Headline News - powered by FeedBurner
Updated: 11 min 27 sec ago
Andy Murray made a special appearance on the TODAY show Tuesday to give presenter Tamron Hall a tennis lesson at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Before getting on the court, Murray shared his tip with Hall for how to mask fatigue – “Just try and bluff that you’re not tired, although I don’t have the best poker face” – and then attempted to demonstrate, with his poker face quickly dissolving into a huge smile.
The pair then took the court alongside a pair of junior players, with Murray graciously conceding victory to Hall and her young partner.
Murray, the second seed at the US Open, has a chance of overtaking Novak Djokovic atop the Emirates ATP Race To London standings at the end of this fortnight. He opens his campaign against Czech Lukas Rosol in the night session.[ALSO LIKE]
American 20-year-old Ernesto Escobedo reflects on the biggest win of his career, in advancing to the US Open second round.
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot goes behind the scenes at the 2016 Winston-Salem Open, featuring interviews with Tournament Director Bill Oakes, Kevin Anderson, Steve Johnson and Frances Tiafoe.
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot asks former World No. 1s Jim Courier and Andy Roddick to preview their favourites and dark horses for the 2016 US Open.
Check out the latest Emirates ATP Rankings as of 29 August 2016.
“First of all, it’s an honour to be elected to be part of the Council,” said Djokovic on Monday, after his first-round victory over Jerzy Janowicz. “I gladly accepted it, because it's a calling. It's a responsibility.
“Of course, I'll do my best to contribute to the evolution of this sport for the time being. The first Council meeting was very long, but productive. I was elected the President. Kevin Anderson is Vice President.
“On the Council we are all even. We are all equal. It was interesting to really sit there and hear and talk about, discuss, debate about different subjects that are ongoing right now. New ideas [and] new prospects.
“We are all in the same ship basically: the Council people, the [ATP] Board people, and, at the end of the day, tournaments as well… We are all part of the same governing body. We're all part of the same organisation. We're all on the same mission to make this sport better.”
Djokovic had previously been a member of the ATP Player Council in 2008-10.
Members elected by their peers to serve on the ATP Player Council through June 2018 are:
* 1-50 Singles: Kevin Anderson, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Gilles Simon
For the 34-year-old Swiss and 29-year-old German, the interlude between Grand Slam match wins had been long and arduous and laden with injuries. But both veterans put an emphatic halt to their respective slides on Monday at the US Open, with Chiudinelli claiming his first victory in a major in six years and Zverev notching his first in seven years.
"It feels great now, but on court I tried to not think about it," Zverev, who defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-0, admitted to ATPWorldTour.com. "If you think about it, it will bite you in the end. I was trying to focus on my game, especially when I was up in the fourth set. I wanted to distract myself from thinking about it. You have to trick your own brain sometimes.
"Now that I look back, I made it through qualies for the first time ever at the US Open, I won my first match ever here and won my first Grand Slam match in seven years, so it feels great. It's nice to see that I'm a little older and can still do it."
Entering the tournament, Zverev had not earned a main draw match win at the Grand Slam level since Wimbledon 2009. After staring at a catalogue of injuries, including a broken right wrist in 2009, herniated disc and fractured ribs in 2010, patella tendon tear in 2013 and surgery on his left wrist in 2014, he says it is gratifying to finally have this experience in New York.
"For many years I didn't work as hard and try as hard, maybe because I was injured a lot. But I took a mental break for tennis and regrouped. When my brother started playing well again, we helped each other and started pushing each other to play better. When I was here many years ago, I was by myself. Now we're here with the whole family and our puppy. It's a different atmosphere and more enjoyable and fun. I just feel better on the court.
"I actually had a lot of good friends around me who have supported me and encouraged me to enjoy my time on tour. That is, just stay positive and hope that the next day is going to be better than the one before. Since I played Kitzbuhel, it's been like that. I won a round there, almost qualified in Toronto, but then qualified in Atlanta, qualified and won a round in Los Cabos and qualified in Cincinnati, which was really tough."
Chiudinelli had endured a similar fate in recent years, battling through multiple ailments that kept him on the sidelines. Now fully healthy, the Swiss earned his first Grand Slam victory since the 2010 US Open.August 29, 2016
But the similarities between Chiudinelli and Zverev don’t end there. Both players had captured a trio of match wins in qualifying to reach the main draw, and both entered the fortnight in Flushing Meadows with an ATP Challenger Tour title under their belts in 2016. Chiudinelli lifted the trophy in Wroclaw, Poland, and Zverev did the same on the green clay of Sarasota, U.S.A. in April.
The Swiss believes it was a significant moment in his comeback campaign.
“I played really well at the beginning of the year and reached the semis and final at the Challengers in Bangkok and Manila. Lost both times to Youzhny, who had such a great run. In Wroclaw, Poland, it was the third time I went far already this year and finally I got through. It meant a lot to me, since I hadn’t lifted a trophy in a while. It was a big relief.”
On Monday, Chiudinelli, a former World No. 52 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, rallied to defeat fellow qualifier Guilherme Clezar 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-4 in exactly three hours. The fighting spirit has never left the Swiss, and, as he has done to return to the highest levels of the sport following three major surgeries – elbow, knee and shoulder – he battled from a set and a break down to prevail.
“I’m really happy about it. It’s been six years, which is a really long time. But I didn’t think about it like this. I didn’t take it into the match. I’m happy I won another match at a Grand Slam and I hope it’s not the last. I’ve won two second-round matches here in the past and I hope I can add a third one Wednesday.
“This year, I’ve been healthy and I’ve been able to play since January 1st. I didn’t have a week where I wasn’t at my best with my elbow. I’m happy with the way things are going physically. Two years ago, I lost a really close match and last year I lost in the last round of qualies. I think I could have done better, but I knew that this is the Grand Slam where I have the best chances. That is the mental state I have and obviously my goal is to do well. So far, I’m happy that it’s working out well.”
Novak Djokovic got his US Open title defence off to a winning start on Monday night with a topsy-turvy four-set triumph over Jerzy Janowicz on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The top seed prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 to keep his bid for 10 straight semi-finals or better at Flushing Meadows intact.
Hampered by knee and lower back injuries for the first half of the season, Janowicz came into the match at No. 247 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and looking to reach the second round in New York for the first time since 2014.
With Djokovic holding for 3-2 in the opening set, the Serbian called for the ATP physio to massage his elbow. He went on to break for 4-2 and survived two break points when serving for the set, reeling off four straight points to take it when Janowicz pushed long.
Asked about his fitness and why he called the physio, Djokovic said: "Hopefully as the tournament progresses, I'll reach my peak. It was just prevention. It's all good.”
A former Wimbledon semi-finalist, the 25-year-old Pole began to show glimpses of the form, which has taken him as high as No. 14 in the world. He began to find his range on his big serves and thumping forehands in second set, screaming himself on with encouragement when he broke the Serbian’s serve for 4-2.
Despite surrendering the break, Janowicz again dug deep to save three break points for 6-5. It was just the confidence boost he needed. A double fault from the World No. 1 gave Janowicz two set points, with a forehand lofted well long handing the Pole the set for 7-5.
“It wasn't easy today playing against Jerzy for the first time,” Djokovic said. “He's a very potent player – powerful serve, big forehands. He’s unpredictable really.
“Play well as he did in the second set and he makes a couple of double faults in a row in the important moments. It's really up and down. That's why it wasn't easy to keep the concentration.”
Just when he looked to have lost momentum, Djokovic put the foot down. He broke to open the third set and took the set 6-2 on his second set point with an off-forehand winner.
A net-cord backhand winner down the line brought up three break points at 3-1 in the fourth and Djokovic converted for 4-1.
A double fault from Janowicz brought up match point for the two-time champion. Djokovic took it when the Pole pushed a forehand narrowly long to book a second-round meeting with lefty Jiri Vesely, a player who claimed their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters earlier this year.
The Czech ground out a near-four hour result against unheralded Indian qualifier Saketh Myneni, 7-6(5), 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.
“It’s a different surface, different circumstances, best-of-five,” Djokovic said of their upcoming clash. “But still, Vesely deserves respect. He's somebody that has been kind of trying to break through.
“A couple years ago he was already was there. He made a name for himself. He’s just gained the consistency I think over the last couple of years. He has a big game, a big serve, big forehand, and moves well for his size so we’ll see.”
Milos Raonic scored a confident opening-round win at the US Open on Monday, downing Germany’s Dustin Brown 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 46 minutes. The No. 5 seed will face American qualifier Ryan Harrison in the second round.
"I was efficient, at the end of the day. Three sets; not too much time on court. I would have wished to play better, but it's not the goal to be playing my best tennis in the first round," Raonic said. "It's about getting through and giving myself a chance to get better in the next round. Hopefully my level continues to improve."
Raonic, who started the match on his serve, never trailed in the match. The Canadian diffused Brown’s unpredictable shotmaking and broke serve five times in the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Using his power judiciously, Raonic finished with 41 winners to Brown’s 27 while making nine fewer unforced errors (19 to 28).
"I believe you have to defend well; you have to move well," said Raonic of his use of the slice backhand when under pressure. "You have certain guys that do it different ways. Novak Djokovic doesn't defend too much with a backhand slice. He'll actually slide out and try to get two hands on it and play pretty flat down the middle of the court. He doesn't give you much. You have other guys who have made great careers for themselves defending with the slice. I think for each player it's their own preference. Obviously for me it's important, as a guy with a big reach. It helps me out. Also it buys me some time if I'm out of position, to get back in a situation where I have a better opportunity."
The quick first-round victory will help Raonic maintain his energy level as he aims to reach the second week at the US Open for the fourth time in five years. The 2016 Wimbledon finalist has never been past the fourth round in Flushing Meadows but has reached the fourth round or better at all three Grand Slams this year.
Raonic's next opponent, Harrison, made an equally impressive start to his 2016 US campaign in upending Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3. The 24 year old was punishing on return games, breaking Mannarino’s serve seven time in the two-hour, 18-minute encounter. He beat Raonic in the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting in Indian Wells five years ago. Raonic beat Harrison en route to his second San Jose title the following year.
NextGen star Kyle Edmund discusses his first-round upset of Richard Gasquet at the 2016 US Open.
John Isner overcame both Frances Tiafoe and recent history at the US Open on Monday, completing a 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3) comeback in three hours and 27 minutes. It was Isner’s first win in seven final-set tie-breaks this year and only his second comeback from two-sets down in his career.
"The atmosphere was awesome. A lot of people were on their feet cheering in that match. They weren't just cheering for me at the end. It's why you play, it's why you work so hard," Isner said. "Winning in an atmosphere like that, in a close match, it's really sweet."
In a tough day for #NextGen Americans facing seeded countrymen, No. 23 seed Jack Sock later avoided a five-set boilover, holding off 18-year-old Taylor Fritz 7-6(3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4. It marked the pair’s second five-set encounter from as many FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings after Sock also prevailed in the first round at this year’s Australian Open.
Sock looked to have broken his younger countryman’s momentum when he surged to 4-0 in the deciding set. Serving for the match at 5-3, however, he let a match point slip, allowing Fritz to get back on serve. The reprieve was fleeting as Sock broke to close it out in three hours and 24 minutes.
Unlike Sock, the 31-year-old Isner made a slow start in his match against #NextGen player Tiafoe, who was looking for his first Grand Slam main-draw win. Tiafoe read the Isner serve well, limiting the 6’10” giant to 10 aces in the first two sets, and out-maneuvered the No. 1 American in the Emirates ATP Rankings from the baseline to build a commanding two-set lead in exactly an hour.
"I know how talented he is," Isner said. "At such a young age, he seems to be the type of kid who can rise up to the big occasion. He played very well.
"I was struggling to match his intensity. In the early part of the match he was all over me and was the better player hands down. I had to stick with it and had to try to tilt the match in my favour a little bit, which I was able to do."
Isner, who came into the match with a 6-15 record in five-set matches, overcame long odds. His lone previous comeback from two sets down was against countryman Ryan Harrison at Roland Garros in 2013. With little margin for error, Isner focused on making his serves count. He fired 12 aces and saved four break points to force a third set tie-break. In the fourth set, Isner pounced on Tiafoe’s second serves and broke serve twice to send the New York crowd into a frenzy.
The final set was a microcosm of the entire match. Tiafoe ripped a backhand pass in the eighth game to serve for the match at 5-3. He was unable to close out a persistent Isner, who broke back and held twice more to force a deciding tie-break. A mini-break on the first point gave Isner a lead he would never surrender. He finished the match with 35 aces, 69 winners and moved on despite winning one fewer point than Tiafoe (148-149).
"I think at [3-5 in the final set] I probably played the best return game I played all match," Isner said. "He played very well, I thought, and he earned everything up to that point for sure. I just tried to stick with it. I was able to get back into that set. Even though I was pretty haggard out there, I got a jolt of energy when I got it back to 5-4."
In the second round, Isner will take on qualifier Steve Darcis, who also came back from two sets down to win. The Belgian survived a four-hour match against Aussie Jordan Thompson to prevail 5-7, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-5. He won 185 points to Thompson’s 184. It will be the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.
Two other Americans were unable to hold onto their two-sets leads Monday. Brian Baker fell to Argentine Federico Delbonis 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, while reigning NCAA singles and doubles champion Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA lost against Czech qualifier Jan Satral 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. American Bjorn Fratangelo, meanwhile, lost to Argentine Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Gael Monfils emerged mostly unscathed on Day 1 of the US Open, though a clock on Court 17 and his fellow Frenchmen could not say the same. Following first-round exits for Richard Gasquet, Julien Benneteau and Stephane Robert, the 10th-seeded Monfils clinched a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4) win over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in a meeting of former US Open quarter-finalists.
Fellow seeded Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Lucas Pouille and Benoit Paire joined Monfils in the second round. No. 9 seed Tsonga had a routine 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Argentine Guido Andreozzi, while Pouille fought back to down Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Paire, the No. 32 seed, joined Monfils in the second round as he prevailed against Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 2-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Monfils broke Muller to kick off proceedings, and then managed to break a clock early into the second set. After leaping to retrieve an overhead shot, his right foot kicked the paneled clock board on his descent. As he bent to pick up his racquet, the panel fell face down behind him, hitting Monfils in the back as he jumped out of the way.
"When you are in the moment you don't feel really anything. Just jump. I saw [there] was a wall, but it was quite lucky," said Monfils. "I was surprised, because it hurt me a little bit. You know, could be pretty bad. Could have fallen on my ankle or calf and could be more than that."
The Frenchman has been enjoying a strong summer campaign, highlighted by his first ATP World Tour 500 title at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (d. Karlovic). He also was a semi-finalist at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. Djokovic). Monfils is in the same quarter of the draw as fifth seed Milos Raonic, and next awaits the winner between Czech qualifier Jan Satral and American wild card Mackenzie McDonald.
"I feel good," he said. "I think I have a strong first round... Today I just play tough and cruised. I'm satisfied. Still have won a lot of matches. I just feel good and hopefully going to keep going."
Monfils is a strong contender for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, currently holding down the coveted eighth position in the Emirates ATP Race To London. He is looking for a solid showing at Flushing Meadows after missing Roland Garros and losing in the Wimbledon first round (l. Chardy).
No. 9 seed Tsonga sent down 16 aces on his way past Andreozzi in a one-hour, 46-minute encounter. It was an impressive start for Tsonga, claiming 95 per cent of first-serve points, while hitting 31 winners to 27 unforced errors. He claimed 15 of 19 points at net.
In earlier French matches, Gasquet bowed out against NextGen star Kyle Edmund 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, while Benneteau lost to No. 31 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 and Robert to Andreas Seppi 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Pierre-Hugues Herbert fell against German Mischa Zverev 6-4, 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-0 and Adrian Mannarino bowed out to American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3.
Rafael Nadal improved his perfect record in US Open first-round matches to 12-0 on Monday as he began his quest for a third title at Flushing Meadows. Even after defeating Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to charge into the second round, the Spaniard admitted there was still nervous energy waking up the morning of a big first-round match. It was a sign the hunger is still there.
“If you are not nervous a little bit it's time to say goodbye. That's the real thing,” Nadal said. “You need to be nervous. That's part of the competition.
“If you don't feel that then it's because you really don't want to win as much as you need or you are not afraid about the loss. When you don't have those feelings it's because you don't have enough motivation for what you are doing.”
Champion here in 2010 and ’13, Nadal advances to play Italian veteran Andreas Seppi, a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 winner over Frenchman Stephane Robert. Nadal leads the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head record 7-1, including a win the lone time they met this year on hard court in Rio.
Against Istomin, the No. 3 seed started in a canter, reeling off nine straight games from 1-1 in the opening set to stand at 4-1 in the second set.
“It was a good start for me obviously winning here in straight sets,” he said. “I have been dominating the match comfortably after 6-1, 4-1, and I think in that game I could have the second break in the second set to go 5-1. It didn't happen and then the second set was tougher.”
Breaking to take the second set on his third set point, the Spaniard raised his level deep in the third set, snaring the last four games of the match in the two-hour, 10-minute affair.
“My serve worked well almost all the time,” he said. “I am hitting the backhand very well, but it's true that the forehand, I need time. I need confidence and I need to keep practising the forehand.”
Nadal is chasing his third title of 2016 (Monte-Carlo, Barcelona). Since his 2013 US Open triumph, he has won just one hard-court title, more than two and a half years ago in Doha, 2014.
In-form Croatian Marin Cilic looked every inch a genuine US Open title contender with a strong opening-round win at Flushing Meadows Monday. Cilic broke serve six times in a 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 win over Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva to claim his 13th win from his past 14 outings at the Open.
Cilic has the form and US Open pedigree to suggest that he could mount the strongest challenge to top seeds Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray during the next two weeks. Cilic won the title here in 2014 and reached the semi-finals last year. Plus, less than two weeks ago in Cincinnati, he won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, defeating Murray in the final of the Western & Southern Open.
Cilic, who next will face Sergiy Stakhovsky, says that this visit to Flushing Meadows feels very different to two years ago when he was a surprise champion.“For me it feels different. I am feeling great. Conditions suit my game. I know I can play great at Grand Slams. I had a really good run at Wimbledon and coming here having won Cincinnati I feel in really, really good form. It’s important to not lose that. It’s a different feeling to two years ago.”
Despite the domination of the “Big Four” of Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray, who have won 42 of the past 46 majors, Cilic says that there is a belief among this year’s US Open field that someone else can break through to take the title.
“With Roger not playing and Rafa having been a bit injured, it gives guys the impression that there is some space to move. Stan is No. 3 here, Milos has had a good year and Kei has been playing really well the last couple of seasons. There are a lot of guys who can do really well here. It’s just important to play well in the big matches.”
“Show me you have balls!”
I had never heard anybody doubt my intensity before.
It was during a rain delay in the fourth round. David Goffin was up two sets to love on me. In my career, not only had I never come back from a 2–0 deficit, but I’d also never won a third set after losing the first two. This time, though, I scratched out a break and won the set before the rain started to fall.
I was crouching in Wimbledon’s antique locker room when McEnroe lit into me. I returned to the court intent on sending a message. I came back to win and won 4–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4.
I felt an immense sense of relief. I felt that overcoming that hurdle, at that venue, was a turning point in my career.
My coaches, John and Carlos Moya, agreed. They both took me aside the next day and pointed out that my comeback victory could be a big turning point if I built from this momentum. I have had every intention of doing so since.
I’ve always been the kind of person that forged my own path. I wasn’t one of the kids that went to Florida to an expensive tennis academy and boarding school. I trained in Canada, my home country, until after I turned pro. My path is my own, and this big moment gave me an opportunity to think about how I got here.
#NextGen star Kyle Edmund ensured that his main draw debut at the US Open would be a memorable one by dismissing 13th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 Monday to race into the second round. Edmund dropped just seven points on his first serve and fired 10 aces to claim his 13th match win of the season.
Making his US Open debut, Edmund fell behind a quick break in the third set, but reeled off five of the last six games to seal the victory after one hour and 41 minutes. It was the biggest win of the Brit's career and second over a Top 20 opponent. He had previously upset another Frenchman, Gilles Simon, at the Aegon Championships in Queen's Club earlier this year.
“On ranking it's probably my best win,” Edmund said. “And the way I went about it, the way I played, a lot of things went well… Very encouraging the way I played, the way I handled myself, dealt with situations. I thought I was smart with the way I played when I needed to be in certain situations.
"[A win like this] gives you more belief, absolutely. I had a good summer. I beat some good players, I beat a guy Simon, but then had a good experience against Andy. Those matches, top players, give you more experience, more confidence with your game, that you are able to take it to him.”
The 21 year old, No. 84 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, clubbed 40 winners to Gasquet’s 13, ensuring that the match was played on his terms. He next will play 20-year-old American wild card Ernesto Escobedo, who claimed his first Grand Slam match win when Lukas Lacko retired at the end of the fourth set of their first-round match.
Brothers Ryan and Christian Harrison reflect on both qualifying for the 2016 US Open singles main draw and how they have helped each other at different stages of their careers.
Lucas Pouille and his girlfriend explore Central Park in New York City ahead of the 2016 US Open.
Steve Johnson throws the first pitch at a New York Mets baseball game.
A LOOK BACK
A LOOK AHEAD
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.