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Alcaraz: 'I Grew Up So Fast'

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2022

Alcaraz: ‘I Grew Up So Fast’

Alcaraz is seeking his fifth title of the season in Montreal

Carlos Alcaraz is ready to break more ground at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers as he looks to build on his whirlwind year in Montreal.

The second-seeded Spaniard, who was ranked outside the Top 50 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings last August, will be targeting a Tour-leading fifth title and third ATP Masters 1000 crown of a dream season on debut in Canada.

“I grew up so fast. To be the second seed at a Masters 1000 is amazing and I didn’t expect this at the beginning of the year. Honestly I still can’t believe it right now,” Alcaraz said during his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. “It is something I wanted at the start of the year, when I was aiming to be at the top and be one of the favourites to win one of the most important tournaments.”

The 19-year-old, who will face Tommy Paul or Vasek Pospisil in his opening match in Quebec, has enjoyed a remarkable rise. Last month, he became the second-youngest player in the 21st century to crack the Top 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, with only countryman Rafael Nadal reaching the landmark faster.

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Now, competing in his first hard-court event since he triumphed in Miami in April, Alcaraz will be looking to adjust to the conditions in Montreal as he plays on his third surface since July. The World No. 4 reached the fourth round on grass at Wimbledon last month, before he advanced to consecutive clay-court finals in Hamburg and Umag, leaving him 42-7 on the season.

“It is tough to change surfaces quickly. In two months, I have played on three surfaces and it is tough. But I consider myself a player who adjusts to a new surface very fast,” Alcaraz said. “The transition from clay to hard is tough, but I did specific work to adjust to hard court and I have come here a lot of days before to get used to this court. [I have been] playing points and sets with the best players.”

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Scouting Report: Medvedev Leads The Way In Montreal, Alcaraz Makes Debut

Alcaraz revealed he has been enjoying his time in Montreal since his arrival and has been excited by the support he has received from fans.

The 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion, who sits second in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin, is looking forward to competing in front of the crowds on his debut in Canada.

“I have felt so much love from the people,” Alcaraz said. “That is amazing for me. It is my first time and I didn’t expect that. There are lots of people and it is amazing to have the support and the love of the people here.”

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Medvedev Returns To The Winners' Circle In Los Cabos

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2022

Medvedev Returns To The Winners’ Circle In Los Cabos

World No. 1 does not lose a set en route to the title

Daniil Medvedev claimed his first title of the season on Saturday when he defeated Cameron Norrie 7-5, 6-0 to win the Abierto de Tenis Mifel in Los Cabos.

The World No. 1 did not drop a set all week at the Mexican ATP 250 event to earn his 14th tour-level trophy. It is the 26-year-old’s first triumph since last year’s US Open.

“Every match was very good, but the final is always special,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “In the final you play the best player of this week, so it’s always a high-level match and I’m really happy that I managed to show some good level, some good shots in such an important match.”

Entering the match, Medvedev was on a five-final losing streak dating back to last year’s Rolex Paris Masters. But the top seed did not show any nerves, converting six of his 10 break points to storm to a one-hour, 23-minute win.

“It was not easy. Cam is an amazing player, so it was really intense,” Medvedev said. “When you play against Cam, you know that you have to fight for every point.”

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The pivotal moment came at the end of the first set. Medvedev held two set points on his serve at 5-4, 40/15, but relinquished his service break. On the first point of the next game, he scraped his hand on the court trying to hit a ball, and needed treatment from the physio as he had drawn blood.

“First set we broke each other two times to be at 5-all and he actually came back from 40/15 and I didn’t play bad in that game at 5-4,” Medvedev said. “So I knew I just had to stay there. Actually bleeding helped me I think a little bit so I could hold my nerve a little bit more. Since then I just managed to play good and it was enough today.”

But instead of panicking, Medvedev went right back to work. The World No. 1 won the final eight games of the match to complete his first week of competition since Mallorca in June.

Norrie won his first ATP Tour title last year in Los Cabos and fell just one match short of retaining his trophy.

“I fought as hard as I could but Daniil, he was too good,” Norrie said during the trophy ceremony. “Well done to you and your team, definitely deserved it this week.”

Did You Know?
With the 250 points he earned in Los Cabos, Medvedev is up to fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin. He is trying to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the fourth consecutive year.

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Nishioka Stuns Rublev, Sets Kyrgios Clash For Washington Title

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2022

Nishioka Stuns Rublev, Sets Kyrgios Clash For Washington Title

Lefty to play for first ATP 500 trophy

Yoshihito Nishioka’s week to remember keeps getting better.

