Tennis News

From around the world

Hurkacz Fends Off Korda To Take Delray Beach Title

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Fourth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz sealed his Delray Beach Open by debut by lifting his first trophy of the year after defeating #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda in the final on Wednesday.

Hurkacz, No. 35 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, came into South Florida going for his second ATP Tour title and his first since the 2019 Winston-Salem Open. The Pole didn’t drop a set all week, and needed just 68 minutes to claim the victory 6-3, 6-3 over 20-year-old Korda.

“The way [Korda] is playing, it will be amazing what he can achieve in the future,” Hurkacz acknowledged. “It’s too bad that he wasn’t 100 per cent fit today, but his game is there. I’m sure he’ll be holding many trophies in the future.”

Korda scored victories over No. 95 Soonwoo Kwon, No. 52 Tommy Paul, No. 25 John Isner and No. 74 Cameron Norrie to reach his first ATP Tour final. He powered to an early lead against Hurkacz, dealing damage with his backhand to claim a break of serve in the first game of the match.

But the American, who previously dropped his first eight finals as a pro before last year’s ATP Challenger Tour breakthrough in Eckental, couldn’t maintain the level as Hurkacz capitalised on an error-prone stretch to make his way back. From 1-3 down, Hurkacz came back to win five games in a row to take the opening set.

Hurkacz stayed comfortably in control in the second set as Korda’s struggles continued. The Pole broke twice more, claiming the match with a lob winner to become the first Polish champion to reign at Delray Beach.

Source link

Behar/Escobar Claim Delray Beach Doubles Title In Style

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar have started the year on the right foot after taking home their first ATP Tour title at the Delray Beach Open by

Playing in their first tour-level championship match on Wednesday, Behar and Escobar edged past brothers Christian Harrison and Ryan Harrison to win 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 10-4.

“This doesn’t happen every day. We want it to happen a lot of times, but today we’re going to have fun and enjoy it,” Behar said after the match. “And then focus on Australia that we have to travel to early.”

Behar, of Uruguay, and Gonzalo Escobar, of Ecuador, turned heads last year on the ATP Challenger Tour when they lifted five trophies. They continued to stand out in Delray Beach – thanks in part to Behar’s colorful wardrobe – as they took down the top seeded team Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo in the opening round.

They had to be focussed from the start against the Harrison brothers during the one hour and 43 minutes on court. They stayed locked on serve across the first two closely contested sets, despite creating 13 chances between both teams. After coming back in the second to make it one set apiece, the South Americans surged ahead in the Match Tie-Break toto become the first South American doubles champions at Delray Beach.


“We’ve been in this position many times, not in ATP but in the Challengers,” Escobar said. “I think we’ve worked to be able to deal with it [well] and just try to play every point. And it worked. I think it all comes down to the everyday work, even if it looks like it’s not going to change anything.

“But I think that this week, something clicked, something seemed easier for us. And at the end, we got this title and it’s going to give us a little bit more confidence. I think it’s going to be a great year.”

The victory also makes Escobar the first Ecuadorian doubles champion on the ATP Tour since Nicolas Lapentti in 1999 Adelaide (w/Gustavo Kuerten).

Source link

Antalya Champion De Minaur Looks Ahead After 'Dark Times' In 2020

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Alex de Minaur has hit the ground running in 2021 by posting solid performances at the Antalya Open for his fourth ATP Tour title.

“I feel I’ve improved everything,” admitted the Australian on Wednesday, after his final victory over Alexander Bublik. “I’ve worked on the body and mind to take it to the top guys, which is my goal. Being able to push them and getting stronger is my goal. I don’t want to have a good result every now and then. I want good results every week. I may lose to the top guys, because they are too good, but I don’t want to have any bad losses.”

The 21-year-old will fly to Australia from Dubai on Thursday after securing his first tour-level title since 29 September 2019 at the Zhuhai Championships (d. Mannarino).

“It’s now more about fine tuning,” he said, looking ahead to the Australian summer swing. “All of the tweaking and preparation came in the pre-season. I will look back on this week and see what I can improve on, so to play my best tennis at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open.”

De Minaur reached his first Grand Slam championship quarter-final at the US Open (l. to Thiem) last year, but admitted 2020 was a difficult year for him.

“2020 was a tough year. I got my best result at a Slam, but it was still a dark time and mentally I did not feel great,” said De Minaur. “I put in a few matches together, and had my best result [in New York], so it was something to be proud of. But 2020, as a whole, I had a lot of expectations and it’s fed the hunger to make 2021 better.

