Welcome To Keeping Up With The Tours!
These articles will serve as a resource for casual tennis fans and fanatics alike who don’t have the time to keep up with all of the tennis news around the world. If that’s you, this will provide a free and easy option to keep up with the sport you love.
With that being said, let’s get right into what has happened on the ATP and WTA tours in the past couple weeks.
Although we’re currently in a lull in terms of tournament play, we did have three exciting tournaments recently at the Delray Beach Open, the Abu Dhabi Women’s Tennis Open, and the Antalya Open. Let’s start in Delray Beach.
Delray Beach Open
Despite missing its 2020 champion — 23-year-old American Reilly Opelka — the 2021 Delray Beach Open would see several young players perform well.
In the second round, with the top-seeded Cristian Garin coming off of a bye, American qualifier Christian Harrison — ranked 789th at the time — would get the upset 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Also coming off a first round bye would be the third-seeded Adrian Mannarino, slated to take on Brit Cam Norrie.
In their second round match, Norrie would get the best of Mannarino, winning 6-2, 7-5. And, up until the quarterfinals, those two matches would make for essentially the only two upsets. But, in the quarterfinals, 20-year-old American Sebastian Korda would defeat top American John Isner 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
In the semifinals, Korda would continue playing well, defeating Norrie 6-3, 7-5 to reach the finals. On the other side of the draw, Hubert Hurkacz would defeat Harrison in the semifinals 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 to set a championship clash with Korda.
In the championship, Hurkacz would play too well for the young Korda, ending the match with a beautiful lob shot to win 6-3, 6-3.
In doubles play, the team of Gonzalo Escobar and Ariel Behar would get a big upset in the round of 16, defeating the top-seeded team of Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo 7-5, 7-6 (7-4). They would go on to defeat the Harrison brothers 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-4), 10-4 to claim the championship.
With this win, Escobar and Behar would attain their first tour-level doubles title, and become the first South American doubles champions at the tournament.
If you’d like to read more about the Delray Beach Open, make sure to check out this link.
Abu Dhabi Women’s Tennis Open
In the first round of the Abu Dhabi Women’s Tennis Open, the tennis wizard, Su-wei Hsieh, would upset the eighth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). Tamara Zidansek would comeback against the eleventh-seeded American Jennifer Brady to win 0-6, 6-3, 6-4.
To finish off the first round upsets, Bernarda Pera would defeat the sixteenth-seeded Donna Vekic 7-6 (12-10), 2-6, 6-4 and Veronika Kudermetova would defeat the tenth-seeded Anett Kontaveit 7-5, 6-1.
In the second round, Karolina Muchova (12) would have to retire pre-match, giving Daria Kasatkina the victory. On top of that, the unseeded Anastasia Gasanova would get one of the biggest wins of her career, upsetting the third-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-4.
As for the top-seeded Sofia Kenin, after playing a solid tournament, she would lose to the ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari 6-2, 2-6, 0-6 in the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, in the semifinals, the fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka would be too much for Sakkari, defeating her easily, 6-3, 6-2.
This would setup a championship match against Veronika Kudermetova for Sabalenka. In the championship, Sabalenka would dominate, cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 victory to claim the title.
Sabalenka only dropped one set all tournament en route to her 3rd straight title in Abu Dhabi.
In doubles play, the Japanese pairing of Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara would defeat the team of Hayley Carter and Luisa Stefani 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to win the championship.
En route to the championship, they would only drop one set — in the first round — and got a break during the second round due to a walkover.
If you’d like to read more about the Abu Dhabi Women’s Tennis Open, make sure to check out this link.
Even though the two tournaments covered above featured many first round upsets, the Antalya Open would really only have one. In the opening round, Italian Stefano Travaglia would bounce back from a rough first set to defeat Miomir Kecmanovic (7) 1-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Continuing with the trend of a lack of upsets, in the second round, the only upset would be the 33-year-old Jeremy Chardy defeating Fabio Fognini (3) 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-5). In the quarterfinals, Chardy would manage to upset Jan-Lennard Struff (5) as well, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (10-8).
Also in the quarterfinals, the top-seeded Matteo Berrettini would lose to Alexander Bublik (8), who won the match 7-6 (8-6), 6-4. Bublik would defeat Chardy in the semifinals, but not before suffering an ankle injury.
On the other side of the draw, Alex de Minaur (4) would upset David Goffin (2) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to advance to the championship against Bublik. However, down 0-2, Bublik would be forced to retire due to the nagging ankle injury.
This win would make for De Minaur’s 4th career tour-level title, with all 4 coming on outdoor hard courts (Sydney, Atlanta, & Zhuhai). All of his previous three titles came in 2019.
In doubles play, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (1) would defeat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek (2) in straight sets — 6-2, 6-4 — to claim the championship. The pair only dropped one set all tournament (in the 1st round).
If you’d like to read more about the Antalya Open, make sure to check out this link.
Headlines From The WTA & ATP Tours
If you enjoy keeping up with the top headlines and articles from the WTA & ATP tours, this is the perfect place for you!
Here are 10 of the top headlines from the past couple of weeks:
- Players arrive for Australian Open and head straight into quarantine
- “No special treatment” for 72 Australian Open players in quarantine, local leader says
- This Is When Djokovic Is Deadliest At The Australian Open
- Nadal Hits 800 Straight Weeks In Top 10
- Dayana Yastremska Provisionally Suspended For Anti-Doping Violation
- Sandgren Heads To Melbourne Despite Positive COVID-19 Test; AO On Why
- Champion’s Corner: How tragedy triggered Sabalenka’s new outlook
- Zverev And Federer’s TEAM8 Agency Part Ways
- On The Line In 2021: Federer, Nadal And The Grand Slam Race
- Kyrgios hits out at ‘tool’ Djokovic as tense Australian Open buildup continues
Spotlight Story: High Impact Athletes
In spite of the fact that many stories in the last couple of weeks could have been considered a “spotlight story”, I think one positive story is most deserving of the spotlight.
The story is that of New Zealand native Marcus Daniell’s extraordinary generosity. Daniell has committed to pledging 10% of his future career earnings to charity.
This display of generosity is part of Daniell’s organization — High Impact Athletes — that he founded in November of last year.
Alongside Daniell, other ATP players, including Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jan-Lennard Struff, are joining in on these charitable donations. Daniell’s goal — with the help of others — is to do more than $1M in donations this year.
If you’d like to read more about Danielle’s generosity, make sure to check out this article.