Tag: carlos taberner

ATP Tour wrap: Two of three seeds fall on second day at Madrid

TWO seeds fell on the official second day of competition at the 2021 ATP Mutua Madrid Open in Spain, whilst a couple of qualifiers and a young gun wildcard also proceeded through to the second round.

It was qualifier Argentinian Federico Delbonis that overcame 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on home soil, dropping the first set to the Spaniard before biting back in the second and retaining control from there on out. The two hour encounter saw Delbonis marginally lead for efficiency on his first and second serve winning rates despite Carreno Busta being cleaner on serve, resulting in the 3-6 6-4 6-3 finish. Meanwhile, South African Lloyd Harris out-hit Grigor Dimitrov, piling on 12 aces to three in the two and a half hour, 6-3 3-6 7-6 contest. The two players could not be split throughout, with the third set tiebreaker showcasing just how tight the matchup was, as both players completed the match winning the same amount of points throughout (104).

The only seed to win on the day was 16th seed Cristian Garin, who ousted a second Spaniard in Fernando Verdasco, while qualifiers Carlos Taberner and Pablo Andujar also fell on home soil, taken down by Italian Fabio Fognini and American Marcos Giron, respectively.

It was not all bad news for Spaniards though, as young gun Carlos Alcaraz proceeds to the second round after disposing of Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in straight sets, 6-4 6-0, to set up a clash with compatriot and clay champion Rafael Nadal in the Round of 32.

“I started the match a little bit nervous,” Alcaraz said. “I tried to play aggressive to get the nerves out and tried to enjoy playing here, in front of a big crowd in Madrid.”

“For me, [to] play against Rafa is a dream come true,” Alcaraz said. “Since I was a kid, I wished to play a match against Rafa and now I will be able to here [on] the Centre Court of La Caja Magica in Madrid. It is a really special match against Rafa.”

Still only 17-years-old – until next week – Alcaraz pulled off 19 forehand winners against Mannarino, and won an impressive 81 per cent of his first serve points to claim victory.

The remaining four matches saw two more French competitors fall to join Mannarino on the sideline, as Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev pulled off a 7-5 6-4 victory over Ugo Humbert while Daniel Evans overcame a fighting Jeremy Chardy in a two hour and 46-minute classic, 7-6 6-7 6-2, piling on 13 aces for one double fault in the process, compared to Chardy’s four for six. The remaining two matches went the way of John Isner and Dominik Koepfer, with plenty of intriguing matchups coming in the coming days.


[Q] Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated [10] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 3-6 6-4 6-3
Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [13] Grigor Dimitrov (HUN) 6-3 3-6 7-6
[16] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated [WC] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-1 6-4
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 6-7 6-2
Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated [Q] Carlos Taberner (ESP) 7-6 2-6 6-3
John Isner (USA) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-4 7-6
Aslan Karatsev (RUS) defeated Ugo Humbert (FRA) 7-5 6-4
Dominik Koepfer (GER) defeated Reilly Opelka (USA) 6-4 6-4
[WC] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-4 6-0
[Q] Marcos Giron (USA) defeated [Q] Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-7 7-6 7-5

Davis Cup future side: Spain

IT has seemed a world away since Spain lifted the 2019 Davis Cup. While the 2020 edition was ultimately cancelled and had to be postponed until 2021, it gives tennis fans extra time to work out what teams might look like when it recommences.

Draft Central will take a look at various nations over the break and see what the team might look like. Today’s team is Spain, one of the super powers of the ATP Tour, and ranked third overall in the Davis Cup Rankings, having won the title in 2019.


#2 Rafael Nadal
#13 Roberto Bautista Agut
#16 Pablo Carreno Busta
#9D Marcel Granollers

One of the teams to beat in the Davis Cup, it is very easy for Spain to put together a title-winning side, led by world number two, Rafael Nadal. The Spanish not only have great singles players, but the majority of them can back up playing doubles, with even Nadal capable of stepping up on the doubles court.

Looking at the singles spots which is a hotly contested race, Nadal is the clear number one singles player, with Roberto Bautista Agut earning the second spot. They both are getting towards the twilights of their careers, aged 34 and 32 respectively, and even Pablo Carreno Busta who is the baby of the team, is 29. The other Top 50 player is Albert Ramos-Vinolas who comes in at 46th in the world, but he too is the wrong side of 30 (32).

Spain need to start thinking about a transition phase into their next group of young stars, with perhaps playing Nadal in one singles against minnows and throwing 21-year-old Alejandro Davidovich Fokina into the team, who is ranked 52nd in the world. Below him, Pedro Martinez (23-years-old) is ranked 85th, whilst fellow 23-year-olds, Jaume Munar and Carlos Taberner are in the Top 150 either side of teenage clay court sensation, Carlos Alcaraz.

They are the future of the Spanish Davis Cup team, but the nation can challenge for back-to-back titles, and Marcel Granollers will be the experience in the doubles. He could play with Carreno Busta in the doubles, and Nadal and Bautista Agut take the singles, while the next stars could have a match here or there in the extended squads. Overall, Spain is always a threat for a title.

Picture: Getty Images

2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Bedene stuns Greek star to book third round spot

THE final 32 players in contention for the 2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis title have been decided with a massive upset occurring on day six of the competition. Sixth seed Greek up and comer, Stefanos Tsitsipas is out of contention after unseeded Slovenian clay courter Aljaz Bedene won in five thrilling sets. The match lasted three hours and 45 minutes before the Slovenian was able to celebrate, but he did so in style, ousting the world number six, 7-6 6-3 4-6 2-6 7-5.

In an identical result to the day before, all the remaining seeds made their way through to the next round meaning just seven unseeded players remain in Roland Garros. There was almost another boil over in the second round, with Swiss Master Roger Federer surviving a scare against Japanese Grand Slam winner Kei Nishikori. Federer eventually won 6-4 2-6 2-6 7-6 6-4 but had to come from two sets to one down in order to win. It was one of the five, five set matches, along with Russian Andrey Rublev’s come-from-behind victory over Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, 3-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 6-3.

The other five set match was a massive come-from-behind win by 11th seed David Goffin who had to fight back from two sets down to shake off Brazilian Thiago Monteiro. Goffin trailed Monteiro 6-3 6-3 after 80 minutes of game play, but little did the crowd know it would be another two and a half hours before the match ended, with the Belgian getting up 3-6 3-6 6-2 7-5 6-4. He joined ninth seed Gael Monfils in the next round after the Frenchman also came from a deficit to defeat Serbian qualifier, Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

It was easier for world number one Rafael Nadal, 19th seed Cristian Garin, up and comers Felix Auger-Aliassime and Casper Ruud, and veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who all waltzed through to the next round in straight sets. Other winners were seeds, Diego Schwartzman, Fabio Fognini and Denis Shapovalov, as well as unseeded duo, Richard Gasquet and Italian Gianluca Mager.


[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-1 6-1 6-3
[4] Roger Federer (SUI) defeated Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-4 2-6 2-6 7-6 6-4
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) defeated [6] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 7-6 6-3 4-6 2-6 7-5
[8] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 1-6 6-2 7-6 7-6
[9] Gael Monfils (FRA) defeated [Q] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 4-6 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-4
[10] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) defeated Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-7 7-5 7-5 6-0
[11] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 3-6 3-6 6-2 7-5 6-4
[14] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 3-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 6-3
[19] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-2 6-1 6-0
[20] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 3-6 7-6 6-2 6-4
[22] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Carlos Taberner (ESP) 6-0 3-6 6-2 6-1
[26] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated [WC] Quentin Halys (FRA) 6-0 6-2 6-3
[27] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) defeated [Q] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-4 6-4 6-3
[32] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-2 6-2 6-1
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated Steve Johnson (USA) 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-3
Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated [Q] Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-3 6-2 6-3

2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Qualifiers move through to second round with impressive wins

A RAFT of qualifiers defied their entry into the 2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis competition to post up impressive wins over higher ranked opponents and move through to the second round on day three of the competition. Among those qualifiers were Australian Bernard Tomic, Spaniard Carlos Taberner, Serbian Janko Tipsarevic and Bosnia and Herzegovian Damir Dzumhur.

Tomic had a come-from-behind win over Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, 4-6 7-6 6-2 6-2 to continue his revival in the sport as he moved into the second round, whilst Taberner also dropped a set against Ugo Humbert before posting a four-set win, 6-2 4-6 7-6 6-0. Tipsarevic downed French wildcard Maxime Janvier easily, 6-2 6-1 6-1, whilst Dzumhur knocked off Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-0 6-4 7-6 in their match.

A number of other qualifiers pushed their respective opponents in matches with Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal going to five against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis before the latter pulled away late to win 4-6 6-4 6-1 2-6 6-3. Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Canada’s Denis Shapovalov also dropped a set against their qualifying opponents before holding strong and winning. Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had an easier time against Italian qualifier Paolo Lorenzi, storming to a 7-5 6-0 6-1 win.

At the other end of the scale, every seed bar Alex de Minaur moved through to the second round on the clay Grand Slam. De Minaur suffered a defeat at the hands of Italian Gianluca Mager, 6-4 4-6 7-5 6-4, whilst David Goffin came the next closest, dropping a set against veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, but still winning 6-3 6-2 1-6 6-3.

The remaining seeds stormed through without a problem, as Roger Federer, Gael Monfils, Cristian Garin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all made it to the Round of 64. Joining them in there were the other unseeded winners from day three, Aljaz Bedene and Thiago Monteiro who won against French wildcard Arthur Rinderknech and Spaniard Fernando Verdasco respectively.


[4] Roger Federer (SUI) defeated Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-0 6-4 6-2
[6] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated [Q] Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 7-5 6-0 6-1
[9] Gael Monfils (FRA) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-4 6-4 6-2
[11] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3 6-2 1-6 6-3
[19] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Radu Albot (ROU) 6-2 6-0 6-2
[22] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-2
Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated [25] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-4 4-6 7-5 6-4
[27] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) defeated Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 6-1 6-1 6-4
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) defeated [WC] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) 6-1 6-1 6-1
[Q] Bernard Tomic (AUS) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 4-6 7-6 6-2 6-2
[Q] Carlos Taberner (ESP) defeated Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-2 4-6 7-6 6-0
[Q] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) defeated [WC] Maxime Janvier (FRA) 6-2 6-1 6-1
Thiago Monteiro (BRA) defeated Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 5-7 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-2
Ricardas Berankis (LTU) defeated [Q] Sumit Nagal (IND) 4-6 6-4 6-1 2-6 6-3
[Q] Damir Dzumhur (BIH) defeated Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 6-0 6-4 7-6
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated [Q] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 6-7 6-1 6-4 6-4

Chile Open: Dellien through in day of tight matches

A TIGHT first day of Round of 32 matches opened the Chile Open in Santiago with the sole seed – Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien – moving through to the next round.

Dellien saw off talented claycourter, Italian Marco Cecchinato in three sets, winning 6-3 1-6 6-3 in an hour and 44 minutes. The big serving Italian put down 10 aces, but also seven double faults, and struggled off his second serve points with just a 46 per cent success rate. Dellien was technically worse at 44 per cent, but he had just nine second serves for the match with an elite 88 per cent efficiency almost always giving him a first serve point opportunity. Of his first serve points, the Bolivian won 72 per cent, while breaking twice from five break point chances. While Cecchinato also broke twice, they both came in his dominant second set, and could not manage it in either of the other two sets. This allowed Dellien to maintain a break advantage over his opponent and claim the win in the three sets. He also won six more points than Cecchinato on the day which helped him move through to the Round of 16.

In other results, Brazilian wildcard Thiago Seyboth Wild booked a spot in the Round of 16 with a win over Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis, 6-1 3-6 6-1, while Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena defeated countryman, Jaume Munar 6-4 4-6 6-4. In the last game of the day, Chilean wildcard, Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera also won in three sets, downing Spanish qualifier, Carlos Taberner 4-6 6-4 6-2.


[6] H. Dellien (BOL) defeated M. Cecchinato (ITA) 6-3 1-6 6-3
[WC] T. Seyboth Wild (BRA) defeated F. Bagnis (ARG) 6-1 3-6 6-1
R. Carballes Baena (ESP) defeated J. Munar (ESP) 6-4 4-6 6-4
[WC] M. Barrios Vera (CHI) defeated [Q] C. Taberner (ESP) 4-6 6-4 6-2

Cordoba/Montpellier/Pune wrap: Barrere and Pospisil upset Dimitrov and Shapovalov in Montpellier

IT was another day of action packed matches with quarter finalists decided in the Tata Open and a couple of Frenchmen progressing through to the next stage of the Open Sud De France.


Four players are through to the quarter finals after three impressive wins on Day 5 of the Tata Open. Fifth seed, Yuichi Sugita had the easiest day of all, walking through to the final eight with qualifier Viktor Troicki pulling out of the tournament. Second seed, Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis joined Sugita in the quarter finals with a 7-6 6-1 victory over German, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. The news was not so good for the Italian seeds however, with both third seed, Stefano Travaglia and seventh seed, Salvatore Caruso going down in straight sets. Travaglia lost to Belarusian, Ilya Ivashka while Caruso suffered defeat at the hands of Czech, Jiri Vesely.

In the only Round of 32 match to be completed, Japan’s Taro Daniel sent Indian wildcard, Sasikumar Mukund packing. He defeated the home country combatant, 6-2 7-6 to move through to the Round of 16 where he will face Australia’s James Duckworth tomorrow. It took Daniel an hour and 39 minutes to finally dispatch of Mukund, winning 77 and 61 per cent of his first and second serve points respectively. He also produced seven aces without a double fault, while Mukund only served up five aces for four double faults.


France’s Adrian Mannarino looked past a minor lapse in concentration during the second set to post a 6-0 6-7 6-0 victory over Australian Open surprise packet, Alexei Popyrin. He was joined in the second round by compatriot, Richard Gasquet who defeated fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon, 6-4 6-4. It was not as good news for young gun Frenchman, Ugo Humbert with the eighth seed bowing out in his opening match to the experienced Feliciano Lopez. The Spaniard won a rather easy 6-4 6-1 to book a spot in the Round of 16.

Speaking of the Round of 16, the first matches were completed for the round, with Frenchman Gregoire Barrere causing an upset over fourth seed Belarusian, Grigor Dimitrov. In a match that no doubt the umpire might have had some troubles addressing just one player given their similarly sounding first names, it was Barrere who used the home crowd advantage to spur him on to victory. Ranked 91st in the world and yet to win an ATP Tour title, the 25-year-old battled hard for two hours and 33 minutes before finally exacting a perfect comeback after dropping the first set to win, 6-7 6-4 7-5. He broke five times to three, and won 38 per cent of his return points in an even contest, with just five points separating the two players after an epic match. Barrere will now take on the winner of seventh seed Serbian, Filip Krajinovic and Sweden up-and-comer, Mikael Ymer. The other Round of 16 result was another shock with Vasek Pospisil turning around and smashing highly touted youngster, Denis Shapovalov with the experienced Canadian rolling the number three seed and compatriot 6-2 6-3.


