Tennis News

From around the world

Stan Returns! Wawrinka To Play Challenger Event

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2022

Stan Returns! Wawrinka To Play Challenger Event

16-time ATP Tour titlist to return after year-long injury struggle

It’s been a long road for Stan Wawrinka, but the Swiss star is accelerating his preparations for his return to the ATP Tour.

The former World No. 3 has accepted a wild card for the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open, an event on the ATP Challenger Tour, being held in Marbella, Spain from 27 March until 3 April.

Wawrinka suffered a foot injury in early 2021 and has not played since his three-set defeat to Lloyd Harris at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in March last year. His return to the match court following surgery and extensive rehabilitation is a promising sign for the three-time Grand Slam champion.

The Challenger 125 event boasts a strong field, with Wawrinka one of three former Top 10 players playing at the clay-court event along with Fernando Verdasco and Lucas Pouille. Two players in the running for qualification for the 2022 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, Holger Rune and Jiri Lehecka, are also competing, as well as World No. 89 Jaume Munar, who reached the final in both 2020 and 2021.

The tournament will mark Wawrinka’s first return to the Challenger Tour since August 2020 when he played back-to-back events in Prague, the first of which he clinched with a championship match victory over Aslan Karatsev.

Source link

Kyrgios/Kokkinakis Team In Miami; Tsitsipas, Hurkacz, Sinner To Pull Double Duty

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2022

Kyrgios/Kokkinakis Team In Miami; Tsitsipas, Hurkacz, Sinner To Pull Double Duty

Acapulco champs Tsitsipas/Lopez take on Bublik/Golubev

After Grand Slam glory at the Australian Open, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are on the hunt for an ATP Masters 1000 crown at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Despite losing out to eventual champions John Isner and Jack Sock in the second round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the electric Australian duo are back for more fun in the sun as their Miami campaign kicks off against the in-form Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni. The Mexican-Argentine pairing has already picked up two titles together in 2022, on the clay in Cordoba and Buenos Aires.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Feliciano Lopez have already proved the heat doesn’t bother them by surging to the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco in February. They start their Miami campaign by taking on Kazakh duo Alexander Bublik and Andrey Golubev.


📺 TV Schedule
🎾 Watch Live On Tennis TV
📱 Follow Live Scores On ATP Tour App
📧 Sign Up For Newsletters

Success on the singles court in 2021 appears to have enticed Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner back for more in Miami. Both of last year’s finalists are pulling doubles duty at Hard Rock Stadium, with Hurkacz partnering BNP Paribas Open champion Isner against three-time Grand Slam winners Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies. Sinner also plays with a big-serving American, teaming up with Reilly Opelka against Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic in the first round.

Top seeds and reigning champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have the chance to rebound from their first-round loss in Indian Wells in their opening clash with Nikoloz Basilashvili and Laslo Djere. Just like Mektic and Pavic, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury are hunting their first title of 2022 and the No. 2 seeds start their Miami campaign against Lloyd Glasspool and Michael Venus.

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos have won five Masters 1000 events since partnering up in 2019 but the third seeds seek their first match win in Miami against Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan. The John Peers and Filip Polasek partnership is making its debut at the event, and the fourth seeds have been handed a tough first assignment against Italian duo Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

Source link

Medvedev And Murray To Meet In Miami?

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2022

Medvedev And Murray To Meet In Miami?

In-form Rublev could face two-time semi-finalist Kyrgios in second round

Daniil Medvedev has a path back to World No. 1 at the Miami Open presented by Itau, but Monday’s draw has presented the 26-year-old with several tricky roadblocks in Florida.

The top seed faces a potential second-round matchup at the ATP Masters 1000 event with another former World No. 1 in the form of Andy Murray. Medvedev can take heart from the pair’s only previous meeting, however, as he beat the Brit in straight sets in Brisbane in 2019.

Murray has always enjoyed the conditions in Miami and took the title there in 2009 and 2013 when the tournament was played at Key Biscayne, but he opens up against another player he has never beaten, Federico Delbonis. The Argentine beat Murray in the pair’s only previous encounter at the 2016 BNP Paribas Open.

View Draw

Medvedev ’s best performance in Miami is his 2021 quarter-final run, but he will need to go a step further than that this time around if he wants to overhaul Novak Djokovic’s lead at the top of the ATP Rankings. 27th seed Cristian Garin is a potential third-round opponent, while dangerous American talent Jenson Brooksby or Doha champion Roberto Bautista Agut could await in the fourth round.

Defending champion Hubert Hurkacz also lies in Medvedev’s quarter of the draw. The Pole will begin his title defence against either Laslo Djere or Arthur Rinderknech, with a potentially tasty fourth-round meeting awaiting with 12th seed Denis Shapovalov.

