Sebastian Baez Defeats Compatriot Mariano Navone to Claim Rio Open Title

Sebastian Baez has claimed the fifth and biggest title of his career…

On Sunday, the 23-year-old Argentine professional tennis player defeated compatriot Mariano Navone 6-2, 6-1 at the Rio Open.

Sebastian Baez,The fifth-seeded Baez wasn’t seriously challenged by the 22-year-old Navone, a qualifier, in the final of the clay-court tournament.

Neither of the two Argentinians had been among the favorites to lift the title, but defending champion Cameron NorrieCarlos AlcarazStan Wawrinka and Nicolás Jarry had all stumbled.

Baez is the second Argentinian to lift the trophy, with Diego Schwartzman the first in 2018.

Baez is set to climb to a career-high No. 21 in the rankings on Monday, from his current No. 30.

Navone will become a top 100 player for the first time, reaching No. 60 after Rio.

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.”

Joao Fonseca Becomes First Player Born in 2006 to Win an ATP Tour-Level Match

Joao Fonseca is making ATP Tour history…

The 17-year-old Brazilian tennis player became the first player born in 2006 to win an ATP Tour-level match when he beat seventh-seeded Arthur Fils 6-0, 6-4 at the Rio Open on Wednesday.

Joao FonsecaFonseca defeated the No. 36-ranked Frenchman in front of raucous fans at the clay court tournament in Rio de Janeiro. He knelt on the court in tears to celebrate.

“This is where I belong. I want to be in these huge stadiums,” said Fonseca, who won the US Open boys singles title last year. “Now it is all about focusing on the process.”

Fonseca, currently ranked No. 655, is expected to jump about 200 positions after beating Fils. Fonseca said he is yet to decide whether he will play tennis for an American university later this year.

“For now I am very focused in the pro-tour, I want to get to the top,” said Fonseca. “That is going to be a personal decision with my family, I won’t make it public now,.”

His opponent in the round of 16 will be Cristian Garin of Chile.

Fonseca’s victory brought some new energy for local fans, who saw three of the title favorites crash out Tuesday.

Carlos Alcaraz abandoned his match against Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro due to an ankle injury; three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka lost to Argentina’s Facundo Díaz Acosta in straight sets; and Chile’s Nicolás Jarry was knocked out by Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann in three sets.

Fourth-seeded Francisco Cerúndolo of Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Spain’s Albert Ramos-Viñolas 6-2, 6-1.

Rain later postponed to Thursday the match between second-seeded and defending champion Cameron Norrie against Chile’s Tomás Barrios Vera for a place among the last eight.

Nicolas Jarry Upsets Carlos Alcaraz to Reach Argentina Open Final

Nicolas Jarry has claimed the biggest victory of his career…

The 28-year-old Chilean professional tennis player upset Carlos Alcaraz 7-6(2), 6-3 on Saturday at the Argentina Open to extend the Spaniard’s title drought to nine tournaments since his Wimbledon triumph last July.

Nicolas JarryJarry had taken a set from the 20-year-old in their two prior ATP Head2Head meetings and showed clear intent to take the fight to the World No. 2 from the outset. Jarry matched Alcaraz’s power from the baseline, made a number of confident net approaches and didn’t face a break point in the first set.

After dropping serve at the beginning of the second set, Jarry immediately broke back for 1-1 and then claimed the decisive break in the eighth game.

“Third time lucky,” Jarry said of his first win over Alcaraz. “Carlos is one of the best players so it means a lot, especially after the battles I’ve had a couple of days ago. It’s been very tough physically, so I’m very happy to be able to come back.

“I didn’t start very well and couldn’t win points on his serve, but I came back little by little.”

In a tense final game that featured several breathtaking points, Jarry went down a break point when he gambled on a big second serve at 30-all, double faulting for the first time in the match. He later double faulted a second time on match point before soon after closing out the win in one hour, 55 minutes.

Third-seeded Jarry claimed the 100th win of his career in the second round when he rallied to defeat Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka in a third-set tiebreak after the three-time major champion served for the match at 5-4.

“It’s a difficult defeat, it hurt me a lot,” Alcaraz said. “There are many things to improve, and my level has to go up. I played good tennis but very far from my real level.

