Federer Helps Miami Open Shatter Attendance Records
Tournament experienced its first year at Hard Rock Stadium
The 2019 Miami Open presented by Itau set attendance records almost throughout the two-week tournament.
Fifteen of the tournament’s 24 sessions had higher attendance than the previous records, including an all-time singles-session attendance mark of 32,831 during the Saturday, 23 March day session.
Overall, the tournament’s two-week attendance was 388,734, breaking the old record of 326,131 set in 2012. It also marked the 10th consecutive year the tournament recorded more than 300,000 in total attendance. Roger Federer beat John Isner in the men’s final to win his fourth Miami title. Read Report & Watch Highlights
Auger-Aliassime becomes latest #NextGenATP to crack Top 35
Stefanos Tsitsipas started the #NextGenATP rise of 2019 by making the Australian Open semi-finals, and in South Florida last week, 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime became the latest 21-and-under player to steal the spotlight at a big event.
The #NextGenATP Canadian became the youngest semi-finalist in the Miami Open presented by Itau’s 35-year history (l. to Isner). But Tsitsipas and Auger-Aliassime are far from alone.
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Only three months into the 2019 ATP Tour season, five #NextGenATP players are already inside the Top 35 of the ATP Rankings. At this point last year, only one #NextGenATP player – No. 35 Andrey Rublev of Russia – was inside the Top 35.
“Every week it feels like someone new is making a breakthrough and playing well,” Canada’s Denis Shapovalov said.
No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas Tsitsipas, who won his second ATP Tour title in Montpellier in February, leads the group. The Greek, who won the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, is at a career-high No. 8 in the ATP Rankings. He’s climbed seven spots from the start of the year.
No. 20 Denis Shapovalov Shapovalov, 19, made his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Miami and, as a result, cracked the Top 20 for the first time. The left-hander, who fell to Roger Federer in the semi-finals, knocked out Rublev and two #NextGenATP rivals – Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe – to reach the last four.
The entire #NextGenATP group feeds off of each other’s accomplishments, but Shapovalov said he and Tiafoe have become especially close over the years.
“We have practised together a bunch of times. We’ve played each other a bunch of times. It feels like every time we play we bring out the best in each other. It’s always an honour to be on the court with him,” Shapovalov said.
No. 25 Alex de Minaur Aussie Alex de Minaur made his mark in January by winning his maiden ATP Tour title at his hometown Sydney International. De Minaur then followed that title sprint by reaching the third round in Melbourne and the quarter-finals in Acapulco.
No. 30 Frances Tiafoe Tiafoe, like Tsitsipas, achieved a career-first in Melbourne by making the quarter-finals (l. to Nadal). In Miami, Tiafoe checked off another first by making his maiden Masters 1000 quarter-final (l. to Shapovalov).
No. 33 Felix Auger-Aliassime Auger-Aliassime has had the most dramatic start to the 2019 season. The teenager made his first ATP Tour final in February at the Rio Open presented by Claro (l. to Djere). Since then, he’s reached the quarter-finals in Sao Paulo, the third round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the semi-finals in Miami.
Auger-Aliassime knocked off two Top 20 opponents at the season’s second Masters 1000 event – No. 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia and No. 13 Borna Coric. Auger-Aliassime is 5-1 against Top 20 opponents.
“The biggest lesson was to stay in the present and believe in yourself, because you can always dig deep and find resources within yourself. So I think that’s a huge lesson to not give up, stay calm, and just work every day,” Auger-Aliassime said.
All five players also occupy the top five spots in the ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 5-9 November in Milan. The eighth spot will be given to the winner of an all-Italian 21-and-under tournament.
The Swiss’ serving performance was one for the record books
Roger Federer made history on Sunday in the Miami Open presented by Itau. Not only did he lift his fourth trophy at the ATP Masters 1000 event, but he set and matched several personal serving records in the process.
Federer won all but three of his service points (32/35) against 2018 champion John Isner. The Swiss has now played 154 tour-level finals, and the three points he lost on serve is the fewest he has dropped in any of those championship matches. His previous low in a final came five years ago in Basel, where he lost five service points (32/37) against David Goffin.
