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Updated: 12 min 58 sec ago

Shapovalov: 'They Are All Human'

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 12:16pm
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Less than a year ago, Borna Coric advanced to the semi-finals of the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals. And while due to his age, the 21-year-old is no longer considered a #NextGenATP player, the Croatian made waves in the tennis world on Sunday when he defeated nine-time champion Roger Federer to triumph at the Gerry Weber Open.

Another 2017 Milan qualifier, #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, was not surprised.

“They are all human. They have all been beaten before. Obviously they are legends at this game, at this sport, to be where they are at at their age,” Shapovalov said. “But at the end of the day, it's a sport and they can lose, anyone can lose on a given day. Borna's had a really good year, has played some unbelievable tennis.

“It wasn't that big of a shocker to me that he beat Roger. Obviously it's always tough to beat a guy at that level, but like I said, Borna has been playing unbelievable tennis this year, so I'm happy for him.”

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If anything, Coric’s win motivates Shapovalov, as does all of the success current #NextGenATP players have. #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, for example, has beaten five players inside the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings in 2018, helping him climb nearly 60 spots since the beginning of the year to a career-best No. 35.

“It motivates the rest of us to keep working harder, try to do what Borna did last week, try to improve, try to get good results,” said Shapovalov, who is the No. 3 seed at the Nature Valley International. “I feel like that's kind of been the trend nowadays. One guy has some success and then you see another guy coming up and it's just kind of motivating each other to do better, and I feel like it's going to keep going like this.”

In a way, it’s a glimpse into the future for the #NextGenATP stars. Four #NextGenATP players are currently inside the Top 35 of the ATP Rankings.

“Even though they are so dominant at the sport, it's something that we have the potential to do,” Shapovalov said. “It's honestly pretty cool to have a group of young guys like this with such talent and such a high level coming up together.”

Shapovalov, the 2016 Wimbledon Boys’ Singles champion, will now look to make his own mark on the grass in Eastbourne. After reaching the semi-finals in Madrid and Delray Beach, the World No. 26 seeks his first ATP World Tour title. And while he holds just a 1-4 tour-level record on the surface, he feels it suits his game well.

“I feel like I have a pretty aggressive game style, big-serving. I like to come to the net, so that kind of suits the grass,” Shapovalov said. “I feel like potentially in a couple of years it's going to be a really good surface for me.”

The 19-year-old left-hander will begin his campaign against another 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier, Jared Donaldson. And while it was Coric who shone brightly last week, he hopes that now, it is his turn.

“I feel like my game is really coming along,” Shapovalov said. “I feel pretty ready for this week. Hopefully I can do some damage at this tournament. That would be great.”

Ferrer Clinical In Eastbourne Opening Win

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:58am

David Ferrer snapped a three-match losing streak to reach the second round at the Nature Valley International, beating qualifier Matteo Berrettini 7-5, 6-3 on Monday.

The former World No. 3, who suffered opening-round losses in each of his three ATP World Tour appearances on European clay in May, converted each of his five break point chances and won 75 per cent of second-serve return points to advance after 86 minutes. Ferrer is bidding to reach his second tour-level quarter-final of the season, after a semi-final run at the ASB Classic in January.

The 31-year-old will meet Mikhail Kukushkin or #NextGenATP Australian Alex de Minaur for a place in the last eight. Ferrer leads Kukushkin 7-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series and is yet to meet 19-year-old De Minaur.

John Millman levelled his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Gilles Muller at 2-2 after a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 victory over the World No. 60.

Millman, who fell to Novak Djokovic in the Fever-Tree Championships first round last week, won 41 of 48 first-serve points and saved the only break point he faced en route to victory. Muller drops to 1-3 on grass this season after winning 11 of 13 matches on the surface in 2017.

In a meeting of former champions, 2015 titlist Denis Istomin overcame 2011 winner Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(4). Istomin, who improves to 17-7 in Eastbourne, notched his 10th match win of the season after two hours and 28 minutes. The World No. 91 will next face fourth seed Marco Cecchinato after reducing his FedEx ATP Head2Head series deficit against Seppi to 4-7.

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Did You Know?
Only three men have ever won back-to-back titles at this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court event. Richard Gasquet was the first to retain his title (2005-2006), before Ivo Karlovic (2007-2008) and Feliciano Lopez (2013-2014) also achieved the feat.

Defending Champ Sugita Moves On In Antalya

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:16am

Defending champion Yuichi Sugita notched his sixth consecutive win at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya, defeating Argentina's Guido Pella 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 on Monday.

The Japanese No. 2, who lifted his maiden ATP World Tour title at the event in 2017, saved nine of ten break points and withstood 13 aces to advance after two hours and two minutes. Sugita, who defeated Dominic Thiem at the Gerry Weber Open last week, improves to 4-2 on grass this season.

"It is a big pressure [to be defending champion]. I want to defend the points and the title, but after [losing] the second set I just wanted to enjoy the tournament because I have good memories here... I am really happy to win today," said Sugita.

The 29-year-old will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a place in the quarter-finals. The Frenchman defeated Federico Delbonis 7-6(5), 6-4 in one hour and 47 minutes.

Dusan Lajovic needed an hour to book his spot in the second round, defeating Filip Horansky 6-3, 6-3. The eighth seed won 75 per cent of service points and converted three of eight break points. Lajovic will face Nikoloz Basilashvili for a quarter-final spot.

Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis set a meeting with 2017 runner up and top seed Adrian Mannarino after a 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 victory over Evgeny Donskoy. Berankis saved all five break points he faced and converted each of his three break opportunities to secure a clinical one-hour, 52-minute win.

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Did You Know?
Yuichi Sugita won the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open Antalya in 2017. The World No. 45 defeated David Ferrer in the second round before a straight-sets win over Adrian Mannarino in the championship match.

2018 Next Gen ATP Finals Tickets Now Available

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 10:51am

Tickets to see the future stars of men's professional tennis battle it out at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan, are now on sale.

The award-winning tournament returns for a second year in Italy and will again feature eight of the world's best 21-and-under players. The 2017 tournament was won in spectacular fashion by South Korea’s Hyeon Chung and, at the half-way mark of the 2018 season, the battle to qualify in this year’s tournament is firmly taking shape.

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The top seven players in the ATP Race to Milan will qualify automatically, while the eighth spot will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifier tournament to be held just prior to the Next Gen ATP Finals.

German Alexander Zverev, Greece's #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov of Canada are among the players leading this year's ATP Race to Milan.

Zverev, however, is also currently in third place in the ATP Race to London and, like last year, would be exempt from competing in Milan should he qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2.

Tsitsipas is only 19 years old but is already setting records for his home nation of Greece. The Athens native, No. 35 in the ATP Rankings, became the first Greek to crack the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings last year, and in April, Tsitsipas became only the second player from his country to make an ATP World Tour final at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (l. to Rafael Nadal).

Read More: #NextGenATP Greek Tsitsipas Finding His Best Form In A Hurry

Canada's Shapovalov has picked up where he left off last year, when he was the youngest player to compete at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals. The 19-year-old reached his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final last month at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to eventual champion Alexander Zverev). Last August, Shapovalov, the 2017 Emirates ATP Star of Tomorrow, beat Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal en route to becoming the youngest ever Masters 1000 semi-finalist at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal.

American Frances Tiafoe, Sydney International finalist Alex de Minaur of Australia and Tiafoe's countryman Taylor Fritz round out the top potential qualifiers.

The tournament will continue to trial a best-of-five set format, shorter sets to 4 (tie-break at 3-All), No-Ad scoring, and No-Lets.

Other innovations such as Electronic Line Calling through Hawk-Eye Live, a 25-second Shot Clock, In-Match player coaching via head-sets will also be back for this year’s edition. The player warm-up will be reduced by a further minute (from 5 minutes to 4 minutes) from the second player walk-on, while players will be instructed to use a towel rack at the back of the court to remove the onus on ball kids to handle towels.

Free crowd movement in the stadium and a limit of 1 medical time out per match will also remain. The tournament’s leading role in innovation comes at a key time when innovation is being widely considered across the highest levels of the sport.

The technological advances used across the 2017 tournament were recently recognised at the Yahoo Sports Technology Awards in London, where ATP & ATP Media won the Most Innovative Governing Body or Rights Holder Award.

Uncovered: Five Things To Know About Cameron Norrie

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 9:44am
Join ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot to find out more about Cameron Norrie, who broke into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 28 May 2018.

Ryan Harrison: My Story

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 9:28am
Ryan Harrison remembers losing to his Dad at a club tournament when he was 11 years old in this edition of My Story, delivered by FedEx.

2018 Next Gen ATP Finals Tickets Now Available

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 9:19am
Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan.

ATP Rankings Movers: Nadal Bounces Back To No. 1

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 2:39am

The close nature at the top of the ATP Rankings in 2018 is such that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have traded the No. 1 position on six occasions in the first six months of the season. The all-time record for most changes in the top spot is 10 in 1983. Today, Nadal is back at the summit of men's professional tennis.

No. 1 Rafael Nadal, +1
The 32-year-old Spaniard returns to No. 1 after Federer lost in the final of the Gerry Weber Open. In the week beginning 18 June, Federer, with 8,920 points (to Nadal’s 8,770), had been attempting to defend 500 ATP Rankings - as a result of winning his ninth Halle title in 2017 - but he earned 300 points. Nadal now leads Federer by just 50 points (8,770 to 8,720 points) in this week’s standings and will hold onto the top spot until at least 16 July.

Nadal, the winner of four clay-court trophies this year, began the year in the top spot, and today starts the 178th week of his career at No. 1. He has now held No. 1 for a total of 18 weeks, over four stints in 2018. Federer gained No. 1 for six weeks from 19 February, one week from 14 May and last week.

View Latest ATP Rankings

No. 17 Novak Djokovic, +5
The Serbian, who spent the last of his 223 weeks at No. 1 in the week of 6 November 2016, is on the rise once more, up to No. 17 — a five-spot promotion — after he reached the Fever-Tree Championships final. The 31-year-old was unable to convert one championship point against Marin Cilic and lift the 69th tour-level trophy of his career on Sunday in his first final since 1 July 2017 at the Nature Valley International. Djokovic, who missed six months of last season due to a right elbow injury, did become only the 10th player in the Open Era (since April 1968) to record 800 match wins on Friday with victory over Adrian Mannarino in the quarter-finals at The Queen’s Club.

No. 21 (Career High) Borna Coric, +13
The 21-year-old Croatian beat Alexander Zverev en route to a 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2 final victory over Federer at the Gerry Weber Open. It guaranteed Coric a 13-spot rise to a career-high No. 21. It is his biggest single jump since moving from No. 49 to No. 36 on 19 March 2018, after he reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Federer 5-7, 6-4, 6-4). Coric won his first ATP World Tour trophy in April 2017 at the Grand Prix Hassan II (d. Kohlschreiber).

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No. 46 Jeremy Chardy, +15
The 31-year-old appears in the Mover of the Week story for the third straight week after another fine week on grass courts. On the back of a sixth ATP Challenger Tour trophy at the Surbiton Trophy (d. de Minaur) and a run to the Libema Open title match (l. to Gasquet), the Frenchman moved into the Fever-Tree Championships semi-finals (l. to Djokovic) last week. Chardy, who was a career-high No. 25 on 28 January 2013, has today moved up 15 positions to No. 46, his highest ranking since 8 August 2016 (No. 39). Just three weeks ago, he was at No. 86.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 51 (Career High) Matthew Ebden, +9
No. 52 (Career High) Frances Tiafoe, +10
No. 76 Nikoloz Basilashvili, +9
No. 83 Denis Kudla, +26

Highlights: Coric Stuns Federer To Lift Halle Title

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 11:06pm
Watch as Borna Coric defeats nine-time champion Roger Federer to win his first tour-level grass-court title at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. Photo credit: Thomas Starke/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Stakhovsky Captures Ilkley Title, Earns Wimbledon Wild Card

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 9:09pm
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A LOOK BACK
Fuzion 100 Ilkley Trophy (Ilkley, UK): Sergiy Stakhovsky had one foot out of the tournament in the first round. Staring down four match points in his opening affair against Liam Broady in Ilkley, the Ukrainian stormed back to stay alive. And he did not drop a set from there.

Stakhovsky would go on to oust top seed Jordan Thompson and #NextGenATP star Michael Mmoh, before defeating Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-4, in Sunday's final. With the title, he earns a wild card into the main draw of Wimbledon, as has long been tradition for Ilkley champions.

It was Stakhovsky's 11th professional crown - four at the ATP World Tour level and seven on the ATP Challenger Tour - and second on grass. He previously lifted the trophy at the Libema Open in 's-Hertogenbosch in 2010.

Internationaux de Tennis de Blois (Blois, France): The script was nearly complete. Felix Auger-Aliassime was one victory from securing a historic fourth Challenger crown, moving the Canadian teen into solo second place among players aged 17 & under. But Scott Griekspoor had other plans.

The Dutchman entered the week in Blois with just one Challenger match win in the past two years, and he would leave with his maiden title. Griekspoor stunned fifth seed Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 53 minutes on Sunday, saving seven of eight break points faced. The 27-year-old had never defeated a Top 200 opponent entering the tournament and he would reel off four straight such wins to lift the trophy. He rises 66 spots to a career-high No. 216 in the ATP Rankings.

Rubin Explores Photography Passion At Ilkley Challenger

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 8:25pm
Noah Rubin takes us behind the scenes of a photography expedition in the scenic English town of Ilkley, home of a grass-court ATP Challenger Tour event.

Djokovic On Return To Form: 'I'm There'

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 5:28pm

Novak Djokovic was just one point away from capturing his first tour-level title in 51 weeks. Perhaps if Marin Cilic did not blast a nearly perfect serve out wide at 4-5, 30/40 in the second set of the Fever-Tree Championships final, the former World No. 1 would be celebrating his first triumph at The Queen’s Club.

But instead, it was the Croatian who enjoyed an ATP World Tour 500-level victory on Sunday. Is it disappointing for Djokovic? Sure. But the 31-year-old is happy to be near his top form once again after dealing with a right elbow injury since the end of Wimbledon last year.

“I’m there,” Djokovic said. “I think that the level of my tennis has been as good as it has been the past 12 months.”

Djokovic did not lose a set in his first four matches of the week on the London grass, including a straightforward 66-minute win against reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion and No. 2 seed Grigor Dimitrov.

“I'm really happy that I'm able to play this way coming up to Wimbledon,” Djokovic said. “This is as big of a tournament as it gets prior to Wimbledon, and I played [in the] final and almost won it. It's a great result.”

So why wasn’t the Serbian able to finish Cilic off when he led 4/1 in the second-set tie-break? What will it take to get over the proverbial hump and rejoin the winners’ circle? According to Djokovic, there’s no magical recipe.

“Our task as people is to evolve and, especially as athletes at this level, trying to understand what it takes to make that final step,” Djokovic said. “I don't think I made too many things wrong, even in these big moments, except that double fault at 4/3 in the tie-break. Other than that, I was in it, and credit to him for just going for it and playing well.”

Despite the loss, the 68-time tour-level champion has won 12 of his past 15 matches, thanks to a semi-final in Rome, quarter-final at Roland Garros and his performance at The Queen’s Club. While he has yet to capture glory this year, he is still heading in the right direction.

It’s not that long ago that Djokovic lost his opening-round encounter against Benoit Paire in Miami to suffer his first three-match losing streak since 2007.

“That was probably one of the lowest points I have had in terms of state of mind, where I was at that point, [and] also my game,” Djokovic said. “It's quite a significant difference.”

That low moment, which came just three months ago, feels like it came longer ago. Now, Djokovic will go home for a couple of days to reboot with his family, return to London, and set his sights on Wimbledon, which he has won three times. When a reporter asked, after his injury struggles in the past year, where a return to Grand Slam glory would rank among his many achievements, Djokovic could only smile.

“It's what I'm playing for.”

Story Of The 2018 Fever-Tree Championships

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 4:28pm
Relive the best moments from the 2018 Fever-Tree Championships, held at The Queen's Club, London. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Hot Shot: Kyrgios Weaves Way Into Winner

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:14am
Watch Hot Shot As Nick Kyrgios chips a crafty winner from an awkward position during his quarter-final match against Feliciano Lopez at Queen's Club on Friday. Photo Credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Federer: 'I Have Confidence Going Into My Next Match'

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:11am
Watch as Roger Federer discusses his quarter-final win over Matthew Ebden at Halle on Friday, and what he expects from Denis Kudla in the next round. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Cilic: 'I Managed To Get Out Of Difficult Situations'

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:08am
Watch as Marin Cilic breaks down how he navigated his way past a difficult test in Sam Querrey, and how he plans to reach the Fever-Tree Championships final for the fourth time. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Murray Accepts Eastbourne Wild Card

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:01am

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray has accepted a wild card to play at next week’s Nature Valley International, which begins in Eastbourne on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Murray will continue his comeback after almost one year out due to a right hip injury alongside Stan Wawrinka, Kyle Edmund, Denis Shapovalov and Feliciano Lopez at Devonshire Park.

"It was good to get back to competition at Queen's and I'm hoping to building on that next week," said Murray. "I'm looking forward to getting some more time on the grass courts at Eastbourne. I played Davis Cup there in 2010 and I know the courts and facilities there are excellent."

Murray lost to Nick Kyrgios 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 in two hours and 39 minutes on Tuesday in the Fever-Tree Championships first round. The Scot had not previously practised for more than 75 minutes in a single session over the past 12 months.

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Hot Shot: Federer's Scorching Overhead Winner

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 10:48am
Watch Hot Shot as Roger Federer positions himself for the easy overhead winner during his match against Matthew Ebden at Halle on Friday. Photo Credit: Thomas Starke/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

A Look At Preparing The Gerry Weber Open Grounds

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 10:45am
Watch as head groundsman Phil Thorn discusses what goes into preparing the Gerry Weber Open playing surface. Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Hot Shot: Fierce Backhand By Federer Catches Ebden Off Guard

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 10:36am
Watch as Roger Federer places a backhand winner off a booming serve by Matthew Ebden during their quarter-final match at Halle on Friday. Photo Credit: Alex Grimm/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.