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Medvedev On Falling Short Of No.1: 'I Don't Think Nerves Were A Part Of This'

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2022

Medvedev On Falling Short Of No.1: ‘I Don’t Think Nerves Were A Part Of This’

Four-time ATP Masters 1000 champ can reclaim top spot during clay swing

Daniil Medvedev entered Thursday’s quarter-final knowing a win against Hubert Hurkacz would see him return to the top spot in the ATP Rankings following the Miami Open presented by Itau.

But struggling physically in Hard Rock Stadium, the 25-year-old dropped a 7-6(7), 6-3 decision which will keep him behind Novak Djokovic at World No. 2. 

“For me was more important in a way just to win the match itself than to become a No. 1 by winning the match,” said Medvedev, who was not focussed on a return to the top spot. “I saw it more as a bonus. So I don’t feel like I was tight or anything because of this. To be honest, I played a lot of matches where I had the pressure, different [types], and it’s not like something new happened today in terms of like going out of court and feeling crazy tight or something. So I don’t think that nerves were part of this.”

Medvedev had to deal with dizziness and fatigue during the match, and was disappointed not to be able to produce his best tennis at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

“All the match I was not feeling my best. But, you know, sometimes it happens,” he told the press. “I don’t know the actual reason. Maybe the heat. But I was feeling super, like, dizzy, tired, and there was this long game where I couldn’t serve anymore. Then in the locker room I was cramping quite much, so physically was not easy. But at the same time, that’s part of the game.”

Despite the result, Medvedev was happy with his performance in Miami on the whole and feels that his game is trending in the right direction after a 4-2 stretch across Acapulco and Indian Wells.

“I’m kind of happy about the tournament in Miami in a way of tennis … I managed in Miami to find just a little spark to try to make it work. Today was not enough, but I’m happy that I saw that I’m able to do it.”

With few ATP Rankings points to defend during the upcoming clay swing, Medvedev will have every opportunity to fight to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the coming months.

“I’m in the right direction, so it’s good,” he said to conclude his press conference.

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Hurkacz Swoops Into Miami SFs, Halts Medvedev's No. 1 Quest

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2022

Hurkacz Swoops Into Miami SFs, Halts Medvedev’s No. 1 Quest

Pole next plays Alcaraz or Kecmanovic

Hubert Hurkacz moved to within two wins of retaining his Miami Open presented by Itau title on Thursday as he ended Daniil Medvedev’s World No. 1 bid in empathic fashion on Hard Rock Stadium.

In a tight quarter-final battle, the Pole produced an intense and aggressive performance against Medvedev as he clubbed his groundstrokes and finished points at the net to triumph 7-6(7), 6-3 in two hours and two minutes.

The south Florida sun brings the best out of Hurkacz, with the eighth seed now 10-0 at the tournament since 2021, having captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami last year. This week, the 25-year-old has eliminated Arthur Rinderknech, Aslan Karatsev, Lloyd Harris and Medvedev, with his quarter-final win over the top seed levelling their ATP Head2Head series at 2-2.

“I think the return was crucial. I was able to make a lot of returns and get some free points on my serve, because having rallies with Daniil is fun, but they get long,” Hurkacz said on his on-court interview. “It is good I was able to get some free points.

“I have spent a lot of time in Florida, so I am used to the humidity. I think the conditions were in my favour today, so I tried to use them.”

Medvedev spent three weeks as the World No. 1 from 28 February to 21 March this year before he relinquished the spot to Novak Djokovic. Victory over Hurkacz would have moved Medvedev back to tennis’ summit on Monday.

However, the four-time Masters 1000 champion – who was aiming to reach the semi-finals in Miami for the first time – never found top gear against Hurkacz as he struggled to fully impose his baseline game on the Pole.


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Hurkacz will play either #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz or Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the last four as he aims to win his first trophy of the season. The World No. 10 clinched three tour-level crowns in 2021. But his best result this year before Miami was a run to the semi-finals in Dubai.

“Carlos has been playing some amazing tennis this year, only played good matches I think, so that would be super tough,” Hurkacz said. “But Kecmanovic played some super tennis in Indian Wells and he is now backing that up here in Miami. It will be interesting.”

It is just the second time Hurkacz has defeated a Top 2 opponent, with his other win coming against then-World No. 2 Medvedev at Wimbledon in July.

In an entertaining first set, Hurkacz flew into a 3-0 lead as he pulled Medvedev from corner to corner with his heavy ball striking. From 5-2 ahead and seemingly in control though, the World No. 2 showed everybody why he is a 13-time tour-level champion as he hit with greater depth to force a more nervy Hurkacz into errors.

However, the 25-year-old recomposed himself and edged a tight tie-break, receiving a slice of luck at 7/7 when his mis-hit forehand dropped awkwardly at the feet of Medvedev, who could only hit his half-volley long.

