Blog : ATP


Rakuten Viber and Tennium join forces to promote world tennis hopefuls. Rakuten Viber, one of the world’s leaders in free and secure communications applications, is pleased to present its sponsorship with Tennium, a global tennis platform, to support and promote the young international tennis stars of tomorrow.

As part of this agreement, 6 young up and coming talented international tennis players from different geographical regions of the world, will be sharing their experiences with Viber users in a specially dedicated community. The talents are the following :

  • Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva (Andorra) ⇒ International Tennis Federation Junior Ranking: 1
  • Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (Denmark) ⇒ ATP Ranking: 124
  • Marta Custic (Spain) ⇒ WTA Ranking: 669
  • Lennon Jones (Japan) ⇒ International Tennis Federation Junior ATP Ranking: 146
  • Luca Nardi (Italy) ⇒ ATP Ranking: 447
  • Zane Khan (United States of America) ⇒ ATP Ranking: 408


Enric Molina, Partner and Executive Director at Tennium: “We are very excited about partnering with Rakuten Viber in this new and ambitious project and to support some of the most talented tennis of the next generation of players. We are fully aligned with Rakuten Viber’s values and vision as we look forward to offering a whole new experience to the fans in their interaction with athletes.” Holger Rune said “Engaging with fans through Viber is super fun and entertaining and something that feels very natural to me”. Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva also added: “I love the Viber messaging app and all of its features, particularly the stickers that they have created for us!”

It’s part of Viber’s DNA to look for the gamechangers with outstanding future potential, which is why we also support the top tennis talents. Over the years we have shown that we are keen to give life to inspiring and entertaining campaigns in sport and tennis in particular”, said Atanas Raykov, Senior Director – EMENA at Rakuten Viber.

The Viber-Tennium’s Project is designed to help the development of promising tennis players in a context where it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a name for oneself. It is constantly evolving and now has more than 280,000 members in its community named Viber Tennis Academy (VTA).

As part of this partnership, Viber Tennis Academy fans around the world will enjoy exclusive content on Viber including:

  • An official Viber community, named Viber Tennis Academy publishing daily content about the players’s match preparations, training sessions, updates, polls and much more.
  • Custom stickers featuring the 6 player’s unique moves, catch words and expressions (by downloading them, fans automatically join the Viber Tennis Academy community.
  • Exclusive merch coming from the 6 young talents can be won exclusively by Viber users such as signed clothes or rackets.

Results so far are impressive:

  • The Viber Tennis Academy has built a fanbase of more than 250,000 in less than 4 months (April-July 2021)
  • More than 250,000 people downloaded one or more of the 7 sticker packs
  • More than 500,000 people sent a message while using one of the 68 stickers


Sin título-1

These two players, who hadn’t yet won a match in a Grand Slam, not only achieved their first victory but arrived until the qualifying finals. 

After beating Sergiy Stakhovsky, number 227 of the world, and Damir Džumhur, 120 of the world, Zane, who is now 457 of the ranking,  lost at the qualifying final against 152, Yevgueni Donskói. The achievement of Khan, is so remarkable since at only 19 years old he has gone up against opponents with a long experience in the court and has been able to beat them.

We have to talk of course of the unstoppable Holger Rune. After winning straight up two ATP Challengers, the now 18 years old player, has got himself a ticket for the main draw of the US Open. The undeniable future star played a wonderful qualification phase where he went up against Lukas Lacko, Mitchell Krueger, and Mats Moraing.

The now 145 of the world, will encounter at the first phase of the US Open, nonother than the number 1 of the world Novak Djokovic.


BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 25: Rafael Nadal of Spain ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona on April 25, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 25: Rafael Nadal of Spain ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona on April 25, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos)

The final between Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas was the epilogue of a tournament in which precisely the longest match was the final, which lasted until 3 hours and 38 minutes. The shortest contest was the one between Ilya Ivashka and Tallon Griekspoor in the first round, which only lasted 57 minutes. Tsitsipas played 106 games in total, spending 9 hours and 5 minutes on the court while Nadal fought to win 118 games in 11 hours and 19 minutes.

