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Emotional Estrella Burgos Bids Farewell At Home In Santo Domingo

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

Emotional Estrella Burgos Bids Farewell At Home In Santo Domingo pays tribute to Victor Estrella Burgos following the Dominican’s final tournament at the Santo Domingo Challenger

It was one of the more emotional scenes that you will witness on a tennis court. To see how beloved Victor Estrella Burgos is in his native Dominican Republic, look no further than what transpired on Tuesday evening in Santo Domingo.

They came in droves for the final act in the career of their legend. For five years, the Santo Domingo Open – the biggest ATP Challenger Tour event in Latin America – has been one big party at Club La Bocha. Last year, the Dominican faithful waited out rain delays until well past 3am and for this edition they packed the club to support their native son.

“The truth is that it was a beautiful experience this week,” Estrella told “So many people were there and so many sent me messages. Just a lot of nice memories. It was really special, because I knew it was going to be my last matches. I enjoyed it a lot on the first day and then I lost to Monteiro, but it was something I will never forget. So much emotion. And a lot of people crying, but they were all very happy because they were there for me for my entire career.”

The Dominican culture is vibrant and the energy from the crowd reflects that, providing a palpable, rhythmic atmosphere. The movements of the locals echo the traditional merengue dance that is a source of pride.


On Monday, they danced, sang and cheered in full throat, as the 2017 champion earned the final match victory of his career. And on Tuesday, they danced some more, screamed even louder and cried as Estrella bade farewell with a defeat to Thiago Monteiro. The tears flowed in the stands and on the court, as the 39-year-old sent a backhand into the net and prompty crouched to the green clay. A deafening roar rained down on Estadio Central, as an emotional Estrella embraced his friends and family and blew kisses to the public. To understand his impact on tennis, sports and culture in the Dominican Republic, this scene paints the perfect picture.

“I was very calm and happy, to be honest. It was a dream to finish my career at home and in front of my people. When I began my career, we didn’t have a professional tournament in the Dominican Republic. And now we have a big one in Santo Domingo, where many people could come and see me play and support me. It was really nice to see so many players and so many people I know my whole life. They all traveled to Santo Domingo for my last tournament and that means a lot.”

The story of Estrella is one that transcends tennis. His achievements between the lines are plentiful, but it’s his impact off the court that sets the Dominican apart and has given him a unique legacy.

The greatest player to hail from the Dominican Republic, and arguably the entire Caribbean region, Estrella has not only been an inspiration in his country. His unyielding passion and exuberance has extended to all corners of the globe, attracting fans wherever he travels with his charisma and inviting personality.


And beyond his attitude and energy, it’s his journey that has been so captivating for so many. Standing at just 5’7″ and hailing from a small island – one that has baseball at its soul and is unequivocally the core of its culture – the odds were stacked against Estrella. His country never previously had a player feature in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings, let alone the Top 50, yet that is where he found himself… at the age of 34.

“It is something very special for me to achieve everything that I did with my shorter height, older age and no tennis tradition in my country. I broke down all those barriers and to be among the 50 best players in the world is incredible. To overcome all the adversities makes everything I’ve achieved more satisfying.

“I also had to overcome financial adversity, not having a coach, coming from a small country… that gives me more pride. All the success that I had on the tour I could accept with humility, understanding all I went through to get there. That was the path I had to travel and without a doubt it fills me with joy.”

But he didn’t stop there. He also became the second-oldest first-time ATP Tour titlist in the Open Era with his maiden crown in Quito in 2015. In his mid-30s, when most players’ careers are winding down, Estrella was just getting started. The King of Quito would claim not one, not two, but three straight titles at the ATP 250 event, pulling off a stunning three-peat.


“My first title in Quito was very important for me, as the first ATP tournament I won. And the third was something unforgettable. I beat Ivo Karlovic in the second round when I was match point down against his serve. I managed to win that tournament. Also, in 2017, I won here in Santo Domingo. That was something incredible. I collapsed in joy and winning at home is always special.

“Tennis is growing in the Dominican Republic. We have one of the biggest Challengers now, we also have three Futures in the year, and that is a sign that we are in the right direction. We have junior players who want to play at a professional level and follow in my steps. That is something very positive for tennis here, since previously we had none of that.”

