Looking for Tennis and Racket Sports International News?

The RacketSTAR Tennis News Blog and Article Feed gives you up to the minute news and information about the Players and Sports Updates.

Mextenis León Open Wins 2023 Challenger Of The Year

The 'Mextenis León Open', in León, Mexico, has been awarded 2023 Tournament of the Year on the ATP Challenger Tour.

This year, a comprehensive rating system was established on the Challenger circuit, giving players the opportunity to evaluate and grade each tournament they compete in, based on various criteria. After a successful inaugural edition, the Mextenis León Open received the highest rating of all 196 Challenger tournaments. Located in the heart of Mexico, it is the fourth award winner from the country since 2015.

“Our commitment with the players, ATP, fans and sponsors will be always our priority," tournament director Jose Antonio Fernandez said. "We will keep working harder than ever to deliver this kind of experience to our players."

This year's León Challenger, held in April, was won by the-then 19-year-old Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, who captured his maiden title at that level in front of a packed crowd. The 6'8" Frenchman struck 21 aces in the final and played five tie-breaks across his semi-final and title match in Mexico.

[ATP APP]

Continue reading
Tags:

World No. 1 Djokovic Joined By Sinner, Alcaraz, Auger-Aliassime, Fils Among Winners In 2023 ATP Awards

Novak Djokovic was recognised for his record-extending eighth ATP No. 1 presented by Pepperstone honour and Jannik Sinner figured in three categories in the 2023 ATP Awards.

Sinner was named Most Improved Player of the Year and received the Fans’ Favourite Award, capping a breakout season in which the 22-year-old claimed his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto, reached the trophy match at the Nitto ATP Finals, and led Italy to its first Davis Cup title in nearly five decades. Additionally, Sinner’s mentors, Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi, shared the Coach of the Year award as voted by their contemporaries. Their charge reached a career-high No. 4 in 2023, matching legend Adriano Panatta as the highest-ranked Italian in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history.

Visit the official ATP Awards section

Longtime friends and ATP Masters 1000 Madrid winners Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev took home the Fans’ Favourite Award in the doubles category.

The 2023 ATP Awards also honours Djokovic and the tandem of Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek, who clinched year-end No. 1 during the Nitto ATP Finals. Djokovic won a tour-best seven singles titles on the year, including the 24th Grand Slam of his career. Dodig and Krajicek accounted for five doubles titles, their biggest coming on clay at Roland-Garros.     

Continue reading
Tags:

Indian Wells, London-Queen's Club, Bastad Named 2023 ATP Tournaments Of The Year

The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the cinch Championships at the Queen’s Club in London and the Nordea Open in Bastad continue to set the standard on the ATP Tour, winning Tournament of the Year honours in their respective categories in the 2023 ATP Awards.

For the ninth consecutive year, Indian Wells has been named the ATP Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year. Held amidst the natural beauty and backdrop of the desert landscape, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden offers top-notch player facilities and amenities; plentiful practice courts that allow fans to watch players up close; and unparalleled dining options.

“We’re honored to see the ATP players once again vote Indian Wells as their favourite 1000-level stop of the year,” said BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “This award reflects the dedicated support from all of our wonderful tournament staff, volunteers, fans and so many others who bring the BNP Paribas Open to life every year and contribute to the sustained success of our one-of-a-kind event.”

Carlos Alcaraz claimed the third Masters 1000 title of his young career at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in March, and Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden teamed to take the doubles crown.


Continue reading
Tags:

Alcaraz Honoured With 2023 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

A year after becoming the youngest No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Carlos Alcaraz has been selected by his fellow players as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, which recognises fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court.

"I’m so happy to win the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award," said Alcaraz. "I’m especially happy that it’s an award chosen by my colleagues on the circuit. It means a lot to me, so thank you all very much."


Alcaraz becomes the fourth Spaniard to receive the prestigious ATP Awards honour, joining Jose Higueras (1983), Alex Corretja (1996, 1998) and five-time winner Rafael Nadal (2010, 2018-21).

The 20-year-old has now won three player-voted ATP Awards, receiving Newcomer of the Year in 2020 and Most Improved in 2022. 

