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Garin On Santiago Collision Course With Cerundolo

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

Top seed Cristian Garin learned his path to his fifth ATP Tour trophy – and his first on home soil – following the Chile Dove Men+Care Open draw ceremony on Saturday.

Chile’s top player will take the court at the second edition of the ATP 250 event seeking his first title on home soil, but he’ll have to hit the ground running as he contests his third tournament of the year. The Chilean, No. 22 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, has reached all five of his previous finals on clay (4-1). 

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Into the second round with a bye, Garin anchors the top half of the draw and will begin his Santiago campaign against Jozef Kovalik or a qualifier. He will aim for a stronger showing in front of his home fans this year, after being forced to retire in the quarter-finals in 2020 due to a back injury. 

Garin could face No. 3 seed Pablo Andujar in the semi-finals. Andujar, who reached the Argentina Open quarter-finals, leads an interesting section of the draw that includes Cordoba Open champion Juan Manuel Cerundolo. Into Santiago with a wild card, the 19-year-old will be making his third ATP Tour main draw appearance as he begins against fellow wild card Gonzalo Lima.

Juan Manuel’s elder brother Francisco Cerundolo is also in action. The 22-year-old is into his first ATP Tour final in Buenos Aires and has received a special exemption into the draw. Should he advance past Andrej Martin, he could face No. 8 seeded countryman Federico Delbonis in the quarter-finals. 

Francisco Cerundolo has landed in the same section as No. 2 seed Benoit Paire. The Frenchman headlines the bottom half of the draw, which includes fifth seed Frances Tiafoe and fourth seed Laslo Djere.

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Fantastic Fucsovics Advances To Maiden ATP 500 Final

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

Marton Fucsovics produced a dominant performance to defeat Borna Coric 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday and reach the biggest final of his career at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

The Hungarian converted all five break points he created to charge through to the final in 86 minutes. Across six matches from qualifying, Fucsovics has dropped just one set en route to his first ATP 500 final. In the first round, the World No. 59 survived a final-set tie-break to beat Reilly Opelka 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 7-6(4).

“I am very happy. [This is the] first ATP 500 final in my career,” Fucsovics said in an on-court interview. “[I came from] qualifying. All the week, I was playing very solid and serving well. I am enjoying this week.”

Fucsovics entered the match with a 0-3 ATP Head2Head record against Coric, but he won 75 per cent of first-serve points (21/28) and took control of rallies behind the Croat’s second serve (13/18) to reach his third ATP Tour final (1-1).

“When I went on the court, I just tried to play relaxed, enjoy the match and make the best out of it,” said Fucsovics.

Fucsovics is only the second qualifier in tournament history to reach the championship match. The 29-year-old has followed in the footsteps of Nicolas Escude, who beat Roger Federer in a final-set tie-break to earn the 2001 title.


Fucsovics will meet red-hot Russian Andrey Rublev in the final. Rublev claimed his 19th consecutive win at ATP 500-level earlier in the day with a 6-3, 7-6(2) victory against second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Fucsovics and Rublev are tied at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.

“Andrey Rublev is playing unbelievable nowadays, especially in the ATP 500s. He didn’t lose a match for a long time,” said Fucsovics. “It is going to be an interesting final. I will try to play my best and enjoy this moment.”

Coric was attempting to reach his third ATP 500 final (1-1). The 2018 Halle champion advanced to the semi-finals in Rotterdam without dropping a set, following straight-sets wins against Botic Van de Zandschulp, Dusan Lajovic and Kei Nishikori.

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Watch Federer’s First Practice In Doha

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

Thirteen months after his run to the 2020 Australian Open semi-finals, Roger Federer returned to a professional tennis court on Saturday for his first practice session at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

The three-time Doha champion spent an hour practising on Court 1 at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex with the man he could meet in his comeback match: Daniel Evans. Despite the cold and windy conditions, the pair were in good spirits ahead of the tournament, which will take place from 8-13 March.

If Federer is to add to his 26-3 record at the event, he may need to overcome Murray River Open champion Evans in the second round. The Brit will face Jeremy Chardy in a first-round clash for the right to play Federer.

Federer will compete in Doha for the first time since 2012 next week. The Swiss has travelled to the Middle East with his coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, as well as his physio, Daniel Troxler.

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Schwartzman Sets All-Argentine Final In Buenos Aires

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

The Argentina Open will crown a home-grown champion for the first time in 13 years after top seed Diego Schwartzman cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-0, 6-4 in the semi-finals on Saturday. 

The Buenos Aires native will face countryman Francisco Cerundolo as he seeks his first ATP Tour title on home soil. Into his third final in Argentina, Schwartzman will aim to improve on previous runner-up finishes at Buenos Aires in 2019 and Cordoba in 2020.

Schwartzman was nearly untouchable in a shut-out opening set against third seed Kecmanovic, who recently added Argentine great David Nalbandian to his coaching team. Schwartzman surrendered just nine points and won 91 per cent of his first serve points (10/11) in the first set, and his aggressive returns kept Kecmanovic under constant pressure.

The Serbian had more chances in the second set, and he fought to extend his stay in the match after Schwartzman took the lead at 3-2. Kecmanovic saved four break points – including a pair of match points at 5-3 – but Schwartzman stayed solid and never dropped serve as he sealed his return to the Buenos Aires final.


Schwartzman has yet to drop a set this week in his hometown. The World No. 9 in the FedEx ATP Rankings served up four aces and converted four of his 12 break points against Kecmanovic en route to victory in an hour and 22 minutes.

Did You Know… Despite having at least one Argentine semi-finalist since 2017, there had not been a home champion in Buenos Aires since 2008 when Nalbandian defeated countryman Jose Acasuso. 

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Qualifier Cerundolo Clinches First ATP Final In Buenos Aires

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

A week after his younger brother Juan Manuel Cerundolo defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final at the Cordoba Open, qualifier Francisco Cerundolo repeated the upset with a 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2 victory at the Argentina Open to reach his first ATP Tour final on Saturday.

The big-hitting 22-year-old had to overcome his fifth three-setter of the week to defeat Ramos-Vinolas inside Court Guillermo Vilas. He bounced back after dropping the second set and broke the Spaniard five times to book his spot in the final after a marathon two hours and 35 minutes.

The Argentine owned just one ATP Tour win – which he achieved last week in Cordoba – before qualifying for the main draw in Buenos Aires. But he played with the same fearless tennis and heavy pace that led him to reach three ATP Challenger Tour clay-court finals since November and win titles at Campinas and Guayaquil.

Right-handed Cerundolo came out swinging and firing winners off both wings, a contrast in style to younger brother Juan Manuel, a counterpunching lefty. He had scoreboard pressure on his side as he edged to a 3-1 lead against Ramos-Vinolas, but the experienced Spaniard quickly levelled the score.

Cerundolo took the first set with a spate of winners in the tie-break, but couldn’t break through in the second as Ramos-Vinolas took the set 6-3. He was back in control in the decider, raising his level on serve to fend off three break points and take a 3-0 lead.


Things unravelled quickly for Ramos-Vinolas after going down another break at 4-2. Cerundolo broke serve once more from 0/40 to reach his first ATP Tour final, collapsing in elation on the red dirt of the Cathedral of Argentine Tennis. 

Cerundolo awaits the winner of top seed Diego Schwartzman and fourth seed Miomir Kecmanovic for a shot at the title. After Juan Manuel’s victory in Cordoba last week, Francisco is trying to join him in the winners’ circle to become the seventh pair of brothers to win singles titles in the Open Era and the first to do so in consecutive weeks.

Did You Know?
Francisco Cerundolo is the first qualifier to reach the final in Buenos Aires since Jose Acasuso in 2001. At the time, Acasuso was coached by Cerundolo’s father, Alejandro Cerundolo.

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Rublev Keeps Rolling, Takes Down Tsitsipas In Rotterdam

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

Andrey Rublev advanced to his fourth straight ATP 500 final on Saturday with a 6-3, 7-6(2) victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

The World No. 8 struck 34 winners, including 24 on his forehand side, to reach the championship match after one hour and 37 minutes. With his 12th win in 13 matches this year, Rublev levelled his ATP Head2Head series against Tsitsipas at 3-3. The seven-time ATP Tour titlist also gained revenge for his final-set tie-break loss to the Greek at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals, when he failed to convert a match point.

“[I play tennis] to play at the best level, to play at the best tournaments, to try to compete, then to go deep and to try to win them,” Rublev said in an on-court interview. “A final is always special, so I am going to try to do my best tomorrow.”

Rublev’s win extended his winning streak at ATP 500 events to 19 matches. The Moscow native ended 2020 with titles in his final three ATP 500 events of the year in Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna. Since 2009, only Roger Federer (28) and Andy Murray (21) have compiled longer streaks at the level.

Most Consecutive ATP 500 Match Wins (since 2009)

Rank Player Wins Years
1 Roger Federer 28 2014-’16
2 Andy Murray 21 2016-’17
T3 Rafael Nadal 19 2012-’13
Roger Federer 19 2017-’18
Roger Federer 19 2018-Present
Andrey Rublev 19 2020-Present

The 23-year-old will meet Borna Coric or Marton Fucsovics in the championship match. Rublev owns a 4-0 ATP Head2Head record against Coric and is tied at 1-1 against Fucsovics.

