Thiem wins for second time in Buenos Aires

If Dominic Thiem’s start to the Latin American Golden Swing is any indication of his 2018 form, the rest of the ATP World Tour better take notice. The Austrian blasted to the title at the Argentina Open, not dropping a set all week in notching the clay-court title. Thiem dominated Sunday’s final, downing Aljaz Bedene 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 31 minutes. He extended his perfect mark in Buenos Aires to 9-0, having previously won the title in 2016, and lifted his ninth ATP World Tour trophy in total. It was his first crown in nearly a year, since triumphing in nearby Rio de Janeiro last February. Thiem’s victory puts him in elite company, becoming just the third player in the last 30 years to win multiple titles in the Argentine capital. The World No. 6 joins Spaniards David Ferrer (2012-14) and Carlos Moya (1995, ’03, ’06) in the exclusive club.

Source: ATP

Anderson wins New York Open

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson bagged only the fourth title of his career with a three-set victory over Sam Querrey to claim the ATP Tour New York Open on Sunday. Anderson played flawlessly in the third set tie-break to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/1) in two hours and 13 minutes, ending Querrey’s hopes of a title on home soil. The 31-year-old Anderson — who lost in the final of the US Open in New York last September — expressed delight at bucking a trend which has seen him lose in 11 finals before Sunday. “I’ve been to quite a few finals and if it doesn’t go your way it’s pretty tough to deal with,” Anderson said. “It means a lot to me that I was able to come through it today.”

Source: Daily Mail

First ATP title for Basic in Sofia

Bosnia’s Mirza Basic won seven matches in eight days to lift his first ATP Tour trophy after prevailing over Romania’s Marius Copil in the Sofia Open final on February 11 by a score of 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. Basic, whose stunning triumph included a win over Stan Wawrinka in the semi-final stage, started his week in the qualification rounds, where he knocked out Bulgarian wild-card Alexander Lazov, followed by his fellow countryman Tomislav Brkic. He went on to win his next three matches, against Germans Florian Meyer, fourth-seed Philipp Kohlschreiber and Maximilian Marterer before knocking out Wawrinka in straight sets (7-6, 6-4), the first seed and title favorite. The Swiss three-time Grand Slam champion, still recovering from injury, was a last-minute addition to the Sofia field, replacing home favourite and last year’s title winner Grigor Dimitrov, who pulled out before the draw, citing a nagging injury sustained at the Australian Open. “I’m very happy about everything this week. It’s the first title for me and the first final,” Basic said after the final, as reported by “Also, I’m very happy for breaking through after the match yesterday… After this week I will finally get in the Top 100. [After] this win, Sofia will always be my special place.” Basic entered the week as world number 129 and will jump more than 50 spots to 76th in the ATP Tour rankings.

Source: Sofiaglobe

Quito: Carballes Baena wins his first ATP title

Spanish qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena had an amazing run in Quito, winning six matches to become the first ATP winner on clay in 2018 and lift his maiden ATP trophy from the first final he entered. In the title match, Roberto toppled the second seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 4-6 6-4 in 2 hours and 27 minutes for his biggest achievement in a career so far, previously winning four Challenger crowns on clay. 24-year-old came to Quito with just 13 ATP wins and two of those came 12 months ago here when Ramos-Vinolas beat him in the quarter-final in three sets.More experienced Spaniard won their first meeting in Bastad in 2016 as well but he couldn’t go all the way today, facing 11 break points and losing serve three times. Roberto served well, losing just 21 points in 15 service games and he lost his serve twice from five break opportunities he offered to Ramos-Vinolas.

Source: TennisworldUSA

Pouille winner in Montpellier

For the third time in 10 months, Lucas Pouille has saved match points en route to an ATP World Tour title. The 23-year-old overcame three-time champion Richard Gasquet 7-6(2), 6-4 at the Open Sud de France to win his fifth tour-level title on Sunday.Pouille saved two match points at 1-6, 3-5 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Saturday’s second semi-final before his compatriot was forced to retire with a left hamstring injury. The World No. 17 seized his opportunity in the final with a fine serving performance, scoring an impressive 87-minute win over Gasquet to lift his second title on home soil (Metz, 2016).”I’m very happy with the win today,” said Pouille. “Obviously it was a tough match. Richard is an amazing player and one of the best on tour. The first set was very important and taking the tie-break led me to the victory. I’m very happy with the way I played. It was a great week for me in Montpellier, winning the title in the city where I got my first wild card on tour at 18. It’s a great feeling and I’m very happy with this. I hope to come back next year and defend my title.”

