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Tournament Heritage: Munich

  • Posted: Apr 28, 2020

Tournament Heritage: Munich

Learn more about the BMW Open by FWU, a German ATP 250

Cristian Garin is the reigning champion at the BMW Open by FWU in Munich, where plenty of superstars have left their mark.

The tournament would have been held this week if not for the Tour suspension due to coronavirus. Learn more about the ATP 250, from the former World No. 1s who have triumphed in Munich to the home favourites thrilling the German fans.

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

1) The Event Dates Back To 1900
The International Tennis Championships of Bavaria was first held in 1900, but the BMW Open by FWU was first staged at Munich’s Iphitos Tennis Club in 1974. Germans have won the singles trophy nine times since then.

The BMW Open by FWU is the first of four German tournaments on the season’s ATP Tour calendar, contested in Bavaria’s picturesque capital city of Munich. Centre Court seats 3,800, making for an intimate atmosphere to watch some of the best players in the world.

2) Three World No. 1s Have Lifted The Trophy
Three players who reached No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings have lifted the Munich title. The first to do so was Ivan Lendl. He played this tournament twice — towards the end of his career — but he made the most of his visits to Munich. Lendl won the title in 1993, defeating International Tennis Hall of Famer Michael Stich in the championship. That year, Stich won six ATP Tour crowns, the most in a season during his career.

Roger Federer only competed in Munich once, in 2003, but he made it count, lifting the trophy without losing more than four games in a set. Andy Murray emerged victorious at the ATP 250 in 2015, claiming his first tour-level clay-court title.

3) Kohlschreiber’s Magic In Munich
No player has won more matches or titles in Munich than German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber. Now 36, Kohlschreiber holds a 35-12 record in Munich, earning just short of $500,000 at this event. Seven of his victories at his home tournament have come against Top 20 opponents.

Kohlschreiber holds the record for most Munich singles titles with three, including his first ATP Tour trophy in 2007. He also has made three additional finals, losing to Tommy Haas (2013), Murray (2015) and Alexander Zverev (2018).

4) Zverev’s Home Breakthrough
Alexander Zverev won his first match in Munich in 2015, just after his 18th birthday, and it has been a successful tournament for him since.

The German star made the semi-finals in Munich at the ages of 19 and 20, before finally breaking through for his maiden triumph on home soil in 2017. Zverev battled through a third-set tie-break against countryman Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals and he did not look back, beating Roberto Bautista Agut and Guido Pella to clinch the title.

“I lost the final in Halle last year (to Florian Mayer), which was very painful. I really wanted to win a tournament in Germany, which I’ve done now and I’m very happy about it,” Zverev said at the time. “[It is] my first title on clay as well. It’s a great feeling right now.”

Zverev followed that up by winning his second consecutive Munich title in 2018, defeating Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match to lift the trophy.

5) Haas’ Breakthrough
The 10th try was the charm for former World No. 2 Tommy Haas in Munich.

Haas first competed in the event in 1998, but it took him until 2013 to lift the trophy. The German reached the final in Munich in 2000, just after turning 22, defeating then-World No. 9 Thomas Enqvist in the semi-finals. But he wouldn’t reach the final for another 13 years.

In what would end up being the penultimate championship run of his career, Haas beat Ernests Gulbis, Florian Mayer, Ivan Dodig and Kohlschreiber to triumph in front of his home fans. Munich was the third German city where Haas emerged victorious, adding to titles in Stuttgart (2001) and Halle (2009, 2012). He tallied a 21-11 record in Munich.

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Murray: 'We Want Our Normal Lives Back'

  • Posted: Apr 28, 2020

Murray: ‘We Want Our Normal Lives Back’

Former World No. 1 discusses the COVID-19 pandemic

Andy Murray has been having a blast competing in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, crushing opponents and enjoying himself with plenty of banter along the way.

But this virtual event is going on because of the suspension of play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Brit took some time to address the seriousness of what is going on in the world.

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“I’m sure all tennis players want to get back to playing and competing as soon as possible. But right now that’s just not the most important thing. We want, first of all, just to get our normal lives back. Just being able to go out and go see friends and go to restaurants and just have the normal freedoms that you have and then hopefully over time things will start to allow for traveling and then hopefully sport,” Murray said. “The first thing is to try to find a way to stop the virus spreading and then once we’ve done that, we’ll be able to do more normal things that everybody does rather than thinking about competing at sport.”

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

On 1 April, In conjunction with the cancellation of The Championships, Wimbledon, the ATP and WTA jointly announced the continued suspension of the ATP and WTA Tours until 13 July 2020, due to the coronavirus.

“A lot of people want to watch sport again, so obviously the athletes and the players would love to be competing and lots of people love to watch sport because it’s entertaining and it’s something that lots and lots of people enjoy,” Murray said. “When you don’t get to see it for a while, then people realise maybe how much they love playing it and how much they enjoy watching it. But just because it’s difficult to not have sport just now doesn’t mean that we have to speed things up… let’s just focus on getting our normal lives back first and hopefully all of the countries can sort out the virus properly.”

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Murray Beats Nadal… In A Video Game

  • Posted: Apr 28, 2020

Murray Beats Nadal… In A Video Game

Murray wins battle of former World No. 1s 3-0

“Thank you, Andy!”

That was Rafael Nadal’s message for Andy Murray on Tuesday after their match in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro. Perhaps the Spaniard was thanking the Brit for a video game lesson.

Murray defeated Nadal 3-0 — losing only one point — in Group 1 play. 

“I think I’ve got a chance yeah, for sure,” Murray said of his chance to go all the way in the event.

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

Nadal was left speechless as Murray won all the long rallies, building points as if they were actually on Manolo Santana Stadium. Nadal was left shaking his head in awe of Murray’s play as the Brit even came to net to finish off points.

In his first match of the tournament on Monday, Murray constantly bantered with Benoit Paire, even grunting during points. But Murray was locked in against Nadal, completely in business mode against the Spaniard.

Although this was a virtual match, Murray interestingly has won the pair’s past two ATP Head2Head meetings in Madrid, too, defeating Nadal in the 2015 final and the 2016 semi-finals. Nadal leads their rivalry 17-7. According to one of the event’s commentators, Nadal mentioned that Murray has been working on his virtual game, leading to some good-natured banter.

“I don’t need to train a lot to beat him in this game. He’s not very good,” Murray teased. “If I practised a lot, it would have been even worse for him today!”

Murray returned to Manolo Santana Stadium to earn another 3-0 win, cruising past Denis Shapovalov. Murray asked one of the commentators which players have been standing out, and Diego Schwartzman’s name came up.

“Schwartzman?!” Murray said, surprised. “I practised with Schwartzman and he was terrible when I played with him! Maybe he’s been practising.”

This pioneering charity initiative will donate a total of €50,000 to the Madrid Food Bank to help reduce the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the tournament will include a total purse of €300,000 in the two competitions (€150,000 ATP and €150,000 WTA), from which the winners will be able to decide how much they donate to their peers on Tour who are currently suffering economically.

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Tournament Heritage: Estoril

  • Posted: Apr 28, 2020

Tournament Heritage: Estoril

Learn more about the Millennium Estoril Open, an ATP 250 event

The Millennium Estoril Open is the only ATP Tour event held in Portugal.

The tournament would have been held this week if not for the Tour suspension due to coronavirus. looks at five things to know about the ATP 250-level tournament that started in 2015.

Venue Favoured By The Social Elite
The Millennium Estoril Open, created by Benno van Veggel and football agent Jorge Mendes five years ago, is held at the Club de Tennis do Estoril in Cascais, a popular beach resort favoured by the elite. The sixth film of the James Bond series, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was shot in Estoril and popularised the town, which is 25 kilometres from Lisbon. In 2019, 42,000 spectators visited the tournament, while there were 1,000 hours of television worldwide, valued at €250 million in global sponsorship value.

Gasquet Wins Inaugural Edition
Richard Gasquet, a long-time visitor to Portugal, captured the inaugural title in 2015 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Nick Kyrgios in 65 minutes. The Frenchman had come through a third-set tie-break against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the semi-finals. Treat Huey and Scott Lipsky beat Marc Lopez and David Marrero 6-1, 6-4 for the doubles title.


Charitable Efforts For The Underprivileged
The Millennium Estoril Open has partnered up with Academia Dos Champs, which teaches tennis as an innovative tool to instil strong, positive guidelines in underprivileged children and young adults. The academy, based across 10 centres, promotes the benefits of sport and how it transcends social classes, backgrounds and life circumstances. Having held more than 10,000 tennis lessons since 2009, it received a €15,000 ATP ACES for Charity grant in 2018 to conduct 1,100 lessons in the Cascais municipality.

Tsitsipas Returns To Triumph
Having lost to eventual champion Joao Sousa in a third-set tie-break in the 2018 semi-finals, Stefanos Tsitsipas returned last year to go one round further. Beating David Goffin in a thrilling semi-final, Tsitsipas held his nerve to overcome Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(4) for the first ATP Tour clay-court title of his career. “You really have to fight hard and give your soul out on the court,” said Tsitsipas. “This title means a lot to me. It’s on clay, it’s one of my preferred surfaces. It’s nice to have completed the clay-hard court title [sweep] that I’ve been fighting for.” The Greek had previously won two indoors titles at the 2018 Stockholm Open (d. Gulbis) and in February 2019 at the Open 13 Provence (d. Kukushkin).

Rich ATP Tour History
Prior to the Milliennium Estoril Open beginning in 2015, the country hosted the Portugal Open at the Estadio Nacional from 1990 to 2014, when the event was cancelled due to a lack of sponsorship. Eighth different Spaniards won the ATP 250-level tournament in the 25 editions, while the likes of Novak Djokovic (2007), Roger Federer (2008), Juan Martin del Potro (2011-12) and Stan Wawrinka (2013) were among the list of former champions. Portuguese Fred Gil lost to Albert Montanes in the 2010 final.

Watch over 165 classic ATP Tour matches from the 90s

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Tennis Scotland hope to persuade Murray brothers to play behind-closed doors event

  • Posted: Apr 28, 2020

Tennis Scotland hope to persuade Andy and Jamie Murray to play in a behind-closed-doors event in Scotland.

Jamie Murray is in advanced talks with the Lawn Tennis Association about putting on a London event, with the tennis tours currently suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak.

That would feature him and his brother.

“Some of what Jamie’s doing in a British context, we’re trying to do in a Scottish context,” said Tennis Scotland chief executive Blane Dodds.

“Once we’ve got more structure and funding attached to it, we’ll contact Jamie and get his thoughts. Bouncing some ideas off him is our next plan.

“It’s unique that we have players actually in Scotland right now, and when lockdown finishes, that will still be the case as international travel will probably be the last thing that gets unlocked.”

  • Plans grow to stream new tennis events
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Jamie Murray’s England-based event this summer would feature top-ranked UK players going head-to-head in singles and doubles.

Dodds believes it will be “absolute gold dust” if both Murray brothers play, as there will still be a “world class” element to proceedings but in more relaxed surroundings.

Andy Murray last played in November because of complications arising from a hip operation but hopes to feature in the rearranged French Open in September, should it go ahead.

“It could end up playing very much into Andy’s hands,” Dodds said. “With Wimbledon being cancelled and the whole international calendar being put back, who knows how much international tennis will actually happen this year at all?

“Only Andy knows what his body’s like but any longer period that he can have to get back to full fitness is going to be hugely advantageous. It would be great to see him playing at the top of the game again.”

