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At his academy’s graduation, Nadal reveals conversation about legacy with Federer

  • Posted: Jun 12, 2024

Spanish tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya delivered inspiring speeches Wednesday at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar graduation. The 92-time tour-level titlist Nadal shared with the 52 graduates a story about an impactful conversation he had with rival and friend Roger Federer.

Although Nadal and Federer are widely regarded as two of the greatest players to ever touch a tennis racquet, the 38-year-old Spaniard revealed that he and the Swiss agree that there is something more important that they want to be remembered by.

“A few months ago I had the chance to visit the Italian Dolomites in the company of my friend and rival Roger Federer. There in the mountains, we had a very interesting conversation about a word that I think is very important: legacy,” Nadal said in Spanish.

“Both Roger and I agree on something we believe is of the utmost importance. How would we like to be remembered in a few years? How do we want the future generations to think of us? We are both very sure of our answers. It’s great that our achievements, our titles and our records are recognised, but as the years go by it is probable that someone will arrive and do something better.

“What is important, then, is that which will always be remembered. Therefore, both Roger and I agree that we would like to be remembered as good people. We live in a society that highlights the what and the now above all else. But I would like to highlight the importance of the how. When you are at university or on a tennis court, say to yourself occasionally, ‘How would I like my classmates to remember me? And my teachers? My friends?’ I could tell you to try and be influencers in your surroundings, but I prefer the term leaders. The people around you should see you as someone who should be copied because of their values.”


Moya, former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings, served as the academy’s guest speaker, following in the footsteps of WTA star Iga Swiatek, who delivered the keynote speech 12 months ago. Moya shared thoughtful advice about the importance of working hard when it matters most.

“Throughout my career, I managed to achieve very important goals. Goals that I couldn’t even imagine when I was a kid. Of course the easy thing is to watch players winning trophies but nobody sees what is behind there, all the work you have to do every day,” Moya said.

“Days where you don’t feel like going to practice, going to the gym, studying. If you push yourself through those moments, these are the moments that are paying off. These are the moments that if you do it, it’s going to take you to the next level and help you grow in whatever you want to do. So pay attention to those moments.”

Nadal and Moya are not the only former No. 1’s to speak in front of a graduating class this year. Federer delivered a memorable commencement speech at Dartmouth University on Sunday, discussing several key life lessons.


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Hilarious Medvedev moment highlights ATP stars' grass-court predictions

  • Posted: Jun 12, 2024

Daniil Medvedev’s sense of humour and thoughtful— sometimes sarcastic — answers always provide entertainment.

The 28-year-old provided plenty of laughs in a new ATP Tour feature, during which Medvedev, Casper Ruud, Holger Rune, Taylor Fritz, amongst others, provided their grass-court predictions. Medvedev delivered the funniest moment of the piece.

“I don’t have a grass-court title, I will try to win Halle this year… No, I have one in Mallorca! Forget it,” Medvedev said with a smile, seemingly forgetting that he won a trophy on the surface in 2021.

Medvedev also delivered a surprise answer, naming a player outside the Top 40 of the PIF ATP Rankings when asked about a dark horse for the grass swing while several others agreed on a lefty inside the Top 20. Can you guess either player?


Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz chose a fellow Top 10 star to find success throughout the next month while Ben Shelton is eyeing a colleague to relive a standout 2023 run.

“I think he’s going to back up what he did last year,” Shelton said.

Watch the full video above to find out who the 21-year-old American was referring to and learn which player is backing himself to win Wimbledon.


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Sinner & Alcaraz: From #NextGenATP champs to the world's Top 2

  • Posted: Jun 12, 2024

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz are two of the six players who have won the prestigious Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF. This week, they are the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world, respectively.

Sinner, 22 and Alcaraz, 21, are the first pair of 22-and-under players to hold the top two spots in the PIF ATP Rankings since Roger Federer and Andy Roddick in August 2004. On 8 August 2004, Federer turned 23.

Sinner is the first Italian to reach the singles pinnacle, man or woman, since computerised rankings began in 1973. He is the 29th man to climb to the top of the sport.

Aged 19, Alcaraz became the youngest No. 1 in PIF ATP Rankings history following the 2022 US Open. He was also the first teen to accomplish the feat.

This is the first week the duo has occupied the top two spots in any order. The stars met for the ninth time in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series in the semi-finals of Roland Garros, where Alcaraz won in five sets. The Spaniard later lifted the trophy at the clay-court major for the first time.


Both men have embraced their rivalry and have the utmost respect for one another. Alcaraz currently leads their series 5-4.

“Everything he does, he does it perfectly. The way that he hit the ball is unbelievable. The way he moves, it’s really, really [good]. He pushes you to the limit in every ball, in every point,” Alcaraz said of Sinner ahead of their Paris semi-final. “I think it is the hardest thing to face Jannik. At the same time I love that.”

The 21-year-old later said: “Probably a little bit more nerves before facing him. I’m not going to lie. I mean, he probably is one of the most difficult challenges that we can face in tennis right now.”

Sinner pointed out that they tend to play towards the end of the biggest tournaments. Their past five clashes have come in semi-finals and seven of their nine meetings have been at Grand Slam tournaments or ATP Masters 1000 events.

