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Sinner Handles Bublik Barrage In Miami

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Jannik Sinner overcame an inspired Alexander Bublik 7-6(5), 6-4 on Wednesday to reach his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

The #NextGenATP Italian was on the receiving end of underarm serves, a 105mph forehand return, and a sneak-attack return, but he held his composure and found his best tennis under pressure to advance in one hour and 41 minutes. In a match dominated by rallies of under five shots (Sinner 53-51), Sinner’s 28 forehand winners played a crucial role in his success.


“We had a tough battle two weeks ago in Dubai. [It was] tough here today as well,” Sinner told Tennis Channel. “It was strange today. He was changing the game… I never had this kind of match, to be honest… I just tried to stay there, stick into the match and I am happy about my performance today.”

Sinner is the eighth teenager to reach the Miami semi-finals in the tournament’s 36-year history. Of the seven other players to achieve the feat, five have reached No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Teenage Miami Semi-finalists

Player Age Year Result Career-High Ranking
Felix Auger-Aliassime 18 2019 SF No. 17
Rafael Nadal 18 2005 F No. 1
Lleyton Hewitt 19 2000 SF No. 1
Jannik Sinner 19 2021 ? No. 31
Novak Djokovic 19 2007 Champion No. 1
Andy Murray 19 2007 SF No. 1
Andre Agassi 19 1990 Champion No. 1
Denis Shapovalov 19 2019 SF No. 10

Sinner has also made Italian history by reaching the final four in Miami. He is only the second player from his nation — following 2017 semi-finalist Fabio Fognini — to reach this stage of the tournament.

In a thrilling first set, Bublik kept Sinner off balance with powerful returns and unpredictable shot selections. The 32nd seed led by a break and established a 4/1 lead in the tie-break, but Sinner kept his composure and found his forehand when he needed it most. Sinner ripped three forehand winners and, when Bublik closed the net, he found his targets to take the opener.

Sinner recovered from 0-3 down in the second set to record his second win of the month against Bublik (Dubai). The Great Ocean Road Open champion returned with pinpoint accuracy to strike winners and put Bublik in uncomfortable positions at the net. Sinner clinched victory with his 36th winner of the match, an inside-out forehand.

“It is [difficult to keep your concentration against Bublik] because, at the point when you think you are playing good, he is doing something to take out your rhythm,” said Sinner. “It is strange because he has incredible hands and I think he is one of the most talented guys on Tour. He can do whatever he wants with the ball. A match against him can change very quickly.”

Sinner will face top seed Daniil Medvedev or Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the championship match. The 21st seed has lost both his previous ATP Head2Head encounters against Medvedev, but he won his only previous match against Bautista Agut earlier this month in Dubai.


“I am very happy [to be] playing one more match here in Miami,” said Sinner. “I think both [players] are very, very difficult players to play against. With Medvedev [in ATP] Head2Head, I am 0-2 [and] with Roberto I won a very tough one in Dubai two weeks ago. It is going to be a very interesting match and I think they will show a very high level this evening.”

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Preview: Medvedev Ready To Solve RBA Riddle

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Daniil Medvedev has never beaten Roberto Bautista Agut, but the top seed is not paying any attention to that record ahead of their quarter-final clash in Miami.

“I don’t really care about ATP Head2Head, because it is always a new match,” said Medvedev. “We saw some with Roger when he is like 15-0 against someone and the guy finally gets a win in maybe an important match.”

Medvedev may have lost to the Spaniard in the 2017 Tata Open Maharashtra final and last year’s Western & Southern Open quarter-finals, but he is confident that he can solve the Bautista Agut riddle in the pair’s third ATP Head2Head meeting.

“I am just looking forward to tomorrow. Roberto is a hell of a player. I feel like sometimes, when I have practised with him and played against him, that his Ranking should be higher. There are reasons why it is not and I am going to try to do something with it tomorrow.”

Breaking new ground is rarely straightforward, but it is something that Medvedev has already made a habit of in 2021. The Russian started the year by leading Russia to its first ATP Cup title and he quickly followed that achievement with a maiden Australian Open final appearance.

Earlier this month, after winning the Open 13 Provence trophy for the first time, he became the first player outside the Big Four to crack the top two in the FedEx ATP Rankings since Lleyton Hewitt in July 2005.

