One year ago, Jannik Sinner was No. 1,160 in the ATP Rankings. Now 17 years old, the #NextGenATP Italian is knocking on the door of the Top 200, and the World No. 208 moved closer to reaching that benchmark on Monday with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Portugual’s Pedro Sousa in the first round of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag.
Sinner has been a breakthrough #NextGenATP star in 2019, becoming the first player born in 2001 or later to win an ATP Challenger Tour title, doing so as a wild card in Bergamo, Italy, in February. He then made a winning ATP Tour debut in Budapest as a lucky loser, and claimed his first ATP Masters 1000 match win in Rome.
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The Italian’s triumph against Sousa was his third tour-level victory. Sinner won just three return points in the first set and was broken twice. But he would break the Portuguese four times in the next two sets to advance to the second round after one hour and 43 minutes.
Sinner, who also qualified in Lyon and ’s-Hertogenbosch, will try to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final against Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, who upset fifth seed Marco Cecchinato 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 20 minutes. Cecchinato, the defending champion, lost just one set en route to the 2018 title on the Croatian clay.
In other action, Czech Jiri Vesely battled past German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(2) after three hours and two minutes. Vesely will play eighth seed Leonardo Mayer or Spaniard Pablo Andujar.
Andreozzi Upsets Former Champion Karlovic In Newport
Isner leads the ATP 250 field
Argentine Guido Andreozzi scored the upset of the day on Monday at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, dismissing 2016 champion Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5), 7-6(6).
Neither player earned a break of serve, but the 27-year-old Andreozzi earned one mini-break more in each tie-break to reach the second round. Karlovic, also a two-time finalist in Newport (2014-15), fell to 17-7 at the grass-court event and was going for his second ATP Tour final of the season (Pune).
At Wimbledon, the 40-year-old Croatian beat Andrea Arnaboldi to become the oldest match winner there since Ken Rosewall in 1975. Andreozzi will next meet German Mischa Zverev or American qualifier Tim Smyczek.
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Ilya Ivashka of Belarus knocked out Aussie Bernard Tomic 6-2, 7-6(5) and will face defending champion and fifth seed Steve Johnson or American wild card Christopher Eubanks in the second round.
Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak, who pushed Kei Nishikori to five sets at the Australian Open, will face top seed John Isner in the second round after dismissing Brit wild card Alastair Gray 6-3, 6-4.
Isner owns a 19-5 record in Newport, where he has won three of his 14 titles. The top American returned at Wimbledon after missing three months because of a broken foot suffered in the Miami Open presented by Itau final (l. to Federer).
Twenty-year-old Mikael Ymer was on the brink of defeat at the Swedish Open on Monday, but the home favourite battled past fellow #NextGenATP player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 after two hours and eight minutes.
Only four spots separate World No. 124 Ymer and No. 128 Davidovich Fokina in the ATP Rankings, but it appeared the Spaniard had the edge, winning the first set and taking a break advantage on three separate occasions in the second set. But the Swede thrilled his home crowd, winning nine consecutive games, after Davidovich failed to serve out the match at 5-4, to triumph.
Ymer won 51 per cent of his return points, and saved five of the nine break points he faced. The wild card will next face fifth seed Nicolas Jarry or Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen. Ymer, who is currently placed 10th in the ATP Race To Milan, is trying to make a move at this week’s ATP 250 clay-court tournament to gain more points in pursuit of a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
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In other action, Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena beat countryman Jaume Munar 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 after two hours and 20 minutes. The 26-year-old will play seventh seed Casper Ruud or three-time ATP Tour champion Damir Dzumhur for a spot in the quarter-finals.
There were two doubles matches on Monday, with Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen ousting Sander Arends and David Pel 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 10-5. Also advancing was the team of Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa, which beat Romain Arneodo/Dzumhur 7-6(4), 6-2.
Felix’s Wimbledon Run Keeps Him In Strong Milan Position
Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime lead the ATP Race To Milan
Felix Auger-Aliassime’s successful Wimbledon debut saw the teenage prodigy further solidify his place near the top of the ATP Race To Milan. The 18-year-old Canadian gained 90 points at SW19, giving him 1,493 points on the year, good enough for second place.
The Race will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the 21-and-under event, to be held 5-9 November at Palalido Allianz Cloud in Milan, with the eighth place reserved for an Italian wild card.
Auger-Aliassime won his first Grand Slam match and made the third round at the All England Club, beating countryman Vasek Pospisil and #NextGenATP Frenchman Corentin Moutet before falling to Ugo Humbert of France in the third round.
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All eyes were on the teenager, who has climbed 85 spots in the ATP Rankings since the start of the season, but Auger-Aliassime said he’s become used to pressure during his young career.
“I don’t try to add extra pressure from the outside. I think I put extra pressure from myself already,” he said. “I’m sometimes hard on myself, but I think it’s all normal. You have to learn how to deal with it. You can’t escape it. You can’t hide it. This is in your life and you learn how to deal with it.”
Humbert (560 points) made the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time before falling to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. The 20-year-old left-hander surged to the eighth place in the Race with his career fortnight, passing Moutet (534 points).
View The ATP Race To Milan
Seventh-placed Miomir Kecmanovic (617 points) had one of the best stretches of his career on the grass. The Serbian made his first ATP Tour final at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya (l. to Sonego) and then picked up his first Wimbledon win (d. Carballes Baena).
Greece’s #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was upset in the first round at SW19, improved by 10 points and still paces the Race with 3,040 points. Tsitsipas is the Next Gen ATP Finals defending champion.
Auger-Aliassime’s countryman Denis Shapovalov (805 points), American Frances Tiafoe (780) and Norway’s Casper Ruud (693) round out the Race’s top five. The trio lost in the first round at Wimbledon, but 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up Alex de Minaur of Australia (sixth, 640 points) beat three-time ATP Tour titlist Marco Cecchinato of Italy to return to the second round (2018, third round).
The first qualification deadline is two months away
With only two months to go until the first qualification deadline, a new nation has emerged in the competition for one of the 24 coveted spots in the inaugural ATP Cup. World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas’ Greece has entered the standings for the first time, sitting in seventh place.
A minimum of three ATP ranked players, including two members with singles ATP Ranking points, are required for a country to be eligible to qualify. So when the previously unranked Michail Pervolarakis reached the third round of the Winnetka Challenger last week to earn seven points, that helped Greece fulfil those requirements, adding the nation into a place of strong contention.
On 13 September, the Top 18 countries will qualify, and two months later, on 13 November, the remaining six countries will book their spots at the team event, to be held 3-12 January in Australia.
View ATP Cup Standings
While there was not much movement in the standings after Wimbledon, players from two countries showed why their nations may reign supreme in Australia next year.
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Rafael Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut both represented Spain in the semi-finals at The Championships. Nadal, a two-time champion, advanced to the last four at Wimbledon for the seventh time, and Bautista Agut reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. Spain remains in second place.
Although no Russian man made the second week at the grass-court major, the ninth-placed nation has something that no other country does: two players in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. Daniil Medvedev cracked the elite group for the first time on Monday, and Karen Khachanov ascended to a career-high No. 8.
Further down the standings, at No. 18, Australia is clinging to the first-deadline’s final qualification spot. The country, led by Alex de Minaur, has 1,285 points, but Cristian Garin-led Chile, with 1,234 points, is only 51 points behind. If Australia does not earn a qualification spot, it will receive a wild card.
The 24-team event will feature US$15 million prize money and a maximum of 750 singles and 250 doubles ATP Rankings points. On-court coaching will be allowed during changeovers and set breaks.
The group stages of the ATP Cup will be hosted across three Australian cities – Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – over six days. Immediately following the group stages will be the four-day knockout stage – quarter-finals over two days, semi-finals and final – all to be played on the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.
Djokovic, Nadal Both London Bound; Bautista Agut Moves Into Top 8
Bautista Agut rises into Top 8 after Wimbledon semi-final
Novak Djokovic has taken the lead in the 2019 ATP Race To London, following his fifth crown at The Championships, Wimbledon. The Serbian, who became the second player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals (6,725 points), to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, is now 500 points ahead of second-placed Rafael Nadal (6,225), who clinched his spot at the season finale as a result of winning his quarter-final. Djokovic is bidding to become a six-time year-end ATP Tour No. 1 in 2019, while Nadal goes for his fifth top-spot finish.
Roger Federer, the six-time former Nitto ATP Finals champion, is next in line to secure a place at the season finale for the 17th time on 5,060 points, with a Wimbledon final run. Dominic Thiem, the Roland Garros runner-up, and the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals titlist Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is bidding to qualify for the first time, are all in strong positions among the Top 5 contenders.
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Four-time former qualifier Kei Nishikori moved up one place to sixth (2,070) by adding 360 points to close the gap on Tsitsipas (2,995), as a result of a run to his third Wimbledon quarter-final, while last week’s semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut rose five places to seventh (1,980) — just 90 points behind Nishikori.
Daniil Medvedev, who lost to 2018 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up David Goffin in the Wimbledon third round, sits in eighth position (the final automatic qualification spot) on 1,855 points, 215 points ahead of Fabio Fognini (1,640), the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters winner, who is also attempting to qualify for the first time.
Defending champion Alexander Zverev dropped two places to 10th (1,590) and will look to make up ground on the North American hard-court swing if he is to clinch a spot at The O2 in London for a third straight season.
View Latest ATP Race To London Standings (as of 15 July 2019)
Djokovic Matches Federer On ‘Big Titles’ Leaderboard
Serbian pulls even by retaining his Wimbledon title
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer for his fifth Wimbledon title on Sunday, and now the Serbian is dangerously close to also surpassing Federer on the all-time “Big Titles” leaderboard.
Djokovic saved two match points to beat the eight-time champion in an epic final, 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3), the first fifth-set tie-break in Wimbledon singles history.
The 32-year-old won his 16th Grand Slam crown and 54th Big Title, a combination of Grand Slam, Nitto ATP Finals and ATP Masters 1000 titles.
Federer, the all-time Grand Slam championships leader with 20, still has four more major victories than Djokovic, and the Swiss has celebrated one more Nitto ATP Finals title (six) than the Serbian (five). But Djokovic has won five more Masters 1000 titles (33-28), creating the tie atop the Big Titles leaderboard.
Most impressively, the World No. 1 has the best Big Title conversion rate of anyone. Djokovic wins a Big Title about one out of every three opportunities (3.3), better than Rafael Nadal (3.5) and Federer (4.2).
Djokovic has especially been on a tear the past 12 months. Since July 2018, he has won seven Big Titles – four Grand Slams and three Masters 1000 titles. In that same time period, Federer has captured one Big Title (2019 Miami), Nadal three (2018 Toronto, 2019 Rome, 2019 Roland Garros).
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The trio compete against each other for the biggest titles in the game, but they also motivate each other with their accomplishments.
After the final, Federer, who turns 38 in a few weeks, said he hopes his lengthy career inspires others. “I hope I give some other people a chance to believe at 37 it’s not over yet,” he said before laughing. “I gave it all I had and I still feel alright, I still stand. It’s good, and I wish the same for the other 37-year-olds.”
Djokovic, who turned 32 in May, said he’s one of those people. “Roger really inspires me with his effort at his age,” he said.
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The two, along with Nadal, will be competing for Big Titles and inspiring each other for years to come.
“We’re making each other grow and evolve and still be in this game. Those two guys [are] probably one of the biggest reasons I still compete at this level. The fact that they made history of this sport motivates me as well, inspires me to try to do what they have done, what they’ve achieved, and even more,” Djokovic said.
“Whether I’m going to be able to do it or not, I don’t know. I’m not really looking at age as a restriction of any kind for me.
“It just depends how long I’m going to play, whether I’m going to have a chance to make historic No. 1 or Slams. It depends not only on myself, it depends on circumstances in life.
“I’m not just a tennis player, I’m a father and a husband. You have to balance things out. Obviously you need to have the right circumstances, the right support for things to play out in the right way.”