“I knew I’d put in a great pre-season, I felt good and ready to compete. I gave myself the best possible chance to go deep in this tournament. I have got matches at the start of the year. I am very happy with my level. I got some quality wins and now I’m looking forward to returning to Australia, where I hope to have a good Aussie summer in front of a home crowd.”

De Minaur, who represented Australia in last year’s inaugural ATP Cup, now has a 4-4 record in ATP Tour finals.

Source link

Alcaraz, 17, Qualifies For Australian Open

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Carlos Alcaraz will take his place in the Australian Open main draw next month after successfully qualifying on Wednesday in Doha.

The 17-year-old Spaniard got off to strong starts in both sets to beat second-seeded Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-3. Alcaraz won 73 per cent of his first-service points to become the first player born in 2003 to qualify for a Grand Slam championship.

The #NextGenATP Spaniard is the youngest player inside the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings and has built upon an impressive finish to the 2020 season. Across his final six ATP Challenger Tour events in 2020, Alcaraz compiled a 20-3 record and won three trophies from four finals.

Sergiy Stakhovsky, 35, also came through the qualifying competition, which has been held this year in Doha due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ukrainian worked his way past Dane Sweeny of Australia 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, converting four of 13 break points for a place in the main draw for the first time since 2016.

Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, 34, also clinched his main draw spot after a 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 11 seed Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, but 36-year-old Dustin Brown lost out to American Maxime Cressy, who qualifies for the Australian Open for the first time, after hitting 14 aces in a 7-6(5), 6-4 win.

Former World No. 17 Bernard Tomic became the only Australian man to qualify for the main draw after he edged past his compatriot, John-Patrick Smith, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(7). The 28-year-old, who has qualified for the first time, reached the fourth round of the main draw in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Sweden’s Elias Ymer will compete in the main draw for the first time since 2018 after he knocked out Taro Daniel of Japan 6-1, 6-2 in the final qualifying round. Portugal’s Frederico Ferreira Silva will make his Grand Slam championship debut after he beat top seed Gregoire Barrere of France 6-3, 6-4.

Belgium’s Kimmer Coppejans swept past seventh seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2, 6-0 and American Michael Mmoh defeated Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-3, 7-6(3). France’s Quentin Halys got the better of Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4.

Source link

De Minaur Clinches Antalya Crown

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Alex de Minaur captured the fourth ATP Tour singles title of his career on Wednesday at the Antalya Open. The fourth-seeded Australian was leading eight seed Alexander Bublik 2-0 in the first set, when the Kazakhstani retired after seven minutes of the final.

“I knew I’d put in a great pre-season, I felt good and ready to compete,” said De Minaur. “I gave myself the best possible chance to go deep in this tournament.

“I have got matches at the start of the year. I am very happy with my level. I got some quality wins and now I’m looking forward to returning to Australia, where I hope to have a good Aussie summer in front of a home crowd.”

Bublik attempted to play after extensive physio, but had twisted his right ankle on Tuesday in his semi-final victory over Jeremy Chardy of France.

The World No. 49 told, “I twisted my ankle yesterday and finished with an adrenaline rush for the best win of my life. I was so lucky to win. I tried to play. I was in the physio room for three hours yesterday and I tried to get ready for the match today. It’s hard for me in my third ATP Tour final, and I’ve never gotten the win.”

De Minaur, 21, adds to the three ATP Tour hard-court titles he won in 2019 at the Sydney International (d. Seppi), the Truist Atlanta Open (d. Fritz) and at the Zhuhai Championships (d. Mannarino). It was his first final since October 2020 at the European Open in Antwerp (l. to Humbert).

This week, De Minaur beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia in the first round, Bulgarian qualifier Adrian Andreev in the second round, sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the quarter-finals and second-seeded Belgian David Goffin in the semi-finals at the Limak Arcadia Sport Resort in Antalya.

Source link

Hurkacz Hails Swiatek Success: ‘It’s Really Nice To Be Polish’

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Polish No. 1 Hubert Hurkacz is taking inspiration from his country’s biggest tennis champion, Iga Swiatek, as he heads into Wednesday’s final at the Delray Beach Open by

Fourth-seeded Hurkacz has not dropped a set all week, and his success continued against qualifier Christian Harrison with a tight 7-6(4), 6-4 victory to reach his first ATP Tour final since 2019.

Although the match took place in a small town in South Florida, Hurkacz looked right at home. The stands – were dotted with red and white flags as a small but vocal contingent of Polish fans braved the damp conditions to support him in his Delray Beach debut. The tournament has offered limited attendance at the 2021 edition (under 25 per cent capacity) to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“It’s amazing that I can represent Poland and also that the Polish people are coming and supporting us playing,” Hurkacz said. “Whether that’s [here in Delray Beach] or in Sydney, Australia for the ATP Cup. So it’s really nice to be Polish.”

After the match, Hurkacz also recognised fellow Polish tennis player Swiatek as “a huge inspiration” after the 19-year-old ended their country’s long wait for a Grand Slam singles champion last year at Roland Garros.

“What she did at the French Open was unbelievable and a huge inspiration,” he said. “It’s amazing what she has done, winning a Grand Slam not being seeded and playing the way she played. So that’s really inspiring for all of Poland what she did achieve.”

Hurkacz will also hope to emulate Swiatek’s world-beating performance as he chases his second ATP Tour trophy; the WTA World No. 17 didn’t lose a set during her run in Paris, a feat Hurkacz is one match away from repeating at the ATP 250 event.


“I congratulated her, but we didn’t meet in person after her success,” Hurkacz admitted. “But for sure I’m going to talk to her at the Australian Open.”

As he gears up to take on Sebastian Korda for a shot at the Delray Beach trophy, Hurkacz hopes his strong performance will set him up for success in Melbourne. Ranked No. 35 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Hurkacz is closing in on a seeded spot at the year’s first Grand Slam.

“For sure that can help me in the first rounds, because you know you’re not going to face Rafa [Nadal] and Novak [Djokovic],” he explained. “Hopefully in the future I can be a bit of a higher seed, because then you’re facing the top guys in the third round.

“But obviously this is a step forward. I want to be playing better and better.” 

Source link

#NextGenATP Korda Races Into First Final At Delray Beach

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

#NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda booked his spot in this first ATP Tour final with a commanding victory over Cameron Norrie at the Delray Beach Open by on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old saw two match points come and go late in the second set as Norrie dug his heels in, but the American stayed calm to close it out two games later to win 6-3, 7-5 after an hour and 22 minutes.

“I’m fired up right now, I couldn’t be happier,” Korda said in his on-court interview.

Coming into his first clash against the Brit, World No. 119 Korda looked as comfortable as a veteran as he kept pace with a player ranked 45 spots higher. The American revealed his team’s unique way of preparing for the lefty’s tricky game.

“I warmed up with my coach, he hits the flattest ball possible, so that worked out today,” Korda said. “[Norrie] has a super tricky game. His backhand cross is world class, and his forehand once he gets it rolling cross it’s hard to defend. I’m super happy with the way I stayed aggressive and played the whole match.”

It was Korda who claimed the opening break at 3-1, and set the tone for the match as he stayed calm when Norrie grabbed the break straight back. The American raised his level and stayed on the run to chase down everything Norrie sent his way, finally claiming the decisive service break at 5-3 to close out the opening set.


Korda earned another early break at 3-2, but struggled in the second set as he served for his first spot in an ATP Tour final. A tentative game at 5-4 gave Norrie the foothold he needed to save two match points and level the score. But as in the first set, Korda didn’t panic, and crossed the finish line two games later.

“At 5-4, two match points… he played one good point but then I threw in a double fault,” Korda acknowledged. “But other than that, I played a really good match and I’m super happy with it.”

Korda will take on fourth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz for the first time in the Delray Beach final. The Polish player defeated qualifier Christian Harrison 7-6(4), 6-4 earlier in the day to advance to his second ATP Tour final.


Source link

Del Potro Honours Late Father With Emotional Letter

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Daniel del Potro, the father of Juan Martin del Potro, passed away on Monday at the age of 63. A veterinarian by profession, he had undergone a heart operation in mid-December and his health had been fragile from that moment on.

Del Potro senior always kept a low profile and accompanied his son from an early age as he competed in all sorts of national tournaments across Argentina during his junior days, until Juan Martin began to take his own first steps on the ATP Tour. 

Usually very reserved, the former World No. 3 gave him an emotional sendoff on Tuesday with a letter shared on social media. “You’ve left us here with a broken heart, but we know that you are resting in peace like you deserve,” Juan Martin wrote. “Now you have joined your other angel, and I ask that you please watch over my mom, my sister and me from above.

“You are our true and only champion. Thank you for raising me with values, with honesty, with sacrifice and for doing the impossible for me to be able to achieve my dream of being a tennis player. I don’t know how I’ll live without your presence, but I’ll definitely apply everything that you taught me to never give up. I love you pa!!” he wrote.

Condolences have been poured in for Del Potro from friends, fans and around the tennis world.



View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Juan Martin del Potro (@delpotrojuan)


Source link