Continue reading
Tags:

Tickets On Sale For 2024 Nitto ATP Finals

Tickets for the 2024 Nitto ATP Finals, to be held from 10-17 November at the Palaolimpico, are now on sale.

Fans can buy their tickets for the season finale, where the season's top eight singles players and doubles teams will compete for the ultimate prize. Turin will host the prestigious event for the third consecutive year.

In the 2023 edition there were 15 sold-out sessions and more than 174,000 fans attended. Fans can now guarantee their 2024 tickets just in time for the holiday season.

Last month, Novak Djokovic captured his seventh Nitto ATP Finals crown in a thrilling week in which he avenged his round-robin loss to Jannik Sinner in the championship match.

Home hero Sinner enjoyed a standout run, surviving three consecutive deciding-set matches against Djokovic, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev to make the final.

Continue reading
Tags:

Here Comes Fils: #NextGenATP Frenchman Wins 2023 Newcomer Of The Year Award

Many fans would not have heard of Arthur Fils 12 months ago. Today the 19-year-old Frenchman is regarded as one of the sports’ most promising talents and he has capped his breakthrough year in style, being named the Newcomer of the Year in the 2023 ATP Awards.

“I’m really happy to win the ATP Newcomer of the Year,” said Fils. “It’s been an amazing year for me with a lot of good memories. I hope next year is going to be better, but thanks for the support all around the world.”


Fils started the season outside the Top 250 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings but peaked at a career-high No. 36 in October after reaching the final in Antwerp. The Frenchman’s standout highlight came on home soil in Lyon in May, when he won his first tour-level title. He was the youngest champion on the ATP Tour in 2023.

Fils’ breakthrough season started from day one. He won his first nine matches of the year on the ATP Challenger Tour, including a title run in Oeiras. In February, he made the most of opportunities to play at home, reaching the tour-level semi-finals in Montpellier and Marseille.

Continue reading
Tags:

Sinner Claims Most Improved Player Of The Year Honours For 2023

Jannik Sinner has been selected by peers as the Most Improved Player of the Year. It is the Italian’s second ATP Award of 2023 after he won the Fans’ Favourite Award earlier this week.

The Italian entered the 2023 season at No. 15 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, having clinched six tour-level trophies. With hype surrounding the 22-year-old, Sinner went from strength to strength in 2023, meeting and even exceeding lofty expectations.

The 22-year-old claimed four tour-level titles, including his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto, and reached the Nitto ATP Finals championship match. He also won the Davis Cup title with Italy, rose to a career-high No. 4 and advanced to his first major semi-final at Wimbledon.

By going 64-15, he set an Open Era record for most wins by an Italian player in a single season.

Sinner earned a personal-best 13 Top 10 wins in 2023, including two victories against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and two wins against Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. He had clinched nine Top 10 wins across the preceding three seasons.

"I think, especially the second half of the year, mentally I was much, much stronger," said Sinner. "I was not complaining so much on court when things were going in the wrong way. I think these kind of things, they make difference sometimes...

Continue reading
Tags:

2024 ATP Calendar Update: Gijon Returns, Astana Relocates to Almaty

The ATP 250 event in Gijon, Spain, which was held in 2022, will return to the ATP Tour calendar in 2024 as the Watergen Gijon Open. The indoor hard-court tournament will be played in Week 45 alongside the Moselle Open in Metz, from 3-9 November. 

Andrey Rublev triumphed in Gijon in 2022, when the field featured stars including Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta. Rublev defeated Sebastian Korda in the final.

Promoted by Watergen in collaboration with the city of Gijon and the Spanish Tennis Federation, the venue for the tournament will be the same as in 2022, the Palacio de Deportes la Gijon.

With Gijon slotting into Week 45, the BNP Paribas Nordic Open in Stockholm will return to Week 42. The ATP 250 event will be played from 14-20 October.

In the same week, the ATP 250 event previously held in Astana will relocate to Almaty. The tournament will be held at Almaty Arena, the largest sports facility in Kazakhstan. The city served as the country’s capital for almost 70 years and is the financial, scientific, cultural, economic, historical and industrial centre of Kazakhstan. 

Continue reading
Tags:

Medjedovic & Fils Among #NextGenATP Stars in 2023

The 2023 season was a breakthrough year for a host of #NextGenATP stars, with Arthur Fils and Hamad Medjedovic earning standout wins at tour-level events.

From Top 10 victories, to career-high Pepperstone ATP Rankings, ATPTour.com looks back at the brightest young prospects of 2022.

[ATP APP]

Arthur Fils, 19 years old
Arthur Fils started the season outside the Top 250 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings but peaked at a career-high No. 36 in October after reaching the final in Antwerp, where he defeated Top 10 star Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Frenchman’s standout highlight came on home soil in Lyon in May, when he won his first tour-level title. He was the youngest champion on the ATP Tour in 2023.

"I will remember this forever," Fils said after triumphing in Lyon. "It has been amazing. I am happy with the win and now I want more.”

Continue reading
Tags:

Rune Relives 'Crazy Roller Coaster' In Munich Final

As we continue to review the best moments of the 2023 ATP Tour season, we bring you a closer look at one of the year's unforgettable moments, straight from the source.

Holger Rune might have been feeling extra pressure as defending champion at the BMW Open by American Express in Munich this April, but the Dane handled it in stride. After three dominant wins earned him a place in the final, he claimed the opening set against Botic van de Zandschulp to move to the brink of his first successful title defense on the ATP Tour.

But there would be more twists to come — both literally and figuratively.

One year after van de Zandschulp retired in the Munich final against Rune, the rematch at the ATP 250 overdelivered in both the quality of the tennis and the drama of the scoreline.  

"I knew the final was going to be the toughest match of the tournament," Rune told ATP Uncovered, speaking ahead of his Nitto ATP Finals debut. "Botic played some of his best tennis in this kind of event, so I knew I had to be really ready. But I was feeling confident."

Continue reading
Tags:

Rublev Heads Hong Kong Field To Open 2024

Andrey Rublev is set to lead the field at the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open in Week 1 of the new season.
 
The No. 5 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings enjoyed a standout 2023 campaign, winning titles at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and in Bastad to finish in the Top 5 for the first time. He will begin the 2024 season at the ATP 250 in Hong Kong, with the first edition of the tournament since 2002 to begin main-draw play on 1 January.

[ATP APP]

Other notable names on the entry list include Frances Tiafoe, Marin Cilic, Mackenzie McDonald and Karen Khachanov. 

China's Shang Juncheng will also compete in Hong Kong. The rising #NextGenATP star broke into the Top 150 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time in 2023 and will now look to hit new heights before his 19th birthday in February.

The latest staging of the Hong Kong event will add to its rich history, with former champions including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi Michael Chang, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Tags:

Cahill & Vagnozzi Win 2023 ATP Coach Of The Year Award

Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi have been voted Coach of the Year in the 2023 ATP Awards for their work with Italian Jannik Sinner.

In 2023, the 22-year-old Sinner captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto, reached the championship match at the Nitto ATP Finals and became the first Italian man to end a season in the Top 5 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

The World No. 4, who finished the year holding a 64-15 record, also reached his maiden major semi-final at Wimbledon under the guidance of Cahill and Vagnozzi. Sinner won four tour-level trophies in 2023 and received the Fans’ Favourite Award earlier this week.

Vagnozzi has worked with Sinner since February 2022 but has been aware of Sinner's potential for considerably longer.

“I’ve known Jannik from when he was 14. He played against one of my junior players, so I saw him for the first time there,” Vagnozzi told atptour.com earlier this year. “It's really nice to coach him because he's a really funny guy. He has a really good character. It's easy to coach Jannik also because he wants to improve a lot and go on the court always with a smile and everything, so for a coach it’s really good.”

Continue reading
Tags:

Bouncing Back, Struff Wins Comeback Player Of The Year In 2023 ATP Awards

Jan-Lennard Struff has been named Comeback Player of the Year in the 2023 ATP Awards after overcoming injury to catapult from No. 167 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 21.

Struff was nominated in the Comeback category alongside three other players who have overcome injury to re-establish themselves as a major force on Tour — Dominik Koepfer, Gael Monfils and Alexander Zverev. 

“I’m very, very happy and excited to win the Comeback Player of the Year award for 2023. I was nominated with Sascha, Domi and Gael, which for me deserve the award so much as well for their seasons, so congrats for this,” said Struff. The German also thanked his team and family in his video message, “Without you guys it wouldn’t be possible.”
 

Struff started the season outside the Top 150 but soared after standout ATP Masters 1000 results. He reached the quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo before he became the first lucky loser in history to reach a Masters 1000 final at the Mutua Madrid Open. 

A run to the title match in Stuttgart followed in June, before a hip injury forced the 33-year-old to miss three months of the season, with Struff not holding a racquet for seven weeks.

Continue reading
Tags:

Dodig/Krajicek Top Standout Doubles Teams In 2023

ATPTour.com highlights five doubles teams whose chemistry also produced consistency to enjoy standout seasons in 2023.

Dodig/Krajicek Finish Year-End No. 1
The surface or conditions did not matter, Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek were a winning machine in 2023. Tied for a season-leading five tour-level titles, the Croatian-American team finished as Year-End ATP Doubles No. 1 presented by Pepperstone for the first time.

The right-handed Dodig and lefty Krajicek won their first major title together at Roland Garros one year after reaching the championship match in Paris. The duo claimed all five of its titles at or above the ATP 500 level and won on all three surfaces, triumphing in Rotterdam, Monte-Carlo, London/Queen’s Club and Beijing.

Finishing 2023 with a 39-15 record, 38-year-old Dodig and 33-year-old Krajicek also made finals at ATP Masters 1000 Miami, Adelaide-2 and Eastbourne, and advanced to the semi-finals of the US Open.

“We had a great year, played very consistent,” Dodig said. “All the hard work we put in this year, it's just amazing to finish the year as the number one team and really proud and happy about that."

Continue reading
Tags:

Paes To Be Inducted Into International Tennis Hall Of Fame In 2024

Former doubles World No. 1 Leander Paes is set to become the first Indian player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

The eight-time men's doubles Grand Slam champion, who first reached the summit of the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings in 1999, will receive tennis' ultimate honour at a ceremony in Newport on 20 July 2024. He will be joined by broadcaster and promoter Vijay Amritraj and renowned journalist Richard Evans, who are both set to be inducted in the Contributor Category.

Paes and Amritraj will become the first two Indians to be induced into the Hall of Fame, and the first Asian men to be elected in their respective categories.

“It has been my life’s honour to play for my country for over three decades in a sport that has given and taught me everything,” said Paes, who won a Davis Cup record 45 doubles rubbers in addition to an Olympic bronze medal in men's singles in 1996. “This acknowledgment is indeed the ultimate accolade for every tennis player. Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame belongs not just to me, but to our billion-plus Indians. Receiving this honour culminates a professional journey of a lifetime, standing on the shoulders of greats and sets the tone for other youngsters in Asia and around the world.”

[ATP APP]

Continue reading
Tags:

Longtime Referee Recalls Hong Kong Event's History Ahead Of ATP Tour Return

The ATP Tour will return to Hong Kong in the first week of the 2024 season with the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open, which will be held from 31 December 2023-7 January 2024 at Victoria Park Tennis Stadium. The tournament, which will be played for the first time since 2002, has a rich history. Dr. Edward Hardisty, who will serve as referee for the 2024 edition, looks back on his memories from an event that helped shape his career.

When Dr. Edward Hardisty was lured to Hong Kong half a century ago, he was excited by the prospect of expanding the minds and expertise of locals working in a flourishing industry. But a chance encounter soon after his arrival sparked the opportunity of a lifetime, with Dr. Hardisty instead shifting his focus to a sport requiring him to impose rules and restrictions. 

An Englishman by birth, Dr. Hardisty moved to Hong Kong with his wife Janet in 1973 to work with a polytechnic organisation seeking experts to upgrade the skills of local workers. Possessing a keen interest in tennis, he was thrilled to learn Hong Kong was running a tournament in November that year featuring one of his all-time favourite players.

“A certain gentleman by the name of Rod Laver was playing and he was one player that I'd always idolised, not only because he's another left-hander like myself, but because he was so good,” Dr. Hardisty said.

[ATP APP]

Continue reading
Tags:

Best Grand Slam Upsets Of 2023: Stricker's Strike, Stunner of Sinner Headline

Many of the year's most memorable upsets came on the Grand Slam stages, including big wins from a home favourite at the Australian Open and a pair of rising stars at the US Open.

As we continue to look back at the 2023 season, ATPTour.com counts down the five biggest shocks at the majors this year — all of which came in five sets.

[ATP APP]

5) Roland Garros R1, Seyboth Wild d. Medvedev 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Brazilian qualifier and Roland Garros debutant Thiago Seyboth Wild scored his first Grand Slam main-draw win in style with a upset of second seed Daniil Medvedev — who entered on a six-match clay-court winning streak after claiming his first tour-level title on the surface in Rome.

Coming into the match at No. 172 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, an aggressive Seyboth Wild made a dream start and held two set points for a two-set lead. But after cramping earlier in the second set, the 23-year-old could not prevent Medvedev from levelling the match and storming through set three soon after.

Daniel Altmaier
Dominic Stricker
Continue reading
Tags:

Sinner Voted Fans' Favourite In 2023 ATP Awards

Jannik Sinner has capped his career-best ATP Tour season in style after being voted the Fans’ Favourite singles player in the ATP Awards.

The 22-year-old Italian won four tour-level titles in 2023, including his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto. He also reached the Nitto ATP Finals title match, his first major semi-final at Wimbledon and led Italy to its first Davis Cup trophy since 1976.

Sinner, who held a 64-15 tour-level record in 2023, finished the season at a career-high No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, becoming the first Italian man to end a season in the Top 5.

The result will delight Sinner’s fan club, ‘The Carota Boys’, who have become famous in the tennis world for showing up at tournaments in carrot costumes. The act stems from a changeover in Vienna in 2019 when the Italian chowed down on a carrot.

Sinner, who won Newcomer of the Year in 2019, has been nominated for two player-voted ATP Awards this season: Most Improved Player of the Year and the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. The Italian’s coaches, Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi, are up for Coach of the Year award. Winners will be revealed throughout Awards Week. 

Continue reading
Tags:

My Point: Felix Reflects On Winning Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award

Tags:

Sportradar Launches 'Future Of Tennis Betting' With ATP

Sportradar and Tennis Data Innovations (TDI), a specialist joint venture vehicle of ATP and ATP Media, have entered into a multi-year agreement providing the sports technology company with global data and streaming rights for betting, and media data rights, for all ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events. The partnership will focus on driving commercial growth for the sport and enhancing fan engagement opportunities for the downstream market through the development of new betting and media products.

Commencing in December 2023, Sportradar’s ATP Service+ purpose-built suite of solutions offers new and dynamic ways for fans and bettors to engage with tennis via next-generation, value-add products and services which utilize previously unavailable deep data. ATP Service+ features include augmented streaming, transforming live streams with immersive 3D animations, expanded in-play betting markets, short-form video highlights for registered users and an extensive range of personalized and targeted betting products, to drive sportsbook performance for Sportradar's global network of operator clients.

[ATP APP]

Sportradar will also work with TDI to create products for media, showcasing more in-depth statistical analysis and insights to inform and entertain fans, as well as utilize Sportradar’s OTT solution to stream live match coverage of the ATP Challenger Tour, via ATP’s Challenger TV. Additionally, the creation of a joint Tennis Innovation Lab will address emerging opportunities to support ATP’s vision to establish tennis as the most technologically advanced sport in the world.

Sportradar will supply Integrity Services for all ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events to safeguard competitions against the threat of betting-related match fixing and corruption, including monitoring and addressing integrity threats and risks through due diligence and investigation support.

Continue reading
Tags:

RacketStar.com