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Dzumhur Discusses Wawrinka Upset Dubai 2017

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 6:53pm
Damir Dzumhur reacts to beating defending champion Stan Wawrinka at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com

Djokovic And Nadal Wow Huge Crowds In Acapuclo 2017

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 5:10pm
Top two seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal receive warm welcomes to Acapulco as thousands attend their practices ahead of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel. Photo: Abierto Mexicano

Emirates ATP Rankings Update 28 February

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 4:16pm
See the latest Emirates ATP Rankings as of 28 February, 2017.

Mature #NextGenATP Rubin With An Appetite To Succeed

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 4:14pm

If the criteria to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals were to have an insatiable appetite to learn, and an inner belief and professionalism to attain a desired goal, then Noah Rubin would be a certain participant in Milan later this year. The amiable American is currently among the top seven 21-and-under players in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan, but with nine months to go until the inaugural event there is work to do, and points and matches to be won. “It’s a massive motivation to be involved, particularly with new, young talent already making an impact and looking to press their claims as regulars in the Top 100,” Rubin told ATPWorldTour.com. “I’m self-motivated and keen to improve all the time, so it will be a test, and tough to qualify and get involved in a big tournament.”

Learn About Next Gen ATP Finals

Time spent off the court due to an ankle injury in mid-2016, but also in grueling nine-hour off-season sessions in Boca Raton, where he alternated between the court and gym for three weeks, reaped dividends earlier this month with the Neville Smith Forest Products Launceston International crown. It was his first ATP Challenger Tour title for 15 months (since November 2015 at Charlottesville) and ended a frustrating wait for the dedicated and disciplined right-hander, who recently turned 21.

“Last year, I was mentally off,” said Rubin. “Having turned pro in 2015, I did well at the Australian Open, but then experienced a poor clay swing prior to getting hurt before Wimbledon. I love the sport so much and the life I lead as a professional player, so I didn’t want to enter a negative space. My family and friends help me stay focused, telling me I just needed to practise and improve. By the time I got back on court I was excited and that’s what I’ve carried over into the new year.”

Learn About ATP Challenger Tour

Under the guidance of Stan Boster, the USTA National Men’s Coach, and former World No. 15 Robby Ginepri, Rubin has added to his armoury to become a more destructive force. ”Noah has a high intelligence level and is able to implement information given to him quickly on the court,” Ginepri told ATPWorldTour.com. “He is extremely professional on and off the tennis court.”

Having played Roger Federer at this year’s Australian Open, where he won a match for the second year running, Rubin witnessed first-hand the intensity in preparation and off-court training of the star names. Having played only seven tour-level events, the Long Island native, currently at World No. 172, is fully aware of what he needs to do in order to rise up the Emirates ATP Rankings.

“I try to keep an open mind, have a flexibility in the way I adapt to results and travel,” said Rubin, who won junior Wimbledon in 2014. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and work on a day-to-day basis. I’ve had a good first month to the year, learning a lot about the intensity of playing against Federer in Melbourne and how to raise my own game. With my current ranking, and with only a handful of points to defend between May and September, I am reassured I can push on, stay free from injury and develop my consistency.

“My backhand was already solid, but my forehand has become a major weapon now. My fitness was always good, but now it’s at another level and, importantly, I’ve become more grounded and mature to adapt to what I’m being asked to do by Robby or Stan. But my Dad [Eric], who taught me to play tennis, and also Lawrence Kleger, who coached me from the age of eight and knows the game so well, continue to mentor me. Lawrence, because of his time with me, picks up instinctively, unlike any other person, what I’m doing wrong on the practice or match court.”

Rubin admits that Ginepri, who was 21 when he lifted his first ATP World Tour trophy at 2003 Newport, has been able to adapt to his own style and provide specific guidance since joining his coaching team. Ginepri also “makes each session fun and talkative”.

“I'm able to give insight from my own tennis experiences and can relate on a daily basis on what he is feeling throughout the day,” said Ginepri. “Noah is filled with confidence and his inner belief is second to none. As long as he keeps his relentless attitude towards perfecting his craft, there's no reason why he can't achieve great things in his career.”

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Rio Open Uncovered 2017

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 2:08pm
Go behind the scenes with ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot at the Rio Open, where Dominic Thiem was hoping to re-discover his top form.

Challenger #NextGenATP First-Time Winner: Alexander Bublik

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 3:59pm
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Alexander Bublik fought past Nicolas Jarry 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday to claim his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title at the Morelos Open. The 19 year old became the youngest winner on the circuit this year and third #NextGenATP star to lift a trophy, joining Hyeon Chung (Maui) and Noah Rubin (Launceston).

Bublik's march to the title caps an impressive rise to the Top 150 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, ascending to a career-high World No. 137. Just four months ago, the Kazakh was sitting outside the Top 300, but a quarter-final result at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow - his first ATP World Tour main draw - and a run to the second round as a qualifier at the Australian Open, set the stage for his biggest professional title on the hard courts of Morelos.

ATPWorldTour.com spoke to Bublik after his victory:

What was it like to win your first title?
It was a big win. The first title always means a lot. I'm very happy. It gives me a lot of confidence and I'm close to the Top 100 now, but I still need to keep working hard.

In the final, you needed five match points to serve it out. Take us through that and how you finally managed to get it done.
He (Jarry) was playing unbelievable. He passed me twice with incredible shots. I got a little nervous. I was struggling to get there and I said to myself that I needed to win it. I got a first serve and it was over.

You were feeding off the energy from the crowd all week. How did you use that to your advantage?
I was struggling at times and they helped me a lot. They loved me there since the first day, since my first match. They definitely helped me. That's the thing about tennis. When you have a big crowd, I'm in love with it.

You haven't played many Challenger events. This was just your 10th main draw and first final. How have you made the transition look so easy?
It's really not. When I played my first Challenger last year in Kazan, I got past the first round and I thought it was a big first step forward. Then I won a couple of Futures titles and I went back to Challengers and I got some more wins, reaching my first quarter-final. I wasn't rising very fast. I took little steps closer and closer and had a big experience [at the ATP World Tour event] in Moscow at the end of the year.

Having reached the quarter-finals as a qualifier at the VTB Kremlin Cup in October, did that experience give you a boost entering the 2017 season?
Moscow really helped me a lot. That was a big push for me, because I've been working hard for a while. At the same time the year before, I was playing qualies at a Futures event. I worked a lot for it and it showed me that I could compete with these guys. Then I had a great run at the Aussie Open (qualifying and reaching the second round) and I really believed it. This Challenger gave me the confidence that I can not only play well, but win a tournament.

Did you do anything different in the offseason to prepare you for your first full season on tour?
We worked on several things in the pre-season here in Delray Beach. We worked a lot on the physical part because I'm a big guy. That is, building up my strength with my serve. We also changed the way I train, which helped me a lot. Training in Delray is the best. I've been in America since I was 12 years old, living in San Francisco, so I love it here.

You are up to No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan. What would it mean for you to qualify?
That's one of the main goals for me this season to qualify. It sounds like a great event and it will be very interesting to play there. I hope to stay healthy so I can make it.

ICYMI - #NextGenATP star @AlexanderBublik claims his first #ATPChallenger title with a splash, soaring to victory in Morelos, Mexico. pic.twitter.com/Adm4qfVGUX

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) February 26, 2017

Federer Looks Ahead To Dubai 2017

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 3:19pm

Roger Federer is set to play against Benoit Paire on Monday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

“I love playing in Dubai,” Federer told ATP World Tour Uncovered. “I call it my second home because I've spend so much time here practising over the years. The sessions are more sold out than ever, so it’s nice to be a part of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships history.”

Watch the Swiss superstar, a winner of seven Dubai titles, train with Dustin Brown at the Aviation Club on Sunday and look ahead to his 13th appearance at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

Federer is playing at his first tournament since capturing his 18th Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open (d. Nadal) on 29 January.

“I’ve been resting myself and have only been back in full training for the past three days at 100 per cent," admitted Federer. "The first round is going to be tough against Benoit Paire, who I know quite well. He’s a dangerous player and it’s a fast court.

“Even though I did win in Australia, I still feel like I’m a work in progress. I feel there is a little of the unknown, I don’t know what to expect myself. Especially if I were to win matches here, how is my body and mind going to react to back-to-back matches? I haven’t done that in seven or eight months. I will try to take it easy and not put too much pressure on myself.”

Kohlschreiber Wins Dubai Opener; Federer, Monfils In Action

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 2:00pm

Philipp Kohlschreiber moved to within two match wins of the 400th victory of his career on Monday by beating eighth seed and last month’s Apia International Sydney titlist Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-6(1) in 88 minutes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. “Hopefully I can achieve the mark here in this tournament,” said Kohlschreiber, who now has 398 match wins. “It would be great [and] mean I'm in the semi-finals.” He will next face #NextGenATP Daniil Medvedev or wild card Omar Alawadhi.

Three Spaniards – sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez – all advanced to the second round during the afternoon session.