This is the same player that turned pro in 2002, but would hang up his racquet soon after, taking a job as a coach in his home country. And, after multiple comeback attempts, it wasn’t until 2013 that his professional journey took full flight. Most players’ careers don’t begin at the age of 33, but Estrella set out to prove that obstacles breed opportunity and can nourish a player’s passion.

In 2014, Estrella became the oldest to debut at the US Open, streaking to the third round. He would compete at all four Grand Slams and multiple ATP Masters 1000 events in his career, facing the likes of Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and David Ferrer.

Estrella played with the same energy and passion that Nadal has been heralded for throughout his career. Like the Spaniard, his dedication to his craft and unrelenting determination has attracted fans throughout the world. Even Nadal has taken notice, making a congratulatory post on Instagram following Estrella’s final match.

“It is something innate, something that is in me naturally,” Estrella added. “When I enter the court, no matter where I am, I play with great enthusiasm, passion and fight. I run for everything, fight for all the points and behave like a warrior on the court.  People like that. They appreciate it.

“When I arrive in any country, people follow me and like to see me play, see how I defend the points and win them. Feeling the support of people from other countries, not just yours, is something that gives you a lot of energy. I received messages from many people saying I was an idol for them.”

What’s next for Estrella? The Dominican will take a well-deserved break, but he has no plans of leaving tennis.

“I will rest for now, but I plan to continue working in tennis. I want to shape the Dominican Federation, create an academy in the future and develop players there. I hope to pass on what I know to the younger players.”


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The Sound Tactics That Led To Medvedev's Shanghai Title

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

The Sound Tactics That Led To Medvedev’s Shanghai Title

Russian wins second ATP Masters 1000 crown on Sunday

Daniil Medvedev’s mastery of a tennis match is mesmerising.

Medvedev defeated Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Sunday, with Zverev saying post-match that, “Daniil is somebody that plays a way that we have never seen before.” You can’t beat what you can’t understand.

Medvedev did a lot right in the final, with the following five areas contributing significantly to the outcome.

1. Pound The Zverev Forehand
Medvedev is typically a fast starter in his matches, and this final was true to form. The Russian won 12 of the first 15 points of the match to race to a 3-0 lead. Nine of those 12 points won were Zverev forehand errors.

Medvedev unveiled his primary strategy on the very first point of the match, winning a 13-shot rally with Zverev missing a forehand down the line from out wide in the Deuce court. With Medvedev leading 40/15 a few points later in his opening service game, Medvedev would go on to win six of the next seven points, with all six resulting in a Zverev forehand error. 

Medvedev’s baseline strategy focused on trading backhands through the Ad court with Zverev until an opportunity presented itself to attack the German out wide in the Deuce court, forcing a forehand error on the run.

2. Dominate Three-Shot Rallies
The most common rally length in the final was one shot in the court, which involves the serve landing in and the ball not coming back from either an ace or a missed return. There were 28 one-shot rallies, which equated to 27 per cent of all points. This was a very even battleground in this match, with both players winning 14 points each. 

The next most common rally length was three shots in the court, with 15 points played (14% of total points). Medvedev completely dominated this phase of the match, winning 12 of the 15 points.

• A “Serve +1” shot is the first shot after the serve.
• A “Return +1” shot is the first shot after the return.
• Rally length is defined by the ball landing in the court – not hitting the strings.

Medvedev: 3-Shot Rallies Points Won = 12
• Zverev Return +1 forehand error = 5
• Medvedev Serve +1 backhand winner = 4
• Medvedev Serve +1 forehand winner = 2
• Medvedev Serve & volley / backhand volley winner = 1

Zverev: 3-Shot Rallies Points Won = 3
• Zverev Serve +1 forehand winner = 1
• Medvedev Return +1 backhand pass error = 1
• Medvedev Return +1 backhand error = 1

3. Zverev Double Faults = 3
Zverev has struggled mightily with double faults throughout this season, but has improved lately and only committed one each in his quarter-final victory over Roger Federer and his semi-final win over Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev’s three double faults could not have come at worse times against Medvedev, as they were directly responsible for losing the first set and heavily contributed to getting broken at the start of the second set.

