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Host Nations Announced For 2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

Host Nations Announced For 2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage

Manchester will hold Davis Cup action for first time since 1994

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed the host nations for the 2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage, while the draw for the Finals Group Stage took place in Malaga on Wednesday afternoon.

The Unipol Arena in Bologna, Italy and the Pabellón Municipal Fuente de San Luis in Valencia, Spain return as host venues for the Group Stage this season after hosting successful events in 2022. Italy, Canada, Sweden and Chile will contest Group A in Bologna, while Spain, Serbia, Czech Republic and Korea, Rep. will contest Group C in Valencia.

Great Britain remains a host nation for 2023, with this year’s event taking place at the AO Arena in Manchester – the first time that the city has hosted Davis Cup action since Great Britain played Romania at the Northern Lawn Tennis Club in July 1994. Great Britain, Australia, France and Switzerland will contest Group B in Manchester.

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Two-time Davis Cup champion nation Croatia completes the list of 2023 Finals Group Stage host nations, with the host city and arena to be announced in due course. Croatia, Netherlands, USA and Finland will contest Group D.

The Finals Group Stage takes place on 12-17 September 2023. Group winners and runners-up will progress to the Final 8 knockout stage at the Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena in Malaga, Spain on 21-26 November 2023. The draw for the Final 8 will take place following the Group Stage in September.

2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage draw
Group A
Host: Bologna, Italy

Canada (1)
Italy (*)

Group B
Host: Manchester, Great Britain

Australia (2)
Great Britain (*)

Group C
Host: Valencia, Spain

Spain (3) (*)
Czech Republic
Korea, Rep.

Group D
Host: Croatia

Croatia (4) (*)

(#) = seeded nation; (*) host nation

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Alcaraz Trying To Retain World No. 1, Chance For Top 10 Shakeup

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

Alcaraz Trying To Retain World No. 1, Chance For Top 10 Shakeup

Three players can climb as high as World No. 6 after Miami

The Miami Open presented by Itau quarter-finals begin Wednesday in Florida, where the Pepperstone ATP Rankings stakes are high for Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and more of the world’s biggest stars.

Alcaraz, who will play Taylor Fritz in the last eight, must win the title to retain World No. 1 next Monday. Anything less and Novak Djokovic will return to top spot.

The Spaniard returned to World No. 1 after winning the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells for the first time. The 19-year-old, who is the defending champion in Miami, is now three victories from completing the ‘Sunshine Double’.

Former World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev also has an opportunity to climb by the end of the week. Currently No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, he can pass Casper Ruud and move to World No. 4 if he lifts the trophy.

As recently as last month, Medvedev was World No. 12. But the 27-year-old has won 21 of his past 22 matches, a stretch during which he claimed crowns in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. He will face first-time ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finalist Christopher Eubanks for a spot in the last four.

Miami Quarter-finalists – Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings

 Player  Live Pts  Max Pts
 2) Carlos Alcaraz  6,600  7,420
 5) Daniil Medvedev  4,330  4,510
 9) Taylor Fritz  3,065  3,885
 10) Jannik Sinner  2,925  3,745
 14) Karen Khachanov  2,675  2,855
 33) Francisco Cerundolo  1,140  1,960
 37) Emil Ruusuvuori  1,021  1,841
 85) Christopher Eubanks  667  1,487

The biggest opportunities for movement come slightly lower down the list. Fritz, Jannik Sinner and Karen Khachanov each have an opportunity to ascend to World No. 6 on Monday by winning the title.

Only 800 points separate No. 6 and No. 15 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. Khachanov is currently No. 14 on the list, but the former Rolex Paris Masters titlist can cut that number by more than half by winning his second Masters 1000 trophy.

Khachanov, who upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round, will climb to World No. 11 if he defeats 2022 Miami semi-finalist Francisco Cerundolo in the next round. The Argentine Cerundolo, who has enjoyed his greatest success at Hard Rock Stadium, will crack the Top 20 for the first time if he claims the crown.

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Alcaraz's Passion For F1: 'What Fernando Alonso Is Doing Is Crazy!'

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

Alcaraz’s Passion For F1: ‘What Fernando Alonso Is Doing Is Crazy!’

The 19-year-old dedicated Tuesday’s win in Miami to the Spanish driver

Editor’s Note: This article was translated from

Fans of both tennis and motor racing are in their element this week in the Hard Rock Stadium.

