Tennis News

From around the world

McEnroe On Team World: “These Guys Have Given It Their All'

  • Posted: Sep 26, 2021

Team Europe won its fourth Laver Cup in as many editions this weekend. Team World Captain John McEnroe hopes that this will be his squad’s last defeat, and that his group is able to channel his late friend, Vitas Gerulaitis, who once said, “Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row!”

“I feel like it will be like, “No one wins the Laver Cup, beats us, John McEnroe, five times in a row’,” McEnroe said.

Team Europe triumphed 14-1 in a lopsided result on paper. But that was in large part because the Europeans won five of the six Match Tie-breaks, including in the doubles clincher on Sunday, when Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev defeated Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-3.

“We battled our best. These guys are a great team, no question, incredible team. They had good team spirit. We did as well,” McEnroe said. “Obviously if you get a couple different results, [we] could have put more pressure on them, but we just came up short in I think [five] tie-breaks. You win half those, totally different story.”

Team World showed great camaraderie throughout the weekend, from their bench celebrations to coaching each other and getting the fans into the matches.

“These guys have given it their all. I just hope I can make a slight bit of positive difference each time. That’s what I try to do,” McEnroe said. “It would be nice to be part of a team that won, to at least somehow figure out a way.”

One of the team’s players, Nick Kyrgios, has long expressed how much he loves the Laver Cup. Although the Australian was disappointed to not lift the trophy this year, he still had a blast competing with his teammates in Boston.

“Obviously not the result we wanted, but I thought we all had fun. For the new guys, Reilly [Opelka] and Felix [Auger-Aliassime], I think they had great debuts, put in great performances,” Kyrgios said. “As John said, [a] couple points here or there could have changed the swing of things early on. That’s the way it goes, and the memories I will take away [are of] another great week. I had a lot of fun.”

Team Europe was favoured heading into the competition, with six of the Top 10 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings on its roster this year, and they showed why. But according to Team World veteran John Isner, the defeat will not stop his team from pushing for victory next year.

“Team World is going to keep coming out here and battling the underdog role, actually something that is pretty special, and we have made this event close a bunch of times,” Isner said. “I think I speak for everyone up here — whether I play again or not, who knows — but for the future newcomers, there is no one any of us would rather play for than Captain McEnroe. As Reilly said, [he is] one of the biggest legends our sport has ever seen, one of the biggest personalities in a very, very good way our sport has ever seen.

“So this event has it all. I do think the World will get one of these eventually.”

Source link

Scouting Report: Rublev Leads San Diego Field, Sinner Defending Sofia Title

  • Posted: Sep 26, 2021

There will be ATP 250 events on two different continents this week, as Andrey Rublev leads the way at the San Diego Open in California, and Jannik Sinner attempts to retain his title at the Sofia Open in Bulgaria. looks at five things you should watch at each event.

View Draws: San Diego | Sofia

1) Rublev Top Seed
: Rublev is playing some of the best tennis of his career, climbing to a career-high No. 5 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after the US Open. The Russian star has claimed six of his eight ATP Tour titles on hard courts, and he will try to add another in San Diego.

Earlier this season, Rublev lifted the Rotterdam trophy and reached his first two ATP Masters 1000 finals in Monte-Carlo and Cincinnati. He will begin his run in California against Italian Fabio Fognini or #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima.

2) Ruud Rolling: Casper Ruud recently cracked the world’s Top 10 for the first time. Will he be able to capture his fifth ATP Tour title of the season in California? The Norwegian has never claimed hard-court glory, but he will try to change that in San Diego, where he will play former World No. 1 Andy Murray or former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori in the second round.

3) Murray-Nishikori Blockbuster: This will be the 12th ATP Head2Head clash between Murray and Nishikori, with the Scot leading their rivalry 9-2. This will be their first meeting in the first round of a knockout tournament. Both of Nishikori’s wins have come on hard courts, at the 2014 Nitto ATP Finals and the 2016 US Open.

4) Canadian Stars: Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov are the third and fourth seeds, respectively. Auger-Aliassime is fresh off his first major semi-final at the US Open, and he is pursuing his first tour-level crown. The 21-year-old will face 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov or Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the second round.

Shapovalov, who also reached his first major semi-final earlier this year (at Wimbledon), will attempt to lift his second ATP Tour trophy this week. The lefty will open against American Taylor Fritz or a qualifier.

5) #NextGenATP Americans: Two #NextGenATP Americans are in the draw: 21-year-old Sebastian Korda and 20-year-old Nakashima. Korda has already earned his spot at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, and Nakashima is trying to join him.

Korda, who earned his maiden ATP Tour crown earlier this year in Parma, will begin his tournament against countryman Tommy Paul. Korda leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head series 2-0. Nakashima will try to defeat former World No. 9 Fognini.

1) Sinner Defending Champ: Sinner has happy memories in Bulgaria, as he won his first ATP Tour trophy at last year’s Sofia Open, and he is back to defend his title. The 20-year-old could play Vasek Pospisil in the second round. That would be a rematch of last year’s final at this event.

Hard courts have been Sinner’s best surface, having won more than 66 per cent of his tour-level matches on it. The Italian won the biggest title of his young career at the Citi Open, an ATP 500 event in Washington, less than two months ago.

Watch Sinner’s Mic’d Up Practice:

2) Monfils Gaining Steam: Gael Monfils made his first semi-final of the season last week in Metz. Will he advance even further in Sofia? Two years ago, the Frenchman advanced to the last four at this ATP 250 event, including a victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Monfils is the second seed this week and will begin his run against Winston-Salem titlist Ilya Ivashka or Spaniard Pablo Andujar.

3) Aussies Going For The Title: There are three Australians in the draw, led by third seed Alex de Minaur, who made the Sofia quarter-finals last year. De Minaur has won titles in Antalya and Eastbourne this year, and he can claim three tour-level trophies in a season for the second time if he triumphs this week in Bulgaria. He opens against American Marcos Giron or Spaniard Jaume Munar.

The other Aussies in the field are eighth seed John Millman and James Duckworth. Duckworth made the best run of his career last week in Nur-Sultan, where he advanced to the final before losing against Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea.

4) Musetti On The Move: Lorenzo Musetti is trying to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, and he can make progress towards that goal with a big run in Sofia. The 19-year-old was No. 126 in the FedEx ATP Rankings when this event was played last November, and now he is closing on the Top 50. Musetti will play Bulgarian wild card Dimitar Kuzmanov, an ATP Cup veteran, in the first round.

5) Kontinen/McLachlan Top Seeds: The top seeds in the doubles draw are Henri Kontinen and Ben McLachlan, who are pursuing their first ATP Tour trophy as a team. The second seeds are Buenos Aires champions Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic, and the third seeds are Austrians Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald.

Source link

Rublev & Zverev Clinch Laver Cup For Team Europe

  • Posted: Sep 26, 2021

Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev clinched a comprehensive Laver Cup win for Team Europe on Sunday afternoon when they defeated Team World’s Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-3 to give their team a 14-1 victory.

“I was thinking I’m one of the worst ones in doubles, that I can only shoot forehands and that’s it. But it looks like I can play doubles really well,” Rublev said in the on-court interview. “It’s been amazing. It’s been a pleasure to be with these guys, with Bjorn and Thomas behind our back. It was a pleasure.”

Team Europe has now won the first four editions of the three-day event. The only match they dropped this weekend came in Friday evening’s doubles match, when John Isner and Shapovalov were victorious.

“I’m a proud captain. I’m proud of my team, what you guys did. To spend a week with you together, it’s amazing,” Team Europe Captain Bjorn Borg said during the trophy ceremony. “It’s an honour and it’s a great feeling.”

