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Gonzalez/Molteni Win Fourth Title Of 2023 In Washington, D.C.

  • Posted: Aug 06, 2023

Gonzalez/Molteni Win Fourth Title Of 2023 In Washington, D.C.

Argentine duo now joint-leaders in tour-level titles this season

Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni won their third Match Tie-break this week at the Mubadala Citi DC Open to clinch the doubles title on Sunday at the ATP 500 event.

The unseeded champions earned a 6-7(4), 6-2, 10-6 win against Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Ben Shelton to improve to 4-0 this season in ATP Tour finals. Their four tour-level title draws them level with Roland Garros champs Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek for most doubles crowns this season. The triumph also lifted them two places into the all-important eighth spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Team Rankings, giving them an inside track to qualify for what would be their Nitto ATP Finals debut this November.

“We are working hard here. We know each other. I think this is important when you play doubles,” Gonzalez said post-match. “We have confidence, we trust in us. I hope to keep it the same way.”

Already titlists in Cordoba, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona this season, Gonzalez/Molteni claimed D.C. glory with a string of clutch performances in the American capital. They won four tie-breaks on the week in addition to their three Match Tie-breaks, and they saved both break points against them in the final.

The first Argentine champions in D.C. tournament history stormed back into the title match after missing out on a set point on return at 6-5 in opening set and dropping the opening tie-break. But after a dominant second set in which they converted on two of seven break chances, they built a 6/2 lead in the Match Tie-break and never looked back.

Gonzalez, 40, improved to 16-6 in tour-level doubles finals, while the 35-year-old Molteni is now 15-7. Neither man had won four titles in a season before. Together, they are 5-0 in tour-level finals.

McDonald and Shelton were denied their first ATP Tour doubles title as a pair, while Shelton was competing in his first tour-level final across singles and doubles.

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ATP Stars Visit White House In Washington

  • Posted: Aug 06, 2023

ATP Stars Visit White House In Washington

Jamie Murray, Adrian Mannarino among the visitors

One of the perks of competing on the ATP Tour is that players are able to visit iconic places around the world. That was especially true at this week’s Mubadala Citi DC Open.

Several stars were given the opportunity to take a tour of The White House, home of the President of the United States. Many of them had only seen the landmark in the news or in television and movies.

Among the players who made the trip were Gregoire Barrere, Liam Broady, Maximo Gonzalez, Adrian Mannarino, Fabrice Martin, Andres Molteni and Hugo Nys.

Barrere even made a joke on social media when he wrote in French that Mannarino, the recent Newport champion, held a press conference in The White House Briefing Room demanding a year only played on grass.

Doubles partners Jamie Murray and Michael Venus also received a Tour. Fellow Murray, Andy Murray, was given a look at The White House in 2015. Judy Murray, Jamie and Andy’s mother, posted that it was an “extra special” day.

<a href=Jamie Murray and Judy Murray visit during a visit to The White House.” />
Photo: Murray Family
There were other reasons besides the tennis and visiting The White House that players enjoyed their time in Washington. Some took in the local museums. Taro Daniel joined Hailey Baptiste at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where they posed with Althea Gibson’s 1957 Wimbledon kit.

<a href=Taro Daniel and Hailey Baptiste pose with Althea Gibson’s 1957 Wimbledon kit at the National Museum of American History.” />

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Scouting Report: Alcaraz, Medvedev Headline Toronto, Felix Tops Home Hopes

  • Posted: Aug 06, 2023

Scouting Report: Alcaraz, Medvedev Headline Toronto, Felix Tops Home Hopes

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week

The best players in the world are set for the sixth ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto.

World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and defending Toronto champion Daniil Medvedev lead the way at the hard-court event. looks at 10 storylines to watch over the coming week.

1) Alcaraz’s Toronto Debut: Fresh off his memorable triumph at Wimbledon, Alcaraz will make his Toronto debut. One year ago the Spaniard competed for the first time in Canada, losing his opening match in Montreal to Tommy Paul. Alcaraz will have an opportunity to get off to a better start this edition against Ben Shelton or Bernabe Zapata Miralles. The 20-year-old will pursue his third Masters 1000 title of the season (Indian Wells and Madrid) and his seventh overall trophy of the year.

2) Medvedev Defending Toronto Champ: The last time this tournament was played in Toronto, Medvedev departed with the trophy. Medvedev completed his run in 2021 by losing just 11 combined games in the semi-final and final. The second seed will try to earn Canadian glory once again this year, when he starts against home favourite Vasek Pospisil or a qualifier.

3) Felix Leads Canadian Charge: The top-ranked Canadian, Felix Auger-Aliassime, leads the home hopes in Toronto as the 10th seed. A player who first competed in Toronto qualifying in 2016 just shy of his 16th birthday, Auger-Aliassime will try to claim his first Masters 1000 title this week on home soil. The 22-year-old, who has struggled in recent months with a knee injury, will face a qualifier in the first round and could play former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the second round.

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4) Milos Is Back: Former World No. 3 Milos Raonic will be in action for just the third time since the 2021 Atlanta Open. The Canadian standout played earlier this year at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Wimbledon, winning a match at each. The three-time Toronto quarter-finalist and 2013 Montreal finalist will try to ride his serve to a deep run at home, starting with his tough opening match against ninth seed Frances Tiafoe.

5) Live Race Heating Up: With only Alcaraz qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin will begin to heat up, especially with a maximum of 1,000 points up for grabs in Canada. Eighth through 10th places are currently separated by only 215 points. Casper Ruud is in eighth, with recent Atlanta champion Taylor Fritz just 100 points behind him and two-time Nitto ATP Finals titlist Alexander Zverev 115 points behind the American. That leaves plenty of opportunity for shifts in the battle to move into a qualifying position.

6) Tsitsipas’ Time? A finalist in Toronto in 2018 and a semi-finalist in 2021, will this be the year Stefanos Tsitsipas claims the crown in the Canadian city? Tsitsipas arrives in good form after triumphing in Los Cabos for his first title of the season. The fourth seed will begin his tournament against Christopher Eubanks or Gael Monfils.

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7) More Stars To Watch: There could be a blockbuster clash between Alcaraz and fifth seed Holger Rune in the quarter-finals if both players make it that far. The Danish star Rune plays Emil Ruusuvuori or a qualifier in the opening round. Seventh seed Jannik Sinner could open against countryman and former Top 10 star Matteo Berrettini. Another player to watch is sixth seed Andrey Rublev, the recent Bastad champion and Wimbledon quarter-finalist.

8) Murray Magic: Murray is a three-time champion at Canada’s Masters 1000 event and in 2010 he emerged victorious in Toronto. That edition, the Scot defeated Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in back-to-back matches without losing a set against either legend to lift the trophy. After showing positive signs in Washington, Murray will try to maintain his momentum when he faces Lorenzo Sonego in the first round.

9) Koolhof/Skupski Lead The Way: Wimbledon champions Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski are the top seeds in the doubles draw. They are in good form after earning victories at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and The All England Club. Koolhof and Skupski will face a tough opening test against 2022 Nitto ATP Finals competitors Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara or Hubert Hurkacz and Mate Pavic. Second seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek also claimed major glory this year when they won Roland Garros.

10) Tsitsipas, Rublev Among Singles Stars Playing Doubles: Tsitsipas is competing in the doubles draw with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Rublev will team with Max Purcell. Other singles stars to watch in doubles include Alex de Minaur/Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda/Frances Tiafoe.

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Survivors! Gonzalez/Roger-Vasselin Brave Heat To Seal Los Cabos Title

  • Posted: Aug 06, 2023

Survivors! Gonzalez/Roger-Vasselin Brave Heat To Seal Los Cabos Title

Top seeds win ATP 250 for third tour-level title of the year

Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin dug deep in sweltering Los Cabos on Saturday to claim the title at the Mifel Tennis Open by Telcel Oppo.

The top seeds at the hard-court ATP 250 downed Andrew Harris and Dominik Koepfer 6-4, 7-5 to claim their third tour-level crown of 2023. Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin failed to serve out the match at 6-4, 5-4 but they responded to dropping serve with an immediate break to love before completing an 84-minute championship-match triumph.

“[The key was] surviving. It was probably one of the toughest weeks for us, to play every day in this weather where it is so humid, so hot,” said home favourite Gonzalez. “Especially today. We played [our previous matches] in the late evening, at nine or 10 p.m, and today was at 5:30 p.m., so it was obviously tough for everyone. [We fought] all the way through the match, so we are very happy to win the title here.”

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The 40-year-old Gonzalez is the third Mexican player to win the doubles title in Los Cabos, after Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela in 2018 and Hans Hach Verdugo in 2021.

“It’s very special, obviously. It’s a dream come true for me,” said Gonzalez after lifting his 21st tour-level doubles trophy. “I’d never won an ATP title in Mexico, so to win at home with Eddie is great.”

“I think we know each other very well now, especially as the key moments in a doubles match,” said Roger-Vasselin. “We don’t panic. I think this is one of the main keys to our success, that we are really strong even if we are facing some challenges during the match… I think this is the main reason we have won so many close matches and hopefully we can continue this until the end of the season.”

Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin are now 33-15 for the year, having also won titles in Marseille and Miami. The pair is fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings as they chase a spot at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.

“So far, so good this year,” reflected Gonzalez. “We are happy obviously with this week, but also for the whole season. We keep going for the rest of the year. Our goals are clear. Try to win titles, try to move up the rankings, and hopefully at the end of the year we can make it to Turin.”

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Tsitsipas Downs De Minaur For First Title Of Year In Los Cabos

  • Posted: Aug 06, 2023

Tsitsipas Downs De Minaur For First Title Of Year In Los Cabos

Top-seeded Greek dropped just one set en route to ATP 250 crown

Stefanos Tsitsipas held off a spirited Alex de Minaur comeback to belatedly clinch his first title of the season at the ATP 250 in Los Cabos on Saturday night. The Greek earned his 10th career crown and extended his perfect Lexus ATP Head2Head against Alex de Minaur to 10-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 win on the Mexican Pacific coast.

The top-seeded Tsitsipas converted four of nine break points he earned to wrap an 86-minute triumph against De Minaur. He held three points for a double-break lead in the second set at 6-3, 3-2, 0/40 before the fifth-seeded Australian roared back into the match, but Tsitsipas notched another crucial break for 5-4 en route to securing his 39th win of the 2023 season.

“I feel like both of us wanted to go out on the court today and show a great final,” said Tsitsipas in his on-court interview. “I feel like it was a great match. Alex showed great tennis, I tried to keep up with the level as much as I could. I’m really happy we were able to deliver a great final today. I think that is the thing that stands out the most. It was a great match and the crowd, as always, was fully present and engaged.”

Competing at the Mifel Tennis Open by Telcel Oppo for the first time this week, Tsitsipas survived a three-set thriller against Nicolas Jarry in the quarter-finals but dropped no more than seven games in his other three victories over John Isner, Borna Coric and De Minaur on the way to his first outdoor hard-court title. It was the 24-year-old’s first hard-court crown since he won Marseille indoors almost three years ago.

Tsitsipas will leapfrog Casper Ruud to No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday as a result of his Los Cabos run. The Greek has also risen one spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin this week, moving above Andrey Rublev into fourth as he chases a spot at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

De Minaur, one of the grittiest players on Tour, has scavenged just one set in his past eight meetings with Tsitsipas.

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Griekspoor Upsets Fritz To Reach Washington Final

  • Posted: Aug 06, 2023

Griekspoor Upsets Fritz To Reach Washington Final

Dutchman chasing third title of season

Hard-hitting Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor rallied from a set down to upset top seed Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Saturday night to claim his first Top 10 win and reach the final of the Mubadala Citi DC Open in Washington, D.C.

Griekspoor, who is chasing his third title of the season, has surged to a career-high 25 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and plays Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov or Great Britain’s Daniel Evans for the title on Sunday.

