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Lopez Gets Married On His Birthday

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Lopez Gets Married On His Birthday

Spaniard breaks the news on Instagram

Feliciano Lopez gave himself an unforgettable birthday present on Friday, tying the knot with Sandra Gago on the same day he turned 38.

Lopez shared the happy news in an Instagram post on Saturday. Several of his peers on Tour, including Milos Raonic and Jaume Munar, commented to congratulate him on the big moment.

”I have read many definitions about what happiness means, but none of them comes close to what we lived yesterday with all of you,” Lopez wrote. “They say [having] that shared is double. That’s why yesterday was so special, a shot of love and good vibes in an environment we will never forget. Thanks again to everyone who joined us yesterday. I want more birthdays like that.”

Lopez is scheduled to compete again next month at the European Open in Antwerp.

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Nadal Battles Past Raonic, Gives Team Europe Commanding Lead At Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Nadal Battles Past Raonic, Gives Team Europe Commanding Lead At Laver Cup

Nadal/Tsitsipas to play Shapovalov/Sock on Saturday

Rafael Nadal avoided a post-US Open letdown at the Laver Cup in Geneva, weathering an aggressive performance from Milos Raonic to prevail 6-3, 7-6(1) and give Team Europe a commanding 7-3 lead over Team World on Saturday.

Nadal improved to 8-2 against Raonic in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry and boosted his Laver Cup singles record to 2-1. Raonic was making his debut at this event. The Spaniard also increased his winning streak to 11 matches.

“Being here for me is a very positive energy. I like being around such a great team and the crowd is amazing,” Nadal said. “I feel very lucky [to win] the first set. I started to play better later in the match and I think I played a very good tie-break in the end.”

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The Canadian was left to rue eight missed break point opportunities in Nadal’s first three service games of the match. Sensing his opponent’s frustration, Nadal applied further pressure at 3-3 and laced a backhand passing shot to earn the first break of the night. A backhand volley sent wide from Raonic two games later wrapped up the opening set.

Raonic earned his first break of the match at 2-2 in the second set and it appeared the momentum had shifted, but sound advice from Federer at the changeover allowed Nadal to refocus.

“When you see a chance to come to the net, challenge him for a passing shot. You’re so good at the net,” Federer said. “Use spin, slice… you know, like in the old days!”

Nadal broke back in the next game with a delicate drop shot and backhand volley winner, throwing his fist in the air in approval. The set eventually moved to a tie-break and Nadal unleashed a barrage of forehand winners to take the first six points. A final winner from the Spaniard wrapped up play after two hours and seven minutes.

Read: Federer Uses Nadal Coaching To Defeat Kyrgios At Laver Cup

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Mahut/Roger-Vasselin Race Into Metz Final

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Mahut/Roger-Vasselin Race Into Metz Final

Sharan/Zelenay upset top seeds in St. Petersburg on Saturday

Top seeds and defending champions Nicolas Mahut/Edouard Roger-Vasselin delighted the home crowd by reaching the Moselle Open doubles final on Saturday in Metz, powering past Dutch duo Sander Arends/David Pel 6-3, 6-1.

This year’s Wimbledon finalists (l. to Cabal/Farah) have dropped an average of five games in their three matches this week. Mahut seeks his first tour-level doubles title since winning this year’s Australian Open with Pierre-Hugues Herbert (d. Kontinen/Peers). Roger-Vasselin looks to complete a hat trick of titles in France after teaming with Ivan Dodig to prevail this season in Montpellier (d. Bonzi/Hoang) and Lyon (d. Skupski/Skupski).

Mahut/Roger-Vasselin also won this event in 2012 (d. Brunstrom/Nielsen) and Roger-Vasselin earned additional Metz crowns in 2015 (w/Kubot) and 2017 (w/Benneteau). The defending champions will play Robert Lindstedt/Jan-Lennard Struff in the championship match.

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At the St. Petersburg Open, Divij Sharan/Igor Zelenay moved into the final by upsetting top seeds Nikola Mektic/Franko Skugor 7-5, 6-1. The Indian-Slovakian pair won the last five games of the match to advance in 58 minutes. Sharan opened his year by prevailing on home soil in Pune with Rohan Bopanna (d. Bambridge/O’Mara), while Zelenay seeks his first ATP Tour doubles title at age 36.

Awaiting Sharan/Zelenay in the final are Italian duo Matteo Berrettini/Simone Bolelli.

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Tsonga Advances To Fifth Metz Final

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Tsonga Advances To Fifth Metz Final

Frenchman to meet Bedene in final

What a difference a year makes.

At last year’s Moselle Open, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fell in three sets against defending champion Peter Gojowczyk in his first match in seven months following left knee surgery. On Saturday, the 34-year-old Frenchman advanced to his fifth final at the ATP 250 event with a 7-6(6), 7-6(4) victory against Lucas Pouille.

