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‘Good Sensations’: Norrie Makes Winning Start In Lyon

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

‘Good Sensations’: Norrie Makes Winning Start In Lyon

2021 finalist to face Estoril champion Baez in quarter-finals

Cameron Norrie settled in quickly at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon on Tuesday, when the top seed registered a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 opening win over Francisco Cerundolo at the ATP 250 event.

The World No. 11 broke Cerundolo’s serve twice in each set to complete a one-hour, 40-minute win at a tournament where he reached the championship match in 2021, before falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas. Having also made the semi-finals on debut in 2018, Norrie is hoping to maintain the feel-good factor as he hunts another deep run in France.

“It’s great to be here in Lyon,” said Norrie after extending his winning record at the event to 8-3. “I feel really good here, such a simple tournament and the people that come out to watch are really passionate about tennis, they love it.

“[I had] good sensations and I really enjoyed the match for the most part. Francisco is a tricky player with a really good forehand, so I had to watch out for that. There were some nerves there in the second set, [when I was] up a break, and I kind of gave it away a little bit. I was able to break again, and he gave me a couple of loose points towards the end, so I will take those and move on.”

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Norrie’s quarter-final opponent will be Sebastian Baez, after the seventh seed rallied to a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Oscar Otte.

Baez is on a strong run of form on the European clay. He claimed a maiden tour-level title in Estoril in April and qualified for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome last week, reaching the second round before falling to Alexander Zverev at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

The Argentine was in trouble on his Lyon debut, however. World No. 60 Otte took the first set in the pair’s maiden ATP Head2Head meeting, but Baez broke twice in each of the second and third sets to complete a one-hour, 57-minute win and reach his fourth tour-level quarter-final of the year.


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Norrie is prepared for a stern test from Baez when the pair meets for their first tour-level meeting in Lyon. The Argentine’s recent success has not taken the Briton by surprise.

“He [Baez] is having a great year, and I really liked his game when I was in Argentina doing a pre-season many years ago, so it’s nice to see him come on and it’s going to be tough,” said Norrie. “He’s won a title on the clay already this year in Estoril and he’s really enjoying his tennis. I practised with him the other day and he’s hitting the ball big off both sides, so it’s going to be a tough one.”

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Fourth seed Alex de Minaur also enjoyed a successful main-draw debut in Lyon, bouncing back from losing a one-sided first set to home favourite Ugo Humbert in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win. De Minaur has shown solid form in recent weeks on the European clay, reaching the semi-finals in Barcelona in April and the third round in Rome last week, but the 23-year-old Australian is chasing a maiden title on the red dirt.

In the quarter-finals De Minaur will face Yosuke Watanuki, who notched a 6-3, 6-4 win over Soonwoo Kwon for his second tour-level win of the year.

The first round was rounded out in Lyon on Tuesday, as qualifier Manuel Guinard claimed his maiden tour-level win with a 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 upset of World No. 68 Hugo Gaston. He next faces Michael Mmoh, while Federico Coria booked a second round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta by downing Daniel Altmaier, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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ATP Partners With COSAT To Host First South American Challenger Workshop

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

ATP Partners With COSAT To Host First South American Challenger Workshop

Workshop to be held in Rio de Janeiro in July

The ATP and COSAT (the Confederation of South American Tennis) announced today that the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the first-ever ATP Challenger Tour workshop in South America from 14-15 July. Representatives from tournaments and national federations from across the continent will be welcomed to an interactive two-day forum, with the goal of making the burgeoning Challenger Tour circuit even stronger in the region.

The ATP Challenger Tour has made great strides in South America in recent years, as seen in the addition of 20 new tournaments since the start of the 2021 season. The forum aims to foster open dialogue between tournaments, federations and ATP staff, to enhance the existing structure in the region and provide new strategies for growth. The forum will also include the development of an integrated annual calendar in the region and discussions on global Challenger strategy, marketing and tournament standards.

Richard Glover, Vice-President of the ATP Challenger Tour, said: “South America is an exciting growth region for the Challenger Tour and we tip our hat to tournament promoters and federations for their contributions to professional tennis. This workshop aims to strengthen our partnership and provide a platform for strategic collaboration as we look to continue our growth in South America.”

Rafael Westrupp, President of COSAT, added: “The growth of the ATP Challenger Tour in South America is of great importance to all stakeholders across COSAT. We acknowledge that the circuit is the launch pad of professional tennis in the region, and its development is critical as we continue building a strong foundation for the future of South American tennis. The workshop is an important event, aligning with our strategic plan moving forward. We are excited by what’s to come for tennis on the continent”.

South America has long been a staple on the ATP Challenger Tour, since its first tournaments in Brazil in 1979. Since then, the circuit has traversed the continent, featuring in 62 different cities across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Last year, the Uruguay Open in Montevideo became the first Challenger Tour event in South America to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

In addition, the recent growth of Challenger tennis in South America has been reflected on the court. Players have taken advantage of new playing opportunities and a streamlined player pathway in the region. Last year, a record-tying 20 Challenger champions hailed from Argentina, with an additional 12 winners from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Ecuador combined. In total, 23 players from the continent featured in the year-end Top 200 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, with two – Sebastian Baez and Juan Manuel Cerundolo – qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals.

The ATP Challenger Tour is the launchpad of men’s professional tennis, featuring over 150 tournaments across more than 40 countries each season. The competition is intense, with players battling for Pepperstone ATP Rankings points and prize money, while developing their game with the collective goal of progressing onto the ATP Tour. For fans, it provides the opportunity to witness world-class tennis and future stars as they launch their professional journeys. Live stream the action throughout the year via Challenger TV on ATPTour.com.

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‘A Sunshine Double!’ Djokovic & Son Lift Trophies On The Same Day

  • Posted: May 17, 2022

‘A Sunshine Double!’ Djokovic & Son Lift Trophies On The Same Day

7-year-old Stefan Djokovic wins his first official club tournament in Serbia

Watch out, Novak Djokovic, there’s a new rival in town.

As the World No. 1 was busy clinching his record-extending 38th ATP Masters 1000 title at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Sunday, Djokovic’s son Stefan was playing his first official club competition at home in Serbia. The 7-year-old enjoyed a triumphant debut, lifting the winner’s trophy to round off a successful day for the Djokovic family.

“A sunshine double today,” said 34-year-old Djokovic after hearing of Stefan’s success shortly after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Italian capital for his maiden ATP Tour title of the year. “It’s a very small club tournament. Obviously, it doesn’t really matter. The result is secondary. It was nice to see him playing.

“The first official tournament or match always stays in your memory very fondly. I really wanted him to enjoy it on the court. When we spoke shortly, he was on Cloud 9, with all the family. My parents, my wife’s parents, everybody there supporting him. It’s nice.”

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Despite Stefan showing early promise on court, Djokovic is determined that his own successes will not place extra pressure on his son.

“We had a chat the last few days about the routines and the things he should do before the match,” said the Serbian. “I was kind of leading him into this world. It was interesting to see how he responds to that. Obviously, you have to speak in their language about things that I feel like it could help him.

“I’m not forcing him to play tennis. I never did that. Not a single day have I told him, ‘You have to do this.’ It’s really purely his own desire to step on the court.

“If he wants to embark on this journey, I guess I have to embark with him, too. Of course, I’ll be thrilled if he plays tennis.”

In terms of passion for the sport, Djokovic sees elements of his own tennis journey in Stefan.

“He’s doing well so far, he’s really in love with the sport,” said the seven-time Pepperstone ATP Rankings year-end No. 1. “Last night when I spoke to him, he was up till late. He was showing me forehands and backhands, how he’s going to move tomorrow, kind of shadowing, playing shadow tennis, without a racquet.

“It was so funny to see that. I used to do that when I was a kid. I could see the joy in him, the pure emotion and love for the game. That’s 99.9 per cent of children, when they start to play tennis or any sport. [It] is because they fall in love with it.”

Stefan may be in the lucky position of having an ATP legend to turn to for on-court advice, but Djokovic feels raising Stefan and his daughter, Tara, alongside his wife Jelena, brings him an inherent boost for his own pursuit of success on Tour.

“I have to remind myself, I have the privilege to be the father of wonderful kids,” said Djokovic. “I try to take that energy, childish energy, and fuel my inner child because I tend to forget about my inner child a lot.

“Everything is so serious. It’s your profession. It’s your job. You got to be this. You got to be that. You got to be disciplined. Sometimes we take life too seriously. They remind me of that connection, that pure energy.”

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#NextGenATP Italians Cobolli & Zeppieri Win In Roland Garros Qualifying

  • Posted: May 16, 2022

#NextGenATP Italians Cobolli & Zeppieri Win In Roland Garros Qualifying

Second Grand Slam of year will be held from 22 May to 5 June

#NextGenATP Italians Flavio Cobolli and Giulio Zeppieri were among the winners Monday in Paris as the first round of qualifying for Roland Garros kicked off in the French capital.

World No. 153 Cobolli made his ATP Masters 1000 debut last week as a wild card at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, where he fell to Jenson Brooksby in the first round. The 20-year-old, who sits ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, bounced back strongly from that defeat in Paris with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over French wild card Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg.

His countryman Zeppieri, who is 28th in the race to qualify for November’s Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, continued his strong form on the European clay with a 6-3, 6-4 win over countryman Andreas Seppi. Former World No. 18 Seppi reached the fourth round in Paris in 2012, but Zeppieri broke once in each set to book a second-round clash with Marius Copil.

No. 215-ranked Zeppieri is full of confidence after coming through qualifying to make his Masters 1000 debut in Rome last week. The 20-year-old upset Marrakech runner-up Alex Molcan and big-serving American Maxime Cressy to reach the main draw, where he fell to Karen Khachanov.

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There was an impressive win for another Italian on Monday as Franco Agamenone beat second-seeded Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. World No. 155 Agamenone is playing in qualifying in Paris for the first time, and he next faces Alexandre Muller after the Frenchman breezed past Cem Ilkel 6-0, 6-1.

There were early exits for other seeded players bidding to qualify for the second Grand Slam of the year. Zsombor Piros upset former World No. 11 Sam Querrey, with the Hungarian racing to a 6-2, 6-2 win over the third seed in just 58 minutes, while Ramkumar Ramanathan took out ninth seed Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-2. Piros next takes on Egor Gerasimov, while Ramanathan will face home wild card Sean Cuenin.

Sixth seed Radu Albot made a winning start with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Matheus Pucinelli De Almeida while 10th seed Norbert Gombos was also taken the distance before he advanced past Frenchman Constant Lestienne, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.

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Tsitsipas Rises To No. 4, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: May 16, 2022

Tsitsipas Rises To No. 4, Mover Of Week

ATPTour.com looks at the top Movers of the Week in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 16 May 2022

No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, +1
The Greek has climbed one spot to No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after he reached the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final for the first time. The 23-year-old saved two match points against Grigor Dimitrov in his opening match, before he defeated Karen Khachanov, Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev. However, Tsitsipas, who clinched the trophy in Monte Carlo, was unable to overcome Novak Djokovic in the final. Read Rome Final Report & Watch Highlights.

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No. 8 Casper Ruud, +2
The 23-year-old has jumped two places after he enjoyed a run to the semi-finals in Rome. Ruud suffered early exits at the first two ATP Masters 1000 clay-court events of the season in Monte Carlo and Madrid, but found his best level in the Italian capital to reach the last four for the second time before losing to Djokovic.

No. 36 Cristian Garin, +9
The Chilean has soared back into the Top 40 after he advanced to the quarter-finals in Rome. Garin reached the last four in Houston at the start of April but arrived in Italy having earned just one win in his past four matches. The five-time ATP Tour champion was back to his best on his favourite surface in Rome, however, downing Francesco Passaro, Emil Ruusuvuori and Marin Cilic.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 12 Jannik Sinner, +1
No. 29 Botic van de Zandschulp, +3 (Career High)
No. 34 Jenson Brooksby, +4 (Career High)
No. 44 Francisco Cerundolo, +5 (Career High)
No. 49 Marcos Giron, +11 (Career High)
No 51 Laslo Djere, +8
No. 54 Daniel Altmaier, +12 (Career High)
No. 86 Quentin Halys, +14 (Career High)

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Cecchinato Ousts Thiem In Geneva

  • Posted: May 16, 2022

Cecchinato Ousts Thiem In Geneva

Italian wins rematch of 2018 Roland Garros semi-final

Four years ago, Dominic Thiem defeated Marco Cecchinato in straight sets in the Roland Garros semi-finals. On Monday in Geneva, with both men trying to find their form, it was Cecchinato who emerged victorious.

