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McEnroe Visits Boston To Announce Ticket Sales For 2020 Laver Cup

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2020

McEnroe Visits Boston To Announce Ticket Sales For 2020 Laver Cup

Team World captain also takes in Boston Celtics game

Former World No. 1 John McEnroe visited Boston on Tuesday to announce the launch of ticket sales for the 2020 Laver Cup, to be held at TD Garden from 25-27 September. Tickets for the fourth edition of the team competition, which pits Team Europe versus Team World, will go on sale on Friday, 6 March at 10am ET.

Roger Federer has confirmed his participation for the Laver Cup, joining captain Bjorn Borg as Team Europe attempt to lift the Laver Cup for a fourth straight year. Three of the six players on each team qualify based on their FedEx ATP Ranking as of the Monday following Roland Garros, with the remaining three selected as captain’s picks and announced before the US Open.

“It’s great to visit this beautiful city of Boston,” said Team World McEnroe on Tuesday, “This is a phenomenal sports town and I expect fans will raise the roof for the home team. Laver Cup 2018 was unbelievably close thanks to the energy of the home crowd. I’m sure Boston will continue that tradition at TD Garden, one of the best venues in the world.

“We were leading last year in Geneva, we were so, so close. I hope all of Boston gets behind us. The home court advantage together with our incredible team spirit and phenomenal players could be the magic ingredient that takes down our Team Europe opponents.”

McEnroe was welcomed to the city by Mayor Martin J. Walsh ahead of the Boston Celtics game against the Brooklyn Nets, that he watched from the front row at TD Garden. Earlier in the day he swapped jerseys with basketball player Gordon Hayward.

“It’s great to have the Laver Cup come to Boston,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We are a competitive city that loves sports, and I’m excited that local tennis fans will get to live this experience in their City, alongside all the visiting fans that we’re excited to welcome to Boston.”

McEnroe, <a href=''>Laver Cup</a>

McEnroe toured Boston in his red Team World Mercedes Benz taking in some of the sights, before arriving at TD Garden. McEnroe’s visit to TD Garden coincided with the 40th anniversary of him first rising to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 3 March 1980.

“Boston is an incredible city and has rightly earned the name ‘City of Champions,’” said McEnroe, who was presented with a personalized basketball jersey from Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward. Ice hockey, football, baseball, basketball and now tennis with the Laver Cup. Boston deserves the best that tennis has to offer. International team tennis started here way back at Longwood, it’s fitting that the Laver Cup will take centre stage in September.”

Laver Cup Chairman, Tony Godsick, joined McEnroe at the game. “It is fantastic to be at the historic and beautiful TD Garden with John to officially announce the ticket on sale date. And how fitting it falls on the anniversary of John first ascending to the No. 1 ranking in the world.”

The last professional tennis tournament held in Boston was in 1999, when former World No. 1 Marat Safin defeated Greg Rusedski for the ATP Tour title.

The Laver Cup is a three-day event, created to honour the career of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, who won the calendar-year Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969.

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After Record Start, Could Djokovic Challenge Federer’s Single-Season Top 10 Wins Mark?

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2020

After Record Start, Could Djokovic Challenge Federer’s Single-Season Top 10 Wins Mark?

Serbian star off to 7-0 start versus Top 10 in 2020

Two months into the 2020 season and Novak Djokovic is off to an 18-0 start, which includes a record 7-0 over players in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings heading into the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year at the BNP Paribas Open. The Serbian previously had a record five Top 10 wins in 2016 before the start of Indian Wells.

It may be mission impossible, considering he’ll likely face Rafael Nadal at some point on the European clay swing, but could the World No. 1 match Roger Federer’s record run in 2004, when the Swiss went 18-0 against Top 10 rivals on the season?

So far this year, Djokovic has beaten Top 10 talent in Gael Monfils, Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal en route to helping Serbia win the inaugural ATP Cup title; Federer and Dominic Thiem for a record eighth Australian Open crown, and Monfils and Stefanos Tsitsipas for his fifth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships trophy last week.

“I’m trying to embrace the moment and appreciate where I am,” admitted Djokovic in Dubai. “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.”

While Djokovic’s longest Top 10 winning streak was 17 between 2015 and 2016, Federer posted 24 straight Top 10 wins from 2003 to 2005, which is the longest on record (since 1980).

Nadal, who lifted ATP Tour silverware for the 17th consecutive season at last week’s Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (d. Fritz), has two 13-match winning streaks against Top 10 opponents in 2012 and 2013, then also later in the 2013 season. The Spaniard went 26-1 against elite players during these two streaks, with the run breaking in half with a loss to Djokovic in the 2013 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final.

Prior to 2000, John McEnroe, who first became No. 1 on 3 March 1980, had the longest single-season Top 10 winning streak of 16 victories in 1984, when he went a sparkling 82-3 for the best match winning streak (96.5) in ATP Tour history.

In addition to chasing the Top 10 streak, Djokovic is laser-focused on his quest to break Federer’s record 310 weeks at No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Serbian, who has spent 280 weeks in the top spot, is currently only six weeks behind second-placed Pete Sampras (286 weeks) for most weeks at the summit of men’s professional tennis.

With only 45 points to defend at the upcoming Indian Wells tournament, Djokovic will be aiming to extend his 320 points lead over Nadal (9,850). Should Nadal clinch the BNP Paribas Open crown, Djokovic (10,220) must reach at least the semi-finals to maintain his hold on No. 1.

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Fever-Tree Championships: Nick Kyrgios & Marin Cilic join Queen's line-up

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2020

Australian Nick Kyrgios has joined the line-up for this year’s grass-court tournament at Queen’s.

The 24-year-old, who was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct at last year’s event, has been praised for improved on-court behaviour this season.

He has been in good form, reaching the Australian Open fourth round in January, and also won admirers for his response to the Australian bushfires.

“I’ve been playing well, so I’m pumped for what’s to come,” Kyrgios said.

After his Australian Open was ended with defeat by Spanish top seed Rafael Nadal, the world number 39 spoke of having “made progress as a human”.

Last year at Queen’s, he was fined £13,766 ($17,600) after accusing a line judge of “rigging the game”, mocking the umpire and threatening to walk off court, as well as hitting a ball out of the stadium in another match.

The previous year, he had been fined £13,000 ($16,660) for making a lewd gesture with a water bottle at the London tournament.

In September 2019, he was put on a six-month probationary period after being given a suspended 16-week ban and $25,000 (£19,500) fine for “aggravated behaviour” on court.

Kyrgios has responded favourably both on and off the court. In January, he pledged to donate 200 Australian dollars for every ace he hit that month, a gesture which sparked a huge fundraising effort among his fellow professionals.

The main grass-court event at Queen’s will run from 15 to 21 June and be live on the BBC.

Kyrgios will be joined by Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who said he would love to win a third title there to take his best form into Wimbledon, which starts the following week.

Top-10 players Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, plus Spanish defending champion Feliciano Lopez, had already confirmed they would be playing at Queen’s, while organisers hope Britain’s Andy Murray will recover from a pelvic injury in time.

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Tsitsipas Completes First Full Year In Top 10 Of FedEx ATP Rankings

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2020

Tsitsipas Completes First Full Year In Top 10 Of FedEx ATP Rankings

Greek reaches 52 weeks among the elite at a younger age than Murray, Federer

Stefanos Tsitsipas has completed 52 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, having first risen into the elite on 4 March 2019 (at No. 10). The Greek, who is currently No. 6, attained a career-high No. 5 on 5 August last year.

Aged 21 years and six months, Tsitsipas has spent a first full year in the Top 10 at a younger age than two former World No. 1s Andy Murray (22 years, 52 days) and Roger Federer (22 years, 66 days). Rafael Nadal, who won 15 of his 85 tour-level titles as a teenager, completed 52 weeks in the Top 10 at 19 years and 325 days, while current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who beat Tsitsipas in last week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final, was 20 years and 307 days. Alexander Zverev was just 102 days younger than Tsitsipas – at 21 years and 101 days – when he finished 52 weeks in the Top 10.

As Tsitsipas looks to further extend his time in the Top 10, he’s is not looking to burden himself about what’s he’s achieved in the past. “I’m sort of in a mindset where I don’t really think of defending [points],” he said. “I’m thinking more of the [FedEx] ATP Race [To London, the year-to-date standings] and making it to the Nitto ATP Finals at the end of the year.

“Scheduling is very important when you have your time off, when you practise. My schedule this year is quite different from last year’s. I’m going to try to focus more on 500 events, Masters 1000s, Grand Slams.”

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Over the past 52 weeks, Tsitsipas has compiled a 49-25 match record, including three titles at the Nitto ATP Finals (d. Thiem) in November 2019 and two ATP 250-level events: the 2019 Millennium Estoril Open (d. Cuevas) and Open 13 Provence in Marseille (d. Auger-Aliassime) last month. Additionally, he was runner-up at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Djokovic), an ATP Masters 1000 tournament, and two ATP 500-level events: the 2019 China Open in Beijing (l. to Thiem) and Dubai.

Djokovic was full of praise for Tsitsipas after beating him in the Dubai final, saying, “I love the fact that he is more than just tennis player and he’s always looking to learn from the experience and to understand something new about himself so he can improve, get better. That for me is a trait of a champion, of someone that for sure has a great potential to be No. 1 of the world and win Grand Slams and be a great ambassador of our sport. He already is, but he has a great future ahead of him, I’m sure.”

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