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Victorious In Antwerp! Mies/Krawietz Capture Third Title

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2019

Victorious In Antwerp! Mies/Krawietz Capture Third Title

Germans surge into third place in ATP Doubles Race To London

Entering this year’s New York Open, Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies had mostly competed on the ATP Challenger Tour, only playing three tour-level events together before that week. But the Germans won that title and they have not looked back since.

Top seeds Krawietz and Mies captured their third title of the season on Sunday in Antwerp, defeating second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6(1), 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes to triumph at the European Open.

“We enjoyed it a lot all week. The tournament was really nice, very well organised… We had a lot of fun this week,” Mies said. “We had a good time.”

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Fire & Ice: How Krawietz & Mies Have Become 2019’s Breakout Doubles Team

The Germans, who won Roland Garros this year, surge into third place in the ATP Doubles Race To London thanks to their Antwerp victory. Krawietz and Mies are trying to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time, and they saved the only break point they faced against Ram and Salisbury in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

“The Belgians were really loud, actually. We had a great atmosphere. It really helps for the doubles when you have Stan Wawrinka against Andy Murray in the final coming up after our match,” Mies said. “It was pretty packed and we really enjoyed the atmosphere. It was unbelievable, and we played one of our best matches this year.”

Krawietz and Mies earn 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points each and a share of €35,960 for their efforts. They did not drop a set at this ATP 250 event.

“Lovely tournament. A lot of people came for the doubles final, also for the rounds before. The crowd was huge yesterday,” Krawietz said. “[We] enjoyed the game and enjoyed the tournament.”

Ram and Salisbury, who are also in Nitto ATP Finals contention, could have surpassed Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau for sixth place in the Race if they defeated the Germans. Instead, the American-British pair add 150 points to their tallies and split €18,430.

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Tearful Murray wins first singles title since career-saving surgery

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2019

Andy Murray broke down in tears after winning his first singles title since career-saving hip surgery by beating Stan Wawrinka at the European Open.

The Briton, 32, launched a stunning comeback from a set and a break down to win 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp to take his first title for more than two years.

Murray had surgery in January and was playing in just his seventh tournament since returning to singles.

He described it as “one of the biggest” wins of his career.

“It means a lot,” the three-time Grand Slam champion said. “The last few years have been extremely difficult.

“I didn’t expect to be in this position at all. I’m happy, very happy.”

Fellow Grand Slam champion Wawrinka, who has also had a number of recent injury issues, said: “To see you back at this level, it’s amazing.

“We’re all really happy. I’m sad I lost today but I’m really happy to see you back.”

  • Reaction to Murray’s victory

‘Hip hip hurray’ – reaction

Former British number one Greg Rusedski: “Andy Murray has won his first ATP singles title with a metal hip. Incredible effort. What a competitor to win from a set and a break down against Stan the man. Who would have believed it. Amazing.”

Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain Leon Smith: “An astonishing effort Andy Murray. So so proud of you!!!!”

BBC North America editor Jon Sopel: “Best news of the day. Who’d have thought it? Andy your spirit and your fight are remarkable. Skill has never been in doubt.”

Former world number three Ivan Ljubicic: “Hip hip hurray Murray. Amazing stuff. Congrats to the whole team.”

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Bencic and Ostapenko win Russia and Luxembourg titles

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2019

Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic came back from a set down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6 6-1 6-1 in the Kremlin Cup final in Russia.

By reaching the final, Bencic secured the eighth and last place in the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Meanwhile, Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko won the Luxembourg Open with a 6-4 6-1 victory over Julia Goerges.

The win gave former French Open champion Ostapenko her first title since September 2017.

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Denis' Day: Shapovalov Lifts First Title In Stockholm

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2019

Denis’ Day: Shapovalov Lifts First Title In Stockholm

Canadian triumphs in straight sets

Since his breakthrough semi-final run at the 2017 Coupe Rogers, Denis Shapovalov has been named as a title contender at ATP Tour events across the world.

On Sunday, the #NextGenATP Canadian became an ATP Tour champion for the first time at the Intrum Stockholm Open. Shapovalov became the 15th first-time tour-level champion of the year in the Swedish capital, defeating Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 6-4 in 84 minutes.

