Tennis News

From around the world

Evans, Tiafoe Lead Nottingham Draw As Challenger Tour Returns To Grass

  • Posted: Jun 07, 2021

The lawns are alive on the ATP Challenger Tour. For the first time in two years, grass-court tennis is back on the circuit. This week, the Viking Open Nottingham welcomes a stacked field that includes World No. 27 Daniel Evans, second seed Frances Tiafoe and former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson.

With freshly-painted lines and the smell of crisp blades of grass filling the air, the manicured lawns of the Nottingham Tennis Centre greet players and fans this week. High-octane tennis returns to the British metropolis for a 14th year, as the venue hosts back-to-back Challenger 125 events.


The fabled home of Robin Hood hosts one of the more prestigious tournaments of the year, with Alex de Minaur lifting his maiden Challenger trophy in 2018 and Evans continuing his march to the Top 30 with a title in 2019. Following the tournament’s cancellation a year ago, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the British No. 1 returns to Nottingham as the defending champion.

“I’m really happy to back in Nottingham,” said Evans, following a first-round victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis. “It’s an amazing court and it’s great to be here again.”

Evans was made to work on Monday, rallying from a set down to defeat Kokkinakis 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(5).

“Thanasi is a great player and it was positive to play someone so good so early in the tournament. I was enjoying it out there.”

Evans is joined by countrymen Liam Broady, Jay Clarke and Ryan Peniston in the field, in addition to Tiafoe, Anderson and #NextGenATP star Brandon Nakashima. Italian veteran Andreas Seppi, seeded third, is the only player in the draw with an ATP Tour grass-court title (Eastbourne 2011).

It is a manic month of June on the ATP Challenger Tour, with prestigious clay-court stops in Aix-en-Provence, Lyon and Prostejov also on the calendar. This week’s Open Sopra Steria in Lyon features Pablo Cuevas as its top seed. The tournament was the site of World No. 21 Felix Auger-Aliassime’s maiden Challenger conquest in 2017.

Next week, the Czech Open in Prostejov is back for a 28th edition, while the Challenger 125 event in Aix-en-Provence, France, returns for an eighth straight year. At the Nottingham Trophy, former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet headlines the field, alongside Yoshihito Nishioka, Steve Johnson and Emil Ruusuvuori. Anderson and Seppi are also back in action.

Hard-court events in Orlando, USA and Porto, Portugal are also on the June slate, as well as back-to-back clay-court stops in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Italian events in Forli and Milan. Hope hope Norbert Gombos headines the field in Bratislava, along with #NextGenATP star Juan Manuel Cerundolo.

June Challenger Calendar

June 7

Nottingham-1, Almaty-1, Lyon, Bratislava, Orlando

June 14 Nottingham-2, Almaty-2, Aix-en-Provence, Prostejov, Forli
June 21 Milan
June 28 Porto

Source link

Andujar/Martinez Battle Into Roland Garros Semi-finals

  • Posted: Jun 07, 2021

Pablo Andujar and Pedro Martinez did not win more than one match at a tournament together in their three previous tournaments as a doubles team. Now, the Spaniards are into the Roland Garros semi-finals.

Andujar and Martinez defeated Indian Rohan Bopanna and Croatian Franko Skugor 7-5 6-3 on Monday to reach the last four in Paris. They saved six of the seven break points they faced to advance after one hour and 17 minutes.

The singles standouts both earned a win in the singles draw this fortnight. Andujar stunned two-time finalist Dominic Thiem in the first round, and Martinez got revenge against American Sebastian Korda, who beat him here last year. Although they both lost in the second round in singles, they are two wins from claiming the doubles trophy.

The Spaniards will next play Alexander Bublik and Andrey Golubev, who eliminated Monaco’s Hugo Nys and German Tim Puetz 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes. The Kazakhstani duo also made the third round at this year’s Australian Open together.

The other two men’s doubles quarter-finals will be played on Tuesday. Second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will face two-time defending champion Kevin Krawietz and his partner, Horia Tecau, while sixth seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut will clash against Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic.

Source link

Schwartzman Storms Into Third Roland Garros Quarter-final

  • Posted: Jun 07, 2021

Based on his form in Paris, you would have no clue that Diego Schwartzman arrived at Roland Garros on a four-match losing streak.

The 10th seed has found devastating form on the terre battue, defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(9), 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals at the clay-court major for the third time. The Argentine, who has not lost a set in the tournament, will next play 13-time champion Rafael Nadal or #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner.

“I love this country, I love Paris. I think my best tennis is always here,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview. “It was not a good clay season, but when I came the first day here, I was feeling very well again. I’m very happy to be back, very happy to be in the quarter-finals again. I’m not very happy to maybe play Rafa in the next round, but let’s see what happens this time.”

With the way the match started, a straight-sets victory appeared unlikely. Struff, who beat seventh seed Andrey Rublev in the first round, powered to a 5-1 advantage and had his eyes set on a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final berth.

But Schwartzman, who made the semi-finals here in October, clawed his way back into the opener, saving seven set points in the first set to seize the momentum. He never looked back, becoming the fourth Argentine man to reach three Roland Garros quarter-finals after three hours and two minutes.

“The people were enjoying, so why not play a few more games in the match?” Schwartzman joked. “It really was an amazing feeling today, playing with a lot of people… I love you guys, so see you next round.”

What was most impressive was not just that Schwartzman saved seven set points, but that he did it at several points throughout the set, staving off the German’s relentless attack. The 28-year-old saved four set points at 1-5, another on serve at 2-5 and one more at 3-5 prior to the tie-break, which was full of tension.

Schwartzman saw a 3/0 lead evaporate and saved a seventh set point at 6/7, after Struff hit a backhand into the net. The Argentine finally claimed the 66-minute opener with a net cord winner, which Struff could not scramble up cleanly.

Follow Live Scores At

The World No. 42 put the disappointment behind him to break first in the second set. But Schwartzman never let his focus slip, converting all three of his break points in the second set, which he finished off with back-to-back screaming backhand passing shots.

Struff rallied from a 0-4 deficit in the third set with courageous shotmaking, but Schwartzman was undeterred. This year’s Buenos Aires champion broke for the eighth time in the match — with another backhand passing shot — to clinch his victory, turning to his camp and screaming “Vamos!” with both arms in the air.

“I did many mistakes. I think at the beginning of the match, he had the first set very easy. I made a comeback. Then in the second I was two times a break down. Then in the third I was up, then I was not sure to close the match,” Schwartzman said. “It was a weird match, but it sometimes happens. The important thing is I won in three sets. I’m just thinking positively right now.”

Did You Know?
Schwartzman is into his fifth Grand Slam quarter-final, putting him in fourth place among Argentine men for the most trips to the last eight at a major.

Source link

Piet van Eijsden, Long-Time Tournament Director, Dies Aged 85

  • Posted: Jun 07, 2021

Piet van Eijsden, the former Dutch champion and long-time Tournament Director, has passed away after a short illness aged 85.

Van Eijsden was associated with the Dutch Open in various positions for more than 50 years, first as a member of the ‘t Melkhisje tennis club in Hilversum, where the clay-court tournament was held between 1957 and 1994. He was instrumental in its move to Amsterdam (1995-2002) and later to Amersfoort (2003-2008).

As a player, Van Eijsden captured 11 Dutch titles, including the 1961 singles championship, and was a part of the Davis Cup team between 1958 and 1966. Van Eijsden helped to attract the likes of Rod Laver, Tom Okker, John Newcombe, Guillermo Vilas, Thomas Muster, Miloslav Mecir and Marcelo Rios to the Dutch Open. After 20 years on the organising committee, Van Eijsden became the Tournament Director in 1978.

Van Eijsden stepped down as Tournament Director in 2004 handing over the reins to his daughter. But he remained as an ambassador and two years later presented Novak Djokovic with the singles trophy, when the Serbian star captured his first ATP Tour title over Chile’s Nicolas Massu 7-6(5), 6-4 at the Sportpark Bokkeduinen in Amersfoort.

In July 2007, Van Eijsden joined former champions — Ladislav Legenstein, winner of the first edition in 1957, Okker ((1966, ’69-70, ’73), Vilas (1974-75), six-time champion Balazs Taroczy (1976, ’78-82), Miloslav Mecir (1987), Francisco Clavet (1990, ‘96), Magnus Gustafsson (1991, 2000) and Alex Corretja (2001) — at a Gala Dinner to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Dutch Open. After the 2008 edition, the license was sold and the tournament moved to Belgrade, where it became known as the Serbia Open.

Piet van Eijsden, tennis player and tournament director, born 9 May 1936, died 19 May 2021.

Source link