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Kubot/Melo Stay Unbeaten On Grass With Halle Title

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 4:04pm

Top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo continued their dominance on grass this season by taking the doubles title on Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, outlasting brothers and home favourites Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.

"It's a great feeling. We won our first grass title last week and we're very happy to continue that," said Kubot. "We're enjoying the moment and continuing our winning ways. We've had the best preparation possible for Wimbledon, so we're very happy about that."

Kubot/Melo have won four ATP World Tour doubles title this season. They prevailed at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Miami (d. Monroe/Sock) and Madrid (d. Mahut/Roger-Vasselin), in addition to last week’s grass-court event in 's-Hertogenbosch (d. Klaasen/Ram). Their victory in Halle also further extends their lead in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London. Kubot/Melo earn 500 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and a cheque for €119,140.

"I'm really happy to win the title with Lukasz," said Melo. "We've had two really great weeks of preparation for Wimbledon, so now we need to go for it."

The Zverev brothers were seeking their second title together after prevailing this February in Montpellier (d. Martin/Nestor). The day was ultimately a double disappointment for Alexander, who lost in the singles final to Roger Federer. Zverev/Zverev pick up 300 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split a cheque for €58,330.

A lone break of serve in each set was all that was required to force a Match Tie-break. They remained even until 6/6, when Kubot/Melo grabbed a mini-break and rode that slight momentum to victory in one hour and 24 minutes. Kubot/Melo won 87 per cent of their first serve points (39/45) in the match.

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Lopez Saves MP For Queen's Club Crown

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 3:30pm
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Feliciano Lopez completed a magical run to the Aegon Championships title, saving one match point in a thrilling deciding tie-break. He edged fourth seed Marin Cilic 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(8) on Sunday afternoon at The Queen's Club.

"It's the best week of my career, I would say," Lopez told the assembled media following the match. "To win this tournament at this stage of my career, this is so amazing. I was waiting so long to win this title. Queen's is the best. Outside of the Grand Slams, this is one of the most special tournaments. You feel the atmosphere here, all over the years, a tradition that this tournament, the players that have won in the past. For me to be here on Sunday holding the trophy, it's the best feeling I can have."

Runner-up in 2014, Lopez notched his third ATP World Tour title on grass and sixth in total. Sunday was a special day for the elder statesmen on the circuit, with fellow 35-year-old Roger Federer also emerging victorious at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. With 36-year-old Victor Estrella Burgos also winning in Quito, it marks the first time since 1975 that three players aged 35 & over have won titles in the same season.

Lopez is the third player to save a match point in an ATP World Tour final this year, joining Estrella Burgos, who saved one for the Quito title, and Marrakech champ Borna Coric, who saved five.

"Beating four players who have been in the Top 10 is pretty amazing," Lopez added. "The fact that I have played these guys this week and was able to beat them, it gives me even more confidence. Because sometimes the draw becomes open after some of the top guys lose, but in my case, it was not like this. From the very beginning I had the best players in the draw. So that gives me a lot of energy for the rest of the season."

Unloading his mammoth forehand on the speedy Centre Court grass, Cilic hit hard and flat to Lopez's forehand to draw errors and break to love in the 10th game. With a set in hand, the World No. 7 continued to employ a relentless barrage of power tennis in the second. His service holds were swift and efficient, while Lopez faced a battle to maintain his serve every time he stepped to the line. But the Spaniard would extend the set to a tie-break, where he found a second gear, throwing down a trio of aces and firing aggressive returns at Cilic's feet.

As indefatigable as Cilic seemed in the first two sets, Lopez abruptly turned the momentum to his side  in the decider. With rain clouds hovering ominously overhead, the championship would head to a decisive tie-break. Neither player was broken in the third set and the trend would continue in the tie-break, with no mini-breaks through the first 14 points.

Three years after holding championship point and falling to Grigor Dimitrov in the 2014 final, Lopez would not be denied his date with destiny. He turned aside a match point at 6/5 with a lunging volley from the service line and eventually crossed the finish line on his third opportunity, striking an ace at 8/8 and benefitting from a Cilic missed forehand a point later.

Lopez prevailed after two hours and 32 minutes, firing 19 aces. Cilic launched 22 aces in defeat, turning aside the lone break point faced. He conceded just one break of serve for the entire tournament (61 of 62 service games won).

"It was a very close match," Lopez continued. "This is a match I expected, to be honest. Playing against Marin on grass, I knew it was going to be like this. It's only two, three points at the end that makes the difference... The third set was very equal. I knew it was going to be another tie-break. Then it's one or two points. I was just trying to fight. I couldn't do anything. Those moments where you are so tight, you just fight, you try to put the ball in, that's it. Try to serve the best that you can do."

It was sweet revenge for Lopez, who fell to Cilic in straight sets at Roland Garros just three weeks ago. The Croatian still leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head series 5-3, despite suffering his first defeat to the Spaniard since 2010. It was deja vu for the pair at the Aegon Championships, with both previous meetings also resulting in a comeback from 6-4 down. Cilic prevailed in the 2013 second round and 2016 first round.

In claiming the title, Lopez earns €395,690 in prize money and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points, while Cilic brings home €193,985 and 300 points. Cilic was bidding for his second Queen's Club title, having lifted the trophy in 2012, falling to 17-12 in tour-level finals.

"Looking at the whole week, it was great tennis for me," said Cilic. "I have to say maybe one of the best grass-court tournaments for me overall throughout my career, looking at the consistency of my game. I lost only once my serve during the whole week, which is amazing, considering last week I didn't lose serve in Netherlands, too. That makes it even better.

"Looking at my game, I'm feeling great on the court, moving well, playing well. I was even today against Feliciano making more pressure on him, on his service games than what he did on mine. That's another plus. So overall, I'm feeling really satisfied and I think I need just now a few days to recover mentally. Then I can continue with good form."

Highlights Federer Beats Zverev For Ninth Halle Title 2017

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 3:17pm
Watch highlights of Roger Federer beating Alexander Zverev for his ninth Gerry Weber Open title in Halle. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Cilic Curls Forehand Hot Shot Queens Club Final 2017

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 3:01pm
Watch as Marin Cilic claims Queens Club final hot shot honours with this curling forehand winner. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Federer On Cloud Nine After Ninth Halle Title 2017

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 2:28pm
Roger Federer talks about his journey to his ninth Gerry Weber Open title in Halle. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Cilic Reflects On Reaching Third Queens Club Final

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 2:05pm
Marin Cilic looks ahead to The Queens Club final against Feliciano Lopez. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Federer Hot Shot Mesmerises In Halle Final 2017

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 1:16pm
Watch Roger Federer perfectly execute this point against Alexander Zverev in the Gerry Weber Open final on Sunday in Halle. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Kvitova fights back to take Birmingham title

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 12:05pm
Kvitova fights back to take Birmingham title

McEnroe: Players need to be hungrier, angrier

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 12:03pm
McEnroe: Players need to be hungrier, angrier

Elliott, Edelman, Baez featured in Body Issue

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 10:46am
Elliott, Edelman, Baez featured in Body Issue

Murray: Wimbledon success still possible

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:02pm
Murray: Wimbledon success still possible

Murray dumped out of Queen's

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:34am
Murray dumped out of Queen's

Victoria Azarenka's competitive spirit as strong as ever

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:16am
Victoria Azarenka's competitive spirit as strong as ever

Kyrgios: Injury won't stop me playing Wimbledon

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 6:17pm
Kyrgios: Injury won't stop me playing Wimbledon

Why Willis' Federer lob is Wimbledon folklore

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 9:12am
Why Willis' Federer lob is Wimbledon folklore

Gilles Simon Back In Halle After Many Years

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 6:48pm
Gilles Simon explains why he's happy to be back in Halle, 10 years after his last appearance at the Gerry Weber Open.

Gasquet Takes French Battle In Halle

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 6:15pm
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Frenchman Richard Gasquet hit 22 aces and saved 12 of 15 break points against countryman Gael Monfils to prevail 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Monday at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.

The first-round contest was their 15th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Monfils now leads the series 8-7. Gasquet will meet either two-time Halle champion Tommy Haas or Aussie Bernard Tomic in the second round.

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#NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev earned one of the biggest wins of his career, coming back to beat eighth seed and World No. 22 Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(1), 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes.

Rublev, who received a wild card, is playing at a career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 106 but the 19 year old is projected to crack the Top 100 for the first time next week.

The right-hander also should climb in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight 21-and-under players who compete at the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 7-11 November in Milan. Rublev is currently in 10th place in the Race.

See Who's Leading The Emirates ATP Race To Milan

German and 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber also moved into the second round, beating Portugal's Joao Sousa 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Kohlschreiber, who also advanced to the final in 2008 (l. to Federer), struck 12 aces in the two-hour victory.

German wild card Dustin Brown brought his usual exciting brand of tennis to the grass, beating Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil 6-1, 6-7(3), 7-6(4). The German had five match points in the second set but converted his sixth to advance.

 

Halle 2017

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 5:52pm

Tsonga Serves Up Opening Win At Queen's

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 4:27pm

In an all-French first-round contest, fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made a strong start to his Aegon Championships campaign as he defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-2 on a hot day at The Queen’s Club in London.

Tsonga, who this week returned to the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was largely untroubled in his first grass-court outing of the season. The right-hander advanced in 66 minutes, converting five of his 13 break points to avenge the defeat he suffered to Mannarino a few weeks ago on the clay in Monte-Carlo.

"For me it was really important to have a victory," said Tsonga, who suffered the disappointment of a first-round loss at Roland Garros in his last tournament. "On clay it was difficult. So it's good to be back and be able to play second round in Queen's. I took some time off, and I practised a lot. I had the good sense to have a grass court at my house, so I just practised and prepare this grass season, which is a good surface for me. Hopefully I will be able to do something good."

The 32-year-old Tsonga is making his sixth appearance at this ATP World Tour 500 tournament. He reached the final in 2011, finishing runner-up to Andy Murray. The Frenchman, also a former Wimbledon semi-finalist (2011-12), is looking for his first grass-court title this week.

Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov also advanced for the loss of just four games, dismissing Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-1 in 54 minutes. The Bulgarian improved to a 3-1 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series as he lost only eight points on serve and broke Harrison four times.

The 26-year-old Dimitrov rebounded strongly from the opening-round exit he suffered last week in Stuttgart (l. to Janowicz). The right-hander won the title at The Queen’s Club in 2014 (d. Lopez), one of six ATP World Tour titles to his name. He is chasing his third title of the season this week, following victories in Brisbane (d. Nishikori) and Sofia (d. Goffin), which bookended a run to the Australian Open semi-finals (l. to Nadal).

“Coming out on the grass courts, I always have high expectations from myself. This match just proved that I have practised, I have done a lot of work on the court. I felt confident, which is very good,” Dimitrov said. “I was just happy to close the match in two sets and didn't have to waste any more energy or anything like that. I'd like to build up from this match and go on with whatever is in front of me now.”

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Seventh seed Tomas Berdych dropped only four points on his first serve (34/38) to beat Belgian Steve Darcis 7-5, 6-3. Berdych, who reached the quarter-finals at The Queen's Club in 2013-14, was also perfect on his break points, converting all four.

The 31-year-old Czech will next meet #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who won his first tour-level match of the season, upsetting World No. 47 Kyle Edmund of Great Britain 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and eight minutes.

The 18-year-old Shapovalov, who qualified to make his Queen's Club debut, hit 12 aces and won 81 per cent of his first-serve points against the 22-year-old Edmund. Shapovalov won the Wimbledon boys' title a year ago.

Ninth seed Nick Kyrgios retired against Donald Young of the U.S. because of a left hip injury after losing the first set 7-6(3). The Aussie re-aggravated the injury when he fell on the grass at 4-4. Kyrgios grimaced in pain after falling, lying on the turf for a minute after the slip.

“I got the injections a couple weeks ago, and then I was in rehab for a couple of weeks and it settled down, and then on that fall I just felt sharp pain,” Kyrgios said. “So I felt pretty much everything I was feeling a month ago. It's not great at the moment. But we'll see.”

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Kyrgios tells McEnroe he's dreaming

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 4:17pm
Kyrgios tells McEnroe he's dreaming