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#NextGenATP Michelsen makes history in Mallorca

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2024

Alex Michelsen made history on Sunday in Mallorca.

The #NextGenATP American earned his first grass-court win of the season at the Mallorca Championships presented by Waterdrop, where he defeated Nuno Borges 6-3, 7-6(4). By doing so, the 19-year-old became the youngest player to win a main draw match at the event.

“That’s pretty cool,” Michelsen said. “I had no idea that that was going to be a statistic, so I’m super happy with that and super happy with the win today.”


One year ago, Michelsen entered the Mallorca main draw as a lucky loser and nearly defeated Christopher Eubanks, who won the match 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5. Eubanks went on to win the tournament.

“The island, there are not many places that you go on Tour that are better than this,” said Michelsen, who will next play third seed Adrian Mannarino. “The tournament is very well run, one of the best clubs I’ve ever been to. The courts suit my game. I almost beat Eubanks last year and he won the tournament, so just really enjoy being here and hopefully I can come here for many years.”

The 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF competitor has enjoyed success on grass before, reaching his first ATP Tour final last year on the surface in Newport.

In other action, home favourite Roberto Bautista Agut ousted Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-1, 6-0 in 53 minutes. The 36-year-old converted all five of his break points and won 60 per cent of his return points according to Infosys ATP Stats.


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Skupski/Venus clinch Queen's crown

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2024

Neal Skupski and Michael Venus captured their first title as a team on Sunday at the cinch Championships, where they clawed past singles stars Taylor Fritz and Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6(5), 10-8.

The seventh seeds played fearlessly in the crucial moments, closing the net and striking heavy returns. Skupski and Venus won 88 per cent (37/42) of their first-serve points and raised their level in the Match Tie-break to triumph in London after 77 minutes.

“It has been very special,” Skupski said. “First time winning at Queen’s, first time winning with Mike. We went to University together and we go back a long way. We have never been able to play on Tour much together, so this was nice to play with him.”


The Briton and Kiwi, who were teaming in just their third tour-level event together, were impressive throughout their run at the ATP 500. They defeated second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the quarter-finals and downed 2023 champs Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek in the last four, not dropping a set in either match.

Skupski, 34, is the first Briton to win the doubles title at Queen’s since Andy Murray won with Feliciano Lopez in 2019. Venus, 36, is the first player from New Zealand to win the title in the Open Era (since 1968).

“I think every match, especially with the doubles scoring format, if you’re not switched on for a couple minutes, it can change very quickly,” Venus said. “Those Match Tie-breaks, one or two shots can make a huge difference. I mean, before today, we managed to get through other matches in straight sets, had won three tie-breaks in the previous three matches. Won another tie-break today and then the [Match] Tie-break.

Fritz and Khachanov were teaming for the first time. Fritz also lost in the final at Queen’s last year. Khachanov won his only tour-level doubles title in 2023 at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Madrid with Andrey Rublev.


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Paul races to Queen's trophy

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2024

Tommy Paul captured his third ATP Tour title and first on grass Sunday at the cinch Championships, where he overcame Lorenzo Musetti 6-1, 7-6(8) in the final at Queen’s.

The fifth seed played with intensity and aggression throughout the 88-minute clash. After racing ahead, Paul recovered from failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, and he rallied from 1/4 in the tie-break, saving one set point at 6/7 against Musetti, who was competing in his third tour-level final.

“Hearing about the names [of previous winners] in the locker room, it is unbelievable. It was my goal to put my name next to them,” Paul said. “Thank you to my whole team.”

With his 27th tour-level win of the season, Paul ensured he will surpass Taylor Fritz and become American No. 1 for the first time in his career on Monday. The 27-year-old is set to rise to No. 12 in the PIF ATP Rankings.

Paul has been impressive all week on the lawns in west London, where he dropped just one set. The American clinched his first tour-level title in Stockholm in 2021 before he won this February in Dallas. His Queen’s Club crown is his first at ATP 500 level.


In front of a packed crowd, Paul raced out of the blocks, surging into a 3-0 lead in the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. He did not let up in the first set, clinching it after 32 minutes. The American then recovered from failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, sealing victory on his second match point when Musetti misfired off the backhand. Paul shared complimentary words for Musetti.

“Watching him play on grass the past two or three years has been really cool. I think everyone kind of thought of him as a clay-court player, and he’s kind of proven everyone wrong,” said Paul, who converted three of his four break points according to Infosys ATP Stats. “He’s obviously a force on the grass courts and is comfortable on it and plays very, very well on it.
It was really cool to finally play each other, and to play each other in the final of a tournament like this was amazing.” 

Paul, who committed just six unforced errors, raised his arms in the air following his triumph and shared a smile with girlfriend Paige Lorenze and the rest of his team. The champion explained during his press conference that he had received a motivational text message from countryman Frances Tiafoe on Saturday evening.

“All the Americans are pretty close. We push each other with results, I would say. I mean, it’s definitely a healthy competition between us,” Paul said. “Frances texted me last night and he sent the funniest message, actually. He was, like, ‘Finish your food’, because every time he’s playing, he always says, ‘Eat’, kind of like motivation. He said, ‘Finish your food’, last night. I took that and kind of ran with it.”


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Sinner wins Halle title in first tournament as World No. 1

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2024

It was far from an easy week, but Jannik Sinner won his first tournament as the World No. 1 in Halle.

The Italian star lost a set in each of his first three matches, but battled through on each occasion and ultimately defeated Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 7-6(2) on Sunday to lift the ATP 500 trophy.

”It means a lot. It was a tough match against Hubi,” Sinner said. “I knew I had to serve really well and you play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. So I was happy and I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments. I’m very happy about this tournament because [winning for] the first time on grass court, it’s a good feeling.”

By winning his first grass-court title, Sinner became the eighth player in PIF ATP Rankings history (since 1973) to claim a trophy in his first tournament as World No. 1.

Players to win title in first event as World No. 1

 Player  Tournament
 Jannik Sinner  2024 Halle
 Andy Murray  2016 Nitto ATP Finals
 Novak Djokovic  2011 Montreal
 Pete Sampras  1993 Hong Kong
 Stefan Edberg  1990 Long Island
 Mats Wilander  1988 Palermo
 Bjorn Borg  1979 Monte-Carlo
 Jimmy Connors  1974 Indianapolis

The doubles partners — Sinner and Hurkacz reached the second round in Halle — walked on court Sunday tied at 2-2 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series. In their first grass-court clash, there was very little between the two players. But Sinner was better in the critical moments to triumph after one hour and 50 minutes.

”In the important moments, he served a couple of second serves in the tie-break, which then could make the difference,” Sinner said. “I guess that was the key today.”

There were no service breaks in the match. However, Sinner won 85 per cent of his service points compared to 69 per cent for Hurkacz, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

In the first-set tie-break, Sinner earned a mini-break when Hurkacz missed a short forehand wide and the top seed appeared in control. But after letting slip his first set point at 6/5, Hurkacz had a chance to win the opener at 7/6. Sinner put pressure on his opponent by moving forward, and Hurkacz missed a tough forehand passing shot from well behind the baseline.


After missing another opportunity, Sinner claimed his third set point with baseline depth, forcing Hurkacz to miss a backhand into the net.

Although there were no service breaks, there was plenty of entertainment. In the second set, Hurkacz hit one of the shots of the week when Sinner lobbed him, and the Pole hit an over-the-shoulder forehand flick passing shot for a winner. Sinner immediately clapped his racquet in recognition of the incredible effort and the crowd roared its approval.


Sinner even tried to hit the same shot later in the set. Despite missing it in the net, the Italian shared a good laugh with his team.

In the second-set tie-break, the 22-year-old again took the early lead. This time, he did not relinquish his advantage, and he claimed his fourth title of the season when Hurkacz missed a final backhand slice long.

Now Sinner will turn his attention to Wimbledon, where he will try to claim his second major title of the season (he won the Australian Open).

”I’m just looking forward to it. Last year I made [the]semis, I played some good tennis. So let’s see what’s coming this year,” Sinner said. “I’m more confident for sure. And on this surface, obviously the grass it might be a bit different from here and Wimbledon. But I have one week now to prepare it so hopefully it’s going to be a good tournament.”

Did You Know?
Sinner became the 17th active male player to win a tour-level title on grass, hard and clay. He has claimed 12 of his 14 tour-level trophies on hard courts.


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Bolelli & Vavassori triumph in Halle

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2024

A big week for Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori became even bigger on Sunday in Halle.

After becoming the first-placed team in the PIF ATP Doubles Teams Rankings earlier in the tournament — they began the week in fourth — the Italians lifted the Terra Wortmann Open trophy. Bolelli and Vavassori defeated home favourites Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 7-6(3), 7-6(5) on Sunday in the final.

”It’s a dream come true to win this tournament, a great environment. Today was an amazing atmosphere, also to play against Germans in Germany, so really looking forward for the grass season,” Vavassori said. “We started really good. Hope to come back next year and defend the title.”

Last year, Bolelli and Vavassori lost the Halle final in a Match Tie-break. This edition, the top seeds did not lose a set in four matches.

Entering the championship clash, Bolelli and Vavassori held a 1-4 record as a team in tour-level finals. They found their best in the critical moments, saving all three break points they faced according to Infosys ATP Stats and winning both tie-breaks.

”Very good. Feel amazing and really, really happy because last year we had the chance in the final and we lost there,” Bolelli said. “But this year, our fourth final, we brought it home and really, really happy.”


The champions took a 2-0 lead in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Krawietz and Puetz by winning 84 per cent of their first-serve points inside Owl Arena.

Bolelli and Vavassori have enjoyed a breakthrough season as a team, reaching the final at the year’s first two majors: the Australian Open and Roland Garros. The Italians are in good position to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals together for the first time.


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