Marcel Granollers & Horacio Zeballos Advance to Title Match at ATP Finals

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos are one win away from the title…

The 37-year-old Spanish professional tennis player and his 38-year-old Argentine professional doubles partner have advanced to the championship match at the the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time together to keep their Year-End ATP Doubles No. 1 hopes alive.

Marcel Granollers & Horacio ZeballosGranollers and Zeballos, the tournament’s fifth seeds, overcame Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday after one hour and 20 minutes in Turin.

Granollers and Zeballos are making their fourth appearance together at the year-end event, where they lost in the semifinals in 2020 and 2021.

They’ll look to go all the way on Sunday when they meet defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, who defeated fourth seeds Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

“We are very happy,” Granollers said. “It is our third semi-final here at the Finals and we are happy to be in the final this time. We will try to enjoy the match and play our best tennis.”

Granollers and Zeballos are up to third in the ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings and will end the season in first place if they win the title in Turin. Already-eliminated Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek are currently first. Bopanna and Ebden are now out of the race.

“We tried to think that every match was a final because every match was against a great team,” Zeballos said on their run. “We tried to be positive and offensive and it is working so far so we will try the same tomorrow.”

Earlier this season, Granollers and Zeballos clinched the crown at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai. Granollers is chasing his second title at the year-end event having triumphed with Marc Lopez in 2012.

Competing inside the Pala Alpitour, Granollers and Zeballos were comfortable on serve and were clinical on return in crucial moments. They pounced on two inconsistent serving games from Ebden, one in each set, to earn victory.

Santiago Gonzalez & Partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin Claim Paris Masters Men’s Doubles Title

Santiago Gonzalez is celebrating another title…

The 40-year-old Mexican professional player and his men’s doubles partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin have extended their late-season winning streak to eight to clinch the title at the Paris Masters.

Santiago Gonzalez & Edouard Roger-VasselinThe seventh-seeded duo defeated Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden 6-2, 5-7, 10-7 to lift the trophy at the ATP Masters 1000 event in the French capital.

Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin converted both break points they earned to claim the victory, holding firm after dropping their first set of the week in the championship match in Paris.

“The set we lost, it’s totally my fault. I did a pretty bad game in the second set, but Santi helped a lot at the changeover,” said home favorite Roger-Vasselin. “[He said] ‘It’s OK, we’re just going to fight every point and enjoy the crowd’. For me it’s super special to win here in Paris, so I’m really thankful to Santi. He played amazing all week, and I’m really happy to win this trophy here.”

Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin, who also lifted the trophy in Basel a week ago, defeated the second, third and fourth-seeded pairs en route to their second Masters 1000 crown of the year.

The duo has qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, where the pair will enter the prestigious season finale on a high.

“The last two weeks were amazing, ending the year like this and now going to Turin with confidence,” said Gonzalez. “We are happy to win our second Masters title of this year, so we are very pleased about it and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin are now 51-21 in their first full season together on the ATP Tour.

They became champions in Marseille, Miami and Los Cabos prior to their Basel and Paris triumphs, and will enter Turin in fourth in the ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.

Alex de Minaur Defeats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to Reach His First ATP Masters 1000 Final

Alex de Minaur has advanced to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 final…

In red-hot form, the 24-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian professional tennis player wasted little time booking his spot in the Canadian Open championship match with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Saturday in Toronto.

Alex de Minaur,de Minaur stayed largely solid to ease to victory against his under-par opponent in just 78 minutes, breaking in all but one of the Spaniard’s eight service games to reach his fourth ATP Tour final of the season.

“It was a very tough day. Very tricky conditions out here,” said de Minaur. “Very windy, and not easy to play tennis, so from the first point I just told myself to stay positive. I was going to try and win every point, try to be solid and not expect perfect tennis. I think that made the difference today.”

Now 16-5 since the beginning of the grass-court season in June, de Minaur will meet seventh seed Jannik Sinner on Sunday at Sobeys Stadium as he chases the biggest title of his career.

His run in Toronto, where he took out Top 10 opponents Taylor Fritz and Daniil Medvedev prior to Davidovich Fokina, has lifted him five spots to 10th in the ATP Live Race To Turin.

Davidovich Fokina’s low-energy performance on Saturday suggested he may have been feeling the effects of his previous exertions this week in Toronto, where he upset seeded players Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud.

de Minaur was clinical in capitalizing on his opponent’s struggles, cruising to become the first Australian to reach the Canadian Open final since Patrick Rafter in 2001.

