Auger Aliassime Downs Norrie to reach semis in Rotterdam - UBITENNIS
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Auger Aliassime Downs Norrie to reach semis in Rotterdam

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas are into the semi-finals in Rotterdam.



Felix Auger-Aliassime (@abnamrowtt - Twitter)

The Canadian managed to beat the Brit in straight sets to reach the final four of the tournament.


Felix Auger Aliassime is into the semifinals of the ABN-AMRO World Tennis Tournament being hosted at the Ahoy in Rotterdam after beating the Brit Cameron Norrie in straight sets 7-5, 7-6 in two hours and seven minutes.

The Canadian hit 46 winners and 13 aces while winning 86% of his first-serve points.

“It’s always a tough match with Cameron, he’s where he is at for a reason and he is very difficult to play and he makes you work for a lot of points and he makes you suffer physically and it was tough as expected but I responded well, I served well when I needed to and I finished strong.”

The Montreal native held the opening service game and earned an early chance to break in the second game but the Brit was able to save it and hold serve as well.

It stayed on serve until 4-3 when the Canadian earned another breakpoint but this time was able to convert and gave himself a chance to serve for the first set.

The world number 13 fought back the very next game breaking Auger Aliassime to love after the Canadian served a double fault on triple breakpoint in a poor service game and the set was back on serve.

At 6-5, the Canadian earned two set points and clinched the first set on the following point to take a 1-0 set lead.

The first two games of the second set went on serve and it was the Brit who earned another three chances to break serve and got his first break sealed with a stunning forehand winner to take a 2-1 lead.

Norrie saved two breakpoints on route to consolidate the break and saved two more at 3-2 but at 4-3, the world number nine was finally able to break right back, and just like that the set was back on serve.

The set stayed on serve until 6-5 when the Montreal native earned two match points but the Brit saved both and the set was decided by a tiebreaker.

In that breaker, Auger Aliassime got the first break using his big forehand to jump out to a 2-0 lead but lost the next two points before winning the next two and taking a 4-2 lead.

At 6-2, the Canadian had four more match points but Norrie saved two before the world number nine served out the match and the win.

Auger Aliassime will now face the defending champion Andrey Rublev after the Russian was able to beat Marton Fucsovics in the rematch of last year’s final 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes.

The Montreal native gave his thoughts about the matchup in his post-match press conference.

“Andrey has been one of the best players in the world for the last few years so it would be a tough matchup and I never beat him before.”

They have officially met twice on tour with the Russian winning both times once in Umag on clay and Adelaide in Australia on a hard court.

Tsitsipas Handles De Minaur

Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the day booked his spot in the semis after beating the Aussie Alex De Minaur in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 31 minutes serving three aces and winning 82% of his first-serve points.

“It was a great battle out there, proud of my athletic strength and proud of the way I was able to close games especially the ones that demanded a lot of me and I am happy with the game and the work.”

The first set was a tightly contested battle and at 2-2 the Greek had six chances to break and it took until the sixth opportunity when the Aussie served a double fault to gift the break.

That break of serve was enough for the number one seed in the tournament to serve out the first set.

Winning the first set gave Tsitsipas all the momentum he needed and he used it at the beginning of the second set breaking De Minaur in the opening game and holding serve to take a 2-0 lead.

The following game he broke the Aussie again for the double break lead but De Minaur broke right back the following game but that one break was enough for the world number four to serve out the match.

In his post-game press conference, he gave his thoughts on his next opponent Jiri Lehecka who managed to beat the Italian Lorenzo Musetti in three sets 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 in two hours, and 10 minutes to reach his first-ever ATP semi-final.

“He has nothing to be afraid of and he just enjoys his tennis and plays the best he can and for me to treat him like a normal opponent and he hasn’t been on tour long and I am ready for the battle.”

Rublev is looking to become the sixth player in tournament history to win the tournament in back-to-back years and would join a list that includes Arthur Ashe, Stefan Edberg, Nicolas Escude, Robin Soderling, and Gael Monfils.


ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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Alcaraz Fell Victim To Unbeatable Medvedev

Carlos Alcaraz was no match for Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-finals.



(@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

A star had to fall. There was no other way.


This time, Carlos Alcaraz was the victim. Daniil Medvedev was unbeatable.

The 6-6 Russian was everywhere, playing almost perfect tennis in a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Alcaraz.

So, one former champion went down while one advanced to Sunday’s final at the U.S. Open.

And then there was Novak Djokovic, another former champion headed for the title match.


The U.S. Open couldn’t lose once Djokovic dominated young American Ben Shelton, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Djokovic appeared to be content with just winning while getting the preliminaries over with. He seemed to be a little miffed by Shelton’s cockiness. There were no hugs or embraces when the match ended. Just a handshake.

Shelton has huge potential, but it’s going to take some time before he’s ready to join the likes of Djokovic, Medvedev and Alcaraz. He’s a better athlete than he is tennis player.

Novak is ready to go for a record 24th Grand Slam title.

Believe it or not, Medvedev will be playing in his fifth Grand Slam final.

Sunday should be a great day in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with two former champs, Djokovic and Medvedev, going against each other.


The women’s final will be interesting. Can Coco Gauff compete with Aryna Sabalenka?

Sabalenka looked helpless against Madison Keys’ big strokes and serves in the first set of their semifinal on Thursday.

Sabalenka couldn’t win even one game in that set. She looked helpless.

But she obviously felt all along that she could beat Keys anytime she wanted. Or why else would the powerful Sabalenka go for broke on almost every shot? And it almost cost her.

Amazingly, Sabalenka waited almost to the final moments to decide to play within her game and stop the wildness.

Once Sabalenka decided to settle down and play to win, Keys went just the opposite way, similarly to her one-sided loss to Sloane Stephens in the 2017 U.S. Open final.

Keys appeared ready to win this time as she held a 6-0, 5-4 advantage over new world’s No. 1 Sabalenka, who seemed to be stumbling all over the court as she repeatedly hit wild shots in every direction.

Just like that, everything changed. Sabalenka started hitting winners everywhere as Keys reversed roles with Sabalenka. Not only did Sabalenka win the second set while dropping just one point in a tiebreaker, she stormed through a decisive 10-point third-set tiebreaker to win the match.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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