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Updated: 4 days 15 hours ago

Tsonga Showcases Speed in Rotterdam 2017 Hot Shot

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 6:23pm
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was hot off his heels to play this hot shot during the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Lucky No. 13: Tsonga Reigns In Rotterdam

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 5:54pm

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wasn't satisfied in capturing his 400th match win this week at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The Frenchman added to his haul with victory No. 401 on Sunday, claiming an impressive 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 comeback over David Goffin for the title.

Tsonga secured his 13th ATP World Tour crown and second at the 500 level (Tokyo 2009), ending a two-year title drought with a strong statement on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam. On Saturday, the sixth seed downed Tomas Berdych to notch tour-level victory No. 400 and on Sunday he became the first Frenchman to triumph at the Ahoy Rotterdam since Michael Llodra in 2008.

"I'm really happy," said Tsonga. "These titles come at the right moments. The last couple of months I put in a lot of effort to come back to this level. It's a huge reward for me and it gives me new expectations for the rest of the year.

"I changed my serve and worked a lot on my backhand and my returns. I also changed my strings. There were many things to improve my game and do things better. Today it's a reward and I will try to be better and better. In the second set, I had another mentality on court. I was more aggressive and it made the difference."

 Watch Full Match Replays

Goffin sprinted out the gates and looked to be in control early. The 26 year old made significant progress against the Tsonga serve, holding break points in each of the Frenchman's first three service games and converting his fifth opportunity for a 2-1 lead. Goffin again pounced for a second break two games later and was in command after taking the opener.

Tsonga stepped up his intensity in the second set, however, using his agility and fearless forehand to disrupt the Belgian's steady game. Two massive inside-out forehands gave the Frenchman a pair of set points at 5-4 15/40 and he would eventually send the encounter to a decider on his fifth chance. The World No. 14 carried the momentum into the third set, taking a stranglehold on the championship with a pair of quick breaks for a commanding 5-0 advantage. He would secure the title after one hour and 56 minutes, firing an overhead smash at the net.

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Six years after first reaching the Rotterdam final, having fallen to Robin Soderling in 2011, Tsonga finally wrapped his arms around the trophy. He claims 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €371,620 in prize money. The Le Mans native extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head edge over Goffin to 4-2, marking their first meeting since 2015, when the pair split encounters on the clay of Monte-Carlo and Rome.

Goffin, meanwhile, will make his Top 10 debut in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, adding 300 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €182,185 in prize money. The milestone is a historic one for Belgium, with the Liege native becoming the first from his country to break into the elite level.

"It was a great week in the end," said Goffin, who was bidding for his third ATP World Tour title and first in three years. "There was a lot of emotion this week and I won a lot of matches. I was a bit tired today. I started the final really well, but in the end Jo played better than me, especially in the third set. Of course I'm disappointed, but I played some good tennis and will be in the Top 10 on Monday."

Cabal/Farah Rule Again In Buenos Aires

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 5:36pm

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah have defended their Argentina Open title with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-4 win over third seeds Santiago Gonzalez and David Marrero on Sunday.

The top seeds in Buenos Aires saved a match point in their Match Tie-break triumph over Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the semi-finals to book an 18th ATP World Tour final together.

Watch Full Match Replays

The Colombians dictated play against Gonzalez/Marrero by winning 88 per cent of points on first serve and broke three times to wrap up the victory on the one-hour mark.

"It's great to repeat here," said Cabal. "We love Buenos Aires. The city, the stadium here and the food too."

"We had a pretty difficult draw but we arrived playing well," Farah said. "We showed that and we hope to maintain it for the rest of the year. Our expectations for 2017 are very high. We want to fight for Grand Slam and Masters 1000 titles and the goal is to qualify for the ATP Finals at the end of the year."

Cabal/Farah lifted a ninth Tour trophy as a team and have accumulated 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points to go with $29,610 in prize money.

Dodig/Granollers Crowned Rotterdam Champions

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 2:55pm

Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers have clinched their first ATP World Tour title as a pairing at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament with a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over Dutch wild card team Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop.

Dodig/Granollers, playing just their second event together, had dispatched top seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a place in the Rotterdam final, whilst Koolhof/Middelkoop were looking to add to their Apia International Sydney trophy they won last month.

Watch Full Match Replays

With no breaks, a tie-break was required to separate these in-form pairings in the opening set and the third seeds managed to edge ahead. They struck instantly in set two to build a 2-0 lead, an advantage they maintained until closing out the title in 73 minutes.

“We have played some amazing tennis together. We played some great matches at the Australian Open, played the quarter-finals and lost a tough match to the Bryans,” said Dodig after they claimed the title without dropping a set. “I am really happy the way we are playing and hopefully we can continue this level.”

The Rotterdam champions secured 500 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings Points and €111,890 in prize money. Dodig landed his seventh tour-level doubles trophy, Spaniard Granollers took his tally to 14.

“I am very happy," said Granollers. "We played great tennis all week in all of the matches. Without a doubt, it has been a great start with Ivan, reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and winning an [ATP World Tour] 500 title. We are very happy with our form."

Koolhof/Middelkoop were bidding to become the first Dutch duo to win on home soil in Rotterdam since Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis in 1998, but still leave with 300 ranking points and €54,780 prize money.

Anderson And Fratangelo Face Off In 2017 Delray Beach Games

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 1:55pm
Kevin Anderson and Bjorn Fratangelo went head-to-head in a series of beach games during the Delray Beach Open. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Delray Beach Open

Carreno Busta Advances In Buenos Aires Battle

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:24pm

Fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta moved into his first semi-final of 2017 on Friday at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, outlasting fifth seed and fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a marathon match.

Little separated the players in the early stages, but Carreno Busta went on a four-game run down 2-3 to grab the opening set. Ramos-Vinolas fought back by grabbing the lone break of serve in the second set at 4-4. The fifth seed went up 3-1 in the deciding set, but Carreno Busta saved his best tennis for the end by winning five of the last six games to prevail in two hours and 11 minutes.

Carreno Busta improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Ramos-Vinolas to 2-0, having prevailed against him in a third-set tie-breaker in February 2016 in Sao Paulo. He is making his fourth consecutive appearance in Buenos Aires, but had never won a match here until this year. Carreno Busta currently sits at a career-high No. 25 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Next up for him is Alexandr Dolgopolov, who advanced 7-5, 6-4 over Gerald Melzer. The Ukrainian is also through to his first ATP World Tour semi-final of the season. Dolgopolov caused the biggest upset so far this week in Buenos Aires by taking out second seed Pablo Cuevas in the second-round. 

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Goffin Gains Revenge For Rotterdam SF Spot

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 9:23pm

Third seed David Goffin broke new ground on Friday to book a maiden ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-final courtesy of a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 triumph over fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov.

In a repeat of last week’s Garanti Koza Sofia Open final, Goffin gained revenge on Dimitrov in over two hours of enthralling action to clinch his first career victory over the in-form Bulgarian.

 Watch Full Match Replays

The World No. 11 kept Dimitrov off balance in a series of extended rallies to edge to a first set lead. However, Dimitrov has started 2017 with 16 match victories and two ATP World Tour titles, and illustrated his recent form with an athletic display to force a decider.

Back-to-back passing shot winners secured Goffin an immediate break in the final set. Dimitrov valiantly pressed the third seed, but Goffin maintained his advantage and progressed to the final four to meet Dominic Thiem or Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Memphis Open Has Gone To The Dogs

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 4:48pm

What started as a marketing campaign has taken over the Memphis Open: The tournament has gone to the dogs.

Sam Querrey and his girlfriend brought their 8-month-old French Bulldog, Lou. Kevin Anderson and his wife carried Lady Kady, their 7-month-old Chiweenie, a Chihuahua Dachshund mix. “Memphis Mo”, the tournament mascot that has had his own Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote the tournament, visited the Memphis Open as well.

“The dogs are great. They're fun, and it's such an engaging way that the players can bring a little bit of home on the tour with them,” Tournament Director Erin Mazurek said. “If we can be accommodating and make our tournament feel that much more friendly and that much more engaging for them, that's exactly what we want to do.”

Fans have clamoured for the dogs. As Mo sauntered through The Racquet Club of Memphis, his supporters shouted his name and snapped photos of the 7-year-old American Lab. Mo was unphased by the attention. “He's just a mild-mannered dog,” said Griffin Lonardo, who, along with Hayley Efird, takes care of the 110-pound pooch.

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By now, Mo must feel like an old pro at this tennis tournament stuff. He sat still and stared at the camera while getting a photo for his credential, issued to “Mo Efird”.

But for Lou and Lady Kady, the Memphis Open was their first foray on the ATP World Tour. They're doing just fine, thank you.

Lou watches her co-owner Sam Querrey practise and hardly mutters a noise, lying quietly on the bleachers. The flip side: She's just as quiet when the 29-year-old Querrey seeks tennis advice during practice.

“She probably sleeps like 20 hours a day so she pretty much just falls alseep anytime she's out there watching,” Querrey said.

Lou will have chances to improve. She'll be along for the ride at Querrey's next four ATP World Tour tournaments: Delray Beach, Indian Wells, Miami and Houston. “Hopefully she will be well-behaved but we'll see,” Querrey said.

Lady Kady has a different attitude about tennis: She loves watching Anderson practise, although she mostly stayed back at the hotel during the Memphis Open.

Anderson and his wife had been talking about getting a dog for a while, he said. They welcomed Lady Kady from a dog shelter about a month ago during the middle of a rare two-month stay at home while Kevin rehabbed his right-hip injury.

The dog's previous owners had called her Lady but the Delray Beach shelter already had a dog named Lady, he said. “Of course you can't have two Ladys at the shelter. They gave her Lady Kady and it just stuck. We got her and she was responding to it pretty well. We thought it was an interesting and unique name and it was kind of fun so we just went with it,” he said.

Listed at 196 pounds, Anderson weighs exactly 191 pounds more than Lady Kady. They haven't let that difference hamper their relationship. “We've bonded here really well,” he said.

American John Isner might be who we should thank for the pooch paradise. Isner has been bringing Magill, his 9-year-old English Cocker Spaniel named after the late Georgia Bulldogs tennis coach Dan Magill, to ATP World Tour tournaments for years. Magill isn't in Memphis but he's travelled with Isner to the BB&T Atlanta Open multiple times.

In fact, Isner says Magill is partly to thank for his three Atlanta titles.

“I think dogs tend to bring good luck. They keep you relaxed, keep you in a fun mood throughout the week, which actually can help. It's not all just about hitting your forehand well, hitting your backhand well and tactics on the court. It's about being relaxed throughout the week and that can actually go a long way,” Isner said. “I generally don't like people copying on my idea but if it's the dog one, I do like that.”

 

Berdych Happy With QF Win At Rotterdam 2017 Run

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 4:14pm
Tomas Berdych reflects on reaching his fourth Rotterdam semi-final with victory over defending champion Martin Klizan on Friday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Watch live Rotterdam matches at TennisTV.com.

Tsonga Ousts Cilic, Now Faces Berdych In Rotterdam

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 2:09pm

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga held his nerve on Friday to book a place in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-finals where he will meet Tomas Berdych. The Czech leads Tsonga 8-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including a 7-5, 6-3 win at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open last month.

"Tomas is very consistent, with a full game: very consistent and covers the court well,” said Tsonga, ahead of their clash on Saturday. “The best strategy is to play well!” Berdych admitted, "My own game will be extremely important tomorrow, as I will try to dictate from the very beginning. I need to be focused from the first point.”

Sixth seed Tsonga, who finished runner-up to Robin Soderling in the 2011 Rotterdam final, saved two set points in the first set tie-break to beat top seed and 2014 runner-up Marin Cilic 7-6(10), 7-6(5) in just over two hours.

Tsonga led 5/1 in the first set tie-break, but could not convert three set point chances at 6/3. Cilic fought back by winning four straight points, but squandered his own set points at 7/6 and 8/7. Tsonga took his first opportunity in the second set tie-break to record his first win over Cilic since August 2011 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, and he is now one match win away from recording the 400th tour-level victory of his career.

“I’m really happy with the victory as the most important thing is that I played good tennis from the start to the end,” said Tsonga. “I have been feeling great the past couple of months, including a quarter-final at the Australian Open. Marin is a very good player and difficult to play against as he has an all-round game."

Watch Full Match Replays

Earlier in the day, fourth seed Berdych moved one step closer to his third final at the Rotterdam Ahoy, venue of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, where he has a 19-7 record.

Berdych, who beat Cilic in the 2014 final, knocked out defending champion Martin Klizan 6-3, 6-3. Berdych broke twice in the first set – in the fifth and ninth games, then for a 3-1 lead in the second set in an assured 59-minute performance.