When entering the venue for the Miami Open presented by Itau, spectators have to pass through a few sectors of the street circuit where the second Miami Grand Prix will take place on 7 May. This partly explains why Carlos Alcaraz has Formula 1 on his mind. However, the main reason is Spanish driver Fernando Alonso.

“33 –> Soon,” wrote Carlitos on the TV camera after his win over Tommy Paul on Tuesday in the last sixteen of the second Masters 1000 of the year. He explained the meaning of the message in his post-match press conference.

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“I’m spurring ‘Fer’ on to see if he can get his 33rd win in Australia,” he said with a smile. “To me it’s crazy what he’s doing at his age. He’s basically in the fight for the Formula 1 World Championship. It’s great to have him there.”

Fernando Alonso claimed his 32nd win at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, when Alcaraz had just celebrated his 10th birthday and was still unacquainted with the world of Formula 1. But the Spanish driver has made the podium in the first two races of the year in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The 41-year-old’s desire for another win is burning as strong as ever.

Alcaraz is sure to be glued to the TV cheering him on. Maybe Alonso’s strong runs will inspire him to claim another ATP Tour title. Just two weeks ago, Alonso finished third at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on the same day that Alcaraz claimed the BNP Paribas Open and returned to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“You motivated me for the Indian Wells final! You’re an animal!” Alcaraz wrote on one of Alonso’s Instagram posts.

Alonso, a two-time World Champion (2005, 2006), is responsible for Alcaraz’s recent Formula 1 fever.

“I have to admit that I’ve never been particularly interested in it, but Fernando has made me into a Formula 1 fan,” Alcaraz said. “He’s made me watch races, made me support him. And what better way to support Fernando than with a message on the camera?”

What kind of driver would Alcaraz be if he was competing alongside Alonso? The answer was simple, but emphatic: “I’d be a very aggressive one!” he said smiling. It is not a surprising response from a player who has not dropped a set in his last nine matches and hit 188 winners in Indian Wells.

Alcaraz is currently in the midst of his own race in the United States. While Alonso chases his 33rd win, the 19-year-old is bidding for the ‘Sunshine Double’ (winning in Indian Wells and Miami in the same season). He would be the youngest player to achieve the feat, and the first since Roger Federer in 2017.

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“I try not to think about that, but it’s difficult. It’s something I really want. I want to be one of those few players who have won the ‘Sunshine Double’. So, for me, it would be great to achieve it,” explained the eight-time tour titlist, who will face American Taylor Fritz for the first time on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals.

Alcaraz is three wins away from being the eighth player on the ATP Tour to win Indian Wells and Miami in the same year since the beginnings of the Masters 1000 category in 1990. He would join Novak Djokovic (2011, 2014-16), Federer (2005-06, 2017), Andre Agassi (2001), Marcelo Ríos (1998), Pete Sampras (1994), Michael Chang (1992) and Jim Courier (1991).

If the Murcia native can win Miami, it could be him that inspires Alonso to victory when the Spanish driver is racing in the same city in a few weeks.

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Medvedev Serves Past Halys In Miami To Set Eubanks Clash

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

Medvedev Serves Past Halys In Miami To Set Eubanks Clash

World No. 5 is chasing first ATP Masters 1000 title since 2021

The in-form Daniil Medvedev produced a superb serving performance in the early hours of Wednesday morning to see off Quentin Halys and reach the quarter-finals of the 2023 Miami Open presented by Itau.

In a match delayed until after midnight due to rain in South Florida, the fourth seed won 82 per cent (32/39) of points behind his first serve and did not face a break point in his 70-minute victory against the World No. 79. Now into his third consecutive quarter-final in Miami, the 27-year-old will hope to carry his recent red-hot form into his last-eight clash against home favourite Christopher Eubanks.

“I thought it was going to be cancelled,” said Medvedev after producing a clinical performance against Halys after the long rain delay. “I’m pretty happy that I managed to play not so bad, becauset was not easy. I think that’s why Quentin was also missing a lot, because when you play at midnight… You usually sleep at midnight. So trying to play some tennis then [was tough].”

Medvedev converted the only break point of the first set in the fifth game to move ahead in his maiden ATP Head2Head meeting with Halys, and took further command of the encounter by breaking the Frenchman’s serve again the opening game of the second set. With Medvedev dialled in on serve, the fourth seed ultimately ran out a comfortable winner to improve his record for the 2023 season to 26-3.

That tally includes back-to-back title runs in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. In Miami, the four-time ATP Masters 1000 champion is chasing his first title at this level since his 2021 victory in Toronto.

