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Melzer/Roger-Vasselin Book Quarter-Final Spot In Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Melzer/Roger-Vasselin Book Quarter-Final Spot In Dubai

Defending champions Ram/Salisbury through in straight sets

Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin recorded their fifth win of the year on Tuesday, beating Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski 6-1, 7-6(2) to reach the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarter-finals.

The Austrian-French tandem broke serve on four occasions to claim victory in 76 minutes. Melzer and Roger-Vasselin are chasing their first title as a pair in their first season as a team. Prior to this year, Melzer and Roger-Vasselin had competed together at only two events.

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The unseeded team will meet third seeds Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies or two-time winners Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. Rojer and Tecau are the only team to win back-to-back titles in Dubai since the ATP 500 event began in 1993.

Defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury converted all four break points they created to defeat Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-2 in 55 minutes. The American-British pairing will face John Peers and Michael Venus for a place in the semi-finals.

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Raven Klaasen and Oliver Marach did not face a break point en route to a 7-6(4), 6-3 win against Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev. The fourth seeds await Marseille finalists Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic in the quarter-finals. Koolhof and Mektic defeated wild cards Abdulrahman Al Janahi and Fares Al Janahi 6-0, 6-1.

Matthew Ebden and two-time winner Leander Paes upset second seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 6-4, 6-3. Ebden and Paes will face Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals.

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Artistry Of A Challenger: All The Right Strokes In Drummondville

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Artistry Of A Challenger: All The Right Strokes In Drummondville

A behind the scenes look at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Drummondville, Canada

One week ago, Ricardo Rodriguez – Pace completed a first-round win over local wild card Ilya Tiraspolsky at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Drummondville, Canada. It was a typical first-round match on the ATP Challenger Tour, with both unseeded players hungry for a victory that could go a long way in their 2020 campaigns.

At first glance, it was an unassuming meeting between two players outside the Top 500 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. Rodriguez-Pace, a 26-year-old from Venezuela, was competing in his first Challenger main draw in 10 months, having primarily battled on the ITF circuit. Toronto native Tiraspolsky, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Thursday, was making his professional debut. But, as the sixth edition of the Challenger Banque Nationale de Drummondville got underway, one man took particular interest in the encounter.

Local artist Robert Roy has been painting scenes from the tournament since its inception in 2015. The Drummondville native has captured the event’s intimate, yet vivacious ambiance over the years, while profiling various players including Felix Auger-Aliassime.


But, as Rodriguez-Pace and Tiraspolsky battled through a three-hour and 11-minute war of attrition, Roy admits that those matches are exactly what he prefers to depict above all. Physically and emotionally exhausted, both players left everything on the court as they fought for a coveted victory. Only a handful witnessed the encounter and Roy is proud to say he was one of the them. Matches like these, where the hunger to win is so palpable, are most appealing.

“Tennis is like painting. Both show a lot of passion yet are delicate in their own way,” said Roy. “They are similar. When you paint, it involves the same dexterity as tennis. Both involve a lot of repetition of the same strokes.”

Perched above the baseline, in the VIP boxes, Roy set out to capture the moment.


Later in the week, following a second-round defeat to eventual finalist Arthur Rinderknech, Rodriguez-Pace approached Roy in his booth. Stationed between the VIP room and the tournament’s barista, Roy had his artwork on display all week. The price tag for this particular painting read $360, but on this day, making a profit was irrelevant. For the first time ever, a player was about to purchase one of his paintings.

“Players don’t often approach me, but those that do are the most genial. I like that, when they take the time to say hi,” added Roy, who accepted only $40 from Rodriguez-Pace. “They are the simple, humble players. Sekou Bangoura is another. They care and are sympathetic too. Everything is connected. I’ve never seen a player look as happy as Rodriguez.”

The ability to establish connections between the local community and the players is what makes the Challenger circuit so special. Whether it be through local housing host families, tournament transport drivers and other volunteers, players often create lasting relationships with the communities they visit in their travels. Rodriguez-Pace’s interaction with Roy was no different. The Venezuelan truly appreciated the moment.

