World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is “focused on a healthier and happier future” after having surgery on his right elbow.
World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is “focused on a healthier and happier future” after having surgery on his right elbow.
The ATP has announced the calendar for the first half of the 2022 ATP Tour season, kicking off in January with the third edition of the ATP Cup in Sydney, Australia, through to the end of The Championships, Wimbledon in July.
See Standings For ATP Cup
The new season launches with the ATP Cup, staged in partnership with Tennis Australia. The 2022 edition will feature a 16-team field and be hosted across two venues in Sydney – Ken Rosewall Arena and the Qudos Bank Arena – both at Sydney Olympic Park. As part of a reconfigured opening section of the season, Week 1 will also feature two ATP 250 events running in parallel to the ATP Cup, at the Adelaide International and Melbourne Park. Week 2 will feature two ATP 250s, including a second event at the Adelaide International and the Sydney Tennis Classic, a new one-off event, alongside Australian Open qualifying in Melbourne.
Elsewhere, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, traditionally held in Week 1, will be played in Week 7 in 2022, immediately followed by the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. As previously announced, the ASB Classic in Auckland (ATP 250) will not be held in 2022 due to complications related to COVID-19.
All other events through Wimbledon are scheduled to occur in their customary week in the calendar, with details of the remaining section of the calendar to be communicated in due course.
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said: “We’re delighted to announce the calendar and give our fans visibility for the first half of the 2022 ATP Tour season. Tennis has had to adapt to fluid circumstances since the start of the pandemic and, while we continue to navigate its challenges, today’s announcement is a positive milestone in our continued return. We cannot wait to kick off another exciting season and welcome back to the calendar those events that were unfortunately unable to stage last year. I would like to credit the hard work of our players and tournaments that has allowed us to reach this point.”
View the 2022 calendar here.
Great Britain go into this week’s Davis Cup Finals with each team member having enjoyed the “best year of their careers”, says doubles player Joe Salisbury.
Novak Djokovic will not want to miss the chance to win a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, says tournament director Craig Tiley.
Novak Djokovic will lead the charge for Serbia, while World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev headlines a strong Russian team at the 2021 Davis Cup Finals, to be held from 25 November – 5 December in Madrid, Spain, Innsbruck, Austria and Turin, Italy.
Despite Rafael Nadal’s absence due to injury, reigning champions Spain still has a strong team, with Pablo Carreno Busta and Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion Carlos Alcaraz competing. Alcaraz will be making his Davis Cup debut after enjoying a breakthrough year.
The 20-year-old Jannik Sinner will make his debut for Italy, while Cameron Norrie will spearhead Great Britain’s push following his standout 2021 season.
Here’s what you need to know about the Davis Cup Finals: what is the schedule, where to watch, which countries are playing and more.
Tournament Director: Fernando Verdasco
The 2021 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals will be held from Thursday, 25 November, to Sunday, 5 December, in Madrid, Innsbruck and Turin. Each venue will host the matches for two of the six groups as well as at least one quarter-final. Madrid will host two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final.
The Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals features 18 teams, including 12 qualifiers, the previous edition’s four semi-finalists and two wild cards. The teams are divided into one of six groups where they compete in a round-robin format.
Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain:
Group A: Spain, Russia Tennis Federation, Ecuador
Group B: Canada, Kazakhstan, Sweden
Olympia-Halle, Innsbruck, Austria:
Group C: France, Great Britain, Czech Republic
Group F: Serbia, Germany, Austria
Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy:
Group D: Croatia, Australia, Hungary
Group E: United States, Italy, Colombia
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Format Of Ties: All ties will consist of two singles and one doubles. Both singles and doubles are best-of-three sets with ad scoring. The first match will be contested by the second-ranked players on each team and the second match will be contested by the first-ranked players on each team. The doubles match will follow the singles match.
Points: The teams with the highest number of points in their group once all matches have been played will qualify for the quarter-finals, alongside the best two runners-up. The tournament will then go into knockout rounds until one team is crowned champion.