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Eubanks' Dream Miami Run Continues: 'This Feels Great'

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

Eubanks’ Dream Miami Run Continues: ‘This Feels Great’

American will play Medvedev in the quarter-finals

If Monday evening marked Christopher Eubanks’ breakthrough, Tuesday evening took it to the next level.

“Ain’t no crying,” Eubanks said as he walked into the media mixed zone inside Hard Rock Stadium with a big smile on his face.

The American had just battled past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6(2), 7-6(5) in a rain-delayed two hours and 11 minutes to reach the quarter-finals of the Miami Open presented by Itau.

“It feels good, it feels good. Just like yesterday felt good, this feels great,” Eubanks said. “Just something about all of the delays and the stopping, the starting, the warming up and cooling down and warming up, it makes a match like this even sweeter and to think it was for my first Masters 1000 quarter-final is really, really special. It feels great, it feels good right now.”

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After clawing past Gregoire Barrere in the third round, Eubanks was overcome by a flood of emotions. Not only had he rallied from 2/6 down in the second-set tie-break, but the match put him in position to crack the Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time.

“I think last night was just so many different emotions just because of being down in the breaker, my mind kind of already floated to the idea of a third set, so to be able to come back and win it, it was a lot,” Eubanks said. “It was a lot, saving five set points and to be able to come back, it was more just kind of shock that I’d actually won the match and then to find out afterwards that match put me in the Top 100, that’s when the emotion came out.”

After the emotional night, Eubanks regrouped to oust veteran Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, one of the trickiest players on the ATP Tour. He is up to No. 85 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

“Today feels a little bit more like, ‘Hey, I’m here. Trust it,’” Eubanks said. “I’m playing well and let’s just see how long we can keep this thing going.”

Eubanks has received an outpouring of support from colleagues in the tennis world as well as plenty of people outside of it. Jamie Foxx congratulated him on social media Monday evening and NFL legend Chad Johnson was in the stands on Tuesday to support him.

“It’s amazing man. It’s really, really cool. I’ve known Foxx for two, three years now and he’s become a really, really close friend, someone I can call if I just want to kind of talk through life a little bit,” Eubanks said. “Chad and I actually connected for the first time two or three weeks ago. He posted a video playing tennis and I think we had DM’d in the past and when he posted the video I commented saying, ‘Hey man that looks pretty good.’ He commented back saying, ‘I would love to get on the court with you,’ so I immediately shot him a DM I said, ‘Hey I’m going to be down in Miami for the Miami Open if you want to come out I can see about getting you a credential.’

“We were able to do that and he’s such an avid sports fan. He loves following tennis. He was super excited to be able to meet Carlitos today, he got to meet Tommy the other day. So he’s an all-around sports junkie. It was really cool for him to be able to come out. He stuck through one or two rain delays… It’s been really cool to see the outpouring of support. DJ D-Nice is another person who reached out and I got to meet. It’s been really, really cool.”

Eubanks’ run is not over yet. The 26-year-old will play red-hot Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the semi-finals.

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NFL Star Chad Johnson On Alcaraz: 'I See The Evidence'

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

NFL Star Chad Johnson On Alcaraz: ‘I See The Evidence’

Former NFL star reflects on his newfound love for tennis

Chad Johnson, a legendary NFL wide receiver who has also been known as ‘Chad Ochocinco’, is quickly becoming a tennis nut. The former Cincinnati Bengal standout and New York Mets star Francisco Lindor met with Carlos Alcaraz after the Spaniard’s fourth-round win at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Tuesday against Tommy Paul.

Johnson, who has made multiple visits to the tournament this fortnight, spoke to about his relationship with Christopher Eubanks, Alcaraz’s game and more.

What made you interested in tennis?
My daughter is taking tennis lessons. She’s seven years old, she’s taking tennis lessons and I didn’t ignore it, but I had to take her to tennis lessons one day. I get there, she’s hitting the ball. I can’t sit still, so I grab a racquet and I start hitting the ball and now I’m taking lessons three times a week. I’m stuck in the game.

She goes to lessons… I’m taking my own lessons with another coach. Now I’m into it and want to get good at it. I’ll never be great obviously. But I can’t sit still, so I’ve been taking lessons. I’ve been taking it really seriously along with boxing.

I know Chris [Eubanks]. I asked Chris, I want to come out to the Miami Open, I know you’re here, I’d love to meet you, and that’s how everything started.

