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'I wanted to go a different way' – Evans splits with coach over 'differences'

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Dan Evans says his surprise decision to split with coach David Felgate was because the pair started to see “a few things differently”.

The British number two informed Felgate of his decision at the start of August, a few days after losing in the first round of the ATP event in Washington.

Evans enjoyed an excellent grass-court season, culminating in a third-round defeat to Joao Sousa at Wimbledon.

In February he reached his second ATP final in Delray Beach.

“I saw a few things different, I think, to the way he saw it,” Evans told BBC Sport at the Winston-Salem Open.

“At the end of the day I’m on the court, and it’s how I felt.

“It was amicable, no hard feelings. I sat down and said it was going to come to an end, and that was that.

“I wanted to go a different way and try something new. I’ve never had to do that before. It was not an easy conversation but it was better for me to say it there and then than carry on until the end of this trip, and waste this trip.

“I sort of felt that way as soon as I came back and we started again after Wimbledon. Maybe I lost my spark with him, but it just didn’t feel right, and I thought it needed to change.”

Evans and Felgate started working together after last year’s Wimbledon. The British Davis Cup player was outside the top 300 at the time, as he fought his way back from a doping ban, but now stands at 58 in the world.

Evans says he wants to play more aggressively in future, and will try to come forward towards the net, a little more.

“I thought, over the grass, I was pretty defensive and not really putting my game out there. I felt it was time for a new start – to make that change, and to play that way,” the 29 year old added.

The former British player Joshua Milton, who now coaches in San Diego, is assisting Evans in Winston-Salem this week. As the fifth seed, Evans was given a first-round bye and will play his second-round match on Tuesday.

Evans said he does not yet know who he will work with in future, but says Britain’s Davis Cup captain Leon Smith has agreed to help out where he can during the US Open, which begins on Monday.

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US Open 2019: British number four Naiktha Bains loses in first round of qualifying

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

British number four Naiktha Bains has lost in the first round of qualifying for the US Open.

Bains, 21, was well beaten 6-3 6-1 by Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova in New York as she tried to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time.

The Briton struggled to get any power on her serve, leaving her open to breaks and the Slovak capitalised.

World number 237 Bains is a dual British and Australian citizen and changed her allegiance this year.

On Tuesday, former British number one Heather Watson will be in action against Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze and James Ward will take on China’s Zhe Li as they get their US Open qualifying campaign under way.

The tournament itself begins at Flushing Meadows on 26 August.

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Medvedev Breaks Into Top 5, Mover Of The Week

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Medvedev Breaks Into Top 5, Mover Of The Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 19 August 2019

No. 5 (Career High) Daniil Medvedev, +3
Competing in his third final in as many weeks, the 23-year-old claimed his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open. Medvedev, who finished as runner-up at the Citi Open and Coupe Rogers, dropped one set en route to the trophy with wins against Kyle Edmund, Benoit Paire, Jan-Lennard Struff, Andrey Rublev, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and David Goffin.

The Russian now leads the ATP Tour with 44 victories this season, three wins ahead of Coupe Rogers champion and ATP Race To London leader Rafael Nadal. After becoming the fifth player from his country to lift a Masters 1000 trophy, Medvedev jumps to a career-high No. 5 in the ATP Rankings. Read More and Watch Highlights.

No. 10 (Career High) Roberto Bautista Agut, +1
The Spaniard advanced to his third Masters 1000 quarter-final of the year in Cincinnati. Bautista Agut defeated Hubert Hurkacz and Next Gen ATP Finals contenders Frances Tiafoe and Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the last eight in Ohio, before falling to Richard Gasquet in three sets. Bautista Agut becomes the 19th Spaniard to reach the Top 10 in ATP Rankings history (since 1973).

You May Also Like: Bautista Agut Makes Top 10 Debut

Spaniards To Reach The Top 10 Of The ATP Rankings

Player Career-High ATP Ranking Date Achieved
Carlos Moya 1 15 March 1999
Juan Carlos Ferrero 1 8 September 2003
Rafael Nadal 1 18 August 2008
Manuel Orantes 2 23 August 1973
Alex Corretja 2 1 February 1999
Sergi Bruguera 3 1 August 1994
David Ferrer 3 8 July 2013
Tommy Robredo 5 28 August 2006
Jose Higueras 6 13 June 1983
Albert Costa 6 22 July 2002
Juan Aguilera 7 17 September 1984
Emilio Sanchez 7 30 April 1990
Alberto Berasategui 7 14 November 1994
Fernando Verdasco 7 20 April 2009
Nicolas Almagro 9 2 May 2011
Carlos Costa 10 18 May 1992
Felix Mantilla 10 8 June 1998
Pablo Carreno Busta 10 11 September 2017
Roberto Bautista Agut 10 19 August 2019