Bautista Agut will begin his third clash against Medvedev high on confidence. The nine-time ATP Tour titlist saved a match point on Tuesday to defeat 2018 champion John Isner in a final-set tie-break.

The seventh seed will also be attempting to add to his impressive list of semi-final appearances this season. Bautista Agut guided Spain to the ATP Cup semi-finals last month (l. to Italy) and finished as a runner up in Montpellier (l. to Goffin) and Doha (l. to Basilashvili) earlier this month.

Earlier in the day, Jannik Sinner and Alexander Bublik will both attempt to reach their first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final. Sinner will be aiming to earn his second win of the month against Bublik, following his three-set victory against the Kazakhstani in their maiden ATP Head2Head clash in Dubai.

Sinner has dropped just one set en route to the quarter-finals, with wins against #NextGenATP Frenchman Hugo Gaston, 14th seed Karen Khachanov and Emil Ruusuvuori. The 19-year-old is bidding to join Fabio Fognini (2017) as only the second Italian semi-finalist in tournament history.

“You have to go on court and try to win matches. I’m just trying to do that,” Sinner said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes not. For me, it’s just important giving 100 per cent day after day and then I have to see what’s going to happen.”

Bublik has already made history in Miami. The 32nd seed is the first Kazakhstani to reach a Masters 1000 quarter-final. Bublik has started the year strong, with runner-up finishes at the Antalya Open (l. to De Minaur) and the Singapore Open (l. to Popyrin).

The World No. 44, who entered the tournament in 11th position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, is aware of the challenge he will face from the opposite end of the court. Sinner is the second-youngest player in the Top 100 and the Italian already owns two ATP Tour crowns.

“[Sinner] is so young,” said Bublik. “He is an unbelievable athlete and he runs forever… He is an unbelievable player and sharing a quarter-final with him is a pleasure for me. I hope to have a great match.”

Watch Live | View TV Schedule


GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm
WTA MATCH – M. Sakkari (GRE) vs N. Osaka (JPN)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[21] J. Sinner (ITA) vs [32] A. Bublik (KAZ)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA MATCH – B. Andreescu (CAN) vs S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP)

Not Before 8:30 pm
[1] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs [7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
M. Kecmanovic (SRB) / A. Qureshi (PAK) vs [2] N. Mektic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO)
[7] R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR) vs [WC] S. Korda (USA) / M. Mmoh (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
M. Arevalo (ESA) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs D. Evans (GBR) / N. Skupski (GBR)

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Alexander Bublik: Winning The Mental Game

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Whether he’s hitting an underarm serve, a tweener or contesting a thrilling rally, Alexander Bublik is always eye-catching and entertaining. And while the Kazakhstani’s gun-ho unpredictability is part of Bublik’s on-court persona, since the resumption of the ATP Tour in August last year, the Kazakhstani has added an element of consistency to his armoury.

Two ATP Tour final appearances this year and a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, at this week’s Miami Open presented by Itau, are credit to his application since the enforced, five-month suspension due to the global COVID-19 pandemic last season.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve done much different, because tennis is completely a mental game,” Bublik told in Miami. “But for all the time I’ve spent off the court in the past 12 months, I’ve used it as a positive experience. I’ve always been a hard worker in the off-season since I was a kid, because I don’t like just being home and doing nothing. I enjoyed the lockdown, because I knew there weren’t tournaments ahead of me, but the minute I knew — and know — there is something to work towards, I focus and I work hard.

“If I win some matches and get on a run, I realise the importance of that and refine my game. I grow in confidence, but I like the ‘go big or go home’ style of play. I can run for three hours if needed, whether I want it or not, but I like the 50/50 chance and the adrenaline rush of serving an ace, or winning a match, or the fear of serving at full power on a second serve. That’s what keeps me going and what I play for. If I hit an ace, it’s a great feeling.”


Having stopped counting how many FedEx ATP Rankings points he’d win or lose, prior to stepping onto court, 23-year-old Bublik is reaping the dividends of hard work, but also the experience of 71-year-old Boris Sobkin, the former coach of Mikhail Youzhny, and Artem Suprunov, his senior by four years.

“Boris has mentored me and brought a lot to my game,” said Bublik, who is close to breaking into the Top 40 for the first time. “He gives me more stability, not in the technical parts of the game, but how to go about winning matches. Boris keeps an eye on Artem and I, helping us a lot with his experience. Artem helps me with the mental side, he listens to Boris, and I think we’re doing pretty well.”