Rublev played with aggression on his forehand to make an early breakthrough at 1-1, but the Russian was consistently put under pressure on serve in the first set. Rublev saved all five break points he faced with powerful forehands and net approaches, before clinching a love service break to close the set after 43 minutes.

Neither player was able to earn a break point in the second set, but Rublev immediately made his mark in the tie-break. The fourth seed trusted his forehand and continued to move to the net. On his first match point, Rublev hit a forehand volley winner to book his place in the final. Throughout the match, Rublev won 19 of his 22 points at the net.

“I am happy with my performance. I am happy that I am in a final,” Rublev said. “I won some great matches. Everything is going well. I just want to keep working, keep trying to improve and we will see what is going to happen.”

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Mektic/Pavic Reach Third Final Of 2021

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic continued their dream start to 2021 on Saturday, as they defeated Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 7-6(3), 6-7(11), 10-4 to reach the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final.

The second seeds were unable to convert three match points in a 24-point second-set tie-break, but they kept their composure to reach their third final from four events this year in just under two hours. Mektic and Pavic, who own a 15-1 record in 2021, will now look to add to the titles they collected earlier this year at the Antalya Open and the Murray River Open.


Mektic and Pavic have had to survive two Match Tie-breaks en route to the final. In the quarter-finals, the Croatian pair recovered from a set down to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.

Mektic and Pavic will meet Henri Kontinen and Edouard Roger-Vasselin or Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau in the championship match.

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Federer To Face Early Test In Doha

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

Roger Federer will face an immediate challenge at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, his first event since the 2020 Australian Open.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who underwent two right knee surgeries last year, will face in-form Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or recent Murray River Open champion Daniel Evans in his return match. Chardy, who pushed Andrey Rublev to three sets in Rotterdam on Friday, has already reached two semi-finals this year and Evans climbed to a career-high No. 26 in the FedEx ATP Rankings last month.

Federer will be making his first appearance in Doha since 2012. The Swiss owns a 26-3 record at the ATP 250, highlighted by title runs in 2005, 2006 and 2011. If he can overcome Chardy or Evans in his first match, he could face eighth seed Borna Coric in the quarter-finals. Coric also has form on his side. The Croat has claimed three straight-sets wins en route to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-finals in Rotterdam this week.

Top seed Dominic Thiem could also face a tough test in his first match of the tournament. The US Open champion will meet Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev or Qatar’s Mubarak Shannan Zayid. The 2018 semi-finalist is joined in the top quarter of the draw by fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, in-form Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik and Reilly Opelka.

View Doha Singles Draw

Defending champion Andrey Rublev could meet a fellow Doha titlist in his first match. The Russian will face 2013 winner Richard Gasquet or a qualifier in his tournament opener. Rublev headlines the second quarter of the draw with 2008 runner-up and seventh seed Stan Wawrinka.

Fourth seed Denis Shapovalov and sixth seed David Goffin will compete in the third quarter of the draw. Shapovalov will face countryman Vasek Pospisil or a qualifier in his opening match, while Goffin will begin his third appearance at the ATP 250 against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

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Medvedev, Tsitsipas Learn Marseille Draw Paths

  • Posted: Mar 06, 2021

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas discovered their paths to the Open 13 Provence trophy on Saturday, following the ATP 250’s draw ceremony in Marseille.

Top seed Medvedev will begin his title campaign against Egor Gerasimov — the man who beat Andy Murray in the first round in Montpellier last week — or Yannick Hanfmann. The World No. 3, who fell to Dusan Lajovic in his Rotterdam opener this week, will be making his third appearance in the Marseille main draw. The two-time quarter-finalist shares the top quarter with #NextGenATP Italian and fifth seed Jannik Sinner.

In the bottom quarter, two-time defending champion Tsitsipas could open his bid for a third straight Marseille trophy against a former finalist. The Greek will meet 2018 runner-up Lucas Pouille or a qualifier in his first match of the tournament. Tsitsipas did not drop a set en route to the trophy in 2019 and 2020, but he may have to get past a former Top 5 player in the quarter-finals this year.

View Marseille Singles Draw

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion is joined in the bottom quarter by sixth seed Kei Nishikori, who defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex de Minaur in Rotterdam this week. Nishikori will meet home favourite Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round.

Third seed Karen Khachanov features in Medvedev’s half of the draw. The 2018 champion will meet Stefano Travaglia or Mackenzie McDonald in the first round. Tsitsipas and Khachanov are not the only past champions in the draw. Three-time winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2009, ’13, ’17) will begin his push for a record fourth Marseille crown against Feliciano Lopez. The winner of that match will face fourth seed Ugo Humbert.

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