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Harrison Completes Return From Surgery With Delray Beach Win

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Harrison Completes Return From Surgery With Delray Beach Win

#NextGenATP Nakashima prevails in ATP Tour debut on Monday

Four months ago, Ryan Harrison was lying in a hospital bed after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right extensor tendon. On Monday, the American showed he’s back in business by easing past Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina 6-3, 6-2 at the Delray Beach Open by

The win is Harrison’s first tour-level victory since last April in Houston. Awaiting him in the next round is rising South Korean Soonwoo Kwon, who upset seventh-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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#NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima prevailed in his ATP Tour debut with a 7-6(4), 6-1 win over Czech Jiri Vesely. The 18-year-old took the last six games against the recent Pune champion to advance in one hour and 22 minutes. Nakashima will play the winner of third-seeded American Taylor Fritz and British qualifier Cameron Norrie.

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American Mackenzie McDonald also completed a return from injury by taking out Japanese Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2, 7-6(5). McDonald missed the last six months of the 2019 season after having surgery to repair a proximal hamstring tendon. He returned to action in January and has now earned his first tour-level win in 10 months.

Monday’s night session features fifth-seeded Aussie John Millman facing Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, followed by American Frances Tiafoe taking on Ecuadorian qualifier Emilio Gomez.

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Five Things To Know About Brandon Nakashima

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Five Things To Know About Brandon Nakashima

American teenager captures maiden ATP Tour win in Delray Beach

Remember the name: Brandon Nakashima. The 18-year-old American made the most of his ATP Tour debut at the Delray Beach Open by, scoring a straight-sets win on Monday over recent Pune champion Jiri Vesely. looks at five things to know about this talented teenager.

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1. He’s Moved On From College Tennis
Nakashima announced in December that he would turn pro and not return to the University of Virginia for his sophomore season. He earned ACC Rookie of the Year honours last year and posted a 17-5 record in singles.

2. He Excelled In Juniors
The young American concluded his junior tennis career at last year’s US Open, where he reached the boys’ singles semi-finals. Nakashima won the 2018 ITF Junior Masters title and peaked at No. 4 in the ITF Junior Rankings.

3. Other Players Are Taking Note
Nakashima might be new to professional tournaments, but his solid baseline game is already turning heads in the locker room. Fellow American Frances Tiafoe sung his praises after narrowly defeating him earlier this month at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Dallas.

“Watch out for this guy. This guy’s special,” Tiafoe said. “I like his game, I like his demeanour. Great backhand, good serve and he’s level-headed… I’m a fan, for sure.”

4. He’s Soaring Up The FedEx ATP Rankings
The San Diego native began last September at No. 942 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. He now sits at a career-high of No. 290 after reaching the semi-finals at two ATP Challenger Tour events last year and winning an ITF Futures title last month. Nakashima has no points to defend for the next seven months and can only continue to climb.

5. Tennis Runs In His Family
Nakashima was introduced to the sport at age 3 by his grandfather, Anh, an avid recreational player. The pair started playing at public parks in San Diego and he immediately took to the sport. By age 11, Nakashima was diligently training for three hours each day.

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Ymer Overcomes Gasquet In Marseille Opener

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Ymer Overcomes Gasquet In Marseille Opener

Swede owns 4-1 record in first-round matches this year

Mikael Ymer produced an impressive debut performance at the Open 13 Provence on Monday, beating home favourite Richard Gasquet 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

The 21-year-old, who saved seven of 10 break points, converted his third match point to break the 2017 semi-finalist in a marathon final game. Following the two-hour, 22-minute victory, Ymer improved to 4-1 in first-round matches this year.

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The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier will face defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion will be keen to rediscover his best form after a second-round loss to Aljaz Bedene at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament last week.

In the evening session, sixth seed Benoit Paire will meet wild card Gregoire Barrere in an all-French encounter on Court Central. Marton Fucsovics faces Alexander Bublik in the final match of the day.

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Kim Clijsters: Belgian shines in comeback defeat by Garbine Muguruza

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Kim Clijsters produced a remarkable display in her first WTA match in nearly eight years, which ended in a 6-2 7-6 (8-6) defeat by Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza in Dubai.

The Belgian, 36, went toe-to-toe with Muguruza from the baseline, produced several stunning winners and came from a double-break down in the second set.

But Muguruza finally saw off Clijsters with a big serve in the tie-break.

This is the Belgian’s second comeback, having first retired in 2007.

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Back then, injuries and the intention to marry and have a child resulted in the 2005 US Open champion stepping away from the sport.

Clijsters made a successful return to tennis in 2009, adding two more titles at Flushing Meadows and an Australian Open crown in 2011 before announcing her plan to quit the sport again in 2012.

The Belgian, who now has three children, announced in September 2019 her decision to make a second comeback.

As a former world number one, Clijsters is eligible for unlimited wildcards at WTA tournaments, and she can choose the number of events she wishes to compete in – which she said was a major factor in her decision.

Muguruza praises Clijsters display

Clijsters, who has also won three Tour finals, lacked sharpness in the first set before going 3-0 down at the start of the next.

But she then began to find the sweet spots with her groundstrokes as Muguruza struggled with her own serve.

The Spaniard recovered her form and took the set to a tie-break, which was decided by a huge first serve.

“A player that can play incredible can play incredible again,” the former Wimbledon champion said when asked about Clijsters’ level of performance.

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Electronic Line Calling To Feature In Madrid

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Electronic Line Calling To Feature In Madrid

Technology will be available on three main courts in Spanish capital

The Mutua Madrid Open will begin an innovative new chapter in its tournament history this year, as Electronic Line Calling — the electronic review technology for clay courts — will make its debut on each of the tournament’s three main courts.

Players competing at Manolo Santana Stadium, Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario Stadium and Stadium 3, which all feature retractable roofs, will be able to challenge line calls in both singles and doubles matches, including play during the qualifying rounds. The use of the technology on clay, developed by FOXTENN, was officially approved by the ATP in November 2019 and is being trialled at select tournaments by both the ATP and WTA.

After an application process for the use of electronic review, the Mutua Madrid Open will be the only ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory tournament that has the option to use this innovation during this year’s European clay swing.

“We’re very proud to have the opportunity to use Electronic Line Calling at the Mutua Madrid Open 2020. It has always been a hallmark of our tournament to innovate and lead the way, therefore the use of this technology reaffirms that spirit,” said Tournament Director Feliciano Lopez.

“In addition, there is no doubt that it will provide significant extra help to the players. I am so happy about this huge development. It was something we needed on clay, and we’re very happy to have it at the Caja Magica. I would like to reiterate Madrid’s commitment to always being at the cutting edge of technology.”

The use of electronic review on clay is designed to improve the accuracy of umpiring and it was introduced for the first time on the ATP Tour on hard courts at the 2006 Miami Open presented by Itau. Since then, it has been added to other surfaces — apart from clay — where the protocol of allowing players to ask the umpire to check the ball mark during points was maintained.

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Ruud Makes Norwegian History, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Ruud Makes Norwegian History, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the FedEx ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 17 February 2020

No. 34 Casper Ruud (Career High), +11
The 21-year-old became the highest-placed Norwegian in FedEx ATP Rankings history after beating Pedro Sousa for his first ATP Tour title at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. Ruud rose 11 places to a career-high No. 34, five places higher than his father and coach, former World No. 39 Christian Ruud, who achieved his best ranking on 9 October 1995.

View Latest FedEx ATP Rankings

No. 45 Kyle Edmund, +17
The Briton returned to the Top 50 for the first time since 7 October 2019 (at No. 42) after he captured his second ATP Tour title at the New York Open (d. Seppi). His 17-place rise sees him at No. 45.

No. 71 James Duckworth (Career High), +12
The Australian, who compiled 49 matches wins and four titles on the ATP Challenger Tour last year, clinched the Bengaluru Open trophy (d. Bonzi) to jump 12 places to a career-high No. 71. Just two years ago, Duckworth was sitting outside the Top 1,000 as he bid to return from a litany of surgeries, including foot, shoulder and elbow operations.

Other Notable Movers
No. 14 Andrey Rublev (Career High), +1
No. 18 Felix Auger-Aliassime, +3
No. 27 Pablo Carreno Busta, +3
No. 33 Filip Krajinovic, +6
No. 47 Aljaz Bedene, +5
No. 62 Juan Ignacio Londero, +8
No. 68 Jannik Sinner (Career High), +11
No. 80 Andreas Seppi, +18
No. 98 Vasek Pospisil, +6

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Thiem: 'Clay Is Like Coming Home'

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Thiem: ‘Clay Is Like Coming Home’

Austrian holds top seed in Rio de Janeiro

After proving once again in Australia that he can excel on any surface, Dominic Thiem is ready to return to his surface of choice at the Rio Open presented by Claro.

Thiem is the top seed this week at the ATP 500 clay-court event in Rio de Janeiro and will start against local wild card Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves. The 2017 champion (d. Carreno Busta) is participating in the Latin Swing for the fifth consecutive year and proved that playing on clay won’t disturb his preparation for hard-court ATP Masters 1000 events next month in Indian Wells and Miami.

“For me, it’s no problem to [play] on clay for one or two weeks and then switch back to hard courts. Coming on clay is like coming home,” Thiem said. “I like the surface and also really like South America. It’s a completely different atmosphere… I’ve had great experiences, won here, won Buenos Aires twice, so it’s very easy for me to come back here.“

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The Austrian, No. 4 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, is competing in his first event since finishing runner-up earlier this month at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). Although Thiem understandably experienced heartbreak after his five-set defeat in Melbourne, he’s moved forward and is taking the positives from reaching his first hard-court Grand Slam final.

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“I feel great about the performance in Melbourne. It was a hell of a two weeks, beating three Top 10 guys and then losing to Novak Djokovic 6-4 in the fifth,” Thiem said. “Of course, it was a huge disappointment… But after some time to reflect, it was a great tournament and start to the season. I hope to keep that good form going.” 

Main draw action in Rio de Janeiro begins on Monday.

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Edmund Talks Selfies, Shares His Three Go-To Recipes

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Edmund Talks Selfies, Shares His Three Go-To Recipes

Brit talks about his dusty cookbooks and the time he took a selfie with Ian Poulter in this ‘Last Time’ Q&A

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on 22 March 2019. Kyle Edmund won the 2020 New York Open.

Kyle Edmund, having achieved his ATP Rankings goal in 2018 by finishing inside the Top 20, has set his target even higher in 2019 as the 24-year-old looks to improve upon his career-high of No. 14. Edmund, who beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 6-3, 6-2 on Friday at the Miami Open presented by Itau, talked with late last season for this edition of ‘The Last Time’.

I missed a flight?
I would have missed a flight through connections being delayed but I’ve never – touched wood – missed one because I’ve woken up late or got to the airport late through my own fault.

You just always allow good time, two hours, hour and a half… I tend to be on time… if I need to be there on time. But if it’s pretty relaxed, I can be a couple minutes late.

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I paid money to rent a tennis court or buy tennis balls?
Balls… sometimes if you turn up very early to the tournament, you’re there on the Tuesday before and it’s the first tournament in Asia or in the States, you have to pop down to Dick’s Sporting Goods and buy a set of balls… But I can’t remember the last time I paid to rent a court.

Being famous helped me?
Wimbledon, getting a table at a restaurant. They said they were full but then the owner recognised me, and said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get you one.’… I was going to leave but he said, ‘Oh, I’ll get you one.’

Watch: Edmund Enjoying His Rise

I cooked for myself and others?
[Last] summer at Wimbledon, because I was at home, but I have not cooked since then. During Wimbledon, I always stay with a mate from Yorkshire, where I grew up. So he always comes down during Queens and Wimbledon, and I cooked one day.

I made this chicken orzo dish, chopped some chicken breasts, some vegetables. It’s a soupy chicken orzo. It’s pretty healthy. I put as much vegetables in it as I can. It’s very easy to make. You just put it in and let it cook, simmer. I like to cook it because it’s the easiest one. People give me compliments, but who knows?

I don’t cook much but I have two or three dishes that I know. And when I do cook, I just cook them.

When I’m back home training, [I cook] probably two or three times a week, definitely not more than that. My other go-to recipes are just simple stuff, what’s easy to make… I try to make a chicken sweet potato dish, vegetable balinese is obviously easy. Those three dishes.

I’ve got like four or five books in the cupboard that people have bought for me, like “Dishes To Make Under 10 or 15 minutes” but I’ve never opened them. I should, though.

I asked someone famous for an autograph or selfie?
I was at the British Grand Prix, and I got a picture with Ian Poulter. I’m a big fan. I like him. I like golf anyways, but I like him because he’s a character. He’s pretty funny and a bit of a maverick. Always got his own agenda.

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First-Time Winner Spotlight: Casper Ruud

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Casper Ruud

Norwegian lifts maiden ATP Tour trophy in Buenos Aires

Casper Ruud became the first Norwegian to win an ATP Tour singles title on Sunday, defeating Portuguese Pedro Sousa to triumph at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. caught up with the 2019 Next Gen ATP finals competitor after his victory to talk about his maiden tour-level crown, his rivalry with his father and coach, former World No. 39 Christian Ruud, and how he plans to celebrate.

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What does winning your first ATP Tour title mean to you?
It’s a great feeling. I’m enjoying the moment, of course. It’s something very special when you get your first [ATP Tour] title and the biggest title of your career so far. I’m enjoying it a lot, but I also have to recharge and think forward, think of the next tournament.

I’m already playing in the next tournament again on Tuesday in Rio, so I have a big task ahead of me. But I will try as good as I can to be ready.

The Latin Swing has always been one of your strongest parts of the year. What about playing in South America suits you so well?
I think the most important [thing] is that it’s on clay. It’s a place where I enjoy coming. It was the first clay-court tournament for me this year. I want to develop my hard-court game also and I think that it’s going in the right way, but clay is the more natural surface for me.

I also enjoy the people, the crowd. They are very passionate down here about tennis and this tournament is really nice. Rio is also an amazing tournament, so there are many things to enjoy with this South American trip.

How much did having the experience of playing a final last year in Houston help you in this match?
I think it helped. Being in your first final is something very special. Last year, I lost the final in Houston against Cristian Garin and this year, I really wanted to try to get a win. It tasted really well when I won the match point and I could take my arms in the air to be a champion for the first time. It was very special.

Talk about how your move to Mallorca to train at the Rafa Nadal Academy has helped your game.
It’s a great place. I think it’s so good down there at his academy. It’s a great place if you want to be a professional tennis player. The academy has helped me so much with the coaches and everything down there, and also Rafa himself. He’s involved in my tennis and my career, so I owe them a lot of thanks and I will keep going down there for as long as I can.

You’re the first Norwegian player to win an ATP Tour title and you have a cool and funny rivalry with your father, former World No. 39 Christian Ruud. Is that over now?
I guess so. Now I’ve beaten his [FedEx ATP] Ranking and won an ATP Tour title, something he wasn’t able to do… I beat him in two different ways now, so I think now I don’t need to hear the question anymore, will I beat my father? Now I’ve done it, so I have to try to think even better and that I can reach even further.

You started the year with your first two Top 20 wins at the ATP Cup. How important was the way you played there?
It was a great start for me, beating two very good players. John Isner and Fabio Fognini are different types of players, so I think that gave me good confidence to start the year. In the Australian Open, I was a little, I’m not going to say unlucky, but it was a very close match that I lost, which is always a pity when you lose a five-setter and 7-6 in the fifth.

It’s a tough match to lose, but I still felt like I was playing well and I wanted to keep building on that for these tournaments down here. This is a great way to start the Latin Swing for me.

How will you celebrate tonight?
I don’t know. Maybe I will have a Coca-Cola and a good Argentine steak.

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Red-Hot Duckworth Soars To Career-High With Bengaluru Crown

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2020

Red-Hot Duckworth Soars To Career-High With Bengaluru 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…

Bengaluru Open (Bangalore, India): James Duckworth picked up where he left off in 2019, adding yet another ATP Challenger Tour crown to his ledger. The Aussie stole the headlines last year with a tour-leading 49 match wins and four titles, and he would secure another piece of silverware on Sunday in Bengaluru.

Duckworth vaulted to a career-high No. 71 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, dropping just one set en route to his fifth title in less than a year. He defeated Benjamin Bonzi 6-4, 6-4 in the championship.

The 28-year-old Aussie has found a second home on Indian soil, having swept both Challengers in the country in recent months. Duckworth was also the champion in Pune in November and just last week he reached his first ATP Tour semi-final at the Tata Maharashtra Open.

“I have had a good run on Indian soil these two weeks. I may think of applying for citizenship,” Duckworth joked. “I am very happy to win here. It was a quality field and organised very efficiently. This win has given me the confidence to try and get to the Top 50.”


Just two years ago, Duckworth was sitting outside the Top 1,000 as he bid to return from a litany of surgeries, including foot, shoulder and elbow operations. Now healthy, he is showing no signs of slowing down. It was his 11th Challenger title in total.

The Bengaluru Open returned to the calendar after a one year hiatus, having moved from November to February. The crown jewel of Indian tennis on the ATP Challenger Tour, the tournament is the first Challenger 125 event on Asian soil in 2020.


Cleveland Open presented by Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio, USA): It’s safe to say Mikael Torpegaard enjoys playing in Ohio. The Dane, who was a five-time All-American at Ohio State University, lifted his third Challenger trophy on Sunday in Cleveland. He capped a strong week at the Cleveland Racquet Club with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 win over Yosuke Watanuki.

Torpegaard adds a third Challenger title in total, with all victories coming in Ohio. He prevailed in nearby Columbus in both 2016 (indoor) and 2019 (outdoor), before triumphing this week. The 25-year-old rises to No. 177 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, sitting just 11 spots off his career-high.

For Watanuki, meanwhile, the surging Japanese star is closing in on a Top 200 return. Champion on home soil in Kobe to close the 2019 season, the runner-up finish in Cleveland marked his first professional final outside of Asia.


Challenger La Manche (Cherbourg, France): In its 27th edition, the ATP Challenger Tour stop in Cherbourg celebrated a first. Roman Safiullin clinched his maiden title, becoming the first Russian winner at the storied tournament. The 22-year-old routed Roberto Marcora 6-4, 6-2 for the trophy on the indoor hard courts of the Complexe Sportif Chantereyne.

Safiullin is the youngest winner from Russia on the Challenger circuit since a 20-year-old Daniil Medvedev captured his lone title in 2016. The former junior No. 2 and 2015 Australian Open boys’ champion, he rises 57 spots to a career-high No. 174 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

It was a hard-earned title for Safiullin, who won six matches in six days to lift the trophy. That included four straight victories in deciding sets, all over home favourites. He edged both Mathias Bourgue and Maxime Janvier 7-5 in the third, before clipping fifth seed Quentin Halys and top seed Antoine Hoang to reach the final.


Four tournaments highlight next week’s slate, including Challenger 80 stops in Bergamo, Drummondville, Koblenz and Morelos.

One year ago, Jannik Sinner announced his arrival in Bergamo, Italy, claiming his maiden title. This year, countryman Lorenzo Giustino is the top seed and another emerging teen – Leo Borg – is making his pro debut. The son of tennis legend Bjorn Borg, Leo will open against a qualifier on Tuesday.

In Drummondville, Canada, Dominik Koepfer, Go Soeda, Christopher O’Connell and Brayden Schnur lead a strong field, while Matias Franco Descotte returns as defending champion in Morelos, Mexico. Coming off a title in Dallas, #NextGenATP star Jurij Rodionov is seeded 10th at the Morelos Open.

At the Koblenz Open, a pair of Germans lead the way on home soil, with Yannick Maden and Yannick Hanfmann seeded first and second. Emerging Dutch talent Tallon Griekspoor is seeded third.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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