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Tsitsipas Roars Back From Two Sets Down vs. Musetti

  • Posted: May 24, 2022

Tsitsipas Roars Back From Two Sets Down vs. Musetti

Greek wraps up win after 12:30 a.m. on Chatrier

Stefanos Tsitsipas completed his third comeback from two sets down to inflict more Roland Garros heartbreak on Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti on Tuesday evening. The fourth-seeded Greek started brightly but needed to dig deep in the end for a 5-7, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory that finished after 12:30 a.m. on Court Philippe Chatrier.

It’s the second time in less than two years that Tsitsipas has produced a great escape in the opening round in Paris. He also came back from two sets down against Jaume Munar in September 2020 in the rescheduled edition of the clay-court Grand Slam. The Greek repeated the feat against Rafael Nadal at the 2021 Australian Open.


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Musetti, the #NextGenATP 20-year-old, had a tournament favourite on the ropes for the second straight year at Roland Garros. He won two tie-breaks to take control against eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the 2021 fourth round, but faded late in the match. He put more of a scare into Tsitsipas on this occasion, clawing back an early break in the fourth set, but never got close to a knockout blow.

With the victory, Tsitsipas advances to face Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar, who knocked off France’s Lucas Pouille, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 earlier on Tuesday.

More to come…

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Gaston Ready For More Paris Success

  • Posted: May 24, 2022

Gaston Ready For More Paris Success

Frenchman upsets De Minaur on Tuesday at Roland Garros

There’s something about Hugo Gaston and Paris.

Prior to his first-round match against Alex de Minaur on Tuesday at Roland Garros, six of his 16 tour-level wins had come in the City of Lights. Two of his biggest career results have also come in Paris, a fourth-round showing at this event in 2020 and a quarter-final finish last year at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The 21-year-old, No. 74 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, appears primed to create more Parisian memories this fortnight. Gaston fought off cramps and an 0-3 deficit in the fifth set to delight a packed Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) win over De Minaur.

”The crowd plays a very important role. They supported me right from the beginning,” said Gaston. “I like to share my emotions with the audience, so this helped me. This gave me strength, because it was not an easy task at the beginning and the end of the fifth set. But I used the crowd. They were fantastic, so it was a great moment.”

<a href=''>Hugo Gaston</a> defeats <a href=''>Alex de Minaur</a> in a fifth-set tie-break on Tuesday at <a href=''>Roland Garros</a>.

It seemed that De Minaur would prevail after winning nine consecutive games from the start of the fourth set. Gaston completely flipped the script behind his variety — especially with his drop shot — to serve for the match against the speedy De Minaur twice, at 5-4 and 6-5.

But cramps crept in during the last couple of games before the tie-break. Gaston shook out his legs repeatedly while serving at 6-5, then threw in an underarm serve at 15/40. Although he won the point, causing the crowd to erupt, he was broken again to send the match to a deciding 10-point tie-break. With the fans rallying behind him, Gaston dug deep for another big victory in Paris.

”I came to this Roland Garros with very few matches and some questions on myself,” admitted Gaston. “But my game level was always good. I felt very well on the court and I had a few problems that made it so that I didn’t succeed. If it had been a loss, it would have been difficult to handle, but I gave my best and I’m very happy about the match.”

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Gaston is still fueled by the memories of his two previous runs in Paris. He burst onto the scene two years ago at Roland Garros, when he reached the second week with a five-set win over Stan Wawrinka before falling to Dominic Thiem in an epic five-set battle. Last November, Gaston had his ATP Masters 1000 breakthrough by erasing an 0-5 second-set deficit against Carlos Alcaraz, winning 20 of the last 21 points to reach the quarter-finals.

But Gaston believes he’s a better player now than he was during his breakthrough two years ago. With a second-round match looming against Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin and no chance of facing a seeded player until the fourth round, the Frenchman has the tools to match his run and perhaps surpass it.

“I think my game is better. I feel more strong in my head, in my game and my physical [fitness] also,” said Gaston. “I think I’m also a good person and a better player, too.”

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Koolhof/Skupski Rally For Opening Win

  • Posted: May 24, 2022

Koolhof/Skupski Rally For Opening Win

Mektic/Pavic also advance as Roland Garros doubles action begins

Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski endured a rocky start in their bid for a maiden Grand Slam title together at Roland Garros on Tuesday, but the sixth seeds ultimately advanced to the second round with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Tallon Griekspoor and Botic van de Zandschulp.

