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On The Line: John McEnroe

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2018

On The Line: John McEnroe speaks to the stars about their favourite hobbies, idols and more

It is no secret that John McEnroe is one of the best players in tennis history. The left-handed serve-and-volleyer reached the top of both the ATP Rankings and the ATP Doubles Rankings. He would win 77 tour-level titles during his career and record 877 wins (83 against the Top 10), and he is now a consistent force on the ATP Champions Tour.

But there is more to McEnroe than what you saw on the court — which the American described to as, “the good, the bad and the ugly”. Want to learn more about one of the ATP World Tour’s most recognisable figures? We caught up with him to find out about his favourite memories, whom he admires and more.

What was the last book you read?
Bruce Springsteen’s book [Born To Run].

What person outside of your family do you admire most?
It was [Nelson] Mandela, he passed away. I don’t know, that’s a tough call. Maybe in the sports world I admired what [Tom] Brady did for a while. As a guy that plays individual sports, seeing a guy make other people so much better, that’s pretty inspiring.

What was the last concert or show you saw?
The last concert I saw was probably my wife [Patty Smyth] singing with Billie Joel.

What’s your favourite sport outside of tennis to watch?
I like basketball the most. I think it’s the most fun and you see the athleticism. It’s a good game for tennis, too, to work on your tennis. I liked playing basketball when I was young and I like watching it now.

Your favourite moment in your career was…
My favourite moment would probably be that Wimbledon ‘80 final even though I lost it. That’s the one that people talk about the most so that’s the one that sticks out.

Your tennis career was a success because…
I think because I gave a lot of effort and people remember the good, the bad and the ugly.

In the future, you want to…
I want to be able to take a step back and be able to appreciate everything that I’ve been able to get from this sport and try to do something where I can take this sport in my own little way to another level.

Read More Player Interviews In Our ‘On The Line’ Series

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#NextGenATP Tiafoe Saves 3 MPs In Estoril

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2018

#NextGenATP Tiafoe Saves 3 MPs In Estoril

#NextGenATP De Minaur earns first tour-level clay-court win

#NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe was down and almost out of the Millennium Estoril Open on Monday against compatriot Tennys Sandgren. But the 20-year-old battled until the end, and it paid dividends. 

Tiafoe recovered from a 5/3 deficit in the second-set tie-break and saved three match points in the decider to beat Sandgren 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) to advance to the second round in Portugal, setting a second-round clash against No. 4 seed Gilles Muller. 

The Delray Beach Open champion is now 3-0 this year in third-set tie-breaks (also def. Edmund and Berdych in Miami), and 3-0 at all levels against Sandgren when it comes to a final-set tie-break. He is now also 5-0 at all levels against the 26-year-old Tennessean — this was their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. 

After coming from a break down in the third set, Sandgren had all the momentum and earned two match points on Tiafoe’s serve at 5-4. But Sandgren allowed Tiafoe to take all the risks in the crucial moments, missing a return long to let slip the first match point before his younger opponent played aggressively from the baseline on the second match point, finishing with a forehand drop volley. Later in the game, on match point No. 3, Tiafoe dangerously approached to the Houston finalist’s backhand, but Sandgren sailed the passing shot just long. Tiafoe never trailed in the ensuing tie-break, clinching his triumph in two hours, 51 minutes.

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Another #NextGenATP player in Aussie Alex de Minaur was also successful on Monday, earning the first tour-level clay-court victory of his career by defeating Portuguese home favourite Gastao Elias 6-3, 6-1.

It is the 19-year-old’s first tour-level win since he claimed his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 triumph at the BNP Paribas Open in March. De Minaur continues his ascent after beginning the season 7-1 with a semi-final appearance in Brisbane and his first ATP World Tour final in Sydney. He also advanced to the championship match at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Alicante, Spain earlier this month, losing against Pablo Andujar, who would win the Grand Prix Hassan II trophy the following week.

