Tag: andrea vavassori

ATP Tour wrap: Hometown heroes take out trophies as Monte Carlo gets underway

THE home crowds rallied at the Sardegna and Marbella ATP 250 final events on Sunday, with an Italian and a Spaniard taking out the respective trophies following impressive three-set victories. Meanwhile, the Monte Carlo Masters event has begun in Monaco, with just two main draw encounters opening proceedings as the qualifiers were completed.

At Sardegna, it was third seed Italian Lorenzo Sonego who claimed the title with a 2-6 7-6 6-4 victory over Serbian Laslo Djere. The huge three hour encounter was fitting for a final, as the Serbian claimed the first set with relative ease before being forced into a second set tiebreaker wherein Sonego took the chocolates.

Sonego capitalised off Djere’s unforced error count and eight double faults to clinch victory, despite lacking intensity on serve. He was marginally more efficient on serve winning 70 per cent of first serve points off a 68 per cent clip, compared to Djere’s 71 per cent off a 57 per cent clip.

Sonego’s victory at Sardegna marks the first time an Italian has won an ATP Tour title on home soil in 15 years, with this title his second in as many days after clinching the doubles title alongside Andrea Vavassori a day prior.

“The match was long and I remained calm in the second-set tie-break,” Sonego said. “I knew the match wasn’t finished because I had always kept fighting. It’s wonderful to win the title with all my team here. Now, I am really tired, but I am very happy. I am happy to follow in [Filippo] Volandri’s footsteps and win a title on home soil.”


[3] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated Laslo Djere (SRB) 2-6 7-6 6-4


At Marbella, Pablo Carreno Busta reigned supreme in an all-Spanish final, defeating Jaume Munar 6-1 2-6 6-4 to claim the AnyTech365 Andalucia title. While Munar served up six aces to Carreno Busta’s zero, the top seed Spaniard was much more efficient on serve, with his 78 per cent clip paying off while a clean and consistent first and second effort was evident.

This win marked Carreno Busta’s 200th tour-level victory in excellent circumstances on home soil, winning his first Spanish title in two hour and 21 minutes.

“I suffered like yesterday trying to continue fighting all the time… I needed to do it if I wanted to win this kind of match,” Carreno Busta said. “It’s a pleasure to win a title here in Spain, in Marbella. For me, it’s very special. It’s my fifth title, so I’m very, very happy for the victory.”

“I started really good, really focused, being very aggressive,” Carreno Busta said. “After that I missed a little bit and Jaume started to play better and at the end.”


[1] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-1 2-6 6-4


Meanwhile, the Monte Carlo Masters ATP 1000 event has begun in Monaco, with just two matches played on the opening day as the qualifying rounds were complete. David Goffin and Jordan Thompson were the two winners of the day, both overcoming second set comebacks to claim respective victories in three sets.

Goffin was the cleaner player in his 6-4 3-6 6-0 victory over Marin Cilic to get the tournament started, claiming the early ascendancy before easing off in the second and blowing the Croatian away in the third set. The 11th seed Belgian was less efficient on serve but marginally more effective and consistent, hitting six aces for three double faults off a 47 per cent clip (34/73), compared to Cilic’s 10 and 10 off a 51 per cent clip (55/108).

Thompson would not be given an easy time by the higher ranked Frenchman in Benoit Paire, forced to fight for every inch of his 6-4 6-7 7-6, three hour and three minute victory. Despite dropping the second set tiebreaker 7-6(3), Thompson came out with a vengeance in the third and forced continuous errors on serve for the Frenchman, who served up 18 double faults for just eight aces. The Australian made the most of his service games against the hard-hitter, and both claimed and saved nine break points on his way to victory.

The qualifying rounds are done and dusted, seeing top seed German Dominik Koepfer, second seed Italian Stefano Travaglia, eighth seed Australian Alexei Popyrin and ninth seed Argentinian Federico Delbonis gain entry into the Monte Carlo main draw, joined by a trio of Italians.


[11] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Marin CIlic (CRO) 6-4 3-6 6-0
Jordan Thompson (AUS) defeated Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-4 6-7 7-6

ATP Cup Day 2 wrap: Two teams book semi-finals spots while Germans set up Serbian battle

BOTH Italy and Russia are through to the ATP Cup semi-finals, while Germany set up a virtual elimination final with Serbia in the third group match. In the other result, Australia managed to grab a win against Greece, though being swept by Spain all but eliminated their chances of moving through to the next round, meaning Greece will need to beat Spain in order to book a spot in the semis.

ITALY 2 defeated FRANCE 1

In what was anticipated to be one of the matchups of the day, Italy wrapped up their tie against France to book a semi-final spot at the ATP Cup. The Italians backed up their win over Austria the day before with a 2-1 win over France. This time Fabio Fognini was not letting his guard down after a poor singles performance on day one, knocking over Benoit Paire in straight sets, 6-1 7-6.

Matteo Berrettini followed his good form from day one thanks to an upset over Dominic Thiem, to put away Gael Monfils 6-4 6-2 to guarantee Italy safe passage into the final four. The doubles were effectively a dead rubber, but it was the French duo of Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vaselin who were too strong for their Italian counterparts Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori, winning 6-3 6-4.

France will take on Austria in the final group match to determine second or third.

Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-4 6-2
Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-1 7-6
N. Mahut / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) defeated S. Bolelli / A. Vavassori (ITA) 6-4 6-3

RUSSIA 2 defeated JAPAN 1

Following Italy into the semi-finals was Russia who took care of Japan in similar fashion, winning by the end of the two singles. Having two Top 10 players up against two opponents outside the Top 40 made them heavy favourites, and Daniil Medvedev made the most of his chances against Kei Nishikori who will be hoping to have more continuity in his game after missing so much time due to injury the last 18 months. Medvedev won 6-2 6-4, while his teammate Andrey Rublev had no issues with a 6-1 6-3 triumph over Yoshihito Nishioka.

In the doubles, Japan turned the tables on Russia in a thriller, with Ben McLachlan and Nishioka teaming up to win in a third set tiebreaker, 4-6 6-3 12-12-10. Their opponents were Evgeny Donskoy and Aslan Karatsev as Rublev and Medvedev rested up for the semi-finals.

Japan takes on Argentina in the final group match to determine second and third.

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-2 6-4
Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-1 6-3
B. McLachlan / Y. Nishioka (JPN) defeated E. Donskoy / A. Karatsev (RUS) 4-6 6-3 12-10


Australia enjoyed a nice successful win over Greece following a heartbreaking 3-0 loss to Spain the day before. While the Spanish are anticipated to advance through providing they do not get swept themselves by Greece, the home nation was able to grab a win on Rod Laver Arena. It started with John Millman taking care of Michail Pervolarakis in straight sets 6-2 6-3, before Stefanos Tsitsipas levelled proceedings with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Alex de Minaur.

It all came down to the doubles with Pervolarakis and Tsitsipas teaming up against specialist doubles pairing John Peers and Luke Saville. The Greek team pushed the Australians all the way to a third set tiebreak before Peers and Saville claimed victory, 6-3 4-6 10-5. Now Greece takes on Spain in the final group match.

John Millman (AUS) defeated Michail Pervolarakis (GRE) 6-2 6-3
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3 7-5
J. Peers / L. Saville (AUS) defeated M. Pervolarakis / S. Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-3 4-6 10-5

GERMANY 2 defeated CANADA 1

Germany eliminated Canada and set up an effective elimination final with Serbia for the final group match after their second day win. The German team took care of Canada’s two Top 20 players, with a battle of the big servers up first resulting in Jan-Lennard Struff upsetting Milos Raonic in two tiebreakers, 7-6 7-6. They went to 7-4 and 7-2 respectively in those tiebreakers, but the consistent German outlasted his higher ranked opponent.

In the other singles match, Alexander Zverev took down young gun Denis Shapovalov, winning 6-7 6-3 7-6 in one of the matches of the tournament. Continuing his form from last year, Zverev needed the full three sets – and a 7-4 deciding set tiebreak – to shake off the Canadian, and prepare for a huge grudge match against world number one, Novak Djokovic. In the doubles, Canada surprised Struff and Kevin Krawietz in three sets, with Steven Diez and Peter Polansky forcing tiebreakers galore to win 7-6 6-7 10-3 and grab a point for the North American nation.

Germany takes on Serbia in the final group match to decide the semi-finalist.

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated Milos Raonic (CAN) 7-6 7-6
Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-7 6-3 7-6
S. Diez / P. Polansky (CAN) defeated K. Krawietz / J. Struff (GER) 7-6 6-7 10-3

Picture credit: Jack Thomas/Getty Images

2021 ATP Cup preview: Italy

ITALY is another nation in the ATP Cup that has opted for a straightforward two singles and two doubles players setup. The Italians are a strong unit, with two Top 20 players which is rare, and if they live up to their potential, are certainly a chance of taking out the overall title.


Matteo Berrettini
Fabio Fognini
Simone Bolelli
Andrea Vavassori

The top singles player is 24-year-old rising talent Matteo Berrettini who comes in at number 10. Alongside Fabio Fognini (17th), the pair provide a formidable duo, third overall behind Spain and Russia as a combination. While Berrettini is no guarantee to win the number one singles, Fognini is a great second singles player, it will just be about what mindset he takes into the tournament and whether he can play to his full potential.

The 33-year-old is no spring chicken, and his 2020 resulted in a simply terrible 6-10 record across the ATP Tour. Since reaching the Round of 16 at Melbourne Park, he won just the one match – against Philipp Kohlscreiber in Hamburg – and finished the year with eight losses in the final nine games. Even his wins were far from convincing, needing five sets to overcome Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson at Melbourne Park and scraped past John Isner 12 months ago in the ATP Cup, also blown away by 54th ranked Casper Ruud. Keen to put 2020 behind him, Fognini can still be a threat against most players.

Berrettini also slipped a tad after reaching the 2019 ATP Finals, though still remains relatively stable in the ATP Tour Rankings. He reached a quarter final in Antalya last week, but it is hard to read too much into it, knocking off players ranked 298th and 446th in the world before losing to Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in straight sets. In the end it mirrored his 2020 season which was a 9-6 record, but not on the same level as his 2019 breakout year.

In the doubles, Italy has Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori who are purely focused on that format of the Tour, and are the two highest ranked doubles players from the nation. They also played 32 and a remarkable 39 tournaments in the past 52 weeks (counting those from 2019 cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic). The question will lie in how well they will play together, having played with other partners throughout the year, though Bolelli is an experienced person on the circuit, and reliable in the format. They would certainly be a tough matchup for any opponent.

Overall Italy could easily win against anyone, but also lose against many, which makes them a wildcard of a team entering this year’s ATP Cup. They have the talent on paper, it will be whether they can go on with it and get the job done.

Picture credit: USTA