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Khachanov Dispatches Cerundolo, Sets Medvedev SF

  • Posted: Mar 30, 2023

Khachanov Dispatches Cerundolo, Sets Medvedev SF

26-year-old up to No. 11 in Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings

Karen Khachanov advanced to the semi-finals at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time since 2019 Thursday when he moved past Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 6-3, 6-2 at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

After falling a break down in the first set, the 26-year-old quickly recovered to ensure it was one-way traffic from then. The big-hitting 14th seed crushed 18 winners and drove the ball through the quick court to force Cerundolo into errors, sealing his victory after 75 minutes.

“At the end of the day it was a question of finding rhythm,” Khachanov said. “At the beginning, it was pretty windy and I couldn’t figure out where the wind was coming through. I then started to hit through the ball more and then I felt better and better. After I broke him back I felt I am on a good rise and felt that I could not miss. That is a good feeling to have during a match.

“I think I have improved my mentality and self belief a lot. I am enjoying the process. I think the results speak for themselves and I am happy it is paying off.”

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Cerundolo entered the match holding an 8-1 record in Miami, having soared to the semi-finals on debut last year. The 24-year-old was unable to earn his first victory against Khachanov and reach the last four again, however, committing 22 unforced errors.

Khachanov won his only ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris in 2018, before he advanced to the semi-finals in Toronto in 2019. He will continue the quest for his fifth tour-level title and first since Paris five years ago when he plays Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals.

“We grew up together and everytime I play against Daniil or Andrey [Rublev], it is not easy because we are good friends,” Khachanov said looking ahead to his match against Medvedev. “But on the court we are rivals. We played in Adelaide this year and he beat me pretty solid, so I will try to approach this match differently.”

Khachanov is up five spots to No. 11 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and will jump back into the Top 10 if he wins the title. Earlier this season, he advanced to the semi-finals at the Australian Open.

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Medvedev Ends Eubanks' Miami Run

  • Posted: Mar 30, 2023

Medvedev Ends Eubanks’ Miami Run

Fourth seed chasing fourth title of season

Daniil Medvedev reached the semi-finals at the Miami Open presented by Itau for the first time Thursday when he overcame qualifier Christopher Eubanks 6-3, 7-5 to end the American’s dream run in South Florida.

In a rain-disrupted clash, the fourth seed absorbed Eubanks’ powerful serve and hit through the middle of the court to cut off angles. He struck a number of winners past the onrushing Eubanks, who closed the net frequently, while he recovered from squandering a break advantage in the second set to advance after one hour and 30 minutes.

“I didn’t play my best before [the rain delay]. The rain helped me go out and have more energy,” Medvedev said on the rain delay which suspended play at 2-3 in the first set. “It helped me and I only played better and better, apart from one bad game on my serve, but it happens.”

Medvedev, who fell at the quarter-final stage in Miami in 2021 and 2022, will aim to reach his fifth consecutive tour-level final when he faces Karen Khachanov or Francisco Cerundolo in the last four.

The 27-year-old is now 27-3 on the season, having won 22 of his past 23 matches. Medvedev has lifted trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai during that run and reached the final in Indian Wells, where World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz ended his 19-match winning streak.

“I have never had such a good start to the season. A lot of matches won, tournaments won. I am really happy,” Medvedev said. “I was disappointed at Indian Wells when my streak ended on the same number as last time. The only thing you can do is begin a new streak and I am happy to bring my form into Miami.”

Eubanks has enjoyed a dream run in Miami. After coming through qualifying, the 26-year-old earned victories against Denis Kudla, Borna Coric, Gregoire Barrere and Adrian Mannarino, rising 34 spots to No. 85 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

Did You Know?
Medvedev will rise to No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings if he wins the title in Miami.

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Superstitions & Lucky Charms Underpin Cerundolo's Miami Success

  • Posted: Mar 30, 2023

Superstitions & Lucky Charms Underpin Cerundolo’s Miami Success

Argentine faces Khachanov in the quarter-finals

Editor’s note: This story was translated from

The conditions, the climate, the number of Argentinians supporting him in every match of the tournament, the relaxation brought by the city’s beaches, the memories of happiness when he first discovered Crandon Park as a child… There are many reasons for Francisco Cerundolo’s extraordinary success competing at the Miami Open presented by Itau, where one year ago he was a semi-finalist on his ATP Masters 1000 debut and now is in the quarter-finals.

But there is another factor that is just as important: superstition.

“Since last year, at this tournament, we’ve had several superstitions. And they must be respected,” explained Cerundolo’s Argentine coach Kevin Konfederak. “One of the superstitions is returning to the restaurant where we eat and having the same meal. And everyone knows what they have to order. But I can’t say any more because I don’t want to jinx it.”

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There are even some superstitions that do not directly involve Cerundolo, but some friends that have been with him since the start of the tournament. They are responsible for bringing luck simply by sitting in the box while the 24-year-old is playing.

“They are lucky charms, of course. They also came last year, and they are staying. You don’t change things like that,” Konfederak said.

Photo Credit: ATP Tour
Konfederak also has his own role to play, besides that of coach. His superstition, just like that of Mariano Gaute, the team’s fitness coach and kinesiologist, takes place in the hotel gym after every Cerundolo win. They have to do 15-second exercises with a 10-second pause between each one. So far there are eight exercises, but a new one is added for each new session. It is obligatory.

In fact, when Cerundolo beat Lorenzo Sonego at 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday to stamp his passage to his second Miami quarter-final, Konfederak and Gaute did their gym session when they got back to the hotel despite the time.

“We were dead by the end of it, really struggling. But, since we ask ‘Fran’ to suffer and fight on court, the least we can do is to suffer ourselves, albeit in the gym. It’s all part of the superstition,” said the 31-year-old coach.

It is a team job, there is no doubt about that. While his entourage invoke good luck, ‘Fran’ channels it on court. So far, it has worked like a charm, especially in Miami. One year ago, as a result of reaching the semi-finals in his first Masters 1000, the 24-year-old right-hander climbed from No. 103 to No. 51 in the world.

“It was the tournament that put me on the radar,” remembers Cerundolo.

“It changed my career, changed my life. Tons of people started to follow me on social media, I had thousands of messages everywhere and I wasn’t used to it. My phone was shutting down because of the sheer number of notifications I was getting.

Even more commendable is that he is just one win away from a repeat of last year’s campaign, and producing some stunning tennis that has allowed him to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round to claim his third Top 10 win. Another of the keys to his latest long campaign in Miami is his emotional equilibrium on court.

“Over a year ago we decided that, because of his personality, there was no point bottling things up,” explains Konfederak. “Keeping your mouth shut restrains you and generates more tension, it’s no help. So most of my work consists of insisting that he unload, but then immediately concentrates on the next point. Now he’s used to playing and being expressive.”

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The Last Time With… Francisco Cerundolo

Konfederak, who was in the Top 500 in 2012 before dedicating his time to his studies, contributes to every aspect of Cerundolo’s learnings. He tries to instil in his understudy all the knowledge he acquired during his time at the Georgia Gwinnett College, where he gained a degree in business and marketing, as well as that obtained through his personal reading, whether it be on tennis, academics or life in general.

“I get a lot of information through what I read and listen to. And I test out what will be of use to ‘Fran’. It’s trial and error. There are some things he takes on, others he doesn’t,” he said.

‘The science of storytelling’, his current book, is about how personalities are determined through the stories we tell others and ourselves. So far, he can see his pupil in the synopsis.

“The story he’s telling through his tennis is a very good one!” he declared proudly.

He hopes that Cerundolo’s tennis continues to speak for itself on Thursday when he crosses paths with Karen Khachanov, who leads their ATP Head2Head series 1-0, having beaten him last year in Montreal.

“Khachanov is a very complete player. He’s playing very well,” Cerundolo said. “He beat me last year in a real tussle. I’m going to focus on my game. And if I carry on the way I’ve been playing, I’m confident.”

If he can maintain the level he has produced all tournament, Konfederak and Gaute will leave Miami fitter than ever after so many sessions in the gym. It will have been well worth it.

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Five Things To Know About Christopher Eubanks

  • Posted: Mar 30, 2023

Five Things To Know About Christopher Eubanks

American is friends with actor Jamie Foxx

Christopher Eubanks has enjoyed a dream run at the Miami Open presented by Itau, where he is set to play Daniil Medvedev in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

The American has received an outpouring of support from the fans, peers and even celebrities. Learn more about Eubanks in this edition of Five Things To Know.

Chris Played College Tennis
Eubanks admits he was never one of the United States’ leading juniors. The final year he competed in the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships, otherwise known as Kalamazoo, he was unseeded. So the American opted to attend Georgia Tech, where he was named ACC Player of the Year twice in his three years competing as a student-athlete.

By his third year on the team, Eubanks became a dominant force, tallying an 18-2 record at No. 1 singles and a 31-6 mark overall. He advanced to the quarter-finals of the NCAA Singles Championships, becoming the first from the school to achieve the feat since Bryan Shelton, father of Eubanks’ good friend Ben Shelton.

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

He Will Crack The Top 100 For The First Time Monday
It has been a memorable week for Eubanks in Miami. Entering the tournament, his career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking was No. 102. By defeating Gregoire Barrere in the third round, the home favourite guaranteed that he would crack the Top 100 for the first time.

If that was not enough, Eubanks maintained his form to upset Adrian Mannarino for a place in the quarter-finals, boosting him to No. 85 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. A win against Medvedev could propel him into the world’s Top 60.

“The past few weeks have been really, really tough just because I’ve been kind of thinking about Top 100 and everything,” Eubanks said. “I had some losses that I shouldn’t have [had] and I was really second-guessing a lot about my game and everything.”

<a href=''>Christopher Eubanks</a>
Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Eubanks Is Friends With Jamie Foxx
Three years ago, Eubanks posted a video on Instagram of a challenge in which actor Jamie Foxx tried to return one of the 6’7” right-hander’s serves. In the first few seconds of the video, Foxx was knocked over by the power of the serve.

The pair have become good friends since. The actor congratulated Eubanks on an emotional victory in the Miami third round, writing on Instagram that, “Blood sweat and tears and true hard work has paid off for my good friend @chris_eubanks96 tennis is your passion, my friend continue to rise and congratulations on breaking into the top 100 players in the world! 🎾 💪🏾”.

“It’s amazing man. It’s really, really cool,” Eubanks told the media Tuesday of Foxx’s support. “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.”


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His WTA Friends Include Gauff, Osaka, Keys & Stephens
After defeating Barrere in the third round and returning to the players’ area inside Hard Rock Stadium, Eubanks FaceTimed with Coco Gauff. She is not the only WTA star he is friends with, though.

Last year, Naomi Osaka visited the Dallas Open to watch Eubanks compete.

“For me, it’s kind of weird, just because I look at her as just my friend. That’s what she is,” Eubanks told last year. “But she’s such a global icon and the reach that she has, it’s pretty incredible. It’s pretty remarkable. I think the way that she handles it is incredibly impressive. I’m just honestly honoured to be able to call her a friend.”

At this year’s Dallas Open, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens got a good laugh joking about Eubanks in a piece of content created by the tournament.

“Oh Lord,” Stephens said. “Don’t even get me started on that giraffe. Jesus. We love Chris. We love Daddy Longlegs.”


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He Was A Stunt Double For His Hero
In the film ‘Citizen Ashe’, a documentary about the life and accomplishments of Arthur Ashe, Eubanks served as a stunt double for Ashe. He also stood in for the legendary figure for the Ashe ’68 Virtual Reality Experience.

Eubanks’ idols growing up were Ashe and Roger Federer.

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QF Preview: Medvedev Meets Eubanks, Khachanov & Cerundolo Clash In Miami

  • Posted: Mar 30, 2023

QF Preview: Medvedev Meets Eubanks, Khachanov & Cerundolo Clash In Miami

Bottom-half semi-final spots up for grabs on Thursday at Hard Rock Stadium

Quarter-final action at the Miami Open presented by Itau continues Thursday, when two scheduled matches along with the postponed Carlos Alcaraz-Taylor Fritz clash are on the card.

Daniil Medvedev is one of the most in-form players on Tour, but the fourth seed will have to end the dream run of home favourite Christopher Eubanks in Florida if he wants to reach his fifth consecutive ATP Tour semi-final. Meanwhile Karen Khachanov looks to back up his fourth-round victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas when he faces 2022 semi-finalist Francisco Cerundolo. breaks down Thursday’s quarter-final action in southern Florida.

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[4] Daniil Medvedev vs. [Q] Christopher Eubanks (USA)

Faced with a post-midnight start to his fourth-round match against Quentin Halys due to rain, Daniil Medvedev was clinical in claiming a straight-sets victory against the Frenchman in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The fourth seed will hope for more of the same on Thursday when he takes on Eubanks, the surprise package of the 2023 Miami Open presented by Itau.

The American qualifier has enjoyed an emotional run to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, even shedding tears after breaking the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings for the first time with his third-round triumph against Gregoire Barrere. Since edging Lukas Klein in a deciding-set tie-break in the final round of qualifying, Eubanks has dropped just one set in four main-draw matches.

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QF Preview: Alcaraz & Fritz Clash, Sinner Faces Ruusuvuori

Taking on the 18-time tour-level titlist Medvedev promises to be his toughest challenge yet, however. The red-hot World No. 5 has won 21 of his past 22 matches, with his relentless retrieving from the baseline the dominant feature of his game as he lifted trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai and reached the championship match in Indian Wells.

The move to the faster conditions of Miami appears to have boosted the four-time Masters 1000 champion’s ability to hit through opponents. Medvedev has struck 45 winners and dropped just nine games across his two matches in Florida so far.

Locked in 🔒@DaniilMedwed overpowers Quentin Halys to secure the victory 6-4 6-2 🙌@MiamiOpen | #MiamiOpen

— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 29, 2023

The outcome of his first ATP Head2Head meeting with Eubanks may depend on the 6’7” American’s ability to pressure Medvedev with precise serving, although the fourth seed will hope his renowned deep return position can help nullify his opponent’s biggest weapon. Another key for Eubanks will be keeping calm in the biggest match of his career to date.

The 26-year-old’s fourth-round win against Adrian Mannarino marked the first time he has won four consecutive tour-level matches. Yet Eubanks says he is feeling more and more confident every time he steps on court at Hard Rock Stadium.

“The [nerves] are less,” he said after downing Mannarino. “I went out there today feeling, ‘Let’s just go out there and play tennis, let’s go out here and have fun’. This week has already been a dream come true… I’m more than happy to live with the results as long as I can go out and try to execute as well as I can, and really have no regrets about how I played.”

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[14] Karen Khachanov vs. [25] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG)

Khachanov is becoming accustomed to competing in the latter stages of the biggest events on Tour. Having reached back-to-back Grand Slam semi-finals at the 2022 US Open and January’s Australian Open, the 26-year-old marched past second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday to secure his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final appearance since Montreal in 2019.

The four-time tour-level titlist has rediscovered his early-season form quickly considering he was forced to take some time off due to physical issues in the wake of his Melbourne run. Khachanov will hope to maintain that momentum on Thursday in his second ATP Head2Head meeting with the No. 31-ranked Cerundolo.

“After the Australian Open, I had some issue with an injury,” said Khachanov, whose straight-sets win against Tsitsipas snapped his 23-match losing-streak against Top 10 opponents. “I came back in Dubai without having played many matches and I’m just happy to continue that level. I just want to continue that way, enjoy the process, and enjoy the journey. It continues.”

Khachanov’s ratio of 25 winners to nine unforced errors against Tsitsipas certainly suggests he is a man high on confidence, and the World No. 16 will likely need to reproduce that form against Cerundolo in a meeting between two players who excel from the baseline. Khachanov needed three sets to claim victory in the pair’s only previous tour-level meeting last year in Montreal, and he will be wary of an opponent who boasts a stellar history at Hard Rock Stadium.

Cerundolo’s fourth-round win against Lorenzo Sonego improved his record in Miami to 9-1. He defeated Gael Monfils and Frances Tiafoe en route to the semi-finals on event debut in 2022, and the Argentine was ruthless in dispatching fifth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in this year’s third round.

In Auger-Aliassime and Sonego, Cerundolo defeated opponents renowned for stepping into court to strike winners at every opportunity. In contast, Cerundolo can expect Khachanov to settle into extended rallies to offer a stern test of the Argentine’s physical mettle. Can the 24-year-old respond with another dose of Miami magic?

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QF Preview: Alcaraz & Fritz Clash, Sinner Faces Ruusuvuori

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Top Seeds Koolhof/Skupski Bounced In Miami QFs

  • Posted: Mar 30, 2023

Top Seeds Koolhof/Skupski Bounced In Miami QFs

Gonzalez & Roger-Vasselin avenge Indian Wells loss

Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin didn’t need to wait long to avenge their semi-final loss to last year’s World No. 1 doubles pair Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski in Indian Wells. On Wednesday in Miami the duo rallied from a set down to upset the Miami top seeds 4-6, 7-6(5), 10-5 to reach their second consecutive ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.

The Mexican-French pairing will next meet the winner of Nathaniel Lammons/Jackson Withrow and Lloyd Glasspool/Harri Heliovaara, who were locked at 3/4 on serve in a match tie-break when rain halted play for the evening.

In the only other completed doubles result Wednesday, German Kevin Krawietz and Frenchman Fabrice Martin defeated American singles stars Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the semi-finals. They next will play American Austin Krajicek and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.

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Alcaraz v. Fritz Thursday Night On Revised Miami Open Schedule

  • Posted: Mar 30, 2023

Alcaraz v. Fritz Thursday Night On Revised Miami Open Schedule

Spaniard looking to go back-to-back in south Florida

Carlos Alcaraz’s hunt for the ‘Sunshine Double’ has ironically been put on hold because of rain.

The World No. 1, who must successfully defend his debut ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami this week to remain atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, had his Wednesday night quarter-final clash with Taylor Fritz postponed due to rain.

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Sinner Overcomes Rain, Ruusuvuori To Reach Miami SFs

Alcaraz and Fritz will now do battle Thursday, alongside two other quarter-finals already scheduled for tomorrow: Daniil Medvedev vs. Christopher Eubanks and former Miami semi-finalist Francisco Cerundolo vs. Karen Khachanov.

Alcaraz, who triumphed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this month, has a 17-1 record in 2023.

STADIUM start 1:00 pm

ATP – [Q] C. Eubanks (USA) vs [4] D. Medvedev 

Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA – [18] E. Alexandrova vs [15] P. Kvitova (CZE)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [1] C. Alcaraz (ESP) vs [9] T. Fritz (USA) 

Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [10] E. Rybakina (KAZ) vs [3] J. Pegula (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 2:30 pm
Quarterfinals – ATP – N. Lammons (USA) / J. Withrow (USA) vs [5] L. Glasspool (GBR) / H. Heliovaara (FIN) 76(3) 36 3-4

Not Before 3:00 pm
Quarterfinals – ATP – [25] F. Cerundolo (ARG) vs [14] K. Khachanov 

Not Before 5:00 pm
Semifinals – ATP – S. Gonzalez (MEX) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs N. Lammons (USA) / J. Withrow (USA) or [5] L. Glasspool (GBR) / H. Heliovaara (FIN) 
Semifinals – ATP – A. Krajicek (USA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs K. Krawietz (GER) / F. Martin (FRA) 


Miami Open tennis Rain

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