Tennis News

From around the world

Felix Marches Into Cologne Semi-finals

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2020

Felix Auger-Aliassime charged past Radu Albot 6-3, 6-0 on Friday to advance to his fourth ATP Tour semi-final of 2020 at the bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne.

After dropping serve in the opening game of the match, the #NextGenATP Canadian won 12 of the next 14 games to race to his 20th ATP Tour win of the season (20-14) in 71 minutes. Auger-Aliassime has enjoyed a strong run of results at indoor hard-court events this year, with final appearances at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam and the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

“Today I had a tougher start than yesterday,” said Auger-Aliassime, in an on-court interview. “I didn’t start well as I had a blister on my foot, but afterwards everything was good in my game.

“I needed to get into the match. I played better and better, putting pressure on him with my serve. I was going for my shots, even if I was missing a bit at the start. I kept dictating, returned well and got lucky hitting the lines a few times. I saw some openings at the end.”

Auger-Aliassime, who converted five of six break points against Albot, will next face second seed Roberto Bautista Agut. The 20-year-old lost his only previous match against the Spaniard at the 2019 Davis Cup Finals.

“Playing [Roberto] will obviously be a great match, a great battle and [an opportunity for] me to try and get revenge for a heart-breaking loss last year in Davis Cup.”

Bautista Agut booked his place in the semi-finals with a 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-0 win against Hubert Hurkacz. The World No. 13 matched Auger-Aliassime’s mark of 20 wins this year after two hours and 29 minutes, saving 11 of 13 break points en route to victory.

“It was really tough today. He was going for his shots. I had a lot of chances to win the second set, but unfortunately I had to go to the third,” said Bautista Agut.

“I wanted to start with a lot of intensity, [being] very aggressive and I think I did very well at the beginning of the third set and I won the match.”

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Cabal/Farah Claim Sardinia Final Spot

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2020

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah moved one win away from their first title of 2020 on Friday, beating Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez 6-2, 6-4 at the Forte Village Sardegna Open.

The Colombians converted five of eight break points to reach their second final of the year in 74 minutes. Cabal and Farah advanced to their only previous championship match of the season in Acapulco, where they failed to convert two championship points against Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.


The Roland Garros semi-finalists will attempt to capture their first trophy since the 2019 US Open when they meet Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald in the final. The third seeds booked their spot in the championship match on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-3 victory against John Peers and Michael Venus.

Herbert/Mahut Through To Cologne Final
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut reached their second final of 2020 at the bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne. The second seeds saved all three break points they faced to beat Dominic Inglot and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 6-7(1), 10-7 in one hour and 47 minutes.

Herbert and Mahut will meet top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo or third seeds Raven Klaasen and Oliver Marach in the championship match. The Frenchmen have already lifted an indoor hard-court trophy this year, having triumphed at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February.

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Zverev Learns Lessons From Harris Victory

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2020

Alexander Zverev booked his place in the bett1HULKS Indoors semi-finals on Friday, beating Lloyd Harris 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 in Cologne.

Zverev led by a set and a break at 6-4, 1-0, but dropped two of his next four service games to find himself in a deciding set. The World No. 7 charged towards victory in the third set as Harris began to struggle with an injury to his upper left leg and closed the match by outmanoeuvring his opponent at the net.

“I have got to do a better job of keeping my focus until the end of a match. I relaxed a little bit and then he picked up his game,” said Zverev in an on-court interview.

“Playing on the ATP Tour, you only play great players. Once you lose your focus, it doesn’t matter what your ranking is, it doesn’t matter how many titles you won, you have still got to play until the end otherwise it can go the other way very quickly.”

Zverev is through to his third semi-final of the year. The German has achieved his best results at Grand Slam events this season, finishing as a runner-up at the US Open and reaching the Australian Open semi-finals.

Harris was contesting his fifth match in Cologne after battling through qualifying with consecutive three-set wins. The South African was attempting to reach his second tour-level semi-final of the year after advancing to his maiden ATP Tour final at the Adelaide International in January (l. to Rublev).


“[Harris] went through qualifying, so he had a lot of matches under his belt already,” said Zverev. “He is playing with a lot of confidence. He is playing well. He is somebody that I think will go up the Rankings quite easily if he continues playing the way he is playing.

”He improved his game a lot. The first time I saw him was against Mischa [Zverev] in Halle last year and I think he improved a lot since then. The end of this year and next year will be very important for him.”

Chasing his third trophy on home soil, the two-time Munich champion will meet Alejandro Davidovich Fokina for a spot in the championship match. The #NextGenATP Spaniard battled past Dennis Novak 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to reach his second ATP Tour semi-final. In the pair’s only previous ATP Head2Head encounter, Zverev claimed a straight-sets victory at last month’s US Open.

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Coric To Face Raonic In St. Petersburg Semi-finals

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2020

After a slow start, Borna Coric raised his game to beat Reilly Opelka 7-6(3), 6-3 and return to the St. Petersburg Open semi-finals on Friday.

Last year’s runner-up trailed 2-5 in the first set and saved three set points at 3-5 by moving up the court with aggression, before turning the tables on his opponent. Coric converted both break points he created and withstood 16 aces to reach his second semi-final this season.

