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Ramos-Vinolas Dashes Home Hopes To Reach Umag QFs

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2021

Albert Ramos-Vinolas is up and running at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag after edging through a hard-fought battle with Croatian wild card Duje Ajdukovic 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals.

The Estoril champion saved four break points and won 70 per cent of points behind his first serve to take down Ajdukovic, who was seeking his second-ever win at a tour-level event. The Spaniard snapped a seven-match losing streak in the process, as he claimed his first tour-level singles win since the Mutua Madrid Open against the 20-year-old. He will next face Italian Stefano Travaglia, who charged past Carlos Taberner 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 41 minutes. 

With 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic watching on – days after the former World No. 2 was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport – Ajdukovic fought back from a 0-3 deficit in the first set. He employed big groundstrokes and changed direction of the ball to keep Ramos-Vinolas under pressure. 

But the experienced Spaniard took the lead in the seventh game as he saved two break points to move 4-3 ahead. Ramos-Vinolas kept the scoreboard pressure on the young Croatian, who double faulted and produced unforced errors to hand over the decisive break late in the set. In the second set, Ramos-Vinolas rallied from a break down and won five of the next six games from 1-3 to seal the victory. 


Also in action in Umag, fourth seed Richard Gasquet defeated Italian qualifier Alessandro Giannessi 7-6(4), 6-4 to reach his third quarter-final of the year. The 35-year-old enjoyed an impressive serving performance against Giannessi, as he did not face a break point and won 85 per cent (33/39) of his first-serve points. In the first set, he only dropped four points on serve. 

He awaits the winner of Marco Cecchinato and Damir Dzumhur in the quarter-finals, as he seeks his fourth clay-court title and his first since 2015 in Estoril. 

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Huesler/Stricker March Into Gstaad Quarter-Finals

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2021

Marc-Andrea Huesler and Dominic Stephan Stricker overcame Romain Arneodo and Albano Olivetti 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals on home soil at the Swiss Open Gstaad.

The Swiss pair hit seven aces and won 81 per cent (29/36) of their first-service points to advance in one hour and ten minutes. They will next face Argentine tandem Federico Delbonis and Guillermo Duran after they fought back against third seeds Hugo Nys and Andrea Vavassori to win 3-6, 6-3, 10-4.


Two further seeds fell on a day of surprises in Gstaad. Firstly, top seeds Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop were downed by French duo Benoit Paire and Arthur Rinderknech, with the latter also defeating Roberto Bautista Agut in the singles on Wednesday. Then, Zizou Bergs and Tallon Griekspoor took out fourth-seeded Scandinavians Andre Goransson and Frederik Nielsen 6-3, 6-4.

Elsewhere, at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, wild cards Admir Kalender and Mili Poljicak upset second seeds Pablo Cuevas and Fabrice Martin 6-3, 6-4, while David Vega Hernandez and Fernando Romboli defeated Spaniards Jaume Munar and Marc Lopez 7-5, 4-6, 10-5. Hernandez and Romboli will meet the Croatian wild cards next.

Radu Albot and Pedro Martinez also advanced as they beat German-Slovakian team Andre Begemann and Igor Zelenay 6-4, 7-6(5).

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Footballer Tony Adams Leads ATP Mental Health Session

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2021

Kicking off the ATP’s new virtual speaker series last week, Tony Adams MBE, in conversation with Jamie Murray, led a wide-ranging and candid session discussing mental health in professional sport.

The session marked the first of a series open to all ATP players and coaches – as well as alumni, agents and tournament and staff members – aimed at promoting positive health and development across the ATP membership.

Adams, an English football player, captain and legend for both Arsenal and England, was one of the world’s best football players between 1983 and 2002. Despite his tremendous success on the field, Adams battled with alcoholism for much of his playing career.

Throughout the session, Adams talked to ATP’s members about his experiences, from his lowest moments battling addiction, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression, to his greatest moments on the pitch and through to his eventual recovery. The legendary footballer recalled the difficult journey of learning to confront his problems and the pressures of professional sport, which compelled him to help fellow athletes struggling with their mental health.

Towards the end of his career, Adams founded Sporting Chance, a charitable foundation aimed at providing treatment, counselling and support for professional sportspeople. Sporting Chance have been supporting ATP’s player members since the start of the pandemic – a period of particular strain for athletes – providing access to free and fully confidential counselling.

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Shapovalov, Felix & Schwartzman To Compete In 2021 Laver Cup

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2021

Canadian stars Denis Shapovalov and #NextGenATP Felix Auger-Aliassime will represent John McEnroe’s Team World in the fourth edition of the Laver Cup, which will be held from 24-26 September at TD Garden in Boston.

It will be the third time Shapovalov has represented Team World (2017, 2019), while 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime will be making his debut at the event which was launched in 2017. The pair recently recorded their best-ever Grand Slam results at Wimbledon, with Shapovalov advancing to the semi-finals and Auger-Aliassime enjoying a run to the quarter-finals.

The World No. 13 Diego Schwartzman will join forces with the Canadians as he will also compete in Boston. The 28-year-old, who won the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires (d. Cerundolo) on home soil this year, will be making his second appearance for Team World following his participation in 2018 (Chicago).

On his selection, World No. 10 Shapovalov said: “I’m so excited to be back with Team World for another Laver Cup. I have great memories from both Prague and Geneva a couple of years ago. It was a lot of fun being on the team with guys that I’m normally facing across the net and of course having McEnroe as our team leader – it’s such an honour.”

“I feel so privileged to be representing Team World for the Laver Cup this year,” Auger-Aliassime said. “To be able to play in front of a full house at somewhere like TD Garden will be just incredible. I’m also so excited to have a legend like John McEnroe in my corner – I’m sure I will learn a lot!”

Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, and Matteo Berrettini have already confirmed they will compete for Team Europe. The tournament pits six players from Team Europe against six from Team World, with four matches played each day (three singles and a doubles). Team World trail 0-3 as they seek a maiden title this year in America.

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Rinderknech Upsets Bautista Agut In Gstaad

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2021

Arthur Rinderknech’s impressive season continued on Wednesday at the Swiss Open Gstaad as he defeated World No. 16 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-4 to claim his best-ever win.

The Frenchman, currently at a career-high No. 100 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, has now claimed a personal-best nine wins at tour-level this season. He had never won a match at this level before this year.

Rinderknech was impressive throughout, striking the ball powerfully from the baseline to dictate. He hit eight aces and won 79 per cent (30/38) of his first-service points against the second seed to advance in one hour and 34 minutes. It is his second Top 20 win of his career, having beaten then World No. 17 #NextGenATP Jannik Sinner in Lyon in May.


The 25-year-old will next face Laslo Djere in his fourth quarter-final of the season having enjoyed runs to the last eight in Bastad, Marseille, and Lyon this year.

His next opponent, seventh seed Djere, reached his sixth tour-level quarter-final of the season as he moved past qualifier Zizou Bergs 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and five minutes. The Serbian, who broke Bergs seven times at the ATP 250 event, has now recorded 16 clay-court wins this year. His best result was a run to the final at the Sardegna Open (l. to Sonego) in Cagliari.

Also in action, Hugo Gaston survived a scare to upset fifth seed Federico Delbonis 6-0, 6-7(2), 7-6(3) and advance to his first ATP Tour quarter-final. The Frenchman was pegged back from 5-2 in the second set, losing three straight games, before he rallied in the decider to claim victory in two hours and 20 minutes.

Gaston, currently No. 155 in the FexEx ATP Rankings, enjoyed a breakthrough run to the fourth round at Roland Garros (l. Thiem) last October. He has now claimed 16 clay-court wins at all levels this season, having reached ATP Challenger Tour finals at the Concord Iasi Open and the Roma Garden Open I.

He will next face fourth-seeded Chilean Cristian Garin after he eased past Marc Polmans 6-3, 6-0 in his opening match. The 25-year-old, who lifted the Chile Dove Men+Care Open title on home soil (d. Bagnis) in Santiago in March, won 86 per cent (19/22) of his first-service points to advance in 54 minutes.

”I am very happy and I like the conditions here,” Garin said. “I think it is very similar to Santiago, where I won this year. I feel I have a good feeling about playing in high altitudes so I am really happy.”

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Hach Verdugo/Isner Moves Into Los Cabos Quarter-finals

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2021

Hans Hach Verdugo and John Isner fought hard for a place in the Mifel Open quarter-finals on Tuesday. The Venezuelan/American team knocked out third seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Divij Sharan 7-6(3), 7-5, having saved two set points at 4-5, 30/40 in the second set.

Hunter Reese and Sem Verbeek also caused an upset after they recovered from 4/6 down in the Match Tie-break to defeat top-seeded Britons Luke Bambridge and Ken Skupski 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 10-8.

They now face Treat Huey and Steve Johnson, who came back from a 3/6 deficit in the Match Tie-break to knock out Frenchmen Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 11-9.

Americans Taylor Fritz and Nicholas Monroe won six of the first seven points in the Match Tie-break before a tense finale in a 1-6, 6-4, 10-8 win over N.Sriram Balaji and Luca Margaroli.


Italians Pass Opening Test In Umag
Italians Marco Cecchinato and Stefano Travaglia knocked out third seeds Rafael Matos and Andrei Vasilevski 7-5, 6-4, while Czechs Roman Jebavy and Jiri Vesely beat Spaniards Carlos Taberner and Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-5, 6-3.

Second Seeds Beaten In Gstaad Opener
Dustin Brown and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn caused an upset at the Swiss Open Gstaad by scraping past second seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar 6-4, 3-6, 10-7. Behar and Escobar are 2-3 in ATP Tour team finals this year and currently in ninth position in the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings.

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Thompson Topples 42 Y.O. Karlovic In Los Cabos

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2021

It’s never easy to face all-time aces leader Ivo Karlovic, but Jordan Thompson is becoming successful at it. The Australian won his third consecutive match against Karlovic on Tuesday evening, defeating the 2016 Los Cabos champion 6-4, 7-5 to reach the second round of the Mifel Open. Thompson now leads their ATP Head2Head series 3-1.

The fifth seed withstood 11 Karlovic aces and converted three of his four break points to triumph after one hour and 34 minutes. The Croatian gave full credit to Thompson.

“Usually, he was returning really well and he was doing everything right. I had my opportunities early in the beginning of the match and I didn’t use them. My concentration went down at the end of that first set and the beginning of the second,” Karlovic said. “I was able to get back, but again at the end of the second set, I really didn’t use my opportunities. That was it. All in all, it was a really good match.”


Karlovic, who is now 42, is at No. 200 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. The former World No. 14 admitted after the match that there is a chance he might retire later this year. However, the eight-time ATP Tour titlist left open the possibility of changing his mind should he find success in the coming weeks.

“My ranking dropped a lot and how it looks like now, after the US Open, I think I’m going to retire,” Karlovic said. “But there is still a chance that until then I’ll do well or that at the US Open I’ll do really well and then I will reconsider.”

The other seeded player in action, eighth seed Mackenzie McDonald, fell short in Mexico. American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo ousted his countryman 6-3, 6-4 in 80 minutes. Escobedo will next play Denis Kudla.

In the last match of the evening, Ecuador’s Emilio Gomez eliminated Colombian qualifier Nicolas Mejia 6-4, 6-1. Other players who advanced were Ukrainian Illya Marchenko, Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama and Swede Elias Ymer.

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