'It Wasn's My decision' - Coco Gauff Confirms Split From Coach After WTA Finals Win - UBITENNIS
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‘It Wasn’s My decision’ – Coco Gauff Confirms Split From Coach After WTA Finals Win



Cori Gauff - Australian Open 2023 (Twitter @AustralianOpen)

Coco Gauff has addressed the departure of Pere Riba from her team for the first time after getting off to a winning start at the WTA Finals. 


The US Open champion has confirmed that she is no longer working with the former Spanish player after pairing up with him earlier this year. It is understood that their collaboration ended after the China Open with Riba deciding to not continue working with her for reasons that have not been publicly disclosed. During their time together Gauff won titles in Wahington and Cincinnati before claiming her maiden Grand Slam trophy at Flushing Meadows. 

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t my decision,” Gauff commented. “But we had to end the partnership. If it was up to me, I would have loved to have him here. But you know, things happen. Life happens. So no bad terms on our end.
“Sometimes people think it’s bigger than what it is. But some things just didn’t work out and that’s all. I still think that he was a great guy. And obviously, he did amazing things for me personally and also for my game. So I’m sure he’s going to be successful in his next step.”

For the foreseeable future, Gauff will continue working with Brad Gilbert who she initially appointed as a consultant. Gilbert has previously coached the likes of Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray. Jarmere Jenkins, who is the former hitting partner of Serena Williams, is also still part of the team and is with Gilbert in Cancun this week. 

On the court, Gauff got off to an almost perfect start at the WTA Finals by crushing Ons Jabeur 6-0, 6-1, in her opening round-robin match in less than an hour. It is the first time the American has won a match at the event in her career. 

“Ons is a great player, so I felt really unsteady the whole match even though it didn’t [look] like that,” she said. “But I’m just happy to finally get a win here in this event.”

Gauff is aiming to become the first player from her country to win the tournament since 2014. Later this week, she will play Iga Swiatek and Marketa Vondousova in the group stages. The top two from each group will then progress to the knockout rounds. 

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Fabio Fognini beats Roberto Bautista Agut to win the ATP Challenger in Valencia



Fabio Fognini came back from one set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-3) after 3 hours and 11 minutes in the final of the Copa Faulcombridge, an ATP Challenger Tour in Valencia. Fognini has won his first ATP title at any level since his triumph at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in 2019. 


Fognini earned an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Bautista Agut broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. The Spanish player broke for the second game in the eighth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

The second set went on serve until 4-4 in the second set. Bautista Agut broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 earning the chance to serve for the match. Fognini broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Bautista Agut earned a set point at 6-5. 

Fognini saved two match points at 4-5 in the second set and another at 7-8 in the tie-break of the second set before sealing the second set on his third set point. Fognini went up a break in the first and seventh games of the third set , but Bautista Agut pulled back on serve both times to draw level to 4-4. Bautista Agut earned a mini-break to take a 2-1 lead. Fognini won six of the next seven points with three mini-breaks to seal the tie-break 7-3. 

Fognini becomes the ninth ATP Challenger Tour champion to save at least one match point in a final this year. 

Fognini and Bautista Agut were competing against each other for the 12th time. 

Fognini becomes the oldest Challenger winner this season. 

Chilean Alejandro Tabilo beat Alejandro Burruchaga 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to claim his ATP Challenger trophy. Tabilo has become the fourth South American player to win at least four Challenger titles in 2023 following in the footsteps of Mariano Navone, Facundo Diaz Acosta and Thiago Seyboth Wild. Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki clinched his first ATP Challenger title of the season on home soil at the Yokohama Keio Challenger beating Yuta Shimizu 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. Watanuki has become the fourth Japanese  player to win the Challenger 75 tournament. 

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Arthur Fils faces Luca Nardi in the opening match of the Next Gen Finals



The official draw of the Next Gen ATP Finals was held last weekend in Jeddah. 


French top seed Arthur Fils will be joined in Green Group by Dominic Stricker, Flavio Cobolli and Luca Nardi. 

Luca Van Assche lead  Red Group, which also features Alex Michelsen, Hamad Medjedovic and Abdullah Shelbayh. 

The Next Gen Finals will take place at King Abdullah Sports City. 

Green Group: 

Stricker returns to the Next Gen Finals for the second consecutive season after after reaching the semifinals in last year’s edition held in Milan. 

Stricker completed a perfect 3-0 round-robin campaign at last year’s edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan., but he was beaten by Jiri Lehecka in the semifinals. The Swiss player qualified at the last three Grand Slam tournaments this season and reached the fourth round at the US Open last September after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets. He also won two ATP Challenger tournaments in Rovereto and Prague. 

Stricker had his first practice session with his fellow competitor Arthur Fils on Saturday in Jeddah. 

Dominic Stricker: “It’s a great arena. It felt really good from the beginning onwards. I was at this event last year, so it’s great to come back. It’s a super event. Everything is organized well. I had a great practice with Arthur Fils. I have been here once before. I was excited to come here again. I really I liked it the time I was here before, so I hope I can enjoy my stay here. It’s my first time in this stadium, but it looks great and feels great. The court feels good. Everything looks really good so far”. 

