Rafael Nadal to Play Singles & Doubles at 2024 Paris Games

Rafael Nadais set to play at the 2024 Paris Games.

The 38-year-old Spanish professional tennis player has been named to the Spanish tennis team for the Paris Olympics, where he’ll also partner with French Open champion Carlos Alcaraz in doubles, the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation has announced.

Rafael NadalNadal, who has been limited the past two years by a number of injuries, has said the Olympic Games were his focus and that he could skip Wimbledon to prepare.

“My main goal now is to play Olympics,” Nadal said after losing in the first round at Roland Garros on May 27. “That’s going to be here. So I need to prepare myself the proper way to try to arrive here healthy and well prepared, and then let’s see.”

Nadal and Alcaraz will play in both singles and doubles at the Games.

The tennis competition will be held at Roland Garros, where Nadal is a 14-time Grand Slam champion and Alcaraz just won the French Open on Sunday.

“One pair, which I think everyone knows and was hoping for, is Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal and the second pair is yet to be decided. It hasn’t been 100% confirmed yet,” national team coach David Ferrer told reporters.

Alcaraz, who will be making his Olympic debut, has set winning an Olympic medal for Spain as one of his top career goals. He said after winning at Roland Garros that this year he would prefer a gold medal at the Paris Olympics over successfully defending his Wimbledon title.

“The Olympic Games are every four years and it’s a special tournament where you’re not only playing for yourself, but for a country, representing every Spaniard,” the No. 2-ranked Alcaraz said. “I think this year I’d choose Olympic gold.”

Nadal has a singles gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Games and a 2016 gold in doubles, when he played with Marc Lopez.

Spain also selected Pablo Carreno Busta, Alejandro Davidovich and Marcel Granollers (doubles) for the men’s competition. Captain Anabel Medina picked No. 55 Sara Sorribes Tormo and No. 67 Cristina Bucsa — the top-ranked Spanish players — for the women’s team, with Paula Badosa deciding not to compete as she has only two more events to play while using her protected ranking.

Alex de Minaur Defeats Casper Ruud to Win Second Straight Mexican Open Title

Make that back-to-back titles for Alex de Minaur. 

The 25-year-old Spanish & Uruguayan Australian tennis player defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday to become the first player to win back-to back titles in the Mexican Open since 2012.

Alex de MinaurThe third-seeded de Minaur won his eighth ATP title to become the fourth player to repeat as champion in Mexico and the first since David Ferrer in 2010-12.

de Minaur won his 10th consecutive match in Acapulco to break a four-match losing streak in ATP finals, including in Rotterdam earlier this year.

“Acapulco is becoming like a second home,” De Minaur said. “I thought that it was impossible to get feel better after what happened last year, but I came back a year later to defend the title and it has been true pleasure.”

Alex de Minaur The sixth-seeded Ruud missed the chance to win his 11th title in the ATP and his first ATP 500 title.

de Minaur took an early break to take a 3-1 lead in the first set before both hold their serve for the 6-4 score.

In the second set, both players exchanged breaks in the first four games and de Minaur got a break in the seventh game to take the lead.

The Mexican Open was nearly canceled because a Category 5 hurricane hit the city four months ago, leaving 52 people dead. The Diamond Zone, an oceanfront area replete with hotels and where the tennis arena is located, was devastated.

“We wanted to bring some joy to this wonderful city,” de Minaur said, “and I’m sure that Acapulco will shine stronger than ever.”

Defending Champion Alex de Minaur Advances to Mexican Open Final

Alex de Minaur is heading back to the Mexican Open final…

The 25-year-old Spanish & Uruguayan Australian tennis player, the tournament’s defending champion, advanced to the final when Jack Draper retired in the third set on Friday.

Alex de MinaurThe third-seeded de Minaur won the first set 6-3, dropped the second 6-2 and was leading 4-0 in the third when Draper, who was visibly diminished physically, called it quits.

de Minaur will face Casper Ruud, who pulled off an upset by beating second-seeded Holger Rune 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the late match.

“I’m happy to be in the final, but I´m hoping that Jack is doing fine. He has a tremendous talent, and hopefully he can recover for the upcoming tournaments,” de Minaur said. “It’s hard to play when your opponent is not OK physically, but you need to remain focused.”

de Minaur won his ninth straight match in Mexico and became the first defending champion to reach the Acapulco final since David Ferrer in 2013.

de Minaur has seven career ATP titles, with last year at Acapulco his most recent.

Draper, from England, was playing in his first semifinal of an ATP 500 tournament.

In the other semifinal, Ruud lost the first set and then was down 3-1 in the third with Rune serving, but he managed a couple of breaks and held his serve to take the win.

“I did not get the best start, and the third set looked really bad. I just tried to stay in there and it seemed like Holger was struggling, and at the end it worked for me,” Ruud said.

Ruud will try to win his 10th career title, the first one in an ATP 500.

Rune, who is No. 7 in the ATP rankings, lost in the Acapulco semifinals for the second year in a row.

