2021 ATP First Time Champions Club

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Gaston comes through again with the upset of Djere, 6-3 in the third.

It will be a tough ask in the final vs Ruud, who sent upstart Kopriva packing, 3&0. Ruud is going for his second consecutive title.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
A third final tonight/tomorrow features our fourth candidate and he’s our second teen to reach his first final on the same weekend! Come on down. Carlos Alcaraz. Can you join the club at Umag vs Reeshard Gasquet?
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Gaston also does the crash and burn finals routine, providing little resistance to the rampaging Ruud, 3&2.

Maybe Alcaraz can make it two new champions a bit later in Umag.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
A match never in doubt! Congrats to Cameron Norrie for becoming our sixth 2021 First Time Champion, defeating the teen nominee Brandon Nakashima 2&2.
Congrats to Cam Norrie on becoming the 6th maiden ATP titlist of the season at the 5th time of asking. He now joins his compatriot Evans along with Popyrin, Cerundolo, Karatsev and Korda.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Congrats to Cam Norrie on becoming the 6th maiden ATP titlist of the season at the 5th time of asking. He now joins his compatriot Evans along with Popyrin, Cerundolo, Karatsev and Korda.
I was waiting to do the list until after today’s Umag final, when it could be a comprehensive recap if Alcaraz does indeed win.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Congrats to Alcaraz who seals the deal in straights, 2 and 2 and becomes the 2nd player in the day (after Norrie) to win his maiden ATP title and 7th this season (along with Evans, Popyrin, Cerundolo, Karatsev, Korda and Norrie). At just 18 years of age he is the youngest so far to do so this season.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Sebastian Korda, come on down! You have become the fifth member of the 2021 edition of The New ATP Champions Club.

Here’s the complete updated roster:

Daniel Evans, ATP250 Melbourne (Murray River Open)

Alexei Popyrin, ATP250 Singapore Open

Juan Manuel Cerundolo, ATP250 Cordoba Open

Aslan Karatsev, ATP500 Dubai Open

Sebastian Korda, ATP250 Parma Open

Unfortunately, the Belgrade tournament director was not a fully gracious host on the courts and denied qualifier Alex Molcan entry to our club.
It took through the last week of May to reach a membership level of five in the exclusive newbie club. Yesterday and today's results mean a 40% increase in less than 24 hours!

On Saturday in an all-newbie final at Los Cabos, Cameron Norrie (GBR) broke through in his fifth final to defeat teen Brandon Nakashima (USA) in his first final, 2&2.

On Sunday at Umag, home of newbie teen champions (Rublev 2017) Carlos Alcaraz was an easy winner over veteran Richard Gasquet, also 2&2. This was Alcaraz’s first appearance in a final.

We are up to 7 first time winners for the year. Six of the titles are ATP250 level; Karatsev broke through at ATP500 Dubai. The Alcaraz win makes it three on clay and it marks the second year in a row that a teen has joined the club (Sinner, Sofia’20).
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Prospects for a new champion are high, almost certain, in Kitzbuhel where 3 candidates have already made the SFs and the fourth slot could be filled with another newbie wannabe if Mikael Ymer stays in front of prohibitive favorite Casper Ruud. Ymer leads by a set and they are on serve at 2-2.

The lineup for SF Friday there will feature Daniel Altmaier (GER) vs Pedro Martinez (ESP). Altmaier is in the draw from a Special Entry waiver from his good showing at Umag last week (SFs, lost to Gasquet). This is Martinez’s best win streak/result with 3 MD victories.

The best win of the week so far was the QF win over Filip Krajinovic by ascendant Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech. The 4&1 victory earns him a first SF spot in his first ATP season after four QFs. He’s at a NCH #78 with today’s result. He will face that Ruud/Ymer Scandinavian Showdown winner, now at 4-4 second set..
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Ruud stayed alive with a break to 5-5 but Ymer rebounded with a third successive break and gets a second chance to serve it out
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
All Ruud in the third set, 6-1. A disappointing failure to close twice by Ymer.

It will now be up to Rinderknech to provide an anticlimactic final contested by two guys going for that first title.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Ruud remains too strong on summer Euro clay with a straight sets win over Rinderknech in his run to the final at Kitzbuhel. He will try to deny fireballer Pedro Martinez a first title. Pedro took out Altmaier in a comeback from a set down.

Atlanta prospects will include Brandon Nakashima. He’s in another SF after a repeat defeat of Jordan Thompson. Other potential newbies still alive in the QFs include Aussie qualifier Chris O’Connell (vs Isner) and FINNISH Emil Ruusuvuori (vs Norrie).
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Emil is not FINNISH in Atlanta after defeating Norrie in straight sets. Emil vs Brandon means we are guaranteed at least one potential newbie in Sunday’s final.

Also still alive is O’Connell but he is delayed by rain in the first set vs Isner. On Isner’s serve at 4-5.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Isner fought off the challenge by O’Connor so there is no chance for a guaranteed newbie final in Atlanta. It’s all in the top half.

In Kitzbuhel it’s a combination of relentless Ruud andrelentless rain providing no chance for flamethrower Pedro Martinez to break through. Delayed with Ruud up a set and in the early stage of the second.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Nakashima into his second consecutive final! He defeated another potential newbie Emil Ruusuvuori in three sets today and will face the winner of an all-American SF tonight featuring Fritz vs Isner as he climbs the rankings on his last weekend of his teenage years (big day on Monday):

Live ranking: #89 (cracked top 100 today)

Live ranking U20: #4 (Sinner, Musetti & Alcaraz)

Live ranking USA: #11 (will pass Sandgren & Johnson with the title win)

Coincidentally, he is 1-1 collectively in the last month vs his potential finals opponents; he lost to Fritz at Wimby but beat Isner last week at Los Cabos.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
No luck for Brandon, losing 6-7(8) 5-7. Almost dead even stats except aces (21-12 Isner) entering the final game when Isner earned the match’s first break.

Stuck on 7 and bigger tournaments offering less chance for a breakthrough for the next three weeks.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
It’s a little early to be crazily optimistic about the chances for a new member at Washington but the losses by Felix and Nadal to Brooksby and Harris just doubled the number of candidate QFists:

(14) Lloyd Harris vs Kei Nishikori

Denis Kudla vs Mackenzie McDonald (guaranteed SFist!)

(WC) Jenson Brooksby vs (11) John Millman

Only the Sinner vs Johnson QF offers no hope for a newbie.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Mackenzie McDonald will play the Washington D.C. final tomorrow with a chance to become our 8th new champion this year. He earned the spot vs Jannik Sinner with some clutch play in the third set tonight vs Kei Nishikori, edging the 2015 champion 7-5 in the third.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
No luck in Washington and we’re stuck at 7 after 2020 new champion Sinner thwarted Mac’s challenge for the title, 7-5 in the third. Very spirited contest with McDonald saving 16 BPs along the way, many of them SPs and two of them CPs.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Gonna have a finalist in W-S going for membership #8 in the 2021 club. Ivashka and Ruusuvuori have advanced to the top half SF, upsetting veterans PCB and Gasquet.

the 3rd and 4th QFs could also bring a higher chance of netting a new member: Mikael Ymer vs Tiafoe; Marcos Giron vs Alcaraz.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
It’s a triumvirate of potential members surrounding the “veteran” champion Alcaraz. Can Mikael Ymer take away the suspense in his SF with Carlos?
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Guaranteed #8! Mikael Ymer defeated the “veteran” Alcaraz and will play Ilya Ivashka in the final on Saturday to determine a maiden titleist for the third time in five years at the W-S Open.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
#8 member of the club is Ilya Ivashka, absolutely dominating fellow aspirant Mikael Ymer 0&2. The match was not as close as the score with Ivashka winning 70% of total points, 100% of first serve points and losing just two points on second serves for a combined 93% ratio. On return he was at 58% and converted on 5 of 8 BP opportunities.

We will most probably be inactive welcoming a new member for the next few weeks. Stay tuned for updates, hopefully as early as Nur-Sultan and/or Metz in late September.
 

Pmasterfunk

Hall of Fame
#8 member of the club is Ilya Ivashka, absolutely dominating fellow aspirant Mikael Ymer 0&2. The match was not as close as the score with Ivashka winning 70% of total points, 100% of first serve points and losing just two points on second serves for a combined 93% ratio. On return he was at 58% and converted on 5 of 8 BP opportunities.

We will most probably be inactive welcoming a new member for the next few weeks. Stay tuned for updates, hopefully as early as Nur-Sultan and/or Metz in late September.
Ivashka running his private bakery this week, demolishing most of his opponents after squeezing past Cilic.

Seems perfectly lined up for a trip at the lodge!
 

James P

G.O.A.T.
Guaranteed first time titleist in the Astana final: James Duckworth (AUS) vs Soon-woo Kwon (KOR)

Duckworth and Kwon are both in their first ATP finals.

Yet again, Bublik falters near the finish line...
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Duckworth is on a 9 match (5 challenger, 4 atp) win streak and can win back to back titles at different levels. I don't have a preference, but my gut says Kwon will pull it off.
With a win by Duckworth to match Millman’s breakthrough in 2020, The Great Nation of Borat will petition to become the seventh state of Australia
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Congratulations to Soon Woo Kwon for capturing his first ATP level title in his very first final as well. In a straight set encounter, he turned back the efforts of James Duckworth to achieve the reverse result in his first final.

Nur-Sultan has now produced two consecutive maiden champions since being added to the ATP calendar during the pandemic.

Here is the complete list of newbies this year:

Melbourne (Murray River): Dan Evans

Cordoba: Juan Manuel Cerundolo

Singapore: Alexei Popyrin

Dubai: Aslan Karatsev

Parma: Sebastian Korda

Umag: Carlos Alcaraz

Los Cabos: Cameron Norrie

Winston-Salem: Ilya Ivashka

Nur-Sultan: Soon Woo Kwon

Let’s all wish @sureshs good luck in joining this elite club this week at the inaugural San Diego Open. We also have a few potential newbies competing in Sofia.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Congratulations to Soon Woo Kwon for capturing his first ATP level title in his very first final as well. In a straight set encounter, he turned back the efforts of James Duckworth to achieve the reverse result in his first final.

Nur-Sultan: Soon Woo Kwon

Let’s all wish @sureshs good luck in joining this elite club this week at the inaugural San Diego Open. We also have a few potential newbies competing in Sofia.
There is a guy with the last name Kwon in my club but he is 71. I don't think it is him.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Kwon wins his maiden ATP title in Astana and thus becomes the 9th player to win a maiden ATP title this season.

Is he going to pick up the baton for South Korea dropped by his countryman Chung?
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Newbies have gone from penthouse to outhouse quite a few times, backing up the maiden title with a visit to WATLYNM. Today’s example is Kwon, squandering a first set win to lose in three to Guido Pella.

Here are the others this year wasting momentum immediately:

Evans, champion at Melbourne to 1R AO loser

J.M Cerundolo, champion at Córdoba to 1R Buenos Aires loser

Sebastian Korda, champion at Parma to 1R RG loser

Carlos Alcaraz, champion at Umag to 1R loser at Kitzbuhel

We have reached a fail rate 9f 5 out of 9 going down in flames with Kwon’s stumble.
 
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