Three months into the 2021 ATP Tour season and the right-hander has already compiled more match wins (15) than he did last year (14), including runner-up finishes at the Antalya Open (l. to De Minaur) in January and the Singapore Tennis Open (l. to Popyrin) in February. Over the past seven days in Miami, his sixth Masters 1000 tournament appearance, Bublik has struck 37 aces in three victories, over Laslo Djere, James Duckworth and Taylor Fritz, and won on average 74 per cent of his first-service points.

Bublik’s decision to break away from his father, Stanislav, and stand on his own two feet in the middle of 2019, provided a big boost to his growth. “If I reflect on what he told me until I was 18 or 19 years old, I only began to understand after we split up,” said Bublik. “He loved, nurtured and did everything he could to help me become the player I am. I am happy that I had a good journey with my father, and it was the right time to end too. I’ve grown up and used life experiences in a positive way. Maybe in the future my father can help me out, but not right now.”

Laidback, but engaging, Bublik has started to prove that he is ambitious. But once he gets to lift his first ATP Tour trophy, even he isn’t sure how he’ll react.

“When I will win my first title, I am not sure if you’ll see a very happy Alex Bublik,” said Bublik, smiling. “I try to treat victory and defeat just the same. If you’re super happy about a win or anything, then it will have repercussions later. It will only be a matter of time, but it’s just another milestone.

“What last year’s lockdown taught me is that there is more to life than tennis. I enjoyed my trips to the grocery store or visiting friends, but it also gave me time to think. The sport is more than entertaining fans and hard work, you’ve got to be disciplined to be consistent. I continue to work on all areas of game and trust that I’m on the right path.”

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Tennis-Point To Become Official ATP Retailer In Multi-Year Partnership

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

The ATP Tour and Tennis-Point have today announced a multi-year partnership, which sees the global tennis online retail platform become the Official Racket Sports Products Retailer of the ATP Tour until 2025.

Tennis-Point is part of SIGNA Sports United, the global leading online sports commerce and tech platform in the bike, tennis, outdoor and team sports categories. It also operates the world’s leading tennis online retail platform, with 14 local-language online shops offering one of the widest ranges of tennis products globally – in addition to 21 physical connected stores across Europe.

Through the partnership, Tennis-Point will connect ATP to the platform technologies of SIGNA Sports United in order to launch a brand new ATP Tour online shop, which will become accessible to fans via the ‘Shop’ icon on from 1 April.

“We are delighted to partner with Tennis-Point, whose focus on the customer experience matches our ethos of putting the fan first,” said Daniele Sano, ATP Chief Business Officer. “In addition to their fast-expanding commerce capabilities, the brand’s creative marketing initiatives and an existing presence at ATP tournaments make it the right fit to promote the ATP Tour to millions of recreational players around the world.”

Tennis-Point will also look to broaden its global reach and awareness through dedicated brand exposure on the ATP Tour’s website and official social channels, which currently reach over 8 million followers.

Nelson Artz, Tennis-Point Chief Brand Officer, said, “The partnership with the ATP Tour resonates perfectly with our brand mission to be ‘more than just a shop’. We are very grateful to be able to join this family of global tennis enthusiasts.

“Together with the ATP Tour we want to further increase the love of our favourite sport and the number of players on the courts. The professional sport, with its spectacular matches and tournaments, is instrumental to driving the development of youth participation and making tennis one of the leading recreational sports overall.”

“ATP and Tennis-Point entering into an exclusive partnership is the culmination of the efforts we have made to develop our unique sports commerce and tech platform capabilities and to lead the sports ecosystem into the digital age,” said Stephan Zoll, CEO of SIGNA Sports United. “We are sure that the cooperation between ATP and Tennis-Point will be of great benefit to the global tennis community.”

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Tsitsipas To Face Hurkacz In Maiden Miami QF

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas took one step closer to a first ATP Masters 1000 title on Tuesday after battling past Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 7-6(2) to reach his first quarter-final at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Tsitsipas fired 20 winners and didn’t face a break point across one hour and 31 minutes against the 24th seeded Italian.

