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October 2021

October saw the Indian Wells Masters take place in California, moved from its usual slot in March due to Covid-19.

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Passing the baton

Andy Murray received a wildcard and made use of it by beating Mannarino and the incredibly impressive teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who is definitely one to watch for the future. Murray eventually fell to world number 4 Alex Zverev in two tight sets in Round 3.

On the men's side, it was a tournament full of upsets, with all of the semi-finalists being outside the top 20 in the rankings.

However, it was Britain's Cameron Norrie, who had earlier in the month beaten the likes of Rublev and Shapovalov to make the final in a strong San Diego ATP250, who came home with the title, coming back from a set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final and win his first Masters title.

ATP - Final two spots up for grabs

Norrie, who started the year ranked 74th, is now 13th in the world at the time of writing after a stellar year, and has given himself a great chance of qualifying for the season-ending ATP finals, which has moved from London to Turin this year.

Djokovic, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zverev, Rublev and Berrettini have already qualified, with the final two spots still up for grabs heading into November!

One man vying for a spot is Jannik Sinner, who took home the title in Antwerp. In Round 1 of the same event, Andy Murray came through an epic encounter against Tiafoe in 3 hours 46 minutes, the longest 3 set match on the ATP Tour this year!

Murray secured one of his most impressive wins since hip surgery in his next tournament in Vienna, against another ATP Finals hopeful in Hubert Hurkacz, who is now ranked 10th in the world.

However, in the following round, Alcaraz got his revenge for Indian Wells and beat the Brit on his way to the semi-finals. The tournament would be won by Zverev, the German's fifth title of the year. There were also titles in Moscow for Aslan Karatsev and in St. Petersburg for Marin Cilic.

Raducanu rising

On the women's side, the Indian Wells 1000 event was newly crowned US Open champion Emma Raducanu's first tournament since winning her first grand slam, but she was unable to get a victory, losing to Sasnovich in Round 2 (after receiving a Round 1 bye).

It was Paula Badosa who lifted the women's title, surviving a 3-hour long epic final against Victoria Azarenka. Later in the month, Raducanu did end up getting her first WTA Tour wins (outside of grand slams) in the Transylvania Open in Romania, against Hercog and Bogdan, before being beaten by Kostyuk in the quarter finals.

The event was won by Anett Kontaveit, taking out home favourite and top seed Simona Halep in the final. Kontaveit also won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow the week before, capping an impressive month for the Estonian. There were also titles for Ann Li in Tenerife, Spain, and for Donna Vekic in Courmayeur, Italy.

Wimbledon debenture news

Regarding Wimbledon, applications recently closed for the 2022-2026 Court 1 debenture series, with successful applicants set to be notified by 12th November.

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Robert MacKenzie

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