“This is something I will show my kids one day,” Rodriguez-Pace said of the painting. “I imagine the conversations I will have with them of my playing days. And this is one of those cute stories. My future kids aren’t going to be interested in how many matches I won or aces I hit. These are the kinds of things that make it all worth it. We are on the road for so long and I really cherish something like this. This time, I was lucky for the painter to paint me. I will take this beyond my career for my personal life.”

Rodriguez-Pace was born in Venezuela, but has a Spanish father and American mother. He is currently based in Florida with his wife.




Felix Auger-Aliassime signs his painting while competing in Drummondville in 2017.

This story of player and painter is just one example of how the Drummondville community is so close-knit with the tournament. The town rallies around its biggest event of the year to create world-class entertainment for the public and give the players a home away from home.

In coordination with Tennis Canada, it all started with the vision of the three local Drummondville businessmen – Alain Caille, Stephan Hamel, Pierre Desrosiers – who have organized the tournament since Day One. The trio’s passion and unrelenting drive have been a guiding light for the event.

They have established such an integral piece of the community. With 100 total sponsors, there is a waiting list for local businesses to join the tournament. Demand to become a sponsor has grown every year and the organizers often have to turn down applicants.

Twenty-two committees are responsible for all tournament operations, with each carrying out their own specific roles. That is, in addition to their normal day jobs. Desrosiers is a contractor for heating and cooling, while Caille is an accountant and Hamel is a steel contractor.

“Outside of this week, we have to make decisions on the tournament throughout the year,” said Desrosiers. “And we have to improve every year. That is not optional. It is the passion that drives us.”

On Sunday, Maxime Cressy defeated Arthur Rinderknech for the title. The tournament spared no expense for the grand finale, kicking off proceedings with an extravagant light show and drum display featuring four local entertainers. Smoke machines surrounded the player entrance to the court, as Cressy and Rinderknech became instant rock stars as they walked on Court Central.

The sold-out crowd was on their feet from first ball to championship point, enhancing the already festive atmosphere inside the Tennis Intérieur René Verrier. And it wasn’t exclusive to the final. More than 6,000 fans streamed through the doors throughout the week, to watch the stars of the ATP Challenger Tour up close.

Considering there were no Canadians left in the singles draw from Wednesday on, it was impressive to see the public pack the stands every day. But one visit to the tournament and you’ll instantly see why that’s no surprise. Arguably the most successful events on the Challenger circuit are those that integrate the local community to create a premier fan experience. That is at the core of the Drummondville philosophy.

After all, the tournament’s intimate atmosphere is a product of the town itself. A cozy municipality in the heart of Québec province, located one hour east of Montreal, the inhabitants are proud to host one of the most popular sporting events in the region. That is what the tour is all about. Bringing world-class tennis to smaller locales that don’t have access to big sporting events year-round.

Some tournaments have the luxury of being held at sprawling arenas, established country clubs and modern tennis centres. In Drummondville, the tournament organizers work tirelessly to transform the modest multi-purpose facility into the social event of the year.

As they say, “It’s the place to be. For the sponsors, if you’re not part of it, you’re missing out.”

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Tsitsipas Keeps Momentum Rolling In Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Tsitsipas Keeps Momentum Rolling In Dubai

Struff beats 2018 champion Bautista Agut

Just two days after capturing his second straight Open 13 Provence crown, Stefanos Tsitsipas made a winning return to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

The second seed battled through a competitive opening set against Pablo Carreno Busta, before charging to a 7-6(1), 6-1 victory after one hour and 34 minutes. Tsitsipas improves to 8-4 this season and has now won 10 consecutive sets.

”I’m happy that I got two-set victories for a very long time,” said Tsitsipas. “I’m not spending extra hours out on the court, which for sure is going to help me.”

The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion is aiming to improve on last year’s runner-up finish in Dubai. On that occasion, Tsitsipas defeated Hubert Hurkacz and Gael Monfils in back-to-back three-set matches to book a championship-match meeting with Roger Federer.

