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Sinner & Team Make Donation In Support Of Bergamo Coronavirus Battle

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2020

Sinner & Team Make Donation In Support Of Bergamo Coronavirus Battle

Learn about how the 18-year-old is doing his part

#NextGenATP Italian sensation Jannik Sinner is doing his part in the battle against coronavirus. The 18-year-old announced on his social media that in conjunction with his management company, StarWing Sports, and coach, Riccardo Piatti, he is donating €12,500 to Cesvi, a humanitarian organisation, to aid with medical emergencies in Bergamo.

“The unity in Italy throughout this crisis has been incredible. Among many thousands of Italians that have helped through this crisis, I want to applaud the 250 volunteers who came together in Bergamo recently to build a Field Hospital in just eight days,” Sinner wrote. “This unity is what will get us through this period. I want to do my part, as much as I can, to contribute in pulling us out of this.”

Sinner is currently in Monte-Carlo, but he has been monitoring the situation in Italy closely.

“I urge you to help in any way you can to contribute in getting our great country out of this,” Sinner wrote. “I am proud to be Italian and proud of our unity. We will come out of this stronger. Stay safe ❤️”

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Sinner Sets Pizza Challenge To Raise Funds For Italian Medical Supplies

The Italian previously announced he would donate €10 for every photo shared on social media of a pizza pie that resembled him or any Italian figure.

“Hopefully, the Coronavirus will go away as soon as possible,” Sinner wrote in a blog for “I know every country is doing their best to lockdown.” 

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Hurkacz Q&A: Federer, Jigsaw Puzzles & Avoiding Boredom

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2020

Hurkacz Q&A: Federer, Jigsaw Puzzles & Avoiding Boredom

Pole answers fan questions on social media

From posting workout videos to taking part in the toilet paper challenge, Hubert Hurkacz has been active on social media to share what he’s been doing at home.

The rising 23-year-old held an impromptu Twitter Q&A this past weekend and spent an hour answering questions from fans. Hurkacz revealed his closest friends on Tour, favourite song of the moment and which player he’d like to trade places with for a day. highlights some of the Pole’s best answers from the Q&A.

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Five Things To Know About Houston

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2020

Five Things To Know About Houston

Learn more about the event that began in 1910

The Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship is a historic event, dating back to 1910 in Omaha, Nebraska. It is the only North American clay-court tournament on the ATP Tour.

From memorable moments to charitable giving, looks at five things to know about the ATP 250, which has been held in Houston since 2001.

Isner Struck His 10,000th Ace In Houston
John Isner hit his 10,000th ace in the quarter-finals of the 2018 Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, blasting a 138 mile-per-hour missile down the T past good friend Steve Johnson to start the fourth game of the deciding set (1-2).

“Ten thousand aces is an incredible achievement,” said Isner after losing the match, despite hitting 28 aces. “It is bittersweet to hit it in a loss tonight, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.”

The ace made Isner the fourth player in history to join the 10,000-ace club, and he is now second on the all-time list with 12,266 aces. After the history-making ace, there was a slight delay as the ball was passed to chair umpire Simon Cannavan for safekeeping. Isner eventually signed the ball and labelled it ‘10K’, and it was sent to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island to be put on display.


Unforgettable Players’ Party & More Fun
A staple of the The Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship is its players’ party. Every year, players, tournament staff and supporters gather at a thrilling party in which the dress code is all-white. Some players even pack a special outfit for the trip, and others go shopping once in Houston to make sure they fulfill the requirements.

It is a good opportunity for everyone to unwind before the action begins, with players mingling with those who will be out watching the matches throughout the week. The dancing and musical performances are always a hit.

“We are rocking everything head to toe white. It’s what makes this tournament so fun, events like this,” said John Isner in 2016. “People are so engaged and it promotes our tournament so well. All these people are going to be out watching us all week, so it’s great to see.”

