Jannik Sinner becomes the youngest player in the Open Era to reach an ATP Tour since Felix Auger Aliassime in 2019 - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner becomes the youngest player in the Open Era to reach an ATP Tour since Felix Auger Aliassime in 2019



Jannik Sinner has reached his first ATP Tour final after his 6-3 7-5 win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino at the Sofia Open after 1 hour and 28 minutes. With this win Sinner has improved his career best ranking to world number 41. 

Sinner has become the youngest player in the Open Era to reach an ATP Tour final since Felix Auger Aliassime finished runner-up at the 2019 Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. He had lost his first two-level semifinals at indoor hard-court tournaments. Before today’s match against Mannarino Sinner rallied from a set down to beat Alex De Minaur in the quarter finals. 

Sinner created just one break point in each set and capitalised on forehand errors from Mannarino to clinch his 18th tour-level win. 

Sinner earned his first break point in the sixth game and broke serve at deuce to take a 4-2 lead after a forehand error from Mannarino. The Italian teenager won two consecutive points from 30-30 at 5-3 and sealed the first set 6-3 with an ace. 

Sinner fended off a total of three break points in the fourth and sixth games and won eight consecutive points from 5-5 with a break in the 11th game to close out the second set 7-5. 

Sinner will bid to become the youngest ATP Tour champion since Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach Open in 2008. 

En route to the final Sinner dropped just one set and beat Marton Fucsovics, Swiss lucky loser Marc Andrea Huesler and Alex De Minaur. The Italian player will face either Richard Gasquet or Vasek Pospisil. 

He would become the youngest Italian player to win an ATP Tour title since Claudio Pistolesi, if he wins the final on Saturday. 

“Today I played my best match of the week, but I had to do that because he is a tough player. I was able to remain focused in the most important moments of the match. It’s nice to be in the final, playing one more match which is the most important. Today I felt quite well on court and it is good for me playing my first fina lthis year. I am looking forward to tomorrow. It’s to be in the final. It was difficult to return his serve. It was tough to play against Mannarino, especially because he is a left-hander. I have no preference between Gasquet and Pospisil. I am just happy to play this final in front of these fans. The people here are very nice. Last year I played very well in this period. I hope to repeat the recent good results tomorrow. Today I did not get carried away by emotions from the start of the match. I was solid on return. I played the final part of the set better”. 

Sinner set up a final against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, who came back from one set down to beat Richard Gasquet 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-0 to advance to his second ATP Tour final in 2020. Pospisil, who reached the final in Montpellier earlier this year, hit 19 aces and converted five of his seven break points. 

Pospisil got the first mini-break to take a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Gasquet broke back on the fifth game for 2-3, but Pospisil earned another mini-break to take a 4-2 lead. Gasquet reeled off five of the next six points from 3-5 down to win the tie-break 8-6.Pospisil came back from 6-7 (6-8) 1-2 down by winning eleven consecutive games. Gasquet saved the only break point of the first set in the sixth game. The Canadian player broke twice in the second set and three times in the third set. 

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing



Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai



Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro



Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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