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NEXT-GEN STARS FLEX THEIR MUSCLES



Rune Ousts Stablemate


Holger Rune’s stock continues to rise after the 19-year-old took down stablemate Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the Stockholm Open in Sweden.


The young Dane earned his second tour-level title courtesy of a blistering 6-4, 6-4 victory in an hour and 35 minutes over Tsitsipas. Right now, Rune has the wood over his training partner at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy, taking a 2-0 head-to-head lead after his victory over the Greek at Roland Garros earlier this year.


Much like their first encounter, Rune found great success with his powerful and unrelenting game from the back of the court. The Dane clobbered 20 winners and went in with a plan to attack Tsitsipas’ backhand wing.


“It was an unbelievable match from my side,” Rune said post-match.


“I knew it was going to be difficult, but I just tried to stick to the game plan. I had to play my best tennis today and it was good that I could find the level. I am super happy.


“It was very close to perfection. I was making a lot of returns and playing pretty well behind my serve. Stefanos is an amazing player, who always makes it difficult. It was a super fun match to play.”


Rune now moves up to No. 24 in the live rankings, making him the second-highest-ranked teenager behind Carlos Alcaraz.


The Dane can now look forward to competing in the Next Gen ATP Finals in early November.



Andiamo, Lorenzo!


Lorenzo Musetti capped off a marvellous week of tennis in Naples by topping countryman Matteo Berrettini to win the second ATP title of his burgeoning career.


The 20-year-old was in electric form all week, failing to drop a set en route to the final before stamping his dominance with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over his compatriot in two hours.


“I think it was the perfect week,” Musetti said post-match.


“I didn’t lose a set so I’m really happy about that, and I’m really happy about the game I showed. Sometimes you have to work hard to bring success and consistency in my game, so I’m really proud of myself and my team.”


Musetti’s perfect record barely remained intact after a slog of an opening set against Berrettini. The opener was tightly contested throughout, with Berrettini saving multiple break points to force a tiebreak.


Musetti would get the upper hand in the tiebreak thanks to an unforced error by Berrettini off his own serve at 3/3 which in the end, was all that was needed.


The second set was straightforward for the 20-year-old as he skipped his way to a second career title and first in his home country.


“Today I think I played not the best tennis because I think we were both really emotional, really nervous and there was a lot of tension, but in the important moments I played better.


“It’s really nice to be here with my family, with the crowd, and it’s a really big win for me and an important moment for my career.”


Musetti is another who will contest the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.


On an Australian front, Matt Ebden and John Peers teamed up on the doubles court to reach the final in Antwerp. The pair enjoyed a great week but ultimately fell short in the final, going down to top seeds Ivan Dogig and Austin Krajicek 3-6, 6-1, 8-10.



Felix’s Winning Feeling


World No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime has found that winning feeling after capturing his second title in as many weeks at the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium.


The 22-year-old only dropped one set throughout the tournament and came into the final in peak form, defeating American young gun Sebastian Korda 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes.


“It’s another great week. I played some great tennis and really fought hard to stand here in front of you today, so big shoutout and thank you to my team,” Auger-Aliassime said during the trophy ceremony.


“My coach and my physio [are] here and my whole family that came all week, so thank you very much, it’s been a great week.


“It wouldn’t be so special of course [if we weren’t] in front of all of you. That’s why we play tennis, to play in front of big numbers of people like this on centre court, so thank you all for coming in big numbers this week.”


Auger-Aliassime is now getting the results his talent has always dictated. The highly touted Canadian lost the first eight tour-level finals he contested but has since found the edge he needed, claiming three of his last four finals.


The Canadian has now won eight matches in a row as he firms for the final position in the ATP Finals to be held in Turin in mid-November.


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