“I’m playing well, feeling well, and enjoying these moments on the court,” Tsitsipas said in an on-court interview. “I’m thrilled to be playing the way I’m playing. I’m having a great impact with my game so far this week, so it’s important for me to capitalise [on] that.

“Each single opponent has been a separate challenge, and I’ve been managing to find solutions against them. It’s important for me to have matches like this.”


After making a fast start on Court 1 with two breaks of serve in the opening set, Tsitsipas settled in for a battle as Sonego raised his level in the second set. He pulled away in the tie-break to reach his seventh different ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

“I was expecting him to raise his level. When you’re one set to love, you feel like you have nothing to lose,” Tsitsipas said. “He definitely improved, so he was a much more difficult opponent in the second set than he was in the first.”

Tsitsipas has now reached the quarter-finals or better at all five events he has contested, including a runner-up finish last week at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco and a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open.

Tsitsipas will face 24-year-old Hubert Hurkacz in the next round, after the 26th seed won a nail-biter against Milos Raonic that came down to the wire on Court 1. The Delray Beach Open by champion came back from a set down and edged through a third-set tie-break to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

Former World No. 3 Raonic outhit Hurkacz from the baseline with 38 winners to 31, but his unforced error count ultimately got away from him (50 to 34) across two hours and 20 minutes. It was also an impressive service day for Hurkacz, who hit more two aces (14) than the big-serving Raonic.

“I think I served very well. That helped me to stay in the games and then be competitive against Milos,” Hurkacz said. “Because if you give him a little bit, a couple of free points or he’s getting into more rallies, he’s a very dangerous player.”

Hurkacz advanced to his second ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, after his run at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The Polish player, who trains and lives part-time in Florida, will enjoy a sense of home-field advantage after starting the season by winning an ATP 250 title in nearby Delray Beach.

“Last year I spent here like over five months,” Hurkacz said. “So I got used to the weather and the conditions here, so I think that’s kind of [an] advantage for me.

“But each site is different. Each [tournament’s] conditions, the balls are different, but I enjoy being here and playing here.”

Did You Know?
Seven of the eight players in the Miami Open presented by Itau quarter-finals are 25-and-under for the first time since 1996. Alexander Bublik (23), Sebastian Korda (20), Daniil Medvedev (25), Andrey Rublev (23) and Jannik Sinner (19) all won through on Tuesday to join Tsitsipas and Hurkacz in their maiden Miami quarter-finals.

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Rublev Sets Korda Quarter-final Clash In Miami

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Fourth seed Andrey Rublev will contest his second ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final after ending former World No. 3 Marin Cilic’s run at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Tuesday. Rublev’s 6-4, 6-4 victory was delivered in 82 minutes and set a showdown with #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda.

Rublev lifted his tour-leading match-win count this season to 19-3 and extended his ATP Head2Head record against the Croatian to 3-1. He joins top seed Daniil Medvedev as one of two Russians into the last eight in South Florida.


Cilic was shooting for his first quarter-final in Miami since 2013 and his first win over a Top 10 opponent since his upset of Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round of last year’s Australian Open. After his semi-final finish in Singapore in February, this was the 32-year-old’s most promising run of 2021.

He had beaten 13th seed Cristian Garin before ending #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti’s run in straight sets. However, the in-form Rublev presented another step up. Rublev broke first for 3-2 and sustained the advantage to take the opening set after 41 minutes. His seven unforced errors were less than half the Croatian’s.

The Russian was in trouble when he found himself 0-30 down on serve at 1-2 in the second set before he reeled off four straight points to hold with a running forehand pass at full stretch. The minor escape only spurred him on as he broke again for 3-2 and never relinquished.

He finished with six fewer winners than the Croatian’s 24, but he only hit 16 unforced errors to Cilic’s 29. A maiden Masters 1000 semi-final will be on the line when Rublev next meets debutant Korda for the first time. 

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Korda Holds Off Schwartzman For Miami QF Berth

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Sebastian Korda is through to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, following a three-set upset of fifth seed Diego Schwartzman at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Tuesday. The 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 result was the #NextGenATP American’s first Top 10 victory.

One of four Americans to have started the day, it was the youngest, 20-year-old Korda, who was the last man standing. It will be Korda’s second ATP Tour quarter-final and second in his home state of Florida, having reached the Delray Beach Open final in February. 

“He made it tough. In that first set I served super hot, but he didn’t serve that well,” Korda said. “But then he picked it up and he was just fighting and he was playing some really good tennis after that, and then the third set was just a battle.”


