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Golubev/Nys Book Spot In St. Petersburg Final

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2021

Andrey Golubev and Hugo Nys had never won a match as a team before this week, but now they are finalists, moving past Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 10-4 on Saturday at the St. Petersburg Open.

The fourth seeds broke three times and hit five aces to advance after 84 minutes. Golubev and Nys are teaming for the fourth time and will face top seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in the championship match.

Ram/Salisbury Battle Into Vienna Final
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury’s strong season continued on Saturday as they defeated John Peers and Filip Polasek 3-6, 7-6(2), 10-7 in one hour and 40 minutes to reach the Erste Bank Open final.

The second seeds captured their first ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto, before triumphing at the US Open. The American-British tandem will face fourth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the championship match.

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Nakashima Stamps Ticket For Milan

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2021

Brandon Nakashima has become the seventh player to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 9-13 November.

The American will make his debut at the 21-and-under event, having enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 season by rising from No. 170 in the FedEx ATP Rankings to a career-high of No. 70 this week.

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Tiafoe Battles Back From The Brink In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2021

Qualifier Frances Tiafoe looked down and out on Saturday at the Erste Bank Open, but he showed his fighting qualities for the second time this week as he battled back, overcoming Jannik Sinner 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach his first tour-level final of the season in Vienna.

The American, who was 0-3 down to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third set in the second round, rallied from 2-5 down in the second set against Sinner, winning 11 of the final 13 games as he found his best tennis to advance after two hours and 18 minutes.


With his victory, Tiafoe, who is making his second appearance in Vienna, has now earned a career-best 29 tour-level wins this season, surpassing the 28 he captured in 2018. The 23-year-old is bidding to win his first tour-level title since he triumphed in Delray Beach in 2018.

The World No. 49 has reduced the deficit to 1-2 in his ATP Head2Head series with Sinner and will face second seed Alexander Zverev in the championship match after the German defeated #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 6-3 to advance to his fifth tour-level final of the season.

Sinner won the title in Antwerp last week and was seeking his eighth consecutive victory. The Italian moved into eighth place (3,015 points) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on Friday when he downed fellow Turin contender Casper Ruud, who is seventh (3,105).

The 20-year-old is bidding to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at the Pala Alpitour from 14-21 November.

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Zverev Downs Alcaraz In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2021

Alexander Zverev soared into his fifth tour-level final of the season on Saturday at the Erste Bank Open, overcoming #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 6-3 to end the 18-year-old’s strong run in Vienna.

The second seed, who earned both his 50th tour-level victory of the season and 300th tour-level career win this week, hit with great depth and soaked up Alcaraz’s power to advance after 68 minutes.

The German now leads Alcaraz 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series and holds a 24-2 record since Wimbledon, capturing the Olympic singles gold medal and the Cincinnati title in this time.


Zverev will face seventh seed Jannik Sinner or qualifier Frances Tiafoe in the championship match as he bids to win his fifth tour-level crown of the season, having also triumphed in Acapulco and Madrid.

Alcaraz captured the second biggest win of his career by FedEx ATP Ranking when he upset World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals. But he could not match Zverev, with the German firing eight aces and saving the one break point he faced to secure victory.

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Cilic Sweeps Into St. Petersburg Final

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2021

Marin Cilic marched into his second tour-level final in as many weeks on Saturday at the St. Petersburg Open, cruising past qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-3.

The Croatian enjoyed a run to the championship match in Moscow last week and has continued his impressive form in St. Petersburg as he aims to clinch his second tour-level title of the season after triumphing in Stuttgart.

“Russia is my second home,” Cilic said in his on-court interview. “I think this an invitation for me to come every single year. I always enjoy playing here and it would be amazing to win the title tomorrow but I am playing Taylor [Fritz], who is playing amazing tennis in the past several weeks. I am just going to enjoy, improve and have fun.”

In a strong serving display against van de Zandschulp, Cilic fired nine aces, won 87 per cent (27/31) of points behind his first delivery and did not face a break point to advance after 67 minutes in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

Cilic, who overcame seeds Karen Khachanov and Roberto Bautista Agut earlier this week, has fond memories in St. Petersburg, having lifted the trophy in his previous appearance at the ATP 250 event in 2011.


The former World No. 3 will face Taylor Fritz in the final. The American is in the form of his life and he demonstrated such confidence against Jan-Lennard Struff, downing the German 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 to reach his first tour-level championship match of the season.

“It is amazing to have people cheering for me when I am so far away from home. I love all of the support,” Fritz said in his on-court interview.

