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Paire Fights Back Against Gasquet In Metz

  • Posted: Sep 18, 2019

Paire Fights Back Against Gasquet In Metz

Paire going for third title of 2019

Benoit Paire beat countryman Richard Gasquet for only the second time in their nine-match FedEx ATP Head2Head series on Wednesday at the Moselle Open in Metz.

Paire, a two-time ATP Tour titlist this season, won 86 per cent (36/42) of his service points and fought back to reach the quarter-finals at the ATP 250 tennis tournament 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

You May Also Like: #NextGenATP Ruud Scores First Indoor Win In St. Petersburg

Gasquet led their head-to-head contest 7-1 before their second-round meeting in Metz. Frenchmen have won eight of the past 10 Metz titles, and Paire will face another Frenchman in Gregoire Barrere, who beat Antoine Hoang 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 in a battle of French wild cards, for a place in the semi-finals.

France had a mixed day in the two other singles matches that involved home hopefuls. Three-time champion Gilles Simon dismissed Romanian Marius Copil 6-3, 6-4 and will meet Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia for a place in the quarter-finals.

But #NextGenATP Frenchman Ugo Humbert fell to German qualifier Yannick Maden 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-4. Maden, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the second round of Roland Garros, will next meet second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili. In the final match of the day, Serbian Filip Krajinovic upset fifth seed Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and will next meet Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego or fourth seed Lucas Pouille of France.

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Nielsen/Puetz Prevail In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Sep 18, 2019

Nielsen/Puetz Prevail In St. Petersburg

Top seeds Mahut/Roger-Vasselin advance in Metz

Frederik Nielsen/Tim Puetz got off to a strong start on Wednesday at the St. Petersburg Open, easing past Marton Fucsovics/Stefano Travaglia 6-4, 6-4. Awaiting them in the quarter-finals are Italian duo Matteo Berrettini/Simone Bolelli, who needed just 53 minutes to defeat Roman Jebavy/Philipp Oswald 6-2, 6-2.

Divij Sharan/Igor Zelenay rallied to defeat fourth seeds Marcelo Demoliner/Matwe Middelkoop 3-6, 6-2, 10-5. Next up for them are Roberto Carballes Baena/Andres Molteni, who took out Evgeny Karlovskiy/Andrey Rublev 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-2.

You May Also Like: Medvedev Returns To Action In St. Petersburg; All You Need To Know

At the Moselle Open in Metz, top seeds Nicolas Mahut/Edouard Roger-Vasselin won an all-French first-round battle over Tristan Lamasine/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-4. Fourth seeds Santiago Gonzalez/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi also reached the last eight by prevailing in an epic 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 battle over Denys Molchanov/Artem Sitak.

In quarter-final action, Robert Lindstedt/Jan-Lennard Struff saved three match points in the second-set tie-break of their 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 10-7 victory against Gilles Simon/Mischa Zverev. Next up for Lindstedt/Struff are Sander Arends/David Pel, who moved past Marius Copil/Ugo Humbert 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-5.

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#NextGenATP Ruud Scores First Indoor Win In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Sep 18, 2019

#NextGenATP Ruud Scores First Indoor Win In St. Petersburg

2010 champion Kukushkin advances on Wednesday

#NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud picked up his first win at an indoor ATP Tour event on Wednesday at the St. Petersburg Open. The eighth seed held off a stern challenge from Kazakh Alexander Bublik to advance 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2.

“Sascha is a good friend among the other guys on Tour. He hits a lot of fast serves and big shots, so I just tried to be ready for that,” Ruud said. “You have to take it match by match because it’s a very strong competition here, but I’ll try to win every match I play.”

Ruud raced through the last five games of the match to advance in two hours and two minutes. Awaiting him in the second round is Salvatore Caruso, who prevailed 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an all-Italian battle with Thomas Fabbiano.

You May Also Like: Rublev Survives Ivashka Scare In St. Petersburg

Portuguese Joao Sousa didn’t drop serve in a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 win over Slovakian Jozef Kovalik, setting him up for a second-round clash with second-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov. Hungarian Marton Fucsovics rallied from 1-5 in the opening set and saved five set points en route to a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Russian qualifier Alexey Vatutin. Next up for Fucsovics is fourth-seeded Croatian Borna Coric, who won their lone FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting this year at the Australian Open.

In a battle of former St. Petersburg champions, 2010 winner and sixth seed Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan defeated 2017 champion Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia 7-6(2), 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals. The other second-round match on Wednesday saw Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov score the upset of the day against seventh-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-1. The 26-year-old’s most recent ATP Tour quarter-final also came on Russian soil last October in Moscow.

