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Back From The Brink, Simon Lives On With Paris Victory

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Back From The Brink, Simon Lives On With Paris Victory

Frenchman is competing in his final tour-level event

Gilles Simon wrote another stirring chapter into his storied career Monday when he edged former World No. 1 Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round at the Rolex Paris Masters.

Competing in his final tour-level event, the Frenchman refused to go down without a fight in an entertaining clash. The 37-year-old rallied from 3-5 in the second set, lighting up Paris with his grit and quality to level the match, sparking scenes of joy among the home supporters.

Simon then kept his focus and outlasted the Scot in the longer exchanges in the third set to earn the 503rd win of his 20-year career. With his two-hour, 52-minute victory, the wild card improved to 3-16 in his ATP Head2Head series against Murray and will next face Taylor Fritz.

“It was a crazy match,” Simon said. “I was behind the whole match… At 3-4 in the second set I felt a lot of emotions coming. It was difficult to play my service game at that moment and he broke me. He got tight at 5-3 and this time I managed to push, hold my serve and break him again. I tried to push on every game.

“It was really difficult physically, but it was difficult physically on his side. But I thought ‘Come on, I have a chance to beat him.’ It is not like I have the best record against Andy. I really wanted to win this one and I was really happy I was able to do it.”

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The American Fritz is currently eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, but will need a deep run in Paris if he is to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held from 13-20 November.

Simon is making his 17th appearance at the final ATP Masters 1000 event of the season, with his best result being a run to the semi-finals in 2012. The former World No. 6, who has won 14 ATP Tour titles, will hang up his racquet following the event.

Murray has fond memories in Paris, having reached the final in 2015 before lifting the trophy in 2016. The 35-year-old claimed the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings following his title run in Paris six years ago. However, after a strong start, he was unable to cross the finishing line against Simon, misfiring in the crucial moments.

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Krawietz/Mies Make Winning Start In Paris

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Krawietz/Mies Make Winning Start In Paris

German pair will meet fifth seeds Granollers/Zeballos in second round

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies are back to winning ways at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The German pair dug deep to hold off home favourites Adrian Mannarino and Fabrice Martin and clinch a 6-4, 7-6(5) victory on Monday at the ATP Masters 1000 event in France. The six-time tour-level titlists saved six of seven break points they faced to notch their first win at Paris-Bercy since they reached the semi-finals on tournament debut in 2019.

Krawietz and Mies are two-time Grand Slam champions, having lifted the trophy at Roland Garros in 2019 and 2020, and the pair is chasing its first ATP Masters 1000 crown in the French capital this week. However, they face a tough second-round assignment in Paris in fifth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

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Also on Monday, home wild card pairing Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul saved two match points in the Match Tie-break before clinching a thrilling 7-5, 6-7(4), 15-13 win against Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski. Doumbia and Reboul’s reward for holding their nerve to clinch an epic two-hour, 10-minute battle is a second-round meeting with top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.

Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen also advanced to the second round by defeating Sebastian Baez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-4. The Belgian duo will continue its bid for its sixth tour-level title against the in-form Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek.

The eighth-seeded Dodig and Krajieck are on an eight-match unbeaten run after triumphing in Naples and Basel in the past two weeks and are currently eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Rankings as they look to qualify for November’s Nitto ATP Finals.

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Alcaraz Presented No. 1 Trophy: 'It's A Dream Come True'

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Alcaraz Presented No. 1 Trophy: ‘It’s A Dream Come True’

Spaniard became 28th No. 1 in history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in September

It has been an unforgettable season for Carlos Alcaraz full of historic moments. One of them was when the Spaniard became the youngest World No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

On Monday evening at the Rolex Paris Masters, ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi presented Alcaraz with the ATP No. 1 trophy presented by Pepperstone.