Bautista Agut overcame #NextGenATP Russian Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6(4) in 85 minutes, while Granollers lost just three of his first service points in beating Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-2 for a second-round clash against second seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka or Damir Dzumhur. Garcia-Lopez defeated Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes.

Third seed and seven-time former winner Roger Federer and Gael Monfils compete at the Aviation Club in Dubai, venue of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, later today. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is celebrating its 25th edition this year.

Denis Istomin, Evgeny Donskoy, Marius Copil and Lukas Rosol all booked their spots in the main draw as a result of winning through the final qualifying round.

Watch Full Match Replays

Doubles Seeds Safely Through To QFs

Top seeds and ATP Finals titlists Henri Kontinen and John Peers lost just two of their service points in cruising past Alawadhi and Amirvala Madanchi 6-1, 6-1 in 37 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. Fourth seeds and 2015 semi-finalists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau overcame Mate Pavic and Alexander Peya 7-6(2), 6-1 in 64 minutes.

Tsonga Beats Pouille For Marseille 2017 Title

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:56pm
Watch highlights of the 2017 Open 13 Marseille final featuring Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille. Photo: Yohan Brandt

Acapulco 2017

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 11:01am

Federer Looks Ahead To Dubai 2017

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:14am
Watch Roger Federer train with Dustin Brown, look ahead to the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Benoit Paire, his first round opponent.

Tsonga Returns To Top 10, Mover Of The Week

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 9:57am

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has broken back into the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 15 August 2016 (at No. 10) as a result of capturing his second straight ATP World Tour title. The 31-year-old Frenchman jumped four spots to No. 7 – his highest position since 23 May 2016 – as a result of lifting the Open 13 Marseille crown with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over countryman Lucas Pouille in the Marseille final. Tsonga also clinched the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title (d. Goffin) in Rotterdam eight days ago. Pouille, 23, rose two spots to No. 15, equalling his career-high position that he first attained on 11 November 2016. Read Marseille Final Report

Jack Sock completed another strong week by sealing the Delray Beach Open title – adding to his ASB Classic trophy (d. Sousa) in January – to move up three places to a career-high No. 18 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The 24-year-old American is now 11-1 on the year. Former World No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro, who also competed at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament, soared 10 spots to No. 32 as a result of reaching the semi-finals (l. to Raonic). Read Delray Beach Report

View Latest Emirates ATP Rankings

#NextGenATP Russian Daniil Medvedev continues his rise up the Emirates ATP Rankings. The 21 year old rose seven positions to a career-high No. 57 with a Marseille quarter-final run (l. to Pouille). Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who beat No. 5-ranked Kei Nishikori at the Rio Open presented by Claro also jumped seven spots to No. 69, while his second-round conqueror Thiago Monteiro moved up 11 places to a career-high No. 74.

Nicolas Kicker made his debut in the Top 100 at No. 100 after he qualified for the Rio de Janeiro tournament and reached the last eight (l. to Ramos-Vinolas). The 24-year-old Argentinean vaulted 23 places to his career-high.

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Scouting Report: Djokovic Set For Acapulco Debut

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 5:07am

Strong Fields in Acapulco, Dubai & Sao Paulo: The busiest month of the season comes to a close this week with ATP World Tour 500-level tournaments in Acapulco and Dubai and the final Latin American clay-court stop in Sao Paulo. Eight of the Top 10 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings are in action, including five in Acapulco, led by No. 2 Novak Djokovic, and No. 6 Rafael Nadal. In Dubai, top-ranked Andy Murray, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer lead the way. In Sao Paulo, the top three are Spaniards Pablo Carreno Busta and Albert Ramos-Vinolas and two-time reigning champion Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

Emirates ATP Race to Milan Leaders: There are six #NextGenATP players among the Top 20 Emirates ATP Race to Milan (as of Feb. 20) in the main draw and two others in the final round of qualifying in the upcoming tournaments.

View full Race To Milan standings 

ABIERTO MEXICANO TELCEL (Acapulco): One of the favourite destinations on the ATP World Tour is the Acapulco Princess Mundo Imperial, site of the 500-level Abierto Mexicano Telcel. The tournament made the switch from clay to hard courts in 2014 and this year’s field features a tournament record five of the Top 10 players, led by wild card and World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who is making his tournament debut. The others include No. 6 Rafael Nadal, who returns for the first time since 2013, No. 8 and defending champion Dominic Thiem, No. 9 Marin Cilic and No. 10 David Goffin. Rounding out the seeds are first-time entrants No. 16 Nick Kyrgios and No. 21 Jack Sock. Thiem and Nadal are the only former champions in the draw.

Novak Makes Debut: Djokovic, who accepted a wild card to play in Acapulco for the first time, is playing his first tournament match since his five-set 2R loss to Denis Istomin at the Australian Open on Jan. 19. After Melbourne, Djokovic played in Serbia’ s 1R Davis Cup tie vs. Russia and he defeated #NextGenATP star Daniil Medvedev in the second singles match in four sets (did not play reverse singles). The 29-year-old Serbian is making his Acapulco debut and second career pro tournament appearance in Latin America. Last summer he lost in the 1R at the Rio Olympics (l. to del Potro). Djokovic opened the season by defending his title in Doha (d. Murray). He enters with 758 career match wins and he is four wins away from tying Pete Sampras for 10th place on the Open Era list.

Thiem Reigning Champion: Last year Thiem won the biggest ATP World Tour title of his career in Acapulco, defeating Aussie Bernard Tomic 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. It was the second of a career-high four ATP World Tour titles during the season and the 23-year-old Austrian finished as the youngest player in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 8. On Sunday, Thiem won his first title of the season over Pablo Carreno Busta in Rio.

Nadal Eyes 70th Title: Two-time Acapulco champion Nadal looks to continue his success and remain unbeaten (10-0) in the tournament. In his two previous appearances on clay, Nadal won without dropping a set, capped by final wins in 2005 (d. Montanes) and 2013 (d. No. 4 Ferrer). The 30-year-old Spaniard is playing in his first tournament since reaching the Australian Open final on Jan. 29 (l. to Federer in five sets). He opened the year by reaching the quarter-finals in Brisbane (l. to Raonic). Nadal is not only trying to capture his 70th career title, he is also attempting to break a three-year-plus hard-court title drought. His last hard court title came in Doha in January 2014 (d. Monfils).

Delpo Returns: It’s been 11 years since Juan Martin del Potro played in Acapulco. In 2006, he came in ranked No. 146 and retired in the 1R vs. Albert Montanes trailing 6-2, 5-3. It was only his fifth career ATP World Tour match at the time. Since then the Argentine superstar has won 19 career titles, including the 2009 US Open, and reached a career-high ranking of No. 4. Just over one year ago he came into Delray Beach ranked No. 1,042. This past week he played in his first tournament of the season in Delray Beach and lost in the semi-finals to top seed Raonic. Last year he earned a second ATP Comeback of the Year award (2011). He finished at No. 38 with a 32-12 match record on the season, winning in Stockholm (d. Sock) and earning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics where he beat No. 1 Djokovic in 1R and No. 5 Nadal in SF, (l. to No. 2 Murray). He closed the year by leading his country to a first Davis Cup title with wins over Croatia’s Karlovic and Cilic.

#NextGenATP Stars: There are six #NextGenATP players in the main draw, led by World No. 59 Borna Coric, wild card World No. 113 Ernesto Escobedo and four qualifiers - No. 86 Yoshihito Nishioka, No. 90 Frances Tiafoe, No. 115 Stefan Kozlov, and No. 136 Taylor Fritz, who was last year’s ATP Star of Tomorrow recipient.

Sock Coming to Acapulco: No. 8 seed Sock, a winner over Milos Raonic in the Delray Beach final via walkover, is off to a quick start this season. Sock, the No. 1 American, is off to a career-best 10-1 start, winning his second career ATP World Tour title in Auckland (d. Sousa), reaching the 3R at the Australian Open (l. to Tsonga) and winning a match in the USA's 5-0 Davis Cup 1R win over Switzerland.

Doubles Draw: The top seeds are last year’s World No. 1 duo: Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. The other seeds are: No. 2 Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, No. 3 Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo and No. 4/last year’s champions Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi, who is aiming for his 50th career ATP World Tour level doubles title.

DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS (Dubai): The 25th anniversary of the prestigious 500-level tournament is highlighted by World No. 1 Andy Murray, who is joined by reigning champion Stan Wawrinka and seven-time winner Roger Federer, who is playing his first tournament since his title run at the Australian Open. The other seeds are: No. 4 Gael Monfils, No. 5 Tomas Berdych, No. 6 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 7 Lucas Pouille and No. 8 Gilles Muller. Prior to last year when Wawrinka captured the title, Djokovic or Federer were champions for a seven-year stretch from 2009-2015.

Murray Top Seed:  Murray is making his first tournament appearance since losing in the 4R at the Australian Open (l. to M. Zverev) on Jan. 22. The World No. 1 opened the season by reaching the final in Doha (l. to Djokovic). He has an 11-4 career record in Dubai, reaching the final in 2012 (l. to Federer) and the quarter-finals in 2008-09 and 2015. Murray is also playing doubles (w/Zimonjic).

