|First-Time Winner: Edmund Opens Up About What First Title Means To Him|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:44:00 Z|
Kyle Edmund checked off another career accomplishment on Sunday in what's been his finest season on the ATP World Tour. The 23-year-old Brit beat France's Gael Monfils to win his maiden ATP World Tour title at the European Open in Antwerp. Edmund spoke with ATPWorldTour.com about the milestone:
How does it feel to be holding this trophy?
To finally do that is a really great feeling, something you always remember, looking back and winning your first title. So right now in the moment, it's hard to just take it all in but over time it will give me a lot of confidence and belief.
Was this a goal you had as a junior growing up, to win an ATP World Tour title?
I've known for a while that my game is good enough to win a title. But it's about doing it, producing... and I'm happy that's happened today.
Watch Highlights: Emotional Edmund Earns First Title In Antwerp
How did you prepare for this final differently with your first final (l. to Andujar, Marrakech 2018) in mind?
That helps you for the next one, spurs you on and makes you even more determined to get it. So after going down in the first set (vs. Monfils), it was just about really about being determined and fighting to get the win. I knew the win wasn't going to come easy after that; I knew if I was going to win it, I would really have to work for it.
You beat two former Top 10 players in the last two rounds in Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils. What did you do well to beat both players?
But I think today at the start, [Monfils] came out firing a lot quicker than I did, which made it harder to turn around. But both obviously French players, and they're very skillful and tough to beat, which most French players are, so you always know that, and it was no difference in my thoughts.
I was very happy to come through that in the semi-finals and the final, where the matches count the most and matter the most. To get over the line and win the title is a great feeling.
After the first-round loss at the US Open, you reached Beijing semi-finals, Shanghai quarter-finals. Would you consider this the best stretch of your season after your Australian Open semi-final run, or would you say it's better than that?
As a stretch, this has been my best. I've had some good wins, some good tournaments.
ATP title. Grand Slam SF. British No. 1. At the end of the year, how's that going to make you remember 2018?
You have to almost get your first out of the way, and do it, rather than just thinking it will happen. So now that I've done a few of them I'm very pleased, and I think it's going to help me in the future.
Now that you have the first title, what are your next goals?
Watch Hot Shot: Edmund Finishes SF With A Flourish In Antwerp 2018
You've done well on clay, hard. What would you say is your favourite surface now?
Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge who has helped you get to where you are in your career this year but also just generally speaking?
For sure, my two coaches and my fitness trainer, they've been there the majority of the weeks so they've helped me a lot. Probably the most important would be your family because they have always been there and they always support you no matter what, with mum and dad and sister.
There were times when I was 10, 11 years old where we would go for tennis sessions at 6:30 in the morning until 8, which meant getting up at like 5:30, and my mum would do that, take me to the courts. There's lots of sacrifice that goes in and for sure, they'll be very happy with my win today.
After the season, what will you do that you maybe haven't had time to do lately?
I always have sport interests. Last year I think I did go to a Liverpool game so I might try that. I know I'm going to go to England vs. New Zealand for rugby. I've played rugby in school and watched it on TV but I've never actually been to an international test match in rugby so I'm pretty pumped to watch that. And apart from that there have been no plans. I try not to make plans in my off-season because generally you just want to chill out. But for sure I'll go for a holiday.
|Milan Contenders Enter Critical Week In Brest|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:43:00 Z|
Exactly 19 years ago, Roger Federer entered Brest, France, as a highly-touted teenager on the cusp of a big breakthrough. He would leave the tournament with his maiden - and lone - ATP Challenger Tour title.
This week, a group of #NextGenATP stars are looking to follow in Federer's footsteps at the €106,000 event. And the stakes couldn't be higher in the ATP Race To Milan, with three Next Gen ATP Finals contenders in action. At Nos. 8-10, Jaume Munar, Ugo Humbert and Michael Mmoh are all seeded in Brest and will be fighting for a coveted berth in Milan. They also feature as three of the five nominees for Newcomer of the Year, in the 2018 ATP World Tour Awards Presented by Moët & Chandon.
Entering the week, Andrey Rublev (750 points) is in the driver's seat for one of the two remaining qualifying berths, with Munar (641) one spot behind and looking to hold off the rest of the pack. The Spaniard is seeded second in Brest, but will face significant pressure with only 93 points separating him from Humbert (582) and Mmoh (548). With 110 points awarded to the champion, it will be a mad dash to the finish line.
"Munar has a lot of points, so it's going to be tough to catch up to him," Mmoh said after winning the title in Tiburon last month. "But you never know. The way I'm playing, it could happen."
Each member of the trio has enjoyed great success on the ATP Challenger Tour this year, en route to Top 100 breakthroughs in the ATP Rankings. Munar could face fellow Mmoh in a blockbuster quarter-final laden with Milan implications, while Humbert looms in the top half of the draw.
Mmoh would need to lift the trophy to have a shot at surpassing Munar and punch his ticket. Humbert must reach the final at the least. But, with top seed Julien Benneteau, defending champion Corentin Moutet and an in-form Lorenzo Sonego also featuring in the draw, nothing will come easy.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov, Alex de Minaur, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz have already qualified for the 21 & under season finale. The second edition of the tournament will be held at the Fiera Milano from 6-10 November 2018.
By The Numbers
(9) Humbert: 20-year-old Frenchman is the hottest player on the ATP Challenger Tour, posting a staggering 26-5 record since mid-July. He won titles on the hard courts of Segovia, Spain and Ortisei, Italy, while also claiming his first Grand Slam match win at the US Open and his first on the ATP World Tour in his hometown of Metz.
(10) Mmoh: 20-year-old American broke into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings last month, after going back-to-back on home soil in Columbus and Tiburon. He is the only member of the trio with multiple ATP World Tour quarter-final appearances this year (Brisbane, Los Cabos).
Note: While the trio competes in Brest and Rublev looks to wrap up a berth in Vienna, two other players are still mathematically alive and competing at ATP World Tour 500 events. At the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna, 12th-placed Felix Auger-Aliassime received a main draw wild card and would need to reach the semi-finals. And at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, 19-year-old qualifier Alexei Popyrin must lift the trophy.
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 22:26:00 Z|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 22:24:00 Z|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 22:23:00 Z|
|First-Time Winner: Tsitsipas Reveals What He Changed In Stockholm|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 22:09:00 Z|
Twenty-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas completed a lifelong dream on Sunday, beating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia to win the Intrum Stockholm Open and celebrate his maiden ATP World Tour title. Greece's #NextGenATP star spoke to ATPWorldTour.com about the accomplishment:
How does it feel to be holding your first ATP World Tour trophy?
Watch Highlights: Tsitsipas Wins Maiden Title In Stockholm
How does it feel to be the first Greek to win an ATP World Tour title?
Was this a goal you had as a junior growing up and did you think it would happen so quickly?
I'm grateful that I can play good tennis at such a young age and have all these people around me, like my father and my team at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, to help me reach my goals... This tournament, I basically had nothing to lose, I played my game. I actually look up to the players I face most of the time because I've seen them play on TV, like Gulbis, Federer, Djokovic, so for me being a part of it is very, very special.
Did you go into your third final with a different approach after losing to Rafael Nadal in Barcelona and Toronto?
So I was very confident that I was going to make something really good in the final. I knew most of the things that happened today were in my hands. [I had] much more confidence and much more experience than last time.
How much confidence did you have after beating four Top 10 opponents in Toronto?
You are the youngest player in the Top 20 [No. 16]. Could you ever imagine at age 20 you would be ranked this high?
Now that you have won your first ATP title. What are your next goals in the foreseeable future, the next six months?
I'm going to have to sit down and think, what do I want to achieve in 2019? Because 2019 is going to be a crucial year for me, and obviously I want to achieve much more. But right now I'm just enjoying the moment, enjoying this great year that I had and hopefully I can do even better in Basel and Paris.
Watch Hot Shot: Tsitsipas Scrambles, Rips Backhand Passing Shot
You have qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. You will be the top seed. Talk about playing in that event for the first time.
Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge who has helped you get to where you are in your career?
My team also in Greece, which I don't see that often, but they have helped me also in the past and still keep on helping me. All those people I believe, all this support from them made me who I am today.
We know you enjoy basketball. What are your hobbies and things you enjoy outside of tennis?
I enjoy very much editing videos, which I create. I enjoy YouTube because it's a great platform where you can watch videos of creators and people that create different things on the Internet, which is fabulous.
I enjoy many sports, actually. I enjoy swimming when I am back in Greece. Swimming and also bowling with my friends. That's how I spend most of my time when I am home.
|Karlovic Becomes Oldest Challenger Champion|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 22:06:00 Z|
A LOOK BACK
At 39 years and seven months, Karlovic etched his name in the record books in the process, becoming the oldest winner in ATP Challenger Tour history. Dick Norman previously held the honour for nearly a decade, having prevailed in Mexico City in 2009 at the age of 38 years and one month.
Karlovic defeated Jordan Thompson 7-6(3), 6-3 to clinch the 16th title of his career (ATP World Tour & ATP Challenger Tour combined). He fired a total of 126 aces on the indoor hard courts of Calgary. The Croatian, who also reached the final two weeks ago in Monterrey, Mexico, is up 13 spots to No. 108 in the ATP Rankings.
"It was a very difficult match," said Karlovic. "He was serving very well. Not as hard, but a good placement. But at the end of the match, I was able to control it. It has been an excellent week. I enjoyed it a lot here and had a great experience. This tennis centre is unbelievable."
Oldest Challenger Winners
Yinzhou International Men's Tennis (Ningbo, China): In 2018, a total of 12 tournaments are held in China. This week, the final swing of the year commenced at the star-studded $150,000 event in Ningbo. Third seed Thomas Fabbiano lifted the trophy on Sunday, defeating Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 55 minutes. Persistent rain showers forced the final to be moved indoors. It was the Italian's sixth Challenger title and first of the year.
While Fabbiano emerged with the trophy, a slew of budding #NextGenATP stars captured the headlines during the week. Fifth seed Miomir Kecmanovic reached the semis, while Norway's Viktor Durasovic stunned fellow 21-year-old Hubert Hurkacz to advance to his first Challenger quarter-final. And 20-year-old Korean Yunseoung Chung saved two match points in a first-round win and one more to book a quarter-final berth.
Wolffkran Open (Ismaning, Germany): October on the ATP Challenger Tour means super-fast indoor conditions in Europe. The balls were flying last week in Ortisei, Italy, and the trend continued on German soil in Ismaning. Filippo Baldi took full advantage, en route to securing his maiden Challenger crown. He defeated Gleb Sakharov 6-4, 6-4 for the title on Sunday.
Baldi scored impressive wins over third seed Marco Trungelliti and second seed Ugo Humbert during the week. He became the third Italian winner aged 22 & under this year, joining Matteo Berrettini and Gianluigi Quinzi.
A LOOK AHEAD
The final week in the ATP Race To Milan is upon us and three contenders are in action in Brest, France. Jaume Munar, Ugo Humbert and Michael Mmoh are Nos. 8-10 in their quests to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals. All are seeded in Brest.
Meanwhile, the first of a four-week U.S. swing begins in Las Vegas. Defending champion Stefan Kozlov is in action, along with top seed and fellow #NextGenATP Lloyd Harris.
On the clay of Lima, Peru, the South American clay-court swing begins. Gerald Melzer looks to repeat as champion, while Pablo Cuevas leads the field. From Lima, the swing moves to Ecuador, Uruguay and Argentina.
And in Traralgon, Australia, the summer of Aussie tennis kicks off with the traditional two-week October swing. One year ago, Jason Kubler launched his incredible rise to the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings with the title on home soil. This year, the Comeback Player of the Year nominee is the top seed in his quest to retain the crown.
And finally, in Liuzhou, Fabbiano looks to go back-to-back on Chinese soil. He is joined by Radu Albot, Ramkumar Ramanathan and 19-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic, who won his maiden title exactly one year ago in nearby Suzhou.
|Highlights: Tsitsipas Beats Gulbis For Maiden Title In Stockholm|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 21:48:00 Z|
|Watch highlights as NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas wins his maiden ATP World Tour title at the Intrum Stockholm Open. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.|
|Highlights: Emotional Edmund Earns First Title In Antwerp|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 21:45:00 Z|
|Watch highlights as British No. 1 Kyle Edmund defeats Gael Monfils in a third-set tie-break to capture his first ATP World Tour title, winning the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium. Photo Credit: Imagellan. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.|
|Scouting Report: 20 Things To Watch In Basel & Vienna|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 18:57:00 Z|
The last two of 13 ATP World Tour 500-level tournaments take place this week in Basel and Vienna, where valuable ATP Ranking points are at stake for the ATP Race To London and the ATP Race To Milan. The Nitto ATP Finals qualification cut-off is 5 November and the Next Gen ATP Finals cut-off is 29 October.
At the Swiss Indoors Basel, Roger Federer will look to thrill his home crowd and capture a ninth title. The Swiss is joined by World No. 5 Alexander Zverev, No. 6 Marin Cilic and an exciting field of challengers, including Intrum Stockholm Open champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. Dominic Thiem tops the draw at the Erste Bank Open 500, where eight of the Top 15 players in the ATP Rankings are competing, including European Open winner Kyle Edmund.
10 THINGS TO WATCH IN BASEL
2) Hometown Hero: Eight-time Basel champion Federer owns a 66-9 record at his hometown tournament and he has reached the final in 11 straight appearances (2006-15, 2017). Overall, in 17 main draw appearances, Federer has made 13 finals, holding a 8-5 record. He has a 15-match winning streak in Basel since his last loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the 2013 final. Federer is 39-7 this season with three titles from five finals.
3) Millman Rematch: In the second round, Federer could face Aussie John Millman, who earned the biggest win of his career by stunning the Swiss in the fourth round of the US Open. Millman opens against German Jan-Lennard Struff.
4) Zverev Returns: The 21-year-old German is making his first visit to Basel since losing in the first round in 2014. The second seed is 3-2 in finals this season, winning titles in Munich, Madrid and Washington, D.C.
5) Basel Success: Cilic is the other former Basel champion in the draw. The 30-year-old Croat has a 13-4 record at the event, winning the title two years ago and reaching the semi-finals last year. He captured his 18th tour-level title at the Fever-Tree Championships and was runner-up at the Australian Open.
6) Arriving In-Form: Stockholm champion Tsitsipas and Moscow finalist Adrian Mannarino both arrive in Basel after strong showings last week. Tsitispas defeated Ernests Gulbis to lift his first tour-level trophy, with Mannarino falling to 0-6 in tour-level finals after an impressive week in the Russian capital.
7) Stan Is Back: Swiss No. 2 Stan Wawrinka is making his 14th Basel appearance in 16 years. The former World No. 3 is 11-13 in Basel, with two semi-final appearances, in 2006 and 2011. He is 17-17 this season.
8) Medvedev Moving Up: No. 7 seed Daniil Medvedev is making his Basel debut this week. The 22-year-old Russian is bidding to win his fourth tour-level trophy of the season on as many continents, after previous title runs in Sydney, Winston-Salem and Tokyo.
9) Eye On Milan: The trio of No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov and wild card Taylor Fritz have all qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
10) Doubles Draw: Top seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus are looking to become the next team to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals. They are No. 7 in the ATP Race To London. No. 3 seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau are No. 13 in the Race.
10 THINGS TO WATCH IN VIENNA
2) Top-Seeded Thiem: Austrian star Thiem is the No. 1 seed in his hometown tournament for the first time. With a 6-7 record in Vienna, Thiem's best result came in 2013 when he reached the quarter-finals. The Austrian will be hoping to enjoy the success of top seeds since 2010. Since then, five of the past eight champions were top seeds. Thiem is 48-16 on the season with titles in Buenos Aires, Lyon and St. Petersburg.
3) Returning Champion: Unseeded Lucas Pouille, who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2017 championship match, is the No. 1 Frenchman at No. 22 in the ATP Rankings. He is 1-2 in finals this season, winning his fifth ATP World Tour title in Montpellier and finishing runner-up in Marseille and Dubai.
4) Former Champions: Besides Pouille, there are two other former champions in the draw: wild card Jurgen Melzer, the last Austrian titlist in 2010, and 2011 winner Tsonga, who also reached the final in 2016 and 2017.
5) Melzer's Singles Finale: Melzer is competing on the singles court for the final time this week. The Austrian climbed as high as World No. 8 and captured five ATP World Tour titles. The 37-year-old left-hander faces former World No. 3 Milos Raonic in the first round.
6) Next Gen Contenders: Wild card Felix Auger-Aliassime is trying to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals. The 18-year-old Canadian is the youngest player in the draw and is No. 13 in the ATP Race To Milan with a 24-13 record and two ATP Challenger Tour titles. He owns a 6-9 tour-level record in 2018. Frances Tiafoe, who is No. 5 in the ATP Race To Milan, has already qualified. The American is making his Vienna debut.
7) Edmund Eyes Another Title: After capturing his maiden tour-level trophy in Antwerp, No. 8 seed Edmund will enter the Austrian capital full of confidence. The Brit, who owns a 35-20 tour-level record this year, also reached the Grand Prix Hassan II championship match in April.
8) Monfils Returns: Antwerp runner-up Gael Monfils is making his first appearance in Vienna since 2015, when he advanced to the semi-finals. On his Vienna debut in 2008, Monfils reached the championship match (l. to Petzschner). The Frenchman opened the season by winning his seventh tour-level trophy in Doha.
9) Basilashvili On The Rise: Nikoloz Basilashvili, who has captured ATP World Tour 500-level titles in Hamburg and Beijing this year, has jumped from No. 82 on 22 July to a career-high No. 23 in the ATP Rankings.
10) Doubles Race: The Top four teams in the ATP Doubles Race To London have already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals at The 02. This week, these teams are also the top four seeded teams in Vienna: Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, No. 2 Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, the 2015-16 champions, No. 3 Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, and No. 4 Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
|Highlights: Mahut/Roger-Vasselin Capture Team Title No. 6 In Antwerp|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 17:37:00 Z|
|Watch highlights as Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeat Marcelo Demoliner and Santiago Gonzalez to win the European Open. Photo credit: imagellan. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.|
|Watch Edmund's Emotional Victorious Moment In Antwerp 2018|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 16:12:37 Z|
|Watch Kyle Edmund break down into tears after claiming his maiden ATP World Tour title with a thrilling three-set victory against Gael Monfils at the European Open in Antwerp. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.|
|Read & Watch: Khachanov Ends Russian Title Drought In Moscow|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 15:14:00 Z|
Karen Khachanov ended a nine-year title drought for Russian players at the VTB Kremlin Cup, cruising past Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Russian picked up his second tour-level trophy of the season after just 54 minutes, winning 76 per cent of service points and converting four of six break points to hand Mannarino his sixth tour-level final defeat (0-6). Khachanov improves to 39-21 this season by capturing his third tour-level crown and now owns a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Mannarino.
"[Winning in Russia] was one of the dreams I had when I was a kid," said Khachanov. "Coming here [as a kid] I was asking top Russian players for autographs and dreaming one day to become a champion here. Today is the day and I am really happy. These are memories I will always keep in my head."
Khachanov, who also triumphed this season in Marseille (d. Pouille), remains unbeaten in tour-level championship matches (3-0) and continues to impress as 2018 draws to a close. The 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier enjoyed a stellar North American hard-court season, which included a run to the Rogers Cup semi-finals and the US Open third round. The third-seeded wild card was only broken once, by Lukas Rosol in his opening match, en route to the trophy in the Russian capital.
"I started really well," said Khachanov. "I was very aggressive and didn't give chances for [Mannarino] to step into the match and get some rhythm. I think that was one of the keys."
Antalya finalist Mannarino was aiming to lift his first tour-level trophy in his sixth final. The 30-year-old was bidding to join the list of 13 first-time tour-level champions this season. #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kyle Edmund became the 12th and 13th first-time winners of the year with title runs in Stockholm and Antwerp, respectively.
"Karen played really well today," said Mannarino. "He was serving really well and didn't miss that much... I didn't play my best, but still, he was too good today."
Khachanov receives 250 ATP Ranking points and receives €152,785 in prize money for securing his third ATP World Tour crown. Mannarino gains 150 ATP Ranking points and collects €80,465.
Did You Know?
|Bambridge/O'Mara Clinch Stockholm Title|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 14:27:00 Z|
Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara captured their second tour-level trophy of the season on Sunday, defeating Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof 7-5, 7-6(8) at the Intrum Stockholm Open.
The British duo, now 9-4 as a team at tour-level, rallied from 2/6 down in the second-set tie-break and saved five set points before converting its second championship point after one hour and 42 minutes. In June, Bambridge and O'Mara won the Nature Valley Interational on their tour-level team debut. Bambridge has now lifted seven trophies this season in total, following five ATP Challenger Tour title runs on clay, grass, outdoor hard and indoor hard.
"We only started this year," said O'Mara. "It has been pretty successful. We are very different people... but when we get on the court it just clicks well. We both do different things well and at the end of the day we just battled for every ball.
Bambridge and O'Mara improve to 2-0 in tour-level finals after their triumph in the Swedish capital. Daniell and Koolhof, who own an 11-11 team record, were competing in their first final together after pairing up for the first time at the Fever-Tree Championships in June. Both Daniell and Koolhof have won three tour-level trophies.
Bambridge and O'Mara receive 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €33,210 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Daniell and Koolhof gain 150 points and share €17,460.
Did You Know?
|Sensational Tsitsipas Makes Greek History In Stockholm, Claims Maiden Title|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 14:10:00 Z|
#NextGenATP 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas made history on Sunday, becoming the first Greek to capture an ATP World Tour title, defeating qualifier Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 6-4 to win the Intrum Stockholm Open.
"Of course I feel happy because I'm the first Greek [to win a title]. Hopefully many Greek players can achieve something like this. I would be super-happy to see them achieve something like this in the future, maybe even in the near future," Tsitsipas said. "Representing my country at such high-level tournaments, being the first Greek to crack the Top 100 is very, very special for me."
This is a moment Tsitsipas has long dreamed of. It doesn't hurt that some of the best players in the history of the sport have triumphed in Stockholm, including the likes of Roger Federer, Boris Becker and Mats Wilander.
"This trophy, it is amazing... When I first came to this tournament, I saw all those names: Federer, [Juan Martin] Del Potro, and I was like, 'Wow, wouldn't it be cool to have my name there one day'?" Tsitsipas said. "It happened this week. I was very focused, determined to win the tournament... I played great tennis and I deserve to have that spot."
It has been a season of firsts for Tsitsipas: He reached his first tour-level final in Barcelona, his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 championship match in Toronto, and cracked the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 13 August. But perhaps in Stockholm, he made his biggest breakthrough yet by lifting his maiden ATP World Tour trophy.
Nicholas Kalogeropolous was the first Greek to make a tour-level final, doing so in Des Moines 35 years ago. But when Gulbis missed a forehand in the net after one hour and 21 minutes, Tsitsipas tossed his racquet in the air and put both hands on his head knowing he was the first player from his country to triumph at tour-level.
"My strategy was to focus on every point twice more than I'm used to," Tsitsipas said of withstanding the pressure of finishing off his victory. "When I make these thoughts, good things happen. I managed to stay focused in the last game when I broke him at love, great return game from my side. Very focused in every single point, took advantage of his second serves and managed to close it. The feelings after that were just unreal."
It certainly wasn’t the first time Tsitsipas showed his potential, as he arrived in Sweden one spot off his career-best of No. 15 in the ATP Rankings (the youngest player in the Top 20). At the Rogers Cup in August, Tsitsipas became the youngest player to defeat four opponents inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings at a single event.
In the Stockholm final, Tsitsipas dominated on serve, winning 80 per cent of his service points and saving the only break point he faced. The No. 3 seed dropped the second set of his opening-round match against John Millman, but then won seven consecutive sets to come out victorious, adding 250 ATP Ranking points to his total as well as earning €109,310.
Tsitsipas is gaining plenty of momentum as the season nears its exciting climax. The Greek, who was an alternate in Milan last year, has already booked his spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals, to take place at the Fiera Milano from 6-10 November.
Gulbis, the World No. 145, entered the week with just four tour-level wins on the season. But the Latvian won four main draw matches in Stockholm to make his first final since 2014 Nice. Gulbis was trying to become the eighth singles champion in 2018 ranked outside of the Top 100. Qualifiers are now 8-3 in ATP World Tour finals this year.
While it was disappointing for Gulbis to not win his seventh tour-level title, the former World No. 10 gave full credit to Tsitsipas. He also leaves the tournament with 150 points and €57,570.
"He played a really good match. He had a great week," Gulbis said on court after the match. "Congratulations on your first title. I know it's a big deal to win your first ATP [World Tour] title, so enjoy it. I wish that it's not the last one."
Did You Know?
|Emotional Edmund Captures First Trophy In Antwerp|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:52:00 Z|
Kyle Edmund captured the first ATP World Tour title of his career on Sunday in dramatic fashion, defeating Frenchman Gael Monfils 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4) to win the European Open in Antwerp.
If there was any doubt that the moment meant a lot to the British No. 1, Edmund broke down into tears as he walked over to celebrate with his team after crushing a forehand winner down the line to clinch his victory.
“I’m obviously very happy. A lot of hard work goes into this. So it’s just emotional,” Edmund said on court. “You always remember this one. Gael made me work for it today, that’s for sure, so credit to him. I’m just so happy.”
When Edmund arrived in Marrakech this year, he had been 0-5 in tour-level semi-finals. But the Brit advanced to his first final there at the Grand Prix Hassan II. The second time in a championship match proved the charm for the 23-year-old, who managed to overcome Monfils despite the Frenchman winning four more points in the match.
"I've been playing well this week, so I knew I had a really good chance," Edmund said. "But after going down in the first set, you always have to stay positive, but just reevaluate and see how the match is going. So it was good to turn the match and just keep at it, not panic and just trust that your opportunity will come."
In crunch time, it was Edmund's fearlessness that prevailed. Throughout the match, the top seed dictated play, especially off the forehand wing. But it was a tremendous backhand down the line at 5/4 in the final-set tie-break that gave him his first championship point, which he converted after a physical two hours and 27 minutes of play.
"It's the final, so you just give everything you've got," Edmund said. "At the end of the day, it's not really about how you play, it's about getting the result in the final, which is what I've got."
It has been the best season of Edmund’s career, as he got off to a great start by reaching the Australian Open semi-finals. Edmund cracked the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 14 May, and he will now match his career-best of No. 14 on Monday thanks to the 250 points he earns along with €109,310 in prize money.
Monfils was trying to capture his second title of 2018. If he won, it would have been the first time he earned multiple trophies in a season.
But it was an impressive week nonetheless for the entertaining 32-year-old, who arrived in Belgium on a four-match tour-level losing streak. But that did not stop the sixth seed from performing well, despite falling to 7-21 in finals. Monfils leaves Belgium with 150 ATP Ranking points and €57,570.
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|Krajicek Earns Maiden Trophy, Triumphs With Ram In Moscow|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 13:03:00 Z|
It might have been just their second tour-level event together, and their first in more than three years, but Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram did not show any rust in Moscow. Instead, the Americans defeated defending champions Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald 7-6(4), 6-4 on Sunday to triumph at the VTB Kremlin Cup, clinching their first title as a team.
The victory is a special one for Krajicek, who earns his maiden ATP World Tour crown. The 28-year-old had fallen short in two previous tour-level finals this year, and three overall. But he joined Ram to defeat the third seeds in 77 minutes, despite winning one less point than their opponents in the match.
"It feels phenomenal to finally get a title. It was my third final of the year, so it was great to pull one out, especially playing with a good buddy like Rajeev," Krajicek said. "We played some Challengers back in the day and played well together, so it's really awesome to get it done on this stage."
While it is Krajicek’s first title, Ram now owns 16 tour-level doubles crowns, and this is his second of the season. Ram won the BMW Open by FWU in Munich. Krajicek and Ram earn 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split $46,420.
"It was great to play with Austin today and to get the win," Ram said. "We were comfortable with each other. We're good friends. Just very happy and proud to help him win his first title today. I think he's a great player, and he can certainly do quite well in the doubles game."
Mirnyi entered the match undefeated in five previous Moscow doubles finals with five different partners, including Roger Federer in 2002. Mirnyi and Oswald claimed their first trophy together at the event last season, and have won twice since, at the ATP World Tour 250-level events in New York and Houston. They earn a share of $24,400 and 150 points each.
|Read & Watch: Mahut/Roger-Vasselin Capture Team Title No. 6 In Antwerp|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:43:00 Z|
While Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin might not be full-time partners on the doubles court, the Frenchmen have certainly found success when they do team up.
Mahut and Roger-Vasselin defeated Marcelo Demoliner and Santiago Gonzalez 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday to win the European Open, capturing the title in Antwerp after one hour and 14 minutes. It is the pair’s sixth ATP World Tour title together, including a victory in Metz last month.
"This was a great week. Nico was a bit sick at the beginning of the week, so it was tough. But then of course we're happy to have this wonderful trophy," Roger-Vasselin said. "I think we probably played our best match of the week today. Tough week, but really happy to have this sixth title together."
Before that title-run at the Moselle Open, Mahut and Roger-Vasselin had not lifted a trophy together in more than five years. But now, they've triumphed twice in less than a month. And perhaps most impressively, the Frenchmen won all 16 sets they've played in those two events.
Mahut now owns 24 tour-level titles on the doubles court, while Roger-Vasselin has 16. The latter also won in Antwerp two years ago, when he partnered recently-retired Canadian Daniel Nestor. Mahut and his usual partner, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, have already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, to take place at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. Buy Your London Tickets
The Frenchmen not only leave Belgium with the title, but they each gain 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €33,210 in prize money. While Demoliner and Gonzalez will be disappointed to not finish the tournament as champions, the Brazilian-Mexican duo add 150 points to their totals and split €17,460. Gonzalez was also the runner-up in Antwerp last season.
"They were playing great. I think they've improved a lot this year," Mahut said. "At the end of the day we have the trophy, a very beautiful one, I have to say."
|Watch Federer & Wawrinka Practise In Basel|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:37:00 Z|
|Watch highlights of practice between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka at their home tournament, the Swiss Indoors Basel, on Sunday.|
|Highlights: Khachanov Ends Russian Title Drought In Moscow 2018|
|Sun, 21 Oct 2018 11:29:51 Z|
|Watch highlights as Karen Khachanov defeats Adrian Mannarino in straight sets to win the VTB Kremlin Cup on Sunday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. AFP/Getty Images photo.|