Things are coming to an end for the tennis season, with the last ATP events coming up this week before the year end finals take place. Speaking of year end finals, the WTA's extends into an extra day.
With the bad weather week in Cancun with a lot of interruptions, the singles and doubles final will extend into Monday with an Aussie flavour as Ellen Perez partners Nicole Melichar-Martinez in the doubles final against Zvonoreva / Siegemund - 5.30am Tuesday Morning AEDT, followed by the singles final between Jessica Pegula (5) and Iga Swiatek (2) from 8.30am Tuesday Morning AEDT.
Metz 250, France:
This event dates back 20 years, and has winners including Novak Djokovic, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Hubert Hurkacz. Holger Rune has booked his spot in the year end finals, so he has withdrawn from the event, leaving Aussie, Alex de Minaur as the top seeded player. It would be wonderful to see him finish his season with another title. He’ll have stiff competition from Karen Khachanov, Ugo Humbert, Alexander Bublik, and Stan Wawrinka.
Sofia 250, Bulgaria:
A last-minute addition to the calendar, as a replacement for the Tel Aviv event, which has obviously been cancelled in light of the conflict in the region. However, Sofia is no stranger to hosting an ATP event, with Grigor Dimitrov winning his home event back in 2017. This year, the field is very tight at the top, with the four highest seeds, all sitting in the 20’s. Lorenzo Musetti, Adrian Mannarino, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Sebastian Baez could all lay claim to the title this week. But away from the top 4, there are also a handful of Australians heading to Bulgaria. Alexei Popyrin, Max Purcell, Christopher O’Connell, and Rinky Hijikata will all be hoping to finish off the year in style.
Bille Jean King Cup Finals:
12 teams fighting it out this week in Seville, Spain including Australia who will play their two Group Stage ties against Slovenia (Tuesday 8pm AEDT on Channel 9) and Kazakhstan (Thursday 8pm AEDT on Channel 9) to see if we can progress to the semi finals. Our team is Ajla Tomljanovic, Daria Saville, Kimberly Birrell, Storm Hunter and Ellen Perez.
ATP Challenger Tour:
Helsinki 125, Finland:
A nice draw for a late season event, with all 8 seeds ranked inside the top 100. No Aussies here, but local hero Emil Ruusuvuori will be hoping to win this title for a second time. He’ll have to fight players such as Tomas Machac, Nuno Borges, Alexandre Muller, and Liam Broady to make it back on to the honour board.
Calgary 75, Canada:
One of the popular tourist destinations for Aussies, with the Rocky Mountains close by, and it seems a handful have decided to take advantage of some tennis going on in the region.
James Duckworth, Li Tu, Tristan Schoolkate, and Luke Saville are all taking part in the fourth edition of the Calgary Challenger. Dominik Koepfer of Germany will be the only top 100 player, so the event is wide open for one the Aussie boys to come through with a late season trophy.
Knoxville 75, USA:
A long standing Challenger event, Ben Shelton is the most recent winner, and he certainly moved on to bigger and better things this year. As always with the US events, there are a couple of Aussies taking part. Adam Walton and Bernard Tomic are fighting for valuable points before heading into the Australian summer. Adam will definitely be playing qualifying for the Australian Open, but Bernard would need to boost his ranking a little to guarantee a berth. Michael Mmoh enters here as the top seed, and will be looking to solidify his standing inside the best 100 players in the world.
Lima 75, Peru:
The only Peruvian Challenger event, you can expect the locals to come out in force to watch professional tennis. The usual South American suspects are all turning up for this one, including Juan Pablo Varillas, Federico Coria, Tomas Barrios Vera, Juan Manuel Cerundolo, and Mariano Navone, who has 5 Challenger singles titles this year, the most of anyone on tour.
Matsuyama 75, Japan:
Local favourite Taro Daniel enters here as the top seed, after spending a couple of weeks playing in Australia, and picking up his 8th Challenger title in Sydney. Not an enormously strong field here, with Taro the only top 100 player. But there are a few Australians making the trip north, including James McCabe, Dane Sweeny, and Marc Polmans.
W100 Charleston, USA:
The biggest event on the calendar this week for the women, with the main tour wrapping up. It’s drawn a predominantly US-based field, with Emma Navarro and Alycia Parks the two clear standouts. Both ranked inside the top 60, and it would be a surprise not to see those two, duel it out for the title.
W60 Calgary, Canada:
The women are alongside the men in Calgary, and Australia’s Arina Rodionova goes in as the number two seed. She took out her 5th title last week, just up the highway in Edmonton, so will be hoping her good form continues. Sabine Lisicki is still trying to recapture some of her old form, and although she has dropped well down the rankings to 377, it’ll be a thrill for the locals to see a Grand Slam finalist take the court.
To stay abreast of what’s happening across all tennis tours, including ITF Juniors, ITF, Challenger, and ATP/WTA, subscribe or follow ‘The First Serve’ social channels.