The singles draw was finally contested by 48 players (including six from the qualifying, four wildcards, and lucky loser to replace the injured Casper Ruud at the last minute). In the doubles draw, 16 teams participated (two wildcards and one from the qualifying). Adding both competitions, but subtracting the tennis players who have taken part in both draws, there were a total of 70 players who have played the main draws of the tournament.

The tennis players came from all over the globe, with a total representation of twenty countries. France with eight tennis players and Italy with four are the countries with the most representatives, behind the eleven Spanish players. Among other nations were players from Georgia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Japan, Brazil, Chile, India, the United States, Canada, Finland, Norway or Denmark. The player with a more distant origin was Jordan Thompson, born 26 years ago in Sydney, 17,100 kilometers from the RCTB-1899.

Seven of the eight quarter-finalists were seeded at the tournament. And the top four favourites reached the semi-finals of the competition.

In the singles draw, 47 games were played, with only two matches not completed (Goffin-Norrie and Fognini-Zapata). 30 were resolved in two sets and on 17 occasions the matches went to three sets. There were 13 tie breaks. On eight occasions a player lost a set to zero games on the scoreboard. In total 1,056 games were played on the RCTB-1899 courts.



Nothing to object to the attempted feat carried out by the Greek tennis player. It is not easy to beat Rafa on clay, or in his. Twelve finals, twelve trophies. For the tennis player born in Athens, it was the second time that he stepped on the court of the RCTB-1899 on the last day. But this time he also could not stop the king.

Tsitsipas is just climbing. There are those who want him to progress faster, to lift the trophy at every tournament, to take Djokovic’s place, to push Nadal aside, and to bury Federer. But if the pandemic has taught this fast-consuming society anything, it is that there are things that are better cooked over low heat. That is why the Greek recipe may be little more than an appetizer for some. But he is in the direction of ascending at all levels. Better shots, more determination, a better strategy and knowing how to be on the court, like some of the “older ones” that he for sure idolized as a child. He doesn’t rush and plays decisive balls as if his life didn’t depend on it. Like those tightrope walkers who manage to get to the other side without falling and without a net.


The Greek already knows what it is to win outdoor tournaments and also indoors. ATP 250, 500, 1000 tournaments and a whole Masters Cup to which only the best eight of the year classify for. He also knows what it is to defeat Rafa, Djokovic and Federer. And, established in the top ten, he promises to continue great evenings, great comebacks, great feats. But he will have to wait and try to defeat the best player of the RCTB-1899 in his own house in future editions. Because beating a player who has won 50 of 56 finals played, adding Monte Carlo, Barcelona, ​​Roland Garros, Madrid and Rome, will always be a difficult peak to reach.

This time Nadal showed the tennis, the spectacle that all spectators expected and deserved. Even with the tense moments that happen in the best battles. Like those movies in which the viewer does not know, until the end, how it is going to end. The problem for many of those who see him on the other side of a clay court is that the director of that film is usually Nadal himself. And he is the one who dictates the ending. Many will have left the RCTB-1899 facilities in distress because he has to wait a whole year to see him again. But there is consolation. Today’s match will remain in their minds for a very long time. Another of those amazing epic battles, and yes Rafa did it again.



Everyone considered him the favourite. Since he reached the final of the 2018 tournament, he has done nothing but progress, both in his tennis and with his nerves. Even in his post-match interventions. That is why Tsitsipas is in the final. Because he is one of those up-and-coming players who promised to progress … and he has.

He has already jumped onto the RCTB-1899 courts twelve times. No, he hasn’t yet taken the trophy to Athens. But he has defeated important rivals such as Thiem, Carreño, Auger-Aliassime, Schwartzman, De Miñaur, Ramos or Munar. That is why he will be a very tough enemy in tomorrow’s final. That is why he won in Monte Carlo, just a week ago, with the Mediterranean close by.

