Alex de Minaur Defeats Kei Nishikori at US Open to Reach Fourth Round at a Grand Slam for First Time

It’s a major first for Alex de Minaur

The 20-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian tennis player upset No. 7 seed Kei Nishikori to book his spot in the fourth round at the US Open.

Alex de Minaur

de Minaur, currently ranked No. 36 in the world, moved into the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, advancing to the Round of 16 at Flushing Meadows with the 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win. 

The victory carries extra significance for de Minaur, who snapped an 0-11 record against Top 10 opponents. He defeated Nishikori in two hours and 48 minutes.

“The crowd support was amazing,” De Minaur, who claimed his maiden ATP Tour title at the Sydney International in January, said after the match. “I had a bit of a thrill last year against [Marin] Cilic. Was two-sets-to-love up again and I’m glad I could finally get the win.”

In search of a second straight appearance at the Next Gen ATP Finals, de Minaur is looking to build on his third-place standing in the ATP Race To Milan

He’ll next face Grigor Dimitrovon Sunday.

de Minaur had previously reached the third round at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

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.”

Juan Martin del Potro Back in the Quarterfinals at the French Open After Six Year Absence

Juan Martin del Potro is back in the final eight at Roland Garros

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player, the tournament’s fifth seed, brushed aside John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the French Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2012 on Monday.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro produced an impressive display on Court Suzanne Lenglen, firing 25 winners and making just 14 unforced errors against the American ninth seed.

del Potro was knocked out in the third round at Roland Garros last year after missing the previous four tournaments in Paris through injury.

del Potro will next face third seed Marin Cilic in the last eight.

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Alexander Zverev for His Record-Extending Eighth Italian Open Title

Rafael Nadal is still the King of Clay

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star profited from a timely rain delay at a break when he was down in the final set to hold off defending champion and No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 at the Italian Open in Rome.

Rafael Nadal

It was a record-extending eighth Italian Open title for Nadal, who’ll head to Roland Garros as the new world No. 1.

Nadal surrendered top spot in the ATP world rankings to Roger Federer last week after Nadal’s Madrid Open quarterfinal defeat to Dominic Thiem — the only blight on an otherwise impeccable clay-court season this year.

However, Nadal will return to the summit when the latest ATP rankings are published on Monday after he overcame world No. 3 Zverev in a thrilling finale on the Foro Italico’s Campo Centrale.

Billed as a clash between the two current top-form players on clay, Sunday’s final did not disappoint. After two hotly-contested semifinals on Saturday — Nadal saw off long-time rival Novak Djokovic while Zverev smashed a racket in anger during his victory over Marin Cilic — the championship match ebbed and flowed throughout.

Despite dropping serve in the opening game, victory looked like a foregone conclusion for 10-time French Open champion Nadal as he blistered through the first set in 33 minutes to put his young opponent on the back foot.

However, Zverev produced a phenomenal set of tennis to force the decider. The German changed tactics in the second set, becoming much more aggressive on the front foot and overwhelming Nadal with an array of powerful strokes.

The 21-year-old secured a double-break to move 5-0 ahead. After Nadal prevented the bagel, he leveled the match in style with a ferocious backhand winner down the line.

Rising star Zverev’s confidence grew further as he immediately broke Nadal at the start of the third, before the match’s turning point came in agonizing fashion.

With Zverev leading 3-1 in the final set, rain intervened and caused an hour’s delay in play. It proved pivotal, allowing Nadal precious time to regain his composure and hit back immediately after the restart.

Nadal rattled off four consecutive games — including two successive breaks of serve — to move 5-3 ahead before serving out a fifth to secure his eighth Italian crown and send out a warning to his rivals ahead of the year’s second grand slam.

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Diego Schwartzman to Advance to His 10th Australian Open Quarterfinal

Make that No. 10 for Rafael Nadal

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 in a hard-fought, nearly four-hour match to earn his spot in a 10th Australian Open quarterfinal.