“I felt good physically and it’s important, and I think that with work I will get better… but having opportunities, is difficult.

“The positive thing is that I see that I have a lot of things to improve. Learning that I have to read the matches better, to give my best version in the moments of tension. Today I lacked that in the 0-30, in the break-points, to be able to play differently there.”

In Sunday’s final Jarry will play 23-year-old Argentine wild card Facundo Diaz Acosta, who defeated countryman Federico Coria 6-2, 6-3

Jarry has this week climbed back inside the Top 20 of the ATP Live Rankings and will move to a career-high No. 17 from his current No. 19 should he win his fourth ATP Tour title.

Tomás Martín Etcheverry Outlasts Bernabe Zapata Miralles to Earn First Main Draw Victory at Wimbledon

Tomás Martín Etcheverry is still alive at Wimbledon..

The 23-year-old Argentine professional tennis player, the tournament’s No. 29 seed, advanced to the second round at the All England Club after outlasting Bernabe Zapata Miralles in a highly competitive first round match.

Tomás Martín EtcheverryEtcheverry was two sets down to Zapata Miralles before coming alive to claim a 6-7 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 victory.

It’s his first victory in the main draw at Wimbledon.

He will next face Stan Wawrinka in the second round.

Rafael Nadal Joins the ATP Player Council

Rafael Nadal is heading to the board room…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star is joining Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the ATP Player Council, bringing the Big Three together to reshape a board that has been roiled by conflict.

Rafael Nadal

The governing body of men’s tennis announced Thursday that Federer and Nadal were elected along with doubles specialist Jurgen Melzer. They will fill spots vacated after Robin HaaseJamie Murray and Sergiy Stakhovsky resigned from the board before Wimbledon.

Djokovic addressed his frustration with the player council in pre-tournament comments at Wimbledon. He said the ATP‘s governance structure prevented players from making “significant changes.” Stan Wawrinka has also criticized the ATP’s leadership, saying in a published letter that it was plagued by “political chaos” and “numerous conflicts of interest.”

The power struggle on the council included its decision in March not to renew the contract of ATP CEO Chris Kermode, who has clashed with Djokovic. Board member Justin Gimelstob resigned after he was sentenced to probation in April for attacking a former friend in Los Angeles.

Former ATP executive Weller Evansfilled Gimelstob’s seat. The position of coaches’ representative on the council remains open.

Juan Martin del Potro Defeats Fernando Verdasco to Reach Stockholm Open Final

Juan Martin del Potro is one win away from a repeat…

The 29-year-old Argentinian tennis player outlasted Fernando Verdasco at the Stockholm Open on Saturday in a tussle between two of the biggest forehands in tennis, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(1).

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro, the reigning champion, will now face top-seeded Grigor Dimitrov in the finals.

“It was a great match. We both played great tennis and I think the crowd enjoyed our game,” del Potro said. “I’m glad to be in the final once again.”

del Potro is into his first final of the season, and his first overall since lifting the trophy in Sweden last year. The right-hander will attempt to win his 20th title on Sunday.

The match will be of the utmost importance for del Potro in the ATP Race To London, as he has made a late-season charge to put himself within striking distance of qualifying for the ATP Finals.

del Potro is now into 15th in the Race with 2,035 points, and can ascend to 14th with a victory. If he beats the 2013 champion, del Potro will be within 480 points of No. 9 Pablo Carreno Busta, who has 2,605 points and currently holds the final qualifying spot with No. 7 Stan Wawrinka out for the season due to injury.

It was not easy for del Potro to give himself that opportunity to make a move in the Race, as the veteran left-hander Verdasco pushed the Argentine the distance.

Verdasco earned an immediate break of serve in the third set to gain a 2-0 advantage with his forehand keeping his opponent on the back foot, but del Potro roared right back with a break of his own, using his own timely forehands. The ‘Tower of Tandil’ then saved a break point at 3-4, which would have allowed Verdasco to serve for the match. Once the pair got to the tie-break, it was all del Potro.

“I was focused during the third set and in the tie-break I broke a few times at the beginning and that allowed me to play with more confidence in my game on my serve,” del Potro said. “I played a good match today.”

del Potro will not have it easy on Sunday as he attempts to defend his title against an in-form Dimitrov. With his 6-3, 7-6(2) semi-final victory over sixth seed Fabio Fognini, the Bulgarian moved up to No. 5 in the Race, and put himself in position to win a career-best fourth title of the season (Brisbane, Sofia, Cincinnati).

del Potro leads in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 5-2, but Dimitrov has won the past two matches, both straight-set victories this year in Beijing and Cincinnati.

“I would love to defend my title but Grigor is playing so good. He already beat me in Beijing and Cincinnati as well and he’s playing such good tennis on this surface,” del Potro said. “Hopefully I can be ready to put up a good fight.”

Carreno Busta Reaches First Masters 1000 Semifinal at Indian Wells Masters

Pablo Carreno Busta is celebrating a big win…

In a match involving the two lowest remaining men’s seeds, the 25-year-old Spanish tennis player, seeded at No. 21, edged 27th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-1, 3-6 7-6 (4) at the Indian Wells Masters.

Pablo Carreno Busta

Cuevas tied it 3-all in the tiebreak before Carreno Busta won the final five points to close out the two-hour match.

It was the biggest singles quarterfinal of their respective careers. Carreno Busta had not reached that stage of a Masters 1000 event in 17 previous tries; Cuevas hadn’t been there in 29 tries.

Carreno Busta avenged his loss to Cuevas in the Sao Paulo semifinals on March 6 and in the process snapped Cuevas’ seven-match winning streak.

Carreno Busta will play No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals.

del Potro Upsets No. 4 Seed Stan Wawrinka at Wimbledon

Juan Martin del Potro is back and feeling alive…

The 27-year-old Argentine tennis player registered a shock second-round win to knock fourth seed Stan Wawrinka out of the men’s singles at Wimbledon.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro, a former US Open champion, secured a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win over Wawrinka.

He’s currently ranked No. 165 in the world after missing more than two years because of injury problems.

del Potro, who is in the same half of the draw as Britain’s Andy Murray, will next play France’s 32nd seed Lucas Pouille.

del Potro reached the semifinals at the All-England Club in 2013 but the former world number four is playing in his first Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2014 after having three wrist operations.

He struggled early on as Wawrinka claimed an early break before comfortably taking the opening set, but del Potro fought back well to take the second.

Both players broke serve twice in the opening four games of a thrilling third set, which del Potro won in a tie-break, before taking the fourth set to wrap up victory.

“It feels amazing,” del Potro told BBC Sport. “I beat one of the guys who is playing great tennis this season and I couldn’t have expected this before today.

“I enjoyed the crowd, they were incredible and I’m very happy.

“It is my second or third career now after all the injuries. I was sad for the last two years and now I am enjoying playing tennis again. I feel alive.”

Ramos-Vinolas Defeats Milos Raonic to Reach His First-Ever Grand Slam Quarterfinal

Albert Ramos-Vinolas continues his upsetting ways…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis player, who ousted No. 23 seed Jack Sock in the third round, emphatically defeated No. 8 seed Milos Raonic in the fourth round at the French Open.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Ramos-Vinolas, who advances to his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal, beat the Canadian in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

The 55th-ranked player had never made it past the second round in his 18 previous Grand Slam tournament appearances. It’s only the second time he has beaten a top 10 player.

Cool and very cloudy weather appeared to take some bite out of Raonic’s serve. The quarterfinalist at Roland Garros in 2014 and semifinalist at this year’s Australian Open also complained of an aching left hip in his previous match.

Ramos-Vinolas earned the victory with aggressive shot-making and some terrific defensive play. He broke Raonic five times and only lost serve once himself, saving 6 of 7 break points.

“I have no words to explain how I feel,” he said. “It was four years in a row losing in the first round.”

Raonic beckoned over the chair umpire in the last game to inspect a shot that gave Ramos-Vinolas two match points. She ruled it in, pointing out that the ball had nicked the line.

The Spaniard couldn’t capitalize on either of those match points. But he made no mistake with his third match point, earned with an ace served out wide, sealing the win in 2 hours, 20 minutes with a smash.

Ramos-Vinolas, who celebrated his win by firing a spare ball into the air in delight, will next face No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka.