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Federer & Roddick Enjoy Reunion At Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Andy Roddick made his first visit to the Laver Cup on Saturday, and he got to do more than take in the tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Famer spent time with his old rival and friend, Roger Federer.

The former World No. 1s sat in the front row for Stefanos Tsitsipas’ straight-sets victory against Nick Kyrgios. They also spoke about fatherhood and watching their children grow up.

“They are as busy as ever. I don’t know. There are no slow days. I don’t know if it’s the same in your life,” Federer said in a video on the Laver Cup’s Instagram page.

“I get dominated by somebody this big every day,” Roddick replied, cracking a laugh as he held his hand below his waist.


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The event’s Instagram page posted behind-the-scenes footage of an interview the pair conducted, in which Federer admitted to predicting Team World would take a 3-1 lead on Friday (Team Europe led 3-1).

“That just proves that you know nothing about tennis!” Roddick joked.

“We know nothing!” Federer quipped.

Federer won 21 of the pair’s 24 ATP Head2Head meetings, including in three Wimbledon finals and a US Open final, before Roddick’s retirement in 2012. But they have both expressed respect and admiration for each other through the years, and are always happy to catch up.

“I am finally here at Laver Cup, it took me long enough. Here in Boston, TD Garden, couldn’t be more excited,” Roddick said. “I got a little tour earlier from none other than the man himself, Roger Federer. It’s always good catching up with him. Looking forward to watching some tennis.”

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Gonzalez/Molteni Reach Nur-Sultan Final

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Top seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni overcame Ricardas Berankis and Artem Sitak 6-4, 6-0 on Saturday at the Astana Open to reach the final in Nur-Sultan.

The Argentine-Mexican tandem saved all four break points they faced and won 75 per cent (15/20) of their second-serve points to advance in 65 minutes. Gonzalez and Molteni triumphed in Szczecin last week at an ATP Challenger Tour event after first teaming at the US Open.


They will face Andrei Vasilevski and Jonathan Erlich in the championship match after the unseeded team edged past Benjamin Bonzi and Romain Arneodo 7-6(7), 7-6(5). Vasilevski and Erlich saved one set point at 6/7 in the first-set tie-break, before advancing after one hour and 59 minutes.

In Metz, Pole Hubert Hurkacz continued his bid to win both the singles and doubles titles as he teamed with countryman Jan Zielinski at the Moselle Open to defeat Henri Kontinen and Ben McLachlan 6-4, 6-4 in 62 minutes.

Hurkacz and Zielinski will face Hugo Nys and Arthur Rinderknech in Sunday’s final, after the unseeded pair upset second seeds Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic 6-3, 7-6(3) on Friday.

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Sinner Could Face Pospisil In Sofia Final Rematch

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

#NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner will begin his Sofia Open title defence against either Canadian Vasek Pospisil or a qualifier, it was revealed at the ATP 250’s draw ceremony on Saturday.

The 20-year-old, currently 11th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, defeated Pospisil in last year’s Sofia final, their only previous ATP Head2Head meeting. If Sinner can reach the quarter-finals, he is seeded to play Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who is starting his campaign against Benoit Paire.

Alexander Bublik is the fourth seed and arrives having enjoyed a run to the semi-finals on home soil in Nur-Sultan. The Kazakhstani could face #NextGenATP star Lorenzo Musetti in his opening match if the Italian can overcome wild card Dimitar Kuzmanov in the first round. Musetti will be targeting a strong end to the season as he aims to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.


Fifth seed Filip Krajinovic will be Bublik’s opponent in the quarter-finals if both men make it that far. The Serbian will be aiming to snap a four-match losing streak in his first-round match against Bulgarian wild card Alexandar Lazarov.

In the bottom half of the draw, Metz semi-finalist Gael Monfils is the second seed and will face either Winston-Salem champion Ilya Ivashka or Pablo Andujar in the second round. The Frenchman holds a 4-0 ATP Head2Head lead against Andujar and is tied at 1-1 with Ivashka.