First-Time ATP Champions In 2019

Player Age Tournament
Alex de Minaur 19 Sydney
Tennys Sandgren 27 Auckland
Juan Ignacio Londero 25 Cordoba
Laslo Djere 23 Rio de Janeiro
Reilly Opelka 21 New York
Radu Albot 28 Delray Beach
Guido Pella 28 Sao Paulo
Cristian Garin 22 Houston
Adrian Mannarino 30 ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Taylor Fritz 21 Eastbourne
Lorenzo Sonego 24 Antalya
Nicolas Jarry 23 Bastad
Dusan Lajovic 29 Umag
Hubert Hurkacz 22 Winston-Salem
Denis Shapovalov 20 Stockholm

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Shapovalov did not drop a set en route to the trophy in Stockholm. The fourth seed beat Alexei Popyrin and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe to reach his eighth tour-level semi-final, before snapping his seven-match losing streak in last-four clashes against Yuichi Sugita on Saturday.

The three-time Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier’s victory marks the second straight year that a #NextGenATP star has captured his first ATP Tour crown at this ATP 250 event. In 2018, Stefanos Tsitsipas picked up his maiden trophy in Stockholm before triumphing at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

Shapovalov’s title run comes in the same week that he booked his place at this year’s 21-and-under event. The third edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals will take place from 5-9 November at the Allianz Cloud.

Krajinovic was also attempting to claim his first ATP Tour trophy. The 27-year-old was competing in his third tour-level championship match, with previous runner-up finishes at this year’s Hungarian Open and the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters.

Shapovalov earns 250 ATP Ranking points and collects €109,590 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Krajinovic receives 150 ATP Ranking points and €59,255.

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Stockholm Presented With 2018 ATP 250 Of The Year Award

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2019

Stockholm Presented With 2018 ATP 250 Of The Year Award

Recognition was voted on by the players

One year ago, the Intrum Stockholm Open was named the ATP 250 Tournament of the Year in the 2018 ATP Tour Awards. The award, voted annually by ATP players, recognises the leading standards set across events on the ATP Tour.

And on Saturday, the event was honoured for its efforts. ATP Supervisor Thomas Karlberg presented Tournament Director Simon Aspelin with a trophy recognising the prestigious award.

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“On behalf of Stockholm Open AB and Game Set Events I want to thank everyone involved in planning and delivering this event,” said Aspelin. “It is such an honour to receive this award from the players and makes us very happy as we want all players to feel at home enjoying the best Swedish hospitality. A special thanks to all our loyal sponsors, volunteers and spectators for making this event possible and pushing us to keep improving every year.”

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Indian Wells, Queen’s & Stockholm Named 2018 Tournaments Of The Year

The Intrum Stockholm Open claimed the Tournament of the Year award in the 250 category for the second time. It previously shared the honour with the Winston-Salem Open in 2016. The indoor hard-court tournament marked its 50th anniversary last year. With the help of new tournament promoter Game Set Events, it celebrated unique moments of the tournament, including interviews on court with Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg.

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Shapovalov On Big Three: 'Sooner Or Later, We're Going To Dethrone Them'

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2019

Shapovalov On Big Three: ‘Sooner Or Later, We’re Going To Dethrone Them’

Canadian reflects on state of his game as well as rise of fellow young stars

Denis Shapovalov will compete in an ATP Tour final for the first time on Sunday at the Intrum Stockholm Open. But based on recent results in the sport, the #NextGenATP Canadian star feels that a changing of the guard is in order.

“I’m sure that next season there are going to be a lot of upsets,” Shapovalov said. “Obviously the Big Three, they’re still playing really well. But I think sooner or later, we’re going to dethrone them. So we’ve just got to stay patient.”

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Shapovalov Surges In Stockholm, Reaches First ATP Tour Final

Earlier this week, Shapovalov qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals for the third consecutive year. Although it would take a herculean effort for the Canadian — who started the week placed 30th in the ATP Race To London — to earn a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, fellow Milan alumni Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have already done so. They will make their debuts at The O2 from 10-17 November.

“I think slowly the players are starting to rise through the [ATP] Rankings,” Shapovalov said. “Medvedev’s really made a push the past couple of months. I’m sure a lot of players are following. There are so many talented guys. There’s Frances, there’s Tsitsipas playing well, of course always Zverev.”

As for Shapovalov, his form has snowballed — in a good way — since the start of the Winston-Salem Open towards the end of August. The Canadian made his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Miami this March, but proceeded to lose 12 of his next 16 matches.


A semi-final showing in Winston-Salem sparked a turnaround, though, and he has gone 13-6 since then. Even though some may have believed Shapovalov would have made a final before this week considering his magical run to the 2017 Coupe Rogers semi-finals, Shapovalov has not gotten overly keen. He has remained patient, and that has proven key.

“I think everyone has his own route. For me, I feel like I shot up through the [ATP] Rankings so quickly with a couple big results. But to be honest my game wasn’t there,” Shapovalov said. “I was really flashy, really big tennis, but also really up and down. So worked really hard the past couple years to strengthen other parts of my game and really try to make it complete.”

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Regardless of whether Shapovalov triumphs on Sunday or not, the dynamic lefty has taken a step in the right direction in Stockholm. On Monday, trophy or not, Shapovalov will return to the Top 30 of the ATP Rankings for the first time since July, and he is as motivated as ever to continue climbing.

“I still feel like there’s a lot of room to grow, so I’m happy to be doing so well at the end of this year,” Shapovalov said. “But hopefully I can keep going so that a couple years down the road I can potentially be a Grand Slam contender.”

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Demoliner/Middelkoop Ride Revenge To Maiden Team Title In Moscow

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2019

Demoliner/Middelkoop Ride Revenge To Maiden Team Title In Moscow

Brazilian-Dutch team recently reached Zhuhai final

Marcelo Demoliner and Matwe Middelkoop have not been playing together for long, but they have certainly enjoyed plenty of success.

The Brazilian and Dutchman, competing at a tour-level event together for just the third time, defeated Italian Simone Bolelli and Argentine Andres Molteni 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday to claim the VTB Kremlin Cup title.

“I think it confirms what we believed, it confirms in the title. We have a great team, we have a great fight together and we believe in something,” Middelkoop said. “You don’t always get lucky to win a title, which gives you confidence, and we got the title.”

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Demoliner had previously struggled in finals, entering Saturday’s match with a 1-9 record with a title on the line. But the Brazilian lifts his second ATP Tour trophy, and Middelkoop earned his eighth.

Just three weeks ago, they made the Zhuhai final, falling just short of victory. But last week, they lost in the first round of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Mouilleron le Captif, France against Romain Arneodo and Hugo Nys. That proved key, as they were even more motivated against the same team in the second round here in Moscow, riding the momentum of a victory against them to the title.

“That was like set in stone, ‘Hey, we can win this because we can beat them with good tactics and great execution,’” Middelkoop said. “From that moment we were cruising through the tournament.”

In the final, the fourth seeds saved all three break points they faced and won 51 per cent of their return points to triumph after 55 minutes. Demoliner and Middelkoop add 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points to their tallies and split $47,520.

“We had a good plan for this match and we executed very well,” Demoliner said.

Bolelli and Molteni were trying to win the title in their tour-level team debut. They earn 150 points each and will share $24,350.

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Murray reaches first ATP final for two years with battling European Open display

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2019

Britain’s Andy Murray produced a fine comeback to beat Ugo Humbert at the European Open and reach his first ATP final for two years.

Murray, who had career-saving hip surgery in January, showed his trademark stubbornness to win 3-6 7-5 6-2 in two hours 23 minutes.

He will face fellow three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in Sunday’s final.

“It’s been a big surprise to me. I’m happy to be into the final,” he said.

Speaking to Amazon Prime, he added: “It’s been a long road to get back to this point

“I certainly didn’t expect it to come so soon since I started playing again.”

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It is 32-year-old Murray’s first final appearance since the Dubai Championships in March 2017, when he was then the world number one.

No player had ever returned from a hip resurfacing operation to play singles before Murray.

And he has managed to reach a final just two months after making his singles return, at Winston-Salem in August.

Determined Murray battles back

The Scot has played four tournaments in just over four weeks and showed signs of fatigue and frustration in the opening set.

He struggled on his serve, producing three double faults in the first six games, which allowed 21-year-old Humbert to force the first break of the match.

By contrast, Humbert wrapped up the first set with an ace, and kept up his aggressive play with some deep hitting in the second set.

The two traded breaks in the second before Humbert, serving to force a tie-break, lost his rhythm, and handed Murray the set on a double fault.

Five games in a row went to Murray, allowing him to open up a 3-0 lead in the decider, and his serving grew stronger as the match progressed.

He appeared to have some trouble with his right elbow, which may have affected his serve, but he finished the match with six aces and won 77% of points on his first serve.

Murray holds an 11-8 head-to-head record over Switzerland’s Wawrinka, 34, and both players have struggled with injuries in recent years.

The Scot injured his hip in his 2017 French Open semi-final against Wawrinka, while the Swiss had a disrupted two years with a knee injury.

“Stan’s a brilliant player. We’ve played against each other in some big matches in the past in big tournaments,” Murray added.

“He’s had his injury troubles as well the last couple of years and done great to get back to the top of the game.”

Antwerp is likely to be Murray’s last tournament of the year, with the possible exception of the Davis Cup, for which Great Britain will announce their squad on Monday.

He could still leave early if his wife, Kim, goes into early labour with their third child.

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Murray Sets Wawrinka Final Showdown In Antwerp

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2019

Murray Sets Wawrinka Final Showdown In Antwerp

Murray rallies to three-set victory

Two years and eight months after winning his 45th tour-level trophy in Dubai, Andy Murray returned to an ATP Tour championship match on Saturday.

The former World No. 1, who returned to singles action at the Western & Southern Open in August, defeated Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 at the European Open to reach his first tour-level final since undergoing a second right hip surgery on 28 January. Since arriving at the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships last month, Murray has won 8 of 11 matches on the ATP Tour.

“I am obviously happy to be in the final,” said Murray. “I did very well to turn that match around today. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court… It was tricky today but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.”

Appearing in his first tour-level semi-final since 2017 Roland Garros, Murray rallied from a set down to overcome Humbert in two hours and 22 minutes. Murray has contested almost five hours of tennis in the past two days. After straight-sets victories in his opening two matches against Kimmer Coppejans and Pablo Cuevas, Murray outlasted Marius Copil in a two-hour, 35-minute quarter-final clash on Friday.

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The 45-time tour-level titlist will meet a familiar opponent in the final: Stan Wawrinka. Murray leads his fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka 11-8 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

“I think it will be a nice match to play,” said Murray. “Me and Stan have played a lot against each other… It is nice that we are both able to be back playing against each other in a final.”

Murray will be hoping to become the second straight British winner of this event. Last year, Kyle Edmund defeated Gael Monfils in a final-set tie-break to lift his maiden ATP Tour crown.

After saving two break points at 2-2 with attacking play, Humbert claimed the only break of the first set in the following game. The #NextGenATP Frenchman continued to find success on his forehand side and attacked Murray’s serve, before back-to-back errors from the former World No. 1 handed Humbert a 4-2 lead. Three games later, the 21-year-old fired his third ace of the match to hold serve to love and clinch the set after 41 minutes.

Murray and Humbert traded breaks early in the second set, before finding their rhythm on serve to head towards a tie-break. But Murray avoided that scenario, breaking at 6-5 as nerves began to creep into Humbert’s game. The 32-year-old earned three set points as Humbert began to misfire and was gifted the set as the World No. 70 committed his third double fault of the contest.

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Wawrinka Races Past Sinner To Reach Antwerp Final

From 0/40 down in the opening game of the decider, Murray showcased his best court coverage skills to earn a 2-0 lead. Unlike the second set, the 6’3” right-hander maintained his advantage before securing his fourth break of the match to reach the final. Murray moved up the court to convert his first match point, volleying into the open court after outmanoeuvring his opponent.

“It was obviously big for me to get that [6-5] game in the second set, but the game that won me the match was the first game of the third set,” said Murray. “When I was 0/40 down, I think I played a couple of good points. It was a huge game to get out of. I felt like the momentum was with me… Once I won that game, I felt like that was what set me on my way.”

Humbert was aiming to reach his first ATP Tour final and boost his chances of qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The #NextGenATP Frenchman entered the week in eighth position in the ATP Race To Milan, with only seven automatic qualification spots available for the 5-9 November event.

Did You Know?
Murray’s win ends a run of French finalists at this event. In each of the previous three editions of the tournament, France has been represented in the final. Richard Gasquet (2016) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2017) claimed the first two European Open titles, before Gael Monfils’ final run last year.

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