Source: ATP

Federer Claims his 20th Grandslam title in Australia

There were tears, but that was to be expected from Roger Federer at the Australian Open. In the end, the most remarkable part of his 20th Grand Slam singles title was that it came as no surprise. Not even at age 36 in a sport where the spoils have generally been reserved for a much younger crowd. Federer, like Serena Williams, has redefined the limits. After going nearly five years without a major title, he has now won three of the last five in a phase of his career when he insists that he would have been content with just one more. “I’ve won three Slams in 12 months,” he said. “I can’t believe it myself.” On Sunday, under a closed roof in Rod Laver Arena, Federer secured his sixth Australian Open by recovering his mojo in time to hold off Marin Cilic, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Federer is the oldest man to win the Open since one of his role models, Ken Rosewall, in 1972. Though seeded No. 2 behind Rafael Nadal, Federer was the clear favorite coming into this year’s tournament based on his hardcourt results in 2017 and the fragile physical state of his traditional archrivals. Still, he resisted that label. “I don’t think a 36-year-old should be a favorite of a tournament,” Federer said before the Open began. Federer broke down in tears — not for the first time — during the trophy ceremony in Rod Laver Arena as Laver himself was taking pictures with his phone from the front row.

New York Times

Bautista beats Del Potro in Auckland final

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut beat former champion Juan Martin de Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 on Saturday to win the ATP Tour’s ASB Classic for the second time in three years. Fifth-seed Bautista Agut, who won the title in 2016, outlasted second-seed Del Potro, the 2009 champion, in a match of remarkable highs and lows. The Spanish player swept through the first set in only 31 minutes as Del Potro seemed to struggle in warm conditions on a packed center court. But Del Potro took advantage of the only break point of the second set to level the match. The advantage in the third set went one way then the other until Bautista Agut broke del Potro to lead 6-5, then saved a break point to win the match in 2 hours, 7 minutes.


Medvedev wins his first ATP in Sydney

Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev fought off tigerish Australian youngster Alex de Minaur to win his first ATP Tour title at the Sydney International on Saturday. Medvedev completed a all-conquering week to hit back from losing the opening set to extinguish de Minaur, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5. It was 21-year-old Medvedev’s seventh win this week, giving him solid preparation for next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne where he faces another Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round.


Monfils celebrates return with Doha title

If 2017 was a struggle, Gael Monfils is back in business in the new year. The Frenchman rode a dominant serving display and dogged defence in claiming the title at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Saturday. Monfils raced to his seventh ATP World Tour crown, downing #NextGenATP Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 in 61 minutes. Appearing in his fourth final in Doha, Monfils finally broke through for his first tournament title. Runner-up in 2006 (l. t Federer), 2012 (l. to Tsonga) and 2014 (l. to Nadal), it was fourth time lucky for the Frenchman. He fired a total of 29 winners while striking only 10 unforced errors. One year after making his debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, Monfils saw his year-end position in the ATP Rankings slip to No. 46 as he struggled with his fitness in 2017. The 31-year-old was forced to withdraw from six tournaments with various ailments and concluded his season after the US Open, citing a right knee injury.  But Monfils has rediscovered his top form in the opening week of 2018. The Mikael Tillstrom pupil fought for a pair of three-set victories to open the tournament, defeating Paolo Lorenzi and Jan-Lennard Struff, before ousting Peter Gojowczyk in the quarter-finals. A semi-final walkover over top seed Dominic Thiemprovided ample rest for the Frenchman, who was at his ruthless best in the championship.

Source: ATP

Kyrgios starts new year with Brisbane win

Nick Kyrgios defeated Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2 in the Brisbane International final to clinch his maiden tour title on home soil and gain a confidence boost ahead of the Australian Open.Carrying a knee injury, the mercurial Australian made a slow start and was forced to save five break points before he managed to carve out his own first break in the seventh game. The 22-year-old claimed the first set before taking control of the match after his American opponent dropped serve at the start of the second set with a double fault. Kyrgios broke the big-serving Harrison again in a sublime second-set display to close out the match and seal his fourth career title. He thrilled the crowd with his delightful touch at the net, while his ability to crank up the pressure with his groundstrokes threw Harrison off his game.

Source: The Guardian