles, Sabalenka and Mertens lost to Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani in the quarterfinals. The victors will next face Elena Rybakina and Veronika Kudermetova for a place in the final. Bernarda Pera and Magda Linette will face off Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak in the first semifinal.
Isner Upsets Rublev as Bautista saves three match points for a place in the quarterfinal in Toronto
Toronto (Tennis news): John Isner was too good for 4th seed Andrey Rublev as he defeated the young explosive Russian in straight sets to set up a mouth watering quarter final clash with Gael Monfils. Monfils booked his place in the quarter finals as he clinched a victory in straight sets against Frances Tiafoe. This is the Frenchman's first quarter final of the year and will be meeting the American for a 13th time on tour. Monfils holds a 7-5 lead over Isner, the last time they faced was 2 years ago in the Beijing Open round of 32 where Isner prevailed in three sets.
Also read: Canadians crash out in Toronto as Medvedev looks to reach second final
Roberto Bautista Agut came back from the brink to save three match points against Diego Schwartzman in the round of 16. He was down 3-5 in the final set and won four games in a row for victory as he will be playing Reilly Opelka who recorded a win over Lloyd Harris. Daniil Medvedev booked himself a quarter final berth as he defeated James Duckworth 6-2,6-4 in the round of 16.
In Women’s Singles, defending champion Bianca Andreescu lost her round of 16 match to Ons Jabeur in three sets. Camila Giorgi is into the quarterfinals after seeing off Petra Kvitová in round of 16, she will be facing 17 year old Coco Gauff for a place in the semifinals.
In Men’s Doubles, top seeds Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will be facing Luke Saville and Matwe Middelkoop today in the quarterfinals. In the Women’s doubles Ellen Perez and Květa Peschke lost in the quarterfinals to Bernarda Pera and Magda Linette.