Tennis News

From around the world

World No. 789 Harrison Stuns Garin In Delray Beach

  • Posted: Jan 09, 2021

Christian Harrison has had eight surgeries. But at 26, the American’s tennis is starting to shine.

Harrison stunned top seed Cristian Garin 7-6(3), 6-2 on Saturday to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final at the Delray Beach Open by Entering the week, he owned two tour-level singles wins, and now Harrison has doubled that count.

“I just love the sport, I love what I’m doing,” Harrison said. “I just can’t wait to keep playing and hopefully have a good, healthy next couple of years.”

The No. 789 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings is the second-lowest-ranked quarter-finalist in Delray Beach tournament history, trailing only former World No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro, who accomplished the feat as the World No. 1,042 in 2016.

Harrison earned his first Top 50 victory against World No. 22 Garin. The Chilean is one of the toughest baseliners on the ATP Tour, but the home favourite played a more physical brand of tennis, using superior depth with his groundstrokes to keep the top seed from gaining control of points. Harrison earned four service breaks in his 90-minute triumph.

“He played well. He played very good, of course. He’s won four matches this week [including qualifying],” Garin said. “These conditions are good for him. He played really flat, really fast. The ball helps his game a lot and I hope he can play like this the rest of the year.”


The key moment came at the end of the first set. Harrison was serving for the set at 6-5, 40/0, but Garin was sharp with his passing shots under pressure to break serve and force a tie-break. The four-time ATP Tour titlist earned a quick mini-break, but from 3/1 up he lost six consecutive points and with it, his momentum.

“I just thought about just going to play each point,” Harrison said. “Obviously he’s a very proven player. There are going to be times when he puts together a bunch of good points. I actually told myself I was lucky to be in that spot because at 4-3, he was up 0/40 on my serve and I came back.” 

Harrison did not let slip the opportunity, advancing to the last eight in Florida, where he will next play 2020 Rio Open presented by Claro finalist Gianluca Mager. The Italian ousted sixth seed and 2016 champion Sam Querrey 7-6(8), 6-1 earlier in the day.

Mager defeated Christian’s brother, Ryan Harrison, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the main draw.

Source link

41 Going On 18: Record-Breaking Karlovic Still Shining

  • Posted: Jan 09, 2021

Ivo Karlovic turns 42 in less than two months, but the big-serving righty continues to prove that age is just a number.

On Friday evening, the Croatian defeated Spaniard Pablo Andujar in three sets to reach the second round of the Delray Beach Open by Karlovic broke his own record as the oldest ATP Tour match winner since a 42-year-old Jimmy Connors in Halle 26 years ago. Virtually every time the eight-time tour-level titlist steps on the court, he etches his name in the history books.

“Of course it’s special, even if it’s [because I am] that age,” Karlovic told “In any sentence that you are with him, compared [to Jimmy], it’s nice.”

Typically it might take a player a few matches to find their best level at the start of the season. But Karlovic showed no rust in hitting 27 aces against Andujar in Delray Beach. That is his personal record for most aces at the ATP 250, where he lifted the title in 2015.

As Karlovic continues to enjoy success, it’s easy to forget that competing — and winning — at that age is incredible. Former World No. 1 Marat Safin, who is only 40, last played in 2009. Another former World No. 1, Andy Roddick, is 38. The American retired in 2012.

Karlovic claimed his first ATP Tour main draw doubles win with Ivan Ljubicic in 1995. Jannik Sinner, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, was not born until six years later. Yet Karlovic is still getting the job done. If you ask the former World No. 14, he’ll tell you he doesn’t feel his age.

“It’s interesting, I had the most injuries from like 2009 to 2013. That was the period when I was always injured and after that I didn’t have a lot of injuries,” Karlovic said. “Last year I didn’t really travel a lot, so I didn’t have any injuries… I was able to train as when I was an 18-year-old man.”

Mentally, Karlovic keeps himself young too, whether that’s through his mental outlook or fun question-and-answer sessions with fans on social media. But what’s most important to Karlovic are his daughter and son, who are nine and three, respectively. They keep him motivated.

“Of course when you have a family it’s a little bit different with my priorities,” Karlovic said. “Right now maybe tennis is not my No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 3.

“Even if I win, it doesn’t mean anything compared to when I didn’t have kids. They know what I do, but they know I’m their dad [first] and I’ll always be there for them. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose. I have to be there for them.”

That’s not to say Karlovic doesn’t dedicate himself to his tennis. It’s just not as easy as it once was to travel, knowing on many occasions that means leaving his family. Karlovic chose not to play Australian Open qualifying in Doha, since he gained entry into the Delray Beach main draw. He has a home in Florida.

“I live around the corner here, so it’s almost a home game,” Karlovic said. “My kids were in the stands, so I had to motivate myself.”


What does Karlovic still have to play for? The 41-year-old is the No. 148 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and he wants to make a charge back towards the Top 100.

“Last year, I didn’t do well with the [COVID-19 pandemic] going on,” Karlovic said. “I didn’t train, I didn’t know when I was going to tournaments or not with corona and everything, so I didn’t do really well last year.”

But after a strong start to 2021, Karlovic said he has his motivation back and is ready to make another push.

“It’s good,” Karlovic said of his season-opening victory. “When you win, it’s always good.”

