ATP Montpellier Preview: Alexander Zverev looking to put disappointing Davis Cup behind him - UBITENNIS
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ATP Montpellier Preview: Alexander Zverev looking to put disappointing Davis Cup behind him



Alexander Zverev earned many fans after his match with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, but disappointed in the Davis Cup (

Teenage German Alexander Zverev will be looking to put a dreadful Davis Cup result behind him as men’s tennis returns to the ATP World Tour for the first time since before the Australian Open. He is the fourth seed at the Sud de France Open in Montpellier.


Zverev was part of a favoured German team that lost to a Belgium side inspired by Steve Darcis, who defeated Zverev on Sunday, after he had taken down Philipp Kohlschreiber on Friday in five sets. Zverev had also paired with his brother Mischa, but had lost to the Belgian pair of Rueben Bemelmans and Joris de Loore. Mischa Zverev is seeded for the first time in an ATP event after his run to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The tournament also sees Marin Cilic feature as the top seed. Cilic is under heavy pressure to win ATP points now, as early season losses to Jozef Kovalik in Chennai, and Dan Evans in the second round of the Australian Open, mean the Croatian will be under pressure later in the year.

Richard Gasquet is the defending champion and has a bye in the first round as the third seed. Veteran Paul-Henri Mathieu, who made last year’s final, will be under severe pressure to defend 150 ATP points.

ATP Montpellier Draw: (Picks in bold)

(1) Marin Cilic – Bye

Dustin Brown vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Benoit Paire vs Karen Khachanov

Qualifier vs (5 WC) Feliciano Lopez

(3) Richard Gasquet – Bye

Qualifier vs Malek Jaziri

Illya Marchenko vs (WC) Quentin Halys

Dan Evans vs (6) Mischa Zverev

(7) Marcel Granollers vs Jeremy Chardy

Paul-Henri Mathieu vs Qualifier

Aljaz Bedene vs Borna Coric

Bye – (4) Alexander Zverev

(8) Fernando Verdasco vs Qualifier

Daniil Medvedev vs Tobias Kamke

Qualifier vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Bye – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

  • Qualifiers identities are not yet determined, so it is not fair to make the picks in their matches just yet.

I have picked Daniil Medvedev to defeat Tobias Kamke, though it is worth noting that Medvedev was forced to retire from his Davis Cup rubber with Novak Djokovic at the weekend. However, he took a set so I’m inclined to believe he should be sufficiently fit to take on Kamke


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World Tennis League: Swiatek And Medvedev Among Top Names To Play Exhibition Event



image via ATP Twitter

During the off-season, some of the world’s best players will head to the United Arab Emirates next month to play in a four-day team event. 


The World Tennis League (WTL) will host its second edition between December 21-24 at the Yas Island’s Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The event features a total of 16 players split into four groups with each of those teams competing for the trophy. Every group will have their own coach and even an owner. 

Earlier this week, organizers confirmed the last players to be added to the line-up. Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz will all play in the event which will feature a combination of singles and mixed doubles matches. Those who have already confirmed their entry include Iga Swiatek, Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

As for who is in what group, the SG Mavericks Kites features Sabalanka, Tsitsipas, Paula Badosa and Grigor Dimitrov. The owners of that team are SG Sports, the sporting arm of APL Apollo Tubes. An Indian-based structural steel tube brand. Their coach will be former Australian Open doubles champion Robert Lindstedt.

Team Eagles will be made up of Medvedev, Rublev, Sofia Kenin and Mirra Andreeva. Their owners are the Punit Balan Group. Balan is an Indian film producer and owner of several sporting teams. They will be coached by John-Laffnie De Jager who has previously worked with the likes of Kevin Anderson, Daniella Hantuchova and Ajla Tomljanovic.

The Honor FX Falcons is named after owners Honor FX features. Rybakina, Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Leylah Fernandez are in that group which will be led by Chris Groh. Groh has previously coached Fritz during his teenage years. 

Finally, The Hawkes team has Swiatek, Hurkacz, Ruud and Caroline Garcia. The team are the only one yet to have an official owner. Sweden’s Simon Aspelin will be their coach. 

“We’re thrilled to be announcing more star names to our exceptional tennis line-up for season two of the World Tennis League,” Rajesh Banga, chairman of the World Tennis League, said.
“These players are of the highest calibre and prominent names around the world so we’re pleased they will be competing in the unique tournament at our new home in Etihad Arena.”

The schedule of the event will be the following:-

DAY ONE: Hawks Vs Honor FX Falcons, Team Eagles Vs SG Mavericks Kites

DAY TWO: Honor FX Falcons Vs SG Mavericks Kites, Team Eagles Vs Team Hawks 

Day Three: Team Eagles Vs Honor FX Falcons, SG Maverick Kites Vs Team Hawks

Day Four: knockout rounds

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Luca Van Assche rallies from two sets to one down to beat Alex Michelsen



Luca Van Assche came back from two sets to one down to defeat Alex Michelsen 4-3 (7-0) 3-4 (4-7) 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in 2 hours and 36 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah in the second longest match in the history of this tournament. 


Van Assche and Michelsen went on serve in the first three sets. Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first three sets. 

There were three consecutive breaks in the fourth set. Van Assche earned two of them and served out the set at love in the fifth game. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fifth set. Van Assche earned a chance to serve for the match, but Michelsen pulled back on serve to force a tie-break. 

Van Assche built a 3-0 in the tie-break with an early mini-break. Michelsen saved two match points to draw level to 6-6. Van Assche sealed the win with another mini-break on the second match point. 

“He was playing very well the whole match. It was really close. Not a lot of breaks and it was difficult for me but I am very happy”, said Van Assche. 

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Arthur Fils beats Dominic Stricker to end Green Group unbeaten



Arthur Fils battled past Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) after 1 hour and 47 minutes in the final round-robin match to end the Green Group unbeaten with a 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals. 


Stricker knew that he would advance to the semifinals if he won just one set. The Swiss player won the set he needed against the already qualified Fils to secure his spot in the semifinal despite the defeat. 

Stricker saved a break point on the deciding point in the third game of the fourth set. Fils earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out on his second set point. 

Stricker held serve at love in the first game of the fourth set. The Swiss player broke serve on the deciding point to open up a 2-0 lead. Fils broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned three mini-breaks, but Stricker pulled back on serve each time. Fils sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point. 

Stricker beat Fils 7-6 7-6 in Gstaad in their only previous head-to-head match last summer. 

Fils saved two break points in the first game to hold serve. Stricker fended off a break point in the fourth game on the deciding point to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned his first break on his third set point with a forehand return winner in the sixth game to clinch the first set 4-2. 

Stricker saved the only break point of the second set in the fourth game. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker won six consecutive points from 0-1 down with two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Fils won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp

“I knew before the match that I qualified, but I just want to win every match that I am playing. I think I put a little bit more focus out there out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match but I am really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semifinal”, said Fils in the post- match interview. 

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