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Updated: 20 min 51 sec ago

Rome 2016 SF Highlights

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 10:12am
Watch Saturday highlights from Rome as Andy Murray downs Lucas Pouille and Novak Djokovic beats Kei Nishikori. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Rome 2016 Final Preview

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 9:46am
Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic for the 2016 Internazionali BNL d'Italia title. Watch live tennis at tennitsv.com.

Djokovic Fights Into Rome 2016 Final

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 9:43am
Novak Djokovic edges Kei Nishikori in a third-set tie-break in Rome. Watch live tennis at tennitsv.com.

Nishikori Flicks Hot Shot Rome 2016

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 9:23am
Watch Hot Shot as Kei Nishikori uses his touch to force a deciding tie-break against Novak Djokovic. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Djokovic Breaks String Rome 2016

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 9:08am
Watch as the umpire intervenes to prevent Novak Djokovic from breaking the rules of tennis during his semi-final match. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Djokovic Hits Forehand Hot Shot Rome 2016

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 8:25am
Watch Hot Shot as Novak Djokovic scores with a running forehand against Kei Nishikori. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Djokovic Ballboy Close Call Rome 2016

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 7:37am
Novak Djokovic makes amends after nearly hitting a ballboy with a return. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Djokovic Hurts Ankle Rome 2016

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 7:07am
Novak Djokovic receives treatment for a left ankle injury in his semi-final match against Kei Nishikori. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Murray Moves Into Rome 2016 Final

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 5:28am
Andy Murray eases pasts lucky loser Lucas Pouille to book a spot in the Rome final. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Nishikori To Face Djokovic In Rome On Saturday

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 10:39pm

SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW: When the main draw of the 2016 Internazionali BNL d’Italia was made, one half featured Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the first time ever on the ATP World Tour. Who would emerge from the other half? Lucky loser Lucas Pouille is one win away from following his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final and semi-final with a berth in the final.

Pouille is the second lucky loser ever to reach an ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, joining Thomas Johansson in the record books. Johansson earned four main draw wins at Toronto in 2004 before falling to Federer in the semi-finals. Pouille, on the other hand, has beaten only Ernests Gulbis and David Ferrer to reach the Rome semis, capitalizing on a first-round bye when No. 7 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew and a quarter-final walkover from Juan Monaco. The luckiest of lucky losers, Pouille fell to Mikhail Kukushkin in the final round of qualifying on May 8.

Madrid finalist Andy Murray did what Pouille couldn’t by beating Kukushkin in the main draw. The World No. 3 has not dropped a set all week and will return to No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. Pouille is projected to rise to around No. 32, which will be a new career-high for the 22-year-old Frenchman. Should Pouille defeat Murray in their first FedEx ATP Head 2 Head meeting, he will play Djokovic or No. 6 seed Kei Nishikori in the final for the first time as well. The last lucky loser to reach an ATP World Tour final was Marcel Granollers at Valencia in 2010.

Following Murray vs. Pouille, Djokovic and Nishikori meet in an ATP Masters 1000 semi-final for the second time in as many weeks. Djokovic was broken when he served for the match, but held on for a 63 76(4) victory at Madrid on May 7. The World No. 1 is on a seven-match win streak against Nishikori, including a quarter-final victory in Rome last season. Djokovic has also swept 16 straight matches against Top 10 players overall, saving five set points in the second set of his 75 76(4) victory over fifth-ranked Rafael Nadal on Friday.

In the first doubles semi-final, Madrid finalists Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea meet Indian Wells finalists Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock. Then, three-time Rome champions Bob and Mike Bryan take on 2014 Roland Garros champions Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

 

Nishikori Grinds Down Thiem In Rome

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 8:49pm

Kei Nishikori was at his best in a 6-3, 7-5 win over Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals of the Internazionale BNL d’Italia on Friday. The sixth seed, who has won all four sets played against the Austrian in two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings (Halle 2015), will face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

“He is a tough opponent,” Nishikori said. “He hits very heavy on both wings. Great backhands. Not many weaknesses.

“It was really a battle of groundstrokes from the baseline. At the moment I’m playing really well. I returned well. I tried to stay because he has a great kick serve.”

Thiem, who upset World No. 2 Roger Federer in the third round, attempted to take over the match with his power. He raced to a 3-1 lead, but saw Nishikori win the next five games to claim the first set. Nishikori had not dropped a set this week in Rome since losing the first set against Viktor Troicki in his opening match.

