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This Week in Tennis – Monfils title in Stockholm

by Alex Mann

Alex Mann is back with his regular feature, This Week in Tennis. This edition deals with Monfils title in Stockholm and much more.

This Week in Tennis – Monfils Title in Stockholm

Gael Monfils rolled back the years to become the oldest man to win the Stockholm Open.

The 37-year-old came back from a set down in the final to beat qualifier Pavel Kotov in three tight sets to win his 12th ATP title. The win puts Monfils back into the top 100 as he looks to climb his way back up the ATP rankings. This was Monfils’ second title win in Stockholm, his first came 12 years ago.

Maybe a more impressive stat is that Monfils has now reached at least one ATP tour level final for 19 consecutive years. This is a phenomenal record given the numerous injuries the Frenchman has sustained over the years. If you asked many tennis fanatics if Monfils would still be playing at 37, I think many would have doubted it. Even with the injuries he’s suffered, Monfils seems to be getting better with age. He’s won 5 out of his 12 ATP titles in the last four years. If Monfils can maintain the form he’s produced this week and can remain injury free, I think he might have another title run in him this year.

If he can do that, 2024 could be a big year for the showman.

Most importantly, it’s great to see him back on tour once again competing against the world’s best.

Ben Shelton – the new kid on the top

In other tennis news, the rising American everyone’s talking about, Ben Shelton, won his first ATP title at the Japan Open.
In the final, Shelton defeated Aslan Karatsev 7-5, 6-1. With the win, the 21-year-old reached a career high of 15 in the ATP singles rankings.

Alexander Bublik picked up his third ATP title of his career, defeating young Frenchman Arthur Fils to win the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium.

WTA Tour News

On the WTA tour, Elise Mertens defended her Jasmine trophy, defeating Jasmine Paolini in the final. Mertens didn’t drop a set all week as she won her 8th tour title of her career.

Over in Nanchang, China, Katerina Siniakova saved three championship points to beat Marie Bouzkova in the longest WTA match of the year. Siniakova and Bouzkova battled for three and a half hours before the Czech doubles major winner came through in the final set tiebreak.

In Romania, Tamara Korpatsch defeated local favourite, Elena-Gabriela Ruse to win her first WTA title.

THIS Week in Tennis

It’s another busy week on the ATP and WTA tours.

WTA Elite Trophy (WTA Finals)

For the first time since 2019, the WTA Elite Trophy final returns to the tour. The season-ending tournament comprises the top 11 singles players who didn’t make the WTA Finals (plus one wildcard entry). Each player plays everyone in their group. The winner of each group advances to the semi-final stage. At this stage, the competition becomes a knockout tournament where the winner of each semi-final faces off in the final to become the Elite Trophy champion.

The groups are as follows;

Azalea Group
Barbora Krejcikova
Daria Kasatkina
Magda Linette

Camellia Group
Madison Keys
Beatriz Haddad Maia
Caroline Garcia

Orchid Group
Jelena Ostapenko
Zheng Qinwen
Donna Vekic

Rose Group
Liudmila Samsonova
Veronika Kudermetova
Zhu Lin

Prediction – Kasatkina, Keys, Ostapenko and Samsonova to top the groups.

Vienna Open (ATP 500)

This year sees a stacked lineup at the ATP 500 event in Vienna. Defending champion and world number 3 Daniil Medvedev leads the field.

Jannik Sinner is the second seed but faces an extremely tough test against in-form Ben Shelton.

Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are also competing and will be looking to add important rankings points as they look to qualify for the ATP finals.

Prediction – Medvedev to win

Swiss Indoors (ATP 500)

In Basel, Switzerland Holger Rune will look to improve on his recent poor form. He’s now hired Boris Becker as his new coach so it will be interesting to see how their partnership develops in the coming months.

Casper Ruud is this year’s second seed, with Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz just behind at three and four. Defending champion Felix Auger-Alisassime is in the draw but his poor form this year makes him an unlikely repeat champion.

Prediction – Hurkacz to win

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