This time he overcame the stylish and promising Sinner. At no time was the victory on the side of the Italian, who gave opportunities to a rival that was ready to attack. After a 6-3 double, 6-3 in 1 h 23 minutes, the Greek tennis player fulfilled his media obligations, and after will get his body ready to face his next rival. What every fan of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell knows for certain is that Tsitsipas was almost ignored by Nadal in the 2018 final is not the same player as he is today. He has grown. He has improved. He has more desire. His game is more complete. Tomorrow fans will be able to enjoy his entire repertoire again. Maybe enough, who knows, to take home the trophy deserving all the credit.


The Majorcan advanced towards the final of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell comfortably beating Pablo Carreño 6-3 6-2. The players of the RCTB-1899 appeared on the center court with a head-to-head clearly in favor of the Balearic, with much expectation from the public and a clear sky that was covered for the Asturian at the same time that Rafa made the statement that he has come to Barcelona to lift the trophy for the twelfth time.

He came to the tournament with the intention of recovering feelings, with the humility that has characterized him since its inception, but once in the semi-finals, we have seen in his eyes that at this point his goal is to win again at a club that has seen him grow. From the beginning, he has given us points that made it clear that he is not the favourite only because of his ranking but because of the tennis he displayed throughout the match, without giving any options to his rival.

Carreño has had a great tournament, achieving his best result so far this season at this level of a tournament, overcoming very tough matches with a great attitude like the one we saw yesterday against Schwartzman. Despite building good points and not turning his back on the match at any time, it was not enough to stop the “King of the Clay” who was committed to set another record with his 451 win on his surface.

We are approaching the end of this new edition of the tournament and we will have a déjà vu of a final that was already lived in 2018, this time with a much more experienced Tsisipas willing to give more war than the previous time. Tomorrow we will see if Rafa is able to maintain the confidence that he has shown this afternoon on the court that bears his name and confirm that he is the true Barcelona champion, or if the Greek manages to turn the final round and be the first player to beat Nadal in the fight for the title.



Many said that the cold of the preceding days did not play to his advantage. That, if the sun shone as it did today with the books and the roses of Sant Jordi, Nadal’s level would increase. And that, with two matches and six sets already on his legs, he would accelerate the pace. He would find another gear, and he did.

It also happened that Norrie tried to emulate Ivashka from the first set of the first match of the Majorcan. Play Russian roulette, risk it all. Play without complexes. But this time there was no luck. Nadal performed with superiority, he was not going to make room for surprises. Despite the exchange of breaks late in the second set, the Spaniard was never in danger.

Throughout the match, there were great points that the eleven-time champion of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell had not executed during this tournament. But he just needed some match play, and the crowd was delighted with the performance of its favorite player. Let’s not forget that Nadal, whenever he can bring out the best of his repertoire.

Credit to Norrie, he was brave and he tried. He was aware that the contest would not be easy and facing many factors. Rafa, without cold and without clouds, glides better. He hits better. He plays better. The sun came to shelter him precisely on what for many is the most beautiful day of the year in Barcelona. And, you can never count Nadal out when you are ready to enjoy beautiful things.

The Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, which has been cruising since his triumph at the Monte Carlo Masters 1,000, defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime without giving him any option. With a 6-3, 6-3 he scored another win, the eighth in a row, and has yet to drop a set (he has won 15 of 15). His overwhelming dominance positions him as a contender for the title of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, a trophy that escaped in 2017 when he fell to the undisputed king of Barcelona, Rafa Nadal.

Tsitsipas arrived at the appointment as a clear favourite. Of his five previous meetings, in the last three, he was victorious. On his part, the Canadian had options after having added Toni Nadal to his team helping him out in the technical part during the clay tour. The exchange of shots from the back of the court benefited a Tsitsipas who tried to be aggressive from the beginning. His powerful service secured his leadership in the match her life insurance while he went for big shots in the return. The first set was resolved with a clear 6-3 and the second set started with the same inertia.

