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Updated: 3 days 10 hours ago

Harrison Returns To Top 70 & Mover Of The Week

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 10:31am

Ryan Harrison has returned to the Top 70 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 18 February 2013 (No. 69) after he captured the fourth ATP Challenger Tour title of his career. The 24-year-old American did not drop a set all week at the RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas and clinched the crown with a 6-3, 6-3 win over #NextGenATP Taylor Fritz. Read Report

Harrison jumped 16 places to No. 62 – 19 positions off his career-high of No. 43 on 16 July 2012. The 19-year-old Fritz rose 15 spots to No. 83 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and is also currently No. 12 in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, with the Top 7 singles players - aged 21-and-under - automatically qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan in November

Four other #NextGenATP players Hyeon Chung (No. 70, +3), Yoshihito Nishioka (No. 82, +3), Frances Tiafoe (No. 94, +3) and Jared Donaldson (No. 95, +5) also moved up in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

View Latest Emirates ATP Rankings

Elsewhere, former World No. 27 Adrian Mannarino notched ATP Challenger Tour trophy No. 13 on Sunday by beating German Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Open BNP Paribas Banque De Bretagne. As a result, he moved up four spots to No. 56.

View ATP Challenger Tour Section

No Emirates ATP Rankings points were awarded at Davis Cup ties last week.

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Scouting Report: Dimitrov Carries Home Hopes In Sofia

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 12:55am

Action Returns to Europe, Americas: After an exciting opening month of the season, the ATP World Tour action returns with two European tournaments and the first of five events in the Golden Swing in Latin America. Eight of the Top 20 overall in the Emirates ATP Rankings (as of Jan. 30) are in action.

Emirates ATP Race to Milan Leaders: Three of the Top 10 players in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan (as of Jan. 30) are in the Montpellier draw
1. Daniil Medvedev - Montpellier
2. Hyeon Chung
3. Andrey Rublev
4. Alexander Zverev – Montpellier
5. Ernesto Escobedo
6. Noah Rubin
7. Alex De Minaur
8. Frances Tiafoe
9. Alexander Bublik
10. Karen Khachanov - Montpellier

GARANTI KOZA SOFIA OPEN (Sofia): The second-year Garanti Koza Sofia Open features an outstanding field with four players in the Top 20 Emirates ATP Rankings. Last year was the first time since 1981 that an ATP World Tour level tournament was held in Sofia. Leading the way is World No. 8 Dominic Thiem along with David Goffin, top Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and reigning champion Roberto Bautista Agut. The other seeds are: No. 5 Gilles Muller, No. 6 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 7 Marcos Baghdatis and No. 8 Martin Klizan. There are a total of 20 countries represented in the 28-player draw (not including possible qualifiers).

Thiem Top Seed: Thiem is the top seed on the ATP World Tour for the seventh time in his career. Last month in Sydney he lost in the quarter-finals (l. to Evans). Last season he was the top seed four times with a repeat title in Nice and runner-up in Metz, his best results as the tournament’s top player. Here is a look at Thiem’s results in tournaments as the top seed:

2017 Sydney: QF
2016 Kitzbühel: 2R (bye)
2016 Chengdu: QF
2016 Nice: Champion
2016 Metz: Finalist
2015 Kitzbühel: SF                                    

Roberto Reigning Champion: No. 4 seed Bautista Agut is off to a 9-1 start this season. The 28-year Spaniard captured his fifth career ATP World Tour title in the opening week of the season in Chennai (d. Medvedev) and followed by reaching the 4R at the Australian Open (l. to No. 3 Raonic). Last year he won the inaugural Sofia title with straight-set wins over Mannarino, Muller and Troicki (after a bye and 2R W/O).

Grigor Off to Great Start: Dimitrov comes into his home country tournament with a 10-1 match record on the season. The 25-year-old from Haskovo won his fifth career ATP World Tour title in Brisbane, the first since June 2014 at Queen’s Club/London, defeating three straight Top 10 opponents: No. 8 Thiem (QF), No. 3 Raonic (SF) and No. 5 Nishikori. He then followed by reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open where he lost to No. 9 Nadal 6-4 in the fifth set. He comes in ranked No. 13, his highest ranking entering a tournament since 2015 Wimbledon at No. 11. Dimitrov is looking for his first pro tournament match win (0-4) in his native country. He lost in the 1R at the Bulgaria #1 and #2 Futures in 2007 and at the Sofia Challenger in 2008-09.

2017 Winners in Field: Three of the six ATP World Tour winners this season are in the Sofia draw. Along with Bautista Agut and Dimitrov, Gilles Muller is the other winner. The 33-year-old Muller became the first player from Luxembourg to capture an ATP World Tour title in Sydney (d. Evans).

Jerzy On Comeback Trail: Former World No. 13 Jerzy Janowicz is playing on a protected ranking of No. 94. He is ranked No. 273. Last season he was limited due to back and knee injuries and was 0-3 in ATP World Tour level matches. His last ATP World Tour main draw win came in Vienna in October 2015.

Doubles Draw: The top seeds are 2015 World No. 1 Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau .The other seeds are: No. 2 Mate Pavic and Alexander Peya, No. 3 Dominic Inglot and Florin Mergea, and No. 4 Marcin Matkowski and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.

OPEN SUD DE FRANCE (Montpellier): Montpellier is one of five ATP World Tour tournaments in France. Leading the way is World No. 7 Marin Cilic, who is the top seed. No. 2 Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the No. 2 seed and two-time reigning champion and three-time winner Richard Gasquet is No. 3 seed. The other seeds are: #NextGen star Alexander Zverev, Feliciano Lopez, Mischa Zverev, Marcel Granollers and Fernando Verdasco. Gasquet is the only former champion in the 28-player field. Overall there are four players in the Top 25 Emirates ATP Rankings in Montpellier.

Marin Tough Top Seed: Cilic is the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament for the 10th time in his career, the second this season. Last month he opened the season in Chennai as the top seed and lost in the 2R (after bye) to Kovalik. The 28-year-old Croatian star is making his second straight showing in Montpellier (l. to A. Zverev in 2R after bye). Cilic has an outstanding 25-6 career record as the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament, winning three titles and reaching two other finals:  

2017 Chennai: 2R (bye)
2015 Moscow: Champion
2013 Memphis: QF
2013 Zagreb: Champion
2011 Zagreb: QF 
2010 Metz: QF
2010 Munich: Finalist
2010 Zagreb: Champion
2009 ViennaFinalist

French Success: French players have won five of the previous six titles in Montpellier with Gasquet winning three times (2013, 2015-16) and Monfils capturing two titles (2010, ’14). The only time a Frenchman didn’t win the title was in 2012 when Tomas Berdych defeated Monfils in the final.

