Tennis News

From around the world

Djokovic pulls past Popyrin to reach Wimbledon R4

  • Posted: Jul 06, 2024

Novak Djokovic was made by Alexei Popyrin to dig deep at a major for the second time this year on Saturday evening at Wimbledon.

Popyrin tested Djokovic with his big-serving, big-hitting game on Centre Court, but the seven-time champion raised his level at key moments to secure a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) third-round triumph and set a meeting against 15th seed Holger Rune.

Djokovic, who also needed four sets to shake off Popyrin at January’s Australian Open, reacted well to dropping the opener in the pair’s third Lexus ATP Head2Head clash. The No. 2 in the PIF ATP Rankings dialled in on serve and during the match became <a rel=”noopener noreferrer” href=”″ target=”_blank”>just the sixth player to record 1000+ aces at Wimbledon, while his consistency from the baseline was also key to wearing his opponent down.

“It was another tough match. I didn’t expect anything less than what we experienced on the court today from Alexei,” said Djokovic in his on-court interview. “I knew he was going to come into the match with confidence, with a lot of self-belief. He was close to winning that match we played against each other in Australia earlier this year.

“With that serve and powerful forehand, he is dangerous on any surface. I watched him play the first couple of rounds and knew he was in form and he was going to come out on the court believing he could win. That’s how he started, he was the better player for the first set, and then I stepped it up. I think I played a really good second and third, and the fourth really was anybody’s game.”


The match included an amusing moment as Popyrin served at 1-4, 30/30 in the second set. A huge cheer went up around the All England Club, where many were simultaneously following the England men’s national football team in a Euro 2024 quarter-final penalty shootout against Switzerland. As the crowd suddenly cheered an England win, <a rel=”noopener noreferrer” href=”″ target=”_blank”>Djokovic mimicked shooting a penalty across the net, while Popyrin jokingly pretended he was the goalie.

“I assumed that it was a penalty shootout between England and Switzerland. It felt like for a set and a half that the crowd really wanted to understand what the score was,” joked Djokovic. “I tried to shoot a penalty. I’m left-footed, but Alexei defended it well.”

There was to be no saving the second set, or indeed the match, for Popyrin. The record 24-time major champion Djokovic quickly levelled proceedings and then rode a break in the opening game to the third set. Although Popyrin rejuvenated his hopes of forcing a decider by holding from 5-5, 0/40 to force a fourth-set tie-break, Djokovic dominated from then on to secure a three-hour, five-minute win.

By reaching the fourth round for the 16th time, Djokovic has tied Jimmy Connors in second place on the Open Era list of most last-16 appearances at Wimbledon. Only record eight-time champion Roger Federer has more (18).

Rune set the Djokovic clash with a 1-6, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-1 victory against Frenchman Quentin Halys.

The 15th seed was in deep trouble against his big-serving opponent, who was seemingly in control on Court 18. Later in the match due to rain, the clash was moved to No. 1 Court, where the Dane was able to tilt the encounter in his favour.

Rune rallied from two sets down to win for the first time in his career. His five-set record is now 4-3, and 2-1 this year.

The 21-year-old has earned two of the biggest wins of his career against Djokovic, who leads their Lexus ATP Head2Head series 3-2. Rune notably upset the Serbian in the 2022 Rolex Paris Masters final.


Source link

Purcell/Thompson book third-round spot as Bopanna/Ebden upset at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 06, 2024

Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson’s fast start to Wimbledon continued on Saturday afternoon, when the Australian duo eased into the third round at the grass-court major.

The 2022 champion Purcell and his partner Thompson overcame Fabrice Martin and Matwe Middelkoop 6-4, 7-5 to make it four sets played, four sets won this week at the All England Club. They won 85 per cent (34/40) of points behind first serves en route to an 86-minute triumph on Court 8.

Purcell and Thompson are chasing their fourth tour-level title of the season this fortnight in London. They triumphed on hard courts in Dallas and Los Cabos in February, before notching a title on clay in Houston in April.


There was a major upset on Court 8, where Constantin Frantzen and Hendrik Jebens defeated second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6(4). The German duo will take on Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen or Lloyd Glasspool and Jean-Julien Rojer next.

Other teams to book their third-round spot on Saturday included Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic, who beat Romain Arneodo and Sem Verbeek 6-4, 6-4. The top duo in the PIF ATP Live Doubles Team Rankings, Arevalo and Pavic will meet Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul next. The 16th seeds overcame Julian Cash and Robert Galloway 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(10-4).


Source link

De Minaur's big chance to break new ground at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 06, 2024

Alex de Minaur has enjoyed the best season of his career and he can make it even better at Wimbledon.

When Lucas Pouille withdrew ahead of their third-round match on Saturday due to an abdominal injury, it put De Minaur in position to break new ground in the PIF ATP Live Rankings.

The Australian, who is currently live No. 9, will surge to No. 6 if he wins his fourth-round match against Arthur Fils. That would position him to move to a career-high PIF ATP Ranking (currently No. 7) on 15 July if he is able to maintain that spot.


Live No. 6 Hubert Hurkacz, No. 7 Andrey Rublev and No. 8 Casper Ruud all lost before the third round of The Championships, providing the opening for De Minaur.

Only six Australians in the history of the PIF ATP Rankings (since 1973) have reached a career-high ranking better than No. 6: Lleyton Hewitt (No. 1), John Newcombe (No. 1), Patrick Rafter (No. 1), Ken Rosewall (No. 2), Rod Laver (No. 3) and Pat Cash (No. 4).

