Alex de Minaur Named the ATP World Tour’s Newcomer of the Year

He may be new to the ATP World Tour, but Alex de Minaur is definitely getting notices…

The 19-year-old Spanish & Uruguyan-Australian tennis playerhas been named the ATP World Tour Newcomer of the Year, sharing year-end honors with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Alex de Minaur

de Minaur earned the honors after a stunning breakout season, climbing from No 208 to 31st in the rankings.

He’s all but guaranteed an Australian Open seeding after last year winning his way into the tournament through the wildcard playoff.

The baseliner’s effort to reach the final of the Next Gen ATP Finals decider is yet another milestone for de Minaur.

His progress this year has been so sustained, he has claimed a career-high ranking on 15 separate occasions.

As semifinalist and finalist in Brisbane and Sydney, respectively, in January, de Minaur became the first 19-year-old to reach successive ATP semifinals since Rafael Nadal in 2005. Nadal achieved the feat at Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

de Minaur and Ashleigh Barty are expected to fight out the Newcombe Medal later this month from John Millman and Jason Kubler.

Djokovic was voted by ATP peers as Comeback Player of the Year, overcoming elbow surgery to return to No 1.

Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda is Coach of the Year after returning to the Serb’s camp as part of an incredible rebuild.

Nadal was chosen by his fellow players as recipient of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award.

Federer was voted Fans’ Favorite for the 16th successive year.

Mike Bryan and Jack Sock were voted Doubles Fans’ Favorites.

Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed Most Improved Player of the Year honors.

Oliver Marachand Mate Pavic secured the ATP world No 1 Doubles Team Award, while Spain’s Tommy Robredo earned the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.

Rafael Nadal Defeats Stefanos Tsitsipas to Claim Fourth Career Rogers Cup Title

Make that 80 for Rafael Nadal

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis star claimed his 80th ATP World Tour title on Sunday while ruining Stefanos Tsitsipas‘ 20th birthday.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, the top-ranked player in the tournament, beat the unseeded Greek upstart 6-2, 7-6 (4) for his fourth Rogers Cup crown and fifth victory of the year. He has 33 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles.

“If you told me this two weeks ago, I would not have believed it,” Nadal said. “It’s a great way to start the hard-court season. Winning in Toronto is so important. You don’t win Masters 1000s very often. It’s a very important victory for me and I’m very happy.”

Nadal also won the Rogers Cup in Toronto in 2008 and in Montreal in 2005 and 2013.

“I’m very happy to have this trophy with me again,” Nadal said. “It means a lot. It has been a fantastic week, a very positive one.”

Nadal later announced that he would skip a Masters tournament in Cincinnati this week to rest and get ready for the US Open.

“No other reason than personally taking care of my body and trying to keep as healthy as I feel now,” Nadal said in a statement.

Nadal’s win Sunday was notable. His previous four titles this year came on clay at the French Open, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

He also beat Tsitsipas in in the Barcelona final.

“He was normal like all of us and he managed to become this beast, this monster that he is today,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s true … that’s how you feel when you play against him. I need to work much more and hopefully I can reach his level one day.”

Nadal overcame a late service break and fought off a set point at the Aviva Centre. He converted his first match point of the tiebreaker to end it.

“He never cracks,” Tsitsipas said. “He will always grab you like a bulldog, and he will always make you suffer on the court.”

Tsitsipas reached the final by becoming the youngest player to beat four straight top-10 players in an event since the ATP World Tour was established in 1990. He began the run against seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem, then knocked off No. 9 Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Alexander Zverev and No. 4 Kevin Anderson.

Tsitsipas will jump from 27th to 15th in the world on Monday.

Rafael Nadal Seeded No. 1 at the US Open

Rafael Nadal is the man to beat at the US Open…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star, who returned to the No. 1 spot on the ATP World rankings last week, is seeded No. 1 at the US Open for the first time since 2010.

Rafael Nadal

The U.S. Tennis Association announced the seedings Thursday, strictly adhering to this week’s ATP rankings.

Nadal returned last week to No. 1, a ranking he last held in 2014. That year’s French Open was the last time the Spaniard was seeded No. 1 at any major.

The man Nadal replaced atop the ATP, Andy Murray, is seeded No. 2 at Flushing Meadows, with Roger Federer No. 3.

Alexander Zverev is No. 4, and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic is No. 5.

Roberto Bautista Agut Claims Winston-Salem Open Title Without Dropping a Set

Roberto Bautista Agut makes history while claiming his first title at the Winston-Salem Open

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the final of the Winston-Salem Open, giving him his second ATP World Tour title of the year and the sixth overall.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut, the tournament’s top seed and currently ranked No. 15 in the world, became the first player in the seven-year history of the tournament to not lose a set in any of his six matches. He won a year after losing the final to countryman Pablo Carreno Busta.

“It was a tough final, but I played very good tennis all week,” Bautista Agut said. “I wanted to try to arrive at the final and it was a very good week for me. And it’s been a very good year for me now, too.”

The unseeded Dzumhur was the first player from Bosnia-Herzegovina to reach an ATP World Tour final.

“I started both sets love-three down and came back, but it’s not easy to win after being down love-three to win a set against any player, but especially against Roberto, who played a great week,” Dzumhur said. “He played with a lot of confidence and played big points so good, especially both sets at four-all. He played great points and great passing shots, and I just didn’t have a lot of chances in those games.”

Bautista Agut broke at 30-40, closing out the match when Dzumhur’s forehand sailed long at 30-40.

“It was a tough final, but I played very good tennis all week,” Bautista Agut said. “I wanted to try to arrive at the final and it was a very good week for me. And it’s been a very good year for me now, too.”

Bautista Agut had a chance to win the match on his serve when he led 5-3, but was broken at love.

Bautista Agut broke Dzumhur to win the first set, then won the first three games of the second set before Dzumhur rallied to win the next three games and tie it 3-3.

Bautista Agut held serve in the next game to take a 4-3 lead and broke Dzumhur again on a lob shot that hit the baseline for a 5-3 lead.

Rafael Nadal Returns to No. 1 in the ATP World Rankings

Rafael Nadal is back on top…

Almost nine years to the day since he first became No. 1, the 31-year-old Spanish tennis star has returned to the top of the ATP rankings for his fourth stint at the pinnacle.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, who had previously spent 141 total weeks at No. 1, replaces Andy Murray, who had held the top spot for 41 weeks since November 7, 2016.

Nadal, who first ascended to No. 1 on August 18, 2008 at the age of 22, last held top spot three years and 45 days ago on July 6, 2014.

Nadal will now look to stay ahead of rival Roger Federer and finish atop the year-end ATP rankings for the first time since 2013 and for the fourth time in his career (2008, 2010, 2013).

“Being No. 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something unbelievable, so [it] is, for me, an amazing achievement to be back to that position after [a] few years, three years,” said Nadal.

Nadal has spent three previous stints at No. 1 – 46 weeks between August 18, 2008 and July 5, 2009, 56 weeks from June 7, 2010 to July 3, 2011 and 39 weeks between October 7, 2013 and July 6, 2014.

He holds the record for the longest gap – nine years and three days – between his debut at No. 1 and his return today, which betters the previous mark of Jimmy Connors, who was first No. 1 on July 29, 1974 and last at No. 1 on July 3, 1983 – a gap of eight years and 339 days.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “To regain the No. 1 ranking nine years after having first reached it is unprecedented. Rafa has been setting records throughout his remarkable career and this one is as impressive as any. It shows incredible dedication and longevity, and we congratulate him on this amazing achievement.”

Nadal, who ended the 2016 season early due to a wrist injury, has returned in 2017 playing some of the best tennis of his career. In compiling an ATP World Tour-best 49-9 match record, Nadal has captured four trophies this season, including historic 10th titles at Roland Garros (d. Wawrinka), the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Ramos-Vinolas) and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Thiem), in addition to a fifth crown at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Thiem).

He has also reached three other finals – the Australian Open (l. to Federer), Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco (l. to Querrey) and the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Federer).

On 12 June, Nadal became the first player to qualify for the 2017 season-ending ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November. It is the 13th straight year that he has qualified for the elite eight-player tournament.

Dutra Silva Claims First-Ever ATP World Tour Doubles Title

It’s a special first for Rogerio Dutra Silva

The 33-year-old Brazilian tennis player has claimed his first ATP World Tour doubles title.

Dutra Silva and his partner and compatriot Andre Sa defeated fourth-seeded Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner in the Men’s Doubles final to claim the Brasil Open championship title by a final score of 7-6 (5), 5-7, 10-7.

Dutra Silva and Sa failed to convert any of their five break opportunities in the match, but did save six out of seven of their opponents’ break point chances. It took just over two hours for the clash to be concluded; two hours and two minutes.