Even when Davidovich Fokina found some rhythm on return, he was unable to regain control as he offered up 38 unforced errors to de Minaur’s nine overall. The Australian claimed the only hold of the second set in the second game before the windy conditions contributed to seven straight breaks of serve to finish the match.

“[I‘m proud of] bringing out the level that I knew I always could and being able to back it up day after day,” said de Minaur, who had not been past the last 16 of a Masters 1000 prior to this week. “That’s been one of the goals of mine, to stay consistent and keep bringing this level, and give myself chances to play in the deep ends of tournaments. To play against the best in the world and go toe to toe with them.

“I gave myself the chance this week, I’ve taken that opportunity, and tomorrow I get to play another final.”

de Minaur has now risen six spots to No. 12 in the ATP Live Rankings as a result of his run in Toronto, three clear of his career-high No. 15. He is set up nicely for a bid to crack the Top 10 for the first time across the rest of the North American hard-court swing.

“For a couple of years now I’ve been chasing that goal, and probably put a lot of stress on myself to try to achieve that,” said De Minaur. “I’m always going to get the absolute most out of myself. I’m not content where I am, so I’m just going to keep on pushing.”

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Rallies to Beat Casper Ruud at the Canadian Open

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has pulled off a major upset… 

The 24-year-old Spanish professional tennis player earned his fifth Top 10 win on Thursday when he claimed a hard-fought 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4) victory against World No. 5 Casper Ruud at the Canadian Open.

Alejandro Davidovich FokinaAfter Davidovich Fokina clinched the first set, play was suspended for one hour and 34 minutes due to rain. Ruud came out firing on the resumption and was two points away from victory, leading 5-3, 30/0 in the third set before the Spaniard came roaring back to clinch a thrilling victory after three hours and three minutes in Toronto.

Davidovich Fokina hit 58 winners and played aggressively in the late stages of the deciding set, advancing to his fourth ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

“I kept very focused on every point,” Davidovich Fokina said. “He had the serve to close out the match, but I was focused on every point to be there and not give up. It was very tough. We played long rallies, with a lot of pressure. When I broke for 4-5, it was a show of power to finish the match.”

With his first Top 10 win on a hard court, Davidovich Fokina improved to 2-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against Ruud, whose best result this year was a run to the final at Roland Garros.

The World No. 37 will meet Mackenzie McDonald in the quarterfinals.

Alex de Minaur Outlasts Taylor Fritz at Canadian Open to Reach First-Ever ATP Masters 1000 Quarterfinals

Alex de Minaur is celebrating an impressive comeback.

The 24-year-old Uruguayan & Spanish Australian professional tennis player completed a stunning first-set comeback at the Canadian Open en route to a 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-1 victory against American Taylor Fritz.

Alex de MinaurWith his win, de Minaur has reached the quarterfinals at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time in his young career.

de Minaur trailed 1-5 in the first set against Fritz, who squandered two set points on serve. The Australian eventually sealed the opener on his sixth set point and took advantage of some loose hitting from Fritz in the third set to advance after two hours and 28 minutes.

Fritz is ninth in the ATP Live Race To Turin and was hoping to boost his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals with a deep run in Toronto. However, he struggled to find consistency against de Minaur, committing 55 unforced errors.

”It feels great to finally break that barrier,” de Minaur said when asked about reaching the last eight at a Masters 1000 event for the first time.

“It’s just a never-say-die attitude. It doesn’t matter what the score is. I’m always going to fight till the end. Being able to compete and stay positive got me into the match. I knew even if I lost that set I’d be in the match and playing a lot better.”

Earlier this year the 24-year-old captured the biggest title of his career at the ATP 500 in Acapulco. He has now won six of his past seven matches, after advancing to the title match in Los Cabos last week (l. to Stefanos Tsitsipas).

He will next fight Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals.

Francisco Cerundolo Defeats Taylor Fritz to Reach Fourth Round at French Open

Francisco Cerundolo is having a moment…

After entering the French Open without a main-draw win at the event, the 24-year-old Argentine professional tennis player has secured his best Grand Slam result by reaching the fourth round in Paris.

Francisco CerundoloCerundolo, the No. 23 seed, defeated ninth seed Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday evening to continue his run, improving to 6-7 against Top 10 opponents with the victory.

Cerundolo was without a win in four Grand Slam main-draw appearances prior to 2023, but reached the third round at the Australian Open before his success at Roland Garros.

His Paris campaign will continue with a showdown against sixth seed Holger Rune on Monday.

Cerundolo, who has moved up three places from his current career-high to No. 20 this week in the ATP Live Rankings, frustrated Fritz with his big forehand to earn the victory on Court Suzanne-Lenglen after two hours and 50 minutes.

After surrendering an early break advantage in a dramatic fourth set, Cerundolo saved a set point on serve at 4-5 with a majestic topspin lob and ultimately won the final three games of the match behind his baseline brilliance.

The back-and-forth match saw a combined 10 breaks of serve, with Cerundolo converting on six of 21 break chances and Fritz claiming four of his 15 break points. Fritz, whose defeat means that five of the Top 10 seeds are out after three rounds at Roland Garros, fired nine aces to Cerundolo’s one. But the American was second-best in many of the neutral rallies as Cerundolo moved him from side to side with power and width.

Cerundolo, a quarterfinalist at the ATP Masters 1000s in Miami and Rome this season, was one of three Argentines in action on Saturday. While Rune breezed past Genaro Alberto Olivieri, Tomas Martin Etcheverry upset 15th seed Borna Coric 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-2 earlier in the day. With the victory, the 23-year-old Etcheverry — who reached his first two ATP Tour finals this season in Santiago and Houston — extended his best major run.

Etcheverry owned just one Grand Slam main-draw win prior to Roland Garros, his victory coming earlier this season at the Australian Open.

Next up for the unseeded Argentine is a fourth-round meeting with 27th seed Yoshihito Nishioka, a 3-6, 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 winner against Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild on Saturday.

Thiago Seyboth Wild Upsets No. 2 Seed Daniil Medvedev to Advance to French Open Second Round

Thiago Seyboth Wild is celebrating the biggest win of his career…

The 23-year-old Brazilian professional tennis player, a qualifier at this year’s French Open, stunned World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev on Tuesday in a five-set thriller at Roland Garros.

Thiago Seyboth WildMaking his debut in Paris, Seyboth Wild showed little sign of nerves on Court Philippe Chatrier, swinging freely throughout the four-hour, 15-minute clash to upset the second seed 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“I have watched Daniil play for my entire junior career, up until today. Playing on this court against this kind of player and beating him is a dream come true,” Seyboth Wild said. “Walking on court I just wanted to get to the net as much as possible and use my forehand against his and it worked pretty well.”

The World No. 172 logged 69 winners and recovered from squandering two set points in the second-set tie-break, raising his level again in the latter stages of the first-round clash to seal his maiden main-draw major win.

Seyboth Wild, who has won two ATP Challenger Tour titles this year, was competing in his first tour-level match this season.

He’ll look to back up his dream win against Medvedev when he plays Guido Pella in the second round.

“It was pretty tough. I started cramping in the second set. I did my best and tried to play my best tennis and it worked,” Seyboth Wild said. “I am really happy with the way I played.”

Medvedev arrived in Paris off the back of winning his first clay-court title in Rome and would have been hoping for a comfortable start to his title quest at the clay-court major. Seyboth Wild had other ideas, though.

The Brazilian was locked in from the first ball, hitting through Medvedev with his baseline power. The 23-year-old played fearless tennis throughout, won 69 per cent (38/55) of net points and held his nerve in a tense deciding set, closing out victory on serve with a destructive forehand winner. Seyboth Wild raised his arms in delight following his stunning victory, soaking in the applause from the packed crowd.

Medvedev, who holds a 39-6 record on the season, was chasing his second major title. The 2021 US Open champion has won an ATP Tour-leading five trophies in 2023, including ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Miami and Rome.

The 27-year-old is first in the ATP Live Race To Turin but can now be overtaken by Carlos AlcarazNovak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Paris.

Carlos Alcaraz Defeats Jan-Lennard Struff to Win Second Consecutive Madrid Open Title

Carlos Alcaraz is one match away from a return to the top of the world rankings.

The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the Spanish capital on Sunday to win a second straight Madrid Open title and guarantee his return to the No. 1 spot by playing at least one match at the upcoming Italian Open in Rome.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz converted on his first match point after a hard-fought battle against Struff to secure his fourth title of the year and 10th of his impressive young career. He had also successfully defended his title in Barcelona two weeks ago.

“To defend the title here in Madrid, on the verge of regaining the No. 1 ranking, these are very big achievements for me,” Alcaraz said. “I feel very proud of the work that I’ve put in and of what I’ve been achieving. I’m an ambitious guy and I’m going for more in Rome.”

It was Alcaraz’s 29th win of the season, and 21st straight in Spain going back to a loss to Rafael Nadal in Madrid on his 18th birthday two years ago.

He joined Nadal as the only consecutive Madrid champion in tournament history and is the youngest player to successfully defend a Masters 1000 title since Nadal at Monte Carlo and Rome in 2005-06.

