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Murray & Soares Continue Turin Push In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

Scot Jamie Murray and Brazilian Bruno Soares continued their charge for a fourth appearance together in the Nitto ATP Finals on Tuesday when they beat Israeli Jonathan Erlich and Belarusian Andrei Vasilevski 6-1, 6-4 to reach the second round of the St. Petersburg Open.

The top seeds began the week in eighth place in the FedEx ATP Doubles Race To Turin, 280 points ahead of ninth-placed Simone Bolelli of Italy and Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina. Murray and Soares competed in the year-end championships as a team in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

They were sharp in Russia against their wild-card opponents, as they saved all five break points they faced to triumph in 57 minutes.

Also in St. Petersburg, Russian singles stars Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev beat countrymen Daniil Golubev and Evgenii Tiurnev 6-1, 6-1 and fourth seeds Andrey Golubev and Hugo Nys ousted Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik and Belarusian Ilya Ivashka 6-3, 6-1.

Cabal, Farah

Cabal & Farah Win In Vienna To Clinch Nitto ATP Finals Spot
Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals after they defeated Dutchmen Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 on Tuesday at the Erste Bank Open. Cabal and Farah will compete in the season finale for the third time in four years.

In the only other doubles match of the day, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and two-time Roland Garros doubles champion Andreas Mies eliminated Britons Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski 6-4, 6-3.

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Cabal/Farah Become Sixth Team To Qualify For Nitto ATP Finals

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held this year at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November, for the third time in four seasons.

The Colombians are the sixth team to qualify for the eight-team field, clinching their berth with a first-round victory over Dutchmen Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer on Tuesday at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

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Zverev Passes Krajinovic Test In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

Alexander Zverev has been playing some of the best tennis in the world in recent months, and his confidence showed on Tuesday at the Erste Bank Open.

Despite falling behind a break in the second set, the German defeated Serbian Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 7-5 to reach the second round in Vienna. The 24-year-old is now one win from securing his 300th tour-level victory (299-138).

“He was playing well as well, so I knew that I [was] going to get a chance,” Zverev said in his post-match interview. “I just needed to start playing a little bit better and that’s what I did. I’m happy to be through in two sets.”

Zverev has won 21 of his past 23 matches dating back to the start of the Tokyo Olympics. The second seed will attempt to extend his hot streak when he faces Australian Alex de Minaur, who ousted Kevin Anderson 6-3, 7-6(3) on Monday.


Krajinovic is a dangerous foe, who on his day is capable of competing against anyone on the ATP Tour. The 29-year-old, currently No. 40 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, put his skills on display to take a 5-2 lead in the second set against Zverev.

But the Serbian made four errors to break himself at 5-3, and that was the only opening Zverev needed. The Monaco resident played more consistently than his opponent. He broke Krajinovic’s serve for the fourth time at 5-5 when the unseeded player missed a backhand into the net, and then served out the match to love. Zverev completed his victory with his 12th ace.

The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion, who has already qualified for the season finale in Turin from 14-21 November, has won four titles this year. He added two ATP Masters 1000 trophies to his collection in Madrid and Cincinnati, triumphed in Acapulco and earned the singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The World No. 4 owns a 4-1 ATP Head2Head lead against De Minaur. However, the Australian won their most recent clash at last year’s ATP Cup.

In other action, Austrian wild card Dennis Novak earned a big win at home when he eliminated Italian Gianluca Mager 7-6(4), 7-6(4) in one hour and 41 minutes. Novak will next try to upset seventh seed Jannik Sinner or big-serving American Reilly Opelka.

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Tsitsipas Saves 3 Set Points, Takes Revenge Against Dimitrov In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

One year after losing to Grigor Dimitrov at the Erste Bank Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas took his revenge in Vienna.

In a tight battle with the narrowest of margins, the Greek star defeated Dimitrov 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach the second round at the ATP 500. The top seed saved three set points in the first set of his one-hour, 42-minute victory.

Dimitrov, who earlier this month advanced to the semi-finals in Indian Wells, maintained his good form indoors in Austria and played attacking tennis against Tsitsipas to give himself a 6/3 edge in the first-set tie-break. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion carved a surprise drop shot and had a good look at a backhand passing shot on his first set point, but the Greek was solid at the net to get out of trouble.

After Dimitrov missed a tough forehand passing shot wide at 6/4, he had his best opportunity to take the opener when his 23-year-old opponent dropped a return short at 6/5. The Bulgarian blasted a forehand just wide, and Tsitsipas took full advantage to take the set on his first chance.

To his credit, Dimitrov shook off the disappointment to play a good second set behind strong serving. He even held a break point at 4-4, but Tsitsipas dismissed it with an overhead before breaking in the next game with a forehand winner to clinch the match.


