Under the Radar
Former World No. 38 Rebecca Marino captured her first title of 2021 with a win over Mayo Hibi of Japan this Sunday at the ITF 25k event in Evansville, IN. Currently ranked outside the Top 200 of the WTA, Marino dropped only one set in the entire tournament, the second set of the final match, and bounced back from that set lost by winning 9 of the last 10 games in the 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 victory.
No. 4 seed Marino served impeccably all week, in particular in the final where the Ontarian hit 10 aces and won 79% of points behind her powerful first serves. Hibi was the No. 1 seed and was ranked almost 100 places above Marino in the WTA World rankings.
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Shapovalov Top Seed in Gstaad
In his first tournament since the nail-biter three-setter semi-final against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, Denis Shapovalov will be back on clay courts playing in the Swiss Open Gstaad this week.
World No. 10 Shapovalov comes into the tournament played on clay as the Top Seed and favourite to lift the trophy. The 22-year-old had a good ending to his clay season before withdrawing from Roland Garros. In one of the matches of the year in Rome, he took eventual champion Rafael Nadal to the brink of defeat in the third round, having had match points before succumbing to the 10-time champion.
Shapovalov’s road to the title will not be a walk in the park, however. He could face No. 3 seed Casper Ruud, who has beaten the Canadian in the Geneva final in May for his second career title and first in this season, having also prevailed last week in Bastad without dropping a set. All of the Norwegian’s titles came on clay. The Geneva final was also Shapovalov’s last appearance on the surface this year.
The bottom half of the draw features Chilean Cristian Garin, Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut, and Argentinian Frederico Delbonis, all top players on the red clay.
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FIrst time for Carreno-Busta, Zidansek
World No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta scored the biggest title of his career with his first ATP 500 trophy in Hamburg las week. Without dropping a set, the No. 2 seed became the first Spaniard to win in Hamburg since Rafael Nadal in 2015.
Carreno Busta had the difficult task to stop Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who caused the upset of the tournament by defeating World No. 5 and Roland Garros finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets. Krajinovic is yet to win his first title, having now fallen in four finals.
Tamara Zidansek also enjoyed a first, having captured her first career title at the Ladies Open Lausanne 2021 last week. The 23-year-old is having the best season of her career so far, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 37 after a semi-final run at Roland Garros and reaching the final at the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota.
Kevin Anderson wins, Pospisil falls short
Wimbledon 2018 finalist Kevin Anderson won his first title since 2019 at the Newport Hall of Fame Open. The former World No. 5 twice came back from a set down en route to the title, shutting off American Jack Sock and No. 1 seed Alexander Bublik in back-to-back thrillers. Despite the strong 2018 Wimbledon campaign, this was the South-African’s first title on grass, all of his six previous crowns earned on hard-courts.
Canada’s Vasek Pospisil teamed-up with American Austin Krajicek to reach the finals in the doubles’ tournament in Newport. It was not to be this time for the 2014 Wimbledon men’s doubles champion, though, as the pair fell to wild-card team William Blumberg and Jack Sock in straight sets in the championship match.
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