Tag: christopher eubanks

ATP 250s wraps: Tsonga beaten on return as Popyrin claims win in Singapore

GRAND SLAM finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made his long-awaited return to the ATP Tour at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier yesterday, though it did not go plan. The former Top 10 talent was easily beaten by American Sebastian Korda in the first round of the ATP 250 event.

The match lasted just 72 minutes with Korda claiming the spoils, 6-4 6-2, dominating on serve and only dropping eight points in total, saving both of his opponent’s break point opportunities. Tsonga was far from his best, but getting through the match was the key, still winning 69 per cent of his first serve points, and serving five aces throughout the match. He saved three of six break points, but ultimately could not do enough against a player who has built form over the past 12 months.

It was better news for sixth seed Ugo Humbert, whose rise up the ATP Rankings continues following his straight sets win over Slovakian Norbert Gombos. Humbert won 6-4 7-6 in 78 minutes, slamming home 18 aces and winning 88 per cent of his first serve points off an elite 79 per cent efficiency to never give his opponent a chance. In Gombos’ defence, he held up well, actually breaking Humbert once from two chances, while the Frenchman broke him from both his opportunities. Overall the class of Humbert stood out and he advanced to the Round of 16.

In the final match played on day one of the main draw event, seventh seed Lorenzo Sonego battled past young Frenchman Hugo Gaston. The Italian won 6-3 6-7 6-1, holding his nerve in the third set after dropping the second set tiebreaker 9-7, to win in two hours and 19 minutes. He served seven aces and broke six times from 12 chances, while only being broken three times himself.

In today’s action, there are plenty more Frenchman on show, with Lucas Pouille taking on compatriot and wildcard Benjamin Bonzi, while Gilles Simon faces Austrian Dennis Novak. The match of the day could be either British wildcard and Grand Slam winner Andy Murray taking on Belarusian Egor Gerasimov, or Swede Mikael Ymer locking horns with Jiri Vesely.


[6] Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-4 7-6
[7] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated [WC] Hugo Gaston (FRA) 6-3 6-7 6-1
Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-4 6-2

Five first round matches were completed in Singapore, with a mixed bag for the two seeds on court. Fifth seed Japanese counter puncher Yoshihito Nishioka defeated improving American Michael Mmoh 6-2 3-6 6-3, while seventh seed South African Lloyd Harris went down in three sets to Bulgarian wildcard Adrian Andreev.

Nishioka needed almost two hours to defeat Mmoh, surviving 11 aces to bring up 10 break point opportunities, albeit only taking three. It was two more than Mmoh who broke once in the second set, but could not do it again in the match. Meanwhile Andreev took two hours and 19 minutes to knock off the fast-serving Harris, not needing to serve and ace and even holding off 12 of 15 break point chances for the South African to win 1-6 6-3 6-4. The Bulgarian bounced back from a disappointing first set to post the impressive win over the developing Harris.

Andreev now takes on Australian Alexei Popyrin who knocked off American qualifier, Christopher Eubanks in two tiebreakers, 7-6 7-6, both of which were 7-5 tiebreakers. The match lasted one hour and 46 minutes, with Popyrin powering home 15 aces and saving 10 of 11 break points in a remarkable feat. He won 72 per cent of his first serve points, and also only broke Eubanks once, holding firm in the crucial tiebreakers to claim a narrow straight sets win.

In other Singapore results, United States’ Maxime Cressy became his nation’s sole winner on the day, downing Chinese Taipei’s Jason Jung in straight sets 7-6 6-2, while Japan’s Taro Daniel joined compatriot Nishioka in the second round after a tight three-set win over India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, 6-3 6-7 6-3.

In today’s action, three Australians are out on court, with Marc Polmans up first against Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama. Following that match, qualifier John-Patrick Smith has to find a way to upstage sixth seed Macedonian Radu Albot, before James Duckworth takes to the court at night against German, Yannick Hanfmann.


[5] Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) defeated Michael Mmoh (USA) 6-2 3-6 6-3
[WC] Adrian Andreev (BUL) defeated [7] Lloyd Harris (RSA) 1-6 6-3 6-4
Maxime Cressy (USA) defeated Jason Jung (TAI) 7-6 6-2
Taro Daniel (JPN) defeated Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) 6-3 6-7 6-3
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) defeated [Q] Christopher Eubanks (USA) 7-6 7-6

At the time of publishing, none of the day one matches had been completed in Cordoba, with the Argentinian tournament finishing off the third round of qualifying earlier in the day. The night session featured two Round of 32 matches which will be covered in tomorrow’s wrap, with Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan facing Slovakian Jozef Kovalik, followed by Spaniard Jaume Munar taking on Chilean wildcard Nicolas Jarry.

Picture credit: ATP Tour

Newport Beach Challenger: Quarter finals review – Brengle knocks off top seed, Pegula

MADISON Brengle has caused the upset of the Newport Beach Challenger event so far in the WTA event, downing number one seed, Jessica Pegula in three sets, while Mitchell Krueger continued his run after downing two-time winner Taylor Fritz with a three sets win over Raymond Sarmiento.


The 95th ranked and fifth seed, Brengle came back from a 1-6 deficit to post a 1-6 7-6 6-2 victory over Pegula showing a fighting spirit in the quarter final clash. It could very easily have been a straight sets win to the number one seed, having been a set up and going toe-for-toe in the second set before Brengle won the tiebreaker, 9-7. In the match, Pegula was stronger off her first serve (66 per cent to 56.5 per cent), Brengle was able to save seven break points to three, and while she was broken an extra time (six to five), most of the damage was done in the first set. She won 65 per cent of her second serve points and really attack the number one seed’s slower serves. Brengle now faces Argentinian giant-killer Nadia Podoroska who defeated fourth seed German, Tatjana Maria in the semi-finals.

Another player who came from a 1-6 deficit to post a three sets win was second seed, Taylor Townsend who overcame fellow American, Coco Vandeweghe 1-6 6-1 6-1 to book a spot in the final four. The match just took 79 minutes because all three sets were rather swift, but it was Townsend who really stepped up after a disappointing first set to only drop two more games for the match. The number two seed put in 62.7 per cent of her first serve, winning 65.6 and 63.2 per cent of her first and second serve points, breaking six times to three. Vandeweghe competed well early, but faded out and only won 34.1 per cent of her second serve with a 46.8 per cent serving efficiency to begin with. Townsend meets sixth seed, Stefanie Voegele who knocked off third seed, Christina McHale in three sets.

[5] M. Brengle (USA) defeated [1] J. Pegula (USA) 1-6 7-6 6-2
N. Podoroska (ARG) defeated [4] T. Maria (GER) 2-6 6-1 6-1
[6] S. Voegele (SUI) defeated [3] C. McHale (USA) 6-1 1-6 6-4
[2] T. Townsend (USA) defeated C. Vandeweghe (USA) 1-6 6-1 6-1


It took him more than two hours to finally post the win, but Krueger booked a spot in the semi-finals thanks to a 6-3 6-7 6-3 victory over Sarmiento. Krueger served nine aces and won 65 and 56 per cent of his first and second serve points respectively, compared to his compatriot’s 59 and 42 per cent. While Sarmiento made more of his break point opportunities, Krueger created more chances, and was more dominant on both service and return, helping him advance to the final four as the second highest ranked player remaining.

Krueger now faces Colombian, Daniel Elahi Galan who came from a set down to win against American emerging talent, Christopher Eubanks. Galan dropped the first set 4-6 before coming back to win in a tight tiebreaker, 7-5 and taking out the match 4-6 7-6 6-3 in two hours and three minutes. Both players served up six aces, but it was Galan’s ability to save 11 break points to ensure he remained in the game, whilst capitalising on three himself. He won 69 and 57 per cent of his first and second serve points respectively, and while he will want to clean up the first serve percentage (56 per cent), did enough to reach the semi-finals.

In the other results, Steve Johnson booked a spot in the last four and is the tournament favourite after defeating 10th seed and fellow American, Bradley Klahn in straight sets. He now faces another American in Thai-Son Kwiatkowski who saw off Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.