Tsitsipas has won two titles this season, including his first ATP Masters 1000 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The World No. 3, who is making his second appearance in Vienna, will continue his pursuit of a maiden trophy at the ATP 500 against American Frances Tiafoe or Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

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Botic Sets Korda Clash In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

Botic van de Zandschulp’s ascent is showing no signs of slowing down.

The US Open quarter-finalist reached the second round of the St. Petersburg Open on Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka. The Dutch qualifier will next play #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda in an intriguing showdown for a place in the quarter-finals.

Van de Zandschulp has won 14 of his past 17 matches at all levels, and will try to reach his third tour-level quarter-final when he faces Korda for the first time. The 26-year-old broke Nishioka’s serve on five occasions and won 54 per cent of his return points to triumph after one hour and 15 minutes.


Winston-Salem champion Ilya Ivashka also moved on with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Serbian Laslo Djere. The Belarusian will try to upset top seed Andrey Rublev in the next round.

Second seed Denis Shapovalov learned his opening opponent when Spaniard Pablo Andujar eliminated Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-2, 7-6(1). The Canadian was victorious in their only previous ATP Head2Head clash at the 2019 Australian Open.

American Tommy Paul made a good start in St. Petersburg when he ousted Spaniard Pedro Martinez 6-3, 6-2. The 24-year-old, who will next play countryman Taylor Fritz or Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, is chasing his first ATP Tour title this week.

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Felix's Earns Maiden Vienna Victory, Ruud Takes 50th Win Of 2021

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

The third time was the charm for Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Erste Bank Open.

The Canadian claimed his first win in Vienna on his third attempt when he defeated former junior World No. 1 Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday in one hour and 34 minutes. The sixth seed will next play Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie.

“I’ve always loved the city. The people here are very nice everywhere, so I’ve always enjoyed my time, but never played well,” Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview. “So this year I really wanted to get my first win and I did.”


It was an important triumph for the 21-year-old’s hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals. Auger-Aliassime began the week in 12th place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, 625 points behind ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz, who currently occupies the final qualifying spot since Rafael Nadal’s season is over due to a foot injury. Hurkacz lost in the first round in Vienna against former World No. 1 Andy Murray.

Felix broke his opponent’s serve four times and saved two of the three break points he faced to snap a three-match losing streak. This was his first victory since he reached the US Open semi-finals last month.

His match against Norrie will be critical in the Race, as the Briton began the tournament in 11th place, 115 points behind Hurkacz. Norrie clawed past Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 7-6(4), 6-1.

Casper Ruud, who is currently next in seventh place — making him next in line to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals — continued his impressive year with a 7-5, 7-6(2) victory against in-form South African Lloyd Harris.

The Norwegian’s triumph was his 50th tour-level win of the season. Ruud (50-13) is now tied with Daniil Medvedev (50-11) for the second-most victories on the ATP Tour in 2021.

“This is the 50th win, so that shows it’s been a very good year,” Ruud said in his on-court interview. “In that way you don’t really have too much time to think [that] you’re tired, but obviously everyone will feel it, even more now [at] the end of the season.

“I know now it’s the sprint of the Race in the end of the year. I know it’s only a couple of weeks left, so I will try to still forget that I’m tired and keep on pushing.”

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Cerundolo Secures Top 100 Debut: 'It's A Dream Come True'

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

Juan Manuel Cerundolo understands that this is not just another Monday. As he awoke in his hotel room in Lima, Peru, the first thing the #NextGenATP star did was check the FedEx ATP Rankings. He says a smile crept across his face as he saw ‘No. 94’ next to his name.

The surging Argentine, who will turn 20 years of age on 15 November, is a Top 100 player for the first time. Cerundolo secured his place in the elite club in front of friends and family in Buenos Aires, after reaching the semi-finals at his hometown ATP Challenger Tour event. It was a moment he will never forget.

“It’s the first thing I did, to go to my ATP profile and look at it,” said Cerundolo. “I looked at it and then I returned to look again. I am going to be like this all day. For me to see myself there is a dream come true. It is something I always wanted as a child, when I started playing. I never knew when this moment was going to happen and now I think I deserve it.”

Since he claimed his maiden ATP Tour title at the Cordoba Open in February, Cerundolo made his potential clear. And with the focus and determination of a seasoned veteran, the 19-year-old was already playing beyond his years. ‘La Compu’ (The Computer) – as his friends nicknamed him for his analytical ability on and off the court – did not stop there. ATP Challenger titles in Rome, Como and Banja Luka vaulted him to the precipice of the Top 100, and it would be his 38th match win of the year that moved him across the threshold.

