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Monroe/Smith Celebrate Maiden Team Title In Atlanta

  • Posted: Jul 29, 2018

Monroe/Smith Celebrate Maiden Team Title In Atlanta

American-Aussie pairing won their final three contests in Match Tie-breaks

Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith will remember 29 July forever. The American-Aussie pairing won their first ATP World Tour doubles title as a team on Sunday at the BB&T Atlanta Open, beating second-seeded Americans Ryan Harrison and Rajeev Ram 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-8.

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The third-seeded Monroe/Smith saved seven of eight break points and won the title despite not breaking Harrison/Ram, who saved the only break point they faced. Harrison pulled double duty on Sunday, falling in three sets to John Isner earlier in the Atlanta singles final.

Read More: Monroe Riding High On Late Doubles Breakthrough

Monroe/Smith improved to 13-13 as a team and will receive 250 ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $36,230 in prize money. They also reached the Delray Beach Open final (l. to Sock/Withrow). Monroe has now four ATP World Tour doubles titles, while Smith celebrated his first. Harrison/Ram fell to 5-2 as a team and will receive 150 ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $19,040 in prize money.

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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Matteo Berrettini

  • Posted: Jul 29, 2018

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Matteo Berrettini

Italian lifts maiden tour-level title in Gstaad

Matteo Berrettini captured his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday, beating Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(9), 6-4 at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad. Hours later, the Italian also claimed his first tour-level doubles crown, triumphing alongside Daniele Bracciali to become the first player since Alexander Zverev last year in Montpellier to win singles and doubles trophies at the same event.

Afterwards, Cecchinato spoke to

How does it feel to be standing here with your first tour-level trophies in singles and doubles?
[It was an] unbelievable week, really. I think I played the best tennis of my life and I am really happy. I am also happy that I played singles and doubles and that I was able to play both. I was really good about [managing] my body.

Was winning an ATP World Tour title always a goal when you started to play tennis?
Of course I dreamed about that, but it is so far [away]. When you start, you have to think about the small things to reach and last year I won first ATP Challenger Tour title. Now, I am here with a tour-level trophy.

How much motivation has it given you to see the success of your countrymen, Marco Cecchinato and Fabio Fognini?
A lot. I am following a lot what they are doing and, in Fabio’s [case], for a really long time. Cecchinato is having an unbelievable season, so I think we help each other with these results and that is really good for Italian fans and the Italian movement.

You May Also Like: Berrettini’s Breakthrough: Italian Clinches Maiden Title In Gstaad

You began the 2018 season outside the Top 100 in the ATP Rankings and without a tour-level match win. How have you found this success so quickly?
I don’t know, really. I just practise really hard and I am just living the experience that I live every day. I hope I will have a really long career… I am enjoying this kind of life.

When did you realise you could make a career out of playing tennis?
I think when I reached my first Challenger final in 2016 in Andria and I lost to Luca Vanni. I played a great week and I beat strong guys. I was really happy with that week and I talked to myself and I was thinking I could play and have a career. For sure, I didn’t think about winning an ATP World Tour title in one and a half years, but if you work and if you practise a lot, that [can be] the result.

What were your ATP Ranking goals at the beginning of the year and do you plan on changing them now?
I didn’t have a goal at the beginning of the year. Of course, I wanted to enter the Top 100… and now I am close to the Top 50. It is unbelievable. I am really happy with what I am doing and I am really proud of my family, my team and I am really enjoying what we are doing together. I have fun with my coaches, with all of my family and that is the kind of life I would like to live. I think I am doing my best to live it.

Is there anybody that you would like to acknowledge or thank for getting you to this milestone in your career?
My family has always been supporting me. They’ve travelled with me to a lot of tournaments that were not that nice and know I’m here playing in the beautiful alps. This week I came without my coach and brought my girlfriend and a friend with me. It worked out very well, maybe I should do this more often. Just joking!

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Danilovic becomes first player born in 2000s to win WTA title

  • Posted: Jul 29, 2018

Olga Danilovic became the first player born in the 2000s to win a WTA title with victory in the Moscow River Cup.

Danilovic was a break down in the final set against fellow 17-year old Anastasia Potapova but recovered to win 7-5 6-7 (7-1) 6-4.

The Serb is the youngest winner of a WTA title since 2015.

She is also the first ‘lucky loser’ to win a WTA title, after being granted a place in the main draw despite losing the final round of qualifying.

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Back-To-Back: Zeballos/Peralta Capture Hamburg Title

  • Posted: Jul 29, 2018

Back-To-Back: Zeballos/Peralta Capture Hamburg Title

Bastad champions continue winning streak

Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos captured their second tour-level title in as many weeks on Sunday, defeating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 6-1, 4-6, 10-6 at the German Tennis Championships presented by Kampmann.

Peralta and Zeballos, who lifted their fifth tour-level team trophy at the SkiStar Swedish Open in Bastad last week, saved nine of 11 break points and won 70 per cent of first-serve points en route to victory after 83 minutes. Zeballos has now won 10 tour-level doubles crowns. Peralta has captured each of his six tour-level trophies alongside Zeballos.

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Having become the first team to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals by reaching the championship match, top seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic were bidding to win their fifth tour-level crown of the season. The ATP Doubles Race to London leaders, who drop to 41-10 this year, have both lifted the Hamburg trophy with previous partners. Marach won the title with countryman Alexander Peya in 2011, while Pavic emerged victorious alongside Ivan Dodig last year.

Peralta and Zeballos receive 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €105,140 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Marach and Pavic gain 300 points and share €51,470.

Did You Know?
Five of Peralta and Zeballos’ six tour-level titles have been won on clay.

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Berrettini's Breakthrough: Italian Clinches Maiden Title In Gstaad

  • Posted: Jul 29, 2018

Berrettini’s Breakthrough: Italian Clinches Maiden Title In Gstaad

Italian upsets Bautista Agut in straight sets

Prior to this week, Matteo Berrettini had never reached a tour-level quarter-final. But now, after beating three seeded opponents in five matches at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad, the Italian is an ATP World Tour champion.

Berrettini saved two set points in a tense first set before clinching the only break of the match to beat Roberto Bautista Agut in one hour and 45 minutes. The 22-year-old Gstaad debutant won each of his 49 service games en route to the title, navigating his way past No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev, eighth seed Feliciano Lopez and second-seeded Bautista Agut along the way.

“I am really happy, I have to stay focussed because of the doubles [final] and not think about this, but I am really happy,” said Berrettini.

The World No. 84, who will partner Daniele Bracciali in the doubles final, fired 17 aces and did not face a break point to improve to 12-12 at tour-level this season. In February, Berrettini won his second ATP Challenger Tour title at the Trofeo Perrel – FAIP, where, as was the case this week, he also defeated Jurgen Zopp in the semi-finals.

World No. 17 Bautista Agut was bidding to win three-tour level crowns in a single season for the first time. The Spaniard drops to 8-7 in tour-level championship matches.

“I want to congratulate Matteo. He played a great week and he has a great future in front of him. He deserved to win today,” said Bautista Agut. “I always like to play in Gstaad, it’s a beautiful event and I hope to come back next year.”

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With neither man able to manufacture a break-point opportunity in a first set dominated by serve, Bautista Agut appeared to make the crucial breakthrough at 5/5 in the tie-break. After a misfired forehand from Berrettini, the Spaniard appeared to be in control at 6/5 before a badly-timed double fault rebalanced the scores.

A second set point for Bautista Agut was also dismissed with an ace, before Berrettini took control. After failing to convert two set points of his own with forehand errors, the Italian kept faith in his abilities with back-to-back forehand winners from 9/9 deciding the set.

Berrettini applied significant pressure early in the second set, manufacturing four break points for a 2-0 lead. But Bautista Agut, with conviction on his forehand side, averted danger to hold serve and halt the momentum of the Rome native.

Berrettini continued to serve comfortably, holding to love for the third time in the second set to move one game away from victory at 5-4. And, it was there that the Italian made the crucial move. Once more, Berrettini trusted his forehand in important moments, successfully attacking Bautista Agut’s forehand side on consecutive points to clinch the title.

“It was a really tough match. From the beginning until the end it was really tough to break him. I served really good most of the days and it was an unbelievable tie-break,” said Berrettini. “If I lost the tie-break, I think the match would have been really tough. I was lucky I did a really good job in the tie-break and I was focussed in the second set.”

Berrettini gains 250 ATP Ranking points and collects €89,435 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Bautista Agut receives 150 points and receives €47,105.

Did You Know?
Matteo Berrettini reached the third round at Roland Garros this year. The Italian fell in four sets to eventual finalist Dominic Thiem.

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Norrie beaten in Atlanta Open semi-final

  • Posted: Jul 29, 2018

British number two Cameron Norrie was beaten by American Ryan Harrison in the semi-finals of the Atlanta Open.

Norrie, 22, had looked to be heading for his first ATP final after taking the first set before the eighth seed fought back to win 2-6 6-3 6-2.

Harrison will face Wimbledon semi-finalist and compatriot John Isner in Sunday’s final.

Norrie, the world number 73, was in his second ATP semi-final after reaching the same stage at May’s Lyon Open.

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