Serving at 4-5, 30/30 in the opening set, Zverev double faulted twice in a row in the net to gift the set to Medvedev. Zverev then double-faulted leading 40/30 on serve at 0-1 in the second set. Two points later, he lost his serve. The pressure of the moment and Medvedev’s merciless game style that yields precious few free points were both contributing factors.

4. Medvedev Serve & Volley = 3
Medvedev is far from a one-dimensional baseline player. He served and volleyed three times in the final, winning two of those points. Three times may not sound like a lot, but this specialised secondary tactic is also about creating doubt and indecision in the opponent’s mind, trying to also stop the returner from blocking the serve back slow and high over the net.

By putting just three serve-and-volley points on the table, Medvedev was able to affect Zverev’s return strategy and win the guessing game of “will he or won’t he” come straight to the net next time he serves. By comparison, Zverev elected not to serve and volley at all during the match.

In the recent 2019 US Open final against Rafael Nadal, Medvedev served and volleyed a staggering 29 times, winning 76 per cent (22/29) of those points, including winning 8/12 (67%) in the deciding fifth set.

5. Medvedev’s Backhand Return
Medvedev’s backhand return of serve is a rock-solid part of his overall arsenal. Zverev simply overplayed it. The majority of Zverev’s serves went to Medvedev’s backhand and the German constantly leaked points in this specific area.

Medvedev Return Performance
• Starting Point With A Backhand Return = Won 70% (14/20)
• Starting Point With A Forehand Return = Won 61% (11/18)

Return Errors
Backhand Return Error = Medvedev 2 / Zverev 5
Forehand Return Error = Medvedev 5 / Zverev 5

Medvedev has now contested six straight finals, winning three, and has won his past 18 sets in a row to prevail in St. Petersburg and Shanghai. He comes at you so quickly, so flat, and in so many ways, that he is a nightmare to strategise against.

The Russian’s meritorious victory can be boiled down in equal parts to a high level of execution on his side of the court and a high degree of confusion of exactly how to play him on the other side.

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Race Update: Berrettini & Zverev Lead Battle For Final Two London Spots

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

Race Update: Berrettini & Zverev Lead Battle For Final Two London Spots

Nadal has sizable lead in battle for year-end No. 1

One week can change a lot on the ATP Tour, especially in the ATP Race To London. The Rolex Shanghai Masters was a perfect example of that.

Entering the year’s eighth ATP Masters 1000 tournament, Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut was in seventh in the Race, and reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev was clinging to eighth, just 20 points ahead of ninth-placed David Goffin. But a major Shanghai shakeup changed the outlook with less than a month remaining.

The first domino that fell was Stefanos Tsitsipas becoming the sixth player to qualify for the season-ending championships, leaving only two spots for the taking. Zverev and Italian Matteo Berrettini made their cases this past week.

Zverev had not made a Masters 1000 semi-final in 2019, but he found some of his best tennis, advancing to the championship match, where he fell short against red-hot Daniil Medvedev. Even so, Zverev earned 600 points to catapult him into seventh place in the Race, with room to spare.

The Race For The Final Two Spots In London (following Shanghai)

 Player  Race Points
 7. Alexander Zverev  2,855
 8. Matteo Berrettini  2,525
 9. Roberto Bautista Agut  2,485
 10. David Goffin  2,325
 11. Fabio Fognini  2,235
 12. Kei Nishikori  2,180

The 11-time ATP Tour champion leads eighth-placed Berrettini by 330 points, and ninth-placed Bautista Agut by 370 points. It was a big week for Berrettini, who reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final before losing to Zverev. The critical match for Zverev came in the quarter-finals, in which he defeated Roger Federer. Not only did that give him confidence, but if he lost to the Swiss superstar, he would be in ninth place in the Race.

“Obviously it was an important match. The head-to-head [against Federer] is obviously a great thing to have, but more importantly for me is it was a match to maybe turn my year around a little bit,” Zverev said. “The Race to London is also very important.”

Even though losing in the last four kept Berrettini from leapfrogging Zverev, the Italian put himself in a qualifying position as he pushes for his first London appearance. After Shanghai last year, Berrettini was in 47th in the Race.