Tsitsipas glided across the court making Auger move from side to side as he pleased. At 22 years of age, the Greek no longer surprises anyone with his level. He is number 5 in the Fedex ATP rankings and in 2019 he conquered the Nitto ATP Finals. The second set closed with another 6-3 and he will seek a spot in the final against Italian Jannik Sinner, who beat the No.3 seed Andrey Rublev 6-2, 7-6.



Feliciano López walked on court elegant, calm, and serene. With the feeling of having always given the best in each of the 20 editions in which he has participated, Feliciano López has received a more than deserved tribute from his club, the RCTB-1899, a facility that welcomed him here for the first time at just 13 years old.

The president of the RCTB-1899, Jordi Cambra and the director of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, David Ferrer, have given him a framed photo collection of some of the best episodes lived by the man from Toledo on the Barcelona clay. “I have experienced many beautiful things here, it is true that time flies by since I played my first tournament when I was 17 years old” said the player, somewhat moved to see how the stands applauded him again. “I hope to continue playing it for many more years” he confessed on the court. Indeed, a very nice dream. One of those that the best fans want to see fulfilled if possible.



They disputed the Monte Carlo final. They enjoy a sweet moment. The Greek already knows what it is to play a final at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and the Russian knows every corner of the RCTB-1899 because it has been his club for four years. And both want Rafa Nadal’s reign in Barcelona to falter to lift the dream trophy next Sunday. Tennis, quality and enthusiasm have plenty.

If in his debut he got rid of Jaume Munar with dominance, Tsitsipas this time had to work a bit harder to reach the quarterfinals, in which Félix Auger-Aliassime awaits him. The Greek tennis player defeated Alex de Miñaur in two sets and no point in the match did it seem that victory could slip out of his hands. Should he be truthful to his second seed position, in the final Tsitsipas could see Rafa Nadal on the other side of the net. The first time they saw each other was precisely in the final of the tournament and Nadal took the victory. The last time they faced each other, it was not on clay. And the one who ended up smiling was the Greek tennis player.

Rublev’s ticket to his quarter-final match was more expensive than Tsitsipas’s. The Russian tennis player has faced another club player such as Albert Ramos and the match lasted two and a half hours. There was a lot of equality and Ramos took a set off the world number seven, in part because of Rublev’s uncontrolled nerves during the tie break in the second set. And that stat says almost everything. The victory over Ramos was the 26th of the season.

On paper, they promise great moments for spectators. And the whole circuit knows the danger they entail. Being young does not mean that they are not hungry or ready to triumph.


Atesora buenos resultados y títulos tanto en tierra batida como en pista dura. Es uno de los grandes valores del tenis español actual y en el RCTB-1899, su club, es muy apreciado. Tras lograr el trofeo en Marbella la semana pasada, Pablo Carreño ya está en octavos de final tras imponerse con calidad a Jordan Thompson, el tenista australiano que ha llamado la atención a más de un espectador por su bigote, algo poco habitual en el planeta tenístico.

Quien disputará a Carreño un lugar en los cuartos de final es Bernabé Zapata, que no olvidará su primera participación en el torneo. Después de superar la fase previa, Zapata ya lleva dos victorias, primero ante Kuznetsov y hoy ante Fognini, que fue descalificado en el segundo set por un abuso verbal. Zapata, que se había impuesto en la primera manga por un contundente 6-0, ya ha obtenido una importantísima cosecha de puntos con la que dejará de ser, por méritos propios, el 147º tenista del mundo.


Otro de los grandes encuentros vividos en la pista Manolo Santana ha sido el que ha enfrentado a Nishikori y Garín. El japonés impuso finalmente su mayor tesón y experiencia ante el aguerrido tenista chileno, que pertenece al RCTB-1899 y que está llamado a hacer grandes cosas en el futuro. Nishikori, después de dos duras rondas que se alargaron hasta los tres sets, tendrá como próximo rival a Rafa Nadal.