Hurkacz continued to play aggressively at the start of the second set as he pressurised Medvedev with deep returns. In a mammoth fifth game, the Pole fired the ball into the corners, stayed patient and eventually gained the break on his sixth break point of the game. He then powered through his final service games and broke a tiring Medvedev again to seal his standout win.

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Koolhof/Skupski Soar Into Miami Final

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2022

Koolhof/Skupski Soar Into Miami Final

Sixth seeds are aiming to win fourth title of the season this week

Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski continued their strong start to the season by reaching their fourth tour-level final of the year on Thursday at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

The sixth seeds recovered from a second-set dip to move past Italians Simone Bolelli 6-1, 3-6, 10-5 in 76 minutes. Koolhof and Skupski have now won five of the six Match Tie-breaks that they have contested in 2022, demonstrating their fighting qualities.

The Dutch-British pair has tasted great success since they teamed for the first time at the beginning of the year, winning tour-level titles together in Melbourne, Adelaide and Doha.

In a tight clash against Bolelli and Fognini, Koolhof and Skupski hit three aces and won 89 per cent (25/28) of their first-serve points, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

They have dropped just one set this week in Miami and will next face Australian Open champions Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios or Hubert Hurkacz and John Isner in the final on Sunday.

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Cerundolo Thriving In Miami With Brother In Support

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2022

Cerundolo Thriving In Miami With Brother In Support

World No. 103 is the lowest-ranked men’s singles semi-finalist in Miami’s tournament history

“I wanted to play!”

With a smile of astonishment, that was the first thing to come out of Francisco Cerundolo’s mouth on court having made it to the semi-finals of the Miami Open presented by Itau following the retirement of Jannik Skinner.

His spontaneity comes as no surprise; at 23 years of age, Cerundolo is having the best week of his career on his debut at an ATP Masters 1000, but he has been knocking on the door of the upper echelons of the ATP Tour for some time.

In Miami, Cerundolo has become the first player to reach the singles semi-finals on his Masters 1000 debut since Jerzy Janowicz did so in Paris in 2012, But he made it clear that he is here to stay and that his desire to compete, improve and perform well both on and off court, have led him to this incredible moment.

“Fran ended the match slightly annoyed because he wanted to keep playing, to keep competing… he really wants to be here and he is showing that in all of his matches,” his young, 30-year-old coach Kevin Konfederak tells

Meanwhile, at home, his parents Maria Luz and Alejandro are glued to the television for every match and try to arrange their lives around their son’s brilliant performances. The family also includes his sister ‘Coni’, who is in South Africa playing in the Hockey Junior World Cup for Argentina.

Of course, after his parents, his tennis-playing brother Juan Manuel Cerundolo, who also had a good week in Miami by reaching the third round, is probably Francisco’s number one fan.

Were you expecting ‘Fran’ to burst onto the scene like this? “He deserved a week like this… He looked like he could do it coming in, his tennis was already there, he just needed a bit of luck. Last year they froze his ranking, he was on the verge of the Top 100 and he lost confidence. But now he’s showing the level he has and always has had,” Juan Manuel explained.

“This is crazy, we talked about it when we were younger; we have been together through every stage of his career and I’ll always want the greatest of success for him and it makes me happy to have shared this week with him, although it’s a shame that I lost first and we couldn’t play each other,” Juan Manuel said laughing.

In fact, Francisco asked his younger brother for advice before facing Frances Tiafoe. “I’m happy that he was able to keep winning two more matches and he’s in the semis and I think he can go even further,” he said.

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For the eldest of the Cerundolo brothers, tennis is far from being the only thing on his mind; academics and books have always been a priority in his life and, the way he sees it, study is very compatible with high-performance sport.

After finishing his secondary studies in Buenos Aires, Cerundolo even did a semester of economics in the United States, at the University of South Carolina in 2018. He then decided that he wanted to try his luck on the ATP Tour, but a few years ago the elder Cerundolo brother started to study an online degree in management, economics and finance at the University of Palermo, with the agreement of the ATP.

Clearly, he is capable of combining the two activities, tennis and academic studies. For example, in 2020, a week when he sat three exams, he won an ATP Challenger event in Split, Croatia, moving him into the Top 200. “In Miami, I haven’t had much time to study really,” he admits this time. “But it’s something that I want to keep doing and I hope to be able to graduate and get my university degree.”


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Now, Francisco has earned himself a place on the brink of the Top 50 tennis players in the world by joining the list of Argentines in the semi-finals of the Miami Masters 1000 this century, which includes David Nalbandian (2006), Juan Monaco (2012) and Juan Martin del Potro (2009 and 2018).

“Today, I’m sure we’ll go to a great place for dinner with the team and then I’ll go and watch the Zverev – Ruud match with popcorn… I don’t care who wins, I’ve seen them both thousands of times on TV,” he says laughing. Feeling confident, playing the best tennis of his life and enjoying the moment, this is the life of Francisco Cerundolo.

Did You Know?
Francisco Cerundolo is the lowest-ranked Miami Open singles semi-finalist in the history of the tournament (1985-2019, 2021-22). The previous lowest was No. 74 Sebastien Grosjean in 1999.

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Third Time's The Charm For Ruud Against Zverev

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2022

Third Time’s The Charm For Ruud Against Zverev

Norwegian to face Argentine Cerundolo for spot in the Miami final

The third time was the charm for Casper Ruud on Wednesday evening at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

On his third attempt, the Norwegian earned his first win against second seed Alexander Zverev 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 to advance to a semi-final showdown against Argentine Francisco Cerundolo. The winner will make his first ATP Masters 1000 final.

“It feels good and it means a lot. This is my first semi-final in a Masters 1000 on hard courts, so that’s a good feeling. I’m very happy to do it here in Miami,” Ruud told “I’ve felt good the couple weeks I’ve been here practising and the matches have felt very good. I want to of course keep going. Today was my toughest challenge yet of the tournament and on Friday will be another big one. I hope that I can take what I’ve learned from my three previous [Masters 1000] semi-finals and bring it into Friday’s match.” 

Ruud lost his first three Masters 1000 quarter-finals on this surface — including two against Zverev last year — without winning a set. But he clawed past the gritty German for his fifth Top 10 victory (5-15).

“I think I’ve seen Sascha play better than he did today, but I took advantage of it,” Ruud said. “I was focussed, I was on top of my game and of course I had a little down period in the second, but I stayed focussed and served really well in the first and third sets. That was the key for the match, I think.”

Now the 23-year-old will have a big opportunity against World No. 103 Cerundolo, who had never previously competed in a Masters 1000 main draw or won a tour-level match on hard court. This will be the pair’s first ATP Head2Head clash.

For a moment, it seemed Ruud would cruise into that matchup. Zverev was slightly low on energy throughout the first set and was unable to do much with Ruud’s heavy topspin groundstrokes.

But at 0-0 in the second set, Zverev saved two break points, the second of which came on a bold second-serve ace down the T. That boosted the two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion’s confidence, and Zverev significantly raised his level and began firing from the baseline. On the other side of the net, Ruud lost control of his solid game and struggled to regain control of the match.

When the Norwegian received treatment on his right foot, which he later said was because of blisters on a toe, the momentum was firmly in Zverev’s corner. Ruud never panicked, though. On break point at 1-0 in the decider he returned a massive 113mph second serve down the T and seized the opportunity with his forehand to play aggressively, breaking Zverev’s serve for a 2-0 lead.

The seven-time ATP Tour titlist recaptured his game from there and despite slight signs of nerves serving at 4-2, he remained calm. Ruud hit his sixth ace before showing the crowd a wide smile after earning his best victory by ATP Ranking against the World No. 4.

“It was great to get that break early on [in the third set] and I was able to keep it all the way out,” Ruud told Tennis TV. “I was serving well. I can thank my serving for the win today.”

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ATP Legacy: Where Nadal & Federer's Legendary Rivalry Began

  • Posted: Mar 31, 2022

ATP Legacy: Where Nadal & Federer’s Legendary Rivalry Began looks back at their clashes in Miami in 2004 and 2005

The rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is renowned in tennis circles and throughout the wider sports world. What some might not know is that the first two clashes between the two superstars came at the same tournament — the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Federer entered the pair’s third-round meeting in 2004 as the No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings, fresh off a title run at Indian Wells. Nadal was a 17-year-old on the rise, but still World No. 34 and known for his clay-court prowess.

What followed was a stunning display by the Spaniard, who clinched their first battle 6-3, 6-3, on hard courts no less.

“I’m very happy because I played one of the best matches in my life,” Nadal said at the time. “Obviously, he didn’t play his best tennis and that’s the reason why I could win. I mean, if he had played his best tennis, I would have had no chance. But that’s what happens in tennis. If a player like me plays at a very, very good level and a top player like Roger doesn’t play his best tennis, I can win.”

One year on, the pair met in the Miami final. Nadal once again appeared ready to stun the Swiss. However, Federer rallied from two sets down to deny the teen 2-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-1.

“It’s one thing to come back from two sets to love and then start the fifth and then in the end lose. So I’m really happy that I came back, because… I’ve hardly ever done it in my career,” Federer said. “This is a big moment in my career. Especially in the finals against a player of this calibre, to really come back, this is not the normal thing I’m doing usually.”

Federer and Nadal have played 38 times since then, with the Spaniard leading their ATP Head2Head series 24-16.

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