Tag: francisco cerundolo

ATP Tour wrap: French fall as Sinnik survives thriller to advance at Roland Garros

IT was a forgettable day for the French fans in Paris, as all six French representatives were bundled out of the 2021 Roland Garros ATP draw in the first round on day two. In a day that was largely favourable to seeds – with eight of the 10 seeds in action grabbing wins – there were still some thrilling contests, none more so than Italian young gun Jannik Sinner‘s five-set win over France’s Pierre Hugues-Herbert.

Sinner fell two sets to one down after winning the first one easily, before bouncing back to win in five sets, 6-1 4-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 to advance through to the Round of 64. The match lasted three hours and 32 minutes, as both players showed their talents at the net, with 24 per cent of the total points won there. Sinner won 61 per cent of his approach shots, whilst Herbert won 58 per cent, in a real epic battle. The Italian hit 15 less winners than his opponent (43-58), but had a whopping 26 less unforced errors (36-62) in a more conservative, but consistent performance. Herbert’s ability to control his serve (13 aces to five) was what kept him in it, but in the end, it was the mistakes that cost him and set Sinner into the next round.

Perhaps the biggest choke of the day went to American Frances Tiafoe, who was two sets to love up and in control against compatriot Steve Johnson. The more experienced kept toiling away though, and won the next three sets easily, dominating the fourth and fifth sets to win in three hours and 11 minutes, 6-7 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-1. Johnson hit 49 winners to 46 and 41 unforced errors to 47, marginally ahead in each statistical category, though breaking nine times to five was the difference in the latter stages of the match. Also needing five sets to win was American Tommy Paul, who survived an almighty fightback from Australian wildcard Christopher O’Connell to win 6-2 6-4 4-6 4-6 10-8 in three hours and 33 minutes. Paul hit six more winners (47-41) and had 10 less unforced errors (40-50), whilst winning an impressive 76 per cent of both his first serve points, and net points won to hold off the determined Australian and book himself a Round of 64 spot.

In terms of upsets, just two seeds fell on day two of the competition, with 13th seed David Goffin and 26th seed Lorenzo Sonego both exiting the Grand Slam. Sonego’s compatriot, Italian Lorenzo Musetti continued his great rise over the past 12 months to obliterate Goffin in the first set, before holding out in two more tight sets to win 6-0 7-5 7-6. The match lasted two hours and 18 minutes, with the sloppy Goffin hitting a whopping 48 unforced errors to Musetti’s 27, and while Goffin was more clinical at the net (79 to 64 per cent success), and hit more winners (37-23), Musetti posted a 71 per cent serving efficiency and first serve winning rate. Big serving South African Lloyd Harris might not have had his usual numbers off the aces (6-5), but still did enough to take care of Sonego in straight sets, 7-5 6-4 6-4 in an identical time to the other upset, two hours and 18 minutes. Harris did hit 40 winners to 31, and he won 75 and 69 per cent off his first and second serve respectively – losing just 24 points – to Sonego’s 66 and 58 per cent, to advance through to the next stage.

The other eight seeds in action all advanced, with eighth seed Roger Federer making his return to the Grand Slam circuit, posting a straight sets win over Uzbekistan qualifier Denis Istomin. The 6-2 6-4 6-3 victory in one hour and 33 minutes was the quickest of the ATP Tour matches, giving the Swiss Maestro an eye-catching start to the clay tournament. Federer was absolutely exquisite as he hit 48 winners to 18, and won 79 per cent of his points at the net compared to Istomin’s 43 per cent. He produced eight aces and only dropped 13 points on serve for the entire match, breaking five times from 13 chances and never conceding a break point opportunity in a clinical victory. Fellow top 10 seed Daniil Medvedev also advanced in straight sets, putting away a tough first round opponent in Alexander Bublik, 6-3 6-3 7-5. Fellow seeds, Casper Ruud and Nikoloz Basilashvili needed four sets to overcome their opponents Benoit Paire and Dusan Lajovic, whilst American trio seeded 30th, 31st and 32nd in Taylor Fritz, John Isner and Reilly Opelka, all advanced through to the Round of 64 with straight sets wins.

Unfortunately for France, it was not a great day, with Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bundled out in four sets against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. The Japanese talent won 6-4 6-2 3-6 7-6 to advance through to the Round of 64 in two hours and 52 minutes, winning the fourth set tiebreaker 7-5 in a match which almost went to five sets. Tsonga was far from disgraced upon his return, producing 19 aces to two, and hitting 61 winners to 21, but his power was still finding its consistency, whacking 73 unforced errors to 21 which proved costly. The longest match of the day was Jaume Munar‘s four-set come-from-behind victory over Jordan Thompson in four hours and 23 minutes. The Spaniard dropped the first set tiebreaker to the Australian 8-6, before a quicker second set followed, and then the clay court talent won 7-5 in the third set tiebreaker, and with an additional break secured in the win in an epic contest, 6-7 6-1 7-6 6-4. Thompson hit 55 winners to Munar’s 35, but the Spaniard had 28 less unforced errors (50-78), and was more efficient with his serve (75 to 54 per cent), also breaking five times from 23 chances to Thompson’s two from 10.

Fellow Spaniards Pedro Martinez – who defeated most recent title winner Sebastian Korda in straight sets – and Carlo Alcaraz also advanced through to the second round, with Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, Croatia’s Marin Cilic, Germany’s Dominik Koepfer, Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro, Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic and Italy’s Gianluca Mager all sending wildcards, qualifiers or lucky losers home in the first round. Other winners were Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak and Argentina’s Federico Delbonis who both made their way into the second round at Roland Garros.


[2] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-3 6-3 7-5
[8] Roger Federer (SUI) defeated [Q] Denis Istomin (UZB) 6-2 6-4 6-3
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated [13] David Goffin (BEL) 6-0 7-5 7-6
[15] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Benoit Paire (FRA) 5-7 6-2 6-1 7-6
[18] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Pierre Hugues-Herbert (FRA) 6-1 4-6 6-7 7-5 6-4
Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [26] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 7-5 6-4 6-4
[28] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) defeated Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-4 6-3 0-6 6-2
[30] Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated Joao Sousa (POR) 6-4 6-2 6-4
[31] John Isner (USA) defeated Sam Querrey (USA) 7-6 6-3 6-4
[32] Reilly Opelka (USA) defeated Andrej Martin (SLO) 6-3 6-2 6-4
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-4 6-2 3-6 7-6
Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [WC] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) 7-6 6-1 6-2
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated [Q] Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 7-5 7-5 6-2
Dominik Koepfer (GER) defeated [WC] Mathias Bourgue (FRA) 6-3 6-3 6-4
Steve Johnson (USA) defeated Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-7 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-1
[PR] Kamil Majchrzak (POL) defeated [WC] Arthur Cazaux (FRA) 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-4
Thiago Monteiro (BRA) defeated [LL] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 6-3 6-4 6-3
Pedro Martinez (ESP) defeated Sebastian Korda (USA) 6-4 6-2 6-2
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) defeated [Q] Maximilian Marterer (GER) 6-4 6-1 7-6
Tommy Paul (USA) defeated [WC] Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 6-2 6-4 4-6 4-6 10-8
Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated [LL] Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-2 3-6 6-4 7-5
Jaume Munar (ESP) defeated Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-7 6-1 7-6 6-4
[Q] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated [Q] Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP) 6-3 2-6 6-1 7-6
Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Radu Albot (MOL) 6-1 2-6 6-0 6-1

Picture credit: Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

ATP Tour wrap: Norrie continues red-hot form in Barcelona

GREAT Britain’s Cameron Norrie has continued his ripping form of late, taking another big scalp in 12th seed Karen Khachanov at the Barcelona Open. Clashing in the Round of 32, Norrie advanced in a tough three-set contest, winning 6-4 3-6 6-3 to advance through to the third round and be the only confirmed unseeded player in the Round of 16 at this stage. With the remaining 11 matches still to go, there are plenty of chances for more unseeded players to join him, but Norrie has the extra day’s rest to prepare for the next match.

In recent weeks, Norrie has claimed some big scalps in Italian Fabio Fognini and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, and now has his third Top 20 win in as many weeks, advancing through to the next stage of the tournament. The Brit was the lowest ranked winner on the day, with four other seeds all booking their spots with straight sets wins. Roberto Bautista Agut was the top ranked player out on court, with the fifth seed defeating compatriot Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-0, joining seventh seed Denis Shapovalov, eighth seed David Goffin and 11th seed Jannik Sinner in the Round of 16.

The remaining Round of 64 matches were also completed in Barcelona, though it was not all good news for Spanish fans. Despite Albert Ramos-Vinolas securing a come-from-behind win over Danish qualifier Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune 6-7 7-1 7-6, three of his compatriots all fell. Young gun wildcard Carlos Alcaraz went down to Frances Tiafoe in straight sets, veteran Feliciano Lopez lost out to another rising young gun in Italian Lorenzo Musetti, while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina exited despite a strong first set, losing to Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, 2-6 7-5 6-2. In the other two matches, Australia’s Jordan Thompson defeated France’s Richard Gasquet 7-6 3-6 7-6, and Gasquet’s compatriot Corentin Moutet won against German Dominik Koepfer, 7-5 6-2.

Meanwhile over in Serbia, the two home nation seeds had a mixed day out on court against qualifiers. Eighth seed Miomir Kecmanovic needed two tiebreakers to separate himself from Argentinian Facundo Bagnis, while ninth seed Laslo Djere went down to Italian Gianluca Mager, 6-4 6-3. French qualifier Arthur Rindeknecht made his way through to the season round against Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero, as Japan’s Taro Daniel won the battle of the lucky losers with Portugal’s Joao Sousa. Other winners included Australian Alexei Popyrin, Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene, South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon and Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.


