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2017 State Championships

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Bautista Agut Beats Medvedev In Chennai 2017 Final Highlights

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 12:42pm
Watch highlights of the 2017 Aircel Chennai Open final, featuring Roberto Bautista Agut and Daniil Medvedev. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images

Kohlschreiber Off To Hot Start In Sydney

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 9:47am

Fifth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber brought his best tennis on Monday at the Apia International Sydney, recording a convincing 6-4, 6-4 win over a tricky opponent in Fabio Fognini.

Kohlschreiber landed 75 per cent of his first serves in the second set and controlled the baseline rallies throughout the match to prevail in one hour and 21 minutes. Next up for him is the winner of the wild card battle between Aussies Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

In other first-round matches, Australian qualifier Matthew Barton delighted the local crowd with a 7-6(3), 7-6(5) win over Kyle Edmund. In a match featuring no breaks of serve, Barton saved a set point serving at 4-5 and grabbed the final three points of the contest to prevail in one hour and 43 minutes. Watch Highlights

Barton, ranked No. 198 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, will look to reach his first ATP World Tour quarter-final when he faces the winner of the match between sixth seed Gilles Muller and Alexandr Dolgopolov.

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Daniel Evans recovered from a mid-match lapse to move past qualifier Thiago Monteiro, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. The Brit will now play the winner of the all-Spanish battle between eighth seed Marcel Granollers and Fernando Verdasco.

Paolo Lorenzi survived an epic 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5) battle against Florian Mayer. Next up for the Italian is third seed and two-time defending champion Viktor Troicki. Watch Highlights

Gastao Elias produced the comeback of the day against Aussie qualifier Christopher O’Connell, rallying from down a set and 1-4 to record a 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-1 victory. The Portuguese player is rewarded for his efforts with a clash against top seed Dominic Thiem in the next round. Watch Highlights

DOUBLES: The lone doubles match of the day saw Troicki/Nenad Zimonjic win their first-round match 6-3, 6-4 over Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Martin Klizan. They will play the winner between third seeds Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo and Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah

Johnson, Lopez Move On In Auckland

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 8:59am

Day 1 at the ASB Classic in Auckland saw seventh seed Steve Johnson and sixth seed Feliciano Lopez move through their first-round matches on Monday. 

Johnson opened up main draw action on Centre Court with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Stephane Robert. The American dropped just three points on his first serve during the match (28/31) and kept Robert on the defense throughout. Next up for Johnson is the winner between #NextGenATP star Karen Khachanov and Yen-Hsun Lu.

Lopez had a more difficult test against wild card and local favourite Michael Venus. The doubles specialist got the crowd involved by grabbing the opening set, but Lopez regrouped to score a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory. The Spaniard next plays the winner between wild card Artem Sitak and Jeremy Chardy.

In other opening-round matches, Robin Haase ended the run of qualifier and local hope Finn Tearney, 6-4, 7-5.  The Dutchman will now play third seed David Ferrer, who received an opening-round bye.

Jiri Vesely saved all five break points against him in recording a 6-4, 6-3 win over Horacio Zeballos. Awaiting him in the second round is top seed and defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut, who also received a first-round bye. Bautista Agut leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-0, including a first-round win this past season in Auckland.

Malek Jaziri overcame a stern test against Diego Schwartzman, 7-6(1), 6-3, and now faces second seed and two-time Auckland champion John Isner. The American leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0.

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Khachanov Visits Waiheke Island Auckland 2017

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 8:29am
Next Gen ATP star Karen Khachanov met up with top New Zealand chef Nic Watt for a helicopter visit to Waiheke Island during the ASB Classic. Photo: ASB Classic

Auckland 2017

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 2:17am

Vallverdu: We Are Only In The First Phase Of Our Work

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 1:35am

Grigor Dimitrov secured his fifth ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, defeating Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. The Bulgarian, who is in the process of returning to his top level, has demonstrated that he is well on his way after the first tournament of the 2017 season. Following his victory over Nishikori, Dimitrov's coach Dani Vallverdu assessed his pupil's preseason regimen, how he continues grow and learn and his great week in Brisbane.

