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Sinner Surges Past Nishioka To Beijing QFs

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2023

Sinner Surges Past Nishioka To Beijing QFs

Italian fourth seed will meet Rune or Dimitrov next

After battling through a tough three-setter to open his China Open campaign, Jannik Sinner put his foot down to accelerate past Yoshihito Nishioka on Sunday and reach the quarter-finals in Beijing.

Sinner prevailed 6-2, 6-0 against the Japanese World No. 38 to reach his 12th tour-level quarter-final of the season. The Italian’s 67-minute triumph was in stark contrast to his first-round win against Daniel Evans, and he later acknowledged it had taken him time to settle after arriving in Beiing for his debut at the ATP 500 event.

“The first couple of days [in China] I was sick, and I tried somehow to get through the first round and I knew then I would have one day off,” said Sinner. “Every day is different. I feel physically much better, and I think when I have this shape of physicality, the way I play is a little bit easier.

“Today I played well. Maybe on serve I have to improve a little bit, the percentage, but I think all the rest was really good today.”

Sinner and Nishioka exchanged breaks of serve in the first two games of the match but the World No. 7 dominated from that moment on to improve his Lexus ATP Head2Head series lead against the Japanese to 2-0. Sinner won 11 straight games from 1-2 in the first set and powered 18 winners, including eight aces, in a display full of his trademark clean ballstriking.

“There were some key moments of this match that made my confidence grow,” said Sinner. “Playing this evening was a little bit like indoors. The ball was a little bit slower than during the day. When you play during the day it is quite tough, with the sun and everything. Today I think I handled the situation very well.”

Sinner’s 46th tour-level win of 2023 consolidated his position in fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. He is chasing a second appearance on home soil at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, where he competed as an alternate in 2021. Next up for the 22-year-old Beijing is a last-eight clash with third seed Holger Rune or Grigor Dimitrov.

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Khachanov/Rublev Reach Beijing SFs

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2023

Khachanov/Rublev Reach Beijing SFs

Pavic/Peers advance in Astana

Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev moved past Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semi-finals at the China Open on Sunday.

The ATP Tour singles stars rallied from a break down in the first set before holding their nerves deep in the second set to advance after one hour and 40 minutes. They will next play Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski or Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski.

Khachanov and Rublev have tasted success together on Tour this year, capturing the ATP Masters 1000 crown in Madrid.

Pavic/Peers Advance In Astana
Mate Pavic and John Peers advanced to the Astana Open semi-finals on Sunday when they defeated Romain Arneodo and Sam Weissborn 7-6(5), 6-4 at the ATP 250 event.

Fourth seed Pavic and Peers, who are teaming for the first time this week, will meet Robin Haase and Botic van de Zandschulp in the last four after the Dutchmen beat Francisco Cabral and Rafael Matos 6-1, 6-4.

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Alcaraz Cruises Past Musetti In Beijing, Earns 60th Win Of 2023

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2023

Alcaraz Cruises Past Musetti In Beijing, Earns 60th Win Of 2023

Ruud battles past Etcheverry

Carlos Alcaraz became the first player to earn 60 tour-level wins in 2023 on Sunday when he defeated Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals at the China Open in Beijing.

The top-seeded Spaniard overpowered Musetti with his explosive groundstrokes, striking 18 winners and breaking the Italian’s serve four times to improve to 2-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against the 21-year-old.

“Today was a perfect match for me,” Alcaraz said. “You can improve and be better every day but I was proud of my tennis playing this level. I played high quality, great shots and a great return game. It was a great match and I enjoyed playing today. I enjoy China.”

With his 81-minute victory, Alcaraz improved to 16-1 at ATP 500 events, highlighted by title runs in Barcelona and at The Queen’s Club. The 20-year-old will look to earn his 17th win at this level when he takes on Casper Ruud in the last eight.

“A goal for me today was to start strong,” Alcaraz added. “Try to push him to the limit at the start. Trying to dominate the match, not make him feel comfortable. Move him and not let him hit his shots.”

Last Six Players To Earn 60+ Tour-Level Wins In A Season

Player  Year Wins
Carlos Alcaraz 2023  60* (active record)
Stefanos Tsitsipas 2022 61
Felix Auger-Aliassime 2022 60
Daniil Medvedev 2021 63
Alexander Zverev 2018 60
Rafael Nadal 2017 68

Alcaraz began the Asian Swing behind World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, but could close that gap to 315 points by winning his first title since Wimbledon in Beijing. The Spaniard has earned a Tour-leading six trophies in 2023.

Seventh seed Ruud set a meeting with Alcaraz after edging past Tomas Martin Etcheverry 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(7) at the ATP 500. The Norwegian trailed 0/4 in the third-set tie-break before fighting back to prevail on his third match point after two hours and 59 minutes.

“It was not the best start. I was struggling a bit with the shade and the sun at the beginning,” Ruud said. “I got a good start in the second set. I broke him right away and that was what I needed to get the match going. Two really tight sets that went in my favour but I am really happy. It was a really tough battle.”

Ruud will need to perform strongly during the Asian Swing if he is to boost his Nitto ATP Finals qualification hopes. The 24-year-old, who reached the title match at the year-end event in 2022, is currently 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

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#NextGenATP Medjedovic Downs Lehecka In Astana QFs

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2023

#NextGenATP Medjedovic Downs Lehecka In Astana QFs

20-year-old to face Korda next, Ofner ousts Thiem

Hamad Medjedovic captured the biggest win of his career Sunday at the Astana Open, where the #NextGenATP Serbian overcame fourth seed Jiri Lehecka 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals.

A single break of World No. 29 Lehecka’s serve in each set was enough for Medjedovic to book his last-four spot at the ATP 250 in Kazakhstan. The 20-year-old, who also reached the semi-finals on clay in Gstaad in July, saved all four break points he faced en route to his 69-minute triumph.

“Honestly, it feels amazing,” said Medjedovic in his on-court interview. “It’s an amazing feeling to be in the semi-finals of Astana. It’s my second ATP 250 semi-final, but I think this one feels pretty special because I beat very good players and especially on indoor hard courts. I’m very happy with the win and let’s try to win some more matches.”

Medjedovic has defeated countryman Laslo Djere, Alexander Shevchenko and Lehecka in Astana so far. His run has propelled him 16 spots to No. 104 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, and he is likely to crack the Top 100 for the first time if he can defeat fifth seed Sebastian Korda in Monday’s semi-finals.

The 20-year-old Medjedovic, who has enjoyed guidance and financial support from World No. 1 Novak Djokovic during his transition from juniors to the pros, is also on track to qualify for the season-ending Next Gen ATP Finals. He is eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Jeddah and will leapfrog Dominic Stricker and Luca Van Assche into sixth if he can reach the Astana final.

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#NextGenATP Medjedovic Surging With Djokovic On His Side

American Korda downed top seed Tallon Griekspoor 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach his 10th ATP Tour semi-final, and his fifth of 2023. The World No. 28 sent down 12 aces in his maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head clash with Griekspoor as he reached the last four on his event debut in Kazakhstan.

Like Medjedovic, Sebastian Ofner also reached his second ATP Tour semi-final on Sunday. The 27-year-old prevailed 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in an all-Austrian clash against Dominic Thiem. Ofner was on top for much of the match as he chased a first victory in four Lexus ATP Head2Head meetings with Thiem, and he converted three of 15 break points he earned to seal a two-hour, 27-minute win.

With his hard-earned victory, Ofner is guaranteed to rise into the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday. He is currently up nine spots to No. 49 in the Live Rankings.

After Jurij Rodionov also advanced to the quarter-finals, this week in Astana marked the first time three Austrians had reached the quarter-finals of the same ATP Tour event. Only Ofner remains in the draw in Kazakhstan, however, after Adrian Mannarino defeated Rodionov 6-1, 7-6(6) to advance to face Ofner on Monday.

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