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Rublev Extends Strong Hamburg Record

Andrey Rublev continued his love affair with the Hamburg European Open Wednesday, moving past lucky loser Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round.

The second seed hit through the Lithuanian with his precise and powerful groundstrokes, while he stepped up his intensity in the key moments to shrug off a second-set Berankis comeback and advance after 73 minutes.

Rublev now holds a 10-2 record at the ATP 500 clay-court event, having advanced to the final in 2019, before he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift the trophy in his previous appearance in 2020.

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“I am happy with my performance. Ricardas is a really tough player. He hits the ball really hard and plays fast, so I had to bring intensity from the first game,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “I am really happy with how I was serving today and I hit some great shots from the baseline.

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Fognini Earns 400th Win In Hamburg

The Fabulous One looks out from his enigmatic photo on the ATP Tour website with a slightly raised eyebrow and a Mona Lisa half-smile. It’s the perfect image for a guy, who like a jalapeno-laced martini, is somehow simultaneously fiery and irresistibly cool.

On Tuesday in the Hamburg European Open, Fabio Fognini won a typically taut, fraught first-round match over Aljaz Bedene, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5). And while the flamboyant Italian has earned a reputation for the sheer style of his performance art, this one underlined the undeniable substance. It was the 400th tour-level match win of his career.

Coming up in juniors, did he ever imagine this possibility?

“Well, no, no,” he said afterward. “I’m 35 and, looking back, I have to say this is a great milestone achievement for me. For sure, I am happy.”

Fognini, that swashbuckling pirate of the high seas, is only the 14th active player to win 400 matches in his career and the first Italian man in the Open Era with 400 tour-level wins. Adriano Panatta is next with 392 wins, followed by Andreas Seppi with 386 wins, second-most among active Italians.

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Thiem Saves MP, Wins Gstaad Opener In Third-Set Tie-Break

Playing at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad for the first time since his 2015 title run, Dominic Thiem won a dramatic opening match on Tuesday against seventh seed and 2021 Gstaad finalist Hugo Gaston.

The Austrian picked up his third tour-level victory of the season with a 1-6, 6-1, 7-6(7) win in Roy Emerson Arena, using a big serve to erase a match point in the tie-break as he claimed the final three points of the contest.

[ATP APP]

"It's always really challenging. That tie-break in the third set was very, very tough," said Thiem, who hit a dipping return on his second match point to thwart his opponent's serve-and-volley attempt.

"The first two sets were very one-sided, the first for Hugo and the second for me. Then the third set, no breaks so the tie-break had to decide it. Tie-breaks in deciding sets are always somehow 50/50. It was so close... Really happy that I got the win."

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Alcaraz Survives Kuhn Scare In Hamburg

Carlos Alcaraz endured a rocky start to his Hamburg European Open debut on Tuesday afternoon, but the #NextGenATP Spaniard dug deep to complete a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3) first-round win against German wild card Nicola Kuhn.

Alcaraz rallied impressively after he dropped the opening set to the World No. 259 Kuhn, whose aggressive tactics paid off in the early stages in northern Germany. The Spaniard combined consistency with some trademark moments of brilliance to level the match before holding his nerve in the deciding-set tie-break to improve his record on clay in 2022 to 21-2.

Prior to the tournament, Alcaraz had spoken of how he was using the extra pressure of playing as a top seed at an ATP Tour event for the first time as a source of motivation. Those words were put to the test immediately in Hamburg, where Alcaraz had to showcase grit and determination in the closing stages to hold off the 22-year-old Kuhn.

“It was tough. I mean, the first round in every tournament is tough,” said Alcaraz, who was playing his first match since his run to the fourth round at Wimbledon. “I came from the grass, and the difference was too much. I’m really happy to be [through to] the second round. I’m sure that I will be better in the next round, but I’m really happy with the win.”

[ATP APP]

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Fognini Digs Deep In Hamburg For 400th Tour Win

Fabio Fognini held off a fierce challenge from Aljaz Bedene at the Hamburg European Open on Tuesday afternoon. In the process, the 35-year-old Italian notched his 400th tour-level win.

Fognini claimed the only break of the first set to move ahead at the ATP 500 event in northern Germany, but he was made to dig deep after Bedene responded strongly to force a decider. Fognini saved five break points in the opening game of the deciding set before prevailing in a tie-break to seal his 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) victory.

[ATP APP]

The win improved Fognini’s lead in his ATP Head2Head series with Bedene to 10-1. The Italian is a nine-time tour-level titlist but is chasing his first crown since claiming his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in 2019.

Fognini, the 2013 champion in Hamburg, is now 14-13 for 2022. That record includes runs to the semi-finals on the clay in Rio de Janeiro and Belgrade. His second-round opponent in Germany will be seventh seed Karen Khachanov.

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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Maxime Cressy

Maxime Cressy’s bid for a maiden ATP Tour title appeared over halfway through the championship match at the Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport on Sunday, but the 25-year-old American engineered one of the comebacks of the season to secure his first tour-level crown.

The 25-year-old American recovered a 2-6, 0-3 deficit against Alexander Bublik on the grass in Rhode Island to cap an impressive week in which he also defeated countrymen Mitchell Krueger, Steve Johnson and John Isner en route to the title at the ATP 250 event.

Having been outside the Top 150 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings as recently as twelve months ago, Cressy’s run in Newport lifted him to a career-high No. 33 on Monday. After his remarkable triumph in Rhode Island, ATPTour.com caught up with the American as he reflected on the latest milestone in his rapid rise.

What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
I think it’s the most incredible feeling that I’ve had in my entire life. It’s difficult to describe. I’ve been looking forward to that first title for a very long time.

How did your experience in previous finals against Rafael Nadal and Taylor Fritz prepare you for this match?
Those matches were also nerve-wracking, just like today! Playing Nadal was beyond belief, it was more like, ‘Is it actually happening?’ I think that was one reason I wasn’t able to beat him. Against Fritz, it was close margins as well.

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Ritschard Stuns Sousa, Lehecka Books Ruud Clash In Gstaad

Perseverance paid off for Alexander Ritschard at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad on Monday afternoon.

The 28-year-old wild card upset eighth seed Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-3 to notch his maiden tour-level win at the clay-court ATP 250 event in his homeland.

“[It’s] very special. I’m very happy with the result. There’s no better feeling than winning your first ATP Tour match at home,” said Ritschard after the match. “I just played my game, which is very aggressive. I was just brave enough to go for my shots.”

After playing in qualifying in Gstaad in 2012, 2013 and 2016 without reaching the main draw, Ritschard banished the memory of those disappointments in style on Monday, breaking the four-time Tour titlist Sousa’s serve four times in a 92-minute victory.

Ritschard impressed on tour-level debut at Wimbledon three weeks ago, when his powerful shotmaking pushed World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas to four sets on the London grass. His reward for the victory against Sousa in the Swiss mountains is a second-round meeting with fourth seed and 2019 champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Francisco Cerundolo

Francisco Cerundolo’s breakout 2022 season hit a new milestone on Sunday at the Nordea Open in Bastad, where the Argentine defeated countryman Sebastian Baez to clinch his maiden ATP Tour title.

Cerundolo’s early season form saw him break the Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time in February and reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in March. Last week in Sweden, he upset top seed Casper Ruud for his first Top 10 win and also defeated Pedro Sousa, Aslan Karatsev and Pablo Carreno Busta to take the title at the clay-court ATP 250 event. The triumph lifted the 23-year-old to a career-high No. 30 on Monday.

ATPTour.com caught up with Cerundolo after his win over Baez to find out what the victory means for the in-form Argentine.

What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
To win my first title is amazing. It feels fantastic and it is a dream come true. I’m really happy because I played a really good week, some amazing matches, with good wins against very tough players. So I’m very proud of myself.

Could you take a moment to acknowledge some of the key figures in your life and career who have helped you to reach this milestone?
My family is important in my tennis and my life because my parents are both coaches. They have an academy in Buenos Aires, so I think tennis is a big part of my family. They helped me a lot since I was a kid. I chose to play tennis myself, they did not [force] me, but after I made that decision, they helped me a lot.

