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The Day 15-Year-Old Gasquet Made History In Monte Carlo

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

The Day 15-Year-Old Gasquet Made History In Monte Carlo looks back at Gasquet’s early breakthroughs in Monte-Carlo

Richard Gasquet has enjoyed a successful career, climbing as high as No. 7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, winning 542 tour-level matches and lifting 15 ATP Tour trophies. This month, the 33-year-old hit 15 consecutive years inside the Top 100.

But it all started for him at the 2002 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. At 15, Gasquet received a wild card into qualifying. The Frenchman took full advantage, making history.

After qualifying without dropping a set — including a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Nikolay Davydenko — Gasquet became the youngest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 match, defeating World No. 54 Franco Squillari to reach the second round of the main draw. He remains the youngest tour-level match winner since Tommy Ho at 1988 Rye Brook.

“It’s a great memory. I remember it, but it’s such a long time [ago],” Gasquet said in 2018. “It’s crazy. I was a child. I remember I came here, I got a wild card. I came with my father and my mother was [also[ there. I never expected to win against Squillari and play Marat Safin. it was a dream; that’s why I always dreamed to play tennis.”

Less than two years earlier, Squillari reached a career-high World No. 11. The Argentine had recently played well in Miami, advancing past David Nalbandian, Goran Ivanisevic and Thomas Enqvist. But he struggled against Gasquet’s pressure, as the Frenchman converted all eight of his break points.

Gasquet next played former World No. 1 Marat Safin, and the Russian prevailed 6-4, 6-1. At 15, the Frenchman was unable to find the energy to match Safin’s power after playing three previous matches at the event.

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“It’s already very good to be in the second round of such a tournament, so the only thing you can feel is happiness,” Gasquet said at the time. “He played well. He is among the best players in the world. It’s not easy to play against such a player. My score was a good one. It wasn’t easy.” 

That wasn’t the only early success Gasquet had in Monte-Carlo. At 18, he upset World No. 1 Roger Federer 6-7(1), 6-2, 7-6(8), finishing his win with a backhand down the line, which would become one of his signature shots.

Watch over 165 classic ATP Tour matches from the 90s

Perhaps fittingly, Gasquet earned his 500th tour-level win in Monte-Carlo two years ago, beating Mischa Zverev to reach the quarter-finals that year.

“Of course it’s not the same face. I’m a little bit older,” Gasquet said, before cracking a joke. “Less hair now, that’s a problem.”

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Djokovic & Murray Bring The Fun On Instagram Live

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Djokovic & Murray Bring The Fun On Instagram Live

Longtime opponents and friends team up on Friday

With 125 tour-level titles between them, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray united on Friday for a star-studded Instagram Live that included plenty of colourful banter.

Both men dropped in from their respective homes to answer fan questions and playfully rib some of their fellow players. When Nick Kyrgios logged in to watch, Murray noted the Aussie’s recent ink and joked that he’s “not certain about the sleeve tattoo, although you can probably pull it off better than me.”

The current and former No. 1 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings also called out Wawrinka’s attire when he won the 2015 Roland Garros title by defeating Djokovic in the championship match.

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”Stan, if you’re watching, I hope you burn those shorts,” Djokovic said, laughing. Murray chimed in by adding that the shorts “were horrific.” Wawrinka, who was watching along, responded in the comments with a laugh emoji.

Djokovic and Murray also built their perfect tennis players during the Instagram Live session. Both men aligned on who they’d select for serve, volley and mental toughness, while also paying their respects to each other on return and backhand.

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Murray & Djokovic build their perfect player and discuss the 'GOAT'

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

With no tennis for the foreseeable future, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are at a bit of a loose end.

The two met on Instagram Live to discuss their careers, the mental and physical effects of tennis and the debate about the GOAT of tennis.

They also built their perfect tennis player from those playing now…

Serve – Nick Kyrgios & John Isner

Novak Djokovic: Nick, for his height, has the best serve I’ve seen.

Andy Murray: I’d say exactly the same. If you gave Kyrgios Isner’s height… I’ve seen Nick warming up…

ND: He warms up?!

AM: Yeah, he’s done absolutely nothing on his shoulder and yet he’s sending down ridiculous serves.

