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Zverev, Shapovalov Lead Countries In Davis Cup Qualifying

  • Posted: Jan 31, 2019

Zverev, Shapovalov Lead Countries In Davis Cup Qualifying previews the inaugural Davis Cup qualifying round

Twelve spots at the 2019 Davis Cup Finals, to be held 18-24 November in Madrid, will be up for grabs this weekend during the inaugural Davis Cup qualifying rounds. previews the action.

Venue: Sabiazinho – Ginasio Presidente Tancredo Neves, Uberlândia, Brazil
Surface: Clay, Indoors

Belgium leads the series 3-0, including a win during the 2016 World Group play-offs, but left-hander Thiago Monteiro, No. 107 in the ATP Rankings, will lead the home country in search of its first win against the European nation.

Venue: Saxovat Sport Servis Sport Complex, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Surface: Hard, Indoors

Serbia, behind Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovic, will look to improve to 2-0 against Uzbekistan, who will be led by 32-year-old Denis Istomin, No. 105.

Venue: Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia
Surface: Hard, Outdoors

Australians will enjoy one more weekend of home summer tennis as the green and gold take on Damir Dzumhur and the squad from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sydney International titlist Alex de Minaur and 2018 US Open quarter-finalist John Millman will lead the home squad, along with John Peers, who fell in the Australian Open doubles final (with Henri Kontinen; l. to Herbert/Mahut).

Read More: Herbert/Mahut Complete Career Grand Slam In Doubles

Venue: Calcutta South Club, Kolkata, India
Surface: Grass, Outdoors

India, led by Prajnesh Gunneswaran (No. 102) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (No. 133), will put its four-tie grass-court winning streak on the line against the visiting Italians, led by veteran Andreas Seppi and Gstaad titlist Matteo Berrettini. Ramanathan reached the Hall of Fame Open final on grass last July in Newport (l. to Johnson).

You May Also Like: A Dive & A Win: Johnson Triumphs In Newport

Venue: Fraport Arena, Frankfurt, Germany
Surface: Hard, Indoors

A strong German squad, led by No. 3 Alexander Zverev and veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber, will lead Germany as it looks to book a place in the Davis Cup Finals. Hungary, without No. 47 Marton Fucsovics, is expected to have Zsombor Piros (No. 368) and Peter Nagy (No. 819) play singles.

Venue: Swiss Tennis Arena, Biel, Switzerland
Surface: Hard, Indoors

Visiting Russia carries all of its young talent to Biel, as Rolex Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov, three-time ATP Tour titlist Daniil Medvedev and two-time Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Andrey Rublev are making the trip. Henri Laaksonen (No. 142) and Marc-Andrea Huesler (No. 337) will lead Switzerland and attempt to stave off the Russians.

Venue: National Tennis Center, Astana, Kazakhstan
Surface: Hard, Indoors

Joao Sousa will go for personal Davis Cup history when he leads Portugal against Kazakhstan. With two singles wins this weekend, Sousa (23-12) will match Joao Cunha-Silva’s record (25-28) for most Davis Cup singles match wins by a Portuguese player.

Ostravar Arena, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Surface: Hard, Indoors

Czech Republic, 2012-13 Davis Cup champions, will play in its 211th tie this weekend as Jiri Vesely and Lukas Rosol lead the home nation against Netherlands, which boasts a roster of Robin Haase (No. 54) and Jean-Julien Rojer (No. 18 in ATP Doubles Rankings).

Venue: Palacio de los Deportes, Bogota, Colombia
Surface: Clay – Red Clay, Indoor

Nitto ATP Finals doubles semi-finalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will try to win their 10th Davis Cup doubles match together against Sweden, which will be led by the Ymer brothers – Elias Ymer and Mikael Ymer.

Watch Flashback: Elias Ymer Visits Home Ethiopia

Venue: Salzburg Arena/Messezentrum Salzburg, Austria
Surface: Clay, Indoors

Austrian Jurgen Melzer, who retired from singles at last year’s Erste Bank Open 500, is expected to play doubles with former doubles No. 2 Oliver Marach. Brasil Open finalist Nicolas Jarry will lead visiting Chile.

Venue: NTC Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia
Surface: Clay, Indoors

Canada’s #NextGenATP leaders – Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime – will try to secure their country’s 67th win in Davis Cup ties. Auger-Aliassime, 18, will be playing in his first tie. Martin Klizan (No. 37) and Filip Horansky (No. 199) will lead Slovakia.

Venue: Guangdong Olympic Sports Center Tennis Center, Guangzhou, China
Surface: Hard, Outdoors

Visiting Japan, led by Yoshihito Nishioka (No. 66) and Taro Daniel (No. 69), leads their series 8-1, including the past five. But Ze Zhang (No. 208) and Zhe Li (No. 225) will try to snap the losing skid.

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Stan's Care Bear Lifts Andy's Spirits

  • Posted: Jan 31, 2019

Stan’s Care Bear Lifts Andy’s Spirits

Scot underwent another hip surgery on Monday in London

Andy Murray has a new fluffy friend to comfort him at the hospital, and it’s just about as big as the 6’3” Scot. Murray received a “get well soon” teddy bear from Stan Wawrinka and his girlfriend, WTA player Donna Vekic.

Big thanks to @stanwawrinka85 and @donnavekic for the get well soon teddy bear,” Murray wrote on Instagram on Thursday. “It’s absolutely huge. My kids will be fighting over this when I get home! #stantheman”.

You May Also Like: Murray Undergoes Hip Surgery In London

Murray underwent hip resurfacing surgery on his right hip on Monday in London. The former World No. 1 now has a metal hip and posted an X-ray photo of it to his Instagram account.

The 31-year-old initially underwent right hip surgery in January 2018 and returned to competitive tennis six months later, playing a total of 15 tour-level matches. Murray fell in the first round of the Australian Open to eventual quarter-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.

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Why Dzumhur Is Polite When Asking Federer, Djokovic For A Photo

  • Posted: Jan 31, 2019

Why Dzumhur Is Polite When Asking Federer, Djokovic For A Photo

The three-time ATP titlist talks about the ‘Last Time’ with

Damir Dzumhur has had two of the best seasons of his career, winning three ATP titles in the past two years. Now if he could only remember where he put his keys.

Dzumhur, who’s representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in Davis Cup action against Australia this weekend, talked with about “The Last Time” he lost those keys, the vital lesson his father taught him and why he still feels like he has to politely ask Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for a photo after a practice session.

The last time… I lost something important?
My home keys I lost a few months ago, but it’s not the first time that I’ve lost them. I’m not really good with keys… I had four pairs of home keys at home. I always make enough so in case I lose a pair, I have one.

I paid money to rent a tennis court or buy tennis balls?
In March, in Los Angeles, between Indian Wells and Miami… I had to pay for a tennis court. Balls, I had with me from Indian Wells… I played at a club where my coach used to play sometimes, and he knows people at that club but we still had to pay… I definitely need better connections. I think we had two hours of court time, about $15 an hour.

Watch: Born Into War, Dzumhur’s Inspirational Journey To ATP Titlist

I strung a tennis racquet?
When I was a kid [ages 14-20], I was stringing my racquets. Of course, [with the support of my] father or even brother, because he learned to string racquets when he was very young and would sometimes help me. But I was the one taking care of it.

My father wanted me to know what are my responsibilities, that I’m not going to get everything served on a plate, so I had to work for something. That’s why today I don’t have problems with doing those kinds of things, with expecting everything to just come to me; I have to get it.

I like that my father was always trying to teach me, to get the things, to not wait for them… He wanted me to know that it’s one of my responsibilities. He’s working all day on the courts as well, he doesn’t have time to do it.

I cooked for myself and others?
Last time I did maybe two months ago when I was home… I cooked some beef. Beef is really easy to make, you just put one side, the other side, some oil, some salt, and if the meat is very good in five or six minutes, you’re OK. I like beef medium so I don’t have to cook it a long time and it goes very easy. With some beef I would get some corn with it. That’s easy.


I met a childhood idol?
Roger Federer, I met him four years ago for the first time… We played three years ago at Roland Garros and Wimbledon but I met him the year before, in Australia.

Meeting him [off the court] is a big thing, but I would say the real meeting was on the court. After the first match between the two of us, I had a chance to practise with him, to talk more with him, and I’m really happy to say that today when I see Roger he always comes and says, “Hi”. In your head, it’s a big thing when you know somebody who has won 20 Grand Slams, who’s one of the best players ever, and he comes and talks to you.

I think this is something special that can happen in your life, especially if that is a guy who you were cheering for and watching on TV when you were 11, 12 years old, winning Grand Slam tournaments. That is really something special.

Read more in the ‘Last Time’ series: Federer | Kyrgios | Tsitsipas

I asked someone famous for an autograph or selfie?
When I finished a practice with Roger, I asked for a picture. Of course I do it not just with him, but with other players as well. But I would say, with him, it’s a question, with other guys it’s, ‘Let’s make a photo.’ With him, it’s like, ‘Hey Roger, can we make a photo, please?’

Or with Novak Djokovic as well, with Novak, in Queens, in July, we were practising together and I just asked him… Those big guys who you have a lot of respect for, you just feel like you have to ask.

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Bringing The Heat On The Hardwood In Cleveland

  • Posted: Jan 31, 2019

Bringing The Heat On The Hardwood In Cleveland

Challenger stars take in the action at a Cleveland Cavaliers game

You know them for their firepower on the tennis court. But on Tuesday, four ATP Challenger Tour stars showed off their cannon arms on the basketball hardwood.

Americans Ulises Blanch, Marcos Giron, Stefan Kozlov and Noah Rubin paid a visit to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, while competing at the ATP Challenger Tour event in the city. Not only did they sit courtside watching the Cavs battle the Washington Wizards, but they provided some of the entertainment as well.

During a timeout, the quartet was tasked with tossing t-shirts and tournament tickets for Sunday’s final into the crowd. From firing serves on the tennis court to launching prizes into the upper deck at the Quicken Loans Arena, it was a memorable experience. 

“It was really special to do that here in Cleveland,” said Giron. “It was out of the blue and I’m really grateful to be able to do that. It’s not something you get to do often, being on the court of an NBA stadium. I’ve been on the field at the Rose Bowl at UCLA, but this felt very intimate to be able to interact with the fans.”

“It was fun,” Rubin added. “First time I’ve ever done something like that. It was pretty cool. I was always the kid not getting a t-shirt at a game, so now I got to be the one throwing it.”

“It was a great experience being out there and having grown up as a big basketball fan, it was amazing,” said Kozlov. “I would say it’s once in a lifetime running out there and throwing t-shirts. Cleveland fans are great and I was surprised how nice their stadium is.”


The Cleveland Open presented by Cleveland Clinic is celebrating its debut on the ATP Challenger Tour this week. After a long hiatus, professional tennis is back in the bustling city. It has been 34 years since the ATP Tour last held a tournament there.

While the state of Ohio has enjoyed plenty of world-class tennis over the years, with Cincinnati hosting a prestigious ATP Masters 1000 event (Western & Southern Open) and the campus of Ohio State University welcoming the Columbus Challenger since 2015, the city of Cleveland is back on the scene for the first time in more than three decades. 

“The tournament is pretty good,” said Rubin. “Besides the absolutely frigid temperatures that we’re dealing with, it’s really nice. The country club is great and everyone has been pretty accomodating. It’s just about staying warm this week.”

As the midwest United States is plunged into a deep freeze thanks to a polar vortex descending from the arctic, players are benefitting from perfect conditions at the indoor Cleveland Racquet Club. 

While Kozlov fell on Wednesday, Blanch, Giron and Rubin all punched their tickets to the third round. Blanch will face Rubin in a blockbuster clash, while Giron, who claimed his maiden Challenger crown to kick off the season in Orlando, battles Jeffrey John Wolf.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Britain's Katie Boulter loses to Ekaterina Alexandrova in St Petersburg

  • Posted: Jan 30, 2019

Britain’s Katie Boulter lost 7-5 4-6 6-1 to Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

The 22-year-old had failed to reach the main draw after being beaten in qualifying by Ysaline Bonaventure but went through as a lucky loser after Dominika Cibulkova withdrew.

However, the world number 88 failed to make her second chance count.

Alexandrova hit 17 aces to Boulter’s six and faces Tereza Martincova next.

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Andy Murray: Former British number one has resurfacing surgery on hip

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2019

Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray had hip resurfacing surgery in London on Monday.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, 31, announced in January he would retire this year, preferably after Wimbledon.

But he admitted the Australian Open, where he lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round, could be the final tournament of his career.

He said: “I have a metal hip. Feeling a bit battered and bruised but hopefully that will be the end of my hip pain.”

The Scot’s post on Instagram featured an X-ray picture of his hip.

What does the operation involve?

Professor Max Fehily, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and clinical director at the Manchester Hip Clinic, says the operation involves “smoothing down the ball, then covering it with a metal cap”.

“Then a layer of metal is placed within the pelvic socket in which it sits,” he added.

American doubles legend Bob Bryan had a similar operation in 2018. The 40-year-old was on court within five months of his operation and competed with twin brother Mike at the Australian Open.

Prof Fehily added that “90 to 95% of patients who have this surgery are delighted and live a pain-free life”, although none of his patients try to play professional tennis.

  • Doubles specialist Bryan made it back from resurfacing op – can Murray?
  • How Murray helped create golden period for British sport
  • What will Andy Murray be worth in retirement?
  • The moment Murray knew the game was up

Murray initially had surgery on his right hip in January 2018 and has played 15 matches since returning to the sport last June.

He was due to play in February’s Marseille Open but withdrew from the tournament on Friday.

Murray ended his 2018 season in September to spend time working with rehabilitation expert Bill Knowles.

But he was in tears at a news conference in Melbourne when he announced before the first Grand Slam of 2019 that it may be the final one of his career.

Murray then said following his five-set exit to Bautista Agut that he would need “a big operation” if he was to play again, but added: “I’ll give it my best shot.”

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 live, the two-time Olympic champion said surgery was the only option if he wanted to play beyond Wimbledon.

“However, there is a strong possibility I won’t come back and play after an operation. I want to play tennis, but not with the hip I have right now,” he added.

Murray said surgery on his hip would mean “my quality of life would be better”.

“Just going to walk my dogs, playing football with my friends, is the worst thing I can think of doing,” he said.

“I hate it because it’s so sore and it’s uncomfortable. Waiting another five or six months to do something like that is just another period where I’m really uncomfortable.”


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

“Athletes have had operations like that done and come back to play, but certainly not in singles,” Murray told me in Melbourne after that very emotional news conference.

I am sure there is a small part of him that has not abandoned all hope of continuing his career, but this operation is first and foremost about improving his quality of life.

If the operation proves successful, Murray might be able to make a farewell appearance at Wimbledon – although there can be no guarantee he will ever be able to compete again.

Bob Bryan played again five months after having the same operation, and reached the last eight of the Australian Open with his twin brother Mike.

Wimbledon just happens to be five months away; and Andy also has a brother who is one of the best doubles players in the world.

We can but speculate for the moment. Time will tell.

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