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Djokovic, Nadal, Federer Top US Open Seeds

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

Djokovic, Nadal, Federer Top US Open Seeds

The ‘Big 3’ will be the favourites in the Big Apple

The USTA has announced seeds for the 2019 US Open, which begins Monday in New York. 

World No. 33 Fernando Verdasco is the last player seeded at 32, benefitting from the withdrawal of 2009 US Open champion and World No. 16 Juan Martin del Potro due to injury.

The US Open draw will be made Thursday at noon EDT.

The seeds are…

1. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
2. Rafael Nadal, Spain
3. Roger Federer, Switzerland
4. Dominic Thiem, Austria
5. Daniil Medvedev, Russia
6. Alexander Zverev, Germany
7. Kei Nishikori, Japan
8. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece
9. Karen Khachanov, Russia
10. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain
11. Fabio Fognini, Italy
12. Borna Coric, Croatia
13. Gael Monfils, France
14. John Isner, United States
15. David Goffin, Belgium
16. Kevin Anderson, South Africa
17. Nikoloz Basilashvili, Georgia
18. Felix Auger-Aliassime, Canada
19. Guido Pella, Argentina
20. Diego Schwartzman, Argentina
21. Milos Raonic, Canada
22. Marin Cilic, Croatia
23. Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland
24. Matteo Berrettini, Italy
25. Lucas Pouille, France
26. Taylor Fritz, United States
27. Dusan Lajovic, Serbia
28. Nick Kyrgios, Australia
29. Benoit Paire, France
30. Kyle Edmund, Great Britain
31. Cristian Garin, Chile
32. Fernando Verdasco, Spain

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PLANTING THE SEEDS: Getting to know the 32 seeded men’s singles players at the 2019 US Open — one line at a time.

  • [1] Novak Djokovic: Bids to become 1st repeat champion at US Open since Federer won 5 straight tiles from 2004-08.
  • [2] Rafael Nadal: Celebrates 750 consecutive weeks in Top 10 on 9 September. Trails only Connors’ streak of 789 weeks.
  • [3] Roger Federer: Owns 34-9 record at US Open since winning 40 straight matches at tournament from 2004-09.
  • [4] Dominic Thiem: Defeated World No. 1 in 3 straight seasons (d. Murray in 2017, Nadal in 2018 and Djokovic in 2019).
  • [5] Daniil Medvedev: Reached 3 finals in 3 weeks during US Open Series, highlighted by ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati title.
  • [6] Alexander Zverev: Upset No. 1 Djokovic for biggest win of career and biggest title of career at 2018 Nitto ATP Finals.
  • [7] Kei Nishikori: 2014 US Open finalist is 23-6 in 5th sets with 8 straight wins. Owns 6-1 record in 5th sets at US Open.
  • [8] Stefanos Tsitsipas: Beat Djokovic, Federer and Nadal before 21st birthday — quickest anyone has beaten entire Big 3.
  • [9] Karen Khachanov: Entered Top 10 on 10 June to become 1st Russian in Top 10 since No. 10 Youzhny on 7 Feb. 2011.
  • [10] Roberto Bautista Agut: Reached Australian Open QF and Wimbledon SF in 2019. Began career 0-9 in Grand Slam 4R.
  • [11] Fabio Fognini: On 10 June, became oldest player (32) in ATP Rankings history to break into Top 10 for 1st time.
  • [12] Borna Coric: Owns 8 wins vs. Top 5, including 2018 Halle final over Federer in Swiss’ last match as World No. 1.
  • [13] Gael Monfils: Posted career-best 15-3 start to season before suffering left ankle injury. Enters US Open at 26-11.
  • [14] John Isner: Highest-ranked American at US Open for 8th straight year. Broke left foot in 2019 Miami final (l. to Federer).
  • [15] David Goffin: 2019 Cincinnati runner-up became 1st Belgian to compete in an ATP Masters 1000 final (l. to Medvedev).
  • [16] Kevin Anderson: 2017 US Open finalist has been limited to 5 events this season due to right elbow and knee injuries.
  • [17] Nikoloz Basilashvili: Captured all 3 of his titles at ATP 500 events (2018 Hamburg, 2018 Beijing and 2019 Hamburg).
  • [18] Felix Auger-Aliassime: On 27 May, became youngest player (18) in Top 25 since Hewitt (18) on 25 October 1999.
  • [19] Guido Pella: Advanced to 1st ATP Masters 1000 QF at 2019 Monte-Carlo and 1st Grand Slam QF at 2019 Wimbledon.
  • [20] Diego Schwartzman: Earned 30+ wins in 3 straight seasons, reaching QFs at 2017 US Open and 2018 Roland Garros.
  • [21] Milos Raonic: Posted 20+ wins for 9th straight season despite struggling with back and right knee injuries in 2019.
  • [22] Marin Cilic: Owns 30-17 record in 5th sets – tied with Djokovic and Federer for most 5th-set wins among active players.
  • [23] Stan Wawrinka: Won 2016 US Open title at age 31 and remains oldest champion at event since Rosewall, 35, in 1970.
  • [24] Matteo Berrettini: Saved 3 MPs to defeat Schwartzman and reach Grand Slam 4R for 1st time at 2019 Wimbledon.
  • [25] Lucas Pouille: Earned consecutive 5-set wins over Chiudinelli, Bautista Agut and Nadal to reach 2016 US Open QF.
  • [26] Taylor Fritz: On 5 August, became youngest American (21) in Top 25 since Roddick (21) on 31 May 2004.
  • [27] Dusan Lajovic: Captured Umag title in July to become 13th first-time champion on ATP Tour in 2019 (also 13 in 2018).
  • [28] Nick Kyrgios: Saved 3 MPs vs. Nadal en route to Acapulco title and 1 MP vs. Tsitsipas en route to Washington title.
  • [29] Benoit Paire: Seeking 1st Grand Slam QF after reaching 4R on 4 occasions, including 2015 US Open.
  • [30] Kyle Edmund: Beat fellow Brits Norrie and Evans to reach lone 2019 SF at Eastbourne. Struggled with left knee injury.
  • [31] Cristian Garin: Saved 5 MPs vs. Chardy en route to Houston title and 2 MPs vs. A. Zverev en route to Munich title.
  • [32] Fernando Verdasco: Appearing at 66th straight Grand Slam event — 2nd all-time behind Lopez’ 71 (active streak).

