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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Lorenzo Musetti

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2022

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Lorenzo Musetti

#NextGenATP Italian lifts ATP 500 trophy in Hamburg

Lorenzo Musetti became the 10th first-time ATP Tour titlist of the season on Sunday when he won a thrilling Hamburg European Open final against Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4.

The Italian let slip five championship points in the second set, but managed to weather the Alcaraz storm in the third set to lift the ATP 500 trophy. spoke to the 20-year-old after the match about his breakthrough, his relationship with his coach, Simone Tartarini, why he idolised his grandfather and his pre-match playlist.

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Musetti Stuns Alcaraz In Hamburg For His First ATP Tour Title

What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
For me it’s a dream. Obviously I always dreamed about winning a title and I didn’t have any chances before. I think my best result was a semi-final, so I never had the opportunity to play a final. I’m really happy with this week. I think we did an amazing job and now we will celebrate and enjoy it for the next days, but we have to focus on Umag and the rest of the year.

What was going through your mind after the second set and how were you able to battle back?
It was a really tough loss in the second set. I think I deserved to close the match in two sets, but then some unlucky things [happened] and Carlos was very good saving so many match points. I was upset with myself with everything, but I tried to find the solution and the solution was to again find the rhythm and the energy. That’s what I did. I’m really happy that I never gave up and it worked at the end.

You had such a good start to your career, but had not made a final before this week. How much of a focus was it for you to lift a trophy?
I never had the chance to get to a final and now getting to the final and lifting the trophy, it’s something really fantastic for me. It’s the first time, so I have no words to describe how it feels. It’s something that you always dream of when you are a child, when you are working and sacrificing yourself. The emotions I had today, I will keep it in my heart and my head for a long time.

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You mentioned you arrived here a little bit sick and without luggage. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
I arrived here on Thursday from Bastad and with all the strikes, one of my luggage [bags] got lost. [It was] the one with the racquets, so I was a little bit worried about how I would play, because I was still in qualifying. Then I got in [the main draw], so I managed to pick up the racquets.

The night before the start of the matches, I threw up all night. I had food poisoning, so I felt a little bit sick. I didn’t expect to go as far as I went, so I’m happy that my luck turned around at this tournament.

You’ve often spoken about your relationship with your coach, Simone Tartarini. How important has he been in your growth as both a player and a person?
Me and Simone are one thing together. We really have this special feeling. It’s more than a coach and a player, it’s like father and son. I consider him like my second father and I always believed in him as a person and as a tennis coach.

He always tried to improve me on and off the court and educate me in the best way. That’s what I need to be competitive like I was today. I just want to thank him for all the support that he’s given me.

You have said your grandfather is your hero. Can you explain why?
My grandfather was a really honest man, a genuine man and I wish in the future that I will be like him. It’s sad because he passed away a long time ago, so he cannot see what I became. Sometimes it’s tough to think about that, but I would like to describe him as my hero.

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Now that you have won a title, what is your next goal and why?
I have to win next week! To win next week and try to win more and more. To try and play even better than today, try to grow and try to have the capacity of maintaining this level during the year. Hopefully there will be more and more lifting trophies.

What do you consider to be your biggest passion outside of tennis and can you tell us a little bit about that interest?
I always like to listen to music. I’m always with my headphones and with my speaker in the room and always traveling with so many things regarding music. I always had the passion since I was a child.

Probably my father transferred to me the passion for music since I was a kid, especially old music. Not [music from] my age, [but] 80s or 90s rock and stuff like that. I wish one day to go to a concert of a rock artist because I haven’t had the chance. I think my first passion outside of tennis is for sure music.

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You’ve said how much you listen to classic rock music. What were the songs on your playlist before the match today?
Before the match I have my own pre-match playlist. That’s I think one of my favorite bands, Linkin Park. Today I listened to a lot of Linking Park songs. The most memorable one was Papercut because it gave me some kind of extra energy during the warmup.

You’ve already accomplished so much at only 20 years old. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career thus far?
That hard work pays off and that you can never expect things. When you expect things, they won’t happen. When you don’t expect it and you just work for it, it’s going to come. I think that’s the most important thing for me.

How will you celebrate your first title?
Probably with dinner with my team, but not a big celebration because we’re going to fly tomorrow to Umag. We have to be Italians, but not too much.

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Musetti Stuns Alcaraz In Hamburg For His First ATP Tour Title

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2022

Musetti Stuns Alcaraz In Hamburg For His First ATP Tour Title

Italian wins all-#NextGenATP battle after letting slip five championship points

Nobody will soon forget how Lorenzo Musetti won his first ATP Tour title.

The 20-year-old let slip five championship points in the second set of the Hamburg European Open final on Sunday before stunning top seed Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 in an all-#NextGenATP battle to lift the trophy.

“I have no words because it was a roller-coaster until the end. I had so many match points. Carlos was so good on the match points, [I had] so many chances,” Musetti said in his on-court interview. “But I think the key of the match was to keep calm and [have] all the patience [with] myself because it was really not easy. Carlos was putting so much effort in the match points when he was down, so it was not easy to find the energy to come back.

“But I cannot describe what I am feeling right now. I think I am still dreaming.”

Entering the week, the Italian had not advanced to a tour-level final. But Musetti showed his mental fortitude against Alcaraz, who will climb to a career-high No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday, to triumph after two hours and 47 minutes.

“Of course I was really upset, but I tried to not show my opponent my reaction. I tried to forgive[ myself for] all the match points and all the points [when] I couldn’t do it,” Musetti said. “I think that was the most [important] thing, even for me, because I didn’t expect the win after all this roller-coaster, so I’m super happy to be here and to be the champion.”

Musetti let slip two championship points while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set and held another three in the ensuing tie-break, including two on his serve. But instead of letting the lost opportunity deflate him, he battled hard in the decider to lift the trophy, falling to the clay after Alcaraz missed a final shot long.

“For me, for my team, for my family, for my friends and for the people who really love me, I appreciate all the sacrifices that my family [made] and all the hard work that I put in with my team,” Musetti said. “I will keep rolling for sure and I will continue like [this] hopefully.”

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This was the first ATP Head2Head clash between Musetti and Alcaraz. The Italian will climb to a career-high World No. 31 on Monday. 

It was clear from early in the match that Musetti was going to throw all his skill at the Spaniard. The 20-year-old played aggressively from the baseline, moved into the net when given the opportunity and kept the five-time ATP Tour titlist off balance with plenty of variety in spin and pace.

Alcaraz was not at his flying best in the championship clash, making uncharacteristic errors, but that was in part because his opponent kept him guessing and he was unable to find rhythm.

Musetti earned the critical break of the first set at 3-3, moving ahead 4-3 when Alcaraz missed a backhand into the net. The Italian then closed out the opener with a forehand approach winner and showed laser focus in his calm reaction to his team.

Alcaraz showed his fighting spirit when he crushed a huge inside-in forehand winner to save break point in the first game of the second set. But he was unable to stave off his opponent’s push for long, hitting a drop shot into the net later in the game to relinquish the break.

Musetti held his nerve at 4-3 when he faced a 0/40 deficit on his serve. But the 20-year-old relied on his serve to get out of trouble.

All was going according to plan until 5-4, 40/15 in the set, when the Italian was unable to convert his two championship points. That gave Alcaraz a boost in energy and despite trailing 3/6 in the tie-break, he found a way to level and Musetti then double faulted to relinquish the set.

Despite the disappointment of watching his golden opportunity slip away, Musetti did remarkably well to recover in the third set. He maintained his level and pushed Alcaraz hard in the decider.

After Alcaraz missed a backhand long on the sixth championship point he faced, Musetti sank to the clay in celebration.