Garbine Muguruza to Play This Year’s Hopman Cup

Garbine Muguruza is ready to take on the world…

The 24-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player and compatriot David Ferrer will represent Spain in the Hopman Cup mixed teams event in late December.

Garbine Muguruza

The eight-country tournament is scheduled from December 29 to January 5 on indoor hard courts at Perth Arena. It’s used by the players as a tuneup event for the Australian Open, which begins on January 14 in Melbourne.

Serena Williams and Roger Federer have also committed to play, while former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev will represent Germany.

Frances Tiafoe will be Williams’ partner for the United States, while Belinda Bencic will again represent Switzerland with Federer to defend the title they won in January over Kerber and Zverev in the final.

Williams and Federer are scheduled to play mixed doubles against each other when the U.S. meets Switzerland on January 1.

Hopman Cup Teams:
Australia: Matthew Ebden and Ashleigh Barty
France: Lucas Pouille and Alize Cornet
Germany: Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber
Britain: Cameron Norrie and Katie Boulter
Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari
Spain: David Ferrer and Garbine Muguruza
Switzerland: Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic
United States: Frances Tiafoe and Serena Williams

David Ferrer Advances to the Semifinals at the ASB Classic

David Ferrer is two wins away from a handful of titles in Auckland…

The 35-year-old Spanish tennis player, a four-time champion at the ATP Tour‘s ASB Classic, has advanced to the semifinals at the tournament for the eighth time after defeating South Korea’s Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

David Ferrer

Ferrer’s semifinal opponent will be another former champion, second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6 (4), 6-3.

del Potro looked in top form ahead of the Australian Open with his second straight-sets victory, having beaten Canadian teenage star Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. In two matches in Auckland, 2009 champion del Potro has yet to concede a break point.

“Of course I’m happy to get through. He’s one of the toughest guys on tour,” del Potro said. “Today’s match was so close. He hits the ball so hard and we play long rallies, big points and I think I took all my chances to win.”

Another former champion, fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, will face Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the other semifinal. Bautista Agut defeated Jiri Vesely 7-6 (1), 6-1 on Thursday while Haase beat Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal On Course to Play at the 2016 Summer Olympics

It’s Rio or bust for Rafael Nadal

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis star, a former World No. 1, looks to be on course to play at the 2016 Summer Olympics after an encouraging update on his fitness.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal is due to be Spain’s flag-bearer at the 2016 Rio Games but is battling a wrist problem — he previously missed out on the honor due to injury in London four years ago.

Teammate David Ferrer said on Thursday that the 14-time Grand Slam winner will definitely travel to Brazil, while Nadal’s coach and uncle Toni was encouraged by Wednesday’s hit-out with Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.

Ferrer told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser: “I will travel with Rafa on Sunday to Rio.

“His situation is more delicate. It’s never easy to come back after an injury. He will see how he feels.”

Nadal is scheduled to play singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles in Rio.

And Toni Nadal said: “We began to intensify his training in order to be ready be in time for the first round.

“Training with Andy Murray was a really hard first time with another top player and we are happy. Things worked out well.

“In Rio, we will start training with the maximum-level players and see how Rafael will respond to the difficulty of the competition.

“There are doubts about his game. I believe that is normal – these are the same questions we’ve always had after a period of inactivity. Starting with the Olympics is not easy but if we are lucky in the draw, he can improve step by step.”

Ramos-Vinolas Upsets No. 1 Seed David Ferrer to Reach Swedish Open Final

Albert Ramos-Vinolas is one win away from his first ATP World Tour title…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis player beat No. 1 seed David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday for the first time in seven tries and will now play in his second career final at the Swedish Open in Bastad.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas

The third seed will meet another countryman in Sunday’s final: Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco swept Gastao Elias of Portugal 6-3, 6-1.

Elias was playing in his first ATP World Tour semifinal.

Ramos-Vinolas had been 0-6 in his head-to-head series against Ferrer, a two-time champion in Bastad (2007, 2012). But the left-hander broke Ferrer five times to move into the final in an hour and 48 minutes.

“I’m very happy. I beat a great player and one of the best on clay in the last five, six years,” Ramos-Vinolas said.

Ramos-Vinolas last played in a final in 2012 (Casablanca, l. to Andujar). He’ll also try to reverse his head-to-head series against Verdasco as the 32-year-old leads the series 3-1, including a 2014 win in Bastad.

Verdasco reached his second tour-level final of the season with dominant serving. The left-hander won 75 per cent of his service points. He also landed almost eight of 10 first serves. Verdasco, though, was broken once, the first time he’s lost his serve in Bastad (32/33).

The seven-time ATP World Tour titlist will go for his second crown of the season (also Bucharest, d. Pouille).

“It’s a final,” Verdasco said. “A final is never easy.”

Ferrer Beats Dustin Brown to Advance to Swedish Open Semifinals

David Ferrer continues to roll…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis player battled past Dustin Brown 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Swedish Open on Friday.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, the top seed and two-time champion at the tournament, improved his head-to-head record versus the German player to 4-0 following the 92-minute win, which was watched in the stands by Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg.

Ferrer will next face his compatriot, third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

“He’s playing his best tennis of this season so I’m going to have to play very good and very consistent to have a good chance to be in the final,” said Ferrer of his opponent.

Ramos-Vinolas reached his second semifinal of 2016 as he defeated Andrea Arnaboldi. The Spaniard saved six of the 11 break points he faced to outlast the Italian 5-7, 7-5, 6-0 in what was their first tour-level meeting.

Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco eased into the last four in Bastad with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Facundo Bagnis in 68 minutes. The Spaniard will continue to bid for his eighth ATP World Tour singles title when he faces Gastao Elias.

“It’s great for me to be in the semifinals here again. Today I’m one step closer and hopefully tomorrow I will keep playing as good as today or even better,” said Verdasco. “I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve been playing better and better every day. Tomorrow I will face a Portuguese player and they are both playing good this week. I know that it’s going to be difficult.”

Elias reached his first ATP World Tour semifinal by upsetting second seed Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2.

The 25-year-old Portuguese tennis player capitalized on five of his seven break point chances to notch his first win over his compatriot (Sousa now leads rivalry 2-1) in 62 minutes.

Muguruza: The Higest-Seeded Latina at This Year’s Wimbledon

If all goes her way, Garbine Muguruza will most certainly get a rematch with Serena Williams in the Wimbledon finals…

The 22-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan professional tennis player, who lost to the World No. 1 tennis player 4-6, 4-6 in last year’s final, is seeded No. 2 for this year’s tournament at the All-England Club.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, who bested Williams at the French Open to win the first Grand Slam title of her career, cannot face Serena, seeded No.1, until the final at Wimbledon, since they’re both in separate halves of the draw.

Seedings were based on the current world rankings but rearranged to reflect players’ grass-court achievements.

Muguruza is the highest-seeded Hispanic player on the women’s and men’s side. She’s followed by Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro at No. 13 and Caroline Garcia, who recently won her first-ever title on grass at the Mallorca Open, at No. 31.

Spain’s David Ferrer is the highest-seeded player on the men’s side at No. 13. He’s followed by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut at No. 14, Spain’s Feliciano Lopez at No. 22 and Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas at No. 29.

Play at the third Grand Slam of the year starts Monday.

2 MURRAY, Andy (GBR)
3 FEDERER, Roger (SUI)
6 RAONIC, Milos (CAN)
7 GASQUET, Richard (FRA)
8 THIEM, Dominic (AUT)
9 CILIC, Marin (CRO)
10 BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE)
11 GOFFIN, David (BEL)
12 TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
13 FERRER, David (ESP)
15 KYRGIOS, Nick (AUS)
16 SIMON, Gilles (FRA)
17 MONFILS, Gael (FRA)
18 ISNER, John (USA)
19 TOMIC, Bernard (AUS)
20 ANDERSON, Kevin (RSA)
22 LOPEZ, Feliciano (ESP)
24 ZVEREV, Alexander (GER)
25 TROICKI, Viktor (SRB)
26 PAIRE, Benoit (FRA)
27 SOCK, Jack (USA)
29 CUEVAS, Pablo (URU)
30 DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr (UKR)
31 SOUSA, Joao (POR)
32 POUILLE, Lucas (FRA)

1 WILLIAMS, Serena (USA)
2 MUGURUZA, Garbine (ESP)
3 RADWANSKA, Agnieszka (POL)
4 KERBER, Angelique (GER)
5 HALEP, Simona (ROU)
6 AZARENKA, Victoria (BLR)
7 VINCI, Roberta (ITA)
8 BENCIC, Belinda (SUI)
10 KEYS, Madison (USA)
11 KVITOVA, Petra (CZE)
14 KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana (RUS)
15 STOSUR, Samantha (AUS)
16 PLISKOVA, Karolina (CZE)
17 KONTA, Johanna (GBR)
19 STEPHENS, Sloane (USA)
20 CIBULKOVA, Dominika (SVK)
21 ERRANI, Sara (ITA)
23 JANKOVIC, Jelena (SRB)
25 STRYCOVA, Barbora (CZE)
26 BEGU, Irina-Camelia (ROU)
27 BERTENS, Kiki (NED)
29 SAFAROVA, Lucie (CZE)
31 GARCIA, Caroline (FRA)
32 MLADENOVIC, Kristina (FRA)

Estrella Burgos Wins Ecuador Open Title

Victor Estrella Burgos is a back-to-back champion…

The 35-year-old Dominican tennis player rallied from a set down to beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Sunday to retain his title on clay in the Ecuador Open in Quito.

Victor Estrella Burgos

It was only Estrella Burgos’ second ATP singles title, and both have come at this tournament.

Bellucci was trying to win his fifth ATP singles title, but he ran out of steam after dropping the second set in a tiebreaker.

The monthlong Latin American clay-court season moves on Monday to Buenos Aires with the Argentina Open, where former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal is the top-seeded player and fellow Spaniard David Ferrer is No. 2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is No. 3 and American John Isner is No. 4. All four have byes into the second round.