"Normally, the focus is never on the first week of the year, but you intend to be prepared to compete well," Vallverdu told ATPWorldTour.com. "The priority of the preseason is to create a good plan for the year. It is a plus that he played well in Brisbane. The truth is that the preseason went well and the work was very tough. That gives you confidence because you have put in hours of work on the court.

"Mentally, it helps to have extra confidence and to not have doubts if you are prepared or not. Nowadays, all training is tough. Everyone goes through the preseason intending to improve, as much phsyically as tactically."

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Dimitrov has shown he is phsyically fit in the first battles of the year, showing off his quick agility with his strong lower body and lungs, a result of hard work paying off.

"He is close to the best form that he can be in, but the important thing is to maintain it now," Vallerdu added. "At this moment he is feeling good physically, but still we can improve a little more. I am very happy with how he is playing and how he is competing in all his matches from start to finish. For me, the match against Raonic in the semi-finals has shown how much better he is playing since we have been together."

With his pupil up to No. 15 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Vallverdu believes that he still has a long road ahead and is only first starting to realize his potential.

"We are in the first phase of our work. You are not able to create habits in a player in just three or four months. To create habits is the work of eight, 10 or 12 months doing the right things. And above all, they have to be the right habits in the important matches. Dimitrov has played important matches, but I want to see it in the semi-finals and finals. That is where you can see if the habits are where they have to be."

Tipsarevic Reflects On Bangkok Challenger 2017 Title

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 10:40pm
Former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic looks back on claiming his 12th ATP Challenger Tour title in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tipsarevic Blasts To Bangkok Challenger Title

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 10:15pm
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A LOOK BACK
Wind Energy Holding Bangkok Open (Bangkok, Thailand): Fifth seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia showed off the form that’s taken him as high as No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, moving past Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in the Bangkok championship match, 6-3, 7-6(1). It was his 12th Challenger title in total and first since August at the $125,000 event in Qingdao, China. Tipsarevic, who continues his ascent towards the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, rises to No. 118. Kavcic, meanwhile, continued his run of form in Bangkok, having won the Challenger title there in September.

City Of Onkaparinga Tennis Challenger (Happy Valley, Australia): Peter Gojowczyk started 2017 on a high note with a convincing win in the final over local favourite and wild card Omar Jasika, 6-3, 6-1. This is the German’s fifth Challenger title and first since prevailing in September 2015 in Nanchang, China. Tecnifibre player Jasika was competing in his first Challenger final.

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Challenger BNP Paribas (Noumea, New Caledonia): Top seed Adrian Mannarino of France lived up to the billing by defending his Noumea crown over Nikola Milojevic of Serbia, 6-3, 7-5. Mannarino didn’t drop a set throughout the week. The 28-year-old has excelled in Noumea throughout his career, having also prevailed in 2013. The 21-year-old Milojevic was also competing in his first Challenger final.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Tipsarevic: “Winning the first Challenger in Bangkok means a lot to me. You start the year with a win and it gives you a lot of confidence. I’m coming back from a serious injury and these matches I’ve won will only help my goal to come back faster.”

Jasika: “Peter played an unbelievable match. I couldn’t really do anything about it. Sometimes you have to take your hat off and say ‘Too good.’”

“I’ve definitely got a lot of confidence going into the Australian Open now. I’m happy I got a lot of matches this week and I’m definitely not complaining.

A LOOK AHEAD
There are two Challengers on the calendar this week, with the $75,000 event in Canberra, Australia, taking top billing. All eight seeds are inside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, with World No. 63 Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany as the top seed and World No. 68 Gerald Melzer of Austria as the second seed. #NextGenATP star Quentin Halys and Wimbledon junior champion Denis Shapovalov are also in the draw.

Bangkok also hosts another $50,000 tournament this week. Tipsarevic will look for another title as the top seed, while Christian Garin of Chile is the second seed.

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.

Edmund Birthday Visit To Luna Park Sydney 2017

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 6:46pm
Kyle Edmund has a hair-raising experience as he visits Luna Park Sydney on his 22nd birthday ahead of the Apia International Sydney.

Indian Duo Captures Chennai Doubles Crown

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 4:41pm

Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan topped Indian countrymen Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 to win the Aircel Chennai Open doubles title on Sunday. It was the first all-Indian final at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament in 22 years.

