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Alcaraz Wins Roland Garros Qualifying Opener

  • Posted: May 25, 2021

Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz moved one step closer to the main draw of Roland Garros with a 6-3, 6-3 win Tuesday over Lukas Lacko in the first round of qualifying. The seventh seed will take on Italy’s Andrea Pellegrino in the second round. 

Alcaraz, an 18-year-old ranked No. 94 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, won his fourth ATP Challenger in Oeiras last week. The title propelled him inside the Top 100 for the first time. He made his Grand Slam debut at this year’s Australian Open, where he qualified and won his first round. 

American Jenson Brooksby lost just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and takes on Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler next. Brooksby has accumulated a 19-2 record on the ATP Challenger Tour this year with three titles. The 20-year-old made waves at the US Open in 2019 when he qualified and upset Tomas Berdych in the first round. 

The highest seed to fall on the second day of qualifying action was third seed Dennis Novak. The Austrian was beaten by Spain’s Mario Vilella Martinez, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. Martinez has qualified for a Grand Slam main draw twice, but never in Paris. 

Elsewhere, Mackenzie McDonald ended Thanasi Kokkinakis’ bid 6-4, 6-4, Denis Kudla dismissed Mikael Torpegaard 6-1, 6-2 and Denis Istomin defeated Damir Dzumhur 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. 

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Djokovic Ties Vilas On Open Era Wins List

  • Posted: May 25, 2021

Novak Djokovic has inched his way up the record books once more. With his 6-2, 7-6(4) win over Mats Moraing on Tuesday at the Belgrade Open, Djokovic improved to 951 tour-level wins, tying him with Guillermo Vilas for the fifth-most wins in the Open Era.

“I’m thankful for that,” Djokovic said in press. “Obviously that also inspires me more to keep going. It’s not my main priority, but it comes as a consequence of all the quality work and all the results that I have [had] over the years. I’ll try to reach even the further places on the ranking ahead of me with wins in the years to come.”

Getting his 951th win wasn’t easy as the 6’6″ Moraing threw everything he had at the Serbian with big serves and even bigger returns.

“He didn’t give me much rhythm,” Djokovic said. “It’s difficult tactically to be clear with yourself in every moment, what you want to do against players like this, when they’re going for all or nothing.”

If he beats Federico Coria in the quarter-finals in their first ATP Head2Head meeting, Djokovic will move to standalone fifth place. He still has a way to go to catch Rafael Nadal, who is in fourth place with 1,022. Though the World No. 1 has never faced 29-year-old Coria before, he played his older brother Guillermo Coria four times (2-2).

“How he walks, he reminds me a lot of his older brother on the court,” Djokovic said of the younger Coria. “He’s a fighter like his brother and doesn’t doesn’t give up, not even one point. He’s got that spirit of fighting and making sure that the player beats him rather than he beats himself. And he loves to play on clay, this is his preferred surface.”


Coria scored a 6-3, 6-2 win over Pablo Cuevas earlier on Tuesday. Djokovic will be prepared for the Argentine’s best. As the World No. 253-ranked Moraing showed on Tuesday, players aren’t afraid to go for it against Djokovic.

“He will not have much to lose,” Djokovic said. “I’m sure he’s really motivated to play his best tennis and he’s probably going to [get] some really good advice from his older brother. But I’m looking forward to that. It’s a great encounter for me and some really good clay-court tennis coming up.”

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Nadal, Djokovic and Federer Return To Roland Garros; When Is The Draw & More

  • Posted: May 25, 2021

As always, all eyes will be on Rafael Nadal as he returns to Paris just seven months after winning his 13th Roland Garros title. The quick turnaround should suit the Spaniard just fine as he arrives on the heels of winning the title in Rome.

The 2021 Roland Garros field is also set to feature every member of the Top 10 including Big Three members Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Djokovic won his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open and reached the Rome final (l. to Nadal), while Federer is 1-2 this season with early losses in Dubai and Geneva. The Swiss missed Roland Garros in 2020. 

A player to watch will be Casper Ruud, as the young Norwegian has established himself inside the Top 20. He has reached three straight ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals on clay and just won the title in Geneva.

Here’s all you need to know about Roland Garros: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who has won, how to buy tickets and more.

Established: 1891

Tournament Dates: 30 May – 13 June 2021

Tournament Director: Guy Forget

Draw Ceremony: Thursday, 27 May at 6:00pm

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Monday, 24 May – Friday, 28 May
* Main draw: Daily play begins at 11:00am from Sunday, 30 May
* Doubles final: Saturday, 12 June
* Singles final: Sunday, 13 June at 3:00pm

How To Watch
TV Schedule

Venue: Stade Roland Garros

Prize Money: €16,404,509 (2021 Prize Money Distribution)

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Rafael Nadal (13)
Most Titles, Doubles: Max Mirnyi, Daniel Nestor (4)
Oldest Champion: Andres Gimeno, 34, in 1972
Youngest Champion: Michael Chang, 17, in 1989
Lowest-Ranked Champion (since 1979): No. 66 Gustavo Kuerten in 1997
Most Match Wins: Rafael Nadal (100)

2020 Finals
Singles: [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d [1] Novak Djokovic 60 62 75   Read & Watch
Doubles: Kevin Krawietz / Andreas Mies d Mate Pavic / Bruno Soares 63 75  Read More

Hashtag: #RolandGarros
Facebook: @RolandGarros
Twitter: @rolandgarros
Instagram: @rolandgarros

Did You Know… If Nadal wins the Roland Garros title again he will hold 21 Grand Slams, surpassing Federer’s 20.

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Musetti Manages Mager Challenge In Parma

  • Posted: May 25, 2021

The Lorenzo Musetti momentum train keeps gaining steam.

The #NextGenATP Italian, who had five tour-level wins entering the season, earned his 13th ATP Tour victory of 2021 on Tuesday when he advanced past countryman Gianluca Mager 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma.

“I think the Lorenzo of two years ago would not have been able to win this match today for sure after the bad loss of the first set,” Musetti told “There’s a lot of improvement, we are happy and there is a lot of work to do. We are here to try to go as far as I can and [I] try to do my best.”


Musetti made his third ATP Tour semi-final last week in Lyon, where he pushed eventual champion Stefanos Tsitsipas to three sets. The 19-year-old didn’t get down about that defeat. Instead, he quickly adjusted in Parma to avoid an early exit at home.

“You lost one match, you understand why you lost and you try to do better next time. That’s the goal and that’s the thing that I’m focussing on,” Musetti said. “I think this is the only thing. There is no other way to solve these problems. You just have to understand what you need and try to do your best.”

Musetti, who is at a career-high No. 76 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, got off to a slow start against Mager, last year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist. But the teen was quickly able to turn the tide.

The #NextGenATP star only missed five first serves across the final two sets to put pressure on Mager. Musetti won 80 per cent of his first-serve points in the match and broke the 26-year-old four times from eight chances to triumph after one hour and 44 minutes.

Next up will be eighth seed Yoshihito Nishioka, who battled past American Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) after one hour and 57 minutes.

Fifth seed Richard Gasquet also advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win against German qualifier Daniel Altmaier. The former World No. 7 will play Pedro Martinez in the second round. The Spaniard eliminated another former Top 10 player, Gilles Simon, 6-0, 6-4.

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Djokovic Overcomes Challenge From Moraing In Belgrade

  • Posted: May 25, 2021

At the Belgrade Open on Tuesday, Novak Djokovic picked up his first win as a 34-year-old by besting World No. 253 Mats Moraing, 6-2, 7-6(4). He improved to 17-3 on the season and will take on Federico Coria in the quarter-finals.

“It was a very good start,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “I started 6-2 against a player I’ve never faced before. He was going for some shots today that were amazing.”

The Serbian celebrated his birthday on Saturday at the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade. It’s the second time this season that Djokovic has played on his home turf after losing in the semi-finals of the Serbia Open to Aslan Karatsev last month.

The Belgrade Open was added after Roland Garros shifted back one week, and it’s the first time Djokovic has played an event this close to the clay Grand Slam. Djokovic arrived back home after losing in the final of Rome to Rafael Nadal.

The first four games were tightly contested with Moraing swinging freely, but a Djokovic backhand return winner gave him the lead and he reeled off four straight games.

The second set was even more competitive with Djokovic reasserting control by breaking at love for 6-5. Moraing refused to give up and went for broke with back-to-back return winners helping him even the match. The tie-break was all Djokovic as he finally put Moraing away after one hour and 40 minutes.

“I was twice a break up in the second set so I maybe could have finished out the job earlier, but credit to him for fighting, for playing really well, for playing very courageous, very bold tennis,” Djokovic said.

This week after gaining entry into the draw as a lucky loser, Moraing scored his first tour-level victory by saving three match points against Egor Gerasimov in a 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-5 win. The 28-year-old German’s only previous main-draw appearance was a first-round loss in Halle in 2019.

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Korda Clinches Shot At Sonego In Parma

  • Posted: May 25, 2021

Andreas Seppi had revenge on his mind on Tuesday at the Emilia-Romagna Open, but Sebastian Korda wouldn’t let the home favourite get it, defeating the veteran 6-3, 6-4.

The American, who also beat Seppi in four sets at Roland Garros last year, advanced to the second round, in which he will play top seed Lorenzo Sonego for a spot in the quarter-finals.

“I’m excited. It’s another great experience for me. He’s playing some really good tennis,” Korda said in his on-court interview. “He made the semi-finals of Rome, which is massive. [I am] looking forward to it and hope that it’s going to be a good match.”

Seppi had not competed since March and Korda took advantage, breaking the Italian’s serve four times to triumph after one hour and 22 minutes. The #NextGenATP star has now won five of his six sets against the former World No. 18. 

Korda lost his serve twice in the second set, but he was able to overcome those tough moments and avoid going to a decider. After grabbing the deciding break at 4-4, the 20-year-old got a visit from the trainer to look at his upper left leg. But Korda had no problem serving out the match, hitting a perfect forehand lob to earn his first match point, which he converted when Seppi missed a return.


In other action, lucky loser Norbert Gombos battled past Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3 after two hours and 53 minutes. The Slovakian will try to upset third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the next round.

Czech lefty Jiri Vesely also moved on by eliminating American Steve Johnson 7-6(7), 6-2.

Did You Know?
In his Roland Garros debut last year, Korda qualified — including a final-round qualifying victory against Aslan Karatsev — and reached the fourth round of the main draw.

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Roig: Nadal Needs To Improve This Ahead Of Roland Garros

  • Posted: May 25, 2021

There are not many coaches who can read the game quite like Francisco Roig. The former player makes up one half of Rafael Nadal’s coaching team alongside Carlos Moya, and has worked with the former World No. 1 since 2005. discusses with Roig the Spaniard’s form going into Roland Garros. Nadal lifted his 12th title in Barcelona and claimed victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome, but fell short in the quarter-finals of Monte-Carlo (l. Rublev) and Madrid (l. Zverev). 

According to Roig, his pupil stands out in three important areas: listening, working hard and never giving up. But there is still room to improve in two key areas as they look ahead to Paris, where Nadal is vying for a record-extending 14th Coupe des Mousquetaires.

There was just one week between defeat to Alexander Zverev in Madrid and the win over him in Rome. What changed?
A lot. Rafa likes – and I would say needs – to have the feeling of being in control of the match, knowing what he has to do and executing it. This is more difficult in Madrid, even though he’s won there many times. Also, he lost to Zverev, who has a tremendous serve, so it was very dependent on his own serve, knowing that one bad game can cost you the set. Everything is much more complicated.

When he arrived in Rome, this disappeared. He was hitting the ball well and we had a few days to train. I think he felt pretty good and competed well. That’s what changed.

That day, it seemed like he rediscovered his spark. Was it a turning point?
I agree, to an extent. That spark was partly due to how nervy he was. Having won two difficult matches against [Jannik] Sinner, which is a very tough first round, and against [Denis] Shapovalov [who had two match points] gives you peace of mind on court. In the final, it was very noticeable. When Rafa finds that peace of mind, he is calm and can execute without rushing, and I think everything goes much better. Finding that confidence is essential for him and for every other player.

How did he progress in Rome compared to Barcelona?
It’s like night and day. We had to overcome what happened in Monte-Carlo, where he was feeling very good in practice, but he didn’t on the day against [Andrey] Rublev – which was strange for him, but this is sport and it can happen. It’s not mathematical.

How was that week in Barcelona?
The demands of always having to win meant that he would arrive in Barcelona with a few tough days. The first match against [Ilya] Ivashka was fine, but he had his ups and downs, and didn’t find his game. Mentally he coped well, and in terms of his game, in particular, I think that his forehand wasn’t working as well as it should. He didn’t hit many winners, hit a lot of mid-court balls…

In the end, the most positive thing was winning the tournament against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, who was in first position in the Race [FedEx ATP Race to Turin] and had just won in Monte-Carlo.

How was Rafa’s game different in Rome?
In Madrid, he felt good in training, but the handicap of the altitude meant he couldn’t find that feeling of control in the match. In Rome he still trained pretty well, with a few faults, but he was hitting the ball well. I liked how he was training; regardless of any mistakes he was hitting well. And that’s what was happening, the ball was doing what it should. Then, in competition he was hitting winners because he grew into it, he was brave and decisive. If you’re not playing well, you have no opportunities to attack.

From what he says, we can see that the way he feels the ball is the most important thing.
If you look at the stats, you’ll see that Rafa is a player who isn’t too suited to long points. If that happens, it means that the quality of the ball is not so good because he hasn’t been able to finish it off. It’s strange to think that, but the stats show it is true.

It’s true that in the Rome final, for example, Novak Djokovic dominated the longest points.
That’s right, 20-5 on points longer than nine shots. Those long points happen when Rafa isn’t hitting the ball as well as he needs to, but he is able to play another shot. But when he hits it well, in three or four shots he can finish it with a good deep return, going into the net… 

Somehow, it is more rewarding to hit the ball well and then the tactical side comes in. I think that although a long match suits him – because mentally he’s a player who wears you down a lot as he fights for every ball – he also understands that he has to try and put everything into his shots so that he doesn’t have to play points that are too long.

What are the positives for him so far on this clay swing?
What I’ve liked most is that he is always ready to give his all, to listen, to work on it and give it a try. He has maintained his passion for many years now and coped with the utmost demands of having to defend many points during this swing, because it’s the part of the year he gets the most from. He hasn’t dipped in 16 or 17 years, with a few exceptions. I’m happy with this, the good form in Rome and coming into Roland Garros.

What would you say he needs to fine tune for the last clay event in Paris?
For Roland Garros, I think it’s important to have more mobility. In terms of his stamina, he’s been very good, coping in matches, but I think we have room for improvement in movement. He could still be a little more dynamic in both forward and lateral movement. And he can also work on his serve, although it has been increasingly better. In fact, against Djokovic it was pretty good.

Which player demands the most respect on clay?
Djokovic is probably the opponent that can cause the most problems, along with Tsitsipas, Zverev and Thiem. However, if Thiem recovers the tempo and confidence he normally shows on clay, I would say I can’t see any difference between him and Djokovic. Since winning the US Open, he has dropped a little, but I’m sure he’ll be playing well enough at Roland Garros and he’ll be a very tough opponent. He’s a very complete player, who demands a lot on every shot. If you leave a ball slightly short, the point is over. Physically, he’s very demanding.

Despite the passing of the years and the demands of the clay swing, as you have said, the player that demands the most respect is still Djokovic and the one that continues to dominate is still Nadal.
In the [ATP] Masters 1000s it has spread out a little more and it’s clear that they’re getting closer. But in the five-set Grand Slam matches, I still see those two as favourites.

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