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Medvedev Passes Alcaraz For Top Spot In Live Race

  • Posted: May 16, 2023

Medvedev Passes Alcaraz For Top Spot In Live Race

Djokovic can also leave Rome in first place

When Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexander Zverev on Tuesday to advance to the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, he also returned to the top spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

Medvedev (3,480 points) now leads Carlos Alcaraz (3,455 points) by 35 points and can stretch that lead further this week at the Foro Italico. The 27-year-old can reach as many as 4,300 points if he lifts the trophy in Rome.

Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin (as of 16 May)

 Player  Current Points  Maximum Points After Rome
 1) Daniil Medvedev  3,480  4,300
 2) Carlos Alcaraz  3,455  3,455
 3) Novak Djokovic  2,745  3,565
 4) Stefanos Tsitsipas  2,320  2,410
 5) Jannik Sinner  2,275  2,275

It is possible for Medvedev to relinquish top spot before the tournament ends. Third-placed Novak Djokovic, who has 2,745 points, can max out at 3,565 points by claiming his seventh title at the Italian ATP Masters 1000 event. Alcaraz cannot improve because he lost in the third round.

Medvedev can guarantee he will leave Rome with a lead in the Live Race by reaching the semi-finals. He will play qualifier Yannick Hanfmann on Wednesday for a place in the last four.

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The Live Race also gives fan a look at the battle for year-end ATP No. 1 presented by Pepperstone. Medvedev reached World No. 1 last year, but he is trying to earn the year-end honour for the first time.

Djokovic holds the record for most year-end No. 1 finishes with seven and in 2022, Alcaraz became the youngest player to claim the distinction.

The Live Race also decides who qualifies for the Nitto ATP Finals, which this year will be played from 12-19 November in Turin. Rounding out the top eight are Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner, Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz and Holger Rune. Sinner and Rune are trying to qualify for the year-end championships for the first time, while the Italian competed as an alternate in 2021.

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Medvedev Holds Off Zverev For Rome QF Berth

  • Posted: May 16, 2023

Medvedev Holds Off Zverev For Rome QF Berth

Third seed to play Hanfmann in maiden quarter-final in Italian capital

Have the match-winning floodgates opened for Daniil Medvedev in Rome?

After going 0-3 at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia prior to this year, the World No. 3 on Tuesday notched his third win of this year’s edition of the ATP Masters 1000 by defeating Alexander Zverev 6-2, 7-6(3).

The fourth-round clash was the 15th edition of one of the most intriguing ATP Head2Head clashes on Tour, and Medvedev made it nine wins to Zverev’s six in that matchup with a trademark display of relentless baseline retrieving to counter the big-serving challenge of the 2017 Rome champion.

Zverev had already tasted victory on Tuesday at the Foro Italico, where he earlier wrapped up a rain-delayed third-round triumph against J.J. Wolf. He was unable to pull off a successful double-header Tuesday however, as Medvedev dominated the extended baseline exchanges throughout and converted three of nine break points to register his Tour-leading 36th win of the season.

Despite Zverev reclaiming a break to force a second-set tie-break, Medvedev produced a high-class tie-break to seal a one-hour, 56-minute victory, his third of the season against Zverev. The 27-year-old’s quarter-final opponent in Rome will be Yannick Hanfmann, who earlier upset Monte-Carlo champion Andrey Rublev 6-2, 7-6(3).

More to follow…

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Thiem Downs Paire; Stan To Meet Murray At Challenger 175

  • Posted: May 16, 2023

Thiem Downs Paire; Stan To Meet Murray At Challenger 175

Seeds Otte, Watanuki fall in Turin

You don’t have to look hard to find enticing early-round contests at this week’s ATP Challenger Tour 175 event in Bordeaux, France.

Several Grand Slam champions are among the Bordeaux field, including Dominic Thiem, who rallied from a set down Tuesday to escape Benoit Paire at the BNP Paribas Primrose. Stan Wawrinka also earned a victory to set a blockbuster clash against Andy Murray.

The Austrian Thiem overcame early serve trouble to get past home favourite Paire 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the clay-court event. After winning just seven of 14 points off his first delivery in the opening set, Thiem dropped just six first-serve points the rest of the match.

