Winston-Salem Washout Pushes QF To Friday

All four Winston-Salem Open singles quarter-finals and both doubles semi-finals will be played on Friday, weather permitting, after nearly a complete washout postponed action on Thursday at the ATP 250 event. Among the singles quarter-finals to watch, …

Italy’s Sinner, 18, One Match Away From US Open Main Draw

#NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner, 18, is on the verge of qualifying for his first Grand Slam. The teenager fought past 28-year-old Croatian Viktor Galovic 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 in two hours, 49 minutes to move into the third and final round of US Open qual…

Shapovalov-Felix US Open Rematch Leads Five Matches To Watch

The US Open draw ceremony was held Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, with one of the highlights being third seed Roger Federer getting drawn into defending champion Novak Djokovic’s half of the draw. But there are plenty of reasons to watch the action from the first match, and ATPTour.com examines five of the first-round matches to watch.

Draw Preview | View Draw

[18] Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Denis Shapovalov
It was unlikely these two #NextGenATP Canadian phenoms would play each other in the first round of the US Open last year. To happen again in 2019 is insane, right? But the sensations will have to once again put aside their friendship to play for a spot in the second round at Flushing Meadows.

When they met here last season, Auger-Aliassime, No. 117 in the ATP Rankings at the time, had qualified, whereas Shapovalov was the 28th seed. Felix was forced to retire during the third set of that match due to a reoccurring heart problem. Auger-Aliassime evened their FedEx ATP Head2Head series with a straight-sets victory this year at the Mutua Madrid Open.

And this time in New York, Auger-Aliassime is the player who enters the match with the momentum. The 19-year-old cracked the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time this week, and he has won 31 of his 37 tour-level matches this year, making his first three finals in Rio de Janeiro, Lyon and Stuttgart.

“Felix is playing more of a defensive-minded game style, but with the ability to attack, too,” former Canadian great Nestor said about Auger-Aliassime’s game in Montreal. “Denis is more of the aggressive type and the shot-maker. He’s going big and hopefully he gets hot and when he gets hot, he’s a Top 5 player.”

[8] Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Andrey Rublev
The two up-and-comers met at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, a five-set win for Tsitsipas. But Tsitsipas, Greece’s #NextGenATP star, won’t be full of confidence ahead of their second FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

The No. 8 player in the ATP Rankings is on a three-match losing streak, including opening-round losses at the past two ATP Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati, and Tsitsipas didn’t make it past the second round at last year’s US Open (l. to Medvedev).

Rublev, meanwhile, could hardly have envisioned a better North-American hard-court swing. The 21-year-old Russian, who missed three months last year (back), upset Roger Federer in straight sets at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and is playing in the quarter-finals at this week’s Winston-Salem Open. Rublev also will be able to rely on past good memories in New York, having reached the 2017 quarter-finals (l. to Nadal), becoming the youngest US Open quarter-finalist since Andy Roddick in 2001.

[11] Fabio Fognini vs. Reilly Opelka
Can Italy’s No. 1 again dash an American hope in New York? Fognini beat American Michael Mmoh to start his 2018 US Open and will try to make it back-to-back years against the 6’11” Opelka, who recorded his best Grand Slam result at Wimbledon by making the third round (l. to Raonic).

Fognini, who made the fourth round in New York in 2015, is trying to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final this fortnight (Roland Garros 2011), while Opelka, No. 42 in the ATP Rankings, will be going for his first win at his home Grand Slam. Fognini has proven himself one of the best baseliners in the world, cracking the Top 10 for the first time this year, but will he be able to get into enough rallies against the big-serving Opelka?

[2] Rafael Nadal vs. John Millman
Surely John Millman can’t pull off the impossible two years in a row, can he? Last year, under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the veteran Aussie shocked five-time champion Roger Federer in the fourth round to make his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

Nadal, however, will have his eyes wide open at the challenge. The three-time US Open champion (2010, 2013, 2017) and 2018 semi-finalist (ret. vs. Del Potro) has never lost in the first round in Flushing and is going for his 19th Grand Slam title this fortnight.

[6] Alexander Zverev vs. Radu Albot
On paper, this may look like a mismatch in Zverev’s favour. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion has won 11 ATP Tour titles and climbed as high as World No. 3, while Albot claimed his maiden tour-level trophy this year in Delray Beach and is currently No. 40 in the ATP Rankings.

But Albot is a tough competitor who will make Zverev play a lot of balls, and will take full advantage of any opportunities in rallies to take the ball early if Zverev remains well behind the baseline.

The German is in 10th place in the ATP Race To London, but he is coming off of an opening-match exit in Cincinnati. Now he will be made to work hard against Albot, who seeks his first Top 10 win. The pair also practised together Wednesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Does Novak Djokovic Sneak A Draw Peek? Yes, With His ‘Team Of Spies’

Defending US Open champion Novak Djokovic attended the tournament’s draw ceremony Thursday afternoon. And while you might expect tennis’ stars to avoid getting wrapped up in the analysis of where players land, Djokovic says that is not the …

Federer, Djokovic In Top Half Of US Open Draw

The biggest question entering the US Open draw was where third seed Roger Federer would fall. The answer: the five-time Flushing Meadows titlist is on the top half, setting up a potential semi-final showdown with top seed Novak Djokovic.
The Swiss wil…

Murray To Continue Comeback At Mallorca Challenger

Andy Murray will compete at next week’s ATP Challenger Tour event in Manacor, Spain, the tournament announced on Thursday.

In search of more match play in his return from right hip surgery, Murray will return to the Challenger circuit for the first time since 2005. Held at Rafael Nadal’s academy on the island of Mallorca, the tournament is set to embark on a second edition.

It will be Murray’s third professional tournament since kicking off his singles comeback last week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. This week, he competed at the Winston-Salem Open, falling to Tennys Sandgren in Monday’s night session.

In what will be one of the more highly-anticipated Challenger appearances in history, the Scot is poised to return to the circuit in search of matches and confidence. He’s not alone. In 2018, Kei Nishikori did the same in his return from a wrist injury, claiming the title in Dallas en route to qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Murray is 14 years removed from his last visit to the ATP Challenger Tour, when he reached the quarter-finals in Mons, Belgium in 2005. He owns two titles at the level, having lifted a pair of trophies on U.S. soil in Aptos and Binghamton earlier that year.

The 32-year-old is back in familiar territory in Mallorca, returning to the Rafa Nadal Academy for the first time since 2016. That year, he had the opportunity to train at the facilities in preparation for the North American hard-court swing.

The Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s will begin on Monday. You can watch free live streaming throughout the week at ATPChallengerTour.com.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Murray/Skupski To Meet Top Seeds In Winston-Salem

Jamie Murray/Neal Skupski will face top seeds Marcelo Melo/Lukasz Kubot in a blockbuster semi-final on Thursday at the Winston-Salem Open.
Brits Murray/Skupski squeezed past Austrians Oliver Marach/Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 7-6(5), 10-7, and Melo/Kubot won al…

Paire Overcomes Humbert; Shapovalov, Tiafoe Advance

Top seed Benoit Paire of France held off the Next Generation of French talent on Wednesday at the Winston-Salem Open, but just barely.
#NextGenATP Frenchman Ugo Humbert, 21, served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but Paire broke and rolled in t…

Spain’s Martinez Upsets Home Favourite In US Open Qualifying

Spain’s Pedro Martinez earned the upset of the day on Wednesday at US Open qualifying. The 22-year-old from Alzira stunned 10th seed Tommy Paul of the U.S. 6-4, 6-4 to make the last round of qualifying at the season’s final Grand Slam tournament.
Mar…

Djokovic, Nadal, Federer Top US Open Seeds

The USTA has announced seeds for the 2019 US Open, which begins Monday in New York. 
World No. 33 Fernando Verdasco is the last player seeded at 32, benefitting from the withdrawal of 2009 US Open champion and World No. 16 Juan Martin del Potro du…

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