Wimbledon: Veronika Kudermetova to remove Russian sponsorship at Wimbledon
Russian player Veronika Kudermetova says she will be able to play at Wimbledon by removing her Russian sponsor’s logo from her kit.
Russian player Veronika Kudermetova says she will be able to play at Wimbledon by removing her Russian sponsor’s logo from her kit.
China’s Zhang Zhizhen backed up his upset of Denis Shapovalov with an even bigger win against Cameron Norrie on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open. Both triumphs came via a third-set tie-break, with the 26-year-old battling back to stun Norrie 2-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(2) and notch his first Top 20 win.
“Before the match I didn’t even think I was going to be here in the second week of Madrid,” the Shanghai native said after extending his dream debut at the ATP Masters 1000. “Now I made it!
“This is a big victory because it was an amazing match. The first set was tough, I was down 6-2 but I still didn’t give up. And then I won two tie-breaks, that’s amazing. Normally my tie-breaks is losing one and then win. So today I had two wins, that’s unbelievable really.”
Doing the impossible ✨
Zhizhen Zhang continues his impressive form with a 2-6 7-6 7-6 victory over Cameron Norrie, reaching the last 16 of a Masters 1000 for the first time!@MutuaMadridOpen | #MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/omLfvDjHge
— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 1, 2023
Zhang, who became the first Chinese player to break into the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings last October, has moved up 10 places to No. 89 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings behind his best run at an ATP Masters 1000 — a mark that would represent a new career high. With a win in his last-16 match against Taylor Fritz, he could rise as high as No. 65.
“Again, a top player for sure, a tough match,” Zhang said of the his third straight seeded opponent. “I will try to be my best, try to fight.”
Zhang excelled in attack against the 11th-seeded Norrie but also held his own in longer rallies, finishing with 32 winners and 21 unforced errors. Though he did not create a break point, he was rock-solid in both tie-breaks as Norrie misfired. The Briton finished the match with 32 unforced errors, including a few untimely miscues as his opponent piled the pressure down the stretch of the two-hour, nine-minute match.
Zhang has picked up all three of his tour-level wins this season in the past week, levelling his record at 3-3 behind his Madrid run. He is one win away from a third ATP Tour quarter-final, having reached that stage in 2017 in Shenzhen and last year in Naples, doing so as a qualifier on both occasions.
Norrie, who was off to his best career start on clay courts this season, fell to 12-4 on the surface on the year.
After edging Dominic Thiem in a third-set tie-break to open his Mutua Madrid Open campaign, Stefanos Tsitsipas again owned the clutch moments in a Monday win against Sebastian Baez. In a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory, the Greek rattled off the final four games of the opening set and the last three of the third to advance to the last 16 at the ATP Masters 1000.
Tsitsipas improved to 8-2 on clay this season as he continues his bid to return to the Madrid semi-finals for the third time. A 2019 finalist in the Spanish capital, he also reached the last four in 2022. If he can win his third ATP Masters 1000 title this week, he could rise as high No. 3 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and move within 1,000 points of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
A trophy would be his first of the season following defeats in the final at the Australian Open and last week in Barcelona.
Baez provided a stern test on Manolo Santana Stadium, combining consistency with a relentless baseline attack and taking advantage of 45 unforced errors from the Greek. Tsitsipas buckled down to steal the opening set from 3-5, finding space to dictate off his forehand wing, only to see Baez snap back to claim the second set after building a 3-0 lead.
There were no break points on offer in the final set until the final two games. Tsitsipas stepped into the court with great success to break for 5-3, then saved two break points to serve out the match, including one with an ace. He finished with a serve-and-volley on match point to emerge victorious after two hours, 12 minutes.
Tsitsipas will next face home favourite Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who continued his dream run at the Caja Magica with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory against qualifier Roman Safiullin. The World No. 42 powered 33 winners en route to a two-hour, 22-minute win to advance to the fourth round of a Masters 1000 event for the first time.
More to follow…
Andy Murray playing Gael Monfils is worthy of a Grand Slam quarter-final. Indeed Murray toughed out a five-set victory in the Roland Garros quarters when he last met the Frenchman almost nine years ago.
So fans at this week’s ATP Challenger 175 event in Aix-en-Provence, France are in for a treat when two of the most popular players in the modern game face off in the first round of the Open Aix Provence Credit Agricole.
And Murray and Monfils are not the only big-name stars who will be in Challenger Tour action this week. Several high-ranked players who lost early at the Mutua Madrid Open will now have an opportunity to make a splash at one of two 175 events this week in Aix-en-Provence and Cagliari, Italy.
At the Sardegna Open in Italy, Yoshihito Nishioka, Ben Shelton, and Mackenzie McDonald are the top three seeds. Diego Schwartzman, Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Ugo Humbert will also be in Cagliari.
Thanasi Kokkinakis greets fans at the Sardegna Open in Cagliari, Italy. Credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
Some of Italy’s young stars will be aiming to make a run on home soil. Mattia Bellucci, Luca Nardi, Giulio Zeppieri, and Francesco Passaro are among the Italians competing at the Tennis Club Cagliari.
In France, World No. 17 Tommy Paul and Brandon Nakashima are the top two seeds, respectively. Alexander Bublik, Mikael Ymer, Adrian Mannarino, and David Goffin are also among the field. Home hopes and #NextGenATP stars Arthur Fils and Luca Van Assche will look to do damage at the Open Aix Provence Credit Agricole.
One blockbuster contest will happen in the opening round of the Aix-en-Provence Challenger: three-time major champion Murray and former World No. 6 Monfils.
All six of Murray and Monfils’ meetings have been at ATP Masters 1000 events or Grand Slams. In 2014, Murray survived a five-setter in the quarter-finals against the Frenchman at Roland Garros.
Now after they each received a wild card into Aix-en-Provence, Murray and Monfils will battle at the intimate Country Club Aixois for the first time since their meeting on the Parisian clay.
Did You Know?
This season, the ATP Challenger Tour announced the all-new 175 events, which are played during the second week of select ATP Masters 1000 events. The Arizona Tennis Classic in March was the Challenger 175 event debut, which Portugal’s Nuno Borges won. Bordeaux, France and Turin, Italy will also host Challenger 175 tournaments later this month.
The Aix-en-Provence challenger 1r could pass for a 2013 Major semifinal…. pic.twitter.com/rWOp0i0mOJ
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) May 1, 2023
Match Tie-break fever took hold in the doubles draw Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open.
All three second-round matches that took place were settled in a decider at the clay-court ATP Masters 1000. Among the teams that triumphed in the Spanish capital were Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden, who edged Marcelo Melo and Alexander Zverev 6-4, 1-6, 10-5.
Bopanna and Ebden finished with a flourish on Court 4, winning the final five points of the match to clinch a 75-minute win and keep alive their bid for their second Masters 1000 title of the season.
The Indian Wells champions Bopanna and Ebden will take on Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski in the quarter-finals, after the top seeds pulled through 4-6, 6-4, 10-5 against home wild cards Roberto Carballes Baena and Martin Landaluce.
Singles stars Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev also delivered a strong finish to book their quarter-final berth. Taking on four-time Masters 1000 titlists Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, Khachanov and Rublev saved all four break points they faced in their 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-6 triumph. They next face Jamie Murray and Michael Venus.
Chasing his maiden ATP Tour title on clay at the Mutua Madrid Open, Taylor Fritz demonstrated his recent improvement on the surface Monday with a scintillating 6-1 7-6(4) third-round triumph against Cristian Garin.
The American marked his coach Michael Russell’s birthday with a lights-out performance on Arantxa Sanchez Stadium, where he struck the ball cleanly on serve and off the ground throughout his 92-minute victory. The No. 10 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Fritz fired 26 winners and held his nerve after Garin forced a second-set tie-break to reach the last 16 in Madrid for the first time in three appearances.
Fritz’s sublime display of hitting appeared to have the American on the way to a comfortable victory, but Garin converted his only break point of the match to level the second set at 5-5 to the delight of the Chilean contingent in the crowd. Fritz was not to be denied, however, and the 25-year-old produced a rock-solid tie-break to complete the win and level his ATP Head2Head series with Garin at 1-1.
“I think in the second set when I had some chances, I wasn’t taking them,” said Fritz, who converted three of his 12 break points overall. “When that happens, it kind of turns into one of those matches where I have all the chances and he’s going to get one, and he’s going to [take] it. I think he did well to fight off some break points and it made the match a bit tighter.”
Fritz has now reached at least the quarter-finals in all eight ATP Tour events he has played in 2023. That includes three tournaments on clay — in Monte-Carlo, Munich and now Madrid — and the American hopes his attempts at adapting his game for his least-favoured service can continue to pay dividends at the Caja Magica.
“It’s not grass and it’s not a hard court for me, but I’m making the most of it,” said Fritz. “If you want to be a top player, you need to have results on clay. So there’s not really anything else I can do other than just accept and do my best, and have a positive attitude about it.”