[5] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-4 6-0
[7] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3 7-5
[8] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-2 6-4
[11] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 6-3 6-2
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated [12] Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-4 3-6 6-3


Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated [Q] Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (DEN) 6-7 6-1 7-6
[WC] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-4 6-3
Frances Tiafoe (USA) defeated [WC] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6-4 7-6
Jordan Thompson (AUS) defeated Richard Gasquet (FRA) 7-6 4-6 7-6
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 2-6 7-5 6-2
Corentin Moutet (FRA) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 7-5 6-2


[8] Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) defeated [Q] Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 7-6 7-6
[Q] Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated [9] Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-4 6-3
Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-4 3-6 6-1
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) defeated Sebastian Korda (USA) 7-5 1-6 7-6
Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) defeated [LL] Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 6-3 7-5
[LL] Taro Daniel (JPN) defeated [LL] Joao Sousa (POR) 7-5 6-3
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) defeated [Q] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 4-6 7-6 7-6
[Q] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) defeated Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 6-1 7-5

ATP Tour wrap: Round of 32 complete at Sardegna and Marbella

COMPETITION continued in Sardegna and Marbella today with the Round of 32 at both ATP 250 events still going strong and homegrown talent proving influential on Day 2 of proceedings.

At Sardegna, three set encounters told the story with fifth and sixth seeds Jan-Lennard Struff and John Millman amongst a group of six players who required a third set to clinch victory. Struff overcame a shocking 1-6 start to Joao Sousa to remain in the hunt for the second round, collecting the 1-6 6-1 7-5 victory in just over two hours. Gilles Simon was another who came from a set down to win in three, defeating home talent Stefano Travaglia 1-6 6-3 6-4, as did qualifier Jozef Kovalik, who was one of two Slovakian competitors to win on the day, joined by Andrej Martin in the second round.

It was a first set tiebreaker that was the difference between a win and a loss for Australian sixth see Millman, who overcame Federico Coria 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 in a mammoth three hour and 13 minute encounter, whilst Italian Marco Cecchinato was the remaining three set winner with a victory over compatriot Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 4-6 6-3. Lorenzo Musetti joined Ceecchinato in the second round after a confidence-boosting 6-0 6-1 obliteration of Dennis Novak in just 52 minutes, with the remaining win of the day going to British qualifier Liam Broady, who defeated Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-1 6-3.


[5] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated Joao Sousa (POR) 1-6 6-1 7-5
[6] John Millman (AUS) defeated Federico Coria (ARG) 7-6 3-6 6-3
[Q] Liam Broady (GBR) defeated [Q] Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI) 6-1 6-3
Marco Cecchinato (ITA) defeated [WC] Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 6-4 4-6 6-3
[Q] Jozef Kovalik (SVK) defeated [Q] Sumit Nagal (IND) 3-6 6-1 6-3
Andrej Martin (SVK) defeated Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-4 2-6 6-1
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated Dennis Novak (AUT) 6-0 6-1
Gilles Simon (FRA) defeated Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 1-6 6-3 6-4

At Marbella, results went the opposite way with majority straight sets victories across the day, and just one three setter to speak of, which intriguingly was still a mostly one-sided battle as Alejandro Davidovich Fokina reigned supreme in a 6-7 6-2 6-2 encounter with Damir Dzumhur. The two hour flat matchup was marginally the longest of the day, with the Spaniard one of five to head into the second round. He is joined by Feliciano LopezJaume Munar, wildcard Carlos Alcaraz and qualifier Mario Vilella Martinez, after all four claimed solid wins.

The other three winners of the day hailed from Argentina, Belarus and Italy, with Argentinian Facundo Bagnis overcoming compatriot Francisco Cerundolo and Ilya Ivashka getting the job done in an identical 6-3 7-6(2) final result over another Spaniard in Pedro Martinez, while Gianluca Mager defeated Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin.


[5] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-7 6-2 6-2
[6] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) defeated Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-4 6-4
[WC] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated [Q] Nikola Milojevic (SRB) 7-6 6-3
Facundo Bagnis (ARG) defeated Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 6-3 7-6
Ilya Ivashka (BLR) defeated Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-3 7-6
Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 7-5 6-3
Jaume Munar (ESP) defeated [Q] Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 6-4 6-1
[Q] Mario Vilella Martinez (ESP) defeated [Q] Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP) 6-2 6-3

ATP Tour wrap: Intriguing results heading into ATP 250 Rounds of 16

THE second day of Round of 32 proceedings is almost complete at the trio of ATP 250 tournaments at Qatar, Marseille and Santiago, with plenty of formidable outcomes continuing to set the tone for the quality of matches.

At Qatar, David Goffin continued his excellent form of late with a 6-4 6-4 clean sweep over Filip Krajinovic, rendering the Serbian wasteful and winning a whopping 82 per cent of his first serve points. Proceedings did not go quite so well for fellow seed Stan Wawrinka who was outplayed by South African qualifier Lloyd Harris. Harris took the Swiss talent to three sets only to run out 7-6 6-7 7-5 victor in two hours and 40 minutes. Whilst Wawrinka had a higher first serve win rate (87 per cent), Harris was more efficient with an 81 per cent win rate off a 69 per cent clip to claim victory, with his cleanliness on serve (11 aces for three double faults) compared to Wawrinka’s 17 and five doing the trick in this encounter.

Wildcard Malek Jaziri managed an to capitalise on a wealth of chances in an excellent outing against lucky loser Norbert Gombos, defeating the Slovakian – who ranks 95th in the world to Jaziri’s 262nd – in straight sets, 6-2 7-5. In other matches, Daniel EvansVasek Pospisil and Marton Fucsovics all reigned supreme, with the former claiming a 6-4 1-6 6-2 comeback victory over Jeremy Chardy, whilst Pospisil and Fucsovics both won in straight sets.


[6] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-4 6-4
[Q] Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [7] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-6 6-7 7-5
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-4 1-6 6-2
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 7-6 6-3
[WC] Malek Jaziri (TUN) defeated [LL] Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-2 7-5
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) defeated [Q] Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 6-3 6-4


In Marseille, proceedings went much the way of the hometown heroes on day two as four Frenchman made their way through to the Round of 16. Wins to Pierre-Hugues HerbertJo-Wilfried TsongaLucas Pouille and Arthur Rinderknech kept France on the hunt, with the former and latter coming away with scalps as Herbert defeated sixth seed Kei Nishikori, whilst 138 ranked Rinderknech disposed of world number 96 Mikhail Kukushkin. Meanwhile, Tsonga got back on the winners list with a tough victory over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, with the 3-6 6-4 7-5 battle seeing the two players combine for 32 aces and only seven double faults in a two-hour and seven-minute encounter.

The only seed – of two – to win through on day two at the Open 13 Provence was Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, as the seventh seed Spaniard disposed of Greek wildcard Petros Tsitsipas – younger brother of world number five Stefanos – in 45 minutes, 6-0 6-2. Also joining Davidovich Fokina in the second round are Australian Matt Ebden and American Mackenzie McDonald, after both players fought hard for victories ovwer Benjamin Bonzi and Stefano Travaglia, respectively.


Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) defeated [6] Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-1 6-4
[7] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated [WC] Petro Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-0 6-2
Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated [Q] Alex Molcan (SVK) 7-5 6-3
[Q] Matthew Ebden (AUS) defeated [WC] Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) 3-6 7-6 6-3
[PR] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) defeated Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 7-6 7-6
[Q] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) defeated Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 1-6 6-3 6-2
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) defeated Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 3-6 6-4 7-5


The only tournament which saw two seeds prevail on day two was at Chile, with a couple of Argentinian seeds in Federico Coria and Federico Delbonis reigning supreme in three sets. A huge three-hour and 10-minute encounter between Coria and Gianluca Mager delayed a lot of the day’s proceedings, with the 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4) result not coming easy to the Argentinian. But overall, Coria was far more consistent on serve, with a better efficiency and winning ability, whilst also backing it up on the return. His compatriot in Delbonis took all of two hours and 51 minutes to dispose of Spaniard Jaume Munar, 6-4 6-7 6-4. Two more Argentinians were not so lucky though, with Sebastian Baez and Francisco Cerundolo both disposed of in straight sets, with the latter unable to back up his excellent finals-bound run from last week going down in under an hour to Andrej Martin.

It was an impressive day for qualifiers as three players continue through to the Round of 16 following consecutive days on court, with Dutch young gun Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune downing the aforementioned Baez 6-3 6-2, whilst Chilean Alejandro Tabilo defeated Jozef Kovalik 6-1 0-6 6-4 and Juan Pablo Varillas downed Joao Sousa. One match remains, with a duo of wildcards in hometown hope Gonzalo Lama and Argentinian Juan Manuel Cerundolo just beginning.


[Q] Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (NED) defeated [Q] Sebastian Baez (ARG) 6-3 6-2
[7] Federico Coria (ARG) defeated Gianluca Mager (ITA) 4-6 7-6 7-6
[8] Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-4 6-7 6-4
Andrej Martin (SVK) defeated [SE] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 6-1 6-2
[Q] Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) defeated Jozef Kovalik (SVK) 6-1 0-6 6-4
[Q] Juan Pablo Varillas (PER) defeated Joao Sousa (POR) 6-4 6-1
[WC] Gonzalo Lama (CHI) v. [WC] Juan Manuel Cerundolo (ARG)

ATP Tour wrap: Rublev’s 500 run continues as Schwartzman wins first home title

IT was a case of the best players winning, and two Top 10 talents in Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman have triumphed at respective tournaments in Rotterdam and Buenos Aires. For Rublev, it extended his winning streak at ATP 500 events out to a whopping 20 games, moving into outright third of all time now winning his fourth straight title at 500 tournaments. For Schwartzman, it marked his first ever title in his home nation of Argentina.

The Russian world number eight defeated Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics in a titanic battle, 7-6 6-4, making it seven straight ATP Tour Championship matches. He saved all four break point chances in the one-hour and 50-minute match in Rotterdam, whilst breaking his opponent once from six opportunities. Rublev won 75 and 63 per cent of his first and second serve points off a 74 per cent efficiency, while Fucsovics struggled off his second serve, winning just 47 per cent of his points.

“I feel happy. It has been a really great week,” Rublev said post-match. “It has been a great past year and a half. “We will see if I can keep going, if I can keep this level of competing [and] being a Top 10 [player].”

The Russian is a big-game player, having won all of his ATP Tour Finals since his triumph in Moscow, 2019. It has meant seven titles in the space of 18 months, only dropping one set in those matches. For Fucsovics, while the loss is disappointing, he was happy with how her performed throughout the tournament.

“It was a very positive week for me. I played unbelievable,” Fucsovics said during the trophy ceremony. “I came from qualifying. I played a lot of matches… I improved my game, so that is most important for me.”


[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [Q] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 7-6 6-4


Meanwhile down in Buenos Aires, Schwartzman finally cracked through for his first title in Argentina. The top seed and Top 10 player easily accounted for compatriot and qualifier, Francisco Cerundolo in the final. Cerundolo was hoping to follow in his younger brother Juan Manuel‘s footsteps, following his sibling’s maiden title win last month in Cordoba. It was not to be however, with Schwartzman needing just 81 minutes to dismiss the older Cerundolo, 6-1 6-2.

“I’m very, very happy, it’s been an amazing week for me,” Schwartzman said post-match. “It’s the first time that [I have won at] home. Two years ago, I reached the final here and lost… I was very unhappy, but two years later I have my revenge against Francisco, who is a great player.”

Schwartzman broke six times to one, with Cerundolo only holding serve twice during the match. The top seed won 65 and 57 per cent of his first and second serve points off a rocky 53 per cent, while Cerundolo’s serving efficiency was higher at 70 per cent, but only capitalised 50 and 28 per cent of the time off his serves. Schwartzman said while the result would have been disappointing for the family, they were in some great form.

“[Cerundolo] had a spectacular week, I’ve been following him since he qualified and we’ve had great conversations and talked about his matches,” Schwartzman said. “I also know his whole family, they were there at the same club where I started playing tennis before [Francisco] was born… This was his week, last week was [Juan Manuel’s] week.”


[1] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated [Q] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 6-1 6-2


Picture credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Rublev and Schwartzman to face qualifiers in Rotterdam and Buenos Aires

A huge chance to win titles, two qualifiers will head into the respective finals in Rotterdam and Buenos Aires as underdogs.

Straight sets wins to fourth seed Russian Andrey Rublev and Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics has set up a huge World Tennis Tournament final today. Rublev took down second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a massive semi-final results, winning 6-3 7-6, while Fucsovics knocked off Croatian Borna Coric 6-4 6-1 to advance through to the next round of action.

In a match lasting 97 minutes, Rublev won by saving all five break point opportunities from the Greek talent, whilst breaking twice himself in the first set. That helped him win it 6-3, but he was forced to dig deep int he second set, before pulling off a strong tiebreaker result and winning that, 7-2. Throughout the match he won 84 per cent of his first serve points and 50 per cent of his second serve points, just ahead of Tsitsipas’ 74 and 41 per cent respectively.

Rublev, who lost to Tsitsipas at last year’s ATP Finals via a deciding set tiebreak after having a match point, hit 34 winners and moved to 19 consecutive wins in ATP 500 events after victories in Hamburg, St Petersburg and Vienna last year. If he wins the final, he moved to outright third for that statistic.

“[I play tennis] to play at the best level, to play at the best tournaments, to try to compete, then to go deep and to try to win them,” Rublev said post-match. “A final is always special, so I am going to try to do my best tomorrow.”

Meanwhile Fucsovics only needed 86 minutes to dispose of Coric, serving four aces to two, and winning a dominant 75 and 62 per cent of his first and second serve points compared to the Hungarian’s 57 and 28 per cent respectively. Crucially, Fucsovics broke from all five chances he created, whilst saving two of three break point opportunities from Coric to advance through to the Rotterdam final.


[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-3 7-6
[Q] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Borna Coric (CRO) 6-4 6-1


Argentinian fans will have plenty of reasons to watch the Argentina Open final in Buenos Aires, with the two competitors hailing from the home nation. The combatants certainly have different stories, with the top seed and Top 10 player Diego Schwartzman taking on 22-year-old qualifier Francisco Cerundolo who both made it through respective semi-finals. Schwartzman defeated fourth seed Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets, while Cerundolo needed three sets to knocked off fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

In Schwartzman’s victory, he won 6-0 6-4 in an hour and 22 minutes to advance through to the final, as the top seed served four aces to zero, winning 78 and 50 per cent of his first and second serve points off a 64 per cent efficiency. For Kecmanovic, he struggled despite saving four break points, with Schwartzman breaking him three times in the first set and once in the second set, and saving Kecmanovic’s only break point chance to book a spot in the tournament final.

Cerundolo is ranked way down in 137th with a career-high of 135th last month set to change after reaching the final in Buenos Aires. It has been a big month for the Cerundolo family, with younger brother Juan-Manuel winning his first ATP Tour title last month in Cordoba, and now the older Francisco looks to repeat the feat with a similar run from qualifying. He took two hours and 35 minutes to upset Ramos-Vinolas, breaking four times to five, but being steadier in the deciding set after snatching the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 3-6 6-2 to advance through to the final match of the tournament.


[1] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated [4] Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-0 6-4
[Q] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) defeated [5] Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 7-6 3-6 6-2


Picture credit: ATP Tour

ATP Tour wraps: Tsitsipas and Rublev set up exciting semi at Rotterdam

THE 2021 Rotterdam and Argentina Opens have hit the quarter finals stage, with opposing results across the two tournaments with predictable outcomes from the seeds in the Netherlands, whilst Buenos Aires saw some intriguing results.

At Rotterdam, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev have set up an excellent semi final after overcoming their respective quarter final opposition in Karen Khachanov and Jeremy Chardy in three sets each. Rublev was well and truly challenged by Chardy, with the two hour and 39 minute matchup requiring two tiebreaker sets before Rublev ran away with the 7-6 6-7 6-4 result. The Russian utilised his huge serve, capitalising with 15 aces for zero double faults, compared to Chardy’s nine and seven. Meanwhile, Tsitsipas had it slightly easier despite going three minutes longer than Rublev, coming back from a set down to win 4-6 6-3 7-5.

Croatian Borna Coric overcame a haughty Kei Nishikori in straight sets but was taken to two tiebreakers in the two hour long match, with the two players unable to be split throughout for a 7-6(2) 7-6(4) result. Coric utilised his service game to full effect in the maqtchup, winning 82 per cent of first serve points and hitting 11 aces off a 64 per cent clip, and was marginally more effective on his second serve than Nishikori. The final match saw Marton Fucsovics down Tommy Paul in the quickest encounter of the day, winning 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes.


[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Karen Khachanov (RUS) 4-6 6-3 7-5
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [Q] Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 6-7 6-4
Borna Coric (CRO) defeated Kei Nishikori (JPN) 7-6 7-6
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 6-4 6-3

In Argentina, the day’s encounters went a different way as a couple of seeds fell, with one – top seed and homegrown talent Diego Schwartzman – still yet to complete his matchup against qualifier Jaume Munar. Sixth seed Pablo Andujar took on the red-hot Francisco Cerundolo, with the Argentinian 22-year-old taking every chance he can get on home soil and coming away with another excellent win despite a shocking first set, 1-6 6-3 6-2. Cerundolo was marginally better overall off both his service and return games, recovering well after the first set to come away with a solid victory in two hours and 11 minutes. The other seed to fall was seventh seed Serbian Laslo Djere, who was unfortunate to draw compatriot and fourth seed, Miomir Kecmanovic. Kecmanovic realistically never looked like losing this matchup, taking out the first set 6-4 with relative ease, and whilst the second set dragged on in a tight 7-6(6) tiebreaker, it was enough to remain on top.

Meanwhile, fifth seed Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas encountered a fighting Sumit Nagal, with the Indian qualifier fighting until the bitter end in a huge two hour and 26 minute 4-6 6-2 7-5 encounter. The final match result of the round between Schwartzman and Munar could eventually set up an all-Argentinian battle in the final matchup, making this one a huge battle for the Argentinian top seed in Buenos Aires.


[4] Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) v. [7] Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-4 7-6
[5] Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated [Q] Sumit Nagal (IND) 4-6 6-2 7-5
[Q] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) defeated [6] Pablo Andujar (ESP) 1-6 6-3 6-2
[1] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) v. [Q] Jaume Munar (ESP)

ATP Tour wraps: Seeds fall in Round of 16 at Rotterdam and Buenos Aires

PLENTY went on at the two ATP Tour competitions during their respective Day 4 proceedings. Today’s Round of 16 matches at the Argentina ATP 250 tournament are still only part-way done, but the pressure is on with one seed winning and one seed falling already at both competitions today, and a couple more yet to take the court.

Rotterdam’s day is complete, headlined by an excellent win from qualifying Frenchman Jeremy Chardy over sixth seed David Goffin, whilst Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame a headstrong Hubert Hurkacz. The tight encounter between Chardy and Goffin was the one to watch, as the two plus-30-year-olds committed to a 7-6 7-6 result in one hour and 43 minutes, as Chardy narrowly came away with the second set tiebreaker 7-5. It was the Frenchman’s first serve efficiency that saved his game, serving at an excellent 73 per cent clip compared to Goffin’s 58 per cent, and while both players won 78 per cent of their first serve points, Chardy narrowly had more winning chances with 40 made from 51 attempts to Goffin’s 36 from 46.

The matchup between Tsitsipas and Hurkacz was nothing to scoff at though, with the 6-4 4-6 7-5 result seeing Hurkacz come close to executing a huge comeback after a tight first set. Whilst the Polish world number 30 made Tsitsipas fight for victory, with eight aces to the Greek’s three, Hurkacz also made more unforced errors and racked up six double faults to Tsitsipas’ nil, with the story told in their respective service efficiency. Tsitsipas won 80 per cent of his first serve points off a 66 per cent clip (54 from 82) compared to Hurkacz’s 76 per cent off 57 per cent (54 from 95), with the latter wasting opportunities.

In other games, qualifier Marton Fucsovics continued his solid run with a straight sets 6-3 6-2 victory over Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in just over 90 minutes, as Croatian Borna Coric picked up an identical result in one hour and 12 minutes over Dusan Lajovic, and Tommy Paul came from a set down to defeat Kazakh Alexander Bublik 6-7 6-3 6-1.


[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-4 4-6 7-5
[Q] Jeremy Chardy (FRA) defeated [6] David Goffin (BEL) 7-6 7-6
Tommy Paul (USA) defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-7 6-3 6-1
Borna Coric (CRO) defeated Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-3 6-2
[Q] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 6-3 6-2


In Argentina, proceedings have gone much the same as sixth seed Pablo Andujar defeated Italian Gianluca Mager in straight sets, whilst Benoit Paire struggled to maintain pressure on qualifying Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo, winning the first set but unable to clinch the win in three sets following a disagreement with the chair umpire. The battle between Andujar and Mager took over two hours to complete, as Andujar won the first set 6-4 following an early break, whilst Mager well and truly took it to the Spaniard in the second set before eventually going down 6-4 7-6 in 121 minutes. Whilst Mager hit 10 aces and three double faults to Andujar’s three apiece, the sixth seed made better use of his service games and was more consistent overall, utilising all his experience to outlast the world number 101.

In the encounter between Paire and Cerundolo, it was the 22-year-old Argentinian who came out on top in the 4-6 6-3 6-1 matchup, with Paire’s docked points following a disagreement in the second set resulting in the Frenchman appearing to “tank” for the remainder of the match. But that was not to say that Cerundolo did not deserve the victory, with his whopping 81 per cent service efficiency proving crucial, winning just 67 per cent of his first serve points but having more opportunities to get on the board. Cerundolo also saved 71 per cent (five from seven) of his break points, as the Frenchman struggled to effectively compete after the tight first set.

At time of publish, Jaume Munar leads Frances Tiafoe in their encounter, as the Spaniard took out the tight 7-6 (7-4) first set. The remaining match will see top seed and homegrown hero Diego Schwartzman take the court against qualifying Slovakian Lukas Klein.


[Q] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) defeated [3] Benoit Paire (FRA) 4-6 6-3 6-1
[6] Pablo Andujar (ESP) defeated Gianluca Mager (ITA) 6-4 7-6
[1] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) v. [Q] Lukas Klein (SVK)
[Q] Jaume Munar (ESP) v. [8] Frances Tiafoe (USA)

ATP Tour wrap: Mixed day for Russia in Rotterdam

IT was a mixed day at Rotterdam for Russians at the World Tennis Tournament, whilst the Argentina Open had more predictable results.

It was a mixed day of emotions for Russia at the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, with the second and third ranked Russians winning through to the quarter finals, though top seed Daniil Medvedev fell in the opening round. The world number three went down to Serbian Dusan Lajovic who toppled the Australian Open finalist, 7-6 6-4 in a stunning upset.

It was much better news for fourth seed Andrey Rublev, and Top 25 player Karen Khachanov who both won in straight sets to book their spots in the quarter finals. Rublev held off a determined Andy Murray, defeating the Grand Slam winner and British wildcard, 7-5 6-3. Khachanov toppled Murray’s compatriot, qualifier Cameron Norrie a lot easier, winning 6-2 6-2 to advance to the final eight.

The only other Round of 16 match that took place was Japan’s Kei Nishikori winding back the clock to defeat Australian Alex de Minaur. Nishikori looks over his injury-riddled past, and is building form in the first couple of months of 2021.

Of the four Round of 32 matches, Medvedev was not the only big scalp to fall on the third day of the tournament, as third seed Alexander Zverev met the same fate. The German went down to Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in straight sets 7-5 6-3, leaving Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and sixth seed David Goffin as the only remaining seeds left in the ATP 500 event. Goffin won well in a 6-4 6-0 crushing of German Jan-Lennard Struff, while in the other first round match completed, American Tommy Paul knocked off Italian Lorenzo Sonego, 6-4 7-6.

The remaining Round of 16 matches take place tomorrow, with Bublik taking on Paul, Goffin locking horns with French qualifier Jeremy Chardy, Tsitsipas facing Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, Lajovic meeting Croatian Borna Coric, and Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics up against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.


[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [WC] Andy Murray (GBR) 7-5 6-2
Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated [Q] Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-2 6-2
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3 2-6 7-5


Dusan Lajovic (SRB) defeated [1] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 7-6 6-4
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated [3] Alexander Zverev (GER) 7-5 6-3
[6] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-4 6-0
Tommy Paul (USA) defeated Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-4 7-6


The first half of the Round of 16 matches in Buenos Aires were completed overnight, with the seeds all advancing against their respective opponents. While second seed Cristian Garin was about to step out on court against Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal in the final match of the day, it is expect the clay court specialist will take care of business there.

In the three other seeded matches, fourth seed Miomir Kecmanovic, fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas and seventh seed Laslo Djere all advanced through to the quarter finals. Kecmanovic toppled Brazilian Thiago Monteiro in three sets 5-7 6-3 6-4, Ramos-Vinolas won in straight sets over German Dominik Koepfer 7-5 6-4, and Djere got up with a tight 7-6 6-3 victory over home nation representative Federico Delbonis.

Tomorrow’s action features top seed Argentinian Diego Schwartzman up against Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein, as another Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo tries his luck against second seed Benoit Paire. Other seeds in action are sixth seed Pablo Andujar up against Italian Gianluca Mager, and eighth seed Frances Tiafoe taking on Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar.


[2] Cristian Garin (CHI) vs. [Q] Sumit Nagal (IND)
[4] Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 5-7 6-3 6-4
[5] Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 7-5 6-4
[7] Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Federico Delbonis (ARG) 7-6 6-3

Picture credit: ATP Tour

ATP Tour wraps: Seeds prevail in tight contests on Day 2 at Rotterdam, Buenos Aires

DAY 2 at both the Rotterdam and Buenos Aires ATP tournaments saw plenty of tight encounters, as seeds reigned supreme for the most part but were certainly challenged as they did so.

At Rotterdam, second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was made to work for his victory over world number 76 Egor Gerasimov, as the Belarusian used everything in his arsenal in the 7-6 7-5 encounter. Taken to just under two hours on court, Tsitsipas marginally controlled his return games (31 per cent to 27 per cent) which led to the win and saved ix of eight break points to command victory. Fourth seed Russian Andrey Rublev came away relatively unscathed in comparison, defeating qualifier Marcos Giron 7-6 6-3, whilst the remaining seed in Stan Wawrinka was not quite as fortunate, disposed of in straight sets by Rublev’s compatriot Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-5.

A couple of compatriots faced off with only one of each nation surviving amongst all-French and all-Australian battles. The results flipped across the two as Jeremy Chardy upset Ugo Humbert in the lone three-setter of the day, whilst Alex de Minaur kept up his great form with a 6-1 6-4 win over John Millman in one hour and 18 minutes, with this the only match of the day that did not feature a seventh game or tiebreaker set. In the remaining matches, another Frenchman fell as Hubert Hukacz disposed of Adrian Mannarino, whilst Borna Coric defeated homegrown wildcard Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-4 7-6.


[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 7-6 7-5
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [Q] Marcos Giron (USA) 7-6 6-3
Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated [8] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 6-4 7-5
[Q] Jeremy Chardy (FRA) defeated Ugo Humbert (FRA) 4-6 7-6 7-6
Alex de Minaur (AUS) defeated John Millman (AUS) 6-1 6-4
Hubert Hurkacz (POL) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-3 7-6
Borna Coric (CRO) defeated [WC] Botic Van de Zandschulp (NED) 6-4 7-6

In Buenos Aires, the two seeds were successful although one got a lot more of a wake up call than he probably would have liked, as fifth seed Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas was tested by Danish 17-year-old Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune in the lone three-set encounter of the day. Whilst Rune was eventually disposed of in just under two hours, the wildcard certainly made himself known during his ATP Tour main draw debut, taking out the first set before falling 2-6 6-4 6-3 to the experienced Spaniard. American Frances Tiafoe also reigned supreme, with the eighth seed downing Argentinian Facundo Bagnis in 68 minutes 6-1 6-3, marginally the quickest win of the day, just pipping qualifier Sumit Nagal at the post following the Indian’s 70-minute 6-2 6-0 sweep of Joao Sousa.

With a number of Argentinians competing on home soil, not everyone could go through to the Round of 16 as qualifiers reigned supreme against their experienced foes. Francisco Cerundolo battled hard to overcome compatriot Federico Coria, 6-4 7-5, whilst wildcard Facundo Diaz Acosta could not hold up under pressure from qualifying Spaniard Jaume Munar, going down in the 7-6 6-3 encounter. The remaining matches saw Lukas Klein down Andrey Martin in straight sets, whilst a tight all-Italian battle between Gianluca Mager and Salvatore Caruso saw the former come away with five aces and bragging rights.

One match remains to complete in Argentina, as compatriots Federico Delbonis and 19-year-old Juan Manuel Cerundolo go head-to-head to close out the Round of 32, with Delbonis leading 3-2 in the first set at time of publish.


[5] Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated [WC] Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (DEN) 2-6 6-4 6-3
[8] Frances Tiafoe (USA) defeated Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 6-1 6-3
[Q] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) defeated Federico Coria (ARG) 6-4 7-5
[Q] Lukas Klein (SVK) defeated Andrej Martin (SVK) 6-4 6-3
Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated Salvatore Caruso (ITA) 7-6 6-4
[Q] Jaume Munar (ESP) defeated [WC] Facundo Diaz Acosta (ARG) 7-6 6-3
[Q] Sumit Nagal (IND) defeated Joao Sousa (POR) 6-2 6-0
Federico Delbonis (ARG) v. Juan Manuel Cerundolo (ARG)

Picture credit: ANP