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Tsitsipas Ready For Indoor Test In Rotterdam

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

The ATP Tour never stands still for long and, for Stefanos Tsitsipas, this means being prepared to adjust to whatever the season throws at him.

The World No. 4’s last match was his Australian Open semi-final against Daniil Medvedev, played out in the Melbourne heat. In preparing to take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, the World No. 4 is wary of the markedly different conditions in Rotterdam.

“It takes a little bit more time to adjust here, having played outdoors for a long time,” said Tsitsipas in his pre-tournament press conference. “It’s always tricky coming back and playing indoors, so I think a few days of practice will definitely help adjust to these new conditions.”

The top seed has nonetheless proven he can make this exact switch seamlessly before, reaching the semi-finals in Rotterdam in 2021 (l. to Rublev) having also advanced to the lat four in Melbourne a couple of weeks prior. The Greek takes great pride in his ability to perform consistently across different playing conditions.

“I think I am able to play on all surfaces,” said Tsitsipas. “I don’t want to be a player that is only good on one surface. I’m capable of playing equally well on all surfaces and earn points on all the surfaces that the ATP has to offer every season.”


Tsitsipas’ first hurdle in Rotterdam will be a second ATP Tour-level meeting with Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The Greek won the pair’s only previous encounter, in the 2021 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-finals, although Davidovich Fokina was forced to retire after the first set on that occasion. The seven-time tour-level titlist will not be taking anything for granted in their first-round clash.

“I think first rounds are always the most challenging,” said Tsitsipas. “Having to play in new conditions…this is something that has to be dealt with well. Alejandro has had good results. He obviously hasn’t reached his full potential yet, but he is on the way. [He is] a strong opponent and he’s going to try and bring the best out of his game.”

Tsitsipas will be seeking to continue his excellent start to 2022 after undergoing elbow surgery as recently as November. He will be boosted in that objective by the return of spectators after a year away in Rotterdam. “I can’t wait to have the fans back,” said Tsitsipas. “The more people that can come, the better.”

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Scouting Report: Tsitsipas & Fritz Lead Rotterdam & Dallas Fields; Del Potro Returns in Buenos Aires

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

A second consecutive three-tournament week on the ATP Tour will see action in Rotterdam, Buenos Aires and Dallas.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top seed in his return to the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, an ATP 500 event on indoor hard courts in the Netherlands. Casper Ruud leads the field at the Argentina Open (clay), while American Taylor Fritz is the top seed at the Dallas Open (indoor hard), with both of those events classed as ATP 250s.

In addition, Juan Martin del Potro will take the court for the first time since 2019 in Buenos Aires in what may be one of the last events of his career. looks ahead at five things to watch at each event.

View Draws: Rotterdam | Buenos Aires | Dallas

1) Top Seed Tsitsipas: The Greek has played in Rotterdam every year since 2017 (including a 2018 qualifying loss) and holds a 4-4 record at the hardcourt event. He reached the semi-finals one year ago before bowing out against eventual champion Andrey Rublev.

After a run to the Australian Open semi-finals, Tsitsipas hopes to put his recent elbow injury firmly behind him with another deep run. Following ATP Cup and the year’s first Slam, Rotterdam will be his third event since right-elbow surgery in late 2021.

2) Defending Champ Rublev: Like Tsitsipas, Rublev has also competed in Rotterdam each of the past five years. His 2021 title run saw him defeat Marton Fucsovics in the final after beating Tsitsipas and Andy Murray earlier in the draw.

At the start of the season, the Russian got off to a strong start with two dominant Australian Open wins before Marin Cilic ended his run in the third round. Seeded second in Rotterdam, he’ll open against a qualifier, with a potential all-Russian quarter-final against seventh seed Aslan Karatsev two rounds ahead.

3) Murray Added Late: Murray accepted a late wild card and will make his seventh appearance in Rotterdam, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the 2009 final. He lost to Rublev in the second round last year and will now face Montpellier champion Alexander Bublik in the first round.


Murray has already reached the Sydney Tennis Classic final in 2022, his first tour-level title match since his 2019 Antwerp victory. He then showed his trademark fighting spirit in a five-set win over Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Australian Open, but could not repeat that performance in a second-round loss to Japan’s Taro Daniel.

