Watch & View Schedule: Federer Back On Clay Tuesday; Djokovic, Ferrer In Action
In final tournament, Ferrer opens against fellow Spaniard Bautista Agut
Roger Federer makes his return to clay for the first time since 2016 on Tuesday night at the Mutua Madrid Open. The three-time Madrid champion awaits the winner between former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet and #NextGenATP Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who reached his first ATP Tour semi-final last week in Estoril. Federer, 37, is playing in his first tournament since claiming his 101st career title in March at the Miami Open presented by Itau
Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer also feature on court Manolo Santana on Tuesday. Djokovic, in his 250th week at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, faces Taylor Fritz for a second straight ATP Masters 1000 tournament. Meanwhile, former World No. 3 Ferrer begins his final tournament against fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. Ferrer leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head 2-1, though both wins came in Grand Slam action in 2013.
More to come…
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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019 – ORDER OF PLAY
COURT MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon WTA match  Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] Taylor Fritz (USA) Not Before 4:00 pm [WC] David Ferrer (ESP) vs Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) Not Before 8:00 pm  Roger Federer (SUI) vs Richard Gasquet (FRA) or [WC] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) WTA match
COURT ARANTXA SANCHEZ start 12:00 noon Stan Wawrinka (SUI) vs [Q] Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) WTA match Not Before 4:00 pm WTA match  Borna Coric (CRO) vs Lucas Pouille (FRA) [Q] Reilly Opelka (USA) vs  Dominic Thiem (AUT)
STADIUM 3 start 12:00 noon David Goffin (BEL) vs Marton Fucsovics (HUN)  Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs Kyle Edmund (GBR)  Marin Cilic (CRO) vs Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) Two WTA matches
COURT 4 start 12:00 noon WTA match Diego Schwartzman (ARG) vs  Marco Cecchinato (ITA) Jeremy Chardy (FRA) vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) John Millman (AUS) vs Steve Johnson (USA)  Henri Kontinen (FIN) / John Peers (AUS) vs [WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) / Bernard Tomic (AUS)
COURT 5 start 12:00 noon Guido Pella (ARG) vs  Daniil Medvedev (RUS) Gilles Simon (FRA) vs [Q] Hugo Dellien (BOL) Three WTA matches
COURT 6 start 12:00 noon Alex de Minaur (AUS) vs Hubert Hurkacz (POL) [LL] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) vs Joao Sousa (POR) Two WTA matches  Oliver Marach (AUT) / Mate Pavic (CRO) vs Ivan Dodig (CRO) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
COURT 7 start 12:00 noon Marcel Granollers (ESP) / Marc Lopez (ESP) vs  Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Franko Skugor (CRO) Robin Haase (NED) / Raven Klaasen (RSA) vs Alexander Zverev (GER) / Mischa Zverev (GER)  Jamie Murray (GBR) / Bruno Soares (BRA) vs Radu Albot (MDA) / Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs Dusan Lajovic (SRB) / Matwe Middelkoop (NED) Wesley Koolhof (NED) / Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs Marco Cecchinato (ITA) / Marton Fucsovics (HUN)
Djokovic: Nadal Is Always The No. 1 Favourite On Clay
Serbian seeks a third Madrid title
Rafael Nadal arrives at the Mutua Madrid Open without a title on the season for the first time in 15 years. But World No. 1 Novak Djokovic still has no doubt that the Spaniard is the favourite to lift the trophy.
“He’s always the No. 1 favourite to win any clay-court event. It’s not any different here in Madrid,” Djokovic said. “Actually, even more here in Madrid because he’s playing at home.”
Djokovic and Nadal have competed against one another three times in Madrid, with Nadal winning two of their three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings here, including an epic 2009 semi-final that the Spaniard emerged victorious from after four hours and three minutes.
But Djokovic will hope to meet Nadal again, because that would mean he’d be in the final. The top seed has made just one quarter-final in his three tournaments since winning the Australian Open. If he turns it around and triumphs here, though, Djokovic will tie Nadal’s record of 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles.
“I haven’t been maybe playing my best in the last couple of months. But I’m slowly building and hopefully I can manifest my best tennis here,” the Serbian said.
Djokovic is a two-time titlist at the Caja Magica, and he owns a 24-8 at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament overall. He also has earned three Top 10 wins at the event.
“It is nice to be back in Madrid. I have had very good success and some good results here in the past. And I’m happy to be healthy playing Madrid because last year that wasn’t the case,” Djokovic said. “After surgery, I was on the way back and I still struggled a little bit with the elbow. This year’s quite different.”
This time last year, Djokovic was still recovering from the right elbow procedure he underwent after the Australian Open. But after losing his second-round match in Madrid and reaching the semi-finals in Rome, the Serbian made the final at seven of his season’s final nine tournaments.
Last year, Djokovic was still focused on his health. This year, as he celebrates his 250th week atop the ATP Rankings, he’ll be hoping to lift a third trophy.
“Conditions here are obviously different than any other clay-court event. The altitude affects the play. The ball flies through the air quite quickly and it’s not easy to control the ball,” Djokovic said. “The memories from the years when I won the tournament in 2011 and ’16, I’m trying to relive these memories again and get obviously confidence from starting off the season well in Australia.”
While Djokovic will not face him unless they meet in the final, it is also the final tournament of former World No. 3 David Ferrer’s career. The Serbian lost just two sets during his 2011 title run at the Caja Magica, and one of those came against Ferrer in the quarter-finals.
“I share tremendous respect for David as player and as a person as well. He’s someone that has earned that respect many times in his career. His fighting spirit, his devotion to the sport is unprecedented and in a way it’s sad to see him leave,” Djokovic said. “But I’ve talked with him the other day and he said he was preparing for this for a while and he’s ready. He has a family and obviously he’s ready for the next stage of his life. But he is always going to be welcome in our sport. And the doors will always be open for him.”
Djokovic begins his tournament on Tuesday against 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Taylor Fritz, whom he defeated with the loss of just three games at this year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
Federico Coria, younger brother of former World No. 3 Guillermo Coria, secures his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Savannah
It was the moment Federico Coria had been waiting for his entire career. So when it finally arrived, the Argentine did not hold back with his celebration.
Coria’s emotions flowed over as he crossed the finish line at the St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah Challenger on Sunday, securing his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title. At the age of 27 and after nine years as a professional, he finally had his moment in the spotlight.
But this victory wasn’t only special for the man from Rosario, Argentina. After all, tennis runs in his blood. With older brother Guillermo Coria, a former World No. 3 and one of the greatest players to ever hail from South America, watching from afar, ‘Fede’ had his own legion of supporters back home.
As a Paolo Lorenzi backhand return curled wide, he paid tribute to his mentor and idol, dropping to one knee and pointing to the sky. It was just like his older brother used to do in his Challenger days. Fede admitted that it was only fitting to acknowledge Guillermo after such a significant moment in his career.
“That celebration was for my brother, who is my idol. I grew up watching him and when he played Challengers he celebrated like that,” said Federico. “So, I wanted to dedicate this win to my brother, my idol. Because of him, I play tennis.”
Federico first appeared in a Challenger main draw in 2013, but was never able to put together a complete week and lift a trophy. That is, until now. Not only did he refuse to drop a set en route to his first final appearance, but he claimed his biggest scalp along the way: a third round victory over top seed and World No. 93 Tennys Sandgren.
In the championship, the Argentine withstood a stern test from Lorenzi, who was bidding for his 22nd Challenger title. He would save five of eight break chances to prevail 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 after two hours and 32 minutes.
“It feels amazing. I thought I played very aggressive. He has a lot of experience, but I played my game on my favourite surface. This is an incredibly important moment in my career. It was a physical match, but with the people cheering for me, I was able to win the title.
“I actually woke up early in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I was feeling nervous. But I came out with a very aggressive plan. I didn’t want to lose a single point. In the end, it was a battle of nerves. I am really happy with my performance in my first final.”
