Thousands of miles away but over three continents we saw some exceptional tennis whether it was in St Petersburg, Acapulco, Monterrey or Dubai. We saw first time title winners, resurgent title winners and some surprises before most headed off to Miami.
Daria Kasatkina back in winners circle
23 year old Daria Kasatkina from Russia continued her good form at the beginning of 2021 with her second title of the year in St. Petersburg.
After finishing 2018 at number 10 in the world the Russian slipped down the rankings in 2019 and 2020 spending over a year out of the top 50. Inconsistent performances and injuries saw her ranking plummet but is now back on the rise. Just last year we saw Daria break down in tears following an injury against Azarenka in Rome but has returned in good form.
Having won at Philip Island WTA event in Melbourne this week she has now added to her trophy collection with a title back home. Kasatkina was 6-3 2-1 up on Gasparyan before her fellow Russian retired with injury.
Aslan continues to roar on the tour!
Aslan Karatsev is a name which wasn’t on many lips at the beginning of the year but the 27 year old continues his exceptional start to 2021 with his first ATP title in Dubai.
Aslan was part of the Russian ATP Cup squad and played in the doubles but watched Rublev and Medvedev dominate to win the title in Melbourne. Aslan then stunned the tennis world with his run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open including wins over Schwartzman, Auger-Aliassime & Dimitrov having come through qualifying.
This last week in Dubai he defeated Dan Evans, Jannik Sinner and ended the unbeaten run of fellow Russian Andrey Rublev at ATP 500 events of 23 wins to make the final. He didn’t stop there, Aslan continued his exceptional of run form to win 6-3 6-2 against Lloyd Harris to win his first career title!
Leylah Fernandez wins her first WTA title
Leylah Fernandez has history in Mexico having made a mark last year has now won her first WTA title in Monterrey.
The 18 year old Canadian has really impressed on the tour since making her breakthrough, her forehand in particular is quite brutal and she has an aura on the court which reminds of Maria Sharapova.
Leylah was unseeded at No.88 in the world last week in Monterrey but it didn’t stop the teenager really going for it and winning her first title against some tricky players but without dropping a set and sees her climb to 72 in the world.
Lloyd Harris makes a mark in Qatar and Dubai
One of the stories over the last couple of weeks has been the performances of Lloyd Harris. The recently turned 24 year old from Cape Town, South Africa has found some of his best form in his career to date which see’s him now knocking on the door of the top 50.
In the last couple of weeks we have seen him win against Stan Wawrinka in Qatar and defeat Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori, Filip Krajinovic and Denis Shapovalov before falling in the final to Aslan Karatsev.
Musetti Magic in Mexico!
There have been many good stories over the last couple of weeks and one of those has been Lorenzo Musetti, a couple of years ago the Italian was unranked and now the teenager has debuted in the top 100 for the first time and has his sights set on more!
Lorenzo’s debut in the top 100 means he is now one of nine Italian players in the top 100 in the world on the ATP tour which is quite a haul of players and some exciting futures ahead.
The 19 year old came through qualifying in Acapulco and then round by round continued to stun top players. He begun with a win over Diego Schwartzman followed by wins over Frances Tiafoe and then Grigor Dimitrov but was halted by the eventual runner-up in Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final four.