Tsonga Returns: No. 2 Frenchman Tsonga is making his second appearance in Montpellier, the first since 2010 when he reached the semi-finals (l. to eventual champion Monfils). Six of Tsonga’s 12 ATP World Tour titles have come on home soil, winning his last title in Metz in 2015 (for the third time). He also won in Marseille in 2009 and 2013 and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris in 2009. The 31-year-old Frenchman comes in with a 6-2 match record on the season after quarter-final results in Doha (l. to Berdych) and the Australian Open (l. to Wawrinka).

Gasquet Eyes Fourth Title: Three-time Montpellier champion Gasquet has a 17-3 career tournament record. He has reached the final the past four years, winning in 2013 and 2015-16. He was runner-up in 2014. Last year he made his season debut in Montpellier and was the top seed after missing the first month with a back injury. In his first tournament of the season at the Australian Open he reached the 3R (l. to Dimitrov). Over the weekend he helped France to the Davis Cup quarter-finals with a singles win over Japan’s Taro Daniel.

#NextGenATP Stars in Draw: There are five #NextGenATP stars in the main draw, led by top German Alexander Zverev, who is ranked No. 22. The others are No. 52 Karen Khachanov, No. 57 Borna Coric, 63 Daniil Medvedev and wild card No. 170 Quentin Halys. Zverev and Khachanov won their maiden ATP World Tour title last season. Coric was a finalist last season in Chennai and Marrakech and Medvedev was runner-up last month in Chennai.

Evans on a Roll: British No. 2 Daniel Evans makes his Montpellier debut and he is playing his first ATP World Tour tournament ranked in the Top 50 (at No. 45). Last month he posted a 7-2 match record by reaching his first ATP World Tour final in Sydney (l. to Muller) and followed with a 4R at the Australian Open (l. to Tsonga). Along the way he posted the first two Top 10 wins of his career over No. 8 Thiem in Sydney (QF) and No. 7 Marin Cilic (2R) in Melbourne.

Z Bros Seeded: For the first time brothers Alexander and Mischa Zverev are seeded together in an ATP World Tour tournament. Alexander, a wild card entry, is seeded No. 4 and Mischa is No. 6. Last year Alexander came into Montpellier ranked No. 85 and he reached the semi-finals while Mischa was ranked No. 173 and he lost in the 1R of qualifying. In doubles, they reached the final. Mischa advanced to his first Grand Slam tournament quarter-final at the Australian Open where he beat No. 1 Andy Murray in the 4R before losing to eventual champion Federer. He jumped to a career-high No. 35 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Doubles Draw: The top seeds are last year’s Roland Garros champions Feliciano and Marc Lopez. The other seeds are: No. 2 Fabrice Martin and Daniel Nestor, playing together for the first time, No. 3 Robert Lindstedt and Michael Venus, and No. 4 Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner. The Zverev brothers, who lost in last year’s final (l. to Pavic/Venus), are also playing together.

ECUADOR OPEN (Quito): Latin America's "Golden Swing" opens with the third-year tournament Ecuador Open, which is led by top seed Ivo Karlovic, who is making his Quito debut. The other seeds are: No. 2 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, No. 3 Paolo Lorenzi, No. 4 Thomaz Bellucci, No. 5 Alexandr Dolgopolov, No. 6 Horacio Zeballos, No. 7 Thiago Monteiro and No. 8 Renzo Olivo. Prior to 2015, the last time an ATP World Tour tournament was held in Quito was in November 1982. Local hero Andres Gomez won the title.

Ivo Top Seed: Karlovic is making his Quito debut and this is the fourth career ATP World Tour tournament the big-serving Croatian is the top seed, the first since 2015 Bogota (SF). The 37-year-old Zagreb native is coming off his first career Top 20 season last year at No. 20. He won two ATP World Tour titles (Newport, Los Cabos) and reached the final in Washington (l. to Monfils). This is his third tournament of the season after a quarter-final in Doha (l. to Verdasco) and 3R at the Australian Open (l. to Goffin), where he fired a tournament record 76 aces in a 22-20 fifth set win over Zeballos in the 1R.

Estrella Burgos Eyes Three-Peat: Two-time defending champion Victor Estrella Burgos comes in with a 10-0 match record in Quito. The 36-year-old from the Dominican Republic is ranked No. 96 and he will be tested early. If he defeats Andrej Martin in the 1R, he will take on Karlovic in the 2R. In his title runs, he defeated Feliciano Lopez in 2015 and Thomaz Bellucci last year.

Janko Close to Top 100: Former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic, a wild card entry and playing in his first ATP World Tour tournament since Moscow last October, is closing in on his return to the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The 32-year-old Serb has climbed from No. 144 to No. 105 after winning back-to-back ATP Challenger Tour titles in Bangkok last month. He opens with Daniel Gimeno-Traver and if he wins, will take on last year’s finalist Bellucci.

Giovanni Farewell Tournament: Wild card Giovanni Lapentti is playing his final ATP World Tour tournament. The 34-year-old from Guayaquil, who reached a career-high No. 110 in May 2005, will retire after this tournament. He takes on No. 7 seed Thiago Monteiro in the 1R. Giovanni will also team with brother Nicolas in doubles for the final time.

Emilio Eyes First Win: Wild card Emilio Gomez, son of former World No. 4 and 1990 Roland Garros champion Andres Gomez, looks for his first ATP World Tour match win since Bogota in July 2013. His 10 other tour-level wins have come in Davis Cup play. Gomez is the No. 2 player from Ecuador ranked No. 293.

Golden Swing Champs:  Estrella Burgos, No. 4 seed Thomaz Bellucci and No. 6 Horacio Zeballos of Argentina are the only players in the field with Golden Swing titles on their resumes. Bellucci triumphed in Santiago in 2010 while Zeballos topped Rafael Nadal to win in Viña del Mar in 2013.

Doubles Draw: The top seeds are Santiago Gonzalez and David Marrero. The other seeds are: No. 2 Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos, No. 3 Nicholas Monroe and Artem Sitak and No. 4 Guillermo Duran and Andres Molteni. 

 

 

Dominant Harrison Surges To Dallas Title

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 7:18pm
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A LOOK BACK

RBC Tennis Championships Of Dallas (Dallas, Texas): Top seed Ryan Harrison came out on top in an all-American battle against second seed and #NextGenATP star Taylor Fritz, firing a backhand winner on match point to prevail 6-3, 6-3. Harrison didn't drop a set throughout the week and becomes the first No. 1 seed to win the Dallas title in their 20 years on the ATP Challenger Tour. He now has four ATP Challenger Tour titles, but this is his first since January 2015 in Happy Valley, Australia. He’s projected to move up to No. 62 on Monday in the Emirates ATP Rankings and has jumped nearly 100 spots since July.