– With assistance from Joshua Rey

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Ivanisevic, Bruguera, Bjorkman Named To 2020 Hall Of Fame Ballot

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

Ivanisevic, Bruguera, Bjorkman Named To 2020 Hall Of Fame Ballot

Three ATP Tour champions will vie for induction honours

Three former ATP Tour stars have been named as candidates on the ballot for the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic, 2001 Wimbledon champion and former World No. 2; back-to-back Roland Garros champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain; and Swede Jonas Bjorkman, winner of nine major doubles titles and a former doubles World No. 1, have been named to the ballot.

Former WTA star and 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez of Spain has also been nominated. Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is the ultimate honour in tennis, representing the sum of an athlete’s achievements as being among the best of the best in the sport.

“Throughout their careers, Conchita Martínez, Sergi Bruguera, Jonas Bjorkman, and Goran Ivanisevic each consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence. As a result, they achieved success at tennis’ highest levels as Grand Slam champions, top-ranked ATP and WTA competitors, Olympic medalists, and Davis and Fed Cup champions. They’ve represented their nations and the sport very well, and it is a pleasure to announce their nominations to receive tennis’ ultimate honour, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Hall of Fame President Stan Smith.

Ivanisevic’s serve-and-volley style of play led him to great success on the grass courts of Wimbledon where he was a quarter-finalist once, semi-finalist twice, and finalist three times, before winning the title in 2001.

That year, ranked No. 125, the big-serving lefty was granted a wild card into the tournament. In a magical run to the trophy he knocked out three players who were former or future World No. 1s en route to a five-set battle with Patrick Rafter in the final. Ivanisevic is a two-time Olympic medalist, having won a singles bronze and doubles bronze, both in 1992.

Spanish clay-court great Bruguera accomplished a massive feat when he won back-to-back titles at Roland Garros in 1993 and 1994. His first title came against two-time defending champion Jim Courier, after Bruguera came back from being down 2-0 in the fifth set. Bruguera reached a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 3 and won 14 tour-level titles in all. He was a silver medalist at the 1996 Olympics.

Former World No. 1 doubles player Bjorkman won nine major titles and achieved the doubles career Grand Slam. He was twice a champion at the Nitto ATP Finals and captured 54 tour-level doubles titles in all.

In singles, Bjorkman reached a career-high of No. 4 and was a semi-finalist at both the US Open and Wimbledon. A dedicated team player, Bjorkman played a major role on three Swedish Davis Cup championship squads.

You May Also Like: Emotional Kafelnikov Inducted Into The Hall Of Fame

Now that the ballot has been set for the Class of 2020, it will go before the ITHF Player Voting Group, which is comprised of tennis media, historians, and Hall of Famers.

Additionally, tennis fans across the globe are encouraged to voice their opinions about who is deserving of Hall of Fame induction by taking part in the Fan Vote. Fan Voting will open on Monday, 26 August at, and run through 29 September.

The top three vote getters in the Fan Vote will earn bonus percentage points added to their result from the ITHF Player Voting Group. First place will receive three bonus percentage points, second place will receive two and third place will receive a bonus of one percentage point. To be elected into the Hall of Fame, a candidate must receive an affirmative vote of 75 per cent or more from the Player Voting Group result or a combined total of 75 per cent or more from the Player Voting Group result and any bonus percentage points they earn through the Fan Vote.

“Tennis fans around the globe responded to last year’s invitation to be part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame enshrinement process, with votes coming in from 148 nations,” said International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin.

“Our intent behind Fan Voting is to offer a unique way for tennis fans to engage with the sport’s history and its most inspiring players. We’re glad to make Fan Voting a regular part of the enshrinement process and encourage fans to make their voices and opinions heard by voting in the month ahead.”

The results of Fan Voting will be announced at the conclusion of the voting period in late September. The overall results and the complete Induction Class of 2020 will be announced in January. The 2020 Induction Ceremony will be hosted on 18 July 2020 in Newport.

The four candidates on the 2020 ballot are all nominated in the Player Category, and each is in the second year of a three-year possible candidacy. Once nominated, a player candidate remains on the ballot for up to three consecutive years, unless voted in, per the ITHF Enshrinement Policies and Procedures.

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GB drawn against Slovakia in Fed Cup qualifier

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

Great Britain will face Slovakia away from home in a qualifying tie for next year’s new Fed Cup Finals.

Anne Keothavong’s team will play the five-match tie, for a place in the 12-team Finals, on 7-8 February.

This year’s finalists Australia and France, hosts Hungary and wildcards the Czech Republic have already qualified for April’s Finals in Budapest.

The new format means Great Britain, for the first time since 1993, will begin a year with a chance to win the trophy.

Previously, only the eight teams in the competition’s top tier could lift the trophy. Under the new system, 20 teams start the year with the chance to win.

Britain had been in the third tier of the Fed Cup for 26 years until they secured promotion to the World Group by beating Kazakhstan in London in April.

Their trip to Slovakia was one of eight qualifying ties drawn on Wednesday.

Qualifying ties for place in Fed Cup Finals (hosts named first)
United States v Latvia
Netherlands v Belarus
Romania v Russia
Brazil v Germany
Spain v Japan
Switzerland v Canada
Belgium v Kazakhstan
Slovakia v Great Britain

The Finals will be played on clay at Laszlo Papp Budapest Sports Arena from 14-19 April.

There is an $18m (£14.2m) prize fund. Of that, $12m (£9.5m) will go to the players, and the other $6m (£4.75m) to their national associations.

Each team will share $500,000 for reaching the Finals, with the winning team dividing $3.2m (£2.5m) between the players.

The Fed Cup, which was founded in 1963, is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport.

The Davis Cup – the men’s equivalent team competition – has already undergone significant reform and in November 18 teams will compete for the title in the inaugural finals in Madrid.

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The Secrets To #NextGenATP Serbian Kecmanovic's 2019 Rise

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

The Secrets To #NextGenATP Serbian Kecmanovic’s 2019 Rise

Teen has risen more than 100 spots in the ATP Rankings in the past year

Editor’s Note: This story was first published 2 August.

Miomir Kecmanovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and he currently resides in Bradenton, Florida. But the #NextGenATP star says that his breakthrough in 2019 could be traced to a different location: Tenerife, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.

Last offseason, Kecmanovic, who qualified for this week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, joined current World No. 4 Dominic Thiem for a three-week training block on the island, working hard alongside Thiem, German Jan-Lennard Struff and others. Kecmanovic was No. 132 in the ATP Rankings at the time, and it was not easy for him to keep up early on.

“It was tough at the beginning. I was struggling,” Kecmanovic told “We had three weeks as we moved, hit, hit and hit more. Towards the end I was adjusted and it felt pretty good.”

It wasn’t the first time Kecmanovic, a former junior World No. 1, had practised with a superstar. The Serbian moved to the United States at 13 to train at the IMG Academy in Florida, where he’d get to practise with players such as Kei Nishikori and Max Mirnyi. In his travels, Kecmanovic even got to hit with the likes of Roger Federer.

But this training block with Thiem and company was different. It changed his mindset. Kecmanovic would qualify for his first Grand Slam main draw at the Australian Open, and he has not looked back since.

“I really got to see how the top guys play and see their level. After qualifying for Australia I think I just started to believe more that I could do it, that I belonged there,” Kecmanovic said. “It started to go my way.

“[My belief] was definitely something that I was thinking about, but it’s different when it actually happens and [you keep up with them], then you start to believe it when you see that it’s happening. When it started, it was maybe one match, two matches. [Then] I saw that I could play at this level.”

At the BNP Paribas Open, you might have expected World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to be the last Serbian standing. Instead, it was Kecmanovic, who reached his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final as a lucky loser.

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But perhaps the 19-year-old’s biggest moment yet came at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya, where he reached his first ATP Tour final. Kecmanovic was disappointed to fall short, especially after holding a match point against Lorenzo Sonego. But the Serbian took the positives out of it, cherishing a chance to learn from that moment.

“It definitely was a big experience to play my first final,” Kecmanovic said. “It was tough losing with match point in the final. But it was cool that I was finally able to break through and make a big result at an ATP [event].”

More than any individual result, Kecmanovic’s biggest victory this year has been in his mind. The teenager won many prestigious junior tournaments, but competing on the ATP Tour is a different animal.

“When it starts to happen and you believe, it just gets better and it goes a lot more your way,” Kecmanovic said. “You know that maybe you could do it, that you belong there and then you believe that you’re playing good.”

Kecmanovic is the second-youngest player in the Top 100, trailing only fellow #NextGenATP player Felix Auger-Aliassime. For some rising stars, that creates pressure that could slow their progress. Jimmy Arias, the IMG Academy’s Director of Tennis, and former World No. 5 knows that feeling. The American won all five of his ATP Tour titles before turning 20.

“I had expectations from a very young age and it was made known to me that I had expectations from a lot of different people,” Arias told “If the people around [Kecmanovic] are all telling him, ‘You’re great, you should be this’, some people would have trouble with that being thrust on them… [but] he’s got family right there and he’s had the same coach for a long time. So I just think he’s got a nice little team and they’re focussed on, ‘Let’s keep getting better’ and not, ‘Where are we going to be’?”

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Arias first saw Kecmanovic play about a year and a half ago, before he worked at the academy, where the Serbian still trains. Arias stopped by for a hit, expecting a 14- or 15-year-old practice partner. Instead, Kecmanovic was across the net.

He laughs about it now, but Arias was so nervous about giving the Serbian a solid practice that he shanked the first ball over the fence. Kecmanovic, who didn’t know who Arias was at the time, did not utter a peep, and just continued on with the practice.

“At that time, I thought he was great off the ground, very solid. But his serve wasn’t good enough to compete at the highest level… But he has improved his serve enough and his groundstrokes are really solid. He’s tough to beat. He hits the ball deep, consistently, he moves well and obviously competes well,” said Arias, who believes Kecmanovic needs to continue working on his serve, as well as taking advantage of short balls.

It’s easy to forget that 12 months ago, Kecmanovic was ranked only No. 200. Now he’s at a career-high No. 58 with his sights set on the Top 50.

“Obviously I’m excited that it’s happening at such a young age. I’ve worked hard for it and it’s really a dream come true to play at the ATP level. I’m happy that it’s happened so soon,” Kecmanovic said. “A lot of people never see this, they never get to experience this, so I’m very thankful.”

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Janko Tipsarevic Still Digging, Seven Surgeries Later

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

Janko Tipsarevic Still Digging, Seven Surgeries Later

Former World No. 8 reflects on his injuries and battling back from them

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published 21 March 2019.

