The last main event on the calendar, and it’s the tour finals in Cancun, Mexico. The top 8 singles players and doubles players are there (Maria Sakkari had to come in to replace Karolina Muchova) and has suffered a big Day 1 defeat at the hands of World Number 1 Aryna Sabalebka 6-0, 6-1. Jessica Pegula as the 5th seed defeated 4th seed Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-2 also on the opening day.
The two groups are as follows:
No easy matches this week obviously. It will be fascinating to see if Sabalenka can hold on to the number one ranking, or will Swiatek snatch it back at the last minute?
The top 8 doubles pairings are also in Cancun with US Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe (7) knocking off the top seed Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff on the opening day 7-6(2), 6-3.
Midland 125, USA:
There are still some 125 events to take place though, and this one has drawn a good field, with 6 top 100 players, including Emma Navarro, Peyton Stearns, Alycia Parks, and Taylor Townsend.
Paris 1000, France:
One more Masters event to round out the year (which, in my opinion, is not necessary at this point in the season), and obviously the only indoor 1000 tournament. Going back to 1986, pretty much everyone who’s anyone, has won this title, including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, etc.
But it’ll be Holger Rune who has the full quota of points to defend from last year’s triumph.
Surprisingly at this time of year, the draw is stacked with everyone you’d want to watch. The top 16 seeds are the top 16 ranked players.
For the Aussies, Alex De Minaur takes on Andy Murray in the first round, for the fourth time this year!
Alexei Popyrin and Max Purcell both gained direct entry, while Jordan Thompson has got in as a lucky loser while Christopher O’Connell fell short in the final round of qualifying.
ATP Challenger Tour:
Bergamo 75, Italy:
This event was usually held early in the season, but has recently been shuffled to the late season slot. There have been some big names take this title in past years, including Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, and Matteo Berrettini.
This year, Britain’s Jack Draper will be the top seed, but expect some challenges from the likes of Flavio Cobolli, Liam Broady, Alex Molcan, and Fabio Fognini.
Charlottesville 75, USA:
Ben Shelton is the reigning champion here, before he made the decision to hit the main circuit, and tear that apart!
Can another young American do the same this year? Maybe 19 year old Alex Michelsen could be the one. He’s the number two seed (behind Michael Mmoh), and has cut his ranking from 600 at the start of the season. Perhaps he can hit the top 100 before the year is out. For the Aussies, Bernard Tomic and Adam Walton will fly the flag this week.
Guayaquil 75, Ecuador:
The sole Challenger event in Ecuador, the crowds always turn out to see professional tennis.
A couple of top 100 players, in Argentinian, Federico Coria, and Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia.
Thirty-two year old Aussie, Adam Taylor is throwing his hat into the ring for qualifying, despite no singles ranking. He is ranked 212 in doubles, so it’ll be interesting to see how he goes.
Ismaning 75, Germany:
A pretty nice field is heading to Germany this week. Austria’s Dominic Stricker is the top seed, and only top 100 player. But others to keep an eye on are Maximilian Marterer, Maxime Cressy, and Lloyd Harris.
Sydney 75, Australia:
The second staging of the Challenger event in Sydney, and it will be interesting to see if it draws any audience.
Obviously a host of Aussies coming home to play, including top seed Thanasi Kokkinakis, Rinky Hijikata, and last week’s winner in Playford, James Duckworth. A lot of other local men in action, so if you’re in the area, get down and support them.
The men and women will be again playing alongside each other in Sydney. Astra Sharma will be looking to make it two titles in two weeks, after taking out the Playford event over Taylah Preston. Taylah has had a stellar month or so back in Australia, having won two titles, and reaching two semis, and a quarter final. She has her ranking up to 268 now, and if this form continues over the Aussie summer, the sky is the limit for the young Western Australian. Priscilla Hon, Destanee Aiava, and Jaimee Fourliss will no doubt be challenging deep into the week.
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