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#NextGenATP Atmane's Pokémon Collection: 'One Of The Biggest In France'

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2023

#NextGenATP Atmane’s Pokémon Collection: ‘One Of The Biggest In France’

The 21-year-old is aiming for maiden Next Gen ATP Finals qualification

Terence Atmane would be happy to demonstrate a magic trick with playing cards, talk about his 158 IQ score, or comment on his two recent titles on the ATP Challenger Tour.

But mention the Next Gen ATP Finals contender’s lifelong Pokémon card collection, which he started in 2007, and the 21-year-old Frenchman lights up.

“I have one of the biggest collections in France,” Atmane told “I [am] planning to put a video on my Instagram showing the collection that I have by the end of the year with some subtitles and everything. Like 10, 15 minutes to show people what it is about, so they can learn a little bit more about me and my collection, the story all about it and how it started and why.

“When I was a little kid, I was watching Pokémon on TV. It came pretty naturally, at school and everything, people were talking about these Pokémon cards and it was pretty famous in the world at that time. I remember I was playing with my friends in school and then somehow I started collecting this when I was a little boy. And this little boy still has his collection from that time.”

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Atmane’s favourite card in his collection is the ‘Kyogre ex’ from the 2007 Crystal Guardians set.

“It’s like the highest grade that you can have for Pokémon cards,” Atmane said. “I bought it from a friend of mine. Once he received the card I told him, ‘Okay, I want to buy it because it’s one of my favourite cards of all time.’ So I was like I’m going to [pay] the price no matter what’s the price.” 

The #NextGenATP star loves all things anime, manga and video games. Ironically, if it were not for video games, Atmane may not be a professional tennis player. The lefty started playing the sport at age seven, thanks to the PlayStation game Virtua Tennis and Wii Sports.

“I was playing all day every day. One day my mom came back home and she said, ‘Okay, enough of video games, I’m going to buy you a tennis racquet and then let’s go to a tennis club and try,’” Atmane said. “Since then, I’ve never stopped playing tennis.”

Now Atmane is one of the fastest-rising stars on the ATP Challenger Tour. In the past 12 months, he has soared more than 200 spots in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and currently sits at a career-high World No. 149. Atmane has collected two ATP Challenger Tour titles within the past month: Zhangjiagang and Guangzhou.

During each title run, Atmane rallied from the brink of defeat. In Zhangjiagang, he fended off six match points in the opening round en route to his first Challenger trophy. Two weeks ago in Guangzhou, Atmane saved three championship points to defeat Australian Marc Polmans after three hours in which the Frenchman was suffering from cramps.

<a href=Terence Atmane wins the Challenger 75 event in Guangzhou, China.” />
Terence Atmane wins the Challenger 75 event in Guangzhou, China. Credit: Guangzhou Nansha International Challenger
“I knew that when I was going to come back on hard court that I was going to play good, but playing that good? No, I wasn’t really ready for this,” Atmane said. “I played five Challengers, two semis, two titles, so I guess the hard work is paying off. On one hand, I’m surprised. On the other hand, I’m not really surprised because I was ready to play good on hard courts.”

Nicknamed ‘The Magician’, the 6’4″ Atmane could also be called fearless. In his ATP Tour debut in Zhuhai, Atmane raced to a 6-0 lead against eighth seed Yoshihito Nishioka before the Japanese star mounted a comeback. Despite Atmane’s loss, fans were introduced to his aggressive style, in some ways akin to his idol, former World No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez.

“I’m going full on everything, I try to take every opportunity that I have, every short ball that I have to destroy the ball,” Atmane said. “I try to serve as fast and as hard as I can. I have a pretty big forehand… It’s extremely risky and it’s also really intense, physically and mentally.”

Atmane, who is 12th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Jeddah, is aiming for maiden qualification at the Next Gen ATP Finals. He is one of four Frenchman in the Top 12 of the Race To Jeddah and with only eight spots up for grabs, Atmane is hoping to continue his success and potentially be in Saudi Arabia alongside his best friend Arthur Cazaux, who is currently in 10th place.

“We’re talking about it pretty much all the time like, ‘It would be awesome if we were both there,’” Atmane said. “But I told him every time that it’s not a big deal if I’m not there and if he’s not there, it doesn’t mean that we’re not good players. We try to play our best tennis and see by the end of the year if we are both in the Next Gen.”

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Ugo Carabelli, Lestienne Add To Argentina, France's Challenger Title Race

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2023

Ugo Carabelli, Lestienne Add To Argentina, France’s Challenger Title Race

Fatic defends title in Sibiu

Players from Argentina and France continue to battle atop the ATP Challenger Tour leaderboards. Argentines won a record 23 Challenger titles last season, with France just one behind. Both countries now find themselves in another race for history in the final quarter of the season.