Meanwhile, Dodds has planned talks with Judy Murray about the launch of a new programme aimed at pitching tennis in Scotland as a family sport.

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Nadal Wins Thriller On First Day Of Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro

  • Posted: Apr 28, 2020

Nadal Wins Thriller On First Day Of Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro

Tsitsipas, Schwartzman both go 2-0 on Monday

Rafael Nadal has won the Mutua Madrid Open five times, and he is off to a good start to his pursuit of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro title.

Nadal proved clutch on Monday in his first video game match played in Manolo Santana Stadium, squeaking by #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 4-3(3). The Spaniard leads Group 1 with a 1-0 record after the first day of action. He finished off his victory with a backhand winner, raising both arms and cracking a smile to celebrate.

Also winning in Nadal’s group was former World No. 1 Andy Murray, who beat Frenchman Benoit Paire 3-1.

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Argentine Diego Schwartzman opened the event with a close-fought win over David Ferrer 4-3(4). Ferrer, the former World No. 3, returned to the ATP Tour — virtually, at least — to help with this charitable event. Schwartzman took little rest, returning to the Caja Mágica’s centre court for a convincing 3-1 win over John Isner, giving him an impressive 2-0 record in Group 2.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, did not disappoint with a controller in his hand. He defeated both Italian Fabio Fognini and Japanese Kei Nishikori 3-0, guaranteeing himself a place in the quarter-finals, which begin Wednesday.

In Group 4, David Goffin and Alexander Zverev picked up one win each against Lucas Pouille, both triumphing 3-1. 

Make sure to tune in to the Mutua Madrid Open’s Faebook page to watch the rest of the round-robin matches.

Monday Results

Group 1
Nadal d. Shapovalov 4-3 (3)
Murray d. Paire 3-1

Group 2
chwartzman d. Ferrer 4-3 (4)
Schwartzman d. Isner 3-1

Group 3
Tsitsipas d. Fognini 3-0
Fognini d. Tiafoe 4-3 (4)
Tsitsipas d. Nishikori 3-0
Nishikori d. Tiafoe 3-0

Group 4 
Goffin d. Pouille 3-1
Zverev d. Pouille 3-1

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Roddick To Provide Dream Charity Experience At Home Of The US Open

  • Posted: Apr 28, 2020

Roddick To Provide Dream Charity Experience At Home Of The US Open

American trying to raise funds for those struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Andy Roddick hasn’t played inside Arthur Ashe Stadium — the US Open’s centre court — since retiring in 2012. But for charity, the American will return to Flushing Meadows to provide three lucky people with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Former World No. 1 Roddick will play a doubles match with the winner of an #AllInChallenge charity auction and two guests on the same court where he lifted his lone major trophy 17 years ago. He will also share a meal with the trio.

“I don’t play much anymore, but still like my chances against most,” Roddick tweeted, following that with a smiley face.

Roddick, who says the USTA is allowing him to use the court for this cause. is trying to raise money for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceeds will go towards Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry. With more than two weeks left in the auction, the current bid is $12,000.

Learn More About The Auction & Bid

Roddick consistently involves himself in philanthropy through his Andy Roddick Foundation.

On 3 April, the foundation, which typically focusses on after-school and summer programming, announced the creation of a Family Emergency Fund to help those families in Austin, Texas, in new ways during the coronavirus pandemic. Roddick told that even the smallest donation will help. Not only does the closing of schools hurt childhood education, but he says there are families in the area that rely on the two meals per day kids get at school.

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“It’s a huge deal. If you think about the cost of groceries, even the smallest donation can cover groceries for a day, which in these times is huge. That was our first goal: we’ve got to replace these two meals a day, to not throw a family that’s already potentially in a stressful situation in a financially stressful situation,” Roddick said. “Thankfully we do plan ahead so we do have a little bit of a runway, but we also have staff and food and there are so many different needs we have to fill right now. Anything we can get helps, and the Austin community has been amazing… Every little bit at this moment in time can make the difference for a family.”

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