4) O Canada: After leading their nation to the 2022 ATP Cup title, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov both came within one set of the Australian Open semi-finals in a pair of impressive runs. Auger-Aliassime led Daniil Medvedev (who withdrew from Rotterdam) by two sets to none in their quarter-final matchup, while Shapovalov forced a fifth set against eventual champion Nadal in the last eight.

Both seeded in Rotterdam, each Canadian drew a qualifier in the first round. Placed in opposite halves of the draw, they’ll hope to meet in the final.

5) Former Champ Tsonga: The 2017 Rotterdam champion enters this year’s event with some momentum after picking up his first win since March 2019 at the Open Sud de France. While he ultimately lost to fifth seed Filip Krajinovic, 6-4, 7-6(2), in the second round, the former World No. 5 showed signs that his game is rounding into form.

1) Delpo’s Farewell?: Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro revealed on Saturday that Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro may be the last two tournaments of his career. Though he stopped short of announcing his retirement in an emotional press conference, the 34-year-old’s first-round match against countryman Federico Delbonis is now a must-watch.

2) Ruud’s Return: Casper Ruud withdrew from the Australian Open after an ankle twist just before the event. His only previous action this season came at the ATP Cup, where he posted a 2-1 record for Norway, including a win over Cristian Garin. He’ll face Roberto Carballes Baena or a qualifier in his first match.

3) Home Favourites: Despite having top seed Diego Schwartzman as one of 10 Argentines in the Cordoba Open draw, there was no home representation in that final. Defending champion Schwartzman again takes top billing amongst his countryman as the second seed in Buenos Aires, where seven Argentines (not including potential qualifiers) will compete in the main draw.

4) Sonego’s Start: The Italian has recorded at least one win in each of his three 2022 events, including a third-round run as the 25th seed at the Australian Open. In his opening clash, Sonego will look to keep that streak alive against either Sebastian Baez or Holger Rune, both of whom accepted wild cards into the event.

Bolleli/Gonzalez Top Seeds In Doubles: Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez will aim to win their fourth tour-level crown as a team in Buenos Aires. They will face competition from second seeds Fabio Fognini and Horacio Zeballos, third seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar and fourth seeds Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic.

1) Fritz First: The 24-year-old is getting used to life as the American No. 1, but said he won’t take too much pride until he can improve his ATP Ranking to go along with it. After a run to the Australian Open fourth round—his first time beyond the third round at a Slam—Fritz enters Dallas at a career-high of No. 20. He will open against either Oscar Otte or wild card Jack Sock.

2) Cressy Seeks Top 50: Fresh off his run to the Australian Open fourth round—where he gave Medvedev all he could handle in four sets—former UCLA star Maxime Cressy enters Dallas as the sixth seed. Now sitting at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 59, the serve-and-volley specialist could crack the Top 50 with a few more wins. He faces a qualifier in the opening round, then gets either wild card Caleb Chakravarthi (a senior at tournament host Southern Methodist University) or another qualifier in the second round.

3) Brooksby’s Back: After missing the Australian swing, fast-rising 21-year-old Jenson Brooksby makes his 2022 tour-level debut as the fourth seed in Dallas. Last year’s Newport finalist competed in the Columbus Challenger in late January, losing to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the semi-finals. Brooksby is one of 14 Americans in the Dallas draw, not including potential qualifiers.

4) Bigger In Texas: We’ll see some big men and some bigger serves in a fascinating little section of the draw. Kevin Anderson (6’ 8”) and Sam Querrey (6’ 6”) are set to play in the first round, with the winner taking on third seed John Isner (6’ 10”), who receives a bye as the third seed. Expect a tie-break or two.

5) A 30-Year Return: One of America’s longest-running tournaments takes anchor in the Lone Star State with the relocation of the New York Open. Now the Dallas Open, the 2022 event marks the ATP Tour’s return to the city for the first time in more than 30 years.

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Murray Feeling Good But Will Opt To Skip Clay

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

Having sacrificed so much to make an impressive comeback to the ATP Tour, Andy Murray is prepared to do what it takes to stay there as long as possible.