The wild card saved all nine break points he faced against Elias, whose serve he broke four times to advance in one hour, 26 minutes. De Minaur, who is at a career-best No. 111 in the ATP Rankings, is nearing a breakthrough into the Top 100. Third seed Kyle Edmund, the British No. 1, awaits the teenager in the second round.

While Elias was unable to earn a win for the Portuguese crowd, wild card Pedro Sousa was. The home favourite eliminated former World No. 6 Gilles Simon 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) in two hours, 45 minutes. Sousa was the aggressor throughout the match, finishing off his first Top 100 victory in an ATP World Tour match with a swinging volley.

Did You Know?
De Minaur is playing doubles in Estoril with former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. They face second seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus on Tuesday.

You May Also Like: Hewitt To Make Brief Return To ATP World Tour

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Dan Evans out of Glasgow Trophy in first round after Lucas Miedler defeat

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2018
Glasgow Trophy
Venue: Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Glasgow. Dates: 30 April-7 May
Coverage: Watch live from Tuesday, 1 May on Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Britain’s Dan Evans lost in his first main draw match since returning from a 12-month drugs ban in the first round of the Glasgow Trophy.

The 27-year-old was awarded a wildcard for the Challenger event by the Lawn Tennis Association and had come through two qualifiers to book a meeting with world number 331 Lucas Miedler.

The Austrian progressed with a 2-6 6-2 6-4 victory.

Evans was banned after testing positive for cocaine in April 2017.

The former world number 41 had only been back training for two months but defeated compatriot Ed Corrie on Saturday before beating Ireland’s Sam Barry 6-4 6-1 to qualify for the main draw in Glasgow.

Evans looked comfortable in the first set against Miedler, but began to unravel in the second set after the Austrian broke in the third game.

The Briton lost his serve in the opening game of the third set and failed to recover.

“I’m not really disappointed, it was a good match. He’s better than his ranking, I’m sure of that, and it was a good level match,” said Evans.

“I got a bit tired at the start of the third set and that was it really. I was just a bit rusty at the start of the third set.

“I played probably the best in that match than all the matches I’ve played this week. I’m starting to feel the ball way better so I’m looking forward to hopefully playing again soon.”

Evans came into the tournament unranked but his progress to the main draw guaranteed him 885 euros (£780) in prize money and five ranking points, which would put him at about 1,200th in the world when the standings are updated next Monday.

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Former Champion Klizan Overcomes Mayer In Munich

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2018

Former Champion Klizan Overcomes Mayer In Munich

Hanfmann ousts Baghdatis in 59 minutes

Martin Klizan continued his strong run of form at the BMW Open by FWU on Monday, beating 2011 finalist Florian Mayer 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The 2014 champion (d. Fognini) converted six of his 15 break point opportunities en route to victory in a match lasting just over two hours. Klizan improves to 8-1 in the Bavarian capital and sends Mayer to his 10th consecutive loss at tour-level.

Klizan, who defeated Novak Djokovic in Barcelona and became the first man to win five games in a set against Rafael Nadal on clay since the 2017 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, will meet Mirza Basic or seventh seed Gael Monfils in the second round.

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Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann scored his first win of the 2018 ATP World Tour season, defeating two-time Munich semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-4. The 2017 quarter-finalist hit six aces and dropped just one point on his second serve (7/8) to advance to the second round after 59 minutes. The Munich resident will face top seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev for a place in the quarter-finals.

Matthias Bachinger also secured his first win of the season at his home event, defeating Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6(8), 3-6, 6-3. The Munich-born World No. 163 hit 10 aces in the two-hour, 42-minute win and will meet reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung in the second round.

Did You Know?
Martin Klizan has only lost one main-draw match at the BMW Open by FWU. Klizan won eight matches from qualifying on his main-draw debut in 2014 to win the title, before falling in the quarter-finals last year to Hyeon Chung.

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Watson's losing run continues in Prague

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2018

Britain’s Heather Watson fell to her eighth successive defeat on the WTA Tour as Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova won 6-1 6-3 to reach the second round of the Prague Open.

Watson, 25, has not won a WTA match since the quarter-finals of January’s Hobart International.

The British number two’s poor form has seen her slip to 79th in the rankings.

Schmiedlova, 23, maintains her unbeaten start to the clay-court season after victory in Bogota earlier in April.

Ranked seven places below her opponent, wildcard Schmiedlova required just one hour and 26 minutes to beat Watson.

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The clay specialist dominated the first set, winning the opening four games before Watson finally got on the board in the fifth.

In the second set, Watson broke Schmiedlova’s serve three times but could not capitalise on her own as the Slovakian won four break points before holding her serve in the ninth game to clinch the win.

Watson – a three-time singles champion on the WTA Tour – has not even won a set since late February.

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Read & Watch: Mayer & Medvedev Go Racing In Estoril

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2018

Read & Watch: Mayer & Medvedev Go Racing In Estoril

Professional driver takes Millennium Estoril Open seeds for a wild ride

A day after Kyle Edmund and Joao Sousa enjoyed a thrilling surfing lesson in Estoril from one of the highest-ranked professionals in the world, Daniil Medvedev and Leonardo Mayer got taken for a wild ride — literally — of their own on Monday ahead of the Millennium Estoril Open.

The two seeded players in this week’s event (Mayer No. 7 and Medvedev No. 8) were driven around a track built on Cascais Marina by Portuguese racecar driver Rafael Lobato.

“It’s incredible! You realize how hard it is to drive these kind of cars. The drivers go really fast and that’s amazing,” Mayer said. “You feel a bit scared because of the chance of crashing. But it is impossible, because the drivers are really good… the control was incredible. They are able to stay one metre away from the wall.”

You May Also Like: Read & Watch: Surf’s Up For Sousa & Edmund In Estoril

And while the ATP World Tour players are used to getting adrenaline rushes during the excitement of their matches, Medvedev was surprised by the experience in the rally car.

“It was amazing. I didn’t expect so much adrenaline. I just thought it would be a little bit fast and a little bit cool, but once he started to push the engine it was going like crazy,” Medvedev said. “He was drifting, it was turning. I was so scared but it was so cool. Now I know what to expect from experiences like this.

“It was so loud in the car and the vibrations inside the car are like crazy. You have to be quite strong in the car because on the first lap my head was going right and left all the time.”


It was a great experience for Medvedev, who will compete against Portugal’s Joao Sousa — who seeks his first victory at his home event (0-3) — in the first round.

“It’s my first time in Estoril, and it’s pretty cool,” Medvedev said. “I went to Lisbon for two days first and it’s also amazing. I always thought it’d be cool to come here.”

Mayer will begin his campaign against in-form Chilean Nicolas Jarry. The Argentine leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 1-0.

“It is nice to play here, there are plenty of great players and the city is beautiful,” Mayer said. “I’m always happy to be back.”

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Troicki Edges Tomic In Istanbul

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2018

Troicki Edges Tomic In Istanbul

Istomin upset by Serbia’s Djere

No. 6 seed Viktor Troicki came from a set down to beat Australia’s Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-0, 7-5 at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open on Monday.

The Serbian, who reached the semi-finals in 2017 (l. to Raonic), hit 13 aces and broke Tomic on five occasions to emerge victorious after one hour and 49 minutes. Competing for the first time on the ATP World Tour since the 2017 Erste Bank Open 500 (l. Herbert), Tomic served for the match at 5-4 in the final set, but Troicki won four straight games to reach the second round.

Troicki takes a 3-2 lead in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Tomic and moves into a second-round encounter against Moldova’s Radu Albot or Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil.

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Serbian Laslo Djere snapped a 10-match losing streak to upset Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 7-6(5), 7-6(6). The 22-year-old saved a set point at 5/6 in the second-set tie-break before booking his place in the second round after two hours and four minutes. The 2017 quarter-finalist (l. to Troicki), will meet Gazprom Hungarian Open semi-finalist Andreas Seppi for a place in the quarter-finals.

Did You Know?
Viktor Troicki and Bernard Tomic’s only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter on a clay court also went to three sets, with Troicki defeating the Australian 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 7-6(4) at the 2015 Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

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