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Tsitsipas has now won each of the four sets he has contested with Carreno Busta in their two ATP Head2Head matches. The 21-year-old also beat Carreno Busta in straight sets to reach his maiden ATP Tour final at the 2018 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

Tsitsipas will face Alexander Bublik in the second round. The World No. 47 saved three of four break points to beat Hurkacz 6-2, 7-5 in 76 minutes.

It will be the second meeting between Tsitsipas and Bublik in as many weeks. Three days ago, Tsitsipas moved past the Kazakhstani 7-5, 6-3 to reach his 10th ATP Tour championship match in Marseille.

”[Bublik] is a tricky player. He does unexpected things on the court,” said Tsitsipas. “I just need to be there, do my job the way I’m doing it so far. I’m doing great. I should continue doing the same, handle things the same way, be cautious and know when I have to put in the extra effort.”

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Paire Saves 4 M.P., Earns Cilic Revenge In Dubai

Jan-Lennard Struff produced an impressive attacking performance to overpower Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(2), 7-5. The German fired 44 winners and won 19 of 24 net points to eliminate the 2018 champion in one hour and 52 minutes.

Struff entered the contest with a 0-3 ATP Head2Head record against Bautista Agut, but produced his best level to win his first two sets against the Spaniard and reach the second round in Dubai for the third straight year. The 29-year-old will next meet Nikoloz Basilashvili, who recovered from a set down to beat Ricardas Berankis 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-3.

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GB's Evans beats fourth seed Fognini in Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

British number one Dan Evans fought back from one set down to beat Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini in the Dubai Tennis Championships first round.

World number 37 Evans prevailed 3-6 6-4 7-5 in his first meeting with Fognini.

Unable to recover from 4-0 down in the first set, Evans rallied to win five of the final six games to take the second.

Both players lost serve twice in the third set before Evans eventually converted his sixth match point after two hours and 38 minutes.

Evans will now face Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round after the Frenchman also beat Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-2 on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Evans, 29, was knocked out of the Rotterdam Open at the quarter-final stage after losing to defending champion Gael Monfils.

Romania’s world number two Simona Halep beat Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in the final of the women’s event in Dubai on Saturday to claim her 20th WTA title.

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Paire Saves 4 M.P., Earns Cilic Revenge In Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Paire Saves 4 M.P., Earns Cilic Revenge In Dubai

Frenchman to face Gasquet in second round

One month after his final-set tie-break loss to Marin Cilic at the Australian Open, Benoit Paire completed a stunning comeback against the former World No. 3 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

The eighth seed saved four match points across the second and third sets to reach another final-set tie-break, which he dominated to earn a 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(1) win. The victory ends a five-match losing streak for Paire against Cilic. The World No. 21’s only previous ATP Head2Head win against Cilic came in their first tour-level encounter at the 2013 Tata Open Maharashtra.

“It was not easy today. I lost five times in a row against Marin. Lost against him in Melbourne 7-6 in the fifth. I was not confident before the match,” said Paire.

“[I am] really happy about the win. It was not easy today. I was not feeling really good on court. [I have been a] little bit sick [for] two, three days. Really happy to win today and to fight until the end.”

Paire entered the contest with a 1-3 record since his Melbourne loss to Cilic, but found his best level to win six consecutive points from 1/1 to close the match. Both players won 120 points —including 57 per cent of service points — throughout the two-hour, 32-minute first-round clash.

The 30-year-old will meet countryman Richard Gasquet for a spot in the quarter-finals. Gasquet advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 win against Marton Fucsovics on Monday. Paire trails Gasquet 2-7 in their ATP Head2Head rivalry, but the past four contests have been split 2-2.

“We played a lot together… It’s never easy to play against him,” said Paire. “When he plays good, I know he’s a very good player. He was Top 10. He was one of the best players [of] the past 10 years.

“I know how to play him. I beat him already. I know it will be a tough match. I have to play much better than today to win. But if I stay focused on my match, confident with myself, fighting until the end, I have my chance.”

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Daniel Evans rallied from a break down on two occasions in the final set to eliminate fourth seed Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. The British No. 1, who also trailed 1-3 in the second set, converted his sixth match point in a marathon final game to improve to 9-4 this year.

“It’s difficult to play Fabio. He’s such a class player,” said Evans. “[I am] just happy to come through really. It was a good battle. I didn’t actually get to play my game too much, but it was good.

“I felt like he was on top forever really. [I was] just hanging in. A good part of my game is hanging in, just staying in the match.”

Evans will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round. The Frenchman beat Delray Beach runner-up Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5, 6-2 in 78 minutes. Herbert dropped only four points behind his first serve (28/32) to level his ATP Head2Head series against the 24-year-old at 1-1.

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Coaches' Corner: Jan de Witt, The Kommunikator

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Coaches’ Corner: Jan de Witt, The Kommunikator

Current and former players reveal the philosophy of the veteran German coach

Jan de Witt is quick to say hello and even quicker to say goodbye. He does not chit chat, have a Facebook profile or use WhatsApp. The German can be gruff, demanding and at times brutally honest. Yet, despite all that, it does not appear to have harmed the relationships with his players or colleagues over the many years he has been coaching on the ATP Tour. On the contrary, they seem to prosper because of his ‘take it or leave it’ attitude.

Corrado Tschabuschnig of Topseed Management, who has worked with De Witt since he brought Viktor Troicki to him 13 years ago, says, “If he feels that the player is trying, he will push him patiently. But, if he sees that the player is not trying, then he will not compromise in any way, not for his money nor for fame.”

“Jan is very honest and very clear,” says former World No. 13 Jarkko Nieminen. “He says things that you have to hear. You might not like it at the time, because sometimes it is negative. Sometimes, when I won a match, Jan would tell me that the way I played that day is not going to help me achieve my goals. And then sometimes, when I lost, he would be very pleased with what I was trying to do. I felt he was more interested in my long-term development and not just the moment. That made it very easy for me to trust him.”

Trust is a word that comes up a lot when players talk about De Witt. Nikoloz Basilashvili had never had a full-time tennis coach before working with De Witt. “Because I did not trust them,” admits Basilashvili. “A coach can destroy everything with just one sentence. But with Jan it is different. I trust him completely.”

De Witt insists, “There must be somebody who stops you from making a mistake. And, at other times, someone to push you to do the right thing. As the coach, you need to know when to do it.”

Nearing the end of his playing career in 2017, Dmitry Tursunov sought out De Witt for help. What happened on the first day would have wrecked most coach and player partnerships.

“I sent him (Tursunov) home on his very first practice here, because he was late,” remembers De Witt. “I told him to get the heck out of here. You are late.”

“What he said had an impact,” says former World No. 20 Tursunov. “He was very good at communicating his confidence, knowledge, and vision in what I needed to do to improve my game. That gave me the confidence to trust in the other decisions we made.”

De Witt, Nieminen, Albot, Basilashvili, tennis team

“I don’t fear being fired,” adds De Witt. “If the player feels you are scared to lose your job, then you have lost already. I have a reputation that has been built up over 20 years. That is if I don’t feel like working with a player then I stop at that moment. I don’t care how much it is going to cost me.

“Dmitry (Tursunov) and Jarkko (Nieminen) are both very intelligent people, and very clever players. And they would both work like a dog. But we needed them to go all in and with no regrets to fail. I believe that if I had had the chance to work with them earlier in their careers, I could have helped them a lot more. And Gilles (Simon) was similar. He would do anything I asked if it made logical sense. Then you could get a lot out of him.

“When I started working with Gilles Simon, we had two goals; playing better in Davis Cup and better quality at the Grand Slams. In Davis Cup, he was 1-10. After we started, he only lost one match in Davis Cup. And that was to Andy Murray in a tie at The Queen’s Club.

“He (Simon) had done okay in Slams before we started. But his approach was not good. His attitude before was ‘I want to survive one match, then I want to survive another’. He would play forever against players he should have beaten quicker. If you look at the match duration once we started working together, it went significantly down especially in the best-of-five-sets matches. From four-plus hours to 2.5 hours.”

The result was that Gilles was fresher when he got to the later rounds. That did not mean he was going to win those matches, because you are playing against the best players, but at least you can bring your A-game.”

De Witt’s modus operandi of communication is email. His daily player updates are legendary. He never fails to include each member of the team; agent, coach, physio, mental coach, trainer and player.

“Jan is organisation to the fullest,” claims long-time player manager Tschabuschnig. “Nothing is left to fate or coincidence. Everything is discussed and all team members have a constant update from him, and he demands a constant update from the others.”

Jason Stacy, who worked as a strength and conditioning coach for Tursunov and Basilashvili, remembers, “Jan was very good communicating to me on all matters. Jan would send out, on a daily basis, an email with the plan of the day, the weekly plan and sometimes even the yearly plan. Everyone stayed connected. Even when I was not on-site, I would get copied on what was being worked on each day. Jan was always asking for specific feedback from each team member. What I remember most was how clear and precise those emails were. Everyone knew the priority on what the player needed most right now.”

De Witt, who is the director of the Breakpoint Academy in Halle, Germany, insists, “The coach needs a vision of how the player can play his best. You need to know which physical and technical abilities that he has and what kind of personality he has. And which channels you are going to transfer information to him. Is he a visual, tactical, or brain-orientated?”

“My coaching philosophy is very simple. For the player being in the present moment during the match. That is the only way. Action-oriented thinking. The only thing that works. What is my action that wins me the next point? If you are not thinking on the next action, you are always going end up thinking about the past or the future. The only thing that helps is what options do I have to win this present point or what options do I have to keep my opponent from winning this point.”

De Witt, Monfils

De Witt’s coaching success on the ATP Tour can be measured quantitatively. Here are just a few of the players De Witt has helped improve their performances and position in the FedEx ATP Rankings: Troicki, Tursunov, Nieminen, Simon, Vasek Pospisil, Gael Monfils, and currently Basilashvili, who rose to a career-high No. 16 in May 2019.

I first met De Witt back in 2003 at the airport in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. We both arrived late at night and we ended up sharing an old Lada taxi for the six-hour drive through the treacherous Tian Shan Mountains to where the tournament site was in Namangan. Back then, Jan was coaching the Uzbekistan national men’s team. Four years ago, he was conspicuously absent from the ATP Tour. It was not until he came back and we sat down during in Halle, that I found out what had happened.

“I took time off,” says De Witt. “I felt I needed a break to refresh my mind. I started as a consultant for a first division German football club, Werder Bremen. They were looking to restructure their club and wanted help with a new philosophy. One of the reasons that they hired me was to get the view of a coach from an individual sport to be in a team sport. To look at the athlete in a different way. Though I was confident that I could help them, I also figured out that I knew a lot less about football than I thought that I did.”

It was not the first time that De Witt had ventured outside the tennis box. He has also served as a consultant to the Australian volleyball team. Such is his dedication, that De Witt is constantly looking to other sports and disciplines to increase his education on how humans can maximise their physical and mental potential.

There are three things that we can learn from De Witt’s success as a coach on the ATP Tour:

Communication: While De Witt may seem excessive to some or a bit too honest to others, for those under his charge they like and seem to prefer his method of diligent preparation and honesty.

Attention To Detail: De Witt’s pays attention to every aspect of his player and his player’s opponents. From training blocks to future opponents, De Witt sees everything and by doing so he earns the trust of the entire team.

Education: De Witt shows great willingness to further his coaching education, even if it means taking time away from his job and losing immediate income.

The deeper you dig and the better you get to know De Witt, you realise that his motivation is very simple: he truly wants to help not hurt, heal not harm, each and every player that he makes a commitment too.

De Witt, Basilashvili

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Fever-Tree Championships: Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas to play at Queen's

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Top 10 players Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have confirmed they will play at Queen’s in June.

Spain’s defending champion Feliciano Lopez will return, while organisers hope Britain’s Andy Murray will recover from a pelvic injury in time to play.

