Tennis News

From around the world

Purcell Stuns Wawrinka To Reach Cincinnati QFs; Popyrin Also Advances

  • Posted: Aug 17, 2023

Purcell Stuns Wawrinka To Reach Cincinnati QFs; Popyrin Also Advances

Lucky loser Popyrin beats Ruusuvuori

Two Australians are through to their first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finals after Thursday wins at the Western & Southern Open.

Max Purcell, who qualified into his first ATP Masters 1000 singles main draw last week in Toronto, cut through the blistering form of Stan Wawrinka in a 6-4, 6-2 result. Earlier in the day, lucky loser Alexei Popyrin scored a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 victory against Emil Ruusuvuori.

The 25-year-old Purcell backed up the biggest win of his career — an upset of World No. 7 Casper Ruud on Wednesday — with another stunning result against three-time major champion Wawrinka. The Swiss played what he called the best match of his season to beat 10th seed Frances Tiafoe in the previous round, but he could not solve the chip-and-charge game of Purcell.

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

The Aussie qualifier saved both break points he faced and broke three times in a straightforward win to continue his charge up the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. This week he is up 23 places to No. 47, setting himself up to break into the Top 50 for the first time in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Purcell began the season at No. 220 and has won three ATP Challenger Tour titles on the year.

He will face World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz or home favourite Tommy Paul in Friday’s quarters. 

Wawrinka was bidding to become the oldest player in ATP Masters 1000 history (since 1990) to reach the quarter-finals. He was also seeking his fifth Cincinnati quarter-final showing and his first since 2018.

Popyrin, with his three-set win against Ruusuvuori, became the first lucky loser to reach the Cincinnati quarter-finals since Jeremy Chardy in 2012. The Aussie was a perfect three-for-three on break points in his Thursday victory.

Up 18 places this week to No. 40 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, Popyrin will next meet Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals. He began the 2023 season at No. 120 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and won his second ATP Tour title last month in Umag, beating Wawrinka in the final.

Source link

Why Popyrin Would Want To Be Alcaraz For A Day

  • Posted: Aug 17, 2023

Why Popyrin Would Want To Be Alcaraz For A Day

Get to know the 24-year-old Australian

Alexei Popyrin is showing in Cincinnati he is much more than lucky. A last-minute lucky loser into the main draw of the Western & Southern Open, he has taken full advantage by reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

Popyrin booked a house for his team ahead of the tournament. However, because of how deep he has advanced, the Australian needed to shift to a hotel.

“I booked it until the 16th and didn’t think I would be here. I’d be off to Winston-Salem,” Popyrin told “It was all going to plan until I got into the main draw as a lucky loser. I had to move the next day after my first-round match to move into a hotel. We moved in yesterday and here we are today.”

The 24-year-old is up to a career-high No. 40 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings after beginning the year No. 120. caught up with Popyrin before he plays Hubert Hurkacz for a spot in the semi-finals.

Cincinnati Red star Jonathan India meets <a href=Alexei Popyrin on Thursday in Cincinnati.” />
Popyrin meets Cincinnati Reds star Jonathan India Thursday afternoon after his win over Ruusuvuori. Photo: ATP Tour.
If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be and why?
Damian Lillard, Tim Cahill and I would go Roger Federer. Damian Lillard is my favourite NBA player. He is one of my idols. I look up to him. I’m a big Portland Trailblazers fan, so he’s one of my favourite players.

I really look up to him. I love his game. I love how he is on the basketball court and how he is in the community, also. He’s been unbelievable in Portland.

If you could switch places with one person in the world for a day, who would it be?
Carlos Alcaraz. It’s everybody’s dream to be at the top of the world rankings. He’s at the top and I would love to see how it feels to be up there.

If tennis wasn’t your thing, what would you be doing right now?
I’d be in sports, that’s for sure. I played football, so tennis and soccer, when I was younger. I would try and make it as a professional footballer. I had some chances to go to Europe and play for European teams, but my parents kind of told me to stick with tennis.

You May Also Like:

Popyrin On The Prowl: The Luckiest Loser In Cincinnati

If there was one cool thing you’ve gotten to do from being a pro tennis player, what would you say it is?
I think it’s meeting unbelievable people. I was thinking the other day how tennis is amazing with people from so many different countries, so many different people. They come together to one venue and they kind of get along. So for me, that I think is the most important thing.

What was your pinch-me moment on the ATP Tour?
I think when I won my first title [two years ago] in Singapore, that was an unbelievable feeling for me. The work I had done to win that first title is great. And then also to win a second title means that the first title wasn’t a fluke. So for me, that was great.

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

If you could achieve one thing — you were talking about No. 1 — what would it be?
I think I’d want to win a Grand Slam. That’s I think is everybody’s goal in tennis — to win a Grand Slam. That would be my No. 1 goal. Then obviously I think if you win a Grand Slam you have potential to be No. 1 in the world so that can come with it.

Source link

Hurkacz Serves Past Tsitsipas In Cincinnati

  • Posted: Aug 17, 2023

Hurkacz Serves Past Tsitsipas In Cincinnati

Pole to face Popyrin next at ATP Masters 1000

Hubert Hurkacz ended his barren run against Top 10 opponents in style Thursday at the Western & Southern Open, where the Pole downed fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4.

Hurkacz delivered a classy all-around display to overwhelm Tsitsipas, with his serve proving a devastating weapon on the Cincinnati centre court. The World No. 20 dropped just 10 points behind his delivery across the two sets, firing 11 aces as he snapped his six-match losing streak against Top 10 opponents that had stretched back to Montreal in 2022.

“I’m really pleased with the way I played, with the way I tried to use the conditions, because it was really tricky,” said Hurkacz, who had also not reached a Masters 1000 quarter-final since Montreal last year. “It was super windy, and the ball was definitely moving a lot. I’m really pleased with this victory because it has been a long time without a quarter-final in a Masters event. I’m happy with the victory and happy with the work with all my team.”

Hurkacz survived a break point to hold in the opening game of the match and then immediately broke for 2-0 to take control early in his 10th Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with Tsitsipas. The 26-year-old Hurkacz, who lifted a Masters 1000 title in Miami in 2021, fended off another two break points in the seventh game but was untroubled behind serve thereafter. He completed a 65-minute triumph, just his third at tour-level against the Greek, to improve to 30-17 for the season.

Hurkacz’s quarter-final opponent in Cincinnati will be lucky loser Alexei Popyrin. The Australian earlier defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to reach his maiden Masters 1000 quarter-final on his Cincinnati debut.

“Alexei’s game is really strong, way higher than he is in the rankings, as he is showing this week,” said Hurkacz, who leads the World No. 58 Popyrin 2-0 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series. “He’s playing some great tennis, he’s a big server and a great competitor. Everyone wants to win a match so it’s going to be a battle and I will try my best.”

Source link

Zverev Tops Medvedev In Cincinnati

  • Posted: Aug 17, 2023

Zverev Tops Medvedev In Cincinnati

Zverev improves to 7-9 in Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Medvedev

Alexander Zverev earned his first Top 10 win of the season and snapped a four-match losing streak against Daniil Medvedev on Thursday when he moved past his long-running rival to reach the quarter-finals at the Western & Southern Open.

In windy conditions, the German found consistency in the key moments and showed great desire. He saved both break points he faced at 4-4, before he broke Medvedev’s serve in the next game to defeat the World No. 3 Medvedev 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes. Zverev has now won his past eight matches in Cincinnati, having triumphed at the hard-court tournament in his previous appearance in 2021.

“It was very difficult conditions against a very difficult opponent,” Zverev said. “He gives you nothing and you have to win the match yourself and that is what I did today and I am pleased with that.

“I tried to be patient and you just have to take your chances, your opportunities. You are not going to get many because we were both serving quite well. I lost three very tight matches earlier this year, so I am pleased to have finally won one today.”

