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Lopez Falls In Roland Garros Qualifying As Grand Slam Streak Ends

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

Lopez Falls In Roland Garros Qualifying As Grand Slam Streak Ends

Former World No. 12 to miss Grand Slam main draw for first time since 2002

It was 79 and out for former World No. 12 Feliciano Lopez at Roland Garros on Tuesday.

The Spaniard’s record streak of consecutive Grand Slam singles main draw appearances came to an end against Gian Marco Moroni in the first round of qualifying for the clay-court major in Paris. Lopez had appeared at every Grand Slam since Roland Garros in 2002.

Italian Moroni defeated the 40-year-old Spaniard, 6-1, 7-6(4). Lopez reached four Grand Slam quarter-finals during his streak. Three of those came at Wimbledon (2005, 2008, 2011) and one at the US Open (2015).

Andreas Seppi, who entered qualifying this week having appeared in 66 consecutive major main draws back to Wimbledon in 2005, would have taken over the longest active streak after Lopez’s loss. However the 38-year-old Italian fell to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to countryman and #NextGenATP contender Giulio Zeppieri on Monday. Seppi made six fourth-round Grand Slam appearances during his streak — four times at the Australian Open (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018), once at Wimbledon (2013) and once at Roland Garros (2012).

That result leaves World No. 20 Grigor Dimitrov with the longest active streak of main draw appearances at major tournaments, according to the ITF. The Bulgarian is set to appear in his 45th consecutive Grand Slam main draw in Paris next week.

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Fernando Verdasco remains in contention for a main draw spot in Paris after the Spaniard defeated Damir Dzumhur, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, on Tuesday. Verdasco is a consistent performer in the French capital, having reached the fourth round there seven times, including four years in a row from 2007 to 2010. Another former Top 10 star bowed out at the first hurdle, however, as Daniel Masur ran out a 7-6(6), 6-4 winner over four-time tour-level titlist Jack Sock.

Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals contender Luca Nardi’s bid for a maiden Grand Slam main draw appearance started well, with the 18-year-old Italian overcoming the experienced Andrej Martin, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3. Nardi, who sits 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, next faces another prospect, 22-year-old Briton Paul Jubb, who defeated Christopher Eubanks 6-2, 6-7(6), 7-6(10-4).

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There was a dramatic win for World No. 186 Tennys Sandgren, who recovered from 3-6, 1-5 against top seed Thiago Monteiro to prevail 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6 (10-8) in a three-hour, one-minute epic. Sandgren, a two-time quarter-finalist at the Australian Open, has won one main draw match in five appearances at Roland Garros.

Other winners on Tuesday included Juan Manuel Cerundolo, who eased past wild card Luca Van Assche 6-3, 6-3, and Marco Trungelliti, who was a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Antoine Escoffier. Trungelliti will be hoping to replicate his runs in Paris from both 2016 and 2017, when he reached the second-round as a qualifier.

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Medvedev On Clay: 'I Need To Be In The Zone'

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

Medvedev On Clay: ‘I Need To Be In The Zone’

World No. 2 reflects on second-round loss in Geneva against Gasquet

Daniil Medvedev had more than one challenge on his return to action Tuesday at the Gonet Geneva Open. Not only did the World No. 2 miss a month-and-a-half due to a procedure for a small hernia, but he had to return on his least-favourite surface: clay.

“It’s tough. I don’t play my best tennis on clay courts. I know that I am capable of making some good results as I did in the past. But for this, I kind of need to be in the zone, which I was not today,” Medvedev said following his straight-sets loss against Richard Gasquet in the second round. “When I’m not in the zone on hard courts, sometimes during the tournament, during the match, I can try to turn it around and sometimes it doesn’t happen.

“On clay [it is] much tougher and usually from what I remember most of the matches — not all of them, but most of them — I’m losing because it’s tough for me to turn something around unless everything goes well straightaway and that’s what happened today.”

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Impressive Gasquet Spoils Medvedev Return In Geneva

Credit goes to former World No. 7 Gasquet, who showed some of his best tennis in his 6-2, 7-6(5) victory. The Frenchman whipped his one-handed backhand around the court and showed impressive speed for a 35-year-old to retrieve drop shots.

Despite that, Medvedev was in with a chance in the second set deep in the tie-break. But he relinquished his opportunity with a double fault on match point. The top seed hit seven double faults in his loss.

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“[I made] a lot of errors, a lot of double faults. Just was not playing good enough to win. Had maybe some small bright moments in the second set where I maybe could have won the second set,” Medvedev said. “But again because I don’t feel as confident on clay as on the other surfaces, that’s why I lost 7/5 in the tie-break, finishing with a double fault.

“[It is] disappointing, but I’ve had tougher losses in my career and I just need to try to do better next time.”

The good news is that Medvedev was pleased with how his body felt after his first match for nearly two months. Now the 26-year-old will continue working in hopes of finding better form next week at Roland Garros, the season’s second major. Last year, he advanced to the quarter-finals on the Parisian clay.

“Physically I felt not bad today. I think more days of practice and [I] should be ready for Roland Garros because physically, even right now, my body feels good. Let’s see tomorrow morning, because I haven’t played [a tournament] for one month and a half, maybe two months,” Medvedev said. “Hopefully tomorrow morning it’s going to be good also.

“[I will] have some days of practice before Roland Garros so I’m going to try to work physically and also tennis-wise. Hopefully I can try to find the game I had there last year, which is not going to be easy.”

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Impressive Gasquet Spoils Medvedev Return In Geneva

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

Impressive Gasquet Spoils Medvedev Return In Geneva

Frenchman advances to quarter-finals on debut at ATP 250 event

An inspired Richard Gasquet crashed the Daniil Medvedev comeback party at the Gonet Geneva Open on Tuesday.

The Frenchman produced a performance full of imagination and flair to outmanoeuvre the World No. 2 in a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory. Medvedev was playing his first match since Miami in March after undergoing a hernia procedure.

Former World No. 7 Gasquet maintained constant pressure on the Medvedev serve, breaking three times in a 90-minute win at the ATP 250 event. It is Gasquet’s first win over an opponent ranked in the top two of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings since he defeated then-World No. 1 Roger Federer at the 2005 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Medvedev had beaten Gasquet in the pair’s previous tour-level meeting in the first round at the 2021 US Open, a win that kick-started the 26-year-old’s run to a maiden Grand Slam title. The Frenchman appeared dialled in from the start as he set about avenging that loss, striking his one-handed backhand cleanly throughout to surge to victory and a fourth quarter-final of the season.

Despite defeat, Medvedev will be pleased with his second-set showing after an understandably rusty start at the Tennis Club de Geneve. The 26-year-old began to show signs of the form that has earned him 13 tour-level crowns as he recovered from 1-3 to force a tie-break. The top seed found rhythm with his forehand and trademark booming serve, two key weapons he will hope can power him to a deep run at the upcoming Grand Slam at Roland Garros.

Like Medvedev, Gasquet is playing in Geneva for the first time this year, and the Frenchman had already shown he felt at home on the Swiss clay with a 6-3, 6-1 first-round win over John Millman. The 35-year-old certainly looked settled early against the top seed, combining cleverly placed drop shots with elegant ground strokes to capitalise on a slow start from Medvedev.

Gasquet won six games in a row from 2-2 in the opening set to take charge of the encounter and, despite Medvedev’s late rally to level the second set, it was the Frenchman who remained the more consistent into the tie-break. With the win, Gasquet levels his ATP Head2Head series with Medvedev at 2-2.

Gasquet’s quarter-final opponent in Switzerland will be Marco Cecchinato or Kamil Majchrzak.

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‘Good Sensations’: Norrie Makes Winning Start In Lyon

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

‘Good Sensations’: Norrie Makes Winning Start In Lyon

2021 finalist to face Estoril champion Baez in quarter-finals

Cameron Norrie settled in quickly at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon on Tuesday, when the top seed registered a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 opening win over Francisco Cerundolo at the ATP 250 event.