Stan Reigning Champion: No. 2 seed Wawrinka is back to defend his title. Last year he returned to Dubai for the first time since 2008 (1R, l. to Hernych). After opening the tournament coming back to beat Stakhovsky in three sets, he did not drop a set the rest of the week, capping it off with a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Baghdatis in the final.  He won two more titles, including his third Grand Slam crown at the US Open (d. Djokovic) to finish No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the third straight year. This season he has compiled a 7-2 match record, opening with a semi-final in Brisbane (l. to Nishikori) and following with the same result at the Australian Open (l. to eventual champion Federer in five sets).

Roger Eyes Eighth Title: Federer is making his 13th appearance in Dubai and the 35-year-old Swiss superstar is playing in his first tournament since capturing his 18th career Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open on Jan. 29 (d. Nadal in five sets). Federer owns a 47-5 career record in Dubai with seven titles (2003-05, 2007, 2012, 2014-15). He also was runner-up in 2006 and 2011. He has won 10 straight matches in Dubai since losing to Berdych in the semi-finals in 2013. He is trying to win an eighth title for the first time in his career. He also has captured seven titles in Basel, Cincinnati, Halle and Wimbledon. Last year he played his last match in the Wimbledon semi-finals on July 8, 2016 when he lost in five sets to Raonic. He missed the rest of last season with a knee injury.            

Kohli Eyes 400 Wins: No. 2 German Philipp Kohlschreiber is three match wins away from reaching the 400 wins milestone in his career. He has a record of 397-307, including 8-7 in Dubai, reaching the semi-finals in 2014 (l. to Berdych) and quarter-finals last year (l. to eventual champion Wawrinka).

Berdych Makes 10th Appearance: No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych is making his 11th  appearance in Dubai. The two-time finalist (2013-14), who has reached the quarter-finals or better the past six years, has a 22-10 career record. He began with a 4-4 record but is 18-6 since 2011.

Doubles Draw: The top seeds are Australian Open champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers. The other seeds are: No. 2 Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers, No. 3 Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin and No. 4 Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.

BRASIL OPEN (Sao Paulo):  Sao Paulo is the site of one of two Brazilian tournaments on the ATP World Tour (Rio de Janeiro). There are five players in the Top 50 Emirates ATP Rankings in the field, led by top seed, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who finished runner-up in his biggest career ATP World Tour final in Rio on Sunday (l. to Thiem).  The other seeds are No. 2 Albert Ramos-Vinolas No. 3 and reigning two-time champion Pablo Cuevas, No. 4 Joao Sousa, No. 5 Fabio Fognini, No. 6 Diego Schwartzman, No. 7 Federico Delbonis and No. 8 Carlos Berlocq. There are two former winners in the field: Cuevas (2015-16) and Delbonis (2014).

Cuevas Two-Time Defending Champ: Two-time reigning champion Cuevas comes in with a 12-5 career record, having won nine straight matches over 2015-16 in Sao Paulo. The 31-year-old Uruguayan is off to a slow start this season with a 1-4 match record and he has lost his past three opening round matches, including last week in Rio (l. to De Greef). On Saturday, he captured his sixth career doubles title in Rio (w/Carreno Busta). They are the top seeds in Sao Paulo.

Carreno Busta Top Seed: For the first time in his career Carreno Busta is the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament. The 25-year-old Spaniard lost in Sunday’s singles final in Rio (l. to Thiem). He saved one match point in his 2-6, 7-5 ,6-0 semi-final win over rising Norwegian #NextGenATP star Casper Ruud. Last season Carreno Busta won two ATP World Tour titles (Winston-Salem, Moscow) and reached two other finals (Sao Paulo, Estoril) and finished a year-end best No. 30 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Last year’s Sao Paulo runner-up is making his third straight tournament visit (4-2 record).

Ruud Newest #NextGenATP Star: The youngest player in the draw is 18-year-old Casper Ruud of Norway. Ruud earned entry into the draw as a special exempt after reaching his first ATP World Tour semi-final in Rio (l. to Carreno Busta after holding match point).  Ruud rose from No. 209 to a career-high of No. 133 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after his breakthrough week. He also moved from No. 16 to No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan standings.

Spanish Success: In 2014, Delbonis became the first Argentine tournament winner since Guillermo Canas won in Costa do Sauipe in 2007. Then Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas won the title in 2015-16. Prior to 2014, Spaniards had won six straight titles in Sao Paulo from 2008-13 with Almagro winning three times:          

2013 – Rafael Nadal                                                                                              
2012 – Nicolas Almagro                                                                                        
2011 – Nicolas Almagro                                                                                            
2010 – Juan Carlos Ferrero                                                                                                          
2009 – Tommy Robredo                                                                                      
2008 – Nicolas Almagro

Doubles Draw: The top seeds are Rio champions Pablo Carreno Busta and Pablo Cuevas. The other seeds are: defending champions No. 2 Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos, No. 3 Nicholas Monroe and Artem Sitak and No. 4 Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner.

Thiem Laces On The Run Hot Shot In Rio 2017

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 2:58am
Dominic Thiem produces an incredible shot from an impossible angle against Pablo Carreno Busta in the Rio de Janeiro final. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Thiem Takes Title In Rio 2017

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 2:58am
Watch highlights as second seed Dominic Thiem defeats Pablo Carreno Busta to prevail in Rio de Janeiro. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Joao Pires/Fotojump

Janowicz Storms To Bergamo Title

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 2:54am
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A LOOK BACK

Morelos Open (Morelos, Mexico): Third seed and #NextGenATP star Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan won his first ATP Challenger Tour title with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Nicolas Jarry of Chile. At 19 years and eight months, he is the youngest Challenger winner so far this year. Bublik is the third #NextGenATP winner in 2017, joining Korean Hyeon Chung (Maui) and American Noah Rubin (Launceston). He has jumped nearly 70 spots since the start of the season to a career-high No. 137 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Jarry was also seeking his first Challenger title, reaching his first Challenger final since Quito in September 2014. His run in Morelos pushes him back inside the Top 250 and he’s closing in on the Top 200 after returning from breaking his right wrist.

Trofio Faip Perrel (Bergamo, Italy): Former World No. 14 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland continued his comeback from injury with a 6-4, 6-4 win over seventh seed and #NextGenATP star Quentin Halys of France. The win gives Janowicz his sixth ATP Challenger Tour title and first since prevailing in Genoa last September. The win over Halys also snapped the French title streak in Bergamo, following victories by Benoit Paire in 2015 and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in 2016.

The 20 year old Halys finishes with his first Challenger final of the year. He was seeking his second Challenger title, with the maiden crown coming last April in Tallahassee.

Shimadzu Kyoto Challenger (Kyoto, Japan): Local favourite Yasutaka Uchiyama delighted the home crowd with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over sixth seed Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia to win his first Challenger title. This is the second straight year a Japanese player has won on home soil in Kyoto, with Yuichi Sugita prevailing last year. The 24-year-old Uchiyama was competing in his first Challenger final since Lexington in July 2015.

Kavcic drops to 0-2 in Challenger finals this year after finishing runner-up last month in Bangkok.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Janowicz: “This is just one more good step for me because I’m already thinking of being back in the Top 15. Now I’m going to fight next week in Wroclaw. I hope I’m going to stay healthy and be back as fast as possible.”

“The organisation here is really good. I’d say this was one of the best tournament directors I’ve ever had. It was nice to be here and the crowd is always unbelievable in Italy!”

A LOOK AHEAD

There are two Challengers on the schedule this week, with the $100,000 event in Wroclaw, Poland, taking top billing as it returns for the 13th year. Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu is the top seed and Lukas Lacko of Slovakia is the second seed. Halys, the fourth seed, and Janowicz look to continue their form from Bergamo. Former Top 10 player Jurgen Melzer of Austria is also in the draw.

The $50,000 event in Yokohama, Japan, is back for the 12th year. Local favourite Sugita is the top seed and Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland is the second seed. Korean #NextGenATP star Duckhee Lee is the third seed, while Uchiyama and Kavcic aim for another successful week in Japan.

View Draws & Watch Free Live Streams

ATP CHALLENGER TOUR ON TWITTER: The ATP Challenger Tour has launched a dedicated Twitter account for the latest news and information about players and events. Follow @ATPChallengerTour at twitter.com/ATPChallengerTour.

Nadal, Djokovic Lead Stacked Field In Acapulco

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:50am
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Four members of the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings are appearing at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, in what is shaping to be a thrilling week in Acapulco. It is a historic field for the ATP World Tour 500 event, with Top 10 stalwarts Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem leading the pack, alongside the likes of Juan Martin del Potro, David Goffin and Nick Kyrgios.

If Djokovic and Nadal cross paths in Saturday's championship, it would be an unprecedented 50th FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter between the two stars, their first since the Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarter-finals last year. The Spaniard leads a talented bottom half of the draw that also features third seed Cilic, Delray Beach Open champion Jack Sock and #NextGenATP stars Borna Coric and Ernesto Escobedo.

Nadal, who will look to carry the momentum from a runner-up showing at the Australian Open, will be seeking his third title in Acapulco, having triumphed when it was held on clay in 2005 (d. Montanes) and in 2013 (d. Ferrer). He opens against a red-hot Mischa Zverev in a rematch of their encounter at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp last month, won by Nadal 6-1, 6-1.

 Watch The Acapulco Action On TennisTV

In another enticing first-round affair, World No. 7 Cilic faces Argentina Open champion Alexandr Dolgopolov. "It's going to be extremely exciting with a lot of great players," said the Croatian. "The crowd in Mexico really deserves to have such a great tournament and I'm just hoping I can produce some good tennis and enjoy the week. It's in a great week this year, just prior to Indian Wells, and everyone loves it here."

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Competing in his first tournament since a surprise second-round exit at the Australian Open, World No. 2 Djokovic is the first Top 2 player to enter Acapulco since No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten won the title in 2001. The late addition took a wild card into the draw on Thursday and could face del Potro in what would be a blockbuster second-round encounter. The Serbian, who is making his debut, will have to get through Slovakia's Martin Klizan in the first round on Tuesday. Del Potro opens against a qualifier or lucky loser.

Also in Djokovic's half of the draw is fourth seed and defending champion Thiem, who is coming off a title run on the clay of Rio de Janeiro, fifth seed Goffin, sixth seed Kyrgios and 2016 runner-up Bernard Tomic. Thiem and Goffin could meet in the quarter-finals.

Main draw action in Acapulco gets underway on Monday. Four qualifying spots remain up for grabs in Sunday's final round, with #NextGenATP stars Stefan Kozlov, Jared Donaldson, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz all on the schedule, along with Memphis Open champion Ryan Harrison.

Thiem Reigns In Rio

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 11:04pm
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Dominic Thiem has found a home on the Latin American Golden Swing, surging to the title at the Rio Open presented by Claro on Sunday. Thiem fought past Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 34 minutes to lift the trophy at the Jockey Club Brasileiro.

With Brazilian legend Gustavo Kuerten in attendance, the World No. 8 claimed his eighth ATP World Tour crown, second at the 500 level and third on the Golden Swing, having previously triumphed in Buenos Aires and Acapulco in 2016. He fired 25 winners, including 14 on his forehand wing and seven aces to prevail over Carreno Busta. Thiem also converted four of eight break chances in extending his FedEx ATP Head2Head edge to 5-1.

"I am feeling really great," said Thiem. "This is the best feeling you can have, winning a title. It's all you practise for. I played five very good matches, especially in the semis and final against amazing players.

"I did same thing last year, going from clay to hard in Acapulco and I did well. It's a slower hard court with a high bounce, so it's what I like. It's not easy with the travel and time difference, but the confidence is high and I'm feeling great."

 Watch Full Match Replays

With rain drops falling over Quadra Guga Kuerten, Carreno Busta took the early lead with a break for 3-2 as he looked to extend his strong run of form in Rio. A day removed from a thrilling comeback over teenager Casper Ruud to reach the final, battling back from a set and a break down and fighting off a match point, he was riding a wave of momentum.

But Thiem entered the final without dropping a set on the Brazilian clay, making a seemless transition from the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam. The trend would continue, as the second seed broke right back for 3-3 and eventually converted his third set point, breaking again for 7-5.

The lead would trade hands midway through the second set, as Thiem edged ahead with a drop shot winner for 4-2 and Carreno Busta drew level with a sublime drop shot of his own in the next game. Thiem was tested, but he would not be denied the title, breaking for the match as the Spaniard sent a forehand long.

Thiem takes $314,880 in prize money and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points, extending his win streak over Carreno Busta to four straight at the tour-level. They met twice in 2016, with the Austrian winning in three sets in Buenos Aires and in four at the US Open.

Thiem is the fourth player to lift an ATP World Tour trophy this year without dropping a set, joining last week's winners Ryan Harrison (Memphis) and Alexandr Dolgopolov (Buenos Aires), as well as Sunday's Delray Beach Open champion Jack Sock.

Carreno Busta, meanwhile, was bidding for his third ATP World Tour title in his fifth final. He prevailed in the doubles final on Saturday with Pablo Cuevas, dethroning defending champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

"Obviously, I'm very happy after a week like this," said Carreno Busta. "Winning the title in doubles and reaching the final in singles is great. Dominic is a fantastic player and is going to win many more titles in the coming years. I hope I can play more finals against him.

"Physically I felt great all week. I'm a little tired, but that's normal after these couple of days. I have a few days to rest and now I'm looking forward to Sao Paulo."

The 25 year old, who was looking to join Rafael Nadal (2014) and David Ferrer (2015) as Spanish champions in Rio de Janeiro, earns 300 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $154,370 in prize money. He is projected to rise one spot to a career-high World No. 23 on Monday.

Klaasen/Ram Prevail In Delray Beach

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 10:35pm

Second seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram picked up their first ATP World Tour doubles title of 2017 on Sunday at the Delray Beach Open, prevailing in a tight 7-5, 7-5 final over third seeds Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi.

“It seems like I’m just the sideshow here in Delray Beach. I just have to make sure I’m not the reason we’re losing matches!” joked Klaasen. “I think Rajeev and I have done some good things to improve our games and this week was another progression for us as a team. The crowd has been great all week. People really enjoy their doubles here and that makes it fun for us."

The South African-American pair earned their fourth ATP World Tour doubles title as a team, winning in 2015 and 2016 at the Gerry Weber Open and last year at the Chengdu Open They improved their FedEx ATP Head2Head against Huey/Mirnyi to 2-0, adding to their win in the semi-finals of last year’s Miami Open presented by Itau. Both players have excelled before in Delray, with Ram winning the 2011 doubles title with Scott Lipsky and Klaasen finishing runner-up in 2015 with Leander Paes. Ram has also enjoyed singles success here with a runner-up showing last year (l. Querrey).

“I think the conditions here suit my game pretty well," said Ram. "For whatever reason, I’ve played some of my better tennis here and that carried into this week. We played four decent matches against some good teams.”

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Klaasen couldn’t take his chance to serve out the set at 5-4, but the second seeds responded with an immediate break in the next game before Ram comfortably held to grab the early lead. The second seeds rallied from 1-3 down in the second set, breaking Huey/Mirnyi once again at 5-5 and converting on their fourth match point to come out on top in one hour and 30 minutes.

Klaasen/Ram pick up 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split a cheque for $29,010. Huey/Mirnyi, who were also competing in their first ATP World Tour final of the season, earn 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $15,250.

 Watch Full Match Replays

Federer: "I'm Still Riding The Wave" Ahead Of Dubai Return

Sun, 02/26/2017 - 9:59pm

No expectations. That was Roger Federer's perspective as he began his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury to open the 2017 season.

But what started as a period of self-discovery quickly morphed into business as usual for the Swiss Maestro. Federer enters his first ATP World Tour event in eight months with renewed confidence after lifting his 18th Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open. Ahead of his return to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the 35 year old admits that registering strong results against the game's elite once again has been critical.

Despite his sudden success, however, Federer's expectations remain tempered as he turns the page on the newest chapter of his storied career.

"Dare to dream, why not?" said Federer. "I take it one at a time. This one has been so amazing and I’m still riding the wave.

"I hope we’re going to get into the problem that I will have to play every day, that means I’m winning matches," said Federer. "It’s going to take me some time, until probably April, to feel my best because then I would’ve played best-of-five matches in Australia, back-to-back matches in Dubai and maybe some in Indian Wells and Miami. Then after Miami I would really know where I’m at.

"I still feel like maybe it’s still some work in progress for me. Just getting to understand how the body is going to react, how much load the body can take. It’s definitely a little bit of the unknown."

Federer returns to a happy hunting ground in the Arabian desert, having won the Dubai title a record seven times. The winner in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2015, the Swiss owns a staggering 47-5 win-loss record at the ATP World Tour 500 event. It is one of five tournaments he has claimed on at least seven occasions.

Seeded third, Federer opens against Benoit Paire on opening night, with their first-round encounter slated for 7:00pm local time on Monday.

Federer's Happy Hunting Grounds

Tournament Titles Gerry Weber Open (Halle)
8 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
7
Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati)
7
Wimbledon 7
Swiss Indoors Basel
7

"I hope I can play tomorrow. If I were to win, then I have a day off and play Wednesday again. That would be definitely good, rather than having to play almost every day if you end up winning. But look, I know that the first round is tough and I don’t see myself as the favourite here at this tournament."

"Even though I have a great track record, it all starts from zero here. Yes I got some confidence in Australia but I did have a big break so I didn’t right away go play again. The break is too big for me to come in and just play like I did in Australia. The conditions are a bit different here. It’s faster."

Federer could face Mikhail Youzhny in the second round, in a rematch of the 2007 final, with top seed and World No. 1 Andy Murray looming large in his half of the draw. Defending champion and countryman Stan Wawrinka is seeded second in what is another stacked field at the prestigious tournament.