That’s not all the players have enjoyed at the event, though. Sam Querrey, who played Houston each year from 2007-19 — has become a stalwart in the annual fashion show, Steve Johnson threw out the first pitch at a Houston Astros game last year, and Frances Tiafoe went to a Houston Rockets game last year and was thrilled to take a picture with an oversized head of superstar James Harden, who is known for his massive beard.

Bryan Brothers’ Have Enjoyed Plenty Of Success
From 1969 through 2008, only two teams lifted the Houston doubles title in consecutive years: Kevin Curren/Steve Denton (1980-81) and Ken Flach/Robert Seguso (1984-85). No duo had triumphed in three consecutive years.

But Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan accomplished the feat from 2009-2011, and they have won a tournament record six titles. The Bryan Brothers or the team they have lost to has won the Houston title in each of their past 12 appearances (2006-07, 2009-11, 2013-19).

“There’s no better place to do it than in Houston, where we’ve enjoyed so much success and had unbelievable fan support. Thanks to the River Oaks Country Club and its members for another fantastic tournament.”

The Bryan Brothers, known not just for their tennis, but their musical talents, perform an annual concert poolside after play on Thursday at the tournament, thrilling fans on and off the court.

Seven Champions Reached World No. 1
In the Open Era, seven champions of this event have reached the top of the FedEx ATP Rankings. That list of titlists includes Jimmy Connors, who holds the record for most titles at the event during the Open Era with four.

The other World No. 1s to triumph are Andre Agassi (1988, 2003), Jim Courier (1998), Lleyton Hewitt (2009), Ivan Lendl (1985), Andy Roddick (2001-02, 2005) and Mats Wilander (1987). Michael Chang (1997), Tommy Haas (2004), Magnus Norman (1999) and Manuel Orantes (1973, 1975, 1977) are all former World No. 2s who lifted the trophy at the only American clay-court event held at tour-level.

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Sportsmanship First: The Langston Trophy
The Langston Trophy, named in honour of Ernest Langston, who was the general chairman of the River Oaks tennis tournament for eight years, is annually awarded to a player or players who exemplify great sportsmanship.

In 2018, the trophy was awarded to seven players: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, John Isner, Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. The Americans made personal donations toward resurfacing the two tennis courts at Sunnyside Park, which were affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Other players who have received the Langston Trophy are Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver and Pete Sampras. The 2019 recipient was doubles champion Santiago Gonzalez.

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Grigor Reveals: I'm A Laundry Fanatic & Compulsive Note-Taker

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2020

Grigor Reveals: I’m A Laundry Fanatic & Compulsive Note-Taker

Bulgarian shares what he’s been up to while staying home

Hello everyone from sunny California! I hope you are all staying safe and doing your part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

I decided to stay on the west coast of the U.S. once it was announced that Indian Wells was cancelled. The days have pretty much been the same, but to be honest, I’m in really good spirits now. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but I think it’s good to let loose, let your beard grow or whatever you want to do.

Tennis players are creatures of habit, so I still make sure to structure my day. Go to bed on time, wake up early, be productive in the morning. There’s a reason why some of the greatest minds of our time wake up early. I think structure is needed for your mental thoughts. Also washing our hands as much as possible. I’m a crazy fanatic when it comes to laundry and have been doing that twice a day.

I’m lucky because I have a small gym on the property where I’m staying and can access it every day. I have a little basketball court to run around on or can go for walks. Maintaining my physicality on a daily basis is key. You can always find a way to exercise, even at home. It’s not easy, but reveals a lot about your own character and lets you learn more about yourself.

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Eating well is just as important now, but I’m letting myself be a little bit loose and sometimes have things that I wouldn’t necessarily eat while competing. I’ve been really good at making chocolate chip cookies lately!

I’ve been in contact with friends and family a lot during this time. With the sacrifices we make as athletes, it’s sometimes hard to be the best friend that you’d like to be for loved ones. Now is the chance to reconnect and really just listen.

The time off has been great in some ways because it’s given me perspective about what I want to do in the future, after tennis, and some things I want to do off the court. We now have a pause where you can let yourself be, put your guard down and let your mind wander. I have notepads lying around everywhere in case a thought or idea comes into my head and I want to explore it later with my agents or family.

I’m starting a course at Harvard Business School in a few weeks. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I loved being in school, but haven’t had the chance to experience it to the extent that I would have wanted to. Now I have the time to do something new and different.

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I recently donated some ventilators to the hospital in my hometown of Haskovo to help those affected by the coronavirus. I’ve always been very aware of what’s happening in Bulgaria. I’ve been playing for Bulgaria all my life. I really appreciate the people and all the support throughout the years. This is not only a way of giving something back to my country, but deeply moves me and makes me feel alive.

In the future, hopefully I can have the right opportunities, right partners and the right structure to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s in the medical field or education or something like that. I just know there are bigger things and I’d really like to not only be heavily involved, but give a part of myself for it.

For now, staying mentally strong is the most important thing. Hopefully we only have a little bit more of this to go. I hope everyone can get out of this safely. I’m sure that we’re all going to resume what we love doing soon, but health is the most important thing right now.

As told to McCarton Ackerman

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Mutua Madrid Open To Be Played Online From Home

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2020

Mutua Madrid Open To Be Played Online From Home

ATP Masters 1000 tournament to be played via video game

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented the 2020 Mutua Madrid Open from taking place from 1 to 10 May and forced the ATP and WTA to postpone all activity on their tours until 13 July, the organisers of the only ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory event in Europe have announced the creation of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, an innovative tournament that will be a virtual replica of the tennis competition, with the world’s biggest tennis stars squaring off from their own homes. The news means that the biggest ATP and WTA stars will clash in the Manolo Santana Stadium, recreated in exquisite detail in the Tennis World Tour video game, while swapping their racquets for a game controller.

“Since we announced that the Mutua Madrid Open would not take place on the dates planned, we have been working on ideas for bringing tennis to the fans”, said Feliciano López, the tournament director. “The birth of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro highlights the tournament’s technological, youthful and innovative side, which has been one of its hallmarks since it began in 2009 and it is fitting for the current circumstances. We have organised a tournament for the professional players that is as true to the conventional Mutua Madrid Open as possible, without them having to leave their homes. And its goal is not just to entertain; we want to do our bit during this period, which is so difficult for everyone.”

“The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will be a first-of-its-kind for the ATP Tour, providing an exciting and new way for players and fans to connect and engage with our sport”, said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman. “This is a win-win for all – the Mutua Madrid Open, the players, and the fans. We are particularly pleased that funds raised from this initiative will contribute towards supporting the wider playing group, which is critical during these challenging times.”

“The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro is a unique and creative way of engaging the WTA athletes and their fans during this unprecedented time,” stated Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “The WTA would like to thank and recognize the event for putting this initiative together. We look forward to the virtual game, which can serve as a fun source of entertainment while at the same helping to bridge a gap until live tennis returns, while also providing opportunities to help those players in need during this challenging time.”

The Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will take place over four days, from 27 to 30 April, in a show of solidarity to raise money and help the tennis players most in need during this time, all those that have no income to help them through these months of inactivity, and those affected by COVID-19.

To do so, the tournament will include a purse of 150,000 euros in both draws (ATP and WTA), from which the winners will be able to decide on how much they donate to the tennis players currently suffering economically, and an additional 50,000 euros that will all go towards reducing the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The format for the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will be as follows: 16 singles players in each of two draws (ATP and WTA) initially divided into four groups. The champion of each group will progress to the quarter-finals, which will also include the runner-up of each group. From there (quarter-finals, semi-finals and final) the tournament will be played as a knock-out. In addition, in parallel with the official competition, there will be a series of benefit matches that will see some of the biggest content creators in the gaming world take on the professional tennis players to raise funds to help those affected by Covid-19, thanks to the participation of Webedia, the leading group in digital entertainment.

“We’re delighted to be working together with the Mutua Madrid Open on an innovative and pioneering project in the world of tennis, the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro”, said Antony Dumas, CEO of Webedia. “We can take that which cannot happen on the real courts to the virtual courts. At Webedia we are working hard to translate the expertise we have in the digital world to the world of conventional sport and we are sure that the tournament will be a success.”