The 2020 US Open champion, who was a semi-finalist at last week’s Challenger event on home soil in Mauthausen, will next face another Frenchman, eighth seed Corentin Moutet.

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Paire also enjoyed a strong run at a Challenger event last week, reaching the final at the Francavilla al Mare Challenger.

In other Bordeaux action, Wawrinka needed just one hour, seven minutes to oust qualifier Ugo Blanchet 6-3, 6-1 and set up a must-watch second-round clash against former World No. 1 Murray (NB 5:45 p.m. local Wednesday).

Wawrinka and Murray, who are each three-time major champions, have met on the biggest stages of the sport, including in two tour-level finals (2008 Doha, 2019 Antwerp) and two Grand Slam semi-finals (Roland Garros 2016, 2017). They’ve also met at the Nitto ATP Finals, in Davis Cup, and at the Olympics. Across 22 tour-level meetings, Murray leads Wawrinka 13-9.

Watch Match Of The Day: Andy Murray vs Stan Wawrinka (NB 5:45 p.m. local)

Earlier this month, Murray captured the Challenger 175 title in Aix-en-Provence, where he beat World No. 17 Tommy Paul in the final. The second seed Murray and Wawrinka are among a stacked bottom half in the Bordeaux draw, alongside Richard Gasquet, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Ugo Humbert, and Mikael Ymer.

In a battle of #NextGenATP Frenchmen, Luca Van Assche survived wild card Harold Mayot 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. In the deciding set, Van Assche fended off seven of eight break points to escape the first round.

Several upsets occurred Tuesday at the Piemonte Open Intesa Sanpaolo. Home hope qualifier Federico Gaio defeated eighth seed Oscar Otte 6-4, 7-5 after winning 28 of 35 first-serve points and Salvatore Caruso rallied to upset sixth seed Yosuke Watanuki 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the Challenger 175 event.

Wild card Flavio Cobolli and 28-year-old Stefano Napolitano were among the Italians to earn victories on home soil. #NextGenATP star Cobolli cruised past Ukrainian Aleksandr Braynin 6-3, 6-3 while his countryman Napolitano escaped three-time Challenger Tour champion Otto Virtanen 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.

Dominik Koepfer, who was a finalist at last week’s Prague Challenger, needed just one hour, eight minutes to down Giulio Zeppieri and set up a second-round meeting against third seed Juan Pablo Varillas.

<a href=''>Dominik Koepfer</a> in first-round action at the Turin Challenger.
Dominik Koepfer in first-round action at the Turin Challenger. Credit: Francesco Panunzio

Lucky loser Gianluca Mager added to Tuesday’s upsets with a 6-1, 7-6(9) victory against seventh seed Aleksandar Kovacevic. The Italian Mager converted his six match point to defeat the World No. 113 Kovacevic, who fought back from 2-5 down in the second set to force a tie-break.

Top-2 seeds Sebastian Baez and Daniel Elahi Galan will begin their Turin campaign on Wednesday.

First round secured 💪

Qualifier Salvatore Caruso takes out No. 6 seed Watanuki 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Turin#ATPChallenger | @federtennis

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‘Just Be Dangerous’: (Q)Hanfmann Walks The Talk vs. Rublev

  • Posted: May 16, 2023

‘Just Be Dangerous’: (Q)Hanfmann Walks The Talk vs. Rublev

German has qualified for a Tour-leading six events in 2023

“The main priority is to get into the main draw, to play with the big guys. That’s the pressure.”

So says Yannick Hanfmann, who gave a stark reminder of the strength-in-depth of the ATP Tour on Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where the World No. 101 upset sixth seed Andrey Rublev 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 to reach his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final in Rome.

Hanfmann is accustomed to having to earn the right to take on Top 10 opponents like Rublev. The No. 101-ranked German has qualified for a Tour-leading six main draws in 2023, including at back-to-back Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome. His two-hour, 33-minute fourth-round win against the World No. 6, the biggest win of the 31-year-old’s career, was his sixth match in nine days at the Foro Italico.

“It can go two ways,” Hanfmann told earlier this month when asked about competing as a qualifier in main draws. “It can be a little bit like [you are] wearing out, playing tough matches in qualifying, and then maybe it’s a little bit of a negative.

“But [in Madrid, for example], I qualified [with] two fairly straightforward matches. So [I felt] good. I [knew] the conditions at an event where it’s tough to play. So I think that’s definitely to my advantage.”

Hanfmann was one of three Germans to play qualifying in Madrid who impressed in the main draw. He was beaten by lucky loser and eventual quarter-finalist Daniel Altmaier in the second round while another lucky loser, Jan-Lennard Struff, went on to reach the final (after beating qualifier Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals).

With Hanfmann’s subsequent dream run to the last eight in Rome, a qualifier or lucky loser has reached the quarter-finals or better in four straight ATP Masters 1000 events.

“The satisfaction is definitely there [after qualifying for the main draw], but it’s short-lived,” explained Hanfmann. “Because then once you’re there, you want to keep going. I think what helped me in the past is to get in to a match rhythm and go far into the tournament because I’ve shown that when I get my matches, that I’m actually dangerous.

“I won my first round in Houston and I went far (to the semi-finals), and in Santiago I went far (quarter-finals). It’s nice to have that, to get into a rhythm and then just be dangerous.”

Qualifiers/Lucky Losers To Reach Quarter-Finals At Past Four ATP Masters 1000 Events

Event Quarter-finalist(s)
Miami (Q) Christopher Eubanks
Monte-Carlo (Q) Jan-Lennard Struff
Madrid (LL) Jan-Lennard Struff, (Q) Aslan Karatsev, (LL) Daniel Altmaier
Rome (Q) Yannick Hanfmann

That approach has worked again for Hanfmann in Rome. He produced a rock-solid display of baseline hitting on Tuesday to outlast Rublev and clinch his second Top 10 victory of the event after his second-round win against Taylor Fritz. Hanfmann’s fierce forehand in particular was decisive to him prevailing in a tense final set, during which he saved six of seven break points he faced.

In 2022, Hanfmann’s opportunities to challenge the best on Tour were more scarce. He played in six ATP Tour main draws all season, two via qualifying. Now with a 12-6 record for 2023 and a quarter-final against Daniil Medvedev or Alexander Zverev to look forward to in Rome, does he feel like something has changed?

“It’s a great feeling to step on the court against a player like [Rublev] and it doesn’t scare me anymore,” said the German after his thrilling triumph on Tuesday. “It used to, maybe. I would be like, ‘Wow, OK, I don’t know how I can play with him’, but now I know I’ve beaten those guys. I’m old enough to see what I can do on the court, especially on clay, and I feel dangerous against anyone.”

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Koolhof/Skupski Down Home Favourites, Reach Rome QFs

  • Posted: May 16, 2023

Koolhof/Skupski Down Home Favourites, Reach Rome QFs

Two teams advance to semi-finals

In front of a full crowd on Pietrangeli, top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski survived a second-round test Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The Dutch-British duo ousted home favourites Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-6(5) to advance to the Rome quarter-finals. Despite serving for the match at 5-4, Koolhof and Skupski were pushed to a second-set tie-break before moving past last year’s semi-finalists.

Koolhof and Skupski, who collected seven team titles in 2022, are aiming for their first trophy this season. They reached the final in Indian Wells and in Barcelona, but fell in a Match Tie-break on both occasions. Koolhof and Skupski will look to reach their second ATP Masters 1000 semi-final of the season when they meet Australian duo Alex de Minaur and Jason Kubler.

In Tuesday’s quarter-final action, Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski defeated Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6(2) after winning 38 of 43 first-serve points. Robin Haase and Botic van de Zandschulp rallied to escape Jamie Murray and Michael Venus 3-6, 7-6(3), 10-6.

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Tennis Data Innovations & Champion Data Join Forces To Develop Cutting-Edge Sport Data Platform

  • Posted: May 16, 2023

Tennis Data Innovations & Champion Data Join Forces To Develop Cutting-Edge Sport Data Platform

Tennis Sport Data Platform set to transform the way tennis data is collected, analysed and consumed

Tennis Data Innovations (TDI) has engaged Champion Data to develop the Tennis Sport Data Platform (TSDP), a critical piece of its technology framework set to transform the way tennis data is collected, analysed and consumed.

Champion Data is a company with more than 20 years’ experience delivering sports data and related services to broadcasters, sports organisations and betting providers across multiple sports including football, golf horse racing, AFL and lacrosse. The collaboration marks the latest step in TDI’s growth plans, which include delivering significant enhancements to tennis data capabilities alongside major growth in the value of its rights deals.

The TSDP will enable TDI to ingest, merge and distribute multiple live data sources from professional tennis, including umpire scoring and player & ball tracking data, at ultra-low latency. This puts TDI in position to directly serve the needs of its customers, including media, betting partners, players and fans as well as the capability to service other tennis bodies in future. Players and fans alike will benefit from the rich stream of content generated by the platform, as the stories behind pivotal moments in tennis are told through data.

The TSDP will also serve as a rich and accessible archive of historical data sets, in addition to providing an open ‘sandbox’ environment to enable third parties to innovate with tennis data.

David Lampitt, CEO of TDI, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Champion Data to create a game-changing platform for tennis data. Our goal is not only to deliver the most accurate and reliable tennis data but also transform the way in which these assets can be managed, enabling new narratives and storytelling possibilities for the tennis industry. Champion Data are specialists in the field, bringing together their extensive experience in data and analytics with our vision for the future of tennis.”

Chris Hume, Director of Champion Data, said: “Champion Data is thrilled to be appointed as the Official Data Platform provider to TDI. To be entrusted to deliver such a progressive and important project, at a pivotal time for the ATP and the world of Tennis, is a privilege. We work closely alongside sports rights holders to enable and support their vision around data integrity, to deliver one source of truth. The power of the platform is in its ability to harness collaboration to generate a rich database of exciting new metrics and creative content for media stakeholders, players, betting partners and tennis fans globally.”

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Zverev Completes R3 Win, Sets Medvedev Clash In Rome

  • Posted: May 16, 2023

Zverev Completes R3 Win, Sets Medvedev Clash In Rome

Tsitsipas to meet Musetti after rain-interrupted third-round matches completed

Despite an overnight break in play, Alexander Zverev expertly retained his focus to complete a third-round victory against J.J. Wolf on Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

With his 6-4, 7-5 victory, the 19th-seeded German set a blockbuster fourth-round clash against Daniil Medvedev. The pair’s 15th tour-level meeting will take place later on Tuesday at Rome’s Foro Italico.

Zverev had led Wolf 6-4, 3-3 when rain interrupted their maiden tour-level meeting on Monday evening. Upon resumption, neither player forged any break point opportunities until Zverev broke the American to love in the 11th game, and the 26-year-old held firm behind serve to wrap a one-hour, 49-minute triumph.

Zverev offered only one break point in the match against the World No. 54 Wolf, and the 2017 Rome champion will hope for a repeat serving performance as he bids for his first tour-level victory against Medvedev since 2021. The third seed leads Zverev 8-6 in their ATP Head2Head rivalry, including fourth-round ATP Masters 1000 victories in Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo already this year.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas joined Zverev in the fourth round by completing a 6-3, 7-6(3) triumph against Lorenzo Sonego.

The fifth-seeded Greek and home favourite Sonego had been forced off court by the rain after the first set on Monday evening. When they returned on Tuesday, the pair played out a tense second set full of extended baseline exchanges and no breaks of serve, although Tsitsipas was forced to save a set point when serving at 4-5 and again at 5-6.

It was 2022 finalist Tsitsipas who kept his cool in the tie-break to advance however, as he reeled off five points in a row from 2/3 to clinch a two-hour, seven-minute triumph.

Tsitsipas will have to beat a second Italian in the space of a day at the Foro Italico if he wants to advance to the quarter-finals. The 24-year-old’s fourth round opponent will be Lorenzo Musetti, who consolidated his overnight 3-2 lead in the deciding set against Frances Tiafoe to seal a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 third-round win in Rome.

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