The Japanese lefty continued his impressive run in Washington on Saturday evening when he stunned top seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Citi Open final. The 26-year-old will play 2019 champion Nick Kyrgios for the trophy.

“I love to play here, I have been here many times. But for tomorrow, everyone loves Nick as well. Hopefully still they… the crowd, [cheers for] me, but just [going to] enjoy the day tomorrow,” Nishioka said in his on-court interview. “[It is my] first time [in a] final in a 500, so [I will] just [try to] play my best and [I am] excited.”

Entering the week, Nishioka had not won a tour-level match since Miami in March. But in July, he won five of his seven matches on the ATP Challenger Tour and carried that momentum into the United States’ capital, where he is now one victory from the biggest trophy of his career.

Nishioka has lost all three of his previous ATP Head2Head matches against Kyrgios. Their most recent clash came in the Round of 16 three years ago, a meeting the Australian won 6-2, 7-5 en route to the title.

“We’ve played many times, but he beat me every time since [we were] 16 years old. It is really tough to play against him,” Nishioka said. “He doesn’t have any pace, he just hits the ball so hard every time and most of his serves [too], which [makes it] very tough to break his service games. The most important thing is I have to focus on my service games.”

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But Nishioka’s confidence is soaring. The Japanese star defeated last week’s Atlanta finalists, runner-up Jenson Brooksby and champion Alex de Minaur in the first two rounds, before eliminating seventh seed Karen Khachanov and 16th seed Daniel Evans to reach the last four.

Nishioka needed three hours and 35 minutes to dispatch Evans on Friday, but physically had no issues going blow-for-blow with Rublev, one of the most powerful players on the ATP Tour.

“Today I felt very tired before the start of the match, and for sure I felt I [couldn’t] do the same thing like I did against Evans and Khachanov,” Nishioka said. “I tried to be a little bit aggressive, because I knew Andrey was going to play aggressive to me. I needed to play a little bit aggressive to him.”

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The top seed struggled to control his forehand against the consistent lefty. Rublev continued to press on that wing knowing how quick Nishioka is behind the baseline, and that continued aggression proved his undoing.

The World No. 8 mishit a forehand facing break point in back-to-back service games to lose his serve. While Nishioka gave the first of those service breaks back, he maintained it the second time and served out the match to advance to his first ATP 500 final.

Did You Know?
World No. 96 Nishioka is up to No. 54 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and will climb to No. 42 if he defeats Kyrgios in the final.

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Blumberg/Kecmanovic Make Dream Debut, Win Los Cabos Title

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2022

Blumberg/Kecmanovic Make Dream Debut, Win Los Cabos Title

Debut tandem defeats veterans Klaasen and Melo for the trophy

William Blumberg and Miomir Kecmanovic will never forget their team debut on the ATP Tour.

The American-Serbian pair defeated fourth seeds Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo 6-0, 6-1 on Saturday to win Abierto de Tenis Mifel title in Los Cabos.

“I’m happy to do it with Miomir,” Blumberg said. “We’ve been friends for a really long time. I’ve known him since 14, 15, we were juniors. It’s nice to link up again.”

Blumberg has been Klaasen and Melo’s kryptonite in recent weeks. The former University of North Carolina star teamed with Steve Johnson to defeat the veterans 6-4, 7-5 in the Newport final in July.

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The unseeded Blumberg and Kecmanovic saved all five break points they faced while converting six of their 12 chances to lift the trophy after 53 minutes.

It was an impressive run for the first-time tandem, which needed a Match Tie-Break in the first three rounds. They upset top seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni in the semi-finals.

Blumberg is now a three-time ATP Tour doubles titlist, with his previous two titles both coming in Newport. Kecmanovic is a first-time tour-level doubles champion, having entered the week with a 9-23 doubles record.

“It feels amazing to win a doubles title,” Kecmanovic said. “I [don’t really play much [doubles]. I’m happy that I [was] able to capitalise on the opportunity.”

Did You Know?
While this was their professional debut as a duo, Blumberg and Kecmanovic played a junior doubles event in 2015 together. They lost in straight sets in the first round.

Dodig/Krajicek Reach Washington Final
Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek showed their clay-court prowess as a team when they reached the Roland Garros final and won the Lyon title. Now, they are into a hard-court final together.

The fourth seeds defeated Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop 7-5, 6-3 to reach the Citi Open final. Their championship match opponents will be Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock, who were 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 quarter-final winners against Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The Australian-American duo then proceeded to the final via a semi-final walkover following the withdrawal of Alex de Minaur and Frances Tiafoe.