The former World No. 1 has confirmed he plans to skip this year’s clay-court season, including Roland Garros, to give himself the best possible chance to perform well in 2022.

Speaking as he prepares to compete in the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Murray cited previous experience as his reasoning for missing the clay this year.

“The year I lost to Felix [Auger-Aliassime] at the US Open [in 2020] – I never really recovered from that match, and the clay made the issue worse,” Murray said in his pre-tournament press conference. “Then last year I had some issues at the beginning of the year around Miami and again, the clay didn’t help either. I’ve spoken to my team about that and this year, while I’m feeling good and healthy, I don’t really want to take that risk.”


Murray still wants to compete on the clay again, but the two-time Wimbledon champion is particularly keen on getting the best preparation possible for the grass season this year. “It’s not that I wouldn’t potentially play on clay in the future,” Murray said. “It’s just that last year I was really close to not playing the grass season and thankfully I started to feel better right before Wimbledon. I will still try to compete a little during that period, I won’t do nothing, but that’s my plan just now.

“It gives me an opportunity to rest, recover, work on my fitness and not take any risks.”

Meanwhile a familiar face will be helping Murray out from his player’s box in Rotterdam as he faces a tough first-round clash against newly crowned Montpellier champion Alexander Bublik.

Long-time friend Daniel Vallverdu, current coach of three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, has joined Murray’s team on a short-term basis, rekindling a partnership that previously ran from 2010 to 2014 and brought Murray two of his three Grand Slam titles.

“Stan has been rehabbing for quite a long time and is hopefully coming back to the Tour in the near future, but he agreed for Dani to come and help me for a few weeks,” said Murray. “In the short term I will probably have people around that I’m familiar with. That’s quite important for me and obviously Dani and I have been close friends since we were 15 years old. Now he has quite a lot of experience on tour working with many different players, so I think for the short-term it’s a really good option and solution for me.”

Murray also expressed solidarity with Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentine announced he may be about to retire due to a persistent knee injury. Murray himself nearly called it quits in 2019 due to a career-threatening hip injury, and the Scot could only empathise with Del Potro’s situation.

“It’s obviously very sad because he’s had many issues throughout his career, physical problems, and you hope that things are going to get better,” said Murray.

“A lot of the tough times and everything that you go through are not on camera. I know having been in that position myself, you’re feel like you’re suffering a lot of the time alone. That’s the first time he’s spoken publicly for quite a while and I’m sure he probably feels better now for it because of the amount of messages of love and support.

“He deserves to have a good send-off. I don’t know if it was definitive, but a little bit like myself, he’s probably very unsure how his knee is going to react after the amount of time he’s been out. I feel for him. I know it’s an incredibly difficult situation, but I hope he manages to finish on a positive note with all his fans behind him and a great atmosphere, and that he’s as pain-free as can be.”

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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Alexander Bublik

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

Alexander Bublik broke new ground Sunday as he clinched his maiden tour-level title at the Open Sud de France.

The 24-year-old, who was competing in his fifth tour-level final, upset World No. 3 Alexander Zverev to earn the biggest win of his career. The sixth seed in Montpellier also overcame Tallon Griekspoor, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Roberto Bautista Agut and Filip Krajinovic at the ATP 250 event. sat down with the World No. 35 right after he clinched his first trophy in Montpellier to find out more about the significance of this milestone achievement for Bublik.

What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
It means I had a good week, that’s what it means to me.

You’re currently No. 35 in the ATP Rankings and set to rise to a career-high on Monday. How happy are you with where your game is at the moment?
Of course, I’m happy with my game. I’m not sure which ranking I will be in after the win, I never check, but I guess it will be better than 35. I’m happy with the way I played and the way I practiced, so I’m pretty happy.

You had reached four tour-level finals before your run here but had never managed to win a title. How important were those previous experiences in helping you triumph in Montpellier?
Obviously, I had four finals…one I was not able to play against [Alex] de Minaur, last year in Antalya because I injured myself in the semi-finals. The more experience you have, the easier it is to handle. Of course, four finals gave me a little boost to say, “Whatever is going to happen, I’m fine with it,” that’s how I approached this match.