The Italian prevented the Spaniard from becoming the third man in the Open Era to win his first six tour-level finals. Alcaraz is now 14-1 at ATP 500 events this year after lifting trophies in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona in addition to his ATP Masters 1000 triumphs in Miami and Madrid.

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Brkic/Cabral Ease To Gstaad Title

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2022

Brkic/Cabral Ease To Gstaad Title

Bosnian-Portuguese pairing lifts trophy in second tour-level event together

Despite a straight-sets defeat in their first ATP Tour match together in Stuttgart in June, Tomislav Brkic and Francisco Cabral opted to give their partnership a second chance.

That decision paid off on Sunday at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad, where the unseeded pairing capped an impressive week at the ATP 250 event in the Swiss Alps with a 6-4, 6-4 championship match victory against Robin Haase and Philipp Oswald.

“It’s just our second tournament together,” said Cabral at the trophy ceremony. “The first one was on grass. It was my first ever grass event and he [Cabral] doesn’t feel that comfortable on grass, so we just decided we needed to give it one more try and we have got better.”

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Brkic and Cabral upset top seeds Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez with a Match Tie-break win in the first round in Gstaad and did not drop another set all week. The duo produced a powerful serving performance against Haase and Oswald on Sunday to surge to the title in Switzerland, winning 87 per cent (26/30) of points behind their first delivery in a 71-minute victory.

“In these conditions today, we felt really good this morning on this court, and it felt a little bit different because it was hotter than yesterday,” said Brkic. “We found a rhythm, we were holding our serve well. Especially Francisco was serving unbelievable.”

The triumph represents a second tour-level title for both players. Brkic triumphed in Buenos Aires in 2021 alongside Nikola Cacic, while Cabral won his home tournament in Estoril in April alongside Nuno Borges.

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Scouting Report: Alcaraz, Isner & Thiem Headline Umag, Atlanta & Kitzbuhel

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2022

Scouting Report: Alcaraz, Isner & Thiem Headline Umag, Atlanta & Kitzbuhel

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week

The action takes place on both clay and hard courts this week on the ATP Tour, as a host of Top 20 stars compete at three ATP 250 events across two continents.

Reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz headlines the field at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, while Casper Ruud is the top seed at the at the week’s other European clay-court event, the Generali Open in Kitzbühel. In the United States, John Isner will aim to win his seventh title on the hard courts at the Atlanta Open. looks at five things to watch from each event.

View Draws: Atlanta | Kitzbühel | Umag


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1) Opelka Leads The Field: Reilly Opelka will headline the field in Atlanta as he prepares to make his fifth appearance at the ATP 250 hard-court tournament. The 24-year-old, who has won titles on American soil in 2022 in Dallas and Houston, reached the semi-finals in Atlanta in 2016 and 2019, before he enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals last year. The top seed will open his campaign against Ilya Ivashka or Quentin Halys.

2) Can Isner Continue Atlanta Love Affair? Isner has captured six titles in Atlanta, with his latest success coming last year when he downed #NextGenATP countryman Brandon Nakashima in the final. The 37-year-old, who first lifted the trophy at the event in 2013, holds a 36-5 record at the tournament and will look to improve his record further when he faces NCAA singles champion Ben Shelton or a qualifier in his opening match.

3) Kyrgios Returns: Two weeks after soaring to his first major final at Wimbledon, Nick Kyrgios will look to continue his momentum on the hard courts in Atlanta. The Australian, who holds a 21-7 record on the season, is a former champion in Georgia, having defeated Isner to win the title in 2016. The 27-year-old starts his title quest against a qualifier.

4) Draw Stacked With Americans: Excluding qualifiers, there are 11 Americans in the draw, with Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda among the standout names. Tiafoe is making his fifth appearance in Atlanta, with his best result this season a run to the final in Estoril. Paul arrives off the back of a strong grass swing, where he earned a 7-4 record, while Korda will be returning to action for the first time since June, when he picked up an injury in Eastbourne.

Tiafoe could face Korda first up in Atlanta, if the latter overcomes a qualifier in his opening match, while Paul takes on another American in Jack Sock.

5) Kyrgios/Kokkinakis Reunited: Australian Open champions Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis join forces in Atlanta for the first time since their semi-final run in Miami in March. However, the Australian duo faces tough competition in Georgia, where the top seeds are Roland Garros finalists Austin Krajicek and Ivan Dodig. Americans Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock and Wimbledon champions Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell are also competing in the doubles field.

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1) Ruud Strong In Kitzbühel: Norway’s Casper Ruud holds fond memories at the ATP 250 event in Austria, having lifted the trophy last year to complete a clay-court hat-trick. The 23-year-old is the top seed at the tournament and will look to build on his run to the title in Gstaad last week. Ruud will face Carlos Taberner or Juan Pablo Varillas in his opening match as he looks to retain his crown.

2) Thiem On Home Soil: Austrian Dominic Thiem will make his ninth appearance in Kitzbühel this week as he looks to create more success at his home event. The 28-year-old won the title in his last appearance in 2019, while he also advanced to the final in 2014. Thiem arrives high in confidence, having backed up his quarter-final run in Bastad by reaching the semi-finals in Gstaad. Thiem faces Richard Gasquet in the first round.

3) Can Berrettini Add To Trophy Collection? Matteo Berrettini earned consecutive grass-court titles in Stuttgart and London in June, before he was forced to miss Wimbledon due to Covid. The Italian, who advanced to the quarter-finals in Kitzbühel in 2018, quickly found his best level on his return to the ATP Tour last week in Gstaad, advancing to the final at the clay-court event. The 26-year-old defeated Thiem in straight sets in the semi-finals to show his good form.

4) Clay-Court Threats: Roberto Bautista Agut, four-time ATP Tour titlist Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Santiago champion Pedro Martinez are among the players chasing their first Kitzbühel title. Also in the draw is Cristian Garin, who has won all five of his tour-level trophies on clay. Garin, who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon earlier this month, will face Federico Coria on his tournament debut.

5) Erdler/Miedler Defend Home Crown: Wild cards Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler enjoyed a dream run to their maiden ATP Tour doubles title in Kitzbühel in 2021, and the pair returns to defend its crown in front of its home fans. Tim Puetz and Michael Venus are the top seeds in a stacked draw, where second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop and third seeds Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies will also be targeting a successful week in the Austrian Alps.

1) Reigning Champ Alcaraz: Umag holds special memories for Carlos Alcaraz, who captured his first tour-level title at the ATP 250 event last year. The Spaniard, who was No. 73 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings when he won the trophy 12 months ago, will lead the field as the top seed this week and arrives in form, having reached the final in Hamburg, where he faces Lorenzo Musetti for the title. The 19-year-old, who will crack the world’s top five on Monday, has claimed his first two ATP Masters 1000 titles this season in Miami and Madrid.

2) Sinner Seeks First Title Of 2022: Jannik Sinner will compete for the first time since he reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon when he takes the court in Umag. The 20-year-old Italian has reached six tour-level quarter-finals this season, but in 2022 has yet to add to his five ATP Tour titles. Sinner, who reached the second round at the clay-court event on debut in 2019, will meet Jaume Munar or Mikael Ymer in his first match.

3) Baez On The Rise: Sebastian Baez is enjoying the best season of his career. The Argentine captured his maiden tour-level title on clay in Estoril in April, while he reached the final in Bastad earlier this month before losing to countryman Francisco Cerundolo in the final. The 21-year-old is making his debut in Umag.

4) Can Rune Regain Form? #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune started the year in top form, lifting the trophy in Munich before he upset Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros. However, the 19-year-old, who is third in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, has struggled to find his best form in recent weeks. He will look to snap a six-match losing streak when he takes on Bernabe Zapata Miralles or home wild card Dino Prizmic in his opening match in Croatia.

5) Bolelli/Fognini Top Seeds: Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini clinched their first ATP Tour doubles title as a pair in Umag in 2011, and the Italians are the top seeds in Croatia this week as they chase their second title of this year. The in-form Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez are the second seeds, with the Brazilian-Spanish pair looking to lift their fourth tour-level title since first teaming in March.

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Fourth Final The Charm In 2022 For Hamburg Champs Glasspool & Heliovaara

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2022

Fourth Final The Charm In 2022 For Hamburg Champs Glasspool & Heliovaara

Hamburg winners defeat Bopanna and Middelkoop for the title

The fourth final was the charm this season for Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara.

After falling short in their first three tour-level finals of the year, the British-Finnish duo lifted their first ATP Tour trophy of the season on Sunday when they defeated fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop 6-2, 6-4 to win the Hamburg European Open. The unseeded duo did not lose a set at the ATP 500.

“We really clicked this week. Of course we’ve had some good results, especially this year and on clay I think at the beginning of this year we didn’t feel that comfortable,” Heliovaara said. “Now it almost feels like the best surface for us because we’re serving well, but we also give very big pressure to the opponents with our aggressive return game.

“We feel very good together on the court, great chemistry and just enjoy playing. That’s an important thing.”

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Glasspool and Heliovaara had lost their only previous ATP Head2Head meeting against Bopanna and Middelkoop in a heartbreaking final-set tie-break in this year’s Roland Garros quarter-finals. But in Hamburg they saved all three break points they faced to triumph after 64 minutes.

“I think we’ve been playing really well all week, it’s just naturally started to feel better and better,” Glasspool said. “I think Harri’s serving made a big difference in this match particularly. I didn’t serve as good, but he got through service games quickly, held easily, which really helped us and as I said we were just both were naturally playing well by the end of the week, so it was just good all around.”

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Ruud Rallies Past Berrettini To Retain Gstaad Crown

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2022

Ruud Rallies Past Berrettini To Retain Gstaad Crown

Norwegian clinches fourth consecutive title at ATP Tour events in Switzerland

The Swiss air brings out the best in Casper Ruud.

The top seed engineered a mid-match turnaround at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad on Sunday to complete a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory against Matteo Berrettini for the title.

Second seed Berrettini appeared in control in the final at the clay-court ATP 250 event after clinching the opening set and carving out the only three break points of the second. Yet Ruud dug deep to clinch the second-set tie-break and he dominated the final set with his high-powered forehand as he secured his ninth ATP Tour title, and his eighth on clay, with a two-hour, 34-minute win.

With his successful title defence, Ruud improved his tour-level record in Switzerland to 16-0. In addition to his Gstaad titles, the 23-year-old has also lifted the trophy at the past two editions of the Gonet Geneva Open.

Berrettini and Ruud were tied at 2-2 in their ATP Head2Head series coming into Sunday’s final, and that record was reflected in a tight first set that was ultimately decided by crucial moments in the fifth and sixth games. Berrettini’s clean ballstriking, particularly off the forehand wing, enabled him to convert his second break point for a 3-2 lead and the Italian then fended off three break-back chances in the next game.

That flurry of break point opportunities was followed by a period of serving dominance. After Berrettini stayed solid behind his delivery to see out the first set, seven of the 12 games in the second set were held by the server to love. Despite Ruud appearing under pressure after dropping the opening point on serve in the tie-break, the top seed crushed his forehand consistently to reel off five points in a row for a 5/1 lead that proved unassailable for 2018 champion Berrettini.

That breakthrough seemed to energise Ruud further, and the World No. 5 dictated proceedings in the final set as a double break of the previously impenetrable Berrettini serve ensured the Norwegian ultimately eased to victory having won 80 per cent (45/56) of points behind his own delivery.

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