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas headlines the second quarter of the draw, the Greek hunting his first ATP Tour title of 2022. The closest he has come this year was a run to the final in Rotterdam where he lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime, and the pair could face each other again in the quarter-finals at Hard Rock Stadium. Tsitsipas faces Germany’s Daniel Altmaier or a qualifier in his second-round match, while Auger-Aliassime faces Indian Wells quarter-finalist Miomir Kecmanovic or a qualifier.

Two in-form players who might have something to say about a Tsitsipas vs. Auger-Aliassime quarter-final are Taylor Fritz and Carlos Alcaraz. Fritz became the first man to beat Rafael Nadal in 2022 as he clinched the BNP Paribas Open title on Sunday, and he takes on either Botic van de Zandschulp or a qualifier with Auger-Aliassime a potential quarter-final opponent.

You May Also Like:

Fritz Wins Home Title: ‘It’s A Childhood Dream Come True’

Alcaraz also trod new ground in California, reaching his first Masters 1000 semi-final before falling in a three-set thriller to Nadal. The reigning Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion seeks his first win in Miami against either Marton Fucsovics or Marcos Giron and is a potential fourth-round opponent for Tsitsipas.

Andrey Rublev had a 13-match winning streak ended by Fritz in Indian Wells, and Nick Kyrgios could await the 2021 semi-finalist in the second round as he looks to get another red-hot run going. Wild card Kyrgios, a two-time semi-finalist in Miami, must first overcome Adrian Mannarino to set the clash with Rublev, with whom he shares a 1-1 ATP Head2Head series record.

The Italian charge will be led by Matteo Berrettini and 2021 finalist Jannik Sinner. Fourth seed Berrettini faces Dusan Lajovic or #NextGenATP star Juan Manuel Cerundolo as he seeks a maiden Miami win on his second appearance at the tournament. Sinner has not been past the fourth round at any other Masters 1000 event but almost went all the way in Miami last year before being edged out by Hurkacz. The 20-year-old meets exciting Finn Emil Ruusuvuori or the serve-and-volley game of Maxime Cressy in the second round.


📺 TV Schedule
🎾 Watch Live On Tennis TV
📱 Follow Live Scores On ATP Tour App
📧 Sign Up For Newsletters

Sixth-seeded Casper Ruud will take on either Henri Laaksonen or Benoit Paire as he chases a maiden main-draw win in Miami, while there is also a potential all-British second-round clash between 10th seed Cameron Norrie and wild card Jack Draper, who has already won three ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2022 and chases a first Masters 1000 win against Frenchman Gilles Simon, who is two victories shy of 500 match wins.

Rounding out the bottom half of the draw is third seed Alexander Zverev, who faces a qualifier or Borna Coric in the second round. Coric, who recently returned to the tour after an extended period out with a shoulder injury, is a two-time quarter-finalist in Miami.

Source link

Fritz Climbs Into Top 15, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2022

Fritz Climbs Into Top 15, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 21 March 2022

No. 13 Taylor Fritz, +7 (Career High)
The 24-year-old has jumped into the Top 15 of the ATP Rankings for the first time after he captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open. Fritz, who defeated Rafael Nadal in the final, is the first American man to lift the trophy in Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001. It is the second time Fritz has triumphed after a tour-level event, following his victory in Eastbourne in 2019. Read Indian Wells Final Report & Watch Highlights.

View Latest ATP Rankings

No. 3 Rafael Nadal, +1
The Spaniard has risen one place after he soared to the championship match in the Californian desert. The 35-year-old, who clinched the crown in Indian Wells in 2007, 2009 and 2013, earned hard-fought wins against Nick Kyrgios and #NextGenATP countryman Carlos Alcaraz to improve to 20-1 on the season.

No. 16 Carlos Alcaraz, +3 (Career High)
The 18-year-old’s rapid rise up the ATP Rankings shows little sign of slowing. The Spaniard dispatched Top 20 stars Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils and Cameron Norrie in straight sets in Indian Wells as he advanced to the semi-finals at a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time.

You May Also Like:

Fritz Wins Home Title: ‘It’s A Childhood Dream Come True’

Other Notable Top 100 Movers

No. 1 Novak Djokovic, +1
No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz, +1
No. 24 Gael Monfils, +4
No. 28 Alex de Minaur, +3
No. 29 Grigor Dimitrov, +6
No. 39 Jenson Brooksby, +39 (Career High)
No. 42 Botic van de Zandschulp, +5 (Career High)
No. 48 Miomir Kecmanovic, +13
No. 69 Daniel Altmaier, +10 (Career High)
No. 84 Denis Kudla, +18

Source link

Fritz Wins Home Title: 'It's A Childhood Dream Come True'

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2022

Fritz Wins Home Title: ‘It’s A Childhood Dream Come True’

American’s big day began with injury nightmare

Taylor Fritz often visited the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as a kid, with his family making the two-hour drive from their home in Rancho Santa Fe to watch the tournament action. On one of those trips, his father — Guy Fritz, a former professional player and current coach — told him he would win the desert title one day.

