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Isner's Saving (Hunter) Grace With Foot Injury

  • Posted: Apr 04, 2019

Isner’s Saving (Hunter) Grace With Foot Injury

American hopes to return in Madrid

John Isner was flying high into the Miami Open presented by Itau final, reaching the championship match in South Florida without dropping a set. But the 2018 champion quickly lost the first set against Roger Federer, and began feeling pain in his left foot a couple of games into the second. The American finished the match, but he was clearly in pain, returning home to find out he has a stress fracture in his left foot that doctors say will keep him sidelined for three to six weeks.

The good thing for Isner is that while he is home, he gets to spend plenty of time with his six-month-old daughter Hunter Grace.

“It helps so much. She takes up a lot of my time even though I can’t really do that much. I have to be off my feet,” Isner told “I just actually fed her sitting on the couch and had a lot of fun doing that. But it certainly takes my mind off the injury. Sitting here right now I have nothing to complain about whatsoever. I’m keeping a very positive mindset on all of this because life is pretty good.”

The good news for Isner is that he is hoping to return for the Mutua Madrid Open, an ATP Masters 1000 tournament that begins on 3 May. The American will hope to maintain the confidence he has built by winning 15 of his past 20 matches. Isner’s 15-7 start in 2019 is his best start ahead of the clay-court season since 2012 when he went 15-6.

“I consider myself very fortunate. I could have hurt myself in my second match and had to have probably lost that match or pulled out of the tournament. There was just one match to go and of course I was thrilled to be in the final. I wanted to put on a little bit of a better show out there but I was also up against the greatest player of all-time,” Isner said. “Being in the final of a Masters, I could definitely draw confidence from that for sure. When I come back, if it’s Madrid, I won’t have hit many balls before my first match. But I could look back knowing the last tournament I played I made the final and it was a very big tournament.”

The World No. 10 doesn’t know exactly when the injury occurred. But it was extremely painful, and while he battled to the best of his ability, he knew there was not much he could do against Federer.

“It was just any time I put weight on my left foot. Serving puts a lot of weight on my left foot, that’s my predominant leg when I’m serving. Any other movement that required any sort of push off my left leg was pretty excruciating,” Isner said. “It was a tough, tough feeling because there’s nothing you could do. There’s no hiding it out there. You can’t play through that pain, either. You’re stuck out there. It’s a pretty miserable feeling.”

Isner is doing his best to stay off his feet at home in Dallas, Texas. The only time he’s really leaving the house is when he has to go get treatment on his foot.

“For the most part the more I stay off my foot the better. The less pressure that’s on my foot, the quicker it’s going to heal,” Isner said. “It’s tough for me because it seems counterproductive. Even when I’ve been hurt in the past I’ve always been able to actively recover. But this is a tough one to actively recover.”

The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals qualifier says that the toughest part of the situation is how immobile he has to stay. Even if his foot is 100 per cent ready, but he is not in satisfactory ‘tennis shape’, he’s not going to rush back to compete in Madrid. He plans on taking his time so that he is completely over the injury before playing again.

“I’ve been pretty used to being healthy the past bunch of years. I take a lot of pride in keeping myself healthy even though it’s not an easy task whatsoever,” Isner said. “Being on the shelf right now, as far as times of the season go, it’s not a horrible time. It’s just foreign to me because I’m so used to training when I’m home and working out and being very, very active. Because my foot is hurt, it’s very hard to do all of that.”

Isner was looking forward to competing at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship next week in Houston, as he could drive from his home to the event. But he’s likely to not be able to even practise next week, so he had to make the tough decision to withdraw.

“I’m absolutely bummed to be missing Houston considering it’s a tournament I can drive to and a tournament I’ve never missed in my whole career. I played it 12 years in a row,” Isner said. “This year I’m going to miss it and that’s pretty tough to swallow because I really enjoy playing there.”

For now, Isner is doing his best to remain positive, rest up, and set his sights on Madrid and beyond.

“It’s all about how I feel. It’s all about how my foot feels, if I could put all my weight on my leg and as of now I can’t do that at all,” Isner said. “I’ve always been a fast healer when things have popped up here and there. I do believe that I’m going to get over this in a very quick fashion. It won’t be tomorrow or the next day or probably next week. So I just have to give it time.”

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Does Khachanov Look Like Hemsworth?

  • Posted: Apr 04, 2019

Does Khachanov Look Like Hemsworth?

ATP stars pick the actors to play them in a movie

Which actor would you want to portray you in a movie about your life? Is there a movie character whom you would want to be?

Those are the questions that some of the best tennis players recently answered in an ATP Tour exclusive.

Tomas Berdych – James Bond
Alex de Minaur – Hugh Jackman
David Goffin – Leonardo DiCaprio
Karen Khachanov – Liam Hemsworth
Gael Monfils – Denzel Washington
Kei Nishikori – Batman
Milos Raonic – John Malkovich (no resemblance, but big fan of his acting)
Diego Schwartzman – Gerard Butler
Denis Shapovalov – Chris Hemsworth
Frances Tiafoe – Kevin Hart

Khachanov looks especially similar to Liam Hemsworth, who was in The Hunger Games series. The similarity was even covered by Buzzfeed and People.

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Is That Rafael Nadal's Grunt I Hear?

  • Posted: Apr 04, 2019

Is That Rafael Nadal’s Grunt I Hear?

Zverev, Edmund among ATP stars who test their grunt knowledge

The stars of the ATP Tour can be identified by their strokes, their unique celebrations and their pre-point routines. But if you close your eyes and listen closely, you may be able to identify them by something else: their grunts. challenged Alexander Zverev, Jeremy Chardy, Kyle Edmund, Steve Johnson and Andrey Rublev to the ‘Guess The Grunt Challenge’, to see who would be able to figure out which grunts belong to which player.

One of the stars scored a perfect score while others were left bargaining for partial credit. Find out who was successful by watching the video above or in the tweet below.

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Felix Leads First Quarter ATP Ranking Risers

  • Posted: Apr 04, 2019

Felix Leads First Quarter ATP Ranking Risers

Evans has risen more than 100 spots in three months

Fresh faces from around the world have made their way inside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings so far this season as a different champion has been crowned almost every week. The 2019 ATP Tour season has hosted 20 events so far, and 19 different players have hoisted trophies. takes a look at which players inside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings have made the biggest climbs through the first three months.

Felix Auger-Aliassime +75 (No. 33)
Felix Auger-Aliassime has long been discussed as a future star on the ATP Tour. And in the first quarter of the season, the #NextGenATP Canadian has justified those expectations.

The 18-year-old had not yet broken into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings when the 18 February standings were published. But since then, Auger-Aliassime has been on a tear, climbing to his current career-high of No. 33.

Auger-Aliassime advanced to his first ATP Tour final in Rio de Janeiro, earning 300 points. And after respectable performances in Sao Paulo and Indian Wells, the teen made his biggest breakthrough yet in Miami, becoming the youngest semi-finalist in the ATP Masters 1000 tournament’s history. That effort earned him 360 points, helping him become the first player born in the 2000s to crack the Top 50.

Laslo Djere +61 (No. 32)
Laslo Djere’s prospects of a big run in Rio de Janeiro looked bleak when he drew top seed and clay-court savant Dominic Thiem in the first round. The Serbian owned only a 1-4 tour-level record on the season entering the week, and he was No. 90 in the ATP Rankings.

But Djere went on a dream run to lift his maiden ATP Tour title, gaining 500 points for his efforts. That sent him up 53 spots the next week to 37th, a massive ascent for a player who had never previously exceeded No. 83.

Djere has made it as high as No. 31 in the month since, which helped him gain main draw entry into all three upcoming clay-court ATP Masters 1000 events — in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome — based on his ATP Ranking. Djere’s victory also went viral thanks to a speech he gave during the trophy ceremony in which he dedicated the triumph to his late parents.

“I don’t know many tennis players who went through these things. I want to be that guy who inspires others and shows that you can still be successful,” Djere said.

Daniel Evans +103 (No. 89)
Daniel Evans began the 2019 season just inside the Top 200, at World No. 192. The Brit lost in the first round of an ATP Challenger Tour event to start his year, but he has not looked back since.

The 28-year-old won at least four matches (not all tour-level) in four consecutive tournaments, including a run to his first ATP Tour final in Delray Beach. He was close to making that stretch even more impressive, missing out on three championship points in the Delray Beach final, which would have earned him another 100 points.

Nevertheless, Evans earned 325 points during that period, helping him return to the Top 100 for the first time since September 2017. Evans will now try to chase his career-high of No. 41, which he achieved in March 2017.

Daniel Evans hits a forehand during his semi-final win against John Isner in Delray Beach.

Juan Ignacio Londero +54 (No. 64)
Juan Ignacio Londero arrived at the Cordoba Open ranked 112th and without a tour-level win to his name. But the Argentine went on one of the most memorable runs of the young season, capturing his first ATP Tour title with a come-from-behind three-set win against compatriot Guido Pella, whom he had never beaten.

Belgian Steve Darcis and Spain’s Santiago Ventura also did not own a tour-level win when they went on to earn an ATP Tour title (2007 Amersfoort and 2004 Casablanca, respectively). With his victory, Londero added 250 points to his total, helping him break into the Top 100 for the first time.

Londero beats Pella to win Cordoba Open

Radu Albot +52 (No. 46)
Radu Albot is the only Moldovan who currently has an ATP Ranking. And in 2019, the 29-year-old has continued lowering it, breaking into the Top 50 for the first time by reaching the third round in Indian Wells.

After a first-round loss in Pune, Albot has shown consistent form, winning at least one tour-level match at each tournament he has played since. The Moldovan’s crowning moment of the first quarter came in Delray Beach, where he fended off three championship points to beat Evans and lift his first ATP Tour trophy. Albot also showed his ability to compete against the best players in the game, as he was the only player to take a set from Federer at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Radu Albot celebrates his first ATP Tour title with his girlfriend in Delray Beach.

Notable Climbers
Hugo Dellien +46 (No. 76) – Santiago Challenger W, Rio & Sao Paulo QF
Reilly Opelka +43 (No. 56) – New York W
Cameron Norrie +35 (No. 55) – Auckland F, Acapulco SF
Hubert Hurkacz +34 (No. 52) – Indian Wells & Dubai QF
Stan Wawrinka +30 (No. 36) – Rotterdam F, Doha & Acapulco QF

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