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Updated: 1 week 1 day ago

Tiafoe, Tsitsipas Show Strength of 2018 #NextGenATP Class

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 8:24am

If Frances Tiafoe had accumulated 1,020 points in the ATP Race To Milan by this time last year, the #NextGenATP American would have already all but assured himself a spot in the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals. Tiafoe would have been only 64 points away from second place in the Race.

But this year, even with more than 1,000 rankings points in late September, the 20-year-old Tiafoe is still fighting to ensure that he'll make his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November at the Fiera Milano.

Tiafoe is in fifth place in the Race, 325 points ahead of seventh-placed Andrey Rublev, last year's finalist. But Tiafoe's position shows how well the 2018 #NextGenATP group has done this season, even after the 2017 class set a high bar.

The current top five players in the Race all have more than 1,000 points. By this time last year, however, only two players – first-placed Alexander Zverev of Germany and second-placed Rublev – had earned more than 1,000 points.

“That's unheard of for right now. A lot of guys in the Top 50, Top 40, 30. There's a good level between all of us,” said Tiafoe, who's at No. 41 in the ATP Rankings, three spots off his career-high. “It's just shocking how well we're doing at such a young age. But no reason to get satisfied. There's plenty more to chase, plenty more things to get.”

The top seven players in the Race will qualify automatically, while the eighth spot will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifier tournament to be held just prior to the prestigious 21-and-under tournament.

Comparing ATP Race To Milan Leaderboards

Place

Player

Points on
25/9/17

Player

Points on 24/9/18

Difference between 2018 and 2017

1

Alexander Zverev

4220

Alexander Zverev

4365

145

2

Andrey Rublev

1084

Stefanos Tsitsipas

1827

743

3

Karen Khachanov

990

Denis Shapovalov

1270

280

4

Denis Shapovalov

926

Alex de Minaur

1115

189

5

Borna Coric

876

Frances Tiafoe

1020

144

6

Jared Donaldson

800

Taylor Fritz

748

-52

7

Daniil Medvedev

717

Andrey Rublev

695

-22

For Tiafoe, that means aiming for a strong finish to guarantee himself a position at the 21-and-under event. Players must have been born in 1997 or later to be eligible. Last year, Tiafoe narrowly missed out, finishing 110 points behind final qualifier Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

“I'm liking my spot right now. It would be fun to end the year out there,” Tiafoe said.

This year's #NextGenATP players have implicitly motivated each other throughout the season. One person will do well – such as when Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas beat four Top 10 players en route to the Rogers Cup final in Toronto, or when 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov of Canada become the youngest semifinalist in Mutua Madrid Open history – causing another #NextGenATP player to sit up on his sofa.

“You see a young guy do well, you're like, 'Screw that. If they can do it, why not?' It's kind of been [doing] the domino effect that way,” Tiafoe said.

He has done some of the motivating as well. Tiafoe won his maiden ATP World Tour title in February at the Delray Beach Open, becoming the youngest American champion on tour since 19-year-old Andy Roddick at 2002 Houston. The 20-year-old Tiafoe also reached the fourth round at two ATP Masters 1000 events – Miami and Toronto – and made his first Grand Slam third round at Wimbledon.

“I feel on any given day I'm ready to beat anyone. I'm not really nervous walking on the court. I feel right at home,” Tiafoe said.

The ATP Race To Milan standings on 29 October 2018, the Monday after the Swiss Indoors Basel and the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna, will determine the seven qualifiers. While ATP Rankings points for the 2018 season decide who qualifies for the event, rankings points will not be awarded at the Next Gen ATP Finals.

#NextGenATP De Minaur Battles Hard In Shenzhen

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 8:24am

Australian Alex de Minaur stepped up his bid for a place at the Next Gen ATP Finals on Thursday after a second-round victory at the Shenzhen Open. The 19-year-old Australian recovered from a set and 2-4 down to beat American Mackenzie McDonald 1-6, 7-6(1), 6-0 in two hours and 40 minutes.

“I was watching winners go past me in the first set,” said De Minaur. “He was playing some incredible tennis. I’d experienced that level when I hit with him earlier this week. I knew I had to keep going and try to make the extra ball, then, at some stage, I hoped that his level and intensity would drop so I could turn it around."

Get To Know: Watch De Minaur Video Archive

World No. 80 McDonald won the first five games and broke for a 3-2 advantage in the second set, prior to seventh seed De Minaur working his way back. The Australian needed four set point chances to clinch the second set and, despite the third set scoreline, he saved four break points in the decider to complete his 20th match win of the season (20-17 record).

De Minaur is in fourth position in the ATP Race To Milan for one of seven automatic qualification spots into the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held from 6-10 November. He has reached two ATP World Tour finals this year, at the Sydney International (l. to Medvedev) and the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (l. to A. Zverev).

Looking ahead to playing fourth seed Damir Dzumhur on Friday, De Minaur said, “It’s going to be a tough match tomorrow. There will be some extremely long rallies and I intend to put all my effort into the match.”

In Thursday's first match, which lasted 87 minutes, Dzumhur swept past Indian qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-2.

Do You Know?
Alex de Minaur began the 2018 ATP World Tour season at No. 208 in the ATP Rankings and has since achieved career-high ranking 16 times, peaking at No. 38 on 10 September.

Fognini Opens Chengdu Campaign; Querrey Beats Basilashvili

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 4:26am

Top seed Fabio Fognini opened his campaign at the Chengdu Open on Thursday by beating Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans 6-4, 7-6(2) in one hour and 35 minutes. The Italian is a winner of three ATP World Tour titles this year — at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo (d. Jarry), the SkiStar Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Gasquet) and the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex (d. Del Potro) — and has a 38-18 match record.

Fognini next faces Matthew Ebden, who is one win away from reaching his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the season (Libema Open, BB&T Atlanta Open) after the sixth-seeded Australian knocked out Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3) in just over two hours.

Elsewhere, American Taylor Fritz stepped up his bid for a place at the Next Gen ATP Finals in November by beating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-1 in 67 minutes. Currently in sixth position in the ATP Race To Milan, the 20-year-old is through to his fourth tour-level semi-final of the year (also the Delray Beach Open, Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship and the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon).

Fritz will now play his compatriot, Sam Querrey, who struck 17 aces and didn’t lose a first-service point (30/30) in his 6-1, 6-4 win over third-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in just 54 minutes.

Did You Know?
Fabio Fognini has won only one of his eight ATP World Tour titles on a hard court, at Los Cabos (d. Del Potro) in August 2018. He has also finished as runner-up in hard-court finals at the 2012 and 2017 St. Petersburg Open and at the 2016 VTB Kremlin Cup.

Creativity & Culture: Monfils, Kukushkin Visit Heritage Site In Chengdu

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 5:31pm
Gael Monfils and Mikhail Kukushkin participate in a traditional painting activity on a visit to the Du Fu Thatched Cottage national heritage site during the 2018 Chengdu Open. Video courtesy Chengdu Open.

Fognini, Chung Visit Panda Base In Chengdu

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 5:29pm
ATP players including Fabio Fognini, Hyeon Chung and Bradley Klahn visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding during the 2018 Chengdu Open. Video courtesy Chengdu Open.

Felix Knocks Out Chung In Chengdu

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 12:44pm

Felix Auger-Aliassime continued to grow in confidence at the Chengdu Open on Wednesday. The 18-year-old #NextGenATP Canadian knocked out last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion, second seed Hyeon Chung, 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-4, to make his first ATP World Tour quarter-final.

“It feels nice. It was one of my objectives this year to go maybe deep in an ATP 250 or 500. Now I'm here in the quarter-finals, and the tournament's not done yet, so it's a very nice feeling and hopefully I can go far,” Auger-Aliassime said.

He raced out to a 4-1 advantage but could not convert a set point chance at 5-4, with Chung serving at 30/40. The Canadian, however, broke clear from 2/2 in the tie-break to take the first set.