Australian Alex de Minaur is seeded to meet Monfils in the semi-finals and will begin his quest for his third tour-level title of the season against either American Marcos Giron or Spaniard Jaume Munar.

In other action, sixth seed Adrian Mannarino begins against Italy’s Gianluca Mager, while eighth seed John Millman faces Mikael Ymer.

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Tsitsipas Survives Kyrgios Surge, Zverev Battles Past Isner At Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas lost his first two matches against Nick Kyrgios in final-set tie-breaks. But the Greek star would not let it get that far on Saturday afternoon in Boston.

Tsitsipas defeated Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4 in the Laver Cup, saving all six break points he faced to triumph after one hour and 27 minutes. Alexander Zverev later beat John Isner 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 10-5 to give Team Europe a 7-1 lead.

“I was really pumped. First of all, I had the team behind me pumping me up. Their energy is important,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “Coming in with a negative record, of course you want to change that, get a win at least, which I’m very happy with today. It took a lot of hard work and it took a lot of dedication during that match, so I’m pretty pleased with the outcome of it.”

Team World got a confidence-boosting doubles win from Isner and Denis Shapovalov to finish play Friday evening. But Tsitsipas took back the momentum with a solid serving performance in which he won 82 per cent of his first-serve points — including all 13 points behind his first delivery in the opening set.

For much of the match, Kyrgios struggled to find an answer for Tsitsipas’ serve and gain traction in rallies. Although he has plenty of firepower, the 26-year-old was struggling to put himself in position to use it.

The Team World bench, led by captain John McEnroe, tried to keep Kyrgios positive. Diego Schwartzman even provided specific advice, telling his teammate to try to take his backhand up the line more often when on the run to keep Tsitsipas from dictating in the Ad court.

At 1-2, 15/15 in the second set, Tsitsipas had a hiccup when his left shoelace broke. Team Europe alternate Feliciano Lopez gave the Greek his own shoelace before Tsitsipas decided to just change shoes. But the in-game trouble did not come until he served at 4-3.

Tsitsipas saved his first five break points in that game and then another at 5-4 when he served for the match, all behind clutch serving and aggressive play. The World No. 3 then finished off Kyrgios with a forehand passing shot.

“It was quite nerve-wracking,” Tsitsipas said. “I did find ways to close it with the best possible way.”

Alexander Zverev
Photo Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for Laver Cup
Isner battled hard to get Team World back on track against Zverev, but was unable to earn the victory. Zverev dominated on serve in the Match Tie-break to win after two hours and 18 minutes.

The last time the pair played, Isner beat Zverev in a Match Tie-break at the Laver Cup in 2019. But the German claimed his revenge and now leads their ATP Head2Head rivalry 7-2. 

“I think in this format, playing against John is probably one of the toughest opponents there can be,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “He’s the best server of all-time. He was hitting the ball extremely hard, extremely well today. And to be honest, I played a pretty good match. Even the second set that I lost, I don’t think I did many things wrong. That just shows that the match was very high level.”

Zverev, who won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and triumphed at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, had his hands full with the home favourite. Isner was two points from winning the first-set tie-break and worked hard to claim the second set, which he did successfully in large part thanks to aggressive returning and a key backhand passing shot.

But Zverev gave no freebies in the Match Tie-break. He earned an early mini-break and never looked back. In Saturday’s evening session, recent US Open champion Daniil Medvedev will represent Team Europe against Denis Shapovalov before Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev take on Isner and Kyrgios in doubles.

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Carreno Busta Downs Monfils In Metz

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta was made to work hard on Saturday at the Moselle Open as he rallied past Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 7-6(8) in front of a lively crowd in Metz to reach his third tour-level final of the season.

The Spaniard battled back from 1-4 behind in the first set and saved four set points in the second-set tie-break as he showed great defensive skills to advance after one hour and 49 minutes and level their ATP Head2Head Series at 3-3.