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Federer: Nadal Is Pumped For Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 18, 2019

Federer: Nadal Is Pumped For Laver Cup

Swiss talks ahead of the third edition of the team event

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are teaming up again at the 2019 Laver Cup, which starts Friday in Geneva. And Nadal can’t wait to get started.

“He couldn’t be more pumped up for this event,” Federer said on Wednesday. “He just won the US Open. It would have been so easy for him to say, ‘Look, I need a break.’ But he said, ‘No, my break’s coming afterwards. I push it all aside, and I’m doing this because I really believe in the concept of the Laver Cup. And I believe in you guys.’”

The players were welcomed and made a public appearance on the balcony of the Palais Eynard, Parc des Bastions on Wednesday afternoon ahead of the third edition of the Laver Cup, which pits the best of Team Europe against the best of Team World.

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“It’s been energetic, it’s been thrilling, it’s been exciting. The two teams have finally clashed and seen each other. We are all ready to go,” Federer said.

He and Nadal combined forces for Team Europe during the inaugural Laver Cup, in Prague in 2017. The two all-time greats played doubles together, beating Team World members Sam Querrey and Jack Sock 6-4, 1-6, 10-5.

Expect Federer/Nadal to take the court together again as the two practised doubles together on Wednesday against teammates Alexander Zverev and Fabio Fognini. The team competition gets underway on Friday.

<a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a> and <a href=''>Roger Federer</a> practise ahead of the 2019 <a href=''>Laver Cup</a> in Geneva.

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#NextGenATP First-Time Winner: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

  • Posted: Sep 18, 2019

#NextGenATP First-Time Winner: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

The 20-year-old Spaniard discusses his dream week in Sevilla

This is what the ATP Challenger Tour is all about. On Sunday, in front of thousands of passionate fans at the Real Club de Tenis Betis, native son Alejandro Davidovich Fokina celebrated his maiden title in Sevilla.

The local Sevillanos filled the club, with a capacity crowd on hand to watch the 20-year-old battle countryman Jaume Munar. And with 400 more on line outside, in search of a coveted seat inside the historic venue, the atmosphere was electric and the drama palpable.

2019 #NextGenATP First-Time Spotlights: Ymer | Sinner | Ruusuvuori

The oldest tournament in Spain celebrated its 29th edition, welcoming a third #NextGenATP champion in the past four years. Casper Ruud (2016) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (2017) would go on to crack the Top 100 and beyond, a milestone that is now well within reach for Davidovich Fokina. The Malaga native is up to a career-high No. 108 in the ATP Rankings and moves to 12th in the ATP Race To Milan.

Davidovich Fokina has been on fire in September, halting a 1-6 mid-summer stretch with an impressive 12-2 run that also included a semi-final finish in Mallorca and final run in Genova. The 20-year-old continues to build off his breakthrough moment from earlier in the year, when he stormed to the semi-finals at the ATP Tour stop in Estoril as a qualifier. There, he upset World No. 18 Gael Monfils to reach the last four.


The Spaniard spoke to following his maiden triumph in Sevilla…

Alejandro, congrats on winning your first Challenger title. How does it feel to lift the trophy?
I have been supported all this week by my family, by the team and by my friends. I am very happy to raise this title in front of them. I think it is well deserved, since last week I lost in the final, but this time I could get it.

The final against Munar was very close. Did you feel nervous today?
Yes, with Jaume there are always those nerves because I know he is a very consistent player. He doesn’t miss any shots. I started a little more nervous, but in the second set I was more explosive and aggressive. I have relied much more on myself and I also wanted to not lose a fourth final.

Recent #NextGenATP Spanish Champions

Player Title Age
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Sevilla 2019 20 years, 3 months
Nicola Kuhn Segovia 2019 19 years, 4 months
Pedro Martinez Bastad 2018 21 years, 2 months
Jaume Munar Caltanissetta 2018 21 years, 1 month
Jaume Munar Prostejov 2018 21 years, 1 month
Jaume Munar Segovia 2017 20 years, 3 months
Nicola Kuhn Braunschweig 2017 17 years, 3 months

Winning your first Challenger title is not easy. What do you think were the keys during the week?
I have been for three weeks at a very good level. I looked to win the tournament from the beginning. In every game, at every point I went to the maximum. In addition, the confidence I brought from the previous matches carried into the final.

