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Junior Star McNally Reflects On Challenger Main Draw Debut

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:23pm

Top junior star John McNally will soon spend the next four years competing for Ohio State University, but he’s making noise on that campus this week at the $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Columbus.

The 17 year old received a wild card into the singles and doubles main draws, marking his first main draw appearances at an ATP Challenger Tour event. Although he lost in the first round of singles to fellow American Tommy Paul, he’s into the doubles quarter-finals with another American teenager in Jeffrey John Wolf, his regular doubles partner in ITF Junior events.

“Playing my first Challenger main draw was really special, especially in Columbus, since I’m from not far away in Cincinnati. It was also great to play it at Ohio State, where I’ll be attending college next fall,” said McNally. “Even though I had a tough first-round [singles match] against a good friend, I’m ready to try and keep going in the doubles.”

McNally is currently No. 15 in the ITF Junior Rankings, having posted a 27-10 record this year and recorded a third-round showing in the boys’ singles draw at Wimbledon. But while he’s used to making deep runs in junior draws, he admitted it may take some time for that to become a regular occurrence in pro events.

“In the juniors, I’ve been lucky enough to win a lot of matches. There are a lot of weeks where you can win three or four matches in the juniors, maybe even win the tournament, but you can sometimes go a month or more without winning a match in the pros,” said McNally.” It’s just about learning to be a little more mentally tough when it comes to the pro side and being able to flow with some of the ups and downs that will come with it.”

However, McNally is more than ready for the challenge. He’s soaked in the experience of playing and practising with ATP Challenger Tour players this week and is confident it will serve him well for upcoming tournaments.

“I got to hit some of the pro players at the US Open and some of the bigger junior events where they also are. Just seeing how seriously they take it and looking at it like it’s a job is definitely cool,” he said. “I’m able to learn a lot from it.”

Wu Records Major Upset In Kaohsiung

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:08pm

There have been plenty of big upsets this year on the ATP Challenger Tour, but Tung-Lin Wu pulled off arguably the biggest one of 2016 at the $125,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The 18 year old from Chinese Taipei, a wild card currently ranked No. 1,748 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, shocked world No. 131 Denis Kudla in the opening round, 7-5, 7-6(8). With a difference of 1,617 spots, it’s the biggest upset of the year by ranking on the ATP Challenger Tour. 

Biggest Upsets In 2016 (difference of 1000+ spots in Emirates ATP Rankings)

No. 1748 Tung-Lin Wu (TPE) d. No. 131 Denis Kudla
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
1617 spots
No. 1600 Mikhail Vaks (RUS) d. No. 239 Connor Smith
Dallas, U.S.A.
1361 spots No. 1265 Romain Jouan (FRA) d. No. 131 Adam Pavlasek
Quimper, France
1134 spots
No. 1344 Albano Olivetti (FRA) d. No. 234 Denys Molchanov
Wroclaw, Poland
1110 spots
No. 1265 Romain Jouan (FRA) d. No. 169 James Ward
Quimper, France
1096 spots
No. 1146 Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) d. No. 91 Horacio Zeballos
Rome, Italy
1055 spots

Although he lost in a competitive match to Yuya Kibi of Japan in the second-round, he's still in the doubles quarter-finals with Ze Zhang of China.

“This victory is very special for me, especially being in front of Taiwanese fans,” said Wu. “Before the match, some people questioned whether I deserved to have the wild card, but this victory reconfirmed my ability. I did lots of homework and research about Kudla, so I was well-prepared, but I didn’t think too much on the court. I just swung hard and let adrenaline take over the rest.”

The teenager has competed all in of the junior events at Grand Slams for the past two years, but has also mixed in ITF Futures tournaments and ATP Challenger Tour events. Having gotten a taste of all three worlds, he has been able to pick up on the differences of what it takes to succeed in them.

“The biggest difference is the ability to take opportunities to win the match,” said Wu. “Most teenager players don’t have the mindset to cope with pressure on the court, but the professional players are mature enough to play under pressure.”

Lu’s win over Kudla will see him jump inside the Top 1,000 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. But perhaps more importantly, it’s instilled a new belief in his tennis.

“At the beginning of turning pro, sometimes I would doubt my own ability,” he admitted. “But this match showed me to just trust myself and made me realise I can be better in the future.”

Simon, Goffin Advance To Metz QFs

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 3:54pm

Two former Moselle Open champions, David Goffin and Gilles Simon, both advanced to the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Second seed Goffin, who beat Joao Sousa for the 2014 title, lost just 10 of his service points in a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in 67 minutes. The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals contender, who is currently placed No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, will next face eighth seed Nicolas Mahut. The 34-year-old Frenchman saved all three break points faced to beat Illya Marchenko 6-3, 6-4.

Fourth seed Simon maintained his fine run of form at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament by beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes. Simon, now 6-0 lifetime against Garcia-Lopez, has won 13 of his past 14 matches at the event where he is the 2010 and 2013 champion.

Simon will next face Malek Jaziri, who won an ATP Challenger Tour event in Istanbul on Sunday. Jaziri advanced to his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the year by beating qualifier Vincent Millot 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 49 minutes.

Lucas Pouille, the third seed, topped fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. The World No. 18 had match point in the second set tie-break at 6/5 before his 25-year-old opponent made a comeback to force a decider. Pouille sealed victory after one hour and 55 minutes, saving all three break points faced and firing 13 aces to set a clash with another Frenchman, Julien Benneteau, in the last eight. 

Mixed Days For Doubles Seeds

Third seeds Mate Pavic and Michael Venus kept their cool saving three break points in a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Nicholas Monroe and Artem Sitak, while Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos beat fourth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 4-6, 6-3, 10-5. In the semi-finals, Peralta/Zeballos will face second seeds Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin, who were 6-1, 6-3 winners over Gero Kretschmer and Jan-Lennard Struff.

Elsewhere, Colin Fleming and Scott Lipsky saved two match points at 8/9 and 10/11 in the Match Tie-break in a 5-7, 7-6(3), 13-11 win over Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner.

Haase, Ungur Advance At Sibiu Challenger 2016 Wednesday Highlights

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 2:53pm
Watch highlights from Day Three at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Sibiu, Romania, where top seed Robin Haase and defending champion Adrian Ungur advanced. Video courtesy Sibiu Open.

Youzhny Shocks Raonic In St. Petersburg

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 2:23pm

Russian Mikhail Youzhny, the winningest player at the St. Petersburg Open, upended No. 2 seed Milos Raonic 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 in the pair's second-round match on Thursday. Youzhny was two points from defeat, down 5/2 in the second-set tie-break, but fought back to secure his first win in three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against the big-serving Canadian. It was the 33rd win in St. Petersburg for the 2004 champion, who also snapped a 10-match losing streak against Top 10 players. He will face Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.

Despite the loss, Raonic remains in contention for a place in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. He is No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Race To London behind Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, who have already qualified.

Third seed Tomas Berdych edged past Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(4). Berdych, who is attempting to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the seventh straight year, is aiming to make up ground on No. 8-placed Rafael Nadal in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Berdych (2,530 points) is 670 points behind Nadal (3,200).

Lorenzi overcame qualifier Alexandre Sidorenko 7-6(6), 6-4 earlier in the day, while seventh seed Viktor Troicki beat fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4 to set up a clash against top seed Wawrinka.

#NextGen star Zverev broke serve five times to see off local favourite Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-5 in 85 minutes. Zverev's father represented the Soviet Union on the ATP World Tour. The 19-year-old German was reunited with his grandfather for the first time in 10 years this week in St. Petersburg.

Eighth seed Joao Sousa saved five of seven break points to defeat wild card Andrey Rublev 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes.

Doubles Semi-Finals Set

Top seeds Dominic Inglot and Henri Kontinen downed Paolo Lorenzi and Adrian Mannarino 6-7(5), 6-1, 10/7 to set a semi-final clash against Russians Konstantin Kravchuk and Andrey Kuznetsov, who won 6-4, 7-6(6) against Karen Khachanov and Lukas Rosol.

Andre Begemann and Leander Paes were 6-3, 7-5 winners over Purav Raja and Divij Sharan. They will next face Mikhail Elgin and Alexander Kudryavtsev, who upset No. 2 seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic 7-6(4), 7-5.

Federer Leads Forbes List In Endorsements

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 1:21pm

Roger Federer's commercial appeal is without equal. The Swiss star leads all professional athletes with $60 million earned in off-court endorsements according to The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2016 list compiled by Forbes. The Basel native's commercial partners include Nike, Wilson, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Credit Suisse and Moët & Chandon.

The 35 year old is No. 4 in total 2016 earnings on the Forbes list with $67.8 million, trailing only footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and NBA star LeBron James.

Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes (Forbes)

Total Earnings
Salary/Prize Money Cristiano Ronaldo
$88 million

$32 million

$56 million Lionel Messi
$81.4 million
$28 million
$53.4 million LeBron James
$77.2 million

$54 million

$23.2 million Roger Federer
$67.8 million
$60 million
$7.8 million Kevin Durant
$56.2 million
$36 million
$20.2 million Novak Djokovic
$55.8 million
$34 million
$21.8 million Cam Newton $53.1 million
$12 million
$41.1 million Phil Mickelson
$52.9 million
$50 million
$2.9 million Jordan Spieth
$52.8 million
$32 million
$20.8 million Kobe Bryant
$50 million
$25 million
$25 million

Federer is joined by four other ATP World Tour players in the Top 100. Novak Djokovic is No. 6 ($55.8M), Rafael Nadal is No. 21 ($37.5M), Kei Nishikori is No. 29 ($33.5M) and Andy Murray is No. 74 ($23M).

Federer compiled a 21-7 record at tour-level in 2016, but missed more than two months due to knee surgery following the Australian Open and was forced to cut his year short after Wimbledon. In total, Federer owns 1,080 match wins and 88 titles at tour-level.

See the full list at


Raonic falls, Berdych survives in St. Petersburg

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 11:14am
Raonic falls, Berdych survives in St. Petersburg

Sasnovich upsets 3rd seed Pliskova at Pan Pacific

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 10:53am
Sasnovich upsets 3rd seed Pliskova at Pan Pacific

Jankovic marches into Guangzhou Open semis

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 10:01am
Jankovic marches into Guangzhou Open semis

Torpegaard Enjoys Breakthrough On Home Campus

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 10:11pm

After being just one match away from bringing the NCAA men’s singles championship to Ohio State University, Mikael Torpegaard is enjoying an ATP Challenger Tour breakthrough on his home campus.

The 22 year old from Denmark and current junior at OSU won his first main draw Challenger match at this week’s $50,000 event in Columbus, Ohio, prevailing on Tuesday over American Nicolas Meister. Torpegaard then delighted the home crowd with a three-set win over Canadian Peter Polansky in a second-round match on Wednesday.

“It was super cool. I’m happy to figure out the level I need to be at going forward,” said Torpegaard. “I know that I made the right decision going to college and also coming to OSU. I’ve had amazing coaches here and my time at OSU has really prepared me for a pro career on and off the court.”

Torpegaard finished his sophomore year at OSU with a 34-5 record, topping it off with a runner-up showing at the NCAA men’s singles championship last May. He also had the opportunity to play against some the world’s best players at the beginning of his sophomore year, falling to Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in a Davis Cup tie for Denmark against Spain last September.

The Dane used those experiences to have a successful summer on the ITF Futures circuit, posting a 15-4 record and winning his first pro singles title last month in Finland.

“There are actually a lot of similarities between college tennis and Challenger tennis because a lot of the top college players could play at this level,” said Torpegaard. “But the biggest difference is knowing the struggle of travel alone, the economic aspect and putting all of those pieces together. You do get a lot of help in college tennis, a lot of matches and everything is kind of set up for you.”

Torpegaard has been one of the top players in Denmark for the past three years. Although he’s optimistic about how tennis is growing in the country, he said that college tennis is an ideal path for players from smaller nations who are eager to eventually make it onto the ATP World Tour.

“It’s tough to find support from sponsors, so people are now seeing college tennis as a good option,” said Torpegaard. “I think people are realizing that college tennis is the way forward, whereas before, the guys at the head of my federation thought that college tennis is where good players go to die. I’m glad people are starting to realize that there’s more than one way to make it and that college tennis can be used as a stepping stone towards a professional career.”

St. Petersburg Sights On Display

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 10:01pm
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St. Petersburg Open – St. Petersburg, Russia

Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Viktor Troicki, Alexander Zverev and more stars attend the St. Petersburg Open's swanky soiree at The Four Seasons Hotel on Monday night in St. Petersburg. 

Second and third seeds Raonic and Berdych took time away from the tournament to visit the iconic St. Isaac's Cathedral. The duo were joined by Raonic’s girlfriend Danielle Knudson to take a tour of one of the city’s most picturesque landmarks, as well as climb up a private staircase to the Balustrade where 12 bronze angels overlook St. Petersburg. More

Former champion Mikhail Youzhny held a master class in the TRK “Galereya” shopping mall. All the mall guests were welcome to take part in the tournament. The guests then challenged themselves as they tried to return Youznhy’s serve. More

Youzhny also visited a shirt museum at Sibur Arena, which hosts a collection of all past champions’ signed shirts.

Troicki and Dusan Lajovic took a scenic canal boat tour to take in the city sights.

Youzhny, Joao Sousa, Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev met fans at autograph sessions.

Andrey Kuznetsov attended a meet-and-greet for Emirates.

Moselle Open – Metz, France

Gilles Muller and Vincent Millot played mini tennis with young fans at Galeries Lafayette.

David Goffin, Tommy Robredo and NextGen’s Quentin Halys participated in meet-and-greets with local fans.

Muguruza Takes Revenge On Sevastova In Tokyo Muguruza v Sevastova Highlights: WTA Tokyo 2R

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:15pm
Garbiñe Muguruza avenged her shock US Open loss to Anastasija Sevastova with a straight set win in Thursday's Tokyo rematch. In the quarterfinals the top seed will face Elina Svitolina.

WTA Finals Ambassador Monica Seles Reflects On 30 Days To Singapore

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:14pm
WTA Insider David Kane | Three-time champion Monica Seles will serve as a WTA Finals Tournament Ambassador; find out what the former No.1 thinks of the Serena-Kerber rivalry, defending champ Agnieszka Radwanska, and her darkhorse pick in Singapore.

WTA Finals: 30 Days Left Until Singapore

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:14pm
With just 30 days left until the 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, every match and every point matters. Who will join Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber in Singapore?

Sasnovich Derails Pliskova's Tokyo Challenge, Linette Back From Brink Pliskova v Sasnovich Highlights: WTA Tokyo 2R

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:14pm
Aliaksandra Sasnovich caused the biggest shock so far in Tokyo by knocking out No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova. Elsewhere, fellow qualifier Magda Linette saved two match points to defeat Yulia Putintseva.

Sasnovich Derails Pliskova's Tokyo Challenge

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:14pm
Aliaksandra Sasnovic caused the biggest shock so far in Tokyo by knocking out No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova. Elsewhere, fellow qualifier Magda Linette, saved two match points to defeat Yulia Putintseva.

Konjuh Books Jankovic Semifinal In Guangzhou

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:13pm
Ana Konjuh romped past Jennifer Brady in straight sets to book a semifinal clash with defending champion Jelena Jankovic at the Guangzhou International Women's Open.

SAP Real-Time Performance Data Helping Gavrilova Across The Finish Line SAP Insider - Match Play

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:13pm
As a match hits a critical stage, coaches and players are finding that SAP Tennis Analytics for Coaches powered by SAP HANA's in-depth statistics make the difference between winning and losing. Just ask Daria Gavrilova and her coach Nicole Pratt...

Konjuh Books Jankovic Clash Semifinal In Guangzhou

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:13pm
Ana Konjuh romped past Jennifer Brady in straight sets to book a semifinal clash with defending champion Jelena Jankovic at the Guangzhou International Women's Open.

SAP Real-Time Analytics Helping Gavrilova Across The Finish Line SAP Insider - Match Play

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:13pm
As a match hits a critical stage, coaches are finding that the SAP Analytics for Coaches app's in-depth statistics make the difference between winning and losing. Just ask Daria Gavrilova and her coach Nicole Pratt...