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Updated: 6 hours 16 min ago

Fyrstenberg Announces Retirement

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 10:03pm
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After 17 years on the ATP World Tour, doubles specialist Mariusz Fyrstenberg has decided to call it a career.

At the ATP Challenger Tour’s Pekao Szczecin Open in Poland, Fyrstenberg announced on Sunday that he would be retiring from professional tennis, having completed a successful doubles career, most notably competing beside fellow Pole Marcin Matkowski in the pairing best known as “Polish Power”.

“This is a special place for me, because in Szczecin I started my doubles career,” said Fyrstenberg. “I won here three times and always love the atmosphere at this tournament and the people, who always support me. I stopped playing tennis half a year ago, but I decided to announce it in Szczecin. I’ve never thought about any other place to finish my career.”

After officially turning pro in 2001, the left-handed Fyrstenberg developed a greater penchant for doubles over singles, a discipline in which he only peaked at No. 317 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Deciding to focus on doubles exclusively in 2007, the Pole, who hails from Warsaw, reached a career-high of No. 6 in August of 2012 and won 18 ATP World Tour doubles titles in a career spanning two decades.

Career title triumphs for the 37-year-old Pole include a maiden ATP Challenger doubles title on home soil in Szczecin in 2001, followed by a first ATP World Tour doubles title – also at home – in Sopot. (2003), and Masters 1000 crowns in Madrid (2008, 2012), all with Matkowski.

"Looking into the past, I can say that victories in Szczecin and in Sopot gave me the biggest happiness, although the biggest success was reaching the final in 2011,” reflected Fyrstenberg.

Alongside Matkowski, Fyrstenberg reached the US Open final in 2011, falling just short to Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner. As a result, team “Polish Power” qualified for their fifth and final appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in London, where they made it all the way to the championship match before bowing out to Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor.

Representing Poland in Davis Cup, Fyrstenberg produced some of his best results, posting a record of 29 wins and 14 losses across 28 tie nominations. With a 22-7 record overall in doubles, he and Matkowski (19-6 together) combined for the best doubles team in Poland’s Davis Cup history.

The Pole played his last match this past February, reaching the semifinals of the Garanti Koza Sofia Open with partner Martin Klizan.

What’s next for Fyrstenberg? His wife Marta Fyrstenberg had an idea. “I’m glad that Mariusz said 'goodbye' to professional tennis,” she said. “Now he will be often at home!”

Gasquet Rediscovers Winning Ways In Poland

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 9:24pm


Pekao Szczecin Open (Szczecin, Poland): Frenchman Richard Gasquet capped a brief return to the ATP Challenger Tour with a triumph in the Szczecin final, defeating former World No. 18 Florian Mayer 7-6(3), 7-6(4). Gasquet had entered the event to pick up some valuable match play having struggled recently with injuries. It was his first appearance in Szczecin since 2004 and improved his record in Challenger finals to 9-1. This was Gasquet’s first Challenger title since Bordeaux 2010. The Frenchman had saved a match point to beat Guido Andreozzi in the quarter-finals on Friday and did not drop a set thereafter. The World No. 30 is the highest-ranked Challenger winner since then No. 20 Benoit Paire won in Mouilleron le Captif, France, in 2015.

.@richardgasquet1 closes out the title at @PekaoSznOpen with back-to-back winners, defeating Florian Mayer 76(3) 76(4) in Sunday's final.

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 17, 2017


Road To The Shanghai Rolex Masters (Shanghai, China): A week after lifting the US Open junior singles and doubles trophies, Wu Yibing made history on home soil, becoming the youngest Chinese champion on the Challenger circuit. Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu was bidding for a record 30th ATP Challenger Tour title but was forced to retire with a right shoulder injury after Yibing won the first set in a tie-break, 7-6(6). The Chinese teenager did not drop a set all week and is projected to rise 177 spots to a career-high No. 319 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He is the 12th teenage winner of the year and fourth aged 17 and under, joining Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Nicola Kuhn.

Learn More About Yibing's Victory

American Express Istanbul Challenger (Istanbul, Turkey): Top-seeded Tunisian Malek Jaziri won four straight three-set matches to successfully defend his Istanbul crown. After defeating Israel’s Dudi Sela in last year’s final he repeated his triumph with a 7-6(4), 0-6, 7-5 victory over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in what was the tournament’s 30th edition. Jaziri becomes the fourth repeat winner this year on the ATP Challenger Tour.

Malek Jaziri goes back-to-back in Istanbul, defeating Matteo Berrettini 76(4) 06 75 to retain the title in the tournament's 30th edition.

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 17, 2017

Banja Luka Challenger (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina): German Maximilian Marterer picked up the third Challenger title of his career with a routine 6-1, 6-2 result over 20-year-old Spanaird Carolos Taberner. The 22-year-old Marterer needed 59 minutes to claim his first title of the season, converting all four break chances. He did not drop a set all week. Taberner was appearing in his first Challenger final.

Maximilian Marterer claims his third #ATPChallenger title and first of the year, streaking past Carlos Taberner 61 62 in Banja Luka.

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 17, 2017

Atlantic Tire Championships (Cary, U.S.A.): Kevin King’s comeback continues to gather steam with the American winning his first Challenger title. Having missed the entire 2016 season due to hip surgery, the 26 year old defeated Brit Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-1 in what was his maiden appearance in a Challenger final. King had beaten top seed Ernesto Escobedo in the second round for his biggest career win. His triumph makes him the sixth different American Challenger winner of 2017, joining Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren, Ryan Harrison, Noah Rubin and Michael Mmoh. Victory also ensures he will surge 181 spots up the Emirates ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 253.

