Rublev rules, first-timer feels

Just over a week on from the magic of Wimbledon, it's been another busy week of trophy lifts across the men's and women's tours.

Andrey Rublev, Roland-Garros 2023, Simple Messieurs, 3eme Tour©Loic Wacziak / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Before the world's best launch into action on the US hard court swing, there has been plenty to play for on the grass and clay courts.

Let's catch up on several title triumphs including plenty of career milestone moments over the weekend.

Bastad brilliance from ruthless Rublev

Andrey Rublev has captured his 14th tour-level crown. The world No.7 overpowered top seed Casper Ruud 7-6(3), 6-0 in the Nordea Open final on Sunday.

Wrong footing excellence, relentless power, Rublev found the lines against the Roland-Garros finalist to add to his Monte-Carlo Masters silverware earlier this season.

"It is always great to win a title," Rublev said, having dropped just one set in Bastad. "At the end of the day, we have to lose almost every week, so this is one of two titles this year.

"It is a special feeling and the final was played in tough conditions, I played really well today."

New star emerges in Newport

It’s a phrase which gets banded around frequently, but make sure you 'remember the name' Alex Michelsen.

The 18-year-old, committed to University in America, hasn’t even turned professional yet, but caught the attention of the tennis world on home grass courts in Rhode Island at the Hall of Fame Open.

He proved his potential to dismiss defending champion Maxime Cressy at the first hurdle and also dispatched four-time Newport titlist John Isner to reach the final in just his second ever ATP Tour event.

However, the trophy belongs to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. The crafty 35-year-old reeled in the American prodigy from 0-3 in the second set to prevail 6-2, 6-4 for a third ATP title.

"It was a pleasure to play here this week in Newport another time,” said Mannarino.

“I’m just fighting on court, trying to do my best and it’s always some really close matches and you never know what to expect. I’m feeling pretty lucky that I got through all the way this week.”

Zheng joins winner's circle

Barcelona-based Zheng Qinwen shot into prominence with a fourth-round showing at Roland-Garros 2022. The 20-year-old has delivered once again on clay courts, completing the quest for a maiden WTA title in Palermo.

Zheng edged Italy's Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 to become the 11th Chinese woman to win a WTA singles trophy aloft.

"This victory did not come easy. After failures, tears, regrets, and disappointments, I finally got a taste of victory," Zheng posted to her fans on Instagram.

"I believe this is just the beginning. What's truly precious is to go through the storm without being changed, and never forget why you started."

Pedro and pooch toast Swiss success

Pedro Cachin also ventured into the winner's circle for the first time.

The Argentine navigated past Albert Ramos-Vinolas 3-6, 6-0, 7-5 in the Swiss Open final. To mark his milestone moment, Cachin took his beloved dog from his player's box for a quick cuddle on court.

The 28-year-old, who downed top seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(4), 7-6(3) en route to the final, is rewarded with a Top 50 debut at a career-high ranking of No.49 on Monday.

Breakthrough in Budapest

Talk about taking your chance.

On the previous Sunday Maria Timofeeva lost in the last round of qualifying at the Hungarian Open. Just seven days later, the 19-year-old was a first-time WTA champion.

The teenager soared through the draw and eventually defeated Ukrainian Kateryna Baindl 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in the final to become the first 'Lucky Loser' to clinch a WTA title since Coco Gauff at Linz 2019.

The last time a woman won the singles silverware on their WTA main draw debut was 22 years ago. Indonesia's Angelique Widjaja achieved the remarkable feat in Bali back in 2001.

"This is all very new to me, and it feels like a dream, because normally I shouldn't be here, but here I am," said Timofeeva. "I'm just so happy and thankful."

Croatia team up for title

World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz headlined the reincarnated Hopman Cup, arriving to compete after just two days off to recover from his blockbuster Wimbledon win.

The 20-year-old blazed in a series of hot shots during match tie-break escapes against David Goffin and Borna Coric.

However, Coric fnished the weekend celebrating at the mixed event. The 26-year-old, alongside compatriot and childhood friend Donna Vekic, prevailed in Sunday's showdown with Switzerland.

Croatia repeated their 1996 champions run at the Hopman Cup, which returned to the tennis calendar after a four-year absence for the mixed team event.