Current and Former Champions’ Big Titles Won (Records Since 1990)
Nitto ATP Finals
* Becker’s four other Grand Slam titles came before 1990. ** Edberg’s three other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.
Bradley Klahn sits down with broadcaster Mike Cation after claiming his eighth ATP Challenger Tour title in Winnetka
In 2013, Bradley Klahn stepped onto the hard courts of Winnetka and reached his first ATP Challenger Tour final.
Six years later, the American finally found his way to the winners’ circle in the Chicago suburb. Klahn completed a perfect week at the Nielsen Pro Tennis Championships with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Jason Kubler on Sunday, capturing his eighth Challenger crown.
Klahn, who was mired in a significant slump entering the week, having lost nine of 10 matches since early April, rediscovered his top form in a hurry. The California native did not drop a set en route to securing both the singles title and the doubles trophy alongside JC Aragone. Not only did he defeat the always dangerous Kubler in the final, but he also topped fourth seed Denis Istomin and sixth seed Bjorn Fratangelo along the way.
Klahn extends his win streak in Challenger finals to three straight, having prevailed exactly one year ago in Gatineau, Canada, followed by a season-ending triumph on the hard courts of Houston. The 28-year-old rises to No. 84 in the ATP Rankings and will look to continue climbing as the U.S. summer hard court season kicks into high gear.
The American spoke to broadcaster Mike Cation following the final…
This is the second time you’re in the final in Winnetka. It has to feel good to come back and get the title. It’s a great feeling to come out on top this time around. Winnetka is always a special place for me. It was my first Challenger final here in 2013. I have family not too far down the road and coming back to midwest I just love it here. The people and just the whole tournament is great. It’s a great springboard for my summer. I’m really excited for what the rest of the summer holds.
It was a weird second set in the final. You were cruising, up a set and a break, but the forehand got a little shaky. All of a sudden, everything was on his terms. I feel like I lost my energy a little bit. Up 3-1, I was thinking a little ahead of myself. I was serving really well and he didn’t have a great read on it. I was trying to force first serves and put too much pressure on myself. I thought my feet stopped a little bit and I didn’t have the same energy on my forehand. I let him back into the match and allowed him to dictate the course of the points. But, that being said, I went into scrap mode and just make some balls. Just to show him that while I may have lost my game a little bit, mentally I was going to be competing for every point. It was a matter of time.
It was a weird situation today, because you had a five-set epic at Wimbledon between Djokovic and Federer. Roger was trying to serve it out in the fifth, you walked by and I said to you, ‘Hey, you’re not watching the end of the match?’ You said to me that you had your own final to focus on. It’s one of these weird situations and it shows how important every final is, regardless of the stage or level. Obviously they are two of the greatest ever and it’s a huge match. But for me, it’s about staying in my routine like any other match. It’s a much smaller occasion, but this was a huge thing for me to get over the hump and get some match wins and a title. Like I said, it’s a great way to kick off the summer and keep the momentum that I made on the grass. I had things to do to make sure I took care of my preparations before my match. My focus today was on the 2pm final and getting the job done.
Novak Djokovic’s epic five-set win over Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final on Sunday attracted a peak TV audience of 9.6 million on BBC 1.
On a huge day for British sport, an average of six million people tuned in to watch the longest ever Wimbledon final, lasting four hours 57 minutes.
England’s Cricket World Cup final win over New Zealand was watched by a peak of 7.9m across Channel Four and Sky.
A peak of 2.5 million viewers watched the British Grand Prix on Channel Four.
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Sky was the live TV rights holder for the Cricket World Cup and agreed to show the final on free-to-air television once England secured their place.
An average of 1.6 million people watched the action from Lord’s on Sky with an average of 2.4 million watching on Channel 4, with the peak occurring at 19:25 BST during New Zealand’s super over.
The peak audience for the Wimbledon final was at 19:05 during the historic fifth-set tie-break, which Djokovic won 7-3 to claim his fifth title at SW19.
The British Grand Prix was watched by an average of 1.8 million viewers with the peak at 15:30 as Hamilton took the chequered flag to win the race for a record sixth time.
The highest TV sport audience of the year so far remains England’s semi-final defeat by the USA in the Women’s World Cup on 2 July, which had peak viewing figures of 11.7 million. The game attracted an average audience of 10.3 million.
Episode one of BBC One’s Line of Duty is the most watched programme overall of 2019 with 13.2 million, based on 28-day viewing data.
Behind A Renewed Mindset, Medvedev Cracks The Top 10
Russian reflects on his journey to the elite group
One year ago, Daniil Medvedev was the No. 61 player in the ATP Rankings, six months on from lifting his first ATP Tour trophy in Sydney and eight months on from competing in the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
Ever since, the Russian has been on a tear. And on Monday, the 23-year-old took the next step in his journey by breaking into the Top 10 for the first time, reaching a career-high No. 10.
“I am very proud to reach this step in my career. Some years ago I changed my life and really dedicated myself to this sport and the results have shown this,” Medvedev said. “This is hopefully the first step of many more goals. I am looking forward to the second half of the season.”
It has been an incredible 52 weeks for Medvedev, who has quickly become a consistent threat on every surface, capable of competing against the best players in the world. The 6’6” right-hander has won 56 matches over the past year, good for fourth-best on the ATP Tour.
Just 18 months ago, Medvedev earned his maiden tour-level crown in Sydney. Little did he know at the time that between then and now he would lift three additional trophies, including one at the ATP 500 tournament in Tokyo last October. Three of his four titles have come in the past 11 months.
“Growing up, I never thought I’d be a professional player in the Top 100. I went about it step-by-step, I never made any one big step,” Medvedev said after his Sydney victory, before pondering what it meant to lift a single trophy. “It would have been tough to imagine that, even two years ago.”
Medvedev says his rapid rise stems from a change in mentality during his offseason before the 2018 campaign.
“Starting from last preseason I became much more professional in everything I do, talking about preparation or even life apart from tennis,” Medvedev said. “I started to dedicate my life to tennis. I started to do everything I can to be better in tennis and I’m really happy that it worked out because the worst scenario is when you do everything and it doesn’t work out, then you start asking questions: ‘I am doing everything right, so maybe I should just take it easy and be where I am?’ So I’m really happy that it worked out and I’m continuing [forward].”
Before then, Medvedev admits to going to sleep at 3:00 a.m. the night before matches, not thinking it would mean much. But it would be tough to see the ball, to run, and more. Medvedev changed his habits, and it has shown in his results.
“I became more mature, which is normal. I was never dedicating myself to tennis until that moment. I was always taking it kind of easy and it was still working. I started to be Top 100,” Medvedev said. “I think it’s a lot of influence of my coach. My coach, we have a great relationship, he never tells me you should do this, he says, ‘I think this will help you’, and then you start asking yourself questions. ‘Is it true what he’s saying? Will it help me?’”
Medvedev has a great relationship with his coach, Gilles Cervara. And in 2017, while they were travelling from Montreal to Cincinnati, they had a memorable conversation at a small airport.
“I was talking with him and I said, ‘Why should I take tennis seriously? Why should I do everything professionally? It takes so much dedication, so much mental strength. I feel like when I do it, nothing works’,” Medvedev recalled. “He was laughing at me, saying, ‘Okay, we’ll see. We’ll see. Maybe you’re right’. Now he’s laughing about this saying, ‘Hey Daniil, do you remember what you said? What do you think about this right now’?”
Not only has Medvedev dedicated himself to the sport, but it has paid massive dividends. He has earned three of his four Top 10 wins this season, with two of those triumphs coming en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
Medvedev has also put himself in strong position in the ATP Race To London. Currently placed in the final qualifying spot, eighth, Medvedev is trying to earn a spot in the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. He has appeared at The O2 once before, when he was honoured as the Tecnifibre Young Gun on the Road in 2016. But now he is in position to return to compete in the season finale.
“It’s an amazing tournament, an amazing experience. Just to be there means you’re one of the Top 8 players of the year and it’s an amazing experience probably,” Medvedev said. “I hope to feel it one day.”