What a week for Kevin King! World No. 434 stuns Cam Norrie 64 61 for his first #ATPChallenger title at the @AtlanticTireCh in Cary.

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 17, 2017  


20 Things To Watch In St. Petersburg & Metz

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 6:00pm

The ATP World Tour is back in action this week at the St. Petersburg Open, where Roberto Bautista Agut is the top seed, and the Moselle Open in Metz, where Pablo Carreno Busta leads the charge and Lucas Pouille returns to defend his title.

View Draws: St. Petersburg | Metz

(1) Into the Indoors: As the season changes from summer to fall, the ATP World Tour transitions from outdoor to indoor hard courts with the St. Petersburg Open and Moselle Open. One million dollars is on the line in St. Petersburg, the third-largest purse of the 40 ATP World Tour 250 events behind the season-opener in Doha ($1,237,190) and next week’s tournament in Chengdu ($1,028,885).

(2) #NextGenATP Duo: Russian Daniil Medvedev and Croat Borna Coric are among the Top 7 players in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan. But No. 8 Hyeon Chung is only 22 points behind Medvedev and 181 points behind Coric among the 21-and-unders trying to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals. Medvedev and Coric will look to gain ground on Chung this week in St. Petersburg.

(3) Milestone Year: Medvedev, 21, reached his first final at Chennai, while Coric, 20, won his first title at Marrakech. Both earned Top 10 wins at Grand Slams, with Medvedev ending Stan Wawrinka’s year at Wimbledon and Coric upsetting Race to Milan leader Alexander Zverev at the US Open.

(4) Simply the Best: Medvedev’s countryman Mikhail Youzhny returns as the winningest player in St. Petersburg Open history. Youzhny is 33-13 and making his 16th straight appearance at the tournament (2001-13, 2015-17), which did not take place in 2014. The former World No. 8 is the last Russian finalist (2010) and champion (2004), also reaching the final as a 20-year-old in 2002.

(5) Hero’s Welcome: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga makes his St. Petersburg debut as a wild card and the No. 2 seed. Tsonga swept Laslo Djere and Dusan Lajovic of Serbia this past weekend to lead France into the Davis Cup final. The 32-year-old has won titles at Rotterdam, Marseille and Lyon in 2017.

(6) Consistency is Key: No. 1 seed Roberto Bautista Agut has also captured multiple titles this year (Chennai, Winston-Salem). The 29-year-old Spaniard is 41-16 in 2017, surpassing 40 wins for the fourth straight season. Bautista Agut is up to a career-high No. 13 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

(7) Trio to Watch: No. 3 seed Fabio Fognini, No. 4 seed Adrian Mannarino and No. 5 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber are in form entering St. Petersburg. Fognini won the Gstaad title on July 30 and Kohlschreiber captured the Kitzbuehel title six days later. Mannarino is 16-7 since June 26.

(8) Record-Setter: No. 6 seed Paolo Lorenzi made history at the US Open earlier this month. The 35-year-old Italian became the oldest player in the Open Era to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time. Lorenzi is also the oldest first-time champion in ATP history (2016 Kitzbuehel).

(9) On the Rise: Lorenzi’s first-round opponent Damir Dzumhur is 22-7 overall since June 19, highlighted by his first ATP World Tour final at Winston-Salem, second semi-final at Los Cabos and seventh Challenger title at Blois, France. Dzumhur also advanced to the US Open third round.

(10) Double the Russians: The only Russians in the doubles draw will meet in the first round when Youzhny and Evgeny Donskoy face fellow wild cards Mikhail Elgin and Alexander Kudryavtsev.

(1) Into the Indoors: As the season changes from summer to fall, the ATP World Tour transitions from outdoor to indoor hard courts with the Moselle Open and St. Petersburg Open. Frenchmen have won seven of the past eight Metz titles and nine of 14 overall since the inaugural event in 2003.

(2) Heroes’ Welcome: No. 3 singles seed Lucas Pouille and No. 1 doubles seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut arrive in Metz from Lille, where they helped France beat Serbia in the Davis Cup semi-finals. After Pouille lost the opener, Herbert and Mahut earned the doubles win. Pouille defeated Dominic Thiem to capture his first of three ATP titles at the 2016 Moselle Open.

(3) Enemy of the State: France will host Belgium, led by No. 2 seed David Goffin, in the Davis Cup final. Goffin is 19-3 in Davis Cup singles matches, including victories over John Millman on Friday and Nick Kyrgios on Sunday. The Belgian has not won an ATP title since the 2014 Moselle Open.

(4) French Seeds: Frenchmen Richard Gasquet, Benoit Paire and Gilles Simon are seeded sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Gasquet returned to the ATP Challenger Tour last week for the first time since 2010, capturing his ninth Challenger title in Szczecin, Poland. Simon, the 2010 and 2013 Metz champion, has not reached an ATP World Tour final since the 2015 Moselle Open.

(5) Eye on London: No. 1 seed Pablo Carreno Busta broke into the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on September 11 after reaching the US Open semi-finals. The Spaniard is eighth in the Emirates ATP Race to London, with the Top 8 finishers assured a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals.

(6) Career Year: Also receiving a first-round bye is No. 4 seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. Muller reached a career-high No. 21 on July 31 after capturing his first two ATP World Tour titles at Sydney and ’s-Hertogenbosch, then upsetting two-time champion Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

(7) Career Year, Too: Like Muller, No. 5 seed Mischa Zverev broke into the Top 25 this season for the first time. The 2010 Moselle Open finalist reached the third round at Wimbledon, fourth round at the US Open and quarter-finals at the Australian Open, where he upset then-No. 1 Andy Murray.

(8) Veteran Presence: Three 35-year-old Frenchmen are in the field: Mahut, Julien Benneteau and Paul-Henri Mathieu. Benneteau and Mahut won the inaugural Metz doubles title in 2003, while Mathieu reached the Metz singles final in 2008. Mathieu plans to retire at the end of the season.

(9) Double the Frenchmen: Eleven Frenchmen are in the doubles draw, including the teams of Herbert/Mahut, Mathieu/Paire and Pouille/Simon. Also in the field are Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who lost to Herbert and Mahut in a historic All-French final at 2016 Wimbledon.

(10) Wild Cards Again: Romain Arneodo of Monaco and Hugo Nys of France are playing their first tour-level event as a team since Monte-Carlo in April, when they upset Grand Slam champions Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau and Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares en route to the semi-finals.

Emirates ATP Rankings Update 28 August 2017

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:13am
See the latest Emirates ATP Rankings as of 28 August 2017, after the Winston-Salem Open.

Zverev Completes Late Shift In Big Apple

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 2:38am

Sporting a 1970s throwback, Alexander Zverev ended his US Open shift victorious at 2:04 a.m. local time on Tuesday morning. The fourth seed, wearing a striped headband, pinstripe shirt and knee-high socks, admitted to staying up beyond his bed time following a 7-6(9), 7-5, 6-4 first-round win over qualifier Darian King on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The German will next face fellow #NextGenATP Borna Coric of Croatia, who is currently No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Race To London for one of the eight places at the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held from 7-11 November in Milan. Zverev has already booked his place, having won five ATP World Tour titles this year – including two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and the Western & Southern Open. He has a 47-14 match record (22-7 on hard courts) in 2017.

Zverev, who came into his encounter against King with a 1-2 record at the final Grand Slam championship of the year, didn’t have things all his own way as he failed to impose his game, appearing frustrated at times and committed 64 unforced errors.

King, the first player from Barbados to play at a major championship, opened up a 3-1 lead in the first set, which lasted 82 minutes. Zverev was unable to convert set point opportunities on King’s serve at 5-6, 30/40, then again at 6/5 and 7/6 in the tie-break. King held two set points of his own at 8/7 and 9/8, courtesy of flashy forehands, before Zverev closed out at 10/9. A single break at 5-5 for Zverev helped him to the second set, before he broke in the third game of the third set and later saved two break points when serving at 4-3.

Coric defeated Jiri Vesely 7-6(5), 7-6(2), 6-2 in two hours and 28 minutes, firing nine aces.

The Croatian claimed the lone previous clash against Zverev, having prevailed in a deciding tie-break at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati in 2015. The winner will face either 28th seed Kevin Anderson or Ernests Gulbis, after the South African raced past qualifier JC Aragone 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 and the former World No. 10 Latvian defeated Alessandro Giannessi 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5.

Also in this quarter of the draw, 34-year-old Gilles Muller and 35-year-old Paolo Lorenzi will square off in a battle of elder statesmen in the second round. Thirteen years removed from their first meeting, Muller leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head by a total of 3-1. Muller rallied past Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and Lorenzi did the same to defeat Joao Sousa 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2.

Americans Start Strong At Home Slam

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 7:58pm

Four of the Top 5 Americans in the Emirates ATP Rankings were in action on opening day of the US Open, with John Isner, Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson all kicking off their campaigns with victories. Jack Sock succumbed to Jordan Thompson in five gripping sets on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Isner overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to improve to 11-1 in the first round at his home Grand Slam. Seeded 10th, the big-serving North Carolina native launched 59 winners, including 22 aces, to advance after two hours and 23 minutes. His return game was on song as well, saving six of seven break points faced.

Isner enters New York following one of the best US Open Series campaigns of his career. The champion at the BB&T Atlanta Open and semi-finalist at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati, he boasts a dominant 13-3 mark since Wimbledon. The top American will next face Korean #NextGenATP star Hyeon Chung, who topped Horacio Zeballos 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-3.

"I don't know if it benefits really anyone," Isner said of the milder, less humid weather conditions. "Of course, it certainly can help some players. If it's 90 and humid, that's rough. For the most part the weather over the years has been pretty temperate at the Open, but especially this year.

"I certainly like it. Only changed shirts out there one time. I'm a big sweater. I like it. I really would actually say that all the players enjoy it. We do play matches in pretty oppressive conditions sometimes. This is not the case so far here at the US Open. I think I'm playing pretty well. I've had a strong summer. I thought I played really well today. I was very happy with how I played. I'm in a good spot."

Querrey turned in arguably the most dominant performance among the American contingent on Monday, racing past Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes for his 31st match win of the season. He fired 10 aces to claim his third FedEx ATP Head2Head victory over Simon and first on hard courts.

"I thought I did everything pretty well," said Querrey. "The best thing I thought I did well was not get too down on myself. I lost serve three or four times in a row at one point, which doesn't happen too often. I did a good job of battling through that. Every part of my game felt good today, so overall I was pretty happy."

A deep run in New York could prove critical for Querrey's hopes in the Emirates ATP Race To London. The Nitto ATP Finals contender enters on the heels of a semi-final run at Wimbledon and title in Los Cabos. He tangles with Dudi Sela next after the Israeli secured a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Georgia Tech University standout Christopher Eubanks.

The winner of Querrey/Sela will face either qualifier Radu Albot or Yen-Hsun Lu. The Moldovan ousted American #NextGenATP Ernesto Escobedo 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, while the Taiwanese surprised 25th seed Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

There was no first-round drama for Steve Johnson this year at the US Open, with the California native notching a 6-4, 7-6(2), 7-6(5) victory in two hours and 21minutes. Johnson, who had saved six match points to defeat Evgeny Donskoy in his 2016 opener, fired 37 winners and 16 aces to prevail on the Grandstand. Kyle Edmund awaits next.


Jared Donaldson carried the #NextGenATP torch for the Americans on Monday, downing Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(6). It looked like the first-round affair would head to a fifth set after Basilashvili broke to open the fourth, but Donaldson drew level and eventually converted his second match point in the ensuing tie-break. The Rhode Island native, who stunned David Goffin in last year's opening round, will look to pull another upset over a Top 20 seed when he faces No. 16 Lucas Pouille. He will have history on his side, having defeated Pouille in straight sets at the Coupe Rogers earlier this month.

Meanwhile, American wild card Thai-Son Kwiatkowski nearly claimed his first tour-level match win in stunning fashion, pushing Mischa Zverev to five sets before succumbing 7-6(5), 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Zverev, seeded 23rd, took the first-round clash after three hours and 28 minutes and will face Benoit Paire next. Paire defeated lucky loser Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(5).

NextGen NYC Photo Shoot 2017

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 6:53pm

Former Champ Cilic Off To Winning Start In New York

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 6:03pm

Fifth seed Marin Cilic opened his quest for a second US Open crown with a 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over American Tennys Sandgren on Monday. The 2014 winner in Flushing Meadows rifled 55 winners, including 11 aces, to prevail after two hours and 47 minutes.

Cilic looked in fine form in his return to action, having withdrawn from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati with an adductor injury. The Wimbledon finalist will next face Florian Mayer on Wednesday, following the German's 7-5, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Rogerio Dutra Silva.

"Everything feels okay physically," said Cilic. "I'm very happy with that. That's the number one thing. It was a good fight towards the end of the match. Also I was not running away to try to shorten up the points. I was actually feeling that could be also quite good for me to get in some rallies, battle it out, just mentally-wise to get myself in a good position.

"I'm feeling quite positive with the first round. Not the best as I would want, but still in a good way keeping myself positive. The last eight, nine days I'm practising full without thinking about it. That's quite good. With this first match out of the way, I think that just resolves everything."

In other action, Mikhail Kukushkin pulled one of the upsets of the day in dismissing an in-form 21st-seed David Ferrer 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 6-1. The Kazakh is on a roll after claiming a trio of match wins to emerge from qualifying and reaching the second round for the first time since 2015. Ferrer was coming off his first appearance in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final in two years, advancing to the last four two weeks ago in Cincinnati.


Kukushkin needed two hours and 43 minutes to snap an 0-7 FedEx ATP Head2Head drought against the Spaniard. He converted an impressive seven of 15 break points to set a second round encounter with Evgeny Donskoy. The Russian prevailed over Andreas Haider-Maurer when the Austrian retired due to injury down 7-6(3), 5-1.

Diego Schwartzman earned a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 triumph over countryman Carlos Berlocq, grabbing seven of 11 break chances, while staving off four of five faced. He booked his spot in the US Open second round for just the second time, extending a strong run following a quarter-final appearance at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal. Schwartzman earned his first Top 10 win there, stunning Dominic Thiem. Awaiting the Argentine is former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic, who stormed back to oust Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-7(5), 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(2), 6-3 for his 19th career five-set victory and sixth from two sets down. It was the first Grand Slam match win for the Serbian this year, as he continues to make progress in his comeback from a lengthy injury absence.

Lucas Pouille, who registered one of the most thrilling victories of the entire 2016 season in the US Open fourth round, stunning Rafael Nadal in a fifth-set tie-break, kicked off his 2017 campaign with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Ruben Bemelmans. The Frenchman triumphed after one hour and 42 minutes, firing an impressive 49 winners, while turning aside all eight break points faced. The 16th seed awaits the winner between Nikoloz Basilashvili and home hope Jared Donaldson.

Chung Sets Isner Clash, Shapovalov Advances

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 4:16pm
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Hyeon Chung led the #NextGenATP charge on Monday, beating Horacio Zeballos 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-3 at the US Open. The Korean hit 63 winners and saved 12 of the 13 break points he faced to top the Argentine and reach the second round, where he will face No.10 seed John Isner.

Jared Donaldson carried the #NextGenATP torch for the Americans on Monday, downing Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(6). It looked like the first-round affair would head to a fifth set after Basilashvili broke to open the fourth, but Donaldson drew level and eventually converted his second match point in the ensuing tie-break. The Rhode Island native, who stunned David Goffin in last year's opening round, will look to pull another upset over a Top 20 seed when he faces No. 16 Lucas Pouille. He will have history on his side, having defeated Pouille in straight sets at the Coupe Rogers earlier this month.

American #NextGenATP player Ernesto Escobedo was not as successful in his campaign start, falling to Moldova’s Radu Albot 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Albot next faces Yen-Hsun Lu, who won 83 per cent of his first serve points to notch a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 25 seed Karen Khachanov.


Denis Shapovalov scored his first Grand Slam main draw win, prevailing in an all-#NextGenATP clash over Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1, 6-2.

“I think I played a very good match,” said Shapovalov. “I stayed very solid from beginning to the end. I had a couple fall-throughs, being a break up, having him break back. I did a good job of staying mentally solid in those situations and getting the break when I needed it.

“I don't feel any pressure. At the end of the day, I play for myself, for my team and for my country. Those three things I always take with me on the court. I play with my heart. At the end of the day it's a sport. I can win and I can lose.”

The Canadian World No.69, who scored his best result on home soil in Montreal three weeks ago when he beat Rafael Nadal and eventually reached the semi-finals (l. to A. Zverev), will next face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

The eighth-seeded Frenchman eased through his first round match with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Marius Copil in one hour and 51 minutes.

“I’m feeling good,” said Tsonga. “The last two tournaments were difficult for me because I was playing good tennis, [at a] good level, and I had a good opponent in front of me. I didn't have the results I expected [the] last couple of weeks, but I know I did the job.”

Edmund Sets Johnson Meeting At US Open

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 3:52pm

Kyle Edmund has made a strong start to his second US Open campaign, taking out 32nd seed and recent Montreal semi-finalist Robin Haase 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round. Edmund, who made a surprise run to the fourth round last year at Flushing Meadows, suffered first-round exits at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati this month, but rebounded last week in Winston-Salem with a run to the semi-finals.

The British 22-year-old took charge on Haase's second serve, winning 64 per cent of those points. He also claimed five breaks of serve.

He next will play American Steve Johnson, who was another early winner on Day 1, toughing out a 6-4, 7-6(2), 7-6(5) win over veteran Spanish shotmaker Nicolas Almagro. Johnson was dominant on serve, winning 89 per cent of first-serve points and firing 16 aces.

"Any time you can get to a Grand Slam and get through day one in straights is definitely a win, but definitely a great win both tennis-wise, emotionally, everything put together," he said. 


His father, Steve Sr., passed away unexpectedly this past May and Johnson admitted that he was still learning how to deal with his emotions. He had started his summer hard-court campaign with three straight three-set losses before reaching the quarter-finals last week at the Winston-Salem Open.

"Some days you can process it all and take it in stride. Some days the littlest things will set you off," he said. "I'm just taking it day by day. I have been doing a better job the last few weeks in the summer with managing my emotions on the court and not letting things slip away."

No. 12 seed Pablo Carreno Busta rebounded from last week's loss in his Winston-Salem opener by defeating American qualifier Evan King 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(5). The Spaniard will look to reach the third round for the third time in four visits when he next meets Cameron Norrie. The British qualifier won the first two sets 7-6(7), 6-1 when Dmitry Tursunov retired from the match.

Johnson: “Life Throws A Curveball Sometimes”

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 10:55am

Steve Johnson has been an Angels fan for as long as he can remember. “Since the day I was born basically,” he attests. Living just down the road from Angel Stadium, the Johnson family frequently attended the MLB games, with Steve growing up idolising the likes of Tim Salmon, Garrett Anderson, David Eckstein, and Jered Weaver.

On one of those perfect Orange County evenings out with the family, a 13-year-old Johnson even managed to snag a foul ball. The couple sitting next to them had vacated their seats when the errant ball flew their way. “The foul ball came off pretty fast, smacked their seats pretty good, so I'm glad they weren't sitting there because it probably would've hurt a bit,” he told during a visit to the ballpark this summer. “You never expect something like that to come your way.”

On his return to the site of many happy memories, Johnson – wearing a personalised Angels jersey with the name Johnson stitched above the number 58 – paused to reflect during an evening that he would have shared proudly with his father had it not been for a ‘curveball’.

On 11 May, Steve Sr. passed away suddenly overnight. Johnson, riding the high of the Anaheim Ducks’ long-awaited series-clinching victory over the Edmonton Oilers in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs the previous evening, received the unexpected call on Thursday morning at LAX. He had already checked into his flight to Rome, where he'd been planning on starting his European clay campaign, and was to be joined by his family a couple weeks later in Paris. Instead, everything came to a halt.

They bid farewell to the patriarch at 58 years young, and after much consideration, decided they would carry on in a manner that would please Steve Sr.: they would travel to Europe as a family, a plan that had been in the works for a couple of years. His sister Alison, on her first trans-Atlantic trip, mom Michelle and fiancée Kendall travelled with Steve to Paris, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and London across a five-week span.

“I think it was the right thing to do because that's exactly what he would've wanted to continue this amazing trip,” said Johnson. “It was easy to have them on the road, but it was also tough because you could see the pain, just the emotions, and my mom is really one of the strongest women I've ever been around, so to see her struggle from time to time, that was the hardest part.”

An athlete in an individual sport, Johnson was forced to deal with his emotional struggles in a very public setting. He first returned to the court in Geneva, a mere 11 days after his father’s death, and still managed to reach the quarter-finals that week.

With his family there to support him at Roland Garros, he persevered in an opening match that spanned two days, and followed with an emotional win over Borna Coric. He dropped to his knees after match point, broke down into tears and continued to weep as he spoke about his father during an on-court interview with Tennis Channel, saying, “I just miss my dad…[he] gave me the strength to finish it off.” 


He matched his best result at Roland Garros. He reached the third round for just a second time at Wimbledon, and then dropped his next three matches on North American hard courts, all in three sets. Ahead of the US Open, Johnson advanced to the Winston-Salem Open quarter-finals. His on-court performance since that May day have been up and down, down and up, mirroring his feelings about his father’s death: “It's been super hard at times, and super rewarding at times.” 

Though he was always aware of the impact Steve Sr. had in the tennis community, Johnson discovered a whole new side of his dad in the months to come, with countless acquaintances and strangers alike coming forward to tell him new stories about the impact his father had on their lives. “They go way above and beyond the tennis court that maybe none of us knew about just because that's the kind of guy he was.”

Steve played tennis at Orange High School, where his parents met and his dad continued to coach, and one story in particular resonated with him. “There was one kid I played with in high school. He made a few wrong turns, but he's kind of found his way back to tennis, and my dad really took him in. I had no idea about any of this, but they were as close as him and I may have been at the end because he was basically like a father figure to him.

“It's just those kinds of stories that make you very emotional, but it's the kind of guy he was, it's the guy I knew and the guy my mom fell in love with 50 years ago. It's been an up and down process. There are so many smiles that can turn into tears that turn right back into smiles.”

