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2017 State Championships

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Nose bleeds only thing to slow down Kyrgios in opener

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 5:37am
Nose bleeds only thing to slow down Kyrgios in opener

Tennis' fight against match fixing remains an uphill battle

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 5:35am
Tennis' fight against match fixing remains an uphill battle

2017 Australian Open - The Wacky Slam

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 4:54am
2017 Australian Open - The Wacky Slam

Advice to Murray: 'You're a knight, Andy!'

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 4:50am
Advice to Murray: 'You're a knight, Andy!'

Nishikori Survives Another Five-Setter In Melbourne

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 4:45am

Kei Nishikori showed his deciding-set prowess once more on Monday to start the 2017 Australian Open in Melbourne. The fifth seed survived a mid-day battle against Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-2 in three hours and 34 minutes.

“I didn't quite play great tennis in the beginning, but especially in the fifth set, I think I was really focused and played good tennis,” said Nishikori. “I’ll try not to play a long match like this again. But the fifth set was pretty good, so I think I'm in good shape for the next round.”

Nishikori led the fourth-set tie-break 5-2 before Kuznetsov stormed back, winning six of the final seven points to force a fifth set. But Nishikori, who entered the match with an all-time best record of 100-30 in deciding sets, according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, came through again under pressure.

View Deciding Set Records In The FedEx ATP Performance Zone

In the fifth set, Nishikori broke the 25-year-old right-hander to lead 3-1 and finished the match with another break. “It wasn't easy,” he said on court after the match.

The 27-year-old has reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park three times – 2012, 2015 and 2016. In the second round, he'll meet Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who advanced after Nicolas Almagro retired down 4-0.

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Tomas Berdych had to spend only 32 minutes in the Melbourne heat before advancing to the second round. Berdych's opponent, Italian qualifier Luca Vanni, retired because of a hip injury down 6-1.

Berdych has now reached the second round of the Australian Open 12 consecutive years. The 10th seed will next meet American Ryan Harrison, who dismissed Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and two minutes.

Harrison, No. 82 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, controlled his side of the net, winning almost 80 per cent of his first-serve points. The 24 year old pressured Mahut's serve throughout the match as well, converting six of 14 break points. Harrison last reached the second round in Melbourne in 2013.

Lukas Lacko found himself a set away from defeat against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, but rebounded to score a 4-6, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory. Lacko improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Ramos-Vinolas to 2-0. He’ll now play Dudi Sela, who was a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 winner over Marcel Granollers.

Big Four Back Together Again In Melbourne

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 3:32am

Big Four Back Together: The Big Four of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have accounted for 42 of the past 47 Grand Slam tournaments since Roland Garros in 2005 when Nadal won his first of 14 Grand Slam titles. During the current stretch, Nadal has won 14 titles, Federer 13, Djokovic 12 and Murray 3.

The three other players to win a Grand Slam title during the span are Stan Wawrinka, a three-time champion (2014 Australian Open, 2015 Roland Garros, 2016 US Open), Marin Cilic (2014 US Open) and Juan Martin del Potro (2009 US Open).

The Big Four have won past 11 of the past 13 titles in Melbourne since Federer won his first title in 2004. Djokovic leads the way with six titles followed by Federer (four) and Nadal (one). The trio, along with Wawrinka, are the former Australian Open champions in the draw.

Last season, the Big Four played in only three tournaments together. Here is a look at their results:

Player Australian Open Monte-Carlo Rome Murray  Finalist SF Champion Djokovic  Champion 2R (Bye) Finalist Nadal  1R Champion QF Federer  SF QF 3R

Murray Eyes First Title: World No. 1 Andy Murray is the top seed in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career. Murray is the first British man to hold the top seed in a Slam since Bunny Austin at the 1939 Wimbledon.

Murray is making his 12th straight appearance in Melbourne and he’s hoping to duplicate the feat of two of his rivals. Last season Djokovic won his first Roland Garros crown and Wawrinka his first US Open title, both in their 12th tournament appearance.

Murray is trying to capture his first title after reaching the final five times (2010-11, 2013, 2015-16). He is 0-5 vs. Djokovic in Melbourne with his last four runner-up results coming to the Serbian. Murray has reached the final in a career-best six consecutive tournaments going back to last season and his 28-match winning streak came to an end with his final loss to Djokovic in Doha on 7 January.

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Novak Eyes Record: Two-time reigning champion (six overall) Novak Djokovic is trying to become the all-time leader with the most Australian Open singles titles. He is currently tied with Aussie great Roy Emerson with six titles. Djokovic is the No. 2 seed for the first time in a Grand Slam tournament since the 2014 Roland Garros.

Djokovic has won the title in five of the past six years (39-1 record) with his only loss coming to Wawrinka in the quarter-finals in 2014. Overall he has a 57-6 career record in Melbourne. The 29-year-old Serbian, who won titles in 2008, 2011-13, 2015-16, is one of three players to win at least three titles in a row at the Australian Open along with Aussies Jack Crawford (1931-33) and Emerson (1963-67). Djokovic opened the season by repeating his title in Doha (d. Murray).

Roger Returns: Federer is making his 18th straight appearance at the Australian Open and he opens against qualifier Jurgen Melzer. The four-time Australian Open champion has an 80-13 match record. The Swiss superstar will be playing his first tour-level match since 8 July 2016 when he lost in five sets in the semi-finals to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon. He missed the rest of last season with a knee injury.

It is also Federer’s first appearance outside the Top 10 in Melbourne since 2002 when he was ranked No. 12 and his No. 17 seeding is his lowest in a Grand Slam since he came in unseeded at 2001 Roland Garros. Federer finished last season with a 21-7 match record and No. 16 ranking.

His streak of 14 consecutive years in the year-end Top 10 ended, which is second only to Jimmy Connors’ 16. Federer's best result was a runner-up in Brisbane (l. to Raonic) in the opening week of the season.

His streak of 15 straight years with at least one ATP World Tour title also came to an end. Prior to Federer’s knee injury, he was still playing at a high level as indicated in the Infosys ATP Scores & Stats. He would have been in the Top 5 in the following categories if he had played enough matches to qualify:

First Serve Points Won      80%

Second Serve Points Won 56%

Service Games Won          90%

Career Double Slam: Nadal is trying to become the third player in men’s tennis history to win each Grand Slam singles title twice in his career. The 2009 Australian Open champ is a nine-time Roland Garros champion and two-time winner at Wimbledon and US Open.

Aussies Rod Laver and Roy Emerson are the other players to accomplish the feat. Laver won a calendar Grand Slam in 1962 and ’69 while Emerson earned six Melbourne titles and two each at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.

Nadal is the No. 9 seed, his lowest seed in a Grand Slam tournament since he was No. 10 at 2015 Wimbledon. It is Nadal’s lowest Australian Open seeding since he was unseeded in 2005. Nadal has a 45-10 record in Melbourne, reaching the quarter-finals or better in eight of the previous 11 visits. Last year he lost in the first round for the first time to countryman Fernando Verdasco in five sets.

All-Time Grand Slam Champions: Here are the all-time Grand Slam titles leaders:

                                 W-L

1) Roger Federer   17-10

2) Pete Sampras     14-4

2) Rafael Nadal       14-6

4) Novak Djokovic  12-9

4) Roy Emerson       12-3

6) Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver 11-5 & 11-6

Grand Slam Champions: Six of the seven active Grand Slam champions (except del Potro) are in the main draw, led by six-time Australian Open champion Djokovic and four-time winner Federer. The six players have combined to win 50 Grand Slam singles titles:

Player  Age No. Grand Slam Titles Roger Federer 35 17 2003-07, '09, '12 Wimbledon; 2004, '06-07, '10 Australian Open2004-08 US Open; 2009 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal  30 14 2005-08, '10-14 Roland Garros; 2008, '10 Wimbledon; '09 Australian Open; '10, '13 US Open Novak Djokovic 29 12 2008, '11-'12-'13, '15-16 Australian Open; 2011, '14-15 Wimbledon; 2011, '15 US Open; 2016 Roland Garros Andy Murray  29 3 2012 US Open; 2013, '16 Wimbledon Stan Wawrinka 31 3 2014 Australian Open, 2015 Roland Garros, 2016 US Open Marin Cilic  28 1 2014 US Open

Final Breakthrough: There are six players in the main draw who have reached a Grand Slam final and are still looking to win a Slam title, including No. 3 Milos Raonic, who reached the 2016 Wimbledon final. Here’s a look at the players who have reached a Grand Slam final and are still in pursuit of a Grand Slam title:

Player                                 Grand Slam Tournament Final

No. 3 Milos Raonic              2016 Wimbledon (l. to Murray)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori               2014 US Open (l. to Cilic)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych        2010 Wimbledon (l. to Nadal)

No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga   2008 Australian Open (l. to Djokovic)

No. 23 David Ferrer             2013 Roland Garros (l. to Nadal)

No. 36 Marcos Baghdatis    2006 Australian Open (l. to Federer)

Lopez Iron Man: Feliciano Lopez is appearing in his 60th consecutive Grand Slam tournament in singles. The 35-year-old Spaniard joins Federer as the only players to compete in 60 or more consecutive Grand Slam singles events. Federer’s record of 65 in a row ended when he withdrew from Roland Garros last year.