Now 7-2 for the year on clay, the Monte-Carlo semi-finalist Fritz will take on Cameron Norrie or Zhang Zhizhen as he chases his second ATP Masters 1000 title.
The ATP Challenger Tour prides itself in providing a raw look into professional tennis, offering an opportunity for fans to watch players go from grind to glory.
Indian Sumit Nagal is a case in point. The 25-year-old returned to the Challenger Tour winners’ circle Sunday following a difficult journey.
Nagal advanced through qualifying at the Roma Garden Open and went on a dream run, downing Dutchman Jesper de Jong 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
Nagal, who is one of five Challenger champions this week, captured his third Challenger title and first since 2019. Nagal’s journey since claiming the Buenos Aires Challenger four years ago has been filled with challenges, including undergoing right hip surgery in 2021. But this week on the Italian clay courts came with a great reward.
“It always feels good to lift a trophy, especially when it’s been four years since you won your last one,” Nagal wrote in an Instagram post following the Rome Challenger title. “There were times when the days were cold and the cards all fold.
“It was hard to believe that this day would come. I struggled with numerous injuries, came back from surgery, fought covid multiple times, endured tough matches, tougher training regimes, and my own internal demons.”
In South Korea, #NextGenATP star Yunchaokete Bu collected his maiden Challenger title and made Chinese tennis history.
Bu defeated seventh seed Aleksandar Vukic 7-6(4), 6-4 in the Pleisure Seoul Open final to become the third Chinese Challenger champion aged 21 and under, joining the-then 17-year-olds Wu Yibing (2017) and Shang Juncheng (2022).
Following Yunchaokete’s six titles on the ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour last season, the Hangzhou native is building upon his momentum on the Challenger Tour. His triumph in South Korea lifts him to a career-high No. 167 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Thiago Seyboth Wild collected his second Challenger title of the season Sunday, when he claimed the Challenger AAT Legion Sudamericana in Buenos Aires. The 23-year-old defeated third seed Luciano Darderi 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
Seyboth Wild, who triumphed at last month’s Vina del Mar Challenger, tallied a 15-2 Challenger-level record across March and April, including a finalist finish at the Santiago Challenger.
The Brazilian Seyboth Wild also teamed with Francisco Comesana to win the doubles title in Buenos Aires. The duo defeated Argentines Hernan Casanova and Santiago Rodriguez Taverna 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-6 in the final.
On the green clay of the Savannah Challenger, second seed Facundo Diaz Acosta won his second Challenger title. The Argentine defeated home hope Tristan Boyer 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
Facundo Diaz Acosta wins the 2023 Savannah Challenger. Credit: George Schminke
Diaz Acosta, 22, needed a deciding set in three of his five matches to triumph. The Buenos Aires native, who reached five Challenger semi-finals in 2022, is at a career-high 132 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his title in the United States.
In other Savannah Challenger action, semi-finalist Patrick Kypson secured the USTA’s Roland Garros wild card challenge, which is based on performance in outdoor clay Challenger-level events or higher over a four-week period. Kypson is awarded a main-draw wild card into the season’s second major.
In Ostrava, Czech Republic, home favourite Zdenek Kolar downed Hungarian Mate Valkusz 6-3, 6-2 to win his fourth Challenger title and first since 2021.
Zdenek Kolar in action at the Ostrava Challenger. Credit: Ostra Group Open by Moneta
The 26-year-old Kolar has fond memories on the Ostrava clay. In 2016, he completed a dream run to his first Challenger final as a teenage wild card. This week, the Czech went one step further to be crowned champion at the Ostra Group Open by Moneta.
Last season, Kolar made his Grand Slam main-draw debut at Roland Garros, where he reached the second round and took a set off fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Challenger TV is your home for all the action on the ATP Challenger Tour. You can watch free live streams and full match replays of your favourite players and tournaments.
All the live matches and replays can be found on the Challenger TV landing page. You can learn all you need to know about the Tour on the ATP Challenger Tour Landing Page. Watch ATP Challenger Tour videos, read Challenger news and more throughout ATPTour.com (find info for app users below).
The ATP Challenger Tour is the launchpad of men’s professional tennis. The Challenger Tour calendar features 200 tournaments across more than 40 countries each season. At this level, players develop their skills and earn valuable experience against strong competition, while fighting for critical points and prize money, all with the collective goal of progressing onto the ATP Tour.
Since it was founded in 1978, the ATP Challenger Tour has been an intense battleground on a global stage, providing fans the opportunity to witness world class tennis and follow the journeys of the stars of tomorrow as they launch their professional careers.