[13] M. Krueger (USA) defeated R. Sarmiento (USA) 6-3 6-7 6-3
D. Galan (COL) C. Eubanks (USA) 4-6 7-6 6-3
[4] S. Johnson (USA) defeated [10] B. Klahn (USA) 6-4 6-2
T. Kwiatkowski (USA) defeated [15] D. Istomin (UZB) 7-6 6-4

Newport Beach Challenger: Round 3 review – Istomin upsets Tiafoe to make quarter finals

ROUND 3 of the Newport Beach Challenger saw plenty of United States countrymen bumped out of the race for the challenger title, with seven Americans across the men’s and women’s tournaments knocking a compatriot out of the running.


Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin – most remembered for his stunning upset of Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open a couple of years ago – has booked a quarter finals spot after downing number two seed, Frances Tiafoe. It broke up a dominant tournament thus far from the home nation representatives, with United States having 11 of the final 16 players on the ATP singles draw. Currently ranked 170th in the world, Istomin won in straight sets, 6-3 6-2 to down the top 50 American, winning in 73 minutes on Court 2. He broke three times and saved four break point opportunities from his higher ranked opponent, whilst winning 80 per cent of his first serve points. He also won 41 and 58 per cent of his first and second serve return points respectively, as Tiafoe struggled to contain the Uzkbekistani hitter and bowed out in the Round of 16.

World number 75, Steve Johnson made it through to the final eight with a hard-fought slog against a plucky Aleksandar Vukic. The American down the 272nd ranked Australian talent, but not before it went the full distance, eventually claiming the victory 7-6 6-7 7-6 in an impressive three tiebreakers. Both players broke three times, but Vukic went at a 100 per cent conversion rate, while Tiafoe converted three from nine in the match. Vukic weathered Johnson’s serve for the most part, as the American produced 23 aces to nine, but also served up nine double faults to two. His 78 per cent first serve points record was strong, but despite his best serving efforts at times, Johnson could not shake Vukic until the end, winning 7-4 in the third set tiebreaker.

In other results, Mitchell Krueger defeated first seed Taylor Fritz to head into the quarter finals against compatriot Raymond Sarmiento who defeated JC Aragone in straight sets, 7-5 7-6. Fellow American Christopher Eubanks will take on Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan after both fought off galant efforts this round while both Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Bradley Klahn also head into the quarter finals after impressive efforts this round.


A little known 22-year-old Argentinian is through to the quarter finals after winning her second consecutive match against a seeded player. The 258th ranked Nadia Podoroska claimed a 6-0 3-6 6-3 victory over 11th seed, Croatian Veronica Cepede Royg which followed on from her win against seventh seed American, Francesca Di Lorenzo. In the 96-minute win over Cepede Royg, Podoroska won 70.5 per cent of her first serve points compared to her opponents’ 51.2 per cent. She did not serve an ace, but was strong on return, claiming 48.8 and 44.0 per cent of her first and second return points respectively. She also converted five of eight break points, and claimed the first victory against her opponent, having lost to her back in 2015, when she was just 18-years-old.

Now Podoroska takes on fourth seed German, Tatjana Maria who knocked out 13th seed American, Shelby Rogers in straight sets. Maria claimed the victory 7-5 6-4 in 94 minutes, serving five aces to one and winning 67.6 per cent of her first serve points. Maria was most dominant upon return, breaking three times from seven opportunities, as Rogers also had seven chances, but only converted one of them. With the Maria-Podoroska clash, it guarantees at least one non United States player in the semi-finals given that an American will play in each of the other quarter finals.

In other results, all bar one seeded player reigned supreme over their lower ranked opponent, with only Nicole Gibbs going down to CoCo Vandeweghe, 5-7 4-6. Second and third seed Americans, Taylor Townsend and Christina McHale also got away fairly scot free, while first and fifth seed Americans, Jessica Pegula and Madison Brengle will go head to head in the quarter finals, though Brengle won by default with her Belgian opponent Yanina Wickmayer retiring partway through the second set, 2-6 0-3.

Australian Open: Qualifying Rounds 2/3 – Former Wimbledon Junior runner-up and ATP Top 10 pick advance to main draw

THE first of the main draw qualifiers are through to the Australian Open starting Monday after a number of men’s and women’s finals were played yesterday. The remainder of the finals will be played today, with 32 qualifiers all-up – 16 men and 16 women – making it through to the final 128 players who will contest the 2020 Australian Open.


