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Hot Shot: Schwartzman Runs Everywhere vs. Federer

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:28pm
Watch Diego Schwartzman track down everything against Roger Federer at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in China. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Troicki Stuns Thiem For Biggest Win of '17

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:13pm

Viktor Troicki struck again at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Wednesday. The Serbian earned the biggest win of his season by knocking off Nitto ATP Finals hopeful Dominic Thiem 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) to advance to the third round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in China.

Troicki had been 0-4 against Top 10 players this season. But the Serbian earned another chance at the game's best by beating #NextGenATP wild card Denis Shapovalov in the Shanghai first round, and he recovered from an early hiccup in the third-set tie-break against Thiem to notch the win.

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Troicki led 5/2 in the tie-break and had the match on his racquet. But the 31 year old lost the first point and double faulted at 5/3, handing it back to Thiem at 5/4. The Belgrade native rebounded, though, smashing a backhand up the line on his first match point.

It's the second Top 10 win in Shanghai for Troicki in as many years. Last year, he beat Rafael Nadal in the second round in Shanghai. He went on to fall to eventual finalist Roberto Bautista Agut in the Round of 16.

Troicki is 1-10 during Round of 16 matches at Masters 1000 events. He'll try to improve that mark when he faces American John Isner, who beat #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(2), 7-6(9). Isner was actually out-aced in the match (14 to 16), but saved all five of his break points to advance to the Shanghai third round.

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London Doubles Hopeful Advances In Shanghai

Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram moved a step closer to qualifying for their second consecutive Nitto ATP Finals in London. Klaasen/Ram escaped a tight second-round match in Shanghai 6-4, 7-6(4) against Marcelo Demoliner and Fabio Fognini to move into the quarter-finals.

Klaasen/Ram now have 2,975 points in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London, good enough for eighth place in the standings. The top eight teams qualify for the prestigious season-ending tournament, to be held 12-19 November at The O2 in London.

Top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers advanced by walkover against Nick Kyrgios and Lucas Pouille because Kyrgios was suffering from a viral illness.

Fognini found guilty of major offenses by board

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:55pm
Fognini found guilty of major offenses by board

Nadal, Federer advance at Shanghai Masters

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:01am
Nadal, Federer advance at Shanghai Masters

Federer Fights Through Shanghai Opener

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 9:53am

Roger Federer had to fight but eventually came through a tight opener on Wednesday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, beating Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-6(4), 6-4 to advance to the third round of the season's penultimate ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.

Federer improved to 4-0 against Schwartzman in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series and celebrated his 40th match win of the year with the straight-sets victory. The 36-year-old Swiss is now 40-4 during his comeback season.

“I think I served well. I had good concentration. Had good energy, as well, which I think is always important early on in a tournament,” Federer said.

During his first match in Shanghai since 2015, Federer was aggressive as he has been all season. He stepped into flat backhands and attacked the net, winning 14/24 net points. But the second seed did have to shake off a bit of rust in the big moments.

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Before Wednesday, he hadn't played a tour-level match since 6 September, when he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open quarter-finals, and Federer saw break point after break point disappear in the first set.

Schwartzman, though, had much to do with that as well. The 5' 7” right-hander is enjoying his best season. He has climbed to a career-high No. 26 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and was coming off a semi-final run at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017 in Tokyo (l. to eventual champion Goffin).

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Schwartzman fended off break points at 1-2 before Federer broke in the sixth game to lead 4-2. The very next game, though, Federer, the 2014 titlist, was broken. At 3-4, Federer again had two more chances to break but Schwartzman saved them all. They headed to a tie-break, where Federer overcame an early mini-break for the one-set lead.

“I knew going in it was not going to be easy. He's had a great run in recent weeks and months. I really felt that he was confident. Shaking off misses, no problem. He was serving well. You could see he was taking the right decisions on his groundstrokes,” Federer said of Schwartzman.

“As an opponent, you feel that. You could see there was sort of an ease about his game today. I felt like that was going to be dangerous down the stretch of any set. I felt that tie-break was tough. I was down and then came up with some really good shot-making after that in the 'breaker to really turn it around.” 

Federer can't afford to let this opportunity for a big week in Shanghai slip if he wants to stay competitive in the battle for year-end No. 1. Rafael Nadal, who also won on Wednesday, is more than 2,000 points ahead of the Swiss star.

The Basel native made life more straightforward during the second set. He broke to love to start and cruised to his 28th hard-court match win of the season (28-3). The right-hander is going for his sixth tour-level title of the year and his third Masters 1000 crown, having won the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March and the Miami Open presented by Itau in April.

“I think getting the break early in the second set gave me the chance to try a few more things, play more relaxed, go for my shots more, and then I was able to bring it home, coming back from 0/30 I think in the last game,” Federer said. “So it was a good match for me. I'm actually very happy with my level.”

He will next face Ukraine's Alexander Dolgopolov, who beat Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4.

Sharapova victorious in rain-delayed Tianjin opener

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 9:35am
Sharapova victorious in rain-delayed Tianjin opener

Nadal Extends Winning Streak, Reaches Shanghai Third Round

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:00am

Rafael Nadal continued his imperious run of form on Wednesday when he extended his winning streak to 13 matches with victory at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The top seed, seeking his seventh tour-level crown of the year, knocked out #NextGenATP American Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-1 in 54 minutes on a rain-hit day at the Qi Zhong Stadium.

Nadal, the 2009 finalist in Shanghai, had to bide his time to notch his first service break. At 2-3, Donaldson dropped to 0/40 and held off five break points before his Spanish opponent clinched the game in a run of seven straight games – from 2-2 in the first set to a 3-0 lead in the second set. He broke 21-year-old Donaldson, a contender for next month’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, for a fourth time to take a 5-1 lead in the second set.

“It was a very quick match in all aspects,” said Nadal. “I think Jared started playing very well at the beginning, serving big, and then hitting very strong from the baseline. Of course, I started trying to play a little bit more safe, without looking for big shots… Of course, I was happy to get that break in the 3-2 in the sixth game. It helped me that he made some double faults, two double faults. Then I played some good points, I think. After that I think I played a great match. Not many mistakes.”

The Spanish superstar will next take a 9-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead into the third round against Italian Fabio Fognini, winning their two 2017 meetings in Miami and Madrid.

Nadal, who returned to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 21 August, is seeking to become year-end No. 1 for the fourth time (2008, 2010, 2013). He has amassed a 62-9 match record in 2017, including trophies at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Ramos-Vinolas), the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Thiem), the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Thiem), Roland Garros (d. Wawrinka), the US Open (d. Anderson) and last week’s China Open in Beijing (d. Kyrgios).

“If that happens, it will be, I think, a very important achievement for me," said Nadal. "I will be year-end No. 1 four times in my career, with so many years of difference I think it’s something very difficult. But there remains work to do.”

The 31-year-old Nadal has also clinched his place at Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November.

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Dimitrov Digs Deep, Saves 3 M.P. In Shanghai

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 4:58am

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov dug deep on Wednesday, saving three match points against American Ryan Harrison at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, to further strengthen his claims for a spot at next month’s Nitto ATP Finals.

Third seed Dimitrov recovered from a 2-4 deficit in the deciding set and fought back from 3/6 in the tie-break to overcome Harrison 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) in two hours and 34 minutes.

When asked about the match points, Dimitrov said, "I knew Ryan was going to hit a risk or just play a solid point. I was ready for either/or. I think at 5/6 when he served that first serve, I knew he was going to come to the net. I just didn't know where he was going to play. I had a pretty decent return. I just had to be ready for anything. He missed it. Six-all was a great point for me. I think I hustled through pretty good. I knew on that match point I just had to make that first serve. That was the only thing that was in my head.

"He also played an unbelievable match. I've got to give him a lot of credit. He got to that point, for sure. It was pretty unfortunate to end up that way, but I just take it as it is right now."

The 26-year-old Dimitrov is through to the Shanghai third round for the first time, improving to 39-16 on the year that includes three ATP World Tour titles at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp (d. Nishikori), Garanti Koza Sofia Open (d. Goffin) and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Kyrgios).

Dimitrov is currently No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Race To London with 3,365 points – 350 points behind fourth-placed Austrian Dominic Thiem. He is hoping to join Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London, from 12-19 November. There are six places left up for grabs at the season finale.

Dimitrov will next meet Sam Querrey, who remains at No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, after he beat fellow American and #NextGenATP qualifier Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6(7), saving one set point at 6/7 in the second set tie-break.

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Later on a rain-hit day four, 2014 runner-up Gilles Simon ended the eight-match winning streak of Belgian David Goffin, currently No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Race To London and seeking a first-time Nitto ATP Finals qualification, 7-6(4), 6-3 in one hour and 30 minutes. In-form Goffin had picked up ATP World Tour trophies at the Shenzhen Open (d. Dolgopolov) and the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017 in Tokyo (d. Mannarino) in the past weeks. Simon now goes on to face fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the third round.

Third seed Alexander Zverev, who has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals and the 21-and-under Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 7-11 November, advanced to the third round when Briton Aljaz Bedene retired after four games. The German goes on to challenge No. 16 seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina on Thursday.

Zverev is now 52-17 on the season, including ATP World Tour trophies at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, the BMW Open by FWU in Munich (d. Pella), the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome (d. Djokovic), the Citi Open in Washington D.C. (d. Anderson) and the Coupe Rogers in Montreal (d. Federer).

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Dimitrov Shows Great Feel In Shanghai 2017 Hot Shot

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 2:57am
Watch Hot Shot as Grigor Dimitrov showcases quick reactions and feel to scrape up the ball against Ryan Harrison on Wednesday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Zverev vs Del Potro: Cast Your Vote!

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:11am

View FedEx ATP Head2Head matchup for Day 5 of the Shanghai Rolex Masters and vote for who you think will win!
Zverev vs del Potro | Dimitrov vs Querrey | Nadal vs Fognini | Federer vs Dolgopolov

[GROUP POLL]84[/GROUP POLL]

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Federer Dances, Dimitrov Bonds With Cilic On The Bund

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:17am

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Shanghai Rolex Masters – Shanghai, China

Disney dance-offs, NBA basketballers and a ride on the Metro – it’s been part of a busy return to Shanghai for 2014 champion Roger Federer this week. The Swiss No. 2 seed and Chinese player Wu Di joined Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Goofy on court for a hit with kids on Family Day before squaring off with Mickey in a dance-off.

It wasn’t the 36 year old’s only brush with fame this week as he hung out with NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, on Sunday night before their pre-season game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Shanghai. Federer talked with the team about his love for the NBA and met the likes of Warriors stars Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.

“Our team really enjoyed the pre-game visit with Roger,” said Warriors' Head Coach Steve Kerr. “Roger is one of the greatest winners in the history of sports and we thought it would be valuable for our players to hear what has kept him sharp, motivated and at the top of his game after so much success. His insight was invaluable.”

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Deciding to mix his routine up a little, Federer took a Metro train to the Shanghai Rolex Masters site on Sunday, an excursion the Swiss great admitted wasn’t always possible in his day-to-day life.

“With the tournament, we looked at something I haven't done really before,” he said. “It's nice to be in a beautiful car and everything, but it's nice to go do that.”

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem is one player keen to stamp his ticket to the Nitto ATP Finals this week and the Austrian was the first to discover who he’d have to get past to pick up valuable points in Shanghai. Thiem joined Chinese player Zhang Ze and former great Bjorn Borg for the draw ceremony.

Set to the stunning night backdrop of Shanghai’s skylines, Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov took part in a game of mini tennis with kids on The Bund.

 

Donskoy Boosted By Kaohsiung Title

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 8:57pm

With one eye already on 2018, Evgeny Donskoy has picked the right time to regain his form. After toppling Roger Federer, then earning an ATP Challenger Tour title in back-to-back weeks earlier in the year, Donskoy made a return to the winners' circle by defeating Marius Copil 7-6(0), 7-5 in the Kaohsiung OEC Open final on Sunday.

Despite not dropping his serve against Copil, Donskoy credits his baseline game as the key to victory.

"My game from the baseline worked best for me last week," Donskoy said. "I tried to play with good speed. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. I didn't serve unbelievably, but it was my baseline game that was pretty good for me here; that was the key to winning."

With the victory, Donskoy jumped 15 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings (highest since No. 69 in August 2016), bumped his total number of Challenger titles to 11 and successfully navigated his way past a host of contenders. He also managed to enjoy the overall experience in the process.

"This is a big Challenger; I think I've only won two or three of these at the $125,000 prize money level," Donskoy said. "There were really good players here in Kaohsiung.

"This week is my first in Taiwan in general and I enjoyed it here. It's nice that many people came out to watch, even when the Taiwanese guys aren't playing. That's good that they are really fans of the sport."

It's the Emirates ATP Rankings points, however, that the 27-year-old Russian coveted most. Now at No. 74, Donskoy is just nine spots off his career-high of 65 (July 2013) and is eager to enter bigger events next year.

"Winning this tournament means a lot for me, especially now toward the end of the season," Donskoy said. “It's good to have these [Emirates ATP Rankings] points going into next season and I can use them to enter big tournaments in 2018."

Donskoy's 2017 campaign kicked off impressively. He earned the biggest victory of his career when, as a qualifier, he reached his first ATP World Tour 500 quarter-final by defeating Federer 6-3, 7-6(7), 7-6(5) at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Donskoy, No. 116 in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the time, staved off three match points against Federer, who was playing in his second match since capturing the Australian Open in January. It marked just the third time since 2007 that Federer was defeated by a qualifier (2013 Hamburg vs Delbonis; 2015 Shanghai vs Ramos). A week later, he earned his first Challenger title of the season by defeating Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 6-4 in Zhuhai, China.

The intent was to parlay those results into more success throughout the year, but illness nearly derailed those plans. 

In August, Donskoy was a finalist at the Chengdu Challenger and a week later, he lost in the semi-finals of the Jinan Challenger in a walkover after falling ill. Donskoy is relieved the illness didn't keep him sidelined for long and that he was able to find his form before the year's end.

"I was playing at a Challenger in Jinan before the US Open and I got sick pretty badly," Donskoy said. "But I'm happy that I recovered fast and winning this tournament in Taiwan gives me a lot of confidence. We'll see what happens in the coming weeks."

Vote For Fans' Favourite In 2017 ATP World Tour Awards

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:43pm
Support your favourite singles player and doubles team. Voting is open through 6 November for the ATPWorldTour.com Fans' Favourite Awards Presented by Moët & Chandon.

Behind The Scenes At Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:39pm
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot goes behind the scenes at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017 in Tokyo.

Nadal, Federer Headline Wednesday Action In Shanghai

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:32pm

The Top five players in the Emirates ATP Race To London will be in second-round action at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Wednesday. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the headliners with year-end No. 1 on the line beginning this week. If Nadal wins his first Shanghai title and Federer fails to reach the semi-finals, the Spaniard will finish 2017 at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

View FedEx ATP Head2Head matchup for Day 4 of the Shanghai Rolex Masters and vote for who you think will win!
Federer vs. Schwartzman | Nadal vs. Donaldson | Goffin vs. Simon

[GROUP POLL]83[/GROUP POLL]

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Nadal meets #NextGenATP player Jared Donaldson at 6 pm, followed by Federer against Diego Schwartzman at 8 pm. Donaldson and Schwartzman are both bidding for the biggest wins of their respective careers. As is Aljaz Bedene, who faces No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev earlier on Stadium Court. Play begins at 1 pm with No. 6 seed Grigor Dimitrov taking on Ryan Harrison.

Following Pablo Carreno Busta’s loss on Tuesday, No. 10 seed Sam Querrey and No. 11 seed Kevin Anderson could gain ground in the race with wins on Wednesday. It’s also a big day for wild card Wu Di, who is playing second-round matches in singles and doubles. No Chinese player has reached the singles third round or doubles quarter-finals at the Shanghai Rolex Masters (est. 2009).

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London Doubles Hopefuls Progress In Shanghai

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:05pm

Two doubles teams looking to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in London next month made strides on Tuesday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in China. Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez (no relation), in 10th place in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London, advanced to the second round at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event by walkover.

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Defending champions John Isner and Jack Sock didn't compete because Sock was suffering from dehydration. Lopez/Lopez are in 10th place in the Doubles Race, 185 points behind eighth-placed Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram. The top eight doubles teams qualify for the prestigious season-ending tournament, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November. Lopez/Lopez will face second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the second round.

Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, alternates at the Nitto ATP Finals a year ago, escaped a tight opener 6-7(8), 7-6(7), 10-8 against Nikola Mektic and Nicholas Monroe. Cabal/Farah are in 11th place in the Doubles Race, 70 points behind Lopez/Lopez. Cabal/Farah will next meet third seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Chile's Julio Peralta also advanced, beating Italy's Paolo Lorenzi and Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 7-6(5), 7-6(3).

Cilic Wins Shanghai Opener, Boosts London Bid

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 3:19pm
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Nitto ATP Finals hopeful Marin Cilic improved his chances of returning to The O2 in London for the prestigious season-ending tournament as he opened his Shanghai Rolex Masters title bid Tuesday with a 6-3, 7-6(5) win over Brit Kyle Edmund.

The Croatian will guarantee his spot at the Nitto ATP Finals if he wins the Shanghai title, which would be his second Masters 1000 crown (Cincinnati 2016). Cilic, who is currently sixth in the Emirates ATP Race To London, previously qualified in 2014 and ’16.

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Cilic saved all three break points against the 22-year-old Edmund, prevailing in one hour and 38 minutes to move into the third round. The fourth seed will next face Chinese wild card Di Wu or American Steve Johnson.

Johnson, a quarter-finalist last week in Tokyo, advanced to the second round after No. 13 seed Nick Kyrgios retired after dropping the first set. The Australian had opened up a 4/2 lead in the opening set tie-break before Johnson reeled off five of the last six points to take it 7-6(5), before Kygrios called time.

Watch Johnson's Back-Wall Hot Shot vs. Kyrgios

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:40pm
With his back literally against the wall, Steve Johnson nails an overhead smash for a winner against Nick Kyrgios at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in China. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Zverev Surprises Himself With Breakout 2017 Shanghai

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:39pm
Alexander Zverev has surprised himself with his breakout 2017 season. He is the third seed this week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Hot Shot Lajovic Shows Off World-Class Speed For Touch Winner Shanghai 2017

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:38pm
Watch Serbia's Dusan Lajovic show off his world-class speed against John Isner at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in China. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.