The 16th seed lost his three previous 2023 meetings against the World No. 3 in Indian Wells, Monte-Carlo and Miami. However, the 26-year-old would not be denied again, striking 36 winners to improve to 7-9 their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

Chasing his second title of the season and sixth Masters 1000 overall, Zverev will next meet Mackenzie McDonald or Adrian Mannarino. The German clinched the trophy in Hamburg earlier this year.

In windy conditions, Zverev looked to dictate. While he committed 49 errors to 25 from Medvedev, the German struck 26 more winners (36-13), with his proactive style earning him the decisive break of the match in the third set.

The two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion, whose previous Top 10 win came against Carlos Alcaraz at Roland Garros in 2022, is 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he seeks a sixth appearance at the prestigious season finale. Zverev can overtake current eighth-placed Casper Ruud (2,580 points) if he reaches the semi-finals.

The 2019 Cincinnati champion Medvedev holds a 32-5 record on hard courts in 2023. Alongside Zverev, only Novak Djokovic, Sebastian Korda, Carlos Alcaraz and Alex de Minaur have beaten Medvedev on hard this year.

Source link

500 Wins & Counting For Jean-Julien Rojer

  • Posted: Aug 17, 2023

500 Wins & Counting For Jean-Julien Rojer

Dutchman claimed his 500th tour-level victory in Toronto

Jean-Julien Rojer turns 42 years old in just more than a week, but you would not know it based on his performance. A week ago, the Dutchman claimed his 500th tour-level doubles win in Toronto and partnered Marcelo Arevalo to the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 title.

“I feel pretty good. I feel old, I’m older, turning 42 in a week. But it feels good. I try to keep fit and I’m quite disciplined with my training and my sleep, my diet, and to still be competing for these big events,” Rojer told “It makes me feel good and that’s a part that I enjoy of tennis anyway, the competition, and trying to win the biggest events that we have on Tour. So it feels nice that you can still achieve some of those goals.”

Rojer is No. 7 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings, just four spots off his career-high. It is impressive longevity for a player who earned his first tour-level victory in Davis Cup in 2001. He made the tough decision to leave his native Curacao as a junior to pursue a tennis career in Miami and has been a presence in the tennis world ever since.

“It’s been an incredible journey. From where I come from, first of all, having to leave my house when I was 12 years old to pursue tennis. Those early years, of course there were very difficult moments,” Rojer said. “Then also going to university [at UCLA] and then deciding to turn pro. But then it didn’t go so good in the singles… You’re sitting there with the ups and downs that a lot of the players around here, they know all about it. And then eventually I decided to play doubles, which kind of took off right away.

“Singles was very difficult for me. But I felt very comfortable on the doubles court and then getting to play all the biggest tournaments that you always grew up watching on TV and meeting some of the players that you watched on TV and stuff, that whole process has been pretty cool.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Having reached a career-high No. 218 in singles in 2005, Rojer eventually made the decision to focus on doubles. On Tuesday in Cincinnati he claimed his 503rd tour-level win.

“And counting,” Rojer quipped, cracking a smile.

Which win stands out to the Dutchman the most?

“I thought one win that was pretty cool came in the semi-finals against the Bryan Brothers in 2015 in The O2 in the [Nitto ATP] Finals. Whoever won that match was going to finish the year No. 1, so quite high stakes in that match,” Rojer said. “And so that was a pretty cool win because it’s also the Bryan Brothers and they’re like the gold standard of everything doubles-wise.”

Rojer and Tecau went on to claim ATP Doubles No. 1 presented by Pepperstone honours that year. It is no secret Rojer is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. But he is certainly not crawling to the finish. The Dutchman last year partnered Arevalo to the Roland Garros trophy, becoming the oldest major men’s doubles champion in the Open Era at 40.

<a href=Jean-Julien Rojer/Marcelo Arevalo” />
Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Between partnering Horia Tecau to the 2019 Basel crown and Arevalo to the 2022 Dallas trophy, Rojer did not win a title. But the Dutchman and his Salvadoran partner Arevalo have earned seven trophies over the past two seasons. They also qualified for the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

“My goals are not so long term anymore as you can imagine. My goals go week to week and it’s to the point where I try to do my best for every single match and prepare as best as I can for every single match,” Rojer said. “I have a wife and a son and another one on the way so these things take a serious toll on you and that’s what I consider real life.