Argentine Camilo Ugo Carabelli captured his fourth ATP Challenger Tour title and first of this season on Sunday to earn his country’s 17th trophy at that level in 2023. France leads the way with 23, one shy of breaking the all-time record, after Constant Lestienne scored his second Challenger crown of the season.

The 24-year-old Ugo Carabelli returned to the winners’ circle by winning the Challenger Dove Men+Care Antofagasta, where he rallied past American Tristan Boyer 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the final. Boyer, 22, played college tennis for two years at Stanford University before turning pro last season.

“I am very happy to win, I have been working hard to get a result like this and luckily I got it,” Ugo Carabelli said in Spanish. “I felt comfortable all week, that was important. I want to thank Horacio [de la Pena] and his team for giving us the chance to have many tournaments in South America. That’s very important for us as we are close to home and can travel with more members of our team.” 

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Lestienne triumphed at the Saint-Tropez Open after avenging this year’s Wimbledon first-round loss to Liam Broady in the final, defeating the Briton 4-6, 3-6, 6-4.

“It means a lot to me because it’s my first title in France, on home soil,” Lestienne said. “Today I managed my feelings well and that helped me stay in the match because Liam played really well. It was [long] rallies, so I was just trying to stay solid and go for when I could. I was also trying to mix the game, high balls, drop shots.”

At World No. 94 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Lestienne has won 10 of his past 11 Challenger matches, having also won the Golden Gate Open in California last month.

<a href=Constant Lestienne wins the Challenger 125 event in Saint-Tropez.” />
Constant Lestienne wins the Challenger 125 event in Saint-Tropez. Credit: Saint-Tropez Open
The 31-year-old Lestienne is one of seven French players to claim more than one title at the Challenger level this year, joining Luca Van Assche, Benoit Paire, Ugo Humbert, Hugo Grenier, Hugo Gaston and Terence Atmane.

Following Broady’s run to the final, the 29-year-old has climbed 10 spots to World No. 93, setting him up for a Top 100 debut.

In other ATP Challenger Tour action, Nerman Fatic defended his title at the BCR Sibiu Open. The 28-year-old Bosnian defeated countryman Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 6-4 in a rematch of last year’s final at the event, where Fatic won his maiden Challenger title.

“It’s totally crazy for me to win this tournament two years in a row. I can’t even tell you how I feel right now,” Fatic said.

Dzumhur, 31, was riding a nine-match winning streak at the Challenger level entering Sunday’s final after winning in Istanbul two weeks ago.

“Damir is an exceptional player,” Fatic said. “He is my friend and it is never easy to play against him. We have played the final in Sibiu twice and I hope to play the final together every week in the circuit.”

Italian Andrea Pellegrino won the LAYJET-Open in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria, where he downed home hope Dennis Novak 1-6, 7-5(5), 6-3 to capture his third ATP Challenger Tour trophy.

“It’s the biggest title for me for my whole career, I’m very happy about that,” Pellegrino said. “It was an unbelievable week, very tough matches. It means a lot to me and I hope to continue like this.”

<a href=Andrea Pellegrino wins the Challenger 125 event in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria.” />
Andrea Pellegrino wins the Challenger 125 event in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria. Credit: GEPA Pictures
The 26-year-old Pellegrino trailed Novak 1-6, 0-4 before mounting a comeback. Another pivotal moment came when Pellegrino won three consecutive points from 4/5 in the second-set tie-break to stay alive.

“At the beginning, he started very well,” Pellegrino said. “He was playing unbelievable but then he made mistakes and I started to believe. Until the end, it was a very big fight. I started to play much better.”

In Bad Waltersdorf doubles action, Germans Constantin Frantzen and Hendrik Jebens won their season-leading fifth Challenger title, defeating Italians Marco Bortolotti and Francesco Passaro 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

American Denis Kudla dropped just one set all week to win the Columbus Challenger and earn his first title at that level since March 2022. The second seed cruised past Canadian Alexis Galarneau 6-2, 6-1 in 62 minutes to lift the trophy.

The 31-year-old Kudla ended his four-match skid across all levels to start the tournament and went the distance to claim his ninth ATP Challenger Tour title.

<a href=Denis Kudla wins the Challenger 75 event in Columbus, Ohio.” />
Denis Kudla wins the Challenger 75 event in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Top Notch Management

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Thiem & Wawrinka On Collision Course In Astana

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2023

Thiem & Wawrinka On Collision Course In Astana

Top seed Griekspoor & home hope Bublik in action in Kazakhstan

Former Top 3 stars Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem could meet in the second round at the Astana Open, where top seed Tallon Griekspoor leads the field.

The Swiss Wawrinka is the eighth seed at the ATP 250 hard-court event and opens against American Marcos Giron. If he advances, he could play debutant Thiem in the second round if the Austrian can overcome Juan Pablo Varillas.

Wawrinka and Thiem have not met since 2017, when the former triumphed in a deciding-set tie-break in Indian Wells. Three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka leads Thiem 3-1 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

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Home favourite Alexander Bublik is also in the same quarter. The third-seed Kazakhstani, who reached the semi-finals in Astana in 2021, opens against Marton Fucsovics or Sebastian Ofner. Second seed Sebastian Baez is chasing his fourth title of the season. He is in the bottom half of the draw and is seeded to meet eighth seed Adrian Mannarino in the quarter-finals.

Dutchman Griekspoor faces Roberto Carballes Baena or a qualifier in his opening match, while fourth seed Jiri Lehecka meets Bernabe Zapata Miralles or a qualifier. Griekspoor and Lehecka are both in the top half.

Wild card Hamad Medjedovic will be aiming for a deep run to boost his Next Gen ATP Finals qualifications chances. The Serbian, currently ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Jeddah, plays seventh seed Laslo Djere in the first round.

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Zverev Downs Dimitrov, Sets Safiullin Final In Chengdu

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2023

Zverev Downs Dimitrov, Sets Safiullin Final In Chengdu

German chasing first hard-court title since 2021 Nitto ATP Finals

Alexander Zverev repeatedly kept his cool under pressure to down Grigor Dimitrov on Monday at the Chengdu Open to move within one match of his second ATP Tour title of the season.

The top seed at the Chinese ATP 250 saved all five break points he faced in his 6-3, 7-6(2) semi-final victory. Zverev fired 21 winners, including nine aces, as he delivered a classy all-round showing to improve to 7-1 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.
After pulling through three-set battles against Pavel Kotov and Miomir Kecmanovic in his first two matches in Chengdu, the World No. 10 believes he is gaining momentum as he prepares to face Roman Safiullin in Tuesday’s championship match.

“For sure it was the best match I’ve played [in Chengdu],” said Zverev after his one-hour, 50-minute win. “Even though I think yesterday’s match was a very high level and Kecmanovic was playing extremely well. I’m very happy to be in the final, that’s what I came here for and hopefully it’s going to be another high-level match tomorrow.”

Zverev is now 45-21 for the season and seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he seeks to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, where he is a two-time champion. His next hurdle in Chengdu is a second tour-level meeting with Safiullin, who will be competing in his maiden ATP Tour final. The German is all too aware of Safiullin’s improvement since he defeated the now-World No. 55 in straight sets at Roland Garros in 2021.

“I think this tournament he has been one of the most dangerous players,” said Zverev of Safiullin. “He is somebody that plays very fast, hits the ball extremely hard and he is somebody that maybe sometimes lacks consistency. This week obviously he’s playing extremely well, and when he’s playing like that, he’s one of the most dangerous players.”

Safiullin earlier dismantled second seed Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-4 with a razor-sharp display of ballstriking in Sichuan province. He outhit the Italian by 30 winners to 20 to reach the final and ensure he will surpass his previous career-high of No. 43 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. After his semi-final win against Musetti, the 26-year-old is No. 41 in the Live Rankings, having started the event at No. 55.

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Khachanov Seals Final Spot In Zhuhai

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2023

Khachanov Seals Final Spot In Zhuhai

Top seed next faces Nishioka or Karatsev

Karen Khachanov snapped a five-match semi-final losing streak on Monday at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships, where he defeated Sebastian Korda 7-5, 6-4 to reach his first title match of the season.

The top seed, who last competed in a tour-level final in Adelaide in January 2022 (l. to Monfils), red-lined the ball throughout the one-hour, 47-minute clash. He edged a tight first set, gaining the crucial break at 5-5 when Korda could only find the net with a drop shot.

Khachanov then put his foot down in the second set, hitting the ball with greater depth, weight and precision to dominate the baseline exchanges and improve to 3-2 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

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The 27-year-old was competing for just the fourth time in singles since his quarter-final match at Roland Garros, where he suffered a stress fracture in his back. He fell in the first round at the US Open, but has recorded three wins in Zhuhai, also defeating Alex Bolt and Mackenzie McDonald.

The World No. 15 will meet Japanese star Yoshihito Nishioka or Aslan Karatsev in the championship match on Tuesday. Khachanov is aiming to win his first title since 2018 and fifth overall. He has tasted success on Chinese soil before, lifting the trophy in Chengdu in 2016.

Korda was competing in his eighth tour-level semi-final and was aiming to reach his sixth final. The 23-year-old American is up five spots to No. 28 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his results at the ATP 250 hard-court event.