Return – Andy Murray & Novak Djokovic

ND: I’d go with you. Playing against you on any surface was always a challenge but out of the three biggest rivalries I had, I found it the hardest to serve against you because everything was coming back.

AM: And I’d say you. You rarely missed a return.

Forehand – Juan Martin del Potro & Rafael Nadal

ND: The Thor from Tandil – Del Potro. I love the forehand of Fernando Gonzales, but let’s go Delpo.

AM: I’m going Rafa. There may be a small period in his career where it let him down in a couple of matches, but very rarely would that have been the shot that contributed to him losing matches.

Backhand – Andy Murray & Novak Djokovic

AM: Backhand, I’m taking you…

ND: I would take you. Consistency, the fact that you don’t miss much, you make the life of your opponent very difficult. I just couldn’t penetrate through that side when I played against you…

AM: I think you penetrated me pretty well a few times.

Volley – Roger Federer

ND: Roger is one of the most complete players ever to play the game. We all know how great he is.

What I think is probably a bit underrated is his ability to come up with serve and volleys at the most challenging times in a match against us that are great returners. He takes away your time.

AM: I’d agree with that. There might be guys that hit certain volleys better but all-round, Federer. He has the touch and feel and he’s one of the few guys that has come up with that shot under pressure.

Strongest mentally – Rafael Nadal

ND: It’s obvious he has champions mentality, what he’s managed to produce over the years on all surfaces, the way he was bouncing back from numerous injuries.

I think he was the most injured out of us four. Every second season, he has got something for several months and he managed to come back and build his game.

The resilience, the intensity he brings – when you see him jumping around before you walk onto court, it already intimidates you. A mental giant and a physical giant.

AM: I would say that, consistently, Rafa has been mentally the strongest. There’s times where you would have been ahead of him but over an entire career, even from when he was very young, he’s always been unbelievably strong mentally.

Even when he was 18, 19 years old, which is so rare for the guys coming through. That’s normally the part that takes the longest.

Physical – David Ferrer & Novak Djokovic

ND: I love Ferrer’s fighting spirit. He has always been a warrior on the court.

I would say Ferrer or Dominic Thiem, but give Ferrer an edge because he’s been on the tour longer. Dominic is going to last for hopefully many more years.

AM: If it were physical potential, I’d say Gael Monfils. What he can do physically is a joke. It’s unreal, the stuff I’ve seen him doing.

But physically, I would take you. Although that’s not a big bicep that you’re showing off!

And finally, the two debated how you judge the tennis GOAT.

ND: It’s a good question. It’s a combination of Slams, the weeks at number one and the Masters events…

AM: What about head-to-head?

ND: Absolutely, yeah. I think Grand Slams would probably stand out but it’s really hard to say. I’ve had this opinion since forever – I don’t go into the conversation of comparing generations.

AM: I completely agree with that but, in reality, all three of the best players are playing in the same generation.

Nobody competes with Rafa on clay, Roger’s record at Wimbledon is the best, your record on hard court is the best.

When people ask me what my toughest match is, who are the hardest guys to play against, I feel like I’m competing against the best hard court player ever, the best clay court player and the best grass court player.

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Zverev & Schwartzman Join Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro Field

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Zverev & Schwartzman Join Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro Field

Learn more about Madrid’s innovative virtual event

With one week to go until the group draw for the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, the Mutua Madrid Open announced Friday that Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman will also participate in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro competition, to take place from 27 to 30 April.

The event will see players swap their rackets for a PlayStation 4 to clash in a Manolo Santana Stadium that has been recreated in exquisite detail in the Tennis World Tour video game (Nacon Gaming). Zverev and Schwartzman join Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Gael Monfils, David Goffin, Fabio Fognini, Karen Khachanov, John Isner and Lucas Pouille, with the rest of the field still to be announced.

Zverev, the World No.7 and 2018 Madrid champion, has claimed 11 ATP Tour titles and will now be bidding for virtual victory without leaving the comfort of his own living room.

“It’s great to be a part of this innovative initiative with the Mutua Madrid Open,” said Zverev. “I think this is a great opportunity to bring the tennis world together during this time. Hopefully it provides some great entertainment for tennis fans at home. Fingers crossed I get a good draw!”

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World No. 13 Schwartzman reached the Cordoba final and Buenos Aires semi-finals before the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the ATP Tour calendar.

“I can’t wait to play in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro,” said Schwartzman. “I often play video games, and I hope to be ready to do it well in the tournament, with which we hope to help all those affected by the current situation.”

They will both have the chance to help the tennis players most in need at this time, to help those without income get and those affected by the virus get through these months of inactivity in the pioneering online charity competition.

The tournament will include a purse of €150,000 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 €50,000 that will all go towards reducing the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch over 165 classic ATP Tour matches from the 90s

The format for the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro will be as follows: 16 singles players in each of the 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, 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.

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 WTA draw will include Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, Madison Keys, Kristina Mladenovic, Carla Suárez, Victoria Azarenka, Johanna Konta, Fiona Ferro and Eugenie Bouchard. The organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open will soon reveal the remaining participants, as well as other news on the competition.

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Tennis United: Fognini & Pennetta Drop In For Episode 2

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Tennis United: Fognini & Pennetta Drop In For Episode 2

New episodes premiere Fridays on Facebook

The latest episode of Tennis United, hosted by Grand Slam champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Vasek Pospisil, features more of your favourite ATP and WTA players taking part in fun games and banter. The shows airs every Friday on both Tours’ digital plaforms.

Today’s episode has Fabio Fognini and Flavio Pennetta sharing how they’ve been spending time at home, while Jack Sock responds to Pospisil’s social media prank on him. Daria Kasatkina discusses her viral trick shot and John Isner moderates a game with fellow Americans Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul.

New episodes of Tennis United premiere on Fridays at 2pm ET on the ATP and WTA’s Facebook and YouTube channels, with sections of the show available on Twitter and Instagram.

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Federer Strolls Down Legends' Lane On Twitter

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Federer Strolls Down Legends’ Lane On Twitter

Swiss shares memories of the sport’s legends

Roger Federer took a stroll down legends’ lane on Twitter Thursday, reflecting on which retired players he wishes could come back.

Bjorn Borg is Team Europe’s Laver Cup captain, so he has had plenty of interaction with Federer.

The 38-year-old Swiss owns 103 tour-level titles, trailing only one man: Jimmy Connors, who has 109.

Federer won five consecutive US Open titles (2004-08), lifting the trophy inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, named after former World No. 2 and humanitarian Arthur Ashe.

The Swiss played American icon Pete Sampras only once in their ATP Head2Head series, defeating him at the 2001 Wimbledon 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5.

Former World No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic currently coaches Federer, but they also competed against each other 16 times on the ATP Tour, with Federer prevailing on 13 occasions. The Swiss clearly remembers two of those losses.

Former World No. 1 Carlos Moya coaches one of Federer’s greatest rivals, Rafael Nadal. As a player, Moya never topped Federer on the singles court (0-7).

Another former World No. 1 who enjoyed a fun rivalry with Federer is Lleyton Hewitt. Federer won 18 of their 27 ATP Head2Head meetings.

Does Federer think he could have returned former World No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic’s serve? The Swiss broke the Croatian six times in the four sets they played.

Former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl retired before Federer’s career, but the Swiss is plenty familiar with his accomplishments.

One man Federer never beat is Aussie star Patrick Rafter, who took their ATP Head2Head series 3-0. Rafter beat Federer in the Swiss’ Grand Slam main draw debut at 1999 Roland Garros.

Federer has a tonne of respect for some of the best women’s players in history, too.

It’s not often Federer gets caught off guard at the net, but one legend — his father, Robert Federer, who was not a tennis player — accomplished the feat at practice.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas: 'We Need To Take This Very, Very Seriously'

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Stefanos Tsitsipas: ‘We Need To Take This Very, Very Seriously’

Reigning Nitto ATP Finals champ pens an exclusive blog for the fans

This pandemic has created a state of lockdown for most countries — we all have to deal with it. What is most important is that we all stay disciplined and take the right precautions to keep our families and each other safe. We have to stay home.

During this stretch, I’ve been trying to educate myself and trying to learn. It’s a crazy time, but I also see it as an opportunity. I know this may last pretty long, so that will give me a chance to familiarise myself with new things. Travelling the world playing tennis, it’s not always easy to find time to do so. But now I see this as opportunity to expand and grow in different ways.