The 24-year-old proved him right with a 6-3, 7-6(5) win over Rafael Nadal on Sunday, though reality is still setting in.

“After the match I kept saying, ‘No way, no way.’ I can’t believe it’s real,” the American told the press after claiming the trophy. “I signed the camera, I just put question marks. Stunned. Couldn’t even believe it.

“This is seriously like a childhood dream come true, like a wild dream you never expect to actually happen. It really hasn’t even sunk in.”

But the dream nearly turned into a nightmare, as Fritz was on the verge of pulling out of the match with an ankle problem following a tweak late in his semi-final victory against Andrey Rublev. Fritz felt “the worst pain imaginable” as he attempted to push off during his warmup.

“I was really upset,” he said, “basically almost crying because I thought I was going to have to pull out.”

After an hour of work with an on-site doctor, Fritz went back out for another practice session and ultimately decided — against the wishes of his team, including coaches Michael Russell and Paul Annacone, and fitness trainer Wolfgang Oswald — to give it a shot.

“It was a game-time decision,” he explained. “A lot of members of my team wanted me to not play the match. I’m never going to let them forget that because I went on the court and it was a complete non-issue, didn’t feel it at all, didn’t hinder me at all.”

He later explained his thought process just before the match: “The way it feels right now, I’d be thinking about it for a long time if I don’t at least go out and try to play. That’s what I told them. They said they don’t agree but they’ll back my decision. I apologised to them for being so incredibly stubborn.”

It’s not the first time Fritz has made a seemingly miraculous injury comeback. After leaving the court on a wheelchair at Roland Garros in 2021, Fritz underwent surgery for a torn meniscus. Less than a month later, he reached the third round at Wimbledon before losing a five-setter to Alexander Zverev.

Not long after contemplating what he would say to the Indian Wells crowd if he pulled out, Fritz instead addressed his home fans as their champion.

Not only did Fritz pick up his first ATP Masters 1000 title, he also got his first win in nine tries against the ‘Big Three’ (he has not played Andy Murray) and leveled his ATP Head2Head record to 1-1 against Nadal. Fritz called beating the Spaniard the “icing on the cake,” recalling watching Nadal and Federer dominate as a kid.

He will rise to No. 13 in the ATP Rankings with the result, reclaiming the title of No. 1 American from Reilly Opelka. But his goals for the season remain the same.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I want to take things one step at a time,” he explained. “My goal for the last couple months has been Top 10. This obviously helps a lot to put me closer to that goal. That’s going to remain the goal for now, Top 10.

“Obviously I’d love to go way higher than that and achieve way more than that… It’s just one tournament. [I still need to] go back to work, never be satisfied with the good results. Just keep wanting more.”

Fritz attributed his title run to three key factors: his forehand, his serve and his success on the big points. He was 4-0 in tie-breaks in his six-match run, including consecutive third-set tie-breaks over Jaume Munar and Alex de Minaur.

After a breakthrough run to the Indian Wells semi-finals in October, Fritz has gone from strength to strength with a newfound confidence in his game. He is now 26-8 since October, including a 10-1 mark in the desert.

“Since the last edition of this tournament, it’s been the forehand that’s really been clicking for me. Just being able to unload and trust it. It used to be a shot that would just misfire, almost lose me matches. Now it’s like I can trust it no matter what to really pull the trigger on a big point, get extra free points.”

Fritz is hopeful that his ankle will allow him to play in Miami next week, with a Monday MRI set to reveal the extent of the injury. If it’s up to him, he’ll be out there chasing a second ATP Masters 1000 title in the Florida sunshine.

“It’s obviously questionable right now,” he said. “I feel bad for [my team], I’m so stubborn.”

Source link

Nadal Praises Fritz, Admits Pain: 'I Tried 'Til The End'

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2022

Nadal Praises Fritz, Admits Pain: ‘I Tried ‘Til The End’

Spaniard reflects on Indian Wells final, first loss of 2022

Rafael Nadal made it very clear that his loss in the BNP Paribas Open final was a credit to Taylor Fritz’s performance above all else. However, the Spaniard admitted that he struggled with an injury in his first loss of the 2022 season (20-1).

“I had pain, honestly. I had problems breathing. I don’t know if it’s something on the rib, I don’t know yet. When I’m breathing, when I’m moving it’s like a needle all the time inside here. I get dizzy a little bit because it’s painful,” Nadal said. “It’s a kind of pain that limits me a lot. It’s not only about pain, I don’t feel very well because [it] affects my breathing.

“[It is] more than [being] sad for the loss, [that is] something that I accepted immediately, and even before the match ended. It’s more about that I am suffering a little bit, honestly.”

You May Also Like:

Fritz Ends Nadal’s Perfect Season To Win Indian Wells Title

There were signs of trouble for the Spaniard towards the end of his three-set battle against countryman Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals. During that match, he received a visit from an ATP physiotherapist. 

“I tried my best. Of course, [it has] not been my day. But that happens. I have experience in all these situations. So in the moment, of course, it’s tough to play a final like this. [I] tried ’til the end. That’s it,” Nadal said. “Even [though] I had my chances in the second set, I didn’t convert too many chances. That’s it. I think it’s a difficult match to analyse personally from my side because I was not able to do many things.”

Nadal later added: “It’s not the moment to talk about that, honestly. Even if it’s obvious that I was not able to do the normal things today… That’s it. It’s a final. I tried. I lost against a great player.”

Two years ago in the Acapulco final, Nadal lost just five games against Fritz. The lefty was highly complimentary of the strides the American has been making.

“Victories like today help. He played well. He went through some great matches during this week I think, especially yesterday. A lot of credit to him on the victory of yesterday. In my opinion, his victory of yesterday is much bigger than his victory of today because he had [a] much tougher opponent in front yesterday,” Nadal said. “He already played great matches in Australia, this year if I’m not wrong, against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas.

“It’s obvious that he is improving. With this victory, it’s a great start of the season for him. He will have chance to be very close if not in the Top 10 very soon.”

Despite the loss, it has been a tremendous start to the season for Nadal, whose 20-match winning streak to begin the year was a personal-best. He has already captured three titles in 2022, including his 21st Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open.

“Honestly, I wanted to make it perfect before clay. [It] has been very, very, very beautiful. Honestly I am sad because the way I was not able to compete. It’s tough to have these feelings… But in the final it’s very, very ugly,” Nadal said. “But in sport it’s not about talking of the past. We need to talk about today. And today is a difficult day for me.”

Nadal will now turn his attention to the clay-court season. The 35-year-old has captured 62 tour-level titles on the surface, and he will look to add more over the next few months.

“I am not [the] kind of person that goes down or goes very high emotionally depending on the moment. I am normally stable, putting everything in perspective,” Nadal said. “Of course, the past two months have have been amazing, unforgettable, very emotional. I enjoyed things that I never thought I could live again a few months ago.

“Now is the moment to try to solve this problem as soon as possible, try to start on clay. Practising starts another part of the season that I enjoy to play. Of course, every single event is so special for me. I hope to be ready for it.”

Source link

Fritz Takes First Set vs. Nadal In Indian Wells Final

  • Posted: Mar 21, 2022

Fritz Takes First Set vs. Nadal In Indian Wells Final

Nadal takes medical timeout following opener

Taylor Fritz came out firing in the biggest match of his blossoming career, racing to a 4-0 lead against Rafael Nadal in the BNP Paribas Open final. Setting an aggressive tone from the first ball, Fritz had no trouble seeing home the advantage to take a a 6-3 first set in 39 minutes.

Nadal left the court for a medical timeout following the set, perhaps feeling the effects of his three-set battle with Carlos Alcaraz on Saturday evening. The Spaniard is seeking a record-tying 37th ATP Masters 1000 title while also bidding to extend his perfect 20-0 record and claim his fourth tour-level title of the 2022 season. 

Fritz, playing in his first Masters 1000 final, has the opportunity to become the first American men’s champion at Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001. At 24, he can also become the youngest Indian Wells men’s champ since Novak Djokovic in 2011.

The 20th seed came out with an attacking game plan that was aided by a heavy helping of second serves from Nadal early on. Powering through windy conditions — though nothing as severe as Saturday night — the American took the initiative from the start and scored a break on his fourth break point of the opening game. Similar tactics earned him a second straight break, both consolidated with love holds.

Fritz won half (16/32) of his points on the return in the set, according to Infosys ATP Stats, breaking in three of five return games.

Nadal created and converted his first break point of the opener to close to 5-3, but Fritz answered back with the help of some Nadal errors to seal the set on the return.

The American’s preparations for the final were interrupted when he stopped his first warmup short because of an ankle problem, stemming from a tweak late in his semi-final win against Andrey Rublev. He returned for a second warm-up at 2 p.m. local time, hitting for 25 minutes ahead of the scheduled 3 p.m. start.

More to follow…

Source link