“In recent weeks, I had put some pressure on myself that I wanted to achieve it,” added Cerundolo, following his semi-final finish at the Challenger de Buenos Aires. “I felt that I deserved it, that I should have already been there. Now that I have achieved it, it is a relief and it is something that gives me great satisfaction and makes me even more motivated for what follows.”

Youngest Argentines To Crack Top 100 (since 1990)

Player Age Year
Juan Martin del Potro 18 years 2006
Jose Acasuso 18 years, 6 months 2001
Guillermo Coria 18 years, 10 months 2000
Mariano Zabaleta 19 years 1997
David Nalbandian 19 years, 6 months 2001
Mariano Puerta 19 years, 9 months 1998
Juan Manuel Cerundolo 19 years, 11 months 2021

Cerundolo’s achievement broke a 15-year drought for Argentine teenagers entering the Top 100. He is the first from the South American nation to be in the Top 100 while under the age of 20 since Juan Martin del Potro in 2006. At the age of 18, Del Potro was the youngest Argentine to do so, in the history of the FedEx ATP Rankings.

In addition, Cerundolo is only the seventh Argentine teen to reach the Top 100 since 1990, along with 18-year-olds Del Potro, Jose Acasuso and Guillermo Coria and 19-year-olds David Nalbandian, Mariano Puerta and Mariano Zabaleta. At the age of 19 years and 11 months, Cerundolo is also the fourth teenager to crack the Top 100 this year, joining Carlos Alcaraz, Lorenzo Musetti and Brandon Nakashima.

The left-hander admits that things didn’t always go smoothly. In all his years traveling the world as a junior and a professional, he understands that hard work and focus gave him this opportunity.

“There were many difficult moments over the years, but I never lost focus and stopped fighting. It was a bad year in 2020 because of everything that happened (with the pandemic) and I always kept trying to learn. I thank my entire team for that, especially my coach Andrés Dellatorre, my parents and my brother, who will hopefully also achieve it soon.

“Now I want to stay at this level and enter Grand Slams and ATP Tour tournaments. I know that with the work I will achieve it. Some things change between both levels. In ATPs, they serve stronger and return more aggressive and earn more points at the net. I know that I have a path ahead of me and I can play against anyone.”

Cerundolo celebrates with friends and family in Buenos Aires (photo: Challenger de Buenos Aires)

Taberner Secures Top 100 Debut With Losinj Title
Meanwhile, Carlos Taberner also secured his place among the 100 best players in the world with a title run on the clay of Losinj, Croatia. The 24-year-old makes his Top 100 debut at a career-high No. 93 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Like Cerundolo, the Spaniard is a three-time Challenger champion this year and is playing the best tennis of his young career. Also the champion in Antalya and Aix-en-Provence, Taberner is making a charge of his own through the Challenger circuit and has also tested his talents on the ATP Tour. He recently reached his first tour-level quarter-final in Nur-Sultan last month and followed that with a first ATP Masters 1000 match win at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. There, he upset World No. 68 Jaume Munar in straight sets.

“Today is the first day that I am appearing in the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. It’s a great achievement that I reached,” said Taberner. “It’s been a journey with some good moments and some difficult ones, but I am very proud of myself and I hope to keep going forward.”

Taberner is the second Spaniard to break into the Top 100 this year, following Alcaraz’s breakthrough in May. It marks the fourth straight year in which a player from the European nation has cracked the Top 100, also joining Pedro Martinez (2020), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (2019) and Munar (2018).


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Dolgopolov Leads Tributes After Tour Physio Ceccarelli Passes Away

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

Much-loved ATP and WTA physiotherapist Alessio Ceccarelli has passed away after a short illness in his hometown of Pisa.

The Italian was a long-time physio for recently retired Ukrainian former World No. 13 Alexandr Dolgopolov. He had most recently worked with WTA players Laura Siegemund and Andrea Petkovic, and had worked with the likes of Hyeon Chung, Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone and Elina Svitolina in the past.

“I cannot believe this news. I am so sad to hear this,” Dolgopolov said. “He was my friend and he looked after me for many years. Alessio had such a positive attitude, and this is hard to believe.”

The 38-year-old leaves behind his father Alfredo, mother Daniela, brother Daniele and his partner Barbora.

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Berrettini To Play Nitto ATP Finals On Home Soil In Turin

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2021

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini will make his second Nitto ATP Finals appearance after becoming the sixth singles player to qualify for the 2021 season finale, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.

The 25-year-old secured his return to the year-end championships for the first time since 2019 when he reached the Erste Bank Open second round on Monday. This year marks the first edition of the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, following a 12-year stint in London.

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