Otro de los jugadores del RCTB-1899 que sigue en liza en el vigente torneo es Albert Ramos. Después de darse toda una paliza de más de tres horas en la pista central para lograr doblegar a Rune en la primera ronda, esta vez lo ha tenido bastante más fácil y en dos mangas ha superado al francés Mannarino. El problema para Ramos es que en la siguiente ronda se enfrentará a Rublev, uno de los jugadores más en forma y tercer máximo favorito del Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Pero de lo que no hay duda es de que el tenista del Maresme lo dará todo en la pista y mucho más ante un público que le anima en cada punto.

Por su parte Felix Auger-Aliassime supo reaccionar a tiempo y, tras perder la primera manga ante su rival, el italiano Musetti, sacó a relucir su tenis de gran poderío y condición física y ya está en una ronda en la que le espera Shapovalov, un encuentro en el que los dos canadienses prometen regalar grandes dosis de espectáculo a los espectadores.

El australiano Alex de Miñaur ha solventado su encuentro de segunda ronda al imponerse al kazajo Bublik en dos sets, en un partido en el que ambos tenistas evitaron los puntos largos y apostaron por un juego más directo. De Miñaur será el próximo rival del segundo máximo favorito del torneo, Stefanos Tsitsipas.


BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 20: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona on April 20, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images)
APRIL 20: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona on April 20, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos)

Stefanos Tsitsipas arrives in Barcelona with confidence after conquering this Sunday in Monte Carlo his first Masters 1000 and with the hope of reaching the final again here in Barcelona, the one he played against Rafa Nadal in 2018, but this time lifting the trophy. He explains that “my first final here was the beginning of my journey on the ATP circuit. Playing against Rafa was not easy, I think it was the first I played against him, but I learned a lot”.

Three years have passed since that meeting, in which we discovered a young man of just 19 years old facing the one who has been proclaimed champion of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell the most times, but little remains of that young boy. He has evolved a lot since then, consolidating himself at the top of the circuit, and presenting himself as the second favorite in this edition.

Tomorrow he will make his debut against another of the youngsters on the circuit, Jaume Munar, a player for the RCTB-1899 who will fight to take advantage of playing at home. Regarding the tournament, he confirms that “it’s a fantastic draw with great players, I really like being in Barcelona. I have always liked her, and although I have only been here a few times, I feel like I know this place”.

Stefanos is coming off a great winning streak, one that has left him with a very good feeling and motivated and capable of facing any rival. He expresses his desire to continue in the same form as the last weeks and even hopes to give more good tennis than we have seen so far, promising to fulfill the expectations placed on a player with his talent.


BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 18: Rafael Nadal of Spain ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona on April 18, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images)
APRIL 18: Rafael Nadal of Spain ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona on April 18, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos)

Rafa Nadal has won the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell eleven times. He holds a 61 win/loss record.  There are only four tennis players who have ever achieved the feat of defeating him at the RCTB-1899 out of the 49 different players who have seen him on the other side of the court. But it’s not enough. He wants to lift the trophy again. And that’s why he is already practicing. Again. At home.

After saying goodbye to Monaco in the quarterfinals, the Majorcan tennis player did not want to waste any time and has already made contact with the Barcelona clay, the same one that he knows so well and in which he has already harvested 124 sets in favor for only 14 lost. But those who know Rafa know that the numbers from the past are just that, in the past. And that he wants to move on, but the defeat against Rublev behind and recuperate his tennis. In the present. And good proof of this is that he did not even pass through his native Mallorca. From the Monte Carlo Country Club to the RCTB-1899.

Accompanied by Carlos Moyà, Francis Roig and Rafa Maymó, three of his most faithful companions in all his battles, Nadal has practiced, next to a court where Carlos Alcaraz was hitting, for more than an hour. Facing the sun. Sleeveless. Cap back. And with a serious gesture. Concentrated. Demanding. Or all at once. Tomorrow he will do it again. He will be able to see his possible rivals playing in the draw. And he will get into the best form possible before entering the court that bears his name to try to show that, with a pandemic or without it, he is still the top favorite. A tag that was deservedly earned a long time ago.