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Resurfaced: Kyrgios, Totti Star In Rome Charity Match

  • Posted: May 16, 2020

Resurfaced: Kyrgios, Totti Star In Rome Charity Match

Tennis and football stars come together at Foro Italico

Editor’s Note: ATPTour.com is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 10 May 2016.

It was a star-studded affair on Monday night at the Foro Italico as Next Generation player Nick Kyrgios joined Italians Fabio Fognini, Andreas Seppi, Paolo Lorenzi, Marco Cecchinato, Filippo Volandri, Roberta Vinci, Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone in the Tennis With Stars charity event on Pietrangeli court.

The tennis stars were paired with football players from AS Roma in a tie-break tournament to raise money for the Roma Cares Foundation, which benefits the Sant’Eugidio community. 

Having won his first round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia earlier in the day, Kyrgios teamed with AS Roma superstar Francesco Totti to reach the semi-finals of the charity event.

Moet and Chandon off-court news 

“It was unbelievable,” said Kyrgios, who wore Totti’s shirt for practice the following day. “Totti is obviously a god in Italy and a god in football, so it was a pleasure to play some points with him. It was a lot of fun.”

The winning team was Fognini, who had just suffered a disappointing first-round loss before the start of the charity match, and Alessandro Florenzi.  “At least I won something today and it was for a good cause,” said Italian No. 1 Fognini.

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Five Things To Know About Pablo Carreno Busta

  • Posted: May 16, 2020

Five Things To Know About Pablo Carreno Busta

Learn more about the Spaniard’s career, favourite football team and more

Pablo Carreno Busta owns four ATP Tour titles and reached a career-high No. 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after his run to the 2017 US Open semi-finals.

ATPTour.com looks at five things you should know about the 28-year-old.

1) He Enjoyed Huge Success At Lower Levels
From May 2011 to July 2015, Carreno Busta reached 11 finals on the ATP Challenger Tour. He won them all.

The Spaniard defeated Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut in two of those championship matches to boost his position in the FedEx ATP Rankings, before his run came to an end in his 12th, and most recent, Challenger final appearance. As top seed and defending champion at the 2015 LVII Copa Sevilla, Carreno Busta lost in straight sets to Pedro Cachin.

At Futures level, Carreno Busta won seven consecutive titles in 2013 with 35 straight victories. At the 2013 Nitto ATP Finals, the Spaniard was awarded the Most Improved Player of the Year award.

2) His Idol Was Juan Carlos Ferrero
Growing up, Carreno Busta idolised former World No. 1 and countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero. The 28-year-old, who trains at the JC Ferrero Equelite Sport Academy in Alicante, recently shared a picture of himself and Ferrero during a trophy ceremony in 2004 on Instagram.

 

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2004… 🏆 @juankiferri #idolo

A post shared by Pablo Carreño (@pablo_carreno_) on

3) Grand Slam Success Came In 2017
Carreno Busta achieved the two best Grand Slam singles finishes of his career in 2017. At Roland Garros, the Gijon native overcame Top 15 stars Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic to reach the quarter-finals. Later in the year, at the US Open, Carreno Busta went one step further.

The 26-year-old cruised through the draw in New York, beating Denis Shapovalov and Diego Schwartzman en route to his first Grand Slam singles semi-final. Despite losing in four sets to Kevin Anderson, Carreno Busta cracked the Top 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time after the tournament.

4) He Supports His Local Football Club
Carreno Busta is a fan of Spanish football club Sporting de Gijon, which finished as runner-up in the 1978-’79 La Liga season. The Spaniard posts about the Segunda (second) Division side on his social media channels and occasionally attends matches.

5) He Returned To The Winners’ Circle Last Year
At the 2019 Chengdu Open, Carreno Busta ended a two-year, four-month wait to lift his fourth ATP Tour trophy.

Competing at No. 63 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, the 6’2” right-hander overcame Radu Albot, Benoit Paire, Shapovalov and Cristian Garin to book a final meeting against Alexander Bublik. Carreno Busta withstood 31 aces during the championship match to earn a 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) victory after two hours and five minutes.

“I just tried to continue working hard because I know when you work and do as much as possible, normally you have the prize,” said Carreno Busta. “Now I am here with the trophy [after] winning my fourth ATP Tour title and for me it is the reason to continue fighting and playing this sport.”

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Flashback: Djokovic Saves 2 M.P. Against Del Potro In Rome Thriller

  • Posted: May 16, 2020

Flashback: Djokovic Saves 2 M.P. Against Del Potro In Rome Thriller

Relive instant classic at the Foro Italico

All it takes is one shot to alter the course of a match.

Juan Martin del Potro, competing in only his third tournament back from a fractured right kneecap, held two match points against top seed Novak Djokovic in their 2019 Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-final. But with the Argentine serving at 6/4 in the second-set tie-break, he shanked a forehand and Djokovic hit a delicate drop shot winner in the next point. The Serbian seized the momentum and crawled back back to secure a 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 victory that finished after midnight.

“I never lost faith I could come back to the match,” Djokovic said afterwards. “He missed a couple of crucial points in the tie-break. Also break point [in the] third set, quite easy forehand. That’s what happens. That’s sport. I’m just really pleased to overcome.”

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The Serbian improved to 16-4 in his ATP Head2Head series with del Potro and maintained a flawless (4-0) record against him on clay. But their Rome clash was yet another thrilling chapter in a highly competitive rivalry. Seven of their past 10 matches have gone to a deciding set.

Their battle under the lights was also played in the competitive spirit that has made their matches must-see viewing. After del Potro hit an outrageous drop volley winner at 2-2 in the third set, Djokovic applauded the shot with and reached across the net to high-five the Argentine.

“Towards the end of the first set, he started hitting the ball really well from both corners,” Djokovic said. “Also on the backhand side [and] backhand down the line. He gave me a lot of trouble.”

Djokovic reached the final by outlasting Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3, but was denied a fifth title in Rome and his first since 2015. In the championship match against Rafael Nadal, the top seed ran out of steam after rain early in the week forced him to play four matches in 72 hours before facing the Spaniard. Nadal prevailed 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 and lifted the trophy at the Foro Italico for a ninth time.

Read the full Djokovic v Del Potro match report

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