Chung rebounded in the second, though, breaking in the 12th game. But Auger-Aliassime broke right back to start the third and served out the match to love.

“You have to believe in yourself to win these kind of matches, to play against these players,” Auger-Aliassime said. “My plan was... I'm going to play every point, give it everything, and play with my strengths. The keys today were my serve, and I was also able to dictate most of the rallies, and I was very tough mentally... That really paid off.”

The Canadian, who's the youngest player inside the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings, started the week in 15th position in the ATP Race To Milan. The top seven players in the Race will qualify automatically for the Next Gen ATP Finals, while the eighth spot will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifier tournament to be held just prior to prestigious 21-and-under event. Auger-Aliassime is 310 points behind seventh-placed Andrey Rublev.

“There are a lot of good players ahead of me. Maybe I'll get there but I have to start with this week and then we'll see how it goes for the rest of the year,” Auger-Aliassime said.

He will next meet Aussie Bernard Tomic, who saved one match point to reach his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. Tomic beat fellow qualifier Lloyd Harris of South Africa 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(6) in two hours and 12 minutes, saving one match point at 5/6 in the deciding set tie-break. Harris, who beat fifth seed Gael Monfils in the first round, struck 23 aces.

Seventh-seeded Portuguese Joao Sousa saved two match points at 4-5 in the third set of a 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(0) comeback win over Vasek Pospisil. Sousa couldn’t convert a set point in the first set at 5-4, with Pospisil serving at 40/30, but battled to extend his FedEx ATP Head2Head record to 4-0 against the Canadian, who had led 5-2 in the decider. Sousa now meets Malek Jaziri, a 6-3, 7-6(5) victor over fourth seed Adrian Mannarino.

When In London, Djokovic Raises His Game To Another Level

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 11:53am

Winning at the Nitto ATP Finals often requires players to raise their games to another level. And with the 2018 season finale less than two months away, Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers investigates which players have best lifted their games during the most recent season finales.

During the past three Nitto ATP Finals, only two players have won a higher percentage of points at the season-ending event than they did during the regular season. An analysis of who competed in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 in London highlights that the elite level of competition for every match dictates that most players walk away from the tournament losing more points than they win.

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Grigor Dimitrov leads the pack in the past three years with the highest percentage of points won in London at 55.4 per cent. Last year, Dimitrov won a very respectable 53 per cent of points in the regular season, and improved that by 2.4 percentage points to capture the biggest title of his career.

The only other player to perform better in London in November than everywhere else from January to October was Novak Djokovic in 2016. He won 54.9 per cent of his points in the regular season, and inched a little higher to win an even 55 per cent of his points in the last ATP World Tour tournament of the year.

During the past three years, no other player has been able to increase the percentage of points won at the Nitto ATP Finals over their regular season performances.

2015-2017 Percentage Points Won: Regular Season vs. Nitto ATP Finals

Player

Nitto ATP Finals - Year Played

W / L

Season Win %

Nitto ATP Finals Win %

G. Dimitrov

2017

5-0

53.0%

55.4%

N. Djokovic

2016

4-1

54.9%

55.0%

R. Federer

2015

4-1

55.0%

53.5%

N. Djokovic

2015

5-1

55.0%

53.5%

R. Nadal

2015

3-1

53.4%

53.1%

A. Murray

2016

5-0

54.5%

53.0%

R. Federer

2017

3-1

54.9%

52.8%

M. Raonic

2016

2-2

53.0%

51.8%

D. Goffin

2017

3-2

52.0%

50.0%

A. Zverev

2017

1-2

51.9%

49.3%

S. Wawrinka

2015

2-2

52.0%

49.0%

D. Thiem

2017

1-2

51.8%

48.8%

A. Murray

2015

1-2

53.6%

48.5%

M. Cilic

2016

1-2

52.1%

48.4%

M. Cilic

2017

0-3

53.0%

48.2%

J. Sock

2017

2-2

50.4%

47.9%

K. Nishikori

2016

1-3

52.4%

47.5%

G. Monfils

2016

0-2

52.6%

47.3%

K. Nishikori

2015

1-2

52.6%

47.3%

R. Nadal

2017

0-1

55.5%

46.9%

S. Wawrinka

2016

1-2

52.4%

46.5%

T. Berdych

2015

0-3

53.1%

45.7%

D. Thiem

2016

1-2

51.7%

45.5%

D. Ferrer

2015

0-3

53.1%

44.9%

P. Carreno Busta

2017

0-2

50.9%

42.7%

D. Goffin

2016

0-1

51.7%

40.4%

All players who have competed in the Nitto ATP Finals in the past three seasons have enjoyed winning more points than they have lost during the regular season. But only eight times out of 26 attempts has a player walked away with winning more than 50 per cent of their points at The O2.

Editor’s note: Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers author Craig O’Shannessy is also a member of Novak Djokovic’s coaching team.

Herbert Blocks Tsitsipas' Path In Shenzhen

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 10:26am

Pierre-Hugues Herbert recorded his biggest match win for 16 months on Wednesday for a place in the Shenzhen Open quarter-finals. The Frenchman proved to be too strong for second-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6(4) in one hour and 41 minutes. Herbert knocked out No. 13-ranked Lucas Pouille in May 2017 at the Mutua Madrid Open first round.

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World No. 15 Tsitsipas, who is in the running to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals at Milan in November, has now lost four of his past five matches since advancing to the Rogers Cup final (l. to Nadal) on 12 August.

Herbert next faces Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who edged past Viktor Troicki of Serbia 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(3) in two hours and 37 minutes.

Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka recovered from 0-3 down in the third set and saved two match points at 4-5, 15/40 for a 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-5 victory over sixth seed Denis Shapovalov, the 19-year-old #NextGenATP Canadian, who is in third position in the ATP Race To Milan. Qualifier Nishioka will face Briton Cameron Norrie, who upset third seed Borna Coric 6-4, 7-6(8).

Inside The Chengdu Open 2018 Players' Party

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 1:35am
Join Sam Querrey, Fabio Fognini, Hyeon Chung, Nikoloz Basilashvili and other ATP World Tour stars inside the players' party at the 2018 Chengdu Open. Video courtesy Chengdu Open.

Shenzhen 2018

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 3:52pm

Chengdu 2018

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 3:49pm

Murray Fights Through Asian Swing Opener

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 12:23pm

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray had to fight for it, but the Scot began his Asian swing with a victory on Tuesday at the Shenzhen Open.

The 2014 champion led 6-3, 6-7(3), 4-2 when Chinese wild card Zhizhen Zhang retired down 3-6, 7-6(3), 2-4. Murray saved eight of 10 break points and won nearly 60 per cent of his second-serve return points.

“I felt he played very well after the first set,” Murray said. “I just managed to fight hard, stay tough in the beginning of the third set and unfortunately for him, the cramps started. It was very difficult conditions.”

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It was Murray's first match since the US Open, when he fell to Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the second round. The Brit will next meet top seed and defending champion David Goffin.

Canadian Denis Shapovalov led the #NextGenATP charge, winning a rain-interrupted first-round match 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 over Ilya Ivashka of Belarus. The match was suspended for more than three hours.

“I think once we came back from the break, we played better,” said Shapovalov, who will next play Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka. “It’s been tough conditions here today, but I felt much better on my return to the court.”

#NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur also advanced, needing only 56 minutes to move past Japan's Yuichi Sugita 6-3, 6-0. De Minaur will next meet American Mackenzie McDonald, who was leading 5-7, 6-0, 5-0 when Slovakia's Lukas Lacko retired.

Indian qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan knocked out Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-1 in 90 minutes to set up a second-round matchup with fourth seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Read More: Tsitsipas, Dzumhur Reach New Heights In Shenzhen

Tsitsipas, Dzumhur Reach New Heights In Shenzhen

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 9:04am

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Damir Dzumhur started their Shenzhen Open experience at another level on Tuesday. The second and fourth seed visited the Ping An International Finance Centre and its observatory floor at 550 metres on Tuesday morning. The Ping An International Finance Centre was completed in 2017 and is currently the fourth tallest building in the world.

“It was an extraordinary experience for me. Hopefully I can make it to every tall building like this in the world. It's one of my bucket list goals in life,” Tsitsipas said.

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Greece's #NextGenATP star is playing in the ATP World Tour 250-level tournament for the first time and still has plenty he wants to achieve in 2018.

“I'm pumped. I'm working hard to get to my first title this year. Hopefully I play some good tennis this week,” he said.

The 20-year-old Greek is in 13th place in the ATP Race To London. The top eight will qualify for the prestigious season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London.

Dzumhur, a three-time ATP World Tour titlist, reached the Shenzhen semi-finals last year and enjoyed the experience on Tuesday.

“It was really great. First going up this high and then standing at those windows where you can see what is down under yourself, it's quite scary,” he said. “It was a really great experience. We played a little bit of tennis. We had a lot of fun.”

ATP Race To London Update 24 September 2018

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 4:01am
View the latest ATP Race To London standings as of 25 September, following the conclusion of the St. Petersburg Open and the Moselle Open.

Felix Advances In Chengdu

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 2:51am

#NextGenATP Canadian lucky loser Felix Auger-Aliassime knocked out Chinese wild card Yibing Wu 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-1 in two hours and 24 minutes on Tuesday at the Chengdu Open. He will next play second seed and last year's Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung of South Korea.

South African qualifier Lloyd Harris recorded his first match win on the ATP World Tour by beating fifth seed Gael Monfils of France 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in 88 minutes. The World No. 129 will now face Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic. Last week, Monfils captured his sixth ATP Challenger Tour title in Kaohsiung (d. Kwon).

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American Sam Querrey saved two set points in the first-set tie-break, from 4/6, in a 7-6(6), 6-1 victory over last year’s semi-finalist Guido Pella of Argentina in 75 minutes. He will now face third-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round.

Malek Jaziri, who reached his first ATP World Tour final in May at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open (l. to Daniel), saved one set point at 5/6 in the first set tie-break of his 7-6(7), 1-6, 6-2 victory over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, the 2017 finalist. He’ll next challenge fourth seed Adrian Mannarino of France.

Sixth-seeded Australian Matthew Ebden lost just five of his first-service points and struck nine aces in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Evgeny Donskoy of Russia in 75 minutes. Elsewhere, Russia’s Mikhail Kukushkin defeated eighth-seeded American Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-3 in 87 minutes.

Players Head East For Asian Swing

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 3:35pm
Watch a preview of the ATP World Tour's 2018 Asian swing, as the world's best players head east for a series of five tournaments: the Chengdu Open, the Shenzhen Open, the China Open in Beijing, the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo and the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

Uncovered: Ruud Relishing Push For Milan

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 3:09pm
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot joins NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud, who reflects on his push to qualify for the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

Fritz, Sandgren Feel The Heat In Cooking Challenge At Chengdu 2018

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 1:24pm
Who can make them faster? American Taylor Fritz and Tennys Sandgren cook a traditional Chinese dessert, Tang Yuan, during the Chengdu Open. Video courtesy Chengdu Open.

Andy's Asian Runs To Remember

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 10:30am

Ever since Andy Murray won the first of his three Rolex Shanghai Masters crowns in 2010, the Asian swing has been a happy hunting ground for the Scottish star, with six singles titles from seven finals. Overall, he has compiled a 92-18 match record in Asia.

As he returns this week to the Shenzhen Open, scene of his memorable 2014 triumph, Murray will be hoping to gain momentum, and a degree of confidence for the future, as part of his comeback from right hip surgery in January this year.

On two occasions, Murray’s Asian swing form has triggered monster end-of-season runs.

