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Monfils claims first win against Thiem in Mallorca

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2024

Gael Monfils rode an outstanding day on serve to snap a six-match losing streak against Dominic Thiem at the Mallorca Championships presented by Waterdrop.

Monfils came into the match with an 0-6 Lexus ATP Head2Head record against the Austrian, but fired 13 aces, won 90 per cent of first-serve points and did not face a break point en route to a 6-3, 7-6(3) win.


The 37-year-old Frenchman advances to play Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena, who defeated countryman Pablo Carreno Busta in a third-set tie-break on Sunday. Improving to 14-13 on the year, Monfils seeks to reach his first quarter-final since making the Doha semi-finals in February.

“Today was a good match, I served good,” Monfils said.

Thiem, who has announced that the 2024 season will be his last, was acknowledged by the tournament during a brief post-match ceremony. “I have been here many times before the tournament and twice for the tournament and it has been great,” Thiem said. “I’m really looking forward to coming back to this nice club to watch the tournament in the future.”

Earlier, Italian veteran Fabio Fognini saved three of four break points faced to defeat Dutch lucky loser Gijs Brouwer 7-6(4), 7-6(5).

Australian Rinky Hijikata, who comes into the week just five places below his career-high PIF ATP Ranking of 70 after last week reaching the Queen’s quarter-finals, defeated Luca Nardi 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 after seeing the Italian save 14 of 18 break points faced.



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Shang claws past Etcheverry, Giron ousts defending champ in Eastbourne

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2024

#NextGenATP star Shang Juncheng earned victory in his first tour-level grass-court match on Monday at the Rothesay International, where he moved past seventh seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(4).

The 19-year-old qualifier fired 39 winners and hung tough in the third-set tie-break to advance after two hours and 27 minutes.

The Chinese lefty, who sealed victory with a forehand winner, now holds a 9-10 record against Top 50 opponents. Shang, currently third in the PIF ATP Live Race To Jeddah, plays Cameron Norrie or Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round.


American Marcos Giron continued his strong start to the grass season when he took out fifth seed and defending champion Francisco Cerundolo 7-6(5), 7-6(4)

Giron last week defeated former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini en route to the Halle quarter-finals after beginning the swing with victory over two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in Stuttgart, where he pushed eventual champion Jack Draper to three sets.

Giron, who is 15-15 on the season, is now just one spot away from his career-high PIF ATP Live Ranking of No. 44. Against Cerundolo the California native dropped just five points on first serve and won 70 per cent of second serves.

British wild card Billy Harris backed up last week’s run to the quarter-finals at Queen’s by reaching the second round in Eastbourne. The 29-year-old downed countryman Jacob Fearnley 6-4, 7-6(7).

Harris is competing at a career-high No. 139 in the PIF ATP Rankings after reaching his first tour-level quarter-final in London. He will next meet Queen’s champion Tommy Paul.

Australian lucky loser Aleksandar Vukic beat Hungarian Fabian Marozsan 6-2, 6-4. Vukic advanced to the last eight on grass at the ATP 250 event in ‘s-Hertogenbosch earlier this month. Vukic next plays third seed Alexander Bublik

Australian Max Purcell defeated Serbian Laslo Djere 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Purcell struck 10 aces according to Infosys ATP Stats to advance after two hours. With his win, the 2021 semi-finalist snapped a four-match losing streak.


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Alcaraz, Djokovic firing up preparations at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2024

Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic and more of the world’s biggest stars have arrived at Wimbledon to begin their preparation for the grass-court major.

Alcaraz, the defending champion, will try to secure his second consecutive Grand Slam title after lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros. The No. 3 player in the PIF ATP Rankings was working hard on the practice court Monday under the watchful eye of Samuel Lopez.


Alcaraz began his grass-court season at the cinch Championships in London, where he lost in the second round to in-form Briton Jack Draper. The Spaniard is 17-3 in tour-level grass-court matches according to the Infosys ATP Win/Loss Index.

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/06/24/14/59/djokovic-wimbledon-2024-practice.jpg” style=”width:100%;” alt=”Novak Djokovic” />
Photo: John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has also arrived at The Championships.

The Serbian has been working hard following recent knee surgery. Djokovic withdrew ahead of the Roland Garros quarter-finals due to a meniscus tear in his right knee.

One year ago, Alcaraz defeated Djokovic in a memorable Wimbledon final. The players, who have shared five Lexus ATP Head2Head meetings (Djokovic leads 3-2) embraced Monday at the tournament site one week before the action begins.

Djokovic moved ahead of Alcaraz in the No. 2 spot in the PIF ATP Rankings this week after the Spaniard’s early loss at Queen’s. Jannik Sinner will enter the tournament as World No. 1 and as the top seed at a major for the first time in his career.


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Goffin, Gasquet advance to second round in Wimbledon qualifying

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2024

Two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist David Goffin made a winning start in qualifying on Monday when he defeated Australian Marc Polmans 6-3, 6-1.

The Belgian, who won an ATP Challenger Tour title on grass in Ilkley last week, reached the last eight at SW19 in 2019 and 2022. Goffin will next play Yasutaka Uchiyama after the Japanese World No. 203 beat 2022 ‘s-Hertogenbosch champion Tim van Rijthoven 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 6-1.

Richard Gasquet reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007 and 2015. The former No. 7 in the PIF ATP Rankings is up and running in qualifying after he defeated Briton Oliver Crawford 6-2, 7-6(8). The 38-year-old Frenchman holds a 31-17 main draw record at SW19.


Daniel Elahi Galan advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon last year. The Colombian defeated Spani’s Roca Batalla Oriol 6-3, 6-4. Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, who reached the second round at the ATP 500 event at Queen’s last week, beat countryman Ugo Blanchet 6-2, 7-5.

#NextGenATP Croatian Dino Prizmic qualified for the Australian Open in January. He moved closer to matching that feat at Wimbledon, where he downed Clement Tabur 6-3, 6-4. The 36-year-old Mikhail Kukushkin also advanced, defeating Ukraine’s Vitaliy Sachko 6-3, 6-3. Kukushkin reached the fourth round at The Championships in 2019.

Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles downed Dane Sweeny 7-5, 6-1, Australian Alex Bolt overcame Argentine Nicolas Kicker 6-1, 6-4 and Moldovan Radu Albot clawed past Italian Francesco Maestrelli 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2. Albot reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2018.

More to follow…


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Cerundolo claims back-to-back Challenger titles; Goffin returns to winners' circle

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2024

Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo is red hot on the red clay.

The 22-year-old claimed his second consecutive ATP Challenger Tour title Saturday when he won the Challenger Bolivia 2 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a week after he won in Lima.

Cerundolo defeated Ecuadorian Alvaro Guillen Meza 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the final after saving five of the 10 break points he faced, according to Infosys ATP Stats, and battled past physical struggles to lift his ninth ATP Challenger Tour trophy.

“It was a tough final against a strong opponent, made even more challenging by the wind and a blister,” said the top-seeded lefty, who is on a 10-match winning streak at the Challenger level. “Despite that, I went out to compete in the third set, and the victory came.”


This is not the first time Cerundolo has captured back-to-back titles on the ATP Challenger Tour. In January 2023, he opened the season by winning a pair of trophies in Tigre, Argentina.

In other ATP Challenger Tour action, David Goffin was crowned champion at the Lexus Ilkley Trophy, where the Belgian captured his first grass-court title. The former No. 7 in the PIF ATP Rankings dropped just one set en route to the title, racing past Frenchman Harold Mayot 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

“It was a really good week. Five solid grass matches and the level was there. It gives me a lot of confidence for [Wimbledon],” Goffin said. “It means a lot because I haven’t won a trophy for some time and I managed to put it all together this week.”

A nine-time ATP Challenger Tour champion, Goffin has previously enjoyed final runs at the ATP Tour grass events in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (2015) and Halle (2019). The 33-year-old is the second Belgian to win the Ilkley Challenger in three years. Zizou Bergs triumphed at the 125 event in 2022.

Dutchman Jesper de Jong won the Emilia-Romagna Tennis Cup in Sassuolo, Italy, where he defeated Daniel Altmaier 7-6(5), 6-1 in the final. Following his title run, the 24-year-old De Jong is at a career-high No. 119 in the PIF ATP Rankings. De Jong rallied from a set down in the quarter-finals and semis to keep his title hopes alive, eventually claiming his third ATP Challenger Tour crown.

“It was a tiring week, but at the same time a fantastic one,” De Jong said. “My goal is to be in the Top 100 by the end of the year and this victory gives me a great push to move up in the rankings and be confident ahead of Wimbledon qualifying.”

Maks Kasnikowski is also at a career-high ranking, World No. 184, after winning the Enea Poznan Open. Cheered on by his home crowd, the 20-year-old Pole rallied past Argentine Camilo Ugo Carabelli 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final to lift his second ATP Challenger Tour trophy of the year. Kasnikowski won the season-opening Oeiras Challenger.

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/06/24/11/55/kasnikowski-poznanch-2024.jpg” style=”width:100%” alt=”Maks Kasnikowski celebrates winning the Poznan Challenger.” />
Maks Kasnikowski celebrates winning the Poznan Challenger. Credit: Karolina Kiraga-Rychter/Enea Poznan Open

In the 29-year history of the Enea Poznan Open, Kasnikowski is the third Polish champion, joining Jerzy Janowicz (2012) and Hubert Hurkacz (2018). Kasnikowki is one of three players with ATP Challenger Tour titles on both clay and hard in 2024, alongside Sumit Nagal and Stefano Napolitano.

Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis did not drop a set all week at the Internationaux de Tennis de Blois in France to claim his 15th ATP Challenger Tour title. The 34-year-old, who ousted home hope Calvin Hemery 7-6(4), 7-5 in the final, is one of three active players with 15 ATP Challenger Tour titles (Facundo Bagnis, 17, and Mikhail Kukukshin, 15). Due to substantial rain all week in Blois, Berankis was forced to play all five of his matches indoors.


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