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De Jong, Ugo Carabelli Try Their Hand At Peruvian Cooking Class

  • Posted: Oct 25, 2022

De Jong, Ugo Carabelli Try Their Hand At Peruvian Cooking Class

The Dutchman and Argentine are competing at the Challenger 80 event in Lima

When Camilo Ugo Carabelli and Jesper de Jong arrived at the Lima-2 Challenger this week, they traded in their tennis racquets for kitchen utensils.

Dutchman de Jong and Argentine Ugo Carabelli embraced the culture of Peru’s capital city as they took part in a local cooking class, a few blocks from the host venue (Club Terrazas de Miraflores) of the Lima-2 Challenger. Both Challenger Tour stars were up for the task.

“I really like to cook,” Ugo Carabelli said. “This past month I cooked my favourite dish, Argentinian barbecue.”

Although it wasn’t his home-cooked asado, the 23-year-old, who holds two Challenger titles this season, jumped right in as he teamed with de Jong to make causa limeña and lomo saltado.

<a href=''>Camilo Ugo Carabelli</a> prepares the lomo saltado at a cooking class in Lima, Peru.
Camilo Ugo Carabelli prepares the lomo saltado at a cooking class in Lima. Credit: Adam Roberts

Causa limeña, a Peruvian entrée, is layered with potatoes and vegetables, topped with avocado, olives, and a hard boiled egg. Lomo saltado, which de Jong said was his favourite of the two, is beef sirloin cooked over fire with onions, tomato, and peppers.

“My first reaction to this cooking class was, ‘Okay, this is going to be tough,” de Jong said. “But I need to learn and it’s good to do something outside of tennis. I like to cook pasta but it’s a little simple, I need to make more special dishes.”

De Jong, 22, claimed he hadn’t cooked since May, when he went on his first date with his girlfriend. The Haarlem native, who won his maiden Challenger title in 2021 (Almaty-2), handled the new experience as if it was like riding a bike.

ATP Challenger Tour 

The chef guided de Jong and Ugo Carabelli step-by-step as they cut the vegetables for the causa limeña. The aroma of onions and peppers filled the room. Along the way, de Jong and Ugo Carabelli paused to taste test the yellow chili paste and yellow potatoes, both featured in the entrée.

“I need to eat healthy,” Ugo Carabelli said. “I can’t eat too much because I gain weight very fast [laughs].”

When it was time to prepare the main dish, lomo saltado, both players tried their hand at stirring the beef over the flame. Not long after, the meal was all set. Served with a side of rice and french fries, de Jong and Ugo Carabelli sat at the table and enjoyed their freshly cooked Peruvian cuisine.

<a href=''>Jesper de Jong</a> (left) and <a href=''>Camilo Ugo Carabelli</a> pose with the chef after cooking lomo saltado.
Jesper de Jong (left) and Camilo Ugo Carabelli pose with the chef after cooking lomo saltado. Credit: Grant Thompson

“I wasn’t sure what to expect but Camilo and I made some really nice dishes,” de Jong said. “What I tasted of Peruivian food was pretty good and I made it myself, so that’s even better!”

“It went better than I expected,” Ugo Carabelli said. “It was very fun and I honestly learned a lot from the chef.”

Any fears of failure were suddenly removed as they realised it was a successful afternoon in the kitchen.

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Thiem Saves 2 MPs, Edges Paul In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 25, 2022

Thiem Saves 2 MPs, Edges Paul In Vienna

Austrian will next play Medvedev or Basilashvili

Dominic Thiem found himself on the brink Thursday at the Erste Bank Open, but he showcased his fighting qualities to survive on home soil in Vienna.

The former World No. 3 saved two match points en route to a hard-fought 2-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(6) win against American Tommy Paul at the ATP 500 event.

In front of a packed home crowd, Thiem recovered from a slow start as he grew into the match. He fired his fierce groundstrokes through the court and held his nerve under pressure, saving two match points at 4/6 and 5/6 in the third-set tie-break to eventually triumph after two hours and 58 minutes.

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Thiem is making his 11th appearance in Vienna, with his best result a run to the title in 2019. The 29-year-old will look to continue his journey at this week’s event when he plays top seed Daniil Medvedev or Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round.

