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Herbert/Mahut Move Into Queen’s Club Final

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2021

Fourth seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut edged past seventh seeds Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 to reach the final of the cinch Championships on Saturday in London.

Last week’s Roland Garros champions (d. Bublik/Golubev) saved three match points in the deciding set as they came back from 6/9 to advance in 84 minutes.

The French tandem hit seven aces and won 76 per cent (32/42) of their first-service points. Herbert and Mahut are now 24-7 on the season, and will be aiming to win a second title at The Queen’s Club on Sunday, after lifting the trophy in 2016 (d. Guccione/Sa).

They will play either Reilly Opelka and John Peers or singles finalist Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur in the final, after their match was suspended due to rain on Saturday evening at The Queen’s Club with Opelka and Peers 7-6(4), 2-2 ahead.

Over at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz’s impressive week continued as they overcame fifth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus 7-6(4), 6-2 in 91 minutes to reach the final in Germany.


The 2020 Rolex Paris Masters champions saved both break points they faced in the match and struck seven aces to beat the German-New Zeland team.

Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz’s reward is a title match on Sunday against third seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau, after the pair defeated sixth seeds Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille 7-6(6), 7-5 on Friday.

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Surging De Minaur Handed Tricky Draw In Eastbourne

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2021

Second seed Alex de Minaur will face a tricky opening test at the Viking International Eastbourne as he awaits the winner of Frances Tiafoe and wild card Liam Broady at the ATP 250 grass-court event.

De Minaur, who is seeking his first title on this surface to add to his four ATP Tour trophies, received a bye into the second round. The No. 22 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings will arrive in Eastbourne with momentum on his side after reaching a quarter-final in Stuttgart and two semi-finals at The Queen’s Club in singles and doubles (w/Norrie).

Sixth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina also landed in De Minaur’s section and looms as a potential quarter-final opponent. The Spaniard turned heads on clay with a run to his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros, but he will be contesting only his second tour-level main draw match on grass as he starts against a qualifier or lucky loser.

Big-serving Reilly Opelka, the fifth seed, and Queen’s Club finalist Cameron Norrie, the ninth seed, have also landed in the bottom half with De Minaur. Opelka awaits the winner of Marton Fucsovics and Aljaz Bedene in the second round, while Norrie starts against Aussie Alexei Popyrin in the first round. They could potentially meet in the quarter-finals.


World No. 16 Gael Monfils is the top seed in Eastbourne, and he will await the winner between two qualifiers or lucky losers in the second round. The Frenchman reached his only grass-court final here in Eastbourne in 2017 (l. Djokovic), and will be seeking his 11th ATP Tour title.

He could meet third seed Lorenzo Sonego in the semi-finals. The No. 26-ranked Italian will be seeking his second tour-level title on grass after his 2019 victory in Antalya (d. Kecmanovic). After a bye, Sonego will face the winner of John Millman and wild card Jay Clarke in the second round.

Click Here To View Full Eastbourne Singles Draw.

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Humbert Earns Felix Revenge To Reach Halle Final

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2021

Another day, another nail-biting three-set battle for a surging Ugo Humbert in Halle. The 22-year-old Frenchman fought past Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) on Saturday to reach his first ATP 500 final at the NOVENTI OPEN.

Humbert has been made to work all week long, with all of his matches in Halle going the distance and to at least one tie-break set in each as he took down Sam Querrey, third seed Alexander Zverev and Sebastian Korda to book his second battle in as many weeks against Auger-Aliassime.

Last week in Stuttgart, it was Auger-Alisassime who triumphed after a tight 7-6(5), 7-6(8) victory on his way to the MercedesCup final (l. to Cilic). But Humbert turned the tables in Halle to improve to 2-1 in his ATP Head2Head against the Canadian, with all three of their matches taking place on grass courts.

“It was an amazing match from both of us, but it was very tough physically and mentally,” Humbert said in an on-court interview. “I’m very proud to win this match, it was exceptional.

“It gives me a lot of confidence [winning matches like this], and when you win some matches 7-6 two times in the third set.”

Humbert will take on fourth seed Andrey Rublev in the final as he seeks the biggest title of his career. The Frenchman owns two ATP Tour titles and a perfect 2-0 record in finals, both coming at the ATP 250 level at Antwerp and Auckland last year. His opponent, Rublev, owns four ATP 500 titles (4-1 in those finals) and leads the Tour with 74 victories in 2020-21. Rublev won their only previous tour-level meeting last year in St. Petersburg.

At the OWL Arena in Halle, Humbert wasted no time as he recovered from an early break and  raced ahead in the first set. The Frenchman’s relentless attack took time away from Auger-Aliassime, leaving him on the defensive and struggling to handle his opponent’s pace.


The Frenchman had break points for a 4-1 lead in the second set, but Auger-Aliassime raised his level and cut down on his unforced errors as he settled into the contest. He reeled off the last five games in a row to take the set and level the score, and he looked to be in complete control as he created five break opportunities across two of Humbert’s service games late in the third set.