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After the Mutua Madrid Open in May 2016, Novak Djokovic had opened a seemingly insurmountable 9,025-point advantage over Murray in the ATP Rankings and the year-end No. 1 spot was all but secured by May... or so it seemed! 

In one of the most remarkable late-season runs of the Open Era, Murray went on a tear and began to reel in Djokovic. At the peak of his powers, from 4 October to 20 November (47 days), the Briton won a career-best 24 matches — and, at one point, 24 straight sets — with five consecutive trophies. The charge began with the China Open crown in Beijing (d. Dimitrov) and the fairytale was well underway when he won in Shanghai (d. Bautista Agut).

Having also added the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna (d. Tsonga) to his trophy haul, by 7 November 2016, at the Rolex Paris Masters, the winning streak helped him become the second-oldest player, at 29, to debut at World No. 1 (after 30-year-old John Newcombe on 3 June 1974). He’d edge past John Isner in a three-set Paris final and, despite winning 23 straight matches, he still required one more - in the final match of the year - to clinch year-end No. 1.

So slim were the margins, that the Nitto ATP Finals came down to a winner-takes-all encounter on 20 November. Boosted by a largely British crowd at The O2 in London, Murray drew upon his huge physical and mental reserves in the championship match to beat No. 2-ranked Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 and clinch year-end No. 1. Djokovic had won 13 of their past 15 encounters and had been aiming to become year-end No. 1 for the third straight year (and the fifth time overall). "It was a very important win for me," said Murray. "It was just a huge match to finish the year, to try and obviously finish No. 1."

View Murray's 2016 Season Activity

MURRAY'S TOP PERFORMANCES IN ASIA*

Year Tournament Opponent/Final Result 2010 Shanghai d. Roger Federer 63 62 2011 Tokyo d. Rafael Nadal 36 62 60 2011 Shanghai d. David Ferrer 75 64 2012 Shanghai l. to Novak Djokovic 57 76(11) 63 2014 Shenzhen d. Tommy Robredo 57 76(9) 61 2016 Beijing d. Grigor Dimitrov 64 76(2) 2016 Shanghai d. Roberto Bautista Agut 76(1) 61

*Murray also won the Tokyo doubles title (w/Jamie Murray) in 2011 and lost with his brother in the Bangkok final in 2006.

The grit and determination, which provided such memorable imagery in his rise to the summit of men’s professional tennis, first came to the fore in September 2014, when Murray faced an uncertain time. One year on from back surgery, he found himself outside of the Top 10 in the ATP Rankings.

From 2008 to 2013, Murray had featured in the year-end Top 4 and won 23 tour-level titles from 33 finals. Yet on 15 September 2014, and without a title for 13 months — since his historic first crown at The Championships, Wimbledon (d. Djokovic) in July 2013 — the Briton was at No. 11, his lowest position since 23 June 2008. He travelled to Asia in a bid to improve upon his 38-14 record in 2014 and, perhaps, a chance of clinching a place at the season finale in November.

Over a 35-day period, including his title run at the inaugural Shenzhen Open, a semi-final showing at the China Open and titles in Vienna and Valencia, Murray won 20 of 23 matches.

View Murray's 2014 Season Activity

By lifting three ATP World Tour trophies — all over Spanish opponents — under the guidance of his then coach Amelie Mauresmo, Murray rose from 11th position in the ATP Race To London and became the sixth player to secure his place at the Nitto ATP Finals (for the sixth straight year).

This time around in 2018, as Murray begins his campaign in Shenzhen, his expectations are very different. Following the conclusion of next week's China Open in Beijing, Murray has announced that he will shut down his season and begin to prepare for 2019 with a clean bill of health.

But Murray will be no less determined to produce deep Asians runs on the continent that has brought him so much success.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Shenzhen Open

Mid Autumn Festival Greetings From Chengdu 2018

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 10:13am
ATP stars Yibing Wu, Hyeon Chung, Rohan Bopanna, Joao Sousa, Tennys Sandgren and Mikhail Kukushkin wish everyone a happy Mid Autumn Festival. Video courtesy Chengdu Open.