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How cool was what he did last night, earning his way into the Top 100?
Unbelievable. Very cool. Very cool to see it. I’m very happy for Chris and his success. I’m excited to watch him tonight.

Did you get to see Carlos Alcaraz play?
I’ve been asking, Chris already told me about him. Tommy Paul told me about him earlier when I met him at the beginning of last week how good he was. But watching him live just puts everything into perspective that they were saying, so now I get it. I didn’t get it because you guys are pros, you guys are elite at the top level and to hear them speak about him in such a manner that I had no clue about until I was able to see the evidence out there today.

They talk about how explosive he is, which reminds me of you a little bit. How cool is it to see a different sort of athleticism in a different sport?
I think tennis doesn’t get its just due in my type of circle with the NFL circle. I don’t think they come and watch it up close. But then once you see it up close, you will have an unbelievable perspective of it and being able to watch someone like that today man, holy sh**!

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Russell On What Fritz Has 'Deep Down Inside'

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

Russell On What Fritz Has ‘Deep Down Inside’

Frtitz to play Alcaraz in Miami quarter-finals

Taylor Fritz enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2022, winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells and qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. The American has picked up this year where he left off.

The 25-year-old helped lead the United States to the United Cup title and is now 20-5 on the season. After defeating Holger Rune on Tuesday to reach the Miami Open presented by Itau quarter-finals, he climbed to sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. Next up will be defending champion and World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz caught up with Fritz’s coach, Michael Russell, about his consistently improving level, what people do not know about the American and more.

Taylor had an amazing year in 2022 and it would have been easy for him to potentially struggle a little bit this year after that breakthrough. But he seems very within himself at that level this year. How do you see it?
It’s been great. A lot of times that freshman year breaking into the Top 10 sometimes the expectation and even self-doubt can sometimes creep in. But Taylor’s always had that self confidence.

He’s got a great team around him as well that helps remind him how good he is and we continue to work on everything and continue to progress and not get complacent. That’s a big part of it. You set the goals and you set Top 10, set Top 5, but you have to keep changing those goals and creating goals, even individual tournament goals, ranking goals and most importantly, process goals. Just improving your game.

You’re known for how hard you work with your players. After a year like last year did you take it up a notch? Did you change your plan with him?
It’s a balance. It’s a fine line. I think we can always work harder, but you also have to work smart. Taylor is a big guy, almost 6’5” and the way he plays is very explosive, powerful tennis, so we have to gear the training around that and then still have the endurance factor.

[It is about] explosive endurance and continuing to be able to play deep in tournaments and also deep in matches. That’s the ultimate goal, being able to play seven three-out-of-five set matches in a Grand Slam and keep that endurance.

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What is something that people don’t realise about Taylor or his game?
Personally he’s a very laid back guy, pretty soft spoken, more introverted. But when it comes to the actual competition and tennis aspect, he’s one of the best competitors I’ve seen and the public can see he’ll do anything to try to win that last point.

Sometimes it’s hard to mesh the two because you see a guy who’s pretty laid back and doesn’t show a ton of emotion when he’s playing, like really getting fired up. But deep down inside he has that burning desire the whole time.

Now that he has installed himself at the upper echelons of the game, what is the next step in his progression? How do you go from where he is now to climb even higher?
Number one is staying healthy, which we all know sometimes you can’t control that, or a lot of times you can. Just continuing to stay healthy with all the impact of the Tour, the travel, the different court surfaces, different balls to the different weeks.

It makes it challenging, so it’s really important that he stays healthy and then continuing to increase the strength, the stamina, his speed, so that his explosiveness and his power game can become even more powerful and more consistent and he can sustain that throughout the course of a whole year, so you don’t get as many fluctuations through the year, through tournaments. You try to stabilise those.

What’s the best match you’ve seen him play?
You have to dissect it by the years. Let’s just take this year, 2023. He’s played some really good matches. He played the finals, almost the whole match, for a set and three quarters against Kecmanovic in the finals of Delray. Taylor was up 6-0, 5-3 and had match points and Miomir hit some amazing shots to save match points.

But for that set and three quarters was some of the best tennis I’ve ever seen Taylor play. Literally every forehand he hit was a winner and every first serve he put in the court didn’t come back. When that combination is happening, I don’t know anybody in the world who would be able to beat him.

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What’s your favourite part about coaching him?
He’s very respectful and he listens. He’s very stubborn, which you expect every great player to be. But he does listen and he does absorb and the communication factor, there’s a lot of synergy there, which is great. So there’s not any question as to what’s being said or if something’s not understood, we have a dialogue about it.