Former world number one Murray, a five-time champion, has not played since November’s Davis Cup finals.

“Daniil and Stefanos have shown they can beat anyone in the world,” said tournament director Stephen Farrow.

“Feliciano’s win last year was incredibly emotional and uplifting, and Andy is our greatest champion.”

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray was forced to pull out of January’s Australian Open because of the pelvic injury.

The 32-year-old said last month he was not putting a time frame on his recovery as “bone bruising” is taking longer to heal than expected.

“We know Andy is still working his way back to fitness, but we also know that he wants to play, so fingers crossed that he will be able to,” added Farrow.

Russia’s Medvedev, 24, is currently fifth in world rankings after reaching the fourth round in Melbourne, while Greek 21-year-old Tsitsipas, who won the Open 13 tournament in Marseille earlier in February, is sixth.

The main grass court event will run from 15 to 21 June and be live on the BBC.

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In-form Edmund cruises past Lopez in Mexico

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Kyle Edmund continued his good run of form with a straight-set win over Feliciano Lopez at the Mexican Open.

Edmund, 25, who won the New York Open earlier in February, beat the 38-year-old Spaniard 6-4 6-1 in Acapulco.

He came through an evenly balanced first set before an early break in the second set put him on his way to a comfortable victory in 68 minutes.

The British number two now faces Australia’s Alex Bolt or Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last 16.

Meanwhile, Britain’s wildcard Cameron Norrie, 24, could not sustain his dominant first-set form and fell to a 2-6 6-3 6-3 defeat by France’s Adrian Mannarino.

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Mexican Open: Heather Watson beats Coco Vandeweghe in round one

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

British number two Heather Watson came from a set down to beat American Coco Vandeweghe 4-6 6-4 6-4 in the first round of the Mexico Open.

Watson secured the win over the former world number nine on her fourth match point after two hours, 31 minutes.

Vandeweghe is now ranked 193rd as she returns from ankle and foot injuries.

“I was just pleased with how well I fought,” said Watson, 27. “I wasn’t playing my best, but I stuck in there. I’m just really enjoying my tennis.”

It was Watson’s first match for more than two weeks since Britain’s Fed Cup loss to Slovakia, which followed her defeat in round two at the Australian Open.

“I didn’t feel like I had much rest,” said Watson, who faces Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko in the next round.

“From the Australian Open, I had a week at home, but then I went straight to Fed Cup and was there the whole week.

“Fed Cup is a very high-stress environment, and I feel like I’m just about recovered to be here now.”

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Kecmanovic Wins All-#NextGenATP Battle Against De Minaur In Acapulco

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2020

Kecmanovic Wins All-#NextGenATP Battle Against De Minaur In Acapulco

Paul outlasts fellow American McDonald

Alex de Minaur defeated Miomir Kecmanovic at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals. But Kecmanovic got his revenge on Monday evening at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, rallying past the Aussie 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 59 minutes to reach the second round.

Kecmanovic, the World No. 50, is just three spots off his career-high FedEx ATP Ranking. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a strong start to the season, reaching the semi-finals at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and the New York Open.

Watch De Minaur Hot Shot:

Kecmanovic made it clear from early in the match that he wanted to control play against the speedy De Minaur. But at first, the Aussie had the answer for Kecmanovic’s aggression from the baseline, winning 71 per cent of his second-serve return points in the first set.

The Serbian did not back down, though, saving all eight break points he faced in the final two sets to triumph. This was De Minaur’s first match since pushing Rafael Nadal to three sets in the semi-finals of the ATP Cup in Sydney. Kecmanovic will next play top-seeded Nadal or his fellow Spaniard, Pablo Andujar.

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Tommy Paul won an all-American battle against Mackenzie McDonald 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 to set a potential clash against second seed Alexander Zverev, who opens against qualifier Jason Jung. Paul is at a career-best World No. 66.

Frenchman Adrian Mannarino also advanced, ousting wild card Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. The lefty will next play seventh seed and 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov or qualifier Damir Dzumhur.

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