Challenger Tour: Adrian Mannarino off to strong start, Alejandro Falla recovers - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Tour: Adrian Mannarino off to strong start, Alejandro Falla recovers



Top seed Adrian Mannarino’s ranking is separate to everyone else’s in the draw by a long margin but he got the win expected of him on the first day (Image va

The top seed in Noumea, New Caledonia got his 2016 campaign off to an excellent start. Adrian Mannarino easily dismissed Italian Federico Gaio in straight sets 6-0, 6-4.


Mannarino was joined by the second, fifth and sixth seeds respectively, as there were no early shocks to found on Monday.  Alejandro Falla’s match with American Mitchell Kreuger was the closest to result in a shock, as the American had stormed through the first set only to see Falla recover in an eventual for 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory. Blaz Rola and Jordan Thompson both secured their passage into with considerable winning their respectable matches over Luke Saville and Darian King for the loss of seven games apiece.

James McGee and Jan Mertl both progressed in straight sets, but it was a match between a pair of French wildcards that was the best of the day. Maxime Janvier managed to defeat Nicolas N’Godrela in a marathon match that latest just under three hours. The final score was 7-6, 5-7, 7-5. The match is already a contender to be the longest Challenger match of 2016 here in the first week.

The match of Tuesday is likely to be that of 4th seed Adrian Menedez Maceiras’ encounter with young Frenchman Quentin Halys. These two played out a close match in Segovia last year, with Maceiras eventually winning in the third. Halys has some good wins on the Challenger circuit in 2015, though his biggest came in Valencia Qualifying, where he ousted then No.98 Rajeev Ram in straight sets.

All eyes will also be on Julien Benneteau as he takes to court for the first time in nearly nine months. He starts against fellow Frenchman Florian Reynet.

Tuesdays singles matches (selected picks in bold)


Adrian Menendez Macieras vs Quentin Halys

Bastian Trinker vs Alessandro Giannessi

Florian Reynet vs Julien Benneteau

Maxime Chazal vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin

Isaac Frost vs Daniel Brands

Tristan Lamasine vs Stefan Napolitano

Marco Trungelliti vs Maximilian Marterer

Henri Laaksonen vs Mathias Bourgue

Jordi Samper-Montana vs Connor Smith

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Anna-Lena Groenefeld announces the end of her career



Anna-Lena Groenefeld has ended her career to start a family. The 34-year-old German player started her professional career in 2003 after becoming the first German player since 1957 to win the Junior French Open and the junior world number 1 in both singles and doubles disciplines.


Groenefeld won a WTA singles title in Acapulco in 2006 beating Flavia Pennetta in Acapulco and advanced the quarter finals at the French Open in the same year. She achieved the best results of her career in doubles reaching her career-high of number 7, qualified seven Grand Slam semifinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open and won two mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon 2009 and at the US Open 2014. Groenefeld reached three Premier 5 doubles finals in Rome, Toronto and Cincinnati and the semifinals in her farewell tournament at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen with her partner Demi Schuurs.

Groenefeld announced on social media:

“This little girl had dreams. For the last 18 years, she was able to live one of them. Now it’s time to hopefully fulfil another dream of having a family. I want to say thank you to everyone, who was by my side through all those years in the ups and downs. My family, friends and all of you who followed and supported me all those years. Thank you”.

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Vincenzo Santopadre: “Berrettini has become the coach of himself”



The Italian 23-year-old player broke into the top 10 of the ATP Ranking on 28 October and reached the career-high at world number 8 on 4 November.


Berrettini’s coach Vincenzo Santopadre talked about the Italian star’s exciting year during an interview to FIT (Italian Tennis Federation).

“The past year has been incredible and exciting. Matteo has contunued to outdo himself every day, managing to complete himself exponentally and gradually become the coach of himself. He has improved in every aspect. It is no coincidence that he has collected results on all surfaces”, said Santopadre.

In his breakthrough season Berrettini became the first ATP Finals singles qualifier from Italy since former number 8 player and current Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti in 1978. Only three Italian players in history (Adriano Panatta, Corrado Barazzutti and Matteo Berrettini) have managed to qualify for the year-end ATP Finals

Berrettini won two titles in Budapest on clay and Stuttgart on grass and reached ATP 500 semifinals at Halle, Vienna and became the first Italian player in history to reach a Masters 1000 semifinal in Shanghai.

He became the second Italian player in history to reach the US Open semifinal and the fourth player in the history of Italian tennis to reach a Grand Slam semifinal following in the footsteps of Adriano Panatta, Corrado Barazzutti and Marco Cecchinato. Berrettini reached the Wimbledon fourth round by defeating Diego Schwartzman after saving three match points.

“Matteo has matured so much this year. We must continue to trust him because he is a guy, who gives so much passion and will.

 Berrettini will start the 2020 season at the ATP Cup in Perth before the Australian Open.

 “I don’t know if the season that will come will be more difficult, but it will certainly be different due to the expectations that Matteo was able to create: 2020 is upon us. Now it is right to recharge the batteries, but we must be ready because it will be an important year”, said Santopadre.


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Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Venus Williams are the stand-out names in Adelaide



Four top 10 players Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens and former Grand Slam champions Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber will grab the headlines at the Adelaide International from 12 to 18 January 2020.


A total of seven Grand Slam champions and five former world number one players will take part in the Adelaide WTA tourament.

This year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty leads a star-studded line-up, which includes 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and seven other members of the top 20.

The Main Draw also features Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins, World Number 30 Quang Wang. World Number 12 and this Rome WTA Premier finalist Johanna Konta will play her first tournament since the US Open following a knee injury.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been announced as the Top 20 wildcard.

“It is always exciting to play at a new tournament in front of new fans. I have had so many memorable times times in Australia over the years and I am looking forward to discovering Adelaide and all it has to offer”, said Venus Williams.

The men’s line-up includes 2019 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Alex De Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Andrey Rublev.

“The full list of players is a real who’s who of tennis, from Australia’s favourite Ashleigh Barty to the iconic Venus Williams, right through to the young talent of Alex De Minaur and the experienced campaigner Novak Djokovic in the men’s field”, said South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.

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