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Paris Day 1 Preview: Fritz's Turin Hopes On The Line

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2022

Paris Day 1 Preview: Fritz’s Turin Hopes On The Line

Simon set for final farewell

With the pressure on, Taylor Fritz will need to deliver on Day One at the Rolex Paris Masters if he is to keep alive his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.

The American arrives at the final ATP Masters 1000 event of the season eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, holding 2,910 points. The 24-year-old is currently 525 points behind seventh-placed Andrey Rublev. The prestigious end-of-year event will be held from 13-20 November.

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Fritz’s first test in the French capital comes against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Monday on Court Central. However, the four-time tour-level titlist will need to do something he has never done and earn a maiden victory against the Spaniard, with Davidovich Fokina leading Fritz 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.

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In the evening, Gilles Simon will receive a standing ovation when he steps on court in Paris for potentially the final time. The French wild card will play Andy Murray on Court Central in what could be his last tour-level match, with the 37-year-old retiring at the end of the season.

Simon, who earned his 500th tour-level win earlier this year at Roland Garros, will be making his 16th appearance on home soil, with his best result being a run to the semi-finals in 2012. The 2016 champion Murray leads Simon 16-2 in their ATP Head2Head series, with their first meeting coming in 2007.

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Other intriguing first-round matches Monday include 12th seed Cameron Norrie taking on Miomir Kecmanovic, while 11th seed Jannik Sinner faces Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler. Norrie, who has won two tour-level titles this season, leads the Serbian Kecmanovic 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.

#NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti will compete at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in November. However, before he makes the journey to Milan, he will look to light up Paris, starting against 15th seed Marin Cilic. The Croatian Cilic has fond memories in the French capital, having advanced to the semi-finals in 2016.

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Djokovic On Paris: 'I Feel Great In This Tournament'

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2022

Djokovic On Paris: ‘I Feel Great In This Tournament’

Serbian chasing record-extending seventh Paris crown

Novak Djokovic has enjoyed great success at the Rolex Paris Masters throughout his career. The Serbian has won the title a record six times, including in his past two appearances in 2019 and 2021.

Arriving in Paris as the sixth seed this week, Djokovic revealed on Sunday that he is excited to challenge for the crown again at the final ATP Masters 1000 event of the season.

“I feel great in this tournament,” Djokovic said in his pre-tournament press conference. “As you mentioned, [I’ve had] lots of success. [It] always helps to come into the tournament confident and with some good memories, good emotions on the court. [The] past few times that I played here, I won both tournaments… Hopefully I can continue that run.

“I think at this level it’s important to have a good feeling on the court and just good memory of coming to a place where you have done well, because tennis is a game of fine margins that decide who is going to take a win in the match,” Djokovic later added. “Oftentimes, how you feel mentally, whether you are fighting with your own demons inside in a good or bad way affects the end result. Here I always felt good.”

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The former World No. 1 is competing at his fourth event since he captured his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July. Since then, Djokovic has triumphed at consecutive tour-level events in Tel Aviv and Astana, winning his past nine matches.

“I played Laver Cup, Tel Aviv, and Astana, and I played great, great tennis,” Djokovic said. “Generally looking at my past career results indoors, I have had a really good record indoors generally, playing anywhere.

“I’ll make sure to keep going in this way, because I feel good. I have been training the past few days, is another few days to my first match. I think coming back to a place where you have done so well, it always brings back good memories and good feelings on the court.”

Djokovic, who will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals in November, feels that the conditions on court in Paris are faster this year, with the 38-time ATP Masters 1000 champion looking to adjust quickly.

“For a big server, those guys, I guess they would prefer quick conditions,” Djokovic said when analysing the conditions. “For someone who is staying at the back of the court and playing with a lot of spin, they like things to be slower.

“I don’t think there is a golden formula, to be honest with you. And remembering all the years that I played here in Bercy, there were years when it was really quick, then medium quick, medium slow, slow last year. Now back to medium quick.”

Djokovic will begin his title defence in Paris against Argentine Diego Schwartzman or Maxime Cressy.

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Felix Seals ATP Tour Title Hat-Trick With Basel Triumph

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2022

Felix Seals ATP Tour Title Hat-Trick With Basel Triumph

Canadian downs Rune in ATP 500 final for 13th straight tour-level match win

In a battle between two previously impenetrable serves on Sunday at the Swiss Indoors Basel, it was Felix Auger-Aliassime who held firm.

Neither the Canadian nor Holger Rune had been broken en route to the championship match at the ATP 500 event in Switzerland, but Auger-Aliassime twice unpicked the Dane’s delivery to seal a 6-3, 7-5 victory and lift his third consecutive ATP Tour title.

It was Auger-Aliassime’s 13th consecutive tour-level win, extending his personal-best winning streak. The one-hour, 40-minute triumph also lifted the 22-year-old one spot to sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

“It’s been an amazing week,” said Auger-Aliassime after the match. “Once again in the final, not getting broken all week… [It’s been] a long year, a long stretch of wins, and it’s not over. So hopefully I can keep going, but right now I’m feeling all the good emoitons that come with winning a tournament. It’s amazing.”

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Having now leapfrogged Andrey Rublev, the Canadian’s red-hot form has put him a strong position to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. With seventh the last position to guarantee qualification for the season finale, Auger-Aliassime is now 725 points clear of eighth-placed Taylor Fritz as the player’s head to this week’s Rolex Paris Masters.

Auger-Aliassime is the third player to win an ATP Tour title without dropping a service game in 2022. Taylor Fritz and Nick Kyrgios have also achieved that feat with their triumphs in Eastbourne and Washington, respectively.

