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Updated: 3 days 9 hours ago

Federer's Man Band

Sat, 01/21/2017 - 5:54am

Was Roger Federer exploring other career options during his time off?

The Swiss maestro posted a video to his Twitter account of himself, Grigor Dimitrov and Tommy Haas singing “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” the classic ‘80s song from American rock group Chicago. Haas’ father in law, world-renowned musician and record producer David Foster, accompanied them on piano.

“We’re starting a boyband #NOTNSYNC,” tweeted Federer. But since most boy bands usually have five members, it remains to be seen which ATP World Tour players they could add into the mix.

The four-time Australian Open champion plays his fourth-round in Melbourne on Sunday against fifth seed Kei Nishikori.

We're starting a boyband #NOTNSYNC @GrigorDimitrov @TommyHaas13 @officialdfoster pic.twitter.com/oj5you11gH

Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) January 21, 2017

Federer Lets His Hair Down

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 11:45pm
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Nothing looked out of place in Roger Federer’s game during his third-round win on Friday over No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open in Melbourne, and the same can also be said for his hair.

Taking part in an on-camera interview, Federer had some fun as a loose strand of his hair was adjusted by a producer. “Is it a grey hair?” joked Federer, before it was ripped out at his insistence.

The No. 17 seed and four-time Australian Open champion next plays fifth seed Kei Nishikori on Sunday for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Video courtesy Tennis Australia

Big Stage Fires Up Evans Australian Open 2017

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 5:14pm
Dan Evans talks about how he brings his best tennis on the biggest stages after beating Bernard Tomic to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in Melbourne.

Tsonga Survives Sock At Australian Open 2017

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 4:01pm
Watch highlights as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga prevails in a tight four-set match over Jack Sock in the third round. Photo: Getty Images. Video courtesy of Tennis Australia

Colin Fleming Retires From Professional Tennis

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 3:57pm

Doubles player Colin Fleming has retired from professional tennis after taking up the position of National Coach for Tennis Scotland.

The 32-year-old Fleming spent 10 years competing and won eight ATP World Tour titles from 18 finals. He won the 2010 Commonwealth Games mixed doubles gold medal with Jocelyn Rae. He reached a career-high No. 17 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings on 9 September 2013.

"I am excited to accept the position of National Coach for Tennis Scotland,” said Fleming. “My wife, Gemma, and I are fortunate to now have two amazing young children and I have been looking for the right opportunity to transition into the next stage of my career. This role certainly represents that and it will be a privilege to take on such an important, exciting and challenging position within Scottish tennis.

"With regards to my new role, there has never been a more exciting time for Scottish tennis with Andy Murray, Jamie Murray and Gordon Reid raising the bar with every week that passes. It is my job to put a system in place that ensures the next generation of players are coming through from our clubs to competing on the world stage. My key priorities will be building the base of young quality players as well as ensuring our coaches are well-equipped to develop these players.”

Ross Hutchins, the Chief Player Officer for the ATP, who won three ATP World Tour doubles titles with Fleming, said, “I wish Colin all the success in his move away from playing professional tennis. He had many fantastic tennis achievements and performed extremely well on the biggest stages in our sport. I have no doubt at all that he is an outstanding fit in his new role and will help build something very strong in Scottish tennis.

“Personally, we have built up a very special friendship from playing as a doubles team. He was a joy to be on the same side of the court, and I loved every second of playing together.”

 

Wawrinka Fights Through Troicki At Australian Open 2017

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 3:23pm
Watch highlights as Stan Wawrinka overcomes a stern test from Viktor Troicki in the third round to set up a battle with Andreas Seppi. Photo: Getty Images. Video courtesy of Tennis Australia

Murray Defeats Querrey At Australian Open 2017

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 2:54pm
Watch highlights as top seed Andy Murray convincingly moves through his third-round match against Sam Querrey. Photo: Getty Images. Video courtesy of Tennis Australia

Inglot/Mergea Advance, Aussies Oust Seeds

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 2:34pm

Dominic Inglot and Florin Mergea, the sixteenth seeds, defeated all-French duo Julien Benneteau and Jeremy Chardy 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(2) on Friday at the Australian Open. The British/Romanian duo await either top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut or Polish duo Jerzy Janowicz and Marcin Matkowski in the third round.

Fourth seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers did not face a break point as they eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Marcos Baghdatis and Gilles Muller. Their third round opponents will be either No. 14 seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah or Dusan Lajovic and Viktor Troicki.

Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, the No. 11 seeds, defeated recent Sydney champions Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop 6-3, 6-4 in 70 minutes. They next face Marc Polmans and Andrew Whittington, who upset eighth seeds Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 0-6, 6-3, 6-4. Polmans and Whittington weren’t the only Aussie duo to oust a seeded team: Alex Bolt and Bradley Mousley topped Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas, the No. 15 seeds, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.

Watch: Rojer/Tecau Rebuilding Winning Combination At Australian Open

Ninth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers came from a set deficit to top Robert Lindstedt and Michael Venus 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in two hours and 17 minutes while Spaniards Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Matthew Barton and Matthew Ebden 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Nishikori Sails Into Second Week Of Australian Open 2017

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 2:27pm
Watch highlights as Kei Nishikori defeats Lukas Lacko in straight-sets to set up a fourth-round clash with Roger Federer. Photo: Getty Images. Video Courtesy Tennis Australia

Federer Flawless Against Berdych At Australian Open 2017

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 1:57pm
Watch highlights as Roger Federer defeats Tomas Berdych in straight-sets to set up a fourth-round battle against Kei Nishikori. Photo: Getty Images. Video Courtesy Tennis Australia

Fabulous Federer Rolls Past Berdych; Now For Nishikori

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 12:04pm

Roger Federer, the four-time former champion, hit top form on Rod Laver Arena on Friday night as the Swiss superstar received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd in booking his spot in the Australian Open fourth round.

In just his third tour-level match since mid-July 2016, the former World No. 1 blasted past No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in just 90 minutes. It was their seventh meeting at a major championship (Federer leads 5-2).

“I didn't expect this as such, to be honest, especially not this kind of a scoreline," said Federer. "Especially not having to save any break points, just always rolling on the serve. That was a big surprise to me. I think it was a great mental test for me to see if I could stay in the match – point for point. I was able to do that. That's where I'm just really happy that I was able to deliver that… It's wonderful. I'm really happy of course.”

Federer produced a masterclass in front of fellow all-time great Rod Laver, applying the pressure and keeping Berdych deep behind the baseline and unable to get into the match. After a third break of Berdych’s serve at the start of the second set, Federer seized control. Berdych was powerless in light of Federer’s backhand, first serve (won 39 of 41 points) and net (20 of 23 points) dominance.

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Earlier in the day, fifth seed Kei Nishikori lost just eight of his first service points to beat qualifier and World No. 121 Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes. The Japanese star has not lost to a player outside of the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Ranking since the 2013 US Open, when he lost to then No. 179-ranked Daniel Evans in the first round.

“After 5-2 [in the second set] I think he stepped up a little more,” said Nishikori. “He was more attacking my ball [and] playing very solid. But I tried to stay focus. I still had two breaks up. I was serving really well today. I just play with confidence.

“For sure it's not going to be easy [facing Federer]. He was playing great tennis today. I watched only a few points. But it's always great to play Roger. It's a big challenge for me. I'm just happy to play him because I think we needed him on the tour. I’m happy to see him back 100 per cent.”

Federer leads Nishikori, his fourth-round opponent, 4-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. He has won four titles at Melbourne Park - in 2004 (d. Marat Safin), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray) and has an 83-13 mark at the championship.

”I'm a big fan of (Kei’s) game," admitted Federer. "He's got one of the best backhands out there. I love how he can crush it down the line or crosscourt. He's got wonderful second serve returns. He's fast on his legs. Strong in his mind. I know how tough he is as the match goes along. He finds his range and his rhythm, he's tough to stop.”

Rojer/Tecau Rebuilding Winning Combination At Australian Open

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 11:21am
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau discuss rebuilding their winning partnership after a challenging 2016, following their second-round win Friday at the Australian Open.

Wawrinka Pushes Through Troicki Test

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 8:26am

Fourth seed and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka was pushed to the limit for his place in the second week at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The Swiss star overcame a determined No. 29 seed Viktor Troicki on Friday before prevailing 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(5) in their third-round clash.

”It was not always the best tennis, but I'm happy to have won the match,” said Wawrinka. “That's all that counts. In general, I had good momentum [and] in the second, third and fourth set, I was playing better. But [it was] tough conditions, quite windy, not easy to really play well or have good rhythm. I'm really happy just to get through.”

The normally steady Wawrinka lost the timing on his shots while up 3-1 in the first set, dropping serve three consecutive times as he lost five games in a row. Troicki played conservatively by hitting just seven winners and seven unforced errors to grab the opening set.

But rather than get rattled, the Swiss star regrouped. He cleaned up his game considerably in the second and third sets, hitting a combined 21 winners to 11 unforced errors while breaking his opponent four times. Meanwhile, it was Troicki who struggled to find his footing in the middle stages of the match, hitting nine winners to 18 unforced errors.

It appeared that Wawrinka would comfortably close out the contest, but the Serbian showed his fighting spirit in the fourth set by thwarting his opponent’s attempts to serve out the match at 5-3 and 6-5. Wawrinka was unable to make good on a 5/2 lead in the tie-break or a match point at 6/5, but dug deep to erase Troicki’s set point chance at 6/7. A pair of backhand errors from Troicki ultimately gave Wawrinka a hard-fought victory in two hours and 32 minutes.

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Next up for the former titlist is Andreas Seppi, who continued his dream run in Melbourne with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1), 7-6(2) victory over Belgium's Steve Darcis. The 32-year-old Italian continues to excel in Melbourne, having reached the fourth round in 2013 and 2015, but the No. 85 in the Emirates ATP Rankings now seeks a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final.

Wawrinka leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 8-3 and has won their past three matches, but they haven’t faced off since the 2014 BNP Paribas Open

”It’s going to be an interesting match,” said Wawrinka. “He has been playing really well this tournament. We‘ve play each other a few times. I know it will depend on the way I'm going to play, the way I'm going to be on the court. But it's going to be a good match.”

Murray Sails Into Second Week In Melbourne

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 8:05am

On a Friday filled with marathon matches, top seed Andy Murray avoided a similar fate by breezing into fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 29 seed Sam Querrey.

"I thought I did pretty good today,” said Murray, who admitted his right ankle his right ankle felt better. “The start of the match was hard [as] Sam came out serving big. He was really going for his shots. The end of that first set was important. He had a break point at 3-4. When I saved that and broke the next game, the momentum was with me. I started to serve a bit better and put a lot more returns back in play after that.

"I think I've played a little bit better each match. There's not been one thing I've been delighted with. I thought I moved much better today than I did in the first two matches, which is really positive for me… Hopefully I keep getting better."

Murray didn’t drop serve once in the first two sets, keeping his unforced error count to just 13 (compared to 23 winners) and drawing Querrey into prolonged baseline rallies. He was also impressive in blocking Querrey’s powerful serves back, breaking the American three times to take a commanding two-sets lead.

Both players traded early service holds to start the third set, but the top seed was in control of most of the exchanges. In the ninth game, Querrey took his eye off a backhand volley after Murray scrambled up a low ball and soon paid the price.

World No. 1 Murray, who is seeking his first Australian Open title after finishing runner-up here five times (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016), is through to the Last 16 for the ninth straight year (48-11 match record).

Next up for the Briton is Mischa Zverev, who reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career by spoiling Malek Jaziri’s 32nd birthday with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 win in two hours and 21 minutes. Murray leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 1-0.

Alexander Zverev, the No. 24 seed, will be hoping to join his older brother, Mischa, in the fourth round when he plays 2009 titlist and ninth seed Rafael Nadal on Saturday. If he does win, the Zverevs would become the first brothers to reach the fourth round of a major championship since Emilio Sanchez and Javier Sanchez at the 1991 US Open.

Tsonga Survives Sock In Melbourne; In-Form Evans Beats Tomic

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 7:47am

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 12 seed, passed a stern test from No. 23 seed Jack Sock on Friday with flying colours, moving into the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne with a 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-6(8), 6-3 win.

Neither player faced a break point in the opening set, but Tsonga jumped out to a 4/1 lead in the tie-break and grabbed the early advantage on his first set point chance. Both players traded service holds throughout the second set, but the Frenchman finally earned the first break of the match to lead 6-5. He comfortably held to love in the next game to take a commanding two-sets lead.

Very little separated Sock and Tsonga in the third set, ultimately forcing another tie-break. In an epic battle, Sock saved match points down 5/6 and 7/8 before converting on his second set point after Tsonga missed a forehand smash.

But while some players may have gotten rattled, Tsonga refocused by breaking Sock early in the fourth set and racing to a 3-0 lead. He maintained his slight advantage the rest of the way and eventually closed out the contest on his first try in three hours and 33 minutes. The 2008 Australian Open runner-up improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Sock to 3-0.

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Tsonga will meet World No. 51 Daniel Evans for the first time on Sunday for a place in his first quarter-final at Melbourne Park since 2013.

In-form Evans, who knocked out Marin Cilic in the second round, silenced Australian supporters by hitting 58 winners to beat No. 27 seed Bernard Tomic 7-5, 7-6(2), 7-6(3) for a place in the fourth round of a major championship for the first time.

“It was a goal to make the fourth round of a Slam this year,” admitted Evans. “It's satisfying. But I'm not looking back yet. We've got another match on Sunday, I think it is. We'll see what happens then. After the tournament, I will look back.”

Last week, the British No. 3 (behind Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund) reached his first ATP World Tour final at the Apia International Sydney (l. to Gilles Muller).

Mental Improvement Key To Consistency For Goffin

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 6:18am
David Goffin explains how he found greater consistency on the ATP World Tour and discusses being on the brink of the Top 10.

Evans Picks Out Winning Style In Melbourne

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 5:41pm

Daniel Evans, No. 51 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, needed some tennis clothes ahead of the Australian Open. So Evans, whose contract with his previous clothing supplier, Nike, had ended last December, did what any normal person would do: He went shopping.

“I just went to the store and bought a load of clothes the other day, plain clothes,” Evans said on Wednesday when asked about his fashion. The Brit had just beaten seventh seed Marin Cilic in the second round in Melbourne for the biggest win of his career.

The shirts at Uniqlo, his store of choice, cost him $19.99. He didn't recall how much the shorts were. “I didn't look. I just picked the shorts up. I was more worried about the shirts,” he said.

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After finishing as runner-up in the final of the Apia International Sydney (l. to Muller),  Evans bought 18 shirts and returned to buy some more on Wednesday before his match against Cilic. He doesn't think he'll have to run that errand again, though.

“No, I only wore one shirt today,” he said on Wednesday. “I'm good until Friday. We're good.”

Evans' tennis has also been very good. The 26-year-old Brit matched his best Grand Slam result by beating Cilic and advancing to the third round Down Under. Before this week, the Birmingham native had never won a match at the season's first Grand Slam. Last year, during his debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in straight sets.

“I think I played as well as I can play today," said Evans, who next faces Aussie Bernard Tomic. "I was really pleased with how I played especially towards the end of the match... [it's] definitely [my] biggest win.”

 

Zverev Beats Tiafoe For Nadal Clash At Australian Open 2017

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 5:09pm
Watch highlights as Alexander Zverev beats fellow NextGenATP star Frances Tiafoe in straight sets to set a third-round clash with Rafael Nadal. Photo: Getty Images. Video Courtesy Tennis Australia.

Thiem Tops Thompson In Australian Open 2017 Second Round

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 5:09pm
Watch highlights as eighth seed Dominic Thiem records a second-round victory against Aussie wild card Jordan Thompson in Melbourne on Thursday. Photo: Getty Images. Video Courtesy Tennis Australia.

Istomin Upsets Djokovic In Australian Open 2017 Second Round

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 5:09pm
Watch highlights as Denis Istomin beats six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in five sets on Thursday in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images. Video Courtesy Tennis Australia.