PIF ATP Live Rankings (6 July)

 Player  Live Points  Max Points
 6) Hubert Hurkacz  4,105  –
 7) Andrey Rublev  4,070   –
 8) Casper Ruud  4,030  –
 9) Alex de Minaur  3,985  5,785
 10) Grigor Dimitrov  3,770  5,570

De Minaur is in sixth in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin as he tries to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. 

The 25-year-old has climbed one spot so far this tournament, passing seventh-placed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost in the second round to Emil Ruusuvuori.

The Nitto ATP Finals will be played from 10-17 November at Inalpi Arena in Turin.


Source link

In Memoriam: Hall of Famer Vic Seixas

  • Posted: Jul 06, 2024

Vic Seixas, the winner of 15 major titles and a Davis Cup champion, died on July 5 at the age of 100. Seixas, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971, had been the oldest living Hall of Famer.

Fitness, foot speed and superb volleys were the cornerstones of Seixas’ lengthy career. As just one example of his longevity, Seixas played the U.S. National Championships (now the US Open) a record 28 times from 1940 to 1969.

Of Seixas’ 15 major titles, two came in singles, with Seixas winning Wimbledon in 1953 and the U.S. Championships one year later.


In doubles, Seixas captured five men’s majors — two apiece with Tony Trabert at the U.S. Nationals in 1952 and 1954 (later the US Open) and Roland-Garros (1954 and 1955), as well as one at the Australian Championships alongside Mervyn Rose in ‘52. Seixas also excelled in mixed doubles, earning eight majors — four straight at Wimbledon from 1953-56, a three-peat at the U.S. Nationals from 1953-55 and one triumph at Roland-Garros in 1953. All but one of those mixed doubles titles were won with Doris Hart, the lone exception coming at Wimbledon in 1956, Seixas that year partnering with Shirley Fry.

Davis Cup was a Seixas priority. Compiling an overall record of 38-17 (24-12 in singles, 14-5 in doubles), Seixas played on U.S. teams that reached the Davis Cup final seven straight years between 1951-57. All of these were against the mighty Australians. America’s lone championship run in that stretch came in 1954, Seixas contributing significantly with an opening day singles win over Ken Rosewall and a clinching victory in the doubles with Trabert.

Seixas was born in Philadelphia on 30 August 1923. Raised in a middle-class family, Seixas loved sports and earned high school letters in track, basketball, squash, tennis and baseball. Throughout his youth, his big dream was to play for the Philadelphia Phillies. Of course, Seixas proved more successful at tennis. While still in his teens, Seixas cracked the U.S. Top 10 — a place he’d hold 13 times between 1942 and 1966.


Enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1941, Seixas subsequently spent three years in the military and resumed his studies in 1946. Upon earning his degree in 1949, Seixas spent the better part of the next decade traveling the world on the amateur tennis circuit.

Seixas’ nimble form of athleticism made him a natural on the slick grass that was prevalent in his time. Perhaps indeed, Wimbledon and Seixas were meant for one another. In 1950, in his All England Club debut, Seixas made a surprising run to the semis. Three years later, seeded second, he went the distance. Most impressive was a five-set quarter-final win over Lew Hoad, Seixas squeaking it out 9-7 in the fifth. The semis also took five sets, Seixas taking down an Aussie, Mervyn Rose. In the final, Seixas beat unseeded Kurt Nielsen in three sets.

Seixas’ run to the U.S. Nationals title in 1954 was much less dramatic. Not once was he extended to five sets. Seeded third, Seixas beat Australian Rex Hartwig in the final in four sets. That year, at the age of 31, Seixas also achieved a rare triple at the same major — earning the singles, men’s doubles with Trabert and mixed with Hart. Only twice since has a man done that.

A strong devotion to fitness also helped Seixas enjoy tremendous longevity. Between 1940 and 1969, he played the U.S. Nationals (which became the US Open in 1968) a record 28 times.

Seixas also was tournament referee during the 1971 US Open, as well as a three-time Davis Cup captain. Later, he taught tennis at such notable venues as the Hilton Hotel in New Orleans and the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Since 1989, Seixas resided north of San Francisco, spending much of his time at The Club at Harbor Point.

Seixas is survived by his daughter, Tori Seixas.

Source link

With Federer in the stands, Shelton survives Shapovalov at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 06, 2024

Ben Shelton survived his third five-setter of the fortnight Saturday to reach the fourth round at The Championships for the first time, setting a clash against top seed Jannik Sinner.

The 14th seed battled past 2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in three hours and four minutes to become the first left-handed American man to make the fourth round at SW19 since John McEnroe in 1992.

Shelton did it with a familiar face in the stands. Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer was at No. 1 Court to check out the action with his parents and longtime agent Tony Godsick. Federer’s agency, TEAM8, manages Shelton.

The American rallied from two-sets-to-one down in his first two matches against Mattia Bellucci and Lloyd Harris, respectively. On Saturday, he led by two sets to one and ultimately completed his victory by surging through his 15th set of the tournament.


Shelton won the match by dominating the short points, winning the rallies of zero to four shots by a 131-107 margin. He won 81 per cent of his first-serve points and struck 38 winners to make the fourth round at a third major, having already accomplished the feat at the Australian Open (QF) and the US Open (SF).

Sinner advanced to the fourth round on Friday, while Shelton and Shapovalov were unable to complete a set before rain suspended play for the evening. The Italian leads the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series 2-1. All three of their clashes have come within the past 10 months.

Shelton is now 6-2 in five-setters after clawing post Shapovalov. The Canadian, No. 136 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, showed he is on his way back to the form that helped him crack the world’s Top 10.


Source link