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Ruud Sinks Eubanks In Shanghai

  • Posted: Oct 08, 2023

Ruud Sinks Eubanks In Shanghai

Sonego, Wolf earn upset wins

Casper Ruud earned consecutive ATP Masters 1000 hard-court wins for the first time this year on Sunday when he defeated American Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 6-2 to reach the fourth round at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

The eighth seed, who defeated Yoshihito Nishioka in his opening match, was too consistent for Eubanks. He committed just six unforced errors and saved all three break points he faced to advance after 72 minutes.

Ruud last won back-to-back matches at a hard-court Masters in Montreal in 2022, when he reached the semi-finals. The Norwegian will aim to continue his run in Shanghai when he next plays Dusan Lajovic or Fabian Marozsan.

With his 35th win of the season, Ruud has also boosted his Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances. The 24-year-old is 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, 315 points behind eighth-placed Holger Rune, who lost in his opening match in Shanghai.


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In other action, Lorenzo Sonego advanced past Frances Tiafoe after their match had been suspended overnight due to rain. The Italian led 2-1 in the third set upon resumption and quickly sealed a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory to improve to 4-11 against Top 10 opponents.

Sonego’s best result at a Masters 1000 this year was a fourth-round appearance in Miami. The World No. 59 will play Nicolas Jarry in the third round.

J.J. Wolf upset Briton Cameron Norrie 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(4) in another match that began on Saturday. The American rallied from 3-5 in the third set to advance in the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting after two hours and 59 minutes. Wolf next faces Matteo Arnaldi in the third round.

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Korda Upsets Medvedev In Shanghai For First Top 5 Win

  • Posted: Oct 08, 2023

Korda Upsets Medvedev In Shanghai For First Top 5 Win

American to face Cerundolo next

After a topsy-turvy 2023 season so far, is Sebastian Korda getting back to his free-flowing best?

The American delivered a high-class display to claim the biggest win of his career Sunday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where he downed second seed Daniil Medvedev 7-6(8), 6-2 at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Korda saved three set points to prevail in a compelling first-set tie-break featuring a series of all-court exchanges, although he was also grateful to three double-faults from Medvedev. The World No. 3 cut a frustrated figure in the second set and a Korda break in the second game proved enough for the 26th seed to secure an impressive one-hour, 28-minute win.

“We played really good tennis from the beginning,” said Korda. “We had some long rallies. I’m just really happy to get that first set under my belt and then it was just a matter of getting into one of his service games and hopefully taking it home after.”

Korda had to keep his cool to clinch the thrilling first-set tie-break after an opening set in which neither player carved out a break point. That included winning one of the points of the year when set point down at 6/7, as Medvedev repeatedly showcased his outstanding defensive skills.

“He’s so quick, it’s really tough to get anything by him, especially when you have a court this big and the balls get pretty fluffy out here so it gets a little bit slower,” said Korda. “It was definitely one of the points of the year for me, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m just very happy with the way I played today.”

It was Korda’s second straight-sets win of the year against Medvedev, whom he also defeated at January’s Australian Open. Medvedev was at that point the World No.8, making Sunday’s victory in Shanghai Korda’s first against a Top 5 opponent in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

The 23-year-old is now 24-13 for the season. He began the year with a final run in Adelaide and by reaching his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final in Melbourne but then missed nearly three months with a wrist injury and struggled for consistency after his competitive return.

Having reached the semi-finals in Zhuhai and the championship match in Astana prior to Shanghai, however, Korda will be full of confidence as he prepares for just his second fourth-round appearance at a Masters 1000 event. His last-16 opponent will be 20th seed Francisco Cerundolo, who overcame Marton Fucsovics 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

“It’s been a very difficult year for sure,” said Korda. “I had a long pause on my year for three months, especially when I was playing some of the best tennis of my career so far. It was difficult, but it’s a long journey and I’m happy with the way I played today. It’s definitely one of the biggest victories in my career for sure.”

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Fritz Survives 53 Watanuki Winners To Advance In Shanghai

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2023

Fritz Survives 53 Watanuki Winners To Advance In Shanghai

12th seed Paul cruises past Ofner

Taylor Fritz fought off a brilliant attacking performance from Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki to win his Saturday opener at the Rolex Shanghai Masters. The American earned a 7-6(2), 6-7(6), 6-4 victory, breaking in the match’s final game after he stopped his opponent from serving out each of the first two sets prior to the tie-breaks.

The 25-year-old Watanuki played one of the best matches of his career against his first Top 10 opponent but was thwarted by Fritz’s steadier play, particularly in the closing stages of each set. The World No. 79 did not face a break point until he lost serve at 5-4 in the opener, and he failed to serve out the second set at 5-3.

