It’s a rich Monday on a tennis point of view. Nadal picking up a Roman decima, Lyon hosting a tournament with a field that would make any Grand Slam director happy, and Arthur Cazaux making a winning debut on the main circuit in Geneva versus fellow countryman Adrian Mannarino
Let’s begin with the veteran’s/bosses of the tour : Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The two best enemies were facing off for the 57th time in the final of the Rome Masters 1000. Djokovic leads the head to head 29-28. Rafa came out on top and captured his fourth career decima along with Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Roland-Garros.
By capturing this title, Nadal reaches an amazing 36 Masters 1000 titles and equalizes the record held by … Novak Djokovic. On the court, during his victory speech, Rafa launched the hostilities with regards to Roland-Garros by pronouncing the following words : « I am honored to have played you Novak. You’re an amazing player. You won in Australia, let’s see what happens in Paris. » If that’s not a date then I don’t know what is!
Lyon field of dreams
The other big news of this Monday is the start of the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon 250 tournament. As it was the case for many tournaments in 2020, the Lyon event was cancelled due to Covid. This year the tournament is back and the bonus is that as of the 19th of May, there will even be a small crowd. But that is not what counts most, even if some applause here and there can’t hurt. The news is the amazing field offered buy he tournament. No need for consecutive adjectives. All that is needed is to name the players : Dominic thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartzman, David Goffin, Gaël Monfils, Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Karen Khachanov, Aslan Karatsev, Ugo Humbert, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Lorenzo Musetti, Sebastian Korda …
It’s the real deal. Of course this field would not exist had Roland-Garros not been postponed by a week, but it’s called being opportunistic. This 250 could potentially have Thiem and Tsitsipas facing off in the final. Now that’s a match up that would satisfy any tournament director (Masters, Grand Slam, Masters 1000).
Prince Arthur makes his debut
Last but most certainly not least is the winning debut of Arthur Cazaux on the main circuit after his 1st round match in the Geneva 250. If you are a We Are Tennis fan, and you follow it’s « Team Jeunes Talents » (young talent team) you are not just discovering Arthur Cazaux. The 18 year old from Montpellier, who trains at Roland-Garros is today 517th in the world (452 after his win). A year ago he was 959th. With his big serve and very strong groundstrokes, Cazaux is in constant progress. This season, he picked up his first challenger win versus the ever so friendly Lukas Rosol. He then clocked in his first top 100 win over Sebastian Korda in the Madrid Masters 1000 qualies. And now he get’s his main draw debut on the main circuit, cherry on top of the cake, he win’s versus a top 40 player. Cherry on top of the cherry : he delivered what will probably the shot of the week, and one of the shot’s of the year with his winner passing shot tweener.
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Felix Auger Aliassime