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Top seed and home favourite Dominic Thiem looks ahead to the Generali Open Kitzbuhel.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut have become the first doubles team to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 13-20 November. They will compete at the prestigious season finale for the second successive year, following the announcements of the Citi Open, J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad, Generali Open and Konzum Coratia Open Umag doubles draws.
The Frenchmen have been a force to be reckoned during the 2016 season, leading the ATP World Tour in doubles matches won (29) and team titles (5). With 6,175 points, they are No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London and lead second-placed Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (4,630) by 1,545 points.
Herbert and Mahut captured the first three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events of the year - the BNP Paribas Open, the Miami Open presented by Itau and the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - before winning their second Grand Slam championship title at Wimbledon (d. Benneteau/Roger-Vasselin).
The 34-year-old Mahut has won 16 tour-level doubles titles and four singles titles. The 25-year-old Herbert owns eight tour-level titles, all but one alongside Mahut (2014 Tokyo w/ Przysiezny).
The Frenchmen went 1-2 in the round-robin stage of their Barclays ATP World Tour Finals debut in 2015.
Busy Week Features Four Tournaments: The busiest week of the season on the ATP World Tour features four tournaments with 132 players in action, including 31 of the Top 50 in the July 11 Emirates ATP Rankings. The lone hard-court tournament is the 500 level event in Washington while the final three clay-court events of the season take place in Gstaad, Kitzbuhel and Umag.
Citi Open (Washington): The only ATP World Tour 500 level tournament in the U.S. is led by top American and three-time finalist (2007, 2013, 2015) John Isner. The Top 8 seeds are Isner, Gael Monfils, Bernard Tomic, Benoit Paire, Steve Johnson, Jack Sock, Alexander Zverev and Sam Querrey. The lone former champion in the field is No. 11 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, the 2012 winner. Isner is joined by five other former finalists in the draw: Vasek Pospisil (2014), Monfils (2011), Marcos Baghdatis (2010), Viktor Troicki (2008) and Gilles Muller (2004).
Big John Top Seed: Top American Isner is the top seed in Washington for the first time in nine appearances. The 31-year-old Tampa resident has a 23-8 career record and he’s playing in the tournament for the ninth time in 10 years (except 2012). Isner has advanced to the quarter-finals or better six times, including runner-up efforts in 2007 (l. to Roddick), 2013 (l. to del Potro) and last year (l. to Nishikori). He helped the U.S. to a 2-0 lead after the first day of the Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Croatia by defeating Borna Coric in straight sets. Isner is looking to extend his ATP World Tour title streak to seven consecutive seasons. Seven of his 10 career ATP World Tour titles have come in July or August.
Gael Returns: No. 2 seed Monfils is making his first appearance in Washington since reaching the final in 2011 (l. to Stepanek). He also was a semi-finalist in his other visit in 2007 (l. to Isner). The 29-year-old Frenchman has a 21-9 match record on the season, reaching finals in Rotterdam (l. to Klizan) and at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal). Monfils has struggled with recent injuries (illness) and this will be only his fourth tournament since May. He withdrew from Munich (groin strain) along with Roland Garros and Halle (virus).
#NextGen Stars: There are five #NextGen stars in the main draw, led by No. 7 seed and wild card entry Alexander Zverev, who is making his second straight Washington appearance. Last year, the 19-year-old German advanced to the quarter-finals (l. to Cilic).
Youth is Served: All four main draw wild cards are teenagers: No. 7 seed Alexander Zverev (19), local product Frances Tiafoe (18), and the last two Wimbledon junior champions Reilly Opelka (18) and Denis Shapovalov (17), who is the youngest player in the draw. Opelka is making his second main draw appearance on the ATP World Tour (also Houston in April) while Shapovalov is making his debut. The Canadian left-hander has climbed from No. 1,162 in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the end of last year to a career-high No. 372 as of July 11.
Four Americans in Top 30: In Monday’s Emirates ATP Rankings, there were four Americans in the Top 30: No. 16 Isner, No. 25 Steve Johnson, No. 26 Jack Sock and No. 29 Sam Querrey. The last time four Americans were in the Top 30 was Oct. 22, 2012, with Isner (11), Querrey (23), Fish (26) and Roddick (29).
Doubles Field: The top seeds are Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, who are teaming up for the first time since February, when they reached the semi-finals on home soil in Rio de Janeiro and the quarter-finals in Sao Paulo. They have a 4-5 career record together in ATP World Tour finals. The No. 2 seeds are Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, No. 3 seeds are Florian Mergea and Horia Tecau and No. 4 seeds are Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi, who are coming off a semi-final run at Wimbledon. Teenagers Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka are teaming up for the third time as pros. Last year, they lost in the first round at the US Open and reached the semi-finals at the Sacramento Challenger.
Generali Open - Kitzbuhel (Kitzbuhel): The first of two Austrian tournaments (Vienna) on the ATP World Tour takes place in this picturesque venue. Leading the way is top seed and No. 1 Austrian Dominic Thiem, who was runner-up two years ago. The other seeds are reigning champion Philipp Kohlschreiber, Marcel Granollers, Paolo Lorenzi, Lukas Rosol, Dusan Lajovic, Inigo Cervantes and Jan-Lennard Struff. Kohlschreiber and 2013 winner Granollers are the only former champions in the field. Former finalists are Thiem (2014), Kohlschreiber (2012), Albert Montanes (2011) and Jurgen Melzer (2008).
Thiem Top Seed: The 22-year-old Thiem, who is the youngest player in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 9, enters his home country tournament with four ATP World Tour titles and a 48-13 match record on the season. He leads the ATP World Tour in overall match wins and clay match wins (25) and is second in titles. He is the only player this season to win titles on three different surfaces (clay, grass, hard). He has an 8-5 career record in Kitzbuhel, reaching the final two years ago (l. to Goffin) and the semi-finals last year (l. to Kohlschreiber).
Reigning Champion: No. 2 seed Kohlschreiber is the reigning champion. The 32-year-old German is making his sixth straight tournament appearance and ninth overall. He has a 13-7 career record, winning last year’s title (d. Mathieu) and reaching the final in 2012 (l. to Haase). This season, the top German won his seventh career ATP World Tour title in Munich (d. Thiem) and reached the final in Stuttgart (l. to Thiem).
Melzer Brothers in Draw: Brothers Gerald Melzer and Jurgen Melzer are in the main draw for the third year in a row. Gerald Melzer, who is ranked No. 108, is making his third main draw appearance (0-2 record). He is 0-3 on the ATP World Tour but 33-11 with three titles on the ATP Challenger Tour. Jurgen Melzer, who is ranked No. 414, is playing in his first tournament since qualifying into the US Open last year (l. to Berdych in 2R). He has been sidelined with a left shoulder injury. He is appearing in Kitzbuhel for the 11th time (9-10 record). He was runner-up in 2008 (l. to del Potro).
Russian on the Rise: #NextGen Karen Khachanov is making his Kitzbuhel debut. The 20-year-old Russian reached a career-high No. 96 on June 13 and comes in at No. 104. The Moscow native has compiled a 23-8 match record on the ATP Challenger Tour with a title. He is 3-4 on the ATP World Tour.
Konzum Croatia Open Umag (Umag): The tournament features eight players in the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, led by top seed and World No. 24 Pablo Cuevas, who captured the title two years ago. The other seeds are Joao Sousa, Jeremy Chardy, Fabio Fognini, Nicolas Almagro, Pablo Carreno Busta, Martin Klizan and Jiri Vesely. Cuevas is the only former winner in the draw. Sousa (2015) and Fognini (2013) are former finalists.
Cuevas Top Seed: Top seed Cuevas, who won the title two years ago as a qualifier (d. Robredo) ranked No. 60, is making his fourth tournament appearance (7-2 record). In 2009-10, he lost in the second round. He played in his fourth ATP World Tour final of the season on Sunday in Hamburg (l. to Klizan). The 30-year-old Uruguayan is putting together his best season on the ATP World Tour, winning back-to-back titles in Rio de Janeiro (d. Pella) and Sao Paulo (d. Carreno Busta) in February. He also reached his first grass-court final in Nottingham (l. to Johnson).
Portugal’s Best: No. 2 seed Sousa, who reached the final last year (l. to Thiem), achieved a career-high ranking of No. 28 on 16 May. He is the highest-ranked Portuguese player in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings. After a 5-13 start through April, Sousa has compiled a 13-9 match record this season, highlighted by a semi-final run in Nice (l. to A. Zverev) and quarter-final showings at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (l. to Nadal) and Bastad (l. to Elias).
Jiri Back on Clay: No. 8 seed Vesely is playing in his first tour level clay-court tournament since Roland Garros where he lost in the second round (l. to Almagro). The 22-year-old Czech Republic native compiled an 8-5 match record on clay after a slow start (1-7) on hard courts in the first three months of the year. He is one of only four players (Lopez, Murray, Querrey) to beat World No. 1 Djokovic this season. He defeated Djokovic in the second round in Monte-Carlo. This is Vesely’s first tournament since reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon (d. No. 8 Thiem in second round, l. to Berdych in five sets).
Klizan Regaining Old Form: No. 7 seed Klizan remained perfect in ATP World Tour finals on Sunday in Hamburg (d. Cuevas). The left-handed Slovakian improved to 5-0 in career finals. This season, Klizan has been slowed by a right foot injury, causing him to miss 10 weeks of action. In February, he advanced to the semi-finals in Sofia (l. to Troicki) and the following week he captured the title at the 500 level tournament in Rotterdam (d. Monfils).
Local Wild Cards: The three wild cards in the main draw went to Croats Franko Skugor (No. 171), Nikola Mektic (No. 289) and Nino Serdarusic (No. 570). Skugor reached the second round in 2010 while Mektic and Serdarusic are making their first main draw appearance in Umag. The last Croat to win the Umag title was Marin Cilic in 2012.
J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad (Gstaad): This is the 101st anniversary of the event in the Bernese Oberland. Leading the field is top seed Feliciano Lopez, who reached the final in 2006. The other seeds are Gilles Simon, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, two-time winner Thomaz Bellucci, Guido Pella, Fernando Verdasco, Mikhail Youzhny and Paul-Henri Mathieu. There are three former champions in the field Youhzny (2013), Bellucci (2009, 2012) and Mathieu (2007). There are four former finalists: Juan Monaco (2014), Robin Haase (2013), Verdasco (2011) and Lopez (2006).
Feliciano Top Seed: Lopez is the top seed in Gstaad for the first time in 10 tournament appearances. The 34-year-old Spaniard comes in with a 16-9 career record in Gstaad, reaching the final in 2006 (l. to Gasquet) and the semi-finals in 2013 (l. to Haase) and last year (l. to Thiem). Lopez has a 16-16 record on the season (7-7 on clay) with his best results the semi-finals in Dubai and Houston.
Switzerland Second Home: In May 2015, Brazilian No. 4 seed Bellucci captured his third career ATP World Tour title in Switzerland by winning in Geneva (d. Sousa). He is making his seventh Gstaad appearance in the past eight years (except ’11) and has a 15-4 career record. In 2009, Bellucci qualified into the main draw and captured his first ATP World Tour title (d. A. Beck). In 2012, he won the title again (d. Tipsarevic).
Ramos-Vinolas on a Roll: No. 3 seed Ramos-Vinolas is on pace to win his most matches on the ATP World Tour in a season. In 2012, he won a personal-best 25 matches. The 28-year-old Spaniard captured his first career ATP World Tour title on Sunday in Bastad (d. Verdasco). Ramos-Vinolas has a 24-19 match record on the season (18-12 on clay). His best results have come on clay with the Bastad title, a semi-final in Quito and quarter-finals at Istanbul and Roland Garros. He reached a career-high No. 32 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on June 6 (after Roland Garros).
Verdasco Eyes Eighth Title: No. 6 seed Verdasco, who reached the final in Gstaad five years ago (l. to Granollers), reached the Bastad final on Sunday (l. to Ramos-Vinolas). If Verdasco had won his eighth career ATP World Tour title, it would have been the second time in his career he would have earned two titles in a season (2010). In April, the 32-year-old Madrid native won the Bucharest title (d. Pouille).
Swiss Wild Cards: The three wild cards in the main draw went to Swiss players Henri Laaksonen (No. 166), Antoine Bellier (No. 536) and Johan Nikles (No. 870). Laaksonen, who is making his fifth straight main draw appearance, reached the second round in 2014 while Bellier and Nikles are making their first main draw appearance in Gstaad. Swiss No. 3 Marco Chiudinelli (No. 136) is the other local player in the draw. He has a 2-6 career record in Gstaad, reaching the second round in 2006 and 2010. The last Swiss to win the Gstaad title was Roger Federer in 2004.
In Case You Missed It
Ramos-Vinolas Wins First ATP World Tour Title In Bastad Read More
Klizan Saves His Best For Last In Hamburg Final Read More
Kontinen/Peers Win Third Title of 2016 In Hamburg Read More
Safin Inducted Into International Tennis Hall of Fame Read More
18 July - Aljaz Bedene (27)
19 July - Bjorn Fratangelo (23)
23 July - Donald Young (27)
24 July - Lukas Rosol (31)
25 July - John Peers (28)
30 July - Chris Guccione (31)
31 July - Marc Lopez (34)
Pablo Cuevas 20 (+4) - career high
Martin Klizan 28 (+19)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas 31 (+4) - career high
Fernando Verdasco 47 (+12)
Stephane Robert 59 (+24) - career high
Paul-Henri Mathieu 60 (+6)
Gastao Elias 72 (+17) - career high
SERBIA 2, GREAT BRITAIN 3
Venue: Tasmajdan Stadium, Belgrade, SRB (clay - outdoor)
With Wimbledon champion Andy Murray cheering him on from the sidelines, Kyle Edmund completed his heroics for Great Britain on Sunday by prevailing over Dusan Lajovic, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(5). Janko Tipsarevic prevailed in a dead rubber over James Ward, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
The #NextGen star Edmund dropped just seven games in defeating Tipsarevic in the first rubber on Friday. Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray clinched the second point for Great Britain with a four-set win on Saturday over Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic. Great Britain is now on a six-match win streak in Davis Cup and will play Argentina for a spot in the final.
ITALY 1, ARGENTINA 3
Venue: Circolo Tennis Baratoff, Pesaro, ITA (clay - outdoor)
Argentina reached the semi-finals of the Davis Cup for the 11th time after Federico Delbonis defeated Fabio Fognini in the fourth rubber, 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. Delbonis avenged last month’s five-set loss to Fognini in the opening round of Wimbledon. The final rubber between Andreas Seppi and Juan Monaco was not played.
Delbonis was the hero of the tie for Argentina, recording a four-set win over Seppi on Friday. Juan Martin del Potro and Guido Pella clinched the crucial doubles point on Saturday with a five-set victory over Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi. Argentina has never won the Davis Cup, but has reached the final three times in the past 10 years (2006, 2008, 2011)
CZECH REPUBLIC 1, FRANCE 3
Venue: Werk Arena, Trinec, CZE (hard - indoor)
France reached its fourth Davis Cup semi-final in the past seven years after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Jiri Vesely, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-5. The win enabled Tsonga to make amends for his five-set opening rubber defeat on Friday to Lukas Rosol. The final rubber between Lukas Rosol and Lucas Pouille was not played.
Pouille enjoyed a successful Davis Cup debut on Friday by defeating Vesely in straight-sets, while Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut clinched the all-important doubles point on Saturday by coming out on top in a five-set battle over Rosol and Radek Stepanek.
UNITED STATES 2, CROATIA 3
Venue: Tualatin Hills Tennis Center, Portland, USA (hard - outdoor)
Croatia sealed a momentous comeback from 0-2 down to book a Davis Cup semi-final clash with France after Marin Cilic and Borna Coric landed victories in their respective reverse singles matches on Sunday. Coric clinched the result in the decisive fifth rubber with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 upset of Jack Sock, making up for a straight-sets dismissal against John Isner on Day 1. Cilic had made amends for his opening loss to Sock, defeating Isner 7-6(9), 6-3, 6-4, to draw the tie level at 2-2.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas beat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday at the SkiStar Swedish Open to capture his first ATP World Tour title. Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg was on hand to present him with the trophy.
The 28-year-old Ramos-Vinolas, who beat two-time former champion David Ferrer in the semi-finals, had the best winning percentage in second serve points won (64 per cent) and return games won (48 per cent) during the ATP World Tour 250 tournament. It was his second ATP World Tour final, having finished runner-up at Casablanca in April 2012.
ATPWorldTour.com spoke to Ramos-Vinolas after his victory in the Swedish beach resort.
How does it feel to be holding your first ATP World Tour singles trophy?
Was this a goal as a junior to win an ATP World Tour title?
If you look back on your 2012 Casablanca final appearance, did you have a different approach this time around?
You beat two seeds this week in David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco. What did you do especially well this week?
What do you make of your year so far?
Now you're in the Top 30 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, do you have any new goals for the rest of 2016?
What have you improved on this season?
Who were the players you looked up to growing up?
Tell us something about yourself that maybe people don't know?
Who have been the most important people in your career?
Pablo Cuevas scrambles side to side before threading a backhand past Martin Klizan in this Hamburg hot shot.
Martin Klizan talks about his championship victory in Hamburg and coming back from injury. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
Watch Albert Ramos-Vinolas clinch the SkiStar Swedish Open title in Bastad and explain how he feels to hold an ATP World Tour trophy. Video courtesy: SkiStar Swedish Open
Former No. 1 Marat Safin is the latest ATP World Tour star to be honoured by the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Seventh seed Martin Klizan clinched his second ATP World Tour title of 2016 on Sunday, requiring exactly one hour to record a convincing 6-1 6-4 win over third seed Pablo Cuevas in the final of the German Tennis Championships 2016 in Hamburg.
“It’s a great feeling, an amazing feeling. I must say that I didn’t expect I could win this before the tournament started,” said Klizan. “I’m so happy that my face is going to be on that wall with all these great players! I’m very happy to be next to Miroslav Mecir Sr., who also won this tournament as well.”
The win also capped a successful return from injury for the Slovakian, who sat out for 10 weeks this spring due to a right foot injury.
“It was very frustrating months that I spent without playing tennis, without doing the gym or anything," said Klizan. "Now, I’m very fit and very proud of myself that I won another title.”
Klizan went on a five-game run to take the opening set, converting on both of his break point chances. He was particularly dominant on serve, landing 80 per cent of his first serves and winning 85 per cent of points where he got his first serve into play.
“I think I have quite a lot of weapons and my return is my secret weapon," said Klizan. "I was returning great today and put a lot of pressure on Pablo’s serves. He had a couple of games on his serve where I had no chance, but when he hit a second serve, I was trying to put the ball inside the court and put pressure. That’s why I broke his serve many times.”
The match continued to be one-way traffic for Klizan in the second set, with the Slovakian breaking Cuevas for a 3-2 lead. But World No. 24 Cuevas refused to go away quietly, breaking Klizan in the next game to level the match. Klizan broke serve once again to lead 4-3 and held on to the advantage, comfortably holding serve at 5-4 to wrap up the victory. He evened his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Cuevas to 1-1.
The win gave Klizan his fifth career ATP World Tour title. His other tournament win this year came at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February. The Slovakian remains undefeated in ATP World Tour finals. Klizan collected €316,000 and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts this week.
Cuevas was seeking his third ATP World Tour title of the season, having won back-to-back titles in February at the Rio Open presented by Claro and the Brasil Open. He also reached a grass-court final last month at the Aegon Open Nottingham (l. Johnson). He drops to 5-3 in ATP World Tour finals, with all five of his previous titles coming on clay. Cuevas picked up €148,400 and 300 points.
Third seed Ramos-Vinolas became the fourth first-time ATP World Tour titlist of the year by beating fifth seed Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 in 86 minutes. Verdasco, who had a three-match winning streak against Ramos-Vinolas, also finished runner-up in the 2013 Bastad final (l. to Berlocq).
"If you don't play with focus 100 per cent of the time, you won't beat anybody," said Ramos-Vinolas. "At the changeover at 5-4 [in the second set], I thought that it was normal to lose my concentration when I was serving for my first title. I am very happy because I recovered well and I came back to win the next game.
"I returned well when he kicked-served to my backhand in the deuce court. I think that was the key to the match. I played just one final before, in Casablanca four years ago, and sometimes I thought I would never have another chance to win a tournament. But I am playing good tennis this year and I am working hard. I will keep working to have other chances."
Ramos-Vinolas earned €82,450 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points after the fourth all-Spanish Bastad final in the Open Era - also 1975 (Orantes d. Higueras), 2007 and 2012 (David Ferrer d. Nicolas Almagro). Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg, the 1974 and 1978-79 Bastad champion, presented Ramos-Vinolas with the trophy.
Ramos-Vinolas got off to a strong start in his second final (2012 Casablanca), taking a 4-1 lead courtesy of service breaks in the third and fifth games. But the confidence of the World No. 35 was momentarily checked when he was broken to 15 by Verdasco in the sixth game. However, he broke for a third time to seal the 36-minute opener.
Ramos-Vinolas saved three break points in two service games of the second set prior to breaking Verdasco for a 5-3 lead. Ramos-Vinolas came within two points of winning, but blinked and gave Verdasco the opportunity to break to 30. But one game later, he joined Nick Kyrgios (Marseille), Diego Schwartzman (Istanbul) and Steve Johnson (Nottingham) as a first-time titlist in 2016. He improved to a 24-19 record on the season (18-12 on clay).
Verdasco, 32, had been attempting to lift his eighth tour-level crown and his second of 2016, following on from the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (d. Pouille) in April. He leaves with €43,430 and 150 points.
"It felt like a long week, much longer than usual," Kontinen told ATPWorldTour.com. "I felt pretty tired especially mentally coming in here. I just had to regroup and tried to make the most of it. I didn't think at the start of the week we'd be standing here on Sunday as the winners. But I'm very happy."
Competing in their 15th tournament of the 2016 ATP World Tour season, Kontinen and Peers have also won titles at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp (d. Duckworth/Guccione) and the BMW Open by FWU AG (d. Cabal/Farah). They split €93,140 in prize money and earned 500 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points by lifting the Hamburg crown.
There weren't any chances until the 12th game of the first set, when Kontinen and Peers broke to love to clinch the 38-minute opener. The Finnish-Australian team won a deciding deuce point for a 3-1 lead in the second set.
"It's good fun coming here straight after Wimbledon," Peers told ATPWorldTour.com. "They put on a great show and it's always good fun to get back on the clay after such an enjoyable grass-court season. They put up a really good fight and Henri and I had to hang in there. We started to get the momentum at the end of the first set, when we got the first break. We then just tried to keep rolling and lucky for us we got the title."
Kontinen, who captured the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Heather Watson last week, is now 9-3 in ATP World Tour doubles finals (4-1 in clay-court title matches). Peers is 9-10 in championship matches (6-1 in red dirt finals).
Nestor won the first of his three Hamburg titles in 1996, when he partnered Mark Knowles to victory over Guy Forget and Jakob Hlasek in the final. Today, the 43 year old contested his sixth Hamburg final (3-3 record) and the 148th ATP World Tour final of his career (89-59 record) - only Mike Bryan (114 titles from 169 finals) and Bob Bryan (112 titles from 166 finals) have contested more doubles finals and won more titles. Qureshi is 11-16 in tour-level doubles finals.
The pair move onto their next ATP World Tour tournament with €44,010 and 300 points.
The biggest match at the Citi Open won’t be played for another week. But for two Washington area residents, the first day of qualifying marked the biggest milestone in their tennis careers to date.
Leon Vessels made his Washington debut in 2010 as a member of the tournament’s operations team. The once-promising junior had stepped away from the game years prior, but was coaxed out of retirement by ATP World Tour player Rajeev Ram, who needed a practice partner for the week. Six years on, the 28 year old has made a habit of wearing different hats at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, from drying courts after rain delays to helping Alexandr Dolgopolov find his best game en route to the 2012 title.
“It was like getting fed to the sharks,” said the unranked Vessels of his first ATP World Tour qualifying match, a straight-sets loss to Ernesto Escobedo of the USA. “I was just done hitting with Grigor Dimitrov when I was told I got a wild card. I could not say no because this opportunity may never come around.
“I grew up here, I’ve been playing here since I was five years old,” Vessels said. “It was by far the biggest match I’ve played. It felt like I just played the US Open. I was really nervous. I am still shaking. It was weird being on a court with ballboys. A couple of times, I walked to the net to pick up my own balls, not realising that this is not your average tournament – it’s the big leagues here."
Despite the loss, Vessels still has a long day ahead of him at the Citi Open. “My day is not done. As soon as I’m done showering, I’m going back to work with the operations team.”
