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Krawietz & Mies Win Maiden Title In New York

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2019

Krawietz & Mies Win Maiden Title In New York

German duo Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies won their first ATP Tour doubles title on Sunday at the New York Open. A single break in each set was all they required to defeat Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan 6-4, 7-5.

“This feeling is unbelievable. It’s really a dream come true to us and we’ve worked so hard for this moment,” said Mies.

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Krawietz and Mies finished its week in New York without dropping a set. They have primarily competed together on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning five titles in the past nine months. They also came through qualifying to reach the third round at Wimbledon last year.

“This is the best tournament that we’ve played together. We get along off the court and have fun together, so you can see that on the court,” said Krawietz. “It was a pleasure to play in front of such a big crowd today and I was able to get energy from them in the match.”

You May Also Like: Zeballos/Gonzalez Charge To First ATP Tour Team Crown In Buenos Aires

Gonzalez was seeking his first ATP Tour doubles title since winning this in Antalya (w/Demoliner) last June, while Qureshi’s last title came in October 2017 in Chengdu (w/Erlich). Gonzalez and Qureshi opened this season together with a semi-final finish in Doha.

The German pair broke serve at 3-3 in the opening set and rode that momentum to an early advantage. They saved the lone break point against them at 3-4 in the second set, then secured a break at 5-5 before closing out the contest in 74 minutes.

Krawietz and Mies pick up 250 ATP Ranking points and split $39,300, while Gonzalez and Qureshi earn 150 ATP Ranking points and split $20,140.

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Zeballos/Gonzalez Charge To First ATP Tour Team Crown In Buenos Aires

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2019

Zeballos/Gonzalez Charge To First ATP Tour Team Crown In Buenos Aires

Argentine duo improves to 9-3 as a team

Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos needed just 49 minutes to capture their first ATP Tour title as a team on Sunday, cruising past Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-1 at the Argentina Open.

The top-seeded Argentine duo, which improves to 9-3 as a team, won 74 per cent of first-serve points (20/27) and saved all three break points it faced to triumph in front of its home crowd. The title run closes an impressive two weeks for Gonzalez and Zeballos on home soil. Last week, the Argentine duo reached its maiden tour-level championship match as a team at the inaugural Cordoba Open, falling to Roman Jebavy and Andres Molteni in straight sets.

“Sharing the court with [Horacio] is good because we know each other a lot,” said Gonzalez. “It’s great to get a win at home, after losing the final [in Cordoba] last week… A win at home with all our people, family and friends, is very nice and special.”

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Gonzalez improves to 5-2 in tour-level doubles finals. Zeballos, who lifted three ATP Tour doubles trophies in 2018, now owns 11 tour-level doubles crowns.

“It is a huge pleasure to be here with the champions trophy,” said Zeballos. “I’m really happy to enjoy a week with so many friends”

Schwartzman and Thiem were bidding to capture their first team title in their third ATP Tour event as a team. On Saturday, Schwartzman saved one match point to defeat Thiem in the singles semi-finals.

Gonzalez and Zeballos receive 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share $33,400 in prize money for winning the title. Schwartzman and Thiem collect 150 points and split $17,120.

Did You Know?
Zeballos owns a 3-1 record in Argentina Open doubles finals. The 33-year-old, who finished as a runner-up in 2014 (w/Cuevas), also lifted the trophy in 2010 (w/Prieto) and last year (w/Molteni).


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Cecchinato Races To Buenos Aires Title

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2019

Cecchinato Races To Buenos Aires Title

Italian wins third ATP Tour singles title

Third seed Marco Cecchinato saved his best for last at the Argentina Open. The Italian produced a flawless performance in Sunday’s final to defeat fourth seed and home favourite Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-2.

“I was able to play a great match and was always focused. I followed the game plan from the beginning to the end,” said Cecchinato. “I was able to win the first two matches [this week] the hard way, working point by point. I improved my level yesterday and I was focused today, so I’m happy with how I was able to win the tournament.”

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The World No. 18 in the ATP Rankings cruised to the title in Buenos Aires without dropping a set. He finished the week leading all players in the field on second-serve points won (63%) and second-serve return points won (64%). All three of Cecchinato’s ATP Tour titles have come on clay, with the 26-year-old lifting trophies last year in Budapest and Umag.

“Winning my third tournament in my third final makes me happy,” said Cecchinato. “I want to be physically good and train harder for the rest of the year. I know that I’ll continue to have good results if I stay mentally solid.”

Schwartzman was seeking his first ATP Tour title since prevailing 12 months ago in Rio de Janeiro (d. Verdasco). However, he can take comfort in having reached his first ATP Tour final on home soil this week.

“Marco played a great match and deserved to be the champion. He didn’t let me do anything today,” said Schwartzman. “Playing at home and getting to the final was very nice for me. I had the unconditional support of the fans all week and that respect is something that makes me feel good despite the bad result.”

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From 1-1 in the first set, Cecchinato dominated the lengthy baseline rallies and went on a seven-game run. Schwartzman tried to get the crowd involved and raised his arms in the air after getting on the board in the third game of the second set. But perhaps fatigued by his semi-final heroics on Saturday against top seed Dominic Thiem, where the Argentine saved a match point, Schwartzman couldn’t find his footing on Court Guillermo Vilas. A pair of unforced errors gave Cecchinato a 5-2 lead in the second set and the third seed wrapped up the match after 65 minutes.

Cecchinato picks up 250 ATP Ranking points and $101,830 for his efforts this week, while Schwartzman leaves Buenos Aires with 150 ATP Ranking points and $55,065.

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Naomi Osaka says she was unwilling to sacrifice her happiness after split from coach

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2019

World number one Naomi Osaka says she was not willing to “sacrifice” her happiness following her surprise split from coach Sascha Bajin last week.

Osaka split with Bajin 16 days after winning the Australian Open, which sealed back-to-back major titles after she won her first at the 2018 US Open.

“If I’m not waking up happy to practise and happy to be around the people I’m around, this is my life,” Osaka said.

“I’m not going to sacrifice that just to keep a person around.”

Japan’s Osaka, 21, had worked with Bajin for just over a year when she announced the split on Twitter.

Bajin, the 2018 WTA coach of the year, is a former hitting partner of Grand Slam champions Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

Under him, Osaka rose from world number 72 at the start of 2018 to the summit of the rankings little over a year later.

No reason was given for the split at the time, but Osaka says issues with the German had been “brewing” at January’s Australian Open.

“I think some people could see that if they saw how we interacted,” she told reporters at the WTA event in Dubai.

“I’m not going to say anything bad about him because, of course, I’m really grateful for all the things he’s done.

“During the Australian Open, I was just trying to tell myself to get through it. I’m not sure, but I think you guys noticed.”

Osaka said she hopes to have a new coach in place by the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which starts on 4 March.

“[The most important thing for me is] just to have a positive mindset,” Osaka said. “I don’t want someone that’s in the box saying negative stuff. That would be the worst.

“Yeah, someone that’s kind of direct, not afraid to say things to my face. I’d rather someone say it directly to me than go around my back. That’s one of the biggest things.”

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Chardy/Kontinen Capture Maiden Team Title In Rotterdam

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2019

Chardy/Kontinen Capture Maiden Team Title In Rotterdam

French-Finnish duo lifts first ATP 500 trophy of the season

Jeremy Chardy and Henri Kontinen completed a dream debut week on Sunday, beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 7-6(5), 7-6(4) to lift their first team title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

“[Partnering with Jeremy] was pretty last minute,” said Kontinen. “A few days before [the tournament], I was just glad he said yes to my text message and here we are.”

Chardy and Kontinen won 83 per cent of first-serve points (38/46) and saved five of six break points to triumph after one hour and 40 minutes. The French-Finnish partnership served for the first set at 5-3 and failed to convert a set point at 5-4, but eventually took a one-set lead in the tie-break. After saving two break points at 3-4 (30/40) in the second set, Chardy and Kontinen claimed five straight points from 2/4 down in the second-set tie-break to clinch the title.

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More than two years after claiming his fourth tour-level doubles title at the 2017 Qatar ExxonMobil Open (w/F. Martin), Chardy adds a fifth title to his collection. Kontinen, who reached his second Australian Open final (w/Peers) last month, improves to 22-5 in tour-level championship matches.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Chardy. “[Henri] is my friend. To win with him means a lot to me. We played really good and he taught me a lot during the week, so it was really good to play with him.”

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Rojer and Tecau were aiming to capture their 19th crown in their 24th tour-level final as a team (18-6). The Dutch-Romanian tandem drops to 1-2 in Rotterdam finals, having also finished as runner-up in 2014 (l. to Llodra/Mahut) before lifting the trophy in 2015 (d. Murray/Peers).