Fritz was looking for his first title since January 2016 in Happy Valley, but his week in Dallas will still be valuable in boosting his standing in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan.

More: View Current Emirates ATP Race To Milan Rankings

Caterpillar Burnie International (Burnie, Australia): Omar Jasika picked up his first-ever ATP Challenger Tour title by defeating Blake Mott 6-2, 6-2 in an all-Aussie final. The Tecnifibre player becomes the first teen winner this year on the ATP Challenger Tour.

Trophy time! Aussie teen @OJasika poses with his first #ATPChallenger trophy after clinching the title on home soil in Burnie. pic.twitter.com/ZDmFm52XEs

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) February 5, 2017

The 19 year old has excelled in Australia this season, finishing runner-up last month at the Challenger in Happy Valley. Jasika is projected to move to No. 258 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, jumping more than 100 spots since the beginning of the season.

Mott has also had an outstanding start to 2017, coming through qualifying at the Australian Open to reach his first Grand Slam main draw.

Open BNP Paribas Banque De Bretagne (Quimper, France): Top seed Adrian Mannarino lived up to his billing and delighted the local crowd with a 6-4, 6-4 win over eighth seed Peter Gojowczyk of Germany. Mannarino extended his win streak in Challenger finals to eight straight, having not lost a title match since 2013. The 28 year old now has 13 ATP Challenger Tour titles and picks up his second winner's trophy of 2017, having won this past month in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Gojowczyk was looking for his second Challenger title of the year, having prevailed this past month in Happy Valley.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Jasika: “It’s No. 1 for me. I’ve been playing some great tennis. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling and get another title under my belt. “

“I had a really good pre-season training block and I think I’m physically fitter and mentally better.”

Mannarino: “I’m really satisfied about my week. It was very pleasant for me and the public was really involved. I played good tennis and finally won the tournament.”

“I really liked the tournament. The organisation did a great job for all of the players and it was really nice to be here.”

A LOOK AHEAD

There are three Challengers on the calendar this week, with a new $100,000 event in San Francisco, California, taking top billing. A pair of American #NextGenATP stars hold the top two spots, with Frances Tiafoe as the top seed and Fritz looking for another big run as the second seed. Several other local #NextGenATP stars are in the draw including fourth seed Jared Donaldson, Reilly Opelka and Michael Mmoh, along with another contender for Milan in Sweden’s Elias Ymer.

More: Learn About Next Gen ATP Finals In Milan

The $75,000 tournament in Launceston, Australia, is back for the third straight year. Go Soeda of Japan is the top seed and Jan Satral of the Czech Republic is the second seed. American #NextGen ATP star Noah Rubin is the seventh seed, while Jasika looks for his second straight Challenger title and Mott aims to defend his crown in Launceston.

Lastly, another new tournament is on the schedule with the $75,000 event in Budapest, Hungary. Lukas Lacko of Slovakia is the top seed and Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine is the second seed. Marius Copil of Romania, who won the Challenger held this past October in Budapest, is the third seed. Other notable names in the draw include #NextGenATP star and seventh seed Duckhee Lee of Korea, rising teenager Casper Ruud of Norway, and former Top 10 player Jurgen Melzer of Austria.

View Draws & Watch Free Live Streams

ATP CHALLENGER TOUR ON TWITTER: 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.

Darcis' Heroics Propels Belgium To Davis Cup QF

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 5:32pm

GERMANY 1, BELGIUM 4
Venue: Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, Germany (Indoor Hard)

Steve Darcis' Davis Cup legend continues to grow, as the Belgian stalwart provided the heroics once again for the European nation. Darcis improved to an impressive 21-8 in Davis Cup singles play with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(8) upset of Alexander Zverev in Sunday's fourth rubber, sending Belgium into the quarter-finals. The 32 year old's second straight Top 30 win comes on the heels of a five-set victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber to open the tie on Friday. Previously, Darcis was 0-9 against Top 30 opponents since stunning Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2013.

"You never know in Davis Cup," said Darcis. "They said it would be an easy match for Germany. That's why we love the Davis Cup. There are surprises and we had one today. The difference between us and them is that we are really a team. They have so many great players but we play with heart, for our country and for the people here."

Without the services of World No. 11 David Goffin, Darcis was the clutch performer for 2015 finalist Belgium. On Sunday, he overcame a set and a break deficit against Zverev and remained poised after squandering three match points in the fourth-set tie-break. Darcis would turn aside a set point at 8-7, before sealing the victory 10-8 after three hours and two minutes. Zverev struck more winners (28-20) and more aces (21-7), but it was 73 unforced errors that made the difference.

Belgium will face either defending champion Argentina or Italy in the quarter-finals. It is their third appearance in the last eight since 2007.

SERBIA 4, RUSSIA 0
Venue: Cair Sports Center, Nis, Serbia (Indoor Hard)

Serbia finished off a 4-1 victory over Russia on Sunday, as Dusan Lajovic defeated Konstantin Kravchuk 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the lone dead rubber played. The hosts will next face either 2016 finalist Croatia or Spain in the quarter-finals.

UNITED STATES 5, SWITZERLAND 0
Venue: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, Alabama (Indoor Hard)

Team USA completed their sweep over Switzerland with two dead rubber victories on Sunday. Sam Querrey defeated Adrien Bossel 6-3, 7-5 and Steve Johnson moved past Antoine Bellier 6-4, 6-3. The Americans will now travel to Australia for a quarter-final tie in April.

CANADA 2, GREAT BRITAIN 3
Venue: The Arena at TD Place, Ottawa, Canada (Indoor Hard)

Vasek Pospisil continued his heroics in Ottawa on Sunday, delighting the home crowd by leveling the tie at 2-2 with a 7-6(3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) over Daniel Evans. The Canadian had been struggling with knee issues throughout the weekend and was unsure whether he’d take the court for the fourth rubber, but hammered 25 aces and 41 winners to prevail in three hours and 23 minutes.

The highly competitive tie came to an unfortunate end when Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov was defaulted for inadvertently hitting the umpire in the eye with a ball in the deciding rubber against Kyle Edmund. The Brit was leading 6-3, 6-4, 2-1.

Great Britain now moves on to play France in a quarter-final tie.

Spain Completes Comeback For Davis Cup QF Berth

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 4:52pm

CROATIA 2, SPAIN 3
Venue: Gradski Vrt Hall, Osijek, Croatia (hard - indoor)

No Rafael Nadal, no David Ferrer, no problem for Spain. The European nation overcame a 1-2 deficit to advance to the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2012. Roberto Bautista Agut survived Franko Skugor 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(6) in the fourth rubber, followed by a 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-4 victory for Pablo Carreno Busta over Nikola Mektic in the decider.

