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Red-Hot Alcaraz Heats Up Cover Of Men’s Health

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2022

Red-Hot Alcaraz Heats Up Cover Of Men’s Health

Spaniard is youngest player to crack Top 20 since Andrei Medvedev in 1993

When Carlos Alcaraz sealed victory and fell to his knees on the Rio de Janeiro clay, the tennis world felt the ground shake.

The 18-year-old has started 2022 on fire and his recent title run at the Rio Open presented by Claro win made him the youngest winner of an ATP 500 event. The victory also moved Alcaraz into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time, a feat he has achieved at a younger age than Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, to name but a few.

The tremors of his Rio victory caused waves outside tennis, too. The Spanish sensation features on the front cover of this month’s Men’s Health Spain, and you can read an excerpt from the interview below:

Much has been said in recent weeks about the physical transformation of Carlos Alcaraz, but his maturity has gone much further. At 18 years old, the tennis player from El Palmar (Murcia) has won his first ATP 500 tournament and jumped into the Top 20 after winning the final in Rio de Janeiro and showing that his tennis is much more than muscle and youth.

“For me, tennis is purely mental,” says the tennis player in the exclusive interview he has granted to Men’s Health Spain. “In the end, you are alone there on the court, and it is you and only you who has to know how to overcome and find solutions.” Alcaraz has become the youngest ‘cover’ in the 20-year history of the magazine in Spain, one more milestone in his daring precocity.

Nadal’s shadow is long but Alcaraz avoids comparisons: “I don’t feel like anyone’s successor. I want to be known as Carlos Alcaraz and not as Rafa Nadal’s successor. I want my name to be known.”

Match by match, there is no place or person on the planet that has not set eyes on him. The New York Times defined him as “the great sensation of sport” and “a true prodigy”. For John McEnroe, he is “a player who is going to win a lot of Majors.”

“I have always kept in mind that the first thing is to be a person, and then an athlete,” says Alcaraz, who is always very grateful to the work of his coach, former tennis player Juan Carlos Ferrero. “It is a motto that helps me keep a cool head and my feet on the ground no matter what happens.”

You can read the full story in Spanish from Men’s Health Spain here.

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Medvedev Soars To The Top, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2022

Medvedev Soars To The Top, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 28 February 2022

No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, +1 (Career High)
The 26-year-old has soared to the top of the tennis mountain for the first time in his career, becoming the 27th player to reach No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. Medvedev, who advanced to the semi-finals at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC last week, is the first player outside the ‘Big Four’ of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray to hold the top spot in 18 years, three weeks and six days, since Andy Roddick on 1 February 2004. Standing at 6’ 6”, the 13-time tour-level titlist is the tallest World No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings.

View Latest ATP Rankings

No. 4 Rafael Nadal, +1
The Spaniard has risen one place after he maintained his perfect start to the season in Acapulco. The 35-year-old defeated Cameron Norrie in the final at the ATP 500 event to capture his third tour-level trophy of the year. Nadal, who has now earned 91 tour-level crowns, is 15-0 on the season. Read Acapulco Final Report & Watch Highlights.

No. 6 Andrey Rublev, +1
The 24-year-old has climbed one spot after he continued his dream month at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, clinching the title at the ATP 500 tournament. Rublev, who lifted the trophy in Marseille earlier in February, rallied past Jiri Vesely in the championship match. Read Dubai Final Report & Watch Highlights.

No. 50 Pedro Martinez, +22 (Career High)
Following his breakthrough run to his maiden tour-level title at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open last week, the Spaniard has jumped into the Top 50 for the first time. Martinez showed his fighting qualities throughout the week in Santiago, prevailing in the deciding set three times en route to the crown. Read Santiago Final & Watch Highlights.

No. 74 Jiri Vesely, +49
The Czech stunned former World No. 1 Djokovic in Dubai as he advanced to the championship match as a qualifier at the hard-court tournament. The 28-year-old arrived in Dubai holding a 1-5 record on the season, but found his best level to earn standout wins against Marin Cilic, Roberto Bautista Agut and Denis Shapovalov as well as Djokovic. Vesely’s victory over the Serbian resulted in Medvedev being crowned the new World No. 1.

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Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz, +1
No. 19 Carlos Alcaraz, +1 (Career High)
No. 30 Alex de Minaur, +2
No. 56 Miomir Kecmanovic, +7
No. 62 Sebastian Baez, +16 (Career High)
No. 86 Ricardas Berankis, +13
No. 98 Alejandro Tabilo, +15 (Career High)

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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Pedro Martinez

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2022

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Pedro Martinez

24-year-old breaks Top 50 in ATP Rankings for first time

Pedro Martinez showed all his fighting qualities to clinch his first ATP Tour title at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Spaniard came from a set down to defeat #NextGenATP star Sebastian Baez in the championship match in the Chilean capital. Fourth-seeded Martinez had already battled past Jaume Munar, Yannick Hanfmann and local favourite Alejandro Tabilo on the way to the final at the clay-court ATP 250 event, his second on the ATP Tour.

