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Five Things To Know About Tiafoe, Who's Headed Back To Milan

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Five Things To Know About Tiafoe, Who’s Headed Back To Milan

American looking to reach semi-finals at 21-and-under event for first time

Frances Tiafoe is returning to Milan. The 21-year-old American has qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals for the second consecutive year.

Here are five things to know about Tiafoe before the Next Gen ATP Finals, which will be held 5-9 November.

1. He has an unconventional tennis story.
Tiafoe did not grow up the son a former major tennis champion or destined for ATP Tour greatness. His father, Frances Sr., was the Head of Maintenance at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland, USA, and Frances and his twin brother, Franklin, began to play there against a wall at the age of three.

Some nights, all three of them would sleep at the tennis center. Tiafoe’s mother, Alphina, and Frances Sr. moved from Sierra Leone to the U.S. in 1996.

I obviously wasn’t a normal tennis story,” Tiafoe said. “The beginning of my career, I was playing for them, trying to do everything for my family. Obviously now I put them in a great place. Now I’m trying to do it for me.”

Watch From 2017 Uncovered: Tiafoe Revisits College Park Roots

2. He enjoyed a breakout run in Australia.
Tiafoe was 0-1 on the season coming into the Australian Open and had never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam. Yet the American won four matches, including against No. 6 Kevin Anderson, No. 35 Andreas Seppi and No. 21 Grigor Dimitrov, to make his first major quarter-final (l. to Nadal).

“[The Australian Open] was an absolute movie for me. Still in disbelief. I [want to] thank everyone who pushed me to make this run, y’all know who you are. I couldn’t be more grateful,” Tiafoe said.

3. He knocked out a Spanish legend in Miami.
David Ferrer retired in May after losing to Alexander Zverev at the Mutua Madrid Open. Along the way, though, Ferrer said goodbye to a few select tournaments, including the Miami Open presented by Itau.

In March, Tiafoe, en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, beat Ferrer in the Spaniard’s last match in South Florida. The American also beat 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up David Goffin before falling to fellow Milan qualifier Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-finals.

Absolute war. I [have nothing] but respect for this guy, [David Ferrer]. You will be missed,” Tiafoe said.


4. He’s a massive fan of NBA basketball star LeBron James.
Tiafoe follows the NBA closely, and while he favours professional sports teams from Washington, D.C., including the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Tiafoe is partial to NBA superstar LeBron James. In Melbourne and Miami, Tiafoe emulated James’ celebrations.

He’s a hero of everybody, I hope. We’re talking about LeBron James. I’m a massive basketball fan. I can talk about it for ages,” Tiafoe said.

5. He’s coming back to Milan.
Tiafoe represented the #NextGenATP in Milan last year, falling just short of the semi-finals. He went 1-2, beating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz but losing to eventual champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and Spain’s Jaume Munar. Every year of the Next Gen ATP Finals has had American representation: 2017, Jared Donaldson and 2018, Taylor Fritz and Tiafoe.

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Fritz & Tiafoe Leading American #NextGenATP Charge

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Federer's First Challenger Title: Roger Reflects 20 Years Later

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Federer’s First Challenger Title: Roger Reflects 20 Years Later pays tribute to Roger Federer on the 20-year anniversary of his first professional title in Brest, France

In February, Roger Federer made history. The Swiss captured his 100th tour-level singles title in Dubai, celebrating yet another impressive achievement on one of the ATP Tour’s biggest stages.

While most players dream of lifting one trophy, let alone 100, Federer does in fact have one thing in common with them all. A century of tour-level titles would not have been possible without that very first piece of silverware on the ATP Challenger Tour. The same goes for every player striving to make it big.

This week, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Federer’s first triumph on the Challenger circuit. His very first breakthrough as a professional came on the indoor hard courts of Brest, France, in October 1999.

At the time, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were battling for supremacy in the ATP Rankings, with Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Patrick Rafter also making a push for the top spot. A precocious teenager with great potential, Federer was that rising Next Gen prospect looking to crash the party and announce his arrival.

