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ESPN2 Brings Fans Federer-Nadal Marathon

  • Posted: Mar 27, 2020

ESPN2 Brings Fans Federer-Nadal Marathon

Twenty-two consecutive hours of their classic matches to air on Saturday

Looking to satisfy your tennis cravings? ESPN2 is providing a 22-hour marathon on Saturday that features six epic Grand Slam matches between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The matches can also be viewed on the ESPN app.

Nadal currently leads their ATP Head2Head rivalry 24-16 and has won 10 of their 14 Grand Slam battles. Federer picked up three of his Grand Slam victories at Wimbledon.

Federer-Nadal Marathon Schedule (all times EST on 28 March)




2006 Wimbledon final


2012 Australian Open semi-final


2007 Wimbledon final


2017 Australian Open final


2008 Wimbledon final


2009 Australian Open final

Wimbledon provided additional Grand Slam viewing on Thursday by posting the entire 11-hour, five-minute encounter between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut to their YouTube channel.

Watch Federer and Nadal’s greatest encounters

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Cabal Launches Campaign To Help Colombian Families Combat COVID-19

  • Posted: Mar 27, 2020

Cabal Launches Campaign To Help Colombian Families Combat COVID-19

Colombian doubles star announces initiative on social media

While the pandemic caused by COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, some of the biggest stars on the ATP Tour have thrown themselves into providing aid during this difficult situation.

Juan Sebastian Cabal, No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings, launched an initiative with his brother to help the most vulnerable people in his hometown of Cali, Colombia. Cabal is promoting a campaign on social media to raise funds for buying food in local markets and delivering it to families in need, especially those who normally work on the street. The goal is to make it possible for everyone to stay home and adopt the necessary protective measures against COVID-19.

“While our doctors, nurses, security, supermarket and pharmacy staff are fighting for us, we cannot stand by and watch,” Cabal wrote in a post on his Instagram account. In our city, 70 per cent of the population relies on the informal economy and we know that part of the success in the fight against COVID-19 is social isolation. In order to guarantee that our people who work in this way can comply, we must guarantee food for them and their families during the days of quarantine.

“We invite you to support us and contribute to this cause. With the help of community leaders, we are identifying the city’s vulnerable families.”

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Cabal is promoting and coordinating the initiative from his home. Donations can be made through two bank accounts that the Colombian has set up. His longtime doubles partner and fellow Colombian, Robert Farah, also shared the campaign on his own social media accounts.

There are 491 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colombia as of 27 March, while the global figure has reached 577,624.

Tennis At Home | How ATP Players Make The Most Of Stay At Home

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Nadal & Gasol Support Red Cross In Fighting COVID-19

  • Posted: Mar 27, 2020

Nadal & Gasol Support Red Cross In Fighting COVID-19

Fundraising campaign announced on Thursday

Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have launched the #NuestraMejorVictoria (Our Best Victory) campaign, which they hope to use to encourage donations from Spanish sport in the fight against COVID-19. The initiative, which forms part of the #CruzRojaResponde (Red Cross Responds) project, aims to raise €11 million and help citizens in need during this health emergency.

The two sportsmen made an appeal on Thursday via social media, sending out a clear message of unity and reciprocal support to all members of the Spanish public. Because Spanish citizens have supported them in their victories and defeats, they wanted to return that affection at this challenging time.

“You have always been on our side during happy times and difficult times. You have always been understanding… We athletes are what we are largely thanks to your support. Now is the time that we cannot let you down,” Nadal said. “It occurred to me to ring my friend Pau [Gasol] and he was also thinking about doing something. We reached the conclusion that now is the time to launch this initiative, which we hope that the whole of Spanish sport will get behind.”

Nadal is at home in Mallorca and complying with the confinement regulations set out by the Spanish government. Since 14 March, Spain has been under a state of national emergency, which includes measures limiting the movement of citizens.

Tennis At Home | How ATP Players Make The Most Of Stay At Home

“We are going through a time that would have been unexplainable and unimaginable a few months ago,” Nadal said. “We’re suffering the impact of this pandemic which has changed all of our lives, particularly those people who are suffering firsthand and their relatives.

“These are sad times, being at home all day. The news is not very encouraging. There is nothing we can do other than be positive, strong and united in the fight to beat the virus. I have been at home for a few days and thinking about how I can help in this situation, which is completely new to everyone.”

With more than 64,000 cases confirmed and almost 5,000 deaths, Spain is one of the countries most seriously affected by this pandemic. Spanish athletes were quick to respond and several have already shown their support for the project by promising to give donations.

Notable ATP players such as Feliciano López and David Ferrer have been joined by other Spanish athletes, including WTA stars Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro, race car drivers Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, football goalkeeper Iker Casillas, track and field athletes Bruno Hortelano and Orlando Ortega, and yachtswoman Theresa Zabell, among others.

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Cabal Considers Doubles Partner Switch

  • Posted: Mar 27, 2020

Cabal Considers Doubles Partner Switch

Colombian practises in living room with new partner

Juan Sebastian Cabal has had plenty of time to consider his future plans on the doubles court during the COVID-19 pandemic and it seems the Colombian may be preparing for a future switch in partners.

Cabal issued a warning to current partner Robert Farah on Instagram, providing his followers with a video of an intense home practice session with his son, Jacobo.

At three years of age, Jacobo may need to wait some time before he can unleash his powerful forehands on anything other than the living room wall. So perhaps Farah can call off the search for a new partner, at least in the short term.

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Djokovic Family Donating €1 Million Of Ventilators To Serbia

  • Posted: Mar 27, 2020

Djokovic Family Donating €1 Million Of Ventilators To Serbia

The Novak Djokovic Foundation typically supports preschool education in Serbia

Novak Djokovic and Jelena Djokovic announced Friday that they will donate €1 million through the Novak Djokovic Foundation for the purchase of ventilators and medical equipment to support hospitals and other medical institutions in their battle against coronavirus in Serbia.

“The fight is not easy, numbers are not pleasant, but I am convinced that we will manage to make it out of this stronger than before,” Novak told local media according to his foundation. “It is important to remain united in this fight, to help each other, so we can defeat this virus faster and easier. We would like to use this opportunity to invite everyone else to join us and help numerous families and people who need help to survive and get healthy again.”

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The Novak Djokovic Foundation typically focusses on helping create and enhance preschool education opportunities for Serbian children. But the World No. 1 is reacting to the current pandemic, which is affecting families throughout the world.

“We will keep bringing people together, who are calling me every day, and who want to join in. Not everyone can help, many are hit hard by this situation, but fortunately, there are many people and companies who can help,” Novak said. “We will open a special account for this emergency situation, like we did the last time when we were hit by the floods. [The] Novak Djokovic Foundation team is working like a well-oiled machine and we are ready to help.”

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Jelena Djokovic, the foundation’s co-founder and global CEO, says they have found a manufacturer to work with on securing the ventilators.

“You haven’t heard from us lately with a specific view on the ongoing situation that has trapped the entire world, for we took some time to take a careful analysis of the situation, both on our own and with our Novak Djokovic Foundation team,” Jelena said. “What has become clear to us is that this situation is going to be a marathon, rather than a speed race, and it would be good for us to rationally and strategically utilise both our strength and resources to be able to push through to the very end. In moments like this, having high-quality equipment is essential – ventilators – above all, which can save people’s lives.” 

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Six-Time Champion: Agassi's Best Moments In Miami

  • Posted: Mar 27, 2020

Six-Time Champion: Agassi’s Best Moments In Miami looks back on Andre Agassi’s six title runs in Miami

From 1990 to 2003, one man left his mark on the Miami Open presented by Itau like no other. That man was Andre Agassi.

The American, who lost a thrilling five-set match to future champion Thomas Muster (1997) on his tournament debut in 1987, claimed 61 victories from 19 tournament appearances at Crandon Park. Agassi lifted six of his 17 ATP Masters 1000 trophies in Florida, a tournament record he now shares with fellow six-time winner Novak Djokovic.

From his maiden Masters 1000 triumph as a 19-year-old to his final Miami crown at the age of 32, takes a look back at each of the former World No. 1’s six title runs in Miami.

1990: The Beginning Of An Era
With nine ATP Tour titles to his name, a 19-year-old Agassi arrived at Crandon Park seeking his first Masters 1000 crown just two weeks after falling to Stefan Edberg in a four-set Indian Wells final. The American trailed by a set in three consecutive matches against Top 20 members Andres Gomez, Jim Courier and Jay Berger, but fought his way back on each occasion to reach his first of eight Miami championship matches.

Agassi faced Indian Wells final opponent Edberg for the title. The Swede entered the contest on a 10-match winning streak, but could not find a way past Agassi. The Las Vegas native claimed his first of six ATP Head2Head wins (6-3) against Edberg 6-1, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 to claim the biggest title of his career.

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1995: Sampras Revenge
Five years after his first title, Agassi entered Miami looking to avenge losses to Pete Sampras. World No. 1 Sampras arrived in Miami as the defending champion with plenty of confidence, having beaten Agassi earlier in the month to win Indian Wells and 12 months ago to lift his second straight Miami trophy.

After surviving a final-set tie-break in his semi-final against Magnus Larsson, Agassi required another deciding-set tie-break against Sampras in the final. The World No. 2 ended Sampras’ 17-match winning streak in Miami with a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(3) victory after two hours and 13 minutes. Two weeks after the tournament, Agassi overtook Sampras in the FedEx ATP Rankings to become World No. 1 for the first time in his career.

1996: Back-To-Back
Agassi entered Miami in 1996 amidst a seven-month title drought, dating back to his 1995 success at New Haven. The World No. 3’s title defence almost ended in his opening match against Bernd Karbacher. For the third consecutive match in Miami, Agassi found a way through a final-set tie-break to keep his title hopes alive.

After defeating World No. 17 Arnaud Boetsch in straight sets to reach his third straight Miami final, Agassi was handed the trophy in unfortunate circumstances. Final opponent Goran Ivanisevic, who defeated Michael Chang and Pete Sampras to reach the final, woke up with a stiff neck and was forced to retire at 0-3 in the first set. It was the first time Agassi had successfully defended a Masters 1000 trophy.

2001: The Sunshine Double
After ending his 12-month wait for a title at the Australian Open, Andre Agassi entered Miami with a 17-2 record in 2001. The American had just captured his first Indian Wells title and was attempting to become only the fifth man to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’ by adding a fourth Miami crown to his tally.

Agassi did not drop a set en route to the semi-finals, where he faced Australian Open semi-final opponent Patrick Rafter. As he did in Melbourne, Agassi was taken to a decisive final set before booking his place in the championship match. In the final, the three-time champion edged an opening-set tie-break against Delray Beach winner Jan-Michael Gambill before cruising to a 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-0 victory.

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2002: A Milestone Win
Despite missing the opportunity to defend his Australian Open title with a right wrist injury, Agassi began the defence of his Miami title with confidence in 2002 after earning a runner-up finish in San Jose and a fourth Scottsdale title.

After breezing through to the semi-finals, Agassi faced Marcelo Rios in a repeat of the 1998 final. The two men split the opening two sets, before Rios was forced to retire with a right knee injury. Waiting for Agassi in the final was 20-year-old Roger Federer, who had defeated World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt to reach his maiden Masters 1000 final.

Agassi needed two hours and 21 minutes to earn his third victory against the Swiss in as many matches and the 700th tour-level victory his career. It would be his last against Federer, who won each of the remaining eight matches in their ATP Head2Head rivalry.

2003: Historic Hattrick
Agassi entered Miami with a 12-1 record in 2003, aiming to become the first man to win three consecutive Miami trophies. The five-time champion was tested by Mark Philippoussis and Younes El Aynaoui in the early stages of the event, before taking charge in deciding sets to reach the semi-finals.

The 32-year-old captured a record-extending sixth Miami crown with straight-sets victories against Top 10 players Albert Costa and Carlos Moya. It was the 16th of Agassi’s 17 Masters 1000 title runs. Agassi’s mark of 17 crowns at the Masters 1000 level was a record at the time, but has since been surpassed by the Big Three of Rafael Nadal (35), Djokovic (34) and Federer (28).

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Challenger Throwback: Felix's Historic Debut, Five Years On

  • Posted: Mar 27, 2020

Challenger Throwback: Felix’s Historic Debut, Five Years On

A look back at Felix Auger-Aliassime’s pro debut in Drummondville in 2015

It was as astonishing as it was incomprehensible at the time. A 14-year-old qualifying for his first professional tournament is a feat that previously never happened on the ATP Challenger Tour. In fact, it had never happened at any level in the pro landscape.

Players that age are often too young and inexperienced to earn such an opportunity on a big stage. And with the growing physicality of the game and quality of competition at the Challenger level, winning one match, let alone three in a row in qualifying, is far from an easy task.

That’s precisely what makes Felix Auger-Aliassime’s achievement so remarkable.

Today, the Canadian is one of the stars of the ATP Tour, surging up the FedEx ATP Rankings without pause. The World No. 20 is fast becoming a household name in the sporting world, boasting an all-around game that is putting the rest of the circuit on notice.

It has been a long and unique journey for the #NextGenATP star, and one that began in the frigid Canadian town of Drummondville in late March of 2015. Just a one-hour drive from his home in Montreal, not only did young Felix enjoy the support of his countrymen, but his friends and family as well.

It was during that week that Auger-Aliassime made history as the youngest player to ever earn a FedEx ATP Ranking point. A qualifying wild card, he needed to register three victories to punch his ticket to the main draw and secure those five coveted points. With the loss of just one set, he did just that. At the ripe age of 14 years and seven months, he became the youngest to qualify for a Challenger. That record still stands today.

“Getting your first ATP points is a moment you never forget as a tennis player,” reflected Auger-Aliassime. “Even though I wasn’t realising what I achieved at the time, I remember it being a big moment in my young career. I will always keep great memories from the Drummondville Challenger.”

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Auger-Aliassime earned three wins in just two days to book his spot in the main draw at the Challenger Banque Nationale Drummondville. He defeated fellow Canadian wild card Jack Mingji Lin, former World No. 67 Chris Guccione and South Africa’s Fritz Wolmarans. His victory over Guccione came from 0-6 down.

Armed with an already lethal forehand and boisterous backhand, it was the Montreal native’s footwork and agility that made him so dangerous at such a young age. He maneuvered his slender frame across the court with effortless ease, meticulously carving up the court. And his court awareness and patient point construction would guide him to immediate success. Four months later, Auger-Aliassime became the youngest to ever win a match on the ATP Challenger Tour, in nearby Granby. And less than two years after that, he would be the first player born in the 2000s – and eighth-youngest ever – to lift a trophy, in Lyon, France.

To think that it’s already been five years since the teen announced his arrival is unbelievable. While a lot has changed for the Canadian, much remains the same. Not only has he navigated a mountain of expectations from a young age, but he has done so with the professionalism and maturity of a steely veteran. Once a precocious budding prospect on the ATP Challenger Tour, Auger-Aliassime has steadily developed into a Top 20 star… and he’s still only a teenager.

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