Tsitsipas retains Open 13 title for 5th of his career

AP Photo
1 Comment

Stefanos Tsitsipas was hardly troubled in beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-4 to retain the Open 13 title on Sunday, securing the fifth overall of his blossoming career without dropping a set.

The second-seeded Greek broke the 19-year-old Canadian’s serve three times and saved four of five break points on his own.

“I am proud of the fact that mentally I didn’t even crack, not once,” said Tsitsipas, who has a volatile temper on court sometimes. “That was really good. Although I got broken, I wouldn’t say that that was a mental lapse. I am very happy with my mental state throughout the whole match.”

Tsitsipas, who is ranked No. 6, became the first player to retain the Marseille indoor title since Thomas Enqvist in 1998.

“I know (Thomas) pretty well. He was our Laver Cup captain,” the 21-year-old Tsitsipas said. “It makes me hungry for more. I want to go out there and break records and do things that others haven’t done yet. That’s what defines my personality.”

Winning without conceding a set underlined how focused Tsitsipas was throughout the week, whilst still being entertaining.

“That makes me very proud,” said Tsitsipas, one of the most exuberant players on the ATP Tour. “It means the world to me to be able to be one of these people that can play well and others can enjoy watching.”

For the seventh-seeded Auger-Aliassime, the wait goes on.

It was a second straight defeat in a final after losing in the World Tennis Tournament final against Gael Monfils in Rotterdam last weekend.

He has lost his five career finals and is now 2-2 against Tsitsipas in career meetings.

“I feel disappointed. You never like losing finals, but now it has been five so it is in my mind,” said Auger-Aliassime, who is ranked No. 18. “It is tough, but I think it is just going to make me a better player.”

After facing match points in his first two matches, he did well to reach the final.

Now Auger-Aliassime just has to win one, and collect some silverware to go with his shot-making ability on court.

“It is going to build my character and I am going to overcome this challenge one day. I’ll keep working towards that goal,” he said. “I am working to win bigger tournaments and to achieve even better things, so I am not going to stop here.”

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

Getty Images
1 Comment

ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

Getty Images
1 Comment

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.