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Medvedev & Alcaraz Practise Together In Toronto

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2023

Medvedev & Alcaraz Practise Together In Toronto

Stars are the top two seeds at the Canadian ATP Masters 1000

Fans were in for a treat Saturday in Toronto, where Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev shared a practice session ahead of the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers.

Alcaraz arrives in Toronto fresh off his memorable victory at Wimbledon, where he defeated Novak Djokovic in a scintillating final. The Spaniard is 47-4 in 2023 with six titles.

The 20-year-old is the top seed at the season’s sixth ATP Masters 1000 event. He will play #NextGenATP American Ben Shelton or Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the second round.

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Medvedev is the defending champion in Toronto, where he lifted the trophy in 2021. He is the second seed and will open against home favourite Vasek Pospisil or a qualifier.

The 27-year-old has claimed five titles this season, including Masters 1000 triumphs in Miami and Rome.

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Photo credits: Andrew Eichenholz/ATP Tour.

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Home Favourites Erler/Miedler Clinch Second Kitzbühel Crown

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2023

Home Favourites Erler/Miedler Clinch Second Kitzbühel Crown

Duo wins ATP 250 to claim fifth tour-level trophy as a team

Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler gave a masterclass in handling home pressure Saturday at the Generali Open.

The Austrian pair prevailed 6-4, 6-4 against Gonzalo Escobar and Aleksandr Nedovyesov to complete a perfect week at the ATP 250 in Kitzbühel. Erler and Miedler did not drop a set all week en route to their fifth ATP Tour title together, their second in Kitzbühel and their third of 2023 after they triumphed in Acapulco and Munich earlier this year.

“This is a really amazing to be here [with the trophy] for the second time [in Kitzbühel],” said Erler. “I’m just really proud of our play, it was an amazing week,”

“Obviously playing at home, especially here where it all started for us, was really great,” added Miedler. “The weather was not good throughout the week. I feel like for 80 per cent of our final it was raining, but people stayed, made a great atmosphere and that makes it even more special.”

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A single break of serve in each set was enough for the top seeds to secure an 81-minute championship-match win. Escobar and Nedovyesov saved 10 of the 12 break points they faced, but were unable to deny Erler and Miedler from backing up their 2021 Kitzbühel triumph with another title in the Austrian Alps.

“The start was pretty open I would say,” reflected Miedler. “They had break points first, and then Alex served well three times to save us. Maybe out of nowhere we broke them. That helps, when you play in front of a home crowd, a set up makes you a bit relaxed.”

The victory boosts Erler and Miedler’s hopes of qualifying for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. The pair, which is 28-18 for the season, remains 15th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings after its title run, but is now just 10 points behind 14th-placed Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer.

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Brilliant Baez Brushes Past Thiem For Kitzbühel Crown

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2023

Brilliant Baez Brushes Past Thiem For Kitzbühel Crown

Argentine lifts third ATP Tour trophy at clay-court event

Sebastian Baez crashed the Generali Open party of home favourite Dominic Thiem in style on Saturday, when the Argentine delivered a stunning championship-match performance to triumph at the ATP 250.

Baez produced a near-flawless display of heavy hitting through the Kitzbühel clay to prevail 6-3, 6-1 against 2019 champion Thiem and lift his second tour-level title of the year. The 22-year-old opened up an ultimately unassailable 4-1 lead en route to the opening set, and put together another streak of four straight games in the second to complete his 80-minute win.

“I know all the people wanted Domi to win because he is from here, sorry” said Baez to the crowd in his on-court interview. “I’m happy not just for today, but the whole week. All the people, the crowd, made me feel so comfortable here this week. I know this weather is not the best, but this place is amazing, and I enjoyed every day. I’m happy to take the match.

“Congrats to Domi and his team. It was a great week [for them], so I hope he comes back to his best level.”

Although Thiem appeared fatigued after pulling through three consecutive three-set wins during his fairytale run to the final, Baez was clinical in nullifying the vocal home support in the Austrian Alps. Rain delayed the start of the match by approximately 90 minutes, but when play did begin the Argentine excelled in the heavy conditions and converted four of six break points he earned to improve his Lexus ATP Head2Head lead against Thiem to 2-0.

All three of Baez’s ATP Tour titles have come at clay-court ATP 250s, after he previously triumphed in Estoril in 2022 and at home in Cordoba in February this year. He had won one match in his previous five tournaments before arriving in Kitzbühel, but he dropped just one set — against top seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the semi-finals — en route to the trophy. With his title run, the Argentine has risen 25 spots to No. 47 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

“I just want to enjoy this moment. It was an amazing week,” said Baez. “I will try to enjoy it with [my team]. We know the past few weeks were not the best results, so we will try to enjoy this moment.”

Despite his final disappointment, Thiem is set to return to the Top 100 on Monday as a result of his Kitzbühel run. The 29-year-old is currently up 27 spots to No. 89 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

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Tsitsipas, De Minaur Set Final Clash In Los Cabos

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2023

Tsitsipas, De Minaur Set Final Clash In Los Cabos

Greek top seed bids for first title of 2023 in Saturday’s clash at ATP 250

Chasing his first ATP Tour title of 2023, Stefanos Tsitsipas continues to excel in challenging conditions at the Mifel Tennis Open by Telcel Oppo.

