Week 34


Since 2011, the 48-draw event held in North Carolina has been functioning as a primary preparation opportunity leading up to the US Open (one event in a week prior to it since 2000, Winston replaced Long Island/New Haven). Unfortunately, many of the top players tend to skip it. This year, only one player from the Top 20, Borna Ćorić, participated. Despite leading 6:5* (30/0) in the decider, Ćorić suffered a defeat in the semifinals. His loss in the deciding third-set tie-break is noteworthy, given that the Croat boasts the best record in tie-breaks of this kind, among players born in the 90s (an impressive 20-5 at the main-level, 24-8 counting all). His semifinal opponent, Sebastián Báez [42], has secured two titles in his last two appearances. Báez’s success in the United States comes as a surprise, especially considering that he is the shortest player within the Top 50 (standing at 170 cm). Before the arrival in North America, his performance outside of clay had been lackluster. Reflecting on his achievement, Báez expressed: “It’s nice to have that confidence, but now I have to think about my recovery after this week, and then after I will think about the US Open. I have a few days to recover and to focus again on a new tournament.” He’ll face Ćorić again in the first round, so they’ll play two matches against each other within five days.


During the 1990s, New York hosted two smaller ATP events prior the US Open, in contrast to the 21st-century trend where top players often avoid playing in the week leading up to majors. The lineup at Long Island’s “Hamlet Cup” boasted excellence, including the participation of seven Top 10 players. Quite unexpectedly, the inconsistent Marc Rosset [30] emerged victorious. Rosset, who had struggled to string together three consecutive wins since March, suddenly found his form in the heat, securing five victories, with four of them against higher-ranked opponents.
The other event held in New York yielded a second title for Swedish teenager Thomas Enqvist [99]. He had been regarded as a rising star at the end of 1992 but faced numerous disappointments in the following season. Entering the event with only one victory in his last eleven matches, Enqvist’s trajectory deviated from the anticipated path towards the Top 20. Instead, he narrowly avoided dropping out of the Top 100. The future No. 1, Marcelo Ríos [379], played his first ATP qualifying event, and lost 6-7 in the 3rd set to Paul Kilderry, an Australian player who never advanced to the Top 100.
In the fourth edition of the “Croatia Open,” Thomas Muster successfully defended his Umag title. This marked Muster’s third championship within a span of four weeks. The runner-up, Alberto Berasategui, earned his first seeding at the ATP level and convincingly advanced to the final, benefiting from a walkover in the quarterfinals.
…Finals 2023…
Winston-Salem (ATP 250; hard outdoors)
(6)🇦🇷Sebastián Báez d. (5)🇨🇿Jiří Lehečka 6-4, 6-3
…Finals 1993…
Long Island ($275K; hard outdoors)
🇨🇭Marc Rosset d. (5)🇺🇸Michael Chang 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Schenectady ($175K; hard outdoors)
🇸🇪Thomas Enqvist d. 🇳🇿Brett Steven 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(0)
Umag ($275K; clay outdoors)
(1)🇦🇹Thomas Muster d. (6)🇪🇸Alberto Berasategui 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Top 10 after three quarter of the season:
1993: Courier – Sampras – Edberg – Becker – Bruguera – Stich – Chang – A.Medvedev – Krajicek – Ivanisevic
2023: Alcaraz – Djokovic – D.Medvedev – Rune – Ruud – Sinner – Tsitsipas – Rublev – Fritz – Tiafoe
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