Tennis News Round-up - November 2021
By Ed C
Updated 8th December 2021
The Race to Turin came down to the Paris Masters this year, where the final two spots for the ATP Finals were clinched by Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz, after they reached the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals respectively.
The event was won by Novak Djokovic, after he came from a set down to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Final to win his first Masters title of the year. American Tommy Paul capped a career-best year by winning his first ATP title in Stockholm the following week.
The Next-Gen Finals, made up of the best players under 21, was dominated by Carlos Alcaraz, who has had a breakthrough year on the ATP Tour. He beat Sebastian Korda in the final to take home the title.
A few injuries blighted an otherwise very exciting ATP Finals in its new venue in Turin, Italy.
There was heartbreak for Matteo Berrettini on home soil, as after losing an enthralling opening set to Alex Zverev, he was forced to retire from the match and later withdraw from the event entirely. However, this presented an opportunity for another Italian, Jannik Sinner, who beat Hurkacz convincingly and lost a three set epic to Medvedev, where both players had match points. This wasn’t enough to qualify however, as Medvedev and Zverev advanced to the Semi-Finals.
In the other group, Djokovic was dominant in winning all of his group matches to advance to the semi-finals, but 4th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was forced to withdraw due to injury after losing his first match to Andrey Rublev, leaving the other Semi-Finals spot up for grabs. Ruud ended up taking it after beating Rublev in a deciding set tiebreak. Britain’s Cameron Norrie came in as an alternate for Tsitsipas, but couldn’t register a win, losing to Ruud and Djokovic.
In the Semi-Finals, Medvedev secured a dominant win over Ruud, whilst Zverev produced a magnificent performance to beat Djokovic. He would then beat Medvedev in the final to win the ATP Finals for the second time. In the Doubles, Britain’s Joe Salisbury won all three matches in his group alongside American partner Rajeev Ram. They then beat the year-end number 1 pair Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the Semi-Finals, before losing to the French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the final.
As for the WTA, the season concluded with the WTA Finals, moved from Shenzen in China to Guadalajara in Mexico, which saw some huge crowds. Recently crowned Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa continued her good form by beating Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka to qualify for the Semi-Finals. Sakkari also qualified after also beating top seed Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek.
Another player in a rich vein of form is Anett Kontaveit, which also continued in Mexico, as she beat Karolina Pliskova and Barbara Krejcikova to make the Semi-Finals. Pliskova missed out on qualification for the Semi-Finals despite getting two wins, as Muguruza sealed the other spot. She then won a battle of the Spaniards in the Semi-Finals against Badosa, and Kontaveit defeated Sakkari to join Muguruza in the Final. Muguruza beat Kontaveit in the Group Stage, and the same result occurred in the final as she triumphed 6-3 7-5 to win the title for the first time.
Elsewhere, there were titles for Madison Brengle in Michigan, for Anna Bondar in Argentina, for Alison Riske in Linz, Austria, and Diane Parry in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Davis Cup Finals
The Davis Cup Finals are currently underway, with the Group Stage having come to a close. In their group, Great Britain defeated France with relative ease, after Dan Evans beat Adrian Mannarino and Cameron Norrie beat Arthur Rinderknech. However, in their other group match, Evans had a surprising loss to Thomas Machac of the Czech Republic, meaning Norrie had to battle through Jiri Lehecka in 3 sets to force a deciding doubles match. Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski combined to defeat Lehecka and Jiri Vesely to send Britain through to the Quarter-Finals!
In the women’s edition, called the Billie Jean King Cup, Great Britain could not qualify for the finals, which was won by the Russian Tennis Federation this month.
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