I’ve never been 100 per cent dependent on tennis. Of course it’s my job, and I get to do it for a living, but I’ve always had a Plan B and a Plan C of things that I want to do outside tennis and those have been working pretty well. I can’t play tennis right now, but I can still do other things.

Most importantly, I want to occupy my brain. I want to learn a new language and improve my cooking. There are plenty of YouTube videos to help with that. Some people know that I have a special Instagram channel @stevethehawk, which I am trying my best to upgrade, as well as my different social media channels. I also try to experiment with new ways to edit my YouTube videos to keep you entertained.

It’s a different and difficult time for everyone. There are no goals on the tennis side that I’m currently chasing after. Everything is on pause, and I’m trying to enjoy every single day despite that. I know I’m probably going to have the opportunity to continue chasing my tennis dreams in the future, so I’m just trying to get the best out of this time and wake up every day feeling happy that I don’t have any responsibilities. Of course I miss the competition, that is for sure. But you can always see the bright side.

Obviously you want to be outdoors sometimes and you want to connect with people, but this is not the time for us to go places and visit others. I’m realising how much I depend on being social. I didn’t really understand that all these years.

You’re used to a tempo where you get to do things and see certain people on a regular basis. As tennis players we travel throughout the world, but we always see the other players, coaches and others. You’re used to something going on all the time and when you cut that, it just feels sort of weird that you’re not on the same scale and things are not happening the way they always did.

It’s really nice to be with my father on the road, but I don’t get to see my entire family that often. Spending quality time with them has been great. It’s nice that we’re all united. We all came together and we’re just trying to do things together and be a family. It gives us a chance to connect and have quality time together. That’s really important. I’m trying to stay in touch with my friends as well. Obviously in many countries, it’s no different.

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In some countries, it’s worse than others. But I believe technology helps a lot these days. It lets us connect with people more and at the end of the day you do realise how much of an effect that has in our lives. We could talk on the phone, video chat and more.

Here at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, we almost exclusively stay inside. Luckily, because this is a protected area with a huge forest, we are able to go for walks from time to time and enjoy the space in nature. There are no people around, so that’s good. It’s very quiet and a good place to be.

Of course we stay at home and do all of our fitness sessions just to stay fit and in shape. Our family plays games together, watches movies and even cooks together. It’s actually pretty slow-paced.

It’s not easy to stay at home all day and do nothing. There are things you do want to do outside your household, it’s very understandable. I’m an active person, I’ve always been an outdoors person growing up in Greece where there is a lot of good weather. Most of us were outdoors all day long. But it’s important to understand what’s going on right now. We haven’t dealt with something like this in our lifetimes.

I do believe we need to take these precautions and just be careful in general and try to stick with the government’s plans. At this crucial time it’s important for the entire world to stick together and do what we have to in order to help create a more promising future for ourselves in the next couple months. This is something we need to take very, very seriously. Stay safe everyone!

– as told to Andrew Eichenholz

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Gaudenzi Pursues Long-Term Vision, Manages Immediate COVID-19 Challenges

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Gaudenzi Pursues Long-Term Vision, Manages Immediate COVID-19 Challenges

ATP Chairman sees silver lining in pandemic as tennis’ stakeholders rally together

As a player, Andrea Gaudenzi won three ATP Tour titles and reached a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of 18. After his playing days, the Italian earned a law degree and an MBA before launching a successful business career in entertainment, data, technology and media.

Now the 46-year-old, who began serving as ATP Chairman on 1 Janaury, is focussed on unlocking tennis’ potential while also leading the Tour during its most challenging period.

Below are excerpts from Gaudenzi’s recent interview with ATP Tennis Radio’s Seb Lauzier.

Q: You are facing a challenging first year as ATP Chairman as the world is gripped by the coronavirus. But are there also hidden opportunities?
Managing the current scenario is extremely complex, especially because of the nature of our calendar, the nature of our business. But I’m an optimist, in general, by nature. I try to see the positive side, which has been a tremendous collaboration with the other Grand Slams, the WTA and the ITF.

