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Updated: 52 min 30 sec ago
Lleyton Hewitt, who will retire after the 2016 Australian Open, was honoured at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Wednesday.
Hewitt, a two-time year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in 2001 and 2002, was presented with a special frame by Chris Kermode, the ATP Executive Chairman & President in an on-court ceremony that included fellow former World No. 1s John McEnroe, Mats Wilander and Boris Becker.
The 34-year-old Hewitt won the 2001 and 2002 season finales in Sydney and Shanghai, respectively. He also captured the 2001 US Open (d. Sampras) and 2002 Wimbledon (d. Nalbandian) titles and was recently appointed as Australia's Davis Cup captain.
"I feel old. I've just being watching Andy [Murray] and Rafa [Nadal] and I was thinking that the game has evolved so much over the years," said Hewitt. "It was many years ago that I won this season-ending tournament and when I held the No. 1 trophy. The Tour has been a big part of my life, and I've loved every minute of it. Thank you to everyone for supporting me."
Argentine rugby stars Pablo Matera and Santiago Cordero enjoy a visit to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Wednesday.
Watch Hot Shot as Andy Murray chases down a near-perfect Nadal drop shot. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
Stefan Edberg was presented with an International Tennis Hall of Fame ring by Christopher Clouser, Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum and Todd Martin, the CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.
The ceremony underlined the Swede’s illustrious playing career, during which he recorded 806 wins, won 41 titles and attained number one in the Emirates ATP Rankings in both singles and doubles. The serve-and-volleyer reached the final of all four Grand Slam events, winning six in total. He defeated nemesis Boris Becker to capture the 1989 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and finished runner-up to Andre Agassi the following year.
The London resident is now in the midst of a successful second career in tennis, coaching World No. 3 Roger Federer, who has already qualified for the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals by winning his first two round-robin matches in straight sets.
The last time they faced off, Andy Murray got the better of Rafael Nadal on the Spaniard's home soil in Madrid. Nadal returned the favour on Wednesday with a 6-4, 6-1 win in Group Ilie Nastase action at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
"It is an important victory, because that put me in a good position to try to be in the semi-finals, and at the same time I have had a big day against a great player on a tough surface," said Nadal. "I'm just happy the way that I played today, happy the way I was working. Just another step for me be able to play at that level, against such a great player, is good news. Happy for that. Just want to try to keep working the same way to keep confirming that I am in the completely right direction."
With John McEnroe, Lleyton Hewitt, Boris Becker and Mats Wilander looking on, Murray snatched the immediate initiative in breaking to 15 in the first game. Nadal failed to convert a first serve in the opener, but the Manacor native would pull level in the next game, refusing to allow Murray to consolidate the break. A slew of wayward groundstrokes would put the Scot in a hole while serving in both the sixth and eighth games, facing a combined five break points. Nadal's attacking mentality was evident, stepping inside the baseline and seeking to dictate with his forehand, but the Spaniard failed to convert and swing momentum to his side of the net. Murray would find himself in trouble once again two games later, staring down a 0/40 deficit. This time, Nadal would not let the opportunity slip, capturing the first set after 57 minutes.
infosys ATP Insights show that Nadal served into Murray's body 65 percent of the time in the Ad court. See more Infosys ATP Insights
Nadal pulled away immediately in the second set. Murray struck nine unforced errors through the opening three games, as Nadal reeled off 10 of 11 points to break for 2-0 and consolidate his advantage. It would be one-way traffic from then on, grabbing a second break for 5-1 and closing out the win after 91 minutes. He fired 12 winners and benefitted from 29 Murray unforced errors.
The World No. 5 earned his 60th match win of the year and will look to cap a strong finish to the season with a fifth semi-final berth in seven trips to the Final Showdown. Sitting at 2-0 in Group Ilie Nastase, he awaits the result of the second singles match of the day at The O2, between Stan Wawrinka and David Ferrer. Nadal would advance with a Wawrinka victory or a Ferrer win in three sets.
Murray's quest to secure his first year-end World No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings will wait another day, as he also continues his bid for a first title in eight season finale appearances. The Scot, who remains at 69 match wins for the season, would finish as the second-ranked player with either a Roger Federer loss at any point of the tournament or victory on Friday against Wawrinka. At 1-1, he is alive in Round Robin play, having defeated David Ferrer in straight sets on Monday.