Earlier in the day, Nikita-Girey Demir had also made his ATP World Tour qualifying debut. The recent high-school grad only lasted 40 minutes against big-hitting Aussie Matthew Barton, but just having a chance to play was achievement enough for the teenager.
“I have so much respect for [ATP World Tour professionals], so it’s pretty cool to be able to play against one of them. More than anything, I was just happy to be out there. It meant a lot to me,” said Demir, who immigrated to Maryland from Russia as a child.
Despite being estranged from his parents, who both suffer from schizophrenia, Demir has thrived both on the tennis court and in the classroom. He is one of 160 high-schoolers (of four million 2016 seniors) honoured for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education via the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholar Award. The Georgetown Prep graduate’s scholastic and athletic achievements are all the more impressive considering the trying personal circumstances he’s had to overcome.
“The more I spend time on tennis during the day, the better I do in my studies. There is something about tennis that helps you focus on your studies after a long practice,” said Demir, who is hoping to advance both his tennis and academic careers at Stanford under Coach Paul Goldstein, a former ATP World Tour player. “I’d love to study engineering and computer science there.”
Granollers and Marrero split €25,070 in prize money and earned 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points. Granollers improved to 11-16 in tour-level finals with his first title since February 2014 at Buenos Aires (w/Marc Lopez), while Marrero is 12-14 in championship matches.
Granollers told ATPWorldTour.com, "I think we last played together in Prostejov, on the ATP Challenger Tour, six years ago. It was good to play with a friend and to win the title. Hopefully we can spray more champagne in the future, as it will mean we've won the title."
"It was the first time we played together at ATP World Tour level," Marrero told ATPWorldTour.com. "It was great to play with Marcel and I hope to win more titles with him."
Granollers and Marrero broke Demoliner to 30 in the third game, before Granollers recovered from 0/40 - saving four break points - to take a 3-1 lead. The Spaniards won five straight games from 3-2 in the first set to 2-0 in the second set. They lost just 11 of their service points.
Daniell and Demoliner were competing together for the first time this week. Daniell experienced his first loss in an ATP World Tour doubles final (3-1) and Demoliner is now 0-2 lifetime. The pair leave Sweden with €13,170 and 150 points.
Swiss wild card Johan Nikles previews his first ATP World Tour main draw match in Gstaad where he will meet Mikhail Youzhny.
Watch highlights of the final between Martin Klizan and Pablo Cuevas at the German Tennis Championships 2016 in Hamburg. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo credit Carolin Thiersch
CZECH REPUBLIC 1, FRANCE 2
SERBIA 1, GREAT BRITAIN 2
Venue: Tasmajdan Stadium, Belgrade, SRB (clay - outdoor)
U.S.A. 2, CROATIA 1
Venue: Tualatin Hills Tennis Center, Portland, USA (hard – outdoor)
Going into Saturday, the U.S. looked to have the quarter-final contest nearly clinched. They had a 2-0 lead and Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, the winningest doubles team in U.S. Davis Cup history, set to face Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig. But Cilic/Dodig pulled off the upset 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to keep Croatia's hopes alive in the U.S.
The Bryans are now 24-5 in Davis Cup doubles matches. The U.S. still may hold a historical advantage, though. The country is 38-2 when leading 2-1 after Saturday in World Group format, which was introduced in 1981.
Aussies Sam Groth and Chris Guccione won their second ATP World Tour team title on Saturday, beating Brit Jonathan Marray and Canadian Adil Shamasdin 6-4, 6-3 to capture the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships doubles title in Newport.
Groth and Guccione, 6'4” and 6'7”, respectively, hit 11 aces and erased the only break point faced against Marray/Shamasdin, who were playing in their first ATP World Tour final as a team. The Aussies also lost only eight points on their serve (40/48). Their previous team title came at Bogota in 2014 (d. Barrientos/Cabal).
“It was a great serving week and today thankfully we mixed it with a couple good returns,” Groth said.
The win marked Groth's first Newport doubles title but Guccione's third, and all have come with different partners. The left-hander won the title in 2010 with Carsten Ball and in 2014 with Lleyton Hewitt.
“Obviously I like it here,” Guccione said. “It's a great place, great town and a well-run tournament so hopefully I can continue my good run.”
The champions earn 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings Points and will split $27,840. Marray/Shamasdin will receive 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings point and split $14,630.