Guido Pella Outlasts Milos Raonic at Wimbledon to Reach First Grand Slam Quarterfinals

Guido Pella’s remarkable run at the All England Clubcontinues…

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player outlasted former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic in five strenuous sets. 

Guido Pella

Pella, competing in his first-ever fourth round match at a Grand Slam, bounced back from two-sets down to eliminate the Canadian 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3), 8-6.

Pella will meet Roberto Bautista-Agutin the quarterfinals. It will be his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance. 

In the third round, the Argentine eliminated the reigning finalist, Kevin Anderson, in straight sets. Last year, he defeated the former finalist, Marin Cilic in the second round. 

Former World No. 3, Raonic had a remarkable beginning in the first set. He didn’t drop a single point on his first serves and he broke and consolidated for a 4-1 lead in the opening set. A similar form of tennis continued in the second set and Raonic moved one set closer to a place in the quarterfinal. 

However, the clay-courter, Pella produced some magnificent grass court tennis and kept his quarterfinal hopes alive. 

Guido Pella Defeats Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon to Reach Fourth Round at a Grand Slam for First Time Ever

Guido Pella is making a habit of big-name upsets at Wimbledon

The 29-year-old Argentine professional tennis player beat 2018 runner-up Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(4) on Centre Court on Friday afternoon. Twelve months ago, Pella had never won a grass-court match in his career, but edged past 2017 finalist Marin Cilic on No. 1 Court en route to the third round.

Guido Pella

Pella, whose fastest serve clocked 124 miles per hour in comparison to 136 from Anderson, played with great variety and kept his fourth-seeded South African opponent on the move for victory in two hours and 34 minutes. 

He’s now through to the fourth round of a Grand Slamchampionship for the first time in his career, where he’ll play 2016 finalist Milos Raonic, the No. 15 seed from Canada, on Monday.

“I haven’t played him,” said Raonic. “It’s going to be tough. He played well here last year, beating Marin, obviously getting a good win today, and even in his last match over [Andreas]Seppi, who has always played well on grass…. He’s been on tour for a long time, and I don’t know if he’s been to this stage of a Grand Slam. But to beat Kevin here, that’s a job very well done.”

Pella twice came within one point of a set and 4-1 lead, before Anderson worked his way back to 3-3 in the second set. But Anderson, contesting just his fourth tournament of 2019 as a result of a right elbow injury, struggled on second serve and in controlling his backhand.

Pella clinched the first set with a break when Anderson hit a forehand into the net; the second set turned once more in his favour when Anderson failed to cleanly run down and strike back a well-placed lob, while clinical play in the third set tie-break sent Pella on his way to a 26th match win this season.

In the penultimate point of the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting, No. 26 seed Pella dropped to the floor fist-pumping after winning a 17-stroke rally at close quarters with a forehand volley. The same shot, coupled with good anticipation, helped him seconds later to a memorable victory.

Both players have won ATP Tour titles this year: Anderson at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune (d. Karlovic) and Pella at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo (d. Garin). Anderson returned from his injury at the Fever-Tree Championships last month for the first time since Miami. Pella is tied with Rafael Nadalfor most clay-court match wins this year (21).

Opelka saved eight break points to Raonic’s three prior to the first set tie-break, which the Canadian wrapped up when Opelka made a forehand error. Opelka’s challenge quickly faltered. He hit three double faults at 2-3 in the second set, then committed three groundstroke errors at 2-5 to hand Raonic a commanding lead. Opelka won just six points in the third set.

“I thought it was good. I did the things I wanted to do. When it was important, I played as well as I could have,” said Raonic. “All the break points I had in the first set, he did his part in making sure I had really no chance other than one. Maybe I would have taken back that attempt of a lob and tried to go through him, but other than that I don’t think I hesitated much or made many poor decisions out there.”

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.

Diego Schwartzman Storms Back to Upset Kevin Anderson in the Fourth Round at the French Open

Diego Schwartzman has taken down a giant…

In a David and Goliath-like moment, the 25-year-old Argentine tennis player, nicknamed El Peque for being 5-foot-7, was able to turn the tables against 6-foot-8 Kevin Anderson at the French Open, climbing back for a 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (0), 6-2 victory in a fourth-round match at Roland Garros.