For App Users
To watch Challenger TV on the ATP WTA Live App, navigate to the screen you see when you open the app. On the purple navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, click the “More” button on the far right. The second option down will be “Challenger TV”, where you can select any match from any ATP Challenger Tour event that day.
To view Challenger scores, draws, schedules and more, select “Scores” on the navigation bar on the bottom of your screen. At the top there are two tabs: “ATP Tour & Hologic WTA Tour” and “ATP Challenger & WTA 125”. Select the latter and explore all the Challenger events for the week.
This week there will be five ATP Challenger Tour events, including two at the Challenger 175 level: the Open Aix Provence Crédit Agricole and the Sardegna Open.
Plenty of stars will compete in Aix-en-Provence event, including top seed Tommy Paul, former World No. 1 Andy Murray and Frenchman Gael Monfils.This will mark the first edition of the Sardegna Open, with Yoshihito Nishioka the too seed and rising American Ben Shelton, former Top 10 player Diego Schwartzman and more in action.
This week will also feature the Gwangju Open Challenger in South Korea, the Advantage Cars Prague Open by Moneta in the Czech Republic and the Challenger Dove Men+Care Coquimbo in Chile.
Watch Match Of The Day: Radu Albot vs Tomas Barrios Vera (Prague)
Daniil Medvedev added a second triumph to his 2023 Mutua Madrid Open campaign on Monday, but not before the second seed was given a real scare by qualifier Alexander Shevchenko at the clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event.
Medvedev twice rallied from a break down in the deciding set to claim a tense 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win on Manolo Santana Stadium. He was forced to call on all his renowned defensive abilities to keep the 22-year-old Shevchenko at bay, but held firm in the Madrid heat to seal a two-hour, 43-minute triumph.
“He played well. He’s young, so I’m sure he’s going to up the rankings, especially if he plays like in this tournament,” said Medvedev of Shevchenko, who has risen five spots to No. 91 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings as a result of his run to the third round on his Masters 1000 main-draw debut. “It’s always like this. He’s still young so he has a lot of time to go up.
“I practised with him before, I know that he can play very good, so the more consistent he is [and] the more matches he plays like this, maybe next time he’s going to win and the higher he is going to go. I’m very happy that today I managed to beat him.”
Shevchenko made a lightning start to his first match against a Top 10 opponent. The 22-year-old forged an ultimately unassailable 5-1 lead in the first set but soon found himself 0-5 down in the second as Medvedev began to counter his opponent’s high-class shotmaking with typical resilience from the baseline.
After forcing a decider, Medvedev trailed 0-2 and then 2-4 in the third set but fended off the upset by staying more solid than Shevchenko in the latter stages. At one point successfully returning 53 serves in a row, Medvedev’s refusal to miss in extended exchanges was key.
“I feel like I played pretty well in the second and third sets, and maybe the end of the first,“ said Medvedev. “The thing about clay [is] usually it is tough for me to start matches for whatever reason. I need a lot of time to get used to everything that is happening on the court. The third set [I could] have been a bit better at crucial moments, or maybe a lot better. But finally I won, so that counts also.”
“I remember last game of the first set, when I started playing better and better, I missed two or three and I was like ‘That’s not good’,” added Medvedev on his remarkable returning streak. “That makes a difference, that puts a lot of pressure on your opponent, and maybe that’s why I had so many opportunities on his serve.”
Now having won consecutive matches in Madrid for the first time, Medvedev will hope to continue his red-hot 2023 form in his fourth-round clash against Alex de Minaur or Aslan Karatsev. The 27-year-old holds a Tour-leading 33-4 record the season, a tally which has propelled him to first place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.
Monday’s action at the Mutua Madrid Open will finalise the last 16 at the ATP Masters 1000, with the third round to be completed on Day 6 of main-draw play. Second seed Daniil Medvedev will start the day’s slate in Manolo Santana Stadium against Alexander Shevchenko, with fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas meeting 25th seeed Sebastian Baez in the evening session on centre court.
Taylor Fritz’s midday matchup with Cristian Garin headlines the action in Arantxa Sanchez Stadium, with Frances Tiafoe facing Pedro Cachin just before on Madrid’s second stage.
ATPTour.com looks at some of the key third-round matchups on Monday’s schedule across the men’s singles draw and men’s doubles draw.
A self-proclaimed “hard-court specialist”, Medvedev has found his footing on the clay this season with a quarter-final run in Monte-Carlo and a confident performance in a 6-4, 6-3 win against Andrea Vavassori in the Madrid opening round.
The altitude in Madrid makes for quicker conditions than most clay courts on the ATP Tour, which should suit the 27-year-old. But despite that, Medvedev has never been beyond the third round in the Spanish capital, posting a 1-3 record in his previous appearances.