Four singles matches were completed on Day 5 in Argentina with Uruguayan sixth seed, Pablo Cuevas defeating Italian, Gianluca Mager in three sets. It took more than two hours for the experienced Cuevas to eventually get the job done, getting through a couple of nervous tiebreakers before running away with it in the third and deciding set. Cuevas served eight aces and won 78 per cent of his first serve points, while breaking six times to three – including three times in the final set.

In other results, Slovenian Andrej Martin knocked off Spanish qualifier, Carlos Taberner 6-3 7-6. Taberner really took it to Martin in the second set forcing it to a tiebreaker but in the end the Slovenian did enough to keep him at bay and progress through to the next stage. Cristian Garin made light work of Attila Balazs defeating him in two sets 6-3 6-0 while Corentin Moutet got the job done despite dropping the first set to Guido Pella 6-7 7-5 6-3.

ATP Tour daily wrap: Cordoba/Montpellier/Pune – Carreno Busta, Karlovic and Verdasco out in respective opening rounds

WITH the Australian Open now in the rear view mirror, the ATP Tour split across three continents, with tournaments in Argentina, France and India. We recap how the first matches from the respective Round of 32s went down.


Both home nation representatives have fallen, while last year’s runner-up also went down in a day where four singles matches were completed. Qualifier, Viktor Troicki moved through to the Round of 16 following a 6-2 6-7 6-1 victory of India’s Sumit Nagal. Seventh seed Italian, Salvatore Caruso also booked a spot in the next round with a 3-6 6-4 7-5 victory over Indian wildcard Ramkumar Ramanathan, while Japanese fifth seed, Yuichi Sugita downed Italian Thomas Fabbiano comfortably, 6-3 6-0.

The surprise of the day was a straight sets win to German, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe who handled big-serving veteran, Ivo Karlovic in straight sets. While Karlovic celebrated his 40th birthday last year, the Croatian made the Tata Open final 12 months ago and was considered one of the outside contenders for the title. Stebe had other ideas however, winning 6-3 6-4 in just over an hour as Karlovic only marginally shaded Stebe in the ace department (6-5), but the German’s first serve points percentage of 83 per cent was important. Stunningly, Stebe broke Karlovic eight times – from only eight opportunities – while the Croatian could only manage it twice from four chances. Stebe now moves on to face Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, the second seed in the tournament.


Three singles matches were completed in the opening round at the Open Sud de France as qualifying was completed on Day 2. Canadian, Vasek Pospisil defeated Slovenian, Alijaz Bedene in straight sets, 6-3 6-4, while Frenchman, Gregoire Barrere moved through to the last 16 with a straight sets win over Portugals’ Joao Sousa, 6-2 7-6

The biggest upset occurred with top 30 Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta knocked out of the tournament in three sets by Slovakian, Norbert Gombos. The 104th ranked Gombos triumphed after being a set down, 3-6 6-4 6-3 to move through to the Round of 16. The match took an hour and 43 minutes, serving nine aces and winning 72 per cent of his first serve points. Carreno Busta won 75 per cent of his first serve points, but managed just 29 per cent on his second serve. Despite breaking three times, Gombos broke four times and won 42 per cent of his receiving points in one of his best performances to-date.


Down on the clay courts of Cordoba, seventh seed Fernando Verdasco was the biggest casualty of the first day, losing to compatriot, Spanish qualifier Carlos Taberner. The qualifier won 4-6 6-1 6-4 to knock out the experienced veteran, winning 75 per cent of his first serve points and breaking five times to his opponents’ three. While he did serve six double faults to only four aces, he was consistent for longer, particularly after settling in the second set.

In other results, Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas moved through to the Round of 16 with the sixth seed getting up over Argentinian, Federico Delbonis 7-5 6-2. Meanwhile Hungary’s Attila Balazs defeated Italian, Lorenzo Sonego 6-2 7-6 and Italian Gianluca Mager sent Argentinian qualifier, Juan Pablo Ficovich packing, 6-2 3-6 6-2.