Coria wasn’t the only player to carry the family torch on the U.S. clay. One week ago, Emilio Gomez, son of former World No. 4 and 1990 Roland Garros champ Andres Gomez, also earned his maiden Challenger crown. Also aged 27, Emilio took the title at the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger after reaching his first final just weeks prior in Monterrey, Mexico.
The first Challenger champion from Ecuador since Giovanni Lapentti in 2011, he broke into the Top 200 for the first time with his maiden triumph, peaking at No. 197. Coria, meanwhile, sits at a career-high No. 216, rising 50 spots after lifting the trophy in Savannah.
Read & Watch: Cilic Saves Four MPs To Snap Skid In Madrid
Cilic avoids a five-match losing streak
Croatian Marin Cilic was on the brink of a five-match losing streak on Monday in Madrid. But the ninth seed saved four match points and dominated a final-set tie-break to defeat Slovakian qualifier Martin Klizan 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(0), advancing to the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Cilic had won just one match since the Australian Open. But the World No. 11 will take confidence from his two-hour, 48-minute victory, moving on to face German Jan-Lennard Struff, who defeated Aussie Nick Kyrgios on Sunday. Struff defeated Cilic in a final-set tie-break in Tokyo last year, and their FedEx ATP Head2Head series is tied at 1-1.
Klizan was never in good position to take advantage of any of his match points, making errors on three of them, and dropping a ball short that allowed Cilic to punish a forehand winner on the other. Cilic won 75 per cent of his first-serve points in his victory.
Another seeded player who did not face as much difficulty is 15th seed Gael Monfils, who dismissed Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes. The Frenchman made 87 per cent of his first serves, and did not lose a second-serve point (5/5) in his victory.
Monfils is now 17-4 in 2019, and he has won at least one match at all seven tournaments he has played, with the highlight being his triumph at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, an ATP 500 event. Including this week, the World No. 18 has just 145 ATP Ranking points to defend through Roland Garros. So if he maintains his form, there is room for him to make a move during this European spring clay-court swing.
In a battle of Serbians, Rio de Janeiro champion Laslo Djere beat Monte-Carlo finalist Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4. Djere, also a semi-finalist in Budapest, will next face seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine is playing just his second tournament of the year (also Delray Beach) as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
Listen To ATP Tennis Radio’s Interview With Djere:
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Tiafoe Edges Basilashvili, Leads Young American Charge In Madrid
#NextGenATP star to play Kohlschreiber
Frances Tiafoe led a banner day for young Americans at the Mutua Madrid Open on Monday, earning his third Top 20 win of the season by edging past No. 14 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours.
Tiafoe held set points at 5-4, with Basilashvili serving at 30/40, then two more in the tie-break at 6/5 and 8/7 in the first set. The 21-year-old then fell to a 1-3 deficit in the second set, with the match on Basilashvili’s racquet, before Tiafoe broke up his rhythm to start his comeback. One break of serve in the fifth game of the decider proved to be enough in the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter, which included 11 aces for Tiafoe and 12 aces for Basilashvili.
The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier will now face experienced German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who saved six of seven break points in a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in one hour and 39 minutes.
Another American who competed in Milan last year, Taylor Fritz, went through qualifying this week for the first time this season. And now, after an impressive 7-6(8), 7-6(4) win against 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, Fritz is into the second round of the main draw in the Spanish capital.
Fritz has lost in the first round six times this year, but he showed no apprehension against the Bulgarian, playing some of his best tennis in crucial moments against Dimitrov to advance after one hour and 47 minutes.
Fritz saved one set point in the first-set tie-break to take the lead. And although Fritz double-faulted a break-lead back to Dimitrov in the second set, he remained calm and allowed Dimitrov to make the mistakes in the second-set tie-break. The American hit 15 aces in the match, which is his first-ever main draw win in Madrid.