No. 15 David Goffin, +4
The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up advanced to his first Masters 1000 championship match in Cincinnati. After beating Taylor Fritz, Guido Pella and Adrian Mannarino to reach his fifth Masters 1000 semi-final, the Belgian overcame Gasquet to break through to his first final at the level. Despite his loss to Medvedev, Goffin climbs four positions to No. 15 in the ATP Rankings.

No. 34 Richard Gasquet, +22
Gasquet reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final in more than six years in Cincinnati. The Frenchman, whose last final-four appearance at the level came at the 2013 Miami Open presented by Itau, beat Andy Murray, Federico Delbonis, Diego Schwartzman and Bautista Agut to claim his place in the semi-finals, where he fell to Goffin in straight sets. Gasquet soars 22 places to No. 34 in the ATP Rankings.

Other Notable Movers
No. 47 Andrey Rublev, +23
No. 49 (Career High) Miomir Kecmanovic, +9
No. 58 Daniel Evans, -14
No. 59 Yoshihito Nishioka, +18
No. 64 Pablo Carreno Busta, -11
No. 80 Aljaz Bedene, +10
No. 93 Leonardo Mayer, -11
No. 96 Marius Copil, -11

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Bautista Agut Makes Top 10 Debut

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Bautista Agut Makes Top 10 Debut

Spaniard enjoying career-best season

Good things come to those who wait. After 14 years on the ATP Tour, Roberto Bautista Agut has fulfilled his childhood dream by debuting in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings on Monday.

“It’s great to be there. There’s a lot of work behind that,” said Bautista Agut. “I’ve been dreaming of this since I was young, so I’m very happy.”

Bautista Agut has reached the highest levels of the sport by being consistently consistent, advancing to at least the quarter-finals in 11 of his 17 ATP Tour events this season. With those results as a base, the Spaniard also piled on outstanding results that include his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon, defeating Novak Djokovic en route to the title in Doha (d. Berdych) and a quarter-final finish at the Australian Open.

“I’ve been close to the Top 10 for a few years now, but sometimes you need just one or two more good results than you had in the past years,” said Bautista Agut. “I fought really hard to get the Top 10 with every tournament.”

You May Also Like: How Roberto Bautista Agut Is Reaching New Heights

The 32-year-old’s tenacity has earned him the respect of his peers on Tour. Many of them celebrated the news of his Top 10 status as a testament to hard work paying off.

“I’m really happy for him. He’s such a nice guy and deserves to be in the Top 10 this year,” said David Goffin. “He’s played unbelievably in all of the big events this year. He’s a great fighter, is really strong physically and continues to improve his tennis.”

“He doesn’t miss, runs well and has no weakness in his game. He’s a tough competitor,” added Richard Gasquet. “It’s always a battle when you play against him. You need to play your best tennis to win against a guy like him.”

But typical to his character, Bautista Agut is already focused on knocking down his next goal. He now looks to make his debut at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, held at The 02 in London from 10-17 November. The Spaniard is currently in seventh place in the ATP Race to London.

“It would be good news for me to have the opportunity to play the [year-end] Masters,” Bautista Agut told in July. “But now, it’s still far. It’s still three or four months of the season [left] and I have to win a lot of matches and to play very good tennis if I want to be there.”

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Berdych, Harris Advance On Day One In Winston-Salem

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Berdych, Harris Advance On Day One In Winston-Salem

Czech made the 2012 WInston-Salem final

Tomas Berdych won his first tour-level match since February on Sunday at the Winston-Salem Open, beating Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. The former World No. 4, a wild-card entry into the ATP 250 tournament, last won at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

“It was a tough match. It was a great start for me but then I still knew that it’s not going to go like that all the way,” Berdych said. “When you don’t play for a long time, it’s not easy. You really have to battle out for every single point, which I did today.”

You May Also Like: Berdych: ‘It’s Been A Very Tough Time For Me’

The Czech started the year 10-3, reaching the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final and the fourth round of the Australian Open. But injury woes have kept the 33-year-old from regular action. He’s played only one match – a first-round loss to American Taylor Fritz at Wimbledon – since March. Berdych will next meet eighth seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran will meet top seed Benoit Paire after beating Gstaad finalist Cedrik Marcel-Stebe 6-3, 6-4. In other action, Romanian Marius Copil fought past Slovakian Martin Klizan 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and will next face 11th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

Dutchman Robin Haase swept American Denis Kudla 6-4, 7-6(3) and will meet fourth seed Joao Sousa in the second round. South African Lloyd Harris ran away with his first-round match against Spain’s Jaume Munar 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1, and 12th seed Casper Ruud of Norway awaits Harris in the second round.

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Tiafoe Inspires Young Essay Winners In Winston-Salem

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Tiafoe Inspires Young Essay Winners In Winston-Salem

American leads Q&A and autograph session on Sunday 

Frances Tiafoe is all about giving back. The #NextGenATP American regularly puts his hands up for kids’ clinics and autograph sessions whenever he competes at ATP Tour events.

He did just that on Sunday at the Winston-Salem Open, holding a Q&A and autograph session with several kids ages 11-17. The children were all part of National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters throughout the Southern section of the United States Tennis Association and were selected to meet Tiafoe by winning an essay contest.

You May Also Like: Tiafoe Lives For The Biggest Moment

Tiafoe told the participants he has “a ton of big of aspirations after tennis” that involve working with kids, including starting his own foundation.

”To know that what I’m doing is helping not only myself and my family, but also you guys coming up… everyone has somebody that they aspire to be like and I want to be that guy for you all,” said Tiafoe.

The 21-year-old Tiafoe, seeded No. 10 in Winston-Salem, starts his week on Tuesday against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or American qualifier Raymond Sarmiento.

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Berankis Claims Tour-Leading Fourth Title In 2019

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Berankis Claims Tour-Leading Fourth Title In 2019

Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to the week to come

Odlum Brown VanOpen (Vancouver, Canada): The hottest player on the ATP Challenger Tour added another piece of silverware to his trophy case. Ricardas Berankis claimed the title at the award-winning VanOpen, his tour-leading fourth trophy on the circuit this year.

This week, Vancouver celebrated back-to-back Tournament of the Year awards, receiving its trophy in front of a packed crowd on Tuesday evening at Hollyburn Country Club. And on Sunday, they crowned their 14th champion. Berankis defeated Jason Jung 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to earn a hard-fought championship in the Canadian city.

On Wednesday, the Lithuanian trailed qualifier Michail Pervolarakis 4-1 in the third set and on Friday he was forced to rally from a set down once again, ousting Thanasi Kokkinakis. The top seed would eventually claim his 13th Challenger title, rising to No. 70 in the ATP Rankings.

You May Also Like: Vancouver Receives 2018 ‘Challenger Of The Year’ Award

“This match wasn’t as controlled as some of my previous matches. In the semis and the second round, I felt like from the first point I was in control. Today in the first set, it was control, but in the second one it was so-so which I lost 5-7,” said Berankis. “I needed to leave everything that I had on the court to win the match. It was a really tough match. Jason played really well.”

Berankis is on fire this year, boasting a 4-0 record in Challenger finals and a 24-3 (.889) mark overall – the second-best win percentage on tour. He also owns titles on the indoor hard courts of Rennes, France and Drummondville, Canada, as well as the outdoor hard courts of Busan, South Korea.

Challenger Title Leaders In 2019

Player 2019 Titles
Tournaments Won
Ricardas Berankis
4 Rennes, Drummondville, Busan, Vancouver
Pablo Andujar 3 Marbella, Alicante, Prostejov
Alexander Bublik 3 Budapest, Pau, Monterrey
Andrej Martin 3 Nanchang, Shymkent, Shymkent-2

Zavarovalnica Sava Slovenia Open (Portoroz, Slovenia): When Aljaz Bedene reaches an ATP Challenger Tour final, there’s a good chance he’ll lift the trophy. The Slovenian never wastes an opportunity to seize a title. Well, almost never.

On Sunday, Bedene improved to an impressive 16-2 in Challenger finals with his victory on home soil in Portoroz. That’s 16 wins in 18 championship matches, a staggering conversion rate that has seen him triumph in seven of the past eight seasons.


But, for all of Bedene’s success, he had not won in front of the home fans. Until now. A 7-5, 6-3 win over Viktor Durasovic gave the Ljubljana native his first  title in Slovenia. He joins Grega Zemlja (2013) and Blaz Kavcic (2014) as the only Slovenians to triumph at the country’s lone professional tournament.

Bedene rises 10 spots to No. 80 in the ATP Rankings, having also reached the semi-finals of the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro in February and the quarter-finals in Umag a month ago.

“I’m really excited about winning in front of the home fans,” said Bedene. “Thanks to all who came and encouraged me in the final. Thanks also to the President of Slovenia. I was a little nervous because Borut Pahor was among the viewers. I have a good record in Challengers, but there is still a long way to go.”


Acqua Dolomia Serena Wines Tennis Cup (Cordenons, Italy): On Sunday, the ATP Challenger Tour crowned its 24th first-time champion of the year, as Christopher O’Connell reigned on the clay of Cordenons. At the age of 25, the Aussie celebrated his maiden moment with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Jeremy Jahn.

After dropping his opening set of the tournament 6-1 to Chun-hsin Tseng, he would reel off 12 of the next 13 frames, dominating on the Italian clay. O’Connell is finding his form in his comeback from an elbow injury that sidlined him for much of the 2018 season. He rises 93 spots in the ATP Rankings to No. 220, just one place off his career-high from February 2017.

Tennis Open Stadtwerke Meerbusch (Meerbusch, Germany): Top seed Pedro Sousa was made to work for his second Challenger title of the year. The Portuguese fought off Pedja Krstin 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 19 minutes on Sunday, marking his third straight deciding-set victory of the week.

The 31-year-old Sousa, who cracked the Top 100 for the first time in February, is up to No. 125 following his second title in three months. In June, he lifted the trophy in Blois, France after qualifying for his second ATP 500 event of the year in Barcelona.

With the majority of today’s Challenger stars competing at US Open qualifying, there is one tournament on the calendar in L’Aquila, Italy. Andrej Martin is the top seed, with Alejandro Tabilo second and Dmitry Popko third.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Berdych: 'It's Been A Very Tough Time For Me'

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Berdych: ‘It’s Been A Very Tough Time For Me’

Former World No. 4 returns with a win in Winston-Salem

Tomas Berdych’s first-round win over Andreas Seppi on Sunday night at the Winston-Salem Open was a positive first step in his return from a back injury that has sidelined him for most of the past 14 months. But the joy on his face after match point didn’t show how much the Czech had been silently suffering during his time away from competition.

“It’s been a very tough time for me. I’ve been really up and down,” admitted Berdych. “Because of the love of the sport, I was giving myself one more try to come back, give myself a good shot to prepare, play some matches here and the US Open and see what happens… It was probably not the nicest win, but it [only] counts that you win.”

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The 33-year-old missed the last five months of the 2018 season due to his back injury before returning in January. After six ATP Tour events to start the year, the injury flared up again in March. His only tournament since the BNP Paribas Open was Wimbledon, which he admitted only playing “just for the reason that it’s Wimbledon. I was not fit and not at the level that I wanted to be.”

But Berdych is now fit again. When he’s healthy, the Czech is still capable of great tennis. In his first three tournaments of this season, the former World No. 4 finished runner-up in Doha (l. to Bautista Agut), reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and advanced to the semi-finals in Montpellier. Berdych admitted those early highlights are largely what fueled his latest comeback.

“If I had prepared like I did before this season, not had good results and then had the injuries come a couple of months later, I probably would be thinking very differently. I probably wouldn’t be standing here right now,” he said. “I know I can still play some good tennis when I’m fit and healthy.”

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After a 17-year career that has seen him win 13 ATP Tour titles, finish runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon and clear more than $29 million in prize money, Berdych has nothing left to prove. He’s looking to finish the final chapter of his career on his terms and embracing what might be his biggest challenge yet.

“If this was happening early in my career, it would be very frustrating. It’s easier to deal with when you have all the experience,” said Berdych. “I’m just enjoying new situations that I’ve never had my career, trying to find a way through it and take it as a new challenge.”

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Medvedev & Goffin Surge In ATP Race To London

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Medvedev & Goffin Surge In ATP Race To London

Bautista Agut also helps his chances of reaching The O2

Champion Daniil Medvedev and finalist David Goffin met in the championship match of the Western & Southern Open on Sunday. And although the Russian was the only one able to leave Cincinnati with a winner’s trophy, both players boosted their hopes of securing a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

This time one year ago, Medvedev was placed 38th in the ATP Race To London, far from contention for the eight-man event held at The O2 from 10-17 November. But the Russian has put himself in prime position to book his maiden trip this season, moving into fifth place thanks to the 1,000 points he earned with the title.

You May Also Like: Daniil Medvedev: The Perplexing, Unorthodox Artist Who Just Keeps Winning

Medvedev now has an ATP Tour-leading 44 wins in 2019, which has helped his rise. The only players he trails are Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem. Medvedev is trying to become the first Russian singles player to compete at the season finale since Nikolay Davydenko won the event in 2009.

View ATP Race To London Standings

The Cincinnati trophy was the culmination of a strong month for the Russian No. 1, who made the final in Washington and Montreal in the two weeks before arriving in Ohio.

“I have to say even if I wouldn’t have finished with the trophy, [these weeks] were amazing and the best in my life. But of course I think with the trophy it’s better. Especially if I would have lost three finals in a row, I would have not doubted myself but started asking myself, ‘How is it possible, three finals, lost all of them? What should I do differently in the final’?” Medvedev said. “I don’t have to ask myself these questions because I won the final. It’s been the best weeks in my life.”

And while Medvedev has been a strong contender throughout the year, Goffin’s performance brought him within striking range to compete at The O2 for the third time. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up surges from 18th place in the Race to 11th, just 190 points behind eighth-placed Kei Nishikori.

More From Cincinnati
Medvedev Claims Maiden Masters Crown
Dodig/Polasek Win First Team Title
A Look Back At Cincinnati

Entering Wimbledon, Goffin was not inside the Top 20 in the Race. But advancing to the quarter-finals at The Championships and becoming the first Belgian singles player to make an ATP Masters 1000 final have helped his cause.

Another player whose Cincinnati efforts were crucial in the push for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals was Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. The 31-year-old has previously served as an alternate for the season finale, but he has moved into seventh place in the Race, 250 points ahead of Nishikori.

Bautista Agut advanced to the quarter-finals, where he fell to in-form Frenchman Richard Gasquet in three sets. It was the second consecutive Masters 1000 event in which Bautista Agut made the last eight.

By making the semi-finals, top seed Novak Djokovic clawed closer to Rafael Nadal in the battle for the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking. With 360 points from Cincinnati, Djokovic now trails Nadal by only 140 points in the ATP Race To London. Both players have already secured their spots in London in November.

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Goffin On Medvedev: 'It's Like Playing Against A Wall'

  • Posted: Aug 19, 2019

Goffin On Medvedev: ‘It’s Like Playing Against A Wall’

Belgian encouraged by reaching second ATP Tour final of 2019

David Goffin overcome one barrier this week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati by reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final. The Belgian had been 0-4 in Masters 1000 semi-finals.

But on Sunday, Goffin collided with a “wall” named Daniil Medvedev, the 23-year-old Russian who beat Goffin 7-6(3), 6-4 to win his first Masters 1000 title.

He’s super solid. He doesn’t miss. It’s like playing against a wall,” Goffin said. Just playing cross, cross, wait for the ball. His pace is not too fast, not too slow. It’s quite a special pace to play against him. And then you receive bombs coming from his serve, and then he doesn’t miss.

That’s why everybody is struggling, because he’s so consistent, now with more confidence.”

You May Also Like: Daniil’s Day: Medvedev Claims Maiden Masters Crown

Medvedev reached his third consecutive ATP Tour final in Cincinnati after falling in the Citi Open (l. to Kyrgios) and Coupe Rogers (l. to Nadal) title matches.

It was just a few points that made the difference. He was more confident, and he had more wins under the belt than me, so that made the difference. I have no regrets even if it was a good opportunity,” Goffin said.

The 28-year-old, however, also bolstered his own confidence ahead of the US Open, the season’s final Grand Slam, by making his second ATP Tour final of the season (Halle, l. to Federer).

I think it didn’t start well, so what I’m proud of this week is the way I fought to come back to my best level, because it was not easy after Montreal to come here. I was not feeling great,” Goffin said.

[It was a] tough first round against [Taylor] Fritz, second round against [Guido] Pella. And then match after match I worked a lot to start to feel the ball, to be more aggressive, more confident. And at the end I played well. Semi-finals and the final I played well. The key was to fight.”

One of Goffin’s four Masters 1000 semi-finals came in Cincinnati last year, when he had to retire against Roger Federer. But Goffin has his health now and another good run in Cincy. Both will aid the remainder of his 2019 season.

I enjoyed a lot… I always had good matches here, good results. It was a second semi-final back-to-back, and then I won the semi-final against Richard [Gasquet], so it’s another final. Good memories again,” Goffin said. “It’s always a special tournament because I know that I play well here.”

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