Janko Tipsarevic went 570 days without a tour-level match win before advancing to the second round in Miami on Wednesday. But it took just seconds for Tipsarevic’s smile to grow even brighter.

After the World No. 8 beat Bradley Klahn, his five-year-old daughter, Emili, ran onto the court during his on-court interview, saying, ‘Daddy! Daddy!’

“I’m extremely happy that we had this moment because since she’s basically been alive, Daddy has always had some leg issues: surgery, crutches, barely walking. She knew that Daddy was a tennis player, but she never actually saw me play,” said Tipsarevic, who will face Doha champion Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round of the Miami Open presented by Itau. “I’m extremely happy that she was able to sit throughout the duration of the full match and to just have this great moment with my wife sitting next to her.”

These are the moments the 34-year-old has been waiting for. Currently No. 453 in the ATP Rankings, Tipsarevic has gone through almost every lower-body injury you could think of: a benign tumor on his left foot that he underwent surgery for and then had to get removed again after it returned. Later, he suffered a right knee injury due to compensating in order to protect his left foot, on which he had those previous surgeries. That led to two surgeries on his right knee.

Listen To ATP Radio’s Interview With Tipsarevic:

From September 2014 through the middle of August 2016, Tipsarevic climbed no higher than No. 392. But an inspired comeback saw him return to as high as No. 58 in May 2017. Just when Tipsarevic appeared back on track, both of his hamstrings ‘kind of failed’, and he ultimately underwent three hamstring tendon reattachments — two on his left hamstring and one on his right. That brought his surgery total to seven.

There were two moments when the four-time ATP Tour champion feared his career was over. The first was after the benign tumor on his foot was removed for the second time, as the doctor told him another reoccurrence would mean removing 100 per cent of his left sole, leaving him unable to do almost any physical activity. The other was after the second time he got his left hamstring reattached.

“This was a very difficult time. I tend to think that there are worse things in life, but it’s been extremely challenging for both me and my family,” Tipsarevic said. “Luckily through persistence and the motto that we have in both my life and [at] our academy, which is keep digging, or trying to still grind, it happened that I am back on the Tour.”

The obvious question may be a simple one: why? Why continue to push for a return at nearly 35 years old given all he has accomplished, including earning more than $8 million in prize money to competing at the Nitto ATP Finals twice (2011, ‘12)?

“In fairytales when pirates are looking for gold, the book is not 10 pages long. It’s normally 2-300 pages and in these 300 pages there’s normally a sea monster or a storm or enemies attacking them and then they dig at one place and they dig at another place, but the key factor in the keep digging hashtag is the persistence,” Tipsarevic said. “How long are you willing to dig?”

<a href=''>Janko Tipsarevic</a> is on the comeback trail again

For Tipsarevic, it’s as deep as he has to. The Serbian knows that a return to the form that elevated him to the Top 10 is highly unlikely. But that doesn’t mean he won’t empty his tank to know that he got the best out of himself — that knowledge is more valuable to him than his best career results.

“If we’re talking five to 10 years from now and if I would have to choose, how great I played tennis doesn’t mean anything,” Tipsarevic said. “I tend to think that life moves forward and we shouldn’t hold what we did in the past as something really great. There’s a saying in the NBA or NFL or even European soccer, you’re only as good as your last player. It does obviously help… knowing that I was there. I was at the business end of Grand Slams, I was Top 10 for two years, played the [year-end] Masters two times, it does help that the player has confidence. But I would like that people see that no matter what happens, the digging factor is something which doesn’t only help in your professional career, it helps you in life.

“I’m obviously glad to be here. But I don’t see this, what I did [in coming back], as something special. This thing, it wasn’t easy. It was very hard but it’s normal for me because it’s not difficult to wake up at 6:00 a.m. or 7:00 a.m., do everything I did, do treatment, do whatever, work hard. If you have good habits, these things change your life.”

For now, Tipsarevic is strategically using his protected ranking to enter certain ATP Tour main draws, while he will also compete in three upcoming ATP Challenger Tour events in Mexico to try to rebuild his standing. His first major goal is to return to the Top 100.

“That is when you really see that the work and the persistence and all the treatments and surgeries and injections and painkillers and everything that we went through as a family actually paid off,” Tipsarevic said. “But for the very beginning, I’ll take a victory at an [ATP Masters] 1000 event, why not?”

