Rafael Nadal to Play Doubles with Roger Federer at Laver Cup

Rafael Nadal is partnering with his oldest rival…

The 36-year-old Spanish tennis superstar will join forces with Roger Federer as he plays the final professional match of his career at the Laver Cup in London on Friday.

Rafael NadalAt Thursday’s draw, it was confirmed that Federer will join Nadal for Team Europe against the American pair of Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock for Team World on Friday night.

Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, will then be replaced by Italy’s Matteo Berrettini for the rest of the event.

“It’s super special playing with Rafa,” Federer said in a news conference. “… To be able to do that one more time, I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful.”

Said Nadal: “Tomorrow is going to be a special thing. Difficult. Going to be difficult to handle everything, especially for Roger, without a doubt. But for me too. At the end, one of the most important players — if not the most important player — in my tennis career is leaving.”

Federer, 41, who announced last week that he’s retiring because of an ongoing right knee issue, had said Wednesday that playing alongside 22-time Slam champion Nadal would be a unique, fitting way to go out.

“For as long as we battled together, having had always this respect for one another, our families, coaching teams, for us as well to go through a career we both have had, come out the other side and have a nice relationship, is maybe a great message to tennis and beyond,” Federer said.

The three-day team event will begin Friday afternoon at The O2 Arena with two singles matches. Norwegian Casper Ruud, the runner-up at the US Open earlier this month, will play Sock in the opener before Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece takes on Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

The evening session will begin with former world No. 1 Andy Murray up against Alex de Minaur before Federer takes the court for the final time.

“I’m not sure if I can handle it all, but I’ll try,” Federer said Thursday about his sure-to-be-emotional on-court farewell.

Tiafoe, who beat Nadal en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open this month, deadpanned about the matchup, “Yeah, I’m just excited to play two up-and-comers tomorrow,” before adding, “It’s going to be iconic to be a part of that. Both guys are absolute legends.”

Federer and Nadal played each other in singles 40 times (Nadal won 26), including 14 Grand Slam matchups (Nadal won 10, going 6-3 in finals). Nadal came out on top in their classic 2008 Wimbledon final, considered by some the greatest match in history, while Federer won their last showdown, in the 2019 semifinals at the All England Club.

They also played one other doubles match together, defeating Jack Sock and Sam Querrey at the inaugural Laver Cup in 2017.

“To be part of this historic moment,” Nadal said about Friday, “is going to be something amazing, unforgettable.”

Daniel Elahi Galan Upsets Stefanos Tsitsipas in First Round at US Open

Daniel Elahi Galan is celebrating a massive upset…

The 26-year-old Colombian tennis player, currently ranked No. 94 in the world, shocked fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday’s first day of the US Open, winning 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 in an epic first-round showdown.

Daniel Elahi GalanGalan pulled off the win on his ninth match point.

Playing in the main draw for the first time, Galan appeared right at home on tennis’ biggest stage, claiming the first 11 games as Tsitsipas struggled to find any of his usual finesse and won just five of his service points in the first set.

Tsitsipas had a trainer tend to his right arm before the sixth game in the second set, when he finally got on the board, and again during the break before the third set, when he broke Galan in the second game.

Tsitsipas, who has never gotten past the third round in New York and had hoped to do better this year after reaching the Cincinnati final, dropped only four of his first-serve points in the third set and looked as though he had the momentum when he broke Galan again in the opening game of the fourth set.

But Galan never lost his composure, sending across 41 winners throughout the entire contest and refusing to give into his heavily favored opponent.

“I just stayed calm. I lost the set but I felt I was doing better and better,” said Galan, who broke back in the eighth.

Galan next faces Australian Jordan Thompson in the second round.

Roberto Bautista Agut to Face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Mallorca Championships Final

Roberto Bautista Agut is one win away from his next ATP title…

The 34-year-old Spanish professional tennis player beat Antoine Bellier 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Friday to reach the final of the Mallorca Championships.

Roberto Bautista AgutOn Thursday, Bautista Agut upset top-ranked Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to reach the semifinals against Bellier.

Bautista Agut, currently ranked No. 20 in the world, will be vying for his 11th career ATP title and his second of the year.

He’ll face Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Benjamin Bonzi 6-4, 6-4 in the second semi final match.

Tsitsipas, ranked sixth, will also be seeking his second title of the season after defending his Monte Carlo championship in April.

Carlos Alcaraz Upsets World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to Reach Madrid Open Final

Carlos Alcaraz’s stellar season continues as his list of victims keeps growing…

One day after defeating his idol Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open, the 19-year-old Spanish tennis phenom rallied to beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

Carlos Alcaraz Alcaraz outlasted Djokovic 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in a semifinal match that lasted more than 3½ hours on Saturday to reach the Madrid Open final.

“It was one of those matches to enjoy,” Alcaraz said. “Despite the tension, despite being the semifinals, being 7-6 in the third-set tiebreaker … I’ve enjoyed it. Until the last point I was being able to smile.”

Alcaraz became the first player to beat Nadal and Djokovic at the same clay-court event. He converted his third match point in front of a raucous home crowd on the Caja Mágica center court.

“It’s a spectacular feeling right now,” Alcaraz said. “I’m very excited to be able to play these kind of matches, to be able to beat Rafa yesterday, to be able to beat the No. 1 today.”

A win on Sunday will give Alcaraz his fourth title this season, the most of any player in 2022.

He will face defending champion Alexander Zverev, who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The second-seeded German player converted three of his five break opportunities to clinch the victory in nearly two hours in match that ended after 1 a.m. local time.

Alcaraz, the youngest player in the top 10 since Nadal in 2005, has won this year in Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Defeats Grigor Dimitrov to Reach First ATP Final of His Career at Monte Carlo Masters

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has reached his first ATP final…

The 22-year-old Spanish professional tennis player, who knocked out Novak Djokovic in the second round, reached his first ATP final by beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-3 at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Alejandro Davidovich FokinaThe unseeded Davidovich Fokina took the first set from Dimitrov with ease, but squandered the chance at 5-4 in the second to take the semifinal in straight sets. The third set was tense. Davidovich Fokina overcame a break and 2-0 down.

“I pushed myself to the limit,” Davidovich Fokina said. “I’m glad that I pushed myself to that.”

He will try to prevent Stefanos Tsitsipas from becoming the first repeat Monte Carlo champion since Rafael Nadal in 2018.

Tsitsipas breezed into the Monte Carlo Masters final after dispatching second-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday.

Tsitsipas has a 2-0 record against him, including in February in the Netherlands.

Rafael Nadal Defeats Cameron Norrie to Claim Mexican Open Title

Rafael Nadal continues his winning ways in the New Year…

The 35-year-old Spanish tennis star defeated Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday to win the Mexican Open and extend his career-best start for a season to 15-0 as he won his 91st ATP title.

Rafael NadalNadal, who won his third title in 2022, including the Australian Open for his record 21st Grand Slam singles title, is three victories from tying Ivan Lendl‘s total of 94 for third place for most championships in the Open Era. Jimmy Connors leads with 109 and Roger Federer has 103.

“At the end of the day I’ve always said that this kind of records needs to be measured once your career is over,” Nadal said. “Today the most important thing is that I have won a prestigious tournament.”

The Mexican Open is an ATP 500-level tournament played on hard courts, and this year four of the top-five players in the world started in the draw: Daniil Medvedev (2), Alexander Zverev (3), Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) and Nadal (5).

Medvedev, who’ll rise to No. 1 in the rankings on Monday, lost to Nadal in the semifinals. Zverev was thrown out of the tournament for violently smashing his racket on the umpire’s chair moments after losing a doubles match, and Tsitsipas lost to Norrie in the other semifinal.

“[Acapulco] is a tournament that started with five of the top six players in the world,” Nadal said. “It was complicated, and I ended up taking the victory. Looking back, a few weeks ago this would have looked impossible. It’s amazing how things can change in such a short span, from not being able to practice and now to be where I am today.”

Nadal won for the fourth time in Acapulco (2005, 2013 and 2020), where he is a fan favorite.

He won his first title in Mexico when he was 18 and holds the record for the youngest winner in tournament history as well as the oldest at 35.

“It’s been a long career,” Nadal said. “The first time I came here, everything was new for me, and after all these years you start to appreciate more each victory than when you were an 18-year-old boy.”

Nadal said that his body is holding up well and that he is eager to play at Indian Wells, California, in a couple of weeks.

Norrie, who was on an eight-game winning streak, was trying to become the first British man to win the Mexican Open in its 29-year history.

“I played against him before, so I had an idea on how to play him, but I gave him a couple of easy points and he gave me nothing,” said Norrie. “It was little bit of lack of concentration, and I gave him the match.”

At the start of the match, Nadal had a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and went on to win the first set in 51 minutes.

In the second set, Nadal had a break in the first game, but Norrie returned it and appeared to be back into the match, but the Spaniard added breaks in the fifth and seventh games to take home the trophy.

Carlos Alcaraz Makes History While Reaching the Semifinals at the Next Gen ATP Finals

Carlos Alcaraz is two wins away…

The 18-year-old Spanish tennis player will head into the semifinals at the Next Gen ATP Finals in fine form after he captured his third consecutive round-robin win Thursday to top Group A with a 3-0 record.

Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz, who secured his qualification for the last four on Wednesday when he downed Brandon Nakashima, overcame Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo 4-0, 4-1, 2-4, 4-3(3) after 84 minutes in Milan.

In their first head to head meeting, Alcaraz overpowered the World No. 91 from the baseline with his deep, heavy-hitting and saved nine of the 10 break points he faced to secure victory. With his triumph, Alcaraz is the youngest player to earn 30 tour-level wins in a season since Rafael Nadal, 18, went 30-17 in 2004.

“I am very happy to get to the semi-finals,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “It is so important and to be able to play in the semi-finals here is amazing. To play these kinds of matches and this level, I am really glad. I am playing really, really well and feel very comfortable in Milan. I want to end the year with a title.”

Under the watchful eye of coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz has dropped just one set at the 21-and-under event as he continues to live up to his top seed status in Italy. The former World No. 1 has been instructing his protégé to great effect courtside throughout the event, with on-court coaching allowed at the Next Gen ATP Finals.

“I had to be really focused on my serve, make first serves and play aggressive on big points,” Alcaraz added. “Making first serves helped me. It is something I am trying to add to my game. The most important points is when you want the first serves.”

Earlier this year, Alcaraz lifted his maiden tour-level trophy in Umag and made headlines when he upset World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the quarterfinals at the US Open.

Cordoba champion Cerundolo was already out of the tournament before his match against Alcaraz after losing his first two round-robin matches. But the World No. 91 demonstrated what he was capable off by taking a set off the Spaniard at the Allianz Cloud.

Carlos Alcaraz Becomes Youngest Male Player to Reach U.S. Open Quarterfinals in Nearly 60 Years

Carlos Alcaraz has earned a place in US Open history…

The 18-year-old Spanish player beat 141st-ranked qualifier Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 to reach the final eight at Flushing Meadows.

Carlos Alcaraz

In the process, Alcaraz has become the youngest man to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open since 1963.

Alcaraz will now face No. 12 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, a 21-year-old from Canada who reached his second straight major quarterfinal by defeating Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-4 with the help of 24 aces.

“At some point, age is just a number,” Auger-Aliassime when asked about Alcaraz. “He already feels like a player that is established.”

The 55th-ranked Alcaraz got past No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in his previous match and is the youngest player with two five-set Grand Slam wins in a row since Michael Chang was 16 at the 1988 U.S. Open.

Auger-Aliassime had never reached the final eight at any Grand Slam tournament until Wimbledon in July, a month before he turned 21 on August 8. Now the Canadian is the youngest man to reach consecutive major quarterfinals since Juan Martin del Potro made it to three straight in 2008-09.

Carlos Alcaraz Outlasts Stefanos Tsitsipas to Reach Fourth Round at US Open

Carlos Alcaraz has notched the biggest win on the ATP Tour

The 18-year-old Spanish tennis player claimed a fifth set tiebreaker to stun third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thrilling third-round match at the US Open.

Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 0-6, 7-6 (7-5) to set up his first Grand Slam fourth-round appearance.

Alcaraz became the youngest man to reach the French Open third round since 1992 in June – and he nce again demonstrated why he’s being tipped for future glory as he shocked the world number three at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Alcaraz twice led Tsitsipas, who reached his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros earlier this year, by a set and showed maturity well beyond his years as he also recovered from failing to take a game in the fourth.

Roared on by a partisan crowd, the talented Spaniard survived a break point at 3-2 down in the deciding set and showed no sign of tension as he held serve to force the final tie-break.

In a dazzling display Alcaraz landed 61 winners and, after more than four hours of play, clinched his third match point with an assured forehand winner to set up a fourth-round meeting with German Peter Gojowczyk.

“I think without this crowd I haven’t the possibility to win the match,” said Alcaraz. “I was down at the beginning of the fourth set so thank you to the crowd for pushing me up in the fifth.

“It’s an incredible feeling for me. This victory means a lot to me. It’s the best match of my career, the best win, to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas is a dream come true for me.”

Pablo Carreno Busta Wins First Career ATP 500 Trophy at Hamburg Open

Pablo Carreno Busta continues to impress on the clay courts…

The 30-year-old Spanish player defeated Filip Krajinovic, 6-2, 6-4, in the Hamburg Open final on Sunday.

Pablo Carreno Busta

The second-seeded Spaniard did not drop a set and converted all three of his break opportunities.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Carreno Busta said. “I think that I worked very, very hard to finally win this title. It’s my first ATP 500 title.”

It’s Carreno Busta’s sixth title overall. He won in Marbella in April and he has now claimed 17 clay-court wins this season after reaching the semifinals at Barcelona and Mallorca.

The sixth-seeded Krajinovic was playing in his fourth ATP tour final. He upset top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals but was unable to claim his first title.

“I hope it will come one day,” Krajinovic said.