Read More From Shanghai
Mellow Medvedev: ‘I Do My Job. Boom. Done’
Relive Medvedev’s Magical Three-Month Run
A Look Back At 2019 Shanghai

With Rafael Nadal missing Shanghai due to a wrist injury, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic had an opportunity to claw closer to the Spaniard in the Race. With a title, the Serbian would have moved to within 460 points of Nadal in the battle for year-end No. 1.

But Djokovic was upset in the quarter-finals by Tsitsipas, so he only earned 180 of a possible 1,000 points he could have added to his tally this week. With no intentions to compete until the Rolex Paris Masters, that means Djokovic will need to overcome a 1,280-point deficit in the Race with only Paris and the Nitto ATP Finals remaining on his tournament schedule.

A player who did not make a big move in Shanghai is Goffin, who lost in the third round against Federer. But the Belgian, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up, has an opportunity this week to move into eighth place in the Race regardless of anyone else’s results.

Goffin is the second seed at the European Open in Antwerp. If the home favourite wins the title, the 250 points he earns would push him past Berrettini. Eleventh-placed Fabio Fognini reached the quarter-finals in Shanghai, and he will have an opportunity to bolster his London hopes this week at the top seed at the Intrum Stockholm Open.

Other players in action this week are 13th-placed Gael Monfils and 14th-placed Diego Schwartzman, both of whom are seeded in Antwerp, and defending Moscow champion Karen Khachanov, who is 16th in the Race.

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A Look Back At The 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

A Look Back At The 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters

The season’s eighth ATP Masters 1000 event had plenty of intriguing storylines

From Stefanos Tsitsipas’ dream day to Daniil Medvedev continuing his dominance by lifting his second ATP Masters 1000 title, relive the best moments of the 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters.

1. Medvedev Prevails In Shanghai: Can anyone stop this man? The Russian outclassed Alexander Zverev to take the title in Shanghai without dropping a set. Medvedev is on a nine-match winning streak, all of which have come in straight sets, and he has prevailed in 29 of his past 32 matches. The 23-year-old also has more match wins (59) than anyone else on Tour this year. Read More

2. Pavic/Soares Come Alive In Shanghai: Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares hadn’t reached a final in the first seven tournaments of their new partnership, but they found their footing and defeated Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo to prevail in Shanghai without dropping a set. It’s the fourth Masters 1000 title for Soares and the first for Pavic.

3. Zverev Turns His Season Around: The German produced his best result of the year in Shanghai, defeating Roger Federer in the quarter-finals for his first Top 10 win of the season and then scoring a dominant semi-final victory over Berrettini. His week puts him in seventh place in the ATP Race to London as he looks to defend his title at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, held 10-17 November at The O2 in London. Read More

<a href=''>Alexander Zverev</a> celebrates his three-set win against <a href=''>Roger Federer</a> on Friday at the <a href=''>Rolex Shanghai Masters</a>.

4. Double The Fun: Stefanos Tsitsipas enjoyed one of the best days of his young career on Friday. The reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion defeated Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals for his first win over a current World No. 1., then learned he had qualified for his maiden appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals. The sixth seed in Shanghai advanced to the semi-finals before falling to eventual champion Medvedev. Read More 

5. Youth Movement: Djokovic and Federer were a combined 13-0 in Rolex Shanghai Masters quarter-finals before Friday, but that was before the ATP Tour’s youth movement took over. Tsitsipas (d. Djokovic), Zverev (d. Federer) and Matteo Berrettini (d. Thiem) all scored big upsets, while Medvedev continued his run by defeating Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals. It marked the first time time in 20 years that all four semi-finalists at a Masters 1000 event were under the age of 24. Read More 

<a href=''>Rolex Shanghai Masters</a> semi-finalists

6. London Calling:  Kubot/Melo’s quarter-final win in Shanghai over Ivan Dodig/Filip Polasek ensured they will return to the Nitto ATP Finals this year. Their season includes a title in Winston-Salem (d. Monroe/Sandgren) and runner-up showings at four events, including Shanghai (l. to Pavic/Soares) and the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Mektic/Zeballos). Read More

Kubot, Melo

7. Pretty Please, Son: Federer’s parents are not a regular fixture at his matches, but Robert and Lynette Federer both accompanied him to Shanghai this year. It was Lynette’s third trip to the city, but Robert’s first, and he was so enamoured that he already wants his son to put the eighth Masters 1000 event of the year on his schedule for 2020. Read Feature