"He was able to dictate most of the points and he was hitting the ball harder than he was at the beginning of the match," said Murray. "I was starting to drop the ball shorter. Obviously when he's inside the court, he's extremely, extremely good. He can move his forehand around very well. He can use all of the angles on the court and make you do a lot of moving.
"He's clearly playing better tennis now than a few months ago. Also I didn't help myself out there today. I served extremely low percentage, maybe lowest percentage I served the whole year in any match. It was like the low 40s and in the second set like 35 per cent. That's not good enough against someone as good as Rafa."
Nadal now owns a 16-6 record in the FedEx ATP Head2Head with this being their first hard-court clash since the 2011 Tokyo final, won by Murray. The Scot claimed their lone meeting this year in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Madrid.
Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut recorded their first win in Group Fleming/McEnroe on Wednesday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Sixth seeds Herbert and Mahut defeated seventh seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 in one hour and 33 minutes to improve to 1-1 in round-robin play. It was a re-match of the Aegon Championships final in June, which Herbert and Mahut won. The pair are now 30-12 on the season, which also includes the US Open title (d. J. Murray-Peers).
Herbert and Mahut took a 3-1 lead, breaking Zimonjic to 30 in the third game. But the Polish-Serbian team responded winning three straight games and broke Mahut to 15 to wrap up the 41-minute opener. Matkowski was broken twice in the second set, at 2-2 and 3-5, as Herbert and Mahut regained the momentum. In a closely fought tie-break, the Frenchmen established an 8/5 advantage.
Matkowski and Zimonjic dropped to an 0-2 record in Group Fleming/McEnroe and to 33-22 on the season, which includes three titles runs.
Watch Hot Shot as Pierre-Hugues Herbert creates an extreme angle from a difficult position. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
The Top 8 doubles teams come together to tell a unique story at The O2 for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The ATP announced on Wednesday that Bogota’s ATP World Tour 250 tournament would be transferred to Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico, following acquisition of the event by Grupo Pegaso.
The ATP Board of Directors at its meetings in London this week approved the tournament transfer. Executives of Grupo Pegaso and Imla de Colombia signed the agreement, which delivers a second ATP World Tour tournament to Mexico.
With this partnership, Grupo Pegaso reaffirms its commitment to Mexico's development in the sport industry by delivering and organizing high quality events, and further consolidation of men’s professional tennis in México.
The Abierto Mexicano 250 Los Cabos, will have a total financial commitment of nearly US$800,000, ranking as the highest in its category in the Americas Region. The new hard court tournament will take place from August 8 to August 14 in the 2016 season and will become part of North America's Summer Tour.
Solaz Los Cabos developed by Sordo Madaleno Architects, will host this magnificent tournament. Every aspect of this Starwood Luxury collection Hotel provides comfort and exclusivity to satisfy guests and spectators, which symbolizes the commitment of Quinta del Golfo de Cortez Group, owners of the resort.
The Abierto Mexicano 250 Los Cabos will live up to its name, showing the world the unique natural beauty of this gorgeous site, considered one of Mexico's most important tourist destinations.
“The Los Cabos Tourism Board is delighted to have the opportunity to host the ATP World Tour 250, and we are proud of the trust the ATP has given us. Bringing the tournament to Los Cabos will reinforce Los Cabos’ reputation as a world-class venue for professional sporting events, as well as an extraordinary destination for luxurious leisure pursuits, for which we are already renowned. We’re grateful to the Secretariat of Tourism and the Baja California Sur state government for their part in bringing this sponsorship to fruition; as well as to the Los Cabos Hotel Association, and Time-share Developers Association for their additional support” stated Patricio Burillo, Chairman of the Board of Grupo Pegaso.
Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “The ATP World Tour features 62 tournaments in 31 countries, showcasing the world’s best athletes competing in many of the world’s greatest destinations. We’re delighted to welcome Los Cabos to the ATP World Tour. We look forward to the inaugural tournament in 2016, and many successful years ahead.”
After purchasing the tournament from Los Angeles, Imla de Colombia produced the event for the last three years in Bogota. “It has been a great opportunity for Colombia to showcase our country throughout the world. It comes with mixed feelings to transfer our event to Los Cabos where we believe it will grow to be a great event representing Mexico internationally” said Manuel Mate, Bogota’s former tournament director.
Grupo Pegaso will continue to support Mexican players with wild cards. Further details will be announced later.