Tipsarevic’s first-round victory in Miami was not something special in itself, having won 46 previous Masters 1000 matches and reached the Miami quarter-finals twice. But sharing a special moment with his daughter is something he will always cherish. Through all the hard work and setbacks, that is why he continues to dig.

“It really means a lot because I don’t know how many chances likes this we will have. My goal is to play in 2020, but I don’t know if I will be able to do it,” Tipsarevic said. “After that, even though I will stay in tennis, coach and she will come to these tournaments, it’s something else if she’s around here watching a player that I’m coaching or watching her father play. Obviously now she’s not aware of it, but hopefully one day she will remember.”

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Lopez Not Ready To Retire

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

Lopez Not Ready To Retire

Spaniard prevails on Tuesday in Winston-Salem

If Feliciano Lopez’s fans are wondering how much more great tennis he has left in him, the Spaniard isn’t offended by the thought.

“I’ve been thinking it might be my last year for four or five years now,” he said, smiling. 

The 37-year-old Spaniard has been a Top 100 staple since 2002 and still continues to pick up ATP Tour titles and high-profile wins. When Lopez competes next week at the US Open, It will be a record 71st consecutive Grand Slam appearance.

But at the moment, his attention is fully devoted to the Winston-Salem Open. Lopez, seeded No. 16, held off an inspired comeback from fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar in his opening-round match to advance 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

See where to watch the Winston-Salem Open

“I never expected to be playing this long,” he admitted. “I know that it’s not normal. I’m very happy to keep going, play another US Open and add some more Grand Slams to my record.”

But Lopez knows that all good things inevitably come to an end. He briefly dropped out of the Top 100 in April, marking the first time that happened in 17 years, and also took over this year as the tournament director of the Mutua Madrid Open. Lopez began to consider that his days might be numbered.

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That all changed in June at the Fever-Tree Championships. Lopez, the 2017 champion at Queen’s Club, made full use of his wild cards by winning the singles title (d. Simon) and teaming with Andy Murray to take the doubles crown (d. Ram/Salisbury). His magical run was his first clean sweep at an ATP Tour event. Lopez arrived that week at No. 113 in the ATP Rankings, but jumped up nearly 60 places with his seventh ATP Tour singles title.

If anything, the constant travel of Tour life. The Spaniard is competing in his 22nd season and long stretches away from home have understandably made him wary of airports, but he’s using his experience to maximise his time on the road.

“I find the traveling to be tough. A two-hour flight feels like a whole day ,” said Lopez. “Being in the gym is okay for me, but the training it takes to be competitive, spending hours on the court hitting balls… It’s tough for me now.

“But the most important thing is that I love what I do and love to compete. And I have experience. I know myself and what I need, so I try to condition the most important things. I hit less, but spend more time in the gym to avoid injuries.”

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For now, Lopez is happy to keep going. With his grass-court success this season ensuring he will remain in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings until at least June of next year, the Spaniard sees little reason to call time on his career.

“I don’t think it would be fair to stop now,” he said. “I think that I deserve another year.”

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Shapovalov, Tiafoe, Kecmanovic Lead #NextGenATP In Winston-Salem

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

Shapovalov, Tiafoe, Kecmanovic Lead #NextGenATP In Winston-Salem

Shapovalov, Kecmanovic to face off on Wednesday at the ATP 250 event

#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov overcame a second-set surge from Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday to advance past the second round of a tour-level event for the first time since May (Lyon).

Shapovalov played one of his best sets in months in the opener, ripping a backhand winner on set point, and Sandgren trailed 2-6, 0-3, 0/40. But the American came back and led by a break in the second set at 4-3. Shapovalov, however, quickly recovered to advance 6-2, 6-4.

“It was definitely a great win,” Shapovalov said. “We’ve played a few times in the past and I normally play well against him, so I was just trying to be aggressive and take time away from him. I’m feeling fresh and ready for tough situations like the second set today, so I’m looking forward to my next match.”

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The World No. 38 will try to win back-to-back matches for the first time since March at the Miami Open presented by Itau when he faces Serbia’s #NextGenATP star Miomir Kecmanovic. The 13th seed beat 20-year-old Aussie Alexei Popyrin 7-6(5), 6-3.

