Champions Tennis League Blog
#CTLStarWatch - The Week That Was
Another week passed by on the mad tennis calendar with a Masters 1000/Premier tournament in Madrid, a number of ATP Challengers and ITF Futures. With most of the CTL stars in action there was plenty to look forward to. Come the weekend, Martina Hingis was competing for yet another title and two Indians grabbed titles and much needed points.
MUTUA MADRID OPEN
With the clay court season in full swing, the stars flocked to Madrid to take part in the prestigious high altitude clay court tournament. The Caja Magica stadium, which translates to the Magic Box, is known for its amazing atmosphere.
The first few days saw a couple of CTL match ups and they did not disappoint. Roberto Bautista Agut faced qualifier, Santiago Giraldo in the first round and Feliciano Lopez in the second round. Agut, who was unbeaten in singles during CTL 2015, continued his impressive 2016 and beat both his fellow CTL compatriots to set up a pre-quarterfinal clash against World No. 1, Novak Djokovic. Agut beat Giraldo in two close sets 6-3, 7-5. In the next round, Agut and Lopez served a treat in what was arguably one of the matches of the tournament. The clash of styles made the match very appealing. Lopez trusted his serve and volley aggressive game in the slow courts and Agut stuck to his guns grinding away from the baseline. Agut notched the win 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 after close to three hours.
ANOTHER FINAL FOR MARTINA HINGIS
After two opening round exits, Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza regained their form reaching the final at Stuttgart. For the second time in as many tournaments, Hingis and Mirza made it to the final and once again faced in form Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. The French pair has been unstoppable since their Fed Cup semifinal win and dominated the final 6-4, 6-4. Hingis and Mirza were dominant in their run to the finals though losing just 11 games and winning two sets 6-0. After having won virtually every tournament from Wimbledon 2015, Hingis and Mirza have found a solid rival pairing in Garcia and Mladenovic.
JEEVAN NEDUNCHEZHIYAN WINS THE KARSHI CHALLENGER DOUBLES TITLE
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and his Spanish partner Enrique Lopez-Perez won the Karshi Challenger doubles title this week. Nedunchezhiyan had expressed his desire to focus on doubles for the rest of his career in an interview with The Hindu. Nedunchezhiyan is currently the 5th best Indian doubles player and has risen to a career high ranking of 129 after this title. This was Nedunchezhiyan’s 3rd ATP Challenger doubles title. Nedunchezhiyan and his partner were seen sporting CTL gear during this tournament.
DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR RAMKUMAR IN SPAIN
Ramkumar Ramanathan won both the singles and doubles titles at the ITF Futures in Lleida, Spain this week. Ramanathan who trains in Barcelona, has endured a tough few months trying to break into the top 200 after a wonderful start to the year at the Chennai Open. Ramanathan went back to the Futures circuit to earn a few points and confidence and achieved both. This was Ramanathan’s 14th ITF doubles title and 12th ITF singles title respectively. Ramanathan will take this confidence into the Challenger circuit where he competes at the Samarkand Challenger in Uzbekistan.
THE COMING WEEK
Post Madrid, the ATP and WTA stars compete in an equally high profile tournament, the Masters 1000/Premier tournament in Rome. The Indians will be seen in the challenger circuit in Samarkand and Seoul as well as in the Futures tournament in India.
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