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Updated: 11 min 33 sec ago

Nadal On "Right Track", Targets Toronto Return

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:38pm

Rafael Nadal is expected to return to ATP World Tour action at the Rogers Cup in Toronto next month, according to a progress report given by coach Toni Nadal on Thursday in Mallorca.

"Rafa is doing well,” he said. “The Federation doctor has said that everything is progressing as it should, in the time frame we expected. Now he has to start strengthening his wrist and his arm a little bit, and in two weeks we will start training step by step, working a little bit harder each day. The doctor said everything is on the right track."

The 30-year-old Spaniard has been sidelined with a left-wrist injury, which forced him to withdraw from Roland Garros prior to his third-round match. Nadal announced last week that he would also miss Wimbledon.

"The plan is to play Toronto if everything goes well,” said Toni Nadal.

Nadal has a 29-8 record this season, highlighted by titles at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and Barcelona Open BancSabadell

Murray Makes Peugeot VR Experience A Reality

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 8:40pm

Peugeot has been offering tennis fans at The Queen’s Club in London the unique opportunity to test out a virtual reality experience with Jamie Murray appearing in their glasses as they sit in a car at the Aegon Championships.

Even more unique – when Jamie Murray hops into the car with you!

The World No. 1 doubles star and Peugeot ambassador surprised a fan as she was trying out the cool experience on Wednesday.

“I just turned up and the lady was going through the virtual reality experience,” said Murray. “She had no idea I was there!”

Murray also signed autographs for young fans and posed for photos at the Peugeot car display.

Peya/Kubot Survive In Halle

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:13pm

Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya made a great escape against Brian Baker and Denis Istomin in the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals on Thursday. The second seeds faced match point at 8-9 in the Match Tie-break, but swept the next three points to prevail 6-2, 2-6, 11-9 in 67 minutes.

Kubot and Peya, who also saved four match points against Philipp Kohlschreiber and Dominic Thiem in the first round, next face fourth seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers. Kontinen and Peers beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-3, 7-6(1) as they fired seven aces, won 82 per cent of first serve points and dropped serve just once.

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Third seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram topped wild cards Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-2. The Zverev brothers fought off five break points, but lost serve three times to succumb in 56 minutes.

Rain Halts Doubles Play At Queen’s

Inclement weather forced the postponement of all four doubles matches scheduled at the Aegon Championships on Thursday. Third seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau were up 6-2, 2-1 against Jonathan Erlich and Colin Fleming when play was suspended.

Fognini Weds Pennetta In Italy

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 6:40pm

Fabio Fognini wed former WTA player Flavia Pennetta on 11 June 2016 in Ostuni, Italy.

Among the guests were Boris Becker, Fognini’s compatriot Simone Bolelli, as well as WTA stars Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci and Francesca Schiavone.

Fognini’s sister, Fulvia, tweeted this photo after the nuptials:

W GLI SPOSI pic.twitter.com/FdAikH1QDQ

— Fulvia Fognini (@Fulvia_Fognini) June 11, 2016

 

Isner Sets Queen's Club Aces Record, Muller Saves 10 M.P.

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 5:44pm

John Isner fired a Queen’s Club record 43 aces in a 3-6, 7-6(16), 7-6(7) loss to Gilles Muller in their second-round match Thursday at the Aegon Championships. Muller held the previous main draw record, hitting 37 last year in a three-set, first-round win over Mikhail Youzhny.

The 43 aces was the second-most in a best-of-three sets match since the ATP began keeping match statistics in 1991. Last year in the Halle quarter-finals, Ivo Karlovic hit 45 aces in a three-sets win over Tomas Berdych.

Isner and Muller’s combined 69 aces during the match was the most in an ATP World Tour best-of-three match (since 1991). The previous most was 65 aces last year in the Queen's Club second round with Isner (36) and Feliciano Lopez (29).

Muller, a finalist last week at the Ricoh Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Mahut), saved 10 match points – six in the second set, four in the third set. Isner had two match points on his serve at 13-12 in the second set tie-break and at 6-5 in third set TB.

The 10 match points saved was the most on the ATP World Tour since 2004, when Rainer Schuettler fought off the same number in a 3-6, 7-6(13), 6-0 win over Andreas Seppi in the Kitzbuhel second round.

The 18-16 tie-break was the longest at the Queen’s Club since the semi-finals in 1997 when Goran Ivanisevic defeated Greg Rusedski 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(18). It was the longest tie-break on the ATP World Tour this season. There was an 18-16 tie-break in a Davis Cup tie in March, when Mirza Basic came back to defeat Malek Jaziri 5-7, 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(16), 6-4.

Bourgue Building On Murray Match In Challengers

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 5:38pm

Twelve months after winning his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Blois, France, Mathias Bourgue came full circle by returning this week to defend it.

Although he lost in the first round, it was a minor blip in comparison to the progress the 22-year-old has made this year.

“It was a weird experience because it was my first time defending a title, so it was tough to deal with it,” he admitted. “But I really like Blois. The public is very supportive and the organisation is great, so I felt good on the court last year. It’s also the last Challenger in France until the fall, so I wanted to try and come back.”

Bourgue has climbed over 80 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings in 2016, currently sitting at a career-high ranking of No. 153. He reached the final of the $100,000 ATP Challenger Tour event this April in Anning, China, as well as the semi-finals of the $75,000 event in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the $50,000 tournament in Bucaramanga, Colombia.

The Frenchman credited a rigorous off-season that included unique training methods with taking his game to the next level.

“I took some boxing lessons during this off-season. I wanted to be prepared and be able to literally fight for every point,” said Bourgue. “And on the court, I did a lot of long sessions.”

His hard work culminated last month at Roland Garros, where he received a wild card into his first Grand Slam main draw. After winning his opening round, he was a set away from defeating World No. 2 Andy Murray before falling in five sets.

“It’s a big memory for me and my first time playing such a good player,” said Bourgue. “To have a lot of success during the match and be in control for two sets gave me a lot of confidence and showed that I can play at his level. It was a great experience.”

For now, Bourgue is back to the ATP Challenger Tour as he pushes to finish in the Top 100 by the end of the year. The Frenchman is looking back to his victory last year in Blois as a blueprint for how he wants to play on a weekly basis.

“I felt really confident after that tournament,” he said. “I felt that I was starting to play better and my hard work was showing, so that’s partly why I started this year so well. I’m just trying to be as consistent as I was during that week."

Getting To Know...Gregoire Barrere

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 5:21pm

Gregoire Barrere has established himself this year as one of the rising stars in the game. The 22-year-old Frenchman has jumped 50 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings this year after reaching two semi-finals at ATP Challenger Tour events, including last week’s $75,000 tournament in Lyon, France.

He is also one of four players competing in Tecnifibre’s second-annual “Young Guns on the Road Contest.” Barrere is taking on Mitchell Krueger, Omar Jasika and Daniil Medvedev on the court and through social media in the hopes of winning a $50,000 grand prize.

Speaking from this week’s $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Blois, France, Barrere talked about life on tour and why he likes to communicate with his fans on social media.

How were you first introduced to the sport?

I was five years old when I started playing tennis in my hometown. My parents played, so they introduced me to it. I liked it and eventually started playing tournaments.

When did you know you wanted to be a pro tennis player?

I was 15 years old. The French Tennis Federation contacted me to train in their program with the top players between 16-18 years old. When I knew I could practise with them, I decided that I wanted to do this.

What is the best moment of your career so far?

Playing in Roland Garros this year, where I had a main draw wildcard. Even though I lost, it was a great experience because I grew up in Paris and it was my dream to be in Roland Garros. I lost to David Goffin, so it wasn’t a bad loss.

What do you like most about life on the tour?

I like traveling during the year to a lot of countries. I like to learn about a lot of different cultures and travel with friends, so this is a good part of the job for me. Now that I’m in Challengers and playing bigger tournaments, I’m enjoying it even more.

You have an active social media presence. Do you like interacting with fans?

I do. It’s really fun to speak with them and see what they do during tournaments, and I think the fans also like to see what we do. Even my friends don’t always know exactly what I do and what life on the tour is like. Even though it’s not the ATP World Tour, I think we can still show a lot of good things from Challengers.

What did you work on in the off-season to take your game to the next level?

I tried to be more solid and worked a lot more on my fitness, which was a weaker part of my game. I also tried to work on being more aggressive and coming to the net when I can.

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

I want to try and get into the Top 100 as soon as possible.

Are there any Challengers you’ve played that you enjoyed most?

I really like all the Challengers in France, especially the one in Quimper. I made my first final there and the organisation was very good overall. 

Federer To Play Goffin In Halle QFs

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 4:29pm

Top seed and eight-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals for the 14th successive time on Thursday by beating Malek Jaziri 6-3, 7-5 in 69 minutes.

“I thought he was reading my serve throughout the first set. So, I started to serve a little bit different in the second set. I was having more success that way,” Federer said. “I was happy to come through a tough match because I thought he’s tough to play against. I struggled to read his technique, the way he gets into the ball I can’t really tell where he goes...

“I wish I could have played maybe a bit better at times but I must put it down to my opponent keeping me off balance as well. He was doing a really nice job of making me feel uncomfortable for a while.”

