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Bloodied Felix Sets Paul Meeting In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Bloodied Felix Sets Paul Meeting In Indian Wells

Canadian caught himself with racquet in first set

Felix Auger-Aliassime was left bloodied but unbeaten Monday after he caught himself with his racquet during his 7-5, 6-4 victory against Francisco Cerundolo at the BNP Paribas Open.

At 2-0 in the first set, the Canadian accidentally struck himself on the chin when returning the Argentine’s serve. The 22-year-old immediately walked to his chair where he was bandaged up before returning to court to book his spot in the fourth round after two hours and 10 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime, who defeated Pedro Martinez in his opening match, played aggressive, front-foot tennis throughout the clash. He hit through Cerundolo and overcame a late wobble when trying to serve out the match. After failing to hold at 5-2, the eighth seed eventually sealed victory at the second time of asking, converting his fifth match point to improve to 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.

Auger-Aliassime is chasing his first ATP Masters 1000 crown and maiden tour-level title of the season this week in California. He is up to No. 7 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his 10th win of the season.

The four-time tour-level champion has advanced to the quarter-finals at the past five ATP Masters 1000 events he has played and will aim to make it six when he takes on Tommy Paul. The 22-year-old is aiming to jumpstart his season in Indian Wells, after suffering early exits in Adelaide, at the Australian Open and Dubai earlier this year.

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The American Paul continued his impressive start to the season when he downed ninth-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

In front of a lively home crowd, Paul demonstrated great agility, scrambling around the baseline to withstand Hurkacz’s heavy ballstriking and advance after one hour and 54 minutes.

“I stuck to the game plan more in the [second set],” Paul said. “The first set I don’t think was very pretty tennis overall. I played a sloppy game at 4-5 and went to the bathroom and gave myself a couple of slaps and came out and brought some more energy.”

Paul, who hit 26 winners against Hurkacz to level their ATP Head2Head series at 1-1, is currently No. 19 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings after enjoying a positive beginning to the year.

Paul reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open in January before he advanced to the final in Acapulco. He now holds a 14-4 record on the season, having defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in his opening match in Indian Wells.

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Virtanen, Marozsan Win Challenger Titles To Reach Career-Highs

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Virtanen, Marozsan Win Challenger Titles To Reach Career-Highs

Dellien wins Santiago Challenger for third time

After claiming their maiden ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2022, Finland’s Otto Virtanen and Hungarian Fabian Marozsan returned to the winners’ circle this week and are both now at career-high marks in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

Virtanen, 21, claimed the Lugano Challenger while Marozsan won on the clay courts of Antalya, Turkey.

In Switzerland, Virtanen defeated Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4, 7-6(5) in the final to collect the Challenger BancaStato Citta Di Lugano and climb to No. 139 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

ATP Challenger Tour 

A two-time Challenger titlist, Virtanen earned his first Challenger title this past October when he advanced through qualifying en route to winning the Bergamo Challenger.

The 23-year-old Marozsan dropped just one set all week to win the Megasaray Hotels Open. In the championship match, the second seed downed Sebastian Ofner 7-5, 6-0.

After Marozsan’s maiden title in Banja Luka in August, the Budapest native has enjoyed more breakthrough moments on the Challenger Tour. The Hungarian No. 2 (behind Marton Fucsovics) was a finalist at the 2022 Bratislava Challenger and reached the final four in Alicante. Following his triumph in Antalya, Marozsan rises to 134 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

At the Puerto Magico Open in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Benoit Paire captured his seventh Challenger title and first since November 2015. Four of the Frenchman’s five matches went the distance, including in the first round, where he fended off a match point to survive Nicolas Mejia.

<a href=''>Benoit Paire</a> is crowned champion at the 2023 Puerto Vallarta Challenger.
Benoit Paire is crowned champion at the 2023 Puerto Vallarta Challenger. Credit: Barbara Ramos Villalobos

In the final, Paire rallied from a set down to defeat Japan’s Yuta Shimizu 3-6, 6-0, 6-2.

“It was a very good week for me,” Paire said. “Mentally I was ready, I fought until the end. The first one was not easy, I was match point down. I’m really happy about this week.”

At the Challenger Santiago – Copa Kia in Chile, Bolivian Hugo Dellien ousted Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to claim his ninth Challenger title and third in Chile’s capital city (2019, 2022).

<a href=''>Hugo Dellien</a> collects the title at the Santiago Challenger.
Hugo Dellien collects the title at the Santiago Challenger. Credit: Challenger Santiago – Copa Kia

In Dellien’s quarter-final match, the 29-year-old escaped a three hour, 36 minute marathon against seventh seed Franco Agamenone 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(5).

“I’m happy with how I played all week,” Dellien said. “I knew it was going to be a difficult final. I felt comfortable and very good physically.

“For me it is a pleasure to come to Chile and feel the love of the people. It is a very special tournament. I have always done well and I hope that every time I will return it will be like this.”

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Berrettini Headlines Phoenix Challenger; Where To Watch

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Berrettini Headlines Phoenix Challenger; Where To Watch

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Berrettini Headlines Phoenix Challenger; Where To Watch

Lehecka and Kokkinakis meet in the opening round

The premiere of the ATP Challenger Tour 175 category kicks off this week at the Arizona Tennis Classic, where a star-studded field features World No. 23 Matteo Berrettini and Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

All eight seeds in Phoenix are Top-60 players, including Jiri Lehecka, Richard Gasquet, and Alexander Bublik.


A new innovation for 2023, the Challenger 175 tournaments are held during the second week of the ATP Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells, Madrid, and Rome. Highly-ranked players who lose early at the Master 1000s can decide to compete at the following week’s Challenger tournament.

Berrettini, Schwartzman, and Gael Monfils were given wild cards into Phoenix after falling in the opening rounds of Indian Wells. The Italian Berrettini is aiming to repeat his success in Phoenix from 2019, when the-then World No. 57 collected the title.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Main-draw action kicks off at the Phoenix Country Club on Tuesday, 14 March. Intriguing first-round matches include Lehecka’s clash against Thanasi Kokkinakis and top seed Berrettini’s meeting with Ilya Ivashka, who pushed Daniil Medvevev to three sets at the BNP Paribas Open.

Phoenix qualifying begins Monday morning, with Aleksandar Kovacevic, Matteo Arnaldi, Rinky Hijikata, and Yosuke Watanuki among those aiming for a spot in the main draw.

Where can I watch the Phoenix Challenger?

All matches will be broadcasted live and on demand for free on Challenger TV. The Arizona Tennis Classic will be held 13-19 March.

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Miami Open Unites Campaign Returns for A Third Year

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Miami Open Unites Campaign Returns for A Third Year

Campaign brings together ATP and WTA stars to give back to local community

The Miami Open presented by Itau will hold the third edition of its successful ‘MIAMI OPEN UNITES’ campaign on Monday, March 20, 2023. This day of service brings together ATP and WTA players, Miami Open staff, and volunteers to help South Florida’s most vulnerable in various philanthropic initiatives across Miami-Dade County. ATP, WTA, Miami Open and Hologic are thrilled to also be able to show support with a financial contribution to participating organizations.

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10:00 AM – Volunteers will assist Rebuilding Together in rehabilitating the home of Miami-Dade County’s veteran, Thomas Coates, retired Air Force E6 Sergeant. The players will paint and landscape, providing much-needed assistance to the organization. For more information on Rebuild Together, go to and @RebldgTogthr.

11:00 AM – The Humane Society of Greater Miami will have players and volunteers helping to groom animals, increasing their chances of adoption. The initiative aims to create a better life for the animals that need care and love. For more information the Humane Society of Greater Miami, go to and @HumaneMiami.

1:00 PM – Players will also help plant seedlings at Health in the Hood’s community garden, with all produce grown distributed free-of-charge to families, local food pantries, churches, and community centers. For more information on Health in the Hood, go to and @HealthInThehood.

2:00 PM – Players will participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ First Serve Miami Clinic at the Moore Park Tennis Center, founded by Miami Open founder Butch Buchholz and tennis legend Arthur Ashe. The clinic is designed to ignite the potential of at-risk youth (Littles) by matching them with committed adult mentors (Bigs). For more info go to and

3:00 PM – The Miami Rescue Mission will also receive players’ support to prep meals as they serve dinner to those living at the shelter, providing much-needed assistance to the homeless of South Florida. This effort is also being sponsored by Hologic and will have employees on-site to volunteer support. For more information on The Caring Place at the Miami Rescue Mission, go to

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“We are thrilled to hold the third edition of MIAMI OPEN UNITES,” said Miami Open’s Tournament Director, James Blake. “This initiative brings our players and volunteers together to make a positive impact on our community, showing that we all can make a difference when we unite for a common cause. It is truly a favorite initiative for both the players and staff.”

