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Aidan McHugh beaten in Glasgow despite 'quite cool' advice from Andy Murray

  • Posted: May 02, 2018

Advice from Andy Murray could not prevent Scottish teenager Aidan McHugh falling to a first round defeat at the Glasgow Trophy ATP Challenger.

The 17-year-old lost 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to France’s David Guez, who is seeded third at Scotstoun.

Guez, at 284 in the world, is nearly a thousand places higher up the rankings than McHugh, an Australian Open semi-finalist in this year’s boys’ event.

“I spoke to him (Murray) about how to play him a little bit,” said McHugh.

“That’s a bit weird for me because Andy actually knows these guys that I’m playing so that’s quite cool and hopefully that kind of thing can help in the future.

“I don’t know if Andy was watching, I’m sure if he could he would be watching to see how I got on. He’s been great just having him around, obviously he knows what he’s talking about so any kind of advice and guidance helps me loads.”

McHugh is signed to Murray’s sports management company and has been used as a practice partner as the former world number bids to recover from hip surgery.

The teen had the opportunity to serve out for the first set at 6-5 but could not get the better of his 35-year-old opponent.

“It’s nice to feel like my level is there to beat a lot of these guys,” he said.

“Just a few wee things like when I was serving for the first set, not to give away as many cheap errors, that’s just obviously a bit frustrating now but something I can learn from, closing out sets against guys like that who are not just going to go away when they go a break down.”

There was better news for fellow wildcard James Ward who dug out a win on his road to recovery from knee surgery.

The 31-year-old Englishman, who missed seven months before his return to fitness in February, beat sixth seed Kaichi Uchida from Japan 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

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Inglot/Lindstedt Begin Istanbul Doubles Campaign

  • Posted: May 02, 2018

Inglot/Lindstedt Begin Istanbul Doubles Campaign

Peers and Rojer advance in Estoril

Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt secured their place in the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open quarter-finals on Wednesday when they knocked out Roman Jebavy and Florin Mergea 7-6(4), 6-1 in 71 minutes. The pair has won one ATP World Tour title together at the 2015 Winston-Salem Open (d. Butorac-Lipsky). The British-Swedish team will next challenge fourth seeds Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski, champions at the Open Sud de France (d. McLachlan/Nys) in February.

At the Millennium Estoril Open, top seeds John Peers and Jean-Julien Rojer joined forces to knock out Argentines Guillermo Duran and Andres Molteni 6-2, 7-6(2) in 75 minutes. They will now meet Jonathan Eysseric and Joe Salisbury, who scraped past Sander Arends and Adil Shamasdin 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.

However, two seeded teams: third seeds Marc Lopez and David Marrero, and fourth seeds Marcelo Demoliner and Santiago Gonzalez fell in the first round.

Despite recovering from a 1-4 deficit to win the first set, Lopez and Marrero were beaten by Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-3 in one hour and 35 minutes. Dutchmen Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop, winners at the Tata Open Maharashtra and Diema Xtra Sofia Open this year, knocked out Demoliner and Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4 in 65 minutes.

At the BMW Open by FWU, third seeds Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya defeated Germans Kevin Krawietz and Maximilian Marterer 7-5, 6-4 for a place in the semi-finals. Peya partnered Bruno Soares to the 2015 title (d. Zverev/Zverev). Fourth seeds Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald battled hard to beat Daniel Masur and Rudolf Molleker 3-6, 7-5, 10-6 in their opening match.

Did You Know?

Daniel Nestor, who is contesting his 28th and final season as a pro, has compiled a 1061-478 doubles match record, including 91 titles. He has lifted four trophies on German soil at Hamburg in 1996 and 2003 (w/Knowles) and 2008 (w/Zimonjic), and at 2001 Halle (w/Stolle).

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Zverev Battles Past Hanfmann In Munich

  • Posted: May 02, 2018

Zverev Battles Past Hanfmann In Munich

Chung drops two games to reach the quarter-finals

Top seed Alexander Zverev recovered from a set down to defeat countryman Yannick Hanfmann 6-7(12), 6-4, 6-2 at the BMW Open by FWU on Wednesday.

“I am always happy to get a win like that,” reflected Zverev. “Obviously [Hanfmann] played one of the best matches of his life today, so I wish him all the best and I hope he is going to continue playing like this in the next few weeks.”

The defending champion appeared to be in danger of an early upset after Hanfmann converted his seventh set point in a marathon first-set tie-break, but Zverev put the disappointment of failing to convert two set points of his own behind him to secure victory. The 21-year-old German improves to 9-3 in the Bavarian capital and will bid for a tenth victory at the event against Jan-Lennard Struff.

“It was great,” said Zverev. “I love playing in Germany as everybody knows. I love playing in front of my home crowd.”

Zverev leads Struff 3-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, most recently defeating his compatriot in three sets at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last month.

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Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung cruised into the BMW Open by FWU quarter-finals on Wednesday, defeating Munich native Matthias Bachinger 6-1, 6-1.

Chung, who broke into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 2 April, lost only three first-service points in the 58-minute clash to record his 19th win of the season. The 22-year-old also saved all five break points he faced and converted five of his seven break opportunities in his first appearance since losing to eventual champion John Isner at the Miami Open presented by Itaú.

The inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals winner will face 2014 champion Martin Klizan for an opportunity to equal his 2017 debut result at the event (l. to Pella).

Slovakian qualifier Klizan recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the deciding set to beat Mirza Basic of Bosnia & Herzegovina 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and three minutes. It was his ninth win in 10 matches at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament.

Jan-Lennard Struff won his all-German encounter with Yannick Maden 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The World No. 62 hit 12 aces in the one-hour, 40-minute win to improve to 8-4 at the event. Struff won six matches from qualifying in 2014, before falling to Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the semi-finals.

Did You Know?
This will be the second consecutive year that Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff have met in the BMW Open by FWU quarter-finals. En route to the title last year, Zverev defeated Struff 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(5).

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'I was not ready to return and it backfired': Djokovic's confidence hit after surgery

  • Posted: May 02, 2018

Novak Djokovic blames his recent decline on a premature return from elbow surgery and says he is working hard to rediscover his winning form.

Serbia’s former world number one, 30, returned to training two months after his January surgery and fell to successive first-round defeats at Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

“It was my decision [to return] because I missed playing tennis so much,” said Djokovic.

“But I was not ready and it backfired.”

The 12-time Grand Slam champion is currently ranked 12th in the world and has failed to reach the last eight in any of his five tournaments since making his return.

He was defeated by Martin Klizan, ranked 122nd in the world, in the second round of the Barcelona Open and knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters in the third round by Dominic Thiem last month.

He has not won a Slam since the 2016 French Open.

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Djokovic added: “I have always believed in myself and that’s why I was able to make all my childhood dreams come true, but right now my confidence is not at the highest level.

“The recent results have not been what we are used to but coming back is a process and all I can do now is knuckle down to some hard work,

“I have had some similar situations in the past but not one quite as challenging as this, so I have to accept it as part of a learning process.”

Djokovic was forced to retire from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych last year because of an elbow injury he said had been bothering him for more than a year.

Several local nutritionists have been quoted by Belgrade media in recent weeks, saying that his meat-free diet was hampering his fitness.

In response, Djokovic said: “I don’t want to elaborate because people have been twisting facts in the past two years and all I’ll say is that I reckon I know what’s best for me as an athlete and a person,

“It doesn’t affect me what people say, but it does affect those who are close to me.”

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Federer To Return In Stuttgart

  • Posted: May 02, 2018

Federer To Return In Stuttgart

Eight-time Wimbledon champion announces plans to return to the German event

Roger Federer announced on Wednesday that he will return to ATP World Tour action at the Mercedes Cup, held 11-17 June.

The 36-year-old will appear in Stuttgart for the third time in his career, after falling in the first round in 2017 (l. to Haas) and reaching the semi-finals in 2016 (l. to Thiem). Federer won two titles on grass in 2017 (Halle, Wimbledon) and will be bidding for an 18th title on the surface in Stuttgart, which will mark the beginning of his grass-court schedule leading towards The Championships at Wimbledon.

Federer shared the news with more than 15 million fans on Facebook on Wednesday morning. “Excited to announce that I will be coming back to Germany for the Mercedes Cup in June,” said Federer. “Looking forward to seeing you at the grass courts in Stuttgart!”

The Swiss star holds a 164-24 FedEx ATP Win/Loss Record on grass, winning 87.2 per cent of matches on the surface. Federer will be joined in Stuttgart by defending champion Lucas Pouille, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung.

Following on from Stuttgart, Federer will travel to Halle in search of a record 10th title at the Gerry Weber Open, having triumphed for a ninth time at the event in 2017 (d. Zverev).

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Edmund Books Spot In Estoril QFs

  • Posted: May 02, 2018

Edmund Books Spot In Estoril QFs

Last year’s finalist Muller in action later today

Kyle Edmund booked his place in a fourth tour-level quarter-final of the year on Wednesday at the Millennium Estoril Open. The third-seeded Briton proved to be too strong for 19-year-old Australian wild card Alex de Minaur 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 37 minutes.

De Minaur worked his way back from a 2-4 deficit in the second set, but had his serve broken in the 11th game when he hit a backhand slice wide at 15/40. Edmund calmly closed out to love for his 12th match win of 2018, which includes a runner-up finish at the Grand Prix Hassan II (l. to Andujar) and an Australian Open semi-final exit (l. to Cilic).

Edmund will next face Joao Sousa, who saved two match points at 4-5 and 5-6 in the second set to beat World No. 143 Pedro Sousa 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 in two hours and 25 minutes. Pedro Sousa lead 5-3 in the deciding set, but Portuguese No. 1 Joao Sousa won four straight games — including a 22-point final game, which he clinched on his fifth match point.

Two days after saving three match points against Tennys Sandgren, #NextGenATP star Frances Tiafoe overcame a tense second set to eliminate fourth seed Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5. The 20-year-old American clinched the first set 6-4 but Muller, a finalist in 2017, raced out to a 4-1 lead early in the second.

Tiafoe broke back in the seventh and 11th games of the set, then closed out the match with an ace to secure his place in the quarter-finals, where he’ll face Simone Bolelli. The Italian qualifier battled from a set down to defeat Federico Delbonis 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the last match of the day.

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Estoril Open: Kyle Edmund beats Alex de Minaur to reach quarter-final

  • Posted: May 02, 2018

British number one Kyle Edmund progressed to the quarter-finals of the Estoril Open with a straight-set win over teenage wildcard Alex de Minaur.

The 23-year-old Edmund, seeded third at the clay-court event, won 6-2 7-5 against the Australian.

The world number 23 will play Joao Sousa or Pedro Sousa in the last eight.

Fellow Briton Cameron Norrie will play Spanish world number 77 Roberto Carballes Baena in the last 16 on Thursday.

Norrie, ranked 103rd in the world, knocked sixth seed Robin Haase out in the first round on Tuesday.

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