“It came down to the smallest margins,” said Fritz, who capitalised on the lone break point of the final set, which doubled as match point. “To be honest, it just came down to me upping it just a bit in the end and then him making mistakes when prior he wasn’t really doing much wrong.

“It was tough for me to play my game because no matter what shot I hit, he just blasted a winner or missed off of it. So I was just fighting to stay in it.”


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Watanuki hit 53 winners and 44 unforced errors, filling up the stat sheet compared to Fritz’s tidier 26-to-17 ratio. The Japanese player — who reached the final at a Shanghai ATP Challenger Tour event last month in his most recent previous tournament — hit 25 forehand winners, but also made 28 unforced errors off that wing.

In the face of Watanuki’s big hitting, Fritz stayed the course and was ultimately rewarded deep in the final set. He had a set point at 6/5 in the second-set tie-break, but was forced into a decider when Watanuki won three straight points to snatch the set.

“From the ground, there’s nothing I can do different,” Fritz said. “I’m not going to start red-lining and blasting every ball because of how well he’s playing. I’m going to try to hit the ball a little bigger and if he keeps coming up with winners and coming up with big shots, then it is what it is.”

Aided by 15 aces, the seventh-seeded Fritz improved to 51-20 on the season with the result. The 51 wins are a personal best for the American in a season, and he is the first American man with 50+ wins in a year since James Blake and Andy Roddick (both 54) in 2007.

The 25-year-old sits in ninth place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, currently on the outside looking in for a spot in the Nitto ATP Finals. But opening Shanghai defeats for seventh-placed Alexander Zverev and eighth-placed Holger Rune have opened the door for Fritz to make a move at the ATP Masters 1000. His win against Watanuki moved him within 235 points of Rune for a place in the all-important top eight.

Next up for the American is either 27th seed Jiri Lehecka or Diego Schwartzman.

American Tommy Paul also advanced on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-0 win against Sebastian Ofner. The 12th seed did not face a break point in the match and converted on five of his six break chances.

Paul will meet 24th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Arthur Fils in the next round.

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Tiafoe, Norrie Matches Suspended Overnight Due To Shanghai Rain

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2023

Tiafoe, Norrie Matches Suspended Overnight Due To Shanghai Rain

Action continued under the roof inside Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena

Saturday’s play at the Rolex Shanghai Masters was disrupted after persistent rain forced matches on outside courts to be suspended at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

After a couple of short stoppages earlier in the day, play was halted just after 4 p.m. local time in China. The action continued under the retractable roof of the Qizhong Tennis Center’s Stadium Court, where Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and top seed Carlos Alcaraz claimed second-round victories. Taylor Fritz’s clash with Yosuke Watanuki is set to round out the day’s play.

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Alcaraz, Sinner Hold Firm For Winning Shanghai Debuts

Matches involving seeded players Frances Tiafoe, Cameron Norrie and Ugo Humbert will all be finished on Sunday due to the inclement weather. Norrie leads J.J. Wolf 3-6, 7-5, 3-2 with a break in the third set, while Tiafoe trails Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 2-6, 1-2 with the pair on serve in the decider. Humbert and Botic van de Zandschulp are level at 2-2 in the opening set of their second-round clash.

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Alcaraz, Sinner Hold Firm For Winning Shanghai Debuts

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2023

Alcaraz, Sinner Hold Firm For Winning Shanghai Debuts

Spaniard downs Barrere, Sinner seals Turin spot with Giron victory

Carlos Alcaraz settled in quickly to his maiden Rolex Shanghai Masters campaign on Saturday, when the top seed overcame a spirited Gregoire Barrere 6-2, 7-5 at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Alcaraz stayed the more consistent at key moments to claim a one-hour, 42-minute triumph against the World No. 73. He made a lightning-fast start inside Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, where he raced to a 4-0 lead early and ultimately saved six of seven break points he faced to improve to 15-0 in opening matches this season. The Spaniard was delighted to bounce back quickly from his defeat to Jannik Sinner in the Beijing semi-finals just four days ago.

“I had just one practice here in Shanghai and then the match,” reflected the Spaniard. “I think he was more used to these conditions. He had more practice, a match in the bag, so it was really difficult to adapt my game in a new city, new conditions, but I think I did pretty well.

“I played really focused, I tried to take lessons from the last match in Beijing and tried to be a better player. I tried to not make the mistakes I did in Beijing and I think today I did pretty well.”


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Barrere competed well in his maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with Alcaraz, particularly from the baseline where he regularly matched Alcaraz’s power and precision with his groundstrokes. He struggled with his serve throughout the match, though, making just 53 per cent (42/79) of first deliveries. That tally undermined the Frenchman’s bid for a first Top 10 win as Alcaraz maintained constant pressure in return games.

Alcaraz appeared to be marching to victory when he broke for 4-3 in the second set, but Barrere produced an immediate burst of clean hitting to clinch his first break of the match in the next game. He continued to struggle against the Spaniard’s razor-sharp returning, however, and Alcaraz claimed his second break of the set in the 11th game before sealing victory by pulling off a remarkable behind-the-back shot on match point.

Now 62-8 for the season, Alcaraz will take on 30th seed Daniel Evans or qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round as he chases his third Masters 1000 crown of the year. The Spaniard is also attempting to leapfrog Novak Djokovic into first place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin by reaching the final in Shanghai.

Alcaraz’s rival Sinner also kick-started his Shanghai campaign with a straight-sets win. The Italian defeated Marcos Giron 7-6(7), 6-2 for his sixth consecutive win, delivering a solid display to back up winning his third ATP Tour title of the season in Beiing.

The victory secured Sinner’s spot at the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals. The 22-year-old competed at the prestigious season finale in Turin as an alternate two years ago, but this marks the first time he has qualified directly.

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Sinner Qualifies For Nitto ATP Finals For First Time

It was not all plain sailing against Giron for Sinner, who trailed 3/6 in the first-set tie-break and went on to save four set points, including one with a net cord at 5/6, before prevailing. He took command in the second set as his superior power overwhelmed Giron, and Sinner finished with 25 winners to just 15 from his American opponent.

“I’m very happy. The first-round matches are never easy,” said Sinner. “I tried somehow to raise my level. I knew before the match that especially the first set was going to be tough and I started off not in the best possible way. I just tried to stay there, especially mentally. I got lucky when he had set point, so happy about the ending.

“If I see the positive, at the end of the match I played a little bit better so hopefully it gives me confidence for the next round.”

Sinner’s recent focus on improving his net game, so evident during his Beijing title run, was again on display against Giron. The Italian won 90 per cent (19/21) of points when he moved forward, according to the INSIGHTS ‘Battles At Net’ analysis for the match.

Next up for Sinner in Shanghai is a third-round clash with 25th seed Sebastian Baez. It will be a maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head clash between the two.

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Sinner Qualifies For Nitto ATP Finals For First Time

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2023

Sinner Qualifies For Nitto ATP Finals For First Time

Italian will compete in front of his home fans in Turin

Jannik Sinner is the fourth player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, joining Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev at the season finale, which will be played in Turin from 12-19 November.

The Italian earned his place after defeating Marcos Giron in the second round of the Rolex Shanghai Masters. He has qualified for the year-end championships for the first time after competing at the Pala Alpitour as an alternate in 2021 when countryman Matteo Berrettini withdrew due to injury.

Sinner has enjoyed a season of breakthroughs in 2023. The Italian advanced to his first major semi-final at Wimbledon and lifted his maiden ATP Masters 1000 trophy in Toronto.

Also a champion this year in Beijing and Montpellier, Sinner made several deep runs throughout the season. He reached the final at the Masters 1000 event in Miami, where he upset Carlos Alcaraz in a semi-final widely viewed as one of the best matches of the year. Sinner also made the final in Rotterdam and reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo.

The 22-year-old is in top form as evidenced by his performance in Beijing, where he defeated Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev in back-to-back straight-sets matches to claim the trophy. 

When Sinner competed as an alternate in Turin two years ago, he showed comfort on the big stage. The Italian defeated Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets before pushing Daniil Medvedev to a final-set tie-break.

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Medvedev Hits 60 Wins With Shanghai Victory

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2023

Medvedev Hits 60 Wins With Shanghai Victory

Second seed books clash with Korda

Daniil Medvedev picked up where he left off Saturday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

Stepping onto the Qizhong Tennis Center’s Stadium Court for the first time since his 2019 title run, Medvedev ground down Cristian Garin for a 6-3, 6-3 win to kick-start his campaign at the ATP Masters 1000 event. A display packed with trademark defensive nous and a refusal to miss proved too much for Garin as the second seed comfortably advanced having converted five of nine break points he earned.

With his 92-minute victory, Medvedev became the second player to notch 60 tour-level wins this season after Carlos Alcaraz. It is the second time he has achieved the feat in his career, after he finished the 2021 season with 63 wins. The 27-year-old Medvedev also owns a Tour-leading 43 victories on hard courts this season.

“I hope so, you never know,” said Medvedev, when asked if he was confident of passing his record of 63 wins. “At this moment and with the form I’m in, I would confidently say I will do it, but never say things too early in tennis.

“I’m going to try my best, I’m going to try to play more good matches in the tournament that I have left this season. It’s a good result so far, so I want to try to do better.”

Medvedev now holds a 7-2 record in Shanghai, where he lifted the second of his six Masters 1000 crowns by beating Alexander Zverev in the 2019 championship match, and is chasing his third title at that level this year having already triumphed in Miami and Rome. He will next look to avenge his Australian Open defeat to Sebastian Korda when he takes on the American in the third round in China.

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