Follow the #MiamiOpenUnites campaign on social media and join the conversation as the Miami Open unites the South Florida community.

For more information about the Miami Open presented by Itau, please visit the official website at

For more information and the latest news, follow us at @Miami Open on Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter and @MiamiOpenTennis on Facebook.

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The Last Time With… Francisco Cerundolo

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

The Last Time With… Francisco Cerundolo

Argentine enjoys concerts and football games in his hometown of Buenos Aires

Editor’s note: This story was translated from

The 2023 ATP Tour season is just three and a half months old, but Francisco Cerundolo has already hit an important milestone. On 13 February, the 24-year-old leapfrogged Diego Schwartzman to become the highest-ranked Argentine in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time.

A strong start to his main-draw debut at this fortnight’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells means Cerundolo will meet eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime on Monday for a spot in the last 16. Yet there are some aspects of the World No. 32’s tennis journey that might surprise fans…

Until how recently did he string his own racquets on Tour? How has becoming more well-known helped him (and his friends!) when out on the town in Buenos Aires? Why did he ask his practice partner Fabio Fognini for a selfie? caught up with the Argentine for the latest edition of our ‘Last Time’ Q & A series.

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When was the last time you missed a flight?
I actually don’t remember… I’m not one for missing flights. I’d say I never have, if it has ever happened to me, it was because a flight was delayed and I missed the connection, but not something that was my fault.

When was the last time you lost something important?
This one I have done. I remember in 2019, I lost my passport at the airport in the USA. I had to go to the embassy in Chicago, where they made me an express one so that I could get on the plane and return to Argentina.

When was the last time you paid to rent a tennis court or bought tennis balls?
This one’s tough… Maybe when I was a boy, but because my dad had an academy, we always had tennis courts, or he paid for it and I didn’t know!

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The Cerundolo Family Dream

When was the last time being famous helped you out?
When I go out and have fun with my friends, it’s them more than me. They use my name, and [sometimes] it makes things easier, we get good service!

When was the last time you strung a racket?
I used to do restrings when I was a boy… In fact, until 2019, I think, I used to string my own rackets with a portable machine that I would take everywhere.

When was the last time you cooked for other people?
In November, I rented a house for me and all my friends. That was my holiday, and several times I had to do the asado (barbeque).

When was the last time you met a childhood hero?
In tennis, in 2021, when I started to play ATP and I crossed paths with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer.

When was the last time you asked someone for a selfie?
I’m not one for taking many selfies. At Wimbledon in 2022 I was training with Fognini and my mum wanted a photo of me with Fabio and I asked him, but it was just for her.

When was the last time you went to a concert?
In December I went to see Duki, Bad Bunny and Lit Killah in Buenos Aires. It was amazing.

When was the last time you went to a live sports event that wasn’t tennis?
Football matches at River [Plate]. Last time was in 2022, and whenever I’m in Buenos Aires, I like to go and watch a match.

When was the last time you visited an ATP Tour event for the first time?
It wasn’t the last time, but the most special was in Buenos Aires, a few years ago… I remember it was a match with Zeballos on centre court. I was a boy, and we were with my dad.

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Tel Aviv To Host ATP 250 Event In November

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Tel Aviv To Host ATP 250 Event In November

World No. 1 Djokovic lifted title at 2022 tournament in Israeli city

The ATP Tour has today announced the awarding of a single-year tournament licence to Tel Aviv for 2023.

The Tel Aviv Watergen Open, an indoor hard-court ATP 250 event, will be staged in the Tel Aviv International Convention Centre from 5-11 November, the same week as the Moselle Open in Metz, France. Qualifying will be played 4-5 November.

View updated 2023 ATP Tour calendar

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It is the second consecutive year that the ATP Tour will visit the Israeli city. Last September, Tel Aviv hosted an ATP Tour event for the first time since 1996. Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem all competed at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open, with top-seeded Djokovic taking the title.

Tel Aviv was the venue of ATP Tour legend Jimmy Connors’ final career singles title in 1989, while Aaron Krickstein still holds the ATP record for the youngest winner of a Tour event with his 1983 triumph in the city when just 16 years old.

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Preview: Alcaraz Seeks 100th Win, Rune Faces Wawrinka In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Preview: Alcaraz Seeks 100th Win, Rune Faces Wawrinka In Indian Wells

Draper plays Murray, Fritz and Felix compete

After an eventful first five days at the BNP Paribas Open, Monday’s action will narrow the men’s singles field to 16 as the third round draws to a close.

Chasing his 100th tour-level win, Carlos Alcaraz continues his title and World No. 1 quest against Tallon Griekspoor, while 2022 champion Taylor Fritz plays Sebastian Baez. Two popcorn encounters see Holger Rune face Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray take on fellow Briton Jack Draper. breaks down some of the key contests on Day 6 at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells.

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[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [31] Tallon Griekspoor (NED)

Alcaraz suffered a right hamstring injury last month in Rio de Janeiro, but looked at his mobile best on his return against Thanasi Kokkinakis on Saturday and will look to replicate that performance against Dutchman Griekspoor.

The 19-year-old Spaniard is playing for a double prize this fortnight. He will rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since January if he captures his third ATP Masters 1000 crown in the desert.

The top seed, who reached the semi-finals in California last year, is not looking too far ahead, though.

“I think the most important part of my game [is] to stay relaxed and go for it and not to think about the mistakes, the points, the rounds,” Alcaraz said after his second-round win. “Let’s say, live [in] the moment, play the match, and go for it. That’s the goal in this tournament for me.”

Alcaraz holds a 2-1 ATP Head2Head series lead against Griekspoor, but will be aware of the threat the 26-year-old holds. The World No. 36, who beat Guido Pella in the second round, defeated Alcaraz in their only previous hard-court meeting in Montpellier in 2021.

[7] Holger Rune (DEN) Vs. Stan Wawrinka (SWI)

Rune was only two months old when Wawrinka made his tour-level debut back in July 2003. Just shy of 20 years later, the 37-year-old Wawrinka is still going strong, defeating Miomir Kecmanovic to set a blockbuster third-round clash against Rune.

The 19-year-old Rune overcame the former World No. 3 Wawrinka en route to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris last season, their only previous meeting. The Dane will try to power his way through Wawrinka again in a heavy-hitting clash between two of the cleanest ball strikers on Tour.

“He’s a great player, has had a great career,” Rune said when asked about Wawrinka. “I’m just going to try to focus on myself and do everything I can to beat him.”

Rune, currently No. 8 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, downed Mackenzie McDonald in his opening match to reach the third round at the hard-court event for the first time. The three-time tour-level champion is currently 12-5 on the year.

Wawrinka has endured a longer path to the third round, defeating Aleksandar Vukic in three sets before he overcame Kecmanovic. The Swiss star, who enjoyed a run to the final in Indian Wells in 2017, struck 25 winners against the Serbian Kecmanovic and will try to find a similar level against Rune to improve on his 8-5 start to the year.

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Andy Murray (GBR) Vs. Jack Draper (GBR)

Another third-round clash between experience and youth pits former World No. 1 Murray against 21-year-old Briton Draper. Murray has been the marathon man in 2023 with seven deciding-set wins. However, he got the job done quickly in the second round in Indian Wells, defeating Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3 to set a first tour-level meeting against Draper.

Draper is making his debut in Indian Wells and has quickly adjusted to the conditions, overcoming Leandro Riedi and countryman Daniel Evans to reach the third round. The lefty has risen back into the Top 50 to No. 48 in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings following his success so far in California. Victory for No. 53 Murray would move the Scot above Draper.

With Murray targeting a fourth-round spot in Indian Wells for the first time since 2015 (when he reached the semi-finals) and Cincinnati quarter-finalist Draper aiming to reach that stage at a Masters 1000 for the second time, there will be a lot on the line when they face off on Monday.


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[4] Taylor Fritz (USA) Vs. [30] Sebastian Baez (ARG)

Fritz passed a tricky opening test on Saturday when he moved past his #NextGenATP countryman Ben Shelton to reach the third round. The Californian produced an impressive display on serve in the second and third sets, during which he did not face a break point.

Fritz will aim to replicate that serving performance against Baez and earn his second win over the Argentine, having claimed a straight-sets win in Cincinnati in August. The 25-year-old captured the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells last year and is excited to be playing in front of his home supporters again.

“It’s amazing,” said Fritz of the atmosphere. “It’s such a great feeling coming back, walking onto the court and then walking back out after the match is over. It’s such an amazing feeling just to feel the crowd and be back home.”

After struggling at the end of last season, Baez has made a fast start in 2023. He clinched his second tour-level title in Cordoba last month and cruised past Australian qualifier Rinky Hijikata to reach the third round in Indian Wells.

Also In Action…

Ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz plays Tommy Paul, with both players coming in off the back of 6-3, 6-3 victories against Alexei Popyrin and Jan-Lennard Struff, respectively. The eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime continues the quest for his first title of the season against Francisco Cerundolo, while Jannik Sinner plays Adrian Mannarino.

In doubles, top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski face singles stars Frances Tiafoe and Wawrinka. Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, seeking their second crown of the year, play Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

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Fan, Friend, Opponent: How Draper's Relationship With Murray Has Evolved

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Fan, Friend, Opponent: How Draper’s Relationship With Murray Has Evolved

Draper is through to the third round in his Indian Wells debut

Ten years after an 11-year-old Jack Draper watched Andy Murray win the 2013 Wimbledon title from the Centre Court stands, the fast-rising British star will meet his idol-turned-friend for the first time on the ATP Tour Monday at the BNP Paribas Open.

Now 21, Draper has praised the three-time Grand Slam champion from the first time the media’s cameras and microphones were trained on him — a routine he is becoming accustomed to as he soars up the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, breaking into the Top 40 for the first time earlier this year after reaching the Adelaide semi-finals.

Murray has returned the favour, most recently on Saturday: “I think he’s going to be a top, top player for a long time,” predicted the Scot, who has proven to have a keen eye for spotting world-class talent. Ahead of the 2022 US Open, where Draper reached the third round for his best Grand Slam result, Murray discussed the 6-foot-4 lefty’s well-rounded game, giving particular credit to his return and movement at his size.

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Speaking with and members of the British press following his 6-4, 6-2 win against countryman Daniel Evans on Saturday in Indian Wells, Draper explained his history with Murray and how their relationship has evolved.

“I’ve sort of had two stages with Andy,” he explained. “[The first was] when I was younger, watching him win Wimbledon for the first time on Centre Court. It was inspiring. I wanted to be like him, someone that I was looking up to all the time… a bit starstruck when I saw him a few times at first.

“And then during lockdown I became a better player and I was able to practise with him more. From there, we’ve practised together loads. I’d like to say he’s a good friend and, again, still someone that I look up to and someone that I receive advice from all the time. I think he just tells me to enjoy the journey a little bit. I think that’s what he’s doing now, he’s enjoying his time on court a little more than he did. He’s an amazing champion and a very good human being as well.”

Draper may have had the perfect preparation for his third-round matchup with Murray in his win against Evans, during which he felt nerves and numb legs at times due to the pair’s close relationship. The Briton holds a 2-2 tour-level record against British opponents, including a win against Ryan Peniston and two defeats to Cameron Norrie.

“He’s obviously someone that I have a lot of banter with and he’s a friend,” Draper said of Evans. “It’s never nice competing against someone that you spend a lot of time with. But I guess that’s part of tennis. You’ve got to be able to play your compatriots and I thought I did a good job and I generally enjoyed the battle as well.”

Draper spent time with Evans and Norrie last month when he was named to the Great Britain Davis Cup team for the first time, though he did not compete in his nation’s 3-1 win against Colombia. After beating Evans in Indian Wells, Draper is looking forward to seeing another friendly face across the net when he plays Murray — who famously led Great Britain to its 10th Davis Cup title in 2015, winning all 11 rubbers he played.

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Marathon Man Murray Wins Quickly To Set Draper Clash At Indian Wells

“In all honestly I’d love to play Andy,” Draper said, before the 35-year-old closed out a 6-4, 6-3 win against Radu Albot. “I think playing him on one of the biggest stages in tennis, it’s something that I’ll be looking forward to, especially after today.

“Let’s make it another British affair. I think he’d be incredibly tough to beat, as usual, but it’s something that I’m looking forward to if I get to play him.”

While Draper is making his Indian Wells debut — “It’s a tournament I’ve been watching since I was really young. It’s fulfilled all my expectations of how good it would be,” he said — Murray is competing in the desert for the 15th time, his best result a final run in 2009 (l. to Nadal). Before the event, 46-time-time tour-level champ Murray singled out the BNP Paribas Open trophy as the one he most covets among those he has yet to win. On the opposite end of his career, Draper is seeking his first ATP Tour title this week.

Ahead of one of the biggest matches of his young tennis life, Draper can take some comfort from his many hitting sessions with Murray, as well as the pair’s matchup at the Battle of the Brits last December, an exhibition tournament played in Aberdeen. Murray won that match by the slimmest of margins in a Match Tie-break, after which the pair shared a warm embrace.

“I kind of felt like it was good to play Andy in a couple of sets,” Draper reflected. “But for one thing, it was an exhibition, that match. And also at the same time, we’d just come off the back off preseason, so we were both pretty tired from putting a lot of work in.

“But I expect the match on Monday to be an extremely tricky one. He’s come through a lot of matches recently, he’s playing with confidence and I think his body’s in a really good place as well at the moment.”

Murray has won all seven deciding sets he’s played this season, saving a mountain of match points along the way. He notched his first straight-sets win of the year against Albot.

Adding just a bit of extra spice to Monday’s marquee matchup: The winner will end the day ahead of the other in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, just outside the Top 40.

Did You Know?
Late last year, Draper hit with YouTube star and aspiring pro Felix Mischker, who is chronicling his journey to his first Pepperstone ATP Rankings point on his channel. Mischker documented their session in a YouTube video that has 159,000 views and counting.

“I found out I was hitting with him and then he asked if he could film the session. It was really good to get to know him a little bit more,” Draper said of the 19-year-old Briton.

“He’s got obviously the channel on YouTube which I think is really good. That shows tennis in a bit of a different way. A lot of times you see tennis from the highest echelons. But at the same time, people sometimes don’t really appreciate the journey of an aspiring pro and what that’s like. It’s really difficult, financially, working day in day out, playing the Futures. 

“It’s not all strawberries and cream; it’s really difficult out there. I think it shows it a little bit from that perspective and I think he does a really good job of shining a light on that aspect and I think he’s a really popular kid on there. It was good to play with him and he’s a really nice guy.”

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Medvedev's Late Surge Sets Zverev Meeting In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 13, 2023

Medvedev’s Late Surge Sets Zverev Meeting In Indian Wells

Fifth seed defeats Ivashka for 16th straight win

Two streaks ended for Daniil Medvedev on Sunday night at the BNP Paribas Open, but not the one that really mattered. When Ilya Ivashka won the second set against the fifth seed, it ended Medvedev’s 18-set winning run and his seven-set streak against the World No. 85.

But the four-time ATP Masters 1000 champion regrouped to secure a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 result, scoring his 16th straight victory to advance to the fourth round, where he will meet Alexander Zverev. His progress to the last 16 matches his best Indian Wells result from 2021.

The matchup against Zverev, the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting since Zverev’s victory in the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals, will break a 6-6 tie in the series.

“I think our match could be a lot of rallies. Let’s see. It’s going to be interesting,” Medvedev previewed. “I feel like he’s playing better and better, which is normal after a tough injury. He’s someone who was one of the best players on Tour, going kind of close to World No. 1, started playing better and better in Grand Slams.

“His injury was unfortunate but I’m sure he’s going to come back. Hopefully next match I can be the winner and I can play some good tennis.”

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It was business as usual at the start, with Medvedev breaking in the opening game of a straightforward first set. He broke again to open the second set, only for Ivashka to break back from 40/15 to spark a run of eight straight points and flip the feeling on the stadium court.

Strong serving kept Medvedev in the set, but Ivashka was on top in the many long rallies as his opponent grew frustrated with what he felt were slow conditions in the desert night. A loose service game handed a break to Ivashka, who served out the set to love to force a decider.

“[In the] second set I don’t feel like I was playing bad,” Medvedev said post-match. “It’s just that you hit 10 good shots in the rally and it could be not enough. That’s tough.”

Just when it appeared Medvedev had a battle on his hands, he rediscovered the form that propelled him to titles in each of his past three ATP Tour events (Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai). He raced to a 5-0 lead in the final set, locking in from the baseline to blunt Ivashka’s power game, and served out the win after Ivashka avoided a bagel with a 0/40 escape, completing the job on his fifth match point.

Medvedev finished with eight aces and six double faults, those statistics underlining an up-and-down performance at the year’s first ATP Masters 1000. But as champions do, he played his best when it mattered most.

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