The fifth seed defeated World No. 4 Alexander Zverev en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final earlier in October and has backed up that run in St. Petersburg, dropping just one set at the ATP 250 event.

Fritz won 81 per cent (44/54) of his first-serve points against Struff as he rallied from a set down to advance after one hour and 58 minutes and level their ATP Head2Head series at 1-1.

“I played pretty well for a lot of parts in the first set but a couple of things didn’t go my way. I went up a break but then didn’t have the best service game and got broken back,” Fritz said in his on-court interview. “I had another chance to break and then got broken from 40/15 up. I recovered and brought it together and played a really solid second and third set.”

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Djokovic Down For Double Duty In Paris

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2021

Novak Djokovic will make the most of his long-awaited return to the ATP Tour next week, signing up for singles and doubles duty at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The five-time champion in Paris/Bercy will play his first tournament since falling to Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open, a defeat that cost the Serb the chance to complete the Grand Slam. Djokovic has also signed up to play doubles for just the third time this season (ATP Cup, Mallorca) and will team with countryman Filip Krajinovic.

With Saturday’s draw, Djokovic learned that his opening match will be against Fabio Fognini (whom he leads 8-0 in their ATP Head2Head series) or Marton Fucsovics (3-0). He could meet Gael Monfils (17-0) in the third round.

With the FedEx ATP Race To Turin reaching the home stretch, Jannik Sinner will look to continue his bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Paris, where he will start against #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz or French wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Sinner boosted his chances to secure a place at the season finale when he defeated fellow Turin contender Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals in Vienna as he aims to make his debut at the event. Ruud remains well-positioned, though, and begins against Alexander Bublik or Brit Daniel Evans.

View Rolex Paris Masters Draw

Hubert Hurkacz, Cameron Norrie and Felix Auger-Aliassime are 10th, 11th and 12th respectively in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin standings and all three will be targeting deep runs in Paris. Hurkacz opens against Jan-Lennard Struff or a qualifier and could meet Auger-Aliassime in the last 16, but the Canadian faces a difficult second-round prospect against former champion Andy Murray, who has received a wild card.

Norrie captured his maiden Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells earlier this month and plays Argentine Federico Delbonis in his opening clash in what will be their first meeting.


Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is a potential semi-final opponent for Djokovic and he begins against either South African Lloyd Harris or 22-year-old Alex de Minaur in what will be a difficult test. It will be the Greek’s fourth appearance in Paris, with his best performance a run to the quarter-finals in 2019.

In the bottom half of the draw, reigning champion Medvedev will get his title defence underway against Winston-Salem winner Ilya Ivashka or Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The Russian, who will be aiming to bounce back from his fourth-round defeat to Grigor Dimitrov in Indian Wells, is seeded to meet countryman Aslan Karatsev in the last 16.

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Rafael Nadal Hits With 97 Year Old

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2021

Rafael Nadal’s capacity to delight fans from any generation was in the spotlight again this week. An idol to young hopefuls, a mirror for adults and an example to even the oldest of players, the Spaniard is a sporting icon whose fanbase spans every age group.

Nadal welcomed a very special fan to the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar this week. Ukrainian player Leonid Stanislavskyi, 97 years of age, holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest player in the world with an International Tennis Federation (ITF) licence. He was delighted to meet the Mallorcan ex-world No. 1.

The two spoke together, exchanged greetings and knocked up on court, in a demonstration of the connections that can be made while playing. It was an unforgettable day for Leonid, who professes an eternal love for the game of tennis.

As a result of his passion for the sport, Stanislavskyi, who has been competing in amateur tennis for over half a century, sent a letter to the ITF a few months ago asking them to create a new veteran category for players in his age range. For the first time, the ITF introduced a new category for over-90s at the ITF Super Senior World Championships.

Born on 22 March 1924, Leonid has been able to witness many generations of tennis. From the amateur period, through the start of the Open Era in 1968, to the professional tennis of today, he has followed the careers of the great legends of the sport. His excitement at meeting Nadal in person was a crowning moment in his story.

During his visit, Leonid took the opportunity to see the Rafa Nadal Museum, where he was able to take a close look at the trophies won by the Spaniard during his legendary career. There, among all his other prestigious silverware, his current haul of 20 Grand Slam titles and 36 ATP Masters 1000 trophies can be found.

After a left-foot injury brought his 2021 season to a close, Nadal is continuing to work on his recovery. The Balearic Islander won two titles this year, taking the spoils at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, where he extended his record to 12 titles, and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where he reached the magical figure of 10 cups.

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