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Musetti Saves 2 MPs, Rallies To Lajovic Win In Hamburg

Lorenzo Musetti was on the brink of an early exit on his debut at the Hamburg European Open on Monday afternoon, but the #NextGenATP Italian dug deep to rally to a 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-3 first-round victory against Dusan Lajovic at the ATP 500 event.

It marks a first tour-level win for the 20-year-old since May, when he came through qualifying before defeating Ilya Ivashka and Sebastian Korda en route to the third round at the Mutua Madrid Open. Despite his struggle for form since then, Musetti showed admirable resilience on Monday in Hamburg, where he saved a match point when serving at 4-5 and then again at 5-6 in the second set of his first ATP Head2Head meeting with Lajovic.

The angle of that forehand ?

?? Musetti @hamburgopen pic.twitter.com/glruOmHlKR

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) July 18, 2022

After taking the second-set tie-break, Musetti claimed the only break of the decider to seal a hard-fought two-hour, 56-minute victory. The win over World No. 75 Lajovic will be a boost to the Italian, who currently sits fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, as he seeks to qualify for November’s Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in his homeland for the second consecutive year.

Musetti, who now holds a 14-16 record for the 2022 season, will face third seed Diego Schwartzman or Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round in Germany as he seeks to reach his fourth tour-level quarter-final of the year.

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Exclusive: Getting The Thiem Train Back On Track

‘Game, set, match, Thiem.’

They were the words Dominic Thiem had been waiting 14 months to hear. When they came, following his first-round victory over Emil Ruusuvuori last week in Bastad, the 28-year-old could finally exhale.

For the Austrian, it was a special moment and a landmark point in his return from a right wrist injury that forced him to miss the second half of last season, a layoff that was followed by a struggle for form in the opening months of 2022.

“The win felt very good and it was much needed,” Thiem told ATPTour.com. “The ATP Challenger [Tour] event in Salzburg the week before was also a step in the right direction, with a win there and with a tight loss in the next round. I felt there was a big improvement compared to Roland Garros and the other tournaments.

“Crucially, I was able to back it up in Bastad with two very good wins against two Top 50 opponents, so that was very good and amazing for my confidence. It is way more fun to win some matches and build some momentum and confidence, and that is exactly what I am going to take forward.”

Dominic Thiem
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Foki Fells Botic In See-Saw Hamburg Opener

There were breaks of serve aplenty in the opening match of the 2022 Hamburg European Open on Monday, but it was Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who prevailed in a topsy-turvy first-round clash against fifth seed Botic van de Zandschulp.

Despite his own serve being broken twice in each set, Davidovich Fokina’s return game carried him to victory in northern Germany. The World No. 35 broke van de Zandschulp’s serve six times on the way to a 6-4, 6-4 win that improved his record against higher-ranked players this year to 8-12.

The most notable of those wins came at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April, when Davidovich Fokina upset then-World No. 1 Novak Djokovic en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 final.

Foki gets the W ✅@alexdavidovich1 comes through a tricky match vs Van de Zandschulp 6-4 6-4 at the #HamburgOpen pic.twitter.com/wuDJnmN0Hj

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) July 18, 2022

The Spaniard also reached the quarter-finals on the grass at The Queen’s Club in June, when his run was ended by van de Zandschulp in straight-sets. Monday’s victory in Hamburg restored Davidovich Fokina’s lead in the pair’s ATP Head2Head meeting, with the Spaniard moving into a 2-1 lead.

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ATP Kicks Off 'Game Changing' 50th Anniversary Campaign

The ATP has today unveiled 'Game Changing', an integrated campaign celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the ATP's formation in 1972.

Founded as a players' association at the 1972 US Open, ATP has since undergone a journey of evolution over the course of its rich 50-year history. Today boasting hundreds of millions of fans, a global Tour across more than 30 countries each season and iconic superstar athletes, the ATP Tour has grown into one of the world’s pre-eminent sports entertainment platforms.

To mark this major milestone, ATP has today launched ‘Game Changing’ – an integrated campaign celebrating 50 years of iconic moments, influential figures and changing styles that shaped the game known and loved by fans around the world.

From the ATP’s humble beginnings under a set of stairs in New York, to the creation of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and the famous ‘Parking Lot Press Conference’ that led to the formation of the ATP Tour in 1990, the campaign looks back over the fundamental building blocks of modern tennis. Charting a course through landmark moments, influential figures, new rules and Tour destinations, to OneVision, ATP’s transformational strategic plan that repositions tennis for the next era of growth, ‘Game Changing’ tells the colourful story of a sport that continues to embrace the future and positive change.

‘Game Changing’ kicks off this week with a 12-part series of original editorial and social content, presented under a standout new visual identity. Each week the series will explore a key theme, spanning Matches, Rivalries, Comebacks, Fashion, Innovation, Venues, and many others. Further original programming will be introduced over the course of the campaign.

Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman: “The game has a rich heritage and has never stood still. This campaign is a celebration of that incredible story, the people that made it happen and the diversity of our global game. Importantly, it also gives a nod to the future. It’s a privilege to mark this major milestone, as we look ahead to building on ATP’s incredible 50-year journey.”

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Cerundolo Cracks Top 30 Following Bastad Title

Following his victory at the Nordea Open in Bastad, Francisco Cerundolo has cracked the Top 30 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time, while Maxime Cressy jumps to a career-high No. 33 after winning his maiden tour-level title at the Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport

ATPTour.com looks at the movers of the week, as of Monday, 18 July.

[ATP APP]

No. 30 Francisco Cerundolo, +9 (Career High)
The Argentine has climbed to a career-high No. 30 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after he captured his first tour-level trophy in Bastad. The 23-year-old earned his first Top 10 win when he upset Casper Ruud in the second round, before he dispatched countryman Sebastian Baez in the final on the clay in Sweden. Read Bastad Final Report & Watch Highlights.

View Latest Pepperstone ATP Rankings

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‘Not A Typical Lefty’: #NextGenATP Swiss Stricker On Federer Link & U.S Success

When it came to choosing his tennis idol as a kid, there wasn’t much deliberating to be done for Dominic Stricker.

“Of course, if you live in Switzerland…My one big idol [had to be] Roger Federer,” the #NextGenATP Swiss recently told ATPTour.com. “Roger is Swiss and has a pretty similar game to how I would like to play.”

Now one of the hottest prospects on the ATP Tour and sitting at No. 187 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, the 19-year-old Stricker no longer has to simply regard Federer as someone to be admired from afar. Stricker’s coach, Sven Swinnen, spent two years as the 103-time tour-titlist's classmate and daily practice partner at the Swiss national federation when the pair were in their teens. His illustrious ex-classmate has been more than happy to offer advice to Swinnen’s young charge.

“It is lucky,” said Swinnen. “Roger invited Dominic to Dubai twice already to do some practice, some pre-season stuff, so that was really helpful. Roger knows us now pretty well and we got some really good tips from him.”

[ATP APP]

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Cressy's Comeback Nets First ATP Title

The third time was the charm for Maxime Cressy. In his third ATP Tour final, the American lifted his first trophy on Sunday.

After losing nine of the first 11 games of the Infosys Hall of Fame Open championship clash, the American produced a stunning rally to defeat Alexander Bublik 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) for his maiden tour-level triumph.

Twelve months ago Cressy was outside the world's Top 150 but with today’s win he will climb to a career-high No. 33 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday. Nobody in the Top 50 has climbed more spots this year than the American.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win my first title, I never thought I would win it this way,” he said. “I played my first ATP tournament here, and it’s always an incredible atmosphere. There were a lot of ups and downs today but I’m very proud of myself for fighting through it.”


Photo Credit: Ben Solomon/International Tennis Hall of Fame
It looked for the first hour of the match that Cressy would move to 0-3 in finals this season. But instead of panicking against the third seed, the former UCLA Bruin maintained his resolve and battled back to triumph after two hours and 23 minutes.

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Blumberg/Johnson Surge To Newport Title

William Blumberg and Steve Johnson capped a dream debut tournament as a team on Sunday at the Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport, where the home favourites upset Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo to lift the trophy at the ATP 250 event.

Blumberg and Johnson triumphed 6-4, 7-5 in the championship match against the top-seeded South African-Brazilian duo on the grass in Rhode Island.

“It’s a great event to win. It’s fun to win here at the Hall of Fame, and I’ve got one of each here,” said 2018 singles champion Johnson. “I’m pretty happy about it.

“I’ve wanted to play with Will [before], and it just hasn’t worked out in the past. This year it worked out. It’s a good run, 4-0, and we’ll try and keep it going.”

[ATP APP]

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Scouting Report: Alcaraz Stars In Hamburg, Berrettini & Ruud In Gstaad

The clay-court action takes centre stage on the ATP Tour this week, with Carlos Alcaraz leading the field at the Hamburg European Open and Casper Ruud the top seed at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad.

Former champions Andrey Rublev and Pablo Carreno Busta are also in action at the ATP 500 event in Hamburg, Germany. In Gstaad, Matteo Berrettini is competing on clay for just the second time this year at the ATP 250 tournament in Switzerland.

ATPTour.com looks at five things to watch at each event.

View Draws: Hamburg | Gstaad

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Cerundolo Overcomes Baez For Maiden Tour Title In Bastad

Francisco Cerundolo capped an impressive week at the Nordea Open in Bastad with a high-quality straight-sets victory against countryman Sebastian Baez on Sunday to lift his maiden ATP Tour title.

Both players had showcased plenty of clean baseline hitting en route to the final this week in Sweden, but it was Cerundolo who raised his level at key moments on Sunday to secure a 7-6(4), 6-2 championship match triumph at the ATP 250 event.

[ATP APP]

The victory represents another milestone in a breakthrough season for Cerundolo. The 23-year-old cracked the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time in February after runs to the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires and the semi-finals in Rio de Janeiro, before reaching a maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Miami in March.

His victory against Baez is set to lift Cerundolo into the Top 30 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday. The Argentine upset Casper Ruud in three sets for his first Top 10 win in the second round in Bastad, while he also defeated Pedro Sousa, Aslan Karatsev, and Pablo Carreno Busta to set a final showdown with Baez.

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Matos/Vega Hernandez Save MP, Clinch Bastad Crown

Despite only teaming for the first time in March, Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez’s fledgling partnership continues to impress.

The Brazilian-Spanish duo picked up its third ATP Tour title in the space of just four months with a dramatic 6-4, 3-6, 13-11 championship match victory against Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini at the Nordea Open in Bastad on Sunday.

“[We are] super happy, because we started so well this week,” said Vega Hernandez after the match. “Then we won the quarter-final, the semi-final and the final in Match Tie-breaks. I’m very, very happy to finish with the title.”

“We have played the last four months together, but we had never played before,” said Matos. “I think it’s working. We are really good friends, on the court and off the court, so I think that helps. [It makes] a difference for our team. I am just happy, and we [hope] to keep going like this because we want more. We are going to try to play [at the Nitto ATP Finals] in Turin.”

[ATP APP]

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'The Hall Of Fame Seemed So Far Away': Emotional Hewitt Inducted In Newport

It has been an emotional weekend for Lleyton Hewitt. Surrounded by family and friends in Newport, the Australian has relived his growth from a boy with a dream in Adelaide to one of tennis’ greatest champions in recent memory. On Saturday evening, that culminated in his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

“The Hall of Fame seemed like something that was so far away from me ever being part of,” Hewitt said during the induction ceremony. “It was never something I ever thought about as a player, and it was always, I thought, for the people that were my idols growing up and the absolute legends of the sport.”

In a stirring induction speech, the 41-year-old took fans from around the world through his journey to the podium in Rhode Island. When Hewitt was a boy, his favourite sport was AFL football, which was played by members of his family, including his father, Glynn Hewitt.

But following a period of research, Hewitt’s parents found a tennis coach for their son in Peter Smith, who had a weekly slot available at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. “Rusty” never looked back.

One of the most important meetings of his life came as a teen, when he was introduced to Australian legend John Newcombe at his camp in Texas. Hewitt asked to interview Newcombe for a school project.

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