The ATP today announced that the February 2020 Latin American swing will feature an ATP 250 tournament in Santiago, Chile, replacing the event previously held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 2012-2019.
It will be the first time that Chile has hosted an ATP Tour tournament since 2014 in Vina Del Mar (2001-2009, 2012-14), with Santiago hosting a tour-level event between 1993-2000, 2010-11. Event organisers, SACS, which has run three ATP Challenger Tour events in Chile, will work in partnership with Octagon, owners of the tournament sanction.
“The ATP gave us the go ahead to develop the tournament in Santiago, which is very exciting,” said Catalina Fillol, who has been appointed Tournament Director. “Chile deserves top-notch sporting events and we have been focused on recovering this official event for a long time, which has been absent in our country, and we trust that we will have the support of the sponsors to put on a first-class event, in a family atmosphere and with healthy competition as it has always been.
“Chile today has great players, great fans, and a long history of events dating back to our first ATP Challenger Tour, which allows us to look optimistically at the challenge that lies ahead.”
The 2020 ATP Tour calendar will also feature five other Latin American events: the Cordoba Open, the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, the Rio Open presented by Claro and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco – all held in the month of February – plus the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex in Los Cabos in July.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal helped Spain pull even against Russia on Tuesday at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.
The Spaniard beat Karen Khachanov 6-3, 7-6(7) to tie Russia 1-1 in Group B. Nadal improved to 25-1 in Davis Cup matches by winning his 25th consecutive Davis Cup match.
He lost the first Davis Cup match he played in 2004 against Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic.
Most Davis Cup Singles Match Wins By A Spaniard
Juan Gisbert Sr.
Earlier Tuesday, Russian Andrey Rublev held off World No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(0). Spain and Russia will compete a doubles match to determine the winner of the tie.
Canada started 2-0 to become the first team to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals. The Canadians beat Italy on Monday in Group F and, thanks to singles wins from Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov, downed the U.S.A. on Tuesday.
Pospisil improved to 2-0 this week with a 7-6(5), 7-6(7) win against Reilly Opelka, and Shapovalov edged Taylor Fritz 7-6(6), 6-3.
In Group A, Nitto ATP Finals doubles champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut clinched a 2-1 win for France 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5 against Japan's Ben McLachlan/Yasutaka Uchiyama. France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2, 6-1, and Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka beat Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-2 to setup the deciding doubles match.
Australia beat Colombia in Group D as 2019 ATP Tour titlists Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur both won in straight sets. Kyrgios beat Alejandro Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4, and De Minaur swept Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4, 6-3.
Argentina swept Chile 3-0 behind a 6-4, 6-3 Guido Pella win against Nicolas Jarry, a 6-2, 6-2 Diego Schwartzman victory against Cristian Garin and a 6-3, 7-5 doubles victory for Maximo Gonzalez/Leonardo Mayer versus Nicolas Jarry/Hans Podlipnik-Castillo.
In Group E, Alexander Bublik/Mikhail Kukushkin gave Kazakhstan a 2-1 win against the Netherlands with a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory against Robin Haase/Jean-Julien Rojer. Earlier in singles, Haase beat Bublik 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5) and Kukushkin beat Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-2, 6-2.
#NextGenATP Denis Shapovalov clinched an opening-day victory for Canada on Monday at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. The 20-year-old left-hander, who reached the Rolex Paris Masters final earlier this month (l. to Djokovic), edged Nitto ATP Finals qualifier Matteo Berrettini of Italy 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(5) to put Canada up 2-0 and guarantee them the win against Italy in Group F.
Canada's Vasek Pospisil beat Fabio Fognini, No. 12 in the ATP Rankings, 7-6(5), 7-5 earlier Monday.
“I’m really happy to get the win and against such an amazing player as Matteo,” Shapovalov told DavisCupFinals.com. “He’s had such an unbelievable season, and he’s playing some great tennis. It’s amazing to win the match, especially like this, in three tie-break sets.”
Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov went unbeaten in singles and doubles action to give Russia a 3-0 win against Croatia in Group B. Rublev dismissed Borna Gojo 6-3, 6-3, and Khachanov beat Borna Coric 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4. Khachanov had been 0-2 against Coric in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
In doubles, Khachanov/Rublev teamed up to beat Ivan Dodig/Nikola Mektic 7-6(3), 6-4.
In Group D, Steve Darcis and David Goffin both won in singles to secure an opening 2-1 win for Belgium against Colombia. Darcis beat Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-2, and Goffin beat Daniel Elahi Galan 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah, year-end No. 1 team in the ATP Doubles Rankings, put Colombia on the board with a 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) victory against Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen.
In the revamped Davis Cup Finals, the six group winners qualify for the quarter-finals, along with the two runners-up with the best records.
No. 4 (Career-High) Dominic Thiem, +1
In his first three appearances at the Nitto ATP Finals, Dominic Thiem won just one match apiece, and was unable to advance to the semi-finals. But the Austrian star got off to a fast start this year, defeating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in back-to-back matches, before defeating defending champion Alexander Zverev in straight sets to make his first championship match at the season finale. The 26-year-old, who also won his first ATP Masters 1000 title this year at the BNP Paribas Open, will finish the season at a career-high year-end World No. 4.
No. 78 (Career-High) Jannik Sinner, +18
The day after the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals, a 17-year-old Jannik Sinner was No. 762 in the ATP Rankings. One year later, the Italian teen is up to a career-high World No. 78. Sinner won his third ATP Challenger Tour title on Sunday — also his third of the season — in Ortisei to become the second-youngest player to capture three Challenger trophies in a season. The only player who accomplished the feat at a younger age than the Next Gen ATP Finals champion is Richard Gasquet, who did it at 17.
No. 95 Ivo Karlovic, +11
Ivo Karlovic reached the final at the Houston ATP Challenger Tour event to climb 11 spots, propelling him into the Top 100, where he is projected to finish the season. This will be the 16th time in 17 years that the Croat has completed a year inside the Top 100. Karlovic finished year-end No. 101 in 2018, which means he was one spot away from accomplishing the feat for 17 consecutive seasons. Karlovic, now 40, first did it when he was 24.
Other Notable Movers
No. 68 Tennys Sandgren, +2
No. 87 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, +2
No. 93 Damir Dzumhur, +4
No. 100 James Duckworth, +11
A LOOK BACK
KPIT Challenger (Pune, India): Quick, name the player with the most match wins and titles this year. No one enjoyed more success on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2019 than James Duckworth. One year after Jordan Thompson led the tour in victories and trophies, it was his countryman who achieved the feat to conclude the season.
Duckworth rallied from a set down on Sunday to earn his 49th match win and fourth title of the year, overcoming Jay Clarke 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Pune. After undergoing a litany of surgeries in recent years, the Aussie is finally back inside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time since 2017. The win, which puts him at No. 100, also gives him direct entry into the 2020 Australian Open.
"I'm thrilled to win the event," said Duckworth. "It has been a lot of hard work for me. I have been out of tennis since the latter part of 2017 and have gone through five major operations. This is for my family who have supported me. I'm glad to get back to the Top 100 as it guarantees entry into bigger events."
One of the best championship points of 2019. Electric scenes in Pune!@JamesDuck21 takes the title at the @KPITChallenger, streaking to his fourth #ATPChallenger 🏆 of the year. pic.twitter.com/2qPseF2aqk— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) November 17, 2019
Oracle Challenger Series - Houston (Houston, Texas, USA): Marcos Giron turned in one of the biggest comebacks of the season, capturing the title in Houston on Sunday. The California native saved six match points, rallying from 1/6 down in a deciding tie-break to overcome Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(9).
Facing that big of a deficit against the Croatian's mammoth serve is a daunting prospect for any player. But Giron was up to the test, scoring a pair of mini-breaks against the net-charging Karlovic, before eventually crossing the finish line after two hours and two minutes.
The 26-year-old concluded his campaign exactly how it started, having opened the 2019 season with a maiden title in Orlando. He will finish just shy of the Top 100, jumping 21 spots to No. 102 in the ATP Rankings.
Meanwhile, Karlovic became the first player aged 40 & older to reach a Challenger final, ensuring his 17th consecutive year-end Top 100 finish.
Tali Open (Helsinki, Finland): There is no better feeling than winning a title in your hometown, with your family and friends in attendance and the fans chanting your name. Emil Ruusuvuori earned a fitting conclusion to his breakthrough season with yet another victory, this time in his home capital of Helsinki.
The ATP Challenger Tour returned to the Finnish capital for the first time since 2003, as the Tali Open celebrated its inaugural edition this week. And its native son would christen the tournament in thrilling fashion. The 20-year-old Ruusuvuori notched his fourth title of the year, defeating Mohamed Safwat 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2 on the fast hard courts of the Tali Tennis Center.
"It was a very tough match. It was amazing to win the tournament which was organized by my own tennis club HVS-Tennis," said Ruusuvuori. "In my home tennis center in front of the home audience. My whole family, parents, sister and brother were here every day and also a lot of friends."
In front of a packed crowd, Finland's No. 1 gave the home faithful a glimpse into the future of tennis in their country. He has quietly put together one of the breakout campaigns of the year on the Challenger circuit, joining Duckworth, Ricardas Berankis and Mikael Ymer as the only players with four trophies. Considering he was outside the Top 400 and playing on the Futures circuit in early June, it has been a remarkable rise for the budding #NextGenATP star.
At the age of 20 years and seven months, Ruusuvuori is the youngest to win four titles in a season since Hyeon Chung in 2015. He rises to a career-high No. 125 in the ATP Rankings.
Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena (Ortisei, Italy): Jannik Sinner followed his Next Gen ATP Finals title with a victory at the Challenger event in nearby Ortisei. The youngest player in the Top 100 dominated from first ball, not dropping a set en route to the title on home soil.
More on Sinner's historic third title of the year...
JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana (Champaign, Illinois, USA): J.J. Wolf became the third #NextGenATP champion of the day with his thrilling win in Champaign. The former Ohio State University standout saved a match point to defeat Sebastian Korda 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-6(6) in two hours and 30 minutes.
After winning his maiden title on his home college campus of Columbus in January, the 20-year-old Wolf caps his campaign with a second crown. It marks the fifth straight season in which an American aged 20 & under has won multiple titles. He joins Michael Mmoh (2018), Frances Tiafoe (2016 & '17), Ernesto Escobedo (2016) and Taylor Fritz (2015).
Wolf cracks the Top 200 for the first time, soaring to a career-high No. 189 in the ATP Rankings.
A LOOK AHEAD
One tournament remains in 2019. The inaugural event in Maia, Portugal welcomes players and fans to the Complexo Municipal de Tenis da Maia. Andrej Martin is the top seed and is joined by Italians Thomas Fabbiano, Paolo Lorenzi and Gianluca Mager as the leading men on the indoor clay.
One week ago, the tennis world was introduced to Jannik Sinner. The 18-year-old Italian sprinted to the title at the Next Gen ATP Finals, celebrating his biggest victory in front of a global audience.
On Sunday, the youngest player in the Top 100 concluded his breakthrough season with yet another crowning achievement. Sinner dominated from first ball to last at the ATP Challenger Tour event in nearby Ortisei, not dropping a set en route to the title on home soil.
Sinner claimed a slice of history with his latest triumph, becoming the second-youngest player to lift three Challenger trophies in a single season. Only Richard Gasquet was younger when he achieved the feat in 2003.
"It feels great," said Sinner. "It's been a long week. It's not easy to play here at home and I was a little nervous actually. I handled it really well so I'm very happy. Of course the confidence is higher [after winning Milan]. I played well there and for that reason I felt more under pressure here."
The city of Ortisei witnessed unprecedented snowfall during the tournament, with mounds of powder piling up around the tennis club. An avid skier, Sinner felt right at home, turning in a ruthless display to dispatch Sebastian Ofner 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday.