“I loved the moment, it was great,” said Nedunchezhiyan. “In my backyard… being in the final, not being seeded, it’s already a great start to the season.”

Bopanna/Nedunchezhiyan saved four of the six break points they faced and won 86 per cent of their first serve points to claim victory and the title in 65 minutes. This was just their second event as a team after a quarter-final showing in Chengdu last fall (l. to Shamasdin/Siljestrom). They are the first all-Indian duo to win the Chennai crown since 2011 (Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes).

The champions beat Marcelo Demoliner/Nikola Mektic in the first round, saved three match points to defeat James Cerretani/Philipp Oswald in the quarter-finals and ousted fourth seeds Nicholas Monroe/Artem Sitak in the semi-finals before claiming the crown. They will split $24,240 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking points.

“They put a lot of pressure on us. We had to play smart,” said Bopanna. “It’s great to start the year with a title. It’s a positive sign I’m headed in the right direction and I’m looking forward to the coming season.”

The 36-year-old Bopanna has now won 15 doubles titles, while Nedunchezhiyan’s previous best result was a semi-final showing in Chennai last year with Somdev Devvarman (l. to Krajicek/Paire).

As runners-up, Raja/Sharan will split $12,740 in prize money and 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking points.

Dimitrov Captures Brisbane 2017 Crown

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 4:00pm
Watch highlights of Grigor Dimitrov's three-set win over Kei Nishikori in the Brisbane final. Video courtesy Tennis Australia.

Sydney 2017

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 3:46pm

Nishikori Assesses Week In Brisbane 2017

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 3:27pm
Kei Nishikori looks back on his run to the Brisbane final after falling to Grigor Dimitrov. Video courtesy Tennis Australia.

Kokkinakis Thompson Look Back On Brisbane 2017 Title

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 3:27pm
Aussies Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis reflect on their title run at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. Video courtesy Tennis Australia.

Dimitrov Reflects On Brisbane 2017 Title

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 3:27pm
Grigor Dimitrov looks back on claiming his first ATP World Tour title in two and a half years in Brisbane. Video courtesy Tennis Australia.

Kokkinakis Thompson Win Brisbane 2017 Doubles Title

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 3:27pm
Watch highlights of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson claiming the doubles title in Brisbane. Video courtesy Tennis Australia.

Mahut Opens Sydney Bid With Win

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 2:57pm

Nicolas Mahut kicked off his Apia International Sydney campaign with a 6-2, 7-6(2) victory over Thomaz Bellucci on Sunday. The Frenchman, who is making his fifth tournament appearance, was a quarter-finalist last year. He prevailed over the Brazilian in one hour and 21 minutes, firing six aces.

Mahut will next face second seed Pablo Cuevas, with two-time defending champion Viktor Troicki also looming in his half of the draw. World No. 8 Dominic Thiem is the top seed at the ATP World Tour 250 event.

In other action, Thiago Monteiro, Gastao Elias, Matthew Barton and Christopher O'Connell all qualified for the main draw. O'Connell will be making his ATP World Tour debut.

On the doubles court, the Spanish-Italian duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini upset second seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-3, 7-6(5).

Khachanov, Thiem, Bautista Agut Headline Week 2 Action

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 2:48pm

Down Under Action Continues: After a busy opening week of the 2017 season with nine of the Top 10 in action, 10 of the Top 30 (as of 2 January Emirates ATP Rankings) are playing this week, with No. 8 Dominic Thiem the top seed in Sydney and Chennai champion Roberto Bautista Agut leading the field in Auckland.

Apia International Sydney (Sydney, Australia): The youngest player in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, 23-year-old Thiem, is the top seed and making his second straight appearance in Sydney. The other seeds are: No. 2 Pablo Cuevas, No. 3/two-time reigning champion Viktor Troicki, No. 4 Pablo Carreno Busta, No. 5 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 6 Gilles Muller, No. 7 Martin Klizan and No. 8 Marcel Granollers. Troicki is the lone former winner in the draw.

