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Updated: 1 week 4 days ago

Dimitrov Shrugs Off Passport Problems

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:34am
World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov puts passport troubles behind him as he looks forward to starting 2018 in the same form he ended 2017.

Players Share Hard Offseason Work On Social Media

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 9:08am
The stars of the ATP World Tour work hard in the offseason to prepare for the new campaign, and they shared their experiences at the end of 2017 with the fans through social media.

Murray Makes Heartfelt Statement To Fans

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 6:52am

Andy Murray has released a heartfelt statement to his social media followers after withdrawing from the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp on Tuesday.

The two-time champion at the Queensland event was hoping to make his long-awaited return to the ATP World Tour this week after a hip injury has seen him spend six months on the sidelines. Murray, who hasn’t played a competitive match since July 2017 at Wimbledon, apologised to the tournament and fans before providing an update on the status of his injury via Instagram.

“Firstly I want to apologise [to the tournament] for withdrawing at late notice and to everyone who wanted to come along to watch me play. The organisers couldn't have been more understanding and supportive and I'll always remember that," said Murray.

“I've obviously been going through a really difficult period with my hip for a long time and have sought council from a number of hip specialists. Having been recommended to treat my hip conservatively since the US Open I have done everything asked of me from a rehab perspective and worked extremely hard to try get back on the court competing.”

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Murray revealed he had not been happy with his level when playing practice sets against fellow players in Brisbane and now has to take time to assess his options moving forward with the injury.

“I have to reassess my options," said Murray. "Obviously continuing rehab is one option, giving my hip more time to recover. Surgery is also an option but the chances of a successful outcome are not as high as I would like, which has made this my secondary option and my hope has been to avoid that. However this is something I may have to consider but let's hope not.”

The former World No. 1 revealed how the injury lay-off has affected him mentally and given him a greater understanding of how much he loves the sport.

“The little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and compete," he added. "I genuinely miss it so much and I would give anything to be back out there. I didn't realise until these last few months just how much I love this game. Every time I wake up from sleeping or napping I hope that it's better and it's quite demoralising when you get on the court it's not at the level you need it to be to compete at this level.”

Other players reached out to Murray on his social media post to send their best wishes.

"Andy, we miss you and we hope to see you back soon! Get well my friend!" World No. 1 Rafael Nadal wrote.

"Andy, thank you for genuinely sharing your thoughts and emotions with everyone," Novak Djokovic wrote. "I can imagine how bad it feels. We all send you support and strength to get through this tough circumstances. God Bless."

With short term decisions to be made as the Australian Open looms large, Murray revealed he will soon make a decision on his participation at the first Grand Slam of 2018. “I'm going to be staying in Australia for the next couple of days to see if my hip settles down a bit and will decide by the weekend whether to stay out here or fly home to assess what I do next.”

Competitive Hewitt Falls Just Short in Doubles Return

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 5:43am

Lleyton Hewitt made a surprise return to the ATP World Tour at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp on Tuesday.

Teaming up with compatriot Jordan Thompson in doubles, his first tour-level event since 2016 Wimbledon, the Australian pairing lost a tight first-round encounter as Grigor Dimitrov and Ryan Harrison emerged victorious 6-3, 1-6, 10-5. Dimitrov and Harrison were clinical down the stretch, managing to win five of eight points on return in the Match Tie-break.

The Bulgarian-American duo will next meet another Australian team, as Nick Kyrgios and Matt Reid rallied from a set down to defeat fourth seeds Marcus Daniell and Dominic Inglot 4-6, 6-1, 10-7.

No decider was needed for Leonardo Mayer and Horacio Zeballos who took just 52 minutes to race into the second round. The all-Argentine team punished their opponents Diego Schwartzman and Mischa Zverev on every second serve return (12/12) on their way to a comfortable 6-2, 6-0 victory.

At the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, the seeded pairs in action moved through with little difficulty.

Second seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who in 2017 won the title in Stockholm and advanced to the Wimbledon final, cruised past two-time Doha winner Daniel Nestor and his partner, Philipp Oswald, 6-2, 6-2 in their 51-minute season opener. The Austrian-Croatian pair did not face a break point in the match.

Ivan Dodig and Fernando Verdasco, the fourth seeds, were broken twice but still beat 2007 Doha champion Nenad Zimonjic and his partner, Florin Mergea, 6-1, 6-4. 

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Highlights Edmund Beats Shapovalov At Brisbane 2018

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 5:33am
Watch highlights of Kyle Edmund versus Denis Shapovalov at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp on Tuesday. Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Visit www.BrisbaneTennis.com.au for more video. Playback not available in Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Kyrgios Looks to Jump Start 2018 In Brisbane

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 5:18am
Nick Kyrgios is looking for a deep run at the Brisbane International to give him momentum for a big season in 2018. Clip includes footage from Tennis Australia.

Best of 2017: PRANK! Harrison Tricks Dimitrov In Press

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 10:50am

In this edition of ATPWorldTour.com's Best of 2017 series, Ryan Harrison plays a prank on Grigor Dimitrov as he tees him up for an extremely awkward interview after a win at the Nitto ATP Finals.

FedEx Performance Zone: Best By Surface 2017

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 10:10am

The ability to quickly adjust to different surfaces and conditions is a necessity on the 64-tournament circuit. Here's a look at some of the best performers in 2017 by surface this year:

Clay Courts (minimum 10 matches)
'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal recorded historic 10th titles at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and at Roland Garros. He also won a fifth Mutua Madrid Open trophy and now has a record 53 red dirt crowns. Dominic Thiem also excelled, compiling a 24-5 (.828) mark on the surface (1-2 record in finals).

Player W-L Record Winning % Rafael Nadal 24-1 .960 Dominic Thiem 24-5 .828 Albert Ramos-Vinolas 22-13 .629 Pablo Carreno Busta 20-9 .690 Diego Schwartzman 17-12 .586

Hard Courts (minimum 10 matches)
Roger Federer won five of his seven titles on hard courts in 2017, including his fifth Australian Open and three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns. David Goffin, who recorded the most hard-court match wins this season, contested five hard-court title matches (2-3 record) for a .717 winning percentage.

Player W-L Record Winning % David Goffin 43-17 .717 Roger Federer 40-4 .909 Rafael Nadal 40-9 .816 Grigor Dimitrov 39-11 .780 Damir Dzumhur 33-16 .673 Jack Sock 33-16 .673

Grass Courts (minimum 5 matches)
Federer reigned supreme on the grass, lifting his ninth Gerry Weber Open title and a record eighth Wimbledon crown. His lone loss on mown lawns came to Tommy Haas at the Mercedes Cup, following a two-month absence from competitive play. Marin Cilic, who fell to Federer in the Wimbledon final, also finished as runner-up in his third Queen's Club Championships final (l. to Lopez).

Player W-L Record Winning % Roger Federer 12-1 .923 Marin Cilic 12-3 .800 Gilles Muller 11-2 .846 Feliciano Lopez 9-2 .818 Alexander Zverev 9-3 .750

Indoors (minimum 10 matches)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won three indoor crowns at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, the Open 13 Marseille and the European Open from four finals (Erste Bank Open 500). The Frenchman has an 11-8 mark in indoor finals (16-12 overall). Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov, who contested the title match at the Nitto ATP Finals, also performed strongly.

Player W-L Record Winning % Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 21-5 .808 David Goffin 20-8 .733 Grigor Dimitrov 15-3 .833 Damir Dzumhur 15-4 .789 Nikoloz Basilashvili 12-4 .750

Miami Open To Touch Down At New Venue In 2019

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 3:10pm

The Miami Open presented by Itau will move to a new home in 2019.

IMG, an Endeavor company, announced on Wednesday that the tournament will be relocating to Hard Rock Stadium in 2019, aiming to bring an unparalleled fan experience, improved player amenities, ample parking, as well as an extended fan base to the tournament. Construction on the new tennis facilities will begin in 2018.

The Miami Open presented by Itau's last event at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, where it has enjoyed a successful 32-year run, will begin in March. Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will work closely to develop this reimagined event.

“The Miami Open belongs in Miami,” said WME and IMG Co-President Mark Shapiro. “We’re grateful to have amazing partners in Stephen, the Miami Dolphins organisation, Mayor Gimenez and above all the people of Miami who have been supporting the Miami Open for decades. While we’re looking forward to creating the new Miami Open experience at Hard Rock Stadium, our priority is to make the last edition of the Key Biscayne event the best it’s ever been.”