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Elevating Tennis Performance: ATP & TDI Unveil Tennis IQ Analytics Platform

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2023

Elevating Tennis Performance: ATP & TDI Unveil Tennis IQ Analytics Platform

Platform emocratises access to cutting-edge data and insights for players

ATP and Tennis Data Innovations (TDI) have announced the launch of Tennis IQ, a brand-new performance analytics platform that democratises access to cutting-edge data and insights for players on the ATP Tour.

Launching today, Tennis IQ gives ATP singles players access to advanced match analytics, all in one simple and intuitive platform. Tennis IQ combines rich historical datasets and live in-match data to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date insights – helping players optimise their preparation, on-court performance, and post-match analysis. The creation of TDI, the joint-venture between ATP and ATP Media for the central management of data across the ATP Tour, has been critical in facilitating this.

Ross Hutchins, ATP Chief Tour Officer, stated: “Never before have high-quality analytics been as readily available to so many players, as it is with this platform. Tennis IQ will help create a level playing field across the Pepperstone ATP Rankings – enabling more players and their teams to perform at their best. It also reflects the emphasis we are putting on data innovation as a business. We’re thrilled to see Tennis IQ in action and to continue advancing the product.”

Tennis IQ’s features set includes interactive court graphics, allowing players to easily visualise their own performance data. This empowers deep dives into their most and least successful patterns of play during matches, helping drive informed decisions on the court. Metrics include the full suite of TDI-developed insights such as Shot Quality, In Attack and Steal Score.

The scout section enables players to access detailed information on upcoming opponents. This unlocks comprehensive analysis of player tendencies and patterns. Players are also able to compare performance against individual players or see how they stack up against ATP Tour averages, facilitating a deeper understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement.

Tennis IQ, built together with TennisViz, forms part of the sport’s strategic push to capture the value of official match data, spearheaded by TDI. Its live in-game capabilities are also set to add a fascinating new dimension to off-court coaching, first introduced across the ATP Tour in 2022, which enables coaches to interact with their players during matches.

David Lampitt, TDI CEO, said: “Tennis IQ is the latest step in our journey to unlock the power of tennis data. It brings the sport’s incredible data richness to life for players – adding another layer of analysis and strategy to the on-court action. Our investment in capturing deep data from every court across the ATP Tour has enabled the delivery of Tennis IQ and we’re going to continue pushing these capabilities even further in years to come.”

Tennis IQ will be accessible to ATP Tour players via both mobile and desktop. Subsequent iterations of the platform are already in development for 2024.

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Team World’s McEnroe: ‘Now We Have Tasted Winning, It Feels Good’

  • Posted: Sep 25, 2023

Team World’s McEnroe: ‘Now We Have Tasted Winning, It Feels Good’

American led his team to second straight Laver Cup crown in Vancouver

The tables have well and truly turned for Team World in the history of the Laver Cup.

After four defeats in the first four editions of the annual team event, John McEnroe’s men backed up their 2022 triumph in London with a resounding 13-2 victory against Team Europe this weekend in Vancouver. Yet team captain McEnroe is already thinking about further success.

“On behalf of Team World, I am proud of these guys,” said the American ATP Tour legend at his team’s post-event press conference. “We brought together a great group of some youth and experience, guys that have been here before. Everybody played well. It was an awesome week. We kicked some ass, baby. That’s what we did.

“We’re already thinking about next year because winning is a whole lot better than losing. We struggled the first couple years, and now we have tasted winning, and it feels good.”

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Shelton/Tiafoe Clinch Team World’s Laver Cup Victory

Three members of McEnroe’s six-strong roster had not played a Laver Cup match prior to this week. Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton and Francisco Cerundolo contributed to eight of the 13 points won by Team World and all three spoke about the thrill of making their debut at Roger’s Arena.

“Playing for Johnny Mac, it’s been amazing,” said #NextGenATP Shelton, who won one singles and two doubles clashes across the three days. “I really enjoyed this weekend and being able to be chosen for this team. It’s been a dream.

“To be able to put points on the board for Team World, it’s something that I couldn’t have imagined. I really appreciate both the captains for putting their trust in me, and being able to get it done at the end of the week is a great feeling.”

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Team World’s triumph in Vancouver was of particular significance to Felix Auger-Aliassime, who revelled in front of his home fans in Canada. The 23-year-old has struggled for his best form this season but rose to the occasion for the second year in a row for Team World, who next year will try to make it three victories in a row in Berlin, Germany.

“I feel good. Every time I play for a team, I feel really good, and I feel like I played good levels,” said Auger-Aliassime. “Of course I had a great time. Playing singles all the time, the Tour can get a bit lonely, I guess, at times. To have teammates to win as a team, for me it’s really special. I’m having a great time again this year.

“Like Mac said, to win is the best feeling. It’s nice to come back a year later after what we had done in London to come back and win here in Vancouver. That’s what we wanted a week ago when we arrived. We did it. We backed it up and stepped up to the challenge and made it happen.”

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