The epic matches, record-breaking triumphs and awe-inspiring shotmaking have shaped the Swiss’ legacy. But Federer’s career did not launch with him at the top, clutching his first Wimbledon trophy. Like everyone else, he earned every bit of his success, crafting his talents as a teenager, far from the spotlight of the big arenas and stadiums.

It was an autumn afternoon in the port city of Brest, France, in late October. Located more than five hours by car from Paris and nestled on the Atlantic Ocean, Brest is one of the westernmost towns in the country.

An 18-year-old Federer was competing in the final, however, this wasn’t the typical title match you’d associate with the Swiss. There was little fanfare as he stepped onto the indoor hard courts of the Parc de la Penfeld. There were no legions of devoted fans cheering at full throat and clamouring for selfies and autographs. That would come later.

It might not have seemed significant at the time, but Federer’s first professional title was a critical moment in his fledgling career. He dropped one set en route to the Brest crown, defeating Max Mirnyi 7-6(4), 6-3 in the championship.

“It was a big one,” Federer reflected. “I ended up winning the whole tournament. I beat ‘The Beast’, Max Mirnyi, in the final. Because of that win, I ended up finishing the year around No. 65 in the world. It’s the only Challenger I ever won, so of course it’s memorable.”

Already a highly-touted junior, Federer was one to watch as a teenager, but that did not guarantee him anything upon turning pro. Regardless of talent level and potential, you have to work your way to the top. The Basel native, who opened the 1999 season outside the Top 300 of the ATP Rankings and was sitting at No. 66 upon entering Brest, scratched and clawed from the bottom like everyone else.

Federer’s visit to Brest would be his eighth and final Challenger appearance, having reached his first ATP Tour final in Marseille just a few months later. He would graduate to full-time status on the ATP Tour in 2000. While most players spend years fighting to rise the ATP Rankings at the Challenger level, Federer is an anomaly in the professional landscape, taking advantage of his opportunities from a young age.

The Challenger circuit would also feature Federer’s first grass-court tournament as a professional. He reached the semi-finals in Surbiton, UK, in 1999 as well. And less than a month later, the surface’s winningest player would make his debut at Wimbledon.

“I don’t believe there’s a huge difference between the Challenger level and the ATP level. It tests your spirits, because they are usually in the smaller cities and they are harder to get to, so you really build thick skin and you have to be tough. You have to battle through some tough conditions. I admire the guys on the Challenger Tour a lot.”

It is the road travelled by every player seeking to establish a career in professional tennis. For those with aspirations of competing on the biggest stages on the ATP Tour and in Grand Slams, it all begins here: the ATP Challenger Tour.

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Dimitrov Earns 300th Tour-Level Win In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Dimitrov Earns 300th Tour-Level Win In Vienna

Bulgarian will face third seed Berrettini in the second round

Grigor Dimitrov earned his 300th tour-level win on Monday evening in Vienna, defeating qualifier Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 7-5 to reach the second round of the Erste Bank Open.

“I think it was one of those matches that I really had to go through. I was very determined in my own game to find that rhythm. I still believe that I could have done a few things better,” Dimitrov said. “I think it was great to be able to come through in straight sets. I think the thing that I was most happy with is definitely my composure and the way I kept on going throughout the whole match.”

The Bulgarian, who claimed his first tour-level victory at Rotterdam in 2009 against Tomas Berdych, has claimed 20 wins against opponents inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings during his career. Dimitrov, an eight-time ATP Tour titlist, has won 199 of his matches on hard courts (199-125). 

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Dimitrov will face a tough test in the next round against third seed Matteo Berrettini, who is making a push to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. But Dimitrov will be confident, having turned his season around last month by reaching the US Open semi-finals.

“He’s been playing well. I think in that particular situation I want to say that it’s going to be a great match. I think above all, everything suits him more at the moment because obviously he’s got a few matches behind his back throughout the year,” Dimitrov said. “[He’s] very confident, which I’m sure he’s going to go for a lot of his favourite shots and he’s going to try to play his game. But at the same time, I think with each match I gain confidence and each match is just as important for me.”

This is the 28-year-old’s second appearance in Vienna, where he lost in the first round last year. Dimitrov won 55 per cent of his return points against the World No. 92 to take a 4-0 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. This was their first match that did not go to a deciding set.

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Federer Sprints Through Basel Opener

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Federer Sprints Through Basel Opener

Swiss going for 10th Basel title this week

Roger Federer started his European indoor season with more dominance in his hometown of Basel on Monday evening. The 38-year-old Swiss won his 21st consecutive match at the Swiss Indoors Basel, sprinting past German Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-1 in only 53 minutes.

“I thought the match was good. I felt like I had a good spring in my step and was quick onto the ball. Didn’t take me long to get used to the conditions. That was positive,” Federer said. “[I] knew of the danger playing Peter, especially indoors. He had a great couple of qualifying matches, so I knew he’d be tough, especially [because] he beat Karlovic easy, who serves great.”

Federer, who was playing in his 1,500th tour-level match, broke five times and, despite giving back one of those breaks in the second set, cruised in the quick indoor conditions to improve to 72-9 at the ATP 500 event. He finished with 34 winners to only 18 unforced errors.

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The World No. 3 is going for his 10th Basel title and 103rd overall. Federer has won only one tournament 10 times, the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle.

The Swiss has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for a record-extending 17th time. He will next meet Moldovan Radu Albot or Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.

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In other action, #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur beat Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-1, 7-5 and will next face the winner of American Taylor Fritz and second seed Alexander Zverev, who is currently in seventh place in the ATP Race To London. The top eight will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 10-17 November at The O2 in London.

Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff knocked out #NextGenATP Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4, 6-2 and will face Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen, who upset eighth seed Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 7-5 in front of the home crowd.

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Berrettini Bolsters London Hopes, Battles Past Edmund In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Berrettini Bolsters London Hopes, Battles Past Edmund In Vienna

Second seed Khachanov also advances to the second round

Matteo Berrettini rallied for an important win in the first round of the Erste Bank Open on Monday, battling past Kyle Edmund 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and six minutes to bolster his hopes in the ATP Race To London, in which there are only two weeks remaining. The Italian is chasing his first appearance in the Nitto ATP Finals.

Berrettini, who is at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 11, struck 10 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced against Edmund. He locked down his serve in the deciding set, not facing a break point en route to evening his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with the World No. 75 at 1-1.

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Berrettini fell behind a break early in the first set against Edmund. And to make matters worse, the third seed turned his right ankle as he chased a forehand, grimacing in pain and having a trainer called out. But he pushed on and as the match wore on, Berrettini raised his level. Although his biggest weapons are his forehand and serve, the Italian showed a willingness to come into net and he was also composed when Edmund attacked with his own dangerous forehand.

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The 23-year-old will next face 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, who ousted qualifier Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 7-5. This is Berrettini’s Vienna debut.

Second seed Karen Khachanov worked hard to eliminate 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 7-6(3).

The Russian, who is playing this ATP 500 tournament for the fourth time, played a solid match and took advantage of uncharacteristic errors off Hurkacz’s racquet, mostly caused by going for aggressive shots from tough positions. Khachanov held match point on the Polish No. 1’s serve at 5-3 in the second set and then served for the victory at 5-4, but failed to capitalise.

After his momentary slip, Khachanov steadied his ship, sprinting to a 4/0 lead in the tie-break and cracking an inside-out forehand winner to triumph after one hour and 41 minutes. Khachanov is pursuing his first ATP Tour title of the season after lifting three trophies in 2018.

In the next round he will face qualifier Marton Fucsovics, who broke serve four times in a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Italian Lorenzo Sonego. The Hungarian saved four of the six break points he faced.

Fifth seed Diego Schwartzman moved on in more straightforward fashion, ousting Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 47 minutes. The Argentine had lost three consecutive matches before securing this victory. Sschwartzman will next face another Frenchman in Adrian Mannarino, or American Sam Querrey. 

Did You Know?
Berrettini does not add points in the ATP Race To London with this win, but he could add 45 points to his total by reaching the quarter-finals.