Leading the charge for the main draw was former top 10 pick, Ernests Gulbis with the Latvian no doubt causing a few main draw opponents some headaches before he is assigned his place in the 128-man field. Gulbis defeated 17th seed, India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets, 7-6 6-2. He joined Australian Max Purcell in booking a spot in the first round after the local hope downed 26th seed Slovakian, Jozef Kovalik 6-4 6-2. Also into the next round was 16th seed German, Peter Gojowczyk who will not be an easy opponent for anyone in the main draw, winning 6-2 6-3 over Frenchman Constant Lestienne. Slovakia’s 10th seed Norbert Gombos, Spain’s Pedro Martinez – who downed Czech Lukas Rosol – and Belarusian Ilya Ivashka all advanced through to the main draw in straight sets win.

From the Round 2 winners, top seed Dennis Novak continued his run to the final 32 with a straight sets win over Slovakia’s Filip Horansky, 6-1 6-4. In a day where seeds fell like flies, sixth seed Evgeny Donskoy was the other to survive the minefield, winning 6-3 3-6 6-3 over the qualifying draw’s late inclusion Croatia’s Viktor Galovic. It was bad news for ATP Cup doubles-winning player Viktor Troicki with the Serbian having to retire a set up and 1-2 down in the second set and forfeit his match to American Christopher Eubanks. Belgian, Kimmer Coppejans kept his hopes of a main draw spot alive with an upset win over third seed Canadian, Brayden Schnur, while Frances’ Elliot Benchetrit downed fourth seed Fin, Emil Ruusuvuori in an epic encounter. Netherland’s Tallon Griekspoor ended Australian wildcard, Rinky Hijikata‘s chances with a straight sets win, while Egypt’s Mohamed Safwat moved through to a final match after a 7-5 7-5 win over Alexandre Muller.

Men’s Finals:

I. Ivashka (BLR) defeated Z. Li (CHN) 6-4 6-3
[10] N. Gombos (SVK) defeated P. Krstin (SRB) 6-3 6-3
P. Martinez (ESP) defeated L. Rosol (CZE) 6-4 6-2
M. Purcell (AUS) defeated [26] J. Kovalik (SVK) 6-4 6-2
E. Gulbis (LAT) defeated [17] P. Gunneswaran (IND) 7-6 6-2
[16] P. Gojowczyk (GER) defeated C. Lestienne (FRA) 6-2 6-3

Round 2:

[1] D. Novak (AUT) defeated F. Horansky (SVK) 6-1 6-4
H. Moriya (JPN) defeated [23] S. Diez (CAN) 6-4 7-5
T. Griekspoor (NED) defeated [WC] R. Hijikata (AUS) 7-5 7-5
[WC] L. Musetti (ITA) defeated M. Copil (ROU) 6-7 6-4 7-5
K. Coppejans (BEL) defeated [3] B. Schnur (CAN) 7-6 6-3
C. Eubaks (USA) defeated V. Troicki (SRB) 4-6 2-1 RET
E. Benchetrit (FRA) defeated [4] E. Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-4 0-6 7-6
D. Popko (KAZ) defeated E. Couacaud (FRA) 6-3 3-6 6-3
M. Bourgue (FRA) defeated [5] A. Martin (SVK) 4-6 7-6 7-5
M. Vilella Martinez (ESP) defeated [24] F. Bagnis (ARG) 7-6 0-6 6-4
[6] E. Donskoy (RUS) defeated V. Galovic (CRO) 6-3 3-6 6-3
M. Safwat (EGT) defeated A. Muller (FRA) 7-5 7-5
N. Milojevic (SRB) defeated E. Escobedo (USA) 6-4 7-6
Q. Halys (FRA) defeated D. Lee (KOR) 6-3 6-4
M. Trungelliti (ARG) defeated J. Wolf (USA) 0-6 7-6 7-5
L. Giustino (ITA) defeated [18] Y. Maden (GER) 6-7 6-2 6-4

