02.12.2019 - 01:37 Uhr
The inaugural ATP Cup is set to begin on 3 January in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, with 24 teams across six groups competing for eight spots in the Final Eight, to be held in Sydney.All countries were qualified based on the ATP Ranking of their No. 1 singles players. But there are plenty of countries with highly-ranked No. 2 players, too.Leading the way is World No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. The Spaniard had the best season of his career in 2019, defeating then-World No. 1 Novak Djokovic en route to capturing the Doha title at the start of the season. He never looked back from there, cracking the Top 10 for the first time on 19 August. Spain is the only country with two Top 10 players in the ATP Rankings, as Bautista Agut is part of a team that includes World No. 1 Rafael Nadal.“I’m excited because it’s going to be the first time [having this event] in Australia and Rafa and I are going to play there,” Bautista Agut said. “I hope we have a good team and can play a good week for Spain.”Not far behind in the ATP Rankings is Fabio Fognini, the World No. 12 who reached a career-high No. 9 this year. He was the third Italian to crack the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings, with Matteo Berrettini, the country’s current No. 1 player and Nitto ATP Finals qualifier, becoming the fourth less than five months later.The third No. 2 player for a country who was inside the Top 10 at one point in 2019 is Russian Karen Khachanov, the 2018 Rolex Paris Masters champion who reached a career-high No. 8 this July. The World No. 17 has won four ATP Tour titles in his career. He's behind World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, who captured two ATP Masters 1000 trophies this season.Top 5 No. 2 Singles Players At ATP Cup By ATP Ranking Player Country ATP Ranking Roberto Bautista Agut Spain No. 9 Fabio Fognini Italy No. 12 Karen Khachanov Russia No. 17 Felix Auger-Aliassime Canada No. 21 Lucas Pouille France No. 22 Felix Auger-Aliassime is the highest-ranked #NextGenATP No. 2 player, heading into the ATP Cup at World No. 21. The Canadian, just six spots behind good friend and countryman Denis Shapovalov, is the second-youngest player in the Top 100 behind only Jannik Sinner, the Next Gen ATP Finals champion.Other standout No. 2 players are 2014 US Open champion and former World No. 3 Marin Cilic, 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist and former World No. 10 Lucas Pouille of France, World No. 25 Guido Pella of Argentina, and World No. 30 Nick Kyrgios of Australia. There are 12 No. 2 players inside the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings.“It's going to be an awesome event. I know everyone on the Tour wants to be with their teammates,” Kyrgios said. “There's nothing better than playing for your country against the other best players in the world."One group to keep an eye on in terms of matches between No. 2 players is Group D, with three of the four No. 2 players inside the Top 35 of the ATP Rankings. The four players are No. 12 Fognini, No. 17 Khachanov, No. 32 Taylor Fritz and Norway’s Viktor Durasovic.



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Cilic, Marin

19.09.2020 - 16:12 Uhr

Casper Ruud continued his strong 2020 run on clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Saturday, beating fourth seed Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in Rome.The Norwegian landed 20 forehand winners to improve to 12-2 on the surface this year after nearly three hours on Pietrangeli. During February’s Golden Swing, Ruud reached two finals from three clay events. The 21-year-old captured his maiden ATP Tour crown in Buenos Aires and finished as a runner-up in Santiago.Ruud improves to 2-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against the Italian. The Oslo native claimed a straight-sets victory against Berrettini at Roland Garros last year. Berrettini earned his only victory against Ruud two weeks ago at the US Open.Ruud has played well throughout this week against taller opposition. The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier upset 6’6” Karen Khachanov in the first round and claimed back-to-back straight-sets victories against 6’3” Lorenzo Sonego and 6’6” Marin Cilic to reach the last eight.By advancing to the semi-finals, Ruud has improved on his father’s best ATP Masters 1000 run. Christian Ruud reached his only quarter-final at the level at the 1997 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Corretja).Berrettini was attempting to become only the second Italian to reach the semi-finals in Rome since 2000. Filippo Volandri, a semi-finalist in 2007, is the only player to achieve the feat this century.Ruud will aim to reach his first Masters 1000 final when he faces Novak Djokovic or Dominik Koepfer on Sunday. The World No. 34 has not met Djokovic or Koepfer at tour-level.[TENNIS RADIO]Berrettini overpowered Ruud with strong serving and aggressive forehands to establish a 3-1 advantage in the first set. The Italian showcased impressive touch as he attempted to shorten points, with Ruud committing only six unforced errors in the opener. Serving at 5-4, Berrettini moved to the net to close out the first set after 54 minutes.After failing to convert three break points in the opening set, Ruud took his first opportunity in the second set. The Buenos Aires champion struck multiple forehand winners and took advantage of forehand errors from his opponent en route to a 3-0 lead. Ruud continued to dictate rallies with his forehand and extracted a backhand error from Berrettini to force a deciding set. Ruud fired nine forehand winners in the second set.Ruud carried his momentum into the third set, breaking serve in the opening game. The Norwegian played with angles to open the court and struck a forehand winner up the line to take the lead for the first time. After falling behind in the score, Berrettini took the initiative and moved to the net to break Ruud for the first time since the opening game of the match.In the tie-break, Ruud recovered from 2/4 down to claim victory. The Norwegian played with patience from the baseline to extract errors and served well under pressure to earn his 17th victory of the year (17-7).

18.09.2020 - 14:08 Uhr

Matteo Berrettini became the fifth Italian since 2000 to reach the Inernazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals on Friday. The World No. 8 needed to dig deep to beat compatriot and wild card Stefano Travaglia 7-6(5), 7-6(1) in two hours and two minutes on Centrale at the Foro Italico.The 24-year-old will now contest his second ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final (also 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters) against Casper Ruud or Marin Cilic on Saturday.[WATCH LIVE 1]Berrettini started with confidence, but Travaglia soon recovered an early break to win three straight games. Errors and a lapse in concentration gave Berrettini a 3/0 advantage in the tie-break, and while Travaglia worked hard to stay in touch, terrific defence in the sun by Berrettini helped the World No. 8 to the 60-minute opener, which ended with a powerful backhand.Berrettini took a rather fortuitous 5-3 lead in the second set, after a slice backhand clipped the top of the net and gave Travaglia little chance to scramble up. But Travaglia bounced back immediately when deep returning saw the World No. 84 recover to 4-5.Berrettini ran around his backhand to strike a forehand in the net on his first match point at 6-5, with Travaglia serving at 30/40. But in the tie-break, it was all Berrettini, who hit 11 of his 17 winners in the match off his forehand wing.It was their first tour-level meeting, after Travaglia had won each of their previous three matches at Italian ITF Futures events in 2015 and 2016.[TENNIS RADIO]

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