“For me it’s a dream come true being No. 1 in the world, to be a Grand Slam champion,” Alcaraz told the ATP Tour. “I feel like the No. 1, to have this trophy, it means a lot to me. “

Alcaraz is one of 28 players who have reached World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. He accomplished the feat after claiming his first major crown at the US Open.

“Everything has come so fast. I didn’t think at the beginning of the year that I’m going to have the year that I’m having right now,” Alcaraz said. “I always believe in my team and in my work, so this is something that came with the hard work that I put in every day, the hard preseason, the work during the year with my team. Everything pays off.”

The teen is the top seed this week in Paris, where he will play Japanese lefty Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round. Alcaraz is now looking to become the youngest year-end World No. 1 in history with that award to be presented at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he will make his debut.

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Former College Standouts Gojo, Hijikata Win Maiden Challenger Titles

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Former College Standouts Gojo, Hijikata Win Maiden Challenger Titles

Barrere, Sandgren win titles on home soil

Australian Rinky Hijikata and Croatia’s Borna Gojo cruised to victory to claim their maiden ATP Challenger Tour titles this week. Hijikata dropped just one set all week to win on home soil in Playford, Australia, while Gojo was unbroken at the Ortisei Challenger. Gojo and Hijikata are among five Challenger champions this week.

#NextGenATP Hijikata took down Japan’s Rio Noguchi 6-1 6-1 in Sunday’s final to win the City of Playford International.

“I’m stoked [to win the title], I’m over the moon,” Hijikata said. “It’s a little bit of a relief, it’s always nice to win the first title, it’s not easy to get over that hump. To be able to do that this week at home, I’m pretty proud of the way I played this week.

“I came out firing. I thought I stuck to my game plan well. I played to the [windy] conditions as well as I could.”

ATP Challenger Tour 

Hijikata, 21, made his Challenger Tour main-draw debut at the 2018 Playford Challenger and this week, the fifth seed collected the title to become the youngest Australian to win a Challenger title since 2018, when the-then 19-year-old Alexei Popyrin won in Jinan, China. The title in Australia lifts Hijikata to a career-high No. 159 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Hijikata, who played college tennis at University of North Carolina from 2020-21, earned All-American honours as a sophomore before turning pro.

In August, the Sydney native claimed his first Tour-level win at the ATP 250 event in Los Cabos, Mexico, where he advanced through qualifying and defeated wild card Pacheco Mendez before falling to then-World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. At the US Open, Hijikata made his Grand Slam main-draw debut and pushed Rafael Nadal to four sets in the opening round.

Gojo, 24, went on a run ousting four of the top-seven seeds at the indoor hard court event in Ortisei, Italy, including defeating seventh seed Lukas Klein in the final 7-6(4), 6-3 to win the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena.

<a href=''>Borna Gojo</a> in action at the 2022 Ortisei Challenger.
Borna Gojo in action at the 2022 Ortisei Challenger. Credit: P.Codeluppi/ChallengerOrtisei

“This is big for me,” Gojo said. “I’m happy I was able to put together a nice tournament here and win my first Challenger.”

“It’s [The surface] a bit faster than usual, which is great for my serve, it helps me get some free points.”

The Split native, a former college standout, finished runner-up at 2018 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships (l. Chrysochos) and was named a three-time All-American at Wake Forest University. In 2018, Gojo helped Wake Forest earn the NCAA team title. Following his victory in Ortisei, Gojo climbs to a career-high 148.

At the Lima Challenger, Daniel Altmaier was crowned champion to win his second Challenger title this season. The German escaped Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-4 in the final.

<a href=''>Daniel Altmaier</a> celebrates winning a point at the <a href=''>Lima Challenger</a>.
Daniel Altmaier celebrates winning a point at the Lima Challenger. Credit: @igmachallengers

Altmaier, 24, needed deciding sets in four out of his five matches in Lima to triumph and ousted top seed Federico Coria in the semi-finals. After claiming the Heilbronn Challenger in May, Altmaier climbed to a career-high 53. The title in Peru is Altmaier’s fifth Challenger title.

Gregoire Barrere won the all-French final in Brest, defeating 18-year-old Luca Van Assche 6-3, 6-3 to win the Open Brest-Credit Agricole.

“It was a great week for me,” Barrere said. “I had a level of play that increased as the week went on. Once I won my first round match here, it was all or nothing.”

<a href=''>Gregoire Barrere</a> in action at the 2022 Brest Challenger.
Gregoire Barrere in action at the 2022 Brest Challenger. Credit: Un Oeil Averty

Barrere, seeded third, dropped just one set en route to claiming his fifth Challenger title. The 28-year-old is a five-time Challenger finalist this season, including in Orleans, where he won his first Challenger title (d. Halys) of 2022. The Frenchman rises to No. 93, marking a return to the Top 100 for the first time since August 2020.

Van Assche, who rises to a career-high No. 208, also reached the final at the Lisbon Challenger in September and qualified for the ATP 250 event in Antwerp, Belgium (l. Nishioka).

Tennys Sandgren advanced through qualifying en route to winning the Las Vegas Tennis Open, where he defeated countryman Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-3 in the final.

“This win means a lot to me as it’s been a tough couple of years,” Sandgren said. “This is the first time I’ve done a trophy speech in quite some time. I got lucky. We could be in the third set by now, roles reversed.”

<a href=''>Tennys Sandgren</a> is crowned champion at the 2022 Las Vegas Challenger.
Tennys Sandgren is crowned champion at the 2022 Las Vegas Challenger. Credit: Steve Krahn

The title on home soil is Sandgren’s first Challenger title since May 2017 (Savannah). In January 2019, Sandgren won his maiden Tour-level title in Auckland (d. Norrie) and climbed to a career-high 41.

Kozlov, who had defeated Sandgren in five of their previous six meetings across all levels, held five set points in the opening set, but was unable to convert them. The 24-year-old was competing in his first Challenger final this season.

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Paris Day 2 Preview: Djokovic Starts Title Defence

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Paris Day 2 Preview: Djokovic Starts Title Defence

Rublev & Hurkacz continue Turin Pursuit

Novak Djokovic will begin his quest for a record-extending seventh Rolex Paris Masters title Tuesday when he faces Maxime Cressy in the second round in the French capital.

The sixth-seeded Serbian has performed strongly at the final ATP Masters 1000 event of the season throughout his career, lifting the trophy in his previous two appearances in 2019 and 2021. Djokovic will face the American Cressy for the first time on Court Central and heads into the clash high in confidence.

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The former World No. 1 has won his past nine matches, lifting trophies in Tel Aviv and Astana in October. Djokovic, who will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals in November, will be looking to win a record-extending 39th Masters 1000 crown this week, having won his 38th title at this level in Rome in May.

“I feel great in this tournament,” Djokovic said in his pre-tournament press conference. “[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.”

Andrey Rublev will look to boost his Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances when he plays John Isner in the second round in the opening match on Court Central. The 25-year-old is currently seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin with 3,450 points.

Rublev, who occupies the final qualification spot, is 495 points ahead of eighth-placed American Taylor Fritz, who defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his opening match on Monday. Rublev’s task will be far from easy, though, with big-serving American Isner leading their ATP Head2Head series 3-0.


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Hubert Hurkacz will be ready to pounce if Rublev slips up, with the Pole taking on French wild card Adrian Mannarino in the first round. Hurkacz, currently on 2,870 points, is ninth in the Race.

The 25-year-old, who holds a 1-1 ATP Head2Head series record against Mannarino, made his debut in Turin last year. He will need a deep run in Paris if he is to return to the prestigious end-of-year event, to be held from 13-20 November.

In other action, third-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud will take on French wild card Richard Gasquet, while #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune plays Swiss star Stan Wawrinka. Earlier this season, Ruud reached the final in Miami before he advanced to Grand Slam championship matches at Roland Garros and the US Open.

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Huesler Stuns Sinner In Paris Opener

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Huesler Stuns Sinner In Paris Opener

Swiss qualifier to take on 2018 champ Khachanov in second round

Marc-Andrea Huesler did not hold back on his ATP Masters main draw debut on Monday afternoon. The Swiss qualifier delivered a high-quality first-round performance to take out 11th seed Jannik Sinner 6-2, 6-3 at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The 26-year-old Huesler lifted his maiden tour-level title on indoor hard courts in Sofia at the beginning of October but had gone 0-3 since. After defeating Hugo Gaston and Laslo Djere in qualifying in Paris, however, the lefty brought his big-serving, aggressive best to the clash against Sinner. He fired 20 winners, including six aces, to down the World No. 12 in 68 minutes.

“[It feels] really big,” said Huesler. “I’ve had a great season… I had two good matches in the qualies, I came out here and had nothing to lose today. That helped me play very aggressive. It was not his best match, for sure, but I had to be ready to take that [opportunity]. I just stayed at it, and I’m really happy with the win.”

Huesler was the only player to win a set against eventual champion Felix Auger-Aliassime in Basel last week and the World No. 61 believes his level did not drop significantly despite his tough run of results post-Sofia. Having only broken the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time in July, he is now growing accustomed to performing on the biggest stages the ATP Tour has to offer.

“I think the experience these past weeks helped a lot,” said Huesler. “Last week I played a tough match against Felix [Auger-Aliassime] in Basel with a full crowd, which was full preparation for here. The centre court here is amazing, it was a lot of fun to play. I just tried to focus on the next point every time, got a bit lucky on some important points and made the right decisions in tight moments, and today I was better.”

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Huesler’s second-round opponent in Paris will be Karen Khachanov. The 2018 champion needed little time on Monday to find his feet again in the French capital, where he raced to a 6-1, 6-1 first-round victory against Sebastian Baez. A challenging prospect for Huesler, but the Swiss admitted he was relishing the opportunity to take on another Top 20 star.

“Karen is a big server, for sure,” said Huesler. “I played against him once before in Davis Cup, lost in two sets there. Honestly every guy here is hard to beat, I’m thrilled to play against these guys. I’m here to do my best and I have a lot of confidence in my game. I’m sure the serve is going to be very important for both of us, so let’s see how it goes.”

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Fritz Fends Off Foki In Paris, Keeps Turin Hopes Alive

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Fritz Fends Off Foki In Paris, Keeps Turin Hopes Alive

American books second-round clash against Murray or Simon

Taylor Fritz dug deep to overcome a typically resilient Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Monday in a Rolex Paris Masters first-round clash that carried extra meaning for the American.

Fritz trailed by a break in the first set and let slip a 2-0 lead in the second as Davidovich Fokina threatened an early upset against the 2021 quarter-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 event. The ninth seed raised his level at key moments to resist the Spaniard’s charge, however, converting five of 10 break points to clinch a 7-5, 6-2 victory in 90 minutes on Court Central.

“[I’m] really happy, he’s a tough person to play against,” said Fritz after the match. “He’s got weapons on both sides. He’s extremely quick as well, so there’s nowhere you can really play with a lot of safety. He makes a lot of crazy shots and he’s beaten me the past two times, so definitely good to just get out there, play a solid match, and get through it.”

With the win, Fritz kept alive his hopes of qualifying for November’s Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. The 25-year-old is currently eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and he must reach the championship match in Paris to have a chance of leapfrogging Felix Auger-Aliassime or Andrey Rublev into a qualification spot for the season finale.

“Right now I’m just focused on kind of playing myself into the tournament,” said Fritz. “I feel like any time this year that I’ve won a couple of matches into a tournament, then I’ve done well. So I’ll just try to focus on these early rounds.

“Turin is still in the picture, obviously, but there’s not much else I really could have done. I won Tokyo… Felix has played really, really well, so he deserves it, but I am going to try to steal his spot this week for sure.“

Auger-Aliassime is a potential third-round opponent for Fritz, but the American will next turn his attention to a second-round clash against 2016 champion Andy Murray or home favourite Gilles Simon.

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Felix Strengthens Turin Chances, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

Felix Strengthens Turin Chances, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, as of Monday, 31 October 2022

With one week of the regular season to go, Felix Auger-Aliassime looks in strong contention to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals after he captured the title at the ATP 500 event in Basel. looks at the movers of the week in the Race following a two-tournament week on Tour.

View Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin Rankings

Sixth, Felix Auger-Aliassime, +1
The Canadian has jumped one spot to sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin after he won his third consecutive tour-level trophy in Basel. The Canadian, who defeated #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune in the final, is on 3,635 points, 725 points clear of eighth-placed American Taylor Fritz (2,910 points). The 22-year-old is aiming to make his debut at the prestigious end-of-year event, to be held from 13-20 November.

Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin (as of 31 October)

 Player  Points
 6) Felix Auger-Aliassime  3,635
 7) Andrey Rublev  3,440
 8) Taylor Fritz  2,910
 9) Hubert Hurkacz  2,860

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ATP, ITF & Kosmos Announce Davis Cup Partnership

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2022

ATP, ITF & Kosmos Announce Davis Cup Partnership

Unprecedented strategic alliance will start from 2023

The ATP, International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Kosmos Tennis have today announced an unprecedented strategic alliance from 2023 supporting the Davis Cup by Rakuten. The men’s World Cup of Tennis is the longest-running and largest annual international team event in sport with 122 years of history.

The new partnership has been established to enable strategic collaboration on the competition’s governance and evolution, with ATP granted two of six seats on a newly formed Davis Cup Event Committee alongside the ITF and Kosmos, long-term investors and promoters of the competition. The partnership officially brings ATP and ITF together across Davis Cup for the first time in history in a combined effort to maximise the success of the historic team competition as the men’s World Cup of Tennis.

The Davis Cup Finals and Qualifier ties now become an official part of the 2023 ATP Tour calendar, taking place in weeks 5, 37 and 47, with increased promotion on ATP channels. This integration will support players in planning their annual schedule when selected to play in their national Davis Cup team. The Finals will continue under its existing format, offering $15 million in player prize money in 2023.

Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman: “Our focus is always on creating the best possible experiences for our fans and players. Delivering compelling international team competitions that dovetail with the year-round calendar and continue to innovate is a vital part of that. The Davis Cup has an incredibly rich history and we’re excited to see this important new alliance drive the event forward from 2023.”

David Haggerty, ITF President: “This announcement heralds an important new alliance between the ITF, Kosmos and ATP which further strengthens the importance of team competition and Davis Cup’s unique role in elite men’s professional tennis. Part of the Olympic Qualification Pathway, Davis Cup is the largest annual men’s team competition in sport and the sole men’s team competition in the pro tennis calendar where teams are officially selected by their nation. Together with the women’s Billie Jean King Cup, it shows the ITF’s full commitment to delivering spectacular tournaments that players love to play and electrifying battles between nations which fans in the stadium and whole countries love to get behind.”

Enric Rojas, Kosmos Tennis CEO: “It is a very important agreement for all three parties and especially for the players. In the last three years, the format of the competition has been improved to reach a greater number of fans, generate a greater impact and facilitate the participation of the best players in the world. We look forward to seeing the event grow even further in the coming years.”

Davis Cup recorded its highest levels of national participation in its history in 2022, with 137 nations competing in this year’s edition across all levels of the competition. The ITF’s Davis Cup runs alongside its sibling, the women’s World Cup of Tennis, Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge.

Further information about the 2022 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals can be found here.

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