Tennis News

From around the world

Kontinen/Roger-Vasselin Blast Into Montpellier SFs

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2021

Top seeds Henri Kontinen and Edouard Roger-Vasselin broke serve once in each set for a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Frenchmen Ugo Humbert and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday for a place in the Open Sud de France semi-finals. Kontinen and Roger-Vasselin, who partnered Ivan Dodig to the 2019 Montpellier doubles title, now challenge Roman Jebavy and Jiri Vesely.

Americans Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow defeated second seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middelkoop 6-4, 7-6(6), having saved three set points at 5-6 in the second set. They now meet Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski in the semi-finals.

Inglot, Bambridge

Gille/Vliegen Reach Singapore Semi-finals
Top-seeded Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen are closing in on their sixth ATP Tour team final (4-1 record) after beating Indians Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 7-6(3) for a place in the Singapore Tennis Open semi-finals.

They now face third-seeded Britons Luke Bambridge and Dominic Inglot, who worked hard to beat wild cards Jamie Cerretani and Adil Shamasdin 7-6(4), 7-6(1).

Source link

Nalbandian On Big 3: Don't Wait For Retirement, Beat Them Now!

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2021

Former World No. 3 David Nalbandian has not watched much tennis in recent years. When the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup champion agreed to join Miomir Kecmanovic’s team on a part-time basis, he had to search his house to find a racquet. The 11-time ATP Tour champion has focussed on driving a rally car and pursuing other hobbies, such as polo — he owns 50 polo horses — since his retirement in 2013.

But Monday, the day after Novak Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev for his record-extending ninth Australian Open title, the Argentine watched the championship match in his room at the Cordoba Open tournament hotel. There aren’t many players who can say they have enjoyed success against the Big Three of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but Nalbandian is one of them.

Before Medvedev beat the top three players in the FedEx ATP Rankings — Djokovic, Nadal and Dominic Thiem — to win last year’s Nitto ATP Finals, the last man to accomplish the feat at any event was Nalbandian at the 2007 Mutua Madrid Open. On that occasion, the Argentine beat Nadal, Djokovic and Federer consecutively. Two weeks later, he defeated Federer and Nadal en route to the Rolex Paris Masters crown.

Nalbandian believes Medvedev’s run at The O2 last year showed what is possible.

“That showed that everybody can beat them,” Nalbandian said. “Good players can beat them. It is not impossible work. Sometimes it’s good for new players to start believing in themselves. They’re incredible players, but they’re not superheroes. The new generation has to start believing in themselves.”

Relive Nalbandian’s 2005 Shanghai Win vs. Federer

That doesn’t mean Nalbandian doesn’t have the utmost respect for the legendary trio, against whom he won a combined 11 matches. The last time the Argentine played one of them was in a loss against Nadal at 2013 Sao Paulo. 

“Most of the players think that they’re waiting for the Big Three to retire,” Nalbandian said, before cracking a lengthy laugh. “I say, ‘I was already waiting in my time and they’re still around!’ Let’s stop waiting and beat them.”

One of the things that impresses Nalbandian the most about the Big Three is not just their longevity, but how they all continue to get better. Djokovic, 33 and Nadal, 34, are still the top two players in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and Federer most recently won a Grand Slam at the 2018 Australian Open, when the Swiss was 36.

“It’s incredible the way that they adapt to the new players and their age, because they’re getting older,” Nalbandian said. “They’re still on, they’re still focussed, they’re still inspired to keep going. That’s amazing. That’s why there are only three players who can do that. It’s Roger, Rafa and Nole. The others can’t do that. Nobody.”

It’s easy to forget that Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have all struggled with injury at points during their career. But they have always persevered to find ways to compete against — and in many cases, beat — the best players in the world.

“They are winning people. They’re born like that, they work for that, they’re ready for that. They always will find the way, it doesn’t matter how difficult it is,” Nalbandian said. “If the difficulty is high, they find a higher level and will be better than that. That’s unbelievable and something few people can do.”

Nalbandian, who tallied an 11-20 record against the Big Three, said he had to use different shots and tactics against each of the stars.

“First of all, they’re never going to lose the match, you have to beat them. Second, you have to be perfect on the tactics and then the execution of the tactics,” Nalbandian said. “Maybe you know how to play, but they are good players. They are not going to allow you to play the way you want to. It’s a combination of both things.”

When asked whether he expected their continued success long after he departed the ATP Tour, Nalbandian laughed. “No way,” he said. “No chance.”

“I think Nole could win the most Grand Slams, I believe so,” Nalbandian said, referring to Djokovic. “He’s too complete.”

Source link

Davidovich Fokina, Novak Move Into Montpellier QFs

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2021

Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina recovered from 1-3 down in the first set, and converted four of 10 break point opportunities, en route to beating fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday in one hour and 34 minutes at the Open Sud de France.

The 21-year-old will next challenge Belarusian Egor Gerasimov, who backed up Tuesday’s win over former World No. 1 Andy Murray by knocking out Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-4, 7-6(4) in one hour and 51 minutes.


Austria’s Dennis Novak advanced to his second ATP Tour quarter-final after fighting back from a 3-5 deficit in the second set to knock out third seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 7-6(5), 7-5 in one hour and 35 minutes. Lajovic came into the ATP 250 event on the back of reaching the Australian Open fourth round (l. to Zverev).

Novak now faces German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, who needed two hours and 28 minutes to overcome Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-3. In a big-serving contest, Gojowczyk hit 17 aces and won 86 per cent of his first-service points (60/70), while Vesely fired down 29 aces.

Source link

Nadal Withdraws From Rotterdam

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2021

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament due to an ongoing back injury.

The Spanish superstar was unable to compete at the ATP Cup earlier this month due to back stiffness, but recovered to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Tsitsipas).

Nadal wrote on Twitter: “It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam. As most of the fans know, I suffered some back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued during Melbourne. We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week of the tournament.

“Once I got back to Spain I visited my doctor and together with my team they’ve advised not to play this upcoming week. I was really looking forward to coming back to Rotterdam and The Netherlands since it’s been a while I played there.

“This was the perfect year for my calendar. I hope to come back and play there soon. All the best to the tournament, always a top class event.”

The 34-year-old, who had been bidding to capture a record 21st Grand Slam championship crown, has a 4-1 record on the 2021 season.

Source link

Mannarino Begins Singapore Campaign; Albot Saves 3 M.P.

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2021

Top-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino got his Singapore Tennis Open campaign off to a winning start on Thursday when he defeated Roberto Marcora of Italy 6-3, 7-5 for a place in the quarter-finals.

“At this stage there is no easy match,” said Mannarino. “I never played against him [Marcora] before, but I knew he had a couple of good games before. In the second set, he got used to the pace and was winning points in the big moments and it looked like it could go either way. But I’m pretty happy that I managed to keep my focus and win the second set.”


Mannarino will next challenge sixth-seeded Moldovan Radu Albot, who saved three match points in a 6-7(2), 7-6(7), 6-3 victory over Yannick Hanfmann of Germany in two hours and 42 minutes. Albot saved match points at 4-5, 15/40 in the second set and at 6/7 in the tie-break.


Ten years on from their first tour-level ATP Head2Head meeting in Brisbane, wild card Matthew Ebden beat second seed and fellow Australian John Millman once again, 6-4, 6-1 in 72 minutes.

“I knew I had to play well,” said Ebden. “We played before, even in juniors and in different competitions in the past, so I knew what to expect and I am glad I executed a really good game plan and followed up from a good match yesterday. I played a really good match in terms of putting it on my racquet and pulling a lot of the points in my favour. I executed that really well so it was a good two sets.”

Eighth seed Soonwoo Kwon will play third-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals after he won 31 of 38 first-service points to overcome Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 6-3, 6-4. Last week, the South Korean won his third ATP Challenger Tour title at the Biella Challenger Indoor 2 (d. Musetti).

Source link

Coria Claws Into Cordoba Quarters

  • Posted: Feb 25, 2021

Federico Coria, the younger brother of former World No. 3 Guillermo Coria, reached his second ATP Tour quarter-final on Wednesday with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory against fellow Argentine Francisco Cerundolo at the Cordoba Open.

“I’m very happy, it’s very special for me. It was very hard to play against an Argentine and a friend. He has so much talent and I really admire him,” Coria said. “I started very nervous in the match, but with some errors by him I was able to play my game.”

The No. 95 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, who reached the last eight at last year’s Rio Open presented by Claro, has proven a force on clay. Last September the 28-year-old qualified for his first ATP Masters 1000 main draw in Rome, where he reached the second round. Then the Argentine made the third round at Roland Garros on his tournament debut. 

In the second round on the Parisian terre battue, Coria upset Benoit Paire. The Argentine will face Paire again in the Cordoba quarter-finals if the Frenchman beats Chilean Nicolas Jarry Wednesday evening.


Coria showed great form against Cerundolo, who has been on a tear on the ATP Challenger Tour. The World No. 135 had won 23 of his past 26 matches at all levels entering Wednesday’s action. In 2020, Cerundolo won three Challenger titles, matching #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz’s mark for the most at that level.

But Coria was the far better player behind his second serve in the final two sets, winning more than 71 per cent (15/21) of those points compared to 36 per cent for Cerundolo. Coria will try to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final.

Earlier in the day, Slovakian Jozef Kovalik beat Chilean qualifier Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes. Kovalik will next play eighth seed Federico Delbonis or qualifier Facundo Bagnis.

Source link