The win pushes Martinez to a career-high No. 50 in the ATP Rankings, and afterwards he told more about his journey to a first tour-level title.

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What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
It’s a really big feeling, I’m really happy. It’s something I was trying to do in the past two years, [when] I’ve played almost all ATPs [tour-level tournaments], and now to be here in the winning club for this year, it’s amazing for me.

You competed in your maiden tour-level final against Casper Ruud in Kitzbuhel on clay last season. To what extent did that experience help you when playing in the championship match today?
I don’t think I lost that match because I didn’t have experience, I think Casper was just on a really good level. I’m happy to be here again. I was mentally ok, I was prepared, I knew it was going to be a long match, even when I was down a break in the second, I kept fighting. So maybe that gave me confidence.

You arrived in Santiago having not been beyond the second round at a tournament this year, what are the main factors behind why it suddenly all clicked again this week in Chile?
This year I’ve competed in every match I’ve played. Last week I lost against [Diego] Schwartzman, it was more than one and a half hours, but it was a big result for him, 6-1, 6-1. But I think I’ve been doing things OK since the start of the year. I’ve lost to really good players, and I fought every match, and I knew my moment was going to arrive. That’s what you have to do. Be patient and your moment will arrive.

You came through some hard-fought matches this week as you showed your fighting spirit. How would you describe yourself off the court? Does your on-court resilience extend off the tennis court as well?
Off the court I think I’m a quiet guy. I like to chill with the other guys, spend time with my family when I’m at home. When I go on court, I think I’m another person. Something changes in my mind, some things go too fast, and some things I can’t control. That’s what it feels like, but that gives me my fighting spirit on the court.

You grew up living next to the Club de Tenis Alzira. Can you talk about your earliest memories of playing the sport and your development?
I lived there since I was six years old. I had a skateboard, and I [used to ride it] straight to the court. I spent all my time at that club. My coach, Nacho, he made me learn fierce skills that I have in my game now. I was always playing with my friend, Pepe, and those are my biggest memories. I was always there with a tennis racket or football, from [age] six until 15, all my childhood.

Countryman Rafael Nadal was an idol for you when growing up. How inspiring is it for you to still see him dominating as he has done this season?
What Rafa has done this season is something without words. He did it before, but every time he surprises everyone, I think he also surprises himself. He inspired me, he inspired many players. We also have a really good culture of tennis in Spain, so that’s what gives you confidence to reach new things and I hope I can go higher in the rankings and keep playing like this.

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?
For sure my parents, they supported me when I was a kid. My grandfather, all my family was behind me when I needed. My girlfriend, I’ve been with her for four and a half years. She comes with me everywhere that I decide to go. We’ve moved a few times from one house to another, and she’s always by my side and a big support for me.

What do you consider to be your biggest passion outside of tennis and can you tell us a little bit about that interest. I know you like your dogs and supporting Real Madrid?
We have seven dogs! I rescued one here in Santiago in 2019, when I came here for a Challenger. I found a puppy on the road, he was looking for food in the trash, and I took him and said, “I have to bring him home.” He’s in Spain right now, he’s called Scooby.

I like to hang out with my friends. I like to spend time at home because with tennis you travel so much. I like to watch other sports, going to eat the good food that we have in Spain.

I support Real Madrid because my grandfather, who passed away a few years ago, supported them since I was a kid. I follow them every weekend when they play in La Liga and I play Fantasy Football with my friends, so I follow soccer a lot.

This is a milestone moment in your career. How will you celebrate this victory?
Tonight I’m going to have a good dinner for sure, maybe a beer with my coach…you have to celebrate when you do something like this. Even if I lost, I would have done the same, and tomorrow we have a flight to go to the Davis Cup. We will see what the night brings!

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Medvedev Makes History, Reaches No. 1 In ATP Rankings

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2022

Medvedev Makes History, Reaches No. 1 In ATP Rankings

The 26-year-old passes Djokovic for the top spot

Daniil Medvedev today becomes the 27th player to reach No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. The 26-year-old (8,615 points) passes Serbian Novak Djokovic (8,465), who has held the top spot in men’s tennis for a record 361 total weeks.

“Of course I am happy to reach No. 1. It was my goal since I was young and especially my goal in the latest times,” Medvedev said. “I got a lot of messages from many people and from other tennis players and I just want to thank everybody for the big support.”

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Medvedev is the first player outside the ‘Big Four’ of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray to hold the top spot in 18 years, three weeks and six days, since Andy Roddick on 1 February 2004. The last time there was a new World No. 1 was more than five years ago, when Murray made it there on 7 November 2016.

Medvedev is the third Russian to achieve the feat, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin. Kafelnikov spent six weeks atop the ATP Rankings and Safin was in the top spot for nine weeks.

