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Tennis entities to step up anti-doping efforts

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 2:02pm
Tennis entities to step up anti-doping efforts

Maria Sharapova's return may be biggest test yet

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 3:59pm
Maria Sharapova's return may be biggest test yet

Some are missing larger message behind the Sharapova saga

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 3:27pm
Some are missing larger message behind the Sharapova saga

Former World No. 1 Ferrero Returns To Barcelona

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 9:55pm

Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero came up just short on Monday in his first tour-level match since 2012, falling in doubles with countryman Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 5-7, 10-7 against Marcin Matkowski and Daniel Nestor at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

The 37-year-old Ferrero, who last played in October 2012 in Valencia, was looking to replicate his semi-final doubles run in Valencia, which was his best career doubles result.

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Matkowski/Nestor will face Frenchmen Fabrice Martin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who upset second seeds Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares 7-6(5), 2-6, 10-3. Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya got the better of #NextGenATP player Karen Khachanov and World No. 9 Dominic Thiem, 6-3, 6-3.

In Budapest, third seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah prevailed past Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop 6-3, 6-3. Fourth seeds Brian Baker and Nikola Mektic beat the wild-card team of Marius Copil and Marton Fucsovics 7-5, 6-2.

The Hungarian team of Attila Balazs and Gabor Borsos kept the home crowd happy by beating Argentinians Andres Molteni and Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2.

Dzumhur, Lorenzi Kick Off Inaugural Budapest Tournament

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 9:36pm

Bosnian Damir Dzumhur came back from a set down against Belgian Steve Darcis 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to kick off day one of the inaugural Gazprom Hungarian Open on Monday. Dzumhur will face second-seeded Croatian Ivo Karlovic in round two. Karlovic won their prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting in three sets in Vienna last year.

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Sixth seed Paolo Lorenzi advanced 6-4, 7-5 against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Lorenzi won 74 per cent of his first-serve points and will meet Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky or German Florian Mayer in the second round.

Seventh seed Viktor Troicki swept Russian Evgeny Donskoy, the only man to beat Roger Federer this year, 6-1, 6-2 in 53 minutes. The 31-year-old Serbian faces Serbian qualifier Laslo Djere, who moved into the second round when #NextGenATP player Daniil Medvedev retired because of a left leg injury down 0-6, 5-5.

Sugita Knocks Out Former Champion In Barcelona

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 9:03pm
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Lucky loser Yuichi Sugita of Japan made the most of his main draw showing at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Monday, knocking out 2004 champion Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3 to earn his first win of the season.

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Sugita saved six of seven break points to prevail past the 34-year-old Robredo, who received a wild card into the main draw. The 28-year-old Sugita will meet ninth seed Richard Gasquet in the second round.

#NextGenATP qualifier Casper Ruud will meet Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters finalist and 10th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round after dismissing Radu Albot 6-2, 6-2 in 65 minutes. Ruud, the youngest player in the draw at 18, reached the semi-finals in Rio earlier this season and is currently sixth in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which will determine the 21-and-under field at the inaugural #NextGenATP Finals, to be held 7-11 November in Milan.

Who's Pushing Ruud? View The Emirates ATP Race To Milan

Brit Kyle Edmund booked a second-round meeting against fourth seed Dominic Thiem with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Spanish veteran Nicolas Almagro beat Canadian qualifier Steven Diez 6-3, 6-4 and will battle #NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev in the second round for the first time.

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Edmund Almagro Advance On Day One Highlights In Barcelona 2017

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 6:52pm
Watch highlights of Kyle Edmund and Nicolas Almagro advancing on Monday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Watch live matches at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Sascha Seeks Redemption Against Rafa

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 6:04pm
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Alexander Zverev is not looking for revenge against Rafael Nadal in Barcelona this week. But he is seeking redemption.

Still smarting from his 6-1, 6-1 loss to Nadal at last week's Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Zverev is aware that the performance did not reflect his billing as a future World No. 1. But instead of trying to avoid Nadal for the remainder of the clay season, the German took a wild card into Barcelona in the hope of getting a quick re-match with the winner of 50 clay-court titles.

As luck would have it, eighth-seeded Zverev could meet third-seeded Nadal in the quarter-finals.

"The main reason I came here is because the draw is so strong; it's almost like another Masters 1000," Zverev said. "There's a certain Mr. Rafa Nadal in my section. Maybe some of you remember the match last week. That's in the back of my mind and to be very fair, that's a very big reason why I am here: to get another shot to be on court with him.

"That match will be in the back of my mind for sure this week. I hope I can get there and I hope he can get there as well. He's the greatest player of all time on clay... everybody knows it. He's the only active player with a court named after him. And there's a reason for all that. I want to play him, especially on the clay court. I've played him on hard court a few times and both of those were tight matches. Playing him on clay is always special."

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Before last week’s Monte-Carlo blowout, Zverev had pushed Nadal to the limit in their two previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings. In their first meeting, at Indian Wells in 2016, ‘Sascha’ botched a routine forehand volley on match point when serving at 5-4 in the third. Nadal rallied to win the high-quality contest 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5.

Earlier this year Zverev led the Spaniard two sets to one at the Australian Open before Nadal fought back to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2.

Zverev opens his Barcelona campaign against veteran Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who claimed his one victory in 15 meetings over Nadal in Barcelona in 2014. Zverev is 13-7 on the year and won his second tour-level title in Montpellier in February. He is 19th in the Emirates ATP Rankings and the leader in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan.

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Deep In The Corner Almagro Slaps A Blazing Hot Shot Barcelona 2017

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 6:00pm
Deep in the corner, Nicolas Almagro slaps a forehand Hot Shot winner past Steven Diez on Monday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Ilie Nastase taking 'nasty' to a new level

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 5:11pm
Ilie Nastase taking 'nasty' to a new level

Thiem Confident Ahead Of Barcelona 2017

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 5:09pm
Dominic Thiem is feeling confident ahead of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Watch live matches at tennistv.com.

Nadal Reflects On Historic Honour In Barcelona 2017

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 5:09pm
Rafael Nadal talks about his Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title and a historic honour he has received in Barcelona. Watch live matches at tennistv.com.

Zverev Discusses Tough Barcelona Field 2017

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 5:09pm
Alexander Zverev talks about the tough field at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Watch live matches at tennistv.com.

Sugita Shows Off Sublime Touch In Barcelona 2017 Hot Shot

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 3:30pm
Yuichi Sugita shows off his sublime touch against wild card Tommy Robredo on Monday in Barcelona. Watch live matches at tennistv.com. Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell photo.

The Backhand Behind Federer's Success

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 2:56pm
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot talks to Roger Federer about his phenomenal start to the 2017 season and the importance of his backhand.

Carreno Busta Talks About The State Of Spanish Tennis Barcelona 2017

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 2:11pm
Pablo Carreno Busta talks about his good start and the state of Spanish tennis ahead of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Watch live matches at tennistv.com.

Special Memories For Murray On Barcelona Return

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 2:02pm
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As he approaches his 30th birthday, Andy Murray has entered a more reflective phase in his life. And returning to Barcelona is bringing back many happy memories for the Scot.

"I was talking to my team a few weeks ago, said Murray. "I'm approaching 30, my father-in-law recently turned 60 and my coach has just turned 40. We were just talking a little bit about which years we've enjoyed most in our lives.

"I was here in Barcelona for two years and I loved it. It was the first time that I was away from my family home and even though it was hard, it was the first time I'd tasted independence. I would say that they were two of the best years of my life.

"I haven't been here since 2012,” continued the Dunblane native. “A lot has happened since then. I have great memories, not only from training and living here, but also because I played my first professional match on one of these courts and I remember it well."

Indeed, it was in 2005 in Barcelona, when he was No. 397 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, that Murray lost in three sets to World No. 79 Jan Hernych. He was 17.

The two years spent at the Sanchez-Casal Academy were key to his development and 13 years on from that adventure, Murray arrives at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell as World No. 1.

"At first it was incredible, because once you're on the court, you don't think about being No. 1. It's the same when you're No. 3 or 4, you don't think about it. You have to focus on winning the match. Yes, you feel really proud at having reached the highest point, and I hope to stay there for a long time, but it's hard. It took me 12 years to get there, and the physical and mental effort it took to do it last year was enormous. It's not easy to stay there, but I hope I can."

To reach the top, you have to be able to excel on every surface. And in time, Murray has become a force on clay. "I feel like I'm a much better clay-court player than five years ago,” said the right-hander. “The last time I came here I hadn't won a clay-court tournament, nor been in big finals, nor beaten some of the best players on this surface. But in the past few years I've had great wins against Rafa [Nadal] and Novak [Djokovic]."

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Recovered from his elbow injury, Murray also feels the start to this season has been special for tennis. "For me, it's been very exciting," he said. "Roger and Rafa are playing great tennis after a tough year for both of them with injury. It's good to see them at this level. The top players keep getting better and it's logical that there are more injury problems as your body responds differently. I hope we can all stay fit and healthy and it will be exciting to see what happens the rest of the season."

Murray will open his Barcelona campaign against either Dustin Brown or Bernard Tomic.

Challenger Q&A: Tiafoe Reacts To Winning In Sarasota

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 1:39pm
.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } #NextGenATP star Frances Tiafoe continued his assault on the Emirates ATP Rankings, streaking to the title at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Sarasota on Sunday. Up to a career-high World No. 72 with his third Challenger crown, the American also moved into fifth position in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan. Tiafoe - the fourth teen titlist on the circuit this year - has come full circle in Sarasota, having qualified for his first Challenger main draw there two years ago.

I know a lot of the work you're putting in is to finish off points faster and get you through matches faster. How did that play out this week on the clay?
“It's just about staying focused, which usually turns into winning easier. I'm definitely more comfortable in playing solid tennis. My coaches have been keeping me pretty focused and it's been going well.

”This season has been really good. In February, it was tough with the arm issue and then I was sick in San Francisco and Memphis. But other than that, it's been a pretty good season and I've played some great tennis. I'm happy with the team around me and they've been pushing me. I think I'm in a good situation right now.”

Coach Robby [Ginepri] said to me this week that it was good that you got to play Juan Martin del Potro (Abierto Mexicano Telcel) and Roger Federer (Miami Open presented by Itau), to see how they stayed focused through a match. What did you learn from those two matches in particular?
“I took a lot out of those. Seeing what the top guys do, how they approach a match and play the big points. That helped me a lot for tournaments like these too. I’m just happy to win my third ATP Challenger Tour title here, especially with this being the first Challenger I ever played. Really happy to get this one.”

2017 #NextGenATP Challenger Winners

Player Age Tournament
Denis Shapovalov 17 yrs, 11 mos. Drummondville, CAN
Frances Tiafoe 19 yrs, 3 mos. Sarasota, USA Alexander Bublik 19 yrs, 8 mos.      Morelos, MEX          Hyeon Chung
20 yrs, 8 mos.
Maui, USA
Noah Rubin  20 yrs, 11 mos.  Launceston, AUS 

You started 0-5 in Challenger finals and now you’ve won your last three. What changed?
“I took some beatings. There were some tough moments. After losing that close one to Ernesto [Escobedo] in Lexington last year, I started thinking that any time I’m in a final I’m going to take it. Just be aggressive and go for it. That one – losing in a third set tie-break – was a heartbreaker. It hurt. It almost cost me a spot in the US Open. I’ve definitely paid my dues. I feel like I now deserve it every time I’m in a final.”

What was the difference today?
“Tennys hasn’t been in as many finals as I have and I feel like he was a little tight today. More than he has been, but credit to him for the week. After that match yesterday (a three-hour win over Jurgen Melzer), I left it all out there today.”

You’re up to No. 72 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. How do you plan to structure your schedule now that ATP World Tour events are within reach.
“I’m up to No. 72 now, but I have final points coming off next week, which is why I’m playing Tallahassee. After that, I think I’m going to call it and play as many tour-level events as I can. Until the summer, I don’t have much coming off. Europe, on the clay and grass, is going to be a big stretch for me. I want to make some dents there. I’ve definitely established myself at this level and it’s going to be tough in Tour events, but it’s time.”

A Look Back At The 2017 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 1:19pm
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Nadal becomes first man to win same tournament 10 times

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 11:55am
Nadal becomes first man to win same tournament 10 times