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Updated: 5 min 14 sec ago

Tomic Granollers Relax At Los Cabos Player Party 2016

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:53pm
Bernard Tomic, Marcel Granollers and other ATP World Tour players relax during the player party for the Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos.

Karlovic Chardy Giraldo Snorkel In Los Cabos 2016

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 7:24pm
Ivo Karlovic, Jeremy Chardy and Santiago Giraldo take a scenic boat ride in Los Cabos, Mexico for some snorkeling ahead of the Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos.

Berdych Adds Ivanisevic To Coaching Team

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 2:50pm

Tomas Berdych revealed on Monday that he will begin to work with Goran Ivanisevic at next week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

“I am delighted to announce a new addition to my team,” Berdych wrote on his official Twitter account. “Two months ago, I started working with Luka Kutanjac and I feel that, since then, my game has [improved] and my form has been going in the right direction. In order to further improve, I have decided to add Goran Ivanisevic to the team already in Cincinnati.

“I feel that Goran, with his playing and coaching experience, as well as his energy, is a perfect addition to the team. [I’m] feeling excited about new challenges.”

Ivanisevic parted company with fellow Croatian Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, on 21 June after a three-year partnership. Former World No. 2 Ivanisevic, one of the biggest servers of the Open Era, captured the 2001 Wimbledon title as a wild card entry.

Berdych, 30, is currently No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He has a 12-17 record in tour-level finals.

 

Kyrgios Beats Isner In Atlanta 2016 Final Highlights

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 9:05am
Watch highlights of the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Final, featuring #NextGen star Nick Kyrgios and John Isner.

Celebrate Roger's 35th Birthday With His Best Hot Shots

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 9:03am
Celebrate Roger's 35th birthday by viewing some of his career-best Hot Shots. Getty Images photo.

ATP World Tour Stars Wish Federer Happy 35th Birthday

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 8:56am
Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, John Isner, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori and Nick Kyrgios wish Roger Federer a happy 35th birthday!

Roger Federer Celebrates His 35th Birthday

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 6:00am

Happy Birthday, Roger Federer. It’s hard to believe that the elegant Swiss, the complete player of his generation, is now 35 years of age. At a time when travel-worn professionals call time on their global adventures, Federer’s love affair for tennis, which began when he watched Boris Becker win Wimbledon in 1985, endures. His love of routine, of practice, of winning, of mastering the sport have outweighed any sacrifice or disappointment.

Watch Federer Hot Shots

His presence as an entertainer, the fulcrum of attacking tennis at his best, has enriched the lives of sports lovers in the 21st century. While his list of achievements with a tennis racquet is prodigious, the leader of the golden age of men’s professional tennis has also helped the sport significantly grow as a politician by championing the talents and potential of current and future ATP World Tour players.

By valuing privacy and largely eschewing the celebrity culture, Federer has been able to enjoy his fame. Having contested more than 1,300 singles matches and 136 finals in a 20-season pro career, his ability to be a family man and a top tennis player, with extensive off-court interests – including the Roger Federer Foundation – indicate a dedication, commitment and desire that is remarkable.

Happy Birthday, Roger. We look forward to welcoming you back on the court in 2017!

 

Argentines Clinch Atlanta Doubles Title

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 10:02pm

The all-Argentine tandem of Andres Molteni and Horacio Zeballos kicked off their partnership in style, notching the BB&T Atlanta Open title in their first tournament together.

Molteni and Zeballos defeated the all-Swedish duo of Johan Brunstrom and Andreas Siljestrom 7-6(2), 6-4, dodging rain drops on a stormy Sunday to prevail after one hour and 33 minutes. They earn 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $33,400 in prize money.

"It was a great week in both singles and doubles," said Zeballos, who also reached the singles quarter-finals. "It's one of the best weeks of the year. I'm very happy. I'm hoping it gives me a lot of confidence for the next tournaments."

"It's amazing," added Molteni. "I'm very happy. It's the first week I have played with Horacio. It's an incredible week."

Molteni clinched his first ATP World Tour title in his second final. Zeballos, meanwhile, claimed his fifth career doubles crown and first on hard courts. He has won clay-court titles this season in Sao Paulo and Gstaad with Julio Peralta.

Molteni and Zeballos are the second all-Argentine team to win on the ATP World Tour this year, along with Marrakech winners Guillermo Duran and Maximo Gonzalez.

Brunstrom and Siljestrom earn 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points, splitting $17,560 in prize money. Brunstrom was bidding for his sixth tour-level title, while Siljestrom was making just his third appearance in a final, seeking his maiden crown.

Del Potro Shocks Djokovic In Rio

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 7:47pm

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro completed the upset of the Rio Olympics so far by downing top seed Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in the first round on Sunday. Del Potro, who was No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in 2010, had also ended Djokovic’s medal hopes in London four years ago, prevailing in the bronze medal match.

The Tandil native had been off the ATP World Tour for long stretches in the past three years due to wrist injuries and had often relied on a one-handed slice backhand since his 2016 comeback. Against Djokovic, del Potro’s wrist appeared fully healed as the Tandil native drove the ball with power off both wings, finishing with 41 winners in the two-hour, 27-minute contest. He will next face Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Clad in Great Britain's red, white and blue, 2012 gold medalist Andy Murray picked up where he left off in London, prevailing past Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2 to start his Rio Olympics.

Murray, No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, improved to 8-0 against Troicki, World No. 35. The top Brit pressured Troicki throughout the first-round match, seeing 10 break points and converting four of them. Murray also extended rallies with the No. 2 Serbian, who finished with 40 unforced errors to 11 winners.

Murray, the second seed in Rio, will next face Argentine Juan Monaco, who beat Mirza Basic of Bosnia & Herzegovina 6-2, 6-2. Murray leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-2, including the last time they played, on the hard courts at the 2014 Shenzhen Open.

Rafael Nadal, 2008 gold medalist in Beijing, dropped only three games in his return to the Olympics, winning 6-2, 6-1 against Argentine Federico Delbonis. The third seed won 63 per cent of his service points and was almost equally as effective as a returner, winning 59 per cent of Delbonis' service points.

“I'm very happy,” Nadal said on NBC. “It's important for me to play well again and it was an unbelievable start. I played well mentally with strong concentration all match.”

Nadal will face Italy's Andreas Seppi in the second round. The Spaniard leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 6-1. “Seppi is a very tough player,” Nadal said. “He can play very well on all surfaces with great control from the baseline. I have to change the rhythm of the match to have success.”

Nadal's compatriot seventh seed David Ferrer opened his third Olympics with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin. The 34-year-old Ferrer, No. 12 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, hit five aces and was particularly effective attacking Istomin, winning 12/14 net points.

Ferrer will face Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the second round. Ferrer won their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head match-up, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 sweep at Roland Garros earlier this season.

Home favourite Thomaz Bellucci advanced to the second round when German Dustin Brown retired because of a left ankle injury up 6-4, 4-5. The Brazilian will face 11th seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay or Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. Bellucci's countryman Rogerio Dutra Silva prevailed against Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 7-6(4), 6-1. Dutra Silva will face Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Tenth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, playing in his first Olympics, advanced 6-7(4), 6-2 when Russian Andrey Kuznetsov retired. Luxembourg's Gilles Muller saved two match points in the third set tie-break to beat Poland's Jerzy Janowicz 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(10).

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Scouting Report: Los Cabos Welcomes The ATP World Tour

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 7:31pm

Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos (Los Cabos): The second of two Mexican tournaments on the ATP World Tour, the Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos, features nine of the Top 50 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The other stop is in Acapulco. The first-year tournament is led by No. 19 Feliciano Lopez and No. 20 Bernard Tomic. The other seeds are: Ivo Karlovic, Sam Querrey, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Jeremy Chardy, Nicolas Almagro and Marcel Granollers.

Feliciano Top Seed: Lopez is the top seed for the second straight tournament. Last month in Gstaad, the 34-year-old Spaniard came in as the No. 1 seed and won his fifth career ATP World Tour title (d. Haase), the first on clay. Lopez comes in with a 21-16 match record on the season (8-6 on hard). In addition to his title, Lopez advanced to the semi-finals in Dubai and Houston.

Tomic Back in Mexico: Tomic is the No. 2 seed and in February the 23-year-old Aussie advanced to his first ATP World Tour 500 level final in Acapulco (l. to Thiem). Tomic comes in with a 25-18 match record on the season (15-8 on hard). He also advanced to the semi-finals in Brisbane and The Queen’s Club in London.

Ivo Going Strong: Karlovic is the No. 3 seed and the 37-year-old Croat is the oldest player in the Top 100 Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 26. Last month, Karlovic captured his seventh ATP World Tour title in Newport (d. Muller) and he followed with a runner-up in Washington (l. to Monfils). He also reached the third round at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Toronto (l. to Dimitrov). Karlovic was bothered by a knee injury in the first three months of the year, starting 2-9. Since the beginning of Roland Garros, Karlovic has compiled a 16-6 record, winning at least one match in his last seven events.

Spaniards Lead the Way: There are a tournament-high six Spaniards in the main draw, including seeds (1) Lopez, (7) Almagro and (8) Granollers. Three of the six Spaniards to win an ATP World Tour title this season are also in the draw: Almagro, Lopez and Fernando Verdasco.

Reilly on the Rise: American teenager Reilly Opelka, who advanced to his first career ATP World Tour semi-final in Atlanta (l. to Isner in three sets) in just his third ATP tournament, is a special exempt entry into Los Cabos. The 18-year-old from Palm Coast, Florida came into Atlanta ranked No. 837 and he is expected to break into the Top 400 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday at around No. 387.

Local Wild Cards: Two of the three wild cards are the top two Mexican players in the Emirates ATP Rankings: No. 530 Lucas Gomez and No. 567 Tigre Hank. Both players are trying to win their first career ATP World Tour match. They are both 1-7 at tour-level, with their lone wins coming in Davis Cup play.

Doubles Draw: The top seeds in the tournament are Marcel Granollers and F. Lopez, who are teaming together for the first time since the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells in 2011. Other seeds are: Robert Lindstedt/ Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Mate Pavic (teaming for the first time) and Pablo Carreno Busta/Andres Molteni.

In Case You Missed It

Nick Kyrgios prevents John Isner from winning a fourth consecutive title in Atlanta. Read

Jason Jung shares his trials and tribulations on the ATP Challenger Tour. Read

Sam Querrey, Donald Young, Tim Smyczek and Jesse Levine reminisce about their formative years in Kalamazoo. Read

Find out why the BB&T Atlanta Open is known for thinking outside the box. Read

Birthdays

8 August – Roger Federer (35), Marinko Matosevic (31)

14 August – Yen-Hsun Lu (33)

Rankings Movers

+12 Yoshihito Nishioka (85)

+5 Horacio Zeballos (73)

+4 Donald Young (49)

+4 Taylor Fritz (56)

+2 Nick Kyrgios (16)

Milestones

Los Cabos Singles

Julien Benneteau – 247 wins

Los Cabos Doubles

Artem Sitak – 49 wins


ATP Stars Go For a Wild Ride In Los Cabos 2016

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 7:26pm
ATP World Tour players Sergiy Stakhovsky, Dusan Lajovic, Pablo Carreno Busta, Adrian Mannarino and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi visit the Wild Canyon adventure park. Photo: Jorge Reyes

ATP World Tour Stars Go For A Wild Ride In Los Cabos

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 7:18pm

Pablo Carreno Busta, Tigre Hank, Dusan Lajovic, Adrian Mannarino, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Sergiy Stakhovsky took part in a unique trip ahead of the Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos tournament when they visited the Wild Canyon adventure park on Saturday.

The players soared above ground on the Monster Ziplines, which hang more than 300 feet above ground and reach 2,673 feet in length. They also rode all-terrain vehicles across Los Cabos Canyon Bridge, the longest wooden pedestrian and ATV hanging bridge in the world (1,082.67 feet long, 6.56 feet wide and 164.04 feet above ground at its lowest point).

Main draw action of the first edition of the Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos ATP World Tour 250 event kicks off on Monday.

 

Kyrgios Lifts Second ATP World Tour Title In Atlanta

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 6:58pm

Nick Kyrgios claimed his second ATP World Tour crown on Sunday at the BB&T Atlanta Open, dethroning three-time defending champion John Isner. The Australian #NextGen star overturned an 0-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head mark against the top seed, prevailing 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in one hour and 47 minutes.

Second seed Kyrgios stopped Isner's 15-match winning streak in Atlanta and ended the big-serving American's quest for a historic four-peat at the hard-court event. He also improved to 2-1 in ATP World Tour finals, adding to his title on the indoor hard courts of Marseille in February.

"I knew it was going to be tough from the get-go," said Kyrgios. "John is still so comfortable on that court. I needed to come up with some special stuff today and it just came down to a couple points here and there. I did all the right things today and stayed calm. I knew I'd have my chance.

"In Marseille, I was unbeatable. This week was completely different. I wasn't playing well at all at the start of the week. I wasn't in a good space at all. Some things just fell my way. Today, I found the right balance. I was competing and had some fun." 

Conceding an early break can often be challenging to recover from. Against Isner, it can be devastating. Kyrgios had his back against the wall at the start, facing three break points at 0/40 in his opening service game. The 21 year old would save them all, reeling off five straight points to earn the clutch hold.

"Returning is very crucial against John," said Kyrgios. "That serve is world-class. It would have been a completely different story if he got me there."

Isner would save a break point at 3-all with a mammoth service winner and another two games later with a deft volley winner. But the sweltering, humid conditions would take its toll on the 6'10" American. Visibly fatigued, a physically labouring Isner would fall behind a quick mini-break in the ensuing tie-break, and Kyrgios would clinch the opener with an ace up the T. The Aussie fired 13 winners and overcame 92 per cent first serve points won by Isner in the first set.

His movement significantly compromised by fatigue, Isner looked to be on the ropes as the second set got underway. But the three-time champion got a second wind as cloud cover crept over Atlantic Station. With rain on the horizon and rumbles of thunder in the distance, they would exchange mini-breaks in the ensuing tie-break, before Kyrgios clinched the victory on an Isner double fault.

#NextGen In 2016 ATP World Tour Finals

Player

Tournament

Result

Nick Kyrgios

Atlanta

Won title

Alexander Zverev

Halle
Runner-up
Alexander Zverev
Nice
Runner-up
Borna Coric
Casablanca
Runner-up
Nick Kyrgios
Marseille Won title
Taylor Fritz Memphis
Runner-up
Borna Coric
Chennai
Runner-up

Kyrgios ended the American title stranglehold in Atlanta, with Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick and Isner combining to win all six previous editions. He earns 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $109,950 in prize money. He's projected to rise to a career-high World No. 16. The Canberra native had lost to Isner at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Montreal last year.

Isner was bidding to become just the fifth active player to win four consecutive titles at an ATP World Tour event, along with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori. He has appeared in the Atlanta final in six of the tournament's seven years in existence, also finishing runner-up to Fish in both 2010-11. Isner takes home $57,910 in prize money and 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points.

"It was an encouraging week for me," said Isner. "It was my first final since here last year. It's tough to make a final. The guys are good out there. It's definitely been an encouraging week. The margins in my matches are pretty small and I just have to fix some things. Of course I wanted to win this. I love the event. But I'm not too discouraged. I know I'm not far away and these close matches will start going my way.

"When the sun was out, I was struggling. It was really hot out there. I hadn't played under the sun at all. It was an adjustment. I go back to that second game of the match. He came up with really good serves. He's one of the best servers on the tour, with a very fluid motion."

Rola And Zemlja Feature In Portoroz Challenger 2016 Promo

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 4:34pm
The ATP Challenger Tour event in picturesque Portoroz, Slovenia, is back for a fourth edition, as home hopes Blaz Rola and Grega Zemlja kick off proceedings. Video courtesy of Tilia Slovenia Open.

Tiafoe Wins First Challenger Title In Granby

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 3:29pm

A LOOK BACK

Challenger Banque Nationale de Granby (Granby, Canada): #NextGen star and fourth seed Frances Tiafoe broke through with his first ATP Challenger Tour title, needing just 48 minutes to defeat Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador, 6-1, 6-1. The match was the fastest-completed Challenger final so far in 2016. Tiafoe was previously 0-5 in Challenger finals. The American also finished runner-up this summer at U.S. Challenger events in Winnetka and Lexington. 

The 18 year old is the seventh teenager winner this year and second American teen, joining Taylor Fritz (Happy Valley). He's also the first American man to win in Granby since Michael Russell in 2004.

Despite the loss, Arevalo's showing in Granby was the best result of his career. He will move inside the Top 200 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday.

ATP Challenger Tour Teenage Titlists In 2016

Player

Tournament

Age
Taylor Fritz
Happy Valley
18 yrs, 2 mos.
Max Purcell
Gimcheon
18 yrs, 3 mos.
Andrey Rublev
Quimper
18 yrs, 4 mos.

Frances Tiafoe

Granby

18 yrs, 6 mos.

Quentin Halys

Tallahassee
19 yrs, 6 mos.
Blake Mott
Launceston
19 yrs, 9 mos.
Karen Khachanov
Samarkand
19 yrs, 11 mos.

International Challenger Chengdu (Chengdu, China): Jason Jung of Taiwan made his first ATP Challenger Tour title count by winning the $125,000 event over Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, 6-4, 6-2. Jung was in top form throughout the week and didn’t drop a set. He becomes the third player competing under the Chinese Taipei flag to win a Challenger title, joining Yen-Hsun Lu and Jimmy Wang. Meanwhile, Ramirez Hidalgo broke his own record for the oldest ATP Challenger Tour finalist at 38 years, seven months.

Internazionali di Tennis di Cortina (Cortina, Italy): Joao Souza of Brazil won his first ATP Challenger Tour title in two years by defeating Laslo Djere of Serbia, 6-4, 7-6(4). The 28 year old now has eight Challenger titles, but this is his first outside of South America. Djere drops to 0-3 in Challenger finals.

Svijany Open (Liberec, Czech Republic): Seventh seed Arthur De Greef of Belgium won his first ATP Challenger Tour title by defeating second seed Steve Darcis, 7-6(4), 6-3. The Belgian had reached two other Challenger finals this year (Buenos Aires in January and Napoli in April). Meanwhile, Darcis finished the week with his third Challenger final appearance in two months, having won in Lyon and finished runner-up in Blois in June. Watch De Greef Hot Shot

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Jung: “Today was a good match for me. I kept playing the same as previous matches, did well to get a good start and keep on top.”

“I made my first Challenger final last year in April and haven’t done that since, so to come here and win in China is so great. There were so many fans here who helped me win today. I could feel the energy from them.”

A LOOK AHEAD

There are six Challengers on the calendar this week, with the $125,000 event in Qingdao, China, taking top billing as it returns for the second straight year. World No. 96 Konstantin Kravchuk of Russia is the top seed and local favourite Di Wu is the second seed. Jung and Ramirez Hidalgo, the seventh seed, will also look to continue their form from Chengdu. Former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic is in the qualifying draw.

The illustrious $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, California, returns for the 29th consecutive year. Past champions include Andy Murray, Patrick Rafter and Jan-Michael Gambill. World No. 82 Daniel Evans of Great Britain is the top seed, while World No. 97 and #NextGen star Yoshihito Nishioka is the second seed seed. Another #NextGen star in American Stefan Kozlov is also in the draw as the fourth seed, while sixth seed Ernesto Escobedo of the U.S. looks to win his second Challenger title of the summer.

A new $75,000 Challenger is also being held in Gatineau, Canada. A pair of #NextGen stars are in the top two spots, with Quentin Halys of France as the top seed and Tiafoe as the second seed. Tiafoe has a blockbuster first-round match in front of him against local favourite and Wimbledon junior champion Denis Shapovalov. Arevalo will also look for another successful week in Canada.

Another new event is the $50,000 tournament in Fano, Italy. Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain is the top seed and local favourite Marco Cecchinato is the second week. De Greef looks for his second consecutive Challenger title as this week’s sixth seed.

The $50,000 event in Trnava, Slovakia, celebrates its 10th edition this year. 2011 champion Inigo Cervantes of Spain is the top seed and Adam Pavlasek of the Czech Republic is the second seed. Darcis is back in another Challenger as the fifth seed and Djere looks to keep up his form from Cortina.

Lastly, the $50,000 Challenger in Portoroz, Slovenia, is back for the fourth straight year. Former Top 20 player Florian Mayer of Germany is the top seed and Renzo Olivo of Argentina is the second seed. Local favourite Grega Zemlja, last year’s runner-up and the 2013 champion is the fourth seed. Another Slovenian, 2014 champion Blaz Kavcic, is in the draw as a wild card. Watch Portoroz Promo

View Draws & Watch Free Live Streams

ATP CHALLENGER TOUR ON TWITTER: New in 2016, the ATP Challenger Tour has launched a dedicated Twitter account for the latest news and information about players and events. Follow @ATPChallengerTour at twitter.com/ATPChallengerTour.

Jung Wins First Challenger Title In Chengdu

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 3:29pm

A LOOK BACK

International Challenger Chengdu (Chengdu, China): Jason Jung of Taiwan made his first ATP Challenger Tour title count by winning the $125,000 event over Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, 6-4, 6-2. Jung was in top form throughout the week and didn’t drop a set. He becomes the third player competing under the Chinese Taipei flag to win a Challenger title, joining Yen-Hsun Lu and Jimmy Wang. Meanwhile, Ramirez Hidalgo broke his own record for the oldest ATP Challenger Tour finalist at 38 years, seven months.

Challenger Banque Nationale de Granby (Granby, Canada): #NextGen star and fourth seed Frances Tiafoe broke through with his first ATP Challenger Tour title, needing just 48 minutes to defeat Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador, 6-1, 6-1. The match was the fastest-completed Challenger final so far in 2016. Tiafoe was previously 0-5 in Challenger finals. The American also finished runner-up this summer at U.S. Challenger events in Winnetka and Lexington. 

The 18 year old is the seventh teenager winner this year and second American teen, joining Taylor Fritz (Happy Valley). He's also the first American man to win in Granby since Michael Russell in 2004.

Despite the loss, Arevalo's showing in Granby was the best result of his career. He will move inside the Top 200 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday.

Internazionali di Tennis di Cortina (Cortina, Italy): Joao Souza of Brazil won his first ATP Challenger Tour title in two years by defeating Laslo Djere of Serbia, 6-4, 7-6(4). The 28 year old now has eight Challenger titles, but this is his first outside of South America. Djere drops to 0-3 in Challenger finals.

Svijany Open (Liberec, Czech Republic): Seventh seed Arthur De Greef of Belgium won his first ATP Challenger Tour title by defeating second seed Steve Darcis, 7-6(4), 6-3. The Belgian had reached two other Challenger finals this year (Buenos Aires in January and Napoli in April). Meanwhile, Darcis finished the week with his third Challenger final appearance in two months, having won in Lyon and finished runner-up in Blois in June.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Jung: “Today was a good match for me. I kept playing the same as previous matches, did well to get a good start and keep on top.”

“I made my first Challenger final last year in April and haven’t done that since, so to come here and win in China is so great. There were so many fans here who helped me win today. I could feel the energy from them.”

A LOOK AHEAD

There are six Challengers on the calendar this week, with the $125,000 event in Qingdao, China, taking top billing as it returns for the second straight year. World No. 96 Konstantin Kravchuk of Russia is the top seed and local favourite Di Wu is the second seed. Jung and Ramirez Hidalgo, the seventh seed, will also look to continue their form from Chengdu. Former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic is in the qualifying draw.

The illustrious $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, California, returns for the 29th consecutive year. Past champions include Andy Murray, Patrick Rafter and Jan-Michael Gambill. World No. 82 Daniel Evans of Great Britain is the top seed, while World No. 97 and #NextGen star Yoshihito Nishioka is the second seed seed. Another #NextGen star in American Stefan Kozlov is also in the draw as the fourth seed, while sixth seed Ernesto Escobedo of the U.S. looks to win his second Challenger title of the summer.

A new $75,000 Challenger is also being held in Gatineau, Canada. A pair of #NextGen stars are in the top two spots, with Quentin Halys of France as the top seed and Tiafoe as the second seed. Tiafoe has a blockbuster first-round match in front of him against local favourite and Wimbledon junior champion Denis Shapovalov. Arevalo will also look for another successful week in Canada.

Another new event is the $50,000 tournament in Fano, Italy. Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain is the top seed and local favourite Marco Cecchinato is the second week. De Greef looks for his second consecutive Challenger title as this week’s sixth seed.

The $50,000 event in Trnava, Slovakia, celebrates its 10th edition this year. 2011 champion Inigo Cervantes of Spain is the top seed and Adam Pavlasek of the Czech Republic is the second seed. Darcis is back in another Challenger as the fifth seed and Djere looks to keep up his form from Cortina.

Lastly, the $50,000 Challenger in Portoroz, Slovenia, is back for the fourth straight year. Former Top 20 player Florian Mayer of Germany is the top seed and Renzo Olivo of Argentina is the second seed. Local favourite Grega Zemlja, last year’s runner-up and the 2013 champion is the fourth seed. Another Slovenian, 2014 champion Blaz Kavcic, is in the draw as a wild card.

View Draws & Watch Free Live Streams

ATP CHALLENGER TOUR ON TWITTER: New in 2016, the ATP Challenger Tour has launched a dedicated Twitter account for the latest news and information about players and events. Follow @ATPChallengerTour at twitter.com/ATPChallengerTour.

Djere And Souza To Face Off In Cortina Challenger 2016 Final

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 2:38pm
Watch highlights from semi-final Saturday at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Cortina, Italy, where Laslo Djere and Joao Souza booked their spots in the title match. Video courtesy Internazionali di Tennis di Cortina

Challenger Chronicles: Jason Jung, Part I

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 5:34am

First off, I’d like to thank ATPWorldTour.com for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences as a professional tennis player with all of you.

Earlier this year, I faced probably one of the toughest decisions since turning pro. It was 4 January and I received an email telling me I got into the Australian Open. It is the only Grand Slam I have not played yet. A few weeks before that I was one set away from gaining a direct entry into the Aussie main draw at the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Tournament. But if I didn’t play the Aussie Open I would have the chance to make a deep run in the Bangkok Challenger since I would be seeded high. I decided to stay in Bangkok for a couple of reasons: the chance to make a good run, I know the courts well and am used to it, a lot of my friends live in Bangkok, and I just love being in Bangkok. The people are so nice and the food is amazing.

I ended up losing in the semi-finals to eventual winner and former Top 10 player Mikhail Youzhny. I was a bit nervous as the match did not even pass the hour mark. But I had the opportunity to play Youzhny again the very next week in the Philippines. The second time around I was right in the match with chances to take the second set. It’s nice to get the opportunity to play against top players because it really shows where your level is at and how you compare against the best of the best.

Challenger Chronicles I: Amir Weintraub
Challenger Chronicles II: Skupski Brothers

Traveling as a professional tennis player can be a grind at times. One of the craziest travel days I can remember was last year. I had just won a Futures tournament in Little Rock, Arkansas and was traveling to play the Guadalajara Challenger the very next day. It’s Monday morning and when I arrive at the airport, my flight is delayed. I didn’t want to wait at the airport all day so I called my friends who I stayed with in Little Rock. They came and picked me up and as they were pulling up… a fender bender (small collision). Luckily, no one was hurt. But as we put that behind us I had a notification that said my flight was going to be delayed a little longer. I was just thinking that I only had one racket in my bag that was freshly strung, all the others were broken. Since I had some time to kill I took my racket to get restrung. By the time that was finished it was time to go back to the airport. This time we were cleared to take off.

I arrived in Guadalajara around 8pm, passed through customs and was waiting for my bags…..nothing. I went to the lost baggage counter, handed the agent my baggage tags and he informed me that my bags were still in Little Rock and would be arriving on the next flight. Lucky me right? I don’t always carry my tennis bag on, but thankfully, I did for this trip. I got a call from the airline at midnight telling me my bags had just arrived and that they would be delivering it to my hotel.

They didn’t arrive to my room until 2am. I open my suitcase and protein powder is EVERYWHERE. My tub of protein exploded. It’s now 3am and I’m trying to get the powder off of my clothes, but I’m not doing a very good job. Mind you, I have to play in eight hours and I haven’t gotten any rest yet. So I gave up on trying to wash the clothes because they wouldn’t dry in time. I decided to borrow some clothes.

Match time. Still feeling delirious from the lack of sleep, the first set passed me by and I didn’t even know what the score was. But somehow by some travel luck or whatever luck I won the match in three sets and eventually ended up losing in the final – my first on the ATP Challenger Tour. It was one of the craziest travel experiences thus far.

Coming Soon: Part II

Isner Wins Big Men Battle, Will Face Kyrgios In Atlanta Final

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 12:49am

John Isner will play for his fourth BB&T Atlanta Open title and his first crown of the season on Sunday. The top seed extended his Atlanta winning streak to 15 by prevailing 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 against his upset-minded countryman, 18 year old Reilly Opelka, who was playing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final.

The 31 year old Isner has now reached the Atlanta final six times in seven tournament appearances.

“I wish we could play every week in Atlanta,” Isner told ESPN's Jason Goodall on court after the match. “I think I'd be No. 1 in the world.”

He will face another ATP World Tour player on the rise in Sunday's final: Aussie Nick Kyrgios, who won the #NextGen semi-final earlier on Saturday, overcoming Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Isner and Kyrgios, the second seed, have played two times in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Isner has taken both contests, including a straight-sets win on the Montreal hard courts last season and a three-set victory on the clay in Madrid last year. Kyrgios will be playing in his first Atlanta final and third overall; Isner will be playing in his 21st career final.

“He's a shotmaker. He's proven he can beat anyone in the world,” Isner said. “It's No. 1 vs. No. 2... It should be a great match.”

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Opelka did not make it easy for the home favourite Isner, who played collegiate tennis at the University of Georgia in Athens, about an hour and 20 minutes away from Atlanta.

The big men – Opelka, 6'11”; Isner, 6'10” – battled for two hours on Stadium Court at Atlantic Station. After the first set went on serve, Isner led 5/3 in the tie-break but double faulted to give Opelka the mini-break back. Opelka took full advantage and ripped a cross-court backhand return winner for the set.

The veteran Isner quickly bounced back, grabbing the match's first break to lead 2-1 in the second set. He wouldn't face a break point the remainder of the set, either, winning 83 per cent of his service points, 20/24. The three-time Atlanta champion followed a similar script in the third, breaking Opelka to lead 3-2 and gaining an insurance break before serving out the match.

For the contest, Isner struck 22 aces and never faced a break point.

Read More: Isner's Typical Meal At The Waffle House

“I had to stay focused and keep holding my serve, and that's exactly what I did. I think experience was on my side,” Isner said. “But we're going to be seeing a lot of Reilly in the future.... He's way more advanced than I was at 18. I wish him all the success in the world.”

Opelka, who received a wild card into the main draw, gained his first career ATP World Tour singles win earlier in the week (d. Eubanks). Opelka is projected to jump about 450 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings, from No. 837 to around No. 387.

“It was a good week. I had some good matches,” Opelka said. “I was pretty happy with how everything went this week.”

Los Cabos 2016

Sat, 08/06/2016 - 11:13pm