“For me it is so, so special,” Alcaraz said. “To lift the trophy here in Madrid. In my country. In front of my home crowd, my family, my friends. Everyone close to me. For me it is a special feeling that I will never forget.”

Alcaraz’s other titles this year came in Buenos Aires and Indian Wells. He is the first player to win two Masters 1000 trophies this season. It was the fourth Masters 1000 title overall for last year’s US Open champion.

“It was a really tough match,” Alcaraz said. “Jan was playing great, really aggressive. In the second set I had a lot of chances to break his serve and I didn’t take it and it was tough for me to lose it. I told myself that I had to be positive all the time and that I would have my chances and I think I did it in the third set.”

The big-serving Struff was the first lucky loser to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final, having earned an unexpected spot in the main draw after another player had to drop out.

The 33-year-old German, ranked 65th in the world, was playing in his second tour-level final and trying to become just the fourth player and first in more than 20 years to win his first tour-level trophy at a Masters 1000.

He called it “a best-career achievement so far.”

“Of course, I wanted to go all the way to win today, but I would definitely say if someone told me two weeks ago ‘You’re gonna play the finals,’ I would take it, definitely,” he said. “I was in the game. Had my chances. But he was too good at the end and congrats to him.”

Struff had lost in the final round of qualifying to Aslan Karatsev, the player he eventually beat in the semifinals after upsetting fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals. The final was his ninth match at the clay-court tournament in Madrid, compared to six for the top-seeded Alcaraz.

Struff beat Alcaraz on clay at the French Open in 2021, while Alcaraz needed five sets to down Struff at Wimbledon last year.

Cristian Garin Upsets Casper Ruud to Reach Fourth Round at Indian Wells

Cristian Garin has pulled off a major upset at Indian Wells

The 26-year-old Chilean professional tennis player, the former World No. 17 who came through two qualifying matches to book a spot in the main draw at the ATP Masters 1000 event, sealed a 6-4, 7-6 (2) victory against third seed Casper Ruud to reach the fourth round for the first time at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Cristian Garin“With a full stadium, and to play like this today against Casper, who is one of the players that I really admire on Tour, I am so, so happy to keep playing like that,” said Garin. “Aggressive, going to the net, I think that’s the way that I like to play and the only way that I [can] beat these kinds of players. I’m just so happy and I want to keep improving and keep enjoying this tournament.”

Garin qualified without losing a set and then dropped just 10 games across his opening two main-draw matches, and he showed few nerves when presented with his toughest test yet in California. He outhit the World No. 4 Ruud by 39 winners to 17 to notch his third win against a Top 10 opponent, his first since 2021, and his first on a hard court.

After clinching the first set by breaking Ruud’s serve in the fifth game, Garin’s composure was tested as he looked to close out the match. Ruud narrowly avoided going down a double break in the second set by recovering 30/40 to hold for 2-3, and the Norwegian went on to force a tie-break as he threatened a comeback on Stadium 1.

Garin expertly ended Ruud’s hopes of victory, however. He reeled off four points in a row to clinch the tiebreak as he heaped pressure on the Norwegian’s groundstrokes with frequent forays to the net. During his one-hour, 58-minute victory, Garin won 78 per cent (18/23) of points at the net.

“I like to play aggressive and move a lot to the net, and I think Casper is a really good player when you give time to him,” said Garin after extending his ATP Head2Head series lead against Ruud to 3-1. “So I try to go aggressive, go to the net, and play like that… I’ve known Casper for a very long time, so it’s very special to keep playing like this in this tournament, so I want to keep going.”

Garin will look to keep his run going in Indian Wells when he next takes on 23rd seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who defeated 13th seed Karen Khachanov 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 later on Sunday.

Should the Chilean triumph, he would advance to his fourth ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal after also reaching that stage at the 2019 Rolex Paris Masters, the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open, and the 2022 Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Pablo Carreno Busta Defeats Hubert Hurkacz at National Bank Open to Claim First ATP Masters 1000 Title

Pablo Carreno Busta has claimed his first-ever ATP Masters 1000 title…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player won the National Bank Open on Sunday, beating eighth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Pablo Carreno BustaWith the win, Carreno Busta becomes the first unseeded winner in the event since Argentina’s Guillermo Canas in 2002.

Carreno Busta won his seventh ATP Tour title with his first Masters 1000 victory.

The 23rd-ranked Carreno Busta improved to 7-5 in final appearances. Hurkacz fell to 5-1.

Unseeded Reilly Opelka reached the final last year in Toronto, then lost to Daniil Medvedev.