Back at Angel Stadium, recapturing the innocence and carefree nature of his childhood visits, Johnson was all smiles as he went up and down the different levels of the ballpark. Accompanied by Kendall and future parents-in-law Steve and Jane, Johnson took a VIP tour, watched batting practice on the field, met some of his childhood idols and even tried on a World Series ring commemorating the Angels' 2002 championship.

It was then time. As the last notes concluded on The Star-Spangled Banner, the solitary figure stepped into the diamond to deliver the ceremonial first pitch. But Johnson wasn't really alone. The number 58 on his back? “That's the year my dad was born and that was his age when he passed away. I got it for him...

“He definitely would've loved this experience today,” he said. “He's been an Angels fan way longer than I have, so it would've been fun, but life throws a curveball sometimes. I know he's looking down and still watching proud.”


US Open 2017 Preview

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 6:45am
Who will claim the final Grand Slam of the season? Watch the preview of the excitement at the 2017 US Open.

Bautista Agut Equals Career-High, Mover Of Week

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 4:07am

No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, +2
The amiable Spaniard captured his second ATP World Tour crown of the year (Chennai) – and sixth overall – at the Winston-Salem Open with victory over Damir Dzumhur. Read Report & Watch Highlights

The 29-year-old Bautista Agut rose two spots to equal his career-high of No. 13 in the Emirates ATP Rankings (first attained on 17 October 2016). He also remains on course for a fourth successive season of 40+ match wins, having compiled a 39-15 record so far in 2017. With the exception of one week, Bautista Agut has been among the Top 20 ranked players since 1 February 2016.

No. 42 Kyle Edmund, +3
The 22-year-old Briton advanced to his third ATP World Tour semi-final of his career in Winston-Salem (l. Dzumhur) to earn a three-spot rise to No. 42, which is two positions off his career-high of No. 40 (24 October 2016). Edmund has recorded a career-high 22 match wins this season.

No. 49 Jan-Lennard Struff, +7
The German returns to the Top 50 for the first time since 19 June 2017 with a seven-place jump to No. 49 following a run to the Winston-Salem semi-finals (l. to Bautista Agut).

No. 56 Damir Dzumhur, +11
The Bosnia and Herzegovina native advanced to his first ATP World Tour final in Winston-Salem, where he looked to become the eighth player in 2017 outside of the Top 50 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to capture a trophy. Although he lost to Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 in the final, Dzumhur was rewarded with an 11-spot rise to a career-high No. 56.

Other Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 81 Andreas Seppi, +5
No. 100 Julien Benneteau, +7

Nadal, Federer Battle For No. 1 At US Open

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 9:36pm
Through the course of their 13-year rivalry, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have played here, there and pretty much everywhere, but never at Flushing Meadows. Should seedings hold true and the Spaniard and Swiss meet in the semi-finals of a stacked top half of the draw, the stakes will be enormous.

Not only will the winner have the chance to add to his massive tally of Grand Slam titles (Nadal has 15, second only to Federer's 19), a blockbuster semi-final would determine which player will be World No. 1 on the Monday after the US Open.

Nadal reclaimed the top spot on 21 August when Andy Murray's 41-week run ended. Nadal and Federer find themselves in an immediate battle for the top spot and a longer-term battle for the coveted year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking, which is all but certain to be a two-man race.

Nadal said that he enjoys his top billing at the year's final major and at the top of the rankings, an honour he won't relinquish without a fight. "Being the No. 1 seed and being No. 1 of the world again is good, of course," he said. "I think it's a good achievement after three years of having some troubles. So I'm just happy for that."

Federer said that he would relish a winner-takes-all semi-final battle with Nadal. “I'd love to play Rafa here in New York," Federer said. "Hopefully it will be a night session. Hopefully that would be a great atmosphere and one again where we play great like at the Australian Open. I think that would be fun for everybody involved.”


In the short-term battle for No. 1, Federer must reach at least the quarter-finals to have a shot at passing Nadal. Should he reach the semi-finals and Nadal does not make the last four, Federer will be No. 1. If both players reach the semis, the winner of that match will be on top after the US Open.

Almost nine years to the day since he first became No. 1, Nadal last Monday returned to the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings for his fourth stint at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis. Nadal, who first ascended to No. 1 on 18 August 2008 at the age of 22, previously last held top spot more than three years ago on 6 July 2014. 

Federer debuted at No. 1 on 2 February 2004 but has not been there since 4 November 2012. Federer would break two records of Andre Agassi's if he were to reach the top spot again.

He would become the oldest No. 1 since the Emirates ATP Rankings were established in 1973. The four years and 310 days between 4 November 2012 and 11 September 2017 would also be the longest gap between stints at No. 1.

Federer begins his US Open campaign against #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe. Nadal plays Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in the first round..

Below is a look at possible Emirates ATP Rankings points totals for Nadal and Federer based on their performances in New York and the No. 1 scenarios.









































Nadal No. 1 Scenarios
* Champion

* Finalist

* Semi-finalist + Federer does not reach final

* Quarter-finalist, 4th Round or 3rd Round + Federer does not reach SF

* 2nd Round + Federer does not reach SF

* 1st Round or Does Not Play + Federer does not reach QF

Federer No. 1 Scenarios
* Champion

* Finalist

* Semi-finalist + Nadal does not reach SF

* Quarter-finalist + Nadal does not reach 2R

Spain On A Roll As Carballes Baena Adds Manerbio Crown

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 5:01pm

Spanish tennis is enjoying a resurgent 2017 campaign and the months of July and August are proving to be quite fruitful on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour.

Rafael Nadal's return to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, David Ferrer's run to the semi-finals at the Western & Southern Open and Roberto Bautista Agut's triumph in Winston-Salem have grabbed the headlines. But what Spaniards are accomplishing on the Challenger circuit is just as remarkable.

Granada native Roberto Carballes Baena notched his second title in five weeks on Sunday, lifting the trophy in Manerbio, Italy. The 24 year old defeated countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 23 minutes. He is soaring towards a return to the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, rising more than 50 spots in one month to No. 109.

"He told me that hard work always pays off," Carballes Baena said of coach Jose Maria Arenas' advice during the trophy ceremony. "For now he is right and we hope that will continue."

Carballes Baena has reached three finals in recent weeks, claiming crowns in Cortina and Manerbio, while finishing runner-up to Elias Ymer in Cordenons. His run of dominance is reflective of a Spanish trend, with six winners in seven weeks. #NextGenATP stars Jaume Munar and Nicola Kuhn captured maiden titles in Segovia, Spain and Braunschweig, Germany, respectively, while former World No. 23 Garcia-Lopez and Ricardo Ojeda Lara also lifted trophies.

Seeded fifth, Carballes Baena and sixth seed Garcia-Lopez join Munar and Tommy Robredo as Spaniards in next week's Challenger in Como, Italy. Garcia-Lopez and Munar meet in an all-Spanish first round encounter while Carballes Baena opens against surging Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime. Defending champion Kenny de Schepper returns as the eighth seed.

NextGenATP Head To New York 2017

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 4:15pm
The Emirates ATP Race To Milan heats up in New York this week. Meet some of the #NextGenATP players in contention to qualify for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

Emirates ATP Race To Milan Heats Up In New York

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 3:16pm

The Emirates ATP Race To Milan is heating up this week in New York as the season's final Grand Slam, the US Open, begins on Monday.

Race leader Alexander Zverev of Germany has already qualified for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 7-11 November in Milan. But six more automatic-entry spots remain in the Race, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the 21-and-under event. The eighth player will be chosen by wild card.

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#NextGenATP Karen Khachanov is currently in second place in the Race. Khachanov, who reached the semi-finals in Halle before falling to eventual champion Roger Federer, is the 25th seed at the US Open and faces Chinese Taipei veteran Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round. The 21 year old will try improve upon his second-round showing last year.

“I think it's great for tennis when Next Gen guys have successful tournaments, and we look to each other and I think we motivate each other and encourage each other,” Khachanov said.

See Who's Pushing Zverev, Khachanov In The Emirates ATP Race To Milan

About a dozen #NextGenATP players, including Khachanov, took part in an ATP World Tour photo and video shoot in Manhattan on Friday evening at the InterContinental New York Barclay.

The players talked about what qualifying for the invite-only event would mean to them and what they think of the new rules that will be trialled in Milan, including a shot clock in between points and a shorter format of play – first to four game sets (tie-break at 3-all) and best-of-five sets, with no-ad scoring.

“I think it's going to be quite exciting and interesting. But on the other side it's something unusual. You have to try to adapt and just enjoy. I think it's going to be a nice and fun event,” Khachanov said.


They also had some fun, playing with their favourite emoji and checking out the Penthouse suite view.

#NextGenATP American Jared Donaldson also attended the shoot. The 20 year old climbed to third in the Race last week, jumping five spots after his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final run at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Isner).

Donaldson had his best Grand Slam run a year ago in New York, upsetting World No. 14 David Goffin in the first round before falling to Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the third round. Donaldson will open against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.

“Every player wants to make it. It's a really tough battle here down the stretch. There are honestly 15-20 players who are worthwhile and deserving of making it,” Donaldson said of the Next Gen ATP Finals. “It's going to be a tough. I just have to make sure that I go in and play well week after week and keep focusing on improving my game and I feel if I do that I have a good chance of making it.”

Other notable #NextGenATP first-round match-ups at the US Open (#NextGenATP player is listed first): 

No. 1 Nadal Back In New York: "It Is Always Special To Play Here"

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 3:04pm
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If history is any indication of what's to come at the US Open, Rafael Nadal will be quite pleased with his fortnight in New York.

The last time the top seed entered the last Grand Slam of the year as World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings was in 2010. The result? His first of two US Open titles, culminating in a four-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the final.

This time, Nadal returns to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center ready to embark on his 142nd and 143rd weeks at No. 1. Ahead of his 13th appearance in the Big Apple, the Spaniard says he is simply happy to be back and has one objective on his mind: take it one match at a time, beginning with Dusan Lajovic on Tuesday.

"I'm just excited to start the US Open," Nadal said during Media Day on Saturday. "It doesn't matter if you are seeded No. 1 or No.  20. For me it is always special to play here in a tournament that I've had success, a tournament that I enjoyed a lot of good matches, and a tournament that normally I have a great connection with the crowd."


Nadal is looking to build on a quarter-final finish at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, including victories over Top 30 players Richard Gasquet and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. He opens against Lajovic on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday. He claimed the lone encounter in their FedExATP Head2Head, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 rout at Roland Garros in 2014.

Should Nadal extend his perfect mark in the US Open first round to 13-0, he would face either #NextGenATP home hope Tommy Paul or Taro Daniel. A potential blockbuster quarter-final affair against Cincinnati champion Grigor Dimitrov is on the horizon, as well as a semi-final clash against longtime rival Roger Federer. It would be their first encounter in New York.

Nadal says it would be an epic meeting against five-time champion Federer, but one he would hope to avoid.

"It sounds very good, but the real thing is I'd prefer to play against another player, an easier one if it's possible," Nadal said, smiling. "Of course I understand that it is going to be great for our history. It is true that we played in all Grand Slam finals. But anyway, meeting him here in semi-finals, if that happens that will be something great and amazing."

Nadal's opener against Lajovic will be the third match of the day session on Tuesday, on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Newfound Confidence Carries Querrey

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 11:09am

Sam Querrey likes to keep things simple.

Case in point: His goals, or rather, his goal, for this season at the start of the year. Querrey, an 11-year ATP World Tour veteran, wanted to qualify for the year-end tournament. No, not that year-end tournament, the Nitto ATP Finals, the prestigious event that welcomes only the Top 8 players in the Emirates ATP Race To London.

Querrey wanted to make the Rolex Paris Masters, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament that's held two weeks before the Nitto ATP Finals. Querrey had missed Paris the past two years, despite a ranking good enough to qualify.

“The last two years I've just been so tired and grumpy I've pulled out of the last two tournaments of the year. So literally my only goal at the beginning of the year was to make it to the Paris Masters,” Querrey exclusively told

If he's up for it, Querrey will again easily qualify for the Paris Masters, and he might also make the Nitto ATP Finals. The 29 year old is currently 10th in the Emirates ATP Race To London, and with two players ahead of him – Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic – ending their seasons early to due injury, Querrey is in even better position to make his debut at The O2 from from 12-19 November.

See Who's Leading The Emirates ATP Race To London

“It's exciting. There's still a lot of tennis left in the year. You don't want to get too excited yet but it's a great position to be in and hopefully I can continue playing well throughout the year and give myself a shot to make it toward the end,” Querrey said.

“It's not really something that was on my radar the last few years but to possibly be in a position to get there would be a really cool thing.”

Querrey is enjoying a resurgence during his 12th season on the ATP World Tour. He's just the latest player to turn in his best year as he trends closer to 30 than 20.

The American is on pace to earn his highest year-end position in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He's had his best Grand Slam run by reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, and he's already won two ATP World Tour titles – Acapulco (d. Nadal) and Los Cabos (d. Kokkinakis) – equalling his trophy haul from the past six seasons combined.

Improved training and nutrition have helped Querrey and scores of other players, but the biggest change for Querrey has been inside his head. When Craig Boynton started coaching him about two years ago, he knew the American had the skills to rest inside the Top 20 or Top 10. But he needed to convince his player of that as well.

“Most of the tennis was there, it was just more his belief in himself,” Boynton exclusively told

Querrey has long had the weapons. The 6'6” right-hander, whose father was drafted by Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers, has a 1-2 serve-forehand combination among the best in tennis, and his improving return of serve allows him to break enough.

But tennis can be a challenging and lonely sport, one where belief and confidence can matter more than power and forehands. You can have the best serve in the world, but it does you little good if at 6-5 in the fifth you're afraid to go for it.

“You've got to identify what is holding someone back, and with a lot of these tennis players, it's fear of losing,” Boynton said. “But everyone's going to lose. There's no one who goes undefeated throughout the season. So if you don't fear losing, then you can free up in the big moments.”


During the past two seasons, Boynton has seen Querrey play more relaxed. He saw it last year when Querrey ended an eight-match losing streak against World No. 1s and beat Novak Djokovic to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon.

He's also seen it this year, when Querrey beat Rafael Nadal to take the Abierto Mexicano Telcel title in Acapulco and when the American gained another win over a World No. 1, this time beating Andy Murray in five sets at Wimbledon to reach his maiden Grand Slam semi-final.

Before January, Querrey had a 14-51 record against Top 10 players, and if his match was pushed to a deciding set, he stood a 50-50 chance of winning.

Learn More In Querrey's FedEx ATP Win/Loss Section

But this season, Querrey has gone 4-4 against the Top 10 – fifth best on tour – and has won about 70 per cent (11-5) of his deciding sets.

“It's not like I'm necessarily doing anything different as far as practice and things like that. But I feel like I've done a little better job this year of fighting through some matches where I haven't played my best. A lot of times that kind of confidence of winning those matches will carry over to when you play those bigger names,” Querrey said.

Boynton also sees Querrey growing in belief in more subtle ways – in how Querrey talks with reporters and in how he walks around the grounds of a tournament. The self-belief is there, and it's only building.

“The proudest moment in Wimbledon was just looking into his eyes and him starting to think, 'Hey, you know, I think I'm pretty good. I can do this'. That was really goal No. 1 for me starting out with Sam, for him to really realise how good he is and how good he can be,” Boynton said. “We don't talk about it. I can see it. I've said to him for the last 12 months, I truly believe that his best tennis is in front of him.”

This week, Querrey heads to the US Open, where he will have his highest seeding, No. 17, and will go for another career-first: a home Grand Slam breakthrough.

He has reached the fourth round twice in New York (2008, 2010) but never the quarter-finals. Seven years ago, he fell in the fourth round to Stan Wawrinka in the type of match that used to trouble Querrey: a five-set mental battle. He lost 7-6(9), 6-7(5), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 after four hours and 28 minutes.

But this is a new year and a new week for Querrey, who knows better than most how quickly things can change – and improve – the later you go in your career, and the more belief you possess.

“Confidence is huge...There have been times when I've been ranked 30 or 40 and I felt like a Top 20 player and there have been times when I've been ranked 30 or 40 and I've felt like I'm 75 in the world,” Querrey said.

“But right now I definitely feel like I belong in the Top 20. I feel like I'm playing at a high level. I feel like the way I'm playing and the aggressive mindset that I have is really helping my game and hopefully I can stay in the Top 20 for a long time.”

Highlights Bautista Agut Beats Dzumhur For 2017 Winston-Salem Open Title

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:50am
Watch highlights of Roberto Bautista Agut beating Damir Dzumhur to win the Winston-Salem Open final on Saturday. Getty Images photo.