Source link

Musetti, Alcaraz Chase Grand Slam Debuts In Doha

  • Posted: Jan 09, 2021

Lorenzo Musetti and Carlos Alcaraz will lead the #NextGenATP charge in the Australian Open qualifying draw, which will take place in Doha from 10-13 January due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Next Gen ATP Finals contenders will aim to reach the main draw at a Grand Slam for the first time, in just their second Grand Slam qualifying appearances. Musetti came within one victory of a place in the Australian Open main draw last year, but fell short with a straight-sets loss to Tallon Griekspoor.

Since then, the Italian has soared more than 200 positions in the FedEx ATP Rankings. During a breakthrough run on home soil last year, Musetti stunned Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, captured his maiden ATP Challenger Tour trophy in Forli and advanced to his first ATP Tour semi-final in Sardinia.

The 18-year-old, who is the second youngest player in the Top 200, will meet Botic Van de Zandschulp in his opening match. Musetti shares his section of the qualifying draw with 32nd seed Blaz Rola of Slovenia. Rola will face 2014 Roland Garros semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in his first match.

The only player younger than Musetti in the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings is Alcaraz. The 17-year-old Spaniard compiled a 20-3 main draw record in his final six Challenger events in 2020, which included three titles from four final appearances.

Alcaraz will begin his qualification bid against Slovakia’s Filip Horansky. The three-time Challenger titlist could meet second seed Hugo Dellien in the final qualifying round.

In one of the most exciting sections of the draw, third seed Aslan Karatsev will face #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima. Karatsev, a four-time Challenger finalist last year (2-2), and Nakashima are both aiming compete in the Australian Open main draw for the first time.

The winner of Karatsev and Nakashima’s clash will face #NextGenATP Frenchman Hugo Gaston or Max Purcell. On his Roland Garros debut last year, Gaston stunned three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka and pushed US Open champion Dominic Thiem to five sets. Purcell will attempt to qualify for his home major championship for the second straight year. In Melbourne at last year’s event, Purcell advanced to the doubles championship match alongside Luke Saville (l. to Ram/Salisbury).

In his second appearance in the qualifying draw, sixth seed Thiago Seyboth Wild will aim to qualify for the first time. The #NextGenATP Brazilian, who captured his maiden ATP Tour crown in Santiago last year, will meet Robin Haase in his first match.

Seyboth Wild is in the same section as Mischa Zverev. The German upset then-World No. 1 Andy Murray to reach his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final at this event in 2017.

Seventh seed Damir Dzumhur will attempt to compete in the Australian Open main draw for the sixth consecutive year. The three-time ATP Tour titlist shares his section of the draw with 31st seed Mohamed Safwat of Egypt.

Former Top 5 star Tommy Robredo is seeking his first Grand Slam main draw appearance since the 2018 US Open. The 2007 quarter-finalist will open his qualification bid against eighth seed Antoine Hoang of France.

Bernard Tomic will also face seeded opposition in his opening match. The 28-year-old, who made his most recent Grand Slam main draw appearance at Wimbledon in 2019, will face 14th seed Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia.

Denis Istomin will attempt to reach the Australian Open main draw for the 14th time. The 34-year-old will face 29th seed Lorenzo Giustino in his opening qualifying match.

Istomin is one of only three players to have defeated eight-time champion Novak Djokovic in the past decade at Melbourne Park. The 6’2” right-hander outlasted Djokovic in five sets in 2017. Wawrinka and Hyeon Chung are the only other players to achieve the feat.

Source link

Dominant David: Goffin Races Past Kuhn In Antalya

  • Posted: Jan 09, 2021

After saving five match points in his opening match of the tournament, David Goffin raised his game on Saturday to charge through to the Antalya Open quarter-finals.

The Belgian needed just 56 minutes to race past Nicola Kuhn of Spain 6-0, 6-2. Goffin, who won the first 10 games of the match, won 91 per cent of his first-serve points (21/23) en route to victory.

Goffin was clinical throughout the second-round match, as he converted each of his five break points to earn his second win of the year. This week, the 30-year-old is aiming to capture his first ATP Tour title since the 2017 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.

Goffin will face Stefano Travaglia of Italy in the quarter-finals. The 29-year-old battled past Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 7-6(5), 6-3 in one hour and 46 minutes.

Did You Know?
From 3-6, 4-5 down in his first-round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Goffin won 19 games in a row to beat the Frenchman and establish a 6-0, 4-0 lead in his second-round encounter against Kuhn.

Source link

De Minaur Charges Into Antalya Quarter-finals

  • Posted: Jan 09, 2021

Alex de Minaur continued his strong start to the 2021 ATP Tour season on Saturday, as he defeated Adrian Andreev 6-3, 6-1 to reach the Antalya Open quarter-finals.

The 21-year-old broke Andreev’s serve on six occasions to earn his second straight-sets win of the tournament after 70 minutes. In his opening match of the tournament, De Minaur needed just 61 minutes to defeat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-2, 6-1.

The three-time ATP Tour titlist is aiming to add a fourth ATP Tour title on hard courts to his resume. During a breakthrough 2019 campaign, De Minaur claimed his first three tour-level crowns in Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai.

De Minaur will meet sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the semi-finals. The Georgian won 49 per cent of his return points (33/67) to beat Turkish wild card Altug Celikbilek 7-6(1), 6-4 in one hour and 31 minutes.

Source link