Diego Schwartzman

The match was slipping away from 11th-seeded Schwartzman quickly, with the sixth-seeded Anderson winning a staggering 76 percent of points on Schwartzman’s first serve in the opening set.

Continuing to pick on Schwartzman’s unimposing serve, Anderson broke for the sixth time to put himself up a break in the third set, and served for the match at 5-4. Schwartzman, previously 1-for-8 on break point opportunities in the match, clawed back and broke Anderson twice in a row to sneak away with the third set.

Anderson, who hit 19 aces to Schwartzman’s two, again served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set, only for Schwartzman to break him at love.

Schwartzman had lost both of his previous matches against Anderson and said he was not sure how he reversed this one.

“I am saying that and repeating it, because I really don’t know how I did,” he said.

From there, the momentum was his. Schwartzman took the fourth-set tiebreaker, 7-0, and comfortably won the fifth set, breaking Anderson in all four of his service games.

Schwartzman ultimately broke Anderson’s serve nine times, the most times Anderson had ever been broken in one match.

“When you’re not as strong or you’re not as tall as Anderson, you can still win the match,” Schwartzman said. “I think that people like me more, as well, for that, because they were supporting me. They wanted me to remain in the game. The fact that he was twice as tall as me was a reason for me to try to remain.”

Schwartzman’s next battle is against a different sort of tennis behemoth: the 10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.

“I know it’s his second home,” Schwartzman said of Nadal and this Grand Slam.

Juan Martin del Potro Wins Mexico Open

It’s Blackjack for Juan Martin del Potro

The 29-year-old Argentinian tennis player won the Mexico Open on Saturday night for his 21st ATP Tour title, beating Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to improve to 7-0 against the 6-foot-8 South African.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro was projected to switch spots with Anderson in the world ranking, with del Potro going from ninth to eighth. He beat three straight players ranked ahead of him in the hard-court event, topping No. 6 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

“It’s a very special tournament to me,” said del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion. “I beat three top-10 guys in the same tournament, which is very important for myself. I’m so glad to win my 21st title playing in Acapulco.”

Potro won for the first time since successfully defending his Stockholm title last year.

“He’s a very dangerous guy,” del Potro said about Anderson. “His serves are so strong, but I got lucky in the important moments of my return games. I broke just twice and that was the key of the match.”

Anderson tweaked his left leg on del Potro’s lob and received treatment at 1-1 in the second.

“It was a little bit uncomfortable at first,” Anderson said. “I think in the bigger picture of things it didn’t really affect things too much,” Anderson said. “I think Juan Martin played really well. He’s obviously a tough competitor and a great player. I just needed to do a little bit more today.”

He won the New York Open two weeks ago for his fourth career title.

“I can take a lot of confidence going into Indian Wells and Miami, two tournaments I really enjoy playing. I feel like I’m playing really good tennis,” Anderson said. “As always, I’ll pick myself up. I’ll try to learn as much as I can from tonight’s match.”

Rafael Nadal Defeats Juan Martin del Potro to Reach US Open Final

Rafael Nadal is thisclose to earning his third US Open title…

Closing in on his 16th Grand Slam championship overall, Nadal overcame a decent start with an overwhelming performance the rest of the way Friday night, taking nine games in a row during one stretch to beat 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, will be a significant favorite Sunday against No. 32 Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to become the lowest-ranked US Open finalist since the ATP‘s computer rankings began in 1973. He has lost his four previous matches against Nadal.

Nadal looked as good as ever over the last three sets against del Potro, further confirmation of his return to the height of his powers. Nadal is again healthy and capable of excellence, after wrist and knee injuries dulled his effectiveness in 2015 and 2016 — the first seasons since 2004 in which he not only failed to win a Grand Slam trophy but didn’t even make a final.

“It’s been an amazing season, of course, after a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, tough moments,” Nadal said. “So this year, since the beginning, has been a very emotional year.”

He reached the Australian Open final in January, losing to Roger Federer, and then claimed a record 10th French Open championship in June.

Except for a less-than-dominant opening set Friday, in which Nadal had nine winners and 10 unforced errors, he barely missed his targets. His numbers the rest of the way: 36 winners, 10 unforced errors.

Eventually, del Potro’s flat, fearsome forehand became less dangerous, as if he suddenly remembered just how weary he was. Dealing with an illness, del Potro came back from a two-set deficit to win his fourth-round match in five sets, and then got past 19-time major champion Federer in the quarterfinals in four sets. Maybe it was all too much for del Potro, whose one Grand Slam title came via wins over Nadal in the semifinals and Federer in the final in New York in 2009.

That was the last time Nadal lost in a major semifinal; he has now won 15 in a row.

Nadal Advances to the Australian Open Quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal is still in contention for his second Australian Open title six years after his first…

The 28-year-old tennis star defeated Kevin Anderson on Sunday in straight sets on Sunday, 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth-round, to advance to the quarterfinals.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, the 2009 Australian Open winner, turned around the first set — and ultimately the match — in the 11th and 12th games. Nadal fended off five break points to hold, and then broke the 6-foot-8 South African’s serve in the next game to go on a roll in his fourth-round encounter.

“Today was the best match so far this tournament, no doubt about that,” Nadal said. “I’m starting to feel more comfortable with my movements, with my forehand, so that’s the only way that I have any chance to have success on the tough matches ”

Nadal, who lost in the Australian Open finals in 2012 and last year, is coming off an extended injury layoff and says he’s building momentum as he goes — thankful he got through a tough five-setter in the second round against U.S. qualifier Tim Smyczek.

“The chance to be in the quarterfinals after a tough period of time for me is a fantastic result,” said Nadal. “I was playing better than the days before. I felt myself with better rhythm in the legs, better rhythm with my forehand. The way that I improved my level is not the most important thing; obviously the victory is.”

Nadal had to laugh in his last game as he tried to ignore a distraction when his water bottles — famously always precisely placed near the side of the court either for routine or superstition — tumbled over and a ball boy repositioned them.

“Seriously it’s not bothering me,” he said.

The third-seeded Nadal, who lost last year’s final to Stan Wawrinka, will play No. 7 Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

Nadal has an 18-3 record over Berdych and hasn’t lost to the Czech player since 2006.

Soares Elected to the ATP Player Council

Bruno Soares has soared into a leadership position with the Association of Tennis Professionals.

The 32-year-old Brazilian tennis player, primarily a doubles specialist, has been elected to the ATP Player Council.

Bruno Soares

The 12-member council delivers advisory decisions to the ATP Board of Directors, which has the power to accept or reject the Council’s suggestions.

Soares won the mixed doubles title at the 2012 U.S. Open with Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova. In all, he has 17 career men’s doubles titles.

But Soares isn’t the only Latino to join the group…

André Sá will also serve on the ATP Players Council.

Sá, a Wimbledon men’s singles quarterfinalist in 2012, turned pro in 1996. He has seven career titles in doubles; his most recent coming in September 2011 at the Open de Moselle.

Along with Soares and Sa, other players elected to the council include Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, American John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Gilles Simon, Jurgen Melzer, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Raven Klaasen and Eric Butorac. They will serve two-year terms.

Roger Federer is stepping down after serving as council president since 2008.

“Clearly we made big strides in prize money. … I think we were able to calm things down a little bit, because things were quite hectic when I came onto the council,” said Federer of his involvement on the council.

The new council’s first meeting will be in New York before the U.S. Open in August, when it will elect a president and vice president.

Ferrer Reaches Fifth Straight Quarterfinals at the Mexican Open

David Ferrer has extended his quarterfinals appearance streak at the Mexican Open.

The 31-year-old Spanish tenista, the tournament’s top seed, defeated his compatriot Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (1), 6-2 on Wednesday to advance to his fifth-straight quarterfinals at the Mexican tournament.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, trying to win his fourth title on Mexican soil, will next play South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, who eliminated American Sam Querrey,7-6 (2), 6-4.

Also Wednesday, Gilles Simon (6) of France beat Donald Young of the United States 6-4, 6-3, Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov downed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 and Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic defeated Dudi Sela of Israel 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Falla Reaches the Final at the Claro Open Colombia

Alejandro Falla is one step closer to winning his first-ever ATP Tour title… And, he could earn it at home.

The 29-year-old Colombian tennis player, a Bogota resident, beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the Claro Open Colombia final.

Alejandro Falla

To reach the semifinals, Falla defeated the tournament’s top seed, Croatia’s Janko Tipsarevic.

The hometown favorite will face Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic on Sunday in the hard-court tournament at Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Bogota.

Karlovic beat second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.