All of the bodies coming together and discussing the calendar, a way forward, player relief and many, many other topics. That could be the positive outcome of this. Finally, the governing bodies of tennis and the Grand Slams are getting together and working collaboratively on the long-term future of the sport.

Q: Circumstances have not allowed you to ease into the role as ATP Chairman, have they?
It’s definitely different from what I expected. Crisis management is part of the job, I totally understand that. It gets slightly difficult to move forward [with the] implementation of the plan and vision.

First and foremost, I think we should also keep in mind that there are people who are actually going through very distressing situations and they are in trouble. [I want to give] big thanks to all the nurses and doctors out there. Overall, our hearts should go to the people who have actually been impacted.

Our job is somehow to put a smile on people’s faces. We want to go back on tour as soon as possible, so we can entertain the people at home and we are going to try to do that. But we should keep in mind that health and safety [comes] first for our players, for our members, but for everybody around the world really. Anyone who is actually not staying home and going somewhere is potentially affecting someone else.

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Q: You’ve spoken about fragmentation holding back tennis and that having stakeholders align in areas like broadcast, data, streaming and digital is important. Can you elaborate?
There is so much potential by centralising all those functions and starting to focus on competing against the other sports. But not only [sports], because the reality is, in today’s world, you compete against any other entertainment platform.

If you sit down and watch TV any time of the day, you have an option to watch a series on Netflix, listen to music, watch another sport or maybe a game of tennis. We need to step up and increase the level of how professionally we manage the business and the rights in order to compete, especially given the changes that are ahead of us.

Q: Your business career has also taught you to pay close attention to fans and consumers, right?
I have always been of the belief that we should put the fans at the centre of everything that we do, which is sort of what I have learned throughout my business career, which is a sort of customer-centric approach. The client is always right.

Q: What is your vision for the sport?
Where I see the sport in the future is one sport, basically providing a better fan experience, focusing on the fan first. We have to deliver a better experience, especially in terms of media and data distribution. We do a great job on-site, on the events. But the second part, the most difficult, is actually to align the stakeholders. Players and tournaments currently, in the past, have been spending most of their time trying to solve internal conflicts. That is where most of the time, energy and resources were spent, while in reality, our competition lays outside.

We compete with other sports, we compete with other entertainment platforms. The technology is evolving rapidly, so we need to invest in people, human capital. We need to invest in technology and we need to work more closely with the other organisations, specifically the WTA, the ITF and the other Grand Slams because together, combined, we can invest more in technology and innovation and we can provide a better experience to the fans, which is key here.

Q: Does the future also see a better product for broadcasters?
It is a great story. We are lucky, because we could be delivering around six months of premium content where we have the top players playing many matches throughout the day, in different time zones. So it is a great product for the broadcasters and I do believe that in the future we will see more companies starting to acquire sports rights, the likes of Apple and Netflix. Amazon has already started.

Q: Do you see the ATP and WTA Tours working more closely together?
It is extremely important and I think it is one of our biggest advantages towards our competitors. Not only do we have a great women’s product, but also our audience is fairly split among women and men. A combined event, I strongly believe, is a better event both on site and [through the] media. It is just great. The variety is great. Our fans, they love both. We have strong combined tournaments within the ATP and the WTA and the Grand Slams are combined.

It is really a no-brainer and actually, we are lucky to be at the forefront in that regard. Other sports should be looking at what we have done so far. It is really important and it is a huge opportunity because it becomes very appealing content for the broadcasters.

Q: Is ATP considering financial relief for players impacted by the Tour suspension?
Our guys are at home, obviously unable to play, unable to earn money and financially struggling, so we will try to help. The difficult part of it is also being conscious that the ATP reserves and resources are not infinite. We depend on the tournaments to be played and we don’t know when we will go back on court. One of the large revenue streams of the ATP is actually the [Nitto ATP] Finals.

It is a bit difficult to actually go in full, without exactly knowing how deep the hole is. We will try to do something to help those players who need it the most. Honestly, I’ve been quite touched by the top players who reached out, the big names expressing their desire of helping the lower-ranked players and putting those players first.

We are also talking with the Grand Slams about it. They may want to join in the effort. I think it would be a great message for the sport.

