Bernabe Zapata Miralles Defeats John Isner to Reach Fourth Round at French Open

Bernabe Zapata Miralles is continuing to make waves (and beat his personal best) at Roland Garros

The 25-year-old Spanish tennis player, a qualifier at this year’s tournament, defeated USA’s John Isner, the No 23 seed, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 [5], 6-3 to move into the Round of 16 at the French Open.

Bernabe Zapata Miralles Zapata Miralles’ fourth round showing is now his best at a Grand Slam tournament to date. His previous best was the second round at the 2021 US Open.

Zapata Miralles, ranked No. 131 in the world, will next play Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the No 3 seed.

Zapata Mirallas defeated Israel’s Dudi Sela (6-3, 6-0), Portugal’s Gastao Elias (6-1, 6-1), Italy’s Luca Nardi (3-6, 6-4, 6-1), American wildcard Michael Mmoh (7-6 [7], 6-3, 7-5) and USA’s Taylor Fritz, the No 13 seed (3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3) to get to this point.

Earlier in the tournament, Isner, ranked No 26, edged out France’s Quentin Halys (7-6 [3], 4-6, 7-6 [1], 7-6 [6]) and French wildcard Gregoire Barrere (6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 [5]).

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Carlos Alcaraz to Improve to 20-0 in 2022

Rafael Nadal remains undefeated…

The 35-year-old Spanish tennis star outlasted Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Saturday night to reach the BNP Paribas Open final and improve to 20-0 this year.

Rafael NadalThe 21-time major champion threw his head back, smiled and raised both arms in triumph after escaping an aggressive Alcaraz.

The 18-year-old never appeared rattled playing his vaunted countryman, who had the crowd, a 17-year advantage in age and loads of experience in his favor.

“He has all the ingredients to become an amazing champion,” Nadal said. “I don’t have many doubts that he will be great. He is already, by the way.”

Nadal’s perfect record is the third-best start to a season since 1990. He’s won titles at Melbourne, the Australian Open and Acapulco.

Nadal staved off three break points on his serve in the fifth game of the third set and then broke Alcaraz with a forehand volley winner to go up 5-3. Nadal served out the match with a love game, punctuating the 3-hour, 12-minute struggle with a 95 mph ace.

“Rafa has thousand lives,” Alcaraz said. “If he’s down, he’s able to play at a great level in the tough moments.”

Alcaraz hit 39 winners to 20 for Nadal. The teen saved 15 of the 20 break points he faced through the first two sets, but couldn’t stop the net-rushing Nadal who broke him to go up 4-3.

That’s when Nadal called for a trainer, who appeared to give the soon-to-be 36-year-old star an adjustment. Nadal said he was feeling pain in his left chest.

Ranked 19th in the world, Alcaraz outdueled Nadal in a second set that featured five service breaks, including four in a row.

Tied 4-all, Alcaraz broke Nadal in a game that lasted 19 minutes, 42 seconds. Nadal’s errant forehand gave Alcaraz the advantage on the seventh break point of the game. The teenager tossed up a topspin lob near the baseline that Nadal could not catch up to and Alcaraz led 5-4. He served out the set, 6-4.

“If you are playing with Rafa, you have to be calm, you have to think well in the tough moments,” Alcaraz said. “That’s what I learned in this match.”

Alcaraz got Nadal’s attention from the start, breaking him in the first game of the match. The teen survived a six-deuce game on his serve to go up 2-0. Alcaraz was gutsy throughout, charging the net on break points and often coming up with winners.

“I feel like I’m part of that level. I am part of these kind of players,” Alcaraz said. “I think I’m going to play against Rafa or the best players this year a lot.”

As the match went on, the wind grew so strong it blew the players’ white towels nearly onto the court and rattled Nadal’s perfectly aligned drink bottles that he set facing the court. Ball kids chased items that weren’t anchored down. Nadal said his eyes hurt because of sand stirred up by the wind.

Nadal will meet Taylor Fritz in the final Sunday. Seeded 20th, Fritz is the first American man to make the final since John Isner in 2012 and he’ll try to be the first to win the title since Andre Agassi in 2001.

Fritz ended No. 7 seed Andrey Rublev‘s 13-match winning streak with a 7-5, 6-4 victory in the other semifinal. The Russian had won 13 consecutive matches since February 14, including back-to-back titles at Marseille and Dubai.

Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan Upsets John Isner in Davis Cup Play

Daniel Elahi Galan is celebrating a massive upset…

The 25-year-old Colombian tennis player, ranked No. 111 in the world, defeated American John Isner 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) on Sunday in Davis Cup Finals play.

Daniel Elahi Galan While the Colombian team missed out on advancing to the quarterfinals, Galan and his compatriots can take pride in knowing they eliminated the record 32-time champion Americans from the competition after Americans Reilly Opelka and Jack Sock retired from the decisive doubles match while trailing 3-0 in the opening set against the accomplished Colombian pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

U.S. captain Mardy Fish hinted at a lack of passion within his team after the record 32-time champion Americans were eliminated from the Davis Cup Finals with a lopsided loss to host Italy and the humbling defeat by Colombia on Sunday.

“You can see the passion for Davis Cup, playing for their country,” Fish said of Colombia. “It’s infectious for them … These guys are giving fist pumps every other point. It’s impressive, and it’s something that I hope, as a captain, to strive for and get our players to do.”

Italy won the group, Colombia placed second and the U.S. finished last in Group E.

Meanwhile, Russia with second-ranked Daniil Medvedev beat Spain 2-1 in a result that eliminated the defending champion and allowed Serbia with top-ranked Novak Djokovic to advance as the second-best runner-up.

Russia, which is being called RTF (Russian Tennis Federation) for the event amid an ongoing doping suspension in international sport, will face Sweden, the best runner-up, in the quarterfinals.

The other quarterfinals: Italy vs. Croatia, Britain vs. Germany, and Serbia vs. Kazakhstan.

Played in three cities, each matchup on indoor hard courts is a best-of-three series featuring two singles and one doubles match. The six group winners plus the two second-place teams with the best records based on sets and games advanced to the quarterfinals.

The semifinals and final will be played in Madrid.

Roberto Bautista Agut Outlasts John Isner to Reach Miami Open Quarterfinals

Roberto Bautista Agut almost didn’t make it to the Miami Open quarterfinals.

The 32-year-old panish professional tennis player and tournament’s No. 7 seed had to fight off a match point before ousting former Miami champion and No. 18 seed John Isner 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7) on Tuesday — his second three-set win in as many matches so far in the tournament.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut will next face top-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who wore down Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Bautista Agut lost the first point of the third-set tiebreaker on his serve, giving the big-hitting Isner the early edge. Isner lost the mini-break by putting a forehand into the net five points later, then gave himself match point after a 138 mph ace for a 6-5 edge.

Bautista Agut wasn’t fazed, won three of the last four points and escaped.

“He makes always difficult matches playing against him,” Bautista Agut said. “He has a very big serve and a lot of power from baseline with the forehand. It makes it always difficult, no?”

It was Isner’s earliest Miami exit since 2017, when he lost in the third round. He won the tournament in 2018 and lost the final in 2019 to Roger Federer in straight sets.

After some early clouds cleared out and bright sunshine starting pounding down, the mid-afternoon temperature reached the mid-80s Fahrenheit at Hard Rock Stadium and the humidity made it feel even hotter.

Rafael Nadal’s ATP Cup Mural Unveiled in Perth

Rafael Nadal’s face has found a special home Down Under

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, is one of the players being honored with a special mural in Perth, Australia.

Rafael Nadal Mural

The inaugural ATP Cupis set to take place between January 3-12 in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, bringing together some of the world’s leading players in both singles and doubles from 24 countries. 

Weeks before the start of the action, Nodal got his mural in Perth together with Kei Nishikori and other stars, with the organizers welcoming the 19-time Grand Slam champion.

Nadal is among those who’ll fight for the crown together with his teammates, fresh after conquering the first edition of the Davis Cup Finalsin Madrid.

Spain is the favorite to reach the quarters from Group B, battling against Japan, Uruguay and Georgia at RAC Arena in Perth and hoping to continue the competition in Sydney where eight strongest teams continue the quest for the title in the second stage of the event.

Backed by Roberto Bautista AugtPablo Carreno BustaAlbert Ramos-Vinolas and Feliciano Lopez, Nadal is eager to lead Spain towards another team competition crown, shining in front of the home fans in Madrid with eight victories from as many rubbers and delivering the sixth Davis Cup title for Spain.

