Ivanovic has to 'dig deep' to reach quarterfinals
Joao Sousa look to have the point won, but Roberto Bautista Agut has other ideas on Wednesday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Watch live matches at http://www.tennistv.com/
Frenchman Gaels Monfils talks about his second-round victory over Borna Coric at the 2016 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Watch live matches at http://www.tennistv.com/
Watch highlights as Marin Cilic, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon win their second-round matches at the 2016 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Watch live matches at http://www.tennistv.com/
Borna Coric has to dig deep to find a way past Gael Monfils to win this point on Wednesday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Watch live matches at http://www.tennistv.com/
Dustin Brown produces a stunning hot shot at the Bergamo Challenger in Italy.
Venus coasts to first-round win at Taiwan Open
Rising teenager Taylor Fritz has won his first match on home soil, defeating fellow American Memphis Open debutant Michael Mmoh 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round on Tuesday. The Californian, currently at No. 145 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, had extended countryman Jack Sock to five sets in the opening round of this year’s Australian Open, having won through three rounds of qualifying.
He continued his hard-court momentum against fellow 18-year-old, Mmoh, in Memphis. “Feels good, I played a really solid match all the way through. I’ve got to be happy with everything,” Fritz said. “Of course, the first one, always remember the first ATP win in the US.”
He sent down 10 aces and broke once in each set, while saving all three break points he faced against the Saudi Arabian-born qualifier, who was making his ATP World Tour main draw debut. A crucial break came at 2-2 in the second set. “That whole game I played three really good points and he gave me a double fault, but that was the kind of game you have to play at this level to get a break,” he said.
And for all the hype over the next wave of American hopefuls, Fritz admitted he hadn’t played the likes of Mmoh, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul or Jared Donaldson as often as many would expect in the juniors.
“Honestly, only played him [Mmoh] once,” he said of his opponent on Tuesday. “I was always playing a level lower. Michael said the same thing. I used to not be that good. I used to not be at the level of Michael and Frances and those guys.
“We’ve only really been playing the same events for two years so in that time I’ve got to see how far I’ve come.” Fritz will meet second seed, another American, Steve Johnson next.
Australian No. 7 seed John Millman, coming off his first ATP World Tour quarter-final in Montpellier last week, scored a narrow 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5 win over American Austin Krajicek. Both sent down 11 aces in the two-hour, 42-minute match but it was the 26-year-old Queenslander who had more success on the break points, converting on four of 12 opportunities.
Millman's countryman, Matt Ebden, was not so fortunate. Ebden was forced to retire while trailing Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen 1-6, 0-3. Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis ground out a 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5 win over Israeli Dudi Sela, while Spaniard Marcel Granollers had a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 result against Portugal’s Malek Jaziri.
In doubles action, three-time champions Bob and Mike Bryan suffered a surprise defeat to fellow Americans Austin Kraijcek and Nicholas Monroe 1-6, 7-6(5), [12-10]. The top seeds had won their first doubles title together at Memphis in 2001 and titled again in 2004 and 2013 but fell in a match tiebreak to the unseeded pairing. American fourth seeds Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey had a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Australian Sam Groth, while the American wild card duo of Fritz and Ryan Harrison stunned No. 2 seeds Treat Huey, of the Philippines, and Belarusian Max Mirnyi, 7-6(3), 6-4.
It was mixed results for the highest seeds in action at the Argentina Open on Tuesday with No. 5 Dominic Thiem progressing and No. 6 Fabio Fognini crashing out. Juan Monaco later sealed a second-round rematch of last year's final with defending champion Rafal Nadal.
For the second time in as many FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta went the distance. And for the second time in as many encounters it was the 22-year-old Thiem who emerged victorious over three sets, with the Austrian posting a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard in the first round.
The youngest player in the Emirates ATP Rankings Top 20, Thiem blitzed the opening set before the 24-year-old Carreno Busta – the youngest of 14 Spaniards in the Top 100 – found his range. The pair had met on clay in Gstaad last year, when it was Thiem who again won through in three and on Tuesday he again found composure after letting the second set slip.
He finished the one-hour, 21-minute affair with four aces and converted five of nine break points. Thiem will next face Portuguese qualifier Gaston Elias, who rebounded to defeat Spaniard Daniel Munoz de la Nava 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and 14 minutes.
There was cause for Buenos Aires fans to celebrate when two local players on the comeback trail from injuries – Federico Delbonis and Monaco – posted victories. Delbonis upset No. 6 seed Fognini 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4. The 25-year-old left-hander, making his sixth appearance at the Argentina Open, took down the World No. 24 in two hours and 29 minutes, securing five of 10 break points and saving seven of the 10 on his own serve. He will meet Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the second round.
Monaco had a straight-forward 6-1, 6-3 result over Italian qualifier Marco Cecchinati in little more than an hour. The 31-year-old – a champion here in 2007 and runner-up in 2009 and 2015 – missed just four first serves for the match and made good on four of five break points.
Paolo Lorenzi ensured it wasn't all bad news for the Italians in action. He secured a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Spaniard Pablo Andujar. Uruguayan eighth seed Pablo Cuevas forged his way past Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 6-2 on the back of 10 aces over one hour and 34 minutes. Cuevas booked an all-South American second-round clash with Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo.
In an all-Argentine battle, wild card Renzo Olivo edged Facundo Bagnis 7-6(9), 7-5 in two hours and 12 minutes, while Serb Dusan Lajovic had a 7-6(7), 6-3 triumph over another Argentinian Facundo Arguello.
Fritz rolls in straight sets to win Memphis opener
Imagine losing 43 per cent of all points you play, and it being the best day of your life. Welcome to Novak's world.
To start 2016, Novak Djokovic mentally seems to be widening the gap between himself and everyone else on the planet. The gap 'feels' cavernous. The 'Big Four' is currently dominated by one player.
Novak is unbeaten so far in 2016, going 12-0 with titles in Doha and Melbourne. He has won a pre-eminent 57 per cent of his points so far this season. Those numbers add up just perfectly for the World No. 1.
The super Serb has 16,790 Emirates ATP Rankings points this week, which is about double that of World No. 2 Andy Murray (8,945 points) and about 10 times as many as World No. 20 Bernard Tomic (1,720 points). But there is good news for all the players chasing Djokovic up the mountain. Forget looking at Emirates ATP Rankings points. That's just going to make you nauseous.
Players need to break the daunting chase down to it's simplest element in order to follow the same road map Djokovic took to the summit. Don't focus on matches, sets or games. Focus on points, which are the critical building blocks of our sport. An investigation of points lays bare the incremental improvements in Djokovic’s game, helping to dissect his global dominance.
A detailed Infosys ATP Beyond the Numbers analysis of Djokovic’s last three seasons gives you a crystal clear look at his pathway to the top.
2014 = 55% Points Won (Record 61-8)
2015 = 56% Points Won (Record 82-6)
2016 so far = 57% Points Won (Record 12-0)
Returning Is Improving
It's the returning side of life where he has primarily squeezed the extra one per cent from this year. The world's best returner is actually returning better, as the data below reveal.Points Won Returning Serve 2014 2015 2016 Returning 1st Serves 33% 34% 35% Returning 2nd Serves 58% 57% 61% Break Points Converted 45% 44% 45% Return Games Won 33% 34% 36% Return Points Won 43% 43% 45% Total Points Won 55% 56% 57%
So far this season, Djokovic has found a way to put up superior numbers to those of 2014 and 2015. There is still a long way to go in the year, but it's the best start possible.
It’s impossible to sit on the side of a court watching a match and identify where that one percentage point of separation out of 100 is won by Djokovic. It’s too much of a blur. We feel Djokovic is playing better, but it’s the numbers that identify exactly where he is blazing new ground.
Read more insights at Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers
One week after his runner-up finish at the Australian Open, Andy Murray has become a father. His wife, Kim Sears, gave birth to an 8lb 10oz girl on 7 February.
"Andy and Kim had a daughter in the early hours of Sunday morning and the family are doing well," Murray’s agent confirmed.
His hometown of Dunblane commemorated the birth by tying a pink ribbon around a gold post box, painted in the Scot's honour following his gold medal triumph at the London Olympics.
Dunblane baby love........xxx pic.twitter.com/Lz8DNIt0Sb— judy murray (@judmoo) February 9, 2016
Murray and Sears wed last April in Dunblane, 10 years after first meeting.
Marcos Baghdatis has seen his fair share of highs and lows on the ATP World Tour — from reaching a career-high of No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and playing the Australian Open final in 2006, to enduring a catalogue of injuries and dropping outside the Top 150 a couple of years ago.
