Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga gave themselves a shot at making the ATP Finals in London after victories in Stockholm and Antwerp! Both players will like their chances in making the final push, with some of their closest rivals struggling for form or even out for the remainder of the season!
Del Potro retained last years title in Stockholm with a victory over Grigor Dimitrov 6/4 6/2 in Sundays’s final. The Argentine may count himself slightly fortunate to have beaten Fernando Verdasco the previous day, coming from a break down in the decider. Delpo was superb in the final against an opponent who had looked in control all week. Straight sets victories for Dimitrov against Mischa Zverev and Fabio Fognini had been impressive en route to Delboy! Fognini had once again played well, making the semi’s, especially when beating Jack Sock in the last 8. Second seed Kevin Anderson lost out to Verdasco, the Spaniard was certainly in good nick as he proved against the Champ later on. This was Del Potro’s first title since lifting the trophy a year ago.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga won his fourth title of the season in Antwerp, his third on indoor hard this year. The Frenchman beat last years runner-up Diego Schwartzman in the final, it was yet another good week for the diminutive Argentine! Having had the birth of his first child and winning in Lyon it has been a quiet few months for Jo, but this win puts him back on track, especially with Paris still to come. He took advantage of David Goffin losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kyrgios losing his opener to Ruben Bemelmans. Straight sets victories over Kenny De Schepper, Julien Benneteau, Ruben Bemelmans and fourth-seeded Schwartzman were enough to keep him hot on the heels of Del Potro, in the Race to London. It was a big week for Tsitsipas who made his first main tour semi-final before running into Schwartzman, having got through qualies.
Damir Dzumhur won his second title in under a month, adding Moscow to his victory in St Petersburg, it appears the Bosnian likes Russia! Dzumhur has been operating at a very high level, especially since August. Hard fought three-set victories over Thomas Fabbiano, Yuki Bhambri, Andreas Seppi and Ricardas Berankis in the final, kept the street fighter honest all week. The only straight sets win was over fellow countryman Mirza Basic in the semis. Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta was beaten in his opener by Daniil Medvedev and second seed Albert Ramos-Vionlas was beaten at the same stage by Alexander Bublik. Berankis had made the final on the back of a big win against the inform Adrian Mannarino in the semis.
Julia Goerges won her first title since Stuttgart 2011, in Moscow. The German had been in impressive form of late but she hadn’t been able to add to her trophy cabinet. Straight sets victories over Yulia Putintseva and Lesia Tsurenko were followed by a tight three-set win over Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the semi-finals. In the final, she blew Daria Kasatkina away 6/1 6/2 with some early aggressive hitting. Kasatkina had been in good form all week with comfortable wins over Pavlyuchenkova, Siniakova, Sasnovich and Begu but she will be disappointed with her performance in the final, though it wasn’t for the want of trying! The 20-year-old still has plenty of time!
Carina Witthoeft won the first tour title of her career in Luxembourg, defeating Monica Puig in the final. Puig went into the final as the clear favourite having already put paid to Angie Kerber and Elise Mertens hopes on the way, but it was the 22-year-old German who prevailed 6/3 7/5. Witthoeft had already beaten second seed Kiki Bertens 6/1 6/2 in the quarter’s and moves up to 51 in the latest rankings.
Another big week follows, with the WTA Finals in Singapore underway where the top 8 are trading blows and crucial points up for grabs in the men’s Race to London!
Andy Del Potro