Cristian Garin Reaches Madrid Open Quarterfinals After Upset-Win Over Daniil Medvedev

Cristian Garin has scored a massive upset…

The 24-year-old Chilean tennis player equaled the biggest win of his career on Thursday when he defeated World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-1 at the Madrid Open.

Cristian Garin

Garin broke the Russian twice in the third set to reach the quarterfinals after 2 hours and 30 minutes. Garin won 75 percent of his service points, hit six aces and faced just one break point.

This is Garin’s second victory against a World No. 3. En route to the 2019 BMW Open title in Munich, the Santiago native outlasted two-time defending champion Alexander Zverev in three sets.

Garin will meet Belgrade champion Matteo Berrettini for a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.

He is tied at 1-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against Berrettini.

Medvedev was aiming to reach his first quarterfinal in Madrid. The Russian rallied from a set down to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Wednesday to earn his first victory in the Spanish capital.

The first set went Garin’s way after a loose service game from Medvedev early on at 1-1. The second set saw no breaks of serve and Medvedev took charge of the tiebreak by attacking Garin’s backhand. It was all Garin in the third set, as he broke Medvedev twice and controlled his nerves during a five-minute delay when the net strap broke at deuce in the final game.

Albert Ramos Viñolas Rallies to Beat Cameron Norrie to Claim Estoril Open Title

Make that three titles for Albert Ramos Viñolas

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player triumphed on clay again after rallying to beat Cameron Norrie 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in Sunday’s final of the Estoril Open.

Albert Ramos Viñolas

Ramos Viñolas converted his first match point in the deciding tiebreaker to clinch his third ATP title.

Ramos Viñolas came back from a set and a break down to secure the victory at the clay-court tournament. He is 16-5 on clay, which is the best record on the surface this season.

“I won three tournaments in my career, so this is one of the best three weeks in my career,” Ramos Viñolas said. “It was a really difficult match against Cameron. I think he played a really good tournament.”

Albert Ramos Viñolas Defeats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to Reach Estoril Open Final

Albert Ramos Viñolas is one win away from his third career title…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player recovered from a break down in both sets to beat countryman Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday at the Estoril Open.

Albert Ramos Viñolas

Ramos Viñolas converted five of his six break points to advance to his 10th ATP Tour final (2-7) after 77 minutes.

Ramos Viñolas’ victory against Davidovich Fokina extended his lead at the top of the 2021 tour-level clay-court wins list.

The World No. 46 owns 15 victories on the surface this season, six clear of Stefanos TsitsipasPablo Carreno Busta and Federico Delbonis, who are tied in second place with nine clay wins this year.

Ramos Viñolas will attempt to extend his unbeaten 2-0 ATP Head2Head record against Cameron Norrie in the final. The two-time ATP Tour titlist won both his previous encounters against Norrie on clay.

“I am really happy… I am fighting a lot [and I am] tactically [doing] good,” Ramos-Vinolas said in his post-match interview. “Tomorrow is another match, another day and I have a really tough opponent who [has been] playing really good tennis [throughout] the season. Last week, he played three good matches and this week he has beaten very good players. I think tomorrow will be very difficult.”

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Stefanos Tsitsipas to Win Record-Extending 12th Barcelona Open Title

Rafael Nadal has persevered to continue his winning ways on clay…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis star saved one championship point on Sunday to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5 and collect a record-extending 12th Barcelona Open trophy.

Rafael Nadal

The top seed was one point from defeat at 4-5, 30/40 in the decider and he carried the momentum from that moment to win three straight games and overcome the Monte-Carlo champion after three hours and 38 minutes.

The championship match was the longest best-of-three-set ATP Tour final since statistics started being tracked in 1991.

Rafael Nadal

This is the second tournament where Nadal has captured 12 or more titles. The 13-time Roland Garros (French Open) champion, who failed to convert two championship points at 5-4 in the second set, will return to No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.

“I think I never played a final like this in this tournament, so it means a lot to me against a player like him, [after what] he achieved in Monte-Carlo and [that he reached] the final here without losing a set,” Nadal said. “It is an important victory for me. I think I have been increasing my level during the whole week and this victory confirms it. That’s important for today.

“To have the trophy with me here at home means a lot, but at the same time for the future.”

Pablo Carreno Busta Outlasts Jaume Munar to Claim First Andalucia Open Title

Pablo Carreno Busta is celebrating a special first…

The 29-year-old Spanish professional tennis player won his first ATP Tour title at home on Sunday, defeating fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to claim the Andalucia Open trophy in Marbella.

Pablo Carreno Busta

Carreno Busta, the top seed, clinched his 200th tour-level victory by defeating the 23-year-old in the championship match. Carreno Busta needed to summon all of his experience to triumph after two hours and 21 minutes.

“I suffered like yesterday trying to continue fighting all the time… I needed to do it if I wanted to win this kind of match,” Carreno Busta said. “It’s a pleasure to win a title here in Spain, in Marbella. For me, it’s very special. It’s my fifth title, so I’m very, very happy for the victory.”

The level reached its peak towards the end of the match, with both men hitting sensational shots under an incredible amount of pressure. From magical drop shots to jaw-dropping half-volleys, they certainly showed their racquet skills on the Spanish clay.

“I started really good, really focused, being very aggressive,” Carreno Busta said. “After that I missed a little bit and Jaume started to play better and at the end.”

Now a five-time ATP Tour titlist, Carreno Busta was relentless in his pursuit of the win. At 4-4 in the decider, Munar fought hard to avoid losing serve. But on his seventh break point of the game, the favorite finally made good on his opportunity, blasting a backhand return up the line from deep in the court to force an error from his younger adversary.

Carreno Busta earned 17 break points in the match. Although he was unable to convert just four of them, it was enough to claim his first title since Chengdu in 2019. He earned 250 ATP Rankings points.

Next Gen ATP Finals alumnus Munar put forth a tremendous effort in his maiden ATP Tour final. The World No. 95 scratched and clawed no matter what Carreno Busta threw at him, but it was not enough to earn his first crown at this level. The World No. 15 was just a bit better on the day.

Munar, who captured 150 points, was comfortable in Marbella, where he’s now 12-3 on the ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour combined. He reached Challenger finals at this venue in 2020 and 2021 before his impressive run this week.

Diego Schwartzman Wins His Hometown Argentina Open for First Time

Diego Schwartzman is a hometown hero…

The 28-year-old Argentine tennis player won his hometown Argentina Open on Sunday for the first time, beating one of his compatriots in the final.

Diego Schwartzman

The top-seeded Schwartzman, who grew up in Buenos Aires, defeated unseeded Francisco Cerundulo in straight sets to win the $24,400 champion’s share. It was the first time a local player had won the tournament in 13 years.

“I’m very happy, I wanted to play well today, the atmosphere was spectacular,” Schwartzman said while crying after the match. “I haven’t words, just emotion and happiness.”

Schwartzman, who at 5-foot-7 carries the nickname “El Peque,” reached the final at the so-called Cathedral of Argentine tennis in 2019. In his childhood he played at the Hacoaj JCC in the Argentine capital and helped inaugurate an esports team there earlier this year.

Schwartzman is ranked No. 9 in the ATP rankings.

Alex de Minaur Wins First Title of 2021 at Turkey’s Antalya Open

Alex de Minaur is celebrating his first title of 2021…

The 21-year-old Australian-born Spanish & Uruguayan tennis player was leading Alexander Bublik 2-0 at the Antalya Open in Turkey in Wednesday’s final when the Kazakh player retired injured just seven minutes into the match.

Alex de Minaur

It’s de Minaur’s fourth career ATP title.

The Australian No. 1, ranked No. 23 in the world, dropped only one set for the week in a promising build-up to next month’s rescheduled Australian Open in Melbourne.

“I mean, it’s massive. At the start of the year that’s what you need,” de Minaur said after following up his semifinal win over second-seeded world No. 16 David Goffin in a somewhat anticlimactic title decider.

“Look, you never know what was going to happen. I knew I had put in a great pre-season, I was ready to compete.

“I just think I gave myself the best possible chance to go deep into this tournament and I’m happy how it finished.

“I got four matches — and today — so very happy with my level and I had some quality wins.”

de Minaur missed his home grand slam last year in shattering fashion, an abdominal strain forcing him out of the Open following an heroic ATP Cup campaign for Australia.

“It was a bittersweet moment last year so hopefully a year later I can come back stronger and hopefully have a great Aussie summer.

“I’m really looking forward to going back home and playing in front of a home crowd, that’s for sure.”

His stomach injury aside, the COVID-19 pandemic further stalled his progression last year, following a breakout three-title season in 2019, placing the Davis Cup star in long-time lockdown at his base in Spain.

But the fleet-footed baseliner, now the youngest player in the world’s top 25, came back with a vengeance when the Tour resumed.

de Minaur made a career-best charge to the US Open quarterfinals, upstaging a succession of heavy hitters en route to the last eight, then reached the final in Antwerp to finish ahead of Nick Kyrgios as Australia’s season-ending No. 1 for the second straight year.

Alex de Minaur Outlasts David Goffin to Reach Antalya Open Final

Alex de Minaur is hoping to start the year with a bang…

The 21-year-old Spanish & Uruguayan tennis player, who was born in Australia, will face No. 8 Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan for the first time in Wednesday’s final at the Antalya Open in Turkey.

Alex de Minaur

It’s the Australian No.1’s chance to make it a perfect start to 2021, who is currently 4-0 this year.

It’s the eighth ATP Tour final for de Minaur, who outlasted No. 2 seed David Goffin of Belgium 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in one hour and 52 minutes on Tuesday. de Minaur won three singles titles, all in 2019.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match, and I’d be under pressure when serving,” the tournament’s fourth seed de Minaur told the ATP’s official website.

“I had to reset and go back to my game plan and my strengths after I lost the second set. I won some tough rallies in the third set and that helped me out for sure.”

Bublik also went the distance, defeating France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 in two hours and five minutes in the other semifinal. It’s the 23-year-old’s third ATP final and he’s seeking his first title.

It will be the first head-to-head meeting between Bublik and de Minaur.

Carlos Alcaraz Among ESPN’s ’21 Under 21′ Tennis Players to Watch in 2021

Carlos Alcaraz is among the phenoms to watch this year…

ESPN has announced tennis’ 21 under 21 for 2021, with the 17-year-old Spanish tennis player among the sport’s rising stars making the grade.

Carlos Alcaraz

Despite the circumstances of the 2020 season, Alcaraz managed to move up 350 spots the rankings by year’s end, moving from No. 491 to No. 141, even reaching a career-high of No. 136 in October.

He started the year with back-to-back titles on the ITF Futures tour and was granted a wild card into the Rio Open in February. And the then-16-year-old made the most of his ATP Tour level debut, upsetting former World No. 17 Albert Ramos-Viñolas in 3 hours, 36 minutes in the opening round to become the first player born in 2003 to win a match and the youngest match winner since 2013. Alcaraz called the victory the high point of his season.

Following the restart of the season in August, Alcaraz went 20-4 in ATP Challenger events and won three titles at Trieste, Barcelona and Alicante, as well as playing in the final at Cordenons. He was named the ATP‘s Newcomer of the Year and is the youngest player in the top 600.

But Alcaraz, who idolizes fellow countryman Rafael Nadal, has even bigger goals for 2021. He hopes to make his first main draw appearance at a major in Australia in February and then play in all of the Grand Slams. As for his ranking? He’s hoping to make another big push in the new year.

“I want to finish the year in the top 50,” he said.

But Alcaraz isn’t the only Latinx tennis player to make the list…

Canada’s Leylah Fernandez completed her high school studies in the spring during the tour stoppage.

The 18-year-old half-Ecuadorian tennis player made her major main draw debut at the Australian Open in January — just a year removed from winning the junior title — but it was what she did in the weeks following the event that raised tennis fans’ eyebrows.

After losing in the first round in Melbourne, Fernandez scored her first win over a top-10 player (Belinda Bencic) while representing Canada in the Fed Cup (now known as the Billie Jean King Cup) in Switzerland. Later that month, she won six matches in seven days as a wild card qualifier in the Mexican Open, rolling into the final, where she ultimately lost to Heather Watson. The following week, she advanced to the quarterfinals at the Monterrey Open, defeating 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the second round.

Fernandez made a second-round appearance at the US Open and advanced to the third round of the French Open, where she took a 5-1 first-set lead over Petra Kvitova before the two-time major champion came back to win.

Fernandez thinks her 2021 will be even more successful. Her plan is to reach the top 10 by the end of the year.

Thiago Seyboth Wild wasn’t exactly the favorite entering the Chile Open last February after cracking the top 200 for the first time. But having notched one of the biggest wins of his career the week prior at the Rio Open in 3 hours, 49 minutes — the longest match ever in tournament history — over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, and taking World No. 32 Borna Ćorić to three sets the next round, the then-19-year old Brazilian tennis player was flying high entering the event.

What he did over the course of the week in Santiago was even more impressive.

Seyboth Wild knocked off three seeds en route to the title, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to win an ATP event and the youngest Brazilian champion in the Open era.

He found mixed results after the restart, losing in the first round of the US Open and not making it past qualifying at the French Open. But he made a finals appearance at a Challenger event in Aix-en-Provence, which lifted him to a career-high No. 106 in the rankings.

Seyboth Wild hopes to build off what he achieved in 2020 in the new year, although he says he focused more on some of the small things during the preseason.

Here’s the complete list in alphabetical order:

Carlos Alcaraz
Age: 17
Ranking: 141
Country: Spain
Career highlights: Winner of three ATP Challenger titles and three ITF Futures titles; Won his ATP main draw debut at the 2020 Rio Open

Bianca Andreescu
Age: 20
Ranking: 7
Country: Canada
Career highlights: Champion, 2019 US Open, 2019 Indian Wells and 2019 Canadian Open

Amanda Anisimova
Age: 19
Ranking: 30
Country: USA
Career highlights: Semifinals, 2019 French Open; Champion, 2019 Copa Colsanitas

Felix Auger-Aliassime
Age: 20
Ranking: 21 (77 in doubles)
Country: Canada
Career highlights: Fourth round, 2020 US Open; Six-time ATP finalist; Doubles champion, 2020 Paris Masters 

Leylah Fernandez
Age: 18
Ranking: 88
Country: Canada
Career highlights: Third round, 2020 French Open; Finalist, 2020 Mexican Open

Hugo Gaston
Age: 20
Ranking: 162
Country: France
Career highlights: Fourth round, 2020 French Open

Coco Gauff
Age: 16
Ranking: 48 (45 in doubles)
Country: USA
Career highlights: Fourth round, 2019 Wimbledon and 2020 Australian Open; Doubles quarterfinals, 2020 Australian Open; Champion, 2019 Linz Open; Doubles champion, 2019 Washington Open and 2019 Luxembourg Open

Varvara Gracheva
Age: 20
Ranking: 94
Country: Russia
Career highlights: Third round, 2020 US Open; Seven ITF titles 

Kaja Juvan
Age: 20
Ranking: 104
Country: Slovenia
Career highlights: Second round, 2019 Wimbledon, 2020 US Open, 2020 French Open; Seven ITF titles 

Sebastian Korda
Age: 20
Ranking: 118
Country: USA
Career highlights: Fourth round, 2020 French Open; One title on ATP Challenger Tour 

Marta Kostyuk
Age: 18
Ranking: 99 (112 in doubles)
Country: Ukraine
Career highlights: Third round, 2018 Australian Open, 2020 US Open; Three ITF singles titles, two ITF doubles titles 

Ann Li
Age: 20
Ranking: 98
Country: USA
Career highlights: Third round, 2020 US Open; Three ITF titles 

Caty McNally
Age: 19
Ranking: 121 (42 in doubles)
Country: USA
Career highlights: Third round, 2020 US Open; Doubles quarterfinals, 2020 Australian Open; Doubles champion, 2019 Washington Open and 2019 Luxembourg Open 

Lorenzo Musetti
Age: 18
Ranking: 128
Country: Italy
Career highlights: Semifinals, 2020 Sardinia; Third round, 2020 Italian Open; One ATP Challenger title and two ITF Futures titles 

Brandon Nakashima
Age: 19
Ranking: 166
Country: USA
Career highlights: Second round, 2020 US Open; One ATP Challenger title and two ITF Futures titles 

Anastasia Potapova
Age: 19
Ranking: 101 (133 in doubles)
Country: Russia
Career highlights: Second round, 2019 Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon; Finalist, 2018 Moscow River Cup, 2018 Tashkent Open; Doubles champion, 2018 Moscow River Cup, 2019 Lausanne

Thiago Seyboth Wild
Age: 20
Ranking: 116
Country: Brazil
Career highlights: First round, 2020 US Open; Champion, 2020 Chile Open

Jannik Sinner
Age: 19
Ranking: 37
Country: Italy
Career highlights: Quarterfinals, 2020 French Open; Champion, 2020 Sofia Open, 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals 

Iga Swiatek
Age: 19
Ranking: 17 (75 in doubles)
Country: Poland
Career highlights: Champion, 2020 French Open 

Clara Tauson
Age: 18
Ranking: 152
Country: Denmark
Career highlights: Second round, 2020 French Open; Seven ITF titles 

Dayana Yastremska
Age: 20
Ranking: 29 (90 in doubles)
Country: Ukraine
Career highlights: Fourth round, 2019 Wimbledon; Champion, 2018 Hong Kong, 2019 Hua Hin, 2019 Strasbourg

Joan Nadal Vives, Rafael Nadal’s Teen Cousin, Makes Professional Tennis Debut

There’s a new Nadal taking the court… And his name is Joan Nadal Vives.

The 16-year-old tennis player, the son of Toni and cousin of Rafael Nadal, has made his debut as a professional player.

Joan Nadal Vives

Joan, a left-handed player like his cousin Rafa, is one of Rafa’s uncle Toni’s two sons.

In his first professional tennis match, Joan lost 6-1, 6-3 to Turkey’s Kuzey Cekirge, who is ranked no. 1312, in the first round of a tournament ITF held in Manacor.

Joan’s registration into the Manacor event happened thanks to a wildcard. In his career as a junior, Joan had good results, but it must be remembered that Rafa, at 16, was very close to the top-200 in the ATP rankings, while 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, his countryman, is currently very close to entering the Top-100.

Joan has an older brother who is 17 years old, named Toni, like his father, who also plays tennis. Twenty years after his cousin Rafa did it in an F10 held in Madrid, Joan surely will never forget the day of his debut as a professional tennis player.

Curiously, Rafael Nadal started his professional career with a defeat against Spanish player Guillermo Platel in straight sets.