Fewest Service Points Lost In A Final
Service Points Lost
This was also just the sixth time in 1,460 tour-level matches that Federer has won 100 per cent of his first-serve points. It is the first time he has done so in a championship match. The most first-serve points Federer has won in a match without losing one of those points is 29, which he did in his lone Tokyo appearance in 2006 against retired German Benjamin Becker.
Matches Without Losing A First-Serve Point
First-Serve Points Won
2018 Indian Wells
2014 Nitto ATP Finals
Not only was Federer’s performance impressive for a final, but it ranked among the best of his career in any round. The three service points Federer lost is tied for the fewest he has lost in any of his tour-level completed matches. He only lost three service points against Ivo Karlovic in his Miami opener in 2014. In that match, Federer played 17 more service points.
Fewest Service Points Lost In A Completed Tour-Level Match
Service Points Lost
2013 Indian Wells
2008 Indian Wells
“I think I was very clear on how I wanted to play, so I think that helped that I was able to not just have the plan, but then being able to execute. It’s always two things: having the plan and then it not working. Of course to win every single point, things need to go your way against him,” Federer said. “So there needs to be both sides to the thing because he did have chances obviously to win some points. But apparently also on second serve I hardly dropped any points. I just can be very happy on either end, return and serve, and that’s why I’m so happy that I was able to produce a performance like this in a final.”
Editor’s Note: Service stats do not include the following: All Davis Cup (48 matches), 2000 & 2004 Olympics (8 matches) and 1999 Basel 2R vs. Alexander Popp.
Swiss star reflects in ATP My Story delivered by FedEx.
Roger Federer is flying high, currently leading the ATP Race To London after winning his 28th ATP Masters 1000 title at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
But just a few years ago, the Swiss didn’t know if he would ever find such form again. Federer reached the 2016 Australian Open semi-finals, losing to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The next day, while running a bath for his daughters, he heard a click in his knee. After returning home to Switzerland, Federer learned from an MRI that he had broken his meniscus and needed surgery.
“[I] couldn’t believe it. [I] was actually quite emotional, especially after the surgery, looking down at my foot and understanding that maybe this leg or this knee will never be the same,” Federer said. “Took it on my chin and said, ‘Okay, I’ll start working basically that next day after I came back from the hospital’.”
Federer did not immediately find his form, though. His knee still bothered him during clay-court tournaments in Monte-Carlo and Rome, and then his back began to act up. That forced him to withdraw from Roland Garros.
“I just realised there was no way I could even win a match there,” Federer said.
While the Swiss’ back got better on the grass, his knee did not. So after a semi-final loss against Milos Raonic, Federer decided that his body needed a break, and his team agreed. Federer did not compete for the rest of the season.
“It gave me all the time I needed as well on the practice court to work on my game again,” Federer said. “So when I did come back in 2017, I came back so strong.”
Federer was the 17th seed at the Australian Open, yet he managed to earn his first Grand Slam championship in nearly five years, overcoming a 1-3 deficit in the fifth set of the final against Rafael Nadal to emerge victorious. At 35 years and 174 days, Federer became the oldest major since Ken Rosewall in 1971.
“I couldn’t believe it myself because I actually thought it was going to take me at least almost half of a season to get into the swing of things,” Federer said. “But this fairytale ended very nicely by winning the Australian Open in my comeback in a final against Rafa where I was down 1-3 in the fifth. The rest we know I go on, I turn it around and I win it. So it was maybe one of the most special moments in my entire tennis career.”
World No. 2 readies for upcoming clay court season
At home in Mallorca, Rafael Nadal’s preparations for the upcoming European clay court swing are already in progress.
The World No. 2, who was forced to withdraw from a semi-final showdown against Roger Federer at the BNP Paribas Open due to pain in his right knee, resumed training last week by taking to the practice courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar.
The 32-year-old is targeting a mid-April return to the ATP Tour, just in time to defend his Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title. An 11-time champion at the ATP Masters 1000 event, Nadal holds an Open-Era record of eight successive titles in Monaco between 2005-2012. It will mark the first time Nadal has competed on clay since June 2018, when he defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to lift his 11th Roland Garros title.
Nadal looks set to enter a crucial stretch of the calendar with fitness and form. In addition to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Spaniard is also scheduled to compete at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, the Mutua Madrid Open, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and Roland Garros. From April through June, Nadal will be defending 4,680 ATP Ranking points after triumphing in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Paris last year.
ATPTour.com looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 1 April 2019
No. 33 (Career High) Felix Auger-Aliassime, +24 The 18-year-old Canadian continued his impressive start to the 2019 ATP Tour season by reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Auger-Aliassime, who now owns a 14-7 tour-level record this season, defeated three seeded opponents en route to the last four in Florida.
The #NextGenATP Canadian overcame 29th seed Marton Fucsovics in the second round and also beat 17th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili and 11th-seeded Borna Coric in back-to-back matches, before falling to defending champion John Isner in straight sets. Auger-Aliassime rises 24 places to a career-high No. 33 in the ATP Rankings.
No. 4 Roger Federer, +1 After a run to the BNP Paribas Open final in Indian Wells (l. to Thiem), Roger Federer completed a successful month by lifting his 101st tour-level trophy at the Miami Open presented by Itau. After recovering from a set down to beat Radu Albot in his opening match, Federer completed straight-sets wins over Filip Krajinovic, Daniil Medvedev, Kevin Anderson, Denis Shapovalov and John Isner to triumph in Miami for the fourth time. Federer leapfrogs Indian Wells champion Dominic Thiem into the No. 4 position in the ATP Rankings. Read More & Watch Miami Highlights.
No. 8 (Career High) Stefanos Tsitsipas, +2 Following his second-round loss to Auger-Aliassime at the BNP Paribas Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas picked up wins over Mackenzie McDonald and Leonardo Mayer to reach the Miami Open presented by Itau fourth round for the first time. Despite a final-set tie-break loss to Denis Shapovalov in the Round of 16, Tsitsipas jumps two spots to a career-high No. 8 in the ATP Rankings.
No. 20 (Career High) Denis Shapovalov, +3 The 19-year-old Canadian has now reached a Masters 1000 semi-final in each of the past three ATP Tour seasons, following runs to the last four in Canada (2017) and Madrid (2018). At the Miami Open presented by Itau, Shapovalov defeated Daniel Evans, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe to join countryman Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals. A straight-sets loss to eventual champion Roger Federer followed, but Shapovalov’s semi-final run confirmed his place inside the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.
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ATPTour.com recaps the storylines from the first quarter of the season
The season is only three months old, but there’s already a plethora of storylines to track. Here are the top seven stories of 2019 so far:
1. Federer Starts With A Bang (Again) Roger Federer is proving age is just a number in 2019 after yet another impressive start to the season. So far in 2019, the Swiss superstar has become the second player in the Open Era to claim 100 career titles and also captured his 28th ATP Masters 1000 crown.
The 37-year-old has won 15 of his past 16 matches including a seventh trophy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Tsitsipas), which saw him follow in the footsteps of American Jimmy Connors (109 titles), a runner-up finish at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (l. to Thiem) and a fourth Miami Open presented by Itau title (d. Isner). Read & Watch Miami Final Highlights
Federer, with an 18-2 record this year, got off to a 17-2 start after three minutes in 2018, with the Australian Open and ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament crowns, which helped him rise to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, and went 19-1 in 2017, including trophies in Melbourne, Indian Wells and Miami.
Having entered Indian Wells with 680 points in the ATP Race To London, he now leads the year-to-date standings with 2,280 points — 55 points ahead of second-placed Serbian Novak Djokovic (2,225). After three months of the season, the Swiss leads the battle for a place at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.
2. Tsitsipas Backs Up Next Gen ATP Finals Success Stefanos Tsitsipas continues his surge as one of the sport’s youngest and most charismatic stars. Four months on from capturing the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals title, the 20-year-old has become the first Greek to break into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings — and this week moved up to a career-high No. 8. Read Latest ATP Rankings Movers Of The Week
In starting 2019 at No. 15, Tsitsipas recorded the biggest win of his career over Roger Federer en route to the Australian Open semi-finals (l. to Nadal) — the youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist since 20-year-old Djokovic at the 2007 US Open — and the following month he clinched his second ATP Tour title at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille (d. Kukushkin).
The YouTube vlogger, with 140,000 followers, also advanced to the Dubai final (l. to Federer), dropping to 2-3 in title matches, but at No. 4 in the ATP Race To London (145 points behind third-placed Rafael Nadal), Tsitsipas is well-placed for a first qualification to the eight-man season finale in November.
3. Felix’s Meteoric Rise Ever since Felix Auger-Aliassime became the youngest player to win a main draw match on the ATP Challenger Tour at the age of 14, the Canadian has been on the global radar. Over the past three months, the 18-year-old has soared from No. 108 in the ATP Rankings to his current career-high of No. 33.
His confidence has grown as a result of reaching his first ATP Tour final at the Rio Open presented by Claro (l. to Djere) on 24 February. He went on to record his first Top 10 victory against then No. 10-ranked Tsitsipas in the BNP Paribas Open second round, then qualified for Miami and became the ATP Masters 1000 tournament’s youngest semi-finalist for 35 years (l. to Isner).
He’s in second position, behind Tsitsipas, in the ATP Race To Milan for a place at the 21-and-under Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and, one of three Canadians — also Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov — in the Top 14 of the ATP Race To London. After Shapovalov also reached the Miami semi-finals, the Canadians are pushing each other to new heights.
Read Feature – Felix’s Philosophy: ‘I’m Not Scared Of Losing’
4. Thiem Expands His Horizons Dominic Thiem has forged a reputation in recent years as a clay-court ironman, befitting the reputation of his Austrian predecessor Thomas Muster. But after having gotten off a 3-4 start to the year — including appearances at two clay-court tournaments — heading into Indian Wells, the 25-year-old needed a confidence boost.
In the space of 10 days, and with former World No. 9 Nicolas Massu as a part of his team alongside long-time coach Gunter Bresnik, Thiem won six straight matches — including three-set victories over Raonic and No. 4-ranked Federer — for the biggest title of his career, his first ATP Masters 1000 crown.
Read Feature: Massu On Thiem: “Ask Dom To Do Something And He’ll Do It – Just Better”
World No. 5 Thiem now has 1,990 ATP Rankings points to defend on the upcoming European clay-court swing, which includes 1,200 points from a 2018 runner-up finish at Roland Garros.
5. Silverware Gets Spread Out When Federer defeated Isner in the final of the Miami Open presented by Itau on Sunday, he ended a record-breaking ATP Tour streak of 19 tournaments in a row that had until then produced 19 different singles winners.
He was the season’s first repeat winner in the most competitive season to date in ATP Tour history. Never before had it taken so long to produce a multiple champion. The remarkable diversity in winners, with players aged from 20 to 37, is a dramatic indication of the continuing rapidly growing depth in the men’s professional tennis.
6. Djokovic Extends ATP Rankings Lead, Now For Clay Bid Djokovic started the year in imperial form with a record seventh Australian Open crown, but for a second straight year left March’s two Masters 1000 tournaments with little to show. After a BNP Paribas Open third-round exit (l. to Kohlschreiber) and a Last 16 loss in Miami (l. to Bautista Agut), fans are wondering what to expect for the clay-court swing.
The Serbian has a 2,345-point lead over second-placed Nadal (2,345), the player he beat in the Melbourne final, in the ATP Rankings. Djokovic started 2019 with 9,135 points and now has 11,070 points, in comparison to Nadal’s current tally of 8,725 points.
View Latest ATP Rankings
Nadal, who has not competed since 15 March, is scheduled to return at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters that begins on 14 April. The Spaniard has 4,680 ATP Ranking points to defend after triumphing in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Paris last year, while Djokovic, who has finished as the year-end No. 1 in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2018, has a total of 855 points to defend on red dirt.
7. Motivated Monfils On Comeback Trail One of the sport’s greatest sights is watching the athletic and flexible Gael Monfils play at his best level and produce sublime Hot Shots, with a smile on his face. After a series of injury woes, Monfils has made a significant effort in the first quarter of 2019 to return to his peak performance days and his career-high of No. 6 in the ATP Rankings (7 November 2016).
The 32-year-old is up to World No. 19 on the back of his eighth ATP Tour title in Rotterdam (d. Wawrinka) and semi-final exits at the Sofia Open (l. to Medvedev) and Dubai (l. to Tsitsipas).