Carlos Alcaraz is chasing the Sunshine Double in Miami - UBITENNIS
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Carlos Alcaraz is chasing the Sunshine Double in Miami

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Carlos Alcaraz is aiming to become the eighth player in history to win the Sunshine Double after clinching the Indian Wells title last Sunday with his win over Danil Medvedev, which enabled him to return to world number 1. 

Alcaraz will need to win his second consecutive Miami Open title to remain on top of the ATP Ranking. The Spaniard will chase the fourth Masters 1000 of his career following his wins in Miami and Madrid in 2022 and Indian Wells in 2023. 

Alcaraz will start his campaign against against either Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis or a qualifier. The Spanish 19-year-old Spanish player could meet two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray and this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul. 

Alcaraz is projected to face either Taylor Fritz or Holger Rune. Fritz won the Indian Wells title in 2022 and Delray Beach in 2023 before losing to Sinner in the quarter finals in Indian Wells. Rune won the Paris Bercy Masters 1000 title and reached two semifinals in Montpellier and Acapulco this year. 

Sinner could face a fourth round match against either Andrey Rublev, who reached the quarter final at the Australian Open and reached the final in Dubai losing to Danil Medvedev. If Sinner reaches the quarter final, he could  face a quarter final against Casper Ruud, who reached two Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros and at the US Open and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. Ruud finished runner-up to Alcaraz in the Miami final last year. The Norwegian player, who holds a 4-5 record this season, will face either Ilya Ivashka or a qualifier in the second round and is projected to meet 2021 Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in the fourth round. 

Danil Medvedev will start his campaign against either Bernabe Zapata Miralles or Roberto Carballes Baena. Medvedev could face a fourth-round match against 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini, who reached two quarter finals in Acapulco and in the Phoenix Challenger tournament. Medvedev is seeded to play against either Hubert Hurkacz or Cameron Norrie. Hurkacz won the Marseille title and reached the quarter final in Dubai. The Polish player won the Miami Open title in 2021 beating Sinner in the final and reached the semifinal last year. 

Hurkacz could face a third round match against Next Gen ATP player Ben Shelton, who will face either Chinese wild card Juncheng Shang or Adrian Mannarino. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas will face either Richard Gasquet or a qualifier and is projected to face Felix Auger Aliassime in the quarter final. The Greek player will try to bounce back from a first round defeat in Indian Wells. 

Auger Aliassime, who reached the semifinal in Miami on his debut in 2019, is seeded to face last week’s Indian Wells semifinalist Frances Tiafoe. 

Medvedev clinched three consecutive titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Doha and won 19 consecutive matches before losing to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells final last Sunday. 

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing

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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

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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

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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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