"I felt a lot of pressure closing out the match but I kept going," said Bautista Agut. "It was a tough tie-break but I closed it. It's much more difficult in the Davis Cup. The crowd is supporting them a lot, but these are good things to learn from and I'm happy to give the second point to Spain."

Spain is looking to complete its ascent back to Davis Cup prominence after being relegated to Group I in 2014. The Conchita Martinez-led squad will face Serbia in April for a spot in the semis.

The loss for Croatia eliminates the 2016 finalists, who were without the services of Marin Cilic, Borna Coric, Ivo Karlovic and Ivan Dodig. It marks the fourth time in the last five years that the runners-up are defeated in the first round of the subsequent competition. Last year, the Croatians defeated 2015 finalists Belgium in the opening weekend. 

ARGENTINA 2, ITALY 2
Venue: Parque Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina (clay)

Defending champion Argentina is one match away from completing a historic comeback from 0-2 down after Carlos Berlocq ousted Paolo Lorenzi 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in Sunday's Davis Cup reverse singles. The match included a long rain delay in the fourth set, but Berlocq regrouped to take the match in four hours and 14 minutes.

The first-round tie is a rematch of a 2016 quarter-final clash, which saw the Argentines advance 3-1. They are hoping to avoid becoming the second Davis Cup champion in the past three years (Switzerland, 2015) to bow out in the first round in the subsequent edition.

Argentina's Guido Pella and Andreas Seppi will square off in the deciding fifth rubber on Monday at 11am local time.

AUSTRALIA 4, CZECH REPUBLIC 1
Venue: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, Melbourne, AUS (hard - outdoor)

Australia finished off a 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic following Sunday's reverse singles. Sam Groth was defeated by Jiri Vesely in the fourth rubber 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, followed by World No. 65 Jordan Thompson downing Jan Satral 7-6(5), 6-2 to complete the tie. The Aussies will host the United States in the quarter-finals.

JAPAN 1, FRANCE 4
Venue: Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, JPN (hard - indoor)

France completed a dominant 4-1 victory over host Japan, surging into the Davis Cup quarter-finals where they will next face either Great Britain or Canada. Nicolas Mahut opened Sunday's reverse singles with victory over Yoshihito Nishioka, when the Japanese star retired trailing 6-1, 1-1 due to a left wrist injury. The home nation registered their lone point of the tie when Yasutaka Uchiyama downed Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4.  

Jasika Captures First Challenger Title In Burnie 2017

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 3:40pm
Aussie 19-year-old Omar Jasika reflects on becoming the first teenage winner on the ATP Challenger Tour this year. Video courtesy Tennis Australia.

Harrison Claims Fourth Challenger Title In Dallas 2017

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 7:10am
American Ryan Harrison reflects on taking the title at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Dallas, USA. Interview courtesy of RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas.

Troicki, Zimonjic Lead Serbia To Davis Cup QF

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 10:12pm

SERBIA 3, RUSSIA 0
Venue: Cair Sports Center, Nis, Serbia (Indoor Hard)

Viktor Troicki was the hero in Serbia's title-clinching run in 2010 and the 30 year old is once again thriving in Davis Cup play. The Serbians are back in the quarter-finals for the third straight year after Troicki and former doubles No. 1 Nenad Zimonjic defeated Russians Konstantin Kravchuk and Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 6-4. The win also gives Zimonjic his first victory as Davis Cup captain.

The home nation converted eight of 18 break chances during the three-hour and nine-minute encounter. Troicki is the marathon man of the tie after overcoming #NextGenATP star Karen Khachanov in a fifth-set tie-break on Friday afternoon in Nis. Also led by World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, eighth-seeded Serbia will face either Croatia or Serbia next.

GERMANY 1, BELGIUM 2
Venue: Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, Germany (Indoor Hard)

The Belgians are one win from snatching a road tie in Germany, after Ruben Bemelmans and Joris De Loore needed five sets to oust Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev 6-3, 7-6(4), 4-6, 4-6, 6-3. The 2015 runners-up are eyeing a slice of redemption after falling in the first round last year.

Bemelmans and De Loore prevailed after three hours and 13 minutes, firing 55 total winners. They are 2-0 together in Davis Cup action, with both victories coming in five sets. Last year, the Belgian duo stunned Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in the World Group Play-off.

"In the circumstances and with who we were playing and where, this feels better,” De Loore said. “It was hard because I thought we were the better pair but a few points changed it around. Alex’s serve is unbelievable but at the net he wasn't as strong as his brother.”

UNITED STATES 3, SWITZERLAND 0

Venue: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, Alabama (Indoor Hard) 

Team USA continued their dominance over Switzerland as Steve Johnson/Jack Sock moved past Adrien Bossel/Henri Laaksonen 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5). Johnson/Sock saved set points while returning down 3-5 in the third set. Sock came in as a last-minute substitution for Sam Querrey and Laaksonen replaced Antoine Bellier. The American Davis Cup doubles lineup has a new look due to Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan announcing last month that they were stepping down from Davis Cup competition after 14 years of play.

The Americans also defeated Switzerland 4-1 in Birmingham in 2009. That squad was led by Andy Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan brothers, while Stan Wawrinka headlined the Swiss team.

The United States will now renew one of the most decorated rivalries in Davis Cup history when they play Australia in the quarter-finals after the Aussies defeated the Czech Republic this weekend. They’ve played 46 times dating back to 1905, with the Americans currently leading the head-to-head 26-20. Team USA prevailed over Australia 3-1 in last year’s World Group first-round tie on grass in Kooyong. 

CANADA 2, GREAT BRITAIN 1

Venue: TD Place Arena, Ottawa, Canada (Indoor Hard)

Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray took the critical doubles point with a 7-6(1), 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-3 win over Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil. Inglot/Murray fired 17 aces and 29 winners on the day to prevail in three hours and eight minutes.

Pospisil has been dealing with knee issues throughout the weekend. He is still scheduled to play Daniel Evans in the fourth rubber, but Peter Polansky could come in as a potential substitute. Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov will play Kyle Edmund in the fifth and final match of the tie.

Fritz Fires Trio Of Hot Shots At Dallas Challenger 2017

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 6:28pm
NextGenATP star Taylor Fritz was on fire in booking a spot in the Dallas Challenger final, claiming a trio of scintillating points.

Australia, France Surge Into Davis Cup QF

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 3:22pm

AUSTRALIA 3, CZECH REPUBLIC 0
Venue: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, Melbourne, AUS (hard - outdoor)

Australia has taken an unassailable 3-0 lead over the Czech Republic following Saturday's doubles victory for Sam Groth and John Peers. The Aussie duo defeated Jan Satral and Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 30 minutes, firing 11 aces.

The 28-time champion Aussie squad has not dropped a set through three matches, including singles routs by Jordan Thompson and Nick Kyrgios on Friday. Played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, former venue of the Australian Open, Groth and Peers powered their nation into its second World Group quarter-final in three years. They will face either Switzerland or the United States next.

"It feels like I'm in a dream to be honest," said Peers, who is coming off a title run at the Australian Open with Henri Kontinen. "Hopefully when I wake up I'm just pinching myself to believe what has happened the past few weeks."

"We came up to do a job and I thought we played great today," said Groth. "I played as good a match as I've played all year."

JAPAN 0, FRANCE 3
Venue: Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, JPN (hard - indoor)

France's streak lives, as Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut sent Les Bleus into the Davis Cup quarter-finals for an eighth consecutive year, turning aside Yuichi Sugita, Yasutaka Uchiyama and Japan 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The victory gives the visiting nation an unassailable 3-0 win at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.

Herbert and Mahut, the top players in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, converted four of five break chances while saving eight of nine faced during the one-hour and 46-minute affair. Nine-time champion France will face either Canada or Great Britain next.

"Davis Cup matches are never easy, but we won in straight sets," said Mahut. "It was not our best match, but we're happy to get through in three. We are very happy to get this point for France."

ARGENTINA 1, ITALY 2
Venue: Parque Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina (clay)

Defending champion Argentina staved off elimination in dramatic fashion, as Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer saved one match point to overcome Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(7). Bolelli and Fognini nearly completed a miraculous two-set comeback, turning aside a match point at 6-5 in the decider and four more in the ensuing tie-break, before succumbing after four hours and eight minutes.

Berlocq and Mayer improved to 3-0 as a tandem in Davis Cup play, having previously claimed victories in the 2015 quarter-finals and semi-finals. The Italians, champions at the 2015 Australian Open, were riding a three-match win streak in the team competition.

The first-round tie is a rematch of a 2016 quarter-final clash, which saw the Argentines advance 3-1. They are hoping to avoid becoming the second Davis Cup champion in the last three years (Switzerland, 2015) to bow out in the first round the following year.

CROATIA 2, SPAIN 1
Venue: Gradski Vrt Hall, Osijek, Croatia (hard - indoor)

Croatia is one step from eliminating longtime Davis Cup powerhouse Spain after Nikola Mektic and Marin Draganja claimed a five-set win over 2016 ATP Finals contenders Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 6-7(6), 7-6(7), 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4.

Without the services of Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic and Borna Coric, last year's runners-up Croatia will turn to Franko Skugor in Sunday's reverse singles against Roberto Bautista Agut. They had returned to the quarter-finals for the first time in four years in 2016, while Spain is looking to remain in the World Group after being relegated to Group I two years ago.

"We were definitely not playing that well for the first two sets," said Mektic. "They also raised their game afterwards. But the way we played in the fifth set we definitely deserved it. And the court suited us, we were playing the best on it."

Mott Continues Thriving In Australia

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 1:23am

The first week of February has continued to bring good fortune to Australian Blake Mott.

It was exactly 12 months ago that the rising Aussie, ranked No. 721 in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the time, came out of nowhere to win his first ATP Challenger Tour at the $75,000 event in Launceston, Australia. The victory also made him the fifth lowest-ranked Challenger winner since 2000.

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This week, he’s into the second Challenger final of his career and it once again comes on home soil. Competing at the $75,000 event in Burnie, Mott defeated fourth seed Mohamed Safwat of Egypt and eighth seed Akira Santillan of Japan on his way to another championship clash against fellow Aussie Omar Jasika.

“We put in a lot of work during the pre-season and I feel like I’m always really fit at this time of year. The body is in good shape after having had a long break at the end of the year as well,” explained Mott about his repeat February success. “Plus I love the courts and love my people in Australia! It’s definitely good to start off the year like this.”

Mott enjoyed another career milestone last month at the Australian Open, taking full advantage of a qualifying wild card to advance into his first Grand Slam main draw. He then had his first experience battling against a Top 20 player in his opening round match against Richard Gasquet.

“That was probably one of the biggest occasions of my life in tennis. It was a big moment for me and my family. I loved every minute of it,” said Mott. “To qualify and know that I earned my spot in the main draw, then go up against a player like Gasquet, were both great experiences for me. I’m just loving playing tennis at the moment and enjoying competing.”

With minimal Emirates ATP Rankings points to defend for the next six months, Mott is aiming to crack the Top 200 and continue climbing from there. But regardless of what happens in the final against Jasika, he’s only taking positives from his week in Burnie.

“I really like coming here. It’s a nice little town and they have great facilities,” said Mott. “Australian players are basically on the road from March to October, so to have Burnie and Launceston back on the calendar is great for us to have a bit more extra time at home.”

Djokovic Propels Serbia To Early Lead

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 11:49pm

SERBIA 2, RUSSIA 0

Venue: Cair Sports Center, Nis, Serbia (Indoor Hard)

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic fought off a stern challenge from #NextGenATP star Daniil Medvedev, giving Serbia a convincing 2-0 lead when Medvedev retired due to a leg issue. Djokovic was leading 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 1-0.

Djokovic fired 21 winners and accumulated seven breaks of serve in the contest. He improved his Davis Cup singles record to 30-7.

In the first match of the tie, Viktor Troicki saved a match point in the fifth-set tie-breaker to complete a dramatic 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(6) victory over another #NextGenATP star in Karen Khachanov.

Russia defeated Serbia 3-2 in the only other Davis Cup meeting between these two teams, a 2008 World Group first-round tie in Moscow.

GERMANY 1, BELGIUM 1

Venue: Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, Germany (Indoor Hard)

Belgium may be the on-paper underdogs in this tie, but Steve Darcis showed they’re capable of winning this weekend by scoring a surprise 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(5) comeback victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber. Darcis needed just under four hours to complete the win.

#NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev leveled the tie for Germany with a far-less complicated 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win over Arthur De Greef. With Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff suffering from a stomach bug, it’s possible that Zverev could suit up for the doubles rubber with his brother Mischa Zverev.

Germany has won all eight previous match-ups against Belgium, most recently in 2007 with a 3-2 victory in the quarter-finals.

CANADA 1, GREAT BRITAIN 1

Venue: TD Place Arena, Ottawa, Canada (Indoor Hard)

Daniel Evans scored his first victory in a live rubber by defeating Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. The Brit needed just one hour and 50 minutes to complete the victory.