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a> reacts in Shanghai 2019

8. Rivalry Bingo: Dominic Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta squared off for the first time at an ITF Futures event in Morocco in 2012. Their rivalry quickly progressed to the ATP Challenger Tour the following year and reached the ATP Tour in 2015 with a showdown in Gstaad. The Austrian won their latest battle in Shanghai to take a 6-0 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, but it likely won’t be the last time they meet. Read More

9. On Top Of The World: Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP Doubles Team Ranking for the first time as a result of their second-round win over John Isner and Sam Querrey. They became the second all-South American doubles team to accomplish the feat since the ATP Doubles Team Rankings began in 1984. Cabal/Farah have won five-tour level titles this year, including their first two Grand Slam titles Wimbledon (d. Mahut/Roger-Vasselin) and the US Open (d. Mektic/Zeballos). Read More

Cabal, Farah

10. Roger Returns, On Twitter: By his own admission, Federer is not the most prolific tweeter and will take breaks from social media for months at a time. But the Swiss brushed off his Twitter account to answer fan questions and even ask for recommendations on what to see in Shanghai. With his next two tournaments coming up this month in Basel and Paris, its shouldn’t be long before we see Federer back on social media again. Read Feature

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Medvedev's Magical Run: The Russian's Journey To Three Titles & Three Finals

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

Medvedev’s Magical Run: The Russian’s Journey To Three Titles & Three Finals

Learn more about the Russian’s incredible three-month run

When Daniil Medvedev arrived at the Citi Open in July, the Russian was the No. 10 player in the ATP Rankings, freshly minted into the elite group. He has been on a tear ever since, reaching the final or lifting the trophy at six consecutive tournaments, including his first two ATP Masters 1000 titles — in Cincinnati and Shanghai — and his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open.

Medvedev, who is 29-3 since returning to the hard courts after Wimbledon, is now at a career-high World No. 4. He has earned five of his eight victories against Top 10 opposition during this three-month span, and his 59 tour-level wins in 2019 are 11 more than Novak Djokovic — who is second on the ATP Tour — has this season. looks back at Medvedev’s magical run over the past three months following his triumph at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

Citi Open – Finalist, l. to Nick Kyrgios
Medvedev was coming off a disappointing third-round exit at Wimbledon, where he led Belgian David Goffin two sets to one. But he got back on track on the American hard courts, winning four matches in straight sets — including a victory over former World No. 3 Marin Cilic — to reach the final.

In the championship match, Medvedev fell short in two tie-breaks against the always dangerous Nick Kyrgios. The Russian was unable to earn a break point.

“He’s been one of the most consistent players I think for the last year and a half. He’s been winning titles. Probably a contender at any event he plays. He’s so solid,” Kyrgios said. “It could have been him sitting here. It was a couple of points here and there. He probably should have won the first set and then it could have been a different story.”

<a href=''>Daniil Medvedev</a> is going for his second ATP 500 title in Washington, D.C.

Coupe Rogers – Finalist, l. to Rafael Nadal
Medvedev had reached only one prior ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (2019 Monte-Carlo) when he arrived in Montreal. But the Russian maintained the momentum he accumulated in Washington, D.C., and played inspired tennis to reach his first championship match at the level.

Along the way, the 23-year-old beat two Top 10 opponents — Dominic Thiem and longtime friend Karen Khachanov — a feat he also accomplished earlier in the year at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

In the final, he managed to win just three games in his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting with Nadal, but he was not deterred. In his post-match press conference, Medvedev said on five occasions that he had to, “do better next time”. Little did he know what the future held.

<a href=''>Daniil Medvedev</a> faces <a href=''>Karen Khachanov</a> during the <a href=''>Coupe Rogers</a> semi-finals on Saturday

Western & Southern Open – Champion, d. David Goffin
The Monaco resident showed little disappointment after falling to Nadal in the Montreal final, reaching the Cincinnati semi-finals without dropping a set. There, he met World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, whom he defeated for the first time on the clay of Monte-Carlo.

It appeared Djokovic would not lose to him again when he earned a break point with a 6-3, 3-2 30/40 lead. But Medvedev turned up the aggression, going for huge second serves and taking the game to the top seed, prevailing in three sets.

Medvedev did not look back from there, overcoming late-match cramps to beat David Goffin in the final for his first Masters 1000 title.

“It’s been the best weeks in my life. I mean, [my] mentality was the best in my life. My serve was the best in my life. My tennis was really consistent,” Medvedev said. “I didn’t have one bad match. I’m just extremely happy, and hopefully I can continue this way well through all my career, but hopefully at least next few weeks.”


US Open – Finalist, l. to Rafael Nadal
Had Medvedev played too many matches over the North American hard-court summer to make an impact at the season’s final Grand Slam? Early in the tournament, the Russian struggled with nagging injuries, but pushed through four consecutive four-setters to make his first major semi-final.

Before the US Open, Medvedev had made the fourth round of a Slam only once. But he showed no nerves against 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in the last four, defeating the Bulgarian in straight sets to earn a rematch with Nadal.

Nadal once again stormed into the lead, winning the first two sets and breaking in the third set. But Medvedev showed his resolve, battling hard to extend the legendary lefty to a deciding set before ultimately succumbing after four hours and 49 minutes.

“He’s 23. The year that he’s having is just very impressive. He has a great, great future in front [of him],” Nadal said. “I really believe that, of course, he will be able to win Grand Slams, a couple of them. Let’s see. In this life, is impossible to predict the future. But his career looks very, very well.”

<a href=''>Daniil Medvedev</a> and <a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a> helped the <a href=''>US Open</a> set a new attendance record this year.

St. Petersburg Open – Champion, d. Borna Coric
After a gut-wrenching loss in Flushing Meadows, Medvedev could have suffered a letdown. But there was none in front of his home fans in St. Petersburg.

Medvedev won all four of his matches in straight sets to claim his sixth ATP Tour title. Entering the final against Borna Coric, Medvedev had lost three consecutive matches against the Croat (all in 2018). But you wouldn’t have guessed it, as Medvedev dropped only four games.

“After the match, you could see how happy I was. Especially beating Borna, who is an amazing player,” said Medvedev. “I lost three times to him last year in a row. It was an amazing final and an amazing week. Many people didn’t believe in me this week… I came here to win and I did it.”

<a href=''>Daniil Medvedev</a> beats <a href=''>Borna Coric</a> to win his third title of 2019 on Sunday at the <a href=''>St. Petersburg Open</a>

Rolex Shanghai Masters – Champion, d. Alexander Zverev
There are only four active players who have reached six consecutive tour-level finals, and they all have reached the top spot in the ATP Rankings. Medvedev joined Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray as the only players to accomplish the feat when he ousted reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Shanghai semi-finals.

Zverev, last year’s Nitto ATP Finals titlist, came into his first Masters 1000 final with a head of steam after eliminating Roger Federer and Matteo Berrettini in back-to-back matches. But the German knew he had his work cut out for him against Medvedev, whom he said before the match, “in the past few months, he’s probably the best player in the world.”

Medvedev proved Zverev right, winning his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against the 22-year-old on his fifth try to claim his second Masters 1000 trophy.

“Everybody is talking that they need new guys, something new, so I gave them something new,” Medvedev said. “I don’t celebrate my wins. I just stay calm, I do my job. Boom, done.”

<a href=''>Daniil Medvedev</a> owns a 59-17 tour-level record this year.

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Teenager Gauff becomes youngest WTA winner in 15 years

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

Teenager Coco Gauff has become the youngest player to win a WTA title in 15 years with victory in the Linz Open.

The 15-year-old American beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 1-6 6-2 and is projected to move inside the world’s top 75.

Gauff only qualified for the main draw as a lucky loser after losing in the final round of qualifying.

“It has been an amazing week, I hope to come back here again. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life,” said Atlanta-born Gauff.

The youngster, who rose to fame at Wimbledon this year when she beat five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round, emulates Nicole Vadisova, who was 15 when she won her maiden WTA title in Tashkent in 2004.

Gauff held off two break points in her opening service game before breaking Ostapenko in the next to take control of the opening set.

However, 22-year-old Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, hit back in the second set, breaking Gauff three times before levelling the match with an ace.

The teenager rallied in the decider though, breaking twice to lead 5-0. However, Ostapenko saved two match points and then broke Gauff to love to trail 5-2.

