30.12.2019 - 01:56 Uhr
The 2019 season of Pablo Cuevas, his 15th on the ATP Tour, was special for many reasons.The 33-year-old Uruguayan found some of his best form again and jumped from No. 90 in the ATP Rankings, his lowest standing since 2014, to No. 45. He finished runner-up in Estoril (l. to Tsitsipas) and also reached the third round at Roland Garros, matching his best Grand Slam result since accomplishing the feat in Paris two years ago.However, the ATP Cup has been a priority for Cuevas since the beginning of this year. He views the inaugural competition as a significant moment for his career and Uruguayan tennis.“Since the beginning of the year, I had expectations that we would enter, although I knew there was a lot of time. I was following the [ATP Cup standings] since the middle of the year and was more interested each time,” Cuevas told ATPTour.com during his preseason in Uruguay. “The first cut was with the first 18 teams [the week] after the US Open, but with 24 teams [qualifying], I had an opportunity.”Uruguay faces off against Spain, Japan and Georgia as part of Group B in Perth. The Spanish team will arrive with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and World No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut, while Japan is led by Kei Nishikori and Georgia has a Top 30 player in Nikoloz Basilashvili. But the six-time ATP Tour singles champion has embraced the challenge and is confident his team will be in top form.“For Uruguay, it is something spectacular,” he said. "We don’t usually face countries with great tennis potential. All the groups are complex and we are getting ready.”Team Uruguay will unite Pablo with his brother, Martin Cuevas, Franco Roncadelli, Ariel Behar and 17-year-old Juan Martín Fumeaux. Felipe Maccio, who coached Pablo from ages 10 to 17, will serve as team captain. Martin, affectionately known on Tour as “Bebu”, said that representing Uruguay with his brother will be a meaningful moment.“Sharing a team with Pablo is the best, It’s beautiful to have a player like him on the team. He’s helped me a lot with advice and when we play doubles together,” Martin said. "Since I knew we had a possibility to qualify in June, we followed the standings and he fought to qualify. All of our rivals are tough. We are preparing to arrive in the best way and to win matches.”Although Pablo is not often in Uruguay, he represents his country with pride each time he steps on the court. The veteran has loved traveling the world throughout his career, but the rare trips back home remain some of his most treasured moments.“When I go, I enjoy the tranquility of the country and the rhythm of life that takes. I really like the beaches it has and escape there whenever I can go,” he said. “The best thing is family and friends because I don’t have many opportunities to see them, so we have some barbecues and mates when I go. Those things are not negotiable!”



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Nishikori, Kei

23.09.2020 - 16:33 Uhr

Just one week after becoming a father for the first time, Roberto Bautista Agut claimed a memorable victory in his opening match at the Hamburg European Open on Tuesday.The 32-year-old eliminated two-time defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3 to record his 15th win in 20 matches this year. Bautista Agut is through to the second round in Hamburg for the third time. The Spaniard also reached the second round in the German port city in 2013 and 2015.Bautista Agut became a father on 15 September, when his wife gave birth to their son — Roberto — in Valencia. After the match, he received a message of support from Alex Corretja. The former World No. 2 joked that Bautista Agut would now be tired from sleepless nights rather than his on-court efforts.“It was very tiring last week,” said Bautista Agut. “Alex knows well. I think he has three or four kids. I am very proud of my family and very happy to have a new baby in our lives and it was a really nice experience to live with my wife. We are really proud of the kid.”Bautista Agut improves to 3-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against Basilashvili, who had won his past 10 matches at the ATP 500. The fourth seed will face Dominik Koepfer for a spot in the quarter-finals. The Rome quarter-finalist needed almost two and a half hours to overcome Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6(0), 4-6, 6-1.Kitzbühel runner up Yannick Hanfmann continued his strong run of form to defeat third seed Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-3. The German wild card served well throughout the 74-minute clash, winning 91 per cent of first-serve points (32/35) to confirm a second-round meeting against Cristian Garin.The Chilean charged past Kei Nishikori 6-0, 6-3 to earn only his second victory in five matches since the resumption of the ATP Tour. Garin is bidding to lift his third clay trophy of the year this week. The World No. 22 earned titles on the surface at the Cordoba Open and the Rio Open presented by Claro in February.

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