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Updated: 17 hours 22 min ago

Del Potro Continues Finals Qualification Bid In Basel

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:38am

Whisper it quietly, but Juan Martin del Potro is building momentum for a shot at Nitto ATP Finals qualification. Five days on from capturing his 20th tour-level title at the Intrum Stockholm Open (d. Dimitrov), the popular Argentine is through to the Swiss Indoors Basel semi-finals.

His 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 quarter-final victory over sixth-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, one of the cleanest strikers on the ATP World Tour, on Friday was anything but easy, but it gave del Potro an extra 90 points to move up to No. 13 in the Emirates ATP Race To London.

Del Potro is now 310 points behind ninth-placed Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who holds the final automatic qualification spot for the Nitto ATP Finals. Carreno Busta, American Sam Querrey, who is No. 11, and South African Kevin Anderson, at No. 12, all lost earlier this week and await the start of next week’s Rolex Paris Masters. Two qualification spots remain up for grabs at the prestigious season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November.

Fourth seed and 2012-13 Basel champion del Potro moved clear at 4-4 in the deciding set against Bautista Agut, breaking on his third opportunity of the ninth game. He then saved one break point when serving for the match in their fourth FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting (del Potro now leads 3-1). Del Potro will now face Croatian second seed and defending champion Marin Cilic or Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics.

Memories are strong of del Potro beating Roger Federer, Fernando Verdasco and Robin Soderling en route to the 2009 Nitto ATP Finals title match (l. to Davydenko), when the season finale first moved to The O2 in London, and the 29-year-old will be hoping over the next nine days of the regular 2017 ATP World Tour season he will do enough to qualify for the fifth time (also 2008, 2012-13).

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Schwartzman Hot Wheels In Vienna 2017 Hot Shot

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 9:39am
Watch Hot Shot as Diego Schwartzman showcases his wheels with a forehand winner against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Friday at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna. Photo Credit: Bildagentur Zolles KG.

Edmund Delighted With Run To Vienna 2017 SFs

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 9:28am
Kyle Edmund reacts to reaching his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the year on Friday with victory over Jan-Lennard Struff at the Erste Bank Open 500. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Gasquet Reacts To Thiem Win at Vienna 2017

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 7:57am
Richard Gasquet reacts to beating Austrian favourite Dominic Thiem on Thursday at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna. Photo Credit: Bildagentur Zolles KG. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Time In The Gym Proving Critical For Millman In Comeback

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 3:18am

For professional tennis players, maintaining a healthy lifestyle off the court is a critical factor in realizing their ambitions between the lines. Commitment and dedication to time in the gym not only prepares the body for battle and increases stamina, but is essential for injury prevention.

Few have been preaching this philosophy more than John Millman has this year. After undergoing a third significant surgery in his young career, the Aussie is putting an emphasis on maintaining a consistent workout regimen in the gym and keeping a nutritious diet, as he seeks to continue rising in his comeback from groin surgery in February.

The longtime Tecnifibre player has more than demonstrated that he can enjoy a successful career on the ATP World Tour and compete with the best in the game. Having ascended to a career-high of No. 60 in May 2016, the World No. 218 is hoping to stay off the operating table as he looks to push his standing in the Emirates ATP Rankings back inside the Top 100. 

Early in his career, the Brisbane native underwent a shoulder repair and once again needed a shoulder reconstruction in 2013, which forced him to the sidelines for more than 12 months. He would come back with a vengeance, claiming back-to-back Challenger titles in Traralgon, Australia, and Yokohama, Japan, and earning a nomination for 2015 Comeback Player of the Year. This year, following a run to the final at the Lexington Challenger and a third round finish at the US Open, he is drawing on those experiences for motivation.

Millman spoke to ATPWorldTour.com while competing at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He will face Yuki Bhambri in Friday's quarter-finals.

.@johnhmillman hits the gym before his first-round victory in Ho Chi Minh City, where the

Federer Cruises Into 15th Basel QFs 2017 Highlights

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 10:09pm
Watch highlights as Roger Federer cruises past Benoit Paire, Marin Cilic escapes compatriot Borna Coric and Juan Martin del Potro advances past Julien Benneteau. Photo Credit: PPR/Kurt Schorrer. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Gasquet Upsets Home Favourite Thiem In Vienna 2017 Thursday Highlights

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 7:51pm
Watch highlights as Richard Gasquet ousts second seed Dominic Thiem and Diego Schwartzman upsets Pablo Carreno Busta on Thursday at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna. Photo Credit: Bildagentur Zolles KG. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Cilic Advances To Quarter-finals Basel 2017

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 5:48pm
Marin Cilic was focused as he advanced to the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors on Thursday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Federer Discusses Win And Potential Quarter-final Against Shapovalov Basel 2017

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 5:15pm
Roger Federer secures a spot in the quarter-finals at the Swiss Indoors in Basel. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Hot Shot Gasquet Shows Quick Hands At Net For Winner Vienna 2017

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 5:03pm
Richard Gasquet shows off his quick reaction time at the net against Dominic Thiem at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Donaldson Qualifies For Next Gen ATP Finals 2017

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 5:02pm
United States' Jared Donaldson has qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 7-11 November. Watch #NextGenATP finals LIVE on Amazon Prime Video starting 7 November.

Shapovalov Qualifies For Next Gen ATP Finals 2017

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 5:01pm
Canada's Denis Shapovalov has qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 7-11 November. Watch #NextGenATP finals LIVE on Amazon Prime Video starting 7 November.

Medvedev Qualifies For Next Gen ATP Finals 2017

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 5:00pm
Russia's Danil Medvedev has qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 7-11 November. Watch #NextGenATP finals LIVE on Amazon Prime Video starting 7 November.

Coric Qualifies For Next Gen ATP Finals 2017

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 4:59pm
Croatia's Borna Coric has qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 7-11 November. Watch #NextGenATP finals LIVE on Amazon Prime Video starting 7 November.

China's Next Tennis Star Uncovered

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 4:52pm
ATP World Tour Uncovered meets 18-year-old Wu Yibing, tipped to be China's next tennis star.

Federer Cruises Into Basel Quarter-finals

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 2:21pm

Benoit Paire had never won a set against Roger Federer prior to their second-round encounter at the Swiss Indoors Basel on Thursday. That did not come close to changing.

Federer swept the Frenchman, 6-1, 6-3, in 57 minutes to continue his pursuit of an eighth title at his hometown event. It is the 15th time he has advanced to at least the quarter-finals in Basel.

"It feels nice. I've played good tennis from the start of this tournament. There's always extra pressure playing at home and wanting to do well and try to stay in the tournament," Federer said. "I'm happy to be through to the quarters and we'll see what happens now."

After a 10-point service game to open the match, Federer never faltered. He broke Paire for a 2-0 lead in the first set and did not look back, facing no break points while breaking his opponent four times. Federer clinched the matchup with a crosscourt forehand approach shot for a winner.

The Swiss extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead over Paire to 5-0. Out of the 11 sets they have now played, Federer has won eight of the sets by a margin of 6-3 or greater. Thursday’s win was by the same scoreline as the 36 year old’s last victory against Paire, at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships earlier this year. He also defeated Frances Tiafoe by that scoreline in his Basel opener. 

The Swiss will play seventh seed Adrian Mannarino, who came back to oust #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour, 43 minutes. 

The Frenchman avenged a loss against the left-hander from earlier this year in the quarter-finals of the Coupe Rogers. Federer leads Mannarino, who is ranked No. 28 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, 4-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. While the pair has not met since 2013 in Basel, none of the sets have been closer than 6-4 in favour of the Swiss.

"Everything is looking good so far," Federer said. "I'm happy about it."

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Santillan, Purcell Visit Ben Thanh Market In Ho Chi Minh City

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 2:01pm
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Akira Santillan and Max Purcell enjoyed a day off at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Ho Chi Minh City, visiting the famous Ben Thanh Market. The Aussies tested their talents in bargaining for a deal, as they shopped for clothes and sunglasses.

The Ben Thanh Market is one of the oldest surviving structures in the city, with merchants selling various crafts, textiles, souvenirs and food. Developed in the early 17th century, it is a popular tourist attraction in Vietnam's largest city.

"I loved it," said Purcell. "I haven't been to markets like that in nearly three years, the last time I was in Asia. I love experiencing the local culture and it's cool to haggle for cheap things."

"It was pretty cool," Santillan added. "Just bargaining with the locals was quite fun. The stuff is cheap, but it's good to help out the community. They need the money."

#NextGenATP Santillan is into the quarter-finals at the Hung Thinh Vietnam Open, where he will face Peter Polansky in Friday's night session. Purcell, meanwhile, is teaming up with Ti Chen in doubles. The duo are set to battle top seeds James Cerretani and Marc Polmans for a spot in the semis.

Santillan, at No. 162 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is just two spots off his career-high. The 20 year old won his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Winnetka, Illinois, in July and would proceed to claim his first ATP World Tour match wins in Newport and Los Cabos. At age 19, Purcell is projected to rise to a career-high No. 273 as he continues to plot his ascent up the Emirates ATP Rankings. He is one of two Aussie teens in the Top 500, along with Alex de Minaur.

 

With a Roof Overhead, Tsonga Is Stronger

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 1:58pm

Two of last week’s champions met in the second round of the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna, and only one could continue his pursuit of another trophy.

After saving a match point in the second-set tie-break, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued his indoor excellence by defeating Moscow winner Damir Dzumhur, 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 6-1 to boost his hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals for the third time (2011, 2012).

The 2011 Vienna champion extended his ATP World Tour-best record indoors to 18-2 this year, reaching his ninth quarter-final of the season. But perhaps most importantly, he continued a late charge in the Emirates ATP Race To London.

The Frenchman is 15th in the Race, but with Stan Wawrinka (No. 7), Novak Djokovic (No. 10) and Andy Murray (No. 13) both out for the season due to injury, Tsonga has an opportunity to make up ground. No. 11 Sam Querrey and No. 12 Kevin Anderson both lost their Vienna openers this week. A second victory at the event and a fifth title this season would propel Tsonga past Anderson with his home ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris coming up next week.

The match was intense through two sets, with Dzumhur keeping Tsonga's powerful game at bay. But after the Frenchman raised his level to take complete control of rallies toward the end of the second set, things went downhill for Dzumhur. The Bosnian and Herzegovinian held for 1-1 in the third set, but Tsonga won 12 straight points to break the match open and roll in the decider against a frustrated opponent.

Diego Schwartzman helped Tsonga’s London hopes earlier in the day by stalling the No. 9 player in the Race’s attempts to qualify for his first Nitto ATP Finals, defeating Spanish fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

It was payback for the Argentine, who lost to Carreno Busta in the quarter-finals of this year’s US Open in straight sets. Schwartzman seeks his second title, and his first this season.

Carreno Busta is still in the final qualifying spot in the Race with 2,605 points, but his loss opened the door for some of his closest competitors. The No. 14 player in the Race, Juan Martin del Potro, who won on Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors Basel, can now move into the final spot with a title run this week, which would bring him to 2,615 points.

The Spaniard’s loss also allowed the likes of Tsonga, Querrey and Anderson to stay in touch, which should make for an exciting finale in the Race with just over a week remaining.

But the win of the day went to Richard Gasquet, who ousted the second seed, Dominic Thiem, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a matchup between two of the best one-handed backhands in the world. 

"I'm really happy with the way I played," Gasquet said. "One of the best players in the world, so of course it's a big victory for me. I'm happy with the way I served, the way I returned. I think it's one of my best matches of the year."

The Austrian was attempting to win a title on home soil for the first time. In fact, he was seeking his first quarter-final appearance in Vienna since 2013, when he lost in a third-set tie-break against the top seed, Tsonga. 

In beating the No. 6 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Thiem, Gasquet broke a five-match losing streak against the Top 10. His last victory was over sixth-ranked Kei Nishikori in the Round of 16 at Roland Garros last season. He will next face compatriot Lucas Pouille, who defeated qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-3, 7-6(8) on Thursday. 

The last time the Frenchmen met was on home soil earlier this year at the Open 13 Marseille, where Pouille defeated his elder, 7-5, 6-3. Pouille leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-1.

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Carreno Busta, Rublev, Shapovalov, Zverev Honoured With Most Improved Player Nominations

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 1:52pm

The Most Improved Player of the Year Award in the 2017 ATP World Tour Awards Presented by Moët & Chandon recognises the player who reached a significantly higher Emirates ATP Ranking by year’s end and who demonstrated an increasingly improved level of performance through the year. The winner, as selected by the players, will be announced ahead of the Nitto ATP Finals.

Pablo Carreno Busta
“I’m very happy. I think that it’s been a very hard and long year, but to be nominated for this award, which I’ve already had the pleasure of winning, is very special and something that makes me very happy. But the other nominees are also players who deserve it, they’ve had a great year. I hope I can be close to winning it, or win it. Thank you everyone for your support!” 

As one of nine Spaniards in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, Carreno Busta started to move out of the shadows of his celebrated compatriots Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in 2017. Four years on from rising 650 places to break into the Top 100 for the first time — for which he received the 2013 ATP Most Improved Player of the Year award — the 26-year-old is enjoying a career-best season, including a Top 10 breakthrough.

Despite missing two months mid-season due to an abdomen injury, Carreno Busta jumped from a 2016 year-end finish of No. 30 to a career-high No. 10 (11 September), centred on a run to the US Open semi-finals (l. to Anderson) and the Roland Garros quarter-finals (l. to Nadal). He also captured his third ATP World Tour title at the Millennium Estoril Open (d. Muller) and finished as runner-up at the Rio Open presented by Claro (l. to Thiem).

 

Andrey Rublev
“I am happy to be nominated for this award. I thank my team for making it possible. I also thank my loyal fans worldwide. This gives me even more drive to continue my climb to the top.” 

Among a new breed of Russian talent, 20-year-old Rublev soared from No. 156 in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the end of 2016 to a career-high No. 35 (9 October). The ascent of the #NextGenATP star included a Top 100 breakthrough on 26 June and his first ATP World Tour title in his first final at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag (d. Lorenzi) the following month. The result saw him clear the Top 50 barrier.

This year, the former junior World No. 1 also became the youngest US Open quarter-finals since Andy Roddick in 2001, beating Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. He will compete at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan next month.

Denis Shapovalov
"My breakthrough moment this season has to be in Montreal. My whole life has changed from that experience... It really pushed me up in the [Emirates ATP] Rankings and gave me confidence that I can play against these top guys and that I belong here."

The charismatic #NextGenATP Canadian swept through the ITF Futures and ATP Challenger Tour in 2017 to make his presence felt at August’s Coupe Rogers in Montreal, when, as a wild card, he broke a number of records en route to becoming the youngest ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-finalist since the series started in 1990. In upsetting World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, Shapovalov became the youngest player to beat a Top 2 opponent (in a non-retirement finish), since Nadal defeated then No. 1-ranked Roger Federer in the 2004 Miami Open presented by Itau third round.

He then qualified and defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to US Open fourth round (l. to Carreno Busta), making him the youngest player to reach that stage at a major since Marat Safin at 1998 Roland Garros. Shapovalov finished the 2016 season at No. 250 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and broke into the Top 100 on 14 August, then into the Top 50 for the first time on 23 October — the same day he clinched his place in the Next Gen ATP Finals field.

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Alexander Zverev
”It’s awesome. It’s the second year that I’ve been nominated. Last year unfortunately I didn’t win it, but I think year I think I have a really good chance going from No. 24 to No. 4 in the world, maybe even finishing higher. There are a lot of other good players, but this year I feel like I really deserve it and hopefully the players can vote that way as well.” 

Compiling a stellar 50+ match wins 2017 season, Zverev became the youngest player to win five or more titles in a calendar year since Novak Djokovic in 2007 and achieved a career-high No. 4 Emirates ATP Rankings on 11 September — the youngest Top 5 player since Djokovic on 8 October 2007. He also became the youngest player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008.

The 20-year-old German earned the biggest win of his career in May over then World No. 2 Djokovic to capture the Internazionali BNL d’Italia crown — making him the youngest Masters 1000 champion since 19-year-old Djokovic at 2007 Miami. Four months later he added the Coupe Rogers trophy to join Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the second active player outside of the ‘Big Four’ to win two or more Masters 1000 titles. Zverev also lifted silverware at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier (d. Gasquet), the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (d. Anderson) and the BMW Open by FWU in Munich (d. Pella), and reached a Grand Slam championship fourth round for the first time at Wimbledon (l. to Raonic).

Santillan, Purcell Visit Ben Thanh Market In Ho Chi Minh City

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 1:34pm
Aussies Akira Santillan and Max Purcell explored the famous Ben Thanh Market during the ATP Challenger Tour event in Ho Chi Minh City.