Nishikori’s lone hiccup in the second set came while serving at 1-2. Down 0/40, the Japanese saved three break points to keep his 22-year-old opponent at bay. A late break proved to be the difference for Nishikori, who converted on his first match point to improve his 2016 clay-court record to 10-2 (29-8 overall). Thiem fired 21 winners in the 98-minute encounter, but made 39 unforced errors to drop to 32-10 on the year (16-5 on clay). Nishikori finished with 18 winners and 14 unforced errors.

“[My leg] is a bit sore but I’ll be okay. I will try to recover well tonight,” said Nishikori.

Djokovic, the top player in the Emirates ATP Rankings, leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Nishikori 8-2. Nishikori’s most recently victory over the Serb came in the 2014 US Open semi-finals.

Nadal: 'We Played A Beautiful Match.'

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 7:34pm

Losing a big match is always a tough pill to swallow, but there was no bitterness in Rafael Nadal’s words after the Spaniard fell to Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6(4) in the quarter-finals of the Internazionale BNL d’Italia on Friday.  

“I am so happy to be in a close match, and I have to congratulate him. He played great,” Nadal said. “We played a beautiful match. I was a bit unlucky today. I had so many chances in the first set.

“But when somebody is winning as much as him for the past years, it’s so important to [be opportunistic]. He hit great shots in important moments. That's it.”

Despite the loss, Nadal has re-established himself as one of the best clay-courters in the world. He is 15-2 in the European clay-court swing and took home the title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and at the Barcelona Open BancSabadell.

“I’ve been playing well during the whole clay court season,” Nadal said. “It's true that in Madrid I didn't play well in the last two matches [against Joao Sousa and Andy Murray], but in general I'm playing well in most of the matches most of the time. Today I was mentally fighting for every point, hitting good shots. I was very, very, very close this afternoon, and that's positive.

“I’m not disappointed. I was competing at the highest level against the best player. Playing a match like this gives me confidence,” Nadal, who is now winless against Djokovic in their past seven FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, added. “I’m happy to be part of this rivalry. We’ll talk about this when we finish our career, hopefully a long time from now.

“I feel lucky and unlucky at the same time, to be playing in the same era as [Novak].”

Murray’s Perseverance Pays Off In Rome

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 5:58pm

As a professional, it took Andy Murray 10 years to claim his first ATP World Tour title on clay. Now, the No. 3 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings is a force to be reckoned with on the surface, reaching the semi-finals of the past three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, all on red clay (Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome).

“I think I'm getting rewarded now for the work that I put in over the years on this surface,” said Murray, who downed David Goffin 6-1, 7-5 to move into the semi-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. “Obviously took me time to feel comfortable on it. But I didn't sort of just give up on clay and say, ‘You know what? This isn't my surface. I'm not going to prepare for it properly or train hard.’”

From an early age, the Glasgow native has worked hard to address his weakness. He spent his formative years training on clay in Spain and developed a game predicated on being able to find solutions against any opponent, in any condition. That flexibility paid off on Friday.

“It was very, very difficult conditions, very windy. [The wind] was changing direction all the time. There was obviously a lot of the clay getting blown off the court, as well,” Murray noted. “It's not always that easy to move when it's like that because it's changing every point. Sometimes, there's no clay on the court at all and it's like a hard court. So it is very tough.

“But I have had good results in the wind, so I can't complain when it's like that because I have won matches in those conditions. But it's not easy to play in.”

The red-hot Goffin, who scored a stunning 6-0, 6-0 against Tomas Berdych in the previous round, had the wind to his back and broke Murray’s serve in the opening game of the match, but the Brit rebounded strongly, reeling off six consecutive games to secure the first set.

“I knew that he must have been playing well coming into the match, and I went in expecting it to be very tough. He got off to the best possible start. But it was very hard from that end of the court. You're playing right into the wind,” Murray said, “But the most pleasing thing about the match today was each time I got broken, I broke back right away, so I never allowed him to get any momentum.”

In the semi-finals, Murray will face lucky loser Lucas Pouille, who advanced to the final four without striking a ball after Juan Monaco withdrew.

“I didn't necessarily expect to be doing as well as I have been the last couple of years, but I deserve it because I have worked hard for it,” said Murray, who reached the final of the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Djokovic) last week and the semi-finals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (l. to Nadal) in April. “I haven't been in this position in these tournaments very often. Even in Monte-Carlo, I think I had only been to the semis once before this year. They are great tournaments with a lot of history.

“To get the chance to play in the final here would be really nice. They have an unbelievable crowd. When you get out there, it's quite different. It's quite a steep court, and it's a nice atmosphere out there.”

Murray Into Rome 2016 SF

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 4:52pm
Andy Murray overcomes David Goffin in Rome and will face Lucas Pouille. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Djokovic Clinches First Set Against Nadal Rome 2016

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 4:20pm
Rally of the season? Watch Novak Djokovic do whatever it takes to clinch the first set against Rafael Nadal in Rome. Watch live tennis at TennisTV.com. Photo: Getty Images

Djokovic Edges Nadal In Thrilling Contest

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 4:05pm

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic edged Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) in a thrilling quarter-final clash on Friday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

In their closest contest for almost two years, in which the Serb saved five set points when Nadal served for the second set at 5-4, Djokovic rallied from a break down in both sets to thwart Nadal in two hours and 25 minutes. It marked the Serb’s seventh straight win over Nadal and saw him improve to a 26-23 advantage in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. He has won 15 straight sets against Nadal since the Spaniard prevailed in their 2014 Roland Garros final contest.

"I held my nerve at the clutch moments," said Djokovic in an on-court TV interview. "Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It's a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

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In pursuit of his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, Djokovic now goes on to face either Kei Nishikori or Dominic Thiem in Saturday’s semi-finals at the Foro Italico.

The Serb had a slow start against Thomaz Bellucci in the third round, and struggled to match Nadal's energy and intensity in the opening exchanges of their 49th tour-level meeting. But Djokovic worked his way into the match, raising his level as the set went on.

Nadal drew first blood with a break to lead 3-2 as Djokovic netted a forehand. But the Belgrade native fired himself up after prevailing in an 11-minute, six-second game to hold serve in the seventh game and stay in touch. Djokovic then levelled in the eighth game, converting his third break point as Nadal miss-fired on a forehand.

In a pulsating 12th game, Djokovic kept the pressure on Nadal and was rewarded on his fourth set point. The Serb hung in the rally with strong defence, before being drawn into the net by a Nadal drop shot and exhibiting superb reflexes to poke away a high forehand volley, stealing the set from the Spaniard.

Nadal again started the stronger of the two in the second set, engineering a 3-1 lead as Djokovic’s frustrations crept to the surface. But at the crunch moment in the set, it was Djokovic who found his best tennis. Nadal served to level the match at 5-4, but failed to convert five set points. Djokovic then took his first break point, attacking Nadal with his backhand to force the error and level at 5-5.

In the ensuing tie-break, Nadal was always behind and despite twice rallying from a mini-break deficit, he couldn’t stop Djokovic sealing victory on his first match point at 6-4.

“I was fortunate in important moments,” said Djokovic. “But I managed to take him out of his comfort zone in important moments and didn’t give him always the same look. I thought he played high quality tennis. He tried to step in. He was trying to play aggressive. But towards the end, I guess I was a bit more fortunate."

Between them, Nadal and Djokovic have accounted for the past 11 editions of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. Nadal has lifted the trophy seven times, with Djokovic winning the title in the past two years to add to his victories in 2008 and 2011.

Djokovic came into Rome on the back of winning his 64th tour-level title in Madrid, where he defeated defending champion Andy Murray in the final. The right-hander is chasing his sixth title of the season, having also triumphed in Doha (d. Nadal), at the Australian Open (d. Murray) and in Indian Wells (d. Raonic) and Miami (d. Nishikori).

Djokovic Rips Backhand Hot Shot Against Nadal Rome 2016

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 3:49pm
That's how you end a rally to hold serve! Watch Novak Djokovic rip a backhand cross-court against Rafael Nadal to win a crucial point during the first serve. Watch live tennis at TennisTV.com. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Behind The Glasses With Goffin And Peugeot In Rome 2016

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 3:48pm
David Goffin and some other lucky fans try out a virtual reality experience with Peugeot and Drive To Tennis during the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Video: Drive To Tennis

Ferrer, Goffin, Gasquet To Play New Antwerp Event

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 3:11pm

David Ferrer, David Goffin and Richard Gasquet have confirmed they will play the inaugural European Open, which will take place in Antwerp starting 17 October. 

The Lotto Arena will play host to the new ATP World Tour 250-level hard-court tournament. Get Tickets

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Goffin Back-To-Back-Hot Shots Against Murray Rome 2016

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 2:28pm
Watch David Goffin come up with great shot after great shot against Andy Murray during their quarter-final contest at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. Watch live tennis at TennisTV.com.