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Cilic Denies Felix Comeback Win In Paris

  • Posted: Nov 02, 2020

After a dominant opening set, Marin Cilic was made to work hard for a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 victory against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Rolex Paris Masters on Monday.

The 2016 semi-finalist struck 37 winners and saved seven of nine break points to advance in two hours and 27 minutes. Cilic improved to 2-0 against the #NextGenATP Canadian, following his straight-sets win at last year’s Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

Cilic took advantage of a slow start from his opponent to cruise through the first set. The Croat returned with depth to rush his opponent and made no forehand unforced errors to claim the first set in 31 minutes.

The second set was decided by a marathon eighth game. After trading breaks, Auger-Aliassime used his forehand to break through Cilic’s defence in a 21-minute return game.

“These kind of games can turn the match around, so I had to definitely dig deep. He won that [marathon] game and won the set, so I just had to recalibrate and come back,” said Cilic.

But Cilic made the crucial breakthrough in the deciding set, as Auger-Aliassime attempted to shorten points on serve by rushing the net. The former World No. 3 served with power and closed the match with a forehand winner to record his 15th victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event (15-11).

“I started the match by winning the first six games and I was just zoning in on every single ball,” said Cilic. “It was a great start. Obviously, I was expecting that Felix was going to raise his game and he started to play better. It was a really tight second set, even though it went 6-3 to him… It wasn’t easy. I just felt I served great in the third set, which definitely helped.”

Auger-Aliassime was attempting to continue his strong run of indoor results in 2020. The 20-year-old leads the ATP Tour with 14 indoor wins this season (14-7) and has reached three championship matches at indoor events this year.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, will meet French wild card Corentin Moutet in the second round. The 21-year-old earned his 10th victory of 2020 with a 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 win against Salvatore Caruso. Cilic claimed a straight-sets win in his only previous ATP Head2Head clash against Moutet at this year’s Australian Open.

“Corentin [is] a great player,” said Cilic. “He’s one of the best fighters on the Tour and plays difficult tennis… It’s important [for me] to just keep this kind of a level, which I would definitely be happy with.”


In a meeting of former #NextGenATP talents, Ugo Humbert battled past Casper Ruud to earn his first main-draw win at the Masters 1000 event. The Antwerp champion extended his winning streak to six matches with a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(1) victory against the Norwegian.

“It is my first win here in Bercy and I am really happy because it was really tough,” said Humbert. “[Casper] is an excellent player and it was physically hard today. I am very happy to win.”

Humbert, who won 84 per cent of his first-serve points (42/50), improved to 2-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against Ruud. Each of the pair’s three clashes this season have required a final set. The 22-year-old Humbert will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the first time in the second round.

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Medvedev: 'I Don't Like To Live In The Past'

  • Posted: Nov 02, 2020

When Daniil Medvedev arrived at the 2019 Rolex Paris Masters, he had made the final at six straight tournaments he played. The Russian was the talk of the tennis world. As the third seed prepares for the final ATP Masters 1000 of the season this year, he has no intention of looking back.

“I don’t really like to live in the past. Either it was good or bad, I want to move on. I want to think more about the future,” Medvedev said. “What I’m doing in the present, when I’m in practice or a match, I just want to do the best I can. So in the future it will also help. Even if you lose some matches, if you work hard then in the future it’s going to come back.”

Medvedev won four titles from nine finals last year. He is still trying to reach his first championship match of 2020.

“Of course the higher you go, the tougher it is,” Medvedev said. “I want to say that even if I lost something, I for sure won something, also. I try to progress every day, and then to see, to look for the future.”


The good news is Medvedev is still the No. 5 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings and it’s not like he hasn’t enjoyed impressive results. The Russian made his second Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open, where he lost against eventual champion Dominic Thiem.

“I’m feeling not so bad. Of course, [my] confidence could be a little bit higher when you go further in the tournaments. But physically and mentally I feel ready for the end of the season. I don’t feel burnt out, so that’s the most important [thing],” Medvedev said. “I’m ready to fight and ready to show my best.”

Medvedev, who has already qualified for his second consecutive appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, has time to make a splash before the season ends. As far as how much progress he feels he has made, the 24-year-old believes it is tough to say because of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a five-month suspension of the ATP Tour and altering the schedule.

“When we came back it was [a] different situation. It still is. Tournaments are still a little bit different,” Medvedev said. “It was tougher to, in one way, schedule the season. When I say this, usually you know how the season goes. You have your preseason, then you play tournaments. You know when you go to vacation. You know when you come back from vacation.

“This season is really different. So it’s tough to compare to other seasons. So talking about me as a player, I’m trying to progress every day.”

Medvedev will play two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson or lucky loser Laslo Djere in his first match at Paris-Bercy.