Medvedev, who stands at 198cm, is the tallest player to earn the honour in the history of the ATP Rankings. The 26-year-old is also the sixth-oldest player to reach World No. 1 for the first time.

Guaranteed to claim the top spot when Djokovic lost on Thursday in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships against Jiri Vesely, Medvedev last week reached the semi-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco.

Some of Medvedev’s biggest results en route to World No. 1 include his first Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open, an ATP Masters 1000 trophy last year in Toronto at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers, a run to the championship match at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals and a trip to his fourth major final at this year’s Australian Open.

Medvedev cracked the Top 100 in the ATP Rankings in November 2016 when he was 20. The next year, he competed at the inaugural Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and in July 2019, he broke into the Top 10 for the first time.

He has won 13 tour-level titles, including four Masters 1000 crowns. Medvedev also claimed the prestigious season-ending Nitto ATP Finals trophy in 2020. For a full history of the No. 1 ATP Ranking, click here.

View Latest ATP Rankings

Players Who Have Reached ATP World No. 1

Player Date Reached No. 1
Ilie Nastase  23 August 1973
John Newcombe  3 June 1974
Jimmy Connors  29 July 1974
Bjorn Borg  23 August 1977
John McEnroe  3 March 1980
Ivan Lendl  28 February 1983
Mats Wilander  12 September 1988
Stefan Edberg  13 August 1990
Boris Becker  28 January 1991
Jim Courier  10 February 1992
Pete Sampras  12 April 1993
Andre Agassi  10 April 1995
Thomas Muster  12 February 1996
Marcelo Rios  30 March 1998
Carlos Moya  15 March 1999
Yevgeny Kafelnikov  3 May 1999
Patrick Rafter  26 July 1999
Marat Safin  20 November 2000
Gustavo Kuerten  4 December 2000
 Lleyton Hewitt   19 November 2001
 Juan Carlos Ferrero  8 September 2003
 Andy Roddick  3 November 2003
 Roger Federer  2 February 2004
 Rafael Nadal  18 August 2008
 Novak Djokovic  4 July 2011
 Andy Murray  7 November 2016
 Daniil Medvedev   28 February 2022

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Martinez Beats Baez For Maiden ATP Tour Trophy In Santiago

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2022

Martinez Beats Baez For Maiden ATP Tour Trophy In Santiago

Spaniard was competing in his second tour-level final

Pedro Martinez broke new ground Sunday at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open, overcoming Sebastian Baez 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to lift his maiden ATP Tour trophy in Santiago.

The Spaniard, who was competing in his second tour-level final, backed up his hard-fought semi-final victory over home favourite Alejandro Tabilo with another battling performance against Baez in front of a lively crowd.

Martinez rallied from a break down in the second set as he mixed grit with quality to eventually triumph against the Argentine after two hours and 44 minutes. The World No. 72 has showcased his mental and physical strength throughout the week at the clay-court event, prevailing in the deciding set three times en route to the title. He will rise to a career-high No. 52 on Monday.

“I am very happy,” Martinez said in his on-court interview. “It was a big battle. He has played unbelievably well in the past year. I played very well at the end and am really happy. I always fight until the end and that can give you opportunities.”

The 24-year-old is the fourth Spaniard to win a tour-level trophy this year, joining Carlos Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Martinez is also the third first-time tour-level champion of the season, alongside Adelaide International 2 titlist Thanasi Kokkinakis and Open Sud de France victor Alexander Bublik.

Prior to his dream week in Santiago, the fourth seed had not advanced beyond the second round at an event this season. However, he flipped the form book in Chile to become the oldest champion in the tournament’s short three-year history.

Martinez has earned three ATP Challenger Tour crowns in his career. But he had never managed to crack the code at an ATP Tour tournament prior to his momentous win over Baez, losing to Norway’s Casper Ruud in his only previous championship match at this level in Kitzbühel in July.


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In a physical clash in Santiago, breaks were exchanged before the World No. 78 Baez gained control of the final, troubling Martinez with his variety as he mixed his heavy groundstrokes with deft drop shots to pull 5-3 ahead.

After sealing the first set on serve, a pumped-up Baez continued to put his foot down in the second set. However, he failed to close out the match after breaking and holding a 3-2 lead, with Martinez finding his range on his forehand to claw himself back into the clash.

In a tight final set, that swayed one way and then another, Baez rallied from 2-4 to level at 4-4. However, Martinez held firm, raising his level again as he converted his third match point to break and seal his win, falling to his knees in delight.

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Baez, who competed at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in November, was playing in his first tour-level final, having battled past second seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas to reach the championship match.

The 21-year-old will rise to a career-high ranking on Monday, surpassing the No. 72 ATP Ranking he earned earlier this month. The seventh seed clinched three ATP Challenger Tour crowns in Chile last season, but was unable to find a way past the resilient Martinez.

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