The 6’2” Frenchman extended his unbeaten record in Metz semi-finals (5-0) after one hour and 50 minutes, dropping just three points behind his first serve (23/26). Tsonga improves to 22-4 at the event and is now one win away from becoming the first player to capture four Metz trophies. The 17-time tour-level titlist shares the tournament record with fellow three-time winner Gilles Simon.

Tsonga will face Aljaz Bedene for the trophy on Sunday. The Frenchman owns a 1-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Bedene, having triumphed in their only previous meeting at Roland Garros in 2013.

“I know Aljaz has improved a lot since we last played,” said Tsonga. “He is playing very confidently now. He has been playing amazing all week, serving really well. I am looking forward to a big battle, a difficult match, but I am going to do everything to try and lift the trophy for a fourth time.”

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If Tsonga claims his 18th ATP Tour trophy, he will become the ninth French winner in the past 11 editions of the tournament. Only David Goffin (2014) and Gojowczyk (2017) have broken the French dominance of the event since Gael Monfils’ title run in 2009.

The semi-final encounter was decided by a pair of tie-breaks, with neither player able to break serve. In fact, there was only one break point throughout the pair’s fifth FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter (Tsonga leads 3-2), with Pouille failing to capitalise at 3-3 in the first set.

In the opening tie-break, Tsonga was forced to save set point at 5/6. The World No. 61 served well under pressure before bringing his forehand into play and charging the net to take a one-set advantage.

After failing to create any break-point opportunities in the second set, Tsonga moved up the court well and showed great touch around the net in the tie-break. After gaining a mini-break at 4/4, the three-time champion closed out the match with dominant serving to reach his fifth Metz final.

“I am extremely happy with the way I played,” said Tsonga. “I was very solid. I served very well, especially on the key points. The match was played over a few points and I was extremely solid.”

Did You Know?
Tsonga has lifted nine of his 17 ATP Tour titles in France. The Frenchman owns three titles in both Metz (2011-’12, ’15) and Marseille (2009, ’13, ’17), as well as triumphs at the 2008 Rolex Paris Masters, 2017 Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon and this year’s Open Sud de France.

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Federer win gives Team Europe 5-3 lead in Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Roger Federer and John Isner won their Laver Cup singles matches as Team Europe lead Team World 5-3 after day two of the event.

Nick Kyrgios had overcome a 0-4 deficit in the first-set tie-break to take the opening set in Geneva, Switzerland.

But Federer fought back from two games down in the match tie-break to defeat the Greek 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 10-7.

Federer maintained his unbeaten run in Laver Cup singles matches with a 5-0 record.

Kyrgios won a spectacular 31-stroke rally with a backhand winner early in the game which saw him claim the opening set, but a weak service game from the Greek at 5-5 in the second set gave the world number three the advantage.

“It was really close that first set so it was tough to lose,” Federer said. “The crowd could feel it, I could feel it.

“I needed to get some energy going but you can’t do that if you don’t play any good shots and Nick was playing very well.

“I was just trying to stay focused. If you can turn the momentum, the crowd gets back into it and I need some earplugs next time, it was just phenomenal.”

Earlier, American Isner temporarily gave Team World a lifeline by defeating Alexander Zverev 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 10-1.

The 34-year-old was two games from defeat but overcame the German, with the overall score standing at 3-3 prior to Federer and Kyrgios taking to the court.

“Maybe we’re turning the tables just a little bit,” Isner said. “Team World is in this and we’re here to win, so let’s get it going!”

A first-set tie-break saw world number six Zverev beat the American 7-2. In the second set, the score was tied at 4-4 when Isner broke Zverev’s serve, going on to win the set 6-4.

But a match-deciding tie-break saw world number 20 Isner win seven points before Zverev was able to get a point on the board, his only point in a 10-1 tie-break.

Later on Saturday, Rafael Nadal will play his first matches of the weekend when he faces Milos Raonic in the singles, before teaming up with Stefanos Tsitsipas to face Kyrgios and Jack Sock in the doubles.

Day two of the three-day tournament awards two points per win, with the first team to reach 13 points declared the winner.

The Laver Cup is into its third year but this is the first time the tournament is an officially sanctioned ATP Tour event.

The previous tournaments in Prague and Chicago took place on an exhibition basis.

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Medvedev Makes It Five Straight Finals

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Medvedev Makes It Five Straight Finals

Russian continues torrid pace at home ATP 250

Daniil Medvedev had the home crowd roaring on Saturday, and they will be raising the decibel levels once again if the Russian can make history at the St. Petersburg Open.

The 23-year-old made his fifth consecutive final at the ATP 250, beating Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov 7-5, 7-5. Medvedev broke in the 11th game of the opener, and, after the two exchanged breaks midway through the second set, the Russian broke again in the 11th game of the second before closing out the match in 91 minutes.

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The World No. 4, who’s into his first final in Russia, became the fifth active player to reach five consecutive finals, joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, who accomplished the feat last year (Cincinnati, US Open, Shanghai, Paris, Nitto ATP Finals). Medvedev will now try to win his third ATP Tour title of the season (Sofia, Cincinnati) on Sunday against Croatian Borna Coric, who beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 to make his first ATP Tour final of 2019.

“I’m extremely happy to be in my first final in my home country,” Medvedev said. “I came here to try to win the tournament, that’s what I’m doing… I’m looking forward to [the final]. Tough opponent, and hopefully a great fight tomorrow.”

Coric leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 4-1, including their past three meetings and has won their past seven sets. The players also met at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017, a matchup Coric won in four sets.

Read More: Why Medvedev’s Momentum Looks Set To Continue Indoors

Medvedev has now won 23 of his past 26 matches, a stretch that includes the four consecutive finals he made during the North American hard-court swing in Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati and at the US Open. Less than two weeks ago, on 8 September, Medvedev pushed World No. 2 Rafael Nadal to a classic five-set final in Flushing Meadows.

On Sunday, he’ll be back in another final, trying to become the first Russian to win the St. Petersburg Open title since Mikhail Youzhny in 2004.

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Federer Uses Nadal Coaching To Defeat Kyrgios At Laver Cup

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Federer Uses Nadal Coaching To Defeat Kyrgios At Laver Cup

Isner prevails over Zverev on Saturday

Roger Federer utilised sound advice from his longest rival on Tour to prevail over a more recent rival on Saturday at Laver Cup. With Rafael Nadal providing sound strategy from the bench, the Swiss rallied to defeat Nick Kyrgios 6-7(5), 7-5, 10-7 and gave Team Europe a 5-3 lead over Team World.

All of Saturday’s matches are worth two points, compared to Friday’s matches that were worth one point. Federer is 3-0 against Kyrgios in Laver Cup play and now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 6-1.

“I was hoping it was going to be like this. It was amazing,” Federer said. “It was tough to lose that first set. I needed to get some energy, so I was just trying to stay with Nick because if you can turn it around, you can get the crowd behind you. I need some earplugs for the next match!”

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Both men traded early service breaks in the first set and eventually forced a tie-break. Federer sprinted to a 4/0 lead, but began to tight and leak unforced errors. Kyrgios responded by going on a four-point run and won the last three points of the tie-break to take a commanding lead.

Although the Swiss continued to hold serve comfortably, he was unable to make inroads in most of the baseline rallies. His teammates had been silent throughout the match, but Nadal took the reigns and offered statistics with Federer serving to stay in the match at 4-5 in the second set.

”After five shots [in the rally], you are winning more [points],” Nadal said. “I know it’s tough because he reads the ball so well… Wait for the right one and then attack because he’s not missing.”

The plan worked to perfection as Kyrgios coughed off a pair of unforced errors to hand Federer a break at 5-5. At the next changeover, Nadal urged Kyrgios to add more spin to his serve and hit higher balls to disrupt the Aussie’s rhythm. The strategy produced a comfortable service hold to force a Match Tie-break. 

Federer saved his best tennis for when it mattered most. A leaping backhand volley winner gave him a 3/2 mini-break advantage as Kyrgios began to tighten up on his backhand, leading him to take short swings at the ball that allowed the Swiss to pounce. Federer took a 9/4 lead in the Match Tie-break and a forehand sent wide from Kyrgios three points later wrapped up play after one hour and 51 minutes.

<a href=''>John Isner</a> celebrates at <a href=''>Laver Cup</a> 2019

John Isner started the day session with a strong finish against Alexander Zverev to prevail 6-7(2), 6-4, 10-1, which tied the score 3-3 between Team World and Team Europe.

Isner scored the lone break of the match 4-4 in the second set, then won the first seven points in the Match Tie-break to prevail in one hour and 34 minutes. The American handed Zverev his first singles loss in Laver Cup (4-1), while Isner moved to 2-3 in singles at this event. Isner improved to 2-6 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Zverev and gained revenge for last year’s Laver Cup defeat to the German.

“I wasn’t making any inroads on his serve and he was the better for 85 per cent of the match. Once I got up 5-4, I had a lot of momentum and that showed in the Match Tie-break,” Isner said. “Maybe we’re turning the tables. Team World is in this and we’re here to win it.”

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Bedene Bounces Back To Reach Metz Final

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Bedene Bounces Back To Reach Metz Final

Bedene to face Tsonga in final

For the third straight year, Aljaz Bedene will contest an ATP Tour championship match after beating Benoit Paire 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 at the Moselle Open on Saturday.

The 30-year-old stormed from a set down to overcome Paire, converting four of six break points throughout the one-hour, 31-minute clash. Bedene has defeated three French players in four matches en route to the final and will need to overcome a fourth home favourite if he is to capture his maiden ATP Tour crown.

The World No. 76 will meet three-time winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the championship match, following the Frenchman’s 7-6(6), 7-6(4) victory against Lucas Pouille. Bedene lost his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter against Tsonga at Roland Garros in 2013.

Entering the semi-finals, Aljaz Bedene had claimed each of the six sets and 31 service games he had contested. But those two streaks were quickly ended by Paire, who won each of his 14 first-serve points and attacked well with his forehand to earn the opener after 35 minutes.

In the second set, Paire’s serve and forehand suddenly began to misfire. Multiple double faults and forehand errors assisted Bedene, who played with consistency from the baseline to charge into a 5-0 lead. The Rio de Janeiro semi-finalist forced a decider after exactly one hour, converting his first set point with a powerful serve to Paire’s forehand.

“Benoit is a tricky player. He was really serving well in the first set,” said Bedene. “He served a few double faults at the beginning of the second and then I started to play, serve and feel better and I felt more like previous matches. Overall, I feel very good.”

Bedene rode the momentum into the third set, breaking immediately to establish a lead. The four-time tour-level finalist extended rallies, playing with depth to force Paire into crucial errors before claiming victory with a cross-court forehand passing shot.

Paire was aiming to extend his three-match unbeaten record in ATP Tour semi-finals this year. The World No. 23 has compiled a 32-23 tour-level record in 2019, highlighted by title runs in Marrakech and Lyon.

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Comeback Kid Coric Does It Again In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Comeback Kid Coric Does It Again In St. Petersburg

Croatian going for first title of the season

Borna Coric hung tough to make his first final in nearly 12 months on Saturday at the St. Petersburg Open. The 22-year-old ran away with the semi-final against Portugal’s Joao Sousa 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1.

Coric last played for an ATP title at the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters (l. to Djokovic). But, for the third consecutive match in Russia, the World No. 15 rallied from a set down to advance. His last ATP Tour title came in June 2018 at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle (d. Federer).

“I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t like [losing the first set], either. I would love to be in two sets. Maybe one day, hopefully it’s going to come one day,” Coric said.

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Sousa was down 0/40 while serving for the opening set at 5-3, but erased all three break points and was brave when he had a set point, charging forward behind a forehand to take the opener.

Coric, however, was aggressive in the tie-break to even the match, and Sousa never recovered, dropping his serve three times in the deciding set.

“I think I played three very good matches, especially today,” Coric said. “It’s great. I’m looking forward to the final.”

Coric will next face Russian Daniil Medvedev, who beat qualifier Egor Gerasimov of Belarus 7-5, 7-5. The top-seeded Medvedev is trying to become the first Russian to win the St. Petersburg title since Mikhail Youzhny in 2004. Coric leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 4-1 and has won their past three matchups. The two also met at the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, a meeting Coric won in four sets.

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Find Out Why De Minaur Cracked An Extra-Wide Smile At The Zhuhai Draw

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2019

Find Out Why De Minaur Cracked An Extra-Wide Smile At The Zhuhai Draw

Former World No. 1 Murray to face Sandgren in Winston-Salem rematch

#NextGenATP star Alex de Minaur carries plenty of momentum into the inaugural Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships having won his second ATP Tour title at the BB&T Atlanta Open and earned his first Top 10 win at the US Open, where he reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

But that wasn’t why the 20-year-old cracked a wide smile at Saturday’s draw ceremony. De Minaur found out he will be playing friend and countryman John Millman for the first time in their opening match at Zhuhai.

It’s an important week for 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier De Minaur, as he continues his push for a spot at the 21-and-under season finale for the second consecutive year. The Aussie is currently in third place in the ATP Race To Milan with 1,170 points. If he advances, the seventh seed could face former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the second round.

<a href=''>Andy Murray</a>

Murray will try to avenge a defeat from the Winston-Salem Open against Tennys Sandgren in his opener. In August, the American battled through a 75-minute first set to eventually claim a 7-6(8), 7-5 victory against the 45-time tour-level titlist.

Murray is seeking the first tour-level singles win of his comeback from hip surgery. The Scot won two matches at an ATP Challenger Tour event last month, and he also won the Fever-Tree Championships doubles crown alongside Feliciano Lopez in his return event in June.

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Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top seed at this ATP 250 event, where four of the Top 15 players in the ATP Rankings are competing. The three-time ATP Tour titlist, who has a first-round bye, will play Frenchman Adrian Mannarino or Chinese wild card Ze Zhang in the second round. Third seed Gael Monfils and fifth seed Lucas Pouille are on his half of the draw.

Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who is pushing for his first berth at the Nitto ATP Finals, will play American Steve Johnson or countryman Pablo Andujar in the second round. Aussie Nick Kyrgios, the sixth seed, looms in his quarter.

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