Fils enters the Jeddah Next Gen Finals with a career-high of world number 36. The Frenchman won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp where he finished runner-up to Alexander Bublik. He also lost to Alexander Zverev in the semifinal of the Hamburg ATP 500 tournament and won two ATP Challenger titles in Oeiras and Quimper. 

Cobolli and Nardi have been drawn in the same group joining Fils and Stricker. Cobolli has reached the top 100  and won the ATP Challenger tournament in Lisbon and reached the final in Olbia. 

Nardi will clash against Fils in the opening Green Group match on Tuesday. Nardi, was an alternate at the 2022 edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, won the ATP Challenger title in Matsuyama earlier this month and reached the semifinals in Kobe and the quarter finals in Yokohama. Last year he won the ATP Challenger in Mallorca and lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Round of 16 in Astana.  

Red Group: 

Van Assche will take on Jordanian Next Gen star Abdullah Shelbayh in the evening session. Van Assche reached the quarter finals at the ATP tournaments in Hamburg and Metz. Van Assche beat Stan Wawrinka to earn his second ATP Tour match in Banja Luka in 2023 before losing to Novak Djokovic in three sets. 

Shelbayh became the first Arab player to win an ATP Challenger tournament in Charleston and lost to Lorenzo Sonego in the Round of 16 in Metz. He was the first player from Jordan to play an ATP Tour main draw match in Doha last February and the first player from his country to win a match on the ATP Tour in Banja Luka last April. Shelbayh attended the University of Florida for one year. He competed on the same team as Ben Shelton and under the tutelage of Shelton’s father Bryan Shelton. 

Alex Michelsen will face Hamad Medjedovic in the second evening session match. Michelsen finished runner-up to Adrian Mannarino in the final in Newport and won nine of the ten matches. The US player won the ATP Challenger in Knoxville beating Denis Kudla. 

Medjedovic won three ATP Challenger Tour titles this year in Szekesfehrvar, Mauthausen and Mallorca and reached the semifinal in Gstaad. The Serbian player is coached by former world number 12 Viktor Troicki and is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Serbian tennis legends Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipasericic and Viktor Troicki. Hamad Medjedovic: 

“It was a big thing for sure growing up, having so many good players in our country. I remember starting to watch tennis when I was a kid. We had Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic and they were so good. I remember watching them constantly. As a kid it gave me a lot of motivation to start playing tennis and then to become one of them because I saw that they could do it. They are coming from a small country, same as me, and it gave a me a lot of motivation and self-belief that I could do it as well”. 

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Jannik Sinner beats Novak Djokovic twice to secure Italy a spot in the Davis Cup Final



Italy beat Serbia 2-1 in the Davis Cup semifinal in Malaga to reach their final at this event since 1998. Jannik Sinner beat Novak Djokovic twice, first in the singles and in the doubles. 


Miomir Kecmanovic came back from one set down to beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-7 (7-9) 6-2 6-1 in 2 hours and 24 minutes won four earlier today in the first match. 

Kecmanovic earned an early break in the first game and consolidated it with a hold at 15. Musetti saved two double break points to hold serve in the third game. 

Musetti broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. The Italian player won four points from 1-3 down to take a 5-3 lead. Kecmanovic saved two set points at 6-5 and 8-7 in the tie-break. 

Both players went on serve in the first five games. Kecmanovic converted his third break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Kecmanovic won four consecutive games with two breaks to clinch the second set 6-2. The Serbian player cruised through to a 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Jannik Sinner edged past Novak Djokovic 6-2 2-6 7-5 avenging his recent defeat against his Serbian defeat, who won their most recent head-to-head match in the final of the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

Sinner improved to 2-4 in his career head-to-head matches against Djokovic and 2-2 this season. The Italian player beat Djokovic in the tie-break of the third set in the round robin match at this year’s Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

Sinner broke twice in the third and fifth games to win the first set 6-2. Djokovic clinched two breaks in the fourth and eighth games to seal the second set 6-2. 

Sinner came through a 13-minute game with three serves at 0-1 in the third set. 

Sinner was pushed to deuce at 2-3 and saved a break point at 3-4 with a drive volley. The 2023 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up fought back from 0-40 down at 4-5 to save three match points before breaking serve in the 11th game with a forehand down the line to take a 6-5 lead. Sinner served out the match to seal the third set 7-5. Sinner won 13 of the final 16 points from 4-5 0-40. Djokovic has lost from match point up for the fourth time. 

“Match of my life ? I don’t know, but it’s very important. It helps a lot that it’s a team competition, because you get a lot of energy from your teammates, from the whole point, and then the crowd is different. I really enjoyed playing today. It was a great match”, said Sinner. 

Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego beat Novak Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 6-4 just hours after Sinner upset Djokovic in the singles match. Italy broke Djokovic’s serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Sinner served out the first set on the first set point with an ace. 

The Italian team earned the first break in the third game of the second set. Serbia broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. 

Sinner saved four break points in the sixth game to hold serve from 0-40 down for the second time in the day. Sonego converted his break point in a 10-minute seventh game to take a 4-3 lead, as Djokovic missed a backhand at 40-30. Italy sealed the win on the first match point at deuce in the 10th game. 

“I am just very happy for all of us and tomorrow we have a great opportunity. We know this, but we will try to stay as relaxed as possible, keeping a smile in our head”, said Sinner. 

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