Ross is also happy to keep the tournament in South Florida.

“We are extremely excited that the Miami Open, a global entertainment event, will remain in our community,” Ross said. “We are committed to bringing a best-in-class experience alongside IMG to all of the players, fans and partners that will take part in this global affair. The opportunity to showcase the best tennis in the world in Hard Rock Stadium, a venue that brings together the best of culture, art and entertainment, will be an amazing experience for everyone involved.”

The move to Hard Rock Stadium will allow the Miami Open presented by Itau the freedom and flexibility to grow and innovate the event with improved infrastructure, upgraded amenities, expanded space and parking. The event will have 30 show and practice courts; a tennis oasis with the largest video screen of any tennis event; a sponsorship village with expanded and upgraded entertainment spaces; permanent retail facilities; improved Wi-Fi, media facilities, locker rooms and fitness space for players and tennis staff. The tournament’s sponsors will enjoy state-of-the-art hospitality options, improved activation areas, additional opportunities for brand exposure and access to new markets north of Miami-Dade County.

The centerpiece of the move will be a new Centre Court, which will showcase a 14,000-seat stadium within Hard Rock Stadium. Ross has invested more than $500 million into Hard Rock Stadium over the years, which boasts a state-of-the-art shade canopy, four giant high-definition video boards, new seats closer to the action, concourses, restrooms and retail outlets throughout the entire facility, and new premium spaces that raise the caliber for luxury within a sports facility.

The 2018 Miami Open presented by Itau, the second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the season, will be played from 19 March-1 April. Roger Federer is the defending champion.

Less Basketball & More Tennis For Kyrgios In 2018

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 11:35am

There has never been a question about Nick Kyrgios’ talent. But now the Australian is more determined than ever to make the most of it and continue his rise up the ATP World Tour. He will debut in the main draw of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, which will take place from 31 December through 7 January.

“I’m training much harder in the gym, so hopefully my body gets stronger and I can go deeper into tournaments on a more consistent basis,” Kyrgios said. “I’m taking much better care of my body now, and I feel like I’m giving myself the best possible chance of winning tennis matches. My hip isn’t troubling me and I’m being more disciplined with my rehab, so hopefully the hard work starts to pay off.”

The right-hander was hampered by a hip injury toward the end of the 2017 season, losing in the first round of three of his final four tournaments before ultimately cutting his campaign short after the European Open in Antwerp. The three-time ATP World Tour champion has been open about spending time on the basketball court for fun despite having some niggles.

“Playing lots of basketball wasn’t great for my body, people have told me that and I’m now starting to listen,” Kyrgios said. “So I’m feeling fit, healthy and as motivated as I have for a while. I feel much more ready to go and play good tennis than I did this time last year. I’ve also improved my diet, all the things you need to do to be at your best.”

Kyrgios got a practice session in on Wednesday at Queensland Tennis Centre, the home of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. He last appeared in Brisbane five years ago, losing in the first round of qualifying against compatriot James Duckworth.

The 22-year-old is plenty familiar with the facility ahead of his first main draw appearance at the tournament.

“I’ve also trained here in the off-season in the past, so I feel very comfortable out here,” Kyrgios said. “It’s a great tournament with a very strong field again this year, so I’m very excited. It’s great preparation for the Australian Open, but I’m not thinking about the A.O. or any other tournament at the minute. I’m just focused on getting my year off to a good start here in Brisbane.”

Other players competing in the event include Rafael Nadal, the No. 1 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Andy Murray and Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, who won in Brisbane last season.

Kyrgios's most recent appearance was at a charity exhibition against Juan Martin del Potro on 15 December in Argentina. The Australian donated $100,000 of his appearance fee straight to his NK Foundation, which strives to both increase access to and provide sport to underprivileged & disadvantaged youth.

ATP ACES For Charity: Nick Kyrgios

While Kyrgios has not set any goals or completed his full schedule for 2018 just yet, he is excited about doing two things in particular.

“My main goals are just to stay healthy and play as much tennis as I can,” Kyrgios said.

Best Of 2017: At Home With Rublev In Moscow

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 10:07am
In this edition of ATPWorldTour.com's Best of 2017 series, Next Gen ATP star Andrey Rublev invites ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot to meet his family in Moscow and take a trip down memory lane.

The Numbers Game: 2017 ATP Challenger Tour

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 7:20pm
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Match Win-Loss Leaders
Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic was the lone player to claim 50 match wins this year, but it was Yen-Hsun Lu earning the highest win percentage (min. 25 matches played). Kavcic is one of just five players to achieve the feat in ATP Challenger Tour history.

Player

W-L

Pct.

Yen-Hsun Lu

26-6

.813

Yuichi Sugita

21-5

.808

Rogerio Dutra Silva

24-7

.774

Egor Gerasimov

20-6

.769

Federico Delbonis

20-6

.769

Dudi Sela

19-6

.760

Filip Krajinovic

47-15

.758

Thomas Fabbiano

31-10

.756

Cameron Norrie

32-11

.744

Cedrik-Marcel Stebe  29-10  .744 

Singles Title Leaders
Serbians Filip Krajinovic (5) and Janko Tipsarevic (4) lifted the most trophies this year. Krajinovic's five victories made him the biggest mover to the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, soaring 203 spots to a year-end No. 34. Tipsarevic completed a perfect 20-0 campaign, claiming a pair of titles on the hard courts of Bankgok and two more on the Chinese clay of Qingdao and Anning.

Player

Total

Clay

Grass

Hard

Filip Krajinovic

5

5

 

  

Janko Tipsarevic

4

2

   

2

10 Tied

3

 

 

 

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Teen Titlists (15)
Twelve different teenagers accounted for a total of 15 Challenger titles this year, with Denis Shapovalov, Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime winning multiple crowns. At 16 years, 10 months, Auger-Aliassime became the eighth-youngest winner in history with his triumph in Lyon, France. 

At 17, Nicola Kuhn became the youngest from Spain to win a title since Rafael Nadal in 2003, while 18-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic became the youngest from Serbia to do so since Novak Djokovic in 2005. China's Wu Yibing is the first teen titlist from his country, prevailing on home soil in Shanghai.

Player

Title

Age

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Lyon, FRA

16 yrs, 10 mos.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Sevilla, ESP

17 yrs, 1 mo.

Nicola Kuhn

Braunschweig, GER

17 yrs, 3 mos.

Wu Yibing

Shanghai, CHN

17 yrs, 11 mos.

Denis Shapovalov

Drummondville, CAN

17 yrs, 11 mos.

Miomir Kecmanovic

Suzhou, CHN

18 yrs, 1 mo.

Denis Shapovalov

Gatineau, CAN

18 yrs, 3 mos.

Corentin Moutet

Brest, FRA

18 yrs, 6 mos.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Genova, ITA

19 yrs, 1 mo.

Frances Tiafoe Sarasota, USA
19 yrs, 3 mos.
Frances Tiafoe
Aix-en-Provence, FRA
19 yrs, 3 mos. Michael Mmoh Lexington, USA
19 yrs, 6 mos.
Stefan Kozlov
Las Vegas, USA
19 yrs, 8 mos.
Alexander Bublik Morelos, MEX 19 yrs, 8 mos.
Omar Jasika Burnie, AUS
19 yrs, 8 mos.

Title Leaders By Country
Players from 41 countries won titles this year, with Marcelo Arevalo becoming the first from El Salvador to lift a trophy. Serbia and the United States boasted a tour-leading 12 winners apiece, with nine different players from the U.S. emerging victorious. Meanwhile, Belarus completed a perfect 6-0 campaign in Challenger finals, with Egor Gerasimov winning three titles, Uladzimir Ignatik two and Ilya Ivashka one.

Country

Finals W-L

Winners

Serbia

12-8

Krajinovic-5, Tipsarevic-4, Djere-1, Lajovic-1, Kecmanovic-1

United States

12-9

Tiafoe-2, Sandgren-2, Smyczek-2, Harrison-1, Rubin-1, Mmoh-1, K King-1, McDonald-1, Kozlov-1

Germany

10-11

Stebe-3, Marterer-3, Otte-1, Gojowczyk-1, Bachinger-1, Hanfmann-1

Spain

9-11

Menendez Maceiras-2, Carballes Baena-2, Garcia Lopez-2, Kuhn-1, Munar-1, Ojeda Lara-1

Italy

8-12

Fabbiano-3, Travaglia-1, Cecchinato-1, Lorenzi-1, Berrettini-1, Sonego-1

France

7-10

Mannarino-2, Bourgue-1, Hemery-1, Gasquet-1, Moutet-1, Robert-1

Outside Top 400 Winners (7)
The slipper fit for seven Cinderella stories, with a bevy of players ranked outside the Top 400 tasting success. At No. 615, Jason Kubler was the highest-ranked of the group, winning on home soil in Traralgon in his first Challenger event in more than two years due to injury.

Player

Tournament

Emirates ATP Ranking

Jason Kubler

Traralgon, AUS

No. 615

Nicola Kuhn

Braunschweig, GER

No. 501

Wu Yibing

Shanghai, CHN

No. 496

Viktor Galovic Recanati, ITA No. 491  Kevin King Cary, USA  No. 434  Ante Pavic Columbus, USA  No. 425  Egor Gerasimov Saint-Brieuc, FRA  No. 404 

ATP World Tour & ATP Challenger Tour Winners (6)
Six players lifted trophies on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour this year. Ryan Harrison became the first to win a Challenger title and then a tour-level crown in consecutive tournaments since David Goffin in 2014.

Player

ATP World Tour event

ATP Challenger Tour event

Ryan Harrison

Memphis

Dallas, USA

Yuichi Sugita

Antalya Yokohama, JPN; Shenzhen, CHN, Surbiton, GBR Victor Estrella Burgos Quito Santo Domingo, DOM Damir Dzumhur St. Petersburg; Moscow Blois, FRA Peter Gojowczyk Metz Happy Valley, AUS Pablo Cuevas Sao Paulo Montevideo, URU

Match Points Saved In Finals (5)
Alexey Vatutin saved the most match points in an ATP Challenger Tour final this year, turning aside six in beating Guido Andreozzi 2-6, 7-6(10), 6-3 for the crown in Poznan, Poland.

Player

M.P. Saved

Tournament

Alexey Vatutin (d. Andreozzi)

6

Poznan, POL

Nicolas Kicker (d. Zeballos)

2

Buenos Aires, ARG

Marton Fucsovics (d. Djere)

2

Vicenza, ITA

Yuichi Sugita (d. Kwon)

2

Yokohama, JPN

Jason Kubler (d. Bolt)
1
Traralgon, AUS

Fast Facts

Best of 2017: Schwartzman: The Start Was Not Easy

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 10:19am
After Diego Schwartzman's run to a maiden US Open quarter-final, ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot gets to know the Argentine in New York City.

Best of 2017: Player Retirements (Part One)

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 9:31am

Continuing our Season In Review series, ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to six players who retired in 2017. In part two of our two-part series, we will look back at the careers of five other players, including Radek Stepanek.

Juan Monaco (Retired: 15 May), career-high No. 10
Juan Monaco exhibited both great sportsmanship and charm, performing at his best on clay courts – where he captured eight of his nine titles – during a 14-season pro career. He rose to a career-high No. 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 23 July 2012 and recorded 20 victories over Top 10 opponents, including over his good friend Rafael Nadal at the 2007 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Together, they won the 2015 Qatar ExxonMobil Open doubles title – one of three team crowns for the Argentinean, affectionately known as ‘Pico’. “[There is] pride to have faced so many challenges over many years,” said Monaco. “Thanks for what tennis gave me: education, discipline, friendship and unforgettable moments. [There is] sadness, because I will really miss the tennis courts [and] happiness to have had the chance to work in what I really loved since I was a kid. Knowing that dedication, sacrifice, tenacity and compromise have always been my engine, I leave with the satisfaction that I gave all I had and I want to let you know that I enjoyed until my last match.”

Albert Montanes (Retired: 27 April), career-high No. 22
Albert Montanes, the archetypical Spanish clay-courter who often completed lengthy tournament schedules each season, brought the curtain down at home at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, where he’d made his debut in 2001. At 36 years of age, he accumulated 212 victories on red dirt – including six ATP World Tour crowns – and a career-high of No. 22 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. "It's a very special moment," said Montanes. "I wanted to finish my career in a special way. It couldn't have been anywhere else. You, the public, have been essential in my career. I feel really proud to have had a very long career." A career-best week for Montanes came at Estoril in 2010, when he beat then World No. 1 Roger Federer in the semi-finals – at a time when Rafael Nadal was the only Spanish to haven beaten the Swiss on clay – prior to an emotional victory over Portuguese hope Fred Gil in the final. "I will always remember that win over Federer," he said. "And then I was able to win the tournament, which made it even more special."

Grega Zemlja (Retired: 12 August), career-high No. 43
Grega Zemlja fulfilled his dream to play tennis professionally, recording a number of firsts for Slovenia – the first in the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, and the first to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam championship – before calling it a career at the age of 30. In October 2012, he advanced to his lone ATP World Tour final, beating Tommy Haas and Janko Tipsarevic at the Erste Bank Open 500 prior to losing to Juan Martin del Potro. He won six ATP Challenger Tour titles and rose to a career-high No. 43 on 15 July 2013.

Somdev Devvarman (Retired: 2 January), career-high No. 62
Two days into the new year, the fighting spirit and passion for the sport flickered out for Somdev Devvarman, the smiling Indian, who at 31 years of age looked beyond the tramlines for a new career. The decision came 12 months on from his last ATP World Tour appearance in Chennai, where he reached the 2009 final (l. to Cilic). The sociology graduate from the University of Virginia, for whom he won back-to-back NCAA singles title in 2007 and 2008, rose to a career-high No. 62 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 25 July 2011. That year he reached the Johannesburg final (l. to Anderson) but in 2012 he began to struggle to overcome a shoulder complaint, part of an injury-plagued career, which included five ATP Challenger Tour titles.

Giovanni Lapentti (Retired: 10 February), career-high No. 110
Giovanni Lapentti played close to 400 matches on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning 10 titles, but perhaps his finest achievement came just two weeks after 2000 Wimbledon. As a 17-year-old he fought back from a 0-2 sets deficit in the fifth and deciding rubber to beat Great Britain’s Arvind Parmar on No. 1 Court at the All England Club to record Ecuador’s first – and, to date, only – singles victory in the Davis Cup World Group. He’d also partnered his brother, Nicolas Lapentti, a day earlier to a straight-sets win in the doubles rubber. A year later, and yet to turn professional, the 6’4” Giovanni partnered Frank Dancevic to the 2001 Wimbledon junior doubles title.

Colin Fleming (Retired: 16 January), doubles career-high No. 17
Colin Fleming moved seamlessly from professional tennis to the position of National Coach for Tennis Scotland in January, after calling time on a 10-year professional career that included eight ATP World Tour titles from 19 finals. He reached a career-high No. 17 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings on 9 September 2013. 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.”

Return on Wednesday for Part Two: Stepanek, Mathieu, Becker, Chiudinelli and Fyrstenberg

Best of 2017: First-Time Winners: Dzumhur, Rublev, Gojowczyk

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 3:33pm
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Continuing our Season In Review series, ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to the first-time winners of the 2017 season. In part two of our two-part series, we look at the year's final three first-time winners.

Andrey Rublev – Umag [First-Time Winner Spotlight]

Andrey Rublev wasn't supposed to even be playing in the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag main draw, let alone lifting his maiden ATP World Tour trophy. The #NextGenATP Russian had fallen in the final round of qualifying, but after home favourite Borna Coric withdrew, Rublev became a lucky loser and then a first-time titlist, beating Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

“Of course, it’s amazing. I have no words to explain it. Especially after this tough week and all the feelings that I have been going through. Now, I’m here and it’s amazing,” Rublev said.

He became the seventh lucky loser to win an ATP World Tour title and the first to do so since Rajeev Ram triumphed in Newport in 2009. The title in July was the beginning of an exceptional run for Rublev, who reached the US Open quarter-finals (l. to Nadal) and made the final of the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan (l. to Chung).

Peter Gojowczyk – Metz [First-Time Winner Spotlight]

It was a title 11 years in the making. Continuing the trend of '30 is the new 20' on the ATP World Tour, German Peter Gojowczyk broke through at the age of 28 in 2017, beating Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-2 in the Moselle Open final. Gojowczyk qualified for the ATP World Tour 250 and won seven matches in eight days to earn his maiden crown.

“I'm speechless because I won my first title on the ATP Tour. It feels great,” Gojowczyk said.

The breakthrough came after a series of changes for the German. “I've changed where I train, I'm traveling with my own trainer and I'm trying to stay in shape. In 2014 I was a career-high No. 79, then I injured my left foot. This year, I had an operation on my right foot. Now I travel with my physiotherapist to keep my fitness level up,” he said.

The 6'2” Munich native will finish 2017 at No. 60 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He started the season at No. 189.

Damir Dzumhur – St. Petersburg [First-Time Winner Spotlight]

Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina learned a crucial lesson from his first ATP World Tour final, when he fell to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut at the Winston-Salem Open in August: You're going to be nervous; it's an ATP World Tour final. But you have to battle through the nerves.

Dzumhur did that well at the St. Petersburg Open to claim his maiden title, beating Italian Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Dzumhur also became the first Bosnian to win an ATP World Tour crown.

“In Winston-Salem I was a little bit more nervous. I was a little bit more tight than for the match against Fabio Fognini in St. Petersburg,” Dzumhur said. “I just knew that any of the finals are not easy to play. You are going to be nervous in the start. But as the match will go on, you'll get more relaxed and you'll have chances. So I used my chances in the second set and turned that match, and definitely the first final helped me a lot to win this final.”

The 25-year-old Dzumhur later won his second ATP World Tour title, also indoors and in Russia, beating Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 to win the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Dzumhur will finish 2017 at a career-high year-end Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 30.

The Resilience Of Duckhee Lee Uncovered

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 10:37am
Told he would never be a great tennis player because of his deafness, Duckhee Lee has set out to prove the doubters wrong. He tells his remarkable story in ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot.

#NextGenATP De Minaur, Kwon Earn Australian Open Wild Cards

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 2:47pm

The 2018 season is still two weeks away, yet a pair of #NextGenATP stars are already carrying significant momentum into their new campaigns. Alex de Minaur and Soon-woo Kwon continue to make great strides in their push towards the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, with both securing main draw wild cards at the Australian Open

On Sunday, 18-year-old De Minaur, the highest-ranked Aussie teen, won the Australian Open Wild Card Play-off with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(1), 6-1 victory over Alex Bolt. The World No. 208 will make his second straight appearance at his home Grand Slam, after reaching the second round on debut in 2017.

"I feel like I thoroughly deserve this one – that’s what happens when you are actually playing for one," De Minaur said following the match. "I couldn’t be happier with my level and I can't wait for the Australian summer to come.

"I think I’ve still got a lot to get better at. But this week my level was great throughout. I didn’t think I dropped my concentration at all."

Past and future Australian tennis. @lleytonhewitt presents @alexdeminaur with his @AustralianOpen accreditation. #ALPlayoff pic.twitter.com/MKSPZQ25Jt

— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) December 17, 2017

In January, De Minaur crashed onto the scene with a thrilling five-set upset of Gerald Melzer in his debut Down Under. And the former junior No. 2 would later crack the Top 200 for the first time after finishing runner-up at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Segovia, Spain, in August.

Kwon, meanwhile, will make his tour-level debut after winning the Asia-Pacific Wild Card Play-off. The 20-year-old Korean did not drop a set throughout the competition, sealing his place in the first Grand Slam of the year with a 6-1, 6-1 win over China's Zhe Li. The play-off exclusively features players from the Asia-Pacific region.

It has been an impressive conclusion to 2017 for #NextGenATP Koreans, following Hyeon Chung's victory at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last month. Kwon will look to build on a career-high of No. 168 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after posting a 27-17 record on the ATP Challenger Tour this year. He reached his first finals in Yokohama (l. to Sugita) and Seoul (l. to Fabbiano).

The 2018 Australian Open begins on 15 January.

Best of 2017: First-Time Winners: Muller, Harrison, Coric, Sugita

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 12:36pm
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Continuing our Season In Review series, ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to the first-time winners of the 2017 season. In part one of our two-part series, we look at the year's first four first-time winners. 

Gilles Muller – Sydney [First-Time Winner Spotlight]

It was one of the warmest moments of the 2017 ATP World Tour season. A hard-working and well-liked veteran, with his wife and two young sons in the stands, crying after a career triumph he thought might never come.