Could you take a moment to acknowledge some of the key figures in your life and career that helped you to reach this milestone?
I had obviously my family, my coach Artem, my wife, my mum…my family was always there. The Kazakh federation helped me throughout my career, big thanks to them as well.

How did you start playing tennis? What are some of your early memories playing the sport?
My father was my coach until 2019, so since I was a little kid until 2019 he was my coach. I have memories like all the other players, playing some junior tournaments, crying after matches, some frustration, but that’s part of life.

You’re entertaining and dynamic to watch on court, how would you describe yourself off the court?
I’m more laid back, I take life easy, I have a philosophical way of living. Same on the court! You guys are just watching me when I hit the balls and play some electric shots, which is part of my game but not part of my life I would say.

Sometimes when there is a big comedian, they are so sad in life…I’m not sad, but there is a difference between Alexander Bublik on the court and Alexander Bublik off the court.

What do you consider to be your biggest passions outside of tennis and can you tell us a little bit about those interests. I know you are a big fan of nature and exploring the French and Swiss Alps?
I like nature. We have a house in the woods by the lake in Russia. I like spending time by the lakes. I like to sleep, rest and do nothing. My plans for the future are to rest.

This is a milestone moment in your career. How will you celebrate this victory?
They have just got me a magnum of champagne, but I have a tournament coming up, so I have to take care of my body.

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Bopanna/Ramanathan Delight Home Fans With Pune Title

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan showed how to handle home pressure as they clinched the Tata Open Maharashtra title in Pune on Sunday.

The second seeds playing to maintain an unbeaten record in 2022, held their nerve to defeat top-seeded Australians Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith 6-7(10), 6-3, 10-6.

It was Bopanna and Ramanathan’s second ATP trophy of the year, having also triumphed at the Adelaide International 1 in January (d. Dodig/Melo). Their only match together prior to this season had been a Davis Cup defeat against Finland in 2021, but the pairing now holds an 8-0 match record in 2022.


They were made to work for their victory in Pune. Saville and Smith, also playing their first ATP Tour final as a team, edged the first set tiebreak and performed strongly overall on serve. The Australians landed 79 per cent of their first serves and won 80 per cent (48/60) of points behind first delivery.

Bopanna and Ramanathan still managed to break twice in the second set to level however, forcing a Match Tie-break that began tensely. It was the Indian pairing that cut loose at 4/4, embracing the home support to reel off five points in a row before sealing victory with their fourth match point after a tight one hour, 46-minute encounter.

The title is Bopanna’s 21st tour-level trophy and his second in Pune, having also won in 2019 with Divij Sharan. It is Ramanathan’s second career title after the pairing’s Adelaide victory.

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Sousa Surges to Pune Title

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

It’s been a long wait, but Joao Sousa has that winning feeling once again.

The Portuguese World No. 137 defeated Finnish sixth seed Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-1 to seal his first ATP Tour title since 2018 on Sunday at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune.

It marks a wonderful return to form for Sousa, who had spoken emotionally about his recent struggles with injury and form after his epic semi-final victory over Elias Ymer.

“[It’s] a great week for me,” said Sousa after winning the title. “As I said yesterday, we’ve had a few tough moments in the past two years, and to get the title today is just a dream come true. If you’d asked me six months ago if I would be in a final, I would have said no.”

His determination to make it back to the biggest stage was on full display against 22-year-old Ruusuvuori, one of the most exciting young players on the Tour who recently gave Felix Auger-Aliassime a five-set scare at the Australian Open.


The 32-year-old Portuguese appeared to be feeling the effects of the Ymer battle early on in his first ATP Tour meeting with Ruusuvuori. The World No. 87-ranked Finn fired some powerful ground strokes to break for a 5-3 lead in the first set, but the pressure of edging closer to a maiden ATP title appeared to affect him as he served two double faults to hand Sousa a break back.

A marathon tie-break was then clinched in style by the Portuguese, who showed incredible defence to force Ruusuvuori into an error on a smash and convert his fourth set point.

The momentum was all with former World No. 28 Sousa. He broke early to surge into an early 3-0 lead in the second set and Ruusuvuori looked to be beaten. The Finn had other ideas, however, reeling off a series of searing winners to take five games in a row from 1-4 down and force a decider.

Sousa dug deep and used all of his experience to halt the Finn’s momentum by breaking early in the third set. He held his nerve on serve impressively throughout, saving five out of eight break points he faced to seal victory in two hours and 43 minutes.

“I knew that Emil is a great player so it would be tough to close out the match,” said Sousa after sealing an emotional first title since Estoril in 2018. “He played great tennis at the end of the second set…I knew that I had to be there [in the third set] and get my game into it.”

Sousa has now won four tour-level titles, while Ruusuvuori was competing in his maiden final at this level.

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Bublik Shocks Zverev, Captures Maiden Trophy

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

Alexander Bublik earned the biggest win of his career Sunday, upsetting World No. 3 Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-3 to capture his maiden ATP Tour title at the Open Sud de France.

The 24-year-old implemented his dynamic game on Zverev from the start as he combined brutal ball striking with deft touches to capture the first Top 5 win of his career after 70 minutes in Montpellier.

“I played four finals before and [in] the fifth final I have won against a great player against Sascha,” Bublik said. “It is great. All my game together. I was serving well and returned well and kept my nerve. I was lucky in the moments and when I had my chances I used them.”

The Kazakhstani, who was competing in his fifth tour-level final, fired eight aces and won 86 per cent (25/29) of his first-serve points to improve his ATP Head2Head series record against Zverev to 2-0. Bublik also defeated the German in Rotterdam last season.


With his victory, the World No. 35 will rise to a career-high in the ATP Rankings on Monday. In a dream week in Montpellier, Bublik also earned wins over Tallon Griekspoor, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Roberto Bautista Agut and Filip Krajinovic.

In a standout 2021 season, Bublik earned a personal-best 35 victories on Tour, reaching finals in Antalya and Singapore. He has continued to build on his strong year, moving to 7-2 on the 2022 campaign.

Zverev was aiming to win his 20th tour-level title at the ATP 250 event. The top-seeded German lifted the trophy in Montpellier in his last appearance at the tournament in 2017.

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Herbert/Mahut Save 1 M.P., Clinch Montpellier Crown

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut tasted success on the ATP Tour once again on Sunday, edging Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara 4-6, 7-6(3), 12-10 to win the Open Sud de France title.

In a hard-fought battle, the top seeds rallied back from the brink, saving one match point at 9/10 in the Match Tie-break, before holding their nerve to seal victory after one hour and 49 minutes in Montpellier.

The Frenchmen, teaming for the first time this season, have now won 21 tour-level titles together. Following their victory, Herbert and Mahut have triumphed on French soil four times. The pair has won two Roland Garros trophies as a team and ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Monte Carlo (2016) and Paris (2019).

In a tight match, the top seeds returned with great depth and closed the net effectively throughout to put pressure on Glasspool and Heliovaara and broke once in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

Glasspool and Helivoaara were aiming to win their second tour-level title as a team, after lifting the trophy in Marseille last season. The British-Finn tandem did not drop a set en route to the final at the ATP 250 event.

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Alcaraz Passes Driving Test

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz is now able to cruise the roads with the same aplomb that has taken up the ATP Ranking. The Spaniard announced on social media that he has passed his driving test, another significant step in his personal development.

The Murcia native juggled his time on Tour with the studies needed to obtain his licence. Using down time at tournaments to revise the traffic regulations and study the theory in depth, Alcaraz has taken full advantage of his recent 18th birthday to reach the happy milestone.

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A post shared by Carlos Alcaraz Garfia (@carlitosalcarazz)

Alcaraz, who broke into the Top 30 of the ATP Ranking for the first time this week, continues to be one of the players to watch in the men’s game. Various names from the world of tennis were keen to congratulate him after he passed his test.

“You almost won a Grand Slam before getting your driving licence! Now, you can do the former,” joked Alex Corretja in his post. “Great!” said the Australian Alex de Mianur, another of the Tour’s young guns.

With his driving test behind him, Alcaraz will be in the spotlight again in the coming days on the ATP Tour. The Spaniard will start the South American swing by playing in the ATP 500s in Rio de Janeiro and Acapulco, which will serve as a springboard for the North American hard-court Masters 1000s in Indian Wells and Miami.

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