Prior to the Sao Paulo event, Sa and Dutra Silva had never played together, making all the way to the finals in first-ever tournament as a team.

Doubles specialist Sa now has 11 ATP doubles titles to his name, while Dutra Silva has captured his first-ever ATP doubles title.

In the semifinals, Dutra Silva and Sa, unseeded in the tournament, beat Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and eight minutes.

Cuevas Gunning for Record Third Consecutive Brasil Open Title

Pablo Cuevas is gunning for a three-peat

The 31-year-old Argentine-born Uruguayan tennis player will go for a record third consecutive Brasil Open title on Sunday.

Pablo Cuevas

Cuevas dismissed top seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-3, 7-6(2) on Saturday in Sao Paulo to give himself a chance for the three-peat.

The third-seed won 82 percent of his first-serve points and feasted on Carreno Busta’s second serves, taking 70 percent of those points.

Since the first edition of the Brasil Open, in 2001, no player has won back-to-back-to-back titles at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament.

Spaniard Nicolas Almagro won back-to-back crowns in 2011-2012 but fell in the quarter-finals to David Nalbandian in 2013.

Cuevas has avoided such slip-ups this week.

He’ll try to win his sixth career ATP World Tour title – all on clay – against second seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Cuevas leads their head-to-head series 3-1. The Spaniard erased a match point on Saturday against Portuguese Joao Sousa to win his semifinal 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2 on the red clay.

Sousa had the match on his racquet, serving at 5-4 in the second set. The fourth seed fell behind 0/40 but crawled back into the game and led at ad-in. But Ramos-Vinolas erased the match point with a sharp forehand up the line that Sousa netted.

The Spaniard would earn the break and take the final nine of 11 games to claim the three-hour and three-minute semi-final.

Ramos-Vinolas last played in an ATP World Tour title match in October at the Chengdu Open in China (l. to Khachanov). He’ll be going for his second ATP World Tour crown after taking his maiden title last July on clay at the Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Fernando Verdasco).

Carreño Beats Roberto Bautista Agut at Winston-Salem Open to Win First Career Title

The third final’s the charm for Pablo Carreño Busta

The 25-year-old Spanish professional tennis player won his first ATP World Tour title on Saturday, beating countryman Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets in the Winston-Salem Open final.

Pablo Carreno Busta

Carreño, ranked 49th in the world, overcame dropping a first-set tiebreaker at the Wake Forest Tennis Center to upset 17th-ranked Agut 6-7 (8), 7-6 (1), 6-4 and win his first tour title in three final-round appearances, all coming in 2016.

Carreño needed just over 2½ hours to become the sixth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, and the first to do so in an American tournament.

Agut was trying to win his third tournament this season, becoming the fifth player on tour to win three or more titles, and the fifth of his career. He won earlier this year at Auckland, New Zealand, and Sofia, Bulgaria.

López Defeats Robin Haase to Claim Swiss Open Title

Feliciano López is a Swiss champion…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis player beat Robin Haase 6-4, 7-5 in the Swiss Open final on Sunday to claim his first career clay-court title.

Feliciano López

It’s the fifth career ATP World Tour title for Lopez, the tournament’s top seed, and his first in more than two years. He previously won two titles on grass and two on hard courts.

Ten years after losing the Gstaad final to Richard Gasquet of France, Lopez lifted the trophy on his seventh trip to the Swiss Alps venue.

Lopez arrived ranked No. 21 in the world and should return to the top 20 when the rankings are updated on Monday.

The 95th-ranked Haase had his service broken once in the first set and twice in the second as Lopez completed the victory in less than 80 minutes.


Ramos-Vinolas Claims First-Ever ATP Title at the Swedish Open

Albert Ramos-Vinolas will always remember Sweden…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-3 6-4 in the Swedish Open final to win his first ATP World Tour singles title.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Ramos-Vinolas, seeded No. 3 in the tournament, triumphed in 86 minutes to end a three-match losing streak against fifth-seed Verdasco and lift the winners’ trophy, which was presented to him by former world No 1 Bjorn Borg.

Ramos-Vinolas, ranked No. 35 in the world, never looked back after racing to a 4-1 lead in the opening set courtesy of breaks in the third and fifth games. Despite dropping serve in the sixth, he broke Verdasco again to take it 6-3.

Verdasco squandered three break points in the second set before being broken for a fourth time to trail 5-3 and although Ramos-Vinolas dropped his serve in the next game, he broke again to seal the set 6-4 and take the title.

Ramos-Vinolas is expected to compete in singles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.