But Humbert refused to drop his serve as he stayed toe-to-toe with Auger-Aliassime, rushing to net regularly where he won 10 of 13 points played. The #NextGenATP Canadian fired his 12th ace of the match (14 in total) to save a match point at 4-5 to take them into a tie-break, and saved two more with big first serves. Humbert stayed focussed, firing a big first serve of his own to earn a forehand return long to seal the victory.

The Frenchman improved to 13-13 on the season with the win, and extended his career grass-court win rate to 12-5. 

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Norrie Moves Into His Third ATP Tour Final Of The Year

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2021

Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie produced a brilliant performance to overcome second seed Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 6-3 to reach the cinch Championships final in London on Saturday.

Home favourite Norrie won 76 per cent (32/42) of his first-service points and came back from a break down in the opening set to become the first Brit to reach the final at The Queen’s Club since 2016, when Andy Murray defeated Milos Raonic.

British Singles Finalists At Queen’s Club (Open Era)

Player Year (Champion)
John Paish 1972
Roger Taylor 1973
Mark Cox 1977
Tim Henman 1999, 2001-02
Andy Murray 2009, ’11, ’13, ’15-16
Cameron Norrie 2021

“I think I played very, very well today, I was extremely clutch on some of the big points,” Norrie said. “I am so pleased to be through to the final here, I can’t even describe it. It has not really sunk in yet. It is nice to get over the line there, and all credit to Denis, it was a tough match.

“It is a huge tournament for me and one of my biggest achievements so far, so I couldn’t be more pleased with myself. Let’s see if I can win one more tomorrow.”

The 25-year-old is currently at a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of 41, and is now 29-12 on the season, after advancing in 94 minutes. Norrie, who reached the finals at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (l. to Tsitsipas) and the Millennium Estoril Open (l. to Ramos-Vinolas) this year, will face top-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini in his third ATP Tour final of the season.


After Shapovalov made a fast start to move 2-0 ahead on centre court, Norrie broke back to level up at 3-3. The Brit then started to dictate on the left-hander’s second serve, winning 60 per cent (9/15) of points on it in the opener and he claimed the set with a sensational backhand passing shot at 5-6.

Norrie continued to play aggressively in the second set, stepping into court and targeting Shapovalov’s serve to good effect. While he was unable to break at 3-2, after the Canadian had treatment on an injury, he did in the eighth game and fought through his final service game to advance.

Shapovalov had beaten France Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4 earlier on Saturday, after his match against the American had been suspended due to bad light on Friday evening. However, the Canadian, who reached the Gonet Geneva Open final (l. to Ruud) in May, could not replicate his performance levels against Norrie, and is now 18-13 on the season.

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Berrettini Advances To Queen's Club Final On Debut

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2021

Top seed Matteo Berrettini continued his impressive week at the cinch Championships as he defeated Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-4, to reach the final at the Queen’s Club on Saturday in his debut at the tournament.

The No. 1 Italian has won an ATP Tour title on grass at the MercedesCup (d. Auger-Aliassime) in 2019 and is now 25-6 on the season. Berrettini has yet to drop a set in London, navigating his way past British pair Andy Murray and Daniel Evans earlier this week.

“That was the goal of the week [making the final], and now I have one more step. It is a great achievement, especially for the history of this tournament. I am really happy because to beat Alex today, I had to play my best tennis,” Berrettini said.

“The mentality is that I always think I can win my service games. I know that I have a big weapon with my serve and first shot. If I sleep too well it means something is off ahead of the final. I have to be nervous and tight a little bit, otherwise the adrenaline does not kick in and it is tougher to play,” Berrettini added.


World No. 9 Berrettini won 89 per cent (32/36) of his first-service points and hit eight aces against de Minaur to advance in 84 minutes. He will next face Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in Sunday’s final.

Berrettini started strongly on centre court, breaking the fourth-seeded Australian’s serve with a backhand winner down the line to lead 2-1. The Italian dictated with his powerful forehand but while he managed to close out the set, de Minaur grew into the match as he started to move Berrettini around the court with his variety of shots.

At the start of the second set, Berrettini continued to pressurise de Minaur with his great depth, conjuring up three break points in the fifth game. However, de Minaur held firm from 0/40 to move 3-2 ahead. Berrettini then successfully fended off a break point himself to level up. The 25-year-old has impressively made 10/12 first serves this week on break points.

Berrettini then brilliantly found the feet of de Minaur at deuce in the ninth game, and broke when the Australian’s slice found the net to lead 5-4. He then served out victory to advance and become the first Italian to reach the final at the Queen’s Club since Laurence Tieleman 23-years-ago.

De Minaur, who is now 16-13 for the season, having won the Antalya Open title in January. The World No. 22 will play at the Viking International Eastbourne ATP 250 grass-court event next week.

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