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Wimbledon Issues COVID-19 Update

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Wimbledon Issues COVID-19 Update

Emergency meeting of AELTC Main Board scheduled for next week

The AELTC can confirm that it is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The AELTC has been contingency planning since January, working closely with the UK government and public health authorities to follow their advice and understand the likely impact of COVID-19 and the government’s emergency measures on The Championships, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis at this time.

An emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board is scheduled for next week, and in preparation we are communicating closely with the LTA, and with the ATP, WTA, ITF and the other Grand Slams. The build for The Championships is due to begin at the end of April.

At this time, based on the advice we have received from the public health authorities, the very short window available to us to stage The Championships due to the nature of our surface suggests that postponement is not without significant risk and difficulty. Playing behind closed doors has been formally ruled out.

Following the government’s advice, the AELTC’s sites at the All England Club, Wimbledon Park Golf Club and Raynes Park are currently closed with physical operations reduced to the practical minimum to maintain the grass courts and the security of the sites.

The AELTC, through our charity the Wimbledon Foundation, is offering support within our local communities and more broadly for the London and UK population through our partnerships with the British Red Cross and City Harvest.

Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive, commented: “The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world. The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make. We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board for next week, at which a decision will be made.”

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Sinner Sets Pizza Challenge To Raise Funds For Italian Medical Supplies

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Sinner Sets Pizza Challenge To Raise Funds For Italian Medical Supplies

#NextGenATP Italian gets creative to fight global pandemic

Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, many of us now have far more time on our hands to cook from home. And now, following reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner’s Instagram announcement, we can use that time to help fight the spread of the virus.

 
 

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Mentre siamo tutti a casa in isolamento, ho pensato che potesse essere il momento giusto per lanciare una piccola sfida di donazione per il nostro paese 🇮🇹 Io e la mia agenzia di gestione @starwingsports doneremo forniture mediche di vitale importanza per aiutare l’Italia in questo momento difficile a causa di COVID -19. Ogni foto che caricherete di un sosia di Pizza di me stesso o di una figura italiana del passato o del presente, doneremo 10 €. Carica una foto della tua pizza fatta in casa usando #SinnerPizzaChallenge per sensibilizzare e spero ispirare gli altri a donare come possono per aiutarci tutti a superare questo. Ps se desideri partecipare anche tu alla donazione sentiti libero di farlo usando È importante rimanere uniti in questi momenti di bisogno ❤️ Non vedo l’ora di vedere le tue foto! – Whilst we’re all home in confinement I thought it could be appropriate time to throw a little donation challenge for our country 🇮🇹 Myself & my management agency @starwingsports are going to donate vital medical supplies to help Italy through this tough time due to COVID-19. Every photo you guys upload of a Pizza lookalike of myself or any italian figure from the past or present we will donate 10€. Upload a photo of your homemade pizza using #SinnerPizzaChallenge to build awareness and hopefully inspire others to donate as they can in order to help us all get through this. Ps if you wish to donate as well feel free to do so using the link in my bio. It is important we stick together in these times of need ❤️ I look forward to seeing your photos! #ForItaly #LetsStickTogether #StaySafe #VivaItalia #TannisAtHome @atptour

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The Italian shared the news on Wednesday that he will donate €10 alongside his management company Starwing Sports for every photo he receives of a pizza that resembles himself or any past or present Italian figure. The money raised will be used to fund vital medical supplies in Italy during the pandemic.

Upload a photo of your pizza lookalike on Instagram using #SinnerPizzaChallenge. You can also donate here.

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Decision on Wimbledon to be made next week

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

The All England Club says a decision regarding this year’s Wimbledon will be made next week.

In a statement on Wednesday, the club said postponement and cancellation of the event, scheduled between 29 June-12 July, because of the impact of coronavirus were possible outcomes.

Playing behind closed doors has been formally ruled out.

Earlier this month, the French Open, due to have begun in May, was rescheduled to 20 September-4 October.

The club’s sites at the All England Club, Wimbledon Park Golf Club and Raynes Park are currently closed with physical operations reduced to a minimum to maintain the grass courts and the security of the sites.

Postponing the only Grand Slam grass court event until later in the year “is not without significant risk and difficulty” the statement added.

Chief executive Richard Lewis said: “The unprecedented challenge presented by the Covid-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.

“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

“We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the main board for next week, at which a decision will be made.”

Analysis

Russell Fuller, BBC Sport tennis correspondent

When the All England Club board meets next week, they will almost certainly conclude it is just not feasible to stage The Championships in 2020.

Now playing behind closed doors has been formally ruled out, there seems little prospect of Wimbledon being able, or allowed, to welcome 40,000 people on site every day. An event of this nature also puts inevitable further strain on the health system and the police.

Work to build up the site in readiness for the fortnight is due to begin at the end of next month, and you cannot do that without significant numbers of people on site.

A gap has opened up in the schedule with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, but a three-week delay is unlikely to make much of a difference.

And because of the surface, it is just not practical to follow the French Open’s lead and try and stage The Championships in September.

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Federer v Kyrgios: The Miami Classic That Cemented A Rivalry

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Federer v Kyrgios: The Miami Classic That Cemented A Rivalry

ATPTour.com looks back at the classic second meeting between Federer and Kyrgios

After spending six months away from the ATP Tour in 2016 to recover from knee surgery, Roger Federer made a stunning return to action in 2017.

The Swiss turned back the clock in his return event at the Australian Open, beating Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal in back-to-back five-set classics to capture his first Grand Slam trophy since 2012 Wimbledon and rode the momentum into the ‘Sunshine Double’ events of Indian Wells and Miami.

Watch Full Match Replay of Federer v Kyrgios at TennisTV.com

After taking the title in the Californian desert, Federer arrived in Miami with a third trophy of the year in sight and the early signs were encouraging. The 18-time Grand Slam champion moved past Frances Tiafoe, Juan Martin del Potro and Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals and saved two match points against Tomas Berdych in a final-set tie-break to reach the last four. It left just one man standing between him and a place in the final. A man he had yet to beat.

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That man was Aussie sensation Nick Kyrgios. The 21-year-old Canberra native had defeated Federer in three tie-break sets to win their maiden ATP Head2Head encounter almost two years prior at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open. The pair were due to meet two weeks earlier in Indian Wells, until food poisoning forced Kyrgios to withdraw from their quarter-final clash. Luckily for tennis fans around the world, nothing got in the way of a rivalry-defining classic in Miami.

In a fascinating showcase of attacking tennis, Federer and Kyrgios produced the 2017 ATP Match of the Year. Federer saved set points and Kyrgios saved match points, but it was the Swiss who ultimately claimed his place in the final with a 7-6(9), 6-7(9), 7-6(5) triumph after three hours and 11 minutes.

“It did feel very good, because you don’t very often play three tie-breaks in a match. It’s nice to win those and winning tie-breaks is always such a thrill,” said Federer. “It’s great winning this way, especially because I remember the loss against him a few years ago. It was rough. It was the birthday of my boys. I wasn’t with them and had that match, so it was nice to get this one tonight.”

Federer/Kyrgios

A standing-room only crowd came out to Crandon Park to watch two of the most exciting players on the ATP Tour do battle, and they weren’t shy about letting their feelings be known. Whether it was giving a standing ovation for a between-the-legs winner from Kyrgios or chanting Roger’s name, their enthusiasm prompted the umpire to call for quiet on multiple occasions during the match.

After failing to convert three set points, Federer trusted his backhand and held his nerve in the tie-break to save set points at 7/8 and 8/9. The Aussie’s penchant for going for broke at crucial moments of the match may have cost him the opening set. He rolled the dice on a big second serve at 9/9 and missed badly, handing Federer a third set point. The Swiss star made good on his chance, wrapping up the set as Kyrgios sent a backhand into the doubles alley.

The drama remained at maximum level in the second-set tie-break, as Federer committed errors on two match points. Kyrgios wouldn’t allow Federer another opportunity, firing an ace at 10/9 and looking to his box in celebration after forcing a decider.

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Amazing Agassi, Rios’ Rise & Big Three Classics: 10 Memorable Miami Moments

A sixth straight tie-break followed for Federer and Kyrgios, with the crowd on their feet to applaud the efforts of both players. Kyrgios didn’t learn his lesson from the first set, gambling with a 128 mph second serve at 5/5 and ultimately hitting a double fault for his most costly shot of the night. Kyrgios’ risk proved to be Federer’s reward, with the 35-year-old firing a big first serve to complete the win.

“I showed a lot of fight,” said Kyrgios. “Obviously I’m an emotional guy. I had some ups and downs, a bit of a roller coaster, but ultimately I think I put in a good performance.”

After winning back-to-back third-set tie-breaks in the same tournament for the third time in his career (2005 Dubai, 2001 Rome), Federer claimed his third ‘Sunshine Double’ with a straight sets victory against Rafael Nadal in the championship match.

Since leaving the court in Miami, Federer has triumphed in three further final-set tie-breaks against Kyrgios and now owns a 6-1 ATP Head2Head record against the Aussie. The pair’s second encounter will be remembered for many reasons, but perhaps most of all as the moment when two men cemented an exciting new ATP Tour rivalry and Federer turned it in his favour.

View Federer And Kyrgios’ ATP Head2Head Rivalry

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Mahut Organises FIFA 20 Tournament To Raise Funds For Hospital Staff

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Mahut Organises FIFA 20 Tournament To Raise Funds For Hospital Staff

Next round takes place on 26 March

Do you want to support hospital staff fighting COVID-19 while playing your favourite video game at home? If so, Nicolas Mahut has the answer.

Introducing the #RestezChezVousTrophy, organised by the Frenchman to offer gamers the opportunity to compete in an online FIFA 20 tournament with entry fees being donated to hospital staff. Mahut took to his Instagram account to announce details of the event and invite French players, including Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, to join the fun and help save lives by staying at home and reducing the spread of the virus.

 
 

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La situation sanitaire en France nous contraint à devoir rester chez nous et il est important que nous respections tous les règles! Avec mes fils, Thiefaine et Natanel, nous avons décidé d’organiser le #restezchezvous Trophy sur #fifa20 ⚽️ 🏆 4 tournois disputés un jour sur deux et un masters réunissant les 4 vainqueurs. Le vainqueur de chaque tournoi recevra au choix une raquette dédicacée de ma part ou une tenue! Le vainqueur du masters recevra 2 places pour @rolandgarros Pour les les inscriptions et les regles >> écrivez en DM sur Instagram à @thiefaine_t Les copains @iamgaelmonfils @lucaspouille @pierrehuguesherbert @tsongaofficiel @jimchardy @richardgasquet34 @edouardrogervasselin je vous attends? 😉 Pour le premier tournoi, les 32 premiers seront inscrits, et suivant les demandes on augmentera la taille des tableaux!! 😉 inscription à partir de…. MAINTENANT et premier tournoi lundi 23 Mars à 16h avec retransmission en direct de la finale sur instagram ! À très vite et n’oubliez pas # RESTEZCHEZVOUS 🙏

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Mahut has organised four events, with the second 128-player edition to take place on 26 March. The winner of each competition will receive a signed racquet or outfit from Mahut, before the four winners compete for two tickets to Roland Garros.

 
 

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C’est parti pour le tournoi… 😊@thiefaine_t @psg @k.mbappe @cavaniofficial21

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For more information, visit @nicomahut and @gamersducoeur on Instagram.

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What Has Most Fascinated Kevin Anderson About Becoming A Father

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

What Has Most Fascinated Kevin Anderson About Becoming A Father

Anderson’s first child, Keira, was born last September

The past 15 months have not been easy on court for two-time Grand Slam finalist and former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson, who has been limited to eight tournaments during that stretch due to injuries. But off court, it has been a special time for the South African star.

On 27 September 2019, his wife Kelsey Anderson gave birth to their first child, Keira.

“Obviously it’s been a little bit different… last year I was injured and didn’t play the rest of the year and then this season I only played a few events, and then I had surgery and then everything was shut down with the virus,” Anderson told ATPTour.com. “I haven’t really experienced full life as a dad and competing like I usually have. On the plus side, it has been nice spending time at home [in Florida] and just having more of a family life and being able to spend more time with her and my wife at home.”

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Anderson has greatly enjoyed being a father, and he has taken pleasure in being able to watch Keira grow in the nearly six months since her birth.

“I think what I’m most fascinated by is just watching her, even though it’s so small, little leaps or learning curves, just watching her learn things. I think that’s been nice, where I’ve been able to spend quite a bit of time with her for basic things,” Anderson said. “There’s still so much to come, but even just listening to the baby talk and her grasping for things, being able to move around a little bit [has been great]. She hasn’t started sitting yet, but just being able to move around, recognising her smiling at you, just stuff like that. I feel like her just growing and learning has been the most amazing part of it for me.”

Anderson hasn’t had much time travelling with his daughter because of his injuries and the ATP Tour’s suspension due to coronavirus concerns. But he did compete this year at the ATP Cup, the Australian Open and the New York Open, giving him a look into what is to come.

“Obviously the time with her has been great and gives me a different perspective on life and different responsibilities and everything that comes with that,” Anderson said. “But at the same time, there’s still a lot I want to achieve on the tennis court, which I’ve pursued my whole life. So I’d say that ambition is still there.

“But definitely in Australia, when I had that first sort of [experience], I feel like there’s a bit more of a separation between what you do on the tennis court, on-site, and when you get back home.”

Anderson’s wife, Kelsey, has long been visible in his corner, cheering him on during his biggest matches. That has been the same as they have become first-time parents.

“My wife’s been amazing through this whole process, [being] understanding just at home and with me still training and recovering from two surgeries while she was first pregnant, and then giving birth and then having her here, allowing me to do some of the things that I need to do,” Anderson said. “For the most part I think we’ve been really lucky, Keira’s been a very easygoing baby and well-natured for the most part. She’s had a couple things that have made things a little tougher, but all in all, so far we’ve really enjoyed this.”

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

Fans may notice that the first name of each member of the Anderson family — Kevin, Kelsey and Keira — begins with a ‘K’, but not for the reason you might expect.

“[Keira] is just a name that we have always liked. It was on the short list, one that I think we were leaning towards. Funnily enough when we told my mother about it, from a young age, she always knew that if she had a boy she would name the boy Kevin and the girl Keira, which we thought was interesting,” Anderson said. “It was like a sign, so that’s when we decided that was the name we were going to give her.”

My Point: Get The Players' Point Of View

When some ATP Tour players welcome a child into their family, they become more motivated to one day showcase their on-court skills when their child is old enough to understand what they do for a living.

“It’d be great if I’m still playing in four, five years’ time when hopefully Keira will be old enough to remember that time on court. Some of that is out of my control. It would be nice, but that’s something that’s many years down the road, so it’s not something I’m thinking about too much at this point,” Anderson said. “I’d say I’m probably more focussed on enjoying her each step as it comes.”

Has Keira started following in her father’s footsteps yet?

“She’s got a toy tennis racquet, but not a real racquet just yet,” Anderson said, cracking a laugh.

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Amazing Agassi, Rios' Rise & Big Three Classics: 10 Memorable Miami Moments

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Amazing Agassi, Rios’ Rise & Big Three Classics: 10 Memorable Miami Moments

Celebrating 30 years of ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, ATPTour.com looks back on 10 memorable moments from Miami since 1990

Normally at this is the time of season, the Tour heads to the sun and sand of Miami, Florida. But due to the global COVID-19 pandemic this year, ATPTour.com reflects on some of the magic at one of the ATP Tour’s lynch-pin events, the Miami Open presented by Itau, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.

Butch Buchholz, a former executive director of the ATP, and his brother, Cliff, originally wanted to make the Miami Open presented by Itau the first major tournament of the year, dubbed ‘Winter Wimbledon’ (at a time when the Australian Open was played in December). The first event held in February 1985 at Laver’s International Tennis Resort in Delray Beach was won by Tim Mayotte, before the tournament moved for a year to Boca Raton and then to it’s long-term location of the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne off Miami from 1987 to 2018. Expanding to a 96-player field in 1999, the multi-week tournament relocated to the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, last year.

ATPTour.com looks back on 10 memorable moments from Miami since 1990.

1991: Courier Completes First ‘Sunshine Double’
Jim Courier, the possessor of a fine forehand allied to superior physical conditioning, became the first of seven players (to date) to complete the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open presented by Itau title double in the same season, on his inextricable rise to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings 10 months later. Having started March 1991 at No. 23 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Courier’s physical and high-intensity power play helped him to beat Guy Forget 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in Indian Wells for just his second tour-level title, and then a win over then World No. 1 Stefan Edberg in Miami en route to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over David Wheaton in the final. It helped him return to the Top 10. Michael Chang (1992), Pete Sampras (1994), Marcelo Rios (1998), Andre Agassi (2001), Roger Federer (2005-06, 2017) and Novak Djokovic (2011, 2014, 2015, 2016) have since completed the ‘Sunshine Double’.

1994: Sampras Makes Lazarus-like Recovery, Wins Delayed Final
In his first final under the guidance of coach Brad Gilbert, Agassi walked into the locker room prior to the 1994 final at the Crandon Park Tennis Center to find Sampras on the floor. Agassi, who at No. 31 in the FedEx ATP Rankings was at his lowest position since November 1987, had beaten the likes of Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg during the tournament, and agreed to delay the final by one hour in order to give Sampras more time to recover. Defending champion Sampras, who had been given an IV by a doctor, jumped out to a 5-1 lead, and while Agassi recovered, there was no let up. Sampras won 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes and went on to lift a personal-best 10 tour-level trophies that season.

1997: Muster’s Redemption
Less than two hours after beating Yannick Noah for a place in the 1989 Miami final, Muster was getting a bag out of his courtesy car outside Bayside Marketplace, when a drunk driver — on the wrong side of the road — struck head-on, pushing the parked car into Muster’s left leg. Muster, unable to play the final the next day against Ivan Lendl, flew back to Vienna and underwent surgery on two ligaments that were severed. With the aid of a specially designed chair, which allowed him to hit balls while recovering from the surgery, Muster returned to tennis six months later. He would eventually capture the Miami title in 1997, beating Sergi Bruguera 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-1. “This is great justice for me,” says Muster, after lifting the biggest hard-court trophy of his career. He’d beaten Grant Stafford, a young Tommy Haas, Alex Corretja, Jonas Bjorkman and Jim Courier en route to the final.

1998: Rios Rise To No. 1
In the space of 20 extraordinary days, the pony-tailed Rios harnessed not only his natural talent, but also a so-far untapped mental resolve to play some of the best tennis of his career and capture the Indian Wells-Miami title double. A feat achieved, at that point, by only a trio of Americans: Courier (1991), Chang (1992) and Sampras (1994). Rios, who had started March 939 points behind World No. 1 Sampras, beat Greg Rusedski 6-3, 6-7(15), 7-6(4), 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open final. In a sun-kissed 29 March final, the third seed competed nerve-free against three-time former champion Agassi, who had risen from No. 141 to No. 22 in just eight events and led the Tour with a 24-3 start on the season. Rios’ path to glory, including his 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Agassi that knocked off Sampras at No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after 102 consecutive weeks, triggered rapturous celebrations on the streets of Chile, a nation that had witnessed every match live on television. 

Agassi

2003: Agassi Wins Third Straight Miami Crown, Sixth Overall
Agassi always enjoyed appearing in Miami ever since his first match — a first-round loss to Muster — as a 17-year-old in 1987. The American would go on to compile a 61-13 record at the tournament, highlighted by appearing in his first ATP Masters 1000 final in 1990; recording the 700th victory of his illustrious career over a young Federer in the 2002 final and, the following year, bettering the five Key Biscayne titles of his wife, Steffi Graff, with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Carlos Moya. One-month shy of his 33rd birthday, having missed Indian Wells due to a right shoulder injury, he’d beaten Younes El Aynaoui (quarter-finals), Albert Costa (semi-finals) and Moya in as many days. Agassi also won a tournament record 19 straight matches in Miami from a first-round win over Taylor Dent in 2001 until he lost to Agustin Calleri in the 2004 fourth round. Agassi’s six Miami titles (also 1990, 1995-96, 2001 and 2002) have since been equalled by Djokovic, the 2007, 2011-12, 2014-16 champion.

2005: Federer & Nadal Meet For First Time In A Final
As a 17-year-old, Rafael Nadal had beaten Federer in the 2004 third round, and he had everything in control in his first Masters 1000 final at 6-2, 7-6(4), 4-1 one year later. Federer, who was two points from losing in the 10th game of the third set and also at 3/5 in the tie-break, recovered for his 18th consecutive victory in tour-level finals — and his 22nd victory in a row. “It was a very equal match,” said Nadal, after their second career meeting. “In the end it didn’t happen for me.” The 2-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-1 win, over three hours and 42 minutes, was only the second time that Federer had recovered from 0-2 sets down. “I really didn’t expect to turn it around really,” said Federer. “I haven’t dug out many matches in my career and to dig it out against Nadal, I’m extremely happy – and exhausted.” It was their second of a legendary 40-match series (Nadal currently leads 24-16).

2007: Djokovic Wins First Masters 1000 Title
Fresh-faced and with spiky hair, 19-year-old Djokovic blitzed through the Miami field without dropping a set, beating qualifier Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 for his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy. “Every time you win something, or you are the youngest player, or you make any record, I mean, it certainly feels great,” said Djokovic, the youngest champion in the 23-year history of the tournament. “It means that your name is in the history of the sport. I am very proud of that. I know that I worked hard throughout all my career to reach this point, and I hope that this is just the beginning of a long career.” Djokovic, who moved from No. 10 to No. 7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings as a result of winning the fourth title of his career, also beat Nadal for the first time, 6-3, 6-4, in the Miami quarter-finals.

2011: Djokovic Remains Perfect After Classic Final
Djokovic came into the 2011 final having not lost his serve all tournament, but that didn’t last long against then-World No. 1 Nadal, who mastered the windy conditions in the early stages and looked to avenge his Indian Wells loss two weeks earlier. In one of the most electrifying finals in Miami tournament history, Djokovic tightened up his defence and counter-punching game to upend Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) over three hours and 21 minutes. “It was very close, and it really could have gone either way,” said Djokovic, who completed the first of his four Indian Wells-Miami title doubles. “It was one of the best finals I ever played in in my life.” It improved Djokovic’s perfect winning streak to 24 matches on the season. “What Novak is doing at the start of this season is something difficult to repeat, so well done to him and his team,” said Nadal. “Today I had some good chances, but Novak was too good for me this afternoon.” Djokovic compiled a 41-match winning streak that year.

Federer/Kyrgios

2017: The Match Of The Year In Miami
Federer and Nick Kyrgios may have opposite temperaments and playing styles, but they came together in the 2017 semi-finals to put on one of the finest matches of the year. Federer saved set points and Kyrgios saved match points in front of a standing-room only crowd, but it was the fourth seed who ultimately came out on top over Kyrgios in their semi-final clash 7-6(9), 6-7(9), 7-6(5). “It did feel very good, because you don’t very often play three breakers in a match. It’s nice to win those and winning breakers is always such a thrill,” said Federer, after the encounter that lasted three hours and 10 minutes. “It’s great winning this way, especially because I remember the loss against him a couple of years ago. It was rough [in Madrid on 6 May 2015]. It was the birthday of my boys [Leo and Lenny]. I wasn’t with them and had that match, so it was nice to get this one tonight.” Their previous meeting at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open had produced a similar scoreline, with Kyrgios saving two match points in a 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 7-6(12) victory.

2019: Welcome To The Hard Rock Stadium…
After 32 editions, it was farewell to Crandon Park in March 2018. The following year, James Blake, the former World No. 4 turned-Miami Tournament Director, welcomed the tennis world to the home of the Miami Dolphins, where 11 of the 29 permanent tennis courts had been built on the Hard Rock Stadium’s southern parking lots. A new face, qualifier and World No. 53 Felix Auger-Aliassime became the tournament’s youngest-ever semi-finalist on his Miami debut and he was also the first teenager to reach the semi-finals since Djokovic beat Andy Murray (both 19) in 2007. But the title match pitted a familiar face in three-time former winner Federer against 33-year-old defending champion John Isner, who was riding an 11-match winning streak in Miami. Federer won 6-1, 6-4 in his 50th ATP Masters 1000 final, becoming the event’s oldest champion at 37 years and 235 days, to start a new chapter for the prestigious tournament.

Other Memorable Moments
* 1999: 17-year-old Federer earns a wild card after winning 1998 Orange Bowl title at Crandon Park with bleach-blonde hair.

* 2001: 18-year-old wild card Andy Roddick defeats defending champion and World No. 4 Sampras.

* 2002: Federer ends World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt’s 15-match win streak to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final.

* 2004: In first of their 40 meetings, 17-year-old Nadal stuns top-ranked Federer 6-3, 6-3 in the third round.

* 2004: Playing with kidney stones, Guillermo Coria wins first set of final against Roddick and plays two more sets before retiring.

* 2006: Federer wins three straight tie-breaks against his future coach Ivan Ljubicic to repeat as Miami champion.

* 2007: En route to final, Argentine qualifier Canas defeats defending champion Federer for the second time in 17 days.

* 2008: Using one racquet throughout the tournament, Nikolay Davydenko becomes the first Russian to win the Miami title.

* 2009: Juan Martin del Potro edges Nadal for the first of his 10 wins over World No. 1s (most among players never ranked No. 1).

* 2012: Fernando Gonzalez loses a third-set tie-break to Nicolas Mahut in the final match of his career.

* 2012: In last of their 24 meetings, Roddick defeats Federer for the second time in Miami and the third time overall.

* 2013: Murray saves championship point against David Ferrer, who nearly ends the Spanish curse in Miami. To date, Spaniards are 0-8 in Miami finals.

* 2016: Djokovic caps 30-1 run in Miami from 2011-16, with fifth title in six years and a record-tying sixth title overall.

* 2018: In Miami final year at Crandon Park, 32-year-old Isner becomes the oldest first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion.

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Federers Make Big Donation To Vulnerable Swiss Families

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Federers Make Big Donation To Vulnerable Swiss Families

Covid-19 pandemic has affected more than 375,000 lives globally

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka announced on Wednesday that they have donated one million Swiss Francs (USD $1.02 million) to vulnerable families in Switzerland in the global fight against COVID-19.

“These are challenging times for everyone, and nobody should be left behind,” wrote Federer on his Instagram feed. “Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland.

“Our contribution is just the start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”

There are more than 8,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Switzerland, claiming 66 lives. The ATP and WTA Tours have been suspended until 7 June.

 

 

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These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy! Dies sind herausfordernde Zeiten für uns alle und niemand sollte zurückgelassen werden. Mirka und ich haben beschlossen, persönlich eine Million Schweizer Franken für die am stärksten gefährdeten Familien in der Schweiz zu spenden. Unser Beitrag ist nur ein Anfang. Wir hoffen, dass sich andere anschließen, um noch mehr bedürftige Familien zu unterstützen. Gemeinsam können wir diese Krise überwinden! Bleibt gesund! Nous vivons une période difficile pour nous tous et personne ne doit être laissé pour compte. Mirka et moi avons décidé de personnellement faire don d’un million de francs suisses aux familles les plus défavorisées en Suisse. Notre contribution n’est qu’un début. Nous espérons que d’autres se joindront à nous pour aider encore plus de familles dans le besoin. Ensemble, nous pouvons surmonter cette crise! Restez en bonne santé!

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Federer donates 1m Swiss francs to help 'most vulnerable families in Switzerland'

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka have donated 1m Swiss francs (£857,000) “for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland” and have called on others to add their support.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland has imposed a ban on all private and public events and has closed all non-essential businesses until at least 19 April.

“These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind,” Federer, 38, wrote on Instagram.

“Our contribution is just a start.

“We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion is the latest in a string of sports stars to pledge money to support those affected by the virus.

Last week, reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep announced on Facebook that she would donate money to pay for medical equipment in her home country of Romania.

In football, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has donated 1m euros (£920,000) to fight the outbreak in Spain and Barcelona forward Messi has contributed the same amount to hospitals in Barcelona and Argentina.

Juventus and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes have donated 1m euros to three intensive care units for patients suffering from coronavirus at hospitals in Lisbon and Porto.

The professional tennis tours are currently suspended until 7 June, with Wimbledon due to take place from 29 June until 12 July.

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Behind The Scenes With Felix Auger-Aliassime At New York Photo Shoot

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2020

Behind The Scenes With Felix Auger-Aliassime At New York Photo Shoot

Go behind the scenes with the #NextGenATP Canadian ahead of the 2019 US Open

Editor’s Note: ATPTour.com is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 25 August 2019.

ATPTour.com went behind the scenes with #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime before he begins his run at the US Open. Below is a timeline of his day.

At 2:34 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime began a promotional shoot for the Next Gen ATP Finals. He’d already had one practise session earlier on, just three days away from his first-round match at the US Open against close friend and countryman Denis Shapovalov. And later in the evening, he’d travel to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for his second hit of the day, this time on Grandstand, where he hit with countryman Vasek Pospisil in front of just a few photographers.

A year ago, then a qualifier, Felix departed the court in tears after retiring in the third set against Shapovalov due to a reoccurring heart condition. Now Auger-Aliassime returns to New York as the favourite after cracking the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time this week, making him one of the quickest-rising stars on the ATP Tour.

But Auger-Aliassime is humble to say the least. Just weeks ago at the Coupe Rogers, throngs of fans sprinted after the teen wherever he went — to practise, to a match, probably to dinner, too. Felix was the celebrity and phone-wielding fans were paparazzi en masse. Yet after arriving at the photoshoot, the first thing he did was introduce himself to all the staff around, extending his hand for a handshake to each person in every room, whether he’d previously met them or not.

Auger-Aliassime is not all forehands and backhands, nor is he all serves and returns. Yes, he’s a tennis sensation, but he’s also a well-mannered 19-year-old, a teen who presents himself as someone who’s been there and done that. The thing is, this is only the beginning.

At 2:38, Felix arrived at the photo room on the second floor, where a handful of lighting apparatuses brought a dark-coloured background to life. The Canadian sat down to have make-up applied.

As incredible as it may seem because of his stellar 2019 season — which has included his first three ATP Tour finals and a maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final — Auger-Aliassime is trying to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals for the first time, currently sitting in second place in the ATP Race To Milan, from which the Top 7 21-and-under players in the world automatically qualify.

“Everyone said it’s great,” Auger-Aliassime said of the third-year event.

The No. 18 seed stood up at 2:41 and began digging through his bag. Did he need to wear white socks or black socks? Auger-Aliassime was prepared for anything, even down to his socks.

Arms folded. Turn your body to the left. Back to the right. Keep your body to the side and turn your head towards the camera. Take a step back.

The photographer was like a coach, but instead of being on the court feeding forehands and backhands, Felix was in a small hotel room in Manhattan, showered by the consistent pings of the flashes going off around him.

“Like this or like this?” Auger-Aliassime asked about a pose. It’s clear that doing things properly is of the utmost importance to Felix. When he’s asked to do something, he wants to do it the right way.

During a momentary break in the shooting, Auger-Aliassime looked down at and played with the strings of his racquet. Those strings will likely be cut out after his next practice. But countless winners will fly off of the Canadian’s racquet in the years to come.

At 2:47, Felix was asked to put his sweater on for the next set of photos. The make-up artist warned him to be careful, saying she could fix his hair, but that the make-up could be more problematic on his clothes.

“Did I get it right?” Felix said, eager to please.

The photographer and his assistants got to a point where they wanted Auger-Aliassime to scream for an image full of intensity. All of the #NextGenATP stars coming through that day would do so. The first shot wasn’t intense enough for the photographer.

“I’m not angry right now. Maybe after practice tonight,” Auger-Aliassime joked. “You’re getting precise now. Shouting, screaming. I don’t know.

“Okay, perfect!” At 2:53, Auger-Aliassime thanked everyone in the room, walked through the hallway past several conference rooms and down a set of winding stairs, leaving him in the lobby. Ten seconds later he walked into a larger room where a green screen awaited him to film promotional material for Milan, should the Canadian qualify.

Again, Auger-Aliassime introduced himself to everyone in the room and awaited instructions. The first thing he did was autograph a frame of glass, much like you see players do after a match. The director explained to him how one side of the marker was thinner and the other was thicker, and that he should use the latter. Again, Auger-Aliassime double-checked to make sure he did it correctly, signing the glass four times until it was perfect.

At 3:04, Felix had to go through the roaring routine again, and then at 3:10, the director asked him for a burning stare through the lens to finish off his session in front of the green screen.

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/felix-auger-aliassime/ag37/overview'>Felix Auger-Aliassime</a>

Once again, Auger-Aliassime thanked everyone in the room and took an elevator up to the third floor to speak some promotional lines into the camera for the Next Gen ATP Finals, sitting in a chair in a smaller hotel room at 3:12.

Straight into camera?

Felix used plenty of hand motions, reading his lines with plenty of energy. Whenever he misspoke, he quickly apologised, even though he didn’t need to. There were no forehands or backhands being hit in that room, but Auger-Aliassime was giving it everything he could.

Want my body this way?

In isolation, this precision is nothing atypical. But it’s clear that Auger-Aliassime is particular about everything he does.

After losing in the Miami Open presented by Itau semi-finals, in which he struggled with his second serve in crucial moments, he went right to the practice court after the match to work on it. Felix double faulted 10 times in his first-round loss at the Western & Southern Open against fellow #NextGenATP star Miomir Kecmanovic.

But shadowing Auger-Aliassime for just an hour, even away from the tennis court, the teen showed he will relentlessly work to fix that. He is simply too precise not to.

“I always have high expectations. I put big goals ahead of me,” Auger-Aliassime said.

One of his goals was entering the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings by the end of the year. He accomplished that by 1 April.

“For sure I was surprised,” Felix admitted of how quickly he’s risen in 2019. But he also says that he’s put in the work for it. And he’s not counting himself qualified for Milan yet, either. Auger-Aliassime is insistent on continuing “to do the right things” now and for the rest of his career, never counting his chickens before they hatch.

“[I want] to make sure I make it,” Auger-Aliassime said of qualifying for Milan. “You’ll make it if you deserve it.”

At 3:22, Auger-Aliassime thanked the final few staff members for their help during the shoot, and walked towards the hotel’s exit, with a tantalising first-round match against his friend Shapovalov ahead of him.

There’s little one can learn about a player’s tennis at a promotional shoot. But regardless of what happens on Tuesday at the US Open, Felix will continue to put the work in.

Whether he wins or loses a match, he will handle it with class. And Felix won’t stop until he gets the most out of his game. How high is his ceiling? Only time will tell. And at 19, there is plenty of time to find out.

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