The World No. 11 broke Cerundolo’s serve twice in each set to complete a one-hour, 40-minute win at a tournament where he reached the championship match in 2021, before falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas. Having also made the semi-finals on debut in 2018, Norrie is hoping to maintain the feel-good factor as he hunts another deep run in France.

“It’s great to be here in Lyon,” said Norrie after extending his winning record at the event to 8-3. “I feel really good here, such a simple tournament and the people that come out to watch are really passionate about tennis, they love it.

“[I had] good sensations and I really enjoyed the match for the most part. Francisco is a tricky player with a really good forehand, so I had to watch out for that. There were some nerves there in the second set, [when I was] up a break, and I kind of gave it away a little bit. I was able to break again, and he gave me a couple of loose points towards the end, so I will take those and move on.”

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Norrie’s quarter-final opponent will be Sebastian Baez, after the seventh seed rallied to a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Oscar Otte.

Baez is on a strong run of form on the European clay. He claimed a maiden tour-level title in Estoril in April and qualified for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome last week, reaching the second round before falling to Alexander Zverev at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

The Argentine was in trouble on his Lyon debut, however. World No. 60 Otte took the first set in the pair’s maiden ATP Head2Head meeting, but Baez broke twice in each of the second and third sets to complete a one-hour, 57-minute win and reach his fourth tour-level quarter-final of the year.


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Norrie is prepared for a stern test from Baez when the pair meets for their first tour-level meeting in Lyon. The Argentine’s recent success has not taken the Briton by surprise.

“He [Baez] is having a great year, and I really liked his game when I was in Argentina doing a pre-season many years ago, so it’s nice to see him come on and it’s going to be tough,” said Norrie. “He’s won a title on the clay already this year in Estoril and he’s really enjoying his tennis. I practised with him the other day and he’s hitting the ball big off both sides, so it’s going to be a tough one.”

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Fourth seed Alex de Minaur also enjoyed a successful main-draw debut in Lyon, bouncing back from losing a one-sided first set to home favourite Ugo Humbert in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win. De Minaur has shown solid form in recent weeks on the European clay, reaching the semi-finals in Barcelona in April and the third round in Rome last week, but the 23-year-old Australian is chasing a maiden title on the red dirt.

In the quarter-finals De Minaur will face Yosuke Watanuki, who notched a 6-3, 6-4 win over Soonwoo Kwon for his second tour-level win of the year.

The first round was rounded out in Lyon on Tuesday, as qualifier Manuel Guinard claimed his maiden tour-level win with a 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 upset of World No. 68 Hugo Gaston. He next faces Michael Mmoh, while Federico Coria booked a second round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta by downing Daniel Altmaier, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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ATP Partners With COSAT To Host First South American Challenger Workshop

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

ATP Partners With COSAT To Host First South American Challenger Workshop

Workshop to be held in Rio de Janeiro in July

The ATP and COSAT (the Confederation of South American Tennis) announced today that the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the first-ever ATP Challenger Tour workshop in South America from 14-15 July. Representatives from tournaments and national federations from across the continent will be welcomed to an interactive two-day forum, with the goal of making the burgeoning Challenger Tour circuit even stronger in the region.

The ATP Challenger Tour has made great strides in South America in recent years, as seen in the addition of 20 new tournaments since the start of the 2021 season. The forum aims to foster open dialogue between tournaments, federations and ATP staff, to enhance the existing structure in the region and provide new strategies for growth. The forum will also include the development of an integrated annual calendar in the region and discussions on global Challenger strategy, marketing and tournament standards.

Richard Glover, Vice-President of the ATP Challenger Tour, said: “South America is an exciting growth region for the Challenger Tour and we tip our hat to tournament promoters and federations for their contributions to professional tennis. This workshop aims to strengthen our partnership and provide a platform for strategic collaboration as we look to continue our growth in South America.”

Rafael Westrupp, President of COSAT, added: “The growth of the ATP Challenger Tour in South America is of great importance to all stakeholders across COSAT. We acknowledge that the circuit is the launch pad of professional tennis in the region, and its development is critical as we continue building a strong foundation for the future of South American tennis. The workshop is an important event, aligning with our strategic plan moving forward. We are excited by what’s to come for tennis on the continent”.

South America has long been a staple on the ATP Challenger Tour, since its first tournaments in Brazil in 1979. Since then, the circuit has traversed the continent, featuring in 62 different cities across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Last year, the Uruguay Open in Montevideo became the first Challenger Tour event in South America to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

In addition, the recent growth of Challenger tennis in South America has been reflected on the court. Players have taken advantage of new playing opportunities and a streamlined player pathway in the region. Last year, a record-tying 20 Challenger champions hailed from Argentina, with an additional 12 winners from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Ecuador combined. In total, 23 players from the continent featured in the year-end Top 200 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, with two – Sebastian Baez and Juan Manuel Cerundolo – qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals.

The ATP Challenger Tour is the launchpad of men’s professional tennis, featuring over 150 tournaments across more than 40 countries each season. The competition is intense, with players battling for Pepperstone ATP Rankings points and prize money, while developing their game with the collective goal of progressing onto the ATP Tour. For fans, it provides the opportunity to witness world-class tennis and future stars as they launch their professional journeys. Live stream the action throughout the year via Challenger TV on

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‘A Sunshine Double!’ Djokovic & Son Lift Trophies On The Same Day

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

‘A Sunshine Double!’ Djokovic & Son Lift Trophies On The Same Day

7-year-old Stefan Djokovic wins his first official club tournament in Serbia

Watch out, Novak Djokovic, there’s a new rival in town.

As the World No. 1 was busy clinching his record-extending 38th ATP Masters 1000 title at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Sunday, Djokovic’s son Stefan was playing his first official club competition at home in Serbia. The 7-year-old enjoyed a triumphant debut, lifting the winner’s trophy to round off a successful day for the Djokovic family.

“A sunshine double today,” said 34-year-old Djokovic after hearing of Stefan’s success shortly after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Italian capital for his maiden ATP Tour title of the year. “It’s a very small club tournament. Obviously, it doesn’t really matter. The result is secondary. It was nice to see him playing.

“The first official tournament or match always stays in your memory very fondly. I really wanted him to enjoy it on the court. When we spoke shortly, he was on Cloud 9, with all the family. My parents, my wife’s parents, everybody there supporting him. It’s nice.”

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Despite Stefan showing early promise on court, Djokovic is determined that his own successes will not place extra pressure on his son.

“We had a chat the last few days about the routines and the things he should do before the match,” said the Serbian. “I was kind of leading him into this world. It was interesting to see how he responds to that. Obviously, you have to speak in their language about things that I feel like it could help him.

“I’m not forcing him to play tennis. I never did that. Not a single day have I told him, ‘You have to do this.’ It’s really purely his own desire to step on the court.

“If he wants to embark on this journey, I guess I have to embark with him, too. Of course, I’ll be thrilled if he plays tennis.”

In terms of passion for the sport, Djokovic sees elements of his own tennis journey in Stefan.

“He’s doing well so far, he’s really in love with the sport,” said the seven-time Pepperstone ATP Rankings year-end No. 1. “Last night when I spoke to him, he was up till late. He was showing me forehands and backhands, how he’s going to move tomorrow, kind of shadowing, playing shadow tennis, without a racquet.

“It was so funny to see that. I used to do that when I was a kid. I could see the joy in him, the pure emotion and love for the game. That’s 99.9 per cent of children, when they start to play tennis or any sport. [It] is because they fall in love with it.”

Stefan may be in the lucky position of having an ATP legend to turn to for on-court advice, but Djokovic feels raising Stefan and his daughter, Tara, alongside his wife Jelena, brings him an inherent boost for his own pursuit of success on Tour.

“I have to remind myself, I have the privilege to be the father of wonderful kids,” said Djokovic. “I try to take that energy, childish energy, and fuel my inner child because I tend to forget about my inner child a lot.

“Everything is so serious. It’s your profession. It’s your job. You got to be this. You got to be that. You got to be disciplined. Sometimes we take life too seriously. They remind me of that connection, that pure energy.”

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