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  • Rublev Rallies, Earns First ATP 500 Crown In Hamburg

    Andrey Rublev added a third trophy to his impressive 2020 collection on Sunday, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 at the Hamburg European Open.

    The World No. 14 rallied from 3-5 down in the deciding set to earn his first ATP 500 trophy. Rublev was appearing in his second straight Hamburg final, after falling in three sets to defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in last year’s championship match.

    “It is an amazing feeling [to win an ATP 500 title],” said Rublev. “I realised it only when they called double fault… a few seconds later I started to realise that it is over and I won. It is an amazing feeling. I am happy.”

    The Moscow native is the second player to win three or more tour-level titles this season. Rublev moves clear of two-time 2020 tournament winners Cristian Garin and Gael Monfils to take sole ownership of second place on this year’s titles leaderboard.

    Multiple ATP Tour Titles In 2020

    Player Titles Won Events Won
    Novak Djokovic 4 Australian Open, Dubai, W&S Open, Rome
    Andrey Rublev 3 Doha, Adelaide, Hamburg
    Cristian Garin 2 Cordoba, Rio de Janeiro
    Gael Monfils 2 Montpellier, Rotterdam

    After winning one of his first three ATP Tour finals, Rublev has claimed victory in his past four championship matches. The 22-year-old won his home tournament in Moscow last year, before lifting back-to-back trophies at the start of 2020 in Doha and Adelaide. Rublev became the first man since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to start an ATP Tour season with consecutive trophies in the opening two weeks of the year.

    “I was going on the court with no fear. The match was such a thriller," said Rublev. "[In the] third set he was twice with the break. I was a little bit lucky at 5-4… and I broke back. I think that was a little bit mental. I think maybe Stefanos got a little disappointed inside that he didn’t make it and then at the end everything was so fast and I won.”

    Rublev has won 25 of his 31 tour-level contests this year. Only World No. 1 Novak Djokovic — who owns a 31-1 record in 2020 — owns more victories.

    Most ATP Tour Wins In 2020

    Rank Player Win/Loss Record
    1 Novak Djokovic 31-1
    2 Andrey Rublev 25-6
    3 Stefanos Tsitsipas 22-9
    4 Casper Ruud 20-9
    5 Felix Auger-Aliassime 18-13

    With his second win in three ATP Head2Head matches against Tsitsipas, Rublev becomes only the second Russian singles champion in Hamburg. The five-time ATP Tour titlist follows in the footsteps of former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, who captured the title in 2009.

    Tsitsipas was also aiming to capture his first ATP 500 title in his fifth final at the level. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion has reached three championship matches this year, highlighted by his second straight triumph at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

    “It is a pity. But that is what our sport is about,” said Tsitsipas. “It is all about fighting and at the end, the one who deserves it the most is the one that puts in the most hard work and dedication… I feel sad that I won’t walk away from here with the title, but I can’t wait to be back next year to do even better, hopefully.”

    Rublev started the match at a high level, dictating rallies with strong returns and powerful forehands to establish a 2-1 lead. Despite dropping serve in the next game, as Tsitsipas increased his aggression from the baseline, Rublev attacked the Greek’s backhand to regain his advantage.

    Tsitsipas played with patience and variety from the back of the court, moving his opponent out of position to extract forehand errors in the second set. The World No. 6 served with confidence to force a decider, winning 85 per cent of his first-serve points in the second set (17/20).

    After trading breaks at 1-1 in the first set, Tsitsipas ripped multiple forehands to gain a second break and a 3-2 advantage. The five-time ATP Tour titlist served for the trophy at 5-4, but Rublev took advantage of errors from his opponent to turn the match in his favour.

    [WATCH LIVE 2]

    After a love service hold at 5-5, the Russian benefitted from Tsitsipas forehand errors to earn two championship points. Rublev screamed towards his player box and held his head in his hands when Tsitsipas committed only his second double fault of the final.

    Rublev earns 500 FedEx ATP Ranking points and receives €79,330 in prize money. Tsitsipas collects 300 ATP Ranking points and €64,075.

    Did You Know?
    This was the first Hamburg final to feature two 22-and-under players since 2004. On that occasion, Roger Federer (22) defeated Guillermo Coria (22) in four sets to claim his second trophy at the event. Federer owns a tournament record four titles in Hamburg.

  • Sinner Makes Dream Debut, Beats Goffin At Roland Garros

    Jannik Sinner made a dream start on his Roland Garros debut on Sunday by knocking out No. 11 seed David Goffin, the 2016 quarter-finalist, for a place in the second round.

    The 19-year-old beat Goffin for the second time this year, 7-5, 6-0, 6-3, winning 78 per cent of his first-service points and striking 24 winners for victory in just under two hours. Sinner, who overcame Goffin 7-6(7), 7-5 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February, won 11 straight games from 5-5 in the first set to a 3-0 lead in the third set.

    “I never expected that,” said Sinner, when asked about the 11-game streak. “I was playing well from the beginning of the second set. I felt comfortable on court trying to go with the backhand a little bit more down the line and to open the court a little bit.”

    Played under a closed roof on the new Court Philippe-Chatrier, Sinner first broke for a 3-1 advantage, the first of four consecutive service breaks. Sinner broke for a third time in the 12th game, as Goffin committed his 23rd unforced error, to complete the competitive first set. The Belgian, who is currently No. 12 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, held serve three times to the end of the match, but Sinner was particularly strong on his forehand wing to complete his seventh win of 2020.

    “Obviously, it's not easy playing against him,” said Sinner. “I know him quite well before, we practised together quite a lot in Cincinnati, the US Open, Monaco. He's a great guy. You go on court obviously to win. The first set was very tight, a lot of breaks of serve, and it was the key to manage to win the service games quite easily. In the beginning, that was not easy. He was returning well. I was not serving that well. But the balls here are very heavy. The court was heavy. It was not easy. But when you win the first set and go up a break, it's a little bit easier to play. I mean, he's a Top 15 player, so you always have to be focused. I tried to do that, and today it worked.

    Sinner, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, will next challenge French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi, who recorded just his second tour-level match win by beating Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Bonzi, who partnered Quentin Halys to the 2014 Roland Garros junior doubles title, overcame Daniil Medvedev in the 2017 first round.

    Goffin admitted, "Even if he played well today, it was not a good match, of course, on my side. It's tough to lose a match like that, but it's a great player. When I saw that I was playing against him first round, I knew it was going to be tough, especially in the first round when you have no rhythm. I didn't have a win on the clay."

  • Will Shapovalov, Felix Or Another #NextGenATP Star Make A Run In Paris?

    Fourteen #NextGenATP stars will try to make their mark at Roland Garros in the coming fortnight. ATPTour.com looks at seven of those players before the clay-court Grand Slam begins.

    Denis Shapovalov
    Shapovalov is the hottest #NextGenATP player leading into Roland Garros. The lefty, who has excelled under the guidance of former Russian star Mikhail Youzhny, cracked the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time Monday. The ninth seed, who is fresh off a run to the quarter-finals of the US Open and the semi-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, will try to improve his 1-2 record at Roland Garros. Shapovalov plays French veteran Gilles Simon in the first round.

    Felix Auger-Aliassime
    The 19th seed is making his Roland Garros main draw debut. The Canadian reached last year's Lyon final, but was unable to compete the following week in Paris due to a left adductor injury. Auger-Aliassime has shown great promise on clay, making his first big tour-level splash at the 2019 Rio Open presented by Claro, where he reached the final as the World No. 104. The 20-year-old faces Japanese lefty Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round.

    Alex de Minaur
    De Minaur, who like Shapovalov made his maiden major quarter-final at the US Open, will try to play his best clay-court tennis yet in Paris. The Aussie is 2-10 at tour-level on the surface, but he is widely recognised as one of the quickest players on Tour. In cooler, slower conditions, it will be incredibly difficult for players to hit through the 25th seed, who opens his run against 2018 semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato.

    Jannik Sinner
    When Roland Garros was played in 2019, Sinner was outside the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. Now World No. 74, the reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion is rapidly rising. The Italian faces a tough test in his Roland Garros debut against 11th seed David Goffin. However, not only did he win his only previous ATP Head2Head meeting against the Belgian, but he is fresh off a victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome.

    Corentin Moutet
    France’s top #NextGenATP hope Moutet is trying to back up strong Roland Garros performances from 2018 and 2019. The dynamic lefty, who is unafraid of the forecourt, reached the second round two years ago in Paris and the third round last year. The 21-year-old, who recently collaborated on a rap song with Shapovalov, plays Italian qualifier Lorenzo Giustino in the first round.

    Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
    Few players on the ATP Tour are as fond of the drop shot as Davidovich Fokina, and the Spaniard will certainly use it on the slow Roland Garros clay. The Spaniard, who is at a career-high World No. 69, won three matches to qualify in Rome and also reached the fourth round of the US Open. Davidovich Fokina opens against fellow #NextGenATP player Harold Mayot, a French wild card.

    Miomir Kecmanovic
    The Serbian is flying high after lifting his first ATP Tour trophy in Kitzbuhel. World No. 40 Kecmanovic has established himself inside the Top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, and now he will try to cause an upset at Roland Garros against Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman, the 12th seed. Kecmanovic has made the second round at four of his past five majors, but he has never advanced further at a Grand Slam.

    Did You Know?
    The other seven #NextGenATP players competing at Roland Garros are Hugo Gaston, Sebastian Korda, Tomas Machac, Harold Mayot, Alexei Popyrin, Jurij Rodionov and Emil Ruusuvuori.

  • Will Murray Get Roland Garros Revenge Against Wawrinka On Day 1?

    Fans won’t have to wait long for the biggest first-round blockbuster in the Roland Garros draw, as former World No. 1 Andy Murray and 16th seed Stan Wawrinka highlight Sunday’s action in a battle of three-time Grand Slam champions.

    Three years ago, Wawrinka needed four hours and 34 minutes to battle past Murray in an epic semi-final. Sunday evening on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Murray will try to get his revenge in his first clay-court match since that memorable encounter.

    “Been a long journey to get back on Court Philippe-Chatrier,” Murray wrote before the draw in an Instagram post. “Three-and-a-half years since I played @stanwawrinka85 in a brutal five-set semi-final, which turned out to be the end of my hip.”

    In 2017, both Murray and Wawrinka were flying high, challenging for the Coupe des Mousquetaires. Now they are working back towards their top form after both underwent multiple surgeries (Murray’s right hip, Wawrinka’s left knee).

    Wawrinka showed great form in Paris last year, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the quarter-finals, in which he fell short against Roger Federer in four tight sets. Murray will try to quickly adjust to moving on clay, a surface on which he owns two ATP Masters 1000 titles. Wawrinka has won four of their five ATP Head2Head meetings on clay, but Murray leads their overall series 12-8 and triumphed against the Swiss in last year’s Antwerp final.

    This will mark the first time that Grand Slam champions have faced each other in a Grand Slam first round since Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero at 2012 Wimbledon.

    View Full Sunday Order Of Play

    The other men’s match on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Day One promises to be a cracker between 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up David Goffin and reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner. 

    The Italian won their only previous clash 7-6(7), 7-5 earlier this year in Rotterdam, but that match was played on an indoor hard court, which is completely different conditions than the outdoor Parisian red clay in September. Sinner has easy power from the baseline, but his Belgian opponent does well to use his footwork to take control of rallies and strategically counterpunch.

    Sixth seed Alexander Zverev will play his first match since the US Open final against Austrian Dennis Novak. The German has reached back-to-back quarter-finals at this event, but he will have to be sharp in his first clay-court tournament of the year. Novak, Dominic Thiem’s close friend, is making his Roland Garros main draw debut. He will happily play aggressively in rallies if given the opportunity.

    Two in-form players on clay will also meet on Court Simonne-Mathieu: 12th seed Diego Schwartzman and Kitzbuhel champion Miomir Kecmanovic. They have not previously met, but they will certainly engage in fun baseline rallies. Schwartzman was at his aggressive best to beat Rafael Nadal at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia en route to his first Masters 1000 final. But if he is not at his very best, Kecmanovic will be ready to take advantage.

    Another baseline duel to watch for will be 32nd seed Daniel Evans against two-time Barcelona champion Kei Nishikori. The Japanese star leads the pair’s rivalry 2-1, but he is still recovering from right elbow surgery, which he had last October.

