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

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.

Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Kings Rafa reigns in Barcelona for the 11th time: he made a quick work of Stefano Tsitsipas, defeating the Greek sensation 6-2 6-1. A perfect week for Rafa who did not lose a set en route to his 20th ATP 500 title.

“It’s very difficult to describe how to win 11 titles at one tournament. To win 11 Monte-Carlos and 11 Barcelonas is something I couldn’t imagine doing. I’m just enjoying every week and the fact I’m playing in a tournament that I enjoy so much means a lot to me. “

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal claims 11th Barcelona title

Photo credit: Banco Sadabell

Read more:
10th Barcelona title for Rafa
Barcelona Open 2017: Nadal and Thiem will face off in the final

Stefano Tsitsipas reaches the Barcelona Open final

One day after his win over Dominic Thiem, NextGen player Stefano Tsitsipas upset 5th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 6-4 in the semifinals at the Barcelona Open and became the first Greek since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in 1973 to reach an ATP final.

Stefano Tsitsipas reaches Barcelona Open final

In the final Tsitsipas will face world number one Rafael Nadal who just registered his 400th win on clay, by dispatching David Goffin 6-4 6-0 in the semifinals. Only 3 players since 1973 have recorded more wins on clay than Rafa: Guillermo Vilas (659), Manuel Orantes (502) and Thomas Muster (422).

Rafa wins 400th matches on clay

Photo credit: Banco Sadabell