Team World faced a daunting task when they arrived at TD Garden in Boston for the third day of action, knowing they had to win all four matches to claim the trophy. Opelka and Shapovalov battled hard to win the second set and put pressure on their opponents, but they were unable to finish the job.

Shapovalov made two unforced errors early in the Match Tie-break and Rublev and Zverev took full advantage. Team Europe have won five of the six Match Tie-breaks in this year’s Laver Cup.

“A lot of matches could have gone both ways and we won most of those matches,” Zverev said in the on-court interview. “At the end of the day, the score says that it was 14-1, but it could have gone both ways a lot of the time.

“I think we’re all extremely happy. We [did] a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week. The guys have been amazing. The group of this team has been absolutely amazing. I think a lot of us came a lot closer together and to be honest I can’t wait for London next year.”

Source link

Hurkacz Captures Metz Double

  • Posted: Sep 26, 2021

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz completed a Moselle Open double on Sunday as he lifted the doubles trophy with countryman Jan Zielinski, just hours after winning the singles title in Metz.

The unseeded pair produced a strong performance, winning 84 per cent (38/45) of their first-serve points as they overcame Hugo Nys and Arthur Rinderknech 7-5, 6-3 in 70 minutes.

“I am feeling pretty good,” Hurkacz said. “I am very happy that I was able to win the singles and of course, doubles. That is super great. You always come to the tournament and believe you can win it, but most of the time you lose. So when you eventually win, it is great.”

Hurkacz and Zielinski were teaming at a tour-level event for the first time, having competed together at ATP Challenger Tour tournaments in 2015 and 2016. They did not drop a set en route to the title as Hurkacz became the first player to sweep both titles in the tournament’s 19-year history.


Zielinski was competing in his second tour-level doubles final, after reaching the championship match in Gstaad (w/Walkow) in July, while Hurkacz lifted his only other doubles title with Felix Auger-Aliassime in Paris last year.

“We text every day after every win Hubert achieves this year,” Zielinski added. “He texted me a couple of weeks ago and we talked about the tournament and he agreed to play with me. I didn’t expect to win the title as this is my second ATP Tour event ever, but we enjoyed our company on the court. It was a great atmosphere and we played with a smile on our faces.”

Nys and Rinderknech upset second seeds Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic in the semi-finals and were competing in their second tour-level event as a team after reaching the second round at the US Open.

Source link

Hurkacz Beats Carreno Busta For Metz Title

  • Posted: Sep 26, 2021

Pole Hubert Hurkacz’s strong season continued on Sunday at the Moselle Open as he defeated second seed Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(2), 6-3 to win his third ATP Tour title of the year.

The World No. 13, who did not drop a set en route to the title, produced an impressive performance against the Spaniard. He rallied from a break down in the first set, hitting with consistent depth from the baseline to secure the victory after 82 minutes.

“Pablo is an amazing player, so playing against him in the final here is something special,” Hurkacz said in his on-court interview. “I needed to raise my level to play my best to be able to compete with him and today I came out on top and I am super, super happy about this.”

Hurkacz has now levelled his ATP Head2Head Series at 1-1 with Carreno Busta, gaining revenge after falling to the 30-year-old in Cincinnati last month. With his victory, the top seed holds a 4-0 record in ATP Tour finals.


Earlier this year, the Pole lifted the title in Delray Beach, before he captured his first ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami. The 24-year-old also defeated former World No. 1 Andy Murray this week on his way to winning his first trophy outside of the United States. Hurkacz will later team with Jan Zielinski on Sunday in the doubles final as he aims to clinch both trophies in Metz.

“The atmosphere here is very special here with all of you guys,” Hurkacz added as he complimented the band in the arena. “You guys [the band] make it an amazing atmosphere, so that is so nice that you guys are here.”

Hurkacz started the week in ninth place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin and will be aiming to finish the season strongly as he bids to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.

In a tight first set, Carreno Busta made a fast start as he manoeuvred Hurkacz around the court to break. However, the Pole began to find his rhythm from the baseline and broke back with a backhand pass in the eighth game. Hurkacz, who won 86 per cent (19/22) of his first-serve points in the set, then raised his level in the tie-break to move ahead.