"It was my best performance so far," said Berdych, who also finished runner-up to Stan Wawrinka in 2015. "It was a goal every match to try to improve. So far, I am very pleased. It’s a good feeling to be in another [Rotterdam] semi-final, as I know I can play good tennis on this court."

Third seed David Goffin takes on fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov, already a winner of two ATP World Tour titles in 2017, during the first match of Friday's evening session. Qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert faces second seed Dominic Thiem in the final match of the day.

Dutchmen Advance To Doubles SFs
Wild cards Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop delighted Dutch supporters by beating fourth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 7-6(2), 6-3 in 87 minutes for a place in the semi-finals against 2015 titlists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. The Dutchmen are 3-0 in ATP World Tour finals, including a title run at last month’s Apia International Sydney (d. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares).

Dimitrov Cracks Goffin's Code In Thrilling Rally Rotterdam 2017

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 9:46am
While David Goffin ultimately comes out as victor in their quarter-final clash in Rotterdam on Friday, Grigor Dimitrov provides an emphatic end to this exciting rally. Photo: Henk Koster. Watch live matches on TennisTV.com.

Tsonga Looks Ahead To Berdych SF At Rotterdam 2017

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 7:38am
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looks ahead to competing against Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Saturday following victory over Marin Cilic. Watch live Rotterdam matches at TennisTV.com.

Kozlov Hits Hot Shot Double At Tempe Challenger

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 3:45am

Rising American star Stefan Kozlov gave a nod to Hot Shot king Dustin Brown after striking two impressive Hot Shots of his own in the same point at this week’s $75,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Tempe, Arizona.

Facing Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador in the second-round, the #NextGenATP star hit a reflex shot between his legs at 1-1 in the second set. If that wasn’t enough, he responded to an overhead from Quiroz by leaping up and hitting an overhead winner of his own from the baseline, raising his arms in triumph.

"I don't normally practise that," joked Kozlov. "It just caught me in no-mans-land. I didn't know whether to hit a forehand or a backhand. It was just instinct to hit it between my legs…I had a little adrenaline and got lucky when he hit the overhead right to me. It was a really tough overhead and I was pretty shocked afterwards. I haven't had too many of those kind of points. It was exciting."

Kozlov posted the video to his Instagram account afterwards and captioned it “On my @Dreddy_Ja game today,” referring to Brown. The American remarked that he’s “seen plenty of his Hot Shots in person and on social media, so obviously he's really good at those. It almost seems like he does those casually now."

Next up for Kozlov is a quarter-final battle on Friday against sixth seed Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia. 

 

Thiem Reflects On Simon Victory At Rotterdam 2017

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 1:32am
Dominic Thiem discusses his victory over Gilles Simon at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam and looks ahead to his quarter-final against Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Watch live Rotterdam matches at TennisTV.com.

Dimitrov Prevails On Thursday In Rotterdam 2017

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 1:32am
Watch Thursday highlights of wins for Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, David Goffin and Tomas Berdych at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Watch live Rotterdam matches at TennisTV.com. Photo: Henk Koster

Johnson Fights Through In Memphis

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 12:08am

Fourth seed Steve Johnson showed impressive resilience in reaching the quarter-finals in Memphis, rallying from a set down on Thursday to defeat qualifier and fellow American Tim Smyczek, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

“I didn’t play my best tennis at the beginning, but I figured it out at the end,” said Johnson. “You can’t always play your A-game and he was doing everything that he needed to do, so I just had to go to Plan B.”

Smyczek appeared primed for the upset in the opening set, saving all four break points against him and breaking Johnson twice to grab the early lead. But the fourth seed shifted the momentum down 3-4 in the second set, winning nine of the final 11 games to take the match.

Johnson improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Smyczek to 2-0 and matches his best result in Memphis, a quarter-final showing in 2015.

Next up for the American is Mikhail Kukushkin, who stormed to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over qualifier Darian King. Johnson leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-1, but they haven’t played in two years.

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Nikoloz Basilashvili scored the biggest upset so far in Memphis, ousting top seed Ivo Karlovic 7-6(2), 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. 

“I’m playing really well in general the past month,” said Basilashvili. “I’m in really good shape mentally and physically, and beating a player like Karlovic only gives me confidence for the upcoming matches.”

Both players traded comfortable service holds in the opening set, but Basilashvili went on a six-point run in the tie-break before converting on his second set point. He then earned the first break of the match to lead 4-2 in the second set. Basilashvili easily served out the contest on his first attempt to advance in 69 minutes.

The Georgian picked up his first win over Karlovic, improving his record in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry to 1-2. Basilashvili has been on a hot streak, having defeated World No. 8 Dominic Thiem last week en route to reaching the semi-finals in Sofia (l. Dimitrov). He currently sits at a career-high No. 67 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Next up for Basilashvili is qualifier Matthew Ebden, who defeated #NextGenATP star and last year’s runner-up Taylor Fritz 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The Aussie, currently No. 490 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after a difficult 2016 that saw him sidelined for seven months due to injury, is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since Atlanta in July 2012.

 

Dolgopolov Takes Out Cuevas In Buenos Aires

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:45pm

Alexandr Dolgopolov provided the first major upset at the Argentina Open, putting in a solid performance on Thursday to move into the quarter-finals over second seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(4).

A lone break of serve was all the Ukranian needed to capture the opening set. Both players traded routine service holds throughout the second set, but Dolgopolov rallied from 1/4 down in the tie-break to win the final six points and prevail in one hour and 18 minutes.

Dolgopolov improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Cuevas to 2-0, with his previous win over the Uruguayan coming three years ago in Buenos Aires.

Next up for him is Gerald Melzer, a 7-6(4), 6-3 winner over local qualifier Guido Andreozzi. The Austrian didn’t drop serve in moving into his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the year.

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Carlos Berlocq delighted the local crowd with a convincing 6-4 6-2 victory over third seed David Ferrer. The Argentine never lost the lead throughout the match, dominating the baseline rallies against the three-time champion to record an upset win in one hour and 26 minutes. 

Next up for Berlocq in the quarter-finals is Thiago Monteiro, who needed all of his clay-court prowess to move past former Top 5 player Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4 in the last match of the day. The lone meeting between Berlocq and Monteiro came this past May on the ATP Challenger Tour, with Monteiro prevailing in the final of the $100,000 event in Aix-en-Provence, France. The Brazilian is looking to reach his first-ever ATP World Tour semi-final.  

Dimitrov Delivers A Rotterdam Masterclass

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:19pm
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Grigor Dimitrov continues to soar in 2017 having booked a quarter-final place at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament with a 7-6(7), 6-1 win over Denis Istomin on Thursday.

Dimitrov, now holding a 16-1 match record this season, continued his impeccable recent form to instantly break the World No.76. However, Istomin duelled in a series of entertaining rallies to force a tie-break. The duo finished the set on 50 points apiece, but with 18 winners and 11/13 successful net points, the Bulgarian went ahead after Istomin’s only double fault.

Watch Full Match Replays At Tennis TV 

A pair of forehand winners secured a 3-0 advantage for the 25 year old and some outstanding retrieval play built on that lead to secure his third straight victory over the Uzbekistani.

“It’s never easy when you have to face that kind of a player indoors. Denis is a great player, I played him in Australia (4R victory at the Australian Open),” said Dimitrov. “He started back then unbelievable, so my goal today was to start the match well and work my way through. I’m relieved I could finish the second set that way.”

World No. 12 Dimitrov will face David Goffin, whom he defeated in the final of the Garanti Koza Sofia Open on home soil last week, for a place in his first Rotterdam semi-final since 2013. Despite leading their FedEx ATP Head2Head 3-0 Dimitrov is determined to be fully prepared for a testing encounter.

“He’s a tough player, a great competitor. We’ve played a few times, that’s the record, but it doesn’t mean anything to me,” added the fifth seed. “I have the same amount of respect for pretty much every player I play, so I never underestimate anyone. He’s been pretty consistent over the past year or so. For sure it’s going to be a great match for us. I just need to stay focused and play my game.”

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Dimitrov is adamant that his impressive start to 2017 is down to hard graft on the practice court. “There have been many matches I’ve played well in, but I don’t feel there was a turning point. I have kept working hard and I expect myself to get a bit rewarded for that at some point,” continued Dimitrov. “Even through the tough days, I was working through those days. It’s not always going to be like this on court, I will struggle in some matches for sure, I don’t shy away from that, but I play every tournament not to lose. My goals and mind-set aren’t different.”

Dominic Thiem booked his maiden quarter-final in Rotterdam with an intriguing 6-4, 7-6(4) win over Gilles Simon. Their FedEx ATP Head2Head was finely poised at 3-2 in favour of the Austrian, who fended off three break points and struck four aces to claim the opening set.

Simon, a three-time semi-finalist at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, was 4-2 down but derailed Thiem’s momentum to prolong the set with a tie-break. Second seed Thiem attacked the net for the win to set up a last eight encounter with Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Nishikori Revisits Junior Glory Days In Buenos Aires

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:10pm

Kei Nishikori’s connection to Argentina goes way beyond his partnership with current coach Dante Bottini. More than a decade after winning the 2006 Roland Garros boys’ doubles title, Kei Nishikori and former Argentine player Emiliano Massa reunited at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires.

After Nishikori defeated Diego Schwartzman in his opening match on Wednesday, he met up with Massa in the player’s lounge to relive those special memories. What they lacked in verbal communication during their junior playing days, they made up for with a natural partnership on court.

“We almost lost the first two matches. We barely spoke English at the time, so we talked very little to each other,” recalled Massa to the Argentina Open website. “What I remember most is his speed. Not only his movements, but also the acceleration.”

Their careers ultimately went in radically different directions. Massa was forced to retire from competitive tennis at age 23 due to injuries, while Nishikori went on to become a Top 10 fixture and global superstar. But the Argentine showed nothing but happiness for his former doubles partner and even took a picture with Nishikori to remember their reunion.

“I have the greatest memories with him from my junior years. It was the first time I won a Grand Slam and it was a very special moment for us,” said Nishikori. “Emiliano is an extremely nice guy. It’s been almost 10 years since we had seen each other and unfortunately he had so many injuries. [But] it’s been great to see him. All the memories came back.”

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Johnson, Paes Hit The Basketball Court; Rotterdam Rocks With Fans

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:09pm
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AMN AMRO World Tennis Tournament – Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were among the stars to treat fans to autograph signings.

Fernando Verdasco took a ride around Rotterdam with Peugeot. Watch

Robin Haase was in the hot seat at a Q&A with young fans on kids’ day.

Lukasz Kubot, Marcelo Melo, Mate Pavic and Alexander Peya participated in a Pro-Am.

Memphis Open – Memphis, Tennessee

Robert Lindstedt, Michael Venus, Brian Baker, David O’Hare and Joe Salisbury made a memorable visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital headquarters in downtown Memphis. Read

“Worries you have or problems you think you have are nothing compared to what you see these families and kids going through,” Venus said. “These kids are obviously fighting some pretty huge things here. They're walking around and they've got a smile on their face. It's pretty special.”

Ivo Karlovic enjoyed an NBA game between the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans and met the league’s oldest player, Vince Carter (age 40). The two professional athletes exchanged pleasantries and traded equipment on the court: Carter gave Karlovic a pair of autographed shoes, size 16.5; Karlovic gave Carter an autographed tennis racquet. Steve Johnson, Leander Paes and Darian King were also in attendance at the game. Read

King paid respect to “The King” by visiting Graceland. The 24 year old, who has made Barbados tennis history in Memphis, visited Elvis Presley's former residence. Read

Sam Querrey and Johnson played table tennis during a visit to the ServiceMasters offices.

The #NextGenATP stars were in full force in Memphis, with Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe visiting with fans in suites and Jared Donaldson assisting at the tournament draw ceremony.

Salisbury and O’Hare participated in kids’ day, while Oliver Marach was the lucky player to hang out with kids at a School Field Trip Program.

Argentina Open – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Kei Nishikori and David Ferrer took to a different court location ahead of the tournament. The duo had a hit on Puente de la Mujer, a rotating footbridge in the commercial district of Buenos Aires. Read

"It’s a really beautiful place here and [it's] really fun to have some time with David," said top seed Nishikori. "I hope I can stay healthy here this week and hope I can enjoy this week."

Federico Delbonis assisted with the draw ceremony and met local fans, while Pablo Cuevas and Carlos Berlocq participated in Q&As on stage.

Ferrer visited the offices of La Nacion for an interview with Sebastian Fest.