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Baghdatis Upsets Tiafoe In Atlanta

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

Baghdatis Upsets Tiafoe In Atlanta

Second seed Kyrgios seeks quarter-final berth Thursday evening

Three years ago, Marcos Baghdatis reached the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open in his debut at the tournament. Now, it appears the former World No. 8 is in good form to make another big run at the event.

The Cypriot veteran upset #NextGenATP American and reigning Delray Beach Open champion Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 6-1 on Thursday. The World No. 95 ousted the fifth seed in 77 minutes to advance to his second tour-level quarter-final of the season.

“It’s been a tough year. Before Miami I was playing pretty well. After Miami, I struggled a bit until Wimbledon. But what happened, happened. Now I’m here and I’m in the quarter-finals,” Baghdatis said. “I’m happy. I try to play every match as it’s the same and try to go as far as possible in the tournament.”

While Baghdatis arrived in Atlanta having lost seven of his previous eight matches, he has now won through to the last eight without dropping a set. The 33-year-old will next face Aussie fourth seed Matthew Ebden, who beat home favourite Donald Young 6-4, 6-4 in 64 minutes.


“He’s playing well lately. I know he has confidence in himself, that’s for sure,” Baghdatis said. “It’s going to be a tough one. But I’ll just try and be as solid as possible like today and like the other day and I’ll try to figure the way how to win on the court.”

Ebden did well against the Georgia-resident Young’s serve, winning 39 per cent of return points. The 30-year-old saved three of the four break points he faced to advance.

“I knew he was going to be tough here, because he lives here. He practises in these conditions and he’s as comfortable as anyone in these conditions, I suppose,” Ebden said. “I had to really stay on top of him and I had to really dominate with my game… I’m very happy with how I went about it.”

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Brit Cameron Norrie, who was No. 275 in the ATP Rankings this time last year, fresh off his career at Texas Christian University, beat sixth seed Jeremy Chardy 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in one hour, 45 minutes. 

Norrie entered the campaign with two tour-level match wins. But the left-handed 22-year-old now has 10 in 2018, and will try to reach his second ATP World Tour semi-final against second seed Nick Kyrgios or American Noah Rubin.

You May Also Like: The Crucial Change Norrie’s First Tennis Coach Made When He Was 7

Did You Know?
All four seeded-players who competed on Wednesday — No. 1 John Isner, No. 3 Hyeon Chung, No. 7 Mischa Zverev and No. 8 Ryan Harrison — all moved into Friday’s quarter-finals.

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Greece Wildfires Hit Close To Home For Tsitsipas

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

Greece Wildfires Hit Close To Home For Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas using a Facebook fundraiser to support a friend who lost his home

#NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas is trying to raise money to support his friend and fellow tennis player, along with many others who have suffered due to wildfires in the Attica region of Greece. The wildfires have caused more than 80 deaths over the past few days.

“Many people lost their lives. Many families were affected. It was a very rough day for the nation and all the citizens of the country,” Tsitsipas said in a YouTube video. “I happen to have a friend (Alex) with whom I used to play when I was younger in Greece. We used to play in the same tournaments. He’s currently in the hospital in a very bad condition. He lost his home. The fire reached his house, and he’s been through really tough times. It’s a disaster.”

Tsitsipas began a Facebook fundraiser, which has raised more than £1,500 thus far. It is an issue that hits close to home for the 19-year-old, and not just because the tragedy is occurring in his country and has affected people whom he knows.

“I remember 10 years ago it was me and my family, we were coming back home from a trip that we made in France,” Tsitsipas. “I remember looking out of the airplane’s window before we landed, and I remember seeing the whole region of Attica and Athens in flames, and I never felt my scared in my life, looking outside that window. You could see the terror in my eyes. I was terrified.”

While Tsitsipas’ plane landed safely that day, the memories have inspired him to try to help others.

“All I want to do is contribute to my society, to my country, to my people,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m please asking you for some help and some compassion. It is not for me, it is for the people.”

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Chung Remembers His 'ATP Firsts'

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

Chung Remembers His ‘ATP Firsts’

2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion shares the first time he was recognised and his pinch-me moment on the ATP World Tour

Hyeon Chung is back. The South Korean returned triumphantly on Wednesday, beating #NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz to reach the BB&T Atlanta Open quarter-finals. After reaching his eighth quarter-final of the season, Chung took time to talk with about his “ATP Firsts”, including the first time he was mobbed in the Seoul airport.

First moment I realised I loved tennis
When I won my first tournament. Like 11, 12. The national tournament in Korea. I don’t know where. Most of the Korean kids were playing.

First coach and most important lesson he/she taught me
Many coaches, but I had one big coach before. I toured with him for four, five years, Mr Yoon. Yong-Il Yoon.

Watch: Chung Thrilled About Triumphant Return In Atlanta

First pinch-me moment on the ATP World Tour
When I saw Roger, Rafa and Novak in the locker room. My first main draw Grand Slam was Wimbledon (2015).

First time I was recognised
At the Seoul airport, after my wins in Melbourne this year. ‘Can I take a picture, have an autograph?’

First time in another country
Eleven years old, for the Orange Bowl in Florida, with the Korean national team, all Korean boys.

You May Also Like: Pressure? Hyeon Chung Knows More About Pressure Than Most

First thing I bought with prize money
When I got the first ATP [Rankings] points, my coach bought for me the Beats [headphones]. Silver.

First pet
When I was young, once, I had a turtle for a few years, but I moved… I couldn’t have her so I gave her to my friends… [Now] I want a pet but I live in an apartment in Korea, and I can’t get a pet in an apartment. When I retire from tennis, I will try to get a pet, a little dog or something… I don’t know [which kind]; I’ll have to think about it.

First music album
Psy, went to his concert in Korea, a lot of people were there.

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What Mardy Fish Wants To Do At 50

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

What Mardy Fish Wants To Do At 50 speaks to the stars about their favourite hobbies, idols and more

Mardy Fish had a tremendous career, capturing six ATP World Tour titles and winning an impressive 302 tour-level matches before retiring in 2015. He also triumphed at the BB&T Atlanta Open seven years ago this week. Earlier this year, Fish competed on the ATP Champions Tour.

But did you know that Fish excelled at more than tennis? The right-hander played basketball with Andy Roddick when they were in preparatory school in Florida, and he also grew up playing golf. caught up with Fish to find out more about the 36-year-old on and off the court — you may be surprised to find out what the American wants to do when he turns 50 years old!

What’s your biggest sports passion and why?
I guess I’d have to say golf. But I don’t play nearly as much as I’d like to with two kids at home. I played tennis and golf growing up when I was younger, so I guess I’d have to say golf by default.

What’s the last book you read?
Mara Sharapova’s autobiography. I have a signed copy!

If you could have dinner with three people outside of your family, who would they be?
Let’s go with Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan. Sports are my life, so it’s probably going to be someone in sports. Maybe Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, someone like that, so I’d have a little golf, too.

What was the last concert or show you attended?
A Jake Owen concert.

What’s your favourite sport outside of tennis to watch and why?
I like football, I’m a huge Vikings fan, I’m from Minnesota. I really like the NBA, I like professional sports. I would much prefer to watch the best play instead of college basketball or college football. I like watching the best. I don’t want to watch college baseball. I’d rather watch Major League Baseball. I watch a lot of baseball as well, I’m a huge Twins fan… golf, too. I watch it all. Sports are my life.

What’s your favourite moment from your career?
There are a few that come to mind. Davis Cups were always a blast to play. The Olympics was really fun to be a part of. Those are the ones that stick out.

Your tennis career was a success because…
Your support system. I was good when I was younger and sort of took things for granted. Got married halfway through my career in 2008 and took on a new lease on life. It wasn’t about just me anymore. My parents have been a huge inspiration, part of my career. My father is a teaching pro, teaches tennis. So it’s in our family, it’s in our blood and I had a great support system.

In the future, you want to…
How about play on the Senior PGA Tour at 50?

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The Best Players At Unlocking 40/0 Return Games

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

The Best Players At Unlocking 40/0 Return Games

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analyses which top players are the best at recovering from 40/0 on return

You are serving at 40/0 to a Top 25-ranked player.

On the one hand, you have built a formidable lead in your service game. On the other hand, you have one of the best players in the world still alive in the game trying to break your serve.

Should you still be worried about getting broken? Not so much.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the current Top 25 in the ATP Rankings from the beginning of the 2015 season identifies that they only come back to break serve on average less than two times (1.7%) out of every 100 from this specific point score.

It seems the 40/0 hole when returning is a lot deeper and darker than we realised. The data set includes 14,658 service games since the start of the 2015 season, with the Top 25 only coming back to break a combined 242 times.

Novak Djokovic leads the Top 25 in climbing out of a 40/0 hole to break serve since the start of the 2015 season, achieving it 19 times out of 510 return games for a 3.7 per cent average. The Top five during this period are:

1. Novak Djokovic = 3.7%

2. Damir Dzumhur = 3.1%

3. Rafael Nadal = 2.9%

4. Roberto Bautista Agut = 2.8%

5. David Goffin 2.6%

Juan Martin Del Potro found it the toughest to come back and break when returning against a 40/0 advantage, only doing it twice out of 420 attempts.

As Djokovic wins return points from his 40/0 hole, it’s only after he has won three consecutive points and evened the score back to Deuce that he climbs above a one in three chance of breaking serve.

Djokovic: Percentage Chance of Breaking Serve When Opponent Serving At:

• 40/0 = 3.7% (19/510)

• 40/15 = 9.3% (83/890)

• 40/30 = 17.5% (158/904)

• Deuce = 36.5% (295/809)

Djokovic’s upcoming hard-court campaign includes ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Canada and Cincinnati, followed by the US Open. In the three years between 2015-2017, he has only won a return game from 40/0 two times out of 76 attempts.

2015-2017 Tournaments

• Canada = 0/24

• Cincinnati = 0/15

• US Open = 2/37

The 40/0 point score is almost a lock, but returners still need to look for opportunity to break as the mental and emotional scars that can be inflicted from climbing out this deep hole can go a long way to paving the road to victory.

 ATP Ranking  Player

 Games Won Returning

 At 40/0

 Games Played Returning

 At 40/0



 10  Novak Djokovic  19  510  3.73%
 24  Damir Dzumhur  13  426  3.05%
 1  Rafael Nadal  17  584  2.91%
 17  Roberto Bautista Agut  18  638  2.82%
 11  David Goffin  17  647  2.63%
 2  Roger Federer  14  565  2.48%
 23   Hyeon Chung  7  298  2.35%
 16   Kyle Edmund  9  468  1.92%
 8  Dominic Thiem  15  803  1.87%
 22  Marco Cecchinato  3  190  1.58%
 3  Alexander Zverev  11  719  1.53%
 20  Kei Nishikori  9  615  1.46%
 15  Jack Sock  9  642  1.40%
 13  Pablo Carreno Busta  8  587  1.36%
 19  Lucas Pouille  8  601  1.33%
 18  Nick Kyrgios  8  622  1.29%
 5  Kevin Anderson  10  808  1.24%
 14  Fabio Fognini  7  569  1.23%
 6  Grigor Dimitrov  8  692  1.16%
 25  Philipp Kohlschreiber  6  559  1.07%
 21  BornaCoric  6  584  1.03%
 9  John Isner  10  1,014  0.99%
 7  Marin Cilic  5  662  0.76%
 12  Diego Schwartzman  3  435  0.69%
 4  Juan Martin Del Potro  2  420  0.48%
   Average  10  586  1.69%

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The Crucial Change Norrie's First Tennis Coach Made When He Was 7

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

The Crucial Change Norrie’s First Tennis Coach Made When He Was 7

Brit talks with in another installment of ‘ATP Firsts’

The heat and humidity at the BB&T Atlanta Open don’t phase Cameron Norrie, who played collegiate tennis at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, just outside Dallas, an area of the country known for its scorching temperatures almost as much as Atlanta. Norrie goes for his third quarter-final of the year on Thursday when he meets France’s Jeremy Chardy.

Earlier, Norrie shared the vital change his first coach made to his game and his first celebrity crush in another installment of “ATP Firsts”.

First moment I realised I loved tennis
I think I was quite young. I just always liked the aspect of competing. I think I like it even more [now] than I did when I was younger. There are just so many benefits to it, and it’s opened so many doors for me. I was able to go to college for free, and get a scholarship. And now it’s my job. I’m pretty grateful to play tennis for a living, and I love it. I keep loving it more and more.

Watch: Five Things To Know About Norrie

First coach and most important lesson he/she taught me
My first coach was Julia Sim. I played at the Bucklands Beach Tennis Club in New Zealand, and I actually started playing right-handed [for three, four months] so she switched me to left-handed. That was probably my most important advice… My forehand was horrendous because I did everything else left-handed. I wrote left-handed, so they just changed me, and from then on [I was 7], I played left-handed, and I was good.

First pinch-me moment on the ATP World Tour
I had just started playing out of college [in 2017] and I was playing Monfils on centre court in Eastbourne, one of my first ATP tournaments. It was incredible. I was warming up, and I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to play him, because I loved watching him. I actually played well. I ended up losing but it was a good match. I was just like, ‘Wow I’m actually here playing against one of the best guys in the world’… I couldn’t wait to get out there, nervous but excited at the same time.

You May Also Like: Pressure? Hyeon Chung Knows More About Pressure Than Most

First time I was recognised
In Paris, I was walking down the street. I had just played on centre court, Philippe-Chatrier, against [France’s Lucas] Pouille and two kids, one had a tennis bag, were like, ‘Are you Norrie?’ I was like, ‘Geez, how do you even know who I am?’… I got a photo with them.

First celebrity crush
I always liked Cameron Diaz, just because I have the same name as her… I always watched those action movies she’s in, “Charlie’s Angels”, with my sister.

First pet
I had a dog called Kyla, and he was a Border Collie. I still have two dogs, Tess (Golden Retriever) and Lulu (cross between Border Collie, Golden Retriever). They still live in New Zealand. I’m a real dog person, I love them so much. And I don’t get to see them. That’s one of the toughest things for me. I don’t get to see them at all because they’re in New Zealand, and I’m only going back to New Zealand in the summer time for me, which is December.

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Djere Upsets Coric In Gstaad

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

Djere Upsets Coric In Gstaad

Defending champion Fognini takes on Zopp

Serbia’s Laslo Djere recorded the highest-ranked win of his career on Thursday to reach an ATP World Tour quarter-final for the second successive week.

The 23-year-old knocked out third-seeded Croatian Borna Coric, the recent Gerry Weber Open titlist (d. Federer) and No. 21 in the ATP Rankings, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 in one hour and 54 minutes at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad. Last week, he fell to eventual champion Marco Cecchinato in the last eight of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag.

Djere will now face Croatian lucky loser Viktor Galovic, who held his nerve to reach his first ATP World Tour quarter-final with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over wild card Felix Auger-Aliassime, a #NextGenATP Canadian, in two hours and two minutes. Augur-Aliassime struck 11 aces and 10 doubles faults.

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Williams claims 'discrimination' over number of drug tests

  • Posted: Jul 26, 2018

Serena Williams says she is a victim of “discrimination” as she is the most drug tested American tennis player.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion made the claim in a tweet on Tuesday, after doping officials visited her.

The American had previously expressed frustration about the volume of her tests earlier this month.

“Out of all the players it’s been proven I’m the one getting tested the most. Discrimination? I think so,” said the 36-year-old.

An article published by website Deadspin in June revealed that Williams had been tested out of competition by the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) on five occasions in 2018.

It also claimed the player was not present when Usada officials visited her home on 14 June – Williams stated that the tester showed up 12 hours earlier than the agreed time.

It was eventually marked as a “missed test” – three of those would result in a Usada doping violation.

At the time of publication of the Deadspin article, Williams had been tested more than twice as many times as other top American players – male or female – including US Open champion Sloane Stephens (one) and sister and multiple Grand Slam winner Venus Williams (two).

Williams was asked about the findings of the report during Wimbledon earlier this summer.

“I never knew that I was tested so much more than everyone else,” said the seven-time champion, who lost to German Angelique Kerber in the final.

“Until I read that article I didn’t realise it was such a discrepancy with me as well as against the other players that they listed, at least the American players – both male and female.”

It is understood that the doping test Williams claimed in her tweet to have had on Tuesday was not conducted by Usada.

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