Kecmanovic, 19, cracked the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday after making the third round of the Western & Southern Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati, last week. He currently holds the seventh and final qualification spot in the ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players at the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 5-9 November in Milan. The eighth position at the 21-and-under event is reserved for an Italian wild card.

Follow the ATP Race To Milan

American Frances Tiafoe, sixth place in the Race, will face eighth seed Filip Krajinovic for a place in the quarter-finals. Tiafoe was leading 4-2 when Frenchman Jeremy Chardy retired, and Krajinovic rallied against Tomas Berdych to move on 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. The Serbian broke Berdych when he was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, and then won eight of the final nine games.

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Duckhee Lee’s historic tournament came to an end with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 loss to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the third seed. On Monday, Lee became the first deaf player to compete in and win an ATP Tour match.

“I’m a little bit disappointed right now,” Lee said. “I had many chances that I didn’t utilise, but it was a great experience overall.”

Hurkacz will next face 16th seed Feliciano Lopez, a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 winner against countryman Pablo Andujar. Top seed Benoit Paire also advanced, beating Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-3, 7-5 and will face #NextGenATP countryman Ugo Humbert, who beat American qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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#NextGenATP Sinner Dominates In Slam Qualifying Debut

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

#NextGenATP Sinner Dominates In Slam Qualifying Debut

Italian teen needs 47 minutes to advance

Jannik Sinner could not have asked for a better birthday present. Just four days after turning 18, the surging Italian star made the most of his Grand Slam qualifying debut.

Sinner was dominant in dismissing countryman Matteo Viola 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minutes in the first round of US Open qualifying. The youngest player in the draw, he converted an impressive six of seven break points to prevail.

Sinner has been a force on the ATP Challenger Tour this year, claiming his maiden title in Bergamo in February and following that with a second victory in Lexington last month. Up to No. 131 in the ATP Rankings and 12th in the ATP Race To Milan, he is making a strong push to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals.

You May Also Like: Challenger Q&A: Sinner, 17, Joins Elite Company With Lexington Title


In other action, Tallon Griekspoor continued his strong run of form, as the No. 2 Dutchman earned a first US Open qualifying win of his own. He defeated Elias Ymer 7-5, 6-2 under the lights on Court 9. Griekspoor – the World No. 194 – enters on the heels of a final appearance at the Tampere Challenger and a straight-set win over Steve Johnson last week in Vancouver.

“It feels good,” the 23-year-old told “It was very tough at the start. I was struggling with the court a bit under the lights. I didn’t start really well, going down a break, but I’m happy to get back from 5-2 down in the first set. I served pretty well.

“I love New York. Everybody loves New York. My parents are here, so it’s nice. They came over. I hope to keep it going.”

Meanwhile, Noah Rubin and Mitchell Krueger were the lone Americans to advance on Day 2 of qualifying. Rubin routed Gianluca Mager 6-2, 6-3 in just 53 minutes, while Krueger earned a hard-fought win over Jay Clarke, battling from a set down to triumph 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4. A year ago, the Dallas native successfully qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw in New York.

On Court 11, Jason Jung survived a stern test from Donald Young, prevailing 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5 in two hours and 20 minutes. Trailing 1-3 in the deciding set, Jung reeled off six of the next eight games to move into the second round. The 30-year-old is coming off a final appearance at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Vancouver on Sunday. After taking a red-eye flight to New York, he overcame jet lag and fatigue to earn his fifth win in seven days.

Other winners on Tuesday include sixth seed Salvatore Caruso, Brazil’s Joao Menezes and Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi. Menezes is coming off a final appearance at the Binghamton Challenger and a gold medal victory at the Pan American Games in Lima. The 37-year-old Lorenzi is hoping to punch his ticket to an eighth straight main draw at Flushing Meadows. He reached the Round of 16 in 2017.

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Duckhee Lee Answers Your Questions

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

Duckhee Lee Answers Your Questions

South Korean holds Twitter Q&A on Tuesday

Fans have been captivated by Duckhee Lee’s incredible story throughout the week at the Winston-Salem Open. The South Korean became the first deaf player to win an ATP Tour main draw match with his victory over Swiss Henri Laaksonen 

After a competitive three-set loss to third-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz on Tuesday, ATP Tour held an exclusive interview with Lee in the form of a Twitter Q&A. The 21-year-old took time to answer some of the many questions that fans had for him.

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Do you have special routines before the match? Or are you superstitious?
I will wear the same clothes I win in and not wear the same clothes I lose in. When I’m angry or frustrated, I try to close my eyes and breathe deeply. I try to talk to myself and say that I can do it.

Is it difficult to be coached? Is it difficult to understand the chair umpire?
I think that we can read each other’s minds. But when my team is not around, we text each other. I don’t usually need to communicate with the umpire except for ‘in’ and ‘out’ calls, so that can be frustrating.

Who’s your favourite player?
I have to pick just one? I started playing because I wanted to be like Roger Federer and love his playing style. I also admire Rafael Nadal’s passion, Novak Djokovic’s fairness, Andy Murray’s effort & Kei Nishikori for how he represents Asia.

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What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to play online games and watch cartoons, but also like to play games offline as well like bingo and baseball.

Do you think your disability can help you concentrate more on the game?
I think not being able to hear actually helps me. It means I have to concentrate more and try harder.

Is it difficult travelling and forming friendships on tour?
I don’t think I have trouble making friends. There are a lot of other Korean players that I’m friends with, so I don’t ever feel lonely.

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US Open: When Is The Draw & More

  • Posted: Aug 21, 2019

US Open: When Is The Draw & More

All about the hard-court Grand Slam tennis tournament

Of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the US Open has the most diverse list of champions over the past decade, featuring six different champions since 2009. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal lead the way with three titles each during that time period, while Juan Martin del Potro (2009), Andy Murray (2012), Marin Cilic (2014) and Stan Wawrinka (2016) have all won the hard-court major once.

In comparison, only five players total — Djokovic, Nadal, Wawrinka, Roger Federer and Andy Murray ⁠— have combined to win the other three majors — the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon — over the past decade.  

Defending champion Djokovic and Nadal are set to be the top two seeds at the 2019 edition, followed by Federer, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev. The 38-year-old Federer, who will be making his 19th appearance at Flushing Meadows, claimed a record straight five straight US Open titles from 2004-08 and has since finished runner-up on two other occasions (2009, 2015). 

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Medvedev has dominated the month of August, reaching three straight finals at the Citi Open and back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, the Coupe Rogers and Western & Southern Open. The 23-year-old Russian, who upset Djokovic in the Cincinnati semi-finals en route to his first Masters 1000 title, enters the US Open at a career-high No. 5 ATP Ranking.

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

Established: 1881

Tournament Dates: 26 August – 8 September 2019

Director: David Brewer

Draw Ceremony: Thursday, 22 August, at noon ET at the Fan Week Center Stage

Are You In? Subscribe Now!

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Monday, 19 August – Friday, 23 August from 11:00am
* Main draw: Monday, 26 August – Wednesday, 4 September at 11:00am and 7:00pm; Thursday, 5 September at 12:00pm.
* Doubles final: Friday, 6 September at 12:00pm
* Singles semi-finals: Friday, 6 September not before 4:00pm and 5:30pm
* Mixed doubles final: Saturday, 7 September at 12:00pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 8 September at 4:00pm

How To Watch
View TV Schedule

Venue: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Main Court Seating: 23,700

Prize Money: US $ 28,619,350

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now

Buy 2019 <a href=''>US Open</a> Tennis Tickets

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Archived Draws

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras (5)
Most Titles, Doubles: Mike Bryan (6)
Oldest Champion: Ken Rosewall, 35, in 1970
Youngest Champion: Pete Sampras, 19, in 1990
Lowest-Ranked Champion (since 1979): No. 20 Andre Agassi in 1994
Most Match Wins: Jimmy Connors (98)

2018 Finals
Singles: [6] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d [3] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 63 76(4) 63  Read More
Doubles: [3] Mike Bryan (USA) / Jack Sock (USA) d [7] Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA) 63 61  Read More

Hashtag: #USOpen
Facebook: @usopentennis
Twitter: @usopen
Instagram: @usopen

Did You Know… The US Open bears little resemblance to the tournament started in 1881. It has evolved from an exclusive men’s singles and doubles tournament in Newport, R.I., to a two-week sports and entertainment extravaganza held in Flushing, N.Y. More than 700,000 fans enter the gates annually at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center..

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