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Vienna Open: Kyle Edmund's losing run continues against Matteo Berrettini

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Former British number one Kyle Edmund suffered his eighth-straight defeat after US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini fought back to win their Vienna Open first-round match.

Edmund, now 75th in the world rankings, showed glimpses of his best form in a consistent opening set.

But the 24-year-old could not sustain that level as errors crept in and the 11th-ranked Italian won 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Edmund has not won since beating Nick Kyrgios in Montreal on 6 August.

This latest defeat could also damage his hopes of being picked by Great Britain for the Davis Cup finals in Madrid next month.

Edmund was not named in captain Leon Smith’s initial four-man squad earlier on Monday, with either the Yorkshireman or Cameron Norrie – ranked 17 places higher – looking set for the final spot.

Berrettini, who struggled with an ankle injury before recovering in the second set, is looking to cap an impressive breakthrough year by reaching the ATP Finals in London next month for the first time.

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Dimitrov Looks To Push Bulgaria’s ATP Cup Hopes This Week In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Dimitrov Looks To Push Bulgaria’s ATP Cup Hopes This Week In Vienna

Second entry deadline is looming on 13 November

This week’s Swiss Indoors Basel and the Erste Bank Open — both ATP 500 tournaments — provide big opportunities for players who are trying to move their country into one of the ATP Cup’s final five qualifying spots with the event’s second entry deadline looming on 13 November, just more than three weeks away.

The winner of each event will receive 500 ATP Ranking points, meaning countries currently placed from 20-24 could solidify their standing in Basel or Vienna, while countries on the outside looking in can surge forward with a big effort by their No. 1 player.

Leading the way in trying to qualify his country is 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian fell to No. 78 in the ATP Rankings in August, his lowest standing since May 2012, when he was only 21. At that point, Bulgaria’s hopes of participating in the ATP Cup looked in jeopardy.

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But with his run to the semi-finals of the US Open, Dimitrov not only helped his own ATP Ranking, but he put Bulgaria, currently in 20th spot, in position to earn a right to challenge itself against the world’s top teams in Australia. Dimitrov can push Bulgaria even closer to qualification with a deep run in Vienna, where he will face Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur in the first round.

But the big battle that is setting up is for the 24th and final spot. Moldovan No. 1 Radu Albot currently has his country in 24th place. The World No. 49 has 1,057 points, putting him just 31 points in front of World No. 51 Alexander Bublik, who is trying to push Kazakhstan into the cut.

Bublik lost in the second round of qualifying in Vienna. But even still, he will have an opportunity to pass Albot in the ATP Rankings depending on the Moldovan’s results in Basel. One year ago this week, Albot won the Liuzhou Challenger, which netted him 80 points. Those points will drop next Monday.

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The 29-year-old will play Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the first round of the ATP 500 event in Basel, with a potential showdown against nine-time champion Roger Federer looming in the second round. Albot took the first set from Federer in Miami this year before succumbing in three sets. Another Kazakh, Mikhail Kukushkin, is 55 points behind Bublik in the ATP Rankings, and he will play Borna Coric in the first round in Vienna.

Between 20th-placed Bulgaria and 24th-placed Moldova are three countries with No. 1 players hoping to firm up their standing in this ATP Cup battle. Hubert Hurkacz has Poland in 21st, Cristian Garin has Chile in 22nd and Pablo Cuevas has Uruguay in 23rd.

Hurkacz will play second seed Karen Khachanov in Vienna, while Garin and Cuevas are both competing in Basel. Of the group, Hurkacz has the most points to defend, having earned 110 points by winning the Brest Challenger this week last year.

Countries on the outside looking in — No. 26 Norway and No. 27 Portugal — had their ATP Cup dreams take a hit as Norwegian No. 1 Casper Ruud and Portuguese No. 1 Joao Sousa both lost in Basel qualifying.

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Copil Didn't Like Tennis At First; Now He's One Of The Tour's Dangerous Players

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Copil Didn’t Like Tennis At First; Now He’s One Of The Tour’s Dangerous Players speaks exclusively to the Romanian, who made the Basel final in 2018

Romanian Marius Copil began playing tennis when he was seven, mostly because his brother would practise daily in their hometown of Arad. But Copil didn’t enjoy the sport at a young age, preferring football.

