Tennis News

From around the world

Unbeaten Djokovic Sets Sights On More History In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 02, 2020

Unbeaten Djokovic Sets Sights On More History In Indian Wells

Serbian star bids for first Indian Wells title since 2016

The dust had barely settled on Novak Djokovic capturing his fifth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown on Saturday and the World No. 1 already had his sights set on his next challenge: the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The Serbian star has already compiled a perfect 18-match winning streak this season — extending to 21, if you count three victories at the Davis Cup Finals in November — and was only half-joking during the trophy presentation when he said he’d like to go undefeated this year. 

“Of course, I’m trying to embrace the moment and appreciate where I am,” admitted Djokovic, during the post-final press conference following his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas. “I think this has been one of the best starts of all seasons I had in my career. I feel great on the court. I’ve been playing great tennis on the hard court that is my most successful and preferred surface.

“I’m just grateful that I’m playing well, feeling well. I’ve won many matches now in a row. I’ll try to keep that run going. It’s just way too early to speak about how long that run might go, the calculations. I try not to think about predictions.”

Watch 2020 Dubai Final Highlights

Djokovic shows no signs of ending his unbeaten run, which will be a worry for his ATP Tour rivals. Coming up is the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year that begins on 12 March in Indian Wells, where Djokovic is a record-equalling five-time champion alongside Roger Federer.

“I’ve set what my goals are, they’re very clear to me,” said Djokovic, who has a 50-9 record in Indian Wells, but hasn’t lifted the title since 2016. “I’m working towards them. I will try to stay healthy and fit and have possibly [a] great Indian Wells [and] Miami. It hasn’t happened for the past three years for me there. I’m really motivated to do well. Also, a lot of points [are] up for grabs there for me.”

As one of five players — also Pete Sampras (1994), Marcelo Rios (1998), Andre Agassi (2001) and Roger Federer (2005-06, ‘17) — to complete the Indian Wells-Miami title double, Djokovic will now prepare to clinch both Masters 1000 crowns in the same year for the fifth time (2011, 2014-16).

“Historically I’ve won both tournaments quite a lot of times,” said Djokovic, who, with Agassi, has won a record sixth Miami Open presented by Itau titles. “I have couple of weeks now till my first match in Indian Wells, which allows me to recover, rest and get ready, be in top shape.”

The 32-year-old has achieved 21 consecutive victories (or better) on seven occasions in his career, including a career-best 43-match winning run in 2010-2011. So far in the 2020 season, Djokovic has helped Serbia capture the inaugural ATP Cup title and won an eighth Australian Open crown.

“I find motivation in the small things and details,” said Djokovic. “The biggest motivation is my self-growth as a player and as a person… Then, of course, I get inspired and motivated by the goals that I set. That’s why I play professional tennis. It’s why I compete.

“The season, as I said, started in a most perfect way possible. I am aware of the fact that most of the matches that I’m going to play, the players will not have much to lose. They will go out and try to play their best and stop the streak. At the same time the more I win, the more confident and comfortable I feel playing [the] next match and competing and really performing well.”

Djokovic’s winning streak almost ended in the Dubai semi-finals on Friday, but the World No. 1 saved three match points against Gael Monfils, who has already captured two ATP Tour titles in 2020.

Source link

Thiem Rises To Career-High No. 3 In FedEx ATP Rankings

  • Posted: Mar 02, 2020

Thiem Rises To Career-High No. 3 In FedEx ATP Rankings

Stellar 12 months rewarded for Austrian star

Dominic Thiem has today risen to a career-high No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, breaking up the Top 3 dominance of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the first time since 6 May 2019. 

Over the past 12 months, the Austrian star has extended his long-standing clay-court prowess and physicality to greater consistency on hard courts, winning five titles from eight tour-level finals and compiling a 55-19 match record. Thiem had won eight of his 11 ATP Tour titles on red dirt prior to bringing former World No. 9 Nicolas Massu on board in February 2019.

Having won his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (d. Federer) in March 2019, Thiem’s confidence on all surfaces has soared under Massu’s guidance. The Austrian has reached two Grand Slam championship finals at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal) and at last month’s Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). He also finished runner-up at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals in London (l. to Tsitsipas).

Additionally, the 26-year-old has also picked up two further hard-court crowns at the China Open in Beijing (d. Tsitsipas) and at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna (d. Schwartzman), plus added to his clay haul at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Medvedev) and at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel (d. Ramos-Vinolas).

Thiem, who has been a permanent member of the Top 10 since 6 June 2016, will now be looking to retain the Indian Wells title when the Masters 1000 tournament begins on 12 March.

Source link

Fritz Edges Closer To Top 20, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Mar 02, 2020

Fritz Edges Closer To Top 20, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the FedEx ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 2 March 2020

No. 24 Taylor Fritz (Career High), +11
The American advanced to his fifth ATP Tour final with victory over compatriot John Isner in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC semi-finals, and jumped 11 places to a career-high No. 24 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after losing to Rafael Nadal in the title match. It is the first time that 22-year-old Fritz has been in the Top 30 since 14 October 2019 (at No. 29).

No. 28 Daniel Evans (Career High), +9
The Briton saved three match points against Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round and also beat in-form Andrey Rublev en route to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals (l. to Tsitsipas), which marked the fourth tour-level semi-final of his career (also 2014 Zagreb, 2017 Sydney, 2019 Delray Beach). The 29-year-old Evans broke into the Top 30 for the first time with a nine-place rise to No. 28.

No. 57 Tommy Paul (Career High), +9
The American qualified for the ATP 500-level tournament in Acapulco and beat World No. 7 and 2019 runner-up Alexander Zverev in the second round, before losing to Isner in the quarter-finals. Having started the season at No. 90, the 22-year-old Paul has risen to a career-high No. 57.

Other Notable Movers
No. 3 Dominic Thiem (Career High), +1
No. 15 Karen Khachanov, +2
No. 40 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, +5
No. 50 Richard Gasquet, +6
No. 64 Jiri Vesely, +7
No. 67 Mikael Ymer (Career High), +5
No. 69 Soonwoo Kwon (Career High), +7
No. 85 Dennis Novak (Career High), +11

Source link

Humbert, Pouille Lead Loaded Indian Wells Field; Zverev Bros. In Doubles

  • Posted: Mar 02, 2020

Humbert, Pouille Lead Loaded Indian Wells Field; Zverev Bros. In Doubles

Ten players are inside the Top 100 at the ATP Challenger Tour stop in Indian Wells

In one week, the stars of the ATP Tour will descend on Indian Wells for the BNP Paribas Open. But first, the ATP Challenger Tour takes centre stage in the desert, boasting one of the strongest fields of the year.

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden welcomes a loaded draw for the Challenger 125 event, featuring 10 players inside the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. Top seed and World No. 42 Ugo Humbert leads the field and is joined by countryman and 58th-ranked Lucas Pouille.

Cameron Norrie, Radu Albot, Steve Johnson, Jannik Sinner, Yuichi Sugita and Frances Tiafoe round out the Top 8 seeds, with an unseeded Hyeon Chung making his 2020 debut. Other names to keep an eye on include 18-year-old and Southern California native Brandon Nakashima, who recently reached his first ATP Tour quarter-final in Delray Beach. Maxime Cressy is coming off a title and final run on Canadian soil, in Drummondville and Calgary, while Thai-Son Kwiatkowski prevailed in nearby Newport Beach a month ago. Kwiatkowski opens against Chung.

View Indian Wells Draws: Singles | Doubles

In the top half of the draw, Humbert could face Sinner in the quarter-finals, which would be a rematch of their round-robin affair at the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals. Norrie, Nakashima, Chung and Kwiatkowski also headline the top half. Meanwhile, Pouille, Johnson, Albot, Tiafoe and red-hot Aussie Christopher O’Connell lead the way in the bottom half of the draw.

Indian Wells is the fourth and final tournament of the annual Oracle Challenger Series, which kicked off in New Haven and Houston in 2019 and moved to Newport Beach last month. Oracle will award the two Americans with the best cumulative results with main draw wild cards into the BNP Paribas Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event. Newport Beach champ Kwiatkowski, Houston champ Marcos Giron and Mitchell Krueger – semi-finalist in both Houston and Newport Beach – are vying for those two berths.

The doubles field in Indian Wells is equally as stacked, with Alexander Zverev taking a wild card with brother Mischa Zverev. They are joined by Sinner/Tiafoe, Pouille/Gregoire Barrere, Michael Mmoh/Jack Sock and defending champions JC Aragone/Marcos Giron. The top seeds are Americans Nicholas Monroe and Jackson Withrow, with Matt Reid and fellow Aussie Marc Polmans seeded second.

Four Top 100 Stars Headline Monterrey
The only other tournament on this week’s slate is in Monterrey. The Abierto GNP Seguros features World No. 42 Adrian Mannarino as top seed, with Feliciano Lopez, Pablo Andujar and Ricardas Berankis joined by 2016 champion Ernesto Escobedo.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Source link

Rinderknech's Revenge: Frenchman Adds Second Title Of 2020

  • Posted: Mar 02, 2020

Rinderknech’s Revenge: Frenchman Adds Second Title Of 2020

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…

Calgary National Bank Challenger (Calgary, Canada): No player has won more matches on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2020 than Arthur Rinderknech. On Sunday, the Frenchman improved to 16-4 with a victory on the indoor hard courts of Calgary, adding his second crown of the year.

Rinderknech rallied past Maxime Cressy 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, avenging a final defeat in Drummondville a week ago. It was in Drummondville that Cressy stormed back from a set down to lift the trophy and this time his French opponent would replicate the feat. Rinderknech converted just one of 11 break chances in the Calgary final, but it was the one that mattered most, putting away a volley to move ahead 3-2 in the deciding set. He would not look back from there, collapsing to the court and raising his arms in triumph after two hours and seven minutes.

The former Texas A&M University standout has dominated the early stages of the 2020 season. He has reached three finals in six tournaments played, also lifting the trophy on home soil in Rennes. And last week in Drummondville, Rinderknech teamed up with countryman and close friend Manuel Guinard to capture his first career doubles title.

The 24-year-old is up to a career-high No. 160 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, having opened the year outside the Top 300.


Oracle Pro Series Columbus (Columbus, Ohio, USA): Last week, Jurij Rodionov became the first to win multiple titles in 2020. On Sunday, Rinderknech and J.J. Wolf joined the Austrian atop the leaderboard.

Wolf added his second crown of the year with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win over Denis Istomin in Columbus. The sixth seed was made to work throughout the week, earning three deciding-set victories including two from a set down. But on Sunday, the Ohio native needed just 69 minutes to lift the trophy, saving the lone break point faced. Also the champion in Noumea to kick off the 2020 season, he improved to 14-2 on the year.

“I tried my hardest in every point,” said Wolf. “Stayed low, served well and tried to compete for every point. I think consistency and keeping a high level were essential for me this week. I played so many great players – there weren’t any easy matches. So, really staying on my game and staying focused is what pulled me through.”

It was Wolf’s fourth ATP Challenger Tour title overall and second in Columbus, having captured his maiden crown on his home college campus nearly one year ago. The former Ohio State University star ascends 19 spots to a career-high No. 144 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.


Terega Open Pau-Pyrenees (Pau, France): For the first time in six years, Ernests Gulbis has a trophy in his arms. The former World No. 10 triumphed on the indoor hard courts of Pau on Sunday, earning his first title since 2014, when he prevailed at the ATP Tour event in Nice.

You May Also Like:

Eyeing A Deep AO Run, Gulbis Issues S.O.S For More Shoes

Gulbis struggled with injuries and consistency in 2019, going 6-17 at the tour-level. A back ailment forced him to retire from his final two tournaments. But now, the Latvian has rediscovered his winning ways, returning to the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings with his 6-3, 6-4 victory over Jerzy Janowicz on Sunday. Coupled with a third-round finish as a qualifier at the Australian Open, Gulbis is once again making the most of his opportunities.



More than two dozen Top 100 players are in action this week. You read that correctly. Fourteen Top 100 stars are competing on the Challenger circuit, including Ugo Humbert, Lucas Pouille and Cameron Norrie in Indian Wells, and Adrian Mannarino, Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Andujar in Monterrey.

In Indian Wells, the prelude to the BNP Paribas Open also features Jannik Sinner, Frances Tiafoe and recent Delray Beach quarter-finalist Brandon Nakashima. In doubles action, Alexander Zverev will team with brother Mischa Zverev.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Source link

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Thiago Seyboth Wild

  • Posted: Mar 02, 2020

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Thiago Seyboth Wild

Brazilian becomes first #NextGenATP titlist of 2020 in Santiago

Thiago Seyboth Wild arrived at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open with two tour-level match wins to his name. The 19-year-old wild card finished the week with five more and his maiden ATP Tour title after defeating second seed Casper Ruud on Sunday in Santiago.

Seyboth Wild’s stunning triumph made him the first #NextGenATP player to win a tour-level title this season and the youngest Brazilian titlist in ATP Tour history. caught up with the rising teenager after his victory to talk about his dream week, his father’s influence on his tennis and why his celebration plans are on hold for now. 

You May Also Like:

#NextGenATP Seyboth Wild Captures Maiden Title In Santiago

What does winning your first ATP Tour title mean to you?
It’s an incredible achievement. It’s something I’ve always dreamed about. I need to just take the best from the week and keep on going for the rest of the season. 

Does this title come as a surprise for you or did you believe you were playing well enough to win the tournament?
As the matches went by and I was feeling myself on court, I felt like I could go step by step. When I got to the final, I needed to play it just like another match, like I had been playing the whole week and take my chances. 

Last year was your breakthrough season on the ATP Challenger Tour. How important have Challengers been in preparing you to compete at this level?
It’s not about the Challengers or any other tournament. It’s about what I’ve taken from them and how I’ve improved along the season. I think I’ve done it pretty well and need to thank my team for that. 

It’s still early in the season, but what would it mean for you to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan?
I think it would pretty much mean the same as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

You’ve said that your favorite player is Nadal. What do you admire most about him?
His passion on the court. The way he plays, keeps himself on court and fights for everything is just amazing. It made me dream about everything he’s done and if I could accomplish 20 per cent of what he’s done in his career, that would be great.

Your father manages tennis academies. How involved was he with your tennis growing up?
He was the one who taught me how to play tennis. He was a player and he’s always been there for me, always helped with me anything I need. He’s just my father. He’s an idol for me and always has been one. 

How will you celebrate tonight?
I’m flying to Australia at 1:00am to play Davis Cup. But my birthday is on 10 March and I’m flying back home on 9 March, so I guess I’ll just have to party after that.

Source link