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Kyrgios Serves Past Ymer To Reach Washington Final

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2022

Kyrgios Serves Past Ymer To Reach Washington Final

Aussie will play top seed Rublev or Japanese lefty Nishioka

Three years after one of the best tournaments of his career, Nick Kyrgios is back in the Citi Open final.

The 2019 Washington champion battled past Mikael Ymer 7-6(4), 6-3 on Saturday to reach the championship match of the ATP 500 for the second time. He will play top seed Andrey Rublev or Japanese lefty Yoshihito Nishioka for the title.

“Honestly I didn’t play anywhere near my best tennis today and I don’t know. The role was reversed, the past couple matches I’ve been on paper, rankings-wise the underdog in my past couple matches, but today I definitely felt like the favourite,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview. “I served pretty solid. Obviously my winning percentage behind my first serve would have been high, but from the back of the court I didn’t play well at all.”

On Friday, the Australian won two matches and saved five match points in the second of those clashes, in the quarter-finals against Frances Tiafoe. Kyrgios did not have his back up against the wall again, but he did have to work hard to oust Ymer.

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The Swede, who ousted former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the first round, used his speed and defensive skills to great effect throughout the week and did so again on Saturday, finding small openings with sublime backhand passing shots. 

But the match was on Kyrgios’ racquet, and the 27-year-old relied on his big serving and baseline power in key moments to triumph after one hour and 35 minutes. He was not at his flying best, showing consistent frustration throughout the first set, but his serve kept him out of danger as he did not face a break point. Kyrgios did not hit 35 aces like he did against Tiafoe, striking 10, but it was good enough for the victory.

“The difference was he stands on the fast and he makes you play that extra ball. He’s an incredible athlete and I really wasn’t expecting him to be that fast,” Kyrgios said. “Maybe next time I might have a couple different tactics when I play him, maybe not to try and out rally him, maybe come forward a little bit more. But it was a tough-fought semi-final and I’m just happy to be in the final once again.”

The first set could have gone either way, with the pair tied at 4/4 in the first-set tie-break. In an uncharacteristic Kyrgios rally, which featured plenty of slices between the two, the Australian prevailed after 24 shots to seize the mini break and eventually, the set.

Kyrgios struggled to break through on Ymer’s serve until 4-3 in the second set, when he finally earned the match’s only break by flicking a forehand half volley from no-man’s land crosscourt and out of the reach of the lunging Swede.

The World No. 63 is up to No. 42 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. If Kyrgios lifts the trophy on Sunday, he will climb to No. 37.

Did You Know?
Kyrgios has made the final of consecutive tour-level tournaments for the first time in his career. If he claims the Washington crown, it will be his first ATP Tour victory since 2019 at the same event.

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Scouting Report: Medvedev Leads The Way In Montreal, Alcaraz Makes Debut

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2022

Scouting Report: Medvedev Leads The Way In Montreal, Alcaraz Makes Debut

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

The world’s best return to ATP Masters 1000 action this week as the ATP Tour visits Montreal for the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers.

World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev leads the field in Quebec, where he is seeking to defend the crown he won in Toronto in 2021. Carlos Alcaraz chases his third Masters 1000 title of the season and is the second seed on his Canadian Masters 1000 debut, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will look to channel the support of their home fans. looks ahead at 10 things to watch in Montreal.

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1) Medvedev Seeking More Canadian Success: Medvedev captured the title when the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 event was played in Toronto last season. With the action set to take place in Montreal this week, the 26-year-old will look to maintain his strong hard court record and clinch his 13th title on the surface. The top seed, who advanced to his first Masters 1000 championship match in Montreal in 2019, could face Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster second-round clash if the Australian overcomes Sebastian Baez in the first round.

2) Alcaraz Makes Montreal Debut: #NextGenATP Spaniard Alcaraz will make his debut in Quebec as he looks to build on his standout season. The 19-year-old lifted Masters 1000 trophies in Miami and Madrid earlier this season and arrives in Canada off the back of runs to clay-court finals in Hamburg and Umag. The second seed, who currently sits at a career-high No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, will face American Tommy Paul or Canadian wild card Vasek Pospisil in his opening match.

3) Tsitsipas, Ruud Make Hard-Court Returns: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud have traditionally produced their best tennis on clay courts in recent years, having earned 12 titles on the surface between them. However, Ruud showed strong hard-court pedigree earlier this season when he reached the final in Miami, while the Greek Tsitsipas has won four titles on hard courts, including the Nitto ATP Finals crown in 2019.

Both will be aiming to quickly find their groove in Montreal as they prepare to compete on hard for the first time since April in Miami. Third seed Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals in Toronto last year, will face a qualifier in his first match, while fourth seed Ruud takes on Slovakian Alex Molcan or American Mackenzie McDonald.

4) Felix & Shapo Carry Home Hopes: The duo that led Team Canada to ATP Cup glory in January return home for another shot at ending the wait for a home champion at the Canadian Masters 1000 event. Auger-Aliassime, who clinched his maiden tour-level in Rotterdam in Feburary, is making his second appearance in Montreal, having advanced to the third round in 2019. Shapovalov has fond memories on home soil after he upset Rafael Nadal during a dream run to the semi-finals on debut in 2017. Sixth seed Auger-Aliassime begins against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka or a qualifier and Shapovalov takes on Atlanta champion Alex de Minaur.

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5) Three-Time Champ Murray Takes On Fritz: Andy Murray will look to regain momentum when he takes to court at an event he has tasted so much success at. The former World No. 1 captured the title in Montreal in 2009 and 2015, while he also triumphed in Toronto in 2010. The Scot faces a tricky opener in Canada, though, with 10th seed Taylor Fritz awaiting in the first round.

The American has enjoyed a strong season, highlighted by his maiden Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells. The 24-year-old, who is on the cusp of cracking the Top 10 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, will be looking to advance beyond the first round in Canada for the first time when he takes on Murray in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

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6) Can Red-Hot Kyrgios Maintain Form?: Nick Kyrgios will arrive in Quebec in red-hot form, having backed up the run to his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon by advancing to the semi-finals in Washington, where he is still competing for the title. The Australian, who is making his fourth appearance in Montreal, holds a 25-7 record on the season (entering the Washington semi-finals) and will look to improve that further when he plays Baez in the first round.

7) Rublev & Sinner Look To Build On Recent Success: Andrey Rublev has lifted three tour-level titles this season and is in strong form, having advanced to the semi-finals in Washington last week. The 24-year-old is seeking his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown this week and will begin against Daniel Evans or Filip Krajinovic. After clinching four titles in 2021, Italian Jannik Sinner returned to the winners’ circle in Umag last month, defeating Alcaraz in a thrilling final on clay. The 20-year-old will be keen to build on his recent success in Montreal, where he faces a qualifier on debut. 

8) Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin Heats Up: With the ATP Tour season ticking into August, the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin has started to heat up. With Auger-Aliassime currently occupying the last qualification spot in eighth, Fritz, Hubert Hurkacz, Matteo Berrettini and Cameron Norrie will be looking close the gap and increase their chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

The 11th-placed Hurkacz reached the quarter-finals in Toronto last season and begins against former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka or Emil Ruusuvuori, with 12th-placed Italian Berrettini starting against Pablo Carreno Busta. Great Britain’s Norrie is 13th and has won two tour-level hard-court titles this season. The 26-year-old will play Brandon Nakashima in the first round.

9) #NextGenATP Stars In Action: Dane Holger Rune and American Nakashima will look to boost their hopes of qualifying for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals for the second consecutive year when they make their debuts in Quebec. The 19-year-old Rune is fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan and will open against a qualifier, while seventh-placed Nakashima plays Norrie. Nakashima has enjoyed strong results in North America, reaching finals on hard in Los Cabos and Atlanta last season.

10) Ram/Salisbury Lead Doubles Field: Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury will lead the doubles field as the top seeds as they seek to retain their title in Canada, having triumphed in Toronto last year. However, the American-British tandem will face stiff competition from second seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos and third seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski. Granollers and Zeballos lifted the trophy in Montreal in 2019 and are four-time Masters 1000 titlists, while Koolhof and Skupski have won a Tour-leading five titles this campaign. 

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Zverev Launches Foundation To Support Diabetics

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2022

Zverev Launches Foundation To Support Diabetics

German reveals he is a diabetic

Alexander Zverev announced on Saturday the launch of the Alexander Zverev Foundation, which will support children with diabetes and provide medication for those in developing countries with the condition.

“Today, the Alexander Zverev Foundation has officially come to life, supporting children with type 1 diabetes and helping people prevent type 2 diabetes by living a healthy and active life,” Zverev wrote in his announcement. “Our mission is to provide insulin and life-saving medicine to children in developing countries and those in need.”


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As part of his announcement, the German revealed he is diabetic.

“As a type 1 diabetic myself, I want to encourage children with diabetes to never give up on their dreams no matter what others might say to you,” Zverev added.

The 25-year-old ended his post with a quote: “The only limit is the one you set yourself.”

Zverev is currently recovering from a right ankle injury he suffered during Roland Garros, for which he underwent surgery in June.

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