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Scouting Report: Daniil & Novak Playing In Mallorca, Gael Leads Eastbourne Field

  • Posted: Jun 20, 2021

The grass-court season continues this week with two ATP 250 events: the Mallorca Championships and the Viking International Eastbourne.

Two top five stars headline the draw in Mallorca, with Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem attempting to make their mark on grass. Fan favourite Gael Monfils will chase the trophy in Eastbourne. looks at what you should watch at these two events.

View Draws: Mallorca | Eastbourne

1) Medvedev Leads The Way: The top seed in Mallorca is World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, who is pursuing his first grass-court ATP Tour title on grass. The Russian star has enjoyed success on the surface before, defeating Stan Wawrinka in the first round at Wimbledon in 2017. Medvedev lost in the first round last week in Halle against Jan-Lennard Struff, and he will try to get back on track against South African Lloyd Harris or Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the second round in Spain.

2) Thiem Makes 2021 Grass Debut: The last time Dominic Thiem competed, he was upset in the first round at Roland Garros by Pablo Andujar. The Austrian will attempt to put that behind him this week in Mallorca, where he is the second seed. Thiem will open his tournament against Adrian Mannarino, who beat Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(3), 6-3 in the first round on Sunday. The World No. 5 has a 14-14 tour-level record on grass, with his best result on the surface coming in 2016 when he won the title in Stuttgart, where he earned a victory against Roger Federer.

3) Djokovic Doubles: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be competing in Mallorca, but just in the doubles draw alongside home favourite Carlos-Gomez Herrera. This will be the Serbian’s first doubles action since the ATP Cup at the start of the season. They will begin their event against reigning Buenos Aires champions Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic. The top seeds in the doubles draw are Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

4) Ugo In-Form: Nobody arrives in Mallorca in better grass-court form than Frenchman Ugo Humbert, who won the biggest title of his career on Sunday in Halle. En route to the ATP 500 title, the lefty earned Top 10 triumphs against Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev. The seventh seed will begin his Mallorca campaign against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, and he could potentially play American Sam Querrey, whom he defeated in a tight three-setter in Halle, in the second round.

5) RBA Rounds Out Wild Cards: Medvedev and Thiem received two of the main draw wild cards at this ATP 250, and home favourite Roberto Bautista Agut got the third.The Spaniard, who will open against Guido Pella or Stefano Travaglia, has proven to be a grass-court stalwart. Although he lost in the first round in Halle last week, Bautista Agut advanced to his first Grand Slam semi-final two years ago at Wimbledon.

1) Monfils Top Seed: Will Monfils win his first ATP Tour title on grass this week in Eastbourne? The Frenchman is the top seed at the ATP 250, where he reached the final in 2017. The 34-year-old lost in the first round in Halle last week against Harris, but he will try to bring his best tennis to the lawns against one of two Aussies: qualifier James Duckworth or lucky loser Max Purcell, who made the 2020 Australian Open doubles final alongside Luke Saville. Monfils has a 40-28 tour-level record on grass.

2) De Minaur Rising: Aussie Alex de Minaur is rounding into form, and he will try to continue that trend this week at the Viking International Eastbourne. The 22-year-old, who advanced to the semi-finals at last week’s cinch Championships in London, is the second seed in Eastbourne, where he lost in the first round of the main draw after qualifying in 2018. De Minaur will begin his tournament against American Frances Tiafoe or wild card Liam Broady.

3) Super Sonego: Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti have gotten a lot of the attention for the Italian success on the ATP Tour in 2021. Lorenzo Sonego belongs firmly in that conversation. The Turin-native advanced to the Rome semi-finals earlier this year for his first trip to the last four at an ATP Masters 1000 event. He has also done well on grass, winning his first tour-level title on the surface two years ago in Antalya. The third seed will play wild card Jay Clarke or Aussie John Millman in the second round.

4) British Hopes: The three wild cards in the main draw went to British players: Broady, Clarke and veteran James Ward. This will be Ward’s 10th main draw appearance in this tournament. Cameron Norrie, the Briton who is enjoying a career-best season, is the ninth seed. He is fresh off one of the best tournaments in his career, having made the final at The Queen’s Club. Another home favourite, Alastair Gray, moved into the draw as a lucky loser after losing against Duckworth in the final round of qualifying.

5) Mektic/Pavic Going For No. 7: The top seeds in the doubles draw, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, will try to lift their seventh ATP Tour trophy of the season together this week. They will face a tough opening test against Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar, this year’s Delray Beach and Marbella champions. Other teams to watch in Eastbourne include Colombian stars Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah and third seeds Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury.

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Mannarino & Thompson Advance in Mallorca

  • Posted: Jun 20, 2021

Frenchman Adrian Mannarino moved past Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(3), 6-3 on Sunday to reach the second round at the Mallorca Championships.

The World No. 42 saved all four break points that he faced and won 61 per cent (14/23) of his second-service points to advance at the new ATP 250 grass-court event in Spain.

Struff had beaten Russian Daniil Medvedev at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle last week on home soil, but could not overcome Mannarino. The 32-year-old will play second-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem in the second round.


Elsewhere, Jordan Thompson saved a match point as he fought back to overcome Spaniard Pablo Andujar 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in two hours and 26 minutes.

The Australian, who is currently No. 81 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, hit 14 aces and saved a match point at 4-5 in the second set, and he will next face either Dusan Lajovic or qualifier, Lukas Klein in the second round.

Tennys Sandgren led Spaniard Jaume Munar 7-6(3), 2-1 before play was suspended for the evening because the court was slippery due to the humidity of the grass. The American, who was playing his first match of the season on grass, hit seven aces and saved the one break point he faced to claim the opening set.

Lucas Pouille, Roberto Carballes Baena, and Nicola Kuhn all came through qualifying alongside Klein to reach the main draw.

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Herbert/Mahut Win Third Queen’s Club Title

  • Posted: Jun 20, 2021

Fourth seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated Reilly Opelka and John Peers 6-4, 7-5 to claim the doubles title at the cinch Championships in London on Sunday.

Last week’s Roland Garros champions won 77 per cent (30/39) of their first-service points and broke three times as they wrapped up victory in 78 minutes. They are now 25-7 on the season.

“Mahut is the older one of the team, so he was taking care at the end, serving aces when we were down two break points,” Herbert said. “We only got three hours of practice time on the grass before the first match, but we missed the grass last season, so being back here playing on the grass is joyful.”

Mahut added: “It was something special to win [Roland Garros] in our hometown with our family last week. It is good to come here now on grass, and we didn’t expect anything, but we are now here with the trophy. It has been an amazing three weeks.”

Opelka and Peers had previously beaten singles finalist Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur 7-6(3), 6-3 on Sunday after rain ended play early on Saturday night at The Queen’s Club. However, after an even start in the final, the American-Australian team were broken in the seventh game, with Herbert and Mahut closing out the set on serve.

The French pair continued to dictate in the second set and broke Peers’ serve to move 2-1 ahead. They then won 86 per cent (18/21) of their first-service points in the second set, and dominated around the net to establish control. While Herbert failed to serve out the contest, the French team broke again and served out the match to win their second title of the year.

Peers won the Gonet Geneva Open title with Michael Venus, but teamed up with Opelka for this first time this week in London. The pair took out top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the quarter-finals, but could not produce a repeat performance against Herbert and Mahut.

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Thiem: ‘On Grass You Never Know What Is Going To Happen’

  • Posted: Jun 20, 2021

The World No. 5 Dominic Thiem suffered a surprise first-round defeat against Pablo Andujar at Roland Garros. But the Austrian star is keen to get his grass-court season underway with a win at the Mallorca Championships in Spain.

“Straight after Roland Garros I was going back on a practice court for almost two weeks on a hard court, still at home, just to fix my shots again, because they were not as they should be in the clay-court season,” Thiem said.

“Now I feel well again with my shots, with my footwork. I practised two days in Austria on grass courts and already four days in Mallorca and I feel pretty well. But on grass, you never know what is going to happen. The most important for me was to fix my shots, to improve my footwork, to move well again on the court and that’s what I did in Austria.”

Thiem won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last September (d. Zverev), and admits he struggled for motivation at times after achieving such a big goal of his. However, the Austrian, who is the second seed at the ATP 250 event in Mallorca, is fully focused again.

“It’s pretty normal. It happens. You’re working very hard for a certain goal, a big goal and then you finally reach it,” Thiem admitted. “In my case, [it was] after three lost [Grand Slam] finals before, so it was such a huge goal to reach and such a huge relief as well. After that, I started to think a little bit and I had a little bit of a lack of motivation as well.

“But with time passing by, it got better and better again. And now, I’m fine again, I’m normal again… I couldn’t play well enough for the French Open. Grass, you never know what’s happening, so you are just trying to gain some confidence, to practise very hard, to play well in matches.”


This is the first year of the Mallorca Championships after the tournament, which was originally set to make its debut in 2020, was cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, Thiem has spent time here before and feels comfortable on the Spanish island.

“I was here five years ago. I did the coin toss for a WTA final and played an exhibition. Already back then the club was super nice,” Thiem said. “Three years ago I was on holiday here. Two or three months ago I spent one week here, so I really love it. The weather is perfect, the weather is nice. The most important is the grass courts are super good.”

Theim, who has a 16-16 career record on grass, will face German Jan-Lennard Struff or World No. 42 Adrian Mannarino in his opening match.

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