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The 27-year-old, who is making his debut in the American capital, claimed one break in the second set and two breaks in the third against Fritz, who had won 80 of 82 service games coming into the match.

“The first Top 10 win was something I was really looking for. To beat Taylor playing at home is pretty special,” Griekspoor said. “It’s a pretty nice start to the American swing and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

“My serve is going really well this week; it’s getting some pace, whether it’s during the day or during the night. I’m moving great and the body is great, so there’s not much to complain about.”

Griekspoor’s weight of shot was telling as he clubbed 40 winners to Fritz’s 30, including 13 aces. He also won 47 points on the baseline compared to just 34 from the American.

The Dutchman finished strong, winning 20 of the final 27 points as he won five straight games from 1-2 in the decider.

Should he win the title, Griekspoor will move to World No. 21 on Monday, further building on his banner season, in which he has already won 27 matches, 10 more than he claimed during 2022, and titles in Pune and ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

“Winning two 250s, especially one at home, is something you dream of. Playing semis of a 500 at home in Rotterdam and now the final here, it’s all coming together this season. I’ve been working hard and it’s coming together.”


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What A Difference A Year Makes: Why Alcaraz Says He Is 'Totally Different'

  • Posted: Aug 06, 2023

What A Difference A Year Makes: Why Alcaraz Says He Is ‘Totally Different’

Spaniard reflects on recent Wimbledon victory

Carlos Alcaraz says he is a “normal guy”, just like the millions of fans across the world who watch him compete. Unlike almost everyone on the planet, he can call himself a Wimbledon champion.

“I have the trophy in my living room over there [so] that every time that I have lunch, have dinner with my family, I see the trophy,” Alcaraz said in a press conference on Saturday ahead of the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers. “It’s something that I [don’t want] to forget.”

Alcaraz’s thrilling five-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the championship match of the grass-court major is a match that will be remembered for years to come. Nearly one month later, the magnitude of his win has still not completely set in.

“I had just a week to think about it. I had not too much time. And I think I needed a little bit more because it’s something that is crazy to realise,” Alcaraz said. “Honestly, for me, winning Wimbledon at 20 years old is something that I dreamed about when I started playing tennis. It was my fourth tournament on grass, so it was totally unexpected.

“So for me, it’s a great achievement and it’s something that I have to take some time to think about.”

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Medvedev & Alcaraz Practise Together In Toronto

Alcaraz has battled with Djokovic throughout 2023 for No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and arrived in Toronto Friday in top spot. Given all he has achieved, it is easy to forget he is only 20 years old.

“Sometimes I think about everything that I’ve achieved already. I know that everything came so fast. Great tournaments, two Grand Slams, and I’m just 20 years old. I know that I’m so young,” Alcaraz said. “It’s something that I worked to be in this position to fight for great things. But you never realise until you’ve done it.

“There [are] some times that I think about the last point of the US Open, the last point of Wimbledon and other great tournaments that I won and I still can’t believe it and still get goosebumps, so it’s crazy.”

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One year ago, Alcaraz made his ATP Masters 1000 Canada debut in Montreal, where he lost his opening match to Tommy Paul in three gruelling sets. He is eager to make a more successful debut in Toronto.

“I remember that I [did] not [have] a good run last year in Canada. I came this year to change it, hopefully to have a good run, better than last year. But one year later, I think I learned a lot from that situation on how to deal with the pressure, how to deal [with] everything,” Alcaraz said. “I have been playing in great stadiums in great rounds and I’m fighting for great things. I think that helped me a lot to grow up as a player, as a person, and I think one year later, I’m totally different.”

What was clear Saturday afternoon at Sobeys Stadium when Alcaraz trained with Daniil Medvedev was how much of a star the Spaniard has become. Fans chanted his name and rushed courtside to try to secure an autograph or selfie from the top seed, who will begin his tournament against Ben Shelton or Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

“It’s great to be here. I had my first practice today with Medvedev and I felt the love from the people,” Alcaraz said. “They were screaming, ‘Carlitos. let’s go! Come on!’ It was my first practice and my first time here in Toronto, so it was special.”

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