In fact, the 18-year-old, who was born and raised in northern Italy, has enjoyed some of his greatest success in the region this year. Sitting outside the Top 500 in February, he notched his first Challenger title in Bergamo, before concluding his campaign with the victories in Milan and Ortisei. He is up to a career-high No. 78, marking the biggest jump to the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings this year.
"It's been a long year with many matches and I'm happy that I have a little bit of time off. I'm looking forward to practising well for the next season."
Sinner's ascent via the ATP Challenger Tour has been nothing short of stunning. His title in Bergamo (as an unseeded wild card) came in just his fourth appearance on the circuit. He would take advantage of his opportunities, reaching the title match in Ostrava, before lifting another trophy in Lexington. From playing Futures tournaments to open the year to graduating to the ATP Tour to conclude the season, Sinner is ready for the big show as the calendar flips to 2020.
Imagine playing more than a set of tennis in the biggest match of your life and not missing a single backhand groundstroke.
Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Dominic Thiem 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4) to win the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday, with his swashbuckling one-handed backhand providing the rock he needed to lean on after losing the opening set.
In the first set, Tsitsipas hit 34 backhand groundstrokes (excluding returns and volleys), collecting one winner, while making eight errors. At 6/6 in the first-set tie-break, Tsitsipas miss-hit a backhand long to gift Thiem a set point. This innocuous backhand error would prove to be a pivotal moment in the final. The match was 65 minutes old, and Tsitsipas would incredibly not miss a backhand groundstroke for the next 35 minutes, until 0-0, 30/40 in the third set.
During that 35-minute period, the Greek made 19 straight backhands while Thiem’s backhand faltered with 11 errors and no winners from 40 shots. Basically, Thiem made a backhand error one out of every four times he hit that stroke, while Tsitsipas simply couldn’t miss the court.
Fast forward to the end of the match, and it was once again the Tsitsipas backhand that stood tall. He made his last nine backhands in a row, including all seven in the thrilling third-set tie-break. Thiem, on the other hand, hit seven backhand groundstrokes in the third-set tie-break, and crucially missed two of them.
Backhand Performance: Tsitsipas v Thiem
All Three Sets Tsitsipas Thiem Backhand Groundstroke Winners 2 3 Backhand Groundstroke Errors 15 26 Total Backhand Groundstrokes 93 95
Both players struck exactly 34 backhand groundstrokes in the opening set, with Tsitsipas averaging one error for every 4.3 backhands (8/34), which was superior to Thiem’s average of one backhand error for every 2.8 backhands (12/34). In the second set, Tsitsipas didn’t commit a backhand groundstroke error. Thiem missed five of his 10 backhands.
Tsitsipas Ad Court First Serves Down The T
Another key battle that the Greek dominated was first serves in the Ad court. Overall, he lost seven first-serve points in the Deuce court, dropping just three in the Ad court. Tsitsipas’ strategy was to overwhelmingly serve down the T in the Ad court, where he didn’t lose a single point, winning all 16 points he directed there.
Tsitsipas 1st Serve Direction & Win Percentage
First Serve Direction First Serve Made First Serve Won Win Percentage Deuce Court Wide 20 15 75% Deuce Court Body 2 2 100% Deuce Court T 12 10 83% Ad Court Wide 8 5 63% Ad Court Body 1 1 100% Ad Court T 16 16 100%
When you combine Deuce Court and Ad Court, Tsitsipas won a mind-blowing 93 per cent (26/28) of first-serve points going right down the T for the match.
ATP Infosys Second Screen: Thiem's First Serve vs. Tsitsipas, Ad Court
Thiem served out wide in the Ad court at the highest rate (62%) of any location on both sides of the court combined. By doing so, he went to Tsitsipas' backhand. That did not pay dividends, as he only won 60 per cent of those points (12/20) and did not hit one ace.
Tsitsipas' serve was on fire, and the backhand simply refused to break. That combination can get you places.[TSITSIPAS GEAR]