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Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

Nadal Wins Brisbane 2017 Opener Against Dolgopolov

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 2:57pm
Watch highlights of Rafael Nadal's first-round win over Alexandr Dolgopolov at the 2017 Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Video not available in Australia.

Nadal Opens 2017 With Dolgopolov Win In Brisbane

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 2:36pm

Rafael Nadal returned to the ATP World Tour for the first time in two-and-a-half months to beat 2012 finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday night at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. The Spanish superstar, who is making his debut at the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament, will next face Mischa Zverev in the second round.

“It’s a beautiful court with great crowd - so it was a great experience,” said Nadal. “I think I played a solid match without too many mistakes. That makes me feel good and happy for the victory, obviously.”

It was a battle between one of the ATP World Tour’s heaviest top-spinners, Nadal, versus one of flattest hitters, Dolgopolov, who gained the first break in the third game. Nadal responded by winning four straight games to wrap up the 36-minute opener and broke Dolgopolov in the fifth and ninth games of the second set. Dolgopolov had won the pair’s previous two meetings at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and at the 2015 Aegon Championships in London.

Zverev, who rose 121 spots to a 2016 year-end No. 51 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, overcame qualifier Alex De Minaur 6-3, 6-3 in 68 minutes during the evening session.

”He's an offensive player with a great serve, good volley,” said Nadal. “It will be important to be very focused with my serve, when I'm serving, try to be very… aggressive. I cannot let him play comfortably, because if not, I will be in trouble because he goes to the net frequently.”

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Emirates ATP Rankings Update 2 January 2017

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 2:29pm
See how the Emirates ATP Rankings look at the start of the 2017 ATP World Tour season.

Stan Mixes It Up Brisbane 2017

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 11:59am
Stan Wawrinka tells why he's making his Brisbane debut and why he says he'll never be No. 1.

Murray Reacts To Opening Doha 2017 Win

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 8:49am
Andy Murray gives his thoughts on his opening win against Jeremy Chardy at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha on Tuesday.

Nishikori/Thiem Shock Second Seeds In Brisbane

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 6:56am

Kei Nishikori/Dominic Thiem scored the first major doubles upset of 2017 on Tuesday at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, shocking second seeds and reigning ATP Finals champions Henri Kontinen/John Peers, 1-6, 6-3, 12-10.

Nishikori/Thiem saved a match point on their serve at 8/9 in the Match Tie-break, but Kontinen/Peers did the same on their own serve at 9/10. The Japanese-Austrian pair regrouped to grab a mini-break and close out the battle in one hour and 49 minutes.

The Japanese star’s three career-best ATP World Tour doubles performances have all come in Brisbane. Nishikori was a runner-up in 2015 (w/Dologpolov) and a semi-finalist in 2013 and 2015 (w/Dimitrov). Thiem reached his first ATP World Tour doubles final last July in Kitzbuhel (w/Novak).  Nishikori/Thiem will now play Gilles Muller/Sam Querrey for a place in the semi-finals.

Top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, who won five titles as a team last year, knocked out Grigor Dimitrov and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 6-3 for a quarter-final match against wild cards Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson. The Australians almost blew a 9/5 lead in the Match tie-break to beat Lucas Pouille and Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 2-6, 11-9.

In other first-round doubles matches in Brisbane, fourth seeds Daniel Nestor/Edouard Roger-Vasselin opened up their season with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau. Next up for them is Steve Johnson/Diego Schwartzman.

Mahut Tops Robert In Brisbane 2017 Monday Highlights

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 5:57am
Watch highlights as Nicolas Mahut prevails over countryman Stephane Robert to reach the second round in Brisbane. Photo: Getty Images. Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Video not available in Australia.

Ferrer Tops Tomic In Brisbane 2017 First Round Highlights

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 5:51am
Watch highlights as David Ferrer enjoys a successful start in Brisbane with a win over Bernard Tomic. Photo: Peter Staples/ATP World Tour. Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Video not available in Australia.

Will Raonic Challenge For No. 1 in 2017?

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 3:27am

Milos Raonic has arrived at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and is ready to make a statement in his first tournament of 2017.

But before he takes the court for his first match of the season, the top seed and defending champion made time to take in the sights of this world-class city. Raonic boarded a CityCat cruise around the Brisbane River on Tuesday and met Adrian Schrinner, the city’s Deputy Mayor.

“It's great to be back here. This is the most ideal way for us, as tennis players, to start off an Australian summer,” said Raonic. “Having five of the Top 10 players here is of great significance. It’s obviously a great show not only of the kind of support that we have here in Brisbane, but also the quality of the tournament and the fact that players believe this is the most ideal way to start. They feel the comfort of being here many years over and over again.”

Having received a first-round bye, the World No. 3 will play the winner between Sam Querrey and Diego Schwartzman. Raonic is even with Querrey in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 2-2, but has won their past two matches.

Raonic cut his year-end Emirates ATP Ranking from No. 14 to No. 3 last year, and in his final event of the year, the ATP World Tour Finals, he pushed World No. 2 Novak Djokovic to 7-6, 7-6 and held match point against World No. 1 Andy Murray.

Asked if he could join Murray and Djokovic in the battle for No. 1 in 2017, Raonic said, "I hope so, that's the goal. It's about going out there every single week trying to give myself physically and mentally the best possibility to win and compete against these guys in the biggest events.

"They have a consistency that has been unmatched over the past few seasons; hopefully I can step up and show that consistency as well."

Talking about his decision to add former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek to his coaching team, Raonic said, “It was about the intentions he believes I need to do with my game to take the next step forward, especially against the top guys. We’re looking for a bit more aggression, a bit more progress forward to the net to keep the guys off balance and take it to them.”

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The Canadian has thrived in Brisbane throughout his career, posting a 7-2 career record in his three appearances. He also finished runner-up at this event in 2015 (l. Federer).

This will be Raonic’s first match with 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek as part of his coaching team. The Dutchman will also work alongside Riccardo Piatti, who has been with the Canadian since 2014. 

 

Chung Ousts Coric In Chennai

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 6:51pm

Qualifier Hyeon Chung began his 2017 ATP World Tour season with an upset over sixth seed and fellow NextGen star Borna Coric at the Aircel Chennai Open on Monday. The 20-year-old Korean topped the Croat 6-3, 7-5 in just over two hours.

“It was a tough match against a friend,” said Chung. “I tried to focus on every point and I played some great tennis. My first goal is to get back into the Top 100 [of the Emirates ATP Rankings].” In the second round, Chung will face Dudi Sela, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Damir Dzumhur.

Top seed Marin Cilic will begin his season against Jozef Kovalik after the 24-year-old Slovakian defeated Gastao Elias 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2. Steve Darcis beat Nikola Mektic 6-2, 6-3 to set a second-round clash with third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Elsewhere, Moscow native Daniil Medvedev beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-3. The NextGen player awaits the winner of the match between eighth seed Yen-Hsun Lu and Radu Albot.

In doubles, second seeds Guillermo Duran and Andres Molteni defeated Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop 7-6(4), 6-4 to set a quarter-final meeting with Johan Brunstrom and Andreas Siljestrom, 6-2, 6-4 winners over Indian wild cards N.Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan.

BI2017-02JAN-HLS-MAHvROB.mp4

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 6:13pm
Watch highlights as Nicolas Mahut prevails over countryman Stephane Robert to reach the second round in Brisbane. Photo: Getty Images. Video courtesy Tennis Australia

Nadal Cuddles Koala At Brisbane 2017

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 5:43pm
Rafael Nadal got up close with Dian the koala ahead of his first match in Brisbane. Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Photo: Peter Staples/ATP World Tour

Djokovic Recovers For Season Opening Win

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 5:19pm

Novak Djokovic lost the first four games and recovered from a 2-5 deficit in the first set on Monday in his 2017 ATP World Tour season opener at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. The World No. 2 and defending champion regained his poise to record a 7-6(1), 6-3 win over Jan-Lennard Struff in one hour and 27 minutes, marking his 14th straight victory against a German opponent.

“It’s first match of the year. You never know how you're going to start,” said Djokovic. “As well as you have trained in the preparation period and the days prior to the tournament, [it] really is different when it's competitive play, when you start the official match and the crowd is there."

“It changes things mentally. I was a bit flat on my feet… But I stayed composed because I knew, I believed that I could find the rhythm, start reading his serve better, and that's what happened," added Djokovic. "Certainly I can play better, but it's first match of the year. I know that I can't be at my top the very first match, but I believe that the process is right.”

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Djokovic, who has an 8-1 record at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament, lost just six of his first service points. Last year, the Serbian became the sixth player who has ranked No. 1 in his career to win the Doha title, joining former coach Boris Becker - who won the inaugural title in 1993. Other No. 1s to lift the trophy have been Stefan Edberg (1994-95), Jim Courier (1997), Marcelo Rios (2001), Roger Federer (2005-06, ’11).

Djokovic will next face Horacio Zeballos, who saved two match points to beat Florian Mayer 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(9).

Fourth seed David Goffin saved 10 of the 12 break points faced to defeat Robin Haase 7-6(4), 6-2. The Belgian awaits the winner of Fernando Verdasco and Vasek Pospisil in the second round.

“It’s never easy when you start the first tournament of the season,” said Goffin. “You can feel the stress a little bit before the match… I’m feeling good mentally, because for me, it's always been the key to stay fresh mentally. Physically, I know I can play week after week.”

Elsewhere, Dustin Brown knocked out Facundo Bagnis 6-1, 6-7(2), 6-4, Jiri Vesely hit 13 aces to overcome wild card Anil Yuksel 6-2, 6-3 and qualifier Radek Stepanek advanced when his opponent, eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis, retired due to a right ankle injury.

World No. 1 Andy Murray, who is also competing at the 25th edition of the tournament, opened his season with Mariusz Fyrstenberg. But David Marrero and Nenad Zimonjic got the better of the pair 6-2, 6-4 in 59 minutes. Murray will play his first singles match of 2017 against Jeremy Chardy on Tuesday.

Also in doubles, Fourth seeds Dominic Inglot and Florin Mergea advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Karen Khachanov and Andrey Kuznetsov. They next face Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin, who beat Malek Jaziri and Mubarak Shannan Zayid 6-2, 6-3 in 47 minutes.

What Makes Greatness Within?

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 4:19pm
With the launch of the ATP's new global marketing campaign, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic lead the stars in Doha discussing what produces Greatness Within.

ATP World Tour Uncovered Greatness Within 2017

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 3:17pm
The new Greatness Within campaign provides the opening sequences for the weekly TV show ATP World Tour Uncovered, presented by Peugeot.

Greatness Within Campaign Launched By ATP

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 3:06pm
The new Greatness Within campaign showcases world-class players and tournaments to target younger audiences and leverage the ATP World Tour's incredible generation of players.

ATP Launches 'Greatness Within' Campaign

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 1:42pm
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The ATP World Tour launches a new global marketing campaign today that will showcase its players and tournaments in a powerful new way for the next two seasons.

The campaign, titled “Greatness Within”, will offer a fresh look for the ATP World Tour and its 64 tournaments but will continue to target younger audiences and leverage the tour’s incredible generation of players.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “The ATP World Tour showcases the world’s greatest athletes as they battle week in week out for prestigious titles, and the ultimate crown of finishing the season as ATP World No. 1. The ‘Greatness Within’ campaign will reflect that season-long quest, bringing our tournaments and players to life in a new and vibrant way to our growing fan base, as well as providing the Tour with a captivating new visual identity.”

George Ciz, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, said: “The idea behind ‘Greatness Within’ is based on the fact that there is greatness within every player, every tournament and every match on the ATP World Tour and in order to truly succeed, players must dig deep and find it within themselves. The campaign will provide the ATP with a striking new visual identity full of emotion and passion, helping fans to better connect with the ATP World Tour, our players and tournaments.”

The ATP World Tour has been experiencing an unparalleled golden era with the ‘Big Four’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray dominating play for years. But a new generation of players is now stepping up and is prepared to challenge.

The “Greatness Within” campaign will highlight the ongoing battles and the inner strength required of every top player in today’s game. The campaign's signature line will be, “Greatness Within: Every Player, Every Week At Every Tournament”.

The campaign’s look and feel will convey the range of emotions ATP World Tour stars endure on court, using both player imagery and tournament highlights inside the players themselves through a court-like grid system. The players in the campaign will then be set against a stylised city-specific panorama, with bold graphic standing out in print materials.

The marketing campaign was produced for the ATP by the London-based agency The Big Shot and the video components feature the music from THePETEBOX, which he composed bespoke for the ATP. The song, ‘Fly Like Aces’ is available for download on iTunes. All the video, motion graphics and digital assets align with the print materials.

The campaign, which will showcase more than 60 players, will deliver creative assets for the full spectrum of channels and executions, including print, outdoor, TV and digital advertising. It will also provide opening sequences for live TV coverage as well as for the weekly TV show ATP World Tour Uncovered, presented by Peugeot. A plethora of players and tournaments will be featured in the campaign's visuals, which will be unveiled throughout the season.

Greatness Within

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 1:23pm

Pouille Gets Set For Brisbane 2017

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 12:29pm
World No. 15 Lucas Pouille returns to Brisbane, where his dramatic rise up the Emirates ATP Rankings began last year.

Nadal Eager For Brisbane Debut

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 11:14am

Rafael Nadal is eager to commence his 2017 ATP World Tour season against Alexandr Dolgopolov Tuesday night in Brisbane. Such is the strength of the Brisbane International field, which features five Top 10 players, that fifth-seed Nadal does not enjoy the first-round bye afforded to Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem.

After flying in in the early hours of Monday morning, Nadal had his first practice session under lights Monday evening, watched by hundreds of fans who took every vantage point to get an up-close look at the former World No. 1. This is the first time that the Spaniard will be competing in Australia in the first week of the season.

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“For me to be here for the first time, it's something special,’ Nadal said at an informal news conference and photo op with a koala bear on site Monday afternoon. “I'm looking forward to competing and to see the great centre court that everybody, all the players, say is so special. This year I decided to be here in Australia; I have a good connection with the people here in Australia.

“I like to know different places. It's true that Doha worked well for me in the past, but here in Brisbane is something that probably will help me to adapt quicker to the Australian conditions that are always a little bit tougher in terms of weather.”

 

Front row concrete for a @RafaelNadal practice?

Yeah, they'll take it. #BrisbaneTennis pic.twitter.com/njy3BIN2HL

— #BrisbaneTennis (@BrisbaneTennis) January 2, 2017

 

Nadal is seeded to meet defending champion and World No. 3 Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals. But the Mallorcan is not complaining about the luck of the draw. “Nobody has an easy draw here in Brisbane. The draw is so difficult. Great players. There is no one space on the draw that you can say, ‘Okay, this draw is better’."

"All players in the main draw are tough players. You can see, first round, David Ferrer against Bernard. Tonight, Steve Johnson against Dimitrov. All matches are difficult. You need to be ready for everything if you want to play a tournament like this.”

Dolgopolov has won his past two outings against Nadal, but the lefty leads their career FedEx ATP Head2Head series 5-2. They have not played each other in 18 months.

Watch: Nadal Arrives At Brisbane Airport 2017