Thiem Top Seed: Thiem is the top seed on the ATP World Tour for the sixth time in his career. Last season he was the top seed four times with a repeat title in Nice and runner-up showing in Metz. Overall Thiem won a personal-best four ATP World Tour titles in six finals and he played in the most tournaments (27) and the second-most (behind Murray, 87) matches (82) of any player in the Top 10 last season. He won a career-high 58 matches.

Defending Champion: Troicki comes in as the reigning two-time champion and the No. 2 Serbian owns a 14-3 career record in Sydney. He was also runner-up in 2011. He enters with a nine-match main draw win streak in Sydney (12 overall with qualifying). Last year he defended his title by getting past Grigor Dimitrov in a third set tie-break, saving one match point. Two years ago, ranked No. 92, he qualified into the main draw and defeated fellow qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin in the final.

Aussies in the Draw: There are three Aussies in the main draw (not including possible two qualifiers). The trio are wild cards Alex De Minaur, Thanasi Kokkinakis, who is a member of the #NextGenATP group after finishing 2015 a year-end best No. 80, and Jordan Thompson, who is coming off his first career ATP World Tour quarter-final in Brisbane. Kokkinakis and Thompson, who meet in the first round, are coming off a doubles title win in Brisbane. Kokkinakis, who had right shoulder surgery on 29 December 2015, is making his debut in Sydney. The 17-year-old De Minaur qualified into his first ATP World Tour main draw in Brisbane (l. to M. Zverev in 1R). He was runner-up at Wimbledon juniors and reached No. 2 in the world in the junior rankings last season.

Mischa Eyes Top 50 Return: Mischa Zverev finished at a year-end best No. 51 last season and the 29-year-old German is making his main draw debut in Sydney after losing in qualifying in 2007-08 and 2010. Zverev last ranked in the Top 50 on 5 October 2009 at No. 48. He reached a career-high No. 45 on 8 June 2009.

Gilles Going Strong: No. 6 seed Gilles Muller, age of 33, finished a year-end best No. 34 last season, highlighted by two ATP World Tour finals and four semi-finals, including Sydney for the second straight year. He has a 6-3 career record in Sydney. Muller, who is 0-5 in ATP World Tour finals, is the highest-ranked player in the Top 50 yet to win a singles title.

Murray/Soares Lead Doubles Draw: The top seeds are defending champions and World No. 1 Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who won three titles in five finals. The other seeds are No. 2 Marcel Granollers & Marc Lopez, No. 3 Lukasz Kubot & Marcelo Melo and No. 4 Jean-Julien Rojer & Horia Tecau.

ASB Classic (Auckland, New Zealand): There are six Top 30 players in this year’s ASB Classic, led by World No. 14 and defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut. The other seeds are: No. 2 John Isner, No. 3 David Ferrer, No. 4 Jack Sock, No. 5 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, No. 6 Feliciano Lopez, No. 7 Steve Johnson and No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis. There are four former champions in the field who have won the past seven titles (eight of past 10). They are Bautista Agut, Jiri Vesely (2015), Ferrer, a four-time champion (2007, 2011-13) and Isner, a two-time winner (2010, ’14).

Top Seed/Defending Champion: Defending champion Bautista Agut is the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament for the third time in his career. He is fresh off a title win at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Medvedev). Last season the 28-year-old Spaniard was the No. 1 seed in Sofia where he won the title and later in the year in Moscow where he lost in the second round (after a bye). Last season he finished a year-end best No. 14 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and won two titles in three finals. This is the Spaniard’s fourth straight appearance in Auckland (8-2 record). In his title run last year, Bautista Agut beat No. 11 Isner in the quarter-final, No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-final (after saving match point) and Sock (ret.) in the final. He is trying to become the first back-to-back winner since Ferrer won three in a row from 2011-13.

Four-Time Champion Returns: Ferrer is making his 11th appearance in the past 12 years (withdrew in 2015). The 34-year-old Spaniard owns the most Auckland titles in the Open Era along with a 28-7 record, winning titles in 2007, 2011-13. In his past five appearances (since 2011) he has compiled a 16-2 record after going 12-5 in his first six showings. He put together a 14-match winning streak with three straight titles (2011-13) before falling in the semi-finals to Yen-Hsun Lu in 2014. Last season Ferrer finished out of the Top 20 (at No. 21) for the first time since 2004 and his title streak of six years in a row also came to an end.

Big John is Back: Isner is making his sixth Auckland visit since 2009. The 31-year-old American has a 13-3 record, winning titles in 2010 and 2014 and reaching the quarter-finals three other times (2009, 2011, 2016). Isner closed last season by reaching the final at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Murray) to finish in the Top 20 for the seventh straight season and as the top American for the fifth year in a row. He led the ATP World Tour in aces (1,159) for the fourth time since 2010.

Sock Eyes Top 20: Last year’s runner-up Jack Sock is making his third straight Auckland appearance (6-2 record). The 24-year-old American finished a year-end best No. 23 last season, his sixth straight ranking improvement. Along with Auckland, he was runner-up in Houston and Stockholm.

#NextGenATP Watch: Karen Khachanov is making his Auckland debut. Last season the 20 year old finished a year-end best No. 53, highlighted by his maiden ATP World Tour title in Chengdu.

Kiwis in the Draw: There are two local wild cards in the main draw: Artem Sitak, who is making his singles main draw debut, and Michael Venus, who reached the second round two years ago. Sitak is ranked No. 62 in doubles and his best doubles result is a semi-final showing last season. Venus is the reigning doubles champion and he is coming off his best season on the ATP World Tour, having won four titles and reached five other finals. He is ranked a career-high No. 32 in doubles.

Huey/Mirnyi Top Seeds: The top seeds in the doubles draw are Treat Huey & Max Mirnyi, who finished No. 8 last season in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings. The other seeds are No. 2 Dominic Inglot & Florin Mergea, No. 3 Robert Lindstedt & Michael Venus and No. 4 Marcin Matkowski & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.

ICYMI

Novak Djokovic took the first battle of the 2017 ATP World Tour season against Andy Murray, beating the Scot 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to defend his Qatar ExxonMobil Open title and exact revenge on the World No. 1. Read

Grigor Dimitrov snapped a two-and-a-half year title drought at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, defeating third seed Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the final. Read

Roberto Bautista Agut added a fifth ATP World Tour title to his trophy cabinet, beating 20-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-4 in the Aircel Chennai Open final. Read

Birthdays

10 January – Michael Mmoh (19)

12 January – Paul-Henri Mathieu (35)

14 January – Ruben Bemelmans (29)

Bautista Agut Claims Chennai Title

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 2:17pm

Roberto Bautista Agut added a fifth ATP World Tour title to his trophy cabinet, beating 20-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-4 in the Aircel Chennai Open final on Sunday. The World No. 14 is now 5-6 in finals, with Chennai added to his Sofia (2016), Auckland (2016), Stuttgart (2014) and s-Hertogenbosch (2014) titles.

“I think it’s a great tournament and that’s why it’s my fifth time in a row coming here,” said Bautista Agut. “This tournament has helped me a lot to get into the Top 50 players [in the world]. I’m a much better player now than five years ago. I have more experience and I’ve improved a lot of things.

“There are a lot of tournaments and a lot of points coming up, but I’m happy with the start to win the first week of the year.”

The second-seeded Spaniard broke the #NextGenATP star for 3-1 in the first set and again for 5-4 in the second before closing out the championship in the next game on his first match point. Bautista Agut did not face a break point and won 84 per cent of his first serve points in the 73-minute victory.

After a bye in the first round, Bautista Agut claimed a straight sets win over Rogerio Dutra Silva in the second round, overcame a 6-2, 4-1 deficit to Mikhail Youzhny in the quarter-finals, and topped fifth seed Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3 for a spot in the final.

After saving match point against Dudi Sela to reach his first ATP World Tour final, Medvedev was bidding to become the third #NextGenATP player to win a tour-level title. Alexander Zverev (St. Petersburg) and Karen Khachanov (Chengdu) won their first titles last fall.

“He was more consistent than me today,” said Medvedev. “He played amazing tennis. I couldn’t do much about it. I tried my best but he was the better player today.”

Djokovic Downs Murray To Retain Doha Title 2017

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 1:32pm
Watch highlights of Novak Djokovic's thrilling victory over World No. 1 Andy Murray to repeat in Doha. Photo: AFP/Getty Images