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.

Cristian Garin Reaches First Masters 1000 Quarterfinals at the Paris Masters

It’s a special win for Cristian Garin

The 23-year-old Chilean tennis player has reached his first quarterfinals at a Masters 1000 event after defeating France’s Jeremy Chardy at the Paris Masters.

Cristian Garin

Garin won 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (6) after a match that lasted two hours and 27 minutes and facing three match points against him.

With the victory, Garin became the first Chilean tennis player to reach the quarterfinals of a Masters 1000 since Fernando González, in Rome 2009.

He’ll next face Grigor Dimitrov.

Cristian Garin Defeats John Isner to Reach Paris Masters Third Round

Cristian Garinis celebrating a big win…

The 23-year-old Chilean , ranked No. 42 in the ATP world rankings, defeated World No. 17 John Isner in the second round of the Paris Masters.

Cristian Garin

Garin beat the American giant 7-6 (5) and 7-6 (4), qualifying for the knockout stages of the last Masters of the season.

In a first set marked by a good service performance by both players, Garin was solid in the tie break.

At the start of the second set, Garin broke in the first game. But Isner responded in the sixth game to tie up the set.

From then on, neither player showed flaws with their serve, leading to a tie breaker. Even though Isner looked in control at the beginning, Garin managed to recover and turn the tables to win 7-4.

Garin will next face France’s Jeremy Chardy (65th), who defeated the Daniil Medvedev.

del Potro to Compete on Clay for First Time Since 2013

Juan Martin del Potro is ready for some clay action…

Following his return to the ATP Tour after 11 months of inactivity, and having taken part in only six tournaments since January 2014, the 27-year-old Argentine tennis player will return to competitive play on clay for the first time since 2013.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro has been working on his clay game for the past few weeks. He started his training in his hometown of Tandil, Argentina, and then continued in Buenos Aires. His first tournament action will begin this week in Munich with Madrid and Roland Garros to follow.

del Potro will have a small entourage assisting him, as has been the case since his return. Without a coach since he parted ways with Franco Davin, del Potro traveled to Europe accompanied only by Diego Rodriguez, his physiotherapist.

Rodriguez, who has previously worked with David Nalbandian, will be key to del Potro’s recovery during the tour. Clay is a physically demanding surface, with longer points, greater physical impact and more body wear. For that reason, del Potro has been avoiding the slow surface at times when he didn’t feel strong enough or when he was recovering from his long stretches of inactivity because of wrist injuries. So the mere fact that del Potro is appearing on clay is a positive sign.

“The rehab is going as expected,” del Potro explained a few weeks ago, when he announced his entry in Munich and Madrid. While we must be patient, I’m very happy to confirm two tournaments in consecutive weeks, which is something I’ve been unable to do since my return.”

del Potro’s last appearance on clay came at the Rome Masters in 2013, where he lost his second match. A few weeks before, he had done the same in Monte Carlo. That was it on clay for the year — four matches and a 2-2 record.

This came a year after one of his best campaigns on clay, on which he won a title in Estoril (defeated Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet along the way) and reached the semifinals at the Madrid Masters and the quarterfinals at the French Open.

It should be noted that del Potro has four titles on clay (18 in total). And interestingly, the first two of his career (in Stuttgart and Kitzbuhel in 2008) were both on clay. His other two were both in Estoril (2011 and 2012). del Potro’s career clay-court record: 62-24.

Currently No. 340 in the world, del Potro has played three tournaments this year. He reached the semifinals in Delray Beach, with solid wins against Denis Kudla, John-Patrick Smith and Jeremy Chardy, and made the second round at Indian Wells and Miami.

Now he’ll take on the challenge on clay.

Zeballos Defeats Juan Martin del Potro at the Miami Masters

Horacio Zeballos has dashed one tennis champion’s comeback dreams…

The 30-year-old Argentine tennis player defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the second round of the Miami Masters.

Horacio Zeballos

Zeballos did not originally have a spot in the main draw. But when Roger Federer withdrew from the event with a stomach virus, Zeballos was given a chance to play Del Potro on the show court in Florida.

Del Potro, a former US Open champion, started as favorite but he failed to create a single break point as Zeballos ran out a 6-4 6-4 winner.

Zeballos, looking for his first tour-level win of the year, made good on his opportunity by serving smartly and avoiding del Potro’s fearsome forehand. The left-handed Zeballos fired six aces and made 77 per cent of first serves, most of which were directed to del Potro’s backhand. He only dropped nine points on serve and did not face a break point in the 81-minute encounter.

“He played well,” said del Potro of his opponent. “He’s a lefty, he can play to my backhand easier than anyone else. He played very smart.”

Zeballos’ opponent in the third round will be Fernando Verdasco, who scored his first win in three ATP Head2Head meetings with Jeremy Chardy, 6-4, 6-4.

Cuevas Loses Only Three Games in the Swedish Open Final to Claim His First-Ever ATP Title

It’s a memorable first for Pablo Cuevas

The 28-year-old Uruguayan tenista took down Portugal’s João Sousa in the Swedish Open final on Sunday at the Bastad Tennis Stadium to claim his first ATP tournament title.

Pablo Cuevas

Cuevas, who beat sixth-seeded Jérémy Chardy and third-seeded Fernando Verdasco en route to the final, defeated the fifth-seeded Sousa in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

Cuevas, who has fought a serious knee injury for the past three years, was ranked No. 111 going into the tournament.

He’ll now move up to No. 61 in the ATP rankings following his stellar performance at the Swedish Open, losing only one set in five matches.

Nadal Wins in Singles & Doubles at the Chilean Open

The King of Clay is putting his sore left knee to the test; and he’s winning…

Rafael Nadal competed in a pair of matches on Friday, defeating his fellow countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals at the Chilean Open and advancing in doubles at the tournament as well.

Rafael Nadal

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis star, back on the tour after a seven-month hiatus due to his knee injury, partnered with Argentina’s Juan Monaco to register a 6-3, 6-4 win against Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer of the Argentina.

Nadal’s two victories meant he’d played five matches in four days. And while his knee is still hurting, Nadal feels it’s making progress.

“I felt better today than the first day, so that’s a positive thing,” said Nadal. “That’s a thing that gives me confidence and hope for the future that we’re going in the right way. After seven months out of competition, even if I don’t have the pain in the knee, at the beginning you feel slower, you feel more tired than usual so you need time to adapt. That’s the thing. I need time to do it. I still feel pain in the knee some days and that’s something we hope and think will be improving week by week.”

Nadal will play Jeremy Chardy of France in the singles semifinals Saturday. If he advances, he’ll next face another busy day on Sunday with a singles final and the doubles championship against Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace of Italy.

Nadal’s is hoping to get back to the top of his game to challenge the tennis’ fellow superstars: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

He took the court Friday with temperatures hovering around 85 degrees in the middle to the South American summer. He is likely to encounter similar temperatures when he plays next week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and later this month in Acapulco, Mexico.

Nadal, who plays next week in Brazil, and later this month in Mexico,said he’s not focusing on the results while he uses the upcoming clay-court events to hone his game. But hisfans expect the King of Clay — he has won 93 percent of his singles matches on the surface — to win all three tournaments and show he’s ready to challenge for a record-stretching eighth French Open title in May.