Federer broke Jaziri for a 5-3 lead in the 29-minute first set and then recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the second set for his 53rd match win at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

"I’ve not been feeling great on the return here," said Federer. "In Stuttgart, it was actually much better where the conditions I think were more difficult to return in. So, I hope tomorrow is going to be a better day on the return."

Federer goes on to face fifth seed David Goffin, who booked his spot in the last eight when qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky retired due to a back injury early in the deciding set. Goffin had saved 12 of 14 break points to lead 4-6, 7-5, 2-0 after one hour and 47 minutes of play.

The Swiss superstar leads Goffin 4-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head, including a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win in this year's Australian Open fourth round.

Goffin is currently a career-high No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, following a quarter-final run at Roland Garros. "The goal before the season was to win some matches against big players, Top 10 players and I beat some good guys like Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic in the United States," he said. "And after that it gave me some confidence. So, now I have more confidence and I’m ready for the rest of the season to try to break the Top 10."

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QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW: Eight-time champion Roger Federer faces in-form David Goffin, then doubles partners Dominic Thiem and Philipp Kohlschreiber meet for the second time in less than a week as part of the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals on Friday. The top-seeded Federer is 4-0 versus Goffin, riding a 28-match win streak against Belgians and has reached the semi-finals or better in each of his last 11 Halle appearances. Goffin, who grew up idolizing Federer, needs to defeat the Swiss for the first time to keep his hopes alive of breaking into the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday.

Thiem and Kohlschreiber follow in their third meeting of the year in Germany. Kohlschreiber edged Thiem to win the Munich title on May 1 before the Austrian avenged himself in a Stuttgart final that spanned June 12-13. Thiem, who leads the ATP World Tour with 47 wins, is 19-1 in deciding sets this season (19-21 prior). His only loss of 2016 in a deciding set was to Kohlschreiber in the Munich final. Thiem and Kohlschreiber teamed in doubles and lost match tiebreakers in the first round of Halle and Stuttgart.

The other quarter-finals feature four unseeded players. First up, 2007 finalist Marcos Baghdatis takes on 19-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany. Currently ranked a career-high No. 38, Zverev leads all ‘Next Generation’ players with 25 wins this season. In the final match of the day, 2015 finalist Andreas Seppi meets Florian Mayer, who is appearing in his sixth Halle quarter-final and seeking his first semi-final.

Murray Rolls On At Queen's; Raonic Advances

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 2:27pm

Four-time champion Andy Murray booked his spot in the Aegon Championships quarter-finals on Thursday by beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4 in 84 minutes. It was the 18th all-British match contested at The Queen's Club since 1977. Murray is now 27-5 lifetime at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

“I had to be a little bit more proactive against someone playing predominantly from the back of the court,” Murray said. “I had never played against him before. I have practiced with him a few times but have never seen him play much on grass, either. It's nice having the Brits around, guys I know well from Davis Cup and [with whom] I have become close over the years.”

After the match, Murray went onto the practice court to put in additional work under the supervision of coach Ivan Lendl.

“I haven't got to play loads. I wanted to get a couple of hours in [yesterday] and it rained after an hour and 20 minutes. I didn't get to do my full practice. The matches on the grass obviously aren't as physical as they are on the other surfaces. The points are so short that you don't come off that physically tired. So if you can go out and hit a few extra balls just to spend more time on the courts and improve your timing, it all adds up. Hopefully I'll play a little bit better tomorrow because of that.”

Murray will next play Kyle Edmund, who reached his second ATP World Tour quarter-final without hitting a ball when his opponent, Paul-Henri Mathieu, withdrew prior to their match due to a wrist injury. Edmund, who is part of the ATP's Next Generation, also reached the last eight at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (l. to Berdych) in January.

Milos Raonic found his way to the net on the biggest points in a 7-5, 7-6(6) second-round win over Jiri Vesely. The Canadian, who began working with tennis legend John McEnroe at the start of the grass-court season, won 24 of 33 net points to advance in 96 minutes. He remains unbeaten in two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against the Czech, having come out on top at Roland Garros in 2014.

“Overall I have to be happy with how I did,” Raonic said. “I found my way forward. I was dictating from a neutral position and then able to transition and come forward and be efficient. I'm coming in a lot. I feel like I'm volleying well, putting the volleys in the right place, covering the right angles. It's all coming together.”

Gilles Muller saved 10 match points to beat seventh seed John Isner 6-3, 6-7(16), 7-6(7), in a match often contested in light drizzle, over two hours and 25 minutes. Isner struck 43 aces, won 86 per cent of his first service points and saved all five break points he faced. Muller hit 26 aces, winning 79 per cent of his first serves.

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Isner failed to convert 10 match points at 6/5, 8/7, 10/9, 12/11 13/12 and 16/15 in the second set tie-break and at 6/3 and 7/6 in the deciding set tie-break. Muller’s effort fell just short of Adriano Panatta fighting off 11 match points to beat Kim Warwick at 1976 Rome, which is believed to be an Open Era record for match points saved by a winner.

The second-set tie-break featured the longest singles main draw tie-break at The Queen’s Club since Goran Ivanisevic beat Greg Rusedski 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(18) in the 1997 semi-finals. The longest tie-break since 1997 had been James Ward beating Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-7(14), 6-4 in the 2011 quarter-finals.

Rain delayed the start of play on outside courts at The Queen's Club by 30 minutes. Murray began his match against Bedene 70 minutes later than scheduled.


Kohlschreiber Scores Milestone Win In Halle

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 2:02pm

Philipp Kohlschreiber joined elite company in German tennis with a 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-5 win over Ivo Karlovic in the second round of the Gerry Weber Open on Thursday. The eighth seed secured his 385th ATP World Tour win and is now tied with Michael Stich for third-most among German men.

“I think the match was as we all expected, very tough, not too much rhythm,” Kohlschreiber said. “I was a bit unfortunate in the first set, I think I had good chances, but he showed some good shots there and deserved to win the first.

“It was a good comeback. My strategy changed a little bit with stepping further back to return his serve. I would say I was reading and was touching the ball more and more and put more pressure on his service games. It was the key. He’s a big guy playing serve and volley, so maybe he gets a little bit tired. It was good to put as much pressure on his service games as possible.”

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Kohlschreiber did not face a break point in the two-hour, 14-minute match, but found himself trailing after dropping the first-set tie-break. The 32 year old regained momentum by putting returns in play, creating seven total break point opportunities, converting two, despite being on the receiving end of 26 Karlovic aces. Kohlschreiber now leads 3-2 in the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry.

The Augsburg native is seeking a sixth title on German soil. He won Halle in 2011 and is now 29-10 at the event. In the quarter-finals, he will take on Dominic Thiem, who defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-1 for his tour-leading 47th win of 2016. It will be a rematch of last week's Stuttgart final. Thiem already owns four titles on the year and has won on clay (Nice and Buenos Aires), hard (Acapulco) and grass (Stuttgart). Kohlschreiber leads the pair's FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-1, including a victory in a third-set tie-break in last month's Munich final.

“It’s been two really close matches [against Kohlschreiber] this year and tomorrow I expect nothing different," Thiem said. "It’s always a pleasure to play him because he has a very attractive game as well with the one-handed backhand. He’s a really experienced grass court player and again I will really try to enjoy the match. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow because he’s also one of my best friends on the Tour.”

Murray Shows Off Reflexes Hot Shot Queens 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 12:58pm
Andy Murray is ready for anything in this hot shot during his match against Aljaz Bedene at the Aegon Championships. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Jamie Murray Surprises Fans At Peugeot Queens 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:35am
Peugeot ambassador Jamie Murray surprises a tennis fan who was testing out a virtual reality experience at the Peugeot car display at the Aegon Championships.

Thiem On Kohlschreiber Rematch At Halle 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:12am
Dominic Thiem looks ahead to playing Philipp Kohlschreiber, whom he faced in the Stuttgart final, in the GERRY WEBER OPEN quarter-finals. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Federer Thiem Goffin Kohlschreiber Advance At Halle 2016 Thursday Highlights

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:02am
Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin and Philipp Kohlschreiber advance at the Gerry Weber Open on Thursday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Murray Raonic Tomic Advance At Queens 2016 Thursday Highlights

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 6:41am
Andy Murray, Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic advance on Thursday at the Aegon Championships. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Murray Moves On At Queens 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 6:32am
Top seed Andy Murray sets a quarter-final clash with fellow Brit Kyle Edmund at the Aegon Championships. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Raonic Advances To Last Eight Queens 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 6:29am
Milos Raonic tops Jiri Vesely to reach the quarter-finals at the Aegon Championships. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Federer Reaches Quarterfinals Halle 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 6:22am
Top seed Roger Federer advances to the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals for the 14th successive time after beating Malek Jaziri. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Thiem Falling Forehand Hot Shot Halle 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 6:19am
Dominic Thiem falls as he's reaching for a forehand in his match Thursday at the Gerry Weber Open... Does he make the shot?. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: ATP/Peter Staples

Young Tracks Down Hot Shot At Queens 2016

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 5:14am
Watch Hot Shot as Donald Young takes Roberto Bautista Agut completely by surprise. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.