Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danil Medvedev reach the second round at the Astana Open - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danil Medvedev reach the second round at the Astana Open

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Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past wild card Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-4 to reach the second round at the Astana Open. 

 

Tsitsipas broke in the second game of the  first set and in the seventh game of the second set. 

Tsitsipas has improved his head-to-head match record against Kukushkin to 4-0. The Greek player set up a second round match against Italian Next Gen player Luca Nardi, who beat qualifier Alexander Schevchenko 7-6 (7-4) 6-2. Tsitsipas and Nardi have never played each other in ATP Tournaments. 

Tsitsipas has won 50 ATP Tour matches this year and lifted two titles in Monte-Carlo and Mallorca. 

“It was a great match from my side. I started off with a great few games in the match, keeping my consistency and being very accurate at certain points. Overall it was a good performance and I am happy with the way things went and I am looking forward to the next one”, said Tsitsipas. 

Former US Open champion Danil Medvedev eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-3 6-1 with two breaks in each set. Medvedev will face either last week’s champion Marc Andrea Huesler or Emil Ruusuvuori. 

Karen Khachanov beat Maxime Cressy 6-4 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 31 minutes in his first match since he reached the semifinal at the US Open. 

Khachanov earned the only break of the match in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. Cressy went up a 2-0 lead with a mini-break at the start of the tie-break, but Khachanov won seven of the next eight games with three mini-breaks to close out the breaker 7-3. 

Khachanov will take on either Marin Cilic or Oscar Otte in the second round. 

Alexander Bublik beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-0 4-6 6-3. Bublik cruised to a bagel win in the first set with three breaks. Griekspoor saved two break points in the sixth game to hold serve at deuce before earning his first break in the ninth game to win to win the second set 6-4.

Bublik raced out to a 5-1 lead with two breaks in the fourth and sixth games. Griekspoor pulled one break back in the seventh game to reduce the deficit to 3-5. Bublik served out the third set 6-3 after two deuces with a forehand passing shot winner. Bublik won the 99th match of his career.  Lucky loser Pavel Kotov beat this year’s Monte-Carlo finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Roberto Bautista Agut. 

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Caroline Garcia continues working with Juan Pablo Guzman for the 2023 season

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Caroline Garcia will continue working with Argentine coach Juan Pablo Guzman during the 2023 season. However, Guzman will not travel with the French player in every tournament. 

 

Garcia won the WTA Finals title in Fort Worth last November beating Maria Sakkari in the semifinal and Aryna Sabalenka in the final. The Lyon-based player moved up to world number 4 in the singles ranking. During her great season Garcia won the Cincinnati WTA 1000 title and lost to Ons Jabeur in the semifinals of the US Open. 

After a well-deserved holiday Garcia will continue her preparation in Dubai. She will play in an exhibition tournament there and will play against Roland Garros and US Open champion Iga Swiatek, 2021 Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa and 2022 Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina. She will open her WTA season in Adelaide next January in the build-up to the Australian Open in Melbourne from 16 to 29 January 2023. 

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Rafael Nadal ‘Excited’ For Showdown With Alcaraz In Las Vegas 

‘The Slam: Nadal Vs. Alcaraz’ will take place in the lead-up to Indian Wells with a charity fundraising event also being held. 

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 23: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point against Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain in the final on day eight of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 23, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo via https://newsroom.mgmresorts.com)

The current top two players in men’s tennis will lock horns in Nevada next March after agreeing to take part in an exhibition match organized by MGM Rewards. 

 

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal will play against each other at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5th which will be hosted by MGM Resorts International. The 16,800-seat multi-purpose venue has also previously hosted a series of boxing matches, as well as this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony. 

The two Spanish tennis giants will also participate in a 90-minute individual VIP clinic before taking to the court. There will also be a ‘celebrity’ doubles match which will feature both of the Bryan brothers. One of the most successful double pairings in history who have won 16 Grand Slam titles together. 

“I’m very excited for my first visit to Las Vegas, one of the most iconic and entertaining cities in the world,” Nadal said in a press release. “I’ll be playing with my fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz who’s had an amazing year. It should be a great night of tennis at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.”

19-year-old Alcaraz is the youngest player in ATP history to achieve the year-end No.1 ranking and is viewed as the successor to 22-time major winner Nadal. The duo have clashed three times on the Tour with Nadal winning two of those meetings. Although Alcaraz was triumphant the last time they clashed at the Madrid Masters. 

“I’m honored and so happy to be sharing the court with Rafa in Las Vegas. He’s an all-time great, of course, and his records and achievements speak for themselves. Rafa also is one of the nicest guys on Tour and I look forward to our match on March 5.” Said Alcaraz.

Immediately after their match on March 5th, THE SLAM Gala will be held at Rivea and Skyfall at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The fundraising event has been created to raise money for Nadal’s foundation, as well as the MGM Resorts Foundation and National Tennis Foundation. 

Tickets for Alcaraz’s match with Nadal will go on sale from December 9th and are priced at $75 upwards. 

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The Hopman Cup returns in 2023 in Nice

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The Hopman Cup will return in 2023 and will be held on clay court at the Lawn Tennis Club in Nice from 19th to 23rd July after Wimbledon. This tennis team tournament pairs one woman and one man from each participating country. 

 

This tournament was last staged in 2019 in Perth and had been hosted in Australia since its first edition in 1989. It was held at the beginning of the season before the Australian Open in January. 

Each match-up will feature one women’s singles match, one men’s singles match and one mixed doubles match. 

Six teams will take part at the Hopman Cup in 2023 and 2024, but the field will be expanded to eight in 2025. France will compete as a host team each year. “We are thrilled to partner with Tennium and that the Hopman Cup will return in 2023. We are already looking forward to visiting the beautiful city of Nice next July. The Hopman Cup, as a unique mixed team event, has always enjoyed a special place in the hearts of tennis fans. I am sure that spectators in Nice will relish the chance to see some of the world’s men and women players on the same court. I would like to thank our event partners, Tennium, for helping us reintroduce the Hopman Cup to the tennis calendar, and we look forward to working together over the coming months and years”, said ITF President David Heggerty.

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