The Italian defeated Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the Gonet Geneva Open, leaving the Austrian still looking to recapture his best form leading into Roland Garros.

Thiem missed the second half of last season due to a wrist injury. The former World No. 3 returned to action at an ATP Challenger Tour event this March, and has yet to taste victory in his six outings.

The two-time Roland Garros finalist showed some of his trademark shotmaking in Geneva, where he hit two stunning tweener winners in the same game. But he was unable to find enough consistency against Cecchinato, who triumphed in one hour and 33 minutes.

The former World No. 16 entered the week with an 0-11 record at all levels this year, but he has now won three matches in Geneva, including qualifying, without losing a set. Cecchinato, who saved all seven break points he faced against Thiem, will next play Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak, who defeated eighth seed Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-3 on Sunday.

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In other Day Two action, former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win against Australian John Millman. The Frenchman will challenge Daniil Medvedev in the World No. 2’s first clay-court match of the year following a hernia procedure.

Seventh seed Federico Delbonis also moved on with a 6-4 6-4 victory against Lithuanian wild card Ricardas Berankis, while 2021 Winston-Salem champion Ilya Ivashka rallied past American Marcos Giron 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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Monfils Withdraws From Lyon & Roland Garros

  • Posted: May 16, 2022

Monfils Withdraws From Lyon & Roland Garros

Frenchman suffering from right foot injury

Gael Monfils announced on social media Monday that he is withdrawing from the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon and Roland Garros due to a right foot injury, for which he will undergo a “small procedure” this week.

“Hi all, I regret to inform you that I am forced to withdraw from Open Parc de Lyon and the French Open next week. I have been bothered by a calcaneal spur since Monte Carlo at my right heel which prevents me from moving properly on court,” Monfils wrote on Twitter. “I have decided to undergo a small procedure this week to treat the issue before returning to competitive play. I will keep you updated about my progress when I have more news.”

Monfils is 12-6 on the season, including a title at the Adelaide International 1 in January. The Frenchman most recently competed at the Mutua Madrid Open, where he lost to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the second round.

The 35-year-old reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2008 and advanced to the quarter-finals in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

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Molcan Moves Past 'Legend' Tsonga In Lyon Opener

  • Posted: May 16, 2022

Molcan Moves Past ‘Legend’ Tsonga In Lyon Opener

Humbert and Kwon advance

Competing at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon for the last time Monday, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s finale at the ATP 250 event was spoiled by Alex Molcan.

Frenchman Tsonga, who will retire after Roland Garros, lifted the trophy in Lyon in 2017 and reached the semi-finals in 2007 and 2008. However, the former World No. 5 was unable to match Molcan’s intensity in their first-round clash, suffering a 6-4, 6-4 defeat on home soil in one hour and 32 minutes.

World No. 47 Molcan enjoyed a run to the final in Marrakech in April and he played with confidence against Tsonga, using the drop shot effectively to set up a second-round meeting against fifth seed Karen Khachanov or French qualifier Gilles Simon.

“I am really happy I won today. It was a pleasure to play against Jo,” Molcan said in his on-court interview. “He is a legend of the sport and I am really happy I could play him at least once in my career. I remember him playing, he was unbelievable. The emotions, everything.”


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In an all-French meeting, Ugo Humbert snapped a three-match losing streak, downing qualifier Gregoire Barrere 6-3, 6-4 in 75 minutes to reach the second round In Lyon for the second time. The World No. 45 will next meet Australian Alex de Minaur.

In other action, Soonwoo Kwon saved a match point, before downing Aljaz Bedene 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-0, while Germany’s Oscar Otte defeated French wild card Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-1.

Kwon will next play eighth seed Pedro Martinez or lucky loser Yosuke Watanuki, with Otte facing Estoril champion Sebastian Baez or Argentine qualifier Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

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