The top seeded Greek breezed past Borna Coric 6-3, 6-2 on Friday night in Los Cabos to reach his third tour-level championship match of the season. The heat and humidity of the Mexican Pacific coast did little to prevent Tsitsipas from delivering a dominant semi-final display, as he wrapped a 72-minute triumph at the ATP 250 without facing a break point.

“Once again, it’s joyful playing on this court,” said Tsitsipas in his on-court interview. “I made myself feel very comfortable today, I’m very happy with that. It’s not easy under these circumstances to reach that level of comfort and I’m really happy with the way things were put together.”

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A break in the sixth game was enough for Tsitsipas to seal the opening set against Coric and he barely looked back in the second as he finished with 20 winners to Coric’s seven overall. Tsitsipas entered 2023 with a 1-3 Lexus ATP Head2Head deficit against Coric but has now defeated the Croatian three times this season (United Cup, Rome, Los Cabos) to lead 4-3.

He will take on Alex de Minaur in Saturday’s championship match. Tsitsipas has beaten the Australian in all nine of the pair’s previous tour-level meetings, but the World No. 5 is taking nothing for granted as he seeks his maiden ATP Tour crown on outdoor hard courts.

“It’s a brand new match for me,” said Tsitsipas. “He’s someone that has played a lot of matches this week, so he’s on a good run. So am I. I’m going to try and put up a fight out there and give it my best shot. Tomorrow is a big fight for me.”

De Minaur earlier overcame Dominik Koepfer 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-1 to improve to 9-0 in Mexico this year. The Acapulco champion converted seven of nine break points he earned in his first match against Kopefer for more than three years to reach his 13th ATP Tour final.

“Today was a battle. I knew it was never going to be easy against Dominik,” said De Minaur. “He’s been playing some great tennis recently and he’s very dangerous in these conditions. Mexico has treated me very well this year, so hopefully I can go one further tomorrow.”

After De Minaur raced through the first four games on the way to winning the first set, Koepfer returned the favour in set two by building a 4-0 lead of his own with aggressive hitting. But the German was dragged into a tie-break after he missed out on a set point on serve at 5-3, with De Minaur’s resilience bringing him to the brink of a straight-sets win.

From 2/4 in the tie-break, Keopfer reasserted himself. At the crucial moment, he rediscovered his attacking game to win four straight points and ultimately seal the set. Despite breaking the fifth-seeded De Minaur in the opening game of the decider, however, Koepfer, could not maintain his momentum. The Australian reeled off six games in a row to seal his final berth after two hours, 24 minutes.

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Fritz Completes Double Duty To Reach Washington SFs

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2023

Fritz Completes Double Duty To Reach Washington SFs

Dimitrov, Evans, Griekspoor also advance

Following his three-hour win against Andy Murray earlier on Friday, Taylor Fritz defeated Jordan Thompson in less than half that time to advance to the semi-finals at the Mubadala Citi DC Open.

The top-seeded American earned a 6-3, 6-3 victory to extend his winning streak to seven matches, all on home soil, beginning with his Atlanta title run last week. He will face 12th seed Tallon Griekspoor on Saturday, after the Dutchman beat both Gael Monfils and J.J. Wolf on Friday, having split sets against Monfils before rain halted play Thursday evening.

“I’ve put in a lot of work the last couple of weeks before coming here. I knew that this is one of the most physically demanding parts of the season, playing in the heat,” Fritz said post-match. “I definitely wasn’t training and preparing to play two matches in a day, especially one following a three-hour match. 

“I came out tonight in the second match playing really well, being aggressive. I got early breaks in both sets, which was kind of my strategy, to kind of give it everything I had early, get up a break, and then I could coast a bit and focus on my serve games.”

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Fritz saved the only two break points he faced against Thompson, both at 3-1 in the opening set. He has now saved 18 of 19 break points on the week after erasing eight from eight in the opening round against American qualifier Zachary Svajda and eight of nine against Murray.

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Against Thompson, the World No. 9 broke in his first return game of both sets, then sealed the match with a third break in the final game.

If Fritz defeats Griekspoor on Saturday, he will move ahead of Casper Ruud into the all-important eighth spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

“The main thing is just making sure my body is going to be feeling good,” Fritz said, looking ahead to the pair’s second Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. “It feels good now, but after all the tennis and all the playing, who knows how I’m going to wake up feeling tomorrow. I just have to take care of myself.”

In the bottom half of the D.C. draw, Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the semis via walkover against Ugo Humbert, who pulled out with a left leg injury. The fifth-seeded Bulgarian will meet ninth seed Daniel Evans on Saturday after the Briton followed his afternoon win against Alexander Shevckenko with an upset of local favourite Frances Tiafoe.

Evans defeated the second-seeded American to close the day’s play, improving upon his quarter-final run last year at the ATP 500. The World No. 30 played brilliant, attacking tennis down the stretch to win the last three games, overcoming 16 aces from Tiafoe.

The Briton broke serve in the opening game of both sets to set the tone in hostile territory. While the D.C. crowd helped will Maryland native Tiafoe to a 4-3 lead in set two, Evans recovered with two love holds before securing the decisive break. He saved four of five break points in the match, including one with a big serve as he served out the match.

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