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Djokovic Downs Hurkacz, Secures Madrid SF Spot

  • Posted: May 06, 2022

Djokovic Downs Hurkacz, Secures Madrid SF Spot

Serbian next plays winner of Nadal vs. Alcaraz blockbuster

Novak Djokovic maintained the quest for his first title of the season Friday, cruising past Pole Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-4 to reach his seventh Mutua Madrid Open semi-final.

The World No. 1 struck the ball with relentless depth, accuracy and power as he controlled points with his watertight groundstrokes to advance after 78 minutes and improve his perfect ATP Head2Head series record against Hurkacz to 4-0.

“I was serving really well in the second set, I think that kept me alive,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “I was pleased with the way I was constructing points. I tried to make him run and miss and overall It was a solid performance.

“It is definitely warmer today, even in the past two hours since the warm up, the bounce of the ball has increased by two metres. Hubi is tall and with his rotation in this altitude, everything bounces really high, so I was standing [deep] in the court, trying to mix things up. Put pressure on his first serve. It took us both time to adjust and the second set I think was better quality.”

The Serbian reached the final in Belgrade last month and is looking to build further momentum in the Spanish capital in his fourth event of the year. Earlier this week, Djokovic eliminated Gael Monfils in his opening match to ensure himself of a record-extending 369th week as World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings from Monday, before he received a walkover from Andy Murray.

The top seed will face World No. 3 Rafael Nadal or #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in what will be his 72nd ATP Masters 1000 semi-final. Only Nadal (76) has reached the last four at a Masters 1000 event more.

Djokovic is also chasing his 38th Masters 1000 crown and his fourth title in Madrid, after triumphing in Spain in 2011, 2016 and in his previous appearance in 2019.

In a strong first set, Djokovic looked comfortable on Manolo Santana Stadium as he dominated the forehand exchanges, with Hurkacz unable to hit through the World No. 1. The 34-year-old raced to a 3-0 lead and did not face a break point in the set to move ahead after 36 minutes.

Djokovic continued to maintain the pressure in the second set, returning with great depth to force Hurkacz into errors. The top seed gained the crucial break in the fifth game, before he continued to play consistently to soar to victory, triumphing on his fourth match point.


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According to Tennis Data Innovations, Djokovic converted 84 per cent of the points in which he was in an offensive position as he blasted past Hurkacz. The ATP Tour average for conversion rate on clay is 65 per cent.

On the attack 26 per cent of the time, the Serbian also dominated the match’s Balance of Power, with Hurkacz on the offensive just 19 per cent of the time. (Learn more about Balance of Power and Conversion & Steal scores).

Hurkacz was playing in his third Masters 1000 quarter-final of the year, having advanced to the semi-finals on hard in Miami and the last eight on the clay in Monte Carlo. The World No. 14 earned just one win on clay in 2021, but he is already 6-2 on the surface this season.

Despite his defeat, Hurkacz has moved up two spots to No. 12 in Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

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Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2022: Draws, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

  • Posted: May 06, 2022

Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2022: Draws, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

All about the ATP Masters 1000 tennis tournament in Rome, Italy

The third clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event of the season will see the world’s best players compete at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, with World No.1 Novak Djokovic, Monte Carlo tiltist Stefanos Tsitsipas and Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in action.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the tournament in the Italian capital:

When is the Internazionali BNL d’Italia?

The 2022 Internazionali BNL d’Italia will be held from 8-15 May. The clay-court ATP Masters 1000 tournament, established in 1930, will take place at the Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. The tournament director is Sergio Palmieri.

Who is playing at the 2022 Internazionali BNL d’Italia?

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia will feature Top 10 stars Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Alcaraz, Alexander Zverev, and Nadal, who is the reigning champion.

When is the draw for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia?

The Rome draw will be made on Friday 6 May at 6:30 p.m.

What is the schedule for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia ATP Masters 1000 event?

* Qualifying: Saturday, 7 May at 10:00 a.m, Sunday, 8 May at 11:00 a.m.
* Main Draw: Sunday, 8 May – Sunday, 15 May at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
* Doubles Final: TBC
* Singles Final: TBC
*View On Official Website

What is the prize money and points for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia?

The prize money for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia is €5,415,410 and the Total Financial Commitment is €6,008,275.

Winner: €836,355 / 1,000 points
Finalist: €456,720 / 600 points
Semi-finalist: €249,740/ 360 points
Quarter-finalist: €136,225 / 180 points
Round of 16: €72,865 / 90 points
Round of 32: €39,070 / 45 points
Round of 56: €21,650 / 10 points

DOUBLES (€ per team)
Winner: €252,980 / 1,000 points
Finalist: €135,180/ 600 points
Semi-finalist: €72,800 / 360 points
Quarter-finalist: €40,570 / 180 points
Round of 16: €21,830 / 90 points
Round of 32: €11,580 / 0 points

How can I watch the Internazionali BNL d’Italia?

Watch Live On Tennis TV
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How can I follow the Internazionali BNL d’Italia?

Hashtag: #IBI22
Facebook: @internazionalibnlditalia
Twitter: @InteBNLdItalia
Instagram: #IBI22

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Nadal Fights Past Djokovic For Record-Extending 10th Rome Crown

Who won the last edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in 2021?

Rafael Nadal won the 2021 Internazionali BNL d’Italia singles title with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 victory against Novak Djokovic in the championship match (Read & Watch). Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic lifted the doubles trophy in Rome with a 6-4, 7-6(4) triumph against Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the final (Read More).

Who holds the Rome record for most titles, oldest champion, youngest champion and more?

Most Titles, Singles: Rafael Nadal (10)
Most Titles, Doubles: Brian Gottfried, Raul Ramirez, Daniel Nestor, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (4)
Oldest Champion: Rafael Nadal, 34, in 2021
Youngest Champion: Bjorn Borg, 17, in 1974
Highest-Ranked Champion: No. 1 Ivan Lendl in 1986, 1988, Jim Courier in 1992, Pete Sampras in 1994, Rafael Nadal in 2009, Novak Djokovic in 2015, 2020
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 47 Felix Mantilla in 2003
Last Home Champion: Adriano Panatta in 1976
Most Match Wins: Rafael Nadal (68)

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Key Storylines

Rafa Defends Crown: A mid-match surge from Djokovic was not enough to deny Nadal a 10th crown with a three-set win in the 2021 championship match, as the Spaniard extended his all-time record for most titles and most match wins (68) at the event in the process. Despite a rib injury suffered in March disrupting his most successful start to a season in 2022, the 35-year-old’s unrivalled record at the Foro Italico makes him the man to beat in Rome.

Novak Shoots For Six: Djokovic may have suffered disappointment at the final hurdle last year but the World No. 1 is a five-time champion himself in the Italian capital. The Serbian looks to have turned his slow start to 2022 around with a run to the final of his home tournament in Belgrade in April and will be aiming to improve an outstanding 59-10 match record at the fifth Masters 1000 event of the season.

Alcaraz To Make Debut: The red-hot 19-year-old has hit milestone after milestone in 2022. The Spaniard notched a maiden ATP 500 title in Rio de Janeiro in February and a first Masters 1000 crown in Miami in March, with another trophy in Barcelona also helping to push him into the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time on 25 April. Although a debutant in Rome, Alcaraz arrives in the Italian capital a fully-fledged title contender.

Sinner Leads Italian Charge: Local fans will have some strong contenders to get behind in Rome despite the absence of Italian No. 1 Matteo Berrettini, who is recovering from hand surgery. Jannik Sinner has been solid in reaching four quarter-finals in 2022 without making a semi-final, but has never been past the third round at his home tournament. Also flying the flag for Italy will be Fabio Fognini, the 2018 quarter-finalist looking to build on reaching his second semi-final of the year in Belgrade two weeks ago.

Zverev & Tsitsipas Head Chasing Pack: Alexander Zverev has plenty of fond memories from Rome to motivate him as he hunts a first title of the season. The 25-year-old won his maiden Masters 1000 title at the Foro Italico in 2017, and the big-serving German looked back in top form after a difficult start to the year on his way to the semi-finals in Monte Carlo in April. It was Tsitsipas who topped Zverev in the final four on his way to defending his title in the Principality, demonstrating the sort of form that the Greek will hope can help him improve on his 2019 run to the semi-finals in Rome.

Did You Know?
Only two men lifted the trophy in Rome between 2005 and 2015, with Nadal clinching the title seven times and Djokovic four times across eleven editions of the event.

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An Emotional Goodbye For Marc Lopez In Madrid

  • Posted: May 06, 2022

An Emotional Goodbye For Marc Lopez In Madrid

The Spaniard hung up his racket after a brilliant career on the ATP Tour

The standing ovation in the Manolo Santana Stadium was the best possible send off for Marc Lopez, who brought a brilliant ATP Tour career to an end on Thursday. Tribute was paid to the Spanish player on the Mutua Madrid Open clay in recognition of a lifetime of sporting achievements.

Marc says adios to the Tour with a brilliant professional career under his belt. He is one of the most decorated doubles players in modern tennis, with a total of 14 titles to his name, including the gold medal from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with Rafael Nadal, the 2012 Nitto ATP Finals with Marcel Granollers and the Roland Garros crown he claimed with Feliciano Lopez. His achievements are now part of tennis history.

On an unforgettable day, the giant screens of the Manolo Santana Stadium showed an emotional homage to the Catalonian player, one of the best-loved among his peers. Nadal, Lopez and Granollers, the three doubles partners he has competed with throughout his career, had all recorded a heartfelt farewell for the memorable afternoon in the Spanish capital.

“’Bulet’, I hope you enjoyed your last game. It was a genuine pleasure to share practically a whole career with you,” said Nadal, with whom he won his first titles in the 2009 season. “Although it seems like it’s your last match, you never know. You’ve already said goodbye with Feli, now with Carlos. I think we should have our turn at some point in the future.”

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The Catalonian has enjoyed a few emotional weeks on Tour. After competing with Lopez at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, an event he had always dreamt of winning and eventually conquered alongside the Toledo native in 2018, Marc wanted the Madrid event to be the stage for his final matches, alongside Carlos Alcaraz, the great promise of Spanish tennis.

“I just want to congratulate you for everything. You’ve had an incredible career and, more importantly, you’ve achieved your dream; reaching the pinnacle of tennis,” Nadal continued. “I’m so glad there are people like you, good people, who things go so well for. Enjoy it and I wish you the best for the future. We’ll continue to share that future together, big hugs,” ended the Mallorcan, who added Marc to his coaching staff in December 2021.

The Barcelona native was unable to hide his emotions as he listened to the man from Manacor, a trusty teammate who played a vital role in some of the most important moments in his career.

The event provided the perfect send off for a hugely important figure in the history of Spanish tennis, who claimed a number of titles rarely won by members of the Armada in men’s doubles. The Roland Garros, for the first time since 1990, the Nitto ATP Finals, last won by a Spanish duo in the 70s, and the Olympic gold, never previously won by his countrymen, were all claimed by a Spaniard with an innate talent for the game.

One of the most special moments came on the court of the Manolo Santana Stadium. Feliciano, the man with whom he shares his only Grand Slam title, presented him with a commemorative framed picture of the highlights of his career. Arm in arm, Marc Lopez and the director of the Mutua Madrid Open listened to the message the latter had recorded for his friend.

”As you can imagine, it’s not easy for me to record a message for you. First, I want to congratulate you on your incredible career,” Feliciano said. “You’ve been a great champion, I’ve been lucky enough to share those moments with you on court. I wish you the best in your new life, with María and Berta. I hope another child will come soon. If there were more people in the world like you, it would be a better place. I wish you well in everything you do”.

Granollers, also had some words for the man with whom he formed one of the most recognisable teams on Tour.

“I wanted to congratulate you on your great career. Thank you for all the great moments we have shared. Also, thank you for being a great friend,” Granollers said. “Now I hope that your future, which is also very important, is just as successful as your tennis career. I’ll see you around at tournaments. Thank you for everything.”

It was a farewell for an athlete who is greatly admired for the way he has always competed but, above all, he was praised for the person he has always been.

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Granollers/Zeballos Come Up Clutch In Madrid Match Tie-Break

  • Posted: May 05, 2022

Granollers/Zeballos Come Up Clutch In Madrid Match Tie-Break

Spanish-Argentine duo next face fifth seeds Cabal/Farah

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos were sharpest when it mattered most on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open, winning a first-set tie-break and a Match Tie-break to get off to a winning start at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

The Spanish-Argentine duo moved past the all-Spanish duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Pedro Martinez, 7-6(8), 2-6, 10-5.

After leading by an early break and missing out on three set points on the return at 5-4 in the opening set, Granollers and Zeballos won an extended tie-break in which they saved a pair of set points themselves. They secured the set on their second set point of the tie-break and fifth of the stanza.

After dropping the second set by a double break, the second seeds took command of the Match Tie-break by winning four straight points from 5/4, ultimately sealing the victory on their second match point.


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They advance to face fifth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in Friday’s quarter-finals. The Colombians were walkover winners against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov.

The two other doubles matches contested on Thursday both produced upsets. Two-time Roland Garros champions Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz of Germany dismissed top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, 6-4, 6-4, while Simone Bolelli and Ivan Dodig edged third seeds Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic, 7-5, 3-6, 10-6.

All four men’s doubles quarter-finals are set for Friday in Madrid.

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On 19th Birthday, Alcaraz Sets Nadal Rematch In Madrid

  • Posted: May 05, 2022

On 19th Birthday, Alcaraz Sets Nadal Rematch In Madrid

Spaniard wins three-setter vs. ninth seed Norrie

Carlos Alcaraz was gifted nothing by Cameron Norrie on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open. But the Spaniard, playing in front of his home fans on his 19th birthday, kept the party going with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 victory in Manolo Santana Stadium. 

The win sets up an all-Spanish quarter-final showdown against Rafael Nadal and lifts Alcaraz to No. 7 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. He will rise to No. 6 on Friday if he beats Nadal and Andrey Rublev falls to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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The ninth-seeded Norrie fought him close throughout, breaking serve once in each of the first two sets and creating four break chances in the third, but was never able to edge in front in the match score.

Following the victory, the birthday boy was serenaded by the Spanish crowd on centre court and enjoyed a special presentation complete with a birthday cake and sparklers. But his favourite present must be the one he earned himself — that meeting with Nadal on Friday.

“I lost twice against him and I wanted to play against him the third time,” Alcaraz said of the marquee matchup. “I think it’s going to be different from last year [in Madrid] and the last match that we played [in Indian Wells]. I’m excited to play against Rafa here in Madrid in front of the Spanish crowd. It’s going to be a great day and a great match.”

Asked how he can earn his first ATP Head2Head win against his countryman, a respectful Alcaraz exuded a quiet confidence: “Honestly, I don’t know. I always say that he has 1,000 lives. He dies and he survives, in every tough match for him,” Alcaraz said after watching Nadal save four match points to advance to the quarter-finals. “I think if I play a pretty good game, I’ll have chances to win.”

Alcaraz was at No. 120 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings when he met Nadal for the first time one year ago, but enters their latest matchup as the newest member of the Top 10 and as a Masters 1000 champion with a 25-3 tour-level record on the season.


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In his third-round match against Norrie, a pair of breaks ended the opening set as Alcaraz broke back immediately after failing to serve out the stanza. Norrie got the first break in set two, but could not consolidate. Instead, he forced a decider by winning five of the last six points to take the tie-break by a single mini-break.

Again, Alcaraz produced a strong response by breaking serve to open the third, using a sensational stab volley to bring up triple break point. 

Norrie threatened to level once again with Alcaraz serving at 3-2, but the Spaniard took a major step towards victory by winning five straight points to escape 0/40. Alcaraz also saved a break point in his prior service game, and later fought through 30-all at 4-3. He avoided the stress of serving out the contest by securing his fifth break to close out the match. 

“It has been a really tough match, a tough opponent,” Alcaraz assessed. “I knew that I had to play really good. I’m really happy with the performance today and very focussed on the next round.”

Alcaraz will be competing in his third ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, having denied Norrie his third appearance at the same stage. All three of those runs for the Spaniard have come in 2022 (Indian Wells semi-finals, Miami title).

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Nadal: 'Enjoy The Suffering'

  • Posted: May 05, 2022

Nadal: ‘Enjoy The Suffering’

Spaniard reflects on thrilling win against Goffin at La Caja Magica

Rafael Nadal might need time to find his best form after missing six weeks due to a stress fracture in his ribs. But on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open, the Spaniard showed his competitive spirit is as strong as ever.

The third seed saved four match points before clawing past David Goffin in a final-set tie-break. Nadal embraced the adversity, and was rewarded.

“At the end of the day you’re suffering in the match. I always said it many, many times. You have to learn how to live with these kind of moments, and also to enjoy this kind of suffering,” Nadal said. “It’s what we work for, for thrilling moments.”

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Nadal was on the verge of a straight-sets victory against the Belgian before the match got complicated. Instead of walking out of Manolo Santana Stadium with a relatively stress-free triumph, the Spaniard needed to battle for three hours and 10 minutes to advance.

“I didn’t have a lot of preparation, and we have to see how I’m able to wake up tomorrow after practically two months without any preparation,” Nadal said. “We have to be ready tomorrow, being ready to accept that tomorrow things may not be easy. But I am happy with the victory. [It] gives me an opportunity to play another day.”

Since arriving in Madrid, Nadal has made clear that he has not been able to work much on his game during his time away. With that has come the understanding that he will not immediately be at his very best. He revealed a few key hurdles to overcome.

“Mobility, stability in terms of [my] game, and of course adapting the body again. It’s not the same coming back from injuries when you are 20 or 19 [compared to] when you are almost 36,” Nadal said. “When you get injured, of course first thing is [to] recover [from] your injury, but then to put the machine [on] again.

“Working is not that easy, because when you start again, you have pains, pains in different places, so you need to manage them. You need to manage the way that you practise, the amount of work that you can or you can’t do.”

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It helped to have screaming fans at the Caja Magica urging Nadal on after every point. The lefty rarely — if ever — needs extra motivation, but the Spanish crowd helped push him over the line.

“10,000, 12,000 people, they have a key impact in the decisive moments, because they always give you that extra punch. In those moments, you try to seek your final goal. In that regard, they are always there,” Nadal said. “Sometimes I have let them down maybe, but where I’m not going to let them down is I’m trying. I’m always going to try as hard as possible.”

Next up for Nadal will be countryman Carlos Alcaraz in a blockbuster showdown or Briton Cameron Norrie. No matter who stands across the net, the 36-time ATP Masters 1000 champion is ready to give his home fans another thrill.

“I really appreciate being here, playing in front of my people, even though things are not perfect [with my] tennis,” said Nadal, who is No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “The match was there on the line… I enjoy playing in front of my people, seeing the support that I receive. For me, it’s a present at this age to have the opportunity to continue competing and competing well, especially here at home.”

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Felix Flies Past Sinner, Sets Zverev Showdown

  • Posted: May 05, 2022

Felix Flies Past Sinner, Sets Zverev Showdown

German is chasing third title at ATP Masters 1000 event in Spain

Felix Auger-Aliassime arrived in Madrid searching for clay-court form. On Thursday, the Canadian showed he has found it.

The eighth seed defeated 10th seed Jannik Sinner 6-1, 6-2 in just 80 minutes to reach the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open. It was the first ATP Head2Head clash between the two ascending stars. The win lifted the Canadian to No. 9 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

“Me playing really well and him missing a few more balls than he should on top of that, I think it just created a big difference,” Auger-Aliassime said.

Auger-Aliassime has lost just six games against two tough opponents in Sinner and clay-court stalwart Cristian Garin (6-3, 6-0). He will next play second seed Alexander Zverev for a place in his first clay-court ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.


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Sinner, one of the most powerful ball-strikers on Tour, controls play against nearly all his opponents. But Auger-Aliassime dominated on serve, winning 90 per cent of his first-serve points and going through all eight of his service games without facing a break point.

According to Tennis Data Innovations, Auger-Aliassime converted 83 per cent of the points in which he was in an offensive position. And when Sinner did find himself on offence, the Canadian showed good defensive skills and “stole” 52 per cent of those points. The ATP Tour average for conversion rate on clay is 65 per cent.

The match’s Balance of Power shows that Auger-Aliassime was on offence 27 per cent of the time compared to just 20 per cent for Sinner (Learn more about Balance of Power and Conversion & Steal scores).

Match Insights:


The 21-year-old’s next opponent, Zverev, is into a fifth consecutive quarter-final at the Caja Magica after Lorenzo Musetti was forced to retire from the pair’s third-round clash at the ATP Masters 1000 event on Thursday.

Defending champion Zverev led 6-3, 1-0 in what had been a high-quality first ATP Head2Head meeting between the two when a thigh injury to 20-year-old Musetti intervened in Arantxa Sanchez Stadium.

The World No. 3 led the #NextGenATP Italian after converting the only two break points of the first set in the seventh and ninth games. Zverev now holds a 17-2 record in Madrid, where the fast conditions suit his big-serving and high-powered game. Although the German had to dig deep in his three-set win over former World No. 3 Marin Cilic in the second round, second-seeded Zverev looked in impressive touch against Musetti and will eye another deep run in the Spanish capital as he hunts a sixth Masters 1000 crown.

Zverev’s opponent in his 23rd Masters 1000 quarter-final will be eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime or 10th seed Jannik Sinner.

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