But with the support of his wife, former WTA player Karolina Sprem, and his family and team, the ever-popular Cypriot is approaching his 14th year on tour with a renewed sense of optimism after rediscovering his love for the game. With clear goals for his remaining time on tour, Baghdatis is hoping for big things over the course of the next three years.
Speaking after his first-round win over fourth seed David Goffin on Tuesday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Baghdatis told ATPWorldTour.com, “I got tired at one moment. I lost myself a bit, trying different things. That's what you can't do. Then injuries came, some health problems that were bothering me. The past four or five years have been a long road for me.
“Karolina was very important because she also played tennis. She also went through a career and she had some injuries herself. She helped me a lot first of all to have someone to listen to me, who has felt what I've been through. Having her around was like having an ex-tennis player, like Pat Cash, or a player like that. An important person in tennis. To have her around was very important and she helped me take some decisions towards what we are doing now. It's great.”
The Baghdatis family welcomed their second daughter, India, in the off-season and the Cypriot explained that having his own family at home has given him a greater sense of perspective when he steps onto the tennis court. It was that perspective and a sense of calm that ultimately made the difference in his close battle with Goffin, which saw him win a 41-shot rally on match point.
“It's tougher and tougher!” Baghdatis joked at living in a house with three girls. “It's the best thing that ever happened to me. Everyone's asking if we'll go for a third one and try for a boy! We don't know. We are happy to have two lovely children. They're healthy and everything is good. My wife is handling it well. She's healthy and I couldn't ask for me. For now, we're just enjoying the time.
“Whenever I get home it's even nicer for me because I get to spend more time with the older one, Zahara. I get to know her much more. Before it was bit tougher, she wanted mummy all the time. But now mummy's not so available, I'm more available, so it's always nice to spend some time with her and do things together.
“I think some pressure comes off [as a father]. Like for example today, I was playing against Goffin. If I lose, I go home tomorrow to my child. So you don't get too stressed during the match or before it. If I lose today, tomorrow I'm home to hug my daughter, which is one of the best things in the world. Really it takes a lot of pressure off you.”
Last season saw Baghdatis re-establish himself in and around the Top 50, highlighted by a run to the Atlanta final (l. to Isner). Despite frustrating spells out due to injury, it was his most consistent campaign for a long time, but the 30-year-old Baghdatis is hoping for even better this season and over the course of the next three years.
“I learned from it a lot,” said Baghdatis. “I'm looking forward to continuing the same way we did last year, because I think towards Wimbledon and after Wimbledon, I hit my peak and then I got injured again. I feel good, healthy and happy and just enjoying my time now.
“I have some long-term objectives that I would like to achieve before I retire. With my wife, my family and the new people in my team, we've put good goals. We managed to balance everything around my tennis, which is the most important thing for my career, to make me go out there and just play tennis and not think about anything else.
“Last year so many 30 and over guys won the tournaments. It's encouraging to see,” continued the Cypriot. “They're playing their best tennis and I think I am playing my best tennis. I think I can play even better and be more consistent. That's what we're working for. Now it's a matter of staying fit. I hope to play another year in the Top 50 and maybe make the step to Top 30, which is the goal.
“I think it will help me enormously for the next three years. That's where I will get more consistent playing matches at this level, like last week I played against Richard Gasquet, a Top 10 guy, against Tsonga in Australia and now against Goffin, a Top 20 guy. So for me it's very important to play this level very often this year and try to stay there, in the Top 30. Big things will come in the next three years.”
Former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic became the first to reach the quarterfinals of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy when she eased past Margarita Gasparyan in straight sets.
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Caroline Wozniacki reached a big milestone on Twitter, becoming one of the few players to cross the one million followers mark.
Fifty-seven minutes was all it took for top seed Venus Williams to brush aside the challenge of local wildcard Lee Pei-Chi and book her place in the second round of the Taiwan Open.
Venus Williams got the chance to be a part of the future of Taiwanese tennis at the Taiwan Open's children's clinic. See the best photos and video right here!
A left forearm injury continues to plague former World No.1 Maria Sharapova, who was forced to announce her withdrawal from the Qatar Total Open on Wednesday.
Despite a challenging start to the year, Ana Ivanovic has arrived in St. Petersburg in high spirits and ready to hit the ground running.