“In the first set, I didn’t start very good,” said Coric in an on-court interview. “I was very nervous coming into the match. I didn’t know what to expect… I was not playing good and then I obviously found my rhythm and started to play much better. I started to read his serve a little bit as well and on my serve, I was very solid.”

Coric will aim to improve his 6-2 record at the ATP 500 when he faces 2015 champion Milos Raonic for a place in the final. The Croatian lost his only previous match against the Canadian at the 2017 Delray Beach Open by

“Against Milos, one of the best servers on the Tour, it is not going to be an easy match,” said Coric.

After a dominant first set, the Western & Southern Open runner-up served 15 aces and won 23 of 25 first-serve points in a competitive second set to defeat home favourite Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6(1) in 86 minutes. Through his opening three matches, Raonic has held all 29 of his service games and saved all 10 break points he has faced.

“It was a great match for me,” said Raonic in an on-court interview. “From the beginning, I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I was going to have to bring my best tennis and I did from the start of the match. I think that really helped me a lot and I am just happy with my level overall.”

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Rublev To Meet Fellow Nitto ATP Finals Contender Shapovalov In St. Petersburg SFs

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2020

Andrey Rublev and fellow Nitto ATP Finals contender Denis Shapovalov will meet in the St. Petersburg Open semi-finals on Saturday.

Third seed Rublev moved into the final automatic qualification spot for next month’s Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 15-22 November, after he beat Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-2, 6-1 in just 63 minutes.

The 22-year-old Russian rises to No. 9 on 3,109 points, 34 points ahead of 10th-placed Matteo Berrettini (3,075), in the battle to clinch one of the two remaining singles spots at the season finale.

Rublev trails Shapovalov 1-2 in the ATP Head2Head series, with his lone win coming in five short sets at the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

“Andrey is one of the best players on the planet right now,” said Shapovalov. “He was playing very well at the past couple of tournaments [he played]. I suppose tomorrow’s match will be very tough. Sometimes our game style looks the same, we both play aggressively and we like to hit winners, so it’s going to be tough but interesting.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has not halted Rublev’s momentum this season. He has a 32-7 match record in 2020 — 15-3 with two titles (the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and Adelaide International) prior to the five-month suspension, and 17-4 with one title (the Hamburg European Open) since the ATP Tour resumed on 22 August.


Shapovalov now sits just 30 points behind No. 11 Gael Monfils (2,860 points) in the FedEx ATP Rankings after he battled past fifth seed and 2016 St. Petersburg Open finalist Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 41 minutes.

Shapovalov won 84 per cent of his first-service points, but won just seven of his 25 second-serve points. The 21-year-old Canadian is now 17-11 on the season, which includes a run to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semi-finals in Rome (l. to Schwartzman).

Looking ahead to playing Rublev, Shapovalov, who has Russian heritage, admitted to fans, “Please, take pity on me!”

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#NextGenATP Musetti Fights Back To Reach Sardinia Semi-finals

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2020

Lorenzo Musetti is one victory away from reaching his first ATP Tour final at the Forte Village Sardegna Open after a second-set comeback on Friday at the ATP 250 tournament.

The Italian wild card showcased great maturity and shot variation to recover from 0-4 down in the second set of a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Yannick Hanfmann in 88 minutes. Musetti is the youngest ATP Tour semi-finalist since 18-year-old Jannik Sinner at the 2019 European Open in Antwerp.

“It’s amazing,” Musetti told “Last week, I was playing in Parma and losing to Frances [Tiafoe], a great player. I was thinking of coming here and trying to go as far as I could, but I am living my best moments in Sardinia. I am playing my best tennis here.

“I was in trouble a little bit in the second set, as Yannick was returning so well. I had a great attitude in the second set, fighting for every point to win six games in a row. I think my great weeks in Rome and Forli took me to this level of confidence to keep me at this playing level. I have learned more about how to manage match pressure and how to behave on the court.”


Hanfmann, runner-up at the Generali Open last month (l. to Kecmanovic), had beaten Musetti 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Todi, Italy, in August.

The 18-year-old Musetti will next challenge Serbia’s Laslo Djere, who reached the 10th ATP Tour clay-court semi-final of his career with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in 83 minutes.

Since beating Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori en route to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia third round in Rome last month, Musetti has gone on to capture his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Forli, where he overcame four Top 100 players: Frances Tiafoe, Andreas Seppi, Lloyd Harris and Thiago Monteiro. Having been No. 363 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 20 January, Musetti is now up to a career-high No. 143.

“I think I can play well on every surface,” said Musetti, who has been coached by Simone Tartarini since the age of eight. “The first tournament of next year will be in Australia, and I always play well there. I do play well on hard courts. I hope to continue as I have been and break into the Top 100 before the start of 2021.”

Elsewhere, Italian wild card Marco Cecchinato knocked out fourth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in two hours and 12 minutes. Cecchinato now faces Serbian lucky loser, Danilo Petrovic, who replaced top seed Fabio Fognini in the main draw and overcame Federico Delbonis of Argentina 7-6(3), 6-1 in one hour and 34 minutes on Friday for a place in his first ATP Tour semi-final.

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