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In-form Heliovaara/Patten set Purcell/Thompson final at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 11, 2024

Can Harri Heliovaara and Henry Patten’s red-hot start to their partnership carry them to a Grand Slam title?

The unseeded Finnish-British pair defeated Neal Skupski and Michael Venus 6-4, 7-6(1) on Thursday afternoon to reach the championship match at Wimbledon. Heliovaara and Patten produced a stunning serving performance on No. 1 Court, where they won 95 per cent (36/38) of points behind first serves en route to an 84-minute win.

Since first teaming in April in Marrakech, Heliovaara and Patten have won 28 of the 32 matches they have contested together across all levels. That tally includes ATP Tour title runs in Marrakech and Lyon, and two ATP Challenger Tour titles. After reaching the final at Wimbledon, the pair is up 11 spots to eighth in the PIF ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.

On their Grand Slam team debut earlier this year, Heliovaara and Patten reached the third round at Roland Garros before being forced to withdraw after the Finn suffered a shoulder injury. They have put that disappointment behind them superbly at the All England Club, where they have dropped just one set across five matches so far.


Awaiting Heliovaara and Patten in Saturday’s final will be 15th seeds Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson, who upset top seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 6-4.

Like Heliovaara and Patten, Purcell and Thompson have enjoyed a stellar 2024 on the doubles court. The Australian duo has won ATP Tour crowns in Dallas, Los Cabos and Houston, and is seventh in the PIF ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings as they chase a spot at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.

Purcell will bring Wimbledon championship-match experience to the court in Saturday’s title clash. The 26-year-old lifted the trophy at SW19 in 2022 alongside another Australian, Matthew Ebden.


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SF Preview: Can Alcaraz 'Rinse & Repeat' vs. Medvedev? Musetti aims to push Djokovic again

  • Posted: Jul 11, 2024

There are some striking similarities to last year in the semi-final lineup at Wimbledon 2024. Carlos Alcaraz will hope the last-four results follow suit.

The third seed and defending champion at the grass-court major takes on Daniil Medvedev on Friday in a repeat of the pair’s 2023 semi-final. Alcaraz dropped just nine games en route to victory against Medvedev last year but remains wary of an opponent who will take to court fresh from defeating World No. 1 Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals.

“[Medvedev] is a really great player,” said Alcaraz after his fourth-round triumph against Tommy Paul. “The same semi-final as last year and hopefully I’m going to get the same result. He just beat Jannik Sinner, the best player right now, so I know he is in really good shape.

“I have to play my best. I have to believe in myself and try to keep going if I want to beat him. It is going to be a difficult one, but I’m going to enjoy it.”

Medvedev partly avenged his heavy defeat at Wimbledon a year ago by winning his only Grand Slam meeting with Alcaraz since. He prevailed against the Spaniard in four sets last September at the US Open, and he has clearly identified the key to securing another major victory against his Top 5 rival.

“I have to serve better,” said Medvedev on Tuesday when asked about his plan for the Alcaraz semi-final rematch. “That’s still the most important thing on grass. You serve aces, you serve on the line, you’re less in trouble, and you feel better. That’s where you can put pressure on his serve.

“He’s a tough player. He can hit strong. He can slice. He can dropshot. He can volley. He knows how to play tennis. Just need to be at my best, like kind of how [I played against Sinner] and try to win.”


In another repeat from 2023, Novak Djokovic takes on an Italian opponent in the other semi-final on Centre Court. Unlike last year, his challenge will not be to overcome the power of Sinner, but instead to deny the court craft of Lorenzo Musetti.

The No. 16 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, Musetti outlasted Taylor Fritz on Wednesday to become just the fourth Italian man to reach a Wimbledon semi-final. Friday’s clash with Djokovic will not be a wholly novel experience for the 22-year-old, however.

Musetti has twice faced the Serbian on the Grand Slam stage at Roland Garros, where he took both matches to five sets before falling. The most recent of those defeats took place fewer than six weeks ago at the 2024 edition of the clay major in Paris, where Djokovic clinched victory at 3:08 a.m.

“I think I analysed that match really well and the key moments where I could do better,” said Musetti when asked about the lessons learned from his Roland Garros loss. “I put myself in that position. I think in the past weeks, starting from Stuttgart, I started to feel more continuous on that, on the attitude.”

Djokovic will have had a rare three days off to prepare for Friday’s semi-final after his last-eight opponent Alex de Minaur withdrew due to injury. While the way he uses his time off court may have changed over the course of his career, his on-court motivation remains as high as ever. Already a record 24-time major champion, Djokovic is bidding to equal Roger Federer’s record of eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles this year.

“I do enjoy my time with my family, with my kids, for example. I had some really nice time with my daughter yesterday on-site,” said Djokovic, who this fortnight has been motioning to play a violin during his victory celebrations in a nod to his daughter, Tara, who is learning the craft. “I try to mix things up.

