Alex de Minaur Named the ATP World Tour’s Newcomer of the Year

He may be new to the ATP World Tour, but Alex de Minaur is definitely getting notices…

The 19-year-old Spanish & Uruguyan-Australian tennis playerhas been named the ATP World Tour Newcomer of the Year, sharing year-end honors with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Alex de Minaur

de Minaur earned the honors after a stunning breakout season, climbing from No 208 to 31st in the rankings.

He’s all but guaranteed an Australian Open seeding after last year winning his way into the tournament through the wildcard playoff.

The baseliner’s effort to reach the final of the Next Gen ATP Finals decider is yet another milestone for de Minaur.

His progress this year has been so sustained, he has claimed a career-high ranking on 15 separate occasions.

As semifinalist and finalist in Brisbane and Sydney, respectively, in January, de Minaur became the first 19-year-old to reach successive ATP semifinals since Rafael Nadal in 2005. Nadal achieved the feat at Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

de Minaur and Ashleigh Barty are expected to fight out the Newcombe Medal later this month from John Millman and Jason Kubler.

Djokovic was voted by ATP peers as Comeback Player of the Year, overcoming elbow surgery to return to No 1.

Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda is Coach of the Year after returning to the Serb’s camp as part of an incredible rebuild.

Nadal was chosen by his fellow players as recipient of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award.

Federer was voted Fans’ Favorite for the 16th successive year.

Mike Bryan and Jack Sock were voted Doubles Fans’ Favorites.

Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed Most Improved Player of the Year honors.

Oliver Marachand Mate Pavic secured the ATP world No 1 Doubles Team Award, while Spain’s Tommy Robredo earned the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.

Cuevas Defeats Steve Darcis to Reach Swedish Open Semifinals

Pablo Cuevas is two matches away from defending his title…

The 29-year-old Uruguayan tennis player, currently ranked No. 25 in the world, defeated Belgium’s Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-4 in the Swedish Open quarterfinals on Friday.

Pablo Cuevas

In the semifinals, the third-seeded Cuevas faces France’s Benoit Paire, who easily defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-2 in just under an hour.

Also, two-time Bastad champion and second-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain defeated France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-3.

It took three sets for Germany’s Alexander Zverev to beat sixth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Lopez Upsets Kei Nishikori to Reach BNP Paribas Open Quarterfinals

Feliciano Lopez has pulled off the upset…

The 33-year-old Spanish tenista took down No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori in straight sets to to reach the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday.

Feliciano Lopez

Lopez pulled ahead in the first set, and then survived a hard-fought second set to win 6-4, 7-6 (2).

“I really had one bad game at 5-4,” Nishikori said. “Until then I was playing better. I was dominating the strokes. He was hitting good serves, but I had all the chances.”

Lopez reached the quarterfinals at Indian Wells for the first time in 13 tries. Lopez has previously been stretched to three sets in his first two matches.

He next faces Any Murray in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Gilles Simon to stay on track for a shot at his fourth career title in the desert.

Nadal next plays sixth-seeded Milos Raonic, who defeated 17th-seeded Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-2 in a fourth-round match.

Nadal served a love game to close out his match that began as a dust storm swirled outside the stadium under overcast skies. He connected on 70 percent of his first serves in beating Simon for the seventh time in eight meetings.

Robredo Defeats Santiago Giraldo to Reach Men’s Final at Shenzhen Open

Tommy Robredo is back in an ATP World Tour final…

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday to reach the final of the Shenzhen Open.

Tommy Robredo

Robredo had 10 aces and converted four of his seven break points to beat Giraldo in 70 minutes.

The victory saw Robredo level his head-to-head series with Giraldo at 2-2.

Additionally, he has a 35-20 record on the season and will contest his second final this year, having finished runner-up on clay at the Croatia Open in July after losing to Pablo Cuevas in the final.

He’ll next face Andy Murray in Sunday’s final as he looks to level their head-to-head record. Murray has a 3-2 record over Robredo and has won their past three meetings.

Robredo will be contesting his 21st ATP World Tour final. He has a 12-8 finals record.

He’s looking to win his first title since victory in Umag in July 2013 and his first hard-court title since triumphing in Metz seven years ago.

Robredo also inched ever closer to his 500th tour-level win (493-310 record).

Ferrer Defeats Tommy Robredo to Reach Western & Southern Open Semifinals

David Ferrer is hoping to advance to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in 2014.

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis star outlasted his compatriot Tommy Robredo in a hard-fought match on Friday to reach his first Western & Southern Open semifinal in 11 trips to Cincinnati.

David Ferrer

It’s Ferrer’s third semifinal at the Masters 1000 level in 2014. He lost in the semifinals in Monte Carlo to Stanislas Wawrinka; and he lost to Kei Nishikori in the semifinals in Madrid.

With his 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory, Ferrer denied Robredo – who had defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the round of 16 – his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal in eight years.

Ferrer is also closing in on the 600-win plateau, improving to 590-285 with his win.

Currently ranked No. 6 in the world, Ferrer claimed the 10th encounter (8-2) with the 16th-seeded Robredo in two hours and six minutes, winning 74 per cent of first serve points and breaking serve on four of 11 chances.

Robredo was unable to overcome 51 unforced errors and 19 forehand winners by Ferrer.

“Well, it’s not easy play against a friend,” said Ferrer. “Tommy and I have played a lot of times in our careers. I wish him the best luck for the next tournaments.”

Robredo Upsets World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Western & Southern Open

Tommy Robredo has taken down the No. 1 seed at the Western & Southern Open.

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis player beat top-ranked Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic 7-6 (6), 7-5 in the round of 16 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tommy Robredo

Robredo, the 16th-seed, beat a top-ranked player for only the second time in his career. The first time, he edged Lleyton Hewitt in the 2003 French Open.

“When I finish my career, and when I will be sitting at home and talking with friends, I will remember days like this,” Robredo said.

Djokovic, who has never won the event, dropped the first set after fighting back from a 6-3 deficit in the tiebreaker. Robredo took the set with an ace that Djokovic challenged. The replay showed the ball caught the slimmest sliver of the line.

Robredo failed to convert two match points before completing the victory with a slam on Djokovic’s short lob.

“It’s disappointing that I’m finishing Cincinnati again with a tough loss, but it’s the sport,” said Djokovic, who lost in the third round at Toronto last week. “I didn’t play well in Toronto, didn’t play well here. Hopefully, it’s going to be different in New York (at the US Open).”

Robredo had lost six straight matches against the Serb after winning their first encounter.

“I knew that if I wanted to win I had to go for it and try to hope that he will not play his best match,” Robredo said. “Both things happen and then I could win.”

Cuevas Beats Tommy Robredo to Win the Croatia Open and Claim His Second ATP Title

It’s turning out to be a memorable month for Pablo Cuevas

The 28-year-old Uruguayan tennis player beat defending champion Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Croatia Open final and claim his second ATP title in July.

Pablo Cuevas

Cuevas’ victory comes hours after he ousted top-seeded Fabio Fognini in the semifinals after heavy rain on Saturday caused the delay of their their match.

The second-seeded Robredo had two break points at 1-1 in the first set, but it was Cuevas who first broke in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.

Cuevas went ahead 2-0 in the second set and broke the 32-year-old Robredo’s serve once more in the fifth game. Robredo had a break point to level to 4-4.

Robredo hit 36 winners compared to Cuevas’ 26, but had 36 unforced errors against 19 for Cuevas.

Cuevas won his maiden ATP title earlier this month at the Swedish Open in Bastad. He’s the second qualifier to win an ATP World Tour tournament this year after Slovakia’s Martin Klizan at Munich in May.

“I was happy to win the first title, now two in a row make me even happier,” Cuevas said. “And this one was tougher to win, because I had to play in qualifying as well. I was very focused during the week, now I am really tired.”

In his past two attempts in Umag, Cuevas had never gone beyond the second round.

“Pablo played a great match, he made no mistake,” Robredo said. “There were some balls that might have changed the match, but it did not go my way. He was better than me in the first set from the baseline, so I had to change tactics, to be more aggressive.”

Robredo reached the final by defeating third-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (10), 6-3 earlier Sunday, while Cuevas upset Fognini 6-3, 6-4.

Robredo Defeats Pablo Carreno Busta to Reach Croatia Open Semifinals

Tommy Robredo is two matches away from defending his title at the Croatia Open

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis player, who defeated Fabio Fognini in the finals last year, advanced to the semifinals after beating fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-4.

Tommy Robredo

The 18th-ranked Robredo next faces third-seeded Marin Cilic, who eased past Czech Lukas Rosol 6-0, 6-2.

Robredo won the first set in only 23 minutes. Carreno Busta was twice a break up in the second set before Robredo responded to win the last three games of the match.

Meanwhile, Fognini, the tournament’s top seed this year, rallied to defeat Borna Coric of Croatia 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Also, Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay beat Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to become the first qualifier in the event’s semifinals since Viktor Troicki in 2007.

Cuevas hit 12 aces for his sixth straight win in Umag, including three qualifying rounds.

He’ll next play Fognini, who was one set and a break down before he managed to turn the match around.

Garcia-Lopez Defeats Stan Wawrinka in the French Open’s First Major Upset

The French Open has only just begun… And, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez has already pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset.

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round at Roland Garros on Monday, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Wawrinka, the tournament’s third-seed, was playing his first Grand Slam match as a major champion, but he faded against Garcia-Lopez, currently ranked No. 41 in the world.

Surprisingly, Wawrinka looked listless, nothing little like a guy who was seeded No. 3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and proclaimed himself “one of the favorites” just a few days earlier

“The match wasn’t good at all,” Wawrinka said. “I don’t have an answer why I didn’t play that good.”

Wawrinka, who had 61 unforced errors and won only 54 percent of the points on his first serve, is the first Australian Open champ to exit in the first round of that year’s French Open since Petr Korda in 1998.

Garcia-Lopez has never been past the third round at a Grand Slam

No. 17 Tommy Robredo of Spain, No. 26 Feliciano Lopez of Spain aand No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut also advanced.

Garcia-Lopez Defeats Marcel Granollers to Win This Year’s Grand Prix Hassan II Title

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez is back to his old winning ways…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player claimed his first title in nearly four years after rallying to defeat his compatriot Marcel Granollers  at the Grand Prix Hassan II on Sunday.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

After losing the first set, Garcia-Lopez stormed back to take the next two sets in the all-Spanish final on the clay court in Casablanca, Morocco. The final score: 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

Garcia-Lopez’s previous title was on indoor hard courts in Bangkok in 2010, and he’d lost his matched in the previous two finals in which he competed — last year on clay at Bucharest, Romania and on indoor hard courts at St. Petersburg, Russia.

Granollers, who was hoping to win his fifth career title, dropped his serve five times and was less consistent. He won only 60 percent of his first-serve points compared to 76 percent for Garcia-Lopez, who won their only previous meeting in the second round of the same tournament in 2010.

Garcia-Lopez continued the recent dominance of his countrymen at the tournament, becoming the fourth different Spaniard to win in the past six years after Tommy Robredo (2013), Pablo Andujar (2011 and 2012) and former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero (2009).

This is the third singles title of Garcia-Lopez’s career.