The World No.57 will next face top-ranked Novak Djokovic. In their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting last month in Monte-Carlo, Djokovic cruised with the loss of just three games. The 21-year-old owns two wins against Top 10 opponents, defeating Marin Cilic at Indian Wells two years ago and John Isner in Auckland in January.
New York Open champion Reilly Opelka recorded just his second ATP clay-court match win to set up a clash against fifth seed and last year’s finalist Dominic Thiem. The 21-year-old struck 14 aces and lost just of his first-service points (34/39) in a 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in 86 minutes. Carreno Busta had been seeking to win his first match since suffering a right shoulder injury in February.
Did You Know? The last time three Americans reached the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open was in 2016, when Denis Kudla, Sam Querrey and Jack Sock did it.
Read & Watch: Del Potro & Nishikori Victorious On Doubles Debut In Madrid
Second seeds Kubot/Melo battle through Match Tie-break
Juan Martin del Potro and Kei Nishikori won their team debut on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open, defeating Monte-Carlo singles champion Fabio Fognini and Swede Robert Lindstedt 5-7, 6-4, 10-4 in one hour and 34 minutes.
Del Potro’s lone doubles title came at 2007 Indianapolis with Travis Parrott and Nishikori has not been victorious on the doubles court, but they will try to continue their run against third seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares or Moldovan Radu Albot and Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Five-time Madrid champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan were upset in the first round, as 2016 titlists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau saved two match points to beat the American twins 4-6, 7-6(2), 12-10. The Bryan brothers led by a set and a break and had two chances to go up a double-break in the second set, but they were unable to finish it off. They bounced back to take a 7-3 lead in the Match Tie-break, but Rojer and Tecau prevailed after one hour and 45 minutes.
Second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, the 2017 Madrid champions, were made to battle past Japanese Ben McLachlan and German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-5, 5-7, 10-6. The Polish-Brazilian duo is now 6-2 in Match Tie-breaks this season, and will move on to play German brothers Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev or Dutchman Robin Haase and South African Raven Klaasen.
Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos, who triumphed in Buenos Aires, advanced to the final in Cordoba and reached the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo earlier this year, got off to a good start in Madrid with a 7-5, 2-6, 11-9 victory against American Rajeev Ram and Brit Joe Salisbury.
Gonzalez and Zeballos let slip a 7-2 lead in the Match Tie-break, but stayed the course to advance after one hour and 31 minutes. They will next play sixth seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who they beat in Monte-Carlo, or veterans Ivan Dodig and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Also through to the second round are Argentine Guido Pella and Portuguese Joao Sousa, who ousted Indian Rohan Bopanna and Brit Dominic Inglot 7-6(4), 6-3 in 68 minutes.
Garin Soars In ATP Rankings; Djokovic’s Milestone Celebration
ATPTour.com looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 6 May 2019
No. 33 (Career-High) Cristian Garin, +14 The 22-year-old Chilean rose 14 places to a career-high of No. 33 in the ATP Rankings on the back of lifting his second ATP Tour trophy of 2019 at the BMW Open by FWU (d. Berrettini) on Sunday. Having started the year at World No. 84, with one tour-level match win, Garin secured his first title at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston (d. Ruud) last month. Read More & Watch Munich Final Highlights
No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No Change The 31-year-old Serbian today celebrates his 250th week at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. Only four players since 1973 have been ranked more weeks at the summit of men’s professional tennis, and now the marks of Jimmy Connors (268) and Ivan Lendl (270) are coming into view for the Serbian, who began his fourth stint in the top spot on 5 November 2018. If Djokovic remains at No. 1, the total number of weeks of Pete Sampras (286) may be ticked off within the first month of 2020. Read Tribute
View Latest ATP Rankings
No. 9 Stefanos Tsitsipas, +1 The 20-year-old #NextGenATP star also picked up his second ATP Tour crown, moving to within one spot of his career-high first attained on 1 April this year. Tsitsipas beat Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(4) for the Millennium Estoril Open crown on Sunday to add to his first trophy in February at the Open 13 Provence (d. Kukushkin). The first Greek player in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings, who began the year at No. 15, also advanced to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (l. to Federer) final. Read More & Watch Estoril Final Highlights
No. 28 Lucas Pouille, +4 The 25-year-old Frenchman, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals (l. to Djokovic) in January, earned his first ATP Challenger Tour title on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Primrose Bordeaux (d. Mikael Ymer) to rise four spots to No. 28 in the ATP Rankings. Pouille is the first player to win his first Challenger title after his first tour-level crown since Kei Nishikori and Sergiy Stakhovsky both did it in 2008. Interestingly, it now leaves Milos Raonic as the only current Top 50 player without a Challenger trophy.
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Other Notable Top 100 Movers No. 3 Roger Federer, +1 No. 23 David Goffin, +2 No. 31 (Career High) Matteo Berrettini, +6 No. 50 Philipp Kohlschreiber, -9 No. 51 Pablo Cuevas, +16 No. 66 Yoshihito Nishioka, +5 No. 75 Joao Sousa, -24 No. 87 (Career High) Lloyd Harris, +7 No. 90 Malek Jaziri, -15 No. 93 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, +8 No. 94 (Career High) Alexander Bublik, +2 No. 95 Ricardas Berankis, +7 No. 97 Ivo Karlovic, +6
Djokovic Celebrates 250 Weeks At No. 1 In ATP Rankings
ATPTour.com pays tribute to the World No. 1 on another milestone day
Novak Djokovic is today celebrating his 250th week at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.
Only four players since 1973 have been ranked more weeks at the summit of men’s professional tennis, and now the marks of Jimmy Connors (268) and Ivan Lendl (270) are coming into view for the Serbian, who began his fourth stint in the top spot on 5 November 2018. If Djokovic remains at No. 1, the total number of weeks of Pete Sampras (286) and all-time record-holder Roger Federer (310) may be ticked off within the first four months of 2020.
ALL-TIME WEEKS AT NO. 1
No. 1 Player
MOVING UP THE NO. 1 LADDER – If Djokovic remains at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, he will pass Connors on 16 September 2019 and move to fourth place in the all-time list for most weeks spent at No. 1.
No. 1 Player
27 April 2020
20 January 2020
30 September 2019
16 September 2019
Twelve months ago, few would have predicted Djokovic’s return to No. 1. He’d missed six months of 2017, undergone right elbow surgery after the 2018 Australian Open and on the eve of Roland Garros was at No. 22 in the ATP Rankings with a 6-6 match record.
In a complete turnaround in fortunes by 5 November 2018, the 31-year-old had become the first player to be ranked outside the Top 20 then climb to No. 1 in the same season since Russia’s Marat Safin in 2000. In reuniting with his long-time coach Marian Vajda, Djokovic compiled a 44-6 match record, including a 35-3 mark from the start of Wimbledon until the end of the year.
Today, Djokovic is the current holder of three straight Grand Slam championship crowns and he is the only player to win titles at all nine ATP Masters 1000s in the tournament series history (since 1990). His discipline, dedication and passion has seen him soar among the sport’s giants and in his four combined stints in the top spot, Djokovic has compiled a 311-43 (.879) match record; gone 102-25 against Top 10 rivals and won 31 tour-level crowns from 43 finals.
As he begins his 250th week at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, the relentless, superbly conditioned competitor has 11,160 points – 3,395 points ahead of No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal. Even with a whopping 7,755 points to defend the rest of 2019, Djokovic will be aiming to finish as the year-end No. 1 for the sixth time (2011-12, 2014-15, 2018) in the past nine years.
DJOKOVIC AT NO. 1 – Take a closer look at Djokovic’s match wins, Top 10 and finals record during his four stints at No. 1.
Stints At No. 1
vs. Top 10
4 July 2011-8 July 2012
5 November 2012-6 October 2013
7 July 2014-6 November 2016
5 November 2018-present
Statistical assistance by Joshua Rey and Greg Sharko