Rafael Nadal

“A great battle … he’s a good friend of mine,” Nadal said of his Argentine competitor. “This is the first big match that I played in 2018. One match like this probably helps. That’s confidence for myself, that’s confidence I can resist for four hours on court at a good intensity.”

Nadal lost last year’s Australian Open final in five sets to Roger Federer, but went on to regain the No. 1 ranking and win the French Open and US Open titles before bringing his season to a premature end because of an injured right knee.

He didn’t play a competitive match before the season-opening major, and advanced through three rounds without dropping a set.

That streak ended when Schwartzman took the second set to level the match, rebounding three times after dropping serve to break back against Nadal.

The crucial second game of the fourth set lasted almost 13 minutes and 20 points, with Nadal finally holding after saving five break points as Schwartzman attacked him with everything he had.

The 16-time major winner broke again in the next game and withstood more break points — seven in all in the last set and 15 of 18 in the match — before breaking Schwartzman’s serve in the final game and clinching it on his third match point in 3 hours, 51 minutes.

Nadal will next play sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, who collected his 100th Grand Slam match win with a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) victory over No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta.

Pablo Carreño Busta Claims Kooyong Classic Trophy

Pablo Carreño Busta is starting the year with a bang…

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis player, currently the World No.10, claimed the Kooyong Classic trophy after outlasting Australian Matt Ebden in a tight championship match.

Pablo Carreño Busta

Carreño Busta lost Friday’s first set and was down a break in the second but fought back to take the match 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2 against the Australian No.2.

Ebden, who beat world No.6 Marin Cilic earlier in the week, was delighted with his form heading into next week’s Australian Open.

“The first day I won and, yesterday, I had chances to win and again, today, I was right there to win that one as well,” Ebden said.

“I probably should have won that in straight sets but I started rushing a little bit and he played some good shots.

“Obviously, I’m playing at a pretty good level, but it would be nice to maintain that for just a little bit more but, hopefully, that will come in the coming weeks.”

Carreño Busta felt the solid workout was perfect preparation for Melbourne Park, where he would meet another Aussie in wildcard Jason Kubler in round one.

“It was very good. I think it’s the best preparation for the Australian Open,” Carreño Busta said.

“It was a very competitive match and I think that’s the most important thing.”

World No.76 Ebden, winner of the Australian Open mixed doubles in 2013, faces 16th seed American John Isner.

Ebden has played against the tall Isner twice in recent times in two close encounters.

“He won a close one in the final against me at Newport and a close one against me at Wimbledon once as well, so I probably owe him one by now,” Ebden said.

Rafael Nadal Partners with Roger Federer in Laver Cup Doubles Win

Rafael Nadal has found an unlikely doubles partner…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star joined forces with longtime rival Roger Federer to win a doubles match in the new Laver Cup on Saturday.

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal Laver Cup

Nadal and Federer teamed up for the first time to defeat Sam Querrey and Jack Sock 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 in the team event between Europe and the rest of the world.

“It was unbelievable,” Nadal said.

The inaugural Laver Cup is taking place at Prague’s O2 Arena on an unusual black hard court.

Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych also form the European team.

John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe play for the world.

Europe needs two more victories from Sunday’s four games to win.

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 Defeats Kei Nishikori to Reach Fourth Round at Wimbledon

Roberto Bautista Agut has pulled off an upset…

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player, seeded No. 18, beat ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in the third round 6-4, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.

Roberto Bautista Agut

This was their fifth match against each other on tour — and the first won by Bautista Agut.

“I couldn’t maintain my level high enough,” Nishikori said. “I think he served well every set. Was really tough time (on) my return game.”

Bautista Agut reached the fourth round at the All England Club for the second time, having reached it in 2015. He reached the third round last year. But he has never reached the quarterfinals at any Grand Slam tournament, losing all eight previous times he got to the round of 16 at majors — the most losses without a win by any man during the Open Era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Bautista Agut’s next opponent is No. 7 seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion who advanced by beating No. 26 seed Steve Johnson of the United States, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-4.