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Roger Federer becomes world's highest paid athlete, says Forbes

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Roger Federer is the first tennis player to top the annual Forbes list of the world’s highest paid athletes, overtaking footballer Lionel Messi.

Federer, 38, moved up four places after earning £86.2m in the past year – about £81m of it in endorsements.

Cristiano Ronaldo (£85m), Messi (£84m) and Neymar (£77.5m) come next, while American basketball player LeBron James (£71.5m) completes the top five.

Boxer Tyson Fury was the highest earning Briton in 11th (£46.2m).

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton came 13th with earnings of £43.7m.

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka was revealed to be the highest paid female athlete earlier this month. She is 29th overall on the list, which was released on Friday.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100m a year for the tennis great.”

Last week, two-time Grand Slam champion Osaka, 22, ended Serena Williams’ run of four years as the highest paid female athlete after earning £30.7m, £1.15m more than 38-year-old Williams.

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Nadal: 'Come To Mallorca & Play Safe'

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Nadal: ‘Come To Mallorca & Play Safe’

Rafa Nadal Academy to welcome tennis players worldwide

Rafael Nadal is ready to welcome tennis fans to get back on court safely and responsibly after an extended period of COVID-19 lockdown. Not only is the five-time year-end World No. 1 back on court practising at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, Nadal said in a video released on Thursday that his academy wants local and international players to visit in the coming months.

Arancha Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, confirmed that the mandatory 14-day quarantine for people arriving from overseas to Spain is set to end on 1 July. As the 80 full-time academy students who were confined on site during the country’s State of Emergency have started practising again, Nadal encouraged tennis players worldwide to explore his hometown while working on their games.

“Mallorca is a very special island. To me, it is one of the most incredible places in the world,” Nadal said. “I would like to invite you all to discover this beautiful island and play sport safely. We have a great team who will dedicate their time to looking after your well-being.”

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The Spanish government began easing restrictions on movement this week as part of a four-phase plan. The academy is implementing new protocols during this period to ensure that guests and staff can safely enjoy all of their tennis offerings.

In 2018 November, the Consell of Mallorca named Nadal as an honorary citizen for the Balearic Islands for his on-court success and humanitarian efforts.

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Berlin to stage grass court event featuring Nick Kyrgios and Dominic Thiem

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

The first competitive grass court event of the summer will feature the likes of Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios when it takes place in Berlin from 13 July.

A three-day tournament featuring six men and women will take place before the same players take part in a hard court event from 17-19 July.

There will be no spectators at Steffi Graf Stadium and electronic line calling will be used instead of judges.

The hard court event will take place at a hangar at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport.

Berlin had been due to stage a grass court event for the first time this year from 15 June but the coronavirus outbreak halted tennis in March, prompting the cancellation of Wimbledon.

World number five Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens are among those taking part in the replacement women’s event in Berlin, while Germany’s Alex Zverev is in the men’s field.

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Djokovic, Muguruza Discuss Breakfast, Tournament Tears On Tennis United

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Djokovic, Muguruza Discuss Breakfast, Tournament Tears On Tennis United

Get a sneak preview of Tennis United’s eighth episode

Tennis United’s eighth episode is a special one, as Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza, both of whom have reached World No. 1 in singles, