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Read & Watch: Felix, Hyeon Go Back To School In Chengdu

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

Read & Watch: Felix, Hyeon Go Back To School In Chengdu

Auger-Aliassime, Chung inspire students during tennis clinic

#NextGenATP star Felix Auger-Aliassime and 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung visited the Jinhui Primary School on Monday to conduct a tennis clinic with 20 students. 

The 19-year-old Canadian and 23-year-old Korean, who are both playing at the Chengdu Open for the second year running, supervised a variety of training drills and provided the kids with tips to improve their form and increase their confidence.

The pair then picked a partner each to play seven-point tie-break, which was won by Chung and his teammate.

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“It was a nice activity, I’m always up for things like this,” said Auger-Aliassime, the No. 2 seed at the ATP 250 tournament. “It’s nice to put a smile on the kids’ faces and see how they play and inspire them. It’s something that I do back home, but to come to Chengdu in China and play with the local kids – it’s nice.”

“It was a fun time and great experience today,” added Chung, who won the 2019 International Challenger Chengdu in his return to action this past July. “I’m happy to be back in Chengdu. I have great memories here and love to play here. My body feels healthy now and I hope to play well this time in the Chengdu Open.”

Chung, who was sidelined five months of the season with a back injury, qualified and made the third round of the US Open, falling to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. Auger-Aliassime is looking to bounce back after a first-round exit to countryman Denis Shapovalov in New York. The Canadian reached his first tour-level quarter-final here last year as a qualifier.

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Why Sandgren Cherishes The 'Opportunity To Play A Legend' In Murray

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

Why Sandgren Cherishes The ‘Opportunity To Play A Legend’ In Murray

The American beat the former World No. 1 in August

When former World No. 1 Andy Murray takes the court Tuesday evening at the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships, the Scot will not only face a difficult opponent, but a fan.

American Tennys Sandgren has long enjoyed watching Murray compete. He has always liked following players who defend well, which is something he tries to do. Sandgren would watch how the likes of Murray, Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon constructed points, how they went about playing throughout a match, and he would try to apply that to his own game.

In 2012, Sandgren got an opportunity that many young players dream of, practising a couple of times with Murray in Delray Beach just a year on from his final year at the University of Tennessee, where he was an all-American.

“It struck me that he was really, really good. That’s what struck me the most,” Sandgren told, cracking a laugh. “That and that he was working his [behind] off. He was working with Ivan [Lendl] and Ivan was crushing him and he was taking it and working like a dog. Those two things struck me hard: his tennis talent was ridiculous and he was working like a dog.”

It would be a while before Sandgren was playing matches against opponents of Murray’s calibre. The current World No. 69 did not crack the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time until he was nearly 26 and his first Grand Slam main draw came at 2017 Roland Garros.

But Murray never forgot about Sandgren. Players typically practise with a large number of people due to varying factors. But despite not seeing the American much as he grinded away on the ATP Challenger Tour, Murray always remembered Sandgren.

“Andy is a guy who has always been super nice to me,” Sandgren said. “I’d always see him maybe four or five times a year at Slams, when I’d be in qualies and he’d be there practising and I’d see him and already be out of the tournament and he’d be in preparation mode when I was already done. He’d always make a point to say, ‘Hello, how’s it going? What’s your ranking at? How are you doing?’

“When you’re at a Slam, those guys are getting pulled a lot of different ways and they’re seeing a lot of people all the time, walking from here to there and it always struck me as a very unnecessary, but very much appreciated thing to do that he would remember me. I felt like he always seemed like a very genuine guy. That always stuck with me, so I’ve always been a fan of his. Even before that, but especially after that.”

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In a way the pair came full circle at the Winston-Salem Open, where Murray played his second singles tournament since undergoing hip surgery after this year’s Australian Open. Sandgren, who claimed his first ATP Tour title in Auckland this year, beat the 45-time tour-level champion 7-6(8), 7-5 in a match that went past midnight due to rain earlier in the day.

“I was so happy we got to play because the crowd was so into it. They wanted to see Andy play so badly and there was an energy just walking on the court because they were happy we were playing with the rain. So I was really excited we got to play that match just in general,” Sandgren said. “It was kind of an odd match. The first set was super tight and then I went up two breaks and he got them both back and I was like, ‘C’mon, ma. Can you please serve it out?’” 

You May Also Like: The Key Things To Watch In Chengdu & Zhuhai

More than 13,000 kilometres away in Zhuhai, Sandgren will look to take a 2-0 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Just three years ago, the American had yet to break into the Top 100. And now, Sandgren is playing a former World No. 1 twice in a month’s time.

“I’m just one of the guys who gets the opportunity to play a legend and that’s cool. That’s an enjoyable experience,” Sandgren said. “I’ve played a lot of matches in relative obscurity, so to be able to have those opportunities is a lot of fun. It’s of course challenging because you have to figure out what the heck you’re going to do and there’s more people and there’s pressure that comes with that, sure, but it’s way more of an opportunity and an enjoyable experience to go out there and compete and entertain some people and have fun with it.”

Sandgren knows that this is an interesting moment for Murray, too. The three-time Grand Slam champion has yet to win a tour-level singles match during his comeback, so earning revenge against Sandgren could help build momentum as he continues his journey back to form.

“As a fan of the game and of his, I’m curious to see what will happen. I hope the best for him. As a competitor, it’s irrelevant. I have to go and do what I’m going to do,” Sandgren said. “Regardless of what he’s bringing to the table, I have to bring my best level to the table and see how it matches up and see if it’s good enough on the day.”

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2020 Laver Cup To Be Held In Boston

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

2020 Laver Cup To Be Held In Boston

Team Europe will go for its fourth consecutive title

The 2020 Laver Cup will take place in Boston, one of the greatest sports cities in the world, from 25-27 September.

Sports fans worldwide keenly follow several major league sports teams from the Massachusetts’ capital, including the Boston Bruins (ice hockey), Boston Celtics (basketball), Boston Red Sox (baseball) and the New England Patriots (football).

Now tennis will add a new dimension to Boston’s incredible sports reputation with the arrival of the Laver Cup, in its fourth edition and where the best players from Team Europe and Team World fight for victory over the three-day team competition, established to honour past legends of the game.

The last professional tennis tournament held in Boston was in 1999, when Marat Safin defeated Greg Rusedski for the ATP Tour title.

Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg and Team World captain John McEnroe confirmed that they will reprise their roles next year.

“This is a phenomenal sports town and I expect fans will raise the roof for the home side,” McEnroe said. “Laver Cup 2018 was unbelievably close thanks to the enthusiasm of home crowds. Boston is sure to continue that tradition at TD Garden, one of the best venues in the world.”

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Home of the NBA’s Celtics and the NHL’s Bruins, TD Garden is New England’s largest sports and entertainment arena and hosts more than 3.5 million people a year at its world-renowned concerts and sporting events.

The Laver Cup was inspired by the career of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, who won two calendar-year Grand Slams, in 1962 and 1969.

I’m delighted to see the fourth instalment of the Laver Cup will be in Boston,” said Laver, a long-time resident of Carlsbad in California. It’s a wonderful city steeped in history, sports and culture. I can’t wait to get back there for the Laver Cup, it’s sure to be another memorable chapter in this event’s remarkable evolution.”

Since Laver Cup’s debut at Prague in 2017, the event has been staged at Chicago in 2018 and Geneva, Switzerland, in 2019, with the host city alternating between Europe and the rest of the world.

Team Europe won its third consecutive Laver Cup on Sunday in Geneva as Alexander Zverev, for the second year in a row, won the event’s final match to catapult the home team to the title 13-11. Zverev beat Team World’s Milos Raonic 6-4, 3-6, 10-4. Each winning team member receives $250,000.

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British number one Edmund splits from coach

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

British number one Kyle Edmund is looking for another coach after parting company with Mark Hilton.

Edmund lost to Chilean Cristian Garin in the Chengdu Open first round on Monday, his fourth straight defeat.

However, Hilton was not in China for the match as the partnership came to an end last week.

Edmund is ranked 32 in the world but, hindered by knee problems, has only managed to win 12 matches on the ATP Tour this year.

Until February, Hilton had been working in conjunction with Swedish coach Freddie Rosengren. The highlight of their time together came in Melbourne in January 2018, when Edmund reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Edmund will be assisted in the short term by Colin Beecher, who also coached him when he was in his late teens.

Beecher is based in west London, but had already agreed to travel to China with British number two Dan Evans, who is also without a permanent coach.

Edmund will remain in China to play in Beijing and Shanghai, before returning to Europe to compete in Vienna, Austria, and Paris, France, as well as the Davis Cup finals in the Spanish capital Madrid.

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Garin Marches Past Edmund In Chengdu

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

Garin Marches Past Edmund In Chengdu

Klahn through in three sets

Cristian Garin’s impressive 2019 ATP Tour season continued at the Chengdu Open on Monday, as the Chilean beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-2.

The 23-year-old converted four of seven break points against the seventh seed to notch his 26th victory in 43 tour-level matches this year after 72 minutes. Garin is bidding to claim his third ATP Tour crown of the season after clinching clay-court titles in Houston and Munich earlier this year.

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The two-time tour-level titlist will face Fernando Verdasco or qualifier Alexei Popyrin for a spot in the quarter-finals. Garin has never met Verdasco or Popyrin at tour-level.

In a meeting of qualifiers, Bradley Klahn outlasted Jason Jung 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) to reach the second round. The World No. 97 will next meet eighth seed Denis Shapovalov or Ricardas Berankis.

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Ramos-Vinolas Charges Past Nishioka In Zhuhai

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

Ramos-Vinolas Charges Past Nishioka In Zhuhai

Norrie through in straight sets

Albert Ramos-Vinolas wasted no time booking his place in the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships second round on Monday, beating Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 6-1 in 74 minutes.

The 31-year-old Spaniard claimed 81 per cent of first-serve points (22/27) and converted five of eight break points to cruise past Nishioka. Ramos-Vinolas will face one of two Next Gen ATP Finals contenders — Casper Ruud or Miomir Kecmanovic — for a quarter-final spot. The eighth seed owns a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Ruud and is yet to meet Kecmanovic at tour-level.

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Cameron Norrie also reached the second round in Zhuhai, beating Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 6-4. Norrie, who did not face a break point, claimed 87 per cent of first-serve points (26/30) throughout the 67-minute contest.

Norrie will meet third seed Gael Monfils in the second round. The Frenchman defeated Norrie in their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter at the 2017 Nature Valley International.

In the final match of the day, Frenchman Adrian Mannarino set up a second-round meeting with top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas by beating home favourite Ze Zhang 7-6(6), 7-5. Tsitsipas leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 1-0, a straight-sets win in May at the Mutua Madrid Open.

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The Key Things To Watch In Chengdu & Zhuhai

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

The Key Things To Watch In Chengdu & Zhuhai

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week on the ATP Tour

The ATP Tour heads to China with the Chengdu Open and the inaugural Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships kicking off the three-week ‘Asian Swing’. The ATP 250 tournaments provide players with an opportunity to earn crucial points, with less than two months to go until the Nitto ATP Finals in London and the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

Six Top 30 players headline an impressive draw in Chengdu, led by John Isner and Felix Auger-Aliassime. In Zhuhai, top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of four Top 15 talents in attendance.

Chengdu Talking Points

A new Chengdu Open champion and finalist are guaranteed, as the three prior titlists and three prior runners-up are not in this week’s main draw. Two players who have already claimed ATP Tour singles titles in 2019 — No. 1 seed John Isner and No. 3 seed Benoit Paire — are making their Chengdu debuts.

2017 champion Denis Istomin and defending champion Bernard Tomic did contest the Chengdu Open qualifying this weekend – and they drew each other in the first round. Tomic retired during their match due to a left wrist injury; Istomin advanced to the final round, where he lost to #NextGenATP Australian Alexei Popyrin.

Popyrin is joined in the main draw by two other #NextGenATP stars seeking their first title, both from Canada: 19-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime and 20-year-old Denis Shapovalov. Auger-Aliassime made his first three ATP Tour finals earlier this season, finishing as runner-up each time, while Shapovalov is seeking his first singles final.

Ivan Dodig is back to attempt to defend his Chengdu Open doubles title, pairing with Filip Polasek this year. Dodig and Polasek teamed to win the Western & Southern Open in August, which is the biggest title of Polasek’s career. Polasek returned to the ATP Tour last year after missing nearly five years of action due to injuries.

Zhuhai Talking Points

The Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships features two Top 10 players in its inaugural field: World No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas and World No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut. Both arrive in Zhuhai after a successful Laver Cup campaign in Geneva, where Team Europe lifted its third trophy in as many years (Bautista Agut as an alternate). Former World No. 1 Andy Murray, who has lifted five of his 45 tour-level trophies in China, also features in the draw.

<a href=''>Andy Murray</a> is attempting to record his first tour-level victory since the <a href=''>Brisbane International</a> in January.

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No. 3 seed Gael Monfils has notched 23 hard-court match-wins for the season to date, which is the third-most on the ATP Tour. The Frenchman, who had a career-best 15-3 start to the year, trails only Daniil Medvedev (41) and Roger Federer (25) in hard-court victories in 2019.

Two of the four #NextGenATP players in the field — Casper Ruud and Miomir Kecmanovic — will face each other in the first round. Ruud and Kecmanovic, who are currently No. 6 and No. 7 respectively in the ATP Race To Milan, were doubles partners at Roland Garros and the US Open this year. They upset the No. 3-seeded team of Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus to reach the US Open Round of 16.

One year ago this week, Yoshihito Nishioka won his first ATP Tour title in Shenzhen. The 23-year-old World No. 60 is just two spots off his career-high ATP Ranking, which he achieved in March 2017. Nishioka and Kecmanovic partook in a special painting activity with local children 70 stories above Zhuhai on Sunday, interacting with the community before beginning their runs at this ATP 250 tournament.

<a href=''>Miomir Kecmanovic</a> and <a href=''>Yoshihito Nishioka</a> visit local children for a painting activity ahead of the <a href=''>Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships</a>.

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Kyle Edmund loses in Chengdu but Cameron Norrie wins in Zhuhai

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

British number one Kyle Edmund lost 6-3 6-2 to Chile’s Cristian Garin in the Chengdu Open first round in China.

World number 32 Edmund, seeded seventh, fell to defeat in 72 minutes against Garin, who is unseeded, but only one place lower in the rankings.

Edmund has now lost four successive matches and has suffered three consecutive first-round exits.

Fellow Briton Cameron Norrie is through to the second round at the Zhuhai Championships in China.

The world number 68 defeated Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 6-4.

Norrie will meet French third seed Gael Monfils in the second round.

Andy Murray continues his comeback from hip surgery in the same event, playing American Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday.

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Berrettini Rises To Eighth In 2019 ATP Race To London

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

Berrettini Rises To Eighth In 2019 ATP Race To London looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Race To London, as of Monday, 23 September 2019

No. 8, Matteo Berrettini, +1
The Italian rose one spot to eighth position in the ATP Race To London, just five points ahead of ninth-placed Kei Nishikori (2,180), after reaching the St. Petersburg Open quarter-finals. Prior to the US Open, where he reached the semi-finals, the 23-year-old was in 17th place. He has enjoyed a breakthrough season with two ATP Tour titles at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (d. Auger-Aliassime) and the Hungarian Open in Budapest (d. Krajinovic).

View Latest ATP Race To London

No. 19, Lucas Pouille, +3
The Frenchman has risen three places to 19th with a run to the Moselle Open semi-finals (l. to Tsonga). It is the 25-year-old’s best result since advancing to his first major championship semi-final at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) in January.

No. 22, Borna Coric, +4
The Croatian advanced to his sixth ATP Tour final (2-4) at the St. Petersburg Open (l. to Medvedev) to move up four positions to 22nd in the ATP Race To London.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 29 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, +16
No. 51 Filip Krajinovic, +3
No. 61 Joao Sousa, +3
No. 64 Aljaz Bedene, +12
No. 73 John Millman, +11
No. 85 Gregoire Barrere, +8
No. 99 Salvatore Caruso, +6

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Ruusuvuori's Rapid Rise: Finn Flies To Glasgow Crown

  • Posted: Sep 23, 2019

Ruusuvuori’s Rapid Rise: Finn Flies To Glasgow Crown

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

Murray Trophy (Glasgow, U.K.): Can anyone stop Emil Ruusuvuori? Seriously. That’s a legitimate question. While Daniil Medvedev has been practically unbeatable on the ATP Tour in recent months, Ruusuvuori has been equally as dominant on the ATP Challenger Tour.

The 20-year-old Finn added a third title in four months, lifting the trophy at the inaugural Murray Trophy in Glasgow. The tournament’s namesake, Jamie Murray, was the talk of the town throughout the week, but Ruusuvuori quickly grabbed the headlines at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre. He routed Alexandre Muller 6-3, 6-1 in just 63 minutes in Sunday’s championship.


Ruusuvuori’s rapid rise is awe-inspiring. Since becoming the youngest-ever Challenger champion from Finland, in Fergana in June, he not only reached his first clay-court final in Augsburg, but added two more titles in Mallorca and now in Glasgow. It marks the second straight year in which a player aged 20 & under has completed a title treble, with Ugo Humbert achieving the feat in 2018.

Moreover, Ruusuvuori has lost just three matches since the start of August, posting a 19-3 record in that span. In fact, of those 19 wins, a total of 17 have come in straight sets. His efficient victory over Dominic Thiem in Davis Cup a week ago marked his first over a Top 10 opponent.

“I thought I played a great match,” said Ruusuvuori. “I didn’t start that well, but I was able to raise my level. I got the break in the first set and then I managed to loosen up a little in the second set. It was good.

“It’s not easy to break here. It just shows I’m able to play some pretty great tennis at the moment and do some damage to the other guys. It’s been a great week.”

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Ruusuvuori has shown maturity well beyond his age and has a cannon forehand and clutch serve to back it up. He dropped just five games in the third round, three games in the quarter-finals and four games in both the semis and final.

Just three months ago, Ruusuvuori was sitting outside the Top 400. On Monday, he will be up to a career-high No. 142 in the ATP Rankings. The Top 100 is well within reach.

OEC Open (Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei): John Millman would not be denied his 12th Challenger trophy, securing the title at the Challenger 125 event in Kaohsiung. The third seed defeated Marc Polmans 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday.

Millman was mired in a 6-12 slump upon entering the hard courts of the Kaohsiung Arena, but he would snap out of it in a big way. The Aussie dropped one set all week, notching a Challenger title for a third straight season.


Columbus Challenger III (Columbus, Ohio, USA): One week ago, Peter Polansky saw his ATP Ranking drop to No. 200 for the first time since 2016. The Canadian responded with authority, notching his fourth Challenger crown on the indoor hard courts of Columbus.

Polansky defeated J.J. Wolf 6-3, 7-6(4) on Sunday, capping an impressive week on the campus of Ohio State University. He dropped just one set all tournament, rising 33 spots to No. 167 in the ATP Rankings.


Thindown Challenger Biella (Biella, Italy): Gianluca Mager secured a rollercoaster, marathon final on home soil in Biella, defeating countryman Paolo Lorenzi 6-0, 6-7(4), 7-5 on Sunday. Mager’s victory was his third of the year, becoming the sixth player to lift a trio of trophies in 2019.

In addition, Mager joined Andrej Martin in the ’40 Wins Club’ this year, improving to 40-18 on the season. He rises 22 spots in the ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 120.


Sibiu Open (Sibiu, Romania): Danilo Petrovic was a force all week in Sibiu, not dropping a set en route to his second Challenger title. He downed Christopher O’Connell 6-4, 6-2 to lift the trophy on Sunday.

The Serbian added a clay-court crown to his hard-court victory in Jerusalem in May. He cracks the Top 200 for the first time, rising 65 spots to a career-high No. 194 in the ATP Rankings.


One of the most prestigious tournaments in France is in the city of Orleans. This week, the indoor hard-court event celebrates its 15th edition, with defending champion Aljaz Bedene returning as the third seed. Metz titlist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga leads the field, with second seed Ugo Humbert embedded in the ATP Race To Milan.

In Tiburon, California, top seed Tommy Paul looks to add to his recent run, having lifted the trophy in New Haven earlier this month. Sixth seed Michael Mmoh returns as the reigning champion.

A pair of Challenger 80 events are also on the schedule, with the second edition of the Firenze Tennis Cup returning to Florence, Italy. Philipp Kohlschreiber is the top seed. And in Buenos Aires, home hope Federico Delbonis leads the field, with Hugo Dellien seeded second.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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