Mariano Navone Defeats Cameron Norrie in Stunning Upset at Rio Open to Reach First-Ever ATP 500 Final

Mariano Navone,” the 30th-ranked Báez said. “We are using this [tournament] to climb up, we are young. I like to play in Rio, come to Brazil. When I don’t play against a Brazilian I feel like a local.”

By beating his first Top 50 opponent, Navone became the first qualifier to reach an ATP 500 final since Jiri Vesely accomplished the feat in Dubai in 2022.

“It was incredible,” he said post-match. “It’s a pleasure to play here in Rio, my first ATP 500. I’m very happy to make the final, my first final. I played so good all week and I hope [to win] the title tomorrow.”

Sebastian Baez Defeats Francisco Cerundolo at Rio Open to Reach His First ATP 500 Final

Sebastian Baez has reached the biggest ATP Tour final of his career…

The 23-year-old Argentine professional tennis player faced three set points at 4-5 in the opening set on Saturday at the Rio Open. He saved each one under pressure from compatriot Francisco Cerundolo and didn’t lose another game en route to a 7-5, 6-0 victory at the ATP 500.

Sebastian Baez

Baez’s nine-game tear earned him the win in his first semifinal above ATP 250 level. He will now play for his fifth and biggest tour-level title on Sunday.

While Baez twice beat Cerundolo on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2021, Saturday’s win was his first in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, which is now level at 1-1.

“We know each other too much, I think more than I want,” Baez joked after the win. “All matches are different. Today it’s going to my side. In the first set, I gave many break points to him. I had to take it because it’s so hard for both.”

After an early trade of breaks, Baez saved six consecutive break points in the one-hour, 24-minute match. He converted on four of his seven break chances and won more than half of his return points, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

“It’s hard but I always try to be focused on the next point, on the next game, every time thinking about my game and what I have to do,” Baez said of his surge through the finish line.

Cerundolo, who was also bidding to reach his first final above the ATP 250 level, struggled with 39 unforced errors, including 26 off his backhand wing. Despite the loss, he will return to the Top 20 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.

Baez is up seven places to No. 23 this week in the ATP Live Rankings, setting himself up for a career high. He could move up to No. 21 with the Rio title.

Francisco Cerundolo Defeats Tommy Paul to Claim Eastbourne International Men’s Title

Francisco Cerundolo is celebrating his first ATP Tour title on grass…

The 24-year-old Argentine professional tennis player defeated Tommy Paul 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 on Saturday to win the Eastbourne International men’s final.

Francisco CerundoloIt was the second match of the day for both players, although Paul had to spend considerably more energy in his first.

Cerundolo, the fourth-seed, only had to play one game to finish off his semifinal against American Mackenzie MacDonald, which was suspended when rain stopped play on Friday.

Cerundolo led 2-6, 7-5, 5-2 when the match was halted and quickly wrapped up the final set 6-2 when it resumed.

Francisco CerundoloThe second-seeded Paul then beat France’s Gregoire Barrere 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal before returning to the court for the title match.

Cerundolo earned his second career ATP tour title, having been two games away from losing against MacDonald when trailing 4-1 in the second set on Friday.

“I don’t know how I managed to turn it back,” Cerundolo said. “And today, I played a really good four points in the morning and today I think I played an amazing final. It was super tough, super windy.”

Paul was also looking for a second career title but his run to the final means he will equal his career-high ranking of No. 15 entering Wimbledon next week.

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.

Francisco Cerundolo Defeats Casper Ruud to Reach Barcelona Open Quarterfinals

Francisco Cerundolo has pulled off an upset…

The 24-year-old Argentine professional tennis player defeated third-seed Casper Ruud 7-6 (5), 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals at the Barcelona Open.

Francisco CerundoloThe 15th-seeded Argentine improved to 4-6 lifetime against Top 10 opponents to reach his fourth quarterfinal of 2023 and his first overall at the ATP 500.

