Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

3-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka is back in top form: he defeated number one seed Kei Nishikori in a thrilling 3-set match to advance to the Rotterdam final. Nishikori was bidding to reach his second final of the season, following his victory in Brisbane last month.

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

Kei Nishikori, Rotterdam 2019

The Swiss had beaten his friend Benoît Paire and then Canadians Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov to reach the last 4. It will be his second Rotterdam final – he claimed the title here in 2015 defeating Tomas Berdych – his first final since his loss to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros 2017.

Denis Shapovalov, Rotterdam 2019

In the other semifinal Gael Monfils took his revenge over Daniil Medvedev, who had took the better of him in the semifinals of the Sofia Open last week. Like Wawrinka, Monfils will play his second Rotterdam final – he lost to Martin Klizan in 2016, and his 29th overall. The Frenchman has a terrible record, having only won 7 out of 28 finals (16 out of 28 for the Swiss).

Photo credit: Marianne Bevis

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rotterdam 2019

A few weeks ago he defeated Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and later advanced to the semifinals where he was ousted by Rafael Nadal:

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

But today Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to world number 56 Damir Dzumhur – who had not won a match this year – in the first round of the Rotterdam tournament. Dzumhur will meet Mikhail Kukushkin for a place in the quarter-finals against Gael Monfils. The Frenchman booked his place in the last eight with a 3-set win over Andreas Seppi.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rotterdam 2019

In the other matches today, recent Sofia Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who turned 23 on Monday, defeated Jérémy Chardy, while Stan Wawrinka secured his place in the quarterfinals with a straight set win over Milos Raonic.

Daniil Medvedev, Rotterdam 2019

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

Photo credit: Andrew Robertson, Marianne Bevis

Read more:
Rotterdam 2018: the title and the number one ranking for Roger Federer
Rotterdam 2017: lucky 13 for Tsonga

Daniil Medvedev, winner of the Sofia Open 2019

“I want to win. Every tournament I play I want to win. I’m happy with my performance and happy with my game right now.”

Runner-up in Brisbane, winner in Sofia, Daniil Medvedev is one of the player to follow. He defeated Robin Haase, Martin Klizan, Gael Monfils and Marton Fucsovics en route to the Sofia title, his fourth overall, all won on hard courts. For sure, he’s not the best-known NextGen player, but he’s in constant progress and about to break into the Top 10.

Marton Fucsovics advanced to his second ATP Tour final by beating Andreas Seppi, Yannick Maden, and Matteo Berrettini – he benefited from Bautista Agut’s forfeit in the quarter-finals. Fucsovics triumphed in Geneva last year to become the first male Hungarian player to win an ATP title since Balazs Taroczy in 1982.

Mirza Basic was the defending champion,  but lost to Martin Klizan in the first round. Number one seed Karen Khachanov lost to Matteo Berrettini in the second round. Number two seed and recent Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas was beaten in straight sets in the quarter-finals by a resurgent Gael Monfils.

Daniil Medvedev

Márton Fucsovics

Daniil Medvedev

Nikola Mektic and Jurgen Melzer defeated Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Christopher Rungkat to win their first team title. It was only their third tournament as a duo.

Nikola Mektić, Jürgen Melzer, Christopher Rungkat and Cheng-Peng Hsieh

Nikola Mektić and Jürgen Melzer

Thanks to Yulian Todorov for the pictures.

Kei Nishikori, Brisbane 2019

Finally a trophy for Kei Nishikori! After nine consecutive defeats in finals, the Japanese defeated NextGen player Daniil Medvedev to claim his 12th career title, his first since February 2016 in Memphis.

“I was trying in every final and every tournament… I played a great match against Dimitrov and today’s match was another good tennis [match]. I’m sure Daniil is going to be [in the] Top 10 soon.”

Daniil Medvedev is definitely a player to watch: he won his first ATP title in Sydney last year (d. De Minaur) before wins in Winston-Salem (d. Johnson) and Tokyo (d. Nishikori). In 2018, Medvedev led the ATP Tour with 38 hard-court victories (38-15). As Nishikori stated it, he could reach the top 10 quickly.

Brisbane International Tennis Finals 2019 - Kei Nishikori def. Daniil Medvedev

Brisbane International Tennis Finals 2019 - Kei Nishikori def. Daniil Medvedev

Brisbane International Tennis Finals 2019 - Kei Nishikori def. Daniil Medvedev

Brisbane International Tennis Finals 2019 - Kei Nishikori def. Daniil Medvedev

Brisbane International Tennis Finals 2019 - Kei Nishikori def. Daniil Medvedev

Brisbane International Tennis Finals 2019 - Kei Nishikori def. Daniil Medvedev

Brisbane International Tennis Finals 2019 - Kei Nishikori def. Daniil Medvedev

Read more:
Fourth Memphis Open trophy for Kei Nishikori

Photo credit: Andrew Robertson

Nadal claims 33rd Masters 1000 title in Toronto

Stefano Tsitsipas beat four top ten players this week – Thiem, Djokovic, Zverev and Anderson – en route to his first Masters 1000 final, but he was no match for Rafael Nadal who dispatched him 6-2 7-6 on Sunday. It was the second final between the world number one and the young Greek, the two having met in the Barcelona final last April.

With this fifth title of the year after Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros, Rafa joins Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer in the “80 titles club”.

“It’s a great way to start the hard-court season. Winning in Toronto is so important. You don’t win Masters 1000s very often. It’s a very important victory for me and I’m very happy.”

Rogers Cup 2018

Rogers Cup 2018

Rogers Cup 2018

Rogers Cup 2018

Rogers Cup 2018

Rogers Cup 2018

Rogers Cup 2018

Photo credit: Toronto Events