AUSSIE MEN SHINE IN ATLANTA


Photograph: Getty Images


Atlanta Open (ATP 250)


[3] Alex De Minaur (AUS) def [6] Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-3


After a difficult past two months, Alex De Minaur has enjoyed a brilliant week in Atlanta, winning his sixth career ATP singles title and first in over a year.


Having lost a devastating Wimbledon battle in his last time out, the 23-year-old put that behind him and kicked off his North American hard-court swing in perfect fashion.


In a battle of two baseline specialists, De Minaur proved a touch too consistent for Brooksby in Sunday’s final, crucially converting all four of his break point chances to run away with the match.


Brooksby entered the match in strong form, having won 10 of his past 12 matches on American hard courts – six coming against top 30 ranked players – and appeared an ominous prospect for the Aussie.


However, De Minaur’s ability to turn defence into offence in rapid fashion was on full display, causing angst upon his American opponent in the hot Atlanta sun.


The 23-year-old’s sixth ATP title is now the equal most of any active Australian man – alongside Nick Kyrgios – and boosts his ranking back up to world number 21.


Having now won eight consecutive matches in Atlanta, De Minaur expressed his appreciation for the fans after the final.


“I’d like to thank the crowd. You guys were amazing. I’m not a local but you sure made me feel like one, so I really appreciate the support.


“I hope to see you all next year.”


Atlanta Open Doubles


[2] Nick Kyrgios/Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) def Jason Kubler/John Peers (AUS) 7-6(4), 7-5


It was an all-Aussie affair in the Atlanta doubles final, as the Special K’s continued their dominant doubles form in 2022, moving to 13-2 on the season.


Having claimed the Australian Open Men’s Doubles title in January and now a second title in Atlanta, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis are in the frame for an ATP Finals berth – currently ranked the 6th best pair this year.


Their opponents, Kubler and Peers, had partnered up this week for the first time and enjoyed a successful run to the final, including a quarterfinal win over Wimbledon champions Matt Ebden and Max Purcell.


For Kubler, the run marks another achievement in a remarkable year of ‘firsts’, reaching his maiden ATP final, while it was a 41st final for doubles specialist, John Peers.



Plava Laguna Open - Umag, Croatia (ATP 250)


[1] Jannik Sinner (ITA) def [2] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-1


In a battle between the two best youngsters in men’s tennis, Jannik Sinner came from a set down to roll through Carlos Alcaraz and claim his sixth ATP singles title.


While Alcaraz has been touted as the man to take the reins post the ‘Big 3’ era, it is Sinner who has now beaten his new rival twice in two months and deserves just as much attention.


The 20-year-old Italian, who reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals and led eventual champion Novak Djokovic two sets to love, eased his way to the Umag final without dropping a set.


In Sunday’s final, Alcaraz and Sinner treated a packed Croatian crowd to a high-quality contest, with the latter ultimately proving too strong.


Alcaraz was on top throughout the opening set, eventually claiming a tight tiebreak with some remarkable shot-making off both his forehand and backhand wing.


After creating six break point chances to lead 2-0 in the second set, Alcaraz was in full control of the contest, before Sinner turned the match on its head, winning 12 of the last 13 games.


Limiting his errors and taking it to the Spaniard like we haven’t seen anyone do all year, Sinner earned his first title of 2022 and consolidated his spot inside the ATP top 10.


Generali Open – Kitzbuhel, Austria (ATP 250)


[3] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) def [WC] Filip Misolic (POL) 6-2, 6-2


After the early withdrawals of Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud, Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut was able to capitalise on a weaker main draw to claim his 11th career ATP title.


The 34-year-old enjoyed his toughest battle of the week in his quarterfinal, overcoming Jiri Lehecka 7-5 in a deciding set, before a more straightforward contest in the final.


Battling Poland’s Filip Misolic, who enjoyed the best week of his tennis career to date, the experienced Spaniard was able to dictate play from the back of the court and pounce at pivotal moments, easing to his second title of the season.


It marks the first time since 2018 that Bautista Agut has won multiple titles in the same year, as the 34-year-old continues to show his class.