Rafael Nadal takes back the No.1 spot after Rome win

Rafael Nadal survived a stunning fightback from Alexander Zverev to win a record eighth Italian Open. Nadal cruised to the first set before defending champion Zverev won nine of the next 11 games to take the second set 6-1 and lead 3-1 in the decider. But the Spaniard turned the match around following a lengthy rain delay and closed out a 6-1 1-6 6-3 victory. The win will see Nadal regain the world number one ranking before the French Open which starts next Sunday. Roger Federer had regained top spot in the rankings when Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Masters last week, his only defeat on clay this season. Nadal has now won three clay-court titles from four tournaments in the lead-up to his bid for an 11th Roland Garros title in Paris.

Source: BBCSport

Alexander Zverev wins Madrid Master

Germany’s Alexander Zverev looked every bit a serious French Open title contender as he crushed claycourt specialist Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-4 in the Madrid Open final on Sunday. Oddly the 21-year-old world number three is yet to progress past the last 16 of a grand slam but he now has three Masters 1000 titles to his name and against Thiem played with a swagger that suggests that his record in the majors will improve soon. The second seed broke a nervy-looking Thiem in the opening game thanks to a double-fault and was never really challenged as he produced a clinical serving display in which he did not even offer up a break point. Zverev, who did not face a break point all tournament, broke again right at the start of the second but squandered the chance of a double-break two games later as Thiem, conqueror of Rafael Nadal in the last eight, hung on. There was no chance of a let-up from Zverev though and he remained focused throughout, winning on his first match point when his Austrian opponent returned long.

Source: Reuters

Nadal wins record 11th Barcelona title

Rafael Nadal continues to make winning on clay look all too easy. The Spanish master extended his dominance on the surface with a 6-2, 6-1 win over 19-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday to win his 11th Barcelona Open title. Nadal, who also won his 11th Monte-Carlo Masters title last week, was never seriously challenged on his way to a 19th straight victory on clay. The top-ranked Spaniard has now won 46 straight sets on clay, extending his own record. He hasn’t lost on clay since facing Dominic Thiem in Rome last year.

Source: ABC

Budapest: Lucky loser Marco Cecchinato wins the first ATP title

World number 92 Marco Cecchinato has come to Budapest with just five ATP wins under his belt, looking to qualify for the main draw and continue where he left in Monte Carlo last week. It wasn’t to be for him, though, losing in the second qualifying round to Jurgen Zopp but he still found himself in the main draw as a lucky loser after Laslo Djere was forced to withdraw. Marco grabbed the opportunity with both hands, going all the way to clinch his first ATP title despite never playing in the semi-final at this level before. Cecchinato is the ninth player in the Open era who won an ATP title as a lucky loser and the third in the last two seasons after Andrey Rublev and Leonardo Mayer in Umag and Hamburg last July. The title match has been the most important in a career for both him and John Millman who had an initial disadvantage, having to complete his semi-final match against the 5th seed Aljaz Bedene earlier today to even get a chance to compete in the final.

Source: TennisworldUSA

Rafael Nadal beats Kei Nishikori to win Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori in straight sets in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters to retain his status as world number one. The 31-year-old Spaniard won 6-3 6-2 in 94 minutes to claim a record-extending 11th triumph at the clay-court event. Nadal has won 36 straight sets on his favoured surface after proving too strong for world number 36 Nishikori. He had to win the Masters 1000 tournament to prevent Roger Federer overtaking him in the rankings. “It’s always special for me to be back here, having this trophy. It’s one of the most important events of the year for me,” said Nadal.

Source: BBC Sport

Johnson wins again on Houston clay

Steve Johnson captured his second consecutive ATP US Clay Court Championship title on Sunday by outlasting fellow American Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-4. Sixth seed Johnson won his third career ATP title, taking two in a row on Houston clay after his first victory came in 2016 at Nottingham. American eighth seed Sandgren, who made a stunning run to the Australian Open quarterfinals in January, was playing in his first tour final.

Source: Supersport

World 355 Andujar wins Marrakech title

World No. 355 Pablo Andujar became the lowest-ranked ATP winner in 20 years on Sunday when he beat first-time finalist Kyle Edmund 6-2, 6-2 for the Grand Prix Hassan II title. He became the first player to win the title three times after wins in 2011-12. Andujar has won three of his four ATP titles in Morocco, with the fourth coming in Gstaad four years ago. The 32-year-old cruised through the first set after running out to a 5-1 lead, then in the second set he broke on his first three break point opportunities. In February Andujar was ranked No. 1,824 after elbow surgery. He is now on a 10-match winning streak, previously winning a Challenger-level title.

Source: Tennis-X

John Isner beats Alexander Zverev in Miami to win first Masters title

American John Isner won his first ever Masters 1,000 title with a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 victory over German Alexander Zverev in the Miami Open final. In a nervous opening, the first set went with serve before world number five Zverev edged the tie-break. But 32-year-old Isner twice broke Zverev in the following sets and held his serve throughout the match. Zverev, 20, saved five break points in the decider but crowd favourite Isner served his 18th ace to seal the title. The world number 17 will now move back into the top 10 next week after the biggest win of his career. “I couldn’t have scripted this. I came into this tournament, I had won one ATP [World Tour] match all year and was playing very poorly,” Isner said. “I won my first match in three sets and that’s how tennis goes – you start to gain a little confidence and next thing you know things start to roll your way.”

Source: BBC

Federer’s streak ends as Del Potro wins in Indian Wells

Juan Martin del Potro saved three match points in a thrilling final at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday before handing world number one Roger Federer his first loss of the year and claiming his maiden Masters 1000 title. The Argentine stunned a raucous Indian Wells crowd that had been loudly backing Federer to continue his winning streak and secure the biggest win in the nine years since his U.S. Open title triumph with a 6-4 6-7(8) 7-6(2) victory. Federer, the defending champion, had chalked up 17 consecutive wins in 2018, a run which included his 20th grand slam title at the Australian Open, but was unable to outlast his determined 29-year-old opponent. Del Potro was considered a genuine threat to Federer’s dominance of the game when he won at Flushing Meadows in 2009 but has been dogged since by a series of wrist problems which almost ended his career.

Source: Reuters

Del Potro continues Anderson dominance to win Acapulco title

Kevin Anderson was playing some of the best tennis of his life. In only his fourth tournament of the year, the South African had already reached his third final of the season at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco. But none of that mattered to Juan Martin del Potro in Mexico on Saturday night. The 6’6” Argentine outplayed Anderson for the seventh time in a row in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (7-0), beating Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to win the ATP World Tour 500 title, his biggest trophy since 2013 Swiss Indoors Basel (d. Federer). It’s Del Potro’s first title of 2018, and he had to fight through a wicked draw, including three Top 10 players, for the crown. The Argentine beat serve-and-volley throwback Mischa Zverev, four-time Acapulco champion David Ferrer, No. 6 Dominic Thiem and No. 5 Alexander Zverev before toppling No. 8 Anderson in the final. The Argentine now has 21 tour-level titles and, what might be especially encouraging for Del Potro, this title on 3 March is the earliest in a season he’s hoisted a trophy since 2014, when he won the Sydney International (d. Tomic) on 11 January.

Source: ATP