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Murray Surges Past Haase In Rotterdam Comeback

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray had to rally from 0-3 in the third set to take down fellow wild card Robin Haase 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 on Monday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Currently No. 123 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Murray outlasted Haase after two hours and 29 minutes as the match became a physical battle. He struck 33 winners including six aces en route to his first tour-level victory since the 2020 US Open.

Haase gave Murray plenty of trouble with several highlight-reel worthy shots in the pair’s entertaining battle. Murray, who has been working his way back to fitness after a major hip injury, was contesting his second tour-level match of the year. 

The Scot needed a few games to settle into the match, but Haase didn’t give him any respite as he got off to a double-break 4-1 lead in the first set. In the second, Haase had two chances to take the lead at 3-3 before Murray lifted his level, saving both break points on the back of strong first serves.

Murray took the second set after a tie-break, but found himself in trouble again in the third as Haase opened up a 3-0 lead with an early break. Murray continued to hang in the rallies and managed his emotions to stay in the contest, going on a six-game run to seal his spot in the second round.


The victory improves Murray’s ATP Head2Head record against Haase to 5-1. Interestingly, Haase’s only win over Murray came in Rotterdam when the pair contested their first ATP Tour meeting here in 2008.

Murray will face either No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev or American qualifier Marcos Giron in the second round. 

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Medvedev Readies For ‘One Of The Strongest Draws Ever’ In Rotterdam

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

Daniil Medvedev rewarded himself for reaching the Australian Open final with a handful of days off, and then got right back to work as he set his sights on a major breakthrough at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. 

The Russian is the top seed at the season’s first ATP 500 event. He leads a stacked field that features four of the tour’s Top 10 including Stefanos Tsitsipas and countryman Andrey Rublev, two players he defeated en route to the final in Melbourne. 

Medvedev must take on one of the toughest Rotterdam fields in recent memory in his quest to become the new World No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. If the Russian reaches the final, he will become the first player outside the Big Four — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — to hold a top two spot since Lleyton Hewitt was World No. 2 back in 2005.

“The draw is really strong. I think for [an ATP] 500 event, it’s one of the strongest draws I’ve seen maybe ever,” Medvedev said in a pre-tournament press conference. “We have [four] Top 10 guys, which is unbelievable.” 

It’s an additional challenge for a player who doesn’t mind going about things the hard way. Medvedev had to defeat the top three players in the world to win the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals, and he beat 12 Top 10 opponents during his 20-match winning streak that ended in Melbourne. During that stretch, Medvedev won his third Masters 1000 crown at the Rolex Paris Masters, the biggest title of his career in London, helped lead Russia to its first ATP Cup and reached his second Grand Slam final at Melbourne Park. 

“There’s some confidence when you win tournaments. I won three in a row, one of them [the ATP Cup] was a team competition, of course,” he said. “When you get the confidence going, in the tight moments you feel like you can always make the winners or put the ball back in the court when you have to and make your opponent miss.”

Medvedev admitted that the idea of potentially ending the week with a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking comes with some additional pressure, but he’s determined to take it one match at a time as he seeks his first trophy in Rotterdam.

“It’s a normal part of a tennis career to have some pressure,” Medvedev said. “I would say the most pressure would start around [the] quarters or semis. In the first or second round, it’s still kind of far to look ahead. I’m getting ready for my first round and I’m not thinking at all about this, but for sure when it comes closer it’s going to stay in my mind.”


Medvedev will face Dusan Lajovic in the opening round as the Russian contests his first match since the Australian Open final. He previously reached the semi-finals in Rotterdam in 2019, and will aim to improve his 1-1 ATP Head2Head record against the Serbian player. Should he advance, Top 10 players Alexander Zverev and Robert Bautista Agut loom in his section as potential semi-final matchups.

“The courts are really slow here so the conditions he probably will like,” Medvedev said of his clash against Lajovic. “Of course it’s indoor hard, so the serve and return will be very important. The more returns you make and more aces you hit the more pressure you put [on your opponent]. I’m definitely expecting a tough match against Dusan.”

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Nishikori Snaps Streak, Beats Felix In Rotterdam

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

Kei Nishikori broke a four-match losing streak on Monday with a 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over seventh seed and last year’s finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Nishikori won the final three points of the tie-break, which ended with Auger-Aliassime slicing a backhand wide to finish the 67-minute opener. The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime received on-court treatment after the first game of the second set, which saw Nishikori win 25 of 34 points.

Nishikori, who is currently No. 45 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, reached the 2019 semi-finals at the Rotterdam Ahoy. He is now 3-7 since returning from injury and illness in September last year.

The 31-year-old Japanese star will next challenge an Australian: Alex de Minaur or John Millman in the second round.


Earlier in the day, qualifier Cameron Norrie won the first seven games of his 6-0, 6-3 victory over Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, who led 3-1 in the second set. The Briton will next play Swiss eighth seed and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka or Karen Khachanov of Russia.

Former World No. 1 and 2009 titlist Andy Murray plays Dutch wild card Robin Haase in the first match of the night session, prior to Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics meeting Reilly Opelka of the United States.

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Tsitsipas: 'I Would Only Do It For My Brother'

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas says that he has made a pact with his brother, Petros Tsitsipas, to play more doubles together in 2021.

“I wanted to start the new year in the most fresh and dynamic way,” said Tsitsipas, who partnered his brother at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open last month. “I want to play as much doubles as possible with my brother, Petros. It’s been a dream of mine, but I haven’t made it happen a lot.

“I want to take the opportunity to play with him in 250 and 500 events, a Grand Slam, as we did. It was my best memory of my stay in Australia. I am primarily focusing on my singles career, but I also want to help my brother and his performances. I would only do it for my brother, and no one else. I want to build a team with him, exclusively with him. I’m not planning on playing with anyone else.”

Tsitsipas, the second seed at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam, opens his singles campaign against Egor Gerasimov on Tuesday. The Tsitsipas brothers will face last week’s Singapore Tennis Open titlists Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille in the doubles.

Tsitsipas brothers

The 22-year-old added that he still needs to work on a few things before he is able to take the next step for a place in a Grand Slam final.

“I didn’t really have a goal at the Australian Open,” said Tsitsipas. “I wanted to win the tournament like the other 127 players, but I was taking it step-by-step and going on a journey. Every match I won, I felt better than the next day. It was great playing a semi-final, but I need to unlock a few things and take the next step to reach a Grand Slam final.”

The Greek star recovered from two-sets-to-love down against Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park, but fell to Daniil Medvedev — the top seed at this week’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament — in the last four.

“I felt two different emotions,” said Tsitsipas, when asked to compare this year’s semi-final loss to the loss in the 2019 Australian Open semi-finals (l. to Nadal). “Having the semi-final run the first time felt quite special. It wasn’t something that I’d achieved before.

“I did make the second week of a Grand Slam the year before at Wimbledon, but I still felt a long way away from being consistent and making [it to] the semi-finals. I had experience this time, and I knew what steps I had to take to be able to reach that goal again.”

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Khachanov/Rublev Get Off To Winning Start In Rotterdam Doubles

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev won the first match of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Monday by beating Dusan Lajovic and Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 3-6, 10-2.

The Russians, who won the first five games of the match, will next play fourth seeds Marcelo Melo and Jean-Julien Rojer or Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau in the second round.

Khachanov will challenge 2015 champion and eighth seed Wawrinka in the singles first round. Wawrinka leads 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head, but Khachanov won their last match at the 2019 Rogers Cup 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-2. Fourth seed Rublev begins his campaign against American qualifier Marcos Giron, while Lajovic has been drawn to face top seed Daniil Medvedev.

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Popyrin Returns To Top 100, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

No. 82 Alexei Popyrin, +32 (Career High)
The Australian jumped 32 places to a career-high No. 82 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after he captured his first ATP Tour title at the Singapore Tennis Open. The 21-year-old beat former World No. 3 Marin Cilic in the semi-finals and Alexander Bublik in the final.

No. 85 Federico Coria, +10 (Career High)
The Argentinean, who is the younger brother of former World No. 3 Guillermo Coria, reached his first ATP Tour semi-final at the Cordoba Open (l. to Cerundolo) and moves to a career-high No. 85.

View FedEx ATP Rankings 

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 14 David Goffin, +1
No. 41 Marin Cilic, +3
No. 43 Alexander Bublik, +3
No. 51 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, +5 (Career High)
No. 74 Yoshihito Nishioka, +5
No. 76 Egor Gerasimov, +7

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Djokovic Ties Federer On 310 Weeks At No. 1 In FedEx ATP Rankings

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

Novak Djokovic has today equalled Roger Federer’s all-time record for most weeks at No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Serbian has now held the top spot for 310 weeks over five different stints.


No. 1 Player
Total Weeks
Longest Streak
1=) Novak Djokovic (SRB)
122 weeks
1=) Roger Federer (SUI)
237 weeks
3) Pete Sampras (USA)
102 weeks
4) Ivan Lendl (CZE)
157 weeks
5) Jimmy Connors (USA)
160 weeks

Djokovic first rose to No. 1 aged 24 years and 43 days on 4 July 2011, and spent a personal-best 122 consecutive weeks at the summit of the FedEx ATP Rankings between 7 July 2014 and 6 November 2016.

By lifting his ninth Australian Open crown (d. Medvedev) eight days ago, Djokovic guaranteed that he would surpass Federer’s weeks at No. 1 record on 8 March. The Serbian’s success at Melbourne Park has underpinned his record run as World No. 1.

The 34-year-old Djokovic has compiled a 387-53 win-loss record as World No. 1, including a 117-30 mark against Top 10 opponents and a 39-13 record in tour-level finals.

DJOKOVIC AT NO. 1 – Take a closer look at Djokovic’s match wins, Top 10 and finals records during his five stints at No. 1.

Stints At No. 1
W-L Record
vs. Top 10
Finals Record
4 July 2011-8 July 2012
63-12 (.840)
18-9 (.667)
5 November 2012-6 October 2013
62-9 (.873)
18-6 (.750)
7 July 2014-6 November 2016
167-17 (.908)
60-9 (.870)
5 November 2018-3 November 2019
58-10 (.792)
13-4 (.857)
3 February 2020-present*
37-5 (.881)
8-1 (.888)
387-53 (.880)
117-30 (.796)

*The FedEx ATP Rankings were frozen between 23 March 2020 and 23 August 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic

Djokovic is one of 26 players in the history of the FedEx ATP Rankings to hold the top spot (since 23 August 1973). He finished 2020 as year-end No. 1 for the sixth time (also 2011-12, ’14-15 and ’18), tying the record of Pete Sampras (1993-98).

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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Juan Manuel Cerundolo

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2021

There are Cinderella stories, and then there is Juan Manuel Cerundolo.

The 19-year-old qualifier from Argentina completed a dream week at the Cordoba Open, going from having never contested an ATP Tour main draw match to lifting his maiden trophy on home soil. He sealed the victory with a statement 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 victory over fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final and will rise to No. 181 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday. caught up with Cerundolo after his victory to talk about his week in Cordoba and the path he has taken to his unforgettable ATP debut.

Congratulations on an incredible week. What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title in your debut and do it in Argentina?
I honestly can’t believe it. It’s been an unforgettable experience, I will never forget this moment. I’m super happy and even more because it’s in Argentina, in my home with all my friends and family cheering me on. It was such a unique experience. I will never forget it. 

Prior to this week, you’d never played an ATP main draw match before. At what point in the week did you start to believe you could win the title?
I honestly never thought that or imagined it. I think it happened step by step, little by little. I won my first match in qualifying, then the second. First my objective was to get through the qualies, then I wanted to win one round. Then I started to think about the match against [Miomir] Kecmanovic, then I beat him. I was just thinking match by match, I never in my life imagined that I could win the tournament. So maybe that was the key, because I never felt anxious.

From playing in the main draw with your older brother Francisco Cerundolo, to winning your first title – what moment stands out the most from this week?
Both of us playing together here was just incredible. And now I’m seeing the posts he’s been making about me [on social media] and what he thinks, it makes me so happy. He’s been a big point of reference for me, and it’s great that we can share these experiences because we can use it to help each other. 

Your father Alejandro Cerundolo is a big name in Argentine tennis, your brother plays as well. How much of a role does family have in your career and what is it like to share these moments in Cordoba with them?
Family is so fundamental. Without a family to support you and help you, or friends to support and help you, it’s almost impossible to do it all alone. It’s so important, they’ve always supported me and cheered from the stands for me ever since I was small. These are the things that can’t really be explained, but I just thank them for always being present in my life and in my tennis career. 

You entered this tournament at No. 335 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and you’ll leave here ranked No. 181. How does a result like this change your career’s trajectory? Have you started to look ahead?
Honestly, I have been thinking about it a little bit. I will be able to compete in the main draws of [ATP Challenger Tour] tournaments and maybe play qualies at ATP tournaments and Grand Slams, which is what makes me the happiest.

Before this, I wasn’t even thinking of what ranking I would need or how many points, because the number wasn’t even close. I wasn’t even looking at the Top 100. Whenever I thought about my ranking [goals], I was aiming for Top 200 because I was just that far away. Now, I just have to keep playing and make the most of it.

Juan Manuel Cerundolo

On the court, tennis fans are getting to know your lefty forehand and counterpunching. How would you describe yourself on and off the court?
On the court I’m definitely a more defensive counter-puncher. I like to use the opponent’s pace against them, and when I can attack with the forehand I use it to dictate the points. 

Off of the court, I think I’m a calm guy. I do have my attitude and my personality, I can be a little bit of a loner. My favourite things are playing Playstation and watching Netflix, I’m not the most ‘social’ guy. But it’s always great to relax with your friends and take a break from tennis, because it’s not good to always be on your own. 

Who were your football or tennis idols growing up? Who are your favourite players to follow now? 
I honestly love football, and even more because I play FIFA on Playstation. It’s definitely a vice for me! As far as idols, Lionel Messi and Neymar are the two current players that I like the most. And also Cristiano Ronaldo, his mentality and how much of a champion he is just drives me crazy. 

This is a milestone moment in your career. How will you celebrate this victory?
All my friends are here right now, so I just want to go out for dinner with them… But on the other hand, I have to make sure I recover physically because I have to play again on Tuesday [in Buenos Aires]. So it’s celebrate, then recuperate. 

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