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Nadal Inching Closer To Federer's Leading 'Big Title' Count

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018

Nadal Inching Closer To Federer’s Leading ‘Big Title’ Count

Spaniard cleaned up on ‘Big Titles’ during the European clay-court swing

Rafa is gaining on Roger.

After his 11th Roland Garros title, Rafael Nadal now stands only four “Big Titles” away from catching Roger Federer in the chase for “Big Titles” – a combination of Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Nitto ATP Finals crowns. Nadal won his 17th Grand Slam crown and 49th Big Title on Sunday when he beat Dominic Thiem for the seventh time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (7-3).

The Spaniard also cushioned his Big Title advantage against former No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Nadal now has 49 Big Titles to the Serbian’s 47. More than two years ago, after the 2016 Mutua Madrid Open, Djokovic had 45 and Nadal 42.

Current and Former Champions’ Big Titles Won (Records Since 1990) 


Grand Slams

Nitto ATP Finals


Total (Avg)

Roger Federer




53/216 (4.1)

Rafael Nadal 17/52 0/8 32/111 49/171 (3.5)

Novak Djokovic




47/165 (3.5)

Pete Sampras




30/146 (4.9)

Andre Agassi




26/164 (6.3)

Andy Murray




18/150 (8.3)

Boris Becker*




9/83 (9.2)

Thomas Muster




9/86 (9.6)

Gustavo Kuerten




9/103 (11.4)

Jim Courier




9/113 (12.6)

Stefan Edberg**




4/56 (14)

Marcelo Rios




5/83 (16.6)

Michael Chang




8/142 (17.8)

Marat Safin




7/131 (18.7)

Andy Roddick




6/127 (21.2)

* Becker’s four other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.
** Edberg’s three other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.

But Nadal and Djokovic remain even in their Big Title conversion rates. The Spaniard has won 49 Big Titles from 171 opportunities, a conversion rate of 3.5. Djokovic has won 47 Big Titles from 165 chances, also yielding a conversion rate of 3.5. The 36-year-old Federer, though, has won a Big Title every 4.1 chances (53/216).

Nadal’s historic Roland Garros crown – no man or woman in the Open Era has won 11 titles at the same Grand Slam tournament – completed another mesmerising European clay-court swing for the Spaniard. He won 26 of his 27 matches, including four titles: his 11th Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell; his 11th Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, his 31st Masters 1000 title; and his eighth Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Nadal’s 32nd Masters 1000 triumph.

Nadal and Federer have now won the past six Grand Slams, tying their second longest streak of Grand Slam titles won exclusively by the two legends.

Longest streaks of Grand Slam titles won by Federer and Nadal

Length of streak

Federer’s titles

Nadal’s titles

11 Grand Slams (2005 Roland Garros-2007 US Open)

2005-07 Wimbledon, 2005-07 US Open, 2006-07 Australian Open

2005-07 Roland Garros

6 Grand Slams (2008 Roland Garros-2009 Wimbledon)

2008 US Open, 2009 Roland Garros, 2009 Wimbledon

2008 Roland Garros, 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 Australian Open

6 Grand Slams (2017 Australian Open-present)

2017-18 Australian Open, 2017 Wimbledon

2017 Roland Garros, 2017 US Open, 2018 Roland Garros

4 Grand Slams (2010 Australian Open-2010 US Open)

2010 Australian Open

2010 Roland Garros, 2010 Wimbledon, 2010 US Open

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Fever-Tree Championships: Novak Djokovic to make Queen's return

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018
2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app.

Novak Djokovic will play at the Queen’s Club for the first time in eight years when the Fever-Tree Championships begin next week.

Djokovic said he may skip the grass court season after losing in the French Open quarter-final to Marco Cecchinato.

But the 12-time Grand Slam champion has now accepted a late wildcard for Queen’s, which means 17 of the world’s top 30 players will be in the draw.

He said it “will be great preparation for Wimbledon”, which begins on 2 July.

Djokovic last played at The Queen’s Club in 2010, winning the doubles title alongside Jonathan Erlich.

“The atmosphere is always great and I am looking forward to playing in front of the British crowd again,” added the three-time Wimbledon champion.

“Grass is very special, it is the rarest of surfaces so I’m happy I’ll have the opportunity to compete at this strong tournament, which will also be a great preparation for Wimbledon.”

Djokovic, 31, was beaten 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 7-6 (13-11) by Italy’s world number 72 Cecchinato in Paris last week.

An elbow injury has limited his playing time this year, while he was treated on his neck during the defeat by Cecchinato.

He has dropped to 22nd in the rankings, while his 20th seeding at Roland Garros was his lowest at a Slam since the 2006 US Open.

Djokovic back on UK grass – analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Even though Djokovic suggested he might give the grass a wide berth this year, those comments were issued in the heat of the moment, just minutes after walking off court at Roland Garros.

He was very much expected at Wimbledon, but his appearance at the Queen’s Club remains a coup for the LTA, and a reward for years of perseverance.

Djokovic clearly feels he needs matches – having played barely 20 times since last year’s Wimbledon – and will join a field which includes 17 of the world’s top 30, plus Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and potentially Andy Murray.

Maybe a pre-Wimbledon appearance in the UK is becoming a habit. Last year Djokovic played in Eastbourne in the week before Wimbledon – and won the title.

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#NextGenATP Shapovalov Featured In GQ

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018

#NextGenATP Shapovalov Featured In GQ

The Canadian begins his Stuttgart campaign Tuesday against Gunneswaran

#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who will pursue his first ATP World Tour title this week at the MercedesCup as the No.6 seed, was recently featured by GQ Magazine.

The left-hander could potentially face Roger Federer for the first time in the Stuttgart quarter-finals. In the feature, the teenager recalls his epic match against Rafael Nadal at last year’s Rogers Cup:

In the third set tie-break against Nadal, Shapovalov was exhausted and in pain. “I thought, Hey, just remember you can be out here with these guys, you can’t win yet, but you can fight, you can push them until the end. On match point, I thought, screw it, let me go for the down-the-line and see what happens. If I make it, I’ll win. If I don’t, I’ll probably lose the match.” Shapovalov made it, notching the biggest win of his young career. “I blacked out after that. The stadium was so loud. My ears almost popped. It was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in any sport event ever.”

Shapovalov’s game is a high-wire act, risky and elegant. Every swing of his racket is full, unchecked. He hits his lefty, one-handed backhand so hard that it launches his feet off the ground. He flies. He’s fast and chases down every ball with the ferocious energy reminiscent of a young Nadal. But the way he skips across the court, skimming the surface, seeking out every offensive opportunity, is a style of play clearly inspired by his favorite player, Federer.

“Growing up, I would always come forward and play aggressive, and my opponents would just lob over me and hit shots past me. My mom [who is also his coach] was constantly telling me, ‘Don’t worry, one day you’ll grow and you’ll be able to get these balls. Keep coming to the net, keep being aggressive.’ So a lot of my style came from my mom.” 

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#NextGenATP First-Time Winner: Hubert Hurkacz

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018

#NextGenATP First-Time Winner: Hubert Hurkacz

21-year-old Pole speaks to after winning his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Poznan, Poland

Say hello to the fresh face of Polish tennis. Hubert Hurkacz is staking his claim as the European nation’s next superstar and now he has a title to show for it.

On Sunday, Hurkacz captured his first ATP Challenger Tour trophy in ruthless fashion, streaking to the title on home soil in Poznan. The 21-year-old dominated the championship 6-1, 6-1 over top seed Taro Daniel. He needed 59 minutes to lift the trophy, capping a strong week that also included a straight sets win over second seed Guido Andreozzi.

At 21 years and three months, Hurkacz is now the youngest player from his country to triumph on the circuit since Jerzy Janowicz in 2010. He is also the sixth #NextGenATP winner this year, joining Rudolf Molleker (Heilbronn), Taylor Fritz (Newport Beach), Reilly Opelka (Bordeaux), Marc Polmans (Launceston) and Jaume Munar (Prostejov).

It has been an impressive 2018 campaign for the Wroclaw native, also highlighted by his first Grand Slam match win a week prior at Roland Garros. He came through qualifying and upset Tennys Sandgren in the first round, before falling to third seed Marin Cilic in four tight sets.

And most importantly, Hurkacz has ascended to a career-high No. 121 in the ATP Rankings, becoming Poland’s No. 1 player. He is also up three spots to 10th in the ATP Race To Milan, with the Top 7 players (plus one wild card) qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals in November.

2018 #NextGenATP First-Time Winner Spotlight: Molleker | Polmans

Hurkacz spoke to following his victory in Poznan… 

Hubert, congrats on winning your first Challenger title. How does it feel?
It’s great to win my first Challenger in Poland. It’s an indescribable experience for me. I think I would have enjoyed it the same if I won abroad, but it’s something special to win in my country.

Taro is a Top 100 player and you dominated the final from start to finish. Talk about the match.
Taro’s style was suitable for me and I think this was the key to my success. I took the initiative and I served the ball really well, so I could end the match quickly. Taro was unstoppable during his last few matches, but I did well too. I didn’t focus on his success this week, because my goal was to win this match.

You beat some strong players during the week. What went right for you?
My key to success was to do my best and it happened throughout the week. Of course, I had difficult moments and then I raised my level. Today I had these moments but I stepped up in the big points. I just had to keep my concentration all the time on court.

2018 #NextGenATP Challenger Winners (born 1997 or later)

Player Age Tournament
Rudolf Molleker 17 yrs, 6 mos. Heilbronn, GER
Taylor Fritz 20 yrs, 3 mos. Newport Beach, USA
Reilly Opelka 20 yrs, 8 mos. Bordeaux, FRA
Marc Polmans 20 yrs, 9 mos. Launceston, AUS
Jaume Munar 21 yrs, 1 mo. Prostejov, CZE
Hubert Hurkacz  21 yrs, 3 mos.  Poznan, POL 

It’s been a great year for you so far. Tell us about the biggest thing you’ve learned while competing on the ATP Challenger Tour.
To stay positive. That was the biggest change. To be more solid during the matches and not having as many ups and downs. I’m competing at a higher level and am now able to win against better opponents. It’s good.

Talk about the experience at Roland Garros. How much confidence did it give you?
For sure, I’ve won in Poznan thanks to the experience from the French Open. I had to beat good players at both events. Generally both of them – Poznan Open and Roland Garros – made me stronger. Now I know that I can win trophies.


For those of us who don’t know much about you, tell us something. What do you enjoy doing off the court? Do you have any passions outside of tennis?
I’m really passionate about cars. It’s my hobby and I really like them. I love to drive. And I like to go to the racing circuit and watch them, when I have time. I also like reading books. It’s relaxing for me. Sometimes I read books that help me on the court with the mental side.

You are up to a career-high in the Top 150 of the ATP Rankings. Did you set any goals at the start of the year and what are they now?
I think it’s possible to move into the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings. That’s my goal. I haven’t trained yet on grass, so I’m not prepared for Wimbledon, but I will train and try to to make Polish fans enjoy my results.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Alexander Ward beats fellow Briton Liam Broady in Nottingham

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018
2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app

Alexander Ward beat fellow Briton Liam Broady to reach the second round of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.

Ward, ranked 327 in the world, came from a set down to see off the British number four 2-6 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

British number one Johanna Konta and Belgian partner Yanina Wickmayer were knocked out of the women’s doubles in the Nottingham Open first round.

They were beaten 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-8) to China’s Zheng Saisai and Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas.

British pair Katie Boulter and Katie Swan were also knocked out, losing 3-6 6-2 7-6 (10-8) to American Abigail Spears and Poland’s Alicja Rosolska.

Meanwhile, British teenager George Loffhagen, who turned 17 in April, took the first set off Canada’s Peter Polansky before losing 3-6 6-1 6-3 in the men’s event.

Britain’s Edward Corrie was knocked out in the qualifiers in a 6-3 7-5 defeat by Germany’s Tobias Kamke.

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Djokovic To Begin Grass Campaign At The Queen's Club

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018

Djokovic To Begin Grass Campaign At The Queen’s Club

The Serbian reached the final at the event in 2008

Novak Djokovic said after his quarter-final loss at Roland Garros that he was unsure if he would compete during the grass-court season. But the Serbian has ended any uncertainty, accepting a wild card into next week’s Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club.

“I am very excited to be playing the Fever-Tree Championships again. I have happy memories of reaching the final at The Queen’s Club 10 years ago and also winning the doubles title the last time I was there,” Djokovic said according to a press release. “The grass courts are always perfect, the atmosphere always great and I am looking forward to playing in front of the British crowds again.”

It will be the Serbian’s fourth main draw appearance at the event, and his first since 2010. Djokovic advanced to the championship match in 2008 before falling to Rafael Nadal.

“We have been hoping Novak would come back to play in the Fever-Tree Championships for years and this is fantastic news for all of us,” Tournament Director Stephen Farrow said. “Novak is one of the best players in the sport’s history, he adds even more strength to our player line-up, and we can’t wait to see him on grass at The Queen’s Club.”

Djokovic joins a star-studded lineup at the ATP World Tour 500-level event, which includes World No. 1 Nadal, five-time winner Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and World No. 5 Marin Cilic. In total, 11 players inside the Top 20 of the current ATP Rankings will be in action, with other exciting stars such as Nick Kyrgios and #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov also on the entry list. Defending champion Feliciano Lopez will attempt to retain his title.

Four of Djokovic’s 68 tour-level titles have come on grass, including his most recent championship victory at Eastbourne last season. The 31-year-old will attempt to maintain the momentum he gained from his semi-final showing in Rome, followed by his trip to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

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Federer Motivated With No. 1 On The Line

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018

Federer Motivated With No. 1 On The Line

The Swiss begins his campaign in Stuttgart against M. Zverev

Roger Federer makes his long-awaited return to action this week at the MercedesCup, competing for the first time since Miami. And right away, there is a lot on the line for the Swiss. If the top seed reaches the final, he will regain the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings on 18 June.

“I think that’s a bit of extra motivation,” said Federer, who trails Nadal (8,770 points) by 100 points. “But then again, having lost here last year in the first round, for me, it resets the goals as well, and just take it one at a time and don’t think too far ahead. Not that I did that last year, but on grass, margins are very slim. It’s not so simple, especially when you haven’t played in three months.”

You May Also Like: Read & Watch: Roger Ready For Return

Federer holds a 2-2 record in Stuttgart, including an opening-round loss last year against Tommy Haas. But he then went on to triumph at Halle and Wimbledon, building what would turn into a 16-match winning streak.

“I came back very strong and my reaction was very good after losing here against Tommy,” Federer said. “I didn’t drop a set for the rest of the grass-court season, which I was very happy about. So I just hope I can find my rhythm and range a bit earlier. But very excited to be here. I’m motivated because of all these reasons. It’s been a while, I haven’t played matches, so I’m happy. Obviously I don’t want to be on a three-match losing streak… I want to break that as well.”

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On 19 February, Federer regained World No. 1 for the first time since 4 November 2012, holding the spot for five weeks before his loss in Miami against Thanasi Kokkinakis allowed Rafael Nadal to take it back. While Federer took the spot again for the week of 14 May, Nadal has held it since thanks to victories in Rome and at Roland Garros, which was no surprise to the 36-year-old.

“I kind of expected Rafa to win the French Open,” Federer said. “He was again that good on clay leading into the French Open that I thought he was going to win. So by him winning, it just creates a situation that I was expecting.”


More than anything, Federer is excited to get back on the court for match action again. He will play Mischa Zverev, who he has beaten in all five of their previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, on Wednesday.

“I’m fresh, I’m healthy,” Federer said. “That’s why I’m happy and confident to be here that things can turn out very well for me this week.”

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Errani's ban increased to 10 months after cancer drug shows up in test

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018

Italy’s former world number five Sara Errani’s ban has been increased from two to 10 months after a cancer drug showed up in a failed test.

The 30-year-old, who reached the French Open final in 2012, tested positive for banned drug letrozole.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted medication taken by her mother found its way into a family meal.

But it said that Errani was guilty of a “light degree of fault” which justified a 10-month ban.

The decision followed appeals by the Italian anti-doping agency, which asked for a longer ban, and Errani, who wanted her voided results to be reinstated.

Errani, who reached the final four of last week’s Croatia Bol Open but withdrew before her semi-final match, must now serve another eight months of suspension.

The winner of five Grand Slam doubles titles, she was initially banned for two months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in August 2017 and her results from 16 February to 7 June that year were declared void.

Errani said her mother had been using the drug as part of her breast cancer treatment and had dropped some pills on a kitchen worktop where tortellini and broth were later prepared.

Letrozole increases lean body mass and was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) over concerns it was being abused by bodybuilders.

An independent tribunal, appointed by the ITF, said there was no evidence it would enhance the performance of an elite tennis player.

‘I haven’t done anything wrong’

Errani’s mother and father told a tribunal hearing in July 2017 that after the positive finding, they carried out an experiment which found the drug dissolved in a broth, plus a meat mixture for tortellini, without being detectable.

“Together with my family we have tried to understand how this contamination could have happened because I am 100% certain I haven’t taken a pill by mistake,” said Errani in a statement.

“The only viable option has been that an accidental food contamination occurred at some stage in the house.”

Errani said she was “very frustrated” and “extremely disappointed” by the initial sanction but was “at peace with my conscience and aware I haven’t done anything wrong”.

In 2012, she stopped working with Luis Garcia del Moral, one of the doctors at the centre of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal.

“I’m not interested in keeping working with a person that is involved in these things,” she said at the time.

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Cecchinato Continues Dramatic Rise, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Jun 11, 2018

Cecchinato Continues Dramatic Rise, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 11 June 2018

No. 4 (Career High) Juan Martin del Potro, +2
The popular Argentine has risen back to his career-high of No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, which he first attained on 11 January 2010, after a run to his second Roland Garros semi-final (also 2009). Del Potro beat Top 10 stars John Isner and Marin Cilic in Paris, prior to losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. He returned to the Top 10 on 15 January 2018 and was previously at No. 4 on 10 February 2014.

View Latest ATP Ranking 

No. 27 (Career High) Marco Cecchinato, +45
The Italian, who was at No. 107 on 5 March this year, continues his dramatic rise to a career-high No. 27, after a 45-position rise with his first appearance in a Grand Slam championship semi-final in Paris, losing to Dominic Thiem. The 25-year-old beat David Goffin and 2016 champion Novak Djokovic. He captured his first ATP World Tour title as a lucky loser at the Gazprom Hungarian Open (d. Millman) on 29 April, which resulted in a 33-place rise from No. 92 to No. 59.

No. 50 (Career High) Maximilian Marterer, +20
The 22-year-old German, competing in just his third major championship, advanced to the fourth round (l. to Nadal) on his Roland Garros debut by beating Ryan Harrison, Denis Shapovalov and Jurgen Zopp. One month on from reaching the BMW Open by FWU Open semi-finals (l. to Kohlschreiber), Marterer moved up 20 places to a career-high No. 50.

No. 72 Jeremy Chardy, +14
The Frenchman, who was at a career-high No. 25 on 28 January 2013, captured the sixth ATP Challenger Tour title of his career at the Surbiton Trophy (d. De Minaur), having lost in the Roland Garros second round (l. to Herbert) a week earlier. He jumped 14 places to World No. 72.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 54 Mischa Zverev, +10
No. 55 Gilles Simon, +10
No. 77 Pierre-Hugues Herbert, +10
No. 80 (Career High) Matteo Berrettini, +16
No. 87 Nikoloz Basilashvili, +10
No. 96 (Career High) Alex de Minaur, +9

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