Her father and coach, Corey Gauff, then came onto court to give his daughter some encouragement. He said: “Just relax, you’re not going to sprint to the finish line, you’re going to walk to the finish line.

“Trust your shots. Calm down, take your mind to another place, to a practice match. Just play, don’t think about negatives just think about positives. Yesterday if you know you had 5-2 you’d take that, you’re in control.”

She immediately broke back, winning the match and title when Ostapenko sent a forehand long.

“Thank you so much to my family and team for their support, you are always with me every step of the way,” she said.

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GB's Watson beaten by Peterson in Tianjin Open final

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

British number two Heather Watson lost the Tianjin Open final – her first WTA final for over three years – in straight sets to Rebecca Peterson.

Swedish world number 59 Peterson, 24, won 6-4 6-4 in China on Sunday to claim her second WTA title.

Watson, ranked 125th, broke early in both sets but was immediately pegged back both times, with Peterson winning in one hour 38 minutes.

The match was played indoors in the end after a five-hour rain delay.

Watson’s form this week means the 27-year-old is guaranteed to climb back inside the world’s top 100 when the new rankings are released.

It was the first time the Briton had lost WTA final, winning her previous three at Osaka in 2012, Hobart in 2015 and Monterrey in 2016.

After the match, Watson said: “I am so happy on court now and I am so enjoying my game again. I am looking forward to seeing what’s to come.”

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Zverev On Medvedev: 'He Plays A Way We Have Never Seen Before'

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

Zverev On Medvedev: ‘He Plays A Way We Have Never Seen Before’

German falls short in first ATP Masters 1000 final of 2019

Alexander Zverev enjoyed a resurgent week at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final of the year. In the process, he surged into seventh place in the ATP Race To London as he pursues a spot in the Nitto ATP Finals for the third consecutive year.

But in the Shanghai final, despite taking a 4-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead into the clash against Daniil Medvedev, the German simply came up against a player in form that was too good.

“Daniil is somebody that plays a way that we have never seen before,” Zverev said. “Maybe he doesn’t do huge winners or jumping forehands or anything like that, but he plays a style that we have never seen before.”

One may wonder how the three-time Masters 1000 titlist had defeated the Russian four times with the loss of just one set previously, but as Zverev said, “He’s a different player now. You can’t compare.”

“We play against different players every single day of our lives. Every single player is different. There are no players that play the same way,” Zverev said. “He plays very flat. He plays with shots that you can’t really do anything with the ball, I feel like, and that is difficult to play against him in an aggressive way.

“Sometimes that’s maybe why it looks on TV or from the outside that players are not playing as aggressive against him as against others, but I feel like he doesn’t let you.”

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Medvedev Masters Shanghai, Beats Zverev For Title

Zverev has done well this week limiting his double faults, striking only three in the final, which is a far cry from the 20 he hit in a Cincinnati loss against Daniil Medvedev. But back-to-back double faults at 4-5 in the opener cost the German the set, and that proved too tough to recover from.

“It was the most difficult match [of the week] because I lost it. All the other ones I won,” Zverev said, cracking a smile. “It was the most difficult, but I think I played the best player. Who knows what would have happened?

“Confidence was a big factor today, and he’s way, way more confident than I am in big moments in finals right now, because I always was somebody that in the big moments kind of played my best. But right now he’s been to six finals in a row, so he’s more used to it than I was.”

Despite the loss, it was a confidence-boosting week for Zverev, who ousted Roger Federer in the quarter-finals and then in-form Italian — and fellow Race contender — Matteo Berrettini in the semi-finals.

“I feel like I’m playing well. I feel like I’m on a very good path again. But obviously I have to be on this path for a longer period of time, I think. But making finals of a Masters [1000] is huge for me right now, and I’m very happy about that.”

The only thing that would have made the week better is lifting the trophy. But Zverev knows that he had to overcome one of the sport’s most difficult obstacles at the moment in Medvedev, and he did not have enough on the day.

“As I said on court, he’s probably the best player in the world right now,” Zverev said. “Credit to him.”

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Medvedev's Ride From Doubting Top 10 Potential To Eyeing No. 1

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

Medvedev’s Ride From Doubting Top 10 Potential To Eyeing No. 1

Russian claimed his second ATP Masters 1000 title in Shanghai on Sunday

At last year’s Citi Open, Daniil Medvedev was the No. 63 player in the ATP Rankings, and he lost in the second round. Before the event, he was feeling jet-lagged and lost a practice set against Lucas Pouille 0-6.

