Novak Djokovic, Laver Cup 2018

The inaugural Laver Cup was held at the O2 arena in Prague, in September last year, with Team Europe, led by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, defeating Team World 15-9. The second edition of the Laver Cup took place in Chicago last weekend, and Team Europe ruled again with a 13-8 victory.

_A1A3402

The event is played over 3 days: each day 4 matches are played, 3 singles and a doubles. Each win is worth one point on Friday, 2 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. Matches are played in the best of 3 sets, with a 10-point match tiebreaker in the third. The winning team must reach 13 points. In case of a tie, a doubles match is played as a regular set to determine the winner.

On day 1, Team Europe won the 3 singles, while Federer and Djokovic lost in doubles against the pair of Kevin Anderson and Jack Sock.

Grigor Dimitrov  Frances Tiafoe 6–1 6–4   1–0
 Kyle Edmund  Jack Sock 6–4 5–7 [10–6]   2–0
 David Goffin  Diego Schwartzman 6–4 4–6 [11–9]   3–0
 Novak Djokovic /  Roger Federer  Kevin Anderson /  Jack Sock 7–6 3–6 [6–10]   3–1

_A1A3326

_A1A2829

On day 2, Team Europe led by 7 to 1 after Zverev’s win over Isner and Federer tennis lesson to Kyrgios. But Team World rallied back to 5-7 after Kevin Anderson’s surprising win over Novak Djokovic and Kyrgios and Sock doubles victory over Dimitrov and Goffin.

Alexander Zverev  John Isner 3-6 7–6 [10–7]   5–1
 Roger Federer Nick Kyrgios 6-3 6-2   7–1
Novak Djokovic Kevin Anderson 6–7 7-5 [6–10]   7–3
 Grigor Dimitrov /  David Goffin  Nick Kyrgios /  Jack Sock 3-6 4-6   7–5

_A1A3154

_A1A3199

Team World led for the first time of the weekend after another doubles victory in day 3’s opening match! But Federer put Team Europe ahead by saving three match points to defeated Isner. And finally it all came down to Zverev, who dropped the first set before leveling at one set all and winning a thrilling match tiebreaker against Anderson. 13-8, Team Europe retains the title!
Next year’s competition will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 20-22 September.

Roger Federer / Alexander Zverev  John Isner / Jack Sock 6–4 6–7 [9–11]   7–8
 Roger Federer John Isner 6–7 7–6( [10–7]   10–8
Alexander Zverev Kevin Anderson 6–7 7-5 [10-7]   13–8

_A1A3007

_A1A2988

_A1A2895

Photo credit: Christian Cresante

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

Joao Sousa claims Estoril title

An historic victory for Joao Sousa who became the first Portuguese player to win an ATP tournament on home soil. He dispatched Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-4 to claim his third career title, his first on clay.

“It’s just amazing. It’s a dream come true. It is very special for a Portuguese player to win here on home soil. I know how hard the organisation worked to make this tournament one of the best in the world and it’s just amazing. The crowd was unbelievable.”

Local hero Sousa was made to work all week as he had to save 2 match points against Pedro Sousa in the second round and survived 3-set marathons against third seed Kyle Edmund in the quarterfinals and recent Barcelona finalist Stefano Tsitsipas in the semis.

Millenium Estoril Open 06.05.2018

It was also a good week for Tiafoe, who reached his second final this year after a straight sets victory over defending champion Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals.

“I didn’t feel great today. I just got outplayed. I left a lot of balls short and didn’t play near as well as I was playing this week. He took advantage and was able to play how he wanted to. It was tough. I couldn’t get anything going.”

Millenium Estoril Open 06.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 06.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 06.05.2018


Read More

Frances Tiafoe reaches the final in Estoril

Joao Sousa and Frances Tiafoe booked their spot in the final after upsetting recent Barcelona finalist Stefano Tsitsipas and defending champion Pablo Carreno Busta.

Sousa defeats Tsitsipas 6-4 1-6 7-6

A rollercoaster of a match for Joao Sousa, who is now one win from becoming the first Portuguese player to win the tournament. A break of serve was enough to capture the first set, but the young Greek rallied back to level the match at one set all. The world number 68 who had never won a match in his 3 previous visits here prevailed in the tie-break 7-4.

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Tiafoe defeats Carreno Busta 6-2 6-3

Tiafoe had to save 3 match points in the first round against Tennys Sandgren but since then he turned things around, and defeated Gilles Muller, Simone Bolelli in straight sets. He broke in the opening game of in his semifinal against the defending champion and never looked back, and secured his place in the final.
Tiafoe had some good results so far this year, with his maiden title in Delrey Beach and semifinals in Miami and Barcelona.

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Millenium Estoril Open 05.05.2018

Photo credit: MNJ, all rights reserved to MNJ.