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From around the world

Wawrinka Weathers Donskoy Storm To Reach St. Petersburg QFs

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2020

Stan Wawrinka saved three match points in his first-round match at the St. Petersburg Open, and he was tested once again on Wednesday in the second round.

The 2016 finalist overcame a spirited effort from home favourite Evgeny Donskoy to earn a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory, advancing to the quarter-finals.

“It was a great match, tough opponent, but my level was better from the beginning [this match],” Wawrinka said in his on-court interview. “I’m happy to keep winning here. Great atmosphere, great people here tonight and happy to play in the quarter-finals.”


Donskoy only won 44 per cent of his service points in the first set. In the second set, however, he began swinging more freely to prevent the Swiss star from controlling all the rallies. Wawrinka even applauded one impressive Donskoy forehand. But the fifth seed did not allow his level to drop, powering through the third set to triumph after one hour and 42 minutes.

“I think in the second he started to play a bit more aggressively. He was dictating a little bit more the game. It was tough,” Wawrinka said. “I think the level in general was great from both sides. Happy to get through. I think I played a really solid match tonight, so it’s great, and I’m happy.”

Wawrinka will next play second seed Denis Shapovalov or Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka.

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Novak Causes Upset In Cologne To Reach 1st ATP Tour QF

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2020

Dennis Novak reached his first ATP Tour quarter-final on Wednesday, upsetting fourth seed Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last eight at the bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne.

“It’s just important to focus on myself, not looking on the other side of the court at what he’s doing,” Novak said on court after his win. “Sometimes it’s tough… I was focussing on myself and I think it was a solid match.”

Paire is one of the most talented players in the world and he can take over a match at any moment. The Frenchman rallied from a break down in the second set to get back on serve, but Novak remained focussed to advance in straight sets.

“The most important thing was I broke back straightaway,” Novak said. “I was a break up again and then serving with new balls.” 

Novak will next play 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic or 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.


Sixth seed Hubert Hurkacz also moved on Wednesday, defeating home favourite Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-3 in 85 minutes. The Polish No. 1 saved seven of the eight break points he faced.

“Mischa is a great player. It’s not easy to play against him, especially because he has great volleys,” said Hurkacz, who will next challenge second seed Roberto Bautista Agut or former Top 10 player Gilles Simon. “He can come in on most of the balls, so it’s really tricky to play him. I’m happy with my victory today.”

Moldovan Radu Albot battled into his first quarter-final of the season with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 triumph against German qualifier Oscar Otte. Albot failed to serve out the match at the first time of asking, but closed out his victory in two hours and 30 minutes.

“All the matches are tough. Everybody’s playing good tennis,” Albot said. “I didn’t have so many wins this year, but hopefully more wins will come in the future.”

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Defending Champ Medvedev Uses 22 Aces To Rally In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2020

Defending St. Petersburg Open champion Daniil Medvedev got a scare in his first-round match on Wednesday, but the Russian rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory against former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet.

The top seed crushed 22 aces en route to his one-hour, 37-minute victory, levelling his ATP Head2Head series with Gasquet at 1-1. Medvedev will next play big-serving American Reilly Opelka, who eliminated Croatian qualifier Nino Serdarusic earlier in the day.

Medvedev was on his way to a fourth consecutive loss when he dumped a backhand into the net to end the first set. Three of the Russian’s ATP Tour titles have come on indoor hard courts, but he struggled to find rhythm in the opening set, especially with his trusty backhand.


But the World No. 6 settled down against the French veteran, breaking Gasquet’s serve four times in the final two sets to advance. Medvedev won 27 of his 30 first-serve points in the second and third sets, while also showing the shotmaking skills that have made him one of the toughest players to beat.

Opelka, his next opponent, fired 26 aces and won 91 per cent of his first-serve points (49/54) to get the better of Serdarusic 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes.

The American has now struck 328 aces in 17 tour-level matches this season. Medvedev has won their two previous meetings, but they both went to final-set tie-breaks.

Did You Know?
Six Russians are into the Round of 16 at an ATP Tour event for the first time since 2009. The six who advanced are Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Aslan Karatsev, Evgeny Donskoy and Roman Safiullin.

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A Day At His Museum: Rafa Drops Off 20th Grand Slam Trophy

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2020

Rafael Nadal paid a visit to the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar on Wednesday to drop off his latest Grand Slam trophy.

