French Open: Djokovic and Nadal secure wins while Norrie is knocked out
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal secured straight set victories at Roland Garros to progress into the fourth round of the tournament. Djokovic defeated Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-3 6-2 on Court Philippe-Chatrier while Nadal overcame Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-2 6-4. Their results mean that if the pair manage to win their fourth round matches, they will face each other in an epic clash at the French Open quarter-finals. The Serbian will take on Diego Schwartzman next while the 21 time Grand Slam winner will face Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Speaking after his match, Nadal said “I had my chance with a breakpoint for 5-0 in the third but then he made a great second serve, an ace wide. I played a bad game with my serve after and he played very aggressive tennis. You always feel the nerves to finish the match [off], so I'm happy to be through I straight-sets. I think it was my best match of the tournament for two-and-a-half sets. So, I'm very happy about that."
Nadal’s opponent Felix Auger-Aliassime is coached by the Spaniard’s uncle Toni. "I already talked with Toni after my match," Nadal said. "I know you are going to ask the question, but for me it's very simple. He's my uncle. I don't think he will be able to want me to lose, without a doubt, but he's a professional and he's with another player. I don't know what's going to happen, if he's going to stay in the box or not, but I don't care. I have zero problem with that. So it's not a story at all for me. I know the feelings that we have between each other. I know he wants the best for me. Now he's helping another player. But honestly, for me, it's zero problem and I know he wants the best for me."
Djokovic’s next opponent Diego Schwartzman overcame Grigor Dimitrov in three sets 6-3 6-1 6-2 on Friday. The Argentinian only made 20 unforced errors compared to Dimitrov’s 50 and Schwartzman will take on Djokovic for the seventh time on the ATP tour, with the Serbian having won every match from their encounters. Alexander Zverev defeated Brandon Nakashima of the United States 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The German will take on Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the fourth round after the Spaniard defeated John Isner in five sets 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-3.
British Number 1 Cameron Norrie was knocked out of the third round at Roland Garros after losing to Karen Khachanov 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-4. The result meant that there are no more British players competing in the singles main draws at the French Open. Speaking during the on-court interview after the match, Norrie said “I'm very disappointed but I tried as hard as I could and had a good attitude, gave myself a chance. I need to keep doing what I'm doing and learn from these matches. I think Karen was better than me, he played the bigger points better and deserved the win. I had a lot of break points but he made it difficult for me. I thought he played great. I wanted to make the second week for the first time but I didn't play my best."
Maiden Grand Slam main draw win for Ramkumar, moves to French Open 2nd round with partner Reese
Paris, May 25 (Tennis News) Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan cherished his first ever main draw win at a Grand Slam as he combined with American Hunter Reese to beat the German team of Daniel Altmaier and Oscar Otte in the men's doubles event of the French Open, here on Wednesday.
Ramkumar, who has made umpteen attempts to crack a singles main draw of a Grand Slam without success, and Reese beat their rivals 7-6(4) 6-3 in their opening round of the clay court major.
The 27-year-old Indian had broken into the doubles top-100 early this year, following his maiden ATP Tour title win with compatriot Rohan Bopanna in Adelaide and at home in Pune, competing in the Tata Open Maharashtra.
Rohan Bopanna and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop had progressed to the second round with 6-4 6-1 win over local wild cards Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg and Luca Van Assche, on Tuesday.
Also Read : Tsitsipas and Medvedev progress in the French Open while Tsonga retires
News Source : PTI
Andy Murray to play at Queen's Club and Surbiton grass court events
(Tennis news) Former men’s World Number 1 and three time major champion Andy Murray will be featuring at the Queen’s Club, thanks to a wildcard entry on June 13th, having previously won six ATP Tour titles at the event and will also be competing for the Surbiton trophy on May 29th, in hopes of preparing for Wimbledon next month. The Scottish player will feature alongside fellow Brits Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jack Draper, Joe Salisbury, Neal Skupski, Jamie Murray, Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid.
Murray said “I'm really looking forward to playing at Surbiton and Queen's this year - two great events. It's always special playing on the grass in front of a home crowd." Cameron Norrie, who won the Indian Wells Masters in October 2021 will be hoping to go one step further than last time, having lost in the finals of the Queen’s Club in the last iteration. Dan Evans reached the quarter-finals of the Queen’s Club the last time while Jack Draper was a wildcard entry in 2021 and reached the last eight of the competition.
Wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett, who won the Australian Open singles and doubles earlier this year will be partnering with Gordon Reid at the Queen’s Cup. Leon Smith, Head of Men's Tennis at the LTA and Davis Cup captain said “To see so many of our British players thriving at the top of the game highlights the progress our sport has made in recent years, and it will be fantastic to see so many of them taking to the grass courts for the LTA's summer events.
"In a year that has seen Cam Norrie break into the top ten of the ATP rankings, Dan Evans and Andy Murray serve up some great performances, Joe Salisbury rise to No.1 spot in the doubles rankings, Neal Skupski win his first ATP 1000 event and Jack Draper continues to make such great progress, there is so much to look forward to this summer in our grass courts events leading into Wimbledon."
On the doubles court, Joe Salisbury, who is a two-time majors champion along with Miami Masters winner Neal Skupski and seven-time major champion Jamie Murray will also be representing Great Britain on the doubles court.
Andy Murray withdraws from French Open to focus on Wimbledon
(Tennis news) British tennis player Andy Murray has withdrawn from next week’s French Open in order to prepare for Wimbledon. The soon to be 35 year old had initially planned to skip the clay court season but changed his mind after receiving a wildcard entry for the Madrid Open. He reached the third round in the Spanish capital, defeating the likes of Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov but was forced to withdraw ahead of a clash against Novak Djokovic due to illness.
Murray has only played in one French Open since 2017, suffering elimination in the first round in 2020. The Scottish player hasn’t progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam event since he reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon five years ago. Murray will now prepare for the grass court season which will begin in early June with Wimbledon scheduled for June 27th. The Scot could play in the Surbiton Trophy, a second-tier Challenger event in London beginning on May 30 before going to Stuttgart for the ATP tournament.
One of the biggest talking points from this year’s iteration of Wimbledon is the ban on Russian and Belarusian players from competing. The ATP and WTA are yet to announce the repercussions of that ban with the removal of all ranking points a realistic possibility. The two organisations have been holding meetings in Rome and Madrid to discuss the consequences of the ban, which means that Murray could be choosing to not participate in the French Open for an event in which he might not receive any ranking points.
Nadal progresses to last 16 at the Italian Open with win over Isner
(Tennis news) Defending champion Rafael Nadal defeated American tennis player John Isner 6-3 6-1 on Wednesday, thereby progressing to the last 16 of the Italian Open. The Spaniard returned from a rib injury this month and is now setting his sights on his 11th title in Rome. The 21 time Grand Slam winner successfully negated Isner’s serve, with the American having 450 aces in 2022, the highest at the ATP Tour.
The match went with serve in the opening set but the American couldn’t capitalise on two break points at 3-3, which led to Nadal stepping up as the Spaniard broke in the next game. In the second set, Nadal broke the opening game as Isner ran out of gas. The Spaniard will face Denis Shapovalov in the next round, in their encounter last year, Nadal saved two match points in his journey for his 10th title in Rome.
Speaking after the match, Rafael Nadal said “The beginning of the match was not good for me and even he had some chances on the return to break. I was in his hands at that moment. Lucky that he missed those couple of shots. Then I was able to break and then the match changed." With reference to his next opponent Denis Shapovalov, the 21 time Grand Slam winner said “Last year was a joke, that match I saved here against him. I know how dangerous he is. I need to play well, of course, I need to play better than today. But it's another victory and now tomorrow again a chance to play against one of the best players in the world."
In other results, Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 5-7 7-6(4) despite the fact that the Greek tennis player struggled in the second set when his opponent found his rhythm. With Tsitsipas serving for the match, Dimitrov broke to love and won four straight games to take it to the third set. The Bulgarian tennis player earned match points at 5-4 and 6-5 in the decider but Tsitsipas forced a tiebreak and went onto taking a 5-0 lead.
Speaking after the match, Tsitsipas said “Incredible fight, I'm extremely happy I was able to overcome this obstacle. Grigor played really well, and gave me a hard time on the court. The fact that I was able to process all of that and come back stronger in the third set tiebreak, it was such a great way to redeem myself."
Second seed Alexander Zverev, who lost in the Madrid Open final, also progressed to the last 16 after defeating Argentine Sebastian Baez 7-6(6) 6-3. Meanwhile, British number 1 Cameron Norrie lost to Marin Cilic 5-7 6-2 6-1 after suffering an injury scare. The 26 year old had problems in his right foot in the last 32 round and was seen receiving treatment in the third set and limped away at the end of the match.
Nadal knocked out of Madrid Open while Djokovic to face Alcaraz
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic progressed to the semi-final of the Madrid Open after defeating Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-4 while Rafael Nadal was knocked out of the tournament after losing to Carlos Alcaraz 6-2 1-6 6-3. The teenager defeated Nadal for the first time on clay and the 21 time Grand Slam winner will be disappointed, especially considering that it was his first tournament after recovering from a rib injury. The 19 year old had previously defeated Nadal at the semi-finals of Indian Wells and the last 32 of the Madrid Open in 2021.
Nadal, who has won the Madrid Open in 2005, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017 was hoping to meet rival Djokovic in the semi-finals, which would have been their 59th meeting on the ATP Tour. The Serbian currently leads 30-28 with regards to games won, having secured a victory in their last encounter in the semi-finals of the French Open in 2021. Djokovic has won the Madrid Open in 2011, 2016 and 2019 and defeated Hurkacz in an hour and 20 minutes to extend his winning streak against the Polish tennis player to 4-0.
In their Madrid Open journey so far, Djokovic defeated Gael Monfils before receiving a walkover as Andy Murray withdrew because of illness. As for Nadal, the Spaniard defeated Miomir Kecmanović before overcoming David Goffin in a game where he saved four match points. However, the 35 year old fell short against Carlos Alcaraz, who will be hoping for a fourth title, having already won in Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Barcelona.
In other results, Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3 2-6 6-4 to progress into the semi-finals and will now face defending champion Alexander Zverev. Speaking after the match, Tsitsipas said “It wasn't easy playing him, it was tough to predict what's coming next from him.” It was the Greek player’s 27th win of the season while his upcoming opponent Zverev defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 7-5 despite getting eight double faults in the second set.
Bublik defeats Wawrinka in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters
(Tennis news) After returning from injury from a 13 month layoff, three time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka made a losing return to the ATP tour after being defeated by Alexander Bublik in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters 3-6 7-5 6-2. The 37 year old was sidelined due to a foot injury but managed to stretch his opponent to three sets before succumbing to a loss.
Speaking after the match, Wawrinka said “I think the body's getting much better. I'm still far away from where I want to be, but I think I'm (going in) the right direction. I think today was a positive match. It was a tough loss, of course, but I'm happy with the way I was playing." Meanwhile, Jannik Sinner defeated Borna Coric 6-3 2-6 6-3 in two and a half hours. The World Number 12 shrugged off an apparent stomach injury midway in the match after a difficult second set.
In other results, veteran tennis player Marin Cilic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 6-2 while Diego Schwartzman overcame Karen Khachanov 6-7 (5) 6-3 6-3 and Pablo Carreno Busta progressed to the next round with a 6-4 4-6 6-2 win over Sebastien Baez. Sebastian Korda defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets while Hubert Hurkacz, Fabio Fognini and Alex de Minaur also won their respective matches.
Berrettini undergoes surgery, to miss three ATP Masters 1000 events
(Tennis news) Italian tennis player Matteo Berrettini is set to miss three ATP Masters 1000 events after recovering from a minor surgery on his right hand. The 25 year old reached the final at Wimbledon last year, losing to Novak Djokovic and was eliminated from the semi finals of the Australian Open earlier this year. He also reached the first Masters 1000 final last year, losing to Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open.
In a statement released by Berrettini on Instagram, he said “Following advice from the medical experts, my team and I have decided that it is crucial I do not put time pressure on my recovery process. We have therefore decided I should withdraw from the Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome tournaments to ensure I give myself the proper amount of time to return at my highest level.
“Withdrawing from these events, particularly Rome, was an extremely tough decision, however it is the right one to ensure many more years of competing at the highest level for the biggest trophies. Thanks very much for all the support. My recovery process is on track and I look forward to seeing you on-court soon."
The Italian World Number 6 has won three of his last five ATP Tour titles on clay but has played only one event on the surface this year, losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the Rio De Janeiro quarter-finals.
Nadal progresses to semis at Indian Wells while Alcaraz defeats Norrie
(Tennis news) British number 1 Cameron Norrie failed to defend his Indian Wells title after losing to Carlos Alcaraz 6-4 6-3 in the quarter finals. Despite strong starts in both the sets against the Spaniard, Alcaraz fought back both times to win in straight sets. Norrie managed 28 winners compared to Alcaraz’s 38 and converted 49% of his break-points compared to Alcaraz’s 68%. The result also means that Alcaraz became the second youngest semi-finalist in the history of the competition, the youngest being Andre Agassi who was 17 years old in 1988.
Speaking after the match, the teenager said “I'm enjoying every single second. I have no words to describe my feelings right now. I remember that I played really, really nervous," Alcaraz said about the last time he played Nadal. "I think this time I trained with him a couple of times, I know more how to play against him. I think now it's going to be a little bit different this match."
In other results, Rafael Nadal defeated Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7-0) 5-7 6-4 and is now set to face Carlos Alcaraz in the semi finals. Trailing by a break in the opening set, Nadal went behind in the last set as well before overcoming Kyrgios who was playing in his first ATP Tour quarter finals in 2019. The Australian was so frustrated that he smashed his racket on the court after the post-match handshake.
The result means that Nadal has moved 19 games unbeaten and said after the match “It's difficult to play against him, always tough because he changes the dynamic of the point very quick and his serve is huge, especially the first serve. I think I played a good third set. Returning better. I was solid with the serve; I just suffered in one game with my serve. Nick is one of these kinds of players that you're going to have problems with when he's motivated."
Barty to miss Miami and Indian wells, Murray receives wildcard
(Tennis news) Ashleigh Barty has announced her withdrawal from Indian Wells and Miami events this month. Both the WTA 1000 events will be held back to back, Barty is the double defending champion in Miami. She has only played twice at Indian Wells and has not progressed beyond the fourth round. The world number 1 has won 11 matches this season along with two titles, she has only lost a single set so far against Cori Gauff in her opening match of the season at Sydney.
"I wanted to share an update on my schedule for the coming months," Barty said in a statement. "Unfortunately my body has not recovered the way I’d hoped after the Australian Open and I have not been able to adequately prepare for Indian Wells and Miami. I don’t believe I am at the level necessary to win these events and as a result I have decided to withdraw from both tournaments. I love these events and am sad not to be there competing but getting my body right must be my focus”.
The Australian has a healthy lead in the rankings as second place Barbora Krejcikova is almost 3000 points below her. Barty had won her third major at Australia a month back, she became the first from her country to win the title in 4 decades. Australian Open runner up Danielle Collins will also be missing the Indian Wells event due to an injury. Sofia Kenin will be seen in action in Indian Wells for the third time as she received a wildcard entry and will be looking to go beyond the second round for the first time.
In the ATP tour, Andy Murray will be playing at Indian Wells for the 14th time as he will play as a wildcard entry this season. Murray had first played at the tournament in 2006 where he reached the second round and lost to Nikolay Davydenko. The former world number 1 has already played 14 matches this year, he won 8 of them and reached the finals in Sydney.
The Indian Wells continues to remain the only hardcourt Masters 1000 title the right hander has not won. He had reached the finals in 2009 after beating Roger Federer but lost to Rafael Nadal in straight sets to take the runner up trophy. Murray also reached the semifinals in 2007, 2015 and both times it was Novak Djokovic who emerged on the winning side. The 3 time Grand Slam winner hasn’t won a title in 3 years and hasn’t reached a Masters 1000 final in 6 years.
Rafael Nadal looking to extend winning streak in US
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal is having the best start to the 2022 season with a hat trick of titles and 15 consecutive match wins. The Spaniard became the fourth player in ATP history to have won more than 90 career titles in singles, he is three short of Ivan Lendl’s record and will most likely overtake the former player.
Nadal had ended the 2021 season with a foot injury but his comeback has been highlighted by a record 21st Grand Slam title and for the time in his career has won two titles at Australia. The left hander also became the second player on the ATP tour after Novak Djokovic to win all the four Grand Slams more than once. The former world number 1 also defeated Danill Medevedev twice this season, he defeated the Russian in straight sets at Acapulco.
The world number 4 is a thousand points behind Alexander Zverev in terms of rankings and was last ranked in the top three in August. Nadal so far has been the top player in the first two months of the season, his form last week suggested it will be tough for Djokovic and Medvedev to battle for two Masters 1000 titles this month.
The current world number 1 will need to fend off challenges by Djokovic and Nadal to keep a stable lead at top. The next gen has got hold off the rankings as of now, two consecutive losses to Nadal will definitely be in Medvedev’s head when the pair meets next. The 26 year old needs to improve his form on clay in the coming months as he will be expected to battle against Nadal and it will be their first meeting on the surface. It will be tough for any player to beat the veteran as April and May have clay events lined up and the surface has been ruled by Nadal since 2005.
Nadal had a 11 match inning streak in 2014 which was his personal best while starting a season, this time he has added four matches and is yet to play on a clay event. The Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona and Rome Open have been his favourite as he has won each event at least 10 times. The 35 year old will also be seeking revenge for the semi final defeat at Roland Garros last year to Djokovic, Nadal can add to his Grand Slam tally when he triumphs for the 14th time.
Daniil Medvedev ends Novak Djokovic’s reign in ATP rankings
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev will create history on 28th February when he captures the no 1 ranking on the ATP tour. Medvedev will become the first player outside the big four to take the top spot, the last time it happened was in 2004 when Andy Roddick was the world number one. Since then Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have never surrendered the top position in almost 18 years.
The 26 year old will become the third Russian after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1999 and Marat Safin 2000-01 to ascend to the top of the rankings. Medvedev will also become the 27th player in history to achieve the number 1 ranking on the ATP the tour, Djokovic had been holding the spot for over a year and Medvedev had his chances last year during Wimbledon but could not capture it back then.
Djokovic was trying to win the title in Dubai as he had to do well in order to delay the takeover. Djokovic's loss to Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals confirmed the news for Medvedev who will take on Nadal in the semi final at Acapulco. An early loss for Medvedev and a deep run for Djokovic would have meant more time for the 20 time Grand Slam winner; while the current number 2 had to reach the final at Acapulco to confirm the ranking no matter what happened in Dubai.
The 2021 US Open winner first became number 2 in March 2021 but was floating around no 2 and 3 for a month, he has been sticking to number 2 since May. On Monday when the rankings will be released it will be a major change as the Serbian’s run will finally come to an end, the next gen has finally completed a key part of the mission.
Dominic Thiem’s US Open victory two years later opened the gates for the younger players as Medvedev made it bigger while beating Djokovic in a historic US Open final a few months ago. The last 2 years has seen the emergence of the next gen as they have won Grand Slams and now taken the rankings. Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open a month back, the next mission of the youngsters would be to win as many major titles as that will take care of the rankings and with time in their hands it will be a start of a new era.While there are still a lot of tournaments left in this season, it will be a positive change to the tennis community next week.
Lehecka makes his debut into the top 100 of ATP rankings
(Tennis news) Jiri Lehecka has moved up 42 places in the ATP rankings for a career best of number 95. Lehecka had made his main draw debut at the 2022 Australian Open where he lost to Grigor Dimitrov in four sets. In the recently concluded ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament at Rotterdam, the 20 year old had to battle a tough fight in the second qualifier match against Corentin Moutet who was ranked 30 places above him.
In just his second match on the ATP tour, Lehecka was facing Denis Shapovalov who is ranked 12 in the world. The victory could not have come at a better time for the tour debutant as entered the next round with a loss of eight games. The youngster went on to defeat Botic van de Zandschulp, Lorenzo Musetti and lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinal in three sets.
As of now there is only player from Czech Republic who is in the top 100 of the rankings, the next highest ranked player after Lehecka is Tomas Machac at 115th place. The Czech number 1 has been the biggest mover of the week as Jenson Brooksby is the next as he moved 9 places to number 45.
The world number 95 is 6 feet one inch and does not have a rocket serve, at Rotterdam his fastest serve was clocked at 214 km/ hour in the semifinal and had an average of 201 km/ hour. Lehecka hit 20 aces in four matches with 7 of them coming in the final one, almost 55 percent of his first serve went in and in three matches won 70 percent of them. The right hander has an attacking game and comes to the net frequently to win points with mostly strong volleys rather than drop volleys.
Lehecka also showed moments of courage in the past week as he didn’t shy away from creating chances. The clean ball striking from the baseline allows him to come at the net as the opponent is chasing the ball or backing away from the baseline to defend it which leaves him time to prepare for the volley. The backhand is also stiff during defensive points which gives the return more speed and just above net height which reduces the opponent’s chances to continue the attack.
Players like Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek were the last stars from the country in the men’s tour. Although Berdych was one of the top players on the ATP tour a few years ago, Stepanek had found more success in the doubles competition. There are a few players on the rising players list as Lehecka is now leading among the next gen from his country.
Ruud beats home favourite Schwartzman to win first title of the season
(Tennis news) Casper Ruud took the title at Buenos Aires as he was playing on tour after a month since playing at the ATP cup. Ruud is now unbeaten at the Argentina Open, he entered the main draw in 2020 and went on to lift the title; this time he did not drop a set on the way to the final. While it was the second win for the Norwegian at the event, runner up Diego Schwartzman has been reaching the quarterfinals or better since 2018. He was the runner up in 2019 and won the title last year.
The defending champion had a tough run to the final after losing a set in the last two matches and battling a two set tiebreaker in the opening match. Schwartzman had last reached a final three months ago at Antwerp where he lost to Jannik Sinner whereas Ruud was on a 5 match winning streak in the finals which started last year. Ruud had won his first tour title at the event two years ago where he beat Pedro Sousa in the final, Sousa had a walkover in the semifinal against Schwartzman.
The world number 8 had a set point in the first set which took 42 shots for the Argentine to overcome and save the set in the most suited fashion. The first break came in the 10th game as the home crowd favourite took four straight points to set the match up and running. In the second set, Ruud got the break in the 6th game with a cheeky shot at the net and well timed forehands during the breakpoint. After taking the second set, the 23 year old took an early lead which led to another break as he completed the victory in 2 hours and 35 minutes. Ruud defeated Schwartzman 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
“It’s been an unbelievable week," said Ruud after sealing his seventh ATP Tour title. "To come back here and try to defend the title not from last year but from two years ago has been a challenge, and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
The pair has now met 4 times on clay with Schwartzman winning the first two meetings, overall the 29 year still leads their career head to head meeting with 5 wins as Ruud has won thrice. The result has pushed the ranking by one place ahead for Schwartzman as he is now ranked 14 below Cameron Norrie. Ruud is still behind Andrey Rublev at number 8 and the Russian leads by over 600 points.
Prajnesh, Ramkumar get tough draw at Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger
Bengaluru, Feb 12 (Tennis News) India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran will take on top seed Australian Aleksandar Vukic, while Ramkumar Ramanathan has been pitted against seventh seed Mathias Bourgue of France in the opening round of the Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger, which begins with the qualifiers on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Vukic, currently ranked 138th in the world, was handed the top seed, while Frenchmen Hugo Grenier, ranked 158th and 161st ranked Enzo Couacaud were seeded second and third respectively. Italian Federico Gaio received the fourth seed during the draw ceremony here.
Vit Kopriva of Czech Republic, Australian Max Purcell and Taipei’s Chun-hsin Tseng bring up the rear of the seeds.
Prajnesh had lost in the second round to top seed Jiri Vesely, while Ramkumar exited in the first round after losing to Australia's Max Purcell at Bangaluru Open 1.
The qualifying rounds of Bengaluru Open 2 will be held on Sunday and Monday.
It is the second challenger event to be held in Bengalore.
The ATP Challenger Tour is a series of international tennis competitions -- the second-highest tier of tennis competitions after the ATP Tour and is administered by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Also Read : Kontaveit looking to extend indoor winning streak at St. Petersburg
News Source : PTI
Del Potro makes emotional comeback at Argentina Open
(Tennis news) Juan Martin Del Potro made a spirited return on tour after a 3 year absence, the crowd support did make the home favorite a bit emotional at the Argentina Open. The 33 year old last played in June 2019 at Queens and had announced about the comeback a few months ago. Del Potro was up against fellow country mate Federico Delbonis, he broke Federico’s serve in the opening game which invited loud cheers and claps from the crowd. Federico did get a slight taste of the forehands but it did fade away as the match went on, a crucial break in the 7th game put an end of a 4 match losing streak for the left hander. Federico defeated Del Potro 6-1, 6-3.
"It's difficult to explain how I felt on the court. So many emotions," del Potro said post-match. "The atmosphere was crazy, the people were crazy, and I had one of my best ever matches in my career with the crowd."
Albert Ramos-Vinolas might be the most successful at the Cordoba Open but at the Argentina Open things are different. Albert has been playing at the event since 2011, last year he reached the semifinal for the first time and so far has 16 victories in 12 appearances. The Spaniard was up against Thiago Monteiro who was the first to break serve and take a 3-1 lead. Thiago had 3 set points at 5-3 but lost three consecutive points as the 34 year old got a crucial chance to break but failed to convert and lost the set. In the second set after an exchange of breaks in the 4th and 5th game it was the world no 104 who broke serve for the 4th time to win the match. Thiago defeated Albert 6-3, 6-3.
Wildcard Sebastian Baez was playing in the main draw for the first time at the event after losing in the qualifiers last year. He was up against another wildcard, a familiar foe Holger Rune as they had played twice last year which included a challengers event in Chile. Rune had won their ATP tour meeting but Baez made a few changes from last time. The 18 year old won the opening three games of the match as the Argentine won the next three and there were no service breaks which called for a tie breaker. After an hour and two minutes, the 21 year old pocketed the first set. In the second set, the world number 74 took the chances early and took a 4-2 lead which was enough to close out the match for his 5th victory of the season. Baez defeated Rune 7-6(7-4), 6-3.
Pablo Andujar first played at Buenos Aires in 2007 at the qualifiers, he got into the main draw for the first time in 2009. The Spaniard is into the round of 16 for the 3rd time, he went after Juan Ignacio Londero’s second serve and only lost 7 of the 22 serves. It was a match of baseliners as both players finished most of the points without the assistance of the net. Pablo defeated Juan 6-2, 6-4.
Shapovalov and Karatsev suffer shock exit at Rotterdam
(Tennis news) It was a dream ATP tour debut for Jiri Lehecka who turned professional two years ago. The 20 year old looked eager to set the tone against Denis Shapovalov in the 1st round at Rotterdam, Lehecka broke the Canadians serve in the third game and went on to save three breakpoints in the 6th game. Shapovalov was serving better and even had more winners but could not dismantle the qualifier’s serve, he had 11 breakpoints in the match but could only win one.
In the second set, the world number 12 served two double faults to lose the opening game but broke back for the first time in the match. The left hander could not get his groundstrokes under control during the breakpoints even though he had a much better serve. In the 5th game when the 22 year old had to defend two breakpoints instead of a defensive approach, an aggressive forehand went too long as the rally was cut short and gave another break to the world number 137. Lehecka defeated Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4.
Aslan Karatsev had countless chances to finish the match against Tallon Griekspoor but it was not meant to be. The Russian had 4-2 lead in all the three sets but could only close out the deal in the opening set after which the wildcard entry recorded his third top 15 victory at Rotterdam. Griekspoor had defeated Stan Wawrinka in 2018, in the next year he defeated Karen Khachanov and this year it was another Russian in the target this time. The 25 year old saved two match points in the 9th game of the third set as he also won 7 straight points in the tie break. Karatsev ended the match with a broken racquet in his first time at Rotterdam. Griekspoor defeated Karatsev 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6(7-0).
Defending champion Andrey Rublev found competition among the heavy hitting groundstrokes as Henri Laaksonen hit as many winners as the Russian. Rublev only hit 9 unforced errors and won 11 of the 13 netpoints to complete a win in an hour. The 24 year old was playing in his second event of the season after a third round exit at the Australian Open, he even hit a backhand volley which spun back into his side of the court which was the highlight of the match. Rublev defeated Laaksonen 6-4, 6-4.
Stefanos Tsitsipas served 15 aces including 7 in the second set against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Both players were engaging in high intensity rallies as there were also consistent net plays in the first two sets. Fokina has now lost three opening matches out of 4 events in the 2022 season so far, the 22 year old had a chance to take the first set when he was serving at 5-4 but could only win two points in the game. The world number 46 again made a comeback in the second from 2-4, he only conceded a single point while winning the tiebreak. In the 7th game of the final set, Fokina saved a breakpoint then was a point away from holding serve but a backhand into the net gave Tsitsipas the lead. Tsitsipas defeated Fokina 7-5, 6-7(1-7), 6-4.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas ends Alejandro Tabilo’s dream run to win the title
(Tennis news) Albert Ramos-Vinolas won his fourth ATP tour title with a win over Alejandro Tabilo at the Cordoba Open. The Spaniard defeated the qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the final that lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes. Tabilo only had 3 wins on the tour before this year and racked up four wins at Cordoba, he beat Diego Schwartzman in the semifinal for his biggest career victory so far and did not drop a set from the qualifiers to the final. He was looking to be the second from his country to win the title after Cristian Garin’s victory two years ago.
Albert was playing at Cordoba for the fourth time and in the previous three always lost against an Argentine. Last year he played 5 of his matches against Argentines and lost in the final against Juan Manuel Cerundolo who was ranked 335 at that time. Before that he had reached the quarterfinals and the fourth round in 2019.
The 32 year old had lost in the first round of the Australian Open this year but did not drop a set on his way to the final at the clay event. He was down a set and 2-0 in the second but fought his way through to win the next 6 games out of 7. In the third set, it was again the Chilean who took a 4-1 lead but it was not yet over as Albert broke serve thrice and unleashed forehands that were meant to crush his opponent’s hopes. Tabilo hit a backhand long as Alber fell to the ground with 5 consecutive games for an inspiring victory.
"I don't know how I came back to be honest. I think I played a little bit more aggressively from 1-4 in the third. He missed some first serves. He was serving well and I started to return a little bit more aggressively than before," Ramos-Vinolas said. "When I came back from 1-4 to 3-4, I was feeling I had a chance."
The 24 year old has now climbed up 32 places in the rankings after his performance for a career best 112 and is on his way to the top 100. The veteran also jumped 12 places to be ranked 32 as all four of his career titles have come on clay. Both players will next play at Buenos Aires where Tabilo will face another Spaniard Pedro Martinez in the opening round as for Albert he will be up against Brazilian lefty Thiago Monteiro.
Alexander Bublik wins first ATP tour title at Montpellier
(Tennis news) Alexander Bublik finally secured his first ATP tour title in his fifth final as he beat Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-3 in the Open Sud de France at Montpellier. Bublik also recorded his first victory over a top 5 opponent and his second victory over Zverev after beating him at Rotterdam last year.
Bublik broke Zverev’s serve in the ninth game with superb defense which pressurized the German into making two unforced errors, the first one was an overhead at the net and the second one was a forehand into the net. Bublik put up with two overheads to break Zverev who was about to smash the racquet, if it was defense which gave the crucial break then the strategy was turned into offense for the final game of the set.
