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Kerber beaten in first match since winning Wimbledon

  • Posted: Aug 08, 2018

Angelique Kerber’s first match since she won Wimbledon ended in a 6-4 6-1 defeat by France’s Alize Cornet at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

World number four Kerber, 30, who beat Serena Williams to claim her third Grand Slam title, made 32 unforced errors in the second-round match.

Cornet, ranked 30 places below German Kerber, won in 85 minutes.

Maria Sharapova hit 25 winners as she thrashed fellow Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-0 6-2 to reach the third round.

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The five-time Slam champion, 31, needed an hour 16 minutes to see off 21-year-old Kasatkina, who is considered one of the rising stars of the women’s game and ranked 12th in the world.

Kasatkina managed only three winners as former world number one Sharapova overpowered her in a performance which showed her credentials before the US Open this month.

“I came on court having a lot of respect for my opponent because she’s up and coming but has already established herself,” world number 22 Sharapova said.

“I knew I had a tough match ahead of me. I was focused from the beginning and I finished it that way.”

British number one Johanna Konta plays Belarusian two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka in the second round later on Wednesday.

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Djokovic Solid On Serve Ahead Of Toronto Rain

  • Posted: Aug 08, 2018

Djokovic Solid On Serve Ahead Of Toronto Rain

Serbian star awaits the winner of seventh seed Thiem or Tsitsipas

Four-time former champion Novak Djokovic once again put together a solid service performance at the Rogers Cup to book his place in the third round on Wednesday.

The ninth-seeded Serbian, who has now won 21 of his past 24 matches, knocked out Toronto resident and wild card Peter Polansky 6-3, 6-4 over 85 minutes in the first match of the day on Centre Court. Twenty minutes after the match ended, heavy rain suspended play.

Djokovic will now prepare to face seventh-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem or Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. Djokovic leads Thiem 5-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including wins in all three of their hard-court meetings, but Thiem has won their past two matches on clay at Roland Garros in 2017 and at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April. Djokovic has not played Tsitsipas. 

Having started the year with a 6-6 record, Djokovic has since gone 21-3 (27-9 overall) and this week in Toronto marks his first tournament since lifting his fourth trophy — and 13th Grand Slam championship — at Wimbledon on 15 July. He is currently in fifth position in the ATP Race To London for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held from 11-18 November at The O2.

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Former World No. 1 Djokovic worked his way into the match against Polansky by cutting down on early groundstroke errors. He dropped his opening two service points, but found success behind 12 of his next 14 deliveries. Polansky played a patient game, but at 3-4, the Canadian made four straight errors — finishing his service game with a second double fault — to be broken and give Djokovic the initiative. Djokovic won 15 of his 18 first-service points in the 34-minute opener.

Djokovic needed to bide his time in the second set, converting his fifth break point opportunity of the ninth game when Polansky struck a forehand long. Djokovic, who hit seven aces and committed 29 unforced errors, advanced to the third round after Polansky hit a backhand return wide.

When asked about Djokovic’s qualities, Polansky said, “He raises his level on the big moments. I only got one free point on a 30-All or deuce or break point. But what I found trickiest out there was just his serve locations. He doesn’t have the biggest serve, but he’s putting every serve on the line, or an inch from the line, every time.

“When we got into those baseline rallies, I felt really good. I felt like whoever had the first cut was just going to take the point. I felt like we were actually trading baseline points… Even when I was able to get a forehand, I felt in control, which has given me some confidence against a Top 10 player.”

The 31-year-old Djokovic, who has compiled a 37-6 record at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament since his title-winning debut in 2007, also lifted the trophy in 2011-12 and 2016. Overall, the Serbian has won 30 Masters 1000 crowns (30-14 record in finals).

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ATP Opens Process To Determine Future Location Of Nitto ATP Finals Beyond 2020

  • Posted: Aug 08, 2018

ATP Opens Process To Determine Future Location Of Nitto ATP Finals Beyond 2020

International tender process opens

The ATP, governing body of men’s professional tennis, has announced the opening of an international tender process to determine the future location of the ATP World Tour’s season finale, the Nitto ATP Finals, beyond 2020.

The Nitto ATP Finals is the year-end climax to the men’s professional tennis season, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams as they battle it out for the last title of the season and the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world.

The prestigious season-ending tournament is to be held at The O2 in London through to 2020, where it has been staged to wide acclaim since 2009. The event has successfully established itself as one of the major annual sporting events worldwide, with more than 250,000 fans attending the event annually, and global viewership figures reaching an average of 95 million viewers each year.

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Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “Our season-ending tournament has been a remarkable success story since it moved to London in 2009, and we look forward to continuing the tournament’s growth over the next three years at The O2 through to 2020.

“The tournament’s popularity and stature have reached unprecedented heights in London, which has attracted significant interest from potential future host cities over the years. We feel the time is right to undertake this international tender process as we look to secure the event’s future beyond 2020. The O2 has set a very high bar, and we expect that staying in London beyond 2020 will also be among the options for consideration as we go through this process.”

The tournament was first held in Tokyo in 1970 and has been staged in some of the major cities around the world, including New York City, Sydney, and Shanghai. The season finale’s longest stay in a single venue was across 13 consecutive editions at Madison Square Garden from 1977-1989.

The ATP has chosen The Sport Business Group at Deloitte to manage the bid process, which begins from today with an expression of interest phase. Any interested parties must submit their official applications by 2 November 2018, after which a short list of potential candidate cities will be announced on Friday 14th December, with a final decision to come not before March 2019.

Any parties interested in submitting an expression of interest are invited to contact Deloitte at: [email protected].

For more information on the opportunity, click here.

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Novak Djokovic wins in Rogers Cup first round

  • Posted: Aug 08, 2018

Novak Djokovic began his bid for a fifth Rogers Cup crown with a straight-sets victory over Bosnia’s Mirza Basic.

Djokovic, the Wimbledon champion, won 6-3 7-6 (7-3) against Basic, who was a late replacement for injured South Korean Chung Hyeon.

Thirteen-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic will face Canada’s Peter Polansky in the second round.

Elsewhere, wildcard Stan Wawrinka beat 16th seed Nick Kyrgios 1-6 7-5 7-5 and Kei Nishikori lost to Robin Haase.

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5 Things To Know About Bradley Klahn

  • Posted: Aug 08, 2018

5 Things To Know About Bradley Klahn

Klahn to face defending champion Zverev in the Rogers Cup second round

1. Bradley Klahn Took Up Tennis At Age Of 11
His mom, Nancy, played collegiate tennis at the University of Iowa, but she never pushed her three children into the sport. Klahn played baseball, basketball and soccer before starting tennis at 11 years of age.

“As soon as I picked it up, all the others started getting weeded out pretty quickly,” he said. “I just really liked the individual aspect of it. I just kinda fell in love with competing in the tournaments and having the pressure be on me and seeing if I could problem solve on court. Figuring out ways to win is always really exciting for me.”

2. Post-Surgery Set Up With Future Fiancée
Klahn recently got engaged to Abbie Hageman, and enlisted the help of his family for the proposal. He had his mom, dad and brother come up from San Diego under the guise of taking Klahn and Hageman out to dinner in Malibu. They planned on taking a walk on the beach beforehand, and he popped the question there. He had one more surprise for Hagemann, as her best friend and husband joined them at dinner to celebrate the occasion.

“She had no idea,” said Klahn. “It was also a little funny because she was stressing out about my parents seeing our new apartment, so she was running around. I’m trying to get her to get ready and look nice so we can go to the beach. Five minutes before we’re supposed to head out the door, she’s shoving boxes into closets and making sure the apartment’s presentable.”

They’ve been together for a little over three years, and were set up by a doctor at UCLA, whose family Klahn was staying with following surgery. Hageman, currently in his fourth year at UCLA medical school, worked as a research coordinator for the doctor at the time. “He was paging her in the middle of work and telling her that she needed to look me up, and would she go on a date with me. The rest has taken care of itself.”

Klahn and Hageman are looking to get married next year, possibly in the spring, before she starts residency.


3. Graduated From Stanford University
Klahn attended Stanford University and considered forgoing his final two years after winning the 2010 NCAA singles title as a sophomore. In the end, he made the decision to stay. “I thought I’d regret it more if I left early as opposed to sticking it out and getting my degree,” he said.

He now considers receiving his economics degree as one of his proudest accomplishments. “My parents always pushed education for me. I’m very thankful they did, as well,” he said. “I loved school, I loved everything about school: the social life, the going to school, challenging my mind, still being able to play tennis at a great university. A lot of the friends I made there are life-long friends for me.”

Klahn, who trains in Carson, still enjoys going back to Stanford to watch football games in the fall and to see all his friends in San Francisco.

4. Brother Has Pilot License
Klahn has two younger siblings, Kathryn and Bryan, who also attended school in the Bay Area, at Santa Clara University.  His sister lives in San Francisco and works for Cisco. His brother used to be an accountant, but recently got his pilot license and has been accepted into the National Guard.

“Quite the career change for him, but he’s always had a love of aviation and flying. I’m really excited for him to pursue a passion that he loves just as much as I love tennis,” said Klahn.

You May Also Like: Bradley’s Best Wins: From Beach Proposal To Masters 1000 Milestone
5. Loves The San Jose Sharks
While they were in college, Klahn’s brother got him into his biggest hobby outside of tennis: ice hockey. They became huge fans of the nearby San Jose Sharks, and continue to follow the team.

“I just love everything about the sport, the action. I don’t think there’s anything like watching hockey live, especially playoff hockey,” said Klahn. “That’s probably the one sport where my brother and I, during the season, wherever I am, I’m finding a way to stream the game. It doesn’t matter what hour of the day it is. We’re always getting some text message throughout, going back and forth about it.”

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Read & Watch: Dimitrov Advances After Epic 35-Shot Match Point

  • Posted: Aug 08, 2018

Read & Watch: Dimitrov Advances After Epic 35-Shot Match Point

Bulgarian looks to ignite his 2018 on the hard courts

“Sometimes one, two, three matches, it can really turn it around for you again. If you stay compact, stay smart and do the right things you just never known when the tables might turn for you.”

Grigor Dimitrov said that before his Rogers Cup began on Tuesday, but the Bulgarian, who was in the midst of a 2-6 stretch, hopes those words turn out to be prescient for him this North American hard-court swing.

The World No. 5 came back to beat Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) in Toronto. Their second-round match was suspended because of rain at 4-4 in the third set for two and a half hours.

But Dimitrov came out ready to put his recent past with Verdasco behind him. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion saw a match point come and go on Verdasco’s serve at 4-5, 30/40 when the Bulgarian netted a backhand. But Dimitrov stayed on it and won an epic 35-shot match point.

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The two had met twice earlier this year, with Verdasco winning both – a three-setter at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and a straight-sets win at Roland Garros.

But Dimitrov, who hasn’t reached a quarter-final since April at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, evened their FedEx ATP Head2Head series at 3-3. He will next meet #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe or Canadian Milos Raonic.

Tiafoe earned his 23rd match win of the season by beating Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato of Italy 7-6(3), 6-1. The American saved eight of nine break points to beat No. 21 Cecchinato, who is in 12th place in the ATP Race To London.

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Solid performance for me. I got broken, a slow start, but I competed well, got the break back, played a pretty good match overall, held all the way through, pretty one-sided in the breaker. Second set was pretty one-sided all the way through, so I was pretty comfortable,” said Tiafoe, who won his maiden ATP World Tour title in February at the Delray Beach Open.

[My confidence is] pretty high. I’ve won a lot of matches this year… definitely the most I’ve ever won at the ATP [level]. This has been one of the best years of my life… I can beat anyone.”

ATP Race To Milan

The 20-year-old right-hander is currently in fifth place in the ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan. The eighth spot will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifier tournament to be held just prior to the prestigious 21-and-under event. Last year, Tiafoe missed making his Milan debut by one place.

I think I’ve got some pretty good length between the guys under me, so I’m feeling pretty good that I’ll make it. I missed it by one last year, so that hurt,” Tiafoe said.

Robin Haase, 2017 semi-finalist (l. to Federer), dismissed Japan’s Kei Nishikori 7-5, 6-1. Haase dominated on serve, winning 57 per cent of his second-serve points and saving four of five break points. The Dutchman will next meet third seed Juan Martin del Potro.

Read More: Del Potro Embracing ‘Second Chance’ In Toronto

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Klaasen/Venus Start Strong In Toronto

  • Posted: Aug 08, 2018

Klaasen/Venus Start Strong In Toronto

London hopefuls seeking first Masters 1000 title as a team

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus picked up crucial points in the ATP Doubles Race To London on Tuesday, beating New Zealand’s Artem Sitak and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

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Klaasen/Venus are in sixth place in the Race with the top eight teams qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. The South African/Kiwi pairing will next face fifth seeds Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo.

You May Also Like: Allez! Felix, 17, Notches ‘Statement’ Top 20 Win In Toronto

Elsewhere, Croatian Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya of Austria dropped only four games against Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Aussie Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 6-2, and Americans Sam Querrey/Rajeev Ram didn’t face a break point during their 7-6(4), 6-3 victory against Italian Marco Cecchinato/Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

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