The leading team in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Team Rankings, Koolhof and Skupski have won a Tour-leading four titles in 2022 including a maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at the Mutua Madrid Open in the first week of May. They were broken in the opening game in Paris by their Dutch opponents, who went on to take the first set, but Koolhof and Skupski recovered to complete a one-hour, 53-minute victory with the help of 37 winners.

Second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic also enjoyed a winning start, overcoming Andre Goransson and Ben McLachlan, 6-2, 7-5. The win extended the Croatian team’s winning streak to 10 following back-to-back title runs in Rome and Geneva in the past two weeks. The streak marks a return to form for the 2021 year-end No. 1 pairing in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings after a trophy-less start to 2022.

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There were convincing wins for other seeded pairings as the doubles action got underway in Paris. The 12th seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo brushed past Philipp Oswald and Hans Hach Verdugo 7-6(5), 6-3, while Marcelo Melo and Maximo Gonzalez, the 15th seeds, were 6-4, 6-2 winners over Aljaz Bedene and Filip Krajinovic.

There were some first-round upsets, however, headlined by home favourite Benoit Paire and his Spanish partner Albert Ramos-Vinolas edging past four-time semi-finalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. Paire and Ramos-Vinolas, playing their second tournament of the year together after reaching the quarter-finals in Rio in February, claimed a 7-6 (4), 7-6(4) win over the fifth-seeded Colombians.

David Vega Hernandez and Rafael Matos dispatched 13th seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni with a 6-2, 6-3 win, while last week’s champions in Lyon, Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek, continued their impressive form with a 6-4, 7-6(2) triumph over eighth seeds John Peers and Filip Polasek.

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Compounding Returns: Why Holger Rune Is Happy Being Mr. 1%

  • Posted: May 24, 2022

Compounding Returns: Why Holger Rune Is Happy Being Mr. 1%

#NextGenATP Dane is third in Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan

Holger Rune’s breakout 2022 season hit new highs on Tuesday at Roland Garros.

The #NextGenATP Dane upset 14th seed Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(4) for his maiden Grand Slam win in the first round in Paris. The 19-year-old believes his constant desire to raise his level, even after positive results, has been a key driver of his strong form this year.

“Obviously it’s always progress,” said Rune in his post-match press conference. “Even last year I was in the same progress. I’m trying to improve one per cent every day, to always to do things a little better than the day before. I think this has really helped me a lot.”

Rune arrived in Paris ranked No. 40 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, a career high, having claimed his maiden ATP Tour title in Munich at the beginning of May. It is a far cry from where he was a year ago, when he reached the final of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Lisbon as a player ranked outside the Top 300.

“I was obviously far away from playing tournaments [like Roland Garros] but always I had to believe in myself,” said Rune. “I was still young last year, so it was great for me to play these kinds of tournaments at that time.”

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Rune’s progression since that week in Portugal was on full display on Tuesday against Shapovalov, a player who defeated Rafael Nadal on the clay in Rome just under two weeks ago. While aware he was facing an established Top 20 opponent, Rune was determined to only concentrate on what he could control in his first tour-level meeting with the Canadian.

“It was definitely a tough match,” said Rune. “Denis can play some unbelievable tennis. For me, it was just trying to focus on what I could do on the court, try to keep holding my serve, try to take every chance I had. I did that pretty good.

“Of course, I maybe could have closed the third set easier than I did. I had a lot of chances, but I’m just happy that I stayed focused and finished the match in three sets.”

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Rune had an early taste of the big stage at the US Open last year, when he came through qualifying to take his place in a Grand Slam main draw for the first time. His reward was a first-round meeting with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Arthur Ashe Stadium. For Rune, the four-set loss was a key part of his learning curve, but he has now arrived at a point where he wants to turn his potential into concrete results.

“Obviously [playing Novak] was a huge experience for me, so I wouldn’t have replaced that match for any other at that time,” said Rune. “But it’s nice, you know, not to play the best guys in the first round. I would rather wait a little bit.

“Of course, you can’t say that Denis is an easy draw. He’s such a great player. Especially in the Grand Slams, he shows his best tennis.

“I really just tried, as I said, to focus on each point and to keep focusing on myself and not to do so much else.”

With success comes increased recognition, but Rune feels he is becoming accustomed to playing against the biggest names on Tour. Rather than it causing any extra nerves, he sees it as a reward for the hard graft he puts in on the practice court.

“I think it’s nice,” said the Dane. “This is what you work for every day, to be able to play the biggest tournaments. And to play these kinds of players, like Denis, also is great for me. It’s an amazing level.

“I’m super happy and pleased to be in this position right now. To be able to have chances against these guys. To be able to win my first title in Munich was a huge step forward in my career.

“I’m really positive and working hard every day to get better.”

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