Paul-Henri Mathieu left with a clear field, as all other seeds fall in second round in Rennes - UBITENNIS
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ATP Challenger

Paul-Henri Mathieu left with a clear field, as all other seeds fall in second round in Rennes

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Second seed Paul-Henri Mathieu will now be the heavy ranking favourite in Rennes, as the Frenchman is the only seed left standing after just the second round.

After top seed Jeremy Chardy’s shock early exit in the first round to Andrey Rublev, and Evgeny Donskoy’s retirement vs Kenny de Schepper, an exodus of seeds then departed in round two.

(2) Paul-Henri Mathieu defeats Arthur de Greef 67 64 75. Mathieu may have been the only seed to move into the quarter-finals, but Belgian opponent de Greef did not make things easy for him. The world no. 142 took a close set in which he faced no break points and won more than 90% his first serve delivery. Mathieu struck in the second, saving three break points before breaking once from two opportunities. De Greef’s first serve then faltered a little in the third, and the second seed broke twice late on to move forward into the quarter-finals.

Duckhee Lee defeats (6) Lukas Rosol 63 46 63. Lee will have been disappointed to lose to Alexander Bublik in Australian Open Qualifying, but bounced back impressively to beat Rosol. The teenager Korean faced no break points in sets one and three, and that was enough to defeat the sixth seed.

Blaz Kavcic defeats (4) Sergiy Stakhovsky 64 67 76. Roger Federer may have lost to Stakhovsky once in a shock result at Wimbledon, but the Ukrainian has not shown that kind of form for some time. Now ranked outside the Top 100, Stakhovsky saw fifteen aces fired past him. The fact that Stakhovsky failed to break in the first set from seven opportunities will also hurt.

Vincent Millot defeats (5) Guido Andreozzi 76 46 62. Of all the shocks for seedings in the second round, this was probably the least suprising. Andreozzi is most comfortable on clay, and Millot plays well at these sorts of events. Millot also just missed a seeding in this event, and it was almost surprising he failed to close this one out in straight sets.

Mathias Bourgue defeats (3) Josef Kovalik 76 64. This is now an alarming set of results for Kovalik. The Slovakian lost when highly seeded in the first round of Australian Open Qualifying, and this result makes it back-to-back first round defeats. There were admittedly easier second round match-ups than that of Bourgue,  who will now face Teymuraz Gabashvili in the quarter-finals.

Uladzimir Ignaitik defeats (8) Tobias Kamke. Kamke managed to turn around an alarming late 2015/early 2016 with some better results towards the latter stages of last season. However, if this result is anything to go by, the Germany cold be regressing back to that poor form. Ignatik is ranked nearly seventy places beneath Kamke, and lost in qualifying so was not in good form, making this result all the more surprising.

Teymuraz Gabashvili defeats Kenny de Schepper 64 63. De Schepper was the beneficiary of Evgeny Donskoy’s withdrawal from their match when de Schepper had led 4-1, but the tall Frenchman was unable to beat his Russian opponent. Gabashvili is an experienced player and will be a real handful for anyone left in the draw.

 

 

 

ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas cruises past Kevin Anderson to reach the third round at the Western and Southern Open in New York

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Last year’s ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson 6-1 6-3 after 69 minutes to advance to the third round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. 

 

Tsitsipas came into his match against Anderson with a a 2-1 lead in their three previous head-to-head matches in 2018. The young Greek player beat his South African rival in the Round of 16 in Estoril (6-7 6-3 6-3) and in the Rogers Cup semifinal (6-7 6-4 7-6 after saving a match point). Anderson scored his only win in the Round of 16 in Shanghai (6-4 7-6). 

“I think the fact that I kept my serve very aggressive and I remained aggressive with my groundstrokes helped a lot and I am pleased that I was able to maintain my game throughout the entire match, the same intensity. It was an excellent first set. It was great”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas broke four times and fended off three break points he faced. Tsitsipas broke three times in a row to win the first set 6-1. At 2-2 in the second set Tsitsipas went down 0-40 on his serve. Anderson hit a forehand return, but Tsitsipas recovered with a passing shot. Tsitsipas saved three break points to hold his serve at love in the fifth game and broke serve at 15 in the eighth game after Anderson made a double fault. 

“The fifth game was crucial. Being able to come back there and maintain the focus that I focus that I needed to be back in the match and not be a break down, that was a very good effort from me. It was my fighting spirit that turned on and my service points there were incredible”, said Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas will face either John Isner or John Millman in the third round. 

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ATP

2020 US Open: ATP Players Presented With Three Options, Decision Time Approaches

The USTA explained their working hypotheses: Cincinnati would come at the expense of the qualifying tournament. All players to be hosted in a hotel at JFK airport

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No ground-breaking news were revealed on Wednesday during the conference call organized by the ATP for all its players. Almost 400 members participated to the call, where CEO Andrea Gaudenzi and Chairman Massimo Calvelli presented the various options on the table for the US Open and the Cincinnati Masters 1000.

The newly appointed US Open Tournament Director, Stacey Allaster, was invited to present the three options available:

  • The US Open and the Masters 1000 to be played at Flushing Meadows, but this would require the cancellation of the qualifying tournament and the downsizing of the doubles draw to 24 couples;
  • The cancellation of Cincinnati with the US Open maintaining the qualifying draw and a full-size doubles event;
  • The cancellation of both Cincinnati and the US Open.

The US Open prize money will be maintained at 95% of 2019 levels, which still means an increase over 2018; the cancellation of Cincinnati would result in a 2 million dollar saving for the USTA, and the money would likely be distributed among the players who were not allowed to compete in the qualifying tournament.

All players and allowed entourage will be hosted at the TWA Hotel, located near Terminal 5 at JFK Airport. The hotel, opened in May 2019, has been build repurposing the iconic Eero Saarinen building that was Trans World Airlines’ terminal between 1962 and 2001. All 512 rooms will be occupied by players and staff of the US Open, and the property claims to be the hotel with the biggest gym in the world.

The distance between the hotel and Flushing Meadows would be comparable to the distance from the traditional Manhattan hotels, but obviously the ambiance would be significantly different, since players would most likely be “prisoners” of the TWA hotels during their days off and outside their practice sessions.

It has been revealed that each player would be able to designate up to two members of his staff to accompany him, provided these two members share a room at the TWA hotel and only one of them travels with the player to Flushing Meadows.

Players would now need to evaluate the options and communicate their preference to the USTA. ATP President Gaudenzi confirmed during the call that players unwilling to travel to New York would not be penalized ranking-wise should the tournament go ahead.

A final decision is expected by 15 June.




 

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ATP Challenger

Ten Top-100 Players To Play Indian Wells Challenger Before The Master 1000

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The tournament is part of the Oracle Challenger Series and gives a good chance to get ready for the BNP Paribas Open.

The Indian Wells Challenger has been played since 2018 in the venue of the BNP Paribas Open: the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Southern California. The event has a prize money of $162.480 and offers 125 ATP points to the singles and the doubles champions.

This year, the singles draw shows a huge line-up with all the 16 seeds ranked in the top-117 and names like those of Ugo Humbert, Lucas Pouille, Jannik Sinner and Frances Tiafoe. All the seeded players have a bye and start their campaign in the second round, but many high level first round matches are still on the line.

On Monday, former Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung is set to play his first match of the season, as he faces Thai-Son Kwiatkowski on Stadium 5, while Jack Sock will play against 25 year-old Kaichi Uchida. Other interesting match-ups involve Akira Santillan against fellow 22 year-old Michael Mmoh and Mischa Zverev against JC Aragone.

Two qualifying-draw matches will be played as well, with 39 year-old Stephane Robert and Gage Brymer facing respectively doubles specialists Sem Verbeek and Hunter Reese. The winners will advance to the main draw and will meet Maxime Cressy, who comes from a title and a final in Canada in the last two weeks, and Roberto Marcora.

World’s number 7 Alexander Zverev will surprisingly play doubles with his brother Mischa: they are the 3rd seeds and will play against Sebastian Korda and Mitchell Krueger. The American pair of Nicholas Monroe and Jackson Withrow is at the top of the draw.

 

Indian Wells Challenger, main draw:
Ugo Humbert [1, FRA] bye
Kaichi Uchida (JPN) vs Jack Sock (PR, USA)
Michael Redlicki (USA) vs Zhe Li (CHN)
Evgeny Donskoy [13, RUS] bye
Denis Kudla [11, USA] bye
Maxime Janvier (FRA) vs Bradley Klahn (USA)
Q vs Maxime Cressy (USA)
Jannik Sinner [6, ITA] bye
Cameron Norrie [3, GBR] bye
Roberto Marcora (ITA) vs Q
Keegan Smith (USA) vs Ryan Peniston (GBR)
Marcos Giron [14, USA] bye
Salvatore Caruso [10, ITA] bye
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (USA) vs Hyeon Chung (KOR)
Liam Broady (GBR) vs Brandon Nakashima (USA)
Yuichi Sugita [7, JPN] bye
Frances Tiafoe [8, USA] bye
Akira Santillan (AUS) vs Michael Mmoh (USA)
Mischa Zverev (GER) vs JC Aragone (USA)
Gregoire Barrere [9, FRA] bye
Christopher O’Connell [15, AUS] bye
Brandon Holt (WC, USA) vs Sebastian Korda (USA)
Mitchell Krueger (USA) vs Dudi Sela (ISR)
Radu Albot [4 WC, MDA] bye
Steve Johnson [5, USA] bye
Govind Nanda (WC, USA) vs Marc Polmans (AUS)
Blake Mott (PR, AUS) vs Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
Taro Daniel [12, JPN] bye
Peter Gojowczyk [16, GER] bye
Marius Copil (ROU) vs Raymond Sarmiento (PR, USA)
Noah Rubin (USA) vs Danilo Petrovic (SRB)
Lucas Pouille [2, FRA] bye




 

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