Thiem arrives in Vienna in strong form, having advanced to consecutive tour-level semi-finals in Gijon and Antwerp earlier this month. The 2020 US Open champion is up six spots to No. 107 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his win against Paul.

In other action, Cameron Norrie kept his slim Nitto ATP Finals chances alive when he defeated Argentine Pedro Cachin 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(1). The 27-year-old is 12th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin on 2,400 points. Norrie, who competed in Turin as an alternate last season, is 825 points behind seventh-placed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The prestigious end-of-year event will take place in Turin from 8-12 November. Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic have already qualified.

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'It's Why I Keep Playing': Wawrinka Downs Ruud In Basel

  • Posted: Oct 25, 2022

‘It’s Why I Keep Playing’: Wawrinka Downs Ruud In Basel

Seeking first Basel title, the Swiss faces Nakashima next

Competing at the Swiss Indoors Basel for the 15th time, Stan Wawrinka thrilled his home fans by recording his biggest win since defeating Novak Djokovic at the 2019 US Open.

The 37-year-old from Lausanne used a crisp and efficient performance to upset second seed Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4 in the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting. Wawrinka converted on each of his two break points — one late in each set — and saved all three against him to close out the victory in one hour and 18 minutes.

“It’s super special. A lot of emotion being back here in Basel with the Swiss fans,” he said post-match. “It’s always been amazing for me to play here [but] it’s always been difficult because I am always nervous when I enter this court. I always want to show my best. It took me a little bit of time to adapt to the court but the level was great and I’m really happy with that.

“This is one of the main reasons why I keep on playing,” added Wawrinka, who entered the event with a protected ranking. “I’m getting old, that’s for sure. I had to fight the last two years with the injury, surgery. Coming back was not easy. I was struggling really to get back in shape physically and tennis-wise. So to be able to produce that tonight here in Switzerland is of course something really special and hopefully I can keep playing well.”

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Ruud committed just four unforced errors in the match, but one handed Wawrinka the decisive break in the second set as the Norwegian surrendered serve at love with an untimely loose game. Wawrinka, who won 93 per cent (26/28) of his first-serve points and hit 28 winners, served out the victory with ease to advance to the Basel second round for the seventh time.

The Swiss scored his first break to lead 4-3 in the opening set, then fought off three break points in the ensuing game to consolidate. He would not face another break point in the match as both men dominated on serve, save four Ruud’s late slip in the second set. Both men held to love three times in a speedy second set that saw just four points go against serve outside of Wawrinka’s break.

Wawrinka has reached 30 tour-level finals in his career, winning 16 titles, but has never reached the title match in Basel. Now 14-13 overall at the ATP 500, he seeks to improve on semi-final runs in 2006 and 2011.

He will next face #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima, who beat David Goffin 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 on Monday.


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Ruud has now lost his past three matches, including defeats to eventual champion Yoshihito Nishioka in Seoul and Jaume Munar in Tokyo.Though he beat Jack Sock in a Match Tie-break at the Laver Cup, he is still searching for his first ATP Tour tournament win since his US Open final run, which lifted him to a career-high of No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Despite the loss, the Norwegian’s place in next month’s Nitto ATP Finals is already secured. He sits fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and cannot be passed this week.

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Murray Captures Thrilling Win In Basel

  • Posted: Oct 25, 2022

Murray Captures Thrilling Win In Basel

#NextGenATP Swiss Stricker Boosts Milan Hopes

Another day, another epic Andy Murray match on the ATP Tour.

With his back against the wall, the former World No. 1 rallied past Roman Safiullin 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

In a hard-fought clash, Murray showcased an abundance of grit as he rallied from 1-4 in the third set to eventually triumph after two hours and 37 minutes at the ATP 500 event.

“He was serving huge and any opportunity he was hitting the ball huge from the back of the court,” Murray said. “As the match went on, I started to dictate a few more points and served better. I changed the way I was returning a little bit and when I did that I was able to create a few more opportunities and frustrate him a little bit.”

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The Scot was pushed from side to side against the big-hitting qualifier for large periods of the clash. However, he hung in and cut down on errors in the crucial moments to earn his 26th tour-level win of the season. It is the most match wins Murray has had in a season since 2016 when he recorded 78.

Murray, who is making his first appearance in Basel since 2005, will next play sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut or Serbian qualifier Laslo Djere. The World No. 49 has now spent 11 hours and 23 minutes on court in his past five matches, with four of the five going to a deciding set.


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#NextGenATP Swiss Dominic Stricker moved past American Maxime Cressy 7-6(4), 6-3 to boost his Milan chances. The 10th-placed Stricker is currently in the final qualification spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Milan on 467 points, 66 points clear of 11th-placed Italian Matteo Arnaldi. The Race ends at the conclusion of this week.

Stricker is aiming to make his debut at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held from 8-12 November at the Allianz Cloud. The lefty, who is making his first appearance in Basel, will next face Pablo Carreno Busta.

Earlier, the Spaniard dispatched Sebastian Baez 6-2, 6-1 in just 61 minutes. Carreno Busta hit 20 winners and committed just seven unforced errors to advance.

Alex Molcan also booked his spot in the second round, eliminating Mackenzie McDonald 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 31 minutes. The Slovakian will next play Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.

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Challenger Tour History: Argentina's 21 Titles This Season… And Counting

  • Posted: Oct 25, 2022

Challenger Tour History: Argentina’s 21 Titles This Season… And Counting

Cachin tied with Draper at a season-leading four Challenger titles

Tennis is largely an individual sport. But Argentine players on the ATP Challenger Tour have been playing with a sense of team spirit in the second half of the season, chasing history for their proud sporting nation.

The South American country, which boasts great sportsmen such as Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Manu Ginóbili, Juan Martin del Potro, and Guillermo Vilas, has a crop of Challenger Tour players who have proven to be unstoppable.

“We have a nice group of players at the moment,” Facundo Bagnis told “We have young players, those that entered the Top 100 for the first time this year, those that qualified for Grand Slams for the first time, and even the older guys like me [laughs].”

Players from Argentina have combined to make Challenger Tour history this year, collecting 21 Challenger titles, marking the most titles by a single country in a season.

<a href=''>Juan Manuel Cerundolo</a> (left) and <a href=''>Camilo Ugo Carabelli</a> at the 2022 Buenos Aires-2 Challenger.
Juan Manuel Cerundolo (left) and Camilo Ugo Carabelli at the 2022 Buenos Aires-2 Challenger in October. Credit: Manuel Cortina

Heading into this past weekend, Argentina was tied with France at 19 Challenger titles this year. The previous record for most Challengers by a single country in a season, 20, has been reached four times. (France in 2005, Argentina in 2007, 2016, 2021). After tying the record for a third time in 2021, Argentine players set their sights on attempting to stand alone at the top of the Challenger Tour record books.

On Sunday, Juan Manuel Cerundolo was crowned champion at the Coquimbo Challenge while Bagnis secured the record-breaking 21st title by winning the Ambato Challenger.

“When the match finished and they told me the record, it was an amazing feeling,” Bagnis said. “Argentina will always be at the top levels of global tennis and today, with even more tournaments close to home in South America, we are grateful for this and have taken advantage of all the opportunities.”

Pedro Cachin, 27, holds a season-leading four Challenger titles (tied w/ Jack Draper) and is the only Argentine with more than two titles this season. Cachin, World No. 55, won titles in Madrid, Prague, Todi, and Santo Domingo.

ATP Challenger Tour 

“Most Challenger titles in a year is incredible.” Cachin said. “It’s amazing to have such an opportunity for all the players to be a part of something special like that. It is not easy for our players to travel the world, going very far from home, but to have this achievement makes it all worth it.

“Especially for the younger guys, to see that Argentina has the ability and potential to win many titles. Hopefully this will increase the enthusiasm of players from Argentina to play this great sport. For us, it is a privilege to be a part of this great moment. The guys have worked hard and their talent is now showing.”

Buenos Aires native Camilo Ugo Carabelli is one of five Argentines to win multiple Challenger titles this season. Bagnis, Cachin, Cerundolo, and Francisco Comesana have also claimed at least two Challenger titles each. Ugo Carabelli, 23, broke the Top 100 for the first time in August and claimed the title at the Buenos Aires-1 and Lima-1 Challengers.

“I’m very happy for our country,” Ugo Carabelli said. “We put in a lot of effort and it’s a great award. There are many Argentines playing Challengers, new players appear all the time, they all play at a high level. The fact that players continue to emerge speaks well for us.”

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#NextGenATP star Cerundolo has won 12 of his past 13 matches, including collecting the titles at the Buenos Aires-2 and Coquimbo-2 Challengers. When ‘Juanma’ won on home soil earlier this month, the 20-year-old became the 14th Argentine champion this year, tying a Challenger Tour record for the most different winners from a single country in a season (USA in 2006, France in 2011).

“To win 21 titles is incredible for Argentina,” Cerundolo said. “It means a lot. It shows that everything we have done to grow tennis in Argentina is working.”

La Plata native Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who reached a career-high No. 72 in July, is a three-time Challenger finalist this year. At the Concepcion-2 Challenger in March, the 23-year-old was crowned champion to add his name in the mix of Argentine champions in 2022.

<a href=''>Tomas Martin Etcheverry</a> in action at the 2022 Parma Challenger.
Tomas Martin Etcheverry in action at the 2022 Parma Challenger. Credit: Daniele Combi

“I give thanks to ‘el Pulga’ [Horacio de La Peña] for giving us a lot of tournaments in South America,” Etcheverry said. “We have chances to play a lot of tournaments close to home. We are very happy about this achievement [21 Challenger titles].”

De La Peña, former World No. 31 from Buenos Aires, serves as director of the Circuito Dove Men+Care Legión Sudamericana, which is a series of Challenger tournaments held in South America. De La Peña’s aim in directing the series, which began in 2021, has been to give South American players more opportunities to develop their game.

With six weeks left in the Challenger Tour season, Argentine players will attempt to strengthen their lead in the record books before setting their sights on surpassing their own record for a second straight year in 2023.

Did You Know?
In the 45-year-history of the ATP Challenger Tour, Argentina has had a total of 366 Challenger champions, second-most behind USA (472).

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Dimitrov Earns Opening Win In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 25, 2022

Dimitrov Earns Opening Win In Vienna

Shapovalov and Evans reach second round

Grigor Dimitrov snapped a three-match losing streak on Tuesday when he cruised past Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-4 at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

The Bulgarian arrived at the ATP 500 event off the back of disappointing opening-round exits on home soil in Sofia and in Stockholm. However, he produced a strong serving performance against Monteiro to earn his 22nd tour-level win of the season.

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Dimitrov fired 10 aces, won 86 per cent (30/35) of his first-serve points and did not face a break point to reach the second round after 75 minutes. The 31-year-old, who is making his fifth appearance in Vienna, will next play third seed Andrey Rublev.

In other action, Daniel Evans rallied from 2-5 in the second set to overcome German Oscar Otte 6-4, 7-6(3). The Briton has fond memories in Vienna, having advanced to the semi-finals on debut in 2020. The 32-year-old will next meet Karen Khachanov.


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Denis Shapovalov brushed aside Austrian Jurij Rodionov 6-4, 6-4 to maintain his good form. The Canadian, who reached the final in Seoul and the last four in Tokyo earlier this month, struck 27 winners and broke six times to triumph after one hour and 42 minutes.

The World No. 19 will next meet fourth seed Taylor Fritz, who defeated Shapovalov in Tokyo.

Finn Emil Ruusuvuori also advanced, eliminating Metz champion Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 6-3. Ruusuvuori, up to No. 41 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, will next play fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz or American Frances Tiafoe.

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Grazie, Andy: Paying Tribute To Andreas Seppi, The Pro's Pro

  • Posted: Oct 25, 2022

Grazie, Andy: Paying Tribute To Andreas Seppi, The Pro’s Pro

The Italian retires after a 20-year career

When Andreas Seppi was seven years old, his hobbies included playing football and skiing. Tennis was not on his radar because his family had never played the sport.

But one day, Seppi’s childhood best friend tried tennis, so ‘Andy’ wanted to give it a shot. More than three decades later, the 38-year-old Italian on Tuesday concluded a decorated career during which he finished inside the year-end Top 100 for 15 consecutive years (2005-19), won 386 tour-level matches and three ATP Tour titles.

“I would have signed immediately if somebody would have told me, ‘You could play until the age of 38’,” Seppi told “I feel really blessed that I could do this for such a long time.”

When current World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz was born, Seppi had owned a Pepperstone ATP Ranking for two and a half years. The veteran has been a fixture at the top of the men’s game ever since, consistently competing against the world’s best players.

Seppi defeated a who’s who of stars including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Daniil Medvedev and Lleyton Hewitt, helping him climb to a career-high World No. 18. But perhaps most impressive about Seppi’s journey is not the level he reached, but his longevity.

Federer, Seppi
Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
The Italian competed in 66 consecutive Grand Slam main draws from Wimbledon in 2005 through this year’s Australian Open. That is the third-longest streak in history behind only Feliciano Lopez (79) and Fernando Verdasco (67).

“I remember when I got close to the Top 100 and then I made it inside, I finished the year maybe 70 or something like that. I was always in some way just thinking, ‘Okay, I hope I can stay a few more years in the Top 100’,” Seppi recalled. “Now looking back and seeing that I did it for 15 years in a row is something that I would have never expected at the beginning of my career and so I think maybe that’s the part I am most proud of, just to have managed to be able to stay at such a high level for such a long time.

“Of course maybe I could have won a couple of more tournaments or maybe my best ranking could have been a little bit better, but this achievement of playing all these years at this level, I think it’s for me the most special.”

Part of the reason Seppi was one of the most consistent players of his generation was his work ethic. The Italian was the consummate professional, what you might call a pro’s pro. Countryman Fabio Fognini shared a heartfelt message for his friend and colleague on Instagram.

“It was great sharing so many years together at the circuit. You have been a friend, a companion, an opponent but above all an example of dedication, professionalism and willpower,” Fognini wrote. “You’ve always pushed me, pushing me to be better each time we’ve faced each other. I hug you and wish you the best for the future.”


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A post shared by Fabio Fognini (@fabiofogna)

An ATP Tour champion on all three surfaces — on grass in Eastbourne (2011), clay in Belgrade and hard in Moscow (both 2012) — Seppi was not the most vocal player on or off court. But he was a tough competitor and a generous colleague who was kind to everyone around him, treating top stars, upcoming players and tournament staff the same.

Seppi was first introduced to Jannik Sinner when his countryman was 12 and always made himself a resource.

“Congrats on a great career my friend,” Sinner wrote on Instagram. “You are a great example and we will miss you.”


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A post shared by Jannik Sinner (@janniksin)

Seppi played some memorable matches, including wins against Federer in the third round of the 2015 Australian Open, Nadal in Rotterdam in 2008 and Wawrinka in a final-set tie-break to reach the 2012 Rome quarter-finals. He also rallied from two sets down to stun former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero in a Davis Cup match in 2005.

“There have been quite a few very interesting ones,” Seppi said.

This season, small injuries began to make his ability to remain at the upper echelon of the sport difficult.

“After the first three months, I started to struggle a little bit more with some smaller things, a little bit with the shoulder, a little bit with my back. Let’s say small pains, nothing serious, but always something. I never really had time to get in shape and play more tournaments in a row,” Seppi said. “When I played three matches in a row at the US Open and I lost [in the] last round of the qualies, I played three days in a row and the third match I was struggling with my shoulder and with my back. There I knew that my body can’t do this anymore.

“From that point of view, it was an easy decision [to retire] , because I considered it was not possible to play three, four matches in a row anymore… The recovery process is much slower. [It was] just difficult to keep up with all these young guys.”

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Andreas Seppi: From Italy To… Colorado?

With Seppi’s career at a close, his family will return to Boulder, Colorado, where the Italian bought a home in December 2017. While he does not have concrete plans for the future — traveling as a full-time coach will not be part of those plans — Seppi says his two children will attend school in Colorado. The 38-year-old will have time to reflect on what has been a remarkable career.

Seppi cracked a laugh before saying: “For sure there are going to be some good stories.”

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