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April 2022

April saw the conclusion of the Miami Masters event for both the men and the women, and the start of the European clay swing. 

Miami

In the Quarter Finals, defending champion Hubert Hurkacz took out top seed Daniil Medvedev to set up a meeting with Carlos Alcaraz, after the Spanish teenager beat the in-form Miomir Kecmanovic in a thrilling three set battle.

In the other half, Casper Ruud beat Alex Zverev, and Francisco Cerundolo advanced after Jannik Sinner was forced to retire early in the first set. Alcaraz then defeated Hurkacz in two tiebreaks to make his first Masters 1000 final, and Ruud also reached his first Masters 1000 final after beating Cerundolo in straight sets.

After a slow start, Alcaraz was too good for Ruud in the final, winning 7-5 6-4 to become the third youngest winner of a Masters title ever, after Michael Chang and Rafael Nadal. Shortly after the event, world number 2 Medvedev announced he would miss most if not all of the European clay court swing due to having to undergo surgery on a hernia.

The event also saw a new world number 1 crowned. Britain’s Joe Salisbury became the new men’s doubles world number 1 after taking the accolade off of Mate Pavic after he went further in the event alongside partner Rajeev Ram, who is the new world number 2. Ram and Salisbury went on to celebrate this feat by winning their first clay Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo.

In the women’s, Belinda Bencic and Naomi Osaka dropped just three games each in their Quarter Finals, over Daria Saville and Danielle Collins respectively, to make the Semi Finals.

Iga Swiatek beat Petra Kvitova convincingly to set up a Semi Final against Jessica Pegula, after Paola Badosa was forced to retire early on in their match. Osaka then beat Bencic in three sets to set up an intriguing clash with recently crowned Indian Wells champion Swiatek, after she beat Pegula. But Osaka’s class was not enough, as Swiatek’s superb run of form continued, and she won 6-4 6-0 to win the Sunshine Double (Indian Wells and Miami). She also became world number 1 after winning the title.

Start of the European clay swing

Just before the European clay swing got under way, there were two events in two other continents, won by Reilly Opelka in Houston, United States, and David Goffin in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Monte Carlo Masters saw plenty of early upsets: Miami champion Carlos Alcaraz was beaten in his first match by Sebastian Korda, and Novak Djokovic was beaten by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in hirs first match. The young Spaniard would back up that win and go on to make the final. Grigor Dimitrov overcoming Ruud was also surprising to many, given the Norwegian’s pedigree on clay and recent hard court form.

Dimitrov would make the Semi Finals, losing to Davidovich Fokina. But it was Stefanos Tsitsipas who would defend his title, beating Zverev in the Semi Finals and Davidovich Fokina in the Final. However, the Greek would lose out at the Barcelona ATP500 event to Alcaraz, and the Spaniard would go on to win the title, beating countryman Pablo Carreno Busta in the Final.

Another Spaniard, former world number 5 Tommy Robredo, played his final match here. Djokovic, having hardly played this year, looked to his home event in Belgrade, Serbia, to rediscover some form. He did pick up some good wins, but was beaten in the Final by Andrey Rublev.

The WTA calendar was a bit quieter than the ATP one this month, with two WTA250 events won by qualifiers in Tatjana Maria in Bogota, Colombia, and Anastasia Potapova in Istanbul, Turkey. Belinda Bencic won the WTA500 title in Charleston, United States, beating Tunisian Ons Jabeur in three sets in the Final.

Iga Swiatek seems unstoppable at the moment, and this relentless form continued in the WTA500 event in Stuttgart, Germany. She won another title here, destroying world number 4 Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-2 in the Final. She has now won 23 matches in a row, and has only lost 5 sets in this run. However, she recently announced she would miss the upcoming Madrid Masters due to a shoulder injury.

Wimbledon

Finally, off the court, it was recently announced that Russian and Belarusian players would be banned from competing in the Championships this summer, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. They are also banned from all LTA events, which includes grass events at Queen’s, Birmingham and Eastbourne.
 

Wimbledon testimonal

We had a great time on Saturday

"Just wanted to let you know that we had a great time on Saturday and that it all went smoothly. I didn’t realise it was better than making a booking in a restaurant, but even then we were very lucky to get a beautiful table for 6 at the Wingfield restaurant. It was the only one available! Thanks for helping me organise this nice day with the family and let’s stay in touch for future years."

Gabriel Buteler

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