“I just want to play my best,” he said after beating Vavassori without dropping serve for his tour-leading 32nd win on the season. “Sure, everyone is saying here I should like it a little bit more than other clay courts because the serve goes a bit faster, the court is faster. So far I haven’t done well in Madrid, but today was a great match and I just hope for more matches like this in the next two weeks.”
Medvedev will bid to reach the last 16 for the first time in Madrid against the 22-year-old Shevchenko, who has risen six places to No. 90 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings this week behind his two qualifying and two main-draw wins — all earned in straight sets.
While it will be the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting, Medvedev and Shevchenko are friends off the court and are frequent opponents when playing video games together.
After Shevchenko beat J.J. Wolf to mark his ATP Masters 1000 main-draw debut, he scored a statement 6-1, 6-1 win against 31st seed and Australian Open quarter-finalist Jiri Lehecka. The three-time ATP Challenger Tour champion will face a Top 10 opponent for the first time in Medvedev as he seeks to further prove himself at the game’s highest level.
A shift in Fritz’s willingness to change has sparked a breakout clay-court season for the American. Fresh off consecutive semi-finals in Monte-Carlo and Munich, he stayed hot in Madrid with a 7-6(11), 6-4 opening win against Christopher O’Connell on Saturday.
“It’s just understanding what I need to change. Because I’ve always been a believer in not really changing your game too much to go to different surfaces,” Fritz said of his recent success on the dirt. “As it turns out for clay, I play much better when I do make pretty drastic changes in where I’m standing and stuff like that. So it’s just about finding that, finding what works best for me on clay.”
After saving two set points in a marathon first-set tie-break against Australia’s O’Connell, Fritz will now meet Garin, who grew up on clay courts and has won all five of his ATP Tour titles on the surface. The Chilean came through a three-set battle against 27th seed Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round and is seeking his third straight clay quarter-final after reaching that stage in Houston and Munich.
The lone previous meeting between Fritz and Garin came last year in the Houston quarters, when Garin won in three sets.
Tsitsipas emerged victorious from perhaps the best match of the Madrid early rounds in terms of quality and drama. In a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) win against the resurgent Dominic Thiem, the Greek landed 39 straight first serves to spark his comeback and closed the win in a tie-break he described as “pure cash”.
Serve + Attack ⚔️@steftsitsipas used his unreal 📈 1st Serve % to set up his #InAttack, & his trusty FH to #Convert those chances 👏
Tsitsipas 52-week serve averages;
62% 1st Serves
72% 1st Serve points won
58cm 1st Serve Accuracy #TennisInsights |@atptour | @MutuaMadridOpen pic.twitter.com/JfCvQewn6q
— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) April 30, 2023
After a quarter-final defeat to Fritz ended his two-year reign as Monte-Carlo champion, Tsitsipas rebounded in Barcelona by reaching the final with the loss of a single set in four wins. He lost to home favourite Carlos Alcaraz in the title match and could be on a collision course with the Spaniard again in Madrid.
But first he must get past Sebastian Baez, who snapped a three-match losing skid with a comeback win of his own against Marcos Giron in the opening round. After reaching his first three ATP Tour finals last season and claiming his maiden title in Estoril, the 22-year-old Argentine lifted his second trophy earlier this season on home soil in Cordoba.
Tsitsipas and Baez split two tie-breaks in their only previous matchup, last year in the Australian Open second round, before the Greek closed out the win in four sets.
Tiafoe rounds out the action for Top 10 seeds with his match against Cachin, with the American seeking to back up his title run on the Houston clay with another deep run on the surface in Madrid. After missing Monte-Carlo as he recovered from his Houston run, Tiafoe was turned back by Emil Ruusuvuori in three in his Barcelona opener — a respectable defeat, particularly after the Finn nearly knocked Alcaraz out in Madrid.
The American got back to winning ways with a tight two-set win against Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Saturday and now faces another Argentine in the third round.
Cameron Norrie, the 11th seed, takes on Zhang Zhizhen, who upset Denis Shapovalov in a final-set tie-break to earn his second ATP Masters 1000 match win. In the last of the seeded action, 16th seed Alex de Minaur meets Aslan Karatsev, with both of those matches set for Court 3.
Just three men’s doubles matches are on tap for Monday. Defending champions and top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski take on Spaniards Martin Landaluce and Roberto Carballes Baena, fifth-seeded Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic face Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev, and seventh seeds Matthew Ebden and Rohan Bopanna play Marcelo Melo and Alexander Zverev.