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My Masters 1000: David Goffin

  • Posted: Nov 02, 2020

David Goffin made his ATP Masters 1000 debut at the 2012 Miami Open presented by Itau and has since reached five semi-finals and one championship match at the level. The Belgian, who will open his Rolex Paris Masters campaign against Norbert Gombos, spoke to on Sunday about his favourite Masters 1000 memories, the trophy he would most like to lift and the biggest victory he has earned across the nine elite events.

Which ATP Masters 1000 host city is your favourite and why?
It is not an easy question because the Masters 1000 [events] are always super nice tournaments. If I had to pick one, I would have to say Monte Carlo. It is probably the nicest centre court you can see on Tour with the sea. The sun is coming back in Europe and it is the beginning of the clay season, so it is quite nice after Miami to go back to Europe and start to compete there.

Which Masters 1000 would you most like to win?
I would say Indian Wells because, for me, even if it is in the same category as the other ones, it looks a little bit bigger. With the stadium and the facilities, everything just looks a little bit better. It looks big. For me, it is like a fifth Grand Slam.

Do you remember your Masters 1000 debut, when it was and where?
I won my first round before playing Nicolas Almagro [at 2012 Miami]. I was already very happy to be in the main draw for the first time. I was playing well and that year I won the [Le Gosier] Challenger right after and then I played well at Roland Garros. It gave me a lot of confidence there to qualify and win a match in the main draw. I played a great match. Almagro was better, he was playing so well at that moment, but I always had good memories and played well in Miami.

What do you consider to be your best Masters 1000 win?
In Monte Carlo, the win against Novak Djokovic [in 2017] was a great match and had a great atmosphere on a great centre court. I was playing very well and I made a good result. I lost to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. Everything was there, so it is one of the greatest memories I have there.

David Goffin defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time at the 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

What is your favourite off-court memory at a Masters 1000?
I love playing golf and [Indian Wells] is probably the week I play the most. It is a golf paradise there. Sometimes I try to go and play golf when I am not on the court. I have to go quick after my practice sessions. I take the car and I go to the golf course.

What is your dream match at a Masters 1000 (who would you play & at which tournament)?
It is not easy to say, but I would say Novak in the Indian Wells final. It is the best challenge you can have. He won those tournaments so many times, Indian Wells and Miami. I played him in the semi-finals in Miami [in 2016]. It was a very good match. If it were in the final of Indian Wells, it would be even better to have that challenge. Or it would be Rafa in the final of Monte Carlo.

Toughest match you’ve played at a Masters 1000?
When I played Rafa in the Monte Carlo semi-finals it was just too good. I played Andy Murray when he was playing very well in Shanghai [in 2016]. I felt that it was very tough for me. I have never beaten Novak on hard courts at a Masters 1000. Those ones were the toughest I would say.

David Goffin advanced to the Rolex Shanghai Masters quarter-finals for the first time in 2016.

Greatest match you’ve ever seen at a Masters 1000 event?
Before it was best-of-five sets in the final… The match between Roger Federer and Rafa in Rome [in 2006]. I don’t know how many hours they played, but [there were] match points saved and, at the end, Rafa won. This is one of the most exciting matches I saw.

What’s the toughest part about the Masters 1000 events?
It is the best players in the world. From the first round until the end, you have a tough opponent… You have to be sharp from the start. It is very tough because you have a lot of matches, sometimes six or seven matches in a week. It can be very tough physically, especially when you go to end of the week and it could be Novak, Rafa and Roger from Friday to Sunday. It is very tough and the toughest part is you physically and mentally have to be sharp from the start.

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Coric Solid On Serve In Paris; Lopez To Play Nadal

  • Posted: Nov 02, 2020

Borna Coric, the No. 15 seed, knuckled down to beat Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics for the third time on Monday at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The Croatian produced a quality serving performance to win 7-6(5), 6-1 in one hour and 46 minutes for a place in the second round where he’ll meet Australian Jordan Thompson or Federico Delbonis of Argentina. Coric won 35 of his 48 first-service points.


“It was not an easy match and every time we have played it’s been very tough,” said Coric, in a post-match interview. “It’s always been a very physical match. In the tie-break, I went for my shots that maybe weren’t logical, but it paid off. In the second set, I started to play much better and played at quite a high level at the end. I played one bad game at 2-1 in the first set, when I missed two first serves, but pretty much the rest of the time I was serving huge. I feel like I’m starting to play some good tennis.”

After an early exchange of service breaks, Fucsovics locked in and led 3/0 in the tie-break before a concentration lapse let Coric back into their third ATP Head2Head meeting. Fucsovics hit a backhand long to end the 62-minute opener, then Coric raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set en route to his 16th match win of the 2020 season.

World No. 24 Coric recently reached the St. Petersburg Open final (l. to Rublev) for the second straight year. Fucsovics drops to a 14-10 match record in 2020.

