Roberto Bautista Agut and Alex De Minaur score wins in the second day of the Valencia exhibition tournament - UBITENNIS
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Roberto Bautista Agut and Alex De Minaur score wins in the second day of the Valencia exhibition tournament

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The Region of Valencia Tennis Challenge continued on Saturday with the second day of the exhibition tournament. The three-day round robin event in the first sporting event to be held in Spain since the coronavirus shutdown in Spain. The tournament is held under strictly controlled conditions due to the restrictions imposed by coronavirus restrictions.

 

Roberto Bautista Agut dropped just two games in his 6-1 6-1 win over Pablo Andujar in the opening match of the second day to score his second consecutive win.

Australia’s Alex De Minaur beat Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 6-4. De Minaur earned an early break in the opening set. He was broken back, but he got another break to win the first set 7-5. De Minaur needed just one break to win the second set 6-4. De Minaur scored his second win this week after beating Andujar on Friday.

De Minaur grew up in Alicante (Spain) and spent his quarantine in thsi Spanish town. Alex’s father comes from Uruguay. His mother is Spanish. He moved to Alicante as a 5-year-old player and split time growing up between Spain and Australia.

The tournament ends on Sunday with the first match between Andujar and Carreno Busta, followed by the second match between De Minaur and Bautista Agut.

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Fabio Fognini starts training under the guidance of Alberto Mancini

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World Number 17 Fabio Fognini started training under the guidance of former Argentine player Alberto Mancini

 

Mancini was a former Davis Cup captain and coached Guillermo Coria from Argentina and Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay. During his career Mancini enjoyed his best season in 1989 when he won two titles in Monte-Carlo beating Boris Becker 7-5 2-67-6 7-5 and in Rome beating André Agassi 6-3 4-6 2-6 7-6 6-1. He reached his second final in Rome in 1991, but he was forced to retire injured when he was trailing 6-3 6-1 3-0 against Emilio Sanchez. 

He retired from tennis at the age 25 after a series of injury problems. 

Fognini is currently training in Sanremo under the guidance of Mancini and physical trainer Alejandro Lacour. 

Fognini, who won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo, underwent surgery on his ankles last May and ended his season after being tested positive to Covid-19. He achieved his  best result in 2020 at the Australian Open, where he reached the third round. 

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Brandon Nakshima claims ATP his maiden ATP Challenger title in Orlando

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Brandon Nakashima claimed his maiden ATP Challenger title in Orlando at the USTA National Campus with a 6-3 6-4 win over Prajnesh Gunneswaran from India. The 19-year US player did not drop a set at this tournament. 

 

The California native saved all eight break points he faced. The US teenager becomes the youngest US champion since Frances Tiafoe in 2017. It’s the sixth time that a teenager has won a Challenger title in 2020 joining the list that includes Tomas Machac, Lorenzo Musetti and three-time champion Carlos Alcaraz. 

Brandon’s mother grew up in Vietnam and moved to California when he was 5 years old. He began playing tennis at the age of 3 with his granfather. He erolled early at University of Virginia as 17-year-old and named 2019 ACC Freshman of the Year before turning pro. 

Following the resumption of the ATP Tour Nakashima lost to Hungary Marton Fucsovics in the first qualifying round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. The US teenager beat Jiri Vesely and Cameron Norrie in ATP Tour debut to reach the quarter final in Delray Beach as a 18-year-old wild-card. He became the first Delray Beach quarter finalist since Kei Nishikori won this tournament in 2008. 

Nakashima has improved his career-high to world number 136 in the ATP Ranking and is the second best US Next Gen player after world number 117 Sebastian Korda, who won his maiden ATP Challenger title in Eckental (Germany). 

“It means a lot to win the first Challenger title. Playing all these Challengers the last couple years was all leading up to this moment, to win my first title. I could not be happier right now”, said Nakashima to the ATP Tour website.  “Ever since I started playing, I have always wanted to play tennis at the highest level and eventually become number 1 in the world. I think this is just a great stepping stone in that direction. It shows that all my hard work throughout the past couple of years is paying off. I am happy to get the first Challenger under my belt and this will give me a lot of confidence for any future ATP Tour tournaments in the future”, said Nakashima. 

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Dominic Thiem confirms that he will take part in the 2021 Laver Cup in Boston

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This year’s US Open champion and Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem will take part in the Laver Cup for the third time in his career. The world number 3 has already represented Team Europe at this event in the first two editions in Prague 2017 and Geneva 2019. 

 

The next edition of the Laver Cup will be held at the TD Garden in Boston from 24 to 26 September 2021. 

Thiem holds a 2-1 record with his wins against Team’s World’s John Isner and Denis Shapovalov. In the 2019 edition he saved three match points against Shapovalov before losing to US Taylor Fritz. 

This year Thiem beat number 1 Rafael Nadal en route to the Australian Open final earning a win over the Spanish star for the fifth consecutive season. 

The 27-year-old player then lost to eight-time champion Novak Djokovic in five sets in the final at Melbourne Park. 

Thiem clicnched his first Grand Slam title at the US Open in his fourth Major final beating Alexander Zverev in 4 hours and 2 minutes. He became the first player to win the US Open final in a fifth-set tie-break and the first player to win the New York title match from two sets down since Pancho Gonzales in 1949. 

The player from Wiener Neustadt lost the title match against Danil Medvedev in three sets at the ATP Finals in London. 

“The Laver Cup is a fantastic event and I am really excited to be a part of Team Europe for the Boston edition. I have been lucky enough to be on the winning side at two of the three Laver Cups so far in Prague and Geneva, and it’s a really unique event, like no other on the Tour. I am really looking forward to helping Team Europe capture a fourth title. It’s so cool to be competing as part of a team with guys I am facing across the net. We have so much fun together, but I also still learn a lot from the likes of Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg, who have so much experience in the game”, said Thiem. 

Team Europe is captained by Bjorn Borg, who praised Thiem and is excited to have the Austrian player on his side.“Dominic has had an incredible season, despite the unprecedented circumstances. He consistently performs at the top level and it was great to see him win his first Grand Slam title earlier in the year in New York. With him and Roger confirmed I feel we have got a great foundation, but for sure we will need to be in top form each year Team World gets tougher and tougher and my great friend and rival John McEnroe will be hungrier than ever to win in front of a team crowd”, said Bjorn Borg. 

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