Cerundolo claimed a 2-1 advantage in his ATP Head2Head with Ruud, denying the Norwegian a second straight trip to the Barcelona quarters.

In a dramatic opening set, Cerundolo battled back from 2-5, saving two set points to break Ruud in his second attempt to serve out the set at 5-4. The Argentine hung on after building a 4/0 lead in the tiebreak, then moved decisively ahead with an early break in the second set.

He did not face a break point in set two, dictating with his big forehand throughout and capitalizing on some uncertainty from Ruud, who has suffered second-round defeats in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona after his Estoril title run.

Cerundolo will meet 12th seed Daniel Evans in Friday’s quarterfinals after the Briton’s 6-3, 6-4 win against Karen Khachanov.

Francisco Cerundolo Upsets Felix Auger-Aliassime to Reach Fourth Round at Miami Open

Francisco Cerundolo has pulled up an upset at the Miami Open.

The 24-year-old Argentine professional tennis player defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2, 7-5 in a third-round match at the Florida tournament.

Francisco Cerundolo,Cerundolo, ranked 25th in Miami, scored a crucial break over fifth-seed Auger-Aliassime to go up 6-5 in the second set before serving out for the match.

He made the most of his opportunities, breaking Auger-Aliassime four times on six chances. He faced only two break points, saving one.

Auger-Aliassime saw his streak of six straight quarterfinals at Masters 1000 events come to an end.

It was the third high-profile third-round meeting between the players, with Auger-Aliassime winning at Indian Wells and the Australian Open.

Cerundolo said he fed off the energy of the crowd.

“Super happy to get another top-10 win, another important win for me,” he said. “I think I played really good from beginning to end. Super nice to play here. A lot of Argentinian, Latin people. … Last year was amazing. So I’m really excited to be in the round of 16 again and try to keep winning.”

Cerundolo advanced to face Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over No. 12 seed Frances Tiafoe in one of the night matches slowed by a nearly two-hour rain delay.

Francisco Cerundolo Wins First-Ever ATP Tour Title at Nordea Open

Francisco Cerundolo is officially an ATP Tour titlist…

The 23-year-old Argentine professional tennis player defeated compatriot Sebastian Baez in straight sets 7-6 (4), 6-2, to clinch his maiden title at the Nordea Open on Sunday.

Francisco CerundoloCerundolo, playing in just his second ATP Tour singles final, dropped serve in the opening game of the first set, but the 23-year-old recovered well as he won his fourth straight sets victory over the tournament.

“It feels amazing,” Cerundolo said. “First of all, I want to congratulate Sebastian, not just for this week. You’ve been playing amazing since last year.

“[Winning the title] means a lot. Since you are a child you imagine yourself playing in these events and finals. When I lost in Buenos Aires I was sad, because I was at home and I lost badly, but I learned a lot from that. I used it today, and I think I played a great match, a great week.”

Carlos Alcaraz Defeats Defending Champion Hubert Hurkacz to Reach Miami Open Final

Carlos Alcaraz is one win away from history…

The 18-year-old Spanish tennis player ended the 10-match tournament winning streak of defending champion Hubert Hurkacz to advance to the final at the Miami Open on Friday evening to reach his first ATP Masters 1000.

Carlos AlcarazWith his 7-6(5), 7-6(2) victory, Alcaraz has reached the biggest final of his young career, going one better than his semifinal run at Indian Wells two weeks ago.

“I have a lot of emotions right now. It’s something that you dream of when you are a child,” said Alcaraz, who is one win away from becoming the youngest champion in the tournament’s 37-year history. “It’s really good to be in the final here in Miami. I love playing here. The crowd is amazing. I’m going to approach the final like a first round, trying to mask the nerves. I’m going to enjoy it, it’s going to be a great final.”

Alcaraz trailed 3/5 in the opening-set tiebreak, but repeated his heroics from Thursday’s quarterfinal win against Miomir Kecmanovic by winning four straight points to close it out.

