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Munar Beats The Rain In Gstaad, Bautista Agut Saves MP Before Suspension

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2022

Munar Beats The Rain In Gstaad, Bautista Agut Saves MP Before Suspension

Ruud, Thiem see matches postponed

In the lone completed singles match on a rainy Wednesday at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad, Jaume Munar defeated Alexander Ritschard to advance to his second tour-level quarter-final of the 2022 season.

The Spaniard earned the 6-3, 6-3 victory by saving all seven break points against him in Roy Emerson Arena and claiming three breaks of his own in the one-hour, 21-minute contest.

“Here with altitude and the fastest court maybe we’re playing on Tour, it’s difficult,” the 25-year-old said in his on-court interview. “I think the key to success in this match was to handle the pressure. I think I played a couple of good points [to save the break chances] and on my break points I did well.”

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Munar is into his first quarter-final in Gstaad after losing to Robert Bautista Agut in the second round in each of his previous two appearances (2018-19).

“I’m super happy,” he said of the achievement. “It’s one of my favourite weeks during the year. I enjoy it a lot here in Gstaad. I love the place very much.”

The Spaniard improved his record to 9-2 in his past 11 clay-court matches, including ATP Challenger Tour events; he won a Challenger title in Perugia and reached the semi-finals in Forli in June. The World No. 63 is up to No. 59 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings behind his two victories this week.

Now through to his first ATP Tour quarter-final since January in Melbourne, Munar could face top seed Casper Ruud next. The Norwegian’s opening matchup against Jiri Lehecka was postponed until Thursday due to heavy rain in Gstaad.

Dominic Thiem’s matchup with Federico Delbonis was also among the rained-out matches, setting up a busy Thursday slate that also includes second seed Matteo Berrettini’s opener against Richard Gasquet.

Third seed Roberto Bautista Agut was nearly knocked out before the downpour, but the Spaniard saved a match point against Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas to extend his stay in Gstaad by at least one day.

After losing the first set in a tie-break, four consecutive breaks of serve in the second set left Bautista Agut serving to stay in the match at 4-5. He erased a match point in that game to level, then saw a break chance go begging in the ensuing game as Varillas edged back in front before the match was suspended with him leading 7-6(3), 6-5.

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Granollers/Zeballos Edge Through In Hamburg

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2022

Granollers/Zeballos Edge Through In Hamburg

Ymer brothers advance in Gstaad

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos made a winning start to their Hamburg European Open campaign Wednesday, overcoming Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 5-7, 6-2, 10-4.

The top seeds, who are making their debut together at the ATP 500 event, won 83 per cent (33/40) of their first-serve points to reach the quarter-finals in one hour and 35 minutes.

The Spanish-Argentine pair has now won their past five matches, after capturing their first title of the season in Halle last month. Granollers and Zeballos will next play Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev.

Third seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus also advanced, defeating Aslan Karatsev and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 32 minutes. The German-New Zealand tandem, who triumphed in Dubai in February, will next face Daniel Altmaier and Jan-Lennard Struff after the Germans defeated Sander Arends and David Pel 6-4, 7-6(4).

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Ymer Brothers Taste Success In Gstaad
Elias Ymer and Mikael Ymer recorded their first win of the season as a team at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad, downing 2021 champions Marc-Andrea Huesler and Dominic Stricker 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach the quarter-finals.

The Swedish brothers, who are joining forces for the first time since 2019, broke twice to advance after 81 minutes.

Robin Haase and Philipp Oswald booked their spot in the last eight with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski, while Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori defeated Vit Kopriva and Pavel Kotov 6-3, 6-3. Oswald won the title at the ATP 250 clay-court event in Geneva in 2017 alongside Austrian Oliver Marach.

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Tampere Celebrates Historic 40th Anniversary On Challenger Tour

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2022

Tampere Celebrates Historic 40th Anniversary On Challenger Tour

Tampere Open becomes the first ATP Challenger tournament to reach the 40-year milestone

Come to Tampere, Finland, in summer and three things immediately stand out.

First, the line between day and night is a blur across the entire country. With the Tampere Open held in the 60th parallel north, players are competing twice as far away from the equator as from the North Pole. At this latitude, the sun is visible until midnight every day in July, illuminating the night sky with a stunning golden-orange hue. It provides a unique backdrop for a professional tennis tournament.

Second, the idyllic landscape that surrounds the city creates a cosy and relaxing atmosphere for players and fans alike. Pine trees fill the countryside as far as the eye can see, permeating the environment with some of the cleanest air in the world. Finland is also known as the ‘Country of a Thousand Lakes’ and the city of Tampere is embedded within a winding network of bodies of water.

Finally, and most importantly, it is the people that make any trip to Tampere special. Finland is famous for being the ‘Happiest Country in the World’, a moniker which they take very seriously at the Tampere Open. Enter the tournament site and you’re promptly greeted with a ‘Moi’ or ‘Huomenta’ (good morning), as you proceed to sit down for a meal in the cafe, enjoy the day in the VIP area or settle in for a match on Center Court. The hospitality is unmatched in Tampere.

It’s no wonder players have been returning to the tournament for 40 years. This week, the longest-running event on the ATP Challenger Tour became the first to celebrate four decades of professional tennis. The Tampere Open was honoured by the ATP on Tuesday, with a special ceremony in front of the Finnish faithful on Center Court.

“Overall, the tournament has had a big impact in building the tennis culture in Finland,” said Finnish legend and two-time Tampere Open (2001-02) champion Jarkko Nieminen. “I have a huge respect for the tournament after these 40 years. It can’t be an easy task. Tampere Open has always been there and I think it’s well-organised and has a good atmosphere.

“In 2001, it was my breakthrough year and the first time I won in Tampere. Even though I had some success before, it’s always special to win the first title at home. I had the similar success the following year and I wanted to come back, even though I was playing the bigger tournaments. And to beat an incredibly young and talented Richard Gasquet in the final was a nice experience.”

Times change and several factors result in the ebb and flow of tournaments’ longevity over the years. To withstand this precise test of time and remain a symbol of durability deserves to be applauded. Led by tournament director and former World No. 48 Veli Paloheimo, a native of Tampere, the tournament has become a beacon on the Challenger Tour and a summer staple in Finland for these 40 years.

“Of course we’re proud of it,” said Paloheimo. “This is the biggest tournament in Finland, so it is nice that we have this here for so long in Tampere. It is a full effort with a few hundred volunteers every year. Coming together as a community is what makes this so special for everyone.”


“I joined the ATP when Tampere was only 10 years old,” added former Challenger director Joanna Langhorne. “It has been a pleasure and an education to share three decades of excellent cooperation with them. I wish them all the very best for this 40th anniversary event and am grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside the tournament and the team for so many years.”

This moment would not be possible without the hard work and commitment of all the tournament staff, volunteers and sponsors. And the players for whom have been provided opportunities to take the next step in their careers, acknowledge the tournament’s dedication and commitment to the sport and the Tour.

The ATP Challenger Tour is the springboard to success for the stars of tomorrow and this tournament has been precisely that in the decorated careers of Carlos Moya, Robin Soderling, David Ferrer, Richard Gasquet and David Goffin. All competed in Tampere, before rising to the Top 10 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“Many congrats to Tampere on their 40-year anniversary, “said 2018 champion Tallon Griekspoor. “It’s a very special place to me, where I won my first Challenger title and came back one year later and reached the final. It’s always an amazing time there and feels like home. Maybe I come back one day and I just wish the tournament all the best for their 40th year.”

From the ATP to the Tampere Open, here’s to another 40 years as part of the Challenger family.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Rublev Extends Strong Hamburg Record

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2022

Rublev Extends Strong Hamburg Record

Coric reaches first tour-level quarter-final since March 2021

Andrey Rublev continued his love affair with the Hamburg European Open Wednesday, moving past lucky loser Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round.

The second seed hit through the Lithuanian with his precise and powerful groundstrokes, while he stepped up his intensity in the key moments to shrug off a second-set Berankis comeback and advance after 73 minutes.

Rublev now holds a 10-2 record at the ATP 500 clay-court event, having advanced to the final in 2019, before he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift the trophy in his previous appearance in 2020.


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“I am happy with my performance. Ricardas is a really tough player. He hits the ball really hard and plays fast, so I had to bring intensity from the first game,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “I am really happy with how I was serving today and I hit some great shots from the baseline.

“The game he broke me in the second set he played really well. He returned really aggressively and I don’t think I made one first serve. But then I kept [my] focus and broke him straight away again.”

With his 32nd tour-level win of the year, the 24-year-old has improved to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Berankis and will next face Bastad champion Francisco Cerundolo.

Rublev is aiming to win his fourth tour-level title of the season this week in northern Germany. The World No. 8 clinched crowns in Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade earlier this year and arrives in Hamburg off the back of a run to the semi-finals on clay in Bastad.

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Earlier, Croatian Borna Coric eliminated Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-3, 6-4 to earn consecutive tour-levels wins for the first time since March 2021. The 25-year-old, who overcame Laslo Djere in the first round, will play reigning champion Pablo Carreno Busta or Slovakian Alex Molcan in the quarter-finals.

“I am very happy. I played a great match yesterday and today I was performing well,” Coric said in his on-court interview. “I was serving great and my forehand was working well, so I am very pleased to be here in the quarters.”

Coric missed the majority of last year due to a shoulder injury, but has shown signs of promise recently, winning an ATP Challenger Tour title in Parma last month.

“I need to be able to play each week at the level I played at today,” Coric added after reaching his first tour-level quarter-final since March 2021. “I haven’t been able to do that for the past 16 months and it has been very tough. But the last two months I have been playing better. I also feel much better on court.”

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