”It is a long time since we have played with this kind of atmosphere,” Carreno Busta said in his on-court interview. “It was amazing. In the beginning it was really tough. Then I started to play better and made the rallies longer from the baseline and I think it was key to try and push a little bit.”


The World No. 16 has enjoyed a strong season, winning titles in Marbella and Hamburg, while also overcoming Novak Djokovic to capture the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Carreno Busta is making his third appearance in Metz, having enjoyed a run to the last eight in 2015.

The Spaniard will face Hubert Hurkacz in the final after the top seed defeated German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 7-6(4).

“The first practise I had at this tournament was with him [Hurkacz] at 8 a.m. on Monday, so it is a pleasure to play against him again in the last match at the tournament,” Carreno Busta said.

In a high-quality match, Monfils looked to overpower Carreno Busta with his heavy groundstrokes. But the home favourite could not close out the opening set from 4-1 ahead as the Spaniard hit with consistent depth to frustrate the Frenchman. Carreno Busta then saved set points at 3/6, 4/6, 5/6 and 6/7 in an epic second-set tie-break, sealing his victory when Monfils hit a forehand wide.

“He played really good points. I played well, but he played better than me [in the tie-break],” Carreno Busta added. “I think I served really well and it is tough to finish a set, so I tried to be there all the time and it is a good win.”

Monfils, who lifted the trophy in Metz in 2009, was competing in his first tour-level semi-final since Dubai in 2020.

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Hurkacz Marches Into Metz Final

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Top seed Hubert Hurkacz moved to within one victory of earning his third tour-level title of the season on Saturday as he defeated German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 7-6(4) in the semi-finals of the Moselle Open.

The Pole, who overcame former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, played patiently and consistently from the baseline and was strong on serve, winning 79 per cent (33/42) of points behind his first delivery to advance after one hour and 37 minutes.

“Peter played a really great match,” Hurkacz said in his on-court interview. “He was super tough to play against, so I am proud of myself that I managed my emotions and played a good tie-breaker. I was trying to keep holding serve to stay in the second set and ended up taking the set in the tie-breaker.”


The 24-year-old now leads Gojowczyk 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head Series. Hurkacz is currently ninth in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin and is aiming to finish the season strongly as he bids to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, which will be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.

“I think I played a couple of really good points in important moments, so that was good from my side,” Hurkacz added. “The atmosphere was amazing today. Thanks to the [music] group. They were really amazing and made it great and the fans enjoyed it.”

Earlier this season, the top seed triumphed in Delray Beach, before he captured his first ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami. The Wimbledon semi-finalist will face either second-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta or 2009 champion Gael Monfils in the final.

Gojowczyk has fond memories in Metz, having lifted his only ATP Tour title at the Moselle Open in 2017. The World No. 101, who advanced to the fourth round at the US Open, also reached the semi-finals in Montpellier in February.

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Duckworth Soars Into First ATP Tour Final

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Australia’s James Duckworth is into his first ATP Tour final after he defeated eighth seed Ilya Ivashka 6-3, 7-6(4) on Saturday at the Astana Open.

The World No. 65, who is yet to drop a set in Nur-Sultan, saved two set points at 4-5 in the second set as he hit with great depth to pin Ivashka behind the baseline to advance after two hours and two minutes.


“I am really excited,” Duckworth said. “I am thrilled. It was a really tough match. Ilya has been playing some great tennis this year. We have played twice already this year, both times went to three sets.

“I knew it was going to be really difficult but I managed to win that second set in a tie-break. it was a very close set that could have gone either way. I think I played the big points well.”

Duckworth has now won his last nine matches, having triumphed in Istanbul at an ATP Challenger Tour event last week. The 29-year-old was competing in his first tour-level semi-final since he enjoyed a run to the last four in Pune in 2020.

Ivashka, currently at a career-high No. 52 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, was aiming to win his second tour-level title this week, after triumphing in Winston-Salem last month. The 27-year-old had won 11 of his past 12 matches before his match against Duckworth.