The Spanish superstar headed to the Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience, which boasts the highlights of his sporting career, to place his 13th Roland Garros crown — for a record-equalling 20th major singles title — in his trophy cabinet.

“I’m now here in Mallorca, in Manacor and of course I’m very happy and satisfied with what I have achieved,” said Nadal, who beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in the Roland Garros final on Sunday.

“It’s no less true that it’s a bittersweet feeling, because we have been through some very complicated months in various senses and the most important thing is health. The second is the economic situation, which is causing many families to go through a hard time. We have to trust that [things] will improve, trust that the vaccine will come as soon as possible and that we can all go back to living in a more pleasant world and be happier.

“I also wanted to thank you for all the messages of support over the past few weeks. To me, although we have been a little more distanced than normal, as we have not been able to have direct contact, receiving so many messages of support on social media and directly to my mobile has helped me, without a doubt. Thank you so much for the support. Finally, I would like to tell you that I am leaving the trophy here in the museum at the Academy, in Manacor, for all of you that would like to see it.”

The Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience not only includes the trophies Nadal has won during his illustrious career, but the shirts and trainers he has worn during each of the Grand Slam finals he has contested. There are also mementos donated by some of the biggest figures in the history of world sport, such as Michael Jordan, Fernando Alonso, Pau Gasol, Roger Federer, Mireia Belmonte, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo.

A significant part of the profits from the Museum go towards Rafa Nadal Foundation projects.

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Shapovalov Opens Quest To Emulate Coach Youzhny In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2020

Second seed Denis Shapovalov began his St. Petersburg Open quest to emulate his coach, 2004 champion Mikhail Youzhny, on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old Canadian recorded his 15th match win of the year with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Serbian lucky loser Viktor Troicki in 63 minutes. Shapovalov secured two breaks of serve in each set, hit 10 aces and lost just four of his first-service points (24/28).

“[It’s] always great to get the first win, especially against a player like Viktor,” said Shapovalov. “We’ve had a lot of battles before and they’ve been really long matches, so I’m really happy to get a straight-sets win today.

“Indoor tennis is just natural for me. It’s what I grew up playing on. For sure, it’s difficult to have those transitions really quickly from clay court to hard court, but we’re having to get used tot these situations now and trying to adapt quickly. So I’m really happy with the way I’ve been able to transition.”

Last month, the World No. 12 reached his first Grand Slam championship quarter-final at the US Open (l. to Carreno Busta). He also became the first player to reach both singles and doubles (w/Rohan Bopanna) quarter-finals in New York since Youzhny in 2006.

Shapovalov will next face Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka, who beat Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday. Shapovalov defeated World No. 141 Ivashka 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 at the 2018 Shenzhen Open.

“I really feel like it’s my second home over here, and every time I come here the fans just love me and the atmosphere is amazing,” said Shapovalov. “Of course, the city is so beautiful, so it’s always an honour to come here.”


Elsewhere, Reilly Opelka fired 26 aces and won 91 per cent of his first-service points (49/54) to get the better of Croatian qualifier Nino Serdarusic 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes.

The American, who has now struck 328 aces in 17 tour-level matches this season, awaits the winner of the evening clash between top-seeded Russian and defending champion Daniil Medvedev and Richard Gasquet of France.

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Vesely, Djere Upset Seeds In Sardinia

  • Posted: Oct 14, 2020

Three seeds — Dusan Lajovic, Lorenzo Sonego and Pablo Andujar — all lost on Wednesday at the Forte Village Sardegna Open.

Laslo Djere survived a late comeback to beat fellow Serbian and second seed Lajovic 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 43 minutes for a quarter-final clash against Jiri Vesely, who overcame fifth-seeded Italian Sonego 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in two hours and 15 minutes.


Elsewhere, Federico Delbonis recorded his first win over sixth-seeded Spaniard Andujar, 10 years on from their first match at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Genova.

Andujar, who’d previously won six straight matches over the Argentine – three at tour-level and three at Challengers – came within two points of victory at 5/4 in the second-set tie-break, but Delbonis fought back to win 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4 in two hours and 45 minutes.

Delbonis will now challenge Serbian lucky loser Danilo Petrovic, who completed his first ATP Tour match win over Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain 6-1, 6-4 in 87 minutes.

In first-round action, German Yannick Hanfmann swept past Salvatore Caruso of Italy 6-0, 6-4, while France’s Corentin Moutet knocked out Frances Tiafoe of the United States 7-6(0), 6-4.

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