Chardy and Kontinen earn 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €127,270 in prize money. Rojer and Tecau gain 300 points and split €62,300.

Did You Know?
Chardy and Kontinen required Match Tie-breaks in each of their three contests en route to the final.

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American Nelly Korda wins Women's Australian Open in Adelaide

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2019
ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open final leaderboard
-17 N Korda; (US); -15 J Ko-young (Kor); -12 H Wei-ling (Tpe); -11 H Nomura (Jap), A Yin (US); -10 A Munoz (Spa), A Sharp (Can); -9 J Ewart Shadoff (Eng), M Steen (US)
Selected others:-7 B Law (Eng); -6 M MacLaren (Eng); -5 Y Liu (Chi); -1 C Hull (Eng)

American Nelly Korda continued her family’s remarkable success in Australia by winning the Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide.

Korda finished on 17 under par, two clear of South Korea’s Ko Jin-young.

Korda is the daughter of former tennis player Petr Korda who won the 1998 Australian Open men’s singles title.

Her sister Jessica also won the golf Australian Open in 2012 while her brother Sebastian won the tennis junior singles title last year.

The 20-year-old took a three-shot lead into the final round at The Grange and shot a five-under-par 67 to win.

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff finished in a tie for eighth on nine under.

‘Dad called to say you’re part of the Korda Slam now’

Korda was born six months after her father won the Australian Open in Melbourne, the Czech’s only Grand Slam title.

At the start of the week she said she felt “so left out” when her family discussed their Australian titles and when she completed her own victory she celebrated with her father’s trademark scissor kick.

“I’m finally a part of the club,” Korda said.

“I mean this win was really special for my family.

“I think there’s something in the air here, we love coming down under.

“I just got off the phone with my dad and he said, ‘Well, congratulations, you’re part of the Korda Slam now’.”

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Opelka Edges Isner In Record-Breaking New York SF

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2019

Opelka Edges Isner In Record-Breaking New York SF

American reaches first ATP Tour final, faces Schnur for title

Reilly Opelka displayed unwavering mental toughness and big hitting under pressure on Saturday at the New York Open. The 21-year-old American saved six match points in the second-set tie-break to edge top seed John Isner 6-7(10), 7-6(14), 7-6(4) and reach his first ATP Tour final.

Isner and Opelka broke the ATP Tour record for combined aces in a three-set match (81), with 43 aces for Opelka and 38 for Isner. They shattered the previous record set by Nick Kyrgios and Ryan Harrison (71) this past month in Brisbane, with 44 aces for Kyrgios and 27 for Harrison.

Opelka improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Isner to 2-1 and has won their past two matches, including a first-round victory at this year’s Australian Open for his first Grand Slam main draw win. The pair hit a combined 87 aces in their Melbourne clash (47 for Isner, 40 for Opelka), which saw Opelka win in four tie-breaks. They have now played seven straight tie-breaks, with each man earning one service break each in those seven sets.

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“Both of us were serving ridiculously well, so it was always going to come down to that,” said Isner. “Essentially, heads I win, tails I lose, and it landed on tails.”

World No. 89 Opelka will face qualifier Brayden Schnur for the title after the Canadian fought off five set points in the opening set to defeat sixth seed Sam Querrey 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-3. Schnur also saved match points this week, erasing two in his second-round victory over third seed Steve Johnson.

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Neither Isner nor Opelka faced a break point in the opening set. In the tie-break, Isner made eight of nine first-serves and saved set points down 5/6 and 7/8. With Opelka serving at 8/9, Isner claimed the only mini-break of the tie-break with a strong approach to Opelka’s backhand and a solid smash to wrap up the set.

The second set also progressed to a tie-break without any break points. Opelka trailed 4/6, staving off his first match point on Isner’s serve with a cracking down-the-line backhand. The 21-year-old erased more match points with clutch hitting at 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14. Isner saved the first four set points against him with aces, but serving at 14/15, Opelka rifled a forehand passing shot winner on the run to level the match.

Isner and Opelka earned their first break points of the match in the second and third games of the deciding set, but moved into a final-set tie-break without any breaks of serve. Isner pushed a forehand passing shot just wide at 3/4 and the slight opening was all Opelka needed. The 21-year-old closed out the contest on his first match point and pumped his fist in celebration.

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