Emma Raducanu - Australian Open 2023

Tennis news round-up: Emma Raducanu partners familiar face in new mixed event, finance worker beats former top 10 player and a potential shot of the year

The ATP and WTA tour are building up to the sunshine double, and there have been a plethora of stories that have caught the eye of tennis fans from across the globe. From Emma Raducanu being announced for a new mixed team event, an incredible first ATP tour win and a potential shot of the year.

Here are five of the top stories of the week that we, at Tennishead, have picked out:

1. Emma Raducanu partners fellow Brit in new mixed event

Emma Raducanu has been announced to be taking part in the inaugural mixed doubles edition of the 2023 Eisenhower Cup, which is a charity exhibition event that takes place at Indian Wells prior to the main draw beginning.

The competition has been held previously as a singles event, with Milos Raonic winning the men’s event in 2019 and Amanda Anisimova taking the women’s crown home last year.

It is played in a tie-break tens format, with the winner claiming $200,000 (£167,654) and all proceeds raised during the event go to local charitable organisations.

Emma Raducanu will be partnered with fellow British No.1 Cameron Norrie, and they will be competing against seven other mixed teams.

Here are the full list of teams:

  • Aryna Sabalenka and Taylor Fritz
  • Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz
  • Emma Raducanu and Cameron Norrie
  • Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime
  • Ons Jabeur and Casper Ruud
  • Jessica Pegula and Tommy Paul
  • Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas

One more team will be added to the list for the event that takes place on the 7th March.

2. From day job to first ATP tour win

Matija Pecotic caused a huge shock at the ATP 250 in Delray Beach event this week, when he came through qualifying to get his first ATP win over former top ten player Jack Sock.

Pecotic who was born in Serbia, but chose to represent his parents nation of Croatia, once practiced with Novak Djokovic ahead of his 2013 US Open final with Rafael Nadal. At the time, Djokovic described Pecotic’s forehand as ‘one of the best in the world’.

The Croat reached a career-high of No.206 in 2014, but two years later was ‘effectively bed-ridden’ for eight months after getting a serious stomach infection.

Pecotic planned to give professional tennis one last shot in 2019, which was cut short when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The now 33-year-old headed to his home in Florida and began working a 9-6 job for an investment company, practicing tennis whenever he had the chance before work.

The Delray Beach tournament is around 30 minutes from Pecotic’s home, and so he decided to use his protected ranking to become an alternate for qualifying.

Just before the qualifying was supposed to start he got the call he was hoping for, and incredibly beat both Stefan Kozlov and Tennys Sandgren to qualify for the main draw.

Then the unthinkable happened, as Pecotic beat former top ten player Jack Sock, 4-6 6-2 6-2, to get his first ever ATP main draw win. After his sensational win against Sock, Pecotic joked, “I had to leave work early, my boss let me off.”

Pecotic was knocked out in the second round to Marcus Giron, but it has still been a week to remember for the Croat.

3. Watch: Qinwen Zheng hits incredible winner

The WTA is currently touring the Middle East, and although Qinwen Zheng may have lost her first round match in Doha to Maria Sakkari, she may have hit the shot of the year.

Check it out:

4. Diego Schwartzman’s poor form continues

Diego Schwartzman has not had the best past few months, having lost 11 out of his last 12 matches. This includes two first round straight set defeats on his beloved Argentinian clay, where he has been so successful in the past.

His most recent defeat came in his birthplace of Buenos Aires, to Bernabe Zapata Miralles, with Schwartzman only picking up four games in the match.

The No.32 reflected on his poor run of form, “[It is] Tough to find some explanation for this match, this moment of my career. My level is very low and I’m not even competitive atm.”

5. Wu Yibing makes history for China

Wu Yibing has made history at the Dallas Open, by becoming the first Chinese player to win an ATP Tour title, after beating American veteran John Isner in the final, 6(4)-7 7-6(3) 7-6(12).

Wu saved four championship points, eventually coming out on top 14-12 in the deciding tiebreak.

The 23-year-old also made history in his semi-final match against Taylor Fritz, as he became the first Chinese man to beat a top 10 player.

The now Chinese No. 1 came into the ATP 250 tournament ranked No.97, having recently become the second ever player from China to enter the ATP top 100, following in the footsteps of Zhang Zhizhen who achieved the feat back in October.

Wu is now ranked No.58, which is a remarkable rise considering he was outside the top 1500 only 10 months ago, after not competing on the tour for almost three years due to a string of injuries.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.