As you say, you had three finals in which you didn’t get the trophy. What did you learn from those experiences?
There were many emotions and I had a lot of pressure. But I prepared for this match very well with my coach Jorge [Aguirre] and I think I solved it very well. We knew there would be a lot of emotion, because we played in Andalusia, very close to home in Sevilla. And also the public would be on my side, which was very important.

You defeated two strong players – Salvatore Caruso and Jaume Munar – in the semis and final. How much confidence do those victories and this trophy give you?
First of all, I’d say not to lose your mind with these victories, because on Wednesday I will start competing in another Challenger. So I’m going to celebrate with my family, I’m going to enjoy my first victory and tomorrow it’s time to go back to work.

It has not been an easy summer for you. How did you prepare yourself to put aside those struggles and have such a successful month?
After Estoril, I did not have it very easy. There were matches that I should not have lost, where I was playing very poorly. In tennis there are always streaks and I know there will be ups and downs. The goal was to move on, never give up.

What have you enjoyed most of your time in Sevilla? It is such a historic tournament and very close to home for you.
Of course not the heat! (Laughs). The people here supported me a lot and the atmosphere is spectacular. Being able to play in Andalusia gives my whole family and my friends the opportunity to come. It is a plus to play in front of them all.

For those of us who don’t know much about you, what do you enjoy doing off the court?
I am a very hyperactive guy, who likes to do many things away from the court. I am very simple, very sociable. In the end, I am from Malaga. I grew up there and I my attitude is like the people there. I just like to have fun with friends and enjoy life.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Wimbledon: Birmingham grass-court tournament downgraded after WTA event switch to Berlin

  • Posted: Sep 18, 2019

The United Kingdom’s biggest women-only grass-court event is to be downgraded from next summer, with Wimbledon supporting a new tournament in Berlin.

The Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, a Premier status competition on the WTA Tour since 2014, is to return to being categorised as an International event.

The change means lower prize money and ranking points for players.

Ashleigh Barty become world number one after winning the tournament in June.

The French Open champion was in a field that included Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams.

The tournament – held two weeks before Wimbledon, putting it up against the men’s event at Queen’s Club – is one that makes significant losses.

Prize money in recent years has not been matched by a similar increases in ticket sales or sponsorship.

The reduction in prize funds for the 38-year-old event represents a drop of about £600,000 from around £800,000 to approximately £200,000 – a significant sum for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which reported a loss of £8.8m in May.

LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said the event will still “provide opportunities for tennis fans to get closer to the sport”.

“We have worked closely with the All England Lawn Tennis Club on the plans for next year’s grass-court season,” he said.

“The Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham will continue to be one of the LTA’s major events next season.”

Birmingham will now have to compete with Berlin to try to attract players.

Other changes the grass-court season will include a new men’s event in Majorca and a proposed women’s tournament in Bad Homburg, Germany, backed by former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

The other British tournaments in Nottingham and Eastbourne are unaffected by the changes.

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Mallorca To Host ATP Grass-Court Tournament From 2020

  • Posted: Sep 18, 2019

Mallorca To Host ATP Grass-Court Tournament From 2020

Spain to host an ATP Tour grass-court event

The ATP today announced that the 2020 grass-court swing in the lead-up to The Championships at Wimbledon, will feature a new ATP 250 tournament in Mallorca, replacing the event previously held in Antalya, Turkey, from 2017-2019.

The Mallorca Championships, offering €900,000 in prize money, will be held at Santa Ponca from 20-27 June 2020, in partnership between the AELTC and e|motion sports.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said: “Spain remains a key market for the ATP Tour and we are delighted to see the return of an ATP 250 tournament to Mallorca. The Spanish island has contributed so highly to the history of tennis, notably producing two ATP World No. 1 players, Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal.

“Bringing a grass court tournament to Spain is an exciting development in the ATP Tour calendar, and we’d like to thank the AELTC [All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club] for their continued investment in the grass court season. The ATP has a longstanding relationship with e|motion, as ATP event owners in Vienna and event Promoters in Stuttgart, and we are pleased to expand our association with them and the AELTC through this new venture in Mallorca. We have no doubt the event will be a success from the outset.”

Event organisers, elmotion sports, also run the MercedesCup in Stuttgart, which switched surfaces from clay to grass courts in 2015, the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, and a WTA event in Berlin.

Edwin Weindorfer, CEO e|motion sports, said: “By organising three tournaments in as many weeks we are facing a big challenge, which we gladly accept. We will continually develop the tournament in Mallorca in the coming years and Santa Ponca is the perfect setting for that. I want to thank Wimbledon for their great support of our tennis commitment in Mallorca and also thank Toni Nadal, who has done great work as tournament director for the women’s tournament. A position he will also assume for the men’s tournament.”

It will be the first time that an ATP Tour tournament has been contested in Mallorca since 2002. Spain currently hosts two clay-court events, the Mutua Madrid Open (ATP Masters 1000) in May and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (ATP 500) in April.

Toni Nadal, Tournament Director of the Mallorca Championships, said, “I am very proud, that there will be an ATP tournament in Mallorca after so many years again. We expect to offer the fans a strong line-up in the final week before Wimbledon. After four successful women’s tournaments we are now starting a new, exciting tennis era in Mallorca with this men’s event.”

Philip Brook CBE, All England Lawn Tennis Club Chairman, commented: “The AELTC is pleased to continue the work it began several years ago with e|motion sports in Mallorca as they take on the new ATP 250-level tournament sanction. A strong and successful grass court season is absolutely critical to the future of grass court tennis and thus the future success of The Championships. Having worked to expand the grass court season to create a meaningful gap between Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, we are pleased to be making significant further investments into ensuring that quality grass court tournaments can be provided at all levels of the game with the best interests of the players and the broader tennis family in mind.”

To view the updated 2020 ATP Tour calendar, click here.

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Nadal, Federer Reunite On Team Europe At Laver Cup; All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Sep 17, 2019

Nadal, Federer Reunite On Team Europe At Laver Cup; All You Need To Know

All about the 2019 Laver Cup in Geneva, Switzerland

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer headline the third edition of the Laver Cup, to be held 20-22 September in Geneva, Switzerland. The Laver Cup field includes three other Top 10 players — Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas — who will join Nadal and Federer on Team Europe. John Isner, Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios lead the charge for Team World

The teams will be welcomed in Geneva on Wednesday, at a public appearance on the balcony of the Palais Eynard, Parc des Bastions, at 12:00pm.

Team Europe won the inaugural tournament in Prague, 15-9, with Federer prevailing 4-6, 7-6(6), 11-9 over Kyrgios to prevent Team World from forcing a decisive, winner-take-all doubles set. Last year in Chicago, after Isner and Jack Sock put Team World up 8-7 to start Day 3, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev rallied for wins in their singles matches to clinch the victory for Team Europe.

Here’s what you need to know about the Laver Cup: what is the schedule, where to watch, who is playing and more.

You May Also Like: ATP And Laver Cup Join Forces

Established: 2017

Tournament Dates: 20-22 September 2019

Who Is Playing
Team Europe: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Fabio Fognini, Roberto Bautista Agut (alternate)
Team World: John Isner, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Jack Sock, Taylor Fritz, Jordan Thompson (alternate)

Schedule (View On Official Website)
Friday, September 20: 1pm Match 1 (singles) followed by Match 2 (singles)
Friday, September 20: 7pm, Match 3 (singles) followed by Match 4 (doubles)
Saturday, September 21: 1pm, Match 5 (singles) followed by Match 6 (singles)
Saturday, September 21: 7pm, Match 7 (singles) followed by Match 8 (doubles)
Sunday, September 22: 12pm, Match 9 (doubles) followed by Match 10 (singles), Match 11 (singles), Match 12 (singles). If points are even, then there will be a one-set doubles decider.

How To Watch
TV Schedule

Venue: Palexpo
Surface: Indoor Hard

Both singles and doubles are best-of-three sets with ad scoring. The third set is a 10-point Match Tie-break.

Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday. If points are tied at 12-all on Day 3, a doubles set with ad-scoring and a tie-break will decide the Laver Cup champion. The winning team must reach 13 points.

Each player will play at least one singles match during the first two days. No player will play singles more than twice during the three days. At least four of the six players must play doubles. No doubles combination can be played more than once, unless for the Decider on Day 3, if points are 12-all. Match-ups will be determined prior to the first match each day through the exchange of lineup cards by the captains.

2018 Laver Cup
Team Europe d Team World 13-8
Clinching result: Match 11 – Alexander Zverev d Kevin Anderson 6-7(3), 7-5, 10-7

Hashtag: #LaverCup
Instagram: @lavercup
Twitter: @LaverCup

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Rublev Survives Ivashka Scare In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Sep 17, 2019

Rublev Survives Ivashka Scare In St. Petersburg

Carballes Baena eliminates 2012 champion Klizan in straight sets

Andrey Rublev was forced to work hard for his place in the St. Petersburg Open second round on Tuesday, recovering from a set down to defeat Ilya Ivashka 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Appearing for the first time since reaching the US Open fourth round, the fifth seed claimed three straight games from 3-4 down in the third set to improve to 23-14 at tour-level this year. After avoiding a third first-round defeat in four appearances at the ATP 250 tournament, Rublev moves on to face Ricardas Berankis for a place in the last eight.

Berankis claimed 81 per cent of first-serve points (22/27) to defeat Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-0 in 62 minutes. It will be his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Rublev, who defeated Roger Federer in Cincinnati and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Flushing Meadows.

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St. Petersburg debutant Roberto Carballes Baena defeated 2012 champion Martin Klizan 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the second round. The 26-year-old became only the second player to defeat Klizan in 11 matches in St. Petersburg after 89 minutes, converting five of eight break points en route to victory. Carballes Baena will face US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Evgeny Donskoy will face top seed and fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round. The 29-year-old wild card cruised past lucky loser Matteo Viola of Italy 6-2, 6-1. Egor Gerasimov also advanced, beating fellow qualifier Lukas Rosol 7-5, 6-2 to book a meeting with seventh seed Adrian Mannarino.

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Why Medvedev's Momentum Looks Set To Continue Indoors

  • Posted: Sep 17, 2019

Why Medvedev’s Momentum Looks Set To Continue Indoors

Russian owns a tour-leading 22 indoor victories over the past 52 weeks

Daniil Medvedev’s recent run on the outdoor hard courts of North America has catapulted the 23-year-old to a career-high No. 4 in the ATP Rankings and earned the Russian a maiden spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

But before claiming his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati, Medvedev’s two most recent tour-level trophies had been lifted on indoor hard courts, proving that the US Open finalist can be just as dangerous with a roof above his towering 6’6” frame.

Eleven months ago, the Moscow-born star lifted his maiden ATP 500 title indoors at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. Medvedev dropped one set in seven matches from qualifying in the Japanese capital — defeating three Top 20 players — including two-time titlist and home favourite Kei Nishikori in the final.

The five-time tour-level titlist, who has already lifted indoor silverware this year at the Sofia Open in February, owns a Tour-leading 22 victories over the past 52 weeks on the surface according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone. The Russian will be hoping to add to that tally at the St. Petersburg Open, where he will be competing for the first time since reaching his first Grand Slam final at the US Open.

Most Indoor Victories Over Past 52 Weeks

Player Wins Win Percentage Titles
Daniil Medvedev 22 0.786 2
Stefanos Tsitsipas 18 0.750 2
Kei Nishikori 16 0.696 0
Karen Khachanov 15 0.789 2
Gael Monfils 14 0.824 1

With ATP 250 indoor hard-court events in St. Petersburg and Metz this week and a further seven indoor events through the Rolex Paris Masters, the ability to earn victories indoors could prove crucial in the ATP Race To London.

In fact, the three players who own the best winning percentages indoors over the past 52 weeks (after 10 or more matches) are all in contention for a spot at the elite eight-man event at The O2 in London.

Best Indoor Win Percentage Over Past 52 Weeks (Played 10+ matches)

Player Win Percentage Win/Loss Record Race To London Position
Gael Monfils 0.824 14-3 12
Alexander Zverev 0.813 13-3 10
Karen Khachanov 0.789 15-4 19
Daniil Medvedev 0.786 22-6 4 (Qualified)
Roger Federer 0.786 11-3 3 (Qualified)

With a 14-3 record over the past 52 weeks, Gael Monfils owns the best indoor winning percentage according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone. The Frenchman has lifted five of his eight ATP Tour titles indoors, including his most recent crown at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February. Monfils currently occupies 12th position in the ATP Race To London after reaching the quarter-finals at the US Open.

Monfils is closely followed by Alexander Zverev, who currently sits at 10th place in the ATP Race To London. The 22-year-old has not played indoors since stunning Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in back-to-back matches to lift the Nitto ATP Finals trophy last November.

In third and fourth place are the Russian duo of Karen Khachanov and Medvedev. Both players will be aiming to improve their winning percentages in front of home fans at the St. Petersburg Open this week, with 19th-placed Khachanov eager to make up ground on his rivals in the ATP Race To London. As the top two seeds at the event — with a combined four indoor trophies over the past 52 weeks — the pairing will try to set the first all-Russian final in the tournament’s history.

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