Ben Shelton leads the line-up in Houston - UBITENNIS
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Ben Shelton leads the line-up in Houston

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The Houston Open is the only ATP Tour level clay court tournament in the USA. 

The top seed of the Houston ATP 250 tournament is Ben Shelton, the US third-ranked player. Shelton reached the fourth round in Indian Wells and the third round in Miami. The 21-year-old US player, who a first round bye, will face the winner of the match between Belgium’s Zizou Bergs and a qualifier. 

Frances Tiafoe did not drop a set en route to his third ATP title of his career in Houston last year. Tiafoe has only won consecutive matches at Delray Beach. The US player will face Australia’s James Duckworth or a qualifier. 

Denis Shapovalov, who received a wild card, will take on Marcos Giron. The winner of this match will play against J.J Wolf or a qualifier. 

Francisco Cerundolo will play against the winner of the match between Denis Kudla and Luciano Darderi. Cerundolo achieved his best result of the year in Rio de Janeiro, where he advanced to the semifinals. 

Tomas Martin Etcheverry will start his campaign against either Benoit Paire or Daniel Elahi Galan. The Argentine player reached the final in Houston last year. 

Eighth seed Max Purcell will take on Alex Michelsen. 

There are ten US players in the draw. Fifth-seed Christopher Eubanks will face Rinki Hijikata in the first round. Eubanks, who reached the quarter final at Wimbledon last year, is aiming to win his second tour-level win on clay. 

Sixth-seed Jordan Thompson will face the winner of the match between Thanasi Kokkinakis and Aleksandar Kovacic. 

Italy’s Luciano Darderi, who won his first ATP title in Cordoba last February, will face wild card Denis Kudla. 

The main draw of the Houston tournament also features Marcos Giron, Brandon Nakashima and wild cards Michael Mmoh. 

Austin Kraijcek and Rajeev Ram lead the main draw of the doubles tournament as the top seeds. They won the title in Moscow in 2018 the last time they teamed at an ATP Tour event. 

Ruud defends his title in Estoril

Casper Ruud is the top seed at the Millenn Estoril Open. Ruud has a first-round bye as the top seed. The Norwegian player will face either Botic Van de Zandschulp or Federico Coria and is seeded to play against Gael Monfils in the quarter finals. Monfils will start his campaign against local player Henrique Rocha. 

Hubert Hurkacz has a first round bye and will face Brazilian Next star Joao Fonseca, who is currently sixth in the ATP Live Race to the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah. Fonseca reached his first quarter final on the ATP Tour in Rio de Janeiro last February. 

Another Next Gen player in the field is Frenchman Arthur Fils, who won his first ATP Tour title on clay in Lyon. 

Lorenzo Musetti is seeking his first title since Naples in 2022. Musetti beat Ben Shelton in Miami in his first match since the birth of his son Ludovico on 15 March. The Italian player then lost to world number 3 Carlos Alcaraz in the Round of 16 in Miami. Musetti will face against in-form Nuno Borges, who reached the fourth round in a Grand Slam tournament for the first round at the Australian Open and beat Matteo Berrettini in the final of the ATP Challenger in Phoenix. 

Dominic Thiem will face Maximilian Marterer in the first round. The winner of this match will clash against sixth-seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Sander Gille and Joran Villegen will defend their title in the doubles tournament. The second seeds are Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

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Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

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Martina Trevisan beats Naomi Osaka to reach the second round in Rouen

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Martina Trevisan upset former world number 1 Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-2 in the opening round of the Open Capfinances Rouen Metropole. 

Osaka has played her first clay-court match since Roland Garros 2022, where she lost to Amanda Anisimova. The Japanese player has not won a match on clay since beating Anastasia Potapova in the first round of the Madrid Mutua Open in 2022. She helped Japan beat Kazakhstan in the Billie Jean King Cup. 

Trevisan reached the quarter final in 2020 and the semifinal in 2022 at Roland Garros. The former world number 18 won her only title in Rabat in 2022. She reached the quarter finals of the Zaragoza ITF 100 tournament. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games. Osaka earned two break points at 3-2 and three more chances at 4-3, but she was not able to convert them. Trevisan broke serve in the ninth game following a series of forehand errors. 

Trevisan broke twice in the third and seventh games and served out the win on her first match point. 

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva beat Elina Avanesyan 7-5 6-4 in 1 hour and 41 minutes to reach her second quarter final of 2024. 

Andreeva went up a break in the seventh game, but Avanesyan pulled back on serve to draw level to 4-4. Andreeva broke for the second time in the 11th game to win the second set 7-5. Andreeva broke in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Avanesyan converted her third break-back point in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Andreeva broke serve at love in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Avanesyan broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Andreeva broke for the third time in the ninth game and served out the win on her second match point after saving two break points. 

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