“Very important matches. I think that’s exciting for the game, especially when [the] head-to-head is quite close,” Sinner said before their Roland Garros clash. “And the winner is happy and then the loser tries to find a way to beat him the next time. I think that’s exciting.”


Paul Annacone, a Tennis Channel commentator who has had a front-row seat to storied rivalries when he coached the likes of Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, believes Sinner and Alcaraz will have “great battles” in the coming year.

“Look, you can’t ever, ever, ever replace what these icons have done that are winding down — Roger, Rafa and maybe Novak, who knows, and Andy Murray and Stan — but tennis is in pretty good hands with those two,” Annacone said. “And I think there’s going to be a bunch of other players that are going to be knocking on the door of the majors as well, which will be fun.”

The future is now, led by Sinner and Alcaraz.


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Cash/Galloway continue grass-court success, reach Stuttgart QFs

  • Posted: Jun 12, 2024

Julian Cash and Robert Galloway continued their successful start to the grass-court swing Wednesday by upsetting fourth seeds Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek at the BOSS OPEN.

Fresh off a title run at last week’s ATP Challenger Tour 125 event in Surbiton, Cash and Galloway built upon their momentum, earning a 7-6(3), 7-5 victory to reach the quarter-finals in Stuttgart.

Also at the ATP 250, Yuki Bhambri and Albano Olivetti advanced to the semi-finals after downing Theo Arribage and Sadio Doumbia 6-3, 6-2. Constantin Frantzen and Hendrik Jebens won an all-German quarter-final, rallying past Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8.


Top 2 seeded teams advance in ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic overcame an early test to reach the quarter-finals at the Libema Open, where the Dutch-Croatian pair defeated Romain Arneodo and Sam Weissborn 7-6(8), 6-2. The top seeds, fifth in the PIF ATP Live Doubles Race To Turin, saved two set points in the opening-set tie-break.

Second-seeded American duo Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow earned a hard-fought 7-5, 6-7(3), 10-8 victory against home hopes Sander Arends and Matwe Middelkoop. Australians Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson also advanced in ‘s-Hertogenbosch with a 6-4, 7-6(6) win against Americans Ryan Seggerman and Patrick Trhac.


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Humbert defeats fellow Frenchman Fils in 's-Hertogenbosch

  • Posted: Jun 12, 2024

Ugo Humbert earned his way back into the win column with a strong start to his Libema Open campaign on Wednesday. The third-seeded Frenchman picked up his first victory since Madrid with a 6-3, 7-6(1) result against fellow Frenchman Arthur Fils at the ATP 250 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Humbert began his grass-court campaign with a dominant serving performance. He won 82 per cent of his first-serve points and saved the only two break points against him, according to Infosys ATP Stats. The victory improved him to 2-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head with his countryman and 9-2 overall against French opponents since the start of 2023.

“It was not easy to play against a friend,” Humbert said of FIls. “We’ll play together at the Olympics in doubles. It was nice to play against him.

“I’m super happy with my first win on the grass, my first match on the grass. I felt really comfortable.”


Humbert will next meet Dutchman Gijs Brouwer after the home favourite’s 6-3, 6-3 upset of Adrian Mannarino. Brouwer broke the fifth seed’s serve four times on seven chances to advance to his fourth ATP Tour quarter-final and his first on grass. The win against the No. 21 in the PIF ATP Rankings was the second Top 30 win of his career (def. Ruud in Rotterdam 2023).

Defending champion Tallon Griekspoor ensured there will be two Dutchmen in the quarters with a 6-3, 7-6(5) win against Mackenzie McDonald, with both home favourites victorious on centre court. The World No. 23 is now 16-2 on home soil since the start of 2023, including a dramatic win against Miomir Kecmanovic on Tuesday that required three tie-breaks.


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Musetti survives Koepfer scare in Stuttgart

  • Posted: Jun 12, 2024

Lorenzo Musetti reached his third tour-level grass-court quarter-final on Wednesday at the BOSS OPEN, where he clawed past Germany’s Dominik Koepfer 6-7(9), 7-6(5), 6-3.

The fifth-seeded Italian failed to convert five set points in the first set and then rallied from 3/5 in the second-set tie-break to stay alive in Stuttgart. He struck 15 winners in the third set to advance after two hours and 49 minutes.

“It was a really, really tough match,” Musetti said. “We saw two hours and a half of really good tennis. Dominik was playing really, really well… We were fighting until the end and I am really proud of myself.”


With his 13th win of the season, Musetti levelled his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Koepfer at 1-1. The No. 30 player in the PIF ATP Rankings also reached the quarter-finals in Stuttgart last year and will aim to go one step further this week when he next plays Alexander Bublik after the third seed defeated the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF champion Hamad Medjedovic 6-1, 7-6(4).

Bublik, who fired 18 aces against Medjedovic, clinched the biggest title of his career last season on grass at the ATP 500 in Halle.

Defending champion Frances Tiafoe continued his title defence with a 7-5, 7-6(5) win against German Yannick Hanfmann.

Tiafoe, who beat Struff in the title match last year to win his third ATP Tour crown, saved all 11 break points he faced according to Infosys ATP Stats to triumph after one hour and 55 minutes.

The fourth-seeded American holds a modest 13-12 record on the season. He will hope he can rediscover his best level this week on the German lawns, where he next takes on Jack Draper or Marcos Giron.


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