“[Tennis] was a one-on-one sport. At the beginning that’s what I didn’t like, because my father was a rugby player and my mom was a handball player, so they both did a team sport,” Copil said. “Back when I went home finishing my homework and so on I was allowed to go on the streets to play with the kids and we were all playing soccer. That’s why I liked soccer more than tennis. It was much more fun.”

Copil was not the most willing participant on a tennis court. He didn’t even want to hit every shot. There were no bubbles in Arad, so kids had to go to schools during the winter and play on wooden courts meant for basketball and volleyball that had some lines thrown down for tennis. There were only two feet behind the ‘baselines’, so players had to stay inside the court to play.

“I told them, ‘Listen, if you want me to stay here I just want to smash and serve,’” recalls Copil, who later spent most of his teenage years in Germany. “So for two years I was just smashing and serving.”

That’s fitting, as Copil has become one of the most dangerous servers on the ATP Tour. The Romanian’s 75 per cent success rate behind his first serve places him among the Top 50 since the statistic has been kept.

“What a nice serve he has,” said Roger Federer. “Nice, cool demeanor on the court as well.”

“He serves extremely well,” said Andy Murray.


That is the respect that Copil, who has climbed as high as World No. 56 and reached two ATP Tour finals, receives from his peers. But it hasn’t always been easy for him. Copil first cracked the ATP Rankings just more than 13 years ago, when he was only 15, and it would take more than a decade for him to make the Top 100.

“My father said, ‘Okay, we don’t play any juniors anymore, we go straight to ATP.’ I think that was a bad call because in the juniors you have these long matches. You have rivalries when you play good. You have the best kids from all the countries so you have good matches… Being at the Challenger level so young, it’s tough because the guys were much stronger than me, they knew the game better and I was losing matches, so it was tough to grow my game and get confidence,” Copil said. “At 22, [in 2013], I reached No. 124 and then I started thinking that I was already in the Top 100. I was thinking too far ahead and I said, ‘Okay, I already made it.’ I was not thinking well and I dropped. It was tough because then people started to judge me and I was listening a lot to everybody. My confidence went down and I wanted to stop at some point.”

Copil struggled with the pressure both he and others placed on himself, and it inhibited his progress. But the Romanian never gave up, and at the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open, he finally made his breakthrough into the Top 100, nearly 11 years after first cracking the ATP Rankings. He defeated Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(9), overcoming a 0/3 deficit and saving two match points in the third-set tie-break.

“I looked at my coach and was like, ‘I cannot make it. I’m so close and I was close before to get to Top 100. I don’t know if I can make it.’ I was so tight. He told me just to relax and play, whatever happens happens,” Copil said. “I was a little bit lucky there with some great shots and then the net helped me on the match point. I just put the ball in and I was praying, ‘Please miss!’… I felt 20 kilograms lighter, all the pressure off my shoulders,” Copil said. “I don’t want to know what would’ve happened if I didn’t win that tie-break, so it’s good that I won it. I think us as players, we put too much pressure on ourselves with the Top 100. It’s a goal that you want to reach and then when you’re close, you start to overthink too much.”

Copil’s biggest breakthrough came last season, when he made his first two ATP Tour finals. At the ATP 250 in Sofia, he fell in a deciding set against first-time champion Mirza Basic. But even more impressively, he defeated two Top 10 opponents — Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev — to make the Swiss Indoors Basel championship match as a qualifier.

Standing in the way was Federer, who at that point had already won eight titles at his hometown event. Copil acquitted himself well, leading the Swiss superstar by a break in each set, but ultimately losing in straight sets.

“He did very well. He came out and I think he played nice tennis,” Federer said. “He played great. That’s what I told him as well. He’s won more matches than I did this week, so he’s the champ really of this Basel week.”

Copil proved not just to the rest of the Tour, but to himself, that he is capable of competing against the best players in the world. And it’s that self-belief that the Romanian has been working on.

“I just said to myself I need to go on court, go to enjoy and play free. I didn’t play the result, I was just playing free and that was nice. If I could do that each tournament, it would be a dream. I’m working on it,” said Copil. “I don’t think about [what my game is capable of] too much, and that’s the problem… I have to start believing in myself much more. With my serve, I could do damage.”

Copil has been working with former Romanian star Andrei Pavel since Cincinnati last year, with the exception of a two-month hiatus after Rotterdam in February.

“I think he definitely has Top 20 game. He actually proved it at the end of the last year in Switzerland beating two Top 10 guys,” Pavel said. “I’m trying to help him with my experience and getting the confidence and experience to work hard and to trust in his game.”

Many times, a player’s personality is reflected in their game. But while Copil has a massive serve and uses aggressive tactics, he is mellow off the court, and admits to being shy.

“He’s a great person, that stands out for sure,” Pavel said of his charge.

But Copil is not shy of the spotlight on the court. He enjoys competing against the sport’s best on some of tennis’ biggest stages. In fact, Copil embraces that. And one year after his biggest run yet in Basel, he still dreams of glory.

“My dream is to win at least one ATP title,” Copil said, cracking a smile. “To win one would be nice.”

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GB win five medals at World Deaf Tennis Championships

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Britain’s Esah Hayat and Phoebe Suthers won three medals each at the World Deaf Tennis Championships in Turkey.

Hayat, 17, and Suthers, 16, claimed gold in the junior mixed doubles, beating Czech second seeds Jaroslav Smedek and Katerina Blascikova 6-0 6-7 (6-8) 10-6.

They then each combined with Lewis Fletcher, 34, for silvers in the senior men’s doubles and mixed doubles finals.

The pair also claimed boys singles silver and girls singles bronze.

“I’ve had a great week and am really pleased with getting two silvers and a gold,” said Hayat.

“We have all come through some close battles this week and we’ve worked well as a team to get our medals.

“GB is becoming a stronger team on the world stage every year, and we will be working hard for more medals at next year’s European Championships.”

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Andy Murray in Great Britain team for Davis Cup finals in Madrid

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2019

Andy Murray will represent Great Britain for the first time since 2016 after being named in the squad for next month’s inaugural Davis Cup finals.

Captain Leon Smith has named Dan Evans, plus doubles pair Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, in his initial team with a fifth player still to be decided.

Kyle Edmund, who has lost his past seven tour matches, is not included.

Britain, who won the Davis Cup in 2015, face the Netherlands and Kazakhstan in the group stage on 20 and 21 November.

Former British number one Edmund, who has dropped to 75th in the ATP rankings, looks likely to battle with Cameron Norrie for the fifth place in the team.

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“We are in a good position with improved strength and depth in our team and will be naming the fifth player in the next couple of weeks,” Smith said.

“Dan is playing some of the best tennis of his career and firmly deserves his place back inside the world’s top 50.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic to see Andy back competing again, headlined by his incredible win in Antwerp.

“Jamie and Neal have been gaining much momentum as a team with impressive semi-final runs at Cincinnati, US Open, Beijing and Shanghai.”

Britain were given a wildcard for the revamped event, which sees 18 nations compete across six groups in Madrid.

The group winners – as well as the two second-placed teams with the best records – progress to the quarter-finals, with the semi-finals and final taking place on 23 and 24 November.

Matches will consist of two singles and one doubles rubber, all played over three sets on a hard court at the Caja Magica.

The 25-year, £2.15bn revamp of the Davis Cup is funded by an investment group led by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique’s Kosmos company.

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Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

So the door remains open for Kyle Edmund, who has been the British number one for most of Andy Murray’s absence from the tour.

Leon Smith still has plenty of time before deciding upon his fifth and final member of the squad.

Edmund’s confidence is as low as his ranking, but he does at least have an opportunity in Vienna this week, and then Paris next week, to remind the captain of his many talents.

Cameron Norrie – currently 17 places higher than Edmund – is another handy option.

What does seem certain is that Murray will be in the team as a singles player: a sign of just how far he has come in such a short period of time.

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