Nicolas Mahut saved eight of the nine break points he faced to cruise past this year’s US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4 6-1 to reach the third round at the Paris Rolex Masters at the Accor Hotel in Paris Bercy for the first time in his career. Carreno Busta is eighth in the ATP Race but won just one match since reaching the semifinal at the US Open.
Carreno dropped serve four times from ten break points he faced. Mahut hit 24 winners to 26 unforced errors. Carreno hit 14 winners to 24 unforced errors. The Spanish player had to save two break points in his opening service game and broke serve in the third game when Mahut sent a forehand long.
Mahut saved two break points in the fifth game before breaking back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. He got another break in the 10th game with a forehand down the line winner to wrap up the first set. The Frenchman broke serve at the start of the second set with a forehand winner. Mahut fended off five break points in the next game to race out to a 3-0 lead and went up a double break in the fourth game after Carreno Busta hit a poor forehand. Mahut closed out the match with a forehand winner in the seventh game.
“I needed to do something I had never done before to reach my goal to qualify for the third round in Paris Bercy for the third time in my career. It’s a privilege to achieve that in front of my family and my friends in this incredible arena”, said Mahut.
Dominic Thiem edged Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 to advance to the third round. The Austrian player hit 36 winners to 31 unforced errors but wasted three match points on his serve in the 12th game of the second set. Thiem dropped just four points on serve in the first set. Gojowczyk dropped his serve in the fifth game after saving two break points in his previous service game. Thiem lost just two points in his last four service games. The second set went on serve in the first ten games. Gojowicz saved a break point in the seventh game. Thiem got the first break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and brought up three match points at 40-0 but lost the next five points to drop his serve. Gojowicz got two mini-breaks to win the tie-break by 7-3 forcing the match to the third set. The decider went on serve until the 10th game when Thiem got the crucial break. He sealed the win on his fourth match point when Gojowicz sent his forehand long.
Feliciano Lopez saved three of the four break points he faced to beat French wild card Pierre Hugues Herbert 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to set up a second round against another French player Lucas Pouille. Lopez earned the first break of the match in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Herbert saved two set points and broke straight back, as Lopez made two double faults, as he was serving for the set at 5-4. Lopez won the tie-break 7-4 and went up an early break in the second game of the second set to build up a 7-6 3-0 lead. Lopez had to save just one break point in the fifth game but held his next service games to win the second set. Lopez will face last week’s Vienna winner Lucas Pouille.
Adrian Mannarino beat former Paris Bercy champion David Ferrer 6-2 6-4 after one hour and 32 minutes to secure a spot in the second round where he will face David Goffin in a re-match of last month’s final at the Rakuten Open in Tokyo. The first set went on serve in the first four games before Mannarino got the first break on his fourth chance for 3-2. The French player reeled off seven consecutive games with two more breaks in the seventh game of the first set for 5-2 and in the second game of the second set to build up a 6-2 2-0 lead. Ferrer came back from a break down to draw level to 2-2 but dropped his serve again in the seventh game. Mannarino held his serve in the eighth game for 5-3 after saving three break points and closed out on his first match point in the 10th game.
“This win proved that I am still at a good level. Ferreri s not at the same level as in the past but it’s a tough match. I realized that when he raised his level in the second set”, said Mannarino.
Fernando Verdasco battled past Russian Next Gen Andrey Rublev 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (8-6) in their second head-to-head match. The Spanish player fended off one set point at 4-5 30-40 in the first set and sealed the win on his fifth match point in the second set. Verdasco will take on this year’s US Open finalist Kevin Anderson.
Joao Sousa beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-4 7-5 on the Court 2. The Portuguese player got an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead, after Lorenzi made two consecutive faults. Lorenzi came back from 15-40 to hold his serve in the fourth game. The Italian broke serve at deuce in a hard-fought fifth game. Lorenzi broke for the second time at 15 in the sseventh game and held his serve to win his fourth consecutive game for 4-3. Sousa broke straight back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. As Lorenzi was serving to stay in the set in the 10th game, Sousa broke for the third time on his third set point to clinch the first set by 6-4.
The second set went on serve with just few break point chances for both players, before Sousa converted his second break point chance in the 8th game to open up a 5-3 lead. Lorenzi broke straight back in the next game and held his serve to draw level to 5-5. As Lorenzi served to stay in the match in the 12th game, Sousa broke serve on his second match point to seal the second set after 46 minutes.
Kyle Edmund saved one match point to come back from one set down for his 5-7 7-6 6-3 win over Eveny Donskoy. The young British player came back from 0-3 down at the start of the second set to win the tie- break after saving a match point. Edmund broke serve once in the second game to cruise through the third set securing a spot in the second round, where he will face Jack Sock.
Diego Schwartzman beat Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-4 to record his 39th of the season. Pablo Cuevas saw off Russian Next Gen player Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-2 to set up a second round match against Albert Ramos Vinolas.
Croatian Next Gen Borna Coric got one break for each set to beat German qualifier Jan- Lennard Struff 6-3 6-4. Coric played a solid match on serve and faced just one break break point in the final game, as he was serving for the match. Coric started the match with a hold of serve and a break of serve in the second game, after Struff made a forehand error. Coric hit four service winners to wrap up the first set by 6-3. Struff squandered two game points in the first game of the second set. and dropped his serve after a double fault.
Coric dropped just two points in his first three service games. Struff saved three break points in the seventh game before earning a break point in the 10th game with a volley winner. Coric sealed the win two points later when Struff netted a backhand.
Serbia’s Filip Kraijnovic stunned Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 in 69 minutes to reach the third round at a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. Querrey hit 11 aces but struggled on his second serve. Kraijnovic converted his third break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and wrapped up the first set with two service winners in the 10th game. Querrey earned an early break at the start of the second set with a forehand winner. but made a double fault to drop serve in the next game. Querrey wasted two game points in the fifth game dropped his serve after hitting a forehand into the net. Kraijnovic fired his 10th game in the 10th game to seal the win.
Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019
The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.
Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.
Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.
“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”
The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.
In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.
“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”
Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.
Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat
The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.
The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.
On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.
“Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”
Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.
“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.
Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.
The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.
“Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”
Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.
Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour
23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.
Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.
The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.
Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.
“I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
“It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.
Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.
“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”
Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.
Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.
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Hubert Hurkacz beats Lucas Pouille to advance to the quarter finals in Metz
Maria Sakkari beats Jelena Ostapenko to reach the quarter final in Ostrava
Roger Federer Eyes Laver Cup Captaincy Role Post-Retirement
Novak Djokovic ‘All In’ For History After Outlasting Zverev In US Open Semis
ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval
Boris Becker Hits Out At ‘Unacceptable’ Treatment Of Novak Djokovic
WTA Luxembourg Open Axed Over Disagreements Between Tour And Organisers
Top Names Come In Support Of Openly Gay Players On The Men’s Tour
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
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