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Wawrinka Accepts Wild Card To Play In Geneva

  • Posted: May 18, 2018

Wawrinka Accepts Wild Card To Play In Geneva

Two-time defending champion holds 9-1 record at home event

Two-time defending champion Stan Wawrinka has accepted a wild card to play at next week’s Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open.

“We are very happy to offer a wild card to Stan Wawrinka,” said the event’s co-owner, Rainer Schuettler. “We know perfectly everything that Stan has brought to our tournament. We hope that his choice to come and defend his title will be beneficial and that he finds the taste of victory at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.”

This will be Wawrinka’s fourth appearance at his home clay-court event, at which he owns a 9-1 record. It will also mark his sixth event of the year. The 33-year-old returned this week in Rome, making his first appearance on the tour since Marseille in February.

Fabio Fognini, who defeated Dominic Thiem en route to the quarter-finals in Rome, will also accept a wild card and compete as the No. 2 seed. Sam Querrey is seeded first at the event.

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Italian Open: Maria Sharapova through to semi-final

  • Posted: May 18, 2018

Former world number one Maria Sharapova reached the Italian Open semi-finals after fighting back to beat reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Sharapova, 31, won 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 7-5 against the 20-year-old Latvian, taking her third match point to end a gripping contest which lasted over three hours.

She will play world number one Simona Halep or Caroline Garcia in the semis.

Ukraine’s fourth seed Elina Svitolina will play Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in the other last-four match.

Svitolina won 6-4 6-4 against Germany’s two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, while Kontaveit knocked out Danish second seed Caroline Wozniacki with a 6-3 6-1 victory.

Wozniacki’s defeat means Romania’s Halep will remain top of the rankings if she beats French seventh seed Garcia later on Friday.

Sharapova missed two match points against the dogged Ostapenko, who is ranked sixth in the world, before sealing a victory which means the Russian is set to be seeded at the French Open later this month.

The five-time Slam winner, who is projected to be inside the world’s top 32 next week, has not been seeded at a major since returning from a 15-month doping ban last year.

“It’s great to back at this stage,” she said after beating Ostapenko.

“My fans have been so loyal throughout the years and for me to be able to produce this kind of tennis again in front of them is very special.”

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Injured Murray not ready for ATP Challenger wildcard

  • Posted: May 18, 2018

Andy Murray has not asked for a wildcard into next week’s ATP Challenger event in Loughborough.

The double Wimbledon champion, 31, has not played competitively since Wimbledon last year and had an operation on his right hip in January.

It is thought the Scot had initially targeted the new event, which begins on Monday, to start his comeback.

The BBC understands a recent setback has left his chances of playing on grass this summer in some doubt.

Murray, who has not spoken publicly about his recovery, said in January he would only return to competition when completely fit and ready.

British players James Ward, Edward Corrie, Lloyd Glasspool and Luke Bambridge have been awarded wild cards into the main draw.

Dan Evans, who recently returned from a one-year ban for taking cocaine, will be in the qualifying event.

The tournament will be staged on the ATP Challenger Tour, the level below the ATP World Tour, with a prize fund of $100,000 (£72,000).

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Italian Open: Rafael Nadal beats Fabio Fognini in Rome

  • Posted: May 18, 2018

Rafael Nadal reached his first Italian Open semi-final since 2014 with a hard-fought victory against home player Fabio Fognini in Rome.

The Spanish world number two won 4-6 6-1 6-2 to set up a last-four clash with either Novak Djokovic or Kei Nishikori.

Croatian fourth seed Marin Cilic won his quarter-final 6-3 6-3 against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.

Serbia’s 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic meets Japan’s Nishikori later on Friday.

German second seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev, who beat British number one Kyle Edmund in the last 16, faces Belgium David Goffin.

Seven-time champion Nadal needs to win the Masters title to reclaim the world number one spot from Roger Federer.

Fognini, ranked 21st in the world, fought back from a 4-1 deficit to take the first set, but could not sustain that level of play as Nadal’s quality shone through.

Nadal, who has lost twice to Fognini on clay, took his second match point to win in two hours and 14 minutes.

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Japan Open: Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid win men's doubles title

  • Posted: May 18, 2018

Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid won the men’s doubles at the Japan Open wheelchair tennis tournament.

The top-seeded pair defeated Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda of Japan 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Reid will play again in Saturday’s men’s singles final against Kunieda after beating Hewett in the last four.

Britain’s Lucy Shuker and Dutch partner Aniek van Koot lost 1-6 6-2 6-2 in the women’s doubles final to Yui Kamiji of Japan and Italy’s Giulia Capocci.

Reid versus Kunieda will be a repeat of the 2015 final, which the Japanese player won.

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Djokovic Chasing First 2018 SF Against Nishikori In Rome

  • Posted: May 18, 2018

Djokovic Chasing First 2018 SF Against Nishikori In Rome

Serbian playing in first his quarter-final of the season

Both of them – Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori – would have signed up for this result had you told them they’d be here before the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the season’s third and final ATP World Tour clay-court Masters 1000 tournament.

Djokovic, on the comeback from minor right-elbow surgery, is into his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. His three-match winning streak in Rome is his longest since January, when he also won three consecutive matches at the Australian Open.

View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the following matches & vote for who you think will win! 
Djokovic vs Nishikori | Nadal vs Fognini | Zverev vs Goffin | Cilic vs Carreno Busta


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In that way, it’s surprising that Djokovic has advanced with such ease in Rome, winning all six sets he’s played in the Italian capital against 2017 Argentina Open titlist Alexandr Dolgopolov, Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili and Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.

View his streak through a Roman prism, though, and it makes perfect sense. All 12 times Djokovic has played in Rome, including this year, he’s made the quarter-finals.

I’m just trying to thrive on this energy that I get from people here,” Djokovic said after beating Ramos-Vinolas on Thursday. I’ve historically always played well in Rome, and I feel like each match is getting better.”

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Nishikori, on the comeback from right-wrist surgery, doesn’t have quite the Roman streak – his best result is the 2016 semi-finals – but the Japanese star’s quarter-final run here shouldn’t have surprised anyone. During his first clay-court tournament of the year, the former World No. 4 sprinted to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final, beating Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev before falling to Rafael Nadal.

Nishikori lost his Barcelona opener to Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and his first match at the Mutua Madrid Open to Djokovic. The former No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings has beaten Nishikori 11 straight times and every time they’ve played on clay, including in Rome in 2015 and 2016.

We had some epic matches here,” Djokovic said. “I think this match tomorrow comes at the right time for both of us to see where we are with our game.”

You May Also Like: Ruthless Nadal Beats Shapovalov In Rome

Seven-time champion Nadal owns a similar FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage against his quarter-final opponent, Fabio Fognini. The Spaniard leads their series 10-3 and has beaten the home favourite five straight times. 

But countless tennis fans have doubted Fognini only to later regret the decision, even when he’s faced Nadal. At the 2015 US Open, the Italian came back from two sets to love down to upset the Spaniard.

If Nadal can continue his winning streak in Rome and capture the title, he’ll re-claim No. 1 in the ATP Rankings from Roger Federer on 21 May.


On the other half of the draw, defending champion Alexander Zverev, the hottest player on the ATP World Tour, takes his 11-match and 22-set win streaks into his quarter-final against No. 10 David Goffin, who advanced after Juan Martin del Potro retired down 2-6, 5-4. Zverev needed eight match points to beat top Brit Kyle Edmund in straight sets.

The 21-year-old German, who won back-to-back titles in Munich and Madrid, hasn’t lost since falling to Nishikori in the Monte-Carlo semi-finals on 21 April. Zverev beat Goffin during their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, a straight-sets win on clay in Nice in 2016.

Friday’s fourth quarter-final features No. 5 Marin Cilic against No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta. Cilic is 0-5 in Masters 1000 quarter-finals on clay, and two of those losses have come in Rome (2011, 2017). But the Croatian leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Carreno Busta 2-0, although both matches have come on hard courts.

Carreno Busta, meanwhile, will try reach his second Masters 1000 semi-final of the season (Miami, l. to Zverev) and improve upon his 3-22 record against the Top 10.

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