De Minaur and Tsitsipas Stay Unbeaten at Next Gen Finals - UBITENNIS
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De Minaur and Tsitsipas Stay Unbeaten at Next Gen Finals

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Courtesy: ATP/TennisTV

Milan, Italy

Alex de Minaur and Stefanos Tsitispas proved once they again they are the class of the Next Gen players on the ATP Tour, at least for this week they are.

The top ranked 21 and under players in the tournament stayed unbeaten in the round-robin portion of the Next Gen ATP Finals winning their final matches on Thursday night in Milan.

De Minaur won a first set tiebreak and then dominated the final two sets defeating Taylor Fritz 4-3, 4-1, 4-2 in 70 minutes while Tsitispas won his final match eight minutes faster in straight sets over Hubert Hurkacz.

The 19-year old de Minaur was playing so well, at one point in the third set after an outstanding forehand winner on the run down the line, Fritz initially dropped his racquet in frustration but quickly realized how good the Australian’s shot was and began clapping his approval instead.

Tsitsipas and De Minaur, the two youngest players in the eight-man field, have dropped just one set each over their three matches and both are the only players still in the running for the undefeated champions prize of $407,000. Last years winner Hyeon Chung accomplished that feat in the tournament a year ago.

De Minaur won 11 of 14 points at the net and faced just two break points in his match. He also saved an impressive 6 set points in the opening set tiebreak. Tsitispas was not quite as sharp with his serve but he did manage to save all five of the break points he faced.

Like de Minaur, the 20-year old Greek had a jaw dropping shot in the third set of his match as well. A beautiful crosscourt backhand snuck past Hurkacz at the net bringing the crowd out of their seats.

Friday’s Semi-Finals will see de Minaur take on Spaniard Jaume Munar at seven o’clock local time. Munar surprised Frances Tiafoe earlier in the day in straight sets to book himself a Semi-Final berth. The late match will see Tsitsipas face Andrey Rublev who defeated Italian Wild Card Liam Caruana also in straights. Both Semi-Final match ups will be the first career meetings between the players.

“I just want to go out there and keep doing what I’ve been doing,” said de Minaur.” I’ve been serving well. I’ve been playing confident and,  just leaving it all out there again.”

“We are both playing great tennis,” said Tsitspas, the No.1 ranked player in the tournament. “We’re both fighting on the court. Both of us are very professional and take every match seriously. And Alex has done a great year. I think two ATP finals…which is impressive for his age. His game is much different than most of the Next Gen players, which is inspiring to see.”

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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