The Australian will face Soonwoo Kwon in the championship match after the South Korean upset second seed Alexander Bublik 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach his first tour-level final.

Kwon, who enjoyed a run to the semi-finals in Eastbourne in June, broke three times and fired seven aces to advance after two hours and four minutes.

”It will be a tough match,” Duckworth added. “Kwon is more of a baseliner. I will have to be ready. I am just going to recover the best I can and come out tomorrow and see what happens.”

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Murray-Nishikori Blockbuster Headlines San Diego Draw

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Wild cards Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori will meet in a first-round blockbuster at the San Diego Open, it was revealed at the ATP 250’s draw ceremony on Friday evening.

It will be the 12th meeting in the pair’s ATP Head2Head rivalry, which Murray leads 9-2. They have not played since the Roland Garros quarter-finals in 2017, when the Scot triumphed in four sets.

The winner between former World No. 1 Murray and former World No. 4 Nishikori will face a stiff test in the second round against second seed Casper Ruud, who is competing this weekend for Team Europe in the Laver Cup. The Norwegian recently cracked the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time and has won four ATP Tour titles this year.

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Top seed Andrey Rublev will open his run against Italian Fabio Fognini or #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima, who received a wild card. This will be the first clash between Fognini and Nakashima.

Rublev will play sixth seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals if both men make it that far. Rublev beat Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 on Friday in a Laver Cup thriller.

Third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime will begin his tournament against 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov or Hungarian Marton Fucsovics and fourth seed Denis Shapovalov will play American Taylor Fritz or a qualifier in the second round.

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Rublev Rallies Past Schwartzman At Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Diego Schwartzman put himself in strong position to narrow Team World’s deficit on Friday at the Laver Cup, but Team Europe’s Andrey Rublev did not allow the Argentine to finish the job.

The World No. 5 rallied past Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 to give Team Europe a 3-0 lead, before John Isner and Denis Shapovalov earned Team World’s first win in the evening’s doubles match.

Rublev rallied from 2/6 in the Match Tie-break to triumph after one hour and 51 minutes.

“It’s amazing. I know most of the people were supporting Diego, which is normal because he is from Team World. But the atmosphere tonight was amazing,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “I want to say thank you so much for coming to support your favourite players, your favourite teams. This means a lot to us.”

The Boston crowd was fully behind Schwartzman, chanting “Ole! Ole, Ole, Ole! Diego! Diego!” at points during the match. The Team World bench — including Nick Kyrgios, John Isner and Jack Sock — also urged the fans inside TD Garden to complete the wave around the arena.

But Rublev spoiled the party, and prevented the Argentine from earning his team’s first win of the weekend. The Russian made uncharacteristic unforced errors on the forehand side early in the Match Tie-break to dig himself a hole.

But the recent Cincinnati finalist clawed his way out of it by eliminating his baseline mistakes and playing with controlled aggression. It was not easy to close out the match, however.

Rublev bent over in disbelief after hitting a double fault on his first match point at 9/8. Two points later, he made amends by finishing off an incredible rally at the net, putting away the scrappy Schwartzman with a final forehand volley.

“It was so close. Diego was leading all the super tie-break, but in the end I found a way to win,” Rublev said. “It happens. This is tennis, this is sport and it’s emotions. Someone has to win and someone has to lose.”

Team World bounced back when Isner and Shapovalov beat Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-1.

Isner, one of the biggest servers in tennis history, was broken at love to start the match. But the crowd went crazy in support of the American and Shapovalov, who improved their level as play went on and won some incredible points with jaw-dropping shotmaking. 

“Honestly I think the credit goes big-time to John. The guy played incredibly today. He carried me after a couple of those misses and he really helped lift my game up as well,” Shapovalov said in the on-court interview. “This guy talks about being a servebot, but today I think he was more of a returnbot as well.”

Each match on Saturday will be worth two points, giving Team World an opportunity to continue its comeback.

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