Schwartzman was looking to reach the quarter-finals in Miami for the first time, in what would have been his sixth at ATP Masters 1000 level. The Argentine dug in to save a set point on serve to hold for 3-5, but was left shaking his head in disbelief as Korda painted the line with his 15th winner of the set in the ensuing game. 

The 20-year-old clinched the set at the 38-minute mark and it prompted an immediate lift in aggression from Schwartzman in the second set. The fifth seed pounced to break for 3-1, but the advantage was short-lived as Korda broke back three games later.

Schwartzman raised his level when it mattered as the American hit back-to-back forehand winners to concede serve and send the match into a deciding set. It was the World No. 9, however, who blinked first in the third. 

A sloppy game gifted Korda the early break and the American carried the advantage to serve for a place in the quarter-finals at 5-4.The first sign of nerves crept in as a match point went begging and Korda was broken, however, he responded with another break and served it out on his 21st forehand winner after two hours and 36 minutes.

Korda awaits the winner of fourth seed Andrey Rublev and former World No. 3 Marin Cilic. He equals his dad Petr Korda’s run to the Miami quarter-finals in 1994 and 1996 and stands one win from equalling his best result, a semi-final defeat to Pete Sampras in 1993.

“Yeah it’s super special, both my parents are here,” he said. “They’re supposed to fly today to Palm Springs to watch my two sisters [play golf]. They have their first major of the year in Palm Springs so hopefully they can keep staying here and keep going.”

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Why Desserts Are No Kryptonite For Sinner

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Jannik Sinner admitted on Tuesday after his fourth-round win at the Miami Open presented by Itau that he is trying to “eat a little better” this year. That’s paying dividends, as he won his second ATP Tour title at the Great Ocean Road Open and he’s into his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final here in Florida.

But that won’t stop the World No. 31 from indulging in desserts.

“Honestly, for me it’s not important so much, what I am eating. I am just trying to somehow, when I have to eat carbohydrates or protein, just trying being in like the biggest or easiest [food groups]. It’s very simple,” Sinner said. “It’s not that if I am going to eat dessert in the evening, I am going to lose the match the day after. That’s for sure not what we think. A dessert in the evening, I’m always eating.”

During the offseason, however, Sinner’s team began consulting a nutritionist. While the #NextGenATP Italian has not made any massive changes to his diet, it’s been more educational to help him understand what to eat in certain situations. In Miami, for example, it’s hot and humid. On Sunday, the 19-year-old needed two hours and 50 minutes to beat Karen Khachanov.

“[We have] just maybe [been] changing a little bit, especially when it’s hot conditions, trying to eat better, which sometimes can help you,” Sinner said. “It’s a process, which I think everyone on my team said, ‘Look, it might be better if you do like this. Some players are eating healthy, some players are not eating healthy’.”


Sinner defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first quarter-final at this level. It was a big breakthrough for the Italian teen. But judging by his reaction — or a lack thereof — it was like another day at the office.

“Obviously I’m proud playing the quarter-finals in a big tournament, but the tournament is not over yet, so I am not relaxing,” Sinner said. “I’m trying to play better and better, day after day [I am] trying to improve and trying always to understand what I could do better match after match and then we’ll see what’s going on tomorrow.”

The 21st seed will try to continue his big run against 32nd seed Alexander Bublik. Two weeks ago, Sinner needed three sets to dispatch the Kazakhstani in Dubai.

“[I am] happy today,” Sinner said. “Tomorrow I will be ready for another tough match.”

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Look Out, John! Isner Bashes Head On Umbrella Mid-Match In Miami

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2021

Height might be an issue off court every so often for John Isner, whose 6’10” frame forces him to duck through doorways. But on court, his size has always been an advantage. That was until Tuesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Isner was walking to his chair for a changeover during his fourth-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut when he banged his head on the umbrella hovering over his seat. The umbrella is there to protect the American from the sun, but on this occasion, Isner needed protection from the umbrella.

The 2018 champion took it well, looking at the nearby camera with a smile and saying: “Did you get that?”

Isner’s height paid off in other ways against the Spaniard, as he struck 23 aces. But Bautista Agut ultimately saved a match point to defeat the 18th seed 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7) after two hours and 18 minutes.

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