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World No. 789 Harrison's Fairytale Run Continues In Delray Beach

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2021

Christian Harrison is living a movie script this week at the Delray Beach Open by, and the World No. 789 is just happy to be enjoying the ride.

The 26-year-old American, who has undergone eight surgeries, defeated 2020 Rio de Janeiro finalist Gianluca Mager 7-6(2), 6-4 on Monday afternoon to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final.

“It feels pretty amazing,” Harrison said on court after the match. “I’m just happy that I have everyone here, all my friends and family around that are here to support, especially here in Delray being so close to home.”

Entering the week, Harrison had just two tour-level singles wins. The qualifier has three this tournament alone, and he is also into the doubles semi-finals alongside older brother Ryan Harrison.

“I’m feeling very good. I feel fresh, still. I think a couple days off in between helped,” Harrison said. “One of the days off we only had one doubles, which was probably a good recovery anyway. Looking forward to the semis tomorrow.”

Initially, nerves appeared to be getting to Harrison in his first ATP Tour quarter-final. The home favourite hit two double faults and made two baseline errors in the first game of the match to immediately lose his serve. But Harrison never panicked, and he settled in after that.

“I just kept doing the same thing because I just played a sloppy first game of the match and got broken,” Harrison said. “Then I felt like he was playing solid the whole time, hitting a lot of good first serves, and sometimes there was nothing I could do. I had a lot of break points in the first couple games that I didn’t really get, so I honestly just tried to do the same thing.”


Harrison won 83 per cent of his first-serve points and faced just four break points in the match. Although he only converted two of his 11 break points, the American kept battling to earn more opportunities. At 2-2 in the second set, Mager double faulted a break away, and that was the only advantage Harrison needed.

The World No. 789 is the second-lowest-ranked semi-finalist in tournament history behind Juan Martin del Potro, who accomplished the feat as World No. 1,042 in 2016. This is uncharted territory for the American, who had not played a tour-level main draw since 2018 Newport.

But now, Harrison is two wins from becoming the lowest-ranked ATP Tour titlist in history (since 1990). He will next play fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz or qualifier Roberto Quiroz.

“I’m pretty even keeled right now,” Harrison said. “Just happy to keep playing and hopefully could have two solid matches tomorrow.”

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Tomic Wins Opener In Australian Open Qualifying; Rola Beats Gulbis

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2021

Former World No. 17 Bernard Tomic got off to winning ways on Monday in the Australian Open qualifying first round. The Australian, who has reached the fourth round of the main draw in 2012, 2015 and 2016, knocked out No. 14 seed Jozef Kovalik 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Tomic will next face compatriot Tristan Schoolkate on Tuesday in Doha, where this year’s competition is being played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elsewhere, Slovenian No. 32 seed Blaz Rola defeated former World No. 10 Ernests Gulbis, who has appeared in the main draw on 10 occasions, 7-6(2), 6-3. Former World No. 23 Damir Dzumhur overcame Emilio Gomez 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. The Bosnia and Herzegovina native reached the main draw third round in 2014 and 2018.

Second seed Hugo Dellien swept past Alejandro Tabilo 6-1, 6-0 and now faces Andrew Harris, a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 victor over Ruben Bemelmans. Third seed Aslan Karatsev struck 10 aces past Brandon Nakashima 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2 for a place in the second round. Karatsev now prepares to meet Australian Max Purcell, who battled past Hugo Gaston 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.

Three Americans — fourth seed Denis Kudla, Michael Mmoh and Maxime Cressy — also got off to strong starts in qualifying. Kudla stuck eight aces and was solid on serve to beat Elliot Benchetrit 6-4, 6-3, Mmoh defeated No. 24 seed Danilo Petrovic 6-3, 6-2 and Cressy recovered from 2-4 down in the deciding set to edge past No. 16 seed Go Soeda 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5.

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New Team Mektic/Pavic Close In On Antalya Crown

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2021

New team Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic continued their strong start to the season by blasting their way into the Antalya Open doubles final on Monday. The top seeds beat Italians Salvatore Caruso and Andrea Vavassori 6-1, 6-1 to set up a championship match against second seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek, who overcame third-seeded Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6-3, 6-1.

Mektic and Pavic both competed in the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals, but with different partners. Mektic won the season finale alongside Wesley Koolhof, and Pavic and Bruno Soares finished as the year-end No. 1 doubles team. The 32-year-old Mektic has an 8-8 record in tour-level finals, while Pavic is 17-22 overall.

Dodig and Polasek have a 2-2 record in ATP Tour finals, having captured two crowns in 2019 at the Western & Southern Open and the China Open. Dodig and Pavic finished runner-up in September last year at the Hamburg European Open (l. to Peers/Venus).

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Bublik Upsets Berrettini; Chardy Saves 2 M.P. In Antalya

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2021

Alexander Bublik recorded one of the biggest victories of his career on Monday to reach the Antalya Open semi-finals. The eighth-seeded Kazakhstani held his nerve to beat top seed and World No. 10 Matteo Berrettini 7-6(6), 6-4 in one hour and 31 minutes.

Bublik, who recovered from 3-5 down in the first set and a 1/3 deficit in the tie-break, struck 12 aces and saved five of six break points. Italian Berrettini was broken in the fifth game of the second set.

“Getting to a semi-final in the first week of the season, and beating a couple of top players — Matteo is a Top 10 player. It’s a great start,” said Bublik, who will next play Jeremy Chardy of France.

Chardy saved two match points in the deciding set tie-break to beat fifth-seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(8) in two hours and 36 minutes.

Chardy, who had led 4-1 in the deciding set, was forced to save match points at 5/6 and 7/8 in the tie-break. He is now tied 3-3 with Struff in their ATP Head2Head series.

“It was a difficult match and I was a little bit tired too from yesterday,” said Chardy, who beat Fabio Fognini in three tie-break sets on Sunday. “He (Jan-Lennard) had two match points at the end, so it was difficult. But I am happy to be in the semi-finals.”

Chardy will contest his first ATP Tour semi-final on Tuesday since January 2019 at Brisbane (l. to Nishikori).

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Goffin, With New Coach, Sweeps Into Antalya Semi-finals

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2021

David Goffin continued his excellent start to 2021 on Monday with a place in the Antalya Open semi-finals. The second-seeded Belgian, who is bidding to capture the fifth ATP Tour title of his career, played with great confidence to beat Stefano Travaglia of Italy 6-3, 6-2 in 63 minutes.

“I got off to a good start in both sets and felt that I was aggressive on my forehand and solid on return,” Goffin told “I am happy to be in the semi-finals, as I served well and felt physically better.”

Working with new coach Germain Gigounon, Goffin is hoping to regain the kind of form that helped him to 59 tour-level wins in 2017 and a career-high No. 7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Goffin explained, “We’ve worked on small details. My technique is okay, but it’s been about motivation and going back to basics. I feel I have a solid game, but I’ve worked on moving better, taking the ball earlier and work on my serve.

“I need to get back to what I used to do. The past few months of last season, I had good and bad matches. I need consistency and Germain is a good friend, so I’m happy with my start this year.”

Goffin, who saved five match points against Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round, is through to his first ATP Tour semi-final since February 2020 at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier (l. to Pospisil). He will next challenge fourth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur.

De Minaur broke twice in each set to overcome sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-2, 6-4 in 75 minutes. The 21-year-old Australian will now attempt to advance to his eighth ATP Tour final.

View Antalya Singles Draw

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Tiafoe Outlasts Fratangelo For Delray Beach QF Spot

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2021

Eighth-seeded Frances Tiafoe booked his first quarter-final spot of the year at the Delray Beach Open by on Sunday with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over the tricky Bjorn Fratangelo.

The 22-year-old American came into the match after scoring a comfortable straight sets win in his opener against Donald Young. But he trailed Fratangelo 1-3 in their ATP Head2Head series, though they hadn’t met since 2016.

Tiafoe had to find a way through after a sluggish start against his countryman, who is ranked No. 274 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. He struggled to connect on the first serve in the opening set, and was broken first as Fratangelo took a 4-2 lead.

The eighth seed stayed solid and dialed up the aggression to take back control of the set, breaking straight back before reeling off the last four games to close it out 6-4. But he couldn’t keep up the level in the second set, and Frantangelo pounced on the lone break opportunity at 4-2 to take the match into a deciding set.

“I told myself to swing at the ball,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview. “I was pretty tentative in the first two sets. Even though I won the first set, I was behind the baseline a lot and he was running a lot of balls down. But then I freed up a little bit, and then it worked out.”

Tiafoe roared back to life early on as he took a 2-0 lead after highlight-reel worthy, court-covering rallies to earn the first break. With the momentum on his side, Tiafoe found another level to win four of the next five games and seal his spot in the quarter-finals.


He will take on Cameron Norrie in the next round, after the British player upset third-seeded Adrian Mannarino in straight sets, 6-2 7-5. Norrie got off to a quick start with a double break to take the first set, but he was tested as the Frenchman began his comeback.

Mannarino led 3-0 in the second set, and was closing in on pushing for a third before Norrie halted his momentum, levelling at 3-3. The Brit emerged victorious after reeling off the last three games to book his quarter-final berth.

“That second set was a battle. There were some really long rallies, a lot of running. It was good to scrape through that,” Norrie said. “I think I feel more comfortable as the week’s gone on. I’m pleased with where my game’s at.”

Earlier in the day, Ecuadorian qualifier Roberto Quiroz toppled 2015 champion Ivo Karlovic, 6-2, 6-4 to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final. The lefty won his fourth match of the year after breaking the booming Karlovic serve three times en route to victory. He will face fourth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight.

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Tsitsipas: 'Never Shampoo, Only Conditioner'

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2021

Defeating Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros is famously one of the toughest tasks in all of tennis, and there are only two players who have ever achieved the feat. But according to Stefanos Tsitsipas, there’s an easy solution to prevent the 13-time champion from lifting the trophy in Paris yet again.

Tsitsipas, who is kicking off his 2021 season at the ATP Cup suiting up for Greece, took a break from his pre-season preparation on Sunday to host a Q&A session with fans.

“I have an answer to everything,” Tsitsipas posted on Twitter, inviting fans to send him questions. But there was a catch: “No more vanilla questions please. Keep them interesting.”

Tsitsipas stayed true to form and made sure to keep the answers interesting, too. When asked if there was anything he’d like to ban permanently, the Greek player replied:

Former World No. 1 Nadal has won 13 of his 20 Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros, amassing 100 match wins over 16 years of dominance. Tsitsipas, on the other hand, owns nine wins at Roland Garros, including last year’s run to the semi-final.

Check out more highlights from World No. 6’s unfiltered Q&A session – including his pre-match ritual and a childhood snap from the Tsitsipas photo album – below.

As players descend on Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, they’ll have to follow health and safety precautions that include a two-week quarantine period. Tsitsipas revealed who he will be partnering with for training during that time, and the name is no surprise to fans of the Greek player:

The Nitto ATP Finals champion also explained how he copes with stressful on-court situations: by putting everything into perspective.

Greek gods are a vital part of Tsitsipas’ pre-match routine:

Take notes on this hair advice from the owner of one of the ATP Tour’s signature manes.

We’ve noticed you, Stefanos…


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