Rank Player Consecutive Grand Slam Events Played

1.

2.

Roger Federer

Feliciano Lopez

65 (2000 Aus Open-2016 Aus Open)

60* (2002 Roland Garros-2017 Aus Open)

3.

4.

Wayne Ferreira

Fernando Verdasco

56 (1991 Aus Open-2004 US Open)

55* (2003 Wimbledon-2017 Aus Open)

5.

6.

7.

8.

Stefan Edberg

Tomas Berdych

David Ferrer

Novak Djokovic

54 (1983 Wimbledon-1996 US Open)

52 (2003 US Open-2016 Wimbledon)

50 (2003 Aus Open-2015 Roland Garros)

49* (2005 Aus Open-2017 Aus Open)

 

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

49* (2005 Aus Open-2017 Aus Open)

10.

Stan Wawrinka

48* (2005 Roland Garros-2017 Aus Open)

Players in main draw in bold, *denotes a streak which is active through 2017 Australian Open

Grand Slam Match Wins Leaders: Federer is the all-time match wins leader (307) in Grand Slam history while Djokovic is No. 3 with 228 wins, Nadal tied for No. 7 (w/Sampras) with 203 wins, and Murray No. 10 with 176 wins. Here are the Top 10 Grand Slam match wins leaders (active players in bold):

                                 W-L     Titles 

1) Roger Federer    307-51   17

2) Jimmy Connors    233-49    8

3) Novak Djokovic  228-36   12

4) Andre Agassi        224-53    8

5) Ivan Lendl            222-49     8

6) Roy Emerson       210-48    12

7) Rafael Nadal       203-31    14

Pete Sampras          203-38    14

9) Stefan Edberg      178-47     6

10) Andy Murray     176-40     3

Kyrgios, Tomic Lead Aussie Hopes: Mark Edmondson is the last Aussie to win the singles title on home soil in 1976 (d. Newcombe). Aussie No. 1 Nick Kyrgios, who reached the quarter-finals two years ago (l. to Murray), leads local title hopes. Kyrgios, who won a career-best three ATP World Tour titles last season, is one of 11 Aussies in the main draw. No. 2 Aussie Bernard Tomic, who is seeded No. 27, is making his ninth straight appearance (15-8 record). His best result is the fourth round in 2012, 2015-16. Wild card Alex De Minaur, 17, the youngest player in the draw, is making his debut.

Brothers In Draw: There are two sets of brothers in the singles main draw for the second straight Grand Slam tournament. Alexander and Mischa Zverev along with Gerald and Jurgen Melzer are in the draw. At last year’s US Open, the Zverevs were joined by Christian and Ryan Harrison. Last week Mischa Zverev improved to No. 50 and it marked the first time a brothers duo ranked in the Top 50 in the same week since 8 May 2006, with Olivier Rochus at No. 29 and brother Christophe No. 42.

Haas is Back: Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas is playing in his first tournament since October 2015 in Vienna. He's the oldest player in the singles draw, less than three months away from his 39th birthday on 3 April. Haas, who is the tournament director at the BNP Paribas Masters in Indian Wells, has a protected ranking of No. 25. Haas has a 26-13 career record at the Australian Open with his best results the semi-finals in 2002 and 2007. His last visit in Melbourne was in 2014.

Radek Going Strong: Radek Stepanek qualified into the main draw. The 38-year-old Czech Republic native is the oldest Grand Slam qualifier since Aussie Mal Anderson (42) at the Australian Open in December 1977. Stepanek is the third-oldest Grand Slam qualifier in the Open Era, behind Anderson and Neale Fraser (40), who qualified at Wimbledon in 1974.

Sascha Leads #NextGenATP Stars: No. 24 seed Alexander Zverev is the youngest player in the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. Last season the 19-year-old German became the first teenager to finish in the Top 25 (at No. 24) since Novak Djokovic (No. 16) and Andy Murray (No. 17) in 2006. He reached a career-high No. 20 on 17 October after winning his maiden ATP World Tour title in St. Petersburg. He was the first teenager to win an ATP title since Marin Cilic (19) at 2008 New Haven.

#NextGenATP Stars Shine: There are 15 #NextGen ATP players in the main draw. Here is a look at the young stars (listed in Emirates ATP Rankings order):

Rank                                        Age

No. 24 Alexander Zverev, GER 19

No. 52 Karen Khachanov, RUS 20

No. 59 Borna Coric, CRO 20

No. 63 Daniil Medvedev, RUS 20

No. 93 Taylor Fritz, USA 19

No. 101 Jared Donaldson, USA 20

No. 105 Hyeon Chung, KOR 20

No. 108 Frances Tiafoe, USA (Q) 18

No. 131 Ernesto Escobedo, USA (Q) 20

No. 152 Andrey Rublev, RUS (Q) 19

No. 155 Quentin Halys, FRA (WC) 20

No. 190 Michael Mmoh, USA (WC) 19

No. 200 Noah Rubin, USA (Q) 20

No. 207 Alexander Bublik, KAZ + (Q) 19

No. 208 Reilly Opelka, USA + (Q) 19

+ Will break Top 200 after Australian Open

U.S. Leads Country Count: There are a tournament-high 14 Americans in the main draw, led by No. 19 John Isner and No. 20 Jack Sock, who broke the Top 20 for the first time after his title in Auckland. Five Americans qualified into the main draw, the most since 2007. Half of the Americans in the draw are 20 or younger and part of the #NextGenATP group:

No. 93 Taylor Fritz, USA 19

No. 101 Jared Donaldson, USA 20

No. 108 Frances Tiafoe, USA 18

No. 131 Ernesto Escobedo, USA 20

No. 190 Michael Mmoh, USA 19

No. 200 Noah Rubin, USA 20

No. 208 Reilly Opelka, USA + 19

+ Will break Top 200 after Australian Open

Note: The last Grand Slam tournament seven Americans (20 or younger) were in the main draw was the 2006 US Open.

Doubles Draw: The reigning champions are Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, last year’s No. 1 team in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who have finished No. 1 for 10 of the past 14 years, are six-time Australian Open champions. Their six titles are the second-most as a team in tournament history behind Bromwich-Quist (eight).

ICYMI

At 33, Gilles Muller won his first ATP World Tour title in Sydney. Read More

Then Muller celebrated the big win with his two boys. Watch Now

Why 30 Is The New 20 On The ATP World Tour. Read More

Jack Sock earns the perfect start to his 2017 season. Read & Watch

Potential Match Wins Milestones

David Ferrer - 694

Philipp Kohlschreiber - 394

Fabio Fognini - 246

Gilles Muller - 196

Denis Istomin - 194 

Rankings Movers

Dudi Sela 67 (+20)

Daniel Evans 51 (+16) – career high

Joao Sousa 37 (+7)

Gilles Muller 28 (+6) career high

Steve Johnson 30 (+3)

Jack Sock 20 (+3) – career high

Daniil Medvedev 63 (+2) – career high

Nick Kyrgios 13 (+1) – ties career high

Birthdays

17 January - Albert Ramos-Vinolas (29)

19 January - Horia Tecau (32)

20 January - Frances Tiafoe (19)

20 January - Malek Jaziri (33)

20 January - Robert Farah (30)

21 January - Nicolas Mahut (35)

How an investment in clay courts helped Australia's resurgence

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 2:28am
How an investment in clay courts helped Australia's resurgence

Federer returns with win, joins Murray in round 2

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 12:03am
Federer returns with win, joins Murray in round 2

ICYMI: Major upset, a legend excites and Wawrinka's painful smash

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 11:51pm
ICYMI: Major upset, a legend excites and Wawrinka's painful smash

More from Day 1: Tomic easily advances

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 10:35pm
More from Day 1: Tomic easily advances

One Day To Go Until 2017 Australian Open

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 10:21pm
We're hours away from the start of the 2017 Australian Open. Go behind the scenes at Melbourne Park.

Shapovalov Talks Training With Günter Bresnik And Next Gen ATP Finals

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 10:19pm
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At age 17, Denis Shapovalov was hoping to merely get his feet wet on the pro circuit, as he entered his first ATP Challenger Tour and ATP World Tour events in 2016. The Canadian phenom got much more than he anticipated, submerging himself in a whirlwind campaign that culminated in a year-end No. 250 in the Emirates ATP Rankings - a stunning 880-spot rise from the start of the year.

