Nadal Hits 800 Straight Weeks In Top 10

Eight hundred consecutive weeks. That’s how long Rafael Nadal has been living inside the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. His run has spanned more than 15 years and counting: 5,600 days. 134,400 hours. The Mallorcan’s streak has already lasted longer than the Napoleonic Wars or World War I, World War II, and the American Civil War combined. By the time he’s done, look out Thirty Years’ War.

Nadal broke Jimmy Connors’ mark of 789 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 in November and shows no signs of relinquishing a perch that’s become so familiar, he could almost be charged rent for the space. The last time there were two digits higher than 10 next the man’s name in the rankings, Facebook was a year old, Twitter and Instagram hadn’t been invented, no one had ever heard of Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber was a tween busking for coins … Read the rest

De Minaur Hits Reset Button To Beat Goffin In Antalya

Alex de Minaur fought hard to reach his eighth ATP Tour final on Tuesday at the Antalya Open. The fourth-seeded Australian recorded his second straight win over second seed David Goffin of Belgium 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in one hour and 52 minutes.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match, and I’d be under pressure when serving,” De Minaur told ATPTour.com. “I had to reset and go back to my game plan and my strengths after I lost the second set. I won some tough rallies in the third set and that helped me out for sure.”

The 21-year-old De Minaur, who lifted three trophies in 2019 at Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai, will next face eighth-seeded Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik for the first time. Bublik beat Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 in the second semi-final.

“Alex can beat any player on any given day and he has … Read the rest

Korda's Next Move After Delray Beach Run: 'I'm Going To Go Work Hard'

Sebastian Korda’s dream week at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com fell short of the perfect ending Wednesday when he lost in the championship match against Hubert Hurkacz, but the disappointment won’t keep the #NextGenATP American down.

“I always handle things pretty well. In 2019 I lost in the final of the last tournament of the year in a Challenger with a couple of match points against J.J. Wolf and if I had won that match, I would have gotten into the Australian Open Qualifying,” Korda said. “It’s always a step in the right direction and I always take the positives out of things and I’ll have no problem dealing with this. For me it’s only a big plus. I’m going to go back, I’m going to go work hard and just trust my tennis and keep doing the things that I’m doing.”

That mindset helped the 20-year-old stay focussed … Read the rest

Pavic/Mektic Complete Debut Week With Antalya Trophy

One week into the 2021 ATP Tour season and new team Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic have captured their first team trophy.

The top-seeded Croatian team completed a dream week at the Antalya Open on Tuesday by beating second seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 6-2, 6-4 in the doubles final, which lasted 67 minutes.

“It’s a great start and couldn’t be any better, especially because it’s our first tournament together,” Mektic told ATPTour.com.

Pavic told ATPTour.com, “It’s always great to start the year like this as we’ve never played together before. It’s good to get a lot of matches and the goal, for me, is always to reach the [Nitto] ATP Finals, which was in London and now in Torino. It’s a good way to start.”

Mektic and Pavic threatened throughout the first set, breaking serve in the third and seventh games. The new team were unable to convert … Read the rest

Brown, Alcaraz On Cusp Of Australian Open Main Draw

They may be almost 20 years apart, but 36-year-old German Dustin Brown and 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain are both on the cusp of qualifying for the 2021 Australian Open. The qualifying competition is being staged this year in Doha due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown, who is bidding to compete in the main draw for the first time in three years, struck eight aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to beat Spanish No. 22 seed Carlos Taberner 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday. He will next play American Maxime Cressy, who fired 21 aces to overcome Yannick Maden of Germany 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Alcaraz, who is already a winner of three ATP Challenger Tour titles, bounced back from a slow start in both sets to beat Russia’s Evgeny Karlovskiy 7-6(1), 7-6(4). He will next face second-seeded Bolivian Hugo Dellien, who beat Andrew Harris of Australia 6-4, 7-6(6).… Read the rest

Jellyfish, Llamas & Unicorns: Inside Ariel Behar's Wardrobe

When you mention jellyfish, llamas and snakes in the same sentence, you’d expect the discussion to be about a zoo. But Ariel Behar brings animals, the elements and even mythical creatures onto the tennis court.

No, not literally. But the Uruguayan doubles player wears unforgettable outfits.

“I was the most grey guy wearing clothes. I was only wearing white, black and grey,” Behar told ATPTour.com. “I never wore anything weird at all. I was super simple, [but] my wife got me into it.”

Behar’s wife, Sabrina Sielecki, is the founder and owner of Lalá Sportswear. She used to work with leather, making various jackets and fun designs. But about four years ago, she shifted into sportswear and began designing clothing for Behar, who at the time was her boyfriend.

“It started out as a side job, [even a] joke, but it became a reality,” Sielecki said. “It became my job.”… Read the rest

Fabio 2.0: Why Fognini Is Focussing On Calm & Patience

Fabio Fognini is one of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour. When the 33-year-old feels a certain way, positively or negatively, he makes sure everyone within shouting distance knows it. But since last May, when the World No. 17 underwent arthroscopic surgery on both his ankles, Fognini has adopted a new mindset highlighted by calm and patience.

Call this Fabio 2.0.

“I know that sounds really weird from me, those kinds of words,” Fognini joked to ATPTour.com after winning his first-round match at the Antalya Open on Friday.

But the Italian is serious. The nine-time ATP Tour titlist is as hungry as ever for success, especially with the Nitto ATP Finals moving to Turin in his home country, Italy, this year. Fognini knows that coming back from those surgeries to find his best form will not be an easy task. But he is accepting things as they come, … Read the rest

Bautista Agut Trains With Nadal In Mallorca Ahead Of ATP Cup

With the new ATP Tour season officially kicking off on Thursday, some players are still looking to squeeze in some last-minute preparation ahead of their own tournament debuts. Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut is the latest player to hit the courts in Mallorca at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar to continue his pre-season with the top-ranked Spaniard.

The current World No. 13 travelled to Mallorca with his coach Pepe Vendrell to train alongside 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, both players focusing on their first tournament of the year. The pair are set to represent Spain in the ATP Cup, where they will be the No. 1 and No. 2 players for the nation that finished last year’s edition as runners-up after losing to Novak Djokovic’s Serbia.

In 2020, Nadal and Bautista Agut were also part of the Spanish outfit at the inaugural ATP Cup. While the Mallorcan led his … Read the rest

Frances Tiafoe: My Letter To Arthur Ashe

Dear Arthur,

I did not have much growing up. My parents are both immigrants from Sierra Leone. My dad was a janitor at a tennis facility in Maryland, and I was lucky to be around the sport from a young age, even if I did not have the money or opportunities a lot of other kids did. None of that stopped me from dreaming big. I pushed myself to the limit every day with a big smile on my face.

Here I am, 22 years old, and I just found out that I won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award. That little kid with big dreams now has his name associated with yours. That is insane.

But I know this is not just an award. It is a tremendous honor and a massive responsibility. I am not just that smiley kid on the rise anymore. I know I need to carry … Read the rest

Nadal Chases Major Milestone In 2021

With the 2021 ATP Tour season fast approaching, many of the ATP Tour’s most established stars will have their sights set on reaching historic milestones. Most notably, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will look to continue to add to their stunning lists of career accomplishments.

ATPTour.com takes a closer look at the records the Big Three and other established names will be chasing in 2021.

Rafael Nadal
The Spaniard made history last year when he claimed a record-extending 13th Roland Garros title in Paris to join Federer at the top of the Grand Slam singles titles leaderboard for the first time. Nadal can overtake the Swiss and take sole ownership of one of the most prestigious records in the sport with a second Australian Open title run in February. Federer, who moved clear of former record holder Pete Sampras with his 15th major triumph at 2009 Wimbledon, will … Read the rest