    It will be an interesting battle of patience on Court 14, as Evans will use his variety of shots — especially his backhand slice — to try to goad the former World No. 4 into making poor shot selections. Nishikori will try to balance waiting for the right moment to strike and attacking early enough to keep the Brit from going on offence.

    #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur, the 25th seed, will try to get off to a good start against 2018 semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato, who came through qualifying this year. De Minaur has triumphed in three of their four matches, but the clash Cecchinato won was their only meeting on clay (2019 Rome).

    Big-serving John Isner begins his run against home favourite Elliot Benchetrit. The 21st seed has not lost in the first round in Paris since pushing Nadal to five sets in his 2011 opener. Dominik Koepfer, a Rome quarter-finalist who was the only player to win a set against Djokovic at the Foro Italico, plays Frenchman Antoine Hoang.

  • Scouting Report: 10 Things To Watch At Roland Garros

    Roland Garros was rescheduled to begin in September this year, but the anticipation is as high as ever for the clay-court Grand Slam. Twenty-eight of the Top 30 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings lead the way in Paris, with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and 12-time champion Rafael Nadal topping the field.

    ATPTour.com looks at 10 things you should watch for in the coming fortnight:

    1) Novak Goes For Second Career Grand Slam: Djokovic has been the best player of 2020. He will try to maintain that momentum as he bids to become the first man in the Open Era to complete the Career Grand Slam twice (Emerson and Laver also did it, but not entirely in the Open Era).

    Djokovic, who won a record 36th ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, completed his first Career Grand Slam in Paris four years ago. Djokovic opens against 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Mikael Ymer.

    Listen To ATP Tennis Radio's Roland Garros Preview:

    2) Rafa Goes For 13:Nadal will pursue his 13th Coupe des Mousquetaires in Paris this year. The Spaniard holds an incredible 93-2 record at the clay-court major. If the lefty triumphs again, he will reach 100 victories at the tournament.

    Nadal is already the only player to win 12 titles at a single Grand Slam and the only man to claim 12 trophies at one tour-level event. The second seed begins his run against Egor Gerasimov.

    3) New Slam Champ Thiem: Dominic Thiem, who has made the Roland Garros final the past two years, will be more confident than ever starting this event. The Austrian is fresh off capturing his maiden major trophy at the US Open. He did not play any clay-court events leading into Paris, but he has earned 10 of his 17 tour-level titles on the surface.

    The 27-year-old, who faces a tough test in the first round against former World No. 3 Marin Cilic, has advanced to at least the semi-finals at Roland Garros the past four years. Thiem is trying to become the first Austrian to win multiple major crowns.

    4) Historic Implications:If Nadal wins a record 13th Roland Garros title, he will tie Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam trophies in history with 20. If Djokovic triumphs, the Serbian will lift his 18th major trophy, moving within one of Nadal (19) and two of Federer (20). A Thiem triumph will see him move past Nadal for World No. 2. Since Nadal passed Lleyton Hewitt for that spot on 25 July 2005, only the Big Four have held that place in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

    5) Blockbuster Openers: There are two first-round blockbusters between Grand Slam champions. Third seed Thiem will play 2014 US Open titlist Marin Cilic and 16th seed Stan Wawrinka faces former World No. 1 Andy Murray. This is the first time two major winners will battle in the first round at Roland Garros since Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat Michael Chang in 1999.

    6) Medvedev Making His Move: Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev, fresh off his run to the US Open semi-finals, will try to make a deep run in Paris. He begins his tournament without a win at Roland Garros (0-3), but having enjoyed previous success on clay. The Russian last year reached the final in Barcelona and the semi-finals in Monte Carlo. Medvedev plays Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the first round.

    7) Sons Of Former Slam Champs In Main Draw: Emilio Gomez and Sebastian Korda both qualified for the main draw in Paris for the first time. Both of their fathers, 1990 Roland Garros titlist Andres Gomez and 1998 Australian Open winner Petr Korda, are Grand Slam champions. There are 31 players making their Roland Garros main draw debuts. Read Feature

    8) Zverev In Paris: Before this year, Alexander Zverev’s best Grand Slam results came at Roland Garros. The German star has reached back-to-back quarter-finals at the clay-court major. Five of his eight victories at the tournament during that span came in five sets. Zverev, who did not play on clay before Roland Garros, will be as confident as ever after making his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open. His coach, David Ferrer, is with him in Paris.

    9) Hamburg Finalists In-Form: Andrey Rublev is playing Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's Hamburg European Open final, giving them confidence ahead of Roland Garros. Like countryman Medvedev, Rublev is pursuing his first main draw victory at Roland Garros. His only previous main draw appearance at the tournament came in 2017, when he lost a three-hour, 30-minute five-setter against Diego Schwartzman. The Russian ranks second on the ATP Tour in wins this season (24), trailing only Djokovic. The 22-year-old is one of four players (also Djokovic, Garin, Monfils) who have lifted multiple tour-level trophies in 2020.

    Tsitsipas played one of the best matches of 2019 in the fourth round at Roland Garros. The Greek star fell just short in a five-hour, nine-minute marathon against three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka. Tsitsipas is the fifth seed this year.

    10) Will The Germans Retain? Defending doubles champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies will try to retain their title in Paris. Other former Roland Garros doubles titlists in the field include Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, Pablo Cuevas and Feliciano Lopez (who won with different partners), Marcelo Melo, Ivan Dodig and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

  • Peers/Venus Save 1 M.P. To Reach Hamburg Final

    John Peers and Michael Venus saved one match point to advance to their second team final on Saturday, beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 3-6, 7-5, 10-6 at the Hamburg European Open.

    The unseeded duo had not dropped a set in their opening two matches in Hamburg, but trailed their opponents 3-6, 3-5 on Centre Court. After saving match point on a deuce deciding point at 4-5, the pair completed a run of four straight games to force a Match Tie-break.

    [WATCH LIVE 2]

    Peers and Venus saved five of seven break points to improve to 13-6 as a team. The Dubai champions joined forces for the first time at the ASB Classic in January.

    Peers will be aiming to capture his third Hamburg crown in Sunday’s championship match. The Australian lifted the trophy in 2015 (w/J. Murray) and 2016 (w/Kontinen).

    Last week’s Rome semi-finalists will face Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic for the trophy. The Croatian pair beat US Open finalists Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic 6-4, 6-4 on Friday.

  • Musetti's Moment: 18-Year-Old Claims First Challenger Title

    Italy's newest star has his first trophy. One week after announcing his arrival in Rome, Lorenzo Musetti celebrated his maiden title on the ATP Challenger Tour.

    Musetti was a force all week in Forli, culminating in a 7-6(2), 7-6(5) win over World No. 89 Thiago Monteiro on Saturday. It was a magical week for the Italian teen,  who lifted his first piece of silverware in emphatic fashion.

    "It's amazing to win here in Italy," said Musetti. "I played against many Top 100 players, but the key was to build on my week in Rome. I was nervous today and I managed the pressure well. I think I played a really good match. It was not easy, but I focused on every point and single detail that makes the difference."

    Final Interview:

    As he ripped a forehand winner into the corner, a relieved Musetti tossed his racquet to the clay and dropped his hands to his knees. A fist pump to his coach Simone Tartarini confirmed it. The 18-year-old was a Challenger champion for the first time.

    Dictating from the baseline and making Monteiro work for every point, Musetti triumphed after one hour and 58 minutes. The victory marked the conclusion of a stunning week for the La Spezia native, who reeled off four straight Top 100 wins to take the title. In fact, Musetti entered last week's ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome without a Top 100 victory to his name, but in the span of 12 days he claimed six such victories.

    Musetti is the fifth-youngest Italian champion in Challenger history. Only Jannik Sinner's three titles in 2019 and Stefano Pescosolido's triumph in Parioli in 1989 came at a younger age. At the age of 18 years and six months, he is also the third teenage titlist this year, joining a 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz and a 19-year-old Tomas Machac.

    Musetti, who is projected to rise more than 40 spots to a career-high inside the Top 150 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, is in the midst of a two-week run he'll never forget. At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, he upset Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori, en route to the Round of 16. His ATP Tour debut was his long-awaited breakthrough and he would carry the momentum to Forli.

    Victories over Frances Tiafoe, Andreas Seppi, Lloyd Harris and Thiago Monteiro have Musetti soaring as he hurtles towards the Top 100. From outside the top 400 one year ago to becoming one of the hottest players on the planet in 2020, the rise continues for the teen.

    Final Highlights: