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Meet The #NextGenATP On The Rise In Chinese Taipei

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Meet The #NextGenATP On The Rise In Chinese Taipei

Chinese Taipei is surging in the Asian tennis landscape, with 17-year-old Chun-hsin ‘Jason’ Tseng and 20-year-old Tung-lin ‘Tony’ Wu kicking off their professional journeys and No. 1 Jason Jung continuing to make strides

Tennis in Asia is in the midst of a golden age. With World No. 6 Kei Nishikori leading the charge for Japan, 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung flying the flag for South Korea, freshly-minted Top 100 star Prajnesh Gunneswaran enjoying a breakthrough campaign for India, and China steadily establishing itself as an emerging force, the continent is enjoying great success in recent years.

While it might not have the championship pedigree of its neighbors, Chinese Taipei is also making great strides on the professional circuit. Located off the east coast of China’s mainland, the island is finding its footing on the ATP Challenger Tour, with a pair of veterans and a pair of emerging stars flying the flag.

For nearly 20 years, Yen-hsun Lu has been the driving force. The highest-ranked player to hail from Chinese Taipei, he ascended to No. 33 in the ATP Rankings in 2010 after reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals. Also the all-time Challenger titles leader (29) and a member of the ATP Player Council, Lu has long been the tennis inspiration in his home island of just 23 million people.

But, as the 35-year-old’s career nears its conclusion, a new contingent has assumed the mantle. Led by World No. 134 Jason Jung, a three-time ATP Challenger Tour champion and former standout at the University of Michigan, tennis in Chinese Taipei is entering its most successful era. Jung is joined by 17-year-old Chun-hsin Tseng and 20-year-old Tung-lin Wu as three of four players in the Top 500 of the ATP Rankings.

You May Also Like: Challenger Chronicles: Jason Jung, Part 2

At the age of 29, Jung recently reached his first ATP Tour quarter-final on the grass of Newport in 2018 and followed that with another quarter-final showing two months ago in New York. He is proud of how far tennis has come in Chinese Taipei.

“Rendy has always been so solid. Reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and he has the most Challenger titles. And we also had a guy named Jimmy Wang who was a Top 100 player,” said Jung. “We’ve always been pretty good, but I think the transition has been tougher for us from juniors to pros. Our guy who made the final in Santiago (Wu) doesn’t normally play on clay, so that was a big result. For these guys it’s good, because once one does well the others will start to believe that they can too, and it builds from there.

“I changed nationalities in 2015 and the federation has helped me quite a bit. I’m the No. 1 guy now. I want to set a good example and pass on my good traits and work ethic to the younger guys. A lot of them haven’t had the experiences I’ve had. It’s a pretty small country. It helps to have us doing well so it inspires the younger guys.”

Jung after winning the title in San Francisco in 2018

Nicknamed Jason and Tony, respectively, 17-year-old Tseng and 20-year-old Wu are hoping to take Chinese Taipei to even greater heights in the tennis landscape. Tseng is just beginning his pro journey, following a highly successful junior career that included titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2018. And last month he would earn his biggest professional victory to date, advancing to the second round at the Phoenix Challenger with an upset of Jung from a set down.

“I’ve always really respected Jason and he’s now our No. 1 player. We’ve practised many times before and know each other very well,” said Tseng. “And I’m also very good friends with Tony. He texted me right after I won that match in Phoenix. We communicate about tennis all the time and talk about how we’re doing. Seeing him do well motivates me. It gives me more confidence. Also many Asian players are doing well, reaching the Top 100 and Top 50. Yoshihito Nishioka too.”

Tseng carries a unique background to the tour. He admits that without his family, none of this would be possible. While his father Yu Te Tseng travels with him throughout the year, his mother Chung Han Tsai remains in Taipei City to run the family’s food stand at the Lehua night market. There, she sells tanghulu, a treat made of glazed fruit and tomatoes on a stick, coated in a hardened sugar syrup.

“I want to support my family, but for me, it’s no pressure. I want to be like the other great Asian players. I focus on what I do in practise and keep improving every day. In the future, I have to play at a higher level. My opponents in Challengers are always very fit, so I need to get stronger physically and mentally. It’s very important. In the end, everyone has a good technical game and can hit a good ball, but you have to play well in the important points.”


Wu, meanwhile, is already finding his footing on the ATP Challenger Tour. In March, the 20-year-old burst onto the scene with a stunning run to the final in Santiago, Chile. Entering the week, he had never won consecutive matches in his fledgling Challenger career, but that would all change on the Chilean clay. The young man they call Tony would topple clay-court stalwarts Facundo Bagnis, Thiago Monteiro and Pablo Andujar, before succumbing to Hugo Dellien in the final. Five wins in six days saw him vault to the Top 20 of the ATP Race To Milan and just outside the Top 300 of the ATP Rankings.

“I was actually very surprised by my performance there,” said Wu. “There were three Challengers during that period in China, but my ranking was not good enough to get in. That’s why I went to Santiago and tried to get some [ATP Rankings] points. Even though I loss the final, that was still an exciting week for me.

“I believe tennis in Chinese Taipei is getting better and better. I do hope to become a role model for the younger generation. This is the reason I started my own blog and shared lots of thoughts of being a professional tennis player. I hope my experiences can help others.

“I am very happy that Jung and Tseng are also doing so well. I get along with them and seeing them making so much progress actually pushes me to get better. I think this good atmosphere could be an extra boost for tennis in Chinese Taipei.”

Perhaps part of the reason for the recent tennis renaissance in Chinese Taipei is the success of their two biggest tournaments. The ATP Challenger Tour descends on the island twice a year – in the capital of Taipei City in April and the metropolis of Kaohsiung in September. Last week, Dennis Novak lifted the trophy in Taipei’s sixth edition, while Gael Monfils thrilled the crowd with a title run in Kaohsiung’s seventh edition in 2018.

In fact, with multiple tournaments at the highest Challenger levels (110 & 125), Chinese Taipei joins China, France, Italy, Mexico, the UK and USA as the only countries and territories with that distinction. Already boasting a pair of world-class events and with a handful of players on the rise, Chinese Taipei is fast becoming an integral part of the Asian tennis scene.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Elite Company: Medvedev Joins Federer, Nadal, Djokovic & Thiem In This Category

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Elite Company: Medvedev Joins Federer, Nadal, Djokovic & Thiem In This Category

Take a look back at Medvedev’s career highlights to date, following his win over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Monte-Carlo

Daniil Medvedev has had a big week at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

On Friday, he upset World No. 1 and two-time champion Novak Djokovic to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final. A day earlier, he knocked out World No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas. It marks the first time Medvedev has posted back-to-back wins over Top 10 opponents.

Earlier this week, the 23-year-old Russian matched Roger Federer’s match wins total for the season, and he’s since taken the tour lead (21-6 record including his quarter-final win). Medvedev also joins the likes of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the top of another leaderboard: title leaders since 2018.

You May Also Like: Medvedev Upsets Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Here’s a look at his career highlights to date:

1. He Has Won Four ATP Titles
Medvedev is one of only five players to have won four or more titles since the start of the 2018 season, joining Roger Federer (6), Rafael Nadal (5), Novak Djokovic (5) and Dominic Thiem (4).

Medvedev’s four titles have all come on hard courts:
2018 Sydney International, d. Alex de Minaur 16 64 75
2018 Winston-Salem Open, d. Steve Johnson 64 64
2018 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, d. Kei Nishikori 62 64
2019 Sofia Open, d. Marton Fucsovics 64 63

Read: Medvedev Cruises To Sofia Title

2. He Has The Most Hard Court Wins Since 2018
From the start of the 2018 season to the conclusion of the 2019 March Masters, Medvedev leads the tour in match wins on hard courts, with 55 to Federer’s 54. Here are the hard-court leaders during that 15-month period:

Player Hard Court W-L Hard-Court Titles
 Daniil Medvedev 55-21
 Roger Federer 54-10 5
 Stefanos Tsitsipas 46-25 2
 Alexander Zverev 45-17 2
 Novak Djokovic 44-9  4

Meanwhile, on clay, Medvedev’s four match wins this week are twice as many as he’d posted in his entire career entering Monte-Carlo. 

3. He Wasn’t Even Supposed To Be In Sydney For That Maiden Title
Medvedev was hoping to compete in Auckland rather than Sydney in January 2018 because his girlfriend (now wife) had a visa for New Zealand. He couldn’t get into the Auckland main draw, so ended up competing in Sydney as a qualifier. The 84th-ranked Medvedev posted main draw wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fabio Fognini en route to the final, where he defeated home favourite de Minaur.

Read: Daniil Does It! Medvedev Wins First Title

“The first title changes anybody,” he reflects in his ATP My Story delivered by FedEx. “It gave me a big push in the year.”

4. His Biggest Title Came At The ATP 500 Tournament In Tokyo
Medvedev had to go through qualifying at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, and followed with an impressive run to the ATP 500 title. He did not drop a set in defeating Diego Schwartzman, Martin Klizan, Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov. In the final, he conceded just six games against two-time champion Nishikori.

“I’ve been showing amazing tennis here,” he said at the time. “I’m happy that what I have been doing all season in practice, physical workouts, worked out here in Tokyo. This is my biggest title, so I’m just really happy.”

Read: Medvedev Wins Biggest Title Yet In Tokyo

5. He Continues To Climb In The Rankings
Medvedev entered Monte-Carlo at a career-high No. 14 in the ATP Rankings, and will continue his climb after reaching his first Masters 1000 semi-final. He was outside the Top 60 at the start of August 2018, and broke into the Top 20 two months later following his title wins in Winston-Salem and Tokyo.

Read: Medvedev Masters Winson-Salem

“If someone at this moment had told me I would be Top 50 or Top 20 at one point, I would probably say, ‘Stop dreaming, maybe one day I’m going to be, but I’m not sure.’ And when you’re here, you just want to continue improving,” he says in his My Story interview.

6. He’s A #NextGenATP Graduate
Two years ago, Medvedev competed at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and reached the semi-finals. From that Class of 2017, half are inside the Top 20: Karen Khachanov (No. 12), Borna Coric (No. 13), Medvedev (No. 14) and Denis Shapovalov (No. 20). Meanwhile, 2017 alternate Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom Medevedev defeated in the Monte-Carlo third round, is No. 8.

ATP Firsts: Medvedev’s First Autograph, Concert & More

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View Schedule: Nadal v Fognini, Medvedev v Lajovic In Monte-Carlo SF

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

View Schedule: Nadal v Fognini, Medvedev v Lajovic In Monte-Carlo SF

Nadal looks to reach 13th Monte-Carlo final

Eleven-time champion Rafael Nadal and Fabio Fognini will face off for a 15th time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head for a place in the 2019 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final. The other match Saturday features two first-time ATP Masters 1000 semi-finalists, Daniil Medvedev and Dusan Lajovic. 

Full preview to come…

You May Also Like: Nadal Beats Pella, Extends Monte-Carlo Sets Streak To 25


COURT RAINIER III start 11:30 am
Robin Haase (NED) / Wesley Koolhof (NED) vs [3] Jamie Murray (GBR) / Bruno Soares (BRA) 
Not Before 1:30 pm
[10] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 
Not Before 3:30 pm
[13] Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) 
Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) / Horacio Zeballos (ARG) vs [7] Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Franko Skugor (CRO) 

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Fognini's Fantastic Comeback Sends Italian To Monte-Carlo Semis

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Fognini’s Fantastic Comeback Sends Italian To Monte-Carlo Semis

Fognini will try to upset 11-time champ Nadal on Saturday

Italian Fabio Fognini claimed the last spot in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters semi-finals on Friday, recovering from a set down to beat Croat Borna Coric 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

“I think I was a little bit lucky,” said Fognini, who will face 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the last four. “I’m happy because I’m playing my second semi-final here. Happy because of course I’ve tried to do my best all week and now it’s time to play with a really good player.”

The 31-year-old saved five of eight break points to reach his second semi-final in the Principality after one hour and 59 minutes. Six years ago, Fognini defeated Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet in back-to-back matches to reach the last four in Monte-Carlo for the first time (l. to Djokovic).

In the first round, Andrey Rublev led Fognini 6-4, 4-1, but the Italian battled through and has played some of his best tennis since. The 13th seed beat World No. 3 Alexander Zverev and Coric to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.

Entering the tournament, Fognini was on a five-match losing streak on clay. He improves to 2-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2head series against Coric, after winning their only previous encounter at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag in 2014.

Fognini will meet Nadal for a spot in the final. The World No. 18 has won just three of 14 FedEx ATP Head2Head matches against Nadal, with each of his three victories coming in 2015.

“Everywhere it’s difficult with him. I’ll just try to enjoy this match, try to recover as best I can, eat well, sleep well, play with [my son] Federico a little bit before I sleep and tomorrow is another day,” Fognini said. “I’ll try to do my best game. I know that it’s difficult, but I have the game to play against him.”

Coric appeared to be in control of the match, taking a one-set lead after 27 minutes. The ninth seed proved too consistent for Fognini from the baseline in the opening set, committing just one unforced error compared to 11 from Fognini.

But the Italian, after dropping his opening service game in the second set, soon found success. Fognini attacked Coric’s backhand to break serve for the second time at 4-3 and levelled the match in the following game to the delight of the crowd on Court Rainier III.

The World No. 18, who brought Coric forward to create passing-shot opportunities throughout the match, earned an immediate service break in the decider. The eight-time tour-level titlist moved forward to earn break point and was gifted the break as Coric misjudged his backhand return. A second break in the fifth game gave Fognini the opportunity to serve for the match, with the Italian converting his third match point to advance.

Coric was also aiming to reach his third Masters 1000 semi-final. The 22-year-old owns a 12-6 record at tour-level this year, which includes a run to the last four at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship (l. to Federer).

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Nadal Beats Pella, Extends Monte-Carlo Sets Streak To 25

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Nadal Beats Pella, Extends Monte-Carlo Sets Streak To 25

Second seed to face Coric or Fognini in the semi-finals

Rafael Nadal had dropped only nine games in his previous five sets against Guido Pella, but the Spaniard was forced to work hard for his 18th straight match win at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Friday, defeating the Argentine 7-6(1), 6-3.

“It was a very tough first set physically and mentally, too. Losing the first three games with my serve was tough. But I found a way at the right time,” Nadal said. “I was lucky at 4-1, he had two points to be 5-1 and with 5-1 it’s almost impossible. I was lucky to escape that moment and then I played better… I’m very happy to be through. Being in the semi-finals again here means a lot to me.”

The 11-time champion, who found himself one point away from a 1-5 deficit on three occasions in the first set, is now within two wins of his 12th title at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. Nadal converted seven of 13 break points to advance after two hours and 20 minutes.

Nadal has now swept 25 consecutive sets on Court Rainier III since dropping the second set of his opening match in 2017 to Kyle Edmund. Pella became the first man since the Brit to earn more than four games in a single set against the 11-time champion at this event.

Nadal is now just one win away from his 13th championship match (11-1) in the Principality, following wins against Australian Open quarter-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut, 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov and Pella.

The 32-year-old will meet Borna Coric or Fabio Fognini in the semi-finals. Nadal owns a 2-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Coric and leads Fognini 11-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Listen To ATP Tennis Radio’s Interview With Toni Nadal:

The Spaniard improves to 71-4 at the third ATP Masters 1000 event of the season. The last player to defeat Nadal at this tournament was Novak Djokovic in the 2015 semi-finals. Djokovic is responsible for two of Nadal’s four losses (2013, ’15). The only other men to defeat Nadal in the Principality are David Ferrer (2014) and Guillermo Coria (2003).

Pella did not show any nerves when faced with the prospect of playing 11-time champion Nadal on Court Rainier III. The Argentine raced into a 4-1 lead, attacking the second seed’s forehand and moving up the court in crucial moments to break the Spaniard in his opening three service games. But Nadal found his way back into the set and, after trading breaks at 5-5 to reach a tie-break, the 80-time tour-level titlist charged into a one-set lead.

Nadal dropped only one point in a dominant tie-break, playing with consistent depth to force Pella into defensive positions. This year’s Australian Open finalist fired a backhand passing shot up the line to earn six set points, taking advantage of his second opportunity with an overhead.

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Once again, Nadal found the target with a backhand up the line en route to a break in the opening game of the second set. The 32-year-old soon doubled his advantage to lead 4-1 with an angled cross-court forehand and, despite failing to serve out the match, Nadal broke Pella for the seventh time to reach the last four.

“He’s playing a great season and winning a lot of matches on clay, playing one final, winning in Sao Paulo, playing the semi-finals in Buenos Aires,” Nadal said of Pella. “[It’s a] lot of matches in a row for him and he has plenty of confidence.”

Pella was aiming to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final after an impressive start to the 2019 season. The Argentine, who owns a 17-8 record this year, advanced to two ATP Tour championship matches during the ‘Golden Swing’ in February. After falling to Juan Ignacio Londero in the inaugural Cordoba Open final, Pella defeated Cristian Garin to lift his first ATP Tour title at the Brasil Open.

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Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell: When Is The Draw & More

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell: When Is The Draw & More

All about the ATP 500 tennis tournament in Barcelona

The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, an ATP 500 tournament, has been held at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, the oldest Spanish tennis club, since 1953. Fourteen of the past 16 editions have been won by Spaniards: Rafael Nadal (2005-09, 2011-13, 2016-18), Carlos Moya (2003), Tommy Robredo (2004) and Fernando Verdasco (2010). Japan’s Kei Nishikori won back-to-back titles in 2014-15. 

Nadal will look to win the Trofeo Conde de Godo for a 12th time in 2019, and will be joined in the field by Nishikori and former finalists Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Here’s all you need to know about Barcelona tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more. 


Tournament Dates: 23-28 April 2019

Tournament Director: Albert Costa

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 20 April at 12pm

Are You In? Subscribe Now!

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday at 10:00am and Sunday at 12:15pm
* Main draw: Monday – Thursday at 11:00am, Friday at 12:30pm and Saturday at 1:30am
* Doubles final: Sunday, 28 April at 1:00pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 28 April not before 4:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV  

Venue: Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899
Main Court Seating: 8,000

Prize Money: €2,609,135 (Total Financial Commitment: € 2,746,455) 

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now 

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Rafael Nadal (11)
Most Titles, Doubles: Daniel Nestor (4)
Oldest Champion: Manuel Santana, 32, in 1970
Youngest Champion: Mats Wilander, 18, in 1982
Lowest-Ranked Champion (since 1979): No. 65 Todd Martin in 1998
Most Match Wins: Rafael Nadal (58) 

2018 Finals
Singles: [1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 62 61   Read & Watch
Doubles: Feliciano Lopez (ESP) / Marc Lopez (ESP) d Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK) / Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) 76(5) 64  Read More

Hashtag: #bcnopenbs
Facebook: @barcelonaopenbancsabadell
Twitter: @bcnopenbs
Instagram: @bcnopenbs

Did You Know… It’s a tradition for the singles and doubles champions to take a dive in the pool at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899.

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Hungarian Open: When Is The Draw & More

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Hungarian Open: When Is The Draw & More

All about the ATP 250 tennis tournament in Budapest

The Hungarian Open made its debut in 2017, marking the first time that Hungary has hosted an ATP Tour event. France’s Lucas Pouille won the inaugural edition of the clay-court event, with Marco Cecchinato of Italy lifting the trophy in 2018.

Cecchinato returns in 2019 to defend his title, and will be joined in the Budapest field by Marin Cilic, Borna Coric and Nikoloz Basilashvili. 

Here’s all you need to know about Budapest tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more. 

Established: 2017

Tournament Dates: 23-28 April 2019

Tournament Director: Attila Richter

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 20 April at 5:30pm

Are You In? Subscribe To Get Tournament Updates In Your Inbox

* Main draw: Monday – Friday at 11:00am, Saturday from 12:30pm
* Doubles final: Sunday, 28 April at 1:00pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 28 April at 3:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV  

Venue: Sport11 Sport and Event Center
Main Court Seating: 3,882

Prize Money: € 524,340 (Total Financial Commitment: € 586,140) 

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now 

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll
Most Titles, Singles: Marco Cecchinato, Lucas Pouille (1)
Most Titles, Doubles: Brian Baker, Nikola Mektic, Dominic Inglot, Franko Skugor (1)
Oldest Champion: Marco Cecchinato, 25, in 2018
Youngest Champion: Lucas Pouille, 23, in 2017
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 92 Marco Cecchinato in 2018
Most Match Wins: Aljaz Bedene (7) 

2018 Finals
Singles: [LL] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) d John Millman (AUS) 75 64   Read & Watch
Doubles: Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Franko Skugor (CRO) d [4] Matwe Middelkoop (NED) / Artem Molteni (ARG) 67(8) 61 10-8  Read More

Hashtag: #HungarianOpen
Facebook: @huntennis
Twitter: @HUNgarianTennis
Instagram: @hungariantennis

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Why Djokovic's No. 1 ATP Ranking Is Safe… For Now

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Why Djokovic’s No. 1 ATP Ranking Is Safe… For Now

Find out why Djokovic’s standing is safe on clay

Top seed Novak Djokovic may be disappointed with his quarter-final loss against Russian Daniil Medvedev on Friday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, but one thing he doesn’t need to worry about — at least not yet — is his position at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

That’s because, regardless of World No. 2 Rafael Nadal’s performance in the Principality the rest of the week, Djokovic will actually increase his lead on Monday. If Nadal wins a record 12th Monte-Carlo title, he will retain the 1,000 points he earned in Monaco last year. Djokovic, on the other hand, advanced one round further than he did in 2018, making the last eight, so he will add 180 points, an increase of 90 from a season ago.

You May Also Like: Medvedev Upsets Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

In fact, Djokovic will have an opportunity to gain ground on the Spaniard throughout the clay-court season. Even if Nadal wins every tournament he plays, and Djokovic loses in the opening round of all of his events on the red dirt, the World No. 2 will not be able to catch Djokovic during the European spring clay swing. If Nadal lifts his 34th ATP Masters 1000 trophy on Sunday, he will still trail Djokovic by 2,435 points.

After Monte-Carlo last year, both Djokovic and Nadal competed at Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros. During that span, Djokovic earned 765 points and Nadal tallied 3,680 points. The Serbian is not currently scheduled to play in Barcelona this year, but he did not earn any points there in 2018, so Nadal will have to defend 2,915 more points than Djokovic through Roland Garros.

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The problem for Nadal is that he doesn’t have many points to gain. Even if he goes undefeated during this clay stretch, he can only add 820 points by winning the Mutua Madrid Open, where he lost in the quarter-finals in 2018. While it may not be probable, Djokovic could potentially add 3,235 points through the clay-court Grand Slam championship if he were to win out.

“[The] French Open is the ultimate goal on clay… for sure, it’s expected in a way for me to peak right at that tournament, because that’s what I’m aiming for,” Djokovic said. “This is only the first tournament on clay, and it’s a long season. Let’s see how it goes.”

Since the Australian Open, Djokovic has missed an opportunity to increase his lead by even more due to early losses in Indian Wells, Miami and now his quarter-final defeat in Monte-Carlo. In those three tournaments, the Serbian earned only 315 points of a possible 3,000.

But Nadal will have more of a chance to chase Djokovic’s top spot once the grass season rolls along. After Roland Garros, Djokovic will have 7,990 points to defend for the rest of the season, while Nadal will only have 2,420 points. For now, though, Djokovic’s grasp on World No. 1 is secure.

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Djokovic loses to Medvedev in last eight at Monte Carlo

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

World number one Novak Djokovic suffered a 6-3 4-6 6-2 quarter-final exit against Russian Daniil Medvedev at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 31-year-old, winner of the event in 2013 and 2015, lost to the world number 14 in two hours, 20 minutes.

Medvedev faces another Serb in the last four, world number 48 Dusan Lajovic.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, seeking an unprecedented 12th Monte Carlo title, plays Argentine world number 35 Guido Pella later on Friday.

Djokovic won a record seventh Australian Open title in January but lost in the third round at Indian Wells and the fourth round in Miami last month.

He had beaten Medvedev in the last 16 en route to his Melbourne triumph, but lost his serve five times as the 23-year-old 10th seed recorded his first victory against the 15-time Grand Slam champion in their fourth meeting.

In the doubles, Britain’s Jamie Murray, third seed with partner Bruno Soares, moved into the semi-finals with a 7-5 6-2 win over Diego Schwartzman and Joao Sousa.

Murray and Soares will play Dutch pair Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof, who beat top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the opening round.

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Medvedev Upsets Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

  • Posted: Apr 19, 2019

Medvedev Upsets Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Russian to face Lajovic for spot in Masters 1000 final

Daniil Medvedev entered the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with two victories from 11 tour-level matches on clay, but that didn’t stop the Russian from claiming the biggest victory of his career on Friday.

The 23-year-old stunned Novak Djokovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, breaking the two-time former champion on five occasions to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final. Medvedev had lost each of his previous three FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against Djokovic, but claimed his first victory over a World No. 1 after two hours and 20 minutes to move into the last four.

“It’s definitely the best match of my career. Not in terms of level of tennis, but definitely by the result. [It’s my] first Masters 1000 semi-final, beating No. 1 for the first time in my life,” Medvedev said. “[It’s] just amazing.”

Two days ago, Medvedev owned a 1-11 record against opponents inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. With back-to-back victories over World No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas and top-ranked Djokovic, the Sofia Open winner is two wins away from his maiden Masters 1000 crown.

Medvedev is just the second man to defeat Djokovic in nine quarter-finals at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. Belgian David Goffin became the first man to achieve the feat in 2017.

“He’s got a very solid backhand. He doesn’t make many mistakes from the backhand. He hits it very low with depth. A windy day like today, conditions are changing every single game. It’s kind of tough to find the rhythm, and he doesn’t give you much rhythm,” Djokovic said. “He improved his movement a lot since last year. He definitely deserves to be where he is.”

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Standing between Medvedev and a place in the final will be another Serbian oppponent; Dusan Lajovic. The World No. 48 backed up his shock win over World No. 5 Dominic Thiem with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego.

Alongside his title run in Sofia, Medvedev also advanced to the championship match at the Brisbane International (l. to Nishikori). The four-time ATP Tour titlist owns a tour-leading 21 victories this season (21-6), which is three more than second-placed Roger Federer (18-2) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (18-8). Medvedev was one of just two players (also Shapovalov) to take a set from Djokovic at this year’s Australian Open.

“He played worse than he did the times before and also I’m getting more experienced. I’m starting to make these top guys know that it’s tough to play against me,” Medvedev said. “In Australia he was at his best, but I made him run for the win and I was happy about my game. Here I knew if I kept up the level I had in Australia I would have my chances.”

Under heavy winds on Court Rainier III, Medvedev made the perfect start with a service break in the opening game. The Russian proved impenetrable from the baseline, with Djokovic failing to find the court after pressing with his forehand in extended rallies. Medvedev maintained his level from the back of the court, keeping his error count low to break for a second time and take the opening set. Djokovic committed 21 unforced errors compared to Medvedev’s six in the 39-minute opener.

Read: Why Djokovic’s No. 1 Ranking Is Safe… For Now

But Djokovic found his rhythm, grabbing a 2-1 lead in the second set with impeccable touch. The World No. 1 brought Medvedev into the net behind a well-placed backhand drop shot, before grabbing the break with a backhand lob. Djokovic held his advantage through to 5-4, where he levelled the match with back-to-back aces.

Medvedev was not deterred, though, capitalising on three consecutive unforced errors from Djokovic to take a 3-1 lead in the decider. Two games later, the tenth seed outmanoeuvred Djokovic in net exchanges to grab a second break. Despite failing to serve out the match on his first opportunity, Medvedev broke Djokovic for the fifth time with a backhand winner to claim victory.

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Djokovic was bidding to reach his first tour-level semi-final since capturing a record-breaking seventh title at the Australian Open in January (d. Nadal). The World No. 1, who has lifted two titles in Monte-Carlo (2013, ’15), drops to 34-11 at the opening Masters 1000 event of the European clay swing.

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