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Musetti and Rune take titles

by Alex Mann

It was an eventful week of tennis with impressive wins from youngsters Musetti and Rune. Alex Mann sums up This Week in Tennis #43.

Musetti and Pegula take titles – TWIT #43

Jessica Pegula continued her impressive season as she lifted the biggest title of her career, defeating Maria Sakkari to win the Guadalajara Open. Pegula defeated four major champions, Elena Rybakina, Bianca Andreescu, Sloane Stephens, and Victoria Azarenka, back-to-back, to reach the final.

In the final, Pegula continued her form, dropping only five games to Maria Sakkari, winning 6-2, 6-3. With this win, the American reaches a career-high of number 3 in the WTA rankings and cements her place in the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, USA.

Naples ATP

In Naples, a marvelous Musetti lifted a second ATP title of his young career as he defeated Matteo Berrettini, 7-6 (5), 6-2. In front of a packed-out home crowd, the all-Italian final didn’t disappoint.

The big-hitting Berrettini, surprisingly playing in his first hard-court tour-level final, tried to use his power to overwhelm Musetti. Musetti, on the other hand, exploited Berrettini’s backhand, using his court craft to move the former world number 6 around the court. After a tight first-set tie-break, Musetti took complete control in the second, breaking Berrettini in the first game.

This season, the 20-year-old has had most of his success on the clay. He reached the third round of Monte Carlo and the Madrid Masters on the red surface and picked up his first tour-level title in Hamburg earlier this year, defeating Carlos Alcaraz.

Not dropping a set all week will surely give Musetti confidence he can produce his best tennis on multiple surfaces. With this victory, Musetti moves up the ATP rankings, reaching a career-high of number 23.

Auger-Aliassime wins second title in row

There were also notable victories for Felix Auger-Aliassime, who defeated Sebastian Korda in Antwerp, Belgium, to win his second successive ATP title, and Holger Rune, who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in Stockholm, Sweden.

Swiss Indoors (ATP 500)

Held on the indoor hard courts in Basel, Switzerland, the Swiss Indoors has become one of the most popular ATP 500 events on tour. Roger Federer won a record ten singles titles in Basel, his last coming at the 50th edition of the event in 2019.

The 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to COVID-19. Due to Federer’s retirement, he will not be defending his title, so there will be a new name lifting the trophy at the end of the week.

Carlos Alcaraz is this year’s top seed. He faces the promising Brit, Jack Draper, in the first round. Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Marin Cilic have also entered and will be contenders for the title.

Prediction – Alcaraz to win

Do you agree with this or have your own predictions? Check out friends at BetUS or Betsson (Europe) to place a bet (if that’s your thing). Never bet money you can’t afford to lose, of course.

Vienna Open (ATP 500)

The tournament was first held in 1974. Vitas Gerulaitis was the inaugural champion, defeating Andrew Pattison. Brian Gottfried holds the record for winning the most titles, having won the event four times between 1977 and 1983.

Last year’s champion, Alexander Zverev is unable to defend his title due to the ankle injury he sustained at this year’s French Open. Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz are this year’s top four seeds.

The 2019 Vienna Open champion, Dominic Thiem, enters the event off the back of a successful week, reaching the semi-final of the European Open.

Prediction – Medvedev to win

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