“In those off days when I don’t have matches, I try to practise, but also get my mind off tennis a little bit and enjoy the quality time with close ones. But the tension and the pressure and the stress is really high, as high as it always has been.”

History will give Djokovic good reason to feel confident as he prepares for his record-equalling 13th Wimbledon men’s singles semi-final. The 37-year-old leads Musetti 5-1 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series, with the Italian’s only triumph coming at the 2023 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. He is also vastly more experienced on the lawns of SW19: Djokovic holds a 96-11 match record at Wimbledon compared to 7-3 for Musetti.


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Nadal practises in Bastad ahead of ATP Tour return

  • Posted: Jul 11, 2024

After nearly two decades, Rafael Nadal is back in Bastad. The Spaniard on Thursday enjoyed his first practice at the Nordea Open, where he will compete next week as a wild card at the ATP 250.

The former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings greeted fans and hit with home #NextGenATP talent Ludvig Fredrik Hede in Sweden. Nadal is a former champion in Bastad, where he triumphed on his most recent appearance in 2005.

The 38-year-old Nadal, who has stated that 2024 may be the final season of his career, will be playing his first competitive match since his first-round Roland Garros defeat to Alexander Zverev on 27 May. He is 7-5 for the season so far, with his best result a fourth-round run on home soil in Madrid.

World No. 6 Andrey Rublev will compete as top seed and defending champion in Bastad. World No. 8 Casper Ruud, Cameron Norrie and Tallon Griekspoor also feature in the field.


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Ferrero: Why Alcaraz is approaching Medvedev SF with 'utmost concern'

  • Posted: Jul 10, 2024

“Despite being 21 years old, he listens and tries to learn.”

These are the words of Juan Carlos Ferrero on Carlos Alcaraz as the three-time major champion prepares for his clash with Daniil Medvedev in his second straight Wimbledon semi-final and his sixth in a major. Ferrero, who has coached the No. 3 in the PIF ATP Rankings for a number of years, is in no doubt about what those numbers mean and he is asking for prudence as Alcaraz bids to defend his Wimbledon title.

“They are very significant stats, but you have to take it day by day, this isn’t a given,” warned Ferrero. “Then we have to go to the US Open and do everything again to try and reach these kinds of rounds. The most important thing is that he has a very, very high natural level and really in five-set matches his opponents have to play very well to beat him if he’s at a normal level.

“He’s feeling very good. He’s grown into it against tough players. [Frances] Tiafoe and [Tommy] Paul are difficult. He feels good and he’s managed to solve the problems that he’s faced, but now we’re very focused on the match with Medvedev, not thinking about the title.

‘We can’t think much beyond Friday because that would be a mistake. Medvedev has earned the respect of all the players. So we’re approaching it with the utmost concern.”

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/07/10/17/37/alcaraz-ferrero-wimbledon-2024.jpg” style=”width:100%;” alt=”Carlos Alcaraz practises at Wimbledon while coach Juan Carlos Ferrero looks on.” />
Carlos Alcaraz practises at Wimbledon while coach Juan Carlos Ferrero looks on. Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Alcaraz leads Medvedev 4-2 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, having beaten the 2021 US Open champion last year in the same round of Wimbledon, where they will meet on Friday. However, “Daniil beat us later in the semis at the US Open,” remembers Ferrero. “That says a lot about him. He is unaffected by defeats, they help him improve. I’m sure he’ll try something different from last year on Friday. Of course, previous matches have an influence, but every match is different…

“I think you have to learn a lot from the matches you lose because they hurt a little more and you have to pay more attention. Although you can’t forget this when you win either, the things you did badly or need to improve on. I always remind him of that.”

The fact that Alcaraz has reached six semi-finals in the last seven majors is a clear sign of how important the events are to the Murcia native, who won the 2022 US Open, last year’s Wimbledon and Roland Garros a month ago.


“The motivation comes with playing in a Grand Slam,” said Ferrero. “They are the tournaments that motivate you the most, they’re the ones you want to win. It’s clear that being away from home for a time… you have to know how to handle that monotony. Freshness is very important for Carlos because of his type of physique, because he’s very explosive.”

With one eye on that freshness, Alcaraz practised on Wednesday on the courts of Aorangi Park, but he’ll be playing golf in the afternoon and resting on Thursday before returning to the courts on Friday for his semi-final clash.

“Nothing is a given, [Spanish motorcycle racer] Marc Márquez is a perfect example. What happened to him… he was winning everything, he got an injury and now he hasn’t won for over 1,000 days,” Ferrero said. “He’s battling to come back now, a guy who is an absolute one-off. Problems can happen, you [can’t] be too confident, you have to keep working. I think people have got used to him being up there, perhaps what he’s doing is even underappreciated.”

Editor’s Note: This story was translated from


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