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Updated: 5 min 19 sec ago

Monfils Zverev Karlovic Johnson QF Washington Highlights 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 3:53am
Ivo Karlovic, Steve Johnson, Gael Monfils, and Sascha Zverev win to complete the semi-finals at the Citi Open in Washington. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Monfils vs. Zverev Washington Semi-Final Set

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 3:40am

Gael Monfils returned to some of his best tennis at the Citi Open on Friday, dazzling the Washington crowd with absurd angles and holding back a solid showing from American Sam Querrey 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Monfils advanced to the Washington semi-finals for the third time in as many tournament appearances.

“I think I just fight. I compete well,” Monfils said. “I wasn’t playing great tennis for myself. I think I could serve better, I could be more aggressive… It was tough for me to impose my game.”

The second seeded Frenchman will face #NextGen star Alexander Zverev, who swept Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-3 in Friday's last match on Stadium at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Monfils leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0, with both wins coming on indoor hard courts (Marseille 2015, Rotterdam 2016).

“I really like him. I’ve known him for a little while now,” Monfils said. “He’s a young gun. He’s very solid, very talented.”

Facing Querrey, Monfils grabbed the early advantage with a break in the seventh game to go up 4-3. The 29-year-old right-hander cruised on his serve during the first set. Querrey, though, stepped up his play and broke Monfils in the early stages of the second set, marking the first time Monfils had lost his serve in Washington.

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But Monfils took back the momentum and led 3-0 in the third set before taking the match. He last reached the Washington semi-finals the last time he played at the tournament: 2011, en route to the final (l. to Stepanek). Monfils also reached the last four in 2007 (l. to Isner).

Zverev, the 2015 ATP Star Of Tomorrow presented by Emirates, needed only 57 minutes to dominate an out-of-sorts Paire and reach his fifth ATP World Tour semi-final of the season. The 19-year-old German grabbed the opener in 18 minutes after Paire landed only 35 per cent of his first serves and committed four double faults.

The 27-year-old Paire showed more resiliency in the second set but Zverev still coasted, saving both break points and benefiting from Paire's 31 unforced errors in the match.

Monfils Discusses Reaching Washington SF 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 3:37am
Gael Monfils discusses reaching the Citi Open semi-finals for the third time in as many appearances. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Zverev Expects Entertaining SF With Monfils Washington 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 3:36am
Sascha Zverev expects an entertaining semi-final contest with Gael Monfils at the Citi Open in Washington. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Karlovic Discusses Tight Quarter-Final Triumph Washington 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 12:40am
Ivo Karlovic talks about his win against Jack Sock at the Citi Open in Washington. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Karlovic Matches Best Washington Result; Johnson Defeats Isner

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 12:21am

Croatian Ivo Karlovic matched his best showing at the Citi Open in Washington on Friday with a 7-6(4), 7-6(6) quarter-final win against American Jack Sock. The 6'11” right-hander struck 26 aces and erased all four break points against Sock, who was trying to achieve his best result in Washington by making the semi-finals.

"Hopefully I can use this confidence to continue to play well," Karlovic said.

The 23-year-old Sock, who also had reached the quarter-finals last year, exhibited some strong serving to match Karlovic. Sock erased the lone break point faced and dialed up 12 aces. Neither player faced a break point in the first set, but Karlovic gained one more mini-break in the tie-break to take the opener.

In the second set, Sock had opportunities to break at 0-0, 3-3 and 4-4 but couldn't convert any of them, and Karlovic was again a mini-break better in the tie-break. For the match, Karlovic actually won five fewer points than Sock (79 to 84).

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“I feel like I scrap pretty well and can get a lot of returns back and I still can’t break the guy,” Sock said. “No matter who he plays in any round, any tournament, it comes down to a point here and there.”

Karlovic, who last reached the semi-finals in 2007, will face another American in Steve Johnson in the semi-finals. Johnson moved past compatriot John Isner 7-6(7), 7-6(15) in one hour and 57 minutes.

“He’s another big server with a completely different game than John,” Johnson said of Karlovic. “I’m going to go out and try and take care of my serve, first and foremost… after that try and get into as many return points as I can.”

The fifth seed Johnson erased six break points to beat Isner for only the second time in six meetings. Isner also had five set points in the first set and seven in the second set, including two on his racquet, but failed to convert any of them. At 15/15 in the second-set tie-break, the World No. 16 double faulted to give Johnson his sixth match point and the first on his racquet.

“I had countless chances today, and I put a lot more pressure on him than he put on me,” Isner said. “But it didn’t quite pay off, so credit to him. I got tentative on my forehand, and it was super frustrating.”

Johnson Pleased With Isner Win In Washington 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 12:18am
Steve Johnson discusses his quarter-final win over compatriot and friend John Isner at the Citi Open in Washington. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Gael Monfils Finds Absurd Angle Against Querrey Washington 2016

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 12:05am
Gael Monfils finds an incredible angle on a forehand pass against Sam Querrey during their quarter-final match at the Citi Open in Washington. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Raonic Featured In Vogue

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 10:46pm

Milos Raonic is swiping through his phone. We’re in a booth at a Miami steak house, picking at shrimp-and-quinoa salads, talking about athletes and writing, when he finds Kobe Bryant’s retirement poem, a love letter to basketball. “You’re a writer,” he says to me. “I want to hear your literary take.” This is typical. Not so much the poetry part as the seeking-out opinions. 

Last year, while recovering from back spasms, the 25-year-old Canadian asked himself, “What is the stuff I like to do the least and can it help me?” One answer? Writing. Now every night Raonic, currently ranked seventh, jots down “ideas, emotions” in a leather notebook. He’s been reading books like The Art of Learning, by the chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin. 

Tennis is a game of slim margins, especially at the top. Every player is looking for that something to close the gap. Commentator Justin Gimelstob believes one of Raonic’s strengths is “he isn’t afraid to be great.”

Read the full article in Vogue

 

Toronto 2016

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 10:18pm

Win London Trip With Peugeot

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 9:52pm

Now through 30 September, enter to win the Peugeot “Let’s Fly To London” Contest!

The winner will receive two tickets for the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday, 20 November 2016, plus a one-night stay for two in a London hotel. View Full Prize

To enter, visit the Drive to Tennis Facebook Page or tennis.peugeot.com and publish a picture of yourself in one of the cities where Peugeot is present.

View full Terms & Conditions

Sock Hits Hot Shot Lob Against Karlovic Washington 2016

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 9:30pm

Jack Sock tries to lob the 6 foot, 11 inch Ivo Karlovic at the Citi Open in Washington. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Berlocq Upsets Chardy In Umag

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 5:25pm

Carlos Berlocq continued his surprise run at the Konzum Croatia Open Umag on Friday, stunning third seed Jeremy Chardy in a flawless display, 6-4, 6-2.

The Argentinean won 84 per cent of his first serve points and converted on four of nine break point opportunities. From 5-4 in the opening set, Berlocq reeled off six consecutive games as Chardy was left looking for answers. Berlocq’s only hiccup came when he tried to serve out the match at 5-0 in the second set, but made good on his next service game to close out the win.

Berlocq is into his first ATP World Tour semi-final since Buenos Aires in February 2015. He also evened his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Chardy to 1-1.

Next up for Berlocq is Andrej Martin, who continued to show off his fighting spirit this week in winning his quarter-final over second seed Joao Sousa, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Martin saved five match points on Thursday in defeating seventh seed Martin Klizan.

The Slovakian is now into his first ATP World Tour semi-final. He's jumped over 75 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings this year to his current standing at No. 70. Berlocq leads their FedEx ATPHead2Head rivalry 1-0, with their only previous meeting being a first-round in Umag in 2014.

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Earlier in the day, Gastao Elias scored another upset win over by defeating sixth seed Pablo Carreno Busta in their quarter-final, 6-4, 6-4.  The Portuguese player was more efficient in all areas than his opponent, winning more service points (56 per cent to 46 per cent ) and return points (53 per cent to 43 per cent).

Elias saved a match point on Thursday in his second-round win over top seed and defending champion Pablo Cuevas. He is now into his second ATP World Tour semi-final of the year, having accomplished that feat last week at the SkiStar Swedish Open.

Elias will play fourth seed Fabio Fognini, who found his top form after dropping the first set in his quarter-final against Damir Dzumhur to move into the final four, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. The veteran Italian is into his second ATP World Tour semi-final of the year, with his previous effort coming in April in Munich. All three of his previous ATP World Tour titles have come on clay.

Croatians Mektic/Sancic Advance To Doubles Final

Fourth seeds Nikola Mektic/Antonio Sancic delighted the local crowd by advancing to their first ATP World Tour doubles final over second seeds Nicholas Monroe/Artem Sitak, 7-5, 6-2. They'll play Martin Klizan/David Marrero, who defeated Thomas Fabbiano/Franko Skugor, 6-4, 6-1. Klizan/Marrero won together in Umag in 2013 and Marrero also prevailed here in 2012 (w/Verdasco). Both players are seeking their first ATP World Tour doubles title of 2016.


Fondue Tasting In Gstaad With Michael Venus 2016

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 4:10pm
Doubles player Michael Venus tries a traditional Swiss food, taking part in a fondue tasting in Gstaad.

Basilashvili Reaches First Final

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 1:56pm
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Nikoloz Basilashvili became the first player representing Georgia to reach an ATP World Tour singles final after making quick work of Serbian Dusan Lajovic at the Generali Open - Kitzbühel on Friday.

“I'm very happy [and] very proud of myself. I worked very hard for this," said Basilashvili, whose banner season includes Challenger titles from Guangzhou (d. Lacko) and Heilbronn (d. Struff).

"I gave 100 per cent today. It was a very important match. I was a little bit nervous but I think I played great."

The unseeded 24 year-old swept past his 26-year-old opponent 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes. Basilashvili won 73 per cent of first-serve points (30 of 41) and broke Lajovic four times en route to victory.

Lajovic was bidding for his first final of 2016, having also fallen at this same stage in Sao Paulo (l. to Cuevas).

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In the other semi-final of the day, fourth seed Paolo Lorenzi needed 13 match points to advance past local favourite Gerald Melzer, 7-6(4), 7-6(13). Lorenzi couldn’t convert on six match points at 5-4 in the second set and then squandered match six match points in the tie-break. The Italian saved two set points in the tie-break down 7/8 and 9/10 before finally converting the final point on his serve at 14/13.

“I didn’t count the match points. I was just trying to win every point, but Gerald played well,” said Lorenzi. “Of course in the tie-break I had a few chances, but I didn’t make it because he played really good. On one match point I should have come to the net, on the other I missed a forehand, but all the other ones he was really solid.”

Lorenzi is also looking for his first ATP World Tour title. His only other time in an ATP World Tour final came in Sao Paulo in March 2014 (l. Delbonis). This will be the first meeting between Lorenzi and Basilashvili. 

“I am really happy,” said Lorenzi. “My last final was three years ago. Tomorrow I have to play like today, maybe a bit better to win my first title.”

Thiem-Novak Into Doubles Final

Wild cards Dominic Thiem/Dennis Novak delighted the home crowd on Friday by defeating third seeds Jonathan Erlich/Santiago Gonzalez, 1-6, 7-6, 10-5. This is the first ATP World Tour doubles final for Thiem and first of any kind of Novak. They will play top seeds Wesley Koolhof/Matwe Middelkoop, who prevailed over James Cerretani/Philipp Oswald, 6-3, 6-7, 10-3. The Dutch pair are looking for their second ATP World Tour title of the year, having prevailed in Sofia in February.

Basilashvili Reaches First Final

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 1:56pm

Nikoloz Basilashvili became the first player from Georgia to reach an ATP World Tour singles final after making quick work of Serbian Dusan Lajovic at the Generali Open - Kitzbühel on Friday.

“I'm very happy [and] very proud of myself. I worked very hard for this," said Basilashvili, whose banner season includes Challenger titles from Guangzhou (d. Lacko) and Heilbronn (d. Struff).

"I gave 100% today. It was a very important match. I was a little bit nervous but I think I played great."

The unseeded 24-year-old swept past his 26-year-old opponent 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes. Basilashvili won 73 per cent of first-serve points (30 of 41) and broke Lajovic four times en route to victory.

Lajovic was bidding for his first final of 2016, having also fallen at this same stage in Sao Paulo (l. to Cuevas).

Basilashvili awaits the winner between fourth seed Paolo Lorenzi of Italy and Austria’s Gerald Melzer.

Lopez Advances in Gstaad

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:21pm
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Top seed Feliciano Lopez was tested in his quarter-final affair against #NextGen star Elias Ymer before prevailing at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad on Friday.

Lopez needed five match points to turn aside the young Swede 6-4, 7-6(2). The Spaniard, who prevailed after one hour and 46 minutes, was denied on four match points at 6-5 in the second set, as Ymer battled back from 0/40 down to force a tie-break. Lopez proved to be too strong, however, reaching his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the year (Houston & Dubai).

"It was a tough match," said Lopez. "He's a very talented young player and one of the young stars of the new generation that they are really pushing. The fact that I didn't win the second set 7-5 and he saved four match points shows you that. I was a little tight but then I played a very good tie-break. Maybe there was a 10-year difference, but I try to be in shape to face those young stars."

The 34-year-old left-hander goes on to face Germany's Dustin Brown, who upset No. 7 Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-4 in 71 minutes to book his place in the last four. Brown, 31, saved the eight break points he faced as he won the pair's first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Brown is coming off a quarter-final showing in Bastad (l. to Ferrer).

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In other action, Robin Haase booked his spot in the last four with a 7-6(2), 7-5 win over qualifier Thiago Monteiro. Haase will appear in the Gstaad semi-finals for the third time, having previously finished runner-up in 2013 (l. to Youzhny). He converted a perfect 33 of 33 first serve points, marking the sixth time a player has been perfect on their first serve in a completed match since the start of the 2015 season. Only Isner won more points (34/34) in beating Adrian Mannarino earlier this year in Indian Wells.

"I'm excited that I'm in the semis," said Haase. "Of course when you're in the semis you want more, but it's been three good rounds for me and I hope I can continue like this.

"It's always nice here. They make you feel at home," said Haase. "They try to arrange everything so you feel your best and I think that's why all the players keep coming back. It's suits my game with the altitude and it's always great when you feel at home and do well."

Haase will now play eighth seed and 2007 champion Paul-Henri Mathieu, who upset third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final quarter-final of the day, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Spaniard fought valiantly down 2-5 in the third set, but Mathieu closed out the match on serve with his eighth match point. The Frenchman improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Ramos-Vinolas to 4-0, but Haase leads their FedExATP Head2Head rivalry 2-0.

Earlier in the day, Monteiro ousted second seed Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4 in a quarter-final that was held over from Thursday evening due to rain.

Top Seeds Move Through To Doubles Final

Top seeds Mate Pavic/Michael Venus survived a stern test on Friday to advance into the doubles final over Purav Raja/Divij Sharan, 3-6, 7-6(4), [10-2]. They will play fourth seeds Julio Peralta/Horacio Zeballos, who rallied to defeat wild cards Haase/Andre Begemann, 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 10-3. Peralta/Zeballos prevailed this February in Sao Paulo, while Pavic/Venus have already won four ATP World Tour titles this year (Auckland, Montpellier, Marseille, s-Hertogenbosch).

Monteiro Ousts Simon In Gstaad; Lopez Advances

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:21pm

An overnight delay couldn't help second seed Gilles Simon turn his second-round match around against qualifier Thiago Monteiro at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad. The Brazilian led 6-4, 4-3 when play was suspended on Thursday evening due to rain and returned Friday to oust Simon 6-2, 6-4.

After strong showings on the ATP Challenger Tour this season, World No. 110 Monteiro is through to his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of 2016, having also reached the last eight on home soil in Sao Paulo (l. to Cuevas).

Another seed exited as Dustin Brown upset No. 7 Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-4 in 71 minutes to reach the semi-finals. The German saved the eight break points he faced as he won the pair's first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Brown is coming off a quarter-final showing in Bastad (l. to Ferrer) and goes on to face top seed Feliciano Lopez. Lopez was tested in his quarter-final affair against #NextGen star Elias Ymer, needing five match points to turn aside the young Swede 6-4, 7-6(2). The Spaniard, who prevailed after one hour and 46 minutes, was denied on four match points at 6-5 in the second set, as Ymer battled back from 0/40 down to force a tie-break. Lopez proved to be too strong, however, reaching his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the year (Houston & Dubai).

"It was a tough match," said Lopez. "He's a very talented young player and one of the young stars of the new generation that they are really pushing. The fact that I didn't win the second set 7-5 and he saved four match points shows you that. I was a little tight but then I played a very good tie-break. Maybe there was a 10-year difference, but I try to be in shape to face those young stars."

Khachanov Reveals Day In Kitzbuhel

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 7:50am

Karen Khachanov, an integral member of the ATP's Next Generation, enjoyed a strong week in his debut at the Generali Open Kitzbuhel. The Russian, who is projected to rise to a career-high No. 95 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after advancing to the quarter-finals, toppled defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets on Wednesday. Khachanov reflected on his week in the mountain town with ATPWorldTour.com.

 

"The scenery is amazing in Kitzbuhel. It's one of the more beautiful and relaxing places I've played in, in my career. I could sit back and look at the mountains all day!"

"My coach Galo Blanco and I discuss the game plan for the day. I always begin with the same stretching routine to get loose, which is very important even if I don't have a match. Here in Kitzbuhel, the tournament has many open spaces to spread out and get in a good workout."

"Time for practice. I hit with Taro Daniel during the week. He also lives in Spain, but I'm pretty sure his Spanish is better. It's improving little by little. Vamos!"

"I want to win, even when I'm relaxing with other players off the court. I'm very competitive. Albert Montanes was a tough opponent, but I won."

"I love to eat and it's always fun to go out for dinner with my coach Galo. I love having him in my corner and it's great to be able to relax together after a long day of hard work."

 

"I couldn't take home the trophy this week, but I hope to be back next year to lift it after the final. This is what I play for every week and I'm always fighting to get better."

Khachanov Reveals Day In Kitzbuhel

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 7:50am

Karen Khachanov, an integral member of the ATP's Next Generation, enjoyed a strong week in his debut at the Generali Open Kitzbuhel. The Russian, who is projected to rise to a career-high No. 95 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after advancing to the quarter-finals, toppled defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets on Wednesday. Khachanov reflected on his week in the mountain town with ATPWorldTour.com.

 

"The scenery is amazing in Kitzbuhel. It's one of the more beautiful and relaxing places I've played in, in my career. I could sit back and look at the mountains all day!"

"My coach Galo Blanco and I discuss the game plan for the day. I always begin with the same stretching routine to get loose, which is very important even if I don't have a match. Here in Kitzbuhel, the tournament has many open spaces to spread out and get in a good workout."

"Time for practice. I hit with Taro Daniel during the week. He also lives in Spain, but I'm pretty sure his Spanish is better. It's improving little by little. Vamos!"

"I want to win, even when I'm relaxing with other players off the court. I'm very competitive. Albert Montanes was a tough opponent, but I won."

"I love to eat and it's always fun to go out for dinner with my coach Galo. I love having him in my corner and it's great to be able to relax together after a long day of hard work."

 

"I couldn't take home the trophy this week, but I hope to be back next year to lift it after the final. This is what I play for every week and I'm always fighting to get better."