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Rogers Cup: WTA Tour event postponed until August 2021

  • Posted: Apr 11, 2020

The women’s section of the Rogers Cup has been postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to call off August’s WTA event in Montreal has been made with both the women’s and men’s tours already suspended until 12 July.

A WTA statement said the move was because of “measures taken by the Quebec government to prohibit events until 31 August, 2020”.

No announcement has been made about the men’s event, taking place in Toronto.

Each year the men’s and women’s events switch between Toronto and Montreal.

“At the beginning of the crisis we were hoping that the situation would be resolved in time to be able to host our tournament as initially planned on the calendar, but we knew that the chances were getting smaller and smaller in recent weeks,” said tournament director Eugene Lapierre.

Last year, Bianca Andreescu won the title after her opponent in the final, Serena Williams, withdrew injured in the first set.

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Five Things To Know About Kei Nishikori

  • Posted: Apr 11, 2020

Five Things To Know About Kei Nishikori

From Project 45 to record runs, learn more about the Japanese star’s journey on the ATP Tour

Kei Nishikori has reached 26 tour-level championship matches and made four appearances at the Nitto ATP Finals, advancing to the semi-finals on two occasions. looks at five things you should know about the 30-year-old.

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1) He Left Japan Aged 14
At 14, Nishikori moved to Bradenton, Florida as a member of the Masaaki Morita Tennis Fund group to improve his game at the IMG Academy. The Japanese did not speak English when he arrived in the United States, but he was quickly enrolled at a school where English was taught as a second language.

“When I moved to Bradenton in 2004, even though I couldn’t speak a word of English, I didn’t feel homesick. I was too busy developing my game,” said Nishikori.

In his first years at the academy, Nishikori worked hard to improve. Nishikori embraced the culture of his new home, throwing hundreds of American footballs and baseballs in order to develop his serve and improve his throwing motion.

2) Success Came At A Young Age
Seven months after making his tour-level debut in Los Angeles, Nishikori captured his first ATP Tour title at the 2008 Delray Beach Open by The 18-year-old won eight matches from qualifying to take the title, saving four match points in his semi-final against Sam Querrey before shocking World No. 12 James Blake 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the championship match.

“I played pretty well and he just beat me,” said Blake. “I remember coming back and my brother and my coach were there and my brother said, “That kid is going to be really, really good.”

Aged 18 years, one month and 19 days, Nishikori passed 2004 Sopot champion Rafael Nadal (18 years, two months and 12 days) as the youngest ATP Tour champion since 2000. Nishikori still holds that record.

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Breakthrough: Nishikori Remembers First Title At 2008 Delray Beach

3) His 2014 Breakthrough Made History
In 2014, Nishikori became the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam singles final at the US Open. After reaching the Round of 16 without dropping a set, the 5’10” right-hander claimed back-to-back five-set victories against Top 10 stars Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka to book a semi-final clash against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Nishikori played well under pressure, converting five of seven break points to defeat the reigning Wimbledon champion 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 in two hours and 52 minutes. In his maiden Grand Slam final, Nishikori was overpowered by fellow first-time major finalist Marin Cilic in three sets.

<a href=''>Kei Nishikori</a> beats <a href=''>Novak Djokovic</a> in four sets to reach his maiden Grand Slam final at the <a href=''>US Open</a>.

4) ‘Project 45’ Was Just The Start
As a youngster, Nishikori was tipped as the man to surpass Shuzo Matsuoka’s Japanese record FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 46. Not only did the Shimane-born star complete ‘Project 45’, he set a new standard for Japanese tennis. Shortly after his US Open final run, Nishikori cracked the world’s Top 5 on 3 November 2014. He did so after reaching the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals.

Following back-to-back final appearances in Memphis (d. Anderson) and Acapulco (l. to Ferrer), Nishikori jumped to a career-high No. 4 on 2 March 2015. The Japanese, who owns 12 tour-level trophies, most recently appeared in the Top 5 on 18 August 2019.

5) He Is The King Of Deciding Sets
As he proved against Raonic and Wawrinka en route to the 2014 US Open final, Nishikori responds well to the pressure of contesting a deciding set. In fact, according to the ATP Performance Zone, he responds better than anybody.

Nishikori owns the best deciding-set record in the Open Era. The 30-year-old possesses a winning percentage of 74.2 in deciding sets (132-46), which puts him ahead of second-placed Novak Djokovic (73.5 per cent) and third-placed John McEnroe (73.4 per cent).

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The Weight Lifted Off Denis Shapovalov's Shoulders

  • Posted: Apr 11, 2020

The Weight Lifted Off Denis Shapovalov’s Shoulders

Learn how Shapovalov found the best form of his career

#NextGenATP Denis Shapovalov broke into the spotlight at 18, stunning Rafael Nadal en route to the semi-finals of the 2017 Coupe Rogers, an ATP Masters 1000 event, in Montreal. The lefty sensation didn’t win that match, nor did he triumph in his next six tour-level semi-finals.

But more than two years later, at last October’s Stockholm Open, Shapovalov got over the semi-final hump, and then lifted his maiden ATP Tour title. He has not looked back since.

“I feel like the end [of the season] was really, really big, a huge step forward for me,” Shapovalov told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “But I think it started even before Stockholm. I feel like after Wimbledon, I took a good break… I played Montreal the first tournament back and it was the first time back since my [2017] run and the start of ‘me’, so that just gave me a lot of motivation and [I] remembered the passion and the fight that I have in matches and in tennis.”

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Shapovalov arrived in Stockholm fresh off a second-round loss at the Rolex Shanghai Masters against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, but his confidence remained.

“I felt like my tennis was getting there and I really felt like in Stockholm I could have a chance to go for a good run and obviously I did really well lifting that title,” Shapovalov said. “From there, I felt like it was a good weight off my back. There were a couple tournaments where I lost semis, semis, semis, and to kind of get over that barrier and eventually win that title, it was just huge for me.”

Shapovalov carried that momentum into the Rolex Paris Masters, where he reached his first Masters 1000 final. Before losing to Djokovic, the Canadian advanced past four Top 15 players and former World No. 6 Gilles Simon.

“The last couple tournaments of the year I was just playing freely. I felt my goal was already completed, so it was just about enjoying the end of the year and obviously I was really able to keep my form together in Paris and really go for another great run,” Shapovalov said. “That whole week I was really zoning. I beat some really high-level players. I think confidence-wise it was a really big tournament for me.”

One man who was with Shapovalov through that upswing was recently-retired Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who began working with Shapovalov in August at Winston-Salem.

“I felt like he helped me so much from the mental side of tennis and even off the court and getting back into enjoying it and finding certain things that really helped me,” Shapovalov said. “I think he definitely helped me a lot.”

For former World No. 8 Yozuhny, Shapovalov is his first top-tier mentee since retiring at St. Petersburg in 2018.

“For me it was the first player at a top level and slowly we tried to work together,” Youzhny said. “He can do everything well on the court. The question is about the consistency, but he’s a great player. From my side he has a great game, interesting game for the spectators, for the public. He’s a little bit different from other players. He can make some really beautiful points, he can make some crazy points and he can be really solid in some moments.”

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Shapovalov didn’t slow at the start of 2020, earning two Top 10 victories at the ATP Cup and pushing World No. 1 Djokovic to a final-set tie-break.

“It was all just clicking together and really got me motivated to keep working harder. Obviously I had a good start to the year as well, beating top players. It’s great that it’s been continuous and I’ve been able to keep my form,” Shapovalov said. “Honestly I think a lot of the credit goes to Mikhail. I feel like he’s really helped me with the consistency and just keeping that work, keeping my game sharp. I feel like the teamwork has been really good.”

Fellow #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime has followed in Shapovalov’s footsteps, also cracking the Top 20, but he says that his good friend is more than just a great player.

“He rose through the Rankings before me, a bit older than me, but he was always a good example of what you can do if you believe in your goals and your confidence,” Auger-Aliassime said. “He’s been a great friend overall, so I think that’s really the most important.”

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