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Kenin beats Friedsam to win inaugural Lyon Open

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2020

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-2 4-6 6-4 in the final of the inaugural Lyon Open.

Kenin, 21, is the first player on the WTA Tour to win two titles in 2020 but a number of unforced errors gave unseeded Friedsam, 26, the second set.

The United States’ world number five regrouped in the final set, earning a double break before clinching victory on her third championship point.

“It’s such a tough tournament, it could have gone either way,” Kenin said.

German Friedsam was in her first final since 2015 as she continues her comeback from a shoulder injury.

“You’ve come back from injury and you’re doing well and I wish you all the best for your upcoming tournaments,” Kenin added.

It was the fifth title of Kenin’s blossoming career after her three triumphs last year in Hobart, Mallorca and Guangzhou – before beating Garbine Muguruza in the Australian Open in January.

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Players asked not to give towels and sweatbands to fans

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2020

Tennis players will be asked not to hand out used towels and sweatbands to fans as part of further action to try to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The ATP and WTA have jointly announced precautionary measures to be implemented at tournaments including Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

Players will also not accept pens, tennis balls or other items from fans for autograph signing.

In a joint statement, the ATP and WTA said health and safety is “paramount”.

  • Coronavirus – sport timeline

“As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, these are common sense precautions for us to take,” the statement added.

“We continue to monitor this closely on a daily basis, working with our players and tournaments, as well as public health authorities as the situation evolves globally.”

Other measures implemented include:

  • Players and mascots will not hold hands when walking out on court
  • Ball boys and girls will be provided with gloves to wear on court
  • Ball boys and girls will not handle player towels and drinks during matches

The measures will be implemented at all ATP and WTA tournaments during the 2020 spring season with “a further review to follow”.

Indian Wells organisers had previously introduced precautionary measures, with qualifying for the tournament starting on Monday in California.

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Familiar Foes Johnson, Sock Set For Indian Wells Final

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2020

Familiar Foes Johnson, Sock Set For Indian Wells Final

Steve Johnson and Jack Sock will meet for the 11th time on Sunday

There will be no secrets in Sunday’s final at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Indian Wells. Close friends and longtime foes Steve Johnson and Jack Sock are set for an all-American showdown under the desert sun, with both vying for a critical victory ahead of the BNP Paribas Open.

The championship at the Oracle Challenger Series – Indian Wells, pits the 30-year-old Johnson against the 27-year-old Sock, in what will be the 11th meeting between the pair. They will clash on Stadium 5 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, not before 12:30pm PST.

Together, the Americans tasted victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics, earning the bronze medal in men’s doubles. But they have also had their fair share of encounters on the singles court. Overall, they both own five victories in their longtime rivalry, with Johnson most recently emerging with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 win at the ATP Tour event in Delray Beach last month.

The Southern California native claimed two of their three ATP Challenger Tour meetings, including their most recent clash at the Sarasota Open in 2013, while Sock owns a 4-3 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series at the Tour-level. The Nebraska native most notably triumphed in straight sets at Roland Garros in 2014.

Thus far, 2020 has been a resurgent season for both competitors and Sunday’s final will serve as a highly important test. After struggling with form and confidence last year, a piece of silverware will go a long way for both Johnson and Sock.

Johnson, who opened his campaign with a title at another Challenger 125 event – the Canberra International in Bendigo, Australia – also reached his first ATP Tour quarter-final of the year at the Delray Beach Open by He has been a force all week in Indian Wells, dropping just one set en route to the title match. The World No. 75 is projected to rise to at least No. 66 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.

“I always enjoy being out in the desert and competing,” said Johnson. “This is pretty much my home tournament. It’s my favourite event and doing well here is always important.

“I thought I played the break points well today. It definitely was an improvement from the last couple of days. It’s great to have another match out here in Indian Wells. We’ll go from there. Tonight I’ll have a nice dinner and focus on tomorrow’s match when it comes.”

Photos: Oracle Challenger Series/Jared Wickerham

Sock, meanwhile, is in the midst of a long journey back to the top of the men’s game, after thumb surgery and a subsequent dip in form saw him endure a combined 10-match losing streak at the Tour-level and Challenger circuit. The former World No. 8 entered Delray Beach without a ranking, but a victory over Radu Albot – his first in singles (non-Laver Cup) since 2018 – would set the stage for a big week in California.

The Nebraska native is into his first final since 2017, when he lifted his biggest trophy at the Rolex Paris Masters. He earned his way to the championship, stunning top seed Ugo Humbert in the second round, before defeating Evgeny Donskoy, Denis Kudla and 18-year-old Brandon Nakashima. In fact, four of his five wins came in deciding sets, including a comeback victory over Nakashima in Saturday’s semi-finals.

Regardless of the result, it will be a positive week for Sock, who rises nearly 400 spots in the FedEx ATP Rankings to at least World No. 384. He would ascend to the Top 300 with a win on Sunday.


Mannarino To Face Vukic In Monterrey Final
At the Challenger 100 event in Monterrey, Mexico, top seed and World No. 41 Adrian Mannarino will look to extend his winning streak in finals when he faces Aleksandar Vukic on Sunday. The title match at the Abierto GNP Seguros will feature the 13-time Challenger champ Mannarino against Australia’s Vukic, who is making his final debut.

The French veteran has not lost in a Challenger final since 2013, owning eight straight wins when competing for a trophy. His most recent Challenger title came on home soil in Quimper in 2017, before picking up his maiden ATP Tour title on the grass of ‘s-Hertogenbosch last year.

Vukic, meanwhile, is enjoying a breakthrough week on the hard courts of Monterrey, with five wins in six days. He stunned second seed Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday for first win over a Top 60 opponent, before striking a career-high 31 aces to edge Ernesto Escobedo in Saturday’s semis. The 23-year-old, a former University of Illinois standout, is projected to crack the Top 200 for the first time on Monday.

In their lone previous encounter, Mannarino registered a convincing 6-1, 6-2 victory at the ATP Challenger Tour stop in Noumea in 2017.

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Nadal To Challenge Djokovic For World No. 1 In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2020

Nadal To Challenge Djokovic For World No. 1 In Indian Wells

Spaniard needs to win the title to have a chance at returning to the top spot

Novak Djokovic enters the BNP Paribas Open, the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the season, with the No. 1 FedEx ATP Ranking, and the Serbian knows what he needs to do if he wants to keep it after Indian Wells.

Djokovic can guarantee that he’ll remain World No. 1 on 23 March if he reaches the semi-finals on the California hard courts, where he is a five-time champion. If last week’s Dubai champion does not advance to the last four, he will open the door for World No. 2 Rafael Nadal to return to the top spot for the first time since the Australian Open. Nadal must win the BNP Paribas Open to have a chance to climb to World No. 1.

Three-time champion Nadal (2007, 2009, 2013) holds a 54-10 record in the desert and has reached at least the semi-finals in 10 of his past 13 appearances. He advanced to the semi-finals last year before being forced to withdraw from his clash with Roger Federer due to a right knee injury, but arrives this year in perfect health. He stormed to his first title of the season last week in Acapulco (d. Fritz) without dropping a set.

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Djokovic currently leads Nadal by 370 points in the FedEx ATP Rankings. But since Djokovic lost against Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Indian Wells third round last year and Nadal made the semi-finals, Djokovic is defending 315 fewer points at the Masters 1000 tournament.

With their 2019 Indian Wells points dropped, Djokovic leads Nadal by 685 points. Therefore, World No. 1 will be at stake in the desert. But Djokovic also will have an opportunity to extend his advantage and put himself in a strong position for Miami and then the clay season.

If Djokovic lifts his sixth Indian Wells trophy, he will extend his lead over Nadal by a further 400 points (should Nadal reach the final) and much more if Nadal does not make it to the championship match.

My Point: Get The Players' Point Of View

It is a critical month for both men in the battle for No. 1. If Nadal does not retake top spot during the ‘March Masters’, he will be hard-pressed to make up ground on clay, where he is defending 3,900 points and Djokovic is defending 2,500 points.

The Serbian (280 weeks) is chasing Pete Sampras (286 weeks) for the second-most weeks at World No. 1 in FedEx ATP Rankings history. If Djokovic maintains his spot, he will surpass Sampras on 20 April, and then set his sights on record-holder Roger Federer, who was World No. 1 for 310 weeks.

Did You Know?
Djokovic is off to an 18-0 start in 2020, including a perfect 7-0 record against opponents inside the world’s Top 10. Nadal, last week’s Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC champion, is 13-3.

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ATP And WTA To Implement Precautionary Health Measures In Indian Wells And Miami

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2020

ATP And WTA To Implement Precautionary Health Measures In Indian Wells And Miami

Measures follow advice from medical experts

As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to cause concern on a global scale, the ATP and WTA have jointly announced a series of precautionary health measures that will be implemented on-site at upcoming events including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the Miami Open presented by Itaú and WTA’s Volvo Car Open in Charleston.

Following medical advice by health experts, the precautionary measures, which are taken in the interest of the health and safety of players, staff, fans and the wider tennis community, are as follows:

– Players and mascots will not hold hands when walking out on court
– Ball kids will be provided with gloves to wear on court
– Ball kids will not handle player towels during matches
– Ball kids will not handle player drinks during matches
– Players will be instructed to not distribute used towels, headbands, shirts, sweatbands, etc. to fans following matches or practice
– Players will not accept pens, tennis balls or other items to hold for autograph signing

“The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and tournament personnel is paramount and, as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, these are common sense precautions for us to take,” said the ATP and WTA in a joint statement. “We continue to monitor this closely on a daily basis, working with our players and tournaments, as well as public health authorities as the situation evolves globally.”

The precautionary health measures will be implemented across all WTA events and ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events through the 2020 spring season, with a further review to follow.

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Johanna Konta loses Monterrey semi-final to Marie Bouzkova

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2020

Johanna Konta saw her Monterrey Open bid end with a 6-3 6-4 semi-final defeat against Czech Marie Bouzkova.

The 28-year-old world number 16 was contesting her first semi-final since June’s French Open, and had reached the last four after saving two match points against Anastasia Potapova on Friday.

Bouzkova, 21, ranked 41 places below second seed Konta, took the first set after breaking in the sixth game.

In her first meeting with the Briton, she won in an hour and 41 minutes.

The ninth seed will play top seed Elina Svitlova or Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands in Sunday’s final.

Konta had a break point to reduce her deficit to 5-4 in the first set but was unable to take it as Bouzkova claimed three consecutive games.

After a medical timeout between sets to assess a knee injury, Konta twice had a break point for a 5-3 lead in the second, but it was Bouzkova who broke in the next game.

Konta saw two more break point chances slip away in the 10th game before the Czech sealed victory on her first match point.

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Are You Not Entertained? Tommy Paul Is

  • Posted: Mar 07, 2020

Are You Not Entertained? Tommy Paul Is

American is at a career-high No. 57 in the FedEx ATP Rankings

Tommy Paul’s parents introduced him to tennis at seven. He’d train on clay, with no hard courts available at the club where he played. But something that stuck with him during his junior years had nothing to do with his own tennis.

“I felt like there were a lot of kids my age when I was younger who were playing the same tournaments and practising at the same places as me that just felt like they were miserable when they were practising,” Paul told “I took pride in not feeling miserable on court. If I ever felt like I didn’t want to be there, [I would] just kind of mess around and have a little bit more fun with myself on the court. That’s always been my personality.”

The American, who will be making his first main draw appearance at the BNP Paribas Open next week, simply wants to enjoy his time on the tennis court. Once in a while Paul will get upset with a poor decision or shot, but more often he’ll crack a refreshing smile, even in a match’s tightest moments.

“I want people to have fun watching me. I want them to see me having fun and I want them to enjoy watching it. I don’t want to be a boring guy out on the court,” Paul said. “Sometimes I’m a little too quiet and sometimes I get a little too angry, but for the most part I like to have fun and entertain the crowd.”

Paul has plenty of reasons to smile these days. Following last year’s US Open, he cracked the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time. Six months later, he’s up to a career-best World No. 57, and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

“It’s about putting matches together. To really move up in the rankings, it is not [about] winning one or two matches in a row. You’ve got to have good weeks. You’ve got to play great for full weeks at a time and have multiple of those,” Paul said. “That’s my biggest focus this year, putting together full weeks of really good tennis.”

Mission accomplished thus far. Paul qualified for the Adelaide International in January, advancing to his first ATP Tour semi-final at that ATP 250. At the Australian Open, he beat 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov. Most recently, the American earned his first Top 10 win against 2018 Nitto ATP Finals titlist Alexander Zverev at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC en route to the quarter-finals.

“[I just have to] continue to do the right things, try to stick with the same routines as I had at the end of last year and through the beginning of this year,” Paul said. “I’m still the same person, still having fun. Just trying to make better decisions.”

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Paul, With Courier’s Former Coach, Ready To Make Good On Potential

Paul has been open about the struggles he faced early on during his ATP Tour career. He won the 2015 Roland Garros boys’ singles crown and reached that year’s US Open boys’ singles final, but it took him more than four years after that to break into the Top 100. He has admitted to not fully taking care of his body.

But now he spends more time at the gym and with the physios, and that is reflected in his results. Towards the end of last season, Paul also began working with a new coach, Brad Stine, whom has mentored former World No. 1 Jim Courier and two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson. In a way, Paul now has taken on more responsibility, which has only helped.

“I just feel like everything’s more comfortable for me and a lot less stress,” Paul said. “It’s cool. It’s different kind of coaching than I’ve been used to. He actually lives out in California, I live in South Florida. I fly him out to do practice weeks in Florida and he comes to all the tournaments with me. It’s different. I have to do a lot more stuff on my own, setting up practices on my own sometimes when he’s not there in South Florida. Kind of just taking more initiative.”

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Stine is not trying to reinvent Paul. Instead he is refining the 22-year-old, giving him the tools necessary to enjoy maximum success.

“One of the things I’ve said from the start is that I’m not trying to take the fun out of it for him; I want him to enjoy himself. I want him to have fun on the practice court, but at the same time be focussed on the things that we’re trying to accomplish,” Stine told “He’s been really, really good about that. Off-season was phenomenal with him. I was really impressed with his work ethic and attitude coming to the court every day.”

Paul has plenty of weapons to go with that. The 6’1” right-hander has a heavy forehand that he uses to find acute angles on the court and play aggressive baseline tennis. He is also extremely quick, which allows him to stay in points defensively. But perhaps most importantly, Paul embraces the big moments.

The American was struggling physically against Dimitrov late in their Melbourne clash. Paul let slip a two-set lead, and the Bulgarian served for the match in the fifth set and held a 30/0 lead. But Paul put a smile on his face and battled until the end, ultimately triumphing.

“I always felt like in juniors you kind of just love the battle. Some people thrive in those situations and I can’t think of a better situation to have fun on a tennis court than going five sets at the Australian Open,” Paul said. “That’s where everyone wants to be. If you’re not enjoying that, you shouldn’t be playing tennis.”

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Colombia Beats 2016 Champs Argentina To Reach Davis Cup Finals

  • Posted: Mar 07, 2020

Colombia Beats 2016 Champs Argentina To Reach Davis Cup Finals

Bryan Brothers send Americans to Madrid, Cilic clinches Croatia’s victory against India

Venue: Palacio de los Deportes, Bogotá, COL (clay – indoor)

Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the 2019 year-end No. 1 doubles team, won a tight doubles rubber on Saturday before Daniel Elahi Galan finished the job for the home country, defeating 2016 champions Argentina to reach the Davis Cup Finals.

Cabal and Farah broke a 1-1 split in the tie with a 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5 victory against veterans Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos to give Colombia the advantage. Gonzalez and Zeballos triumphed at 2019 Buenos Aires and reached another two ATP Tour finals together last year, and they put up a big battle against the Colombians. But Cabal and Farah did not face a break point in their victory, setting the stage for Galan.

The World No. 148 defeated Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3, 6-4 in 75 minutes to clinch the tie for his country. Galan also won his first singles rubber of the weekend on Friday, beating Santiago Giraldo.

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USA defeats UZBEKISTAN 4-0
Venue: Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, USA (hard – indoor)

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan rejoined the American Davis Cup team for one final tie before retiring at this year’s US Open. The twins went out in style, sending the Americans to Madrid with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Sanjar Fayziev and Denis Istomin.

“We’re always happy to do our job,” Mike Bryan told “To clinch a tie? We’ve only had that opportunity a few times in our career. That felt really good. You don’t get to run around with the flag on court at home very often.”

The Bryan Brothers are gathering momentum in their final season, recently lifting the trophy at the Delray Beach Open by

Tommy Paul, who was the only American to not yet see action, completed the 4-0 sweep with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph in the dead singles rubber against Istomin.

CROATIA defeats INDIA 3-1
Venue: Dom Sportova, Zagreb, CRO (hard – indoor)

Forty-six-year-old Leander Paes and countryman Rohan Bopanna won a thrilling doubles rubber on Saturday to keep India’s hopes alive, beating Croatia’s Mate Pavic and Franko Skugor 6-3, 6-7(9), 7-5. But it was not enough.

Marin Cilic sealed the tie for his country, routing Sumit Nagal 6-0, 6-1 to give Croatia an insurmountable 3-1 lead. The tie’s final rubber was not played. Cilic only lost eight service points in the match, breaking serve five times en route to a 56-minute victory. 

Venue: Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, AUS (hard – outdoor)

Brazil put forth a valiant effort, wrestling the doubles point from Australia in Adelaide to begin play on Saturday. But John Millman refused to let down his country.

World No. 43 Millman clawed past Thiago Monteiro 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 7-6(3) to clinch Australia’s 3-1 win in the tie. It was the second time Millman had to win a second-set tie-break to force a decider in two days, but the 30-year-old came through once again.

“It was something pretty special this weekend and I enjoyed every second of it,” Millman told “It was so much fun, emotional roller-coaster, and so happy to get through and do it with these boys.”

Earlier in the day, Marcelo Demoliner and Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves beat James Duckworth and John Peers 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(6) to keep Brazil’s hopes alive. 

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

Venue: Steiermarkhalle Schwarzlsee, Graz I Premstätten, AUT (hard – indoor) 

Austrian doubles stalwarts Oliver Marach and Jurgen Melzer gave their country the edge against Uruguay to begin Saturday’s action in front of their home fans, and in-form Dennis Novak finished off the visitors.

Marach and Melzer rallied past Ariel Behar and Pablo Cuevas 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and five minutes, converting the only break point they earned in the third set. Then Novak, who is at a career-high World No. 85, came back to beat Cuevas 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Novak defeated both Cuevas brothers in singles this weekend, easing past Martin Cuevas on Friday.

ECUADOR defeats JAPAN 3-0
Venue: Bourbon Beans Dome, Miki, JPN (hard – indoor)

Ecuador was the first country to win its Davis Cup Qualifier, beating Japan 3-0. Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo clinched the tie with a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory against 2017 Tokyo champions Ben Mclachlan/Yasutaka Uchiyama.

Ecuador sprinted to the lead on Friday when Emilio Gomez and Roberto Quiroz both secured singles triumphs. There were no fans in the crowd for this tie as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus.

SWEDEN defeats CHILE 3-1
Venue: The Royal Tennis Hall (Kungl. Tennishallen), Stockholm, SWE (hard – indoor)

Two generations of Swedish players led their country to the Davis Cup Finals on Saturday. Entering the day, Sweden and Chile were level at 1-1. But 42-year-old Robert Lindstedt and 30-year-old Markus Eriksson beat Chileans Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) 6-4, 6-4 to give the home side the advantage.

2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Mikael Ymer, 21, then rallied for a tie-clinching 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win against Tabilo. Tabilo beat the older Ymer brother, Elias Ymer, on Friday. But Mikael broke three times in the second set to turn the tide and then converted his only opportunity in the decider to triumph.

Venue: Fonix Hall, Debrecen, HUN (clay – indoor)

Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen scored a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win against Attila Balazs and Marton Fucsovics to give Belgium a 2-1 lead on Saturday, but the Hungarians stormed back for a 3-2 victory in the tie.

Balazs levelled the tie by cruising past Kimmer Coppejans 6-3, 6-0, overcoming the disappointment of not only the doubles loss, but a Friday singles loss. That set the stage for a deciding rubber in which Fucsovics fought past Ruben Bemelmans 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-2.

ITALY defeats KOREA, REP. 4-0
Venue: Circolo Tennis Cagliari, Cagliari, ITA (clay – outdoor)

The Italians did not drop any of their eight sets played against South Korea, earning a 4-0 victory in their Davis Cup Qualifier.

Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini clinched the tie on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song. Stefano Travaglia beat Yunseong Chung 6-0, 6-1 in a dead rubber.

Venue: Castello Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, GER (hard – indoor)

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies showed on Saturday the clutch part of their games that helped them win last year’s Roland Garros title and qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals. The doubles stars gave Germany a 2-1 lead over Belarus with a 6-4, 7-6(5) victory against Ilya Ivashka and Andrei Vasilevski.

That allowed powerful right-hander Jan-Lennard Struff to seal the tie with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Egor Gerasimov, who beat Philipp Kohlschreiber on Friday. Dominik Koepfer added a win for Germany, defeating Daniil Ostapenkov 6-0, 6-2.

Venue: National Tennis Center, Nur-Sultan, KAZ (hard – indoor)

Kazakhstan used an all-around team effort to earn its spot in Madrid, defeating the Netherlands 3-1.

Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov won a crucial doubles rubber with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer. That gave in-form Alexander Bublik an opportunity to clinch the tie, and he did not let slip that chance.

Bublik beat Dutch veteran Haase 7-6(4), 6-1. The 22-year-old won both of his singles matches this weekend, also defeating Tallon Griekspoor on Friday.

Venue: AXA Arena NTC, Bratislava, SVK (clay – indoor)

2019 Nitto ATP Finals doubles competitor Filip Polasek and his countryman, Igor Zelenay, gave Slovakia its first point against the Czech Republic with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Jonas Forejtek and Zdenek Kolar.

But Jiri Vesely got his country back on track, defeating Andrej Martin 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 to send the Czech Republic to Madrid. Vesely, this year’s Pune champion, also beat Jozef Kovalik on Friday.

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Davis Cup: Ecuador stun Japan to reach Finals week in Madrid

  • Posted: Mar 07, 2020

Ecuador stunned Japan in Miki to reach Davis Cup Finals week in November.

The tie was played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus and world number 17s Japan were without key players against 27th-ranked Ecuador.

Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo won the doubles rubbers 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 against Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama to complete a 3-0 victory.

Sweden, Austria and Hungary will all make their first appearance at the Finals, in Madrid from 23-29 November.

Defending champions Spain, 2019 runners-up Canada, semi-finalists Russia and Great Britain and wild cards Serbia and France were already assured of their places.

Hungary’s tie against Belgium was the only qualifier to go to a deciding rubber, with Marton Fucsovics defeating Ruben Bemelmans 6-7 (7) 6-4 6-2 to complete a comeback from 2-1 down for the hosts in Debrecen.

Sweden secured a 3-1 win over Chile as 21-year-old Mikael Ymer recorded a three-set victory against Alejandro Tabilo.

Austria were without their number one Dominic Thiem, but Dennis Novak beat Pablo Cuevas 2-6 6-3 6-4 after Jurgen Melzer and Oliver Marach had edged a tight doubles to seal a 3-1 win.

Last year’s quarter-finalists Germany saw off Belarus 4-1, while Alexander Bublik won both his singles matches to help Kazakhstan to a 3-1 success over the Netherlands.

Marin Cilic lost just one game against Sumit Nagal to give 2018 champions Croatia a 3-1 victory over India, while John Millman won three tie-breaks against Thiago Monteiro as Australia beat Brazil 3-1 in Adelaide.

Italy against South Korea was also played behind closed doors in Cagliari, the hosts easing to a 4-0 victory.

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Sock, Sandgren & 18-Year-Old Nakashima Headline Indian Wells Wild Cards

  • Posted: Mar 07, 2020

Sock, Sandgren & 18-Year-Old Nakashima Headline Indian Wells Wild Cards

16-year-old Spaniard Alcaraz receives a qualifying wild card

Former BNP Paribas Open singles semi-finalist Jack Sock leads the main draw wild cards at the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event, the tournament announced Saturday. Four other Americans also received a wild card: two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren, 18-year-old Brandon Nakashima, Marco Giron and Mitchell Krueger.

Sock, who reached the last four at Indian Wells in 2017, has climbed as high as No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Currently World No. 768 after struggling with injuries, Sock has shown improved form at this week’s ATP Challenger Tour event held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. He upset top-seeded Ugo Humbert in straight sets before battling past No. 13 seed Evgeny Donskoy and No. 11 seed Denis Kudla, both in three sets, to make the semi-finals.

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Sock’s opponent in that Challenger semi-final, Nakashima, is enjoying a breakthrough season. The teen won his first two tour-level matches at the Delray Beach Open by, and now he is two victories from earning his maiden ATP Challenger Tour crown.

Sandgren’s FedEx ATP Ranking of World No. 55 would be plenty to get him into the main draw if the cut-off was today, but it came before his run at this year’s Australian Open, where he fell just short against Roger Federer in the quarter-finals. The 28-year-old won his first ATP Tour title last year in Auckland, and he will be competing in the Indian Wells main draw for the third consecutive year.

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

Giron and Krueger were awarded wild cards based on their performances over the course of the 2019-2020 Oracle Challenger Series. The series is comprised of four 125-level tournaments on the ATP Challenger Tour, moving from New Haven to Houston to Newport Beach and culminating this week in Indian Wells.

Giron reached the final in New Haven and lifted the trophy in Houston, before advancing to the quarter-finals this week. The California native scored one of the biggest results of his career at last year’s BNP Paribas Open, by qualifying and then defeating Jeremy Chardy and Alex de Minaur to reach the third round, where he lost a three-setter against Milos Raonic.

Krueger registered three semi-final finishes to punch his ticket, advancing to the last four in Houston, Newport Beach and Indian Wells. He earned his biggest victory over top seed Taylor Fritz in Newport Beach.

Qualifying wild cards were awarded to Americans Michael Mmoh, J.J. Wolf, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Govind Nanda, as well as 16-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

Did You Know?
Sock is a two-time doubles titlist at Indian Wells. He triumphed alongside Vasek Pospisil in 2015 and John Isner in 2018.

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