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

Alexander Zverev, Washington 2018

Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alex de Minaur and Andrey Rublev. They’re part of the NextGen, they made big waves on the ATP tour recently and they all reached the semifinals of the Citi Open in Washington. It is the first time since 1995 in Buenos Aires (Carlos Moya, Felix Mantilla, Alex Corretja, Jiri Novak) that 4 under 21 players reach the semifinals of an ATP tournament.

“I’m the old guy this week,” Zverev said. “Being the oldest semi-finalist this week shows that our Next Gen players are playing absolutely amazing tennis and they’re all on the come up and we could all do well in big tournaments. It’s great to see and hopefully this will not be the last time, but in the future this will happen more often.”

In the first semifinal, top seed Zverev dispatched Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2 6-4. It was the first meeting between the two players (Tsitsipas took his revenge a week later in Toronto). With that victory Zverev was the first to 40 wins this season (for 11 defeats).
In the quarterfinals, Zverev had beaten Nishikori 3-6 6-1 6-4 in a match that was delayed by rain at 3-2 in the third for more than two hours. Tsitsipas, who had saved two match points in his second round win over Jared Donaldson had cruised to a 6-3 6-4 victory over David Goffin to advance to the semifinals.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (2)

In the second semifinal, Alex de Minaur overcame Andrey Rublev 5-7 7-6 6-4 after saving 4 match points in the second set tiebreak. Hewitt’s protege advanced to his second final of the year (he lost to Daniil Medvedev in Sydney in January).
Rublev was playing his second match of the day, having beaten Denis Kudla a few hours earlier due to rain delays, while the Australian benefited from Murray’s withdrawal to advance to the semifinals.

Alex de Minaur - Prayer

Alex de Minaur vs Andrey Rublev handshake and hug

Andrey Rublev

De Minaur was no match for Zverev, as the defending champion retained his title with a 6-2 6-4 victory over the Australian. The German lifts his third trophy of 2018 after Munich and Madrid.

“It feels great. It shows mental strength as well, and shows a little bit of maturity. I had a great tournament. I played a lot of great players. Losing only one set, it was a fantastic week for me.”

A few words about 4 other NextGen stars who took part to the tournament.
Denis Shapovalov lost to Nishikori in straight sets in the third round after a hard-fought victory over Daniil Medvedev.

Denis Shapovalov

Daniil Medvedev and Denis Shapovalov

Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung lost to de Minaur in the third round after wins over Benoît Paire and Marcos Baghdatis.

Hyeon Chung

Frances Tiafoe was ousted by David Goffin 6-0 6-3 in the third round.

Kudla and Tiafoe

Photo credit: JC