More to follow…

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Medvedev Sinks Shapo, Clinches Vienna Crown

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2022

Medvedev Sinks Shapo, Clinches Vienna Crown

Top seed wins 15th tour-level title

Daniil Medvedev didn’t have things all his own way Sunday at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, but he stepped up when needed, overcoming Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to capture his second tour-level title of the season.

The top seed was overpowered by Shapovalov in an entertaining first set, with the Canadian firing 21 winners to move ahead. However, the World No. 4 refused to go away throughout the two-hour, 16-minute clash, hitting with greater depth and accuracy in the second and third sets to force Shapovalov into errors at the ATP 500 event.

“I am really happy,” Medvedev said. “This match was the best of the week because Denis was really playing unreal until probably 4-3 in the second set. He dropped his level by maybe two per cent and I was able to use it. This is one of the best victories when you know your opponent is on top of you, but you try and stay there and do what you can.”

Medvedev now leads the 23-year-old Shapovalov 4-2 in their ATP Head2Head series, while he has improved to 45-15 on the season. Earlier this year, he reached the final at the Australian Open before he won the title in Los Cabos.

The 26-year-old looked back to his very best during a dominant week in Austria. He did not drop a set or lose serve en route to the championship match, securing his spot at the Nitto ATP Finals – to be held in Turin from 13-20 November – along the way.

In front of a packed crowd in the championship match, Medvedev produced moments of magic in the third set as he blunted the attack of Shapovalov with a range of stunning passing shots. The top seed hit 24 winners and broke serve five times, sealing the title on his sixth match point.

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Medvedev, who reached the quarter-finals in his only previous appearance in Vienna, has now won 15 tour-level titles, with seven coming on indoor hard courts. The 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion will now head to the Rolex Paris Masters, where he will aim to capture his second title at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

“I like to play indoor hard courts at the end of the season,” Medvedev said. “I feel that I do a great job with my team not to arrive burnt out. I am looking forward to the last two tournaments of the year which are really important and I usually play well.”

Shapovalov was competing in his second tour-level final of the month after advancing to that stage in Seoul. The Canadian, who is up to No. 16 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, was unable to match Medvedev’s intensity in the third set as he looked to win his second tour-level crown and first since 2019, when he triumphed in Stockholm.

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Dodig/Krajicek Take Basel Title, Step Up Turin Charge

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2022

Dodig/Krajicek Take Basel Title, Step Up Turin Charge

Croatian-American pair seals back-to-back Tour titles with triumph in Switzerland

Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek continued their late season charge Sunday by defeating Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin to lift their second consecutive ATP Tour trophy at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

The Croatian-American duo held their nerve at the tail-end of both sets in their 6-4, 7-6(5) championship match win. They broke their opponents’ serve in the tenth game to clinch the opener before storming to an unassailable 6/2 lead in the second-set tie-break en route to a 97-minute victory.

Dodig and Krajicek’s red-hot run of form has given the pair a real shot at qualifying for November’s Nitto ATP Finals, just six and a half months after becoming a permanent partnership. Their title run in Basel lifted them two spots to eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as they head to France for this week’s Rolex Paris Masters.

“For us, the tennis never stops,” said Krajicek. “We are going to Paris tonight and we will prepare the same way we’ve been preparing. Hopefully we can take the good form to Paris and just focus on playing one more good match on Wednesday or Thursday, and the rest of the stuff will take care of itself.”

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Dodig and Krajicek are now just 50 points behind Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios in the Live Race. A seventh-placed finish is required to guarantee qualification for this year’s season finale, to be held in Turin from 13-20 November.

Sunday’s win avenged Dodig and Krajicek’s defeat to Mahut and Roger-Vasselin in the Florence final two weeks ago. Since that loss, the pair has won eight straight matches to claim the titles in Naples and now Basel.

“We had a great tournament,” said Dodig after he and Krajicek lifted their maiden ATP 500 crown as a team. “I think we came here with good confidence, and we played good tennis from the first round.

“In these big matches with Nico and Eddie, it’s always a couple of points. Two weeks ago, we lost to them in the Florence final, but this time we were more ready, better prepared and I think we executed at great moments. [On] the big points we played really good and I think we deserved to win today.”

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Erler/Miedler Clinch Vienna Title

  • Posted: Oct 30, 2022

Erler/Miedler Clinch Vienna Title

Austrian wild cards clinch first tour-level title of season

Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler ended their dream week in style Sunday at the Erste Bank Open where they overcame Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 6-3, 7-6(1) to capture the crown on home soil in Vienna.

The Austrian wild cards produced a strong performance on serve, winning 89 per cent (34/38) of points behind their first delivery and saving the one break point they faced to triumph after 83 minutes.

“I feel really good,” Erler said. “It was an amazing atmosphere and a great match. I am really happy. Last year we won Kitzbühel and this year Vienna. It is amazing and I am really happy about that.”

“The start was unbelievable,” Miedler said. “We came out of the locker room and we just hit the ball and I couldn’t really miss, which helped a lot. Then with the crowd, it gave us a special high.”

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Erler and Miedler arrived in Vienna off the back of disappointing first-round exits in Florence and Antwerp. However, they soared through the draw at the ATP 500 event, not dropping a set en route to the trophy.

The pair has now won two tour-level titles together, having lifted the crown in Kitzbühel last season. The Austrians have also tasted success on the ATP Challenger Tour this year, winning four titles at that level in 2022.

Gonzalez and Molteni were aiming to win their third tour-level trophy of the season together, having captured crowns on clay in Cordoba and Buenos Aires.

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