“This tennis thing is beautiful and it’s our job and I love it. It’s what I chose to do and I absolutely love it, but I have other priorities, which makes it very difficult.”

Although they have not been with him since the start of the North American hard-court swing, Rojer’s family travels with him most weeks. Another tough thing for the Dutchman has been watching his longtime friends and rivals retire.

Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah are the latest to join that growing group, as they announced their upcoming retirement on Wednesday. The player with whom Rojer earned his first win at an ATP Tour event, Guillermo Coria, played his final ATP Tour match more than 15 years ago. Coria is actually younger than Rojer.

“Probably the part that I miss the most is not being around the players that decided to stop playing,” Rojer said. “But it’s been an unbelievable journey. I couldn’t ask for anything else. It’s a lot of sacrifice and hard work and stuff. But it’s been really cool.”

Source link

Two Injuries, Seven Weeks Off & A Long Road Back For Khachanov

  • Posted: Aug 17, 2023

Two Injuries, Seven Weeks Off & A Long Road Back For Khachanov

Khachanov updates his status following return to action

Karen Khachanov made one of the best starts to 2023 of any player on the ATP Tour. But injury brought his season to a screeching halt and on Wednesday he confirmed that he is still not 100 per cent.

The 27-year-old played competitively for the first time since Roland Garros at this week’s Western & Southern Open, where he reached the second round of the doubles event with Robin Haase. Khachanov withdrew from singles.

“It feels great [to be back]. I’m really happy to say I was missing it. I was missing the tour, missing coming to the tournaments, competing. But unfortunately, I still couldn’t play the singles this week,” Khachanov told “I’m still not ready, not really 100 per cent. I tried to play doubles, which was nice. I felt again a little bit of the atmosphere, even starting with doubles, and I’m just hoping really to keep improving day by day and to come back to the full competition soon.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Khachanov was dealing with one injury since the Australian Open. During that time, he reached the semi-finals in Melbourne and Miami, and later reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

“I was playing during these four or five months with this pain, with painkillers. That injury caused the other one. I had a fracture in my sacrum bone under the lower back and I had a fracture in the pubic bone. This is initially from the groin pain,” Khachanov said. “I was playing with the pain and I just made it worse and now the recovery process is way tougher and way longer than it could have been.

“The sacrum bone, I felt actually after the [fourth-round Roland Garros] match with [Lorenzo] Sonego. Basically the quarter-final match with Novak [Djokovic], I was playing with two pains. I don’t know how I did it, but I played really well, actually. People with whom I shared this info, they’re still surprised because I didn’t show any sign of pain.”

For seven weeks, Khachanov did not touch a racquet and for a period of time it was painful to walk. But on a positive note, his second child was born one month ago.

“That was very happy. At the end of the day, this time was tough in a way from the injury but at the same time happy time with my family, with my kids,” Khachanov said. “Now I have two sons and I was happy that I had family by my side. I was resting, playing with my older son and doing home routines. Totally different.

“Then after I started step by step doing [work] in the gym. Then I started to do pool exercise, then slowly I was running and then on court and now here I am in Cincinnati.”

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

In the first five months of the season, Khachanov appeared poised for a charge to the Nitto ATP Finals. Now he is just hoping to be able to play singles again soon.

“It’s tough but you have to deal with it. What can I do? Sometimes things are out of my control and if I would be thinking more about it, I would just get more disappointed and more sad,” Khachanov said. “So that’s why I think it’s better not to think about it and for sure, for me, the goal is to be healthy and as soon as I can be healthy and at my 100 per cent. I’ll try to keep the form. I hope I can come back and be in the same position where I left.”

Khachanov will head to New York and continue working hard with the hope of competing at the season’s final major, where he made the last four one year ago.

“It’s still under question and I cannot currently confirm either way,” Khachanov said. “I will take it day by day now and really see where I am when the US Open is going to start and then make a decision.”

Source link