“We’re very happy to participate in this Mutua Madrid Open initiative with our game Tennis World Tour”, said Carlos Rosales, the general director of Nacon Gaming España. “In this period of confinement and virtuality, the world of tennis is sending out a very powerful message of strength and optimism, values that we share at Nacon. Real sport and its virtual simulation are coming together during this enforced break. Thanks to the Mutua Madrid Open for giving us the opportunity to participate in this innovative international project that will open an as-yet-unexplored road for many other tournaments.”

All fans will be able to follow the tournament online, on television and on the Mutua Madrid Open’s social media, with a spectacular production that will include commentary on all the matches, analysis and highlights programmes and interviews with the winners after each match.

The Mutua Madrid Open organisation will soon announce the list of participants, as well as other news on the competition.

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Relive Federer & Nadal's First Battle

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2020

“The World No. 1 leading the way behind the man who very might well become the World No. 1 one day.”

That was the commentary as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal walked on court for their third-round match in Miami 16 years ago. There was a sense of anticipation. Federer was the top seed and No. 1 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings and his opponent, Nadal, was World No. 34 at the tender age of 17.

“He has already proven himself at his age, to be ranked as good as he is. I think he’s already actually proven that he’s a great player,” Federer said before the match. “He doesn’t right now need to beat all these top players just to show them that in three years’ time he can be No. 1 in the world and win Grand Slams. I think all he needs is time.”


The pair actually played one another in doubles at the previous event, Indian Wells, with Nadal and Tommy Robredo defeating Federer and Yves Allegro in three sets. But the Swiss was still the favourite, even if he knew he’d face a stiff challenge.

“I think he’s put a lot of hard work into his game,” Federer said. “I think he’s enjoying his tennis. That’s exactly what he should do. We’ll see how strong he will be in two years. But the start to his career so far has been incredible.”

Nadal had already played big matches, including a third-round clash against Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of that year’s Australian Open. Federer didn’t sense any nerves from the Spaniard.

“In the beginning maybe a little bit, when you walk on court. I think he’s kind of a little bit shy on court. He looks at me as an incredible, great player,” Federer said. “I just felt more of a respect level than nerves.”


Nadal showed he was unafraid of taking the match to the more experienced Federer. The lefty used his heavy forehand to keep the top seed from attacking, putting more pressure on Federer to play more aggressively from less advantageous positions, which led to errors in key moments.

Nadal jumped at every opportunity to hammer his forehand cross-court at Federer’s backhand at Crandon Park. The 17-year-old did not face a break point, winning 75 per cent of his service points in a 6-3, 6-3 triumph against Federer, sealing his upset after just 70 minutes.

“I’m very happy because I played one of the best matches in my life. Obviously, he didn’t play his best tennis and that’s the reason why I could win,” Nadal said. “If he had played his best tennis, I would have had no chance. But that’s what happens in tennis. If a player like me plays at a very, very good level and a top player like Roger doesn’t play his best tennis, I can win.”

Nadal felt he had to take Federer out of his game, and he did just that, allowing the Swiss to win just 62 per cent of his first-serve points, while the Spaniard won 79 per cent of points on his own first delivery.

“I played almost perfect tennis today, because I was playing inside the court, dominating the exchanges and pressing him so he couldn’t play his game,” Nadal said. “I served extremely well today, probably I never served like this in my life. That was really the key.”


Federer was complimentary of Nadal before they stepped on the court, and so there wasn’t a moment during the match when he was taken aback by his opponent.

“I’m not surprised. I’ve heard a lot about him and saw some matches of him,” Federer said. “I think this is not a big surprise for everybody.”

It took just one match for Federer to recognise a pattern in their ATP Head2Head series that would prove defining for years to come.

“He doesn’t hit the ball flat and hard. It’s more with a lot of spin, which makes the ball bounce, bounce high, and that’s a struggle I had today. I tried to get out of it, but kind of couldn’t,” Federer said. “I thought in the beginning I maybe wasn’t going for my shots enough, where in the end I thought I was hitting the ball better. But I felt the match maybe kind of went his way, and he hit some really incredible shots.”

Federer and Nadal have since played 40 times at tour-level, with the Spaniard leading their series 24-16. From their five-set final in Miami the following year to the 2008 Wimbledon championship match and plenty more epics, they have gone on to craft a legendary rivalry that nobody will soon forget.

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Five Things To Know About Taylor Fritz

  • Posted: Apr 06, 2020

Five Things To Know About Taylor Fritz

Learn more about the 22-year-old American on and off the court

Taylor Fritz has steadily raised his level and his FedEx ATP Ranking. From reaching an ATP Tour final as a teenager to competing in the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, Fritz has proven he has plenty of game. looks at five things you should know about the 22-year-old:

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1) Fritz has made history
At 2016 Memphis, an 18-year-old Fritz became the youngest ATP Tour finalist since Japan’s Kei Nishikori (18 years, 50 days) at 2008 Delray Beach. Fritz finished 2016 as the youngest player inside the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, earning recognition as the ATP Star of Tomorrow presented by Emirates.

In 2019, he made his breakthrough, winning his maiden tour-level title in Eastbourne, where he defeated Sam Querrey in the final. 

“It’s just an amazing feeling. I can’t even describe it,” Fritz told at the time. “After waiting what feels like so long to win a title after almost winning when I was 18, over three years ago, it is just great to finally win.”

He is currently the No. 2 American, trailing only John Isner. Fritz is at a career-high World No. 24, which he first achieved on 2 March following a run to his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco. The 22-year-old beat Isner in the semi-finals at that event, ultimately succumbing to Rafael Nadal in the championship match.

2) He has high ambitions
Fritz broke into the world’s Top 25 when he was still 21. But the American is hungry to continue his climb.

“I just feel like I’m nowhere near where I want to be or where I should be,” Fritz said during the off-season. “I want to keep wanting to get better, wanting to beat more people, wanting to be higher-ranked.”

Fritz has always been a hard worker, but he is relentless in finding new ways to improve. He recently began cleaning up his diet — like eating egg whites with avocado for breakfast — among other things.

“Maybe before, the little stuff didn’t make that much of a difference. But I feel like now, for me to keep moving forward, I need to really commit in pretty much every single way, so I’m just trying to do everything I can,” Fritz said. “I think my mindset every morning is just to train as hard as I possibly can so when I get done that day, I could believe that I outworked everyone else.”

3) Fritz is a dad
In July 2016, Fritz married Raquel Pedraza, who played at all four junior Grand Slams as a player. Their first son, Jordan, was born on 20 January 2017.

Jordan does not travel to every event, but he was at last year’s Newport Beach Challenger when Fritz lifted the trophy, setting up the American for a big run in 2019.

4) Tennis runs in his blood
Fritz’s father, Guy Fritz, a former pro, was Taylor’s first coach. But Fritz’s mother, Kathy May Fritz, also helped build her son’s game. She was a Top 10 player and won seven WTA Tour titles.

“I’d say she’s a cool mom,” Fritz said.

When Fritz was 12, he competed in a prestigious mother-son event with his mom at a local club.

“One of the biggest mother-son tournaments in the country just happened to be in San Diego where I live. So, it was easy, we would just play it,” said Fritz. “My mom was a former Top 10 player and she still played a lot, so she was, for sure, the best mom in the competition.

“I was only 12 years old, so her and I were probably at a very similar level. She might have been better than me at the time. We were playing against a lot of college guys and older guys, so it was tough for me, but we got to the quarter-finals.”

5) He has a big interest in esports
With prize money, FedEx ATP Rankings points and career goals in mind, the stakes on the tennis court can be very high. That’s why Fritz likes to relax off the court by doing something completely different – playing video games, especially FIFA.

Not only has Fritz gotten to compete with gaming star Ninja, but last off-season he invested in ReKTGlobal, an esports business.

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