Spain d Canada 2-0
Spain defeated Canada in the final, with Roberto Bautista Agut downing Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3), 6-3, before Rafael Nadal clinched the tie, overcoming Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6(7). Read More. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Davis Cup Finals were not held.
Order Of Play | TV Schedule
Thursday, 25 November: 4pm, one tie in Group B, Group C, Group D
Friday, 26 November: 4pm, one tie in Group A, Group E, Group F
Saturday, 27 November: 10am, one tie in Group B, Group C, Group D. N.B. 4:00pm, one tie in Group A, Group E, Group F
Sunday, 28 November: 10am, one tie in Group B, Group C, Group D. N.B. 4:00pm, one tie in Group A, Group E, Group F
Monday, 29 November: 4:00pm, quarter-final, winner Group D vs winner Group E
Tuesday, 30 November: 4:00pm, quarter-final, winner Group C vs winner Group F
Wednesday, 1 December: 4:00pm, quarter-final, winner Group B vs second best 1 or 2
Thursday, 2 December: 4:00pm, quarter-final, winner Group A vs second best 1 or 2
Friday, 3 December: 4:00pm, semi-final
Saturday, 4 December: 1:00pm, semi-final
Sunday, 5 December: 4:00pm, final
Most Titles: United States (32)
Most Match Wins: Nicola Pietrangeli (78)
Last Home Champion: Spain in 2019
Awards season is officially underway! Cast your vote and show your support for your favourite singles player and doubles team in the 2021 ATP Awards.
Voting for the Fans’ Favourite Awards closes at 11:59pm GMT on Tuesday, 7 December.[AWARD GROUP POLL]198[/AWARD GROUP POLL]
** If you have already cast your vote, you have the option to change your selection through the dropdown menu during the voting period, but your last submission will be the only one recorded. If you try to vote for the same player again, the Vote button will not work.
Note: Fans’ Favourite candidates are active players in the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings and Top 25 teams in the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings as of 15 November 2021. The Top 100 includes players with protected ATP Rankings who have played at least one tour-level match in 2020. Candidates with protected rankings are noted in the list with (PR).
When Alex Molcan embarked on his 2021 campaign, the 23-year-old already knew it would be his best season yet. After years of injury setbacks and struggles to find confidence and consistency, Molcan was finally turning the corner.
Healthy and ready to make his move up the FedEx ATP Rankings, the budding Slovakian star was poised to make 2021 his breakout year.
But a rise to the year-end Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings? Even he admits that was the furthest thing from his mind.
“It’s the first time for me in the Top 100 and I’m really happy that I made it this year,” said Molcan. “I didn’t think it was possible from a Top 300 ranking to get to the Top 100 in one year. I just thank my coaches and my team who made it possible for me to stay healthy. I will try to improve my game even more, prepare well and wish for the best in the next season. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”
Molcan enjoyed one of the biggest jumps to the year-end Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings in 2021, soaring a total of 225 spots. After launching his campaign at No. 312, he would rise to a career-high No. 87 following a title run at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Helsinki on Sunday.
Biggest Movers To The Year-End Top 100
||Year-End 2020 – 2021
|Juan Manuel Cerundolo||+252||341 – 89|
|Jenson Brooksby||+251||307 – 56|
|Alex Molcan||+225||312 – 87|
|Sebastian Baez||+212||309 – 97|
Molcan’s story started at the age of five, when his parents introduced him to the game in his native Presov, Slovakia. He also played football and ice hockey, but when the local tennis coaches told him that he had the talent to go far, the decision was made.
While a young Alex had all the tools to take the next step, it was the support of his mother Andrea that proved to be the most critical aspect of his development. He explains that without his mom’s sacrifice, which included uprooting her life and moving to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava so her son could train at the best facilities, he would not be in the Top 100 today.
“All good tennis players have to go from home to somewhere else to train and play,” said Molcan. “This is my experience, going from my hometown to Bratislava when I was 12. I didn’t know anyone but my mother. I went to school there and it was hard, because I was one guy from another city. Every player has to sacrifice something to be good. My mom sacrificed a lot for me to be the person and the tennis player I am today. She always supported me to play tennis and she changed her life because of me.”
When Molcan’s mother moved back to their hometown three years later, it was his time to fly solo and navigate life on the junior circuit. The road to the top is rarely a linear one and following a rash of injuries, the Slovak had many obstacles to overcome to put himself in position to have a successful career.
Shoulder and back ailments plagued Molcan in his teenage years. Without any consistency, he says he was stuck around 300 in the FedEx ATP Rankings as he launched his pro career. The Slovak underwent wrist surgery in 2017 and he would suffer an abdominal tear the following year.
A first Challenger final appearance came in Sevilla in 2018, and that taste of success would drive him to work even harder and dedicate himself physically and mentally to make the most of his opportunities. He entered 2021 ready to take the tour by storm.
“If you want to change, you have to work. This year, we prepared really good. In the winter, we did three weeks training in the mountains in Slovakia. No tennis for 20 days, but a lot of running and working with the other Slovakian players. It was really good for me and I was prepared for the season. Everything is like a puzzle and now I am putting the puzzle together.”
The lone Slovakian in the year-end Top 100, Molcan flexed his muscle throughout his breakthrough season. It all started with a statement win over #NextGenATP star Lorenzo Musetti at the Gran Canaria Challenger in February. From there, he would reach his first ATP Tour final in Belgrade as a qualifier, before falling to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, and his maiden Challenger crown would arrive soon after in Liberec, Czech Republic.
“I will never forget when we were warming up before the match and the announcer was introducing us and saying ‘Novak Djokovic, World No. 1, 18 Grand Slams’. To be there was amazing. I had goosebumps. That tournament was a huge confidence boost. Playing Djokovic in the final was the biggest experience I’ve ever had. I took a lot of information from that match, to see how Djokovic plays. He’s not playing crazy fast and he doesn’t have a big serve, but to see his logic and intelligence on the court was big for me. I took a lot of information from him.”
Molcan continued to alternate success at both levels, also qualifying for his first Grand Slam, en route to the US Open third round. And he would conclude his campaign in dominant fashion, reaching back-to-back Challenger semi-finals in Bergamo and Bratislava, before lifting his second crown in Helsinki, Finland, on Sunday.
“I’m really happy that the last tournament of the season is a winning tournament,” Molcan added. “Top 100 is of course something every single player is dreaming about. Now that I’m there, I will try to get to an even better place and focus on having a good preseason and play well next year.”
Get To Know Alex
Tennis idol: Rafa, of course. The way he is fighting all the time, his mentality and his forehand. It’s crazy. I love to watch him more than anyone else.
Biggest passion: Cars. I am a car guy. From the expensive ones, my favourite is Ferrari. From the normal cars, it has to be BMW. I own a BMW 340i. It’s fast. I’m also a fan of Formula One. Since I watched the Netflix show ‘Drive to Survive’ and they are showing the background of the sport, I like it more. That’s why I like Ferrari.
Dream job: Business man. It’s similar to tennis. If you want to be good, you have to work at it. If you want to earn the money, you need to work crazy hard to be there. I like it. My mother’s boyfriend is a business man. It’s really stressful, but I like how it works. You have to build your brand.
Favourite food: At home, it’s pancakes with Nutella and whipped cream. On tour, it’s sushi. You can get good sushi everywhere, but I love it. During the US Open, we went to Nippon, the first Japanese restaurant in New York City.
Tattoos: I like tattoos. When I was 18, I got my first tattoo. It is my mother’s birthdate. That was the starting point and I knew I would have more. I like how they look. Every year in the winter, usually in November and December, I am getting something. I find meaning in the tattoos. I have a tiger on my right arm and I like the Asian culture, so I have a temple, a lotus flower and a buddha too. Many things. I also like mythology and animals.
Criticism of the International Olympic Committee’s handling of the Peng Shuai situation is “complete nonsense”, says senior IOC official Dick Pound.
As questions remain over the tennis star’s wellbeing, China insists it is not a diplomatic matter.