“My wife was there, and she was always telling me… that I’m going to be Top 10 soon, that I can play good and stuff like this. And so during the practice I was looking at her and saying, ‘Good Top 10 player here, losing 0-6 in practice,’” Medvedev recalled. “Now it’s her turn. She always reminds me this. ‘So what did you say in Washington one year ago, Daniil? Can you remind me?’”

The secret was out of the bag long before Medvedev defeated reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev on Sunday in straight sets to win his second ATP Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Shanghai Masters. But now the Russian, who has made the final or won six consecutive tour-level events he has played, doesn’t believe a chase for the No. 1 ATP Ranking is totally out of the question.

“My first goal is to win every match I play, and that’s how I can actually become No. 1, if you win a lot of matches in a row just like I did,” Medvedev said. “But to be honest with you, when you asked this question right now, I kind of thought [that] I don’t have that much points to defend till I would say USA next year. But I’m going to try my best to show great results as I did here, and if something like this is going to happen, it’s just a big bonus.”

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Medvedev Masters Shanghai, Beats Zverev For Title

With his Shanghai triumph, Medvedev moves into third place in the ATP Race To London, surpassing Roger Federer. That puts the 23-year-old in position to potentially finish No. 3 in the year-end ATP Rankings.

But Medvedev is more focussed on his current form. That’s what helped him to a nine-match winning streak, during which he has won all 18 of his sets. Since making his first Grand Slam final at the US Open, he has won titles in St. Petersburg and now Shanghai.

“Here I looked invincible this week since I’m the winner. Because, as I say, I don’t like to talk about future, because you never know what [the] future’s got for you,” Medvedev said. “This week, yes, I probably was invincible, but for the next upcoming weeks, I’m not sure. And even this week there were some matches that I could have definitely lost a set and we don’t know how it would have gone. But I’m here as a winner, so [I am] happy about it.”

The seven-time ATP Tour titlist has lifted six of his seven trophies since that memorable practice against Pouille in Washington, D.C. last year. But his biggest jump in level came after Wimbledon this year, with his finals streak beginning at the Citi Open.

“Something clicked in my game in USA. I don’t know why. I think it’s just the hard work that I have been doing,” Medvedev said. “I started to understand even more about my game, even more I would say about my serve, about my volley, about everything, like what I have to do, when.

“[In] crucial moments I know what do I have to do and where do I have to play. If I have to play it with spin or slice or drop shot, stuff like this.”

Medvedev is not letting this success go to his head.

“I don’t think I have changed as a person. As I said, as a tennis player, I maybe started to understand something more about myself, and I’m not really sure what,” Medvedev said. “As a person, I think I have changed about a year ago, or throughout this year I was changing a little bit, but I don’t think that something changed 11 weeks before and that this made the change in my tennis.”

Medvedev has admitted that he believes his wife believes in him more than he does in himself, as evidenced by her Top 10 prediction. But the Russian has done well to show both himself and the world that his momentum isn’t slowing down.

“I don’t know what more I need,” said Medvedev, the top seed at next week’s VTB Kremlin Cup, cracking a laugh. “I need to win 21 Grand Slams to beat Roger.”

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Medvedev beats Zverev to win Shanghai Masters

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2019

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev has won the Shanghai Masters, beating Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the final.

The world number four won 6-4 6-1 in 73 minutes for his first victory over the German in five attempts.

It is the 23-year-old’s fourth title this year and his second consecutive ATP Masters 1000 win after victory in Cincinnati in August.

The US Open runner-up has played in more finals than anyone else on the Tour this season.

He has reached the final in his last six tournaments, winning three, and his win-loss record for 2019 stands at 59-17.

Since losing to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final last month, Medvedev has won each of the 18 sets he has played and victory in Shanghai follows his win at the St Petersburg Open.

“This one is amazing,” Medvedev told ATP. “It’s one of the most prestigious titles on the tour. I told myself to enjoy myself, I stay calm and do my job.

“I cannot believe it. It’s amazing to reach six finals in a row. I hope I can keep going.”

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