In what was a wild race towards the finish line, Nadal and Djokovic fought for the year-end no. 1 spot for almost the entire season, with the Spaniard making the deciding move in Montreal and the US Open and keeping the lead in the ATP Raceuntil the ATP Finalswhere they both lost in the round-robin stage.

Rafa and Novak will continue their rivalry at the ATP Cup, joined by Gael MonfilsKei NishikoriDavid GoffinAndy Murray, Grigor DimitrovAlexander ZverevDenis ShapovalovFelix Auger-AliassimeNick KyrgiosAlex de MinaurDaniil MedvedevKaren KhachanovJohn IsnerMatteo BerrettiniFabio FogniniDominic Thiem, Diego Schwartzmanand others.

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.

Roberto Bautista Agut Defeats Novak Djokovic to Reach Miami Open Quarterfinals

Roberto Bautista Agut has pulled off a major upset…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player outlasted World No. 1 Novak Djokovic1-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.

Roberto Bautista Agut

“I played more aggressive. I tried to miss fewer balls, to be really concentrated on the beginning of the point with my serve, with my return. At the end, it worked well,” Bautista Agut said.

Djokovic held for 5-5 in the second set following a rain delay that lasted about 40 minutes and earned a break point in the next game, which if converted would’ve allowed him to serve for a straight-sets victory. But Bautista Aguthit a short slice that Djokovic missed into the net with his forehand. 

From there, Bautista Agut raised his level and aggression to triumph after two hours and 29 minutes.

“He’s a solid player. Congratulations to him definitely for a great comeback,” Djokovic said. “But this kind of match I should not have lost. So many opportunities. Just way too many wasted opportunities. This is what happens when you don’t capitalise on time.”

It’s Bautista Agut’s second three-sets victory against Djokovic this season, having also defeated Djokovic in Doha to start the year en route to lifting the trophy. 

“It helped me at the end of the match, no? I had confidence to play at a really high level at the end of the match, and I could close the match well with my serve,” Bautista Agut said.

He’ll next face defending champion John Isner, whom he hasn’t played since 2016, in the quarterfinals

Isner leads the ATP Head2Head series 2-1.

Juan Martin del Potro Back in the Quarterfinals at the French Open After Six Year Absence

Juan Martin del Potro is back in the final eight at Roland Garros

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player, the tournament’s fifth seed, brushed aside John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the French Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2012 on Monday.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro produced an impressive display on Court Suzanne Lenglen, firing 25 winners and making just 14 unforced errors against the American ninth seed.

del Potro was knocked out in the third round at Roland Garros last year after missing the previous four tournaments in Paris through injury.

del Potro will next face third seed Marin Cilic in the last eight.

Juan Martin del Potro Defeats Robin Haase at Paris Masters in Quest to Earns Spot at the ATP Finals

Juan Martin del Potro is one step closer to earning a spot in the big show…

The 29-year-old Argentinean tennis star  moved closer to securing the last spot for the season-ending ATP Finals by beating Robin Haase 7-5, 6-4 in the third round at the Paris Masters.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro, who lost to Roger Federer on Sunday in the Swiss Indoors final, is in 10th place in the race to qualify for the tournament.

Only the top eight players will compete in London and there is one place left, to be taken in Paris.

“I would love to reach London once again. It could be a fantastic moment for me,” said del Potro, who was way back in 47th place in the race before the U.S. Open.

“I’m excited to keep improving for this kind of surprise. I love to surprise myself and that’s what I’m doing now.”

del Potro has a tough challenge next, against big-serving John Isner.

The ninth-seeded Isner, last year’s runner-up to Andy Murray, hit 25 aces as he beat sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (10), 5-7, 7-6 (3).

Rafael Nadal Partners with Roger Federer in Laver Cup Doubles Win

Rafael Nadal has found an unlikely doubles partner…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star joined forces with longtime rival Roger Federer to win a doubles match in the new Laver Cup on Saturday.

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal Laver Cup

Nadal and Federer teamed up for the first time to defeat Sam Querrey and Jack Sock 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 in the team event between Europe and the rest of the world.

“It was unbelievable,” Nadal said.

The inaugural Laver Cup is taking place at Prague’s O2 Arena on an unusual black hard court.

Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych also form the European team.

John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe play for the world.

Europe needs two more victories from Sunday’s four games to win.