The youngest player in the Top 300, Shapovalov cut his teeth against the game's elite. The first player born in 1999 to win a Challenger match, he reached the semi-finals on home soil in Drummondville in March and advanced to the last four once again in Gatineau in August. Also a three-time Futures titlist and junior Wimbledon champion, Shapovalov gained experience at all levels and on all surfaces in 2016.

The Canadian's breakthrough moment came at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Toronto, where he introduced himself to the tennis world with one of the biggest upsets of the year over World No. 19 Nick Kyrgios. Although his career is in its nascent stages, Shapovalov has set ambitious goals for himself in 2017 as he looks to continue soaring. He sat down with ATPWorldTour.com at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Canberra...

Where did you spend your offseason and who did you train with?
I went to Tenerife (Spain) and spent it with Günter Bresnik, Dominic Thiem's coach. Philipp Kohlschreiber was there, Jerzy Janowicz, Dennis Novak and Dominic too. There were a bunch of good players and I'm starting to work with Günter now, so I had a few good weeks there. It was a great experience for me, because I'm not used to hitting with guys that are Top 10, Top 20. It was a lot of fun for me and I think it helped bring my game to the next level.

Was there anything in particular you focused on?
I was working a lot on my forehand with Günter. He was very technical with my finish. We were there for four hours each day just smacking forehands around and really focusing on it. It's been a big improvement in my game.

Have you thought about the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and do you think you'll qualify?
Of course I'd like to go, but I think I'm a long way from it. It's going to involve a lot of work, but it would be a great experience for me to go and test my level against the top players 21 and under. I hope I get there, but I'm focusing on one week at a time.

Looking back on 2016, how would you assess the season?
Last year was pretty incredible for me. I think anyone would wish to have a year like I did, winning three Futures titles, Wimbledon juniors, beating Kyrgios at the Rogers Cup, making a couple semi-finals at Challengers, it was incredible. It's tough to maintain that but I hope to do the same this year and even better.

What's been the main difference between playing in Challengers and Futures?
In the Futures there are a couple guys who are pretty good, but in Challengers every match is difficult and everyone is tough. You really have to fight through it and be prepared.

Have you set any Emirates ATP Rankings goals for 2017?
I would like to be in the Top 150 at the end of the year. This is a transition year for me. It's my first full year as a pro. I'm not playing any junior events. At the same time, I'm changing my strokes, like I did with my forehand and a couple other things. It's going to take some time for my game to click, so it's tough to have any high expectations at the moment.

Talk about playing here in Canberra. Are you enjoying the tournament?
It's incredible, one of the best Challengers I've been to. The accommodations are unbelievable. There are eight guys in the Top 100 playing this tournament and that's very big for a Challenger. I'm very excited to be here.

Rogers stuns 4-seed Halep; Venus wins in 2 sets

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 9:46pm
Rogers stuns 4-seed Halep; Venus wins in 2 sets

W2W4: Serena, Djokovic seek strong start at Australian Open

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 9:36pm
W2W4: Serena, Djokovic seek strong start at Australian Open

Australian Open Tuesday: Serena Starts Quest For 23rd Slam

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 8:17pm
Six-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams leads the bottom half of the draw into action on Day Two at Melbourne Park. We preview the matchups right here at wtatennis.com.

Relieved Kerber Survives First-Round Wobble In Melbourne

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 8:16pm
Angelique Kerber made a shaky start to the defense of her Australian Open crown, edging past Lesia Tsurenko in a rollercoaster opening round.

Venus, Rogers Thrill On Laver, Checking In With Jankovic & Puig In Melbourne

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 8:15pm
WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen | Relive all the biggest moments from Day 1 of the Australian Open in the first Insider Notebook of the fortnight;

Champion Kerber Survives Opening-Round Scare In Melbourne

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 8:14pm
Angelique Kerber made a shaky start to the defense of her Australian Open crown, edging past Lesia Tsurenko in a rollercoaster opening round.

Venus Overcomes Kozlova In Melbourne

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 8:14pm
No.13 seed Venus Williams saved her best tennis for the end of each set to dispatch Kateryna Kozlova and advance into the second round of the Australian Open.

Muguruza Survives Opening Scare Against Erakovic In Melbourne

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 8:14pm
An injured Garbiñe Muguruza was on the ropes in her opening match against Marina Erakovic, but she survived the scare to move into the second round at the Australian Open.