Vasek Pospisil delighted the home crowd by leveling the tie at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3) upset over Kyle Edmund. The Canadian caught fire at 4-4 in the opening set by winning eight of the next nine games. The doubles rubber on Saturday will prove to be critical in this tie as Jamie Murray/Dominic Inglot take on Daniel Nestor/Pospisil

UNITED STATES 2, SWITZERLAND 0

Venue: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, Alabama (Indoor Hard)

Jack Sock got Team USA off to an ideal start by winning the first rubber 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 over veteran Marco Chiudinelli. Sock hammered 12 aces and 29 winners to complete the victory in just under two hours.

John Isner brought the United States to a 2-0 lead by rallying from a set down to move past Henri Laaksonen 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1). Isner fired 28 aces to finish off a solid day for the American squad.

Steve Johnson/Sam Querrey will look to wrap up the tie on Saturday when they take on Adrien Bossel/Antoine Bellier. The Americans have a new look to their doubles lineup in Johnson/Querrey due to Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan announcing last month that they are retiring from Davis Cup competition after 14 years of play.

 

Australia, France, Italy Take Commanding Leads In Davis Cup First Round

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 10:35pm

AUSTRALIA 2, CZECH REPUBLIC 0
Venue: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, Melbourne, AUS (hard - outdoor)

Australia, the 28-time champion, has taken a commanding 2-0 lead against the Czech Republic at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, the former venue of the Australian Open.

World No. 65 Jordan Thompson admitted it was “unbelievably satisfying” and “the best feeling in my life, I reckon,” after he made a winning start on his Davis Cup debut by beating Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Nick Kyrgios later hit 21 aces to beat Czech Jan Satral 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

“Tommo handled the situation brilliantly today and played some great tennis,” said former World No. 1 and Australia’s captain Lleyton Hewitt. “He’s done the work and he put in a massive pre-season before the Australian summer and this was his reward. It was a really professional job by Nick today to go out there and get the job done, and to walk away putting us 2-0 up.”

JAPAN 0, FRANCE 2
Venue: Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, JPN (hard - indoor)

Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon have put nine-time titlist France into a 2-0 lead against Japan at the Ariake Colosseum, venue of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017. World No. 18 Gasquet defeated Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, while Simon overcame No. 85-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

Japan and France have met three times previously, but only once since 1927. In that most recent meeting, in 1981, France recorded a 4-1 win at Roland Garros. Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, the top two players in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, will compete for France in Saturday’s doubles rubber.

ARGENTINA 0, ITALY 2
Venue: Parque Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina (clay)

After two convincing singles performances on Friday, Italy is within a match of knocking out defending Davis Cup champions and top seed Argentina. Paolo Lorenzi beat Guido Pella 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, and Andreas Seppi took care of Carlos Berlocq in just under three hours, 6-1, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(6) to kick off the first-round contest.

“I think that today I was playing pretty good. I was doing the right things in every moment. And I think that I was very solid,” Lorenzi said.

Argentina is trying to make the quarter-finals for the 15th time in the past 16 years. The only time Argentina didn't reach the final eight during that stretch: In 2014, when they lost to Italy. Only five countries have defended their Davis Cup title since the World Group was formed in 1981.

CROATIA 1, SPAIN 1
Venue: Gradski Vrt Hall, Osijek, Croatia (hard - indoor)

Franko Skugor delivered the match of his life to put Croatia on the board against Spain, which is back in the World Group for the first time since 2014. The 29-year-old Skugor upset No. 26 Pablo Carreno Busta, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(6) in just over four hours. At No. 223, Skugor is ranked nearly 200 spots below Carreno Busta in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Roberto Bautista Agut evened the first-round contest, producing a workmanlike 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win against Ante Pavic. Last year, Croatia was a set away from winning its second Davis Cup title.

Halys Looks Towards Next Gen ATP Finals

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 2:42am

Next Gen ATP star Quentin Halys produced breakout results in 2016, but is looking to take his game to an even higher level this season. 

The 20-year-old Frenchman is off to a promising start in achieving that goal. He's delighted the home crowd at this week’s $50,000 event in Quimper, powering through Miljan Zekic of Serbia and Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia to reach the quarter-finals. Halys will now play another Russian in qualifier Aslan Karatsev for a place in the final four.

“Quimper has made some good improvements since last year,” said Halys. “There’s a new area on-site with three courts, a very nice centre court and everything you need is right here. It’s now on the same level as the best French Challengers and ATP World Tour 250 events.”

Halys enjoyed a breakthrough 2016 season on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning his first Challenger in April in Tallahassee, Florida, and finishing runner-up in October in Fairfield, California. He also won his opening-round match at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Open 13 Marseille.

But while the Frenchman has enjoyed a taste of success at the world’s biggest tournaments, he hopes to make that a more permanent occurrence in 2017.

“I learned a lot last year, so I think I can do great things in the ATP [World Tour] events this year. I’ve worked very hard to be more regular at this level,” said Halys. “My goal is to be more serious during all of my matches, focusing on myself and my side of the court and not looking at my opponent.”

Halys is also looking ahead to the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. He’s hoping to be one of the rising stars that qualifies, but knows he will need to produce the best season of his young career in order to make it there.

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“It’s definitely an amazing tournament for all of the Next Gen ATP players,” said Halys. “Being there would mean I had a great, consistent year with a high ranking. There will be eight great guys playing there, so it’s going to be a very competitive event.”

Djokovic Returns; Argentina Defends Title In Davis Cup

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 8:39pm

The 2017 Davis Cup kicks off this weekend with eight exciting World Group first-round ties being held across the globe. From familiar faces to Davis Cup rookies, the 16 teams in action include an attractive mix of the world’s top players and rising stars of the sport. 

ARGENTINA vs. ITALY

Parque Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Clay)

Defending champions Argentina will have the home crowd on its side as they face a tough Italian team in their opening round tie. Argentina leads 2-1 in their Davis Cup head-to-head against Italy.

Juan Martin del Potro remains sidelined due to fitness concerns, but the Argentine team will be led by experienced Davis Cuppers Guido Pella and Carlos Berlocq. Italy will have Paolo Lorenzi and Fabio Fognini flying the flag in singles.

Berlocq is tied 1-1 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalries with Lorenzi and Fognini. The Argentine ousted Lorenzi at last year’s Roland Garros, but the Italian gained revenge at the US Open. Both matches between Berlocq and Fognini have been held in Argentina, with Fognini prevailing during a 2014 first round Davis Cup tie in Argentina, and Berlocq scoring a win the following year at the Argentina Open.

GERMANY vs. BELGIUM

Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, Germany (Indoor Hard)

Germany has a dominant 8-0 record against Belgium going into this tie, with veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber and #NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev leading the way. Belgium is represented in singles by Arthur De Greef and Steve Darcis.