Six players are officially through to the main draw of the 2020 Australian Open women’s draw after the first of 16 women’s finals were played yesterday. The upset of the day was 31st seed and young gun American, Ann Li toppling top seed and top 100 Romanian, Ana Bogdan, 5-7 7-6 6-2. The Wimbledon Junior Final runner-up booked a spot in the main draw and undoubtedly has a bright future ahead. She was joined in the main draw by fellow American, Shelby Rogers who downed compatriot, Caroline Dolehide 6-4 6-4. A big surprise was the straight sets exit of former top 10 player, Eugenie Bouchard with the Canadian bowing out to Italian Martina Trevisan who won 6-4 6-3. Also into the main draw was 20th seed and former top 30 player, Monica Niculescu with the Romanian getting up over 11th seed Swiss player, Stefanie Voegele in three sets, 6-2 3-6 6-4. Liudmila Samsonova was the highest seed to officially make the main draw thus far, downing 24th seed, Xiyu Wang 6-4 2-6 7-5, while Great Britain’s Heather Dart booked a spot in the main draw thanks to a win over Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone, 6-1 6-3.

From Round 2 results that will see the remaining 20 player battling for 10 spots, second seed Nao Hibino is the highest player ranked played remaining in the draw, while third seed Varvara Gracheva will have a tough task against former top 50 player, Johanna Larsson of Sweden after the 31-year-old Swede made light work of 29th seed, Netherland’s Mandy Minella, 6-2 6-3. The North American presence at Australian Open should be strong with a number of Americans moving through to the final round with Sachia Vickery defeating fourth seed Ukrainian, Katarina Zavatska in three tight sets, while 10th seed compatriot, Catherine McNally also advanced with an easy straight sets win over Ukrainian Daria Lopatetska. Other seeds to book a spot in the next round were fifth seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia, Belgium’s 13th seed Greet Minnen, 18th seed Kaja Juvan – who knocked out Australian wildcard Storm Sanders in three sets – 19th seed Barbora Krejcikova who stunned former top 20 player, Varvora Lepchenko in straight sets, and 32nd seed, Barbara Haas from Austria.

Women’s Finals:

[31] A. Li (USA) defeated [1] A. Bogdan (ROU) 5-7 7-6 6-2
S. Rogers (USA) defeated [30] C. Dolehide (USA) 6-4 6-4
M. Trevisan (ITA) defeated E. Bouchard (CAN) 6-4 6-3
[20] M. Niculescu (ROU) defeated [11] S. Voegele (SUI) 6-2 3-6 6-4
[12] L. Samsonova (RUS) defeated [24] X. Wang (CHN) 6-4 2-6 7-5
H. Dart (GBR) defeated G. Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-1 6-3

Round 2:

[2] N. Hibino (JPN) defeated Y. Yuan (CHN) 3-6 6-1 6-1
L. Arruabarrena (ESP) defeated Y. Naito (JPN) 6-3 6-4
[3] V. Gracheva (RUS) defeated O. Danilovic (SRB) 6-2 4-6 6-1
J. Larsson (SWE) defeated [29] M. Minella (NED) 6-2 6-3
S. Vickery (USA) defeated [4] K. Zavatska (UKR) 6-4 5-7 6-4
[19] B. Krejcikova (CZE) defeated V. Lepchecnko (USA) 6-4 6-4
[5] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated L. Paar (ROU)
X. Wang (CHN) defeated [28] A. Kiick (USA) 6-0 6-1
[6] N. Vikhlyantseva (RUS) defeated I. Shinikova (BLR) 6-2 6-3
[18] K. Juvan (SLO) defeated [WC] S. Sanders (AUS) 6-0 2-6 6-3
L. Fernandez (CAN) defeated M. Hibi (JPN) 6-4 6-4
D. Lao (USA) defeated [27] K. Nara (JPN) 7-5 6-7 6-3
[10] C. McNally (USA) defeated D. Lopatetska (UKR) 6-2 6-3
E. Ruse (ROU) defeated N. Parrizas Diaz (ESP) 6-3 7-5
[13] G. Minnen (BEL) defeated F. Xun (CHN) 6-3 6-1
[32] B. Haas (AUT) defeated L. Pattinama Kerkhove (NED) 6-4 4-6 6-1