What’s the most stubborn thing he’s done while you’ve been coaching him?
We can say playing the finals of Indian Wells when he couldn’t even walk. That was extremely stubborn because we all, just based on his feelings and what he was explaining to us, it was the most excruciating pain he’s ever felt in his life.

We didn’t want him to have a career-ending injury not just for tennis, but for quality of life. He insisted on playing and obviously the rest we know what happened. He’s extremely stubborn on that front. A lot of times he’ll make decisions that he thinks are best, but usually the team goes along with it.

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If you could snap your fingers and make one thing happen with him what would it be and why?
I would love for Taylor to win a Grand Slam and be No. 1 in the world. That’s [the] main goal of course. I would love for him to have unlimited explosiveness and never get tired, ever. It’s a very open-ended question, so there is a lot of ambiguity there!

In hindsight, the physicality part, I would love it if he could play for eight hours and have more explosiveness than anybody in the history of tennis. Then I think the other two goals of winning a Grand Slam [and reaching No. 1] would happen for sure, but that’s our goal. I think he’s been working hard and that’s the ultimate goal.

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Is Sinner The Best Ball-Striker On Tour? 'He Has This Extra Gear'

  • Posted: Mar 29, 2023

Is Sinner The Best Ball-Striker On Tour? ‘He Has This Extra Gear’

Tennis Insights provides a closer look at the Italian’s Shot Quality

Jannik Sinner is playing some of the best tennis of his career in 2023. The 21-year-old is 19-4 on the year and three of his four losses have come against Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

According to Tennis Insights, the statistics back up his win-loss record. The Italian has not just been winning, but has been doing so with top-tier quality.

Across ATP Tour events in 2023, Sinner’s Shot Quality has ranked second for the forehand, backhand and return. Shot Quality is calculated in real time by analysing each shot’s speed, spin, depth, width, and the impact it has on the opponent.

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Only Novak Djokovic’s forehand, Borna Coric’s backhand and Daniil Medvedev’s return Shot Qualities have been better. Sinner is the only player in the Top 3 for all three strokes.

Forehand Shot Quality (2023)

 Novak Djokovic  9.14
 Jannik Sinner  8.6
 Andrey Rublev  8.57
 Tour Avg  7.2

Backhand Shot Quality (2023)

 Borna Coric  8.3
 Jannik Sinner  8.04
 Carlos Alcaraz  8
 Tour Avg  7

Return Shot Quality (2023)

 Daniil Medvedev  7.92
 Jannik Sinner  7.47
 Diego Schwartzman  7.42
 Tour Avg  6.5

Sinner earned his biggest breakthrough two years ago at the Miami Open presented by Itau, where he reached his first ATP Masters 1000 player. But he feels he is a better player now.

“When I made the final here, I felt like it was completely something new,” Sinner told the media Tuesday in Miami. “Now I feel like I take every match in the best possible way. I go on court with a gameplan and I try to stick with it. Back in the day I was just going for shots without even thinking so much.

“Now it’s a little bit easier to execute it. But for sure I [will] try to go as far as possible and then we’ll see.”

How big do Sinner’s shots feel for opponents? The next player he will face, Emil Ruusuvuori, did not hesitate with his answer.

“Very, very big. He has just this extra gear sometimes that he can put on and just pop it and it just is like a missile,” Ruusuvuori told “You can’t leave anything hanging on either side. It’s going to be difficult to get back from those situations so you try to attack first and then go from there.”

If Sinner brings the imperious form he showed Tuesday against Andrey Rublev, it will be tough for any opponent to keep up.

Sinner’s jaw-dropping Shot Quality for the forehand (8.6), backhand (8.04) and return (7.47) in 2023 have been as close to the top of the charts as possible. But his metrics against Rublev were significantly better.

The Italian’s forehand Shot Quality was a 9, his backhand was a 9.5 and his return was an 8.5. That led to a resounding 6-2, 6-4 win against the No. 7 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

The frequency of a player achieving a Shot Quality of at least 9 on a shot is 0.3 per cent. Sinner did it on two different strokes in the same match.

“We try our best every day and I’m very happy about the performance today,” Sinner said in his post-match interview. “Playing against Andrey is never easy. He serves very well and he plays very aggressive, so I had to change a little bit today. For sure, my level was great, I felt good on court, so hopefully I can keep it up in the next round.”

Follow @tennis_insights on Twitter to learn how Shot Quality and other Tennis Insights are created.

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