ABOUT GRUPO PEGASO
Grupo Pegaso begins operations in 1994 with the purpose of promoting projects with strong social commitment, which over time delivers global importance for Mexico in the most dynamic sectors of the economy. Concentrating its activity in the telecommunications, advertising, sports and technology sectors.
Getting inside your opponent's head to successfully predict where they are going to hit their next shot is a critical, hidden dynamic of our sport.
Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday night, and the Swiss seemed to be a step ahead returning first serves, especially in the second set.
In the opening set, Djokovic's first serve performed well serving right down the middle in both the deuce and Ad courts, winning 67 per cent (8/12).
But Federer cleverly adjusted in set two, sitting on the middle serve, winning all 10 points that Djokovic directed there in both the deuce and Ad courts.
This was a difference-maker that enabled Federer to break three times in set two, and book his ticket into the semi-finals.
It’s important to note that Djokovic’s service performance did not falter, as he made 72 per cent first serves in the opening set, and 71 per cent in the second set.
Djokovic won a solid 70 per cent (19/27) of his first serve points in the opening set, but that dramatically dropped to only 25 per cent (5/20) in set two - a number that is unheard of from the World No. 1.
Federer's educated guessing of the timing of the middle serves, and being there waiting for it, enabled the Swiss to own a dominant part of Djokovic’s game.
Djokovic’s second serve performed very well all night, winning 66 per cent (12/18) for the match, including 87 per cent (7/8) in set two.
Federer broke Djokovic to go ahead 4-2 in the second set, defending with a middle backhand return at 15/40, and then hitting a fortunate backhand passing shot down the line that clipped the tape, surging to a set and a break lead.
In the last game of the match, with Djokovic serving at 2-5, the Serb served five times down the middle of the court, including on match point, and Federer won every one of them.
The Swiss mixed attacking returns, putting Djokovic under immediate pressure, and clever defensive slice returns that simply enabled him to get into the point.
Federer typically likes to swarm the net against Djokovic, but that was not the case once rallies started in London on Tuesday night.
Both players won exactly six of nine points at the net, with Federer winning a commanding 38 baseline points to Djokovic’s 26.
Federer hit seven forehand winners to Djokovic’s four, with both players hitting five backhand winners for the match.
Overall, Djokovic actually played bigger from the back of the court off both wings, but Federer committed less unforced errors (19-22).
Djokovic averaged 79 miles per hour (mph) off his forehand wing, four miles per hour faster than Federer’s average of 75 mph. Djokovic’s fastest forehand for the match was a blistering 104 mph, with Federer’s coming in at 96 mph.
Djokovic also dominated backhand speed, averaging 70 mph to Federer’s 63 mph, with Djokovic’s fastest at 103 mph - well ahead of Federer’s fastest at 83 mph.
A key to Federer’s baseline winning ways was his determination to not get pushed back against Djokovic’s power, spin and depth.
Federer only hit 28 per cent of his shots inside the baseline (Djokovic 34 per cent), but he did an excellent job of staying within two metres of the baseline, making contact with 62 per cent (Djokovic 48 per cent) of his shots from this aggressive baseline location.
Federer refused to get pushed way back behind the baseline by Djokovic, only making contact 10 per cent (Djokovic 18 per cent) of the time further back than two metres, which was a big improvement from his opening round match against Tomas Berdych, where he was double that at 20 per cent.
This was an important win for Federer, effectively beating the World No. 1 at his own game.
Tennis is very much a thinking sport, requiring constant adjustments to what the conditions and the opponent gives you. Federer ticked all the right boxes, signaling that this could once again be his year to triumph at The O2 in London.
Craig O'Shannessy uses extensive tagging, metrics and formulas to uncover the patterns and percentages behind the game. Read more at www.braingametennis.com.
Watch highlights as Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka win at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Wednesday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
Stan Wawrinka overcomes a slow start to win in straight sets on Wednesday.
Relive Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea's doubles win over Murray/Peers.
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau react to reaching the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with victory over Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.
Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares analyse the No. 8 seeds' win over Murray/Peers.
Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares examine Rojer/Tecau's win over Dodig/Melo.
Andy Murray meets a very special fan at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Lleyton Hewitt is honoured in a ceremony at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The Frenchmen recap their win against Matkowski and Zimonjic.
Previewing Thursday's match between Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori.