Tennis News

From around the world

Ruud Moves Closer To Making History In Santiago

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Ruud Moves Closer To Making History In Santiago

Third seed Ramos-Vinolas ousts eighth seed Monteiro

Casper Ruud made history two weeks ago by becoming the first Norwegian to win an ATP Tour title in Buenos Aires. Now, the 21-year-old is only two wins from lifting a second tour-level trophy.

The second-seeded Ruud defeated seventh-seeded Argentine Federico Delbonis 7-5, 7-5 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Chile Dove Men+Care Open. Ruud will face third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a spot in the final.

“It was obviously tough… it was a very close match. I was ready for it before going out there… Delbonis is a very good [player] and especially a very good clay-court player,” Ruud said. “I really wanted to win this time.”

Ruud levelled his ATP Head2Head series with the Argentine at 1-1 after losing against the lefty in Sao Paulo three years ago. The Norwegian triumphed in a three-setter in Western & Southern Open qualifying last year, which does not count as a tour-level match. 

The World No. 38 has now defeated two straight lefties after eliminating home favourite Alejandro Tabilo in the second round. He will try to make it three in a row against Ramos-Vinolas.

Watch Live

“It’s different, definitely, to play three lefties in a row. It’s not something you get to do every tournament, so it’s a little bit different, a new experience. But I think it’s okay,” said Ruud, who began the week with a 3-8 tour-level record against lefties. “In my career I’ve had some problems playing against left-handed players, but I’m getting better and better every time I play them.”

Watch Live

Ruud’s next opponent, Ramos-Vinolas, beat eighth seed Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 42 minutes.

The Spaniard has enjoyed plenty of success on clay, reaching the final of the 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Seven of the eight ATP Tour championship matches he has reached (2-6) have come on clay.

Ramos-Vinolas only won four more points than his Brazilian opponent, but he saved two of the three break points he faced to advance.

Source link

Federer To Play In Boston For 1st Time At Laver Cup

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Federer To Play In Boston For 1st Time At Laver Cup

Federer will participate in the event for the fourth time in its fourth edition

Roger Federer, 20-time Grand Slam champion and 103-time tour-level titlist, will represent Team Europe once again in the fourth edition of the Laver Cup to be held in Boston at TD Garden from 25-27 September.

Tickets for the unique team competition will go on sale at 10am Eastern Time on Friday, 6 March via Ticketmaster. 

Federer has been part of the winning Team Europe side since the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague in 2017, and he is passionate about the event that has captured the imagination of fans around the world. This will be the first time the Swiss star has visited Boston.

“I’ve never been to Boston and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the sights and playing tennis in front of their great fans” said Federer. 

“The Laver Cup is like nothing else in world tennis and I’m sure playing in a city that loves its sport as much as Boston does, the atmosphere is going to be unreal.

“Each year gets tougher for Team Europe to hold back Team World, and Boston will be a whole new ball game.” 

The three-day team competition pits six of the best players from Europe, captained by Bjorn Borg, against six of their counterparts from the rest of the World, led by John McEnroe.  

Named in honour of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the event will be played on a dramatic black court constructed within the TD Garden – home of the NBA’s Boston Celtics and the NHL’s Boston Bruins. 

Multi-session tickets will be available for purchase on Friday, 6 March, offering fans the same seat to all five sessions over the three days.

The Laver Cup sold out arenas in Prague, Chicago and most recently Geneva within hours of going on sale and the demand for tickets is expected to be high. 

“We’re looking forward to launching ticket sales next week,” Laver Cup CEO Steve Zacks said today.

“We’re expecting an incredible experience in September for both the players and fans alike at TD Garden in one of the greatest sports cities in the world.”

Source link

Djokovic Saves 3 M.P. To Overcome Monfils In Dubai Thriller

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Djokovic Saves 3 M.P. To Overcome Monfils In Dubai Thriller

Serbian to face Tsitsipas in final

Novak Djokovic survived a dramatic semi-final encounter with Gael Monfils at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday, saving three consecutive match points to defeat the Frenchman 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-1.

The World No. 1 trailed Monfils 3/6 in the second-set tie-break, but trusted his forehand under pressure before cruising to victory in the final set. Djokovic is through to his sixth Dubai final (4-1) after winning his 40th match in 46 encounters at the ATP 500 event.

“It’s like being on the edge of a cliff,” said Djokovic about facing match points. “You know there is no way back so you have to jump over and try to find a way to survive I guess and pray for the best and believe that you can make it, that there is something that is going to help you.

“That’s one of the things that I feel at the moment. Okay, one point away, one shot away. There is no going back. This is it. I accept the situation and try to make the most out of it.”

Djokovic has now won 20 consecutive matches for the seventh time in his career. The four-time champion also improves to 17-0 this year, building on his title run at the inaugural ATP Cup with Team Serbia and his eighth Australian Open triumph last month.

Novak Djokovic’s 20+ Match Win Streaks

Win Streak Year
43 2010-2011
28 2015
28 2013-14
23 2015
22 2018
22 2012-13
20 2019-20

Djokovic improves to 17-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Monfils. Across those 17 meetings, Djokovic has been pushed to a final set on seven occasions. Djokovic has now won 73 of his 75 matches against French opposition since lifting the 2010 Davis Cup title.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the trophy. Djokovic is tied at 2-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, who will be competing in his second straight championship match in Dubai.

“It’s anybody’s game really,” said Djokovic. “He’s won eight matches in a row now from last week in France winning [the Marseille] title, now playing more or less every single day, which is quite impressive. It’s not easy… I hope I can recover. I hope I can be at my best because I need to start better than I have tonight. Hopefully I can get a title.”

Monfils played with great variety and power to unsettle Djokovic from the baseline in the opening set. The Frenchman stepped in on his returns and overcame the World No. 1 in a series of extended baseline rallies, grabbing the first break of the match in a marathon game at 1-1 as Djokovic missed the court with aggressive groundstrokes. After earning a second service break, the World No. 9 served with confidence to convert his first set point with a powerful serve out wide.

Monfils outmanoeuvred Djokovic at the net and capitalised on further errors from his opponent to claim a break in the third game of the second set. But Djokovic began to lower his error count, playing with greater consistency from the baseline to find his way back into the set.

You May Also Like:

Tsitsipas Returns To Dubai Final

Djokovic earned five set points late in the second set, but Monfils played with bravery and commitment to erase each one and reach a tie-break. The Frenchman struck back-to-back winners from 4/3 to earn three consecutive match points. Monfils was unable to take his opportunity, striking two groundstroke errors as Djokovic’s forehand found its range. The World No. 1 trusted the same shot at 8/8 and moved to the net to earn his eighth set point, which was converted as Monfils committed his sixth double fault of the match.

Djokovic charged to the finish line from that point as Monfils began to struggle with his movement. From 0-1 in the decider, Djokovic dropped just five points to claim six consecutive games and a place in the final. The 32-year-old opened and closed the final game with forehand winners to complete the comeback.

“I just wasn’t taking my chances when I was having rallies on those [first five] set points. But that kind of turned around from 3/6 in the tie-break. From that moment onwards I felt I was going through the ball better,” said Djokovic.

“Obviously [in the] third set it’s hard to measure it because obviously he was injured from the third game of the third set and it wasn’t even close to what he played in the first two hours.”

Monfils was aiming to extend his career-best 12-match winning streak. The World No. 9 was seeking his third trophy in as many events, after triumphing indoors at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier and the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam earlier this month. Monfils, who came into the tournament third in the ATP Race To London, has put himself in early contention to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Source link

Dubai Tennis Championships: Dan Evans loses to Stefanos Tsitsipas in semi-finals

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

British number one Dan Evans lost 6-2 6-3 to second seed Stefano Tsitsipas in the last four of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Evans, 29, had beaten two seeds – Fabio Fognini and Andrey Rublev – to reach his fourth ATP semi-final.

But he was never able to get a foothold in his first match against 21-year-old Tsitsipas, who won in 81 minutes.

The Greek world number six will face either Serb Novak Djokovic or Gael Monfils of France in the final.

“I just managed to stay solid throughout the whole match,” said Tsitsipas, who was runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai last year.

“I didn’t have massive breakdowns and just played a quality of tennis which I enjoyed. I am really impressed by the quality of my game today and I really hope to bring the same and possibly even better in the next round.”

Tsitsipas won 90% of the points on his first serve and did not face a break point in the match, while unseeded world number 37 Evans was broken twice in each set as his hopes of making a first final in an ATP 500 event were dashed.

  • Watson reaches Mexican Open semi-finals
  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Source link

Tsitsipas Repeats 2019 Achievement In Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Tsitsipas Repeats 2019 Achievement In Dubai

Greek to face Djokovic or Monfils for title

For the second straight year, Stefanos Tsitsipas booked his place in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final just five days after lifting the Open 13 Provence trophy in Marseille.

The World No. 6 won 90 per cent of first-serve points (26/29) and did not face a break point en route to a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Daniel Evans after 81 minutes. Tsitsipas has lost just one of the 17 sets he has contested since arriving in Marseille last week.

”I just managed to stay solid throughout the whole match,” said Tsitsipas. “I didn’t have massive breakdowns and just played a quality of tennis which I enjoyed… I am really impressed by the quality of my game today and I really hope to bring the same and possibly even better in the next round.”

With his eighth straight match win, Tsitsipas improves to 10-2 at the ATP 500 event. The 21-year-old Greek will attempt to capture his first ATP 500 trophy in Saturday’s championship match.

Tsitsipas will face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic or third seed Gael Monfils for the title. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals titlist is tied at 2-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against four-time champion Djokovic and owns two wins from three matches against Monfils. Last year, Tsitsipas beat Monfils in a final-set tie-break to reach the final in Dubai.

Tsitsipas proved the more consistent player from the baseline in the early stages and was rewarded with groundstroke errors from his opponent in the fifth game. Evans responded by moving to the net behind his serve, but Tsitsipas ripped his second backhand winner of the game to establish a 3-2 lead. The World No. 6 continued to hit his targets as Evans attempted to move up the court, breaking serve for a second time before firing an ace out wide to claim a one-set lead.

Watch Live

With aggressive forehands and movement up the court, Tsitsipas strengthened his position with an early break of serve at 1-1 in the second set. The five-time ATP Tour titlist advanced to his 11th tour-level final with his fourth service break as Evans failed to control a low forehand volley.

”I have found momentum,” said Tsitsipas. “I am executing really well with my forehand which played an incredible role today in the match. I won most of my points from the forehand side, which is my biggest weapon. My serve helped a lot as well.”

Evans was attempting to reach his first ATP 500 final. The 29-year-old Brit, who saved three match points to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round, has won five of his nine matches against Top 20 opponents this year.

Source link

Peers/Venus Reach First Team Final In Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Peers/Venus Reach First Team Final In Dubai

Unseeded team is yet to drop a set in Dubai

John Peers and Michael Venus advanced to their first final as a team on Friday, beating Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6(2), 6-2 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The unseeded pairing saved all three break points it faced to claim its third straight-sets victory in as many matches this week. Peers and Venus also beat Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Benoit Paire and defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury en route to the championship match.

Watch Live

Peers and Venus are competing in just their fourth event as a team. Last month, the pair made its debut at the ASB Classic and also reached the Australian Open third round.

Peers and Venus will face fourth seeds Oliver Marach and Raven Klaasen or Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff for the title. Kontinen and Struff are aiming to reach their second ATP 500 final of the year after a runner-up finish at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Source link

ATP And FedEx Extend Global Partnership

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

ATP And FedEx Extend Global Partnership

Strengthening its sponsorship as new title sponsor of the ATP Rankings

The ATP and FedEx Express today announced a sponsorship renewal that will see the shipping giant remain an ATP Platinum partner, while strengthening its sponsorship and becoming the new title sponsor of the ATP Rankings.

As part of the agreement, FedEx will continue to benefit from global promotional rights together with an on-site presence at tournaments throughout the season, while also leveraging opportunities to engage with viewers across mainstream and digital platforms.

Last year the partnership celebrated its 10th year and the new agreement builds on FedEx’s extensive history of global sports sponsorships, including the unique worldwide footprint of the ATP Tour. During the new term FedEx will sponsor 13 tournaments each season, with the Mutua Madrid Open included for the first time.

View Latest FedEx ATP Rankings

Massimo Calvelli, ATP CEO, said: “FedEx has been a fantastic partner of the ATP for over ten years now and we’re delighted to announce this extension to our agreement. In addition to multiple tournament partnerships, the title sponsorship of the ATP Rankings provides FedEx with an unparalleled association with an asset that links the whole season together, and we look forward to a continued successful partnership.”

“The ATP Tour perfectly reflects what FedEx stands for: a global footprint, speed, excitement and precision,” said Wouter Roels, SVP Marketing International, FedEx Express. “Since we started our journey as Official Sponsor of the ATP Tour in 2010, we have enjoyed many memorable moments of passion, persistence on court and possibilities for players to inspire and connect with fans. Through our presence at the largest tournaments of the Tour, we will continue to engage with millions of fans all over the world through mainstream and digital media.”

With a focus on activation around the FedEx ATP Rankings, FedEx will also become the presenting sponsor of the ATP World No. 1 trophy ceremonies, presented annually at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.

Source link

Watson reaches Mexican Open semi-finals but Edmund beaten

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Briton Heather Watson overcame Christina McHale 6-3 1-6 6-1 to reach the Mexican Open last four.

After taking the first set in 39 minutes, Watson was broken twice in the second as the American levelled.

Seventh seed Watson broke twice in the decider before serving out the match and will play China’s Xiyu Wang next.

In the men’s event, fellow Briton Kyle Edmund was defeated 6-4 6-3 by American world number 35 Taylor Fritz in his quarter-final.

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Fritz, who fired down 11 aces in the match, broke at 5-4 to take the first set and then broke the world number 44 twice more in the second.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal eased into the last four with a 6-2 6-1 win over South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo. The 19-time Grand Slam singles winner will now play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated third seed Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-4.

If Nadal wins the Acapulco title and Novak Djokovic loses his semi-final against Gael Monfils at the Dubai Tennis Championships, the Spaniard will regain top spot in the world rankings.

Briton Watson, now ranked 69 in the world, said of her victory over McHale: “I knew I had to be aggressive because she wasn’t going to give me any freebies.”

When asked about their friendship, she added: “We’ve been hanging out here every day. We’ve got both of our mums here, we both went to the party together and have practised with each other.

“It’s tough [playing your friend], but we’re both used to it.”

Source link

Dimitrov Snaps Losing Streak Against Wawrinka In Acapulco

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Dimitrov Snaps Losing Streak Against Wawrinka In Acapulco

Nadal faces Kwon on Thursday night

Grigor Dimitrov arrived on court having lost his past five matches against Stan Wawrinka, but you wouldn’t know it from how their quarter-final clash played out on Thursday night at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.

Striking his backhand with authority and pouncing on returns, the Bulgarian dismissed the third-seeded Swiss 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals in Acapulco. Dimitrov improved to 11-2 at this event and the 2014 champion (d. Anderson) closed the gap (5-7) in his ATP Head2Head rivalry with Wawrinka.

”I’ve played quite a few times against Stan and we’ve practised together so many times. Between us, it’s mainly a mental battle,” Dimitrov said. “I had lost the past five times against him, but those losses have inspired me. Those losses helped me. Even though it hurts saying it, I’m admitting it. I wanted to stand tall tonight.”

Watch Live

Dimitrov has continued to overcome mental hurdles this week, saving two match points and snapping a four-match losing streak in final-set tie-breaks to defeat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino on Wednesday. The 28-year-old moved to 7-4 this season and is through to his first semi-final of the year.

He awaits the winner of top-seeded Rafael Nadal and South Korean Soonwoo Kwon. Nadal leads his ATP Head2Head series with Dimitrov 12-1, but the Bulgarian picked up his lone win on hard courts at 2016 Beijing.

”The past months have been pretty rough for me. All I wanted to do was put myself in the situation to play the best of the best,” Dimitrov said. “I’m far away from being satisfied. I’m still going to focus on the things I’ve been trying to work on.”

You May Also Like:

Isner Battles Into Acapulco Semi-finals

Wawrinka started slowly and dropped the first eight points of the match against Dimitrov. But even when the Swiss broke back to tie the score at 3-3, his groundstrokes didn’t meet his lofty standards. A pair of wild forehand errors from Wawrinka in the next game saw him drop serve once more and another forehand miss on set point gave Dimitrov the opening set.

The Bulgarian continued to remain steady in the second set, extending the rallies until his opponent’s baseline game broke down. Serving at 2-2, Wawrinka was broken to love for the second time in the match after sending a forehand well long.

The slight advantage was all Dimitrov needed and he closed out play after one hour and 25 minutes. Dimitrov hit just 12 unforced errors on the night, compared to 34 for Wawrinka.

Watch Live

Source link

Monfils Mulls New Djokovic Game Plan: ‘16 Times It Was Wrong’

  • Posted: Feb 28, 2020

Monfils Mulls New Djokovic Game Plan: ‘16 Times It Was Wrong’

Djokovic & Monfils will clash for the 17th time on Friday in the Dubai semi-finals

Gael Monfils faces one of, if not the toughest task in tennis on Friday in the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Sixteen times the Frenchman has faced Novak Djokovic, and 16 times he has fallen.

So what strategy will Monfils employ in his 17th ATP Head2Head match against the World No. 1?

“I have no idea right now because 16 times it was the wrong one,” Monfils said, getting a laugh from the crowd after his quarter-final win against Richard Gasquet. “Hopefully the 17th will be the good one.”

Watch Live

Monfils is one of the hottest players on the ATP Tour, winning 12 straight matches, including titles at the Open Sud de France and the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, held in Montpellier and Rotterdam, respectively. But he will have to confront a different challenge in Djokovic, who is 16-0 in 2020, including a 6-3, 6-2 win against Monfils at the ATP Cup.

“I’m 16 down against Novak. He’s the World No. 1, he hasn’t lost a match this year, so he’s in great shape,” Monfils said. “I’m just going with a new game plan and see how it works tomorrow night.”

Vitas Gerulaitis famously told press after snapping a 16-match losing streak against Jimmy Connors in 1980, “Let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row!”

Monfils will hope to follow in Gerulaitis’ footsteps. But he’s not getting too excited about his current form, knowing how tough of a task playing the top seed will be.

“I’m not counting. I try to be good every day even though I don’t think I play my best tennis [every day],” Monfils said. “[I] just control that I’m fighting and try to be very solid.”

Djokovic certainly won’t be taking Monfils lightly. The Serbian has dropped at least one set in half (8/16) of their previous clashes.

“Gael Monfils is in form. He’s Top 10 of the world. He’s playing possibly his best tennis that he’s ever played,” Djokovic said after cruising past Karen Khachanov on Thursday. “I’ve never lost to him, but we had some pretty long matches and tough encounters.

“[Gael is] one of the best if not the best athlete in our sport. He moves so well. He’s so fit. For me he has the most interesting game in tennis. I love watching him play and I love playing against him.”

Djokovic has only lost 11 games in six sets this week, looking in form to capture his 79th tour-level title. But for Monfils, will his 17th try against Djokovic be the charm?

Source link