After erasing two break points at 5-all in the second set — taking his tournament total to 15 of 17 break points saved — Alcaraz controlled the second tie-break with help from some untimely Hurkacz errors. A drop shot at 5/2 set up match point, and a dipping pass attempt forced a volley into the net to close out the match.

“I couldn’t return his serves, but I knew that the match was going to be long sets like it was, 7-6, 7-6,” said Alcaraz, who dropped deep with his return positioning, in contrast to his previous matches. “At the beginning, I saw that I couldn’t return. I thought we were going to play a lot of tiebreaks… A little bit different [than my previous matches] with his serve, but it’s a great win for me.”

Hurkacz tallied one more winner than Alcaraz on the night, 23 to 22, but gave up that advantage by committing 37 unforced errors in the match. Early in the second set, the frustrated Pole shouted to his coach: “I can’t do my backhand.”

But this was far from a standard matchup of baseline blasts as both men attacked the net with regularity, a total of 47 times between them, with both posting a 70 per cent win rate. Alcaraz also hit 16 drop shots in the match, winning 11 of those points (69 per cent).

In a match that did not see a break of serve, both men saved three break points, with each coming up clutch to fight off a pair when serving at 5-all. After failing to convert late in the first, Alcaraz provided a moment of good sportsmanship by offering to replay a point as he served at 5-6, 30/0 after an incorrect “not up” call. Hurkacz applauded the gesture but was not able to get a look in the service game.

“Definitely he’s playing insane for his age,” Hurkacz said following the match. “It’s really incredible how he plays, how he competes… He has an amazing career in front of him. It’s crazy how good he plays.”

By reaching the final, Alcaraz moves up to third place in the ATP Race to Turin, with an opportunity to move up to second with the title. The World No. 16 improves to 6-6 against the Top 10, having won the opening set in all six of his victories and lost the opener in all six defeats

He’ll face Casper Ruud in the Sunday’s final following his 6-4, 6-1 win over Francisco Cerundolo.

Alcaraz is hoping to become the third-youngest man to win a title at this level, behind only Michael Chang (1990, Toronto) and Rafael Nadal (2005, Monte Carlo). He’s also the second-youngest finalist in Miami history, behind only Nadal, who lost the 2005 final to Roger Federer.

Alcaraz is projected to move up to a career-high of No. 12 in the ATP Rankings with his final run, and will reach No. 11 with the title.

Carlos Alcaraz Wins Opening Match at Next Gen Finals

Carlos Alcaraz is still the man to beat…

The 18-year-old Spanish tennis phenom, the tournament favorite, took just 75 minutes to beat Holger Rune of Denmark 4-3 (6) 4-2 4-0, seeing out the group match with a crosscourt volley to take the final game and set to love at the Next Gen Finals on Tuesday.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz has moved more than 100 places up the rankings this season to No. 32 and reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Earlier, Brandon Nakashima  took less than 90 minutes to beat Francisco Cerúndolo of Argentina 4-1 3-4 (3) 4-1 4-0.

All four players are in Group A of the eight-man tournament, which has a round-robin format. The top two in both groups qualify for Friday’s semifinals. The final is on Saturday.

In Group B, Sebastian Korda of the U.S. plays Hugo Gaston of France in the first match of the evening session, followed by home favorite Lorenzo Musetti against Sebastian Baez of Argentina.

It is the fourth edition of the tournament in Milan for the top 21-and-under players on the ATP Tour. The tournament was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ATP Finals will also be in Italy, in Turin next week.

There are different rules at the Next Gen Finals, including on-court coaching, no-Ad scoring, medical timeout limits, and Hawk-Eye making all the line calls.

The most drastic change is the shorter set, where the first to four games takes the set, with a tiebreak at 3-3.

This year there are also shorter warm-ups, ensuring matches begin just one minute after the players enter the court, while bathroom breaks are timed to three minutes.