Belgium reached the Davis Cup final in 2015 (l. Great Britain), their first time achieving that feat since 1904. Germany has won three Davis Cup titles (1988, 1989, 1993).

AUSTRALIA vs. CZECH REPUBLIC

Kooyong Stadium, Melbourne, Australia (Hard)

Twenty-eight time champion Australia takes on three-time champion Czech Republic for the ninth time (7-1). Their last meeting came in 2015, which saw the Aussies advance 3-2 in a World Group first-round tie on Czech soil.

Nick Kyrgios, currently No. 15 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, and Jordan Thompson will play for Australia in singles and take on Jiri Vesely and Jan Satral. Kyrgios is 4-3 in Davis Cup singles action, while Vesely is 3-6.

Doubles will also play a critical role in the tie, with Grand Slam champions John Peers (w/Sam Groth) and Radek Stepanek (w/Zdenek Kolar) facing off in Kooyong.

UNITED STATES vs. SWITZERLAND

Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, Alabama (Indoor Hard)

Team USA will not have a familiar doubles squad in Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, with the brothers retiring from Davis Cup competition after 14 years. They’ll still be represented by a solid team that includes four Top 35 players in Jack Sock, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson. A mix of new and experienced Davis Cup players headline the Swiss team, with veterans Marco Chiudinelli and Henri Laaksonen joining relatively new players in Adrien Bossel and Antoine Bellier.

The United States shut out Switzerland 5-0 in the most recent meeting between these teams, a 2012 World Group first-round tie that included Isner defeating Roger Federer in four sets on Swiss soil.

JAPAN vs. FRANCE

Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan (Indoor Hard)

This tie will be a battle of youth against experience, with #NextGenATP star Yoshihito Nishioka and Taro Daniel taking on Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon in the singles rubbers. Reigning Wimbledon champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut will also suit up for France in doubles against Yuichi Sugita/Yasutaka Uchiyama.

France leads the head-to-head against Japan 3-0, but they haven’t played since 1981. France has won nine Davis Cup titles, most recently in 2001.

CANADA vs. GREAT BRITAIN

TD Place Arena, Ottawa, Canada (Indoor Hard)

An attractive tie in the Canadian capital city will see teenager Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil playing singles for Canada as they take on Kyle Edmund and Daniel Evans. The doubles rubber is guaranteed to be a firecracker, with Jamie Murray/Dominic Inglot facing Daniel Nestor/Pospisil.

Great Britain last won the Davis Cup in 2015, giving the team its first title in 79 years. Canada’s best result is a semi-final showing in 2013, matching the feat they accomplished in 1913.

SERBIA vs. RUSSIA

Cair Sports Center, Nis, Serbia (Indoor Hard)

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic leads the Serbian squad on home soil, and is joined in singles by Viktor Troicki. A pair of #NextGenATP players, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev, will battle for Russia in singles action.

Although Serbia is the on-paper favourite, both Medvedev and Khachanov lead Troicki in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalries 1-0. Medvedev scored a win this past October in Moscow, while Khachanov prevailed this past September in Chengdu.

Russia defeated Serbia 3-2 in the only other Davis Cup meeting between these teams, a 2008 World Group first round tie in Moscow.

CROATIA vs. SPAIN

Gradski Vrt Hall, Osijek, Croatia (Indoor Hard)

Spain, back in the World Group for the first time since 2014, are heavy favourites in this tie with a solid team that includes Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Bautista Agut for singles, and Feliciano Lopez/Marc Lopez for doubles. Franko Skugor and Ante Pavic will look to the home crowd to help lead them to upset victories in singles, while Marin Draganja/Nikola Mektic will do the same in doubles.

Spain has won the Davis Cup five times since 2000, most recently in 2011. Croatia produced an inspired 2016 Davis Cup season to reach the final before narrowly falling to Argentina.

Del Potro, Nadal, Federer, Murray Feature in Frantic February on Tennis TV

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 6:08pm

The gruelling heat of the Australian summer produced one of the most iconic, celebrated matches ever, between two of the greatest players (if not the greatest) of all-time in Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Australian Open organisers couldn’t have dreamed of a better finale in Melbourne, as the 35-year-old Swiss global icon battled past his ferocious, long-time Spanish nemesis and friend in five sets to claim a stunning 18th Grand Slam title.

And now, with that heart-warming opening to 2017, we motor on with the season as the calendar turns to February, with four ATP World Tour 500 tournaments featuring the world’s best leading the way. You’ll be able to watch up to 250 matches (geo-restrictions may apply) live and on-demand on Tennis TV, with all matches available to enjoy in the replays channel across all the different devices which Tennis TV is supported on.

Not a Tennis TV subscriber yet? Get your monthly access today for February.

After three ATP World Tour 250 events in the first week in Montpellier, Sofia and Quito, the 44th edition of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam will start on 13 February. Tournament director Richard Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon champion, will welcome 14-time major winner Nadal to the Dutch city, alongside Australian Open semi-finalists Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov.

Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Gael Monfils will also be part of a first-class line-up for the year’s first ATP World Tour 500-level event. Martin Klizan is the defending champion, embarking on a surprise, match-point-saving run in 2016 and ultimately beating Monfils in the final. Also in that Rotterdam week are 250 competitions in Memphis and Buenos Aires – where Kei Nishikori will look to grab his first title at the Argentina Open.

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Golden Swing hits Rio (20-26 February)

Following the first clay-court event of the season in the Argentinian capital, the Golden Swing arrives in Brazil’s most famous city – Rio de Janeiro. Joining a clay-focused Nishikori in Rio will be last year’s semi-finalist Thiem. The 23-year-old Austrian plans to jet straight from Rotterdam to play in South America.

Milos Raonic and Juan Martin del Potro head the Delray Beach field in the same week, and unsurprisingly the line-up for the 250 tournament in Marseille is French-dominated. Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Lucas Pouille will compete at Open 13 Provence. Defending champ Nick Kyrgios will also return to the event where he won his first career ATP World Tour title last year.

Near 24-hour, around-the- clock tennis from Dubai and Acapulco (27 February – 4 March)

Fresh from his glorious Australian Open triumph, Federer will return to ATP World Tour action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he is a seven-time champion – most recently in 2015. World No. 1 Andy Murray will also play at the 500 tournament in Dubai, which will be his first competition since crashing out of Melbourne at the hands of serve-and-volleying Mischa Zverev.

Last year's winner Wawrinka will be there too, along with Monfils and Tomas Berdych. In the same week, in a far-away time zone, Mexican paradise Acapulco will host the likes of Nadal, Raonic, Thiem, del Potro and David Goffin. Thiem captured the biggest title of his young career there last year.