Gilles Muller had lost his first five ATP World Tour finals. In 2016, the left-hander held three championship points against Ivo Karlovic at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open in Newport, but lost them all. The 33-year-old from Luxembourg wondered if he would ever win a title.

Then he did. After beating defending champion Viktor Troicki of Serbia in the semi-finals, Muller dismissed Brit Daniel Evans 7-6(5), 6-2 to win the Sydney International in January. All-time great Rod Laver presented him with the trophy on court.

“Everything that happened tonight was like in a movie. Rod Laver there, standing on centre court with the trophy, my kids in the stands, can't ask for more,” Muller said. “I’ve been waiting for this a long time. I’ve lost five finals before, so my biggest dream and goal was to win a title. Finally it’s here, so it’s great. It’s a lot of weight off my shoulders now.”

The 2017 season would only get better for the left-hander. Muller reached his career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 21 in July after he made his first Grand Slam quarter-final by beating Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon fourth round. Muller also reached two more finals, falling in the Millenium Estoril Open (l. to Carreno Busta) before winning the Ricoh Open in 's-Hertogenbosch (d. Mahut).

Ryan Harrison – Memphis [First-Time Winner Spotlight]

Ryan Harrison's first ATP World Tour title came during a homecoming of sorts. The American grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the closest ATP tournament when he was a kid was the Memphis Open. Harrison envisioned himself hoisting the trophy at The Racquet Club of Memphis one day.

During his first ATP World Tour final, Harrison became the second first-time winner of 2017, saving 12 break points to beat Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-4 in just 76 minutes.

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“This is like a hometown event for me,” Harrison said. “I looked at the board and the last American that won it was Andy Roddick. Then I saw all the other guys that won here and it's just an incredible moment.”

The title pushed Harrison back into the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, and the right-hander would have even more success in singles and doubles in 2017. He reached the BB&T Atlanta Open final (l. to Isner). In doubles, Harrison and New Zealand's Michael Venus won the Roland Garros title and reached the semi-finals of the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals

Borna Coric – Marrakech [First-Time Winner Spotlight]

Talk about coming through in the big moments. #NextGenATP Croatian Borna Coric was down five championship points against German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Grand Prix Hassan II final but saved them all to earn his maiden title. Coric had fallen in his first two finals, the 2016 Grand Prix Hassan II (l. to Delbonis) and the 2016 Aircel Chennai Open (l. to Wawrinka).

“I would say that's my biggest comeback, I've never saved five match points,” Coric said. “Especially in such an important match, I served very well in the big points. It's an awesome feeling. I didn't know what to expect when I came here and I wasn't in the best shape. But I've been working very hard the past three or four months and now it's paying off.”

Coric earned big wins later in the season as well, including an upset of World No. 1 Andy Murray at the Mutua Madrid Open. The Croatian finished his year by making the semi-finals of the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

 

Yuichi Sugita – Antalya [First-Time Winner Spotlight]

In February, Japan's Yuichi Sugita was No. 134 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. On 1 July, he was the champion of the inaugural Antalya Open in Turkey. Sugita climbed into the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings with his first title, beating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 7-6(4).

“I'm really happy to be the first champion in Antalya,” Sugita said. “This is the most emotional moment of my career. I've won many Futures and Challenger titles, but never at a big tournament like this. It's just amazing. I can't believe it.” 

The next week, Sugita checked off another career first, earning his maiden Grand Slam match victory at Wimbledon. Sugita would also reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. He will finish 2017 at No. 40, a career-high year-end Emirates ATP Ranking for the 29-year-old.

“Many players are having their good results after 28 or even 30,” Sugita said. “Actually I'm not so surprised about this, because tennis takes more time to reach your top level. I kept trying and I'm going to keep going.”

Read More: Sugita Storming Into The Spotlight In Cincy

Coming Monday, part two of our two-part series, highlighting the final three first-time winners of 2017.

Challenger Bloopers Of 2017

Sun, 12/17/2017 - 7:33am
Relive the fun moments and bloopers from the 2017 ATP Challenger Tour season.

Best of 2017: Melo Quizzes Zverev

Sat, 12/16/2017 - 10:03am
In this edition of ATPWorldTour.com's Best of 2017 series, Marcelo Melo takes over ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot to ask Alexander Zverev the tough questions about their friendship, cooking and more.