Q: Why were you drawn to tennis?
I did not really have a choice, to be honest. My Dad was a decent player, my uncle was a good player; he played in Davis Cup. My Grandfather was the founder of the tennis club in my hometown in Faenza, a very small town, so I grew up in a house full of tennis racquets.

I started playing when I was three years old and then I started competing in all the tournaments, under 12, 14, juniors etc. etc. My father was my first coach and it was my love and passion for my entire life. I’ve got three boys now, 13, 11 and 9, and they all play tennis here in England in the LTA program, so I find myself travelling to tournaments on the weekends, coaching them and teaching them. My wife was a tennis player; she has been a coach, so it is all about tennis.

If you come in my house at any time of the day, 80 per cent of the time Tennis TV is on and we are watching a tennis game. That is what it is. It is just in my blood since a very early age.

Q: What motivated you to become a business entrepreneur after your playing days?
I developed this passion for technology, media and many other things that gave me a chance to have the motivation and drive to get an education, do an MBA and then move out of tennis after my playing career. I stopped when I was around 30 years old, [which is] fairly early considering where today’s players are. Then I started that path, first corporate, in gaming and then start-ups, again being an entrepreneur in different sectors from financial services to gaming, [before] the last three or four years in the music industry.

I have learned a lot of things, it has been an enormous experience and a few years ago I started collaborating with ATP Media which is sort of the business arm, managing the media and broadcasting rights of the ATP as a board director, non-executive. I got the chance to come closer to the world of tennis four, five times a year after 15 years of basically being out. It doesn’t mean I didn’t observe tennis, I was just watching on TV, not dealing with the business of tennis and I simply saw an amazing opportunity.

I just saw this untapped potential in our sport, due to the fragmentation, due to the many different factors and problems that we are facing. But where the world is going, where the media distribution, where the technology opportunities are, I just said, ‘Yes, there is so much we can do’. If we compare ourselves to other sports like golf, soccer and basketball, we can do better in terms of fan experience.

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Laver Cup Boston 2020 Moved To 2021

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Laver Cup Boston 2020 Moved To 2021

Event to be held at TD Garden in Boston from 24-26 September 2021

Event organisers today announced that the Laver Cup will not be held in 2020, but will return to Boston in 2021, a move prompted by changes to the international tennis calendar which created a scheduling conflict with other major international tennis events.

The fourth edition of the Laver Cup will now be held at TD Garden in Boston from 24-26 September 2021.

Since the French Open’s 17 March rescheduling announcement, Laver Cup organisers have been closely monitoring the situation with their partners – Tennis Australia and the USTA – as well as the ATP. Ultimately though, the international tennis schedule precluded the ability of the organisers to stage the event and therefore there was no reason to delay the inevitable decision.

“We needed to make a decision now on our event,” Laver Cup Chairman and CEO of TEAM8 Tony Godsick said. “We know our passionate fans will be disappointed that they have to wait an extra year for the Laver Cup in Boston, but this is the responsible course of action, necessitated by the emerging calendar conflicts.”

“We wanted to call it now to provide certainty for our fans as well as our players, sponsors, broadcasters, partners, staff, volunteers and of course the great city of Boston. We thank them all for their unwavering dedication, hard work, support and understanding and we can’t wait to bring happier times to Boston in 2021.”

“Most importantly, all of our thoughts are with the massive number of people around the world impacted by COVID-19 and the incredible selfless people working on the front line keeping many of us safe.”

“We created the Laver Cup to celebrate the greats of the game – past, present and future – and to grow the game of tennis,” Godsick continued. “The Laver Cup is only at the start of a long and incredible journey which will continue next year.”

“It’s unfortunate that the Laver Cup has to be pushed back a year, but at this stage it’s the right thing to do for everyone concerned,” 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer explained.

“Although disappointing, the good news is that TD Garden will still be able to host the event next year and I really look forward to finally playing in Boston for the first time at Laver Cup 2021.”

Laver Cup CEO, Steve Zacks reiterated: “After careful consideration we all agreed that in order to provide the Laver Cup experience that everyone has come to love and expect, moving the event to September 2021 was the only option.”

Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden commented, “While obviously disappointed that given the circumstances we have to wait another year until world class tennis comes to TD Garden, we are pleased that we will be able to host the Laver Cup in 2021 and deliver the event that the Boston community was so looking forward to. We will be working closely with the Laver Cup team to ensure the event exceeds expectations.”

Fans who purchased tickets and/or hospitality packages for this year’s event can either keep their tickets (which will remain valid for the Laver Cup 2021 event) or receive a full refund. All ticketholders will be contacted in the near future with details of this process. Further 2021 event updates including ticket on sale information will soon be provided on

Our thoughts and sympathies are with all the families who have lost loved ones in the COVID-19 epidemic and we would like to express our enormous gratitude to the front-line workers around the world working so hard to try and stem the rate of infection and treat those who are ill.

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Monfils Launches New Era In Tunis, Kyrgios' Sarasota Statement: Challenger Throwback

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2020

Monfils Launches New Era In Tunis, Kyrgios’ Sarasota Statement: Challenger Throwback

Celebrating Alicante, Sarasota, Tunis and Yokohama on the ATP Challenger Tour

With the ATP Challenger Tour on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we pay tribute to the tournaments that should have been and reflect on the players that shaped those events.

Monfils Launches Tennis In Tunis, 15 Years On
In 2005, Gael Monfils kicked off a new era of African tennis on the Challenger circuit. At the ripe age of 18, the future World No. 6 claimed the inaugural edition of the Tunis Open – the first professional tournament in Tunisia. Monfils defeated Fabrice Santoro 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(9), breaking into the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings with his second Challenger crown.

The victory came just two months after the Frenchman lifted his maiden trophy on home soil in Besancon and one month after he streaked to the Round of 16 at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Miami, stunning 15th-ranked Nikolay Davydenko along the way. Monfils’ 2005 campaign would prove to be the breakthrough he needed. By year’s end, he would feature in the Top 50 after capturing his first ATP Tour crown in Sopot, Poland.

Now, 11 editions later, the Tunis Open has also featured the likes of former World No. 5 Gaston Gaudio and No. 19 Pablo Cuevas as its champions. It is the longest-running Challenger event on the African continent.


Sarasota: Where Stars Are Born
The Elizabeth Moore Sarasota Open has launched the careers of a slew of today’s stars… From Kei Nishikori in 2010 to Tommy Paul last year, with Sam Querrey, Nick Kyrgios, Frances Tiafoe and Hugo Dellien in between. All lifted the trophy in the Florida city.

The beginning of the U.S. clay swing on the ATP Challenger Tour, Sarasota was the site of Nishikori’s second of four Challenger crowns in 2010. Four years later, an 18-year-old Kyrgios kicked off his magical 2014 summer with a title on the green clay. He would add two more crowns on the circuit before proceeding to stun Rafael Nadal en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals. In 2018, Dellien became the second Bolivian winner in Challenger history and the first in nearly 35 years. And one year ago, Paul launched a breakthrough season with a title in Sarasota, posting a staggering 30-5 record and finishing inside the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Alcaraz’s Ascent In Alicante
This year, Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz captured the headlines with his breakout performance at the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro. But it was in 2019 that he launched his career in stunning fashion at the Challenger stop in Alicante. At the age of 15, he became the first player born in 2003 to win a match on the circuit, toppling eventual Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner in three sets.

Pablo Andujar won both editions of the Ferrero Challenger Open, held at former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero’s academy. The Spanish veteran defeated Alex de Minaur in the 2018 final and went back-to-back with a victory over Pedro Martinez last year.

Yokohama – Japan’s Longest-Running Challenger
The ATP Challenger Tour has descended on the Japanese metropolis of Yokohama since 1999, when Korea’s Hyung-taik Lee claimed his first of three titles there. After 14 editions, the tournament is now the longest-running Challenger in the Asian nation. Home favourites have prevailed in three of the past five years, with Taro Daniel, Yuichi Sugita and Yasutaka Uchiyama triumphing in 2015, 2017 and 2018, respectively. And last year, Soonwoo Kwon lifted the trophy en route making his Top 100 debut.

Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan by population, with nearly four million inhabitants. The tournament is held at the Mamushidani Tennis Courts on the Hiyoshi Campus of Keio University.

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A Special Thanks To Our ATP Challenger Tournaments

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