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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Marton Fucsovics

  • Posted: May 26, 2018

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Marton Fucsovics

Hungarian wins first ATP World Tour title in Geneva

Marton Fucsovics clinched his first ATP World Tour title on Saturday, beating Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-2 at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. The 26-year-old dropped just four games to become the first Hungarian to win a tour-level title since former World No. 12 Balazs Taroczy in 1982 (Hilversum) and will make his debut inside the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings on Monday 26 May.

Fucsovics is the seventh first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, which equals the total number of maiden titlists throughout the 2017 season.

First-Time ATP World Tour Champions In 2018

Player Tournament
Daniil Medvedev Sydney
Mirza Basic Sofia
Roberto Carballes Baena Quito
Frances Tiafoe Delray Beach
Marco Cecchinato Budapest
Taro Daniel Istanbul
Marton Fucsovics Geneva

After the 67-minute triumph, Fucsovics spoke to

How does it feel to become a first-time ATP World Tour champion?
[It is a] great feeling. It is good to experience it. I was always dreaming about it and finally I achieved it.

What was your approach heading into today’s final?
I was very confident before the match. I was feeling the ball very well all week. I beat good players. I beat Wawrinka in the quarter-finals and I beat Johnson from a set and 3-0 down. I was very confident, I came into the match with a lot of energy. I really wanted to win this title.

You only lost one set en route to the title, what did you do so well this week?
I think I did everything well. I was serving very well, the court fitted to my game very well. I really liked the ball. I could use my strategy to hit big winners, come in to the net and play aggressively; that was the key I think.

You are the first Hungarian champion on the ATP World Tour since Balazs Taroczy in 1982, how does that feel?
It is special for me. He was the last one and it was a long time ago. Tennis was not the top sport in Hungary and now I am a Top 50 player so hopefully it will be even more popular in Hungary.

Now you are in the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings, what are your goals for the rest of the season?
My goal was to stay in the Top 100 at the end of the year, now I am in the Top 50. My biggest goals and dreams [are] to be a Top 10 player or… win a Grand Slam.

You started the 2018 season reaching a final on the ATP Challenger Tour in Canberra before making the fourth round at the Australian Open, what did that good start do for your confidence?
I had a good preparation working with my coach day-by-day. I started the year with the No. 85 ranking and after the Australian Open I was No. 63, now I [will be] No. 45. We are working day-by-day. I had a very bad start to the clay season, but at the end it ended up [going] well.

Who are the people that helped you get to this level that you are at now and who would you like to thank?
My coach. He helped me a lot, he changed my mind. I was No. 270 when we started to work together and now I am a Top 50 player; big thanks to Attila [Savolt]. My family who were always supporting me, even in the hard times. My fiancee who came into my life two years ago. My manager, my friends, my fitness coach and my team who were working with me day-by-day.

Which ATP World Tour players did you look up to when you were younger and who did you admire growing up?
I really liked the Swiss players. Federer was always my idol and then I started to like Wawrinka. That is why it is a little bit special for me to win here.

When you are not on the tennis court, what are your interests besides tennis?
I like to stay at home and play with my dog, go to the cinema, relax at home and hang out with friends.

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Nishikori Leads Star-Studded Day One At Roland Garros

  • Posted: May 26, 2018

Nishikori Leads Star-Studded Day One At Roland Garros previews opening day at Roland Garros

There will be no shortage of star power on display as the second Grand Slam of the year kicks off on Sunday at Roland Garros.

Top 10 stars Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin join #NextGenATP talents Taylor Fritz and Corentin Moutet and home favourites Gael Monfils and Lucas Pouille on a loaded Day One in Paris. Also in action is an in-form Kei Nishikori, who enters as the 19th seed and is poised to make a deep run on the heels of a strong clay-court campaign on the ATP World Tour.

The Japanese star is hoping to continue his return to top form after registering impressive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 results in Monte-Carlo and Rome. A pair of Top 5 wins – over Zverev and Marin Cilic – saw him surge to the final at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which was followed by another signature victory over World No. 4 Dimitrov at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

A quarter-finalist at Roland Garros last year, the 28-year-old will be looking to build on a 15-7 record at the clay-court major. He opens against local wild card Maxime Janvier in the second match on Court 1. One of 15 Frenchmen in the main draw, Janvier is making his Grand Slam debut.

You May Also Like: Scouting Report: 10 Things To Watch At Roland Garros

Meanwhile, the first match of the tournament on Court Philippe-Chatrier will be fourth seed Dimitrov against Viktor Troicki. A rematch of the 2016 Sydney final, won by the Serbian, it will be their sixth FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter. Dimitrov leads 3-2.

With three straight defeats, the World No. 5 is struggling to find his feet on the clay, but will be buoyed by a pair of deep runs in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. He scored his first Top 10 win of the year (in a completed match) over Goffin en route to the semis in the Principality. 

Dimitrov is trying to recapture the momentum from a dominant finish to the 2017 season, when he lifted the trophy at the Nitto ATP Finals. Currently sitting in 10th place in the ATP Race To London,  the Bulgarian will look to a strong campaign on the terre battue in hopes of boosting his chances of returning to The O2. He has a tricky path in Paris, potentially facing either Nicolas Jarry or Jared Donaldson in the second round, with 2016 champion Novak Djokovic also in his section.

Concluding the day on Court Suzanne-Lenglen is second seed Zverev, who rides into Roland Garros on a wave of momentum following consecutive titles in Munich and Madrid and a final appearance in Rome. Despite his wealth of success at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level – reaching five of the past 10 finals – the German remains in search of his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

Five First-Round Matches To Watch

The leader in tour-level match wins (30) in 2018 and the top player in the ATP Race To London, Zverev is hoping his recent success will translate to the second major of the year. He opens against Ricardas Berankis, with 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka, top Frenchman Lucas Pouille and unseeded threats Cameron Norrie, Peter Gojowczyk and Karen Khachanov all standing in his way of reaching his first quarter-final.

Joining Dimitrov and Zverev on the two main show courts are French stalwarts Pouille and Monfils. Pouille faces Daniil Medvedev third on Chatrier, while Monfils will open his 12th Roland Garros bid against 19-year-old wild card Elliot Benchetrit on Lenglen. Making his Grand Slam debut, the teen is coming off a quarter-final appearance at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Bordeaux as a qualifier.

In one of the most intriguing first-round encounters, another #NextGenATP Frenchman, 19-year-old Corentin Moutet, battles big-serving 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic. With a 20-year age difference, they are the youngest and oldest players in the draw. At No. 143 in the ATP Rankings, Moutet is closing in on the Top 100. He defeated Karlovic in a marathon 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-6(6) affair on the clay of Quito in February, en route to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final.

In other action, Fritz faces Argentina’s Guido Andreozzi in his second appearance in Paris. The 20-year-old enters with a surge of confidence following a semi-final showing in Houston and quarter-final finish in Lyon, where he earned a straight-set upset of Jack Sock. 

Another highly anticipated match-up features Fernando Verdasco against Yoshihito Nishioka on Court 18, with the Spaniard making his 60th consecutive Grand Slam appearance. He will face a stern test in Nishioka, who is thriving in his return from ACL surgery. The 22-year-old Japanese lifted the trophy at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Gimcheon, Korea, three weeks ago.

Seeds in Action on Day 1…

Match-up FedEx ATP Head2Head
[2] Alexander Zverev vs. Ricardas Berankis First meeting
[4] Grigor Dimitrov vs. Viktor Troicki Dimitrov leads 3-2
[8] David Goffin vs. Robin Haase Goffin leads 4-1
[15] Lucas Pouille vs. Daniil Medvedev Pouille leads 2-0
[19] Kei Nishikori vs. [WC] Maxime Janvier First meeting
[32] Gael Monfils vs. [WC] Elliot Benchetrit  First meeting 

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Pavlyuchenkova wins marathon Strasbourg Open final

  • Posted: May 26, 2018

Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova came through a marathon encounter with Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova to win the WTA Strasbourg Open.

The world number 31 needed three hours and 35 minutes before winning 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (8-6).

Pavlyuchenkova came into the tournament having won only four matches on the WTA Tour all year.

She saved two match points at the end of the third set to force a tiebreak and get the better of her rival.

Cibulkova, a former world number four, has dropped down to 36 in the rankings.

She also saved two match points in the third-set tiebreak but a superb return from the Russian earned her a third match point and this time Cibulova’s forehand went narrowly wide to give the Russian victory and a boost ahead of the French Open.

Meanwhile, at the WTA event in Nuremberg, Sweden’s world number 97 Johanna Larsson claimed the title after beating American Alison Riske 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in the final.

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Lyon Open: Dominic Thiem takes title with victory over Gilles Simon

  • Posted: May 26, 2018

World number eight Dominic Thiem completed his preparations for the French Open with victory in the Lyon Open final.

The Austrian, who is the seventh seed at Roland Garros, beat France’s Gilles Simon 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

The win was Thiem’s 200th career victory and gives him his 10th ATP title.

The 24-year-old will face qualifier Ilya Ivashka of Belarus in the opening round in Paris.

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Marach/Pavic Clinch Fourth Title of 2018 in Geneva

  • Posted: May 26, 2018

Marach/Pavic Clinch Fourth Title of 2018 in Geneva

Top seeds save one championship point to beat Dodig/Ram

Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic won their fourth tour-level title of the season on Saturday, saving one championship point to defeat Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram 3-6, 7-6(3), 11-9 at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open.

“I am very happy to win this tournament here,” said Marach. “I won last year in Gstaad, so I guess I like Switzerland a lot.”

The top seeds won three straight points from 8/9 down in the Match Tie-break to win the title after one hour and 47 minutes. Marach and Pavic, who will move to No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Race to London on Monday, won 83 per cent of first-serve points and saved seven of the nine break points they faced en route to victory. It is Marach’s 21st tour-level doubles crown. Newly-crowned World No. 1 Pavic has now lifted 12 tour-level titles.

Dodig was bidding to lift his 11th tour-level trophy, while Ram was aiming to clinch his 16th crown at tour-level. The BMW Open by FWU champions (d. Mektic/Peya) hold a 13-9 record this season.

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A ripped Dodig backhand return on deciding point at 3-2 clinched the only break of the first set for the second seeds, who quickly took a one-set lead on their first set point after confident serving from both men.

Dodig and Ram appeared to strengthen their grip on the championship match in the second set, getting the better of Marach and Pavic on yet another deciding point before moving to a 4-2 lead. But the Austrian-Croatian duo were not to be denied, breaking back to level the scores at 4-4 before missing out on a set point at 6-5 to level the match.

Dodig and Ram opened up an early 2-0 lead in the tie-break, but Marach and Pavic stormed back, winning seven of the following eight points to grab the momentum and take the final into a Match Tie-break.

Both teams held serve until 8/8, with the Croatian-American tandem seizing the first mini-break to earn championship point at 9/8. But Marach and Pavic showed their class from there, serving strongly to avoid their third consecutive final defeat before converting their first championship point at the net to win their fifth team title.

“We were just fighting through the match, they played a good match,” said Pavic. “They are tough opponents and they were serving pretty good.”

Marach and Pavic receive 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €27,170 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Dodig and Ram gain 150 points and will split €14,280.

Did You Know?
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic hold a 31-6 record this season. The duo began the season with 17 consecutive victories, picking up titles in Doha, Auckland and at the Australian Open. Marach and Pavic also reached championship matches earlier this season in Rotterdam and Monte-Carlo.

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Fucsovics Claims Hungary's First Title In 36 Years

  • Posted: May 26, 2018

Fucsovics Claims Hungary’s First Title In 36 Years

Marton Fucsovics notches his maiden ATP World Tour title in Geneva

It has been nearly four decades since Hungary last celebrated a champion on the ATP World Tour. But that finally changed on Saturday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open.

Marton Fucsovics secured his maiden ATP World Tour title in front of a packed crowd in Geneva, capping an impressive week on the Swiss clay. The Budapest resident ousted Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and eight minutes to emerge with the biggest trophy of his career.

The 26-year-old is the first Hungarian to claim a tour-level crown since 1982, when Balazs Taroczy won the last of his 13 titles in Hilversum, Netherlands. And Fuscovics is also assured of becoming the first from his country to break into the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings since former World No. 12 Taróczy. He is projected to rise to a career-high No. 45, earning 250 points and €89,435 in prize money.

“I really love Switzerland,” Fucsovics exclaimed. “Last year, I played my first ATP quarter-final in Basel and now I won my first title here, so it’s really special for me. We’ve been working a long time for this. The last two years were very hard for me in my life, but hopefully I will have a very long career after this.”

Fucsovics was a man on a mission on Saturday at the Tennis Club de Geneve. He dominated proceedings from start to finish, never facing a break point and converting on four of his own. An immediate break to open the match set the tone, as the Hungarian dictated play throughout the encounter and forced Gojowczyk out of his comfort zone.

Fucsovics’ serve was an impenetrable force, as he conceded just two points on his first delivery and earning 78 per cent of total service points – to Gojowczyk’s 50 per cent. He would streak to a set and a break lead and celebrated the title on his first championship point. Chair umpire Fergus Murphy overruled a serve initially called wide, giving Fucsovics his sixth ace of the match and the title.


It was a well-deserved victory for the 26-year-old, who came through a murderer’s row of opponents to lift the trophy. Straight-set wins over fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, #NextGenATP star Frances Tiafoe and two-time champion Stan Wawrinka moved him into the semi-finals, where he rallied from a set and a break down to stun Steve Johnson.

On Saturday, Fucsovics exacted revenge on Gojowczyk after dropping their lone previous encounter at US Open qualifying in 2015. It is shaping to be a signature season for the Hungarian, who earned his first Top 20 win (d. Querrey) in reaching the Australian Open fourth round and scored his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match victory in Indian Wells.

Meanwhile, Gojowczyk was appearing in his third ATP World Tour final and second of the season. A first-time winner on the indoor hard courts of Metz last year, he finished runner-up to Tiafoe in Delray Beach in February. The German also ascends to a career-high inside the Top 50, rising to a projected No. 43 in the ATP Rankings.

“Marton, congrats on your first title,” said Gojowczyk. “Your coach and your box did a great job this week. For me, I was here without a coach. He was at home, so I came with my family – my sister and my niece. Thanks a lot for supporting me this week. 

“It was great to reach the final in Geneva, even if it’s on clay, which is not my best surface. It was also not my best day today. But the good thing in tennis is that every week there’s a new chance and on Monday or Tuesday I will play in Roland Garros. I’m looking forward to that.

Both competitors will shift their focus to the terre battue of Roland Garros, with Fucsovics opening against Vasek Pospisil and Gojowczyk battling Cameron Norrie. Both are making their main draw debuts in Paris.

Did You Know?
Fucsovics is the seventh first-time winner this year, joining Daniil Medvedev, Mirza Basic, Roberto Carballes Baena, Frances Tiafoe, Marco Cecchinato and Taro Daniel.

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Ten Titles For Thiem

  • Posted: May 26, 2018

Ten Titles For Thiem

The Austrian earns his 200th tour-level match win

Dominic Thiem arrived in France for the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon having lost back-to-back matches on clay for the first time since 2016. Then, the Austrian had to play nine sets in the final three days of the tournament.

But nothing was able to stop the top seed — not even a set and a break deficit — from defeating home favourite Gilles Simon 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-1 to lift his 10th ATP World Tour trophy.

“I’m super happy. I fought really, really hard for this title,” Thiem said. “I’m really happy that I won the title. It’s always something very special. It’s my tenth title, which is a great number.”


That wasn’t the only milestone for Thiem, as the Austrian also claimed his 200th tour-level match win on Saturday. The 24-year-old has now won 20 matches on clay this season to lead the ATP World Tour. He has 29 victories in 2018 overall, just one shy of Alexander Zverev’s 30, which is the most on Tour.

This is Thiem’s eighth clay-court title, and it comes just weeks after ending Rafael Nadal’s 50-set winning streak on clay — a record on a single surface — in Rome, before finishing off the Spaniard en route to the final (l. to Zverev). He has also won three of his championships in France.

“I really enjoyed being here,” said Thiem, who has reached back-to-back Roland Garros semi-finals. “France has a very special place in my heart. I’ve always played great tennis here and I hope I will always play great tennis here… it was a great atmosphere even though I played against a home guy. But still, it was really nice, and I really enjoyed it.”

Perhaps surprisingly for the clay-court sensation, the victory came from the brink of defeat. After finishing his quarter-final against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Friday morning, he played a three-set semi-final against Dusan Lajovic. All of the tennis appeared to have taken its toll on the talented Thiem.

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But despite trailing by a set and a break, and facing two break points to stare down what appeared would be an insurmountable deficit, Thiem found his best tennis when it mattered most, racing to victory in the third set after two hours, 25 minutes to earn 250 ATP Rankings points and €89,435 in prize money. 

For most of the first two sets, the Austrian’s heavy groundstrokes were misfiring, while the Frenchman was comfortably awaiting an error. But Thiem struck two important winners to save the opportunities Simon had for a double-break in the second set. And from there, he dialed back his aggression and consistently used a backhand slice, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. And that paid dividends in the third set, as fatigue began to set in for the Pune titlist and Thiem was able to grab control.

Simon will be disappointed, as he was on the doorstep of claiming multiple titles in a season for the first time since 2011 (Sydney, Hamburg), and winning his 14th trophy overall. It also would have been the Frenchman’s first victory on home soil since Marseille in 2015. He still heads to Roland Garros with 150 points and €47,105 in prize money for reaching his 20th tour-level final (13-7).

“Congratulations for the match, for the tournament and for everything you’ve achieved on clay. Beating Rafa in Madrid, that’s impressive,” Simon said to Thiem during the trophy ceremony. “It’s always tough to beat you and congratulations on all the great results.”

Did You Know?
Dominic Thiem now heads to Roland Garros, where he opens his campaign against Ilya Ivashka. If he advances, the Austrian will face one of two #NextGenATP players: Stefanos Tsitsipas or Carlos Taberner.

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British number one Konta a 'threat' at French Open

  • Posted: May 26, 2018
2018 French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 27 May-10 June
Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website

British number one Johanna Konta is aiming to win in the French Open main draw for the first time when Roland Garros starts on Sunday.

Konta, who is seeded 22nd, plays Kazakhstan’s world number 93 Yulia Putintseva from about 14:00 BST on Sunday.

Reigning champion Jelena Ostapenko begins her defence against Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova last on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Men’s second seed Alexander Zverev and fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov also play on the opening day.

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‘I back myself on clay’ – Konta

Konta, 27, has slipped down the rankings since her memorable run to the Wimbledon semi-finals last summer, having reached just one quarter-final since.

She has lost in the first round on both of her previous appearances in the main draw at Roland Garros, but insists those experiences are not reflective of her ability on clay.

“People assume I don’t have a great relationship with the French Open because of my results in the past two years,” she told the BBC.

“However I have experienced success here having qualified for the tournament – I’ve only qualified for two Slams, at the US Open and the French Open. That is an incredible highlight for me, especially at that point of my career, so I have great feelings of success here.

“I feel I’m playing good on the clay right now and I back myself in every match I play so I consider myself a threat.

“I back myself on every surface.”

Follow Konta’s progress against Putintseva on the BBC Sport website, where you can listen to 5 live commentary from Paris and follow live text updates.

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