The six foot five inch player started attacking from the start in the second set and was also covering the court better than the first set. With a couple of forehand disguised drop shots, Bublik won the 5th and 6th game as Zverev lost eight points in a row. Bublik had a huge smile and jumped up in the air in celebration after winning the final point. Meanwhile Zverev will have to wait in line for his 20th title, the world number 3 was facing Bublik for the second time and is yet to take a set off his opponent.
Zverev had won the title here in 2017 and reached the semifinals the previous year as this was his third appearance in the main draw. He was on a six match winning streak at finals and had last lost a final at the 2020 Paris Masters 1000 to Daniil Medvedev. Zverev now has 10 career runner up finishes.
“I played four finals before and in the fifth final I have won against a great player against Sascha,” Bublik said. “It is great. All my games together. I was serving well and returned well and kept my nerve. I was lucky in the moments and when I had my chances I used them.”
With the title win the Kazakh moved to four places ahead in the rankings for his highest rank of 31. Having had a personal best of 35 wins last year, Bublik will certainly aim for more wins and enter the top 20 rankings this year. He will next play at Rotterdam in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament where he will be playing against wildcard Andy Murray in the opening match.
Also read: Bopanna-Ramkumar pair lift Tata Open trophy
Bopanna-Ramkumar pair lift Tata Open trophy
Pune, Feb 6 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan won their second ATP World Tour title together after pipping the top seeded Australian pair of Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith in the final of the Tata Open Maharashtra, here on Sunday.
The second-seeded Indians erased the first set deficit to win 6-7(10) 6-3 10-6 in one hour and 44 minutes.
Bopanna and Ramkumar had combined as a team on the ATP Tour for the first time at the Adelaide event last month in the run-up to the Australian Open and won the trophy.
For Bopanna, it was his 21st ATP doubles title while for Ramkumar it is his second trophy at this level and it will push him inside doubles top-100 for the first time in his career.
They split USD 16370 as prize money and earned 250 ranking points each.
Bopanna had won this event with compatriot Divij Sharan in 2019.
Still going strong at an age of 41, Bopanna said it's his years of playing experience that is helping him out in the circuit.
"A lot is to do with experience, which you really bring in, years and years of experience and the biggest thing is my body is feeling very very good at the moment," Bopanna said after the match.
"I did a lot of yoga which has helped me tremendously and I am very thankful to my Yoga Teacher (Mohan) in Bangalore which has made such a difference for me and I can try something new at this age.
"It has made a difference and that really shows as long as I am playing matches, competing and doing something that is physically appealing. May be at the practice court I may not be giving my 100% but as long as I am feeling good and go out their and enjoying the pace as currently right now." Asked to compare the two titles that they have won together, Bopanna said performing before the home crowd was tough while in Adelaide no one watched them.
"Both are extremely special but anytime you win a title at home it's lot more pressures. In Adelaide no one was really watching, but here there were lot more expectations and especially coming here with a win people expected an automatic win which wasn’t easy but at that tie break the crowd really helped.
"You just get that extra boost, that extra energy. Even if your legs are feeling tiered that’s the energy you need to hit the serve especially for me. Winning in India is always especial and especially with an Indian partner is truly truly great." Ramkumar said he now wants to play ATP 500 event in Dubai and for that wil try to do well in the the upcoming two Challengers in Bengaluru.
"Let's see if there is a chance to get in Dubai and hope I can play that," said the 27-year-old.
Ramkumar said everyone believed in his game and that gave him confidence in this tournament.
"Coming from Bops (Bopanna) who always believes in me, my coaches and every one who have always believe in me and said you play well and that just keeps me going.
"I just have to work on a few thing on court and just keep competing at this level as much as I can which will improve my game and automatically the ranking," he said.
Big serves marked the beginning of the contest with only Ramkumar and Luke losing a point each in the first four games.
Bopanna's volley error on a return from Luke made it 30-all in the fifth game but Ramkumar pulled off an ace and followed that up with another huge serve to hold for a 3-2 lead.
The Indian team had got a chance to break Patrick-Smith's serve in the next game when Luke made an error while attempting an overhead volley at 40-30 but the opportunity could not be utilised as the Australian pulled of a big serve on the deuce point.
The Australians also created break opportunity on Ramkumar's serve in the ninth game when they found two service return winners and the Indian serving a doubler fault at 40-30 but the home team managed to hold.
A comfortable hold at love by Patrick-Smith made it 5-5.
Eventually a tie-break was required for deciding the first set. Both the teams had a number of set points as the Indians squandered two chances and the Australians three before converting their fourth.
They got the chance when Bopanna made an unforced error at 10-all and Ramkumar netted a forehand on set point.
In the second set, the Indian duo needed a good start and they got it by breaking Luke's serve in the third game when the Australian made a volley error on deuce point.
Bopanna saved a break chance on his serve in the next game to keep their nose ahead. Patrick-Smith was serving to stay in the set in the ninth game and was broken to allow the Indian team force a Super Tie Breaker.
At 30-all, an engrossing rally ensued between the two pairs. Luke blinked to give Indian first set point which they converted when Bopanna dispatched a volley winner with ease.
Bopanna and Ramkumar dominated the STB to secure the title.
Also Read : Rublev and Tsitsipas getting ready for rematch at Rotterdam
News Source : PTI
Matteo Berrettini moves to career best number 6 in ATP rankings
(Tennis news) The 2022 Australian Open has given the boost in rankings in the WTA and the ATP tour. Matteo Berrettini moved closer to the top 5 as he is now one place below Rafael Nadal in the rankings. Berrettini has 5,278 points as of now and was number before the semi final run at Australia.
Berrettini had cracked the top 100 for the first time in 2018 and entered the top 50 next year since then it has been a steady rise. The 25 year old then cracked the top 10 in a gap of eight months after the top 50 climb, the only route he has taken for the past 4 years is upwards. The Italian has his country mate in the top 10 as Jannik Sinner is ranked at 10. While Berrettini has made his move in the Grand Slams, Sinner has been going through the Masters and also progressing in the majors.
Berrettini has reached quarter finals or more in the last four Grand Slams and lost to Novak Djokovic in three of them while it was Rafael Nadal at Australia. The 2021 season was the best for Berrettini as he finished the year with 41 wins and 12 losses of which 8 was by a player in the top ten.
There has not been major changes at the top in the men’s ranking as Novak Djokovic held his top spot even after missing the Australian Open. Daniil Medvedev will again try to get on top of the rankings which has been at the control of the big four for a long time. Medvedev had his chances last year at Wimbledon and at Roland Garros but Djokovic winning the titles in both the places did not help the Russian’s cause.
Gael Monfils will have a crack at the top ten after a 2 year gap as he rose four places to be in the 16th position now. Monfils was ranked as high as 6 in 2016 after which there was not much consistency from the player. Denis Shapovalov also jumped two places to be ranked 12 as he lost the top ten status in August after a string of losses, the Canadian was close to recording an upset over Nadal at Australia. Canada has Felix Auger-Aliassime who has been in number 9 for over 3 weeks now, the 21 year old was number 10 for a week in December last year and now has been maintaining the position. Roger Federer is ranked at 30, he is out of the top 25 after 20 years as he was last ranked 30 in 2001.
Tata Open Maharashtra 2022 to be broadcasted on Star Sports
(Tennis news): The wait is finally over for tennis fans as exciting tennis action is set to be back in India after a one year absence as the Tata Open Maharashtra on Monday announced Star Sports as the official broadcaster for its fourth edition to be held at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune. The prestigious tournament will be telecasted live on Star Sports as the main draw will start from today January 31, and the event will go till February 6.
One of Asia's longest-running tennis tournaments, the Tata Open Maharashtra, organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association, will witness top international players including world number 15 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely vying for the singles title alongside seven other Top-100 players of the world, like teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti and Portugal's best tennis player of all time Joao Sousa among others.
The tournament is owned by IMG and operated by RISE Worldwide in India. “We are glad that such a prestigious tournament is returning to India and will be hosted once again despite the challenges of the pandemic. Continuing the tradition and popularity of this tournament over the years, we are delighted that this year too, it will bring a treat for the fans as around 70 top players from 23 countries will be in action. And with the live broadcast, tennis enthusiasts will not be missing thrilling action and can watch it from the comforts of their home” said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.
Fans can enjoy the LIVE action of South Asia’s only ATP tournament on the Star Sports Select channel as well as it will be LIVE streamed on Disney+ Hotstar. Star Sports, which has been showing the tournament on its network for around 12 years, including the last three editions of Tata Open Maharashtra. Star Sports will live telecast the event for close to 50 hours across the week-long tournament.
The Indian challenge will be led by Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Arjun Kadhe in singles and three pairs will be participating in doubles led by Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan. They have been handed a direct entry into the main draw despite a strong line-up of international players.
Is Serve and Volley losing its significance in the current era of Tennis?
(Tennis news) Serve and Volley was as common as the now seen tweener on the ATP tour many years ago. Over the years, the court has become slower and the rallies have become longer. Now it's about who can hold the longest not finish the quickest, serve and volley has failed to survive in today’s game. The technique is indeed tough to learn and is even harder to execute in present conditions.
The Serve and Volley is one of the toughest plays in the sport. It requires the player to immediately advance towards the net after the serve and the rallies would be shorter. Now due to the slower courts, there are more rallies as the players are at the back of the court and there is time to get to the ball. At the net, there is little time and it is more difficult to get some angles as without ball control it would make an unforced error. For a Serve and Volley, the player has to have a good serve whether it is fast or has a great angle and then has to finish it on the volley by a drop shot or sending the ball to the other side of the court.
A dying strategy which was used by every player 20 years ago is now almost extinct. Now players finish points from the baseline as the netplay has come down to a great extent, players like Feliciano Lopez and Ivo Karlovic are still heavily relying on the serve and volley. Roger Federer also used to employ the tactic in his earlier days against Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Goran Ivanišević and many others but he too did not use it much. Boris Becker’s diving volley in Wimbledon and Pete’s slam dunk smash at the net has been one of the end products of the serve and volley.
The racket change from the 1970’s saw it becoming lighter and the wooden ones became out of fashion. The strings have also kept changing and with the polyester strings coming into the market in the 90’s replacing the synthetic gut it has not changed ever since. The lighter rackets and better string control can give a chance to players for more control and faster movements but so far no player has been able to prove it.
The longer the player is at the net the more vulnerable he is to losing the point. The reflexes cannot work for long as it is bound to get missed or hit out. That is why the doubles game has fewer rallies as compared to the singles. The next gen players rarely use the technique as now it's more about power and the match duration has also increased. Although it has given many Grand Slams to the past players now it will be tough to come out on top.
Felicano Lopez extends Grand Slam record at 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Spain has been producing resilient warriors on the ATP tour since the past two decades. The players have been standing strong on clay, grass and hardcourts with their longevity. The Spaniards have been known for playing it rough and from the baseline such as David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Moya, Juan Carlos Ferrero and the latest sensation Carlos Alcaraz.
The most common trait in all these players is that they have been lifting trophies playing from the baseline and their sheer power is one of the abilities. These players slid through the clay courts with dirt on their sleeves. One of the players who slides but at the net has been Feliciano Lopez, he is one of the last remaining players on tour to still practice the serve and volley.
In a time where everyone is a baseliner, Lopez has continued to use the serve and volley. The 40 year old has the record for most Masters 1000 event appearances, he played his 139th event in Indian Wells last year. Now at the 2022 Australian Open, he played his 79th consecutive Grand Slam event which dates back to the 2002 Roland Garros.
Lopez has played 178 Grand Slam singles matches and has won 98 of them. He lost in the first round of the ongoing Australian Open and his last victory at a major came here a year ago. The left hander also passed 500 wins last year on tour and became the 55th player in the history to achieve this feat. Unlike his country mates who have been struggling at grass, he has won 4 titles and two runner up trophies in singles on grass.
Lopez has also found success in doubles where he won the Roland Garros title in 2016 with Marc Lopez and also reached the finals of the US Open with him the next year. In 2019, Lopez went on to win the singles and doubles title at Queen’s club as it showed how much the sport meant to him.
In the Davis Cup held last year, the veteran was up against Andrey Rublev in the match against Russia. Lopez did not back down to the Russian’s blasting groundstrokes and won him over with a classic display of serve and volley. The world number 5 could not get through Lopez’s volley as the senior kept stretching on court to take the points and win the match.
Lopez has been playing on tour since 1997 which is the year before Roger Federer turned professional. A handful of players are left on tour who were born in the 80’s and still in the top 100 as the tour calendar contains a lot of traveling and grueling matches but players like these make the game special as they have seen how the style has changed over the years, Lopez has managed to keep his style and has kept the art alive.
Tie break thrillers continue to take the spotlight in Australia
(Tennis news) The past two days have seen comebacks overstaying their visit to Australia and it appears unclear when their visas will get revoked. The semifinals at Sydney Tennis Classic and Adelaide International 2 showed the world how a sport inaugurates a season. Sydney had seen Barbora Krejcikova play one of the top matches in WTA tour history yesterday and now it was the turn of ATP to light the court up.
Aslan Karatsev reached the finals at Sydney by beating Daniel Evans in a 3 hour semifinal war. The Russian has grown fond of Australia as last year he had a major breakthrough and now it's recurring. The world number 20 took four consecutive games in the first set to make it 5-1 until Evans took two games in a row to extend the first set to 40 minutes. In the second set, both players were holding their serve as there was no breakthrough for an hour until the tie break paid a visit.
The crowd expected the match to end when Karatsev got his first match point at 6-5 but did expect a handful of forehand hammers from Evans who then went to save four more. Then Evans had his first chance to take the set at 9-8 but hit a forehand lob long and went on to lose four more chances until a backhand into the net by Karatsev gave hope to the Brit. After 3 hours and 6 minutes, Karatsev took the match in the deciding set to reach the final. Karatsev defeated Evans 6-3, 6-7(13-15), 6-3.
Andy Murray made his first final in three years with a win over Reilly Opelka. Opelka was too strong for Murray in the first set as the ace machine continued to hit powerful forehand winners and came into the net to get ahead in the tiebreak. The former world number one was the first one to break serve as he did it thrice in the second set and even managed to lob the 6 foot 11 inch player in the 8th game.
After losing the second set, Opelka got back at Murray in the very first game of the deciding set when the world number 25 quickly managed to change his backhand into a forehand lob due to a net cord. Murray did not slow down as he went on to break serve four times and even saved a breakpoint to win their first meeting on tour. Murray defeated Opelka 6-7(8-6), 6-4, 6-4. Murray again will have a first time meeting when he plays Karatsev in the final.
At Adelaide, it was Thanasi Kokkinakis who reached the finals on tour for the first time in 5 years. Kokkinakis was up against Marin Cilic and started the match with robust groundstrokes to take the set. In the second set, Cilic overpowered the Australian by a long margin to level the match as both players played their best in the first two sets. In the third set, the 2014 US Open winner saved 3 breakpoints and Kokkinakis saved 2 as it went for a tie break.
It was the 25 year old who got a great start as he booked 4 match points at 6-2 but a few superhuman forehands by Cilic cancelled them all. The Croatian won the next 5 points to give himself matchpoint as the youngster started hitting unforced errors, Kokkinakis found clarity immediately and went on to save 3 match points. A double fault by the 33 year old gave the wildcard a fourth matchpoint and then finally a ticket to the final against Arthur Rinderknech. The match saw a combined effort of 72 winners and 192 points. Kokkinakis defeated Cilic 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(12-10).
Arthur Rinderknech makes his first ATP tour final at Adelaide
(Tennis news) Arthur Rinderknech made his first ATP final since making his debut on tour two years ago. It was an all French semi final as Rinderknech was against Corentin Moutet who was aiming to go into the final stage for the second time. The world number 58 was powerful with his returns as Moutet's serves were slowing down as the match went ahead. Moutet’s average 1st serve speed was 169 km/ hour which was just ahead of Rinderknech’s second serve average of 159 km/hour.
The world number 115 lost more than half of his service points which allowed his fellow country mate to complete the match without much sweat. Rinderknech was also winning short and long rallies as he was on the front on all aspects of the game; he also won 21 of his 25 net points as it was overall just what he wanted. Rinderknech defeated Moutet 6-1, 6-3.
"It was a tough match inside our heads. I'm sure everybody knows what a home-country duel match is about," Rinderknech said. "There was a little bit of tension but I was happy to get the win with a pretty short time on court.
"It's a great achievement. I'm really happy to be in the final. It's a new step again. I made the semi-finals in Kitzbuehel last summer. Now the final here for my first tournament of the year.”
In the fourth quarterfinal of the event it was a battle of the wildcards. Two 25 year old Australians fighting for a spot in the semifinal at home, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Aleksandar Vukic were facing each other for the first time. Kokkinakis had his chances in the first set, 9 breakpoints to be exact and could not win any of them as the world number 160 took the set in a tiebreak.
In the second set, Kokkinakis hit heavy winners off his forehand as he broke Vukic’s serve in the 8th game which gave him the lead and on the set in half an hour. In the decider, Kokkinakis broke Vukic’s serve twice in the first five games and only dropped two points of serve on his own serve. The world no 145 now has reached the last four in the first two events of the year, he will face Marin Cilic for a place in the final against Rinderknech. Kokkinakis defeated Vukic 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
In doubles, the first semi final was between second and third seed as Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski beat Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig. Melo and Dodig were the top seeds left in the event and had reached the final at the Adelaide International 1 but could not make it two in two. Koolhof and Skupski are in line for a second consecutive title as they had won in Melbourne. Koolhof and Skupski defeated Marcelo and Ivan 6-4, 6-1.
Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar have been a rising pair in the doubles as they made five finals last year and are into their first championship match of the 2022 season. In the second semifinal, Behar and Escobar defeated Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 10-6.
All eyes on Yuki, Ramkumar at Australian Open qualifiers
Melbourne, Jan 9 (Tennis News) India will keenly watch Yuki Bhambri's progress after his return to competitive tennis at the Australian Open Qualifiers while compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan will enter the competition after a confidence-boosting maiden title triumph on the ATP Tour.
Bhambri, 29, lost invaluable three years due to a troubling knee but in a few tournaments that he has played going into the fresh season, the talented Delhi player seems ready for the grind yet again.
The close fight he had had against Aljaz Bedene in March was a testimony that he is ready for top flight tennis but his return came to halt again due to the same knee issue.
He began again in November, competing on the Challenger and ITF circuit and won a doubles titles with Saketh Myneni in Gurugram.
In the tune-up event for the first Grand Slam, Yuki tied up with old partner Michael Venus but lost first round in Melbourne at the ATP event.
He has got a decent draw as he has been pitted against Portugal's Joao Domingues, ranked 248 and clearing first round should not be an issue for Yuki. A good show at Melbourne Park will set the tone for him in the 2022 season.
In 22 attempts so far, Ramkumar has not yet succeeded in cracking the singles main draw of a Grand Slam and it's time that he breaks the losing trend. He will be up against Italian Gian Moroni, ranked 197.
Ramkumar has enjoyed fantastic results going into Australian Open. He has just won his maiden ATP doubles title in Adelaide with compatriot Rohan Bopanna and also won his maiden singles Challenger title in Manama, Bahrain in November.
His booming serve, a big heart to fight and nicely developed serve-and-volley game is there, just that he needs to put everything together at the big stage.
"It's amazing feeling to win my first ATP Title With Bopsy (Bopanna). A great week ended on a high note, always lived for these moments. Thankful to almighty God for all his blessings,"Ramkumar told PTI.
"I'll surely keep it going and give my best as always. I learnt a lot of things from Bopsy and Scott Davidoff (Bopanna's coach) who was part of our team. We combined well and didn't lose even one service game all week." Another Indian in the qualifying is Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who will open his campaign against Colombian Daniel Galan, ranked almost 100 places above him at 120.
In the women's singles, Ankita Raina will clash with Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, ranked 118.
Also Read : Bopanna and Ramkumar win Adelaide International with upset win over top seeds.
News Sources : PTI
Bopanna and Ramkumar win Adelaide International with upset win over top seeds
Melbourne, Jan 9 (Tennis News) Teaming up for the first-time on the ATP Tour, India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan won the Adelaide International doubles trophy with a hard-fought 7-6 (6) 6-1 win over top seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo here on Sunday.
Bopanna's excellent service returns at crucial times and Ramkumar's all-round game tilted the match in their favour.
In the one hour and 21 minutes contest, the Indians saved all the four break points they faced and broke their rivals twice.
It was Bopanna's 20th ATP doubles title and first for Ramkumar, who was playing only in his second summit clash at this level, having ended a runner-up at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in 2018.
"When Ramkumar is serving by your side, you can finish the point early, so that was an advantage," said Bopanna.
Asked how different it was playing with Ramkumar than another compatriot and left-handed Divij Sharan, Bopanan said, "With Divij, we had to create a point, ensure that first volley opportunity is taken while with Ram, the point can be finished early.
"I am surprised not many Indians entered this event. If anyone had landed here, would have entered the field since not many players were there." Bopanna and Ramkumar will split USD 18700 as prize money and earned 250 ranking points each.
The win would be a huge confidence booster for Ramkumar ahead of the Australian Open Qualifiers, where he will aim to make the singles main draw of a Grand Slam once again.
After saving an early breakpoint, Bopanna and Ramkumar upped their game. In the seventh game, when Melo served at 30-0, Bopanna's unreturnable service on the right of the Dodig and later a crushing forehand winner made it 30-all but the Brazilian eventually held.
Bopanna then saved another breakpoint and converted the deciding deuce point to make it 4-4.
Serving to stay afloat in the set at 5-6, the Indian pair was up 40-30 when Dodig created a winner on Bopanna's serve that whizzed past Ramkumar on his right but the big-serving Coorgi hit an ace to drag it to a tie-breaker.
At 6-6, Bopanna found a service return winner on Melo's serve to earn their second set point and converted with his booming serve.
It was one-way traffic in the second set with the Indians dominating all through.
Also Read : LSpain beats Poland to reach finals for second time of ATP Cup
News Sources : PTI
Bopanna-Ramkumar pair cruise to final in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 8 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan upstaged fourth seeds Tomislav Brkic and Santiago Gonzalez in straight sets to reach the final of the Adelaide International, here on Saturday.
The unseeded Indian duo ousted the Bosnian-Mexican duo 6-2 6-4 in the doubles semifinals.
The Indians will now lock horns with top seeds Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Brazilian Marcelo Melo in the summit clash of the of the ATP 250 event.
It will be an interesting match as the 41-year-old Bopanna and Dodig have often paired up together, the most recent being in the US Open in September when the duo was knocked out in the third round.
Bopanna and Ramkumar, who have paired up for the first time on the ATP tour, have enjoyed a good week so far.
The two have notched straight-set wins in the tournament barring the second round match against the American duo of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow when they were stretched to a super tie-breaker.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Russia prevail over Italy to reach semi finals of ATP Cup
News Source : PTI
Bopanna-Ramkumar enter semis with straight set win in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 7 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan registered a resounding straight-set win to cruise into the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 ATP tournament here on Friday.
Bopanna and Ramkumar trounced the French-Monegasque duo of Benjamin Bonzi and Hugo Nys 6-1 6-3 in the doubles quarterfinals of the ATP 250 men's event.
The unseeded Indian pair will clash with the fourth seeded Bosnian-Mexican duo of Tomislav Brkić and Santiago Gonzalez for a spot in the final.
The two Indians are pairing up for the first time on the ATP tour.
Should Bopanna and Ramkumar continue their good show the two may pair up for India's Davis Cup tie against Denmark scheduled to be played in New Delhi in March.
Later in the day, India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok will take on local favourites Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders in the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 WTA 500 event.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Iga Swiatek continues stern title defence at Adelaide International 1
News Source : PTI
World No. 18 Karatsev is the headline of the 4th Tata Open Maharashtra
(Tennis news) Defending champ Vesely and India’s Bhambri receive direct entry into single main draw for the Tata Open held in Pune. World number 18 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely will be eyeing the title alongside seven other Top-100 players as South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament Tata Open Maharashtra gears up for a much-awaited comeback with an action-packed fourth edition, scheduled at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune from January 31 to February 6.
The Tata Open is one of Asia’s longest running tennis tournaments and will be in its 26th year, as they will return after a year’s break due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) will be hosting the prestigious tournament, which is sponsored by Tata Group, in association with the Government of Maharashtra.
The 28-year-old Russian Karatsev had a phenomenal 2021, he became the first-ever player to reach the semi-finals on Grand Slam debut in Australia, bagged two singles titles and his highlight of last year would be defeating tennis great Novak Djokovic, he also went to win the mixed-doubles silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Hailed as Russia’s “secret weapon” by teammate and World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev during their team’s 2021 ATP Cup triumph, Karatsev will be eager to carry forward a sensational run and make his mark on debut at Tata Open Maharashtra and by winning this prestigious tournament.
“We are thrilled to announce the return of this prestigious tournament. It has a rich legacy of having top players from across the world participating in it and the upcoming edition will be a testament of the same tradition. Despite the challenges and the pandemic, we are glad to see such a good response with players coming from the world over. We promise to bring yet another edition with a high-voltage action for the fans,” said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.
With a stiff cut off at 149, the country’s premier ATP 250 event will also witness some of the experienced names as well as promising young guns from the tennis world such as Australia’s John Millman, Portugal’s best tennis player of all time Joao Sousa and teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti.
The 19-year-old Musetti made the headlines last year when he became the youngest player to break into the Top-100. In his short career so far, the young Italian star has impressed everyone with his consistent match-winning performances against the Top-10 players including Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori. India’s Yuki Bhambri will also kickstart his campaign in the main draw with a protected ranking. After recovering from an injury, Bhambri is currently preparing for the upcoming Australian Open.
Czech Republic star Jiri Vesely, who ended his 5-year long wait for a singles title in the last edition, will be presenting a strong challenge on his comeback into the city. Former Youth Olympics champion Kamil Majchrzak, Moldova’s first-ever ATP singles title winner Radu Albot and World No. 62 Gianluca Mager are the other notable names from the acceptance list.
The qualifying draws will take place on January 30 and 31.
“We had worked really hard to bring back this tournament. I would like to thank all the stakeholders for their continuous support, throughout. We are aware of the challenges ahead but we are ready to tackle them all, strategically. MSLTA have successfully conducted a few tournaments recently and I believe we can pull this off too. Safety of the players as well as others involved is of prime importance to us and, as organisers, we will not compromise on that. We will be strictly following the government’s Covid-19 guidelines to bring yet another successful edition,” MSLTA Secretary Sunder Iyer said.
Ramkumar-Bopanna enter quarterfinals in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 5 (Tennis News) India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna entered the men's doubles quarterfinals of the Adelaide International 1 ATP tournament with a hard fought win over their rivals here on Wednesday.
In the ATP 250 men's event, the Indian combination of Ramkumar and veteran Bopanna, pairing up together for the first time on the ATP tour, had to dig deep to stun the eighth seed American duo of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 10-4 in a super tie-breaker in the second round.
The Indians had earlier trounced American Jamie Cerretani and Brazilian Fernando Romboli 6-2 6-1 in the opening round on Tuesday.
They will face the winner of another pre-quarterfinal match between the French-Monegasque duo of Benjamin Bonzi and Hugo Nys and the Belgian combination of Sander Gille Joran Vliegen.
In the women's WTA 500 event here, India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok overcame a first-set thrashing to knock out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 on Tuesday.
They now await the winner of the match between Australian duo of Priscilla Hon and Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz and American-British pair of Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson in the women's doubles quarterfinals.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic confirms participation in 2022 Australian Open
News Source : PTI
Rafael Nadal set to make comeback at Melbourne Summer Set
(Tennis news) The first week of the ATP tour has three events happening at the same time as the fans see the top players in all the three. The ATP Cup started 4 days ago, Adelaide International started yesterday and the Melbourne Summer Set is set to start from today. Many players in the draw will be making their comeback after a few weeks gap as Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Benoit Paire and David Goffin will need some Australian support. There are also top ranked players who will be playing as it will help them for the opening Grand Slam of the year which is only 13 days away. Here are the top three players to watch out for in the event.
The Spaniard hasn’t had much success at Melbourne but is coming back after a couple of months. Nadal will be hungry to start the season strong and a title win will fuel his confidence for the 2022 Australian Open. The 20 time Grand Slam winner will play his first match against the winner of Ricardas Berankis and Marcus Giron. Nadal has a run till the final where he can face Goffin, Murray or Dimitrov and the Spaniard last won a hardcourt title two years ago.
The serve machine has improved a lot in the hardcourts as seen in the last season. Opelka will try to set the tone at Melbourne with his first serves and boring back his hardcourt form just from last year. The American will face the winner of two qualifiers in the fourth round and has chances of playing against Kevin Anderson or Paire in the quarterfinals. He last won a title two years ago on this surface and reached his maiden Masters 1000 final last year.
Dimitrov rolled back the times when he played the previous season. The Bulgarian has played well in Australia over the past few years and needs to bring in the energy for some good starts to the season. Dimitrov also has the possibility of facing Murray in his opening match but once that is cleared up then he will only face tough ones in the end. Dimitrov last won a hardcourt title four years ago but last year he showed glimpses at Indian Wells. The world number 28 last played at Paris Masters 2 months ago and now will need to slide in through Melbourne.
Sania-Kichenok, Ramkumar-Bopanna advance in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 4 (Tennis News) On an all-win day for Indian tennis players, Sania Mirza and the pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna emerged victorious in their respective first round matches, albeit in contrasting fashion, in the ATP and WTA tournaments, here on Tuesday.
Sania and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok overcame a first-set thrashing to knock out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 in the WTA 500 event.
In the ATP 250 men's event, the Indian combination of Ramkumar and veteran Bopanna, pairing up together for the first time on the ATP tour, had an easy day out.
They trounced American Jamie Cerretani and Brazilian Fernando Romboli 6-2 6-1 to set up the pre-quarterfinal with eighth seed American pair of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow.
"We had a good match. Both of us served And returned well. We combined well and stuck to the plan," Ramkumar told PTI.
"We had practiced once with the same team before the draw which helped us.
"I am always happy to play with Bops (Bopanna), who is so experienced and is someone who has always been of good support and helps me with my tennis with all the experience he has," he added.
Since India will host Denmark on grass courts in New Delhi in their next Davis Cup tie in March, it is a possibility that Bopanna and Ramkumar, who has developed a fantastic serve and volley game, may pair up for the doubles.
This tournament will give them that opportunity to find out what works for them, if at all the captain decides to field them as a team.
Interestingly, Ramkumar got a chance to play with Denmark's top singles player Holger Rune in the singles Qualifiers and lost 4-6 6-7(7) in a close first round match.
Rune, ranked 103, eventually qualified for the main draw.
The match must have given him a fair idea of what to expect from Rune when he lands in Delhi for the Davis Cup.
"It was a good match. I think, I started off a bit slow where I got broken in the first game. But After that it was an extremely close and hard fought match "I was just a bit unlucky to not have converted those set points. He played good on a few of them and he is quick, so all credit to him. Hopefully I can get him back on grass," Ramkumar said.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Australia overpower Italy as Humbert puts up a show against Russia in ATP Cup
News Source : PTI
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
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.
Daniil Medvedev targets no 1 spot in season 2022
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev has been part of the next gen for the past 3 years. He got his first tour win in 2016 in Grass at Libema Open, since then he has embarked on a record breaking run on tour. Medvedev finished this year with most wins on the ATP tour as he had 63 wins. He was the only player with 60 plus wins and reached 8 finals while winning 4 of them.
Medvedev first reached the no 2 spot in rankings in March as he became the first player other than big four to take the position since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005. Medvedev had his chances at Roland Garros and Wimbledon to ascend to the world no 1 ranking but could not as Djokovic ended up winning the titles. Medvedev can become the first world number one other than the big four who have held the top spot since 2003, Andy Roddick was the last person other than the big four to become world number one 18 years ago.
Medvedev’s top moment came this year at the US Open which will forever be one of the top moments in tennis history. Medvedev was facing Novak Djokovic who was aiming to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the calendar slam. Medvedev had lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final earlier this year in straight sets, Djokovic was the favorite given his experience and his form this year. Medvedev had 3 wins against the Serb while losing 5 in the previous 8 matches, Medvedev produced one of the most dominant performances to beat Djokovic in straight sets. It was heartbreak for Djokovic as he lost the final hurdle and it will be unsure when a chance similar to this will come next.
Medvedev also got his first victory at Roland Garros in his fifth attempt and went on to reach the quarterfinals. He also reached the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time, thus bettering his record at every Grand Slam this year. Medvedev’s breakthrough in the Grand Slam came two years ago at US Open two years where he reached the final and fought Rafael Nadal for almost five hours to take the runner up trophy.
Medvedev’s US Open victory made him the second player born in the 90’s after Dominic Thiem to win a Grand Slam title. Medvedev has now won a Grand Slam and has reached the no 2 in rankings. His next step will be to be the world number one and follow the footsteps of Roger Federer, Nadal as they are currently recovering from injuries but will be back next year. Medvedev will spearhead the next gen’s attack on the big three along with Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem.
Medvedev will have strong chances of becoming the world number one as he has come the closest to it than any other player in the past 15 years other than the big four. As of now, Medvedev is not plagued by injuries unlike many players even though his schedule has also been packed. Medvedev’s court coverage and baseline attack has made him one of the toughest players to beat on tour. He is 6 feet 6 inches tall but can still run and pick up tough drop shots as the 25 year old Russian is peaking at the right time. Medvedev has one clear goal for season 2022 and that is to be at the peak of the rankings.
Jenson Brooksby wins Newcomer of the year award as Federer is fan favorite
(Tennis news) Jenson Brooksby won the ATP Newcomer of the year award for his outstanding performance in 2021. Roger Federer won the fans favorite award for the 19th straight year as the 40 year old is recovering from a knee injury.
Brooksby started the year with a ranking of 314 and after 11 months he is currently ranked career best 56. The 21 year old won 15 matches this year and only had one victory on the tour prior to this year. He reached the finals at Newport and reached the semifinals in Antwerp where he defeated Reily Opelka in the opening match. Brooksby’s best came at Washington where he reached the semifinals without dropping a set and defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime, Frances Tiafoe on the way.
At the Grand Slams, Brooksby made his debut at Roland Garros and lost in the first round to Aslan Karatsev. He took revenge at the US Open by beating Karatsev in the third round and beat Taylor Fritz in round two but lost to Novak Djokovic in the fourth round. Brooksby had made his debut at the Grand Slams three years ago at the US Open. He had qualified for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals but had to withdraw due to an abdominal injury but he beat fellow Gen stars to win the award.
“First, after the adversity I’d faced in 2020, not being able to play any matches and just knowing what it takes to win… fighting through that adversity to win the title in my second week in South Africa. Secondly I was proud of how well I adjusted to big moments and how well I consistently did in the Challengers after winning that first title, especially in Tallahassee and Orlando during that time of the season,” Brooksby said. “I’m proud of how I’ve been committed to my process and doing the things I need to do. I know there’s still work to do in that, but I’ve made good strides this year. Third, I’m proud of how well I translated my game and my belief into the ATP Tour tournaments. I translated my game really well and I had good results starting with my first ATP tournaments.”
There was no surprise in the ATP fans favorite award as Roger Federer took home the title for the 19th straight year. Federer had only played 13 matches this year as a knee injury kept him out of the tour since July, he lost to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon this year in the quarterfinals which was his last match of the season. Federer is expected to come back next season after Wimbledon.
Alexander Zverev 6 titles this season paves way for big targets in 2022
(Tennis news) Alexander Zverev has been a regular in the top ten rankings of the ATP for the past four years. The 24 year old has been winning at least one title since 2016, his breakthrough year was 2017 where he won 5 titles including two Masters 1000 events. In 2018, he kept on winning as he picked up 4 titles and his biggest title which was the Nitto ATP Finals.
Zverev won 6 titles this year, the most by a player on ATP this season. He won two Masters 1000 titles, gold at Tokyo Olympics and also finished with a second title at the year end championships. Zverev also picked up 300th career win this season at Vienna in October and finished with 59 victories, one less than his personal best of 60 wins in 2018.
The right hander is one of the most promising next gen players. He stopped Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics which denied the Serbian the elusive gold and also defeated Djokovic again at the semifinals of the year end championship. Zverev is a baseliner who has a steady backhand and a powerful serve which is a hard to combat mixture in hard courts. Zverev has won titles in clay and hard courts with only grass remaining in his bucket list.
Zverev reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time last year at the Australian Open and reached the finals of the US Open. This year he reached the semifinals at Roland Garros and the US Open. He has been struggling in grass courts since beginning, at Wimbledon he has not progressed beyond the fourth round.
Zverev can target the grass courts next year as he has accomplished himself as a top player to beat in clay and hard courts. With his defense and control on court, he can land titles at grass too. Zverev has two runner up finishes at Halle and beat Roger Federer in the semifinals five years back. He will also look to win his first Grand Slam title in the 2022 season as he has been reaching the last four stages continuously over the past two years, the last German to win a Grand Slam in the ATP tour was Michael Stich at WImbledon in 1991.
Zverev will begin his quest at the 2022 Australian Open, he will look to follow Boris Becker as he has won the most Grand Slams for a German player on the ATP tour. Steffi Graff had won 22 Grand Slams which is the most by a German player and Angelique Kerber was the last German to win a Grand Slam in 2018 again at Wimbledon. History has been kind to Germany in grass and it might change Zverev’s fortune next season.
Hebert and Mahut receive doubles honors as Karatsev wins improved player
(Tennis news) The ATP announced the winners in two more categories on Wednesday as Aslan Karatsev won the most improved player of the year award and the doubles pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the Fans’ Favorite doubles team.
Aslan Karatsev had a breakthrough season by becoming the first man in the Open Era to reach a semifinal on his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open. He started the year ranked 112 and reached his career best of 15 in November, he is currently ranked 18. Karatsev won titles at Moscow and Dubai, he also reached the finals at Belgrade. Karatsev had won 34 matches this year and reached the third round at the US Open. He last played at the Davis Cup, partnering with Karen Khachanov against Germany in the doubles match and last played a singles match at Paris Masters 1000 where lost the opening match to Sebastian Korda.
Karatsev had immense success in singles but in doubles he was ranked 422 at the start of the season and now is ranked 91. He won the doubles title at Doha with Andrey Rublev and the pair reached the finals at Indian Wells.
“I am really happy to win this award,” Karatsev said. “It means a lot to me and I am really happy to get this. Thank you very much.”
The doubles pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the Fans’ Favorite doubles team of the year award. The pair had reached 5 finals this year, they won three of them including the Nitto ATP finals and the Roland Garros title. They became the eighth pair to complete the career by winning the 2019 Australian Open and have been playing together since 2015.
“Just want to thank all of you who voted for us,” said Mahut. “Winning on the court is a personal accomplishment, but receiving the Fans’ Favorite Award is a different kind of pride. Pierre-Hugues and I are very touched and hope to share some great moments next year together and with you. Thanks again and see you next year.”
Herbert added: “It’s the first time we've won this award. We had an amazing year and we’re so happy and so proud about it. We hope to be back next year, enjoying on the court and on the ATP Tour.”
Rafael Nadal and Domnic Thiem look to start strong in 2022 season
(Tennis news) The 2022 season is only 23 days away as many stars had to take leave early this season due to injuries. Bianca Andreescu, Serena Williams and Roger Federer have already said that they won’t be playing the Australian Open next year. The calendar for next also has seen some changes in the order of events as it is tightly packed especially in the first half with the inclusion of the ATP Cup. Many top players did not play the entire 2021 season and given below are the top four players who withdrew early from the ATP tour this year.
Federer has only played 13 matches this year with Wimbledon being his last tournament. The 20 time Grand Slam winner is 40 years old and one of the oldest players on tour. He underwent a third knee surgery in August after having two of them done last year. He also won’t be playing at the 2022 Australian Open and will mostly return mid season. He is currently ranked 16 having last won a title two years ago in Basel.
Nadal played 29 matches this year and lost just five of them. He last played at Washington, losing to Lloyd Harris in the fourth round and then underwent treatment in his foot as he called off the season. The Spaniard won two titles this year and will next be seen at the Australian Open where he and Novak Djokovic will be battling for a record 21st Grand Slam title.
The 28 year old had a disappointing season having played 18 matches and missing out on the second half of the ATP calendar. Thiem last played at Mallorca Open where he suffered a wrist injury which led him to retire in the first round against Adrian Mannarino. He had won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, becoming the first player born in the 90’s to do so. Thiem is expected to return at the 2022 Australian Open, he was the runner up last year losing to Djokovic.
Wawrinka has a lot to cover next year as his ranking dropped to 64 places and is currently ranked 82 in the world. He played 6 matches this year and was seen at Doha in March after undergoing a surgery on his foot. Wawrinka again had to undergo a surgery in June and his name was not on the list for Australian Open 2022. It is not sure when Wawrinka will make his comeback on tour as the three time Grand Slam champion will be waiting to set loose his backhand on court.
Also read: AITA begins process to identify venue for Davis Cup tie against Denmark
Nominees announced for this season’s ATP awards, Casper Ruud leading with two nominations
(Tennis news) The tennis season is now fully centered around the Davis Cup which is into its final stages. It is time to celebrate the top athletes of the year as the ATP awards have stated the nominees in each category. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are the big missing names in the nominees as of now as there are still other categories coming up later this month. The coach of the year will be a little hard to decide as all the nominees have achieved personal milestones in the past twelve months and the coaches will be proud of their results.
Comeback Player of the Year: The player who has come back after a serious injury and has been one among the top players on the ATP Tour. Andy Murray had won it in 2019 and Vasek Pospisil won it last year. This year Murray again has a strong chance to take the title.
Thanasi Kokkinakis, Mackenzie McDonald, Andy Murray, Jack Sock
Most Improved Player of the Year: Players who have gained a significant increase in their rankings by the season end and have played well throughout the year. Andrey Rublev won the award last year and this year Ruud, Carlos Alcaraz are the favourites to win.
Carlos Alcaraz, Aslan Karatsev, Cameron Norrie, Casper Ruud
Newcomer of the Year: On among the Next Gen ATP players who are inside the top 100 and were the highlight of the season. Alcaraz had won it last year, this year Jenson Brooksby and Brandon Nakashima look to be the favourites.
Sebastian Baez, Jenson Brooksby, Juan Manuel Cerundolo, Hugo Gaston, Brandon Nakashima
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: The award is for the player who has maintained high standards of professionalism and competed with respect and fairness against his opponents. Nadal is the three time defending winner of the title and has won it a total of four times.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud, Frances Tiafoe
Coach of the Year: The award is voted by coaches on tour and it describes the coach who has helped his player achieve great performances in the season. Hubert won his first Masters 1000 title this year alongside Norrie, Ruud has won five titles this year, Medvedev won his first Grand Slam of the year and Alcaraz won the next Gen ATP which gave him a perfect end to the season.
Craig Boynton: Hubert Hurkacz, Gilles Cervara: Daniil Medvedev, Juan Carlos Ferrero: Carlos Alcaraz, Facundo Lugones: Cameron Norrie, Christian Ruud: Casper Ruud.
Also read: Women’s Tennis Association suspends all tournaments in China amidst Peng Shuai
Carlos Alcaraz and Sebastian Korda leading the young field at Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals
(Tennis news) The Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals will begin from tomorrow as the young superstars will battle with each other for the crown. The withdrawal of defending champion Jannik Sinner has made way for Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune making his debut at the event as Felix Auger Aliassime has also skipped the event since he is playing at the ongoing Stockholm Open. This year all the 8 players will be making their debut and these are the top four players to watch out for.
The Spaniard is the highest ranked player in the field and also the youngest player. The 18 year old had reached the fourth round at Paris Masters by beating world number 9 Jannik Sinner in the third round, he also reached the semifinals at Vienna by beating Mario Berrerttini on the way. One of the rising stars this year, Carlos became the youngest quarterfinal at the US Open in the open era and can make it big here this time. Carlos won his first ATP tour title at Umag this year. Carlos is an aggressive baseliner who uses his raw power in his groundstrokes.
The 21 year old is the oldest player in the draw, Korda started the year with a runner up finish at Delray Beach and reached the quarterfinals at Miami Masters 1000. Korda won his first ATP tour title at Parma without dropping a set and went on to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon. One of the most skillful players in the draw, Sebastian can play from the baseline as well as come up on the net for some neatly played volleys.
Brandon made a breakthrough this year when he reached two consecutive finals in two weeks at Los Cabos and Atlanta. He defeated John Isner in straight sets at Los Cabos and lost to him in the finals at Atlanta, he again defeated the giant server at the US Open. Brandon also defeated Fabio Fognini at San Diego and also reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp. Brandon has the ability to play well in pressure along with returning strong serves which was clearly evident in matches against Isner.
Gaston was ranked 103 in the world before his quarterfinal run at Paris Masters which pulled his ranking to 67. He was the final player to qualify for the event and with his current form is the dark horse. Gaston has incredible court coverage although he is one of the shortest players on tour as he is 5 feet 8 inches and defeated Alcaraz at Paris which involved coming back from 0-5 to take the next seven games to win the match. Gaston is the second oldest player after Sebastian and can manage more upsets when he lands in Italy.
Andy Murray reaches first ATP quarter-final since 2019 after defeating Vasek Pospisil
to progress into the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open in Metz. The former World Number 1 reached his first ATP quarter-final since 2019 and will now face either Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz or Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
Murray overcame Pospisil in the seventh game of the opening set but went 2-0 down in the second set as the Canadian looked to be back in the game. Murray maintained his composure and levelled the score 3-3 soon enough by keeping pressure that resulted in some unforced errors by the Canadian. Murray is currently ranked 113th in the world and is making his second appearance at the Metz, having reached the final in 2007. The three time Grand Slam winner has undergone two surgeries on his right hip in three years and is looking to rediscover his old form by winning his first ATP tour event since the European Open in Antwerp in 2019.
In a courtside interview with Amazon Prime, Murray said "I was trying to make him work on his service games, and he has an excellent serve, then likes to dictate with the first ball after. I was trying to focus on getting lots of returns back and then when I got the opportunity I was trying to put some pressure on him, I think I did that well.
"For the most part, I served pretty well, lost my rhythm a bit at the end of the first set, start of the second, but I returned well and played a smart match.
"Even after I had a breakdown, I was still creating chances and once I got back into the second set I gained a bit of confidence and was a little bit more offensive, that was what turned the match for me.
"My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
"There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
"It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better."
Young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz is breaking records one step at a time
(Tennis news): Carlos Alcaraz Garfia is just 18 years old and already making heavy strides in the game. The US Open has been his major spotlight although he has been making progress since the start of the year. At the start of the 2019 season, he was ranked 490 and by the end of the year he was ranked 130. In 2020 he started the year ranked 130 and the rankings didn't change much as there were few tournaments taking place. He has made his debut in all the Grand Slams this year.
In the 2021 season, Alcaraz made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open where he beat Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round but lost to Mikael Ymer in the next round. His major breakthrough came in the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open, a 250 tier tournament where he made the semifinals beating Feliciano Lopez, Casper Ruud on the way. Alcaraz also faced his idol Rafael Nadal in the third round of the Madrid Masters 1000 losing in straight sets.
In the French Open, Alcaraz won his opening match against Nikoloz Basilashvili but lost his next match to Jan-Lennard Struff. In Wimbledon too he won his first match against Yasutaka Uchiyama and in the next match lost to Daniil Medvedev. His next tournament, the Croatia Open 250 will always be special to him as he beat Filip Krajinovic, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and in the final demolished Richard Gasquet for his first ATP tour title.
The Croatia Open has an interesting history behind it. Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero had won it in 2010. Novak Djokovic also made his tour level appearance in Umag back in 2003 when Alcaraz was born. The year 2003 is also when Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam debut and Roger Federer won Wimbledon which was his first Grand Slam title. Alcaraz has a lot of players he can look upto especially his own countrymen, he considers Nadal as his idol.
Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former world number 1 and French Open winner in 2003 has been instrumental in the young Spaniard’s career. He has been coaching him since 2018 and has been bringing in changes constantly especially on his aggressive play. Stefanos Tsitsipas said that he has never seen anybody striking the ball that hard after losing to Alcaraz in the fourth round of the ongoing US Open.
Alcaraz is a right hander and plays a two handed backhand, he employs his powerful forehand to hit winners and also uses a drop shot as he can also finish off points in the net. His endurance was heavily tested against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round of the US Open, the match lasted for over four hours and Alcaraz had covered 9kms in distance during the match. Although he is young, he has the strength and grit to trouble the top players.
Alcaraz is the youngest Grand Slam quarter finalist since Michael Chang in the 1990 French Open and is the youngest to reach the US Open quarterfinals since 1963. He is the youngest man from Spain to reach the US Open fourth round since Nadal in 2006, Nadal had lost in the quarterfinals to Mikhail Youzhny that year. Alcaraz is also the youngest player to beat a top three ranked opponent since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973.
Alcaraz has a lot to look forward to since he has just started his career and has done it in the best way possible. 16 years ago, on a different surface another aggressive young Spaniard won his first Grand Slam and now will be looking for a successor. Nadal has set the bar high for the future players from Spain, Alcaraz has his targets in sight as he will try to reach the last four and maybe even face Novak Djokovic in a thrilling battle. There are a lot of expectations from the young lad as he will try to break in the next Gen which will be carrying the tour hopefully soon. Alcaraz has been a major headline of this year’s US Open and who knows might even lift a Grand Slam in a year or two.
The tour has seen a lot of youngsters making the top cut, but someone so young shining in the Grand Slams has not been seen in recent years. The pressure and facing the crowds itself is a difficult task and adding to facing top players who have had years of experience. Alcaraz doesn't seem to be distracted by all this as he is now a crowd favourite and showed his best tennis in Arthur Ashe Stadium which is the largest tennis stadium in the world. He will next face Felix Auger Aliassime who is also a rising star himself, it will be a eye dropping battle as the crafty Canadian will take on the aggressive rough Spaniard. A battle of the future stars and they have indeed added more spice in the tournament. The future of tennis is in safe hands and the ball is in the court, let's admire the show while it lasts.
Also read: Novak Djokovic four victories away from making history at the US Open, Leylah Fernandez knocks out Angelique Kerber in fourth round clash
Content distribution platform Socialie collaborates with electric off road racing series Extreme E
Extreme E has announced a collaboration with leading content distribution platform Socialie to enhance the electric off road racing series’ management, distribution and ROI of social media content. This includes race coverage, environmental objectives and behind the scenes stories of people and places with coverage from drivers, teams, partners, stakeholders and media.
Since 2016, Socialie has boasted clients such as ATP Tour, WTA, UFC, FIBA Media, European Tour amongst others. The company is known for maximizing the social ecosystems of brands and delivering fast, impactful content and utilizing advanced sharing mechanisms.
With this partnership, Extreme E will be able to deliver content from remote locations direct to their Socialie account which will them be redistributed, retaining full visibility of social analytics across drivers, teams and stakeholders social accounts.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Extreme E’s collaboration with Socialie means we can fully realise the potential of our outstanding visual content as well as amplify the environmental, electrification and equality messaging behind our unique sport for purpose series.
“The modern social media landscape presents enormous opportunities for Extreme E, not only as an emerging and innovative sport but one with a vital narrative to deliver, and we’re excited to take that further than ever before.”
Kristin Adams, Socialie CEO and Founder said: “We are excited to be working with Extreme E during its inaugural season. The championship is highlighting the impact of climate change through sport but also through the media.
“By using Socialie, Extreme E is empowering its drivers, teams and other influential stakeholders to easily share and amplify this very important message across social media to showcase the unique events and raise awareness for the need to protect the environment. We are proud that Socialie has been chosen as its platform to achieve this.”
Extreme E will now head over to Greenland (28-29 August) for it’s next race. The series aims to highlight the climate crisis by holding races in locations that are most vulnerable. As the series has a unique viewing format without spectators, fans can watch the races live via social media. Extreme E also transports equipment through its floating centerpiece, St. Helena to reduce the Championship’s carbon footprint.
Bopanna-Shapovalov reach quarterfinals of Madrid Open Masters
Madrid, May 6 India's Rohan Bopanna combined with his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov to stun top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in straight sets and reach the men's doubles quarterfinals of Madrid Open Masters 1000 tournament here.
This was the 41-year-old Bopanna's first win on the ATP tour in 2021.
The Indo-Canadian duo won their round of 16 match 6-3 6-4 on Wednesday.
Bopanna and Shapovalov will take on German duo of Alexander Zverev and Tim Puetz in the quarter-finals.
"A superb victory by #TOPSAthlete tennis player @rohanbopanna and his partner @denis_shapo who beat World #1 men's doubles pair of Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the @MutuaMadridOpen," Sports Authority of India (SAI) tweeted. News Source : PTI