Get your monthly access pass to Tennis TV today and don’t miss up to 12 tournaments and up to 250 matches live in February! The live tennis certainly doesn’t stop coming after February, with massive, back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami in March. In a first for Tennis TV, all ATP World Tour singles and doubles matches will be streamed live from these two events with all matches available on demand in replays on all devices.

Frantic February On Tennis TV 2017

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 5:11pm
Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and other ATP World Tour stars headline a frantic February on Tennis TV. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Peter Staples / ATP World Tour

Sports Stars Nowitzki, Montgomery Visit Dallas Challenger

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 5:15am

They say everything is bigger in Texas. The tennis is no different and NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki and NFL star Ty Montgomery have taken notice. The sports stars visited the RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas, a prestigious $125,000 event on the ATP Challenger Tour, this week.

Attending his first tennis event at any level, Montgomery was immediately hooked. The star running back of the American football juggernaut Green Bay Packers was made an instant fan of #NextGenATP stars Reilly Opelka, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz, visiting the T Bar M Racquet Club on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Ty was really cool," Opelka told ATPWorldTour.com. "Today was his first time watching tennis live and it seemed like he enjoyed it. It's cool to have a guy like him in the stands watching and supporting. I remember just a few weeks ago all the Americans were going crazy in the Australian Open locker room watching the Packers against the Cowboys. Ty had a huge game that day too, scoring two touchdowns. We all watched it live from Australia."

Cool having @TyMontgomery2 at the courts today! #GoPackGo #ShirtGame

Evans Returns His Way To Career-High Ranking

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 5:01pm

Daniel Evans is a slow burn that has spectacularly caught fire.

The British No. 2 boasts a career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 45 this week, thanks to an impressive run Down Under in January. Evans earned his first career Emirates ATP Rankings points more than 10 years ago, back in November 2006, and was outside the Top 250 just 14 months ago.

View Emirates ATP Rankings

The 26 year old from Birmingham, England, is 7-2 in 2017. He reached his first career final at the Apia International Sydney and the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time at the Australian Open. Along the way, Evans defeated five Top 50 players, including No. 7 Marin Cilic, No. 8 Dominic Thiem and No. 27 Bernard Tomic.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Evans’ recent rise pinpoints a definitive improvement with his return game and showcases how he's being far more opportunistic converting break points.

2016 To 2017 Return Strategy Comparison

Strategy / Points Won  2016 2017 Percentage-Point Improvement Break Points Converted  39% 52% 13 Return Games Won  20% 25% 5 Second-Serve Return  47% 52% 5 First-Serve Return 28% 30% 2 Return Points Won  36% 38% 2

The strategic category that has fueled his career-best ranking is converting break points, which has jumped 13 percentage points from 39 per cent in 2016 to a world-beating 52 per cent (34/65) so far this year. That even eclipses Australian Open champion Roger Federer, who converted 44 per cent (37/84) of his break-point opportunities in winning seven straight matches at Melbourne Park.

The ATP Stats LEADERBOARDS, powered by the Infosys Information Platform, shows Evans to be No. 1 in the world so far in 2017 in converting break points among players who have had 50-plus break-point opportunities.

Those metrics have directly helped the Brit raise his return game win percentage from 20 per cent to 25 per cent. It’s interesting to note that service games won have only improved one percentage point, from 80 per cent to 81 per cent, during the same period.

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It’s always difficult to improve against an opponent’s more powerful first serve when returning, so Evan’s two percentage-point gain (28 per cent to 30 per cent) in this area is more impressive than it seems on the surface. The five percentage-point leap on second-serve points won (47 per cent to 52 per cent) is significant as it jumps above the 50 per cent threshold, essentially providing Evans statistical ownership of his opponent’s second serves.

There have also been some impressive numbers for Evans on the serving side of the equation. Evans hit only 95 aces during the 2016 season, and he is already at 55 after just two tournaments in 2017, representing 58 per cent of his 2016 total.

Last season he saved 70 per cent of break points when he made his first serve and a very high 60 per cent behind his second serve, which was actually four percentage points better than fellow countryman and World No. 1 Andy Murray, at 56 per cent.

Evan’s ranking is set to climb even higher this month, as he has only 60 points to defend from February 2016. He is playing at a Top 20 level so far in 2017, and it may not be too long before his ranking catches up with his scintillating level of play.

More: Evans Picks Out Winning Style In Melbourne

Medvedev Stakes Early Claim For #NextGenATP Finals

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 9:08pm
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Daniil Medvedev has earned the "Milan Contenders Spotlight" for the month of January and has also put himself in early contention to be one of the rising stars who qualify for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals this November in Milan. The top seven 21-and-under players in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan standings will play at the event. The eighth player will be chosen by wild card.

The 20-year-old Medvedev started the year by reaching his first ATP World Tour final in Chennai, enabling him to jump from No. 99 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to a career-high standing of No. 63.

“I was really happy to be chosen for this. It means a lot to me,” said Medvedev. “It means I’ve had a good month and the best start to the year among the #NextGenATP players, so I’m really proud of that.”

The Russian made plenty of improvements to his game during the off-season at his home base in Cannes, France, working on strengthening his volleys and increasing his stamina to contest long matches. He also spent four days this past December in Bretagne, France, participating in a pre-season physical training camp organised by Tecnifibre.

“It was something new that I had never done before. It was actually my first time swimming in the ocean!” said Medvedev. “It was very fun and only guys from the centre where I practise were there, so we all know each other well. It was just a fun camp with physical work and some activities, so there were also chances to relax a bit from tennis."

The Russian is hopeful that the physical and on-court additions to his game will be enough to qualify for Milan. But with a growing crop of #NextGenATP stars, including Alexander Zverev, Borna Coric and Taylor Fritz, Medvedev knows that doing so will be a difficult task.

“It’s still a long way to get there because there are a lot of good young players who are playing well,” said Medvedev. “If you qualify for Milan, you will probably have to be ranked in the Top 100 or maybe even the Top 80, so it means you’ve had a great year. There are a lot of us who will have chances to make it to there.”

View Emirates ATP Race To Milan

Luckily for Medvedev, the chances for accomplishing his goals have been helped by a boosted bank account. He won a $50,000 cheque for being named the Tecnifibre Young Gun on the Road in 2016, beating out Mitchell Krueger, Omar Jasika and Gregoire Barrere in the four-month competition.

More: Medvedev Named Top Tecnifibre Young Gun

“I’m putting the money into everything for my career,” said Medvedev. “I could spend some of the money to buy tickets for my coach to come with me to Chennai and Melbourne. Maybe I’ll take a physio to some tournaments if I feel that I need it. It’s a very big start-up for my future.”

Medvedev plays with the Tecnifibre TFight 305 racquet. Click here to purchase if you live in Europe. Click here to purchase if you live outside of Europe, including in the U.S.