Elsewhere, 39-year-old Feliciano Lopez set up a second-round match against fellow Spaniard and World No. 2 Rafael Nadal after a 7-6(11), 6-1 win over Filip Krajinovic of Serbia. Lopez saved six set points at 3/6, 6/7, 8/9 and 10/11 in the first-set tie-break.

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Millman Returns To Top 40, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Nov 02, 2020

No. 38 John Millman, +7
The Australian, who captured his first ATP Tour trophy at the Astana Open (d. Mannarino), has risen seven places to No. 38 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Australian was forced to save two match points against Tommy Paul in the Nur-Sultan quarter-finals. He is the fifth player to lift his first ATP Tour trophy in 2020, but remains five places off his career-high of No. 33 on 15 October 2018. Read Nur-Sultan Final Report

No. 32 Lorenzo Sonego, +10 (Career High)
The Italian, who started the season at No. 52 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, rose 10 places to a career-high No. 32 after he reached his second ATP Tour final. The 25-year-old, who qualified for the Erste Bank Open, improved to 1-3 lifetime against Top 10 players with a shock 6-2, 6-1 win over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, but lost to Andrey Rublev in the Vienna final. Read Vienna Final Report & Watch Highlights

View Latest FedEx ATP Rankings

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, +1
No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov +2
No. 55 Tommy Paul, +4 (Career High)
No. 60 Frances Tiafoe, +4
No. 73 Vasek Pospisil, +8
No. 77 Egor Gerasimov, +6
No. 82 Pedro Martinez, +11 (Career High)
No. 84 Emil Ruusuvuori, +14 (Career High)
No. 86 Kevin Anderson, +25

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Daniel Claims First Indoor Title In Hamburg

  • Posted: Nov 02, 2020

Tennis Challenger Hamburg presented by Tannenhof (Hamburg, Germany): Taro Daniel started well and he finished even stronger. In January, the 27-year-old kicked off 2020 with a title in Burnie, Australia, and on Sunday, he concluded his ATP Challenger Tour campaign with another crown. Daniel dominated in Hamburg to cap the season in impressive fashion. He routed Sebastian Ofner 6-1, 6-2 to lift the trophy.

It was the seventh Challenger title in total for the Japanese and his first indoor crown. After earning a pair of deciding-set victories to open the week, Daniel dropped a combined eight games to streak past the finish line. He needed just 70 minutes to blitz Ofner in Sunday’s championship.

“I had a great week in Hamburg and kept developing my play,” said Daniel. “Today I made it very difficult for my opponent and never let him get into the game. I am very happy and hope that I can take the momentum with me into the next tournament.”

Under the tutelage of Sven Groeneveld, Daniel rises eight spots to No. 114 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Two years removed from reaching a career-high No. 64, when he captured his lone ATP Tour title in Istanbul, the Japanese is mounting another charge towards the Top 100.

AnyTech365 Marbella Open (Marbella, Spain): The Puente Romano Club was the centre of Spanish tennis on Sunday, as home hopes Pedro Martinez and Jaume Munar battled for the Marbella title. Martinez would cap a strong week on the clay of the AnyTech365 Marbella Open with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory.

Two weeks after finishing runner-up to another Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, in Alicante, the 23-year-old was hungry to emerge with the trophy. He dropped just one set all tournament, concluding with straight-set wins over recent Iasi champion Carlos Taberner and recent Lisbon winner Munar.

“This title means a lot to me,” said Martinez. “It was the icing on the cake to a good year. I have had a negative balance in Challenger finals, but to be able to win here in Spain gives me a lot of confidence. The truth is that I feel very satisfied.”


That ‘negative balance’ Martinez mentioned was a 1-3 career record in finals on the ATP Challenger Tour, entering the week. Two years after lifting his lone previous trophy on the circuit, in Bastad, the Spaniard made the most of his week in Marbella. He rises 11 spots to a career-high No. 82 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Martinez has been a breakout star since the tour’s restart in August. He secured his first ATP Masters 1000 match win in Rome, where he also earned his first victory over a Top 50 opponent (d. Querrey). Then, the 23-year-old battled to the third round at Roland Garros as a qualifier to make his Top 100 debut. And he concludes his season in style, reaching back-to-back Challenger finals and lifting the trophy in Marbella.


Lorenzo Musetti returns on home soil in Parma, competing in his first indoor hard-court tournament since February. He is joined by top seed Gregoire Barrere, J.J. Wolf and a pair of fellow 18-year-olds in Giulio Zeppieri and Jack Draper.

The week’s other tournament will be held on the carpet courts of Eckental, Germany, where Kamil Majchrzak leads the field. Alexei Popyrin is seeded second, while Ilya Ivashka and Evgeny Donskoy are also in action. Sebastian Korda will look to carry the momentum from a fourth-round finish at Roland Garros. The #NextGenATP star remains in search of his maiden Challenger crown.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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