After breaks were exchanged at the beginning of the second set, Hurkacz continued to play consistently, building the points well as he moved inside the baseline to dictate. The 24-year-old then broke for the fourth time to seal his victory.

Carreno Busta was also seeking his third tour-level trophy of the season, having triumphed in Marbella and Hamburg earlier this year. The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist, who now holds a 6-4 record in ATP Tour finals, was making his third appearance in Metz.

Source link

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Soonwoo Kwon

  • Posted: Sep 26, 2021

Soonwoo Kwon enjoyed a dream week at the Astana Open as he defeated three seeds en route to capturing his maiden ATP Tour title.

The 23-year-old is the second South Korean man to win a tour-level trophy in the Open Era, after Hyung-Taik Lee triumphed in Sydney in 2003. The World No. 82 overcame Australian James Duckworth in the championship match. caught up with Kwon after he lifted his first title in Nur-Sultan.

Watch Nur-Sultan Final Highlights

What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
To win the title as a Korean, it has been 18 years and it means a lot to me and I am really proud of myself. I feel great and really happy for myself and my team and all the people supporting me from Korea.

You had to win two matches in three sets and defeat three seeded players to get this trophy. At what point in the week did you start to believe that you could win this title?
I just took one match at a time. I never thought I was going to win the tournament. But after match after match, I was only thinking about the next match. Today I just came out and it was a perfect day for me.

Prior to your run here, you had never reached the final at an ATP Tour event. What do you think was the key behind your breakthrough this week in Nur-Sultan?
The key point was being relaxed and not getting panicked. I tried to get my game face on and stayed focused and that was it. Just trying to stay in the match. Especially in the quarter-finals, it was a tough match for me with a lot of ups and downs, but I just tried to stay calm and didn’t panic.

You are the second South Korean man in the Open Era to win an ATP Tour title. To what extent do you think this can help grow the sport in South Korea and inspire others to follow in your footsteps?
Winning this tournament is going to help a lot of players in South Korea and is going to help a lot of guys who are trying to go out there. The younger guys will look up to me and they are going to believe they can do it as well.

Could you take a moment to acknowledge some of the key figures in your life and career who have helped you to reach this milestone?
My parents have been really supporting me from the start to now. They have been really supporting me from Korea. My sponsor Fila, they have been really helping me with a lot of stuff, and our agency Leeco. They have been really friendly and helping me when I had a tough time. My team, my coach and my trainer. They have been working so hard since we started and the Korean city team, in Korea, which is Daejeon city, have been helping me with a lot of practices. Also, the people that are helping us in America. All those guys have been helping me with my career and my journey.

How did you start playing tennis and what are some of your early memories playing the sport?
My father, he introduced me to tennis. I was a pretty wild boy when I was young. I was running around and looking to expend energy. I have some good memories playing tennis and at the same time I was playing soccer.

How would you describe yourself as a player, and how would you describe yourself off the court? Does your on-court attitude extend off the tennis court as well?
I am a pretty wild guy off the court. I really enjoy singing, really friendly. I like to have fun, I am a really easy guy. On the court a lot of people say I am really serious, just a different personality, I think it changes. Off the court I smile a lot. Nothing really worries me. On the court I also get really focused and get really serious about taking care of business.

What do you consider to be your biggest passions outside of tennis and can you tell us a little bit about those interests?
I like singing. I don’t consider myself a good singer but I like to enjoy it. Maybe in the shower and stuff like that. I like to watch movies, little hobbies. Netflix and Korean dramas.

This is a milestone moment in your career. How will you celebrate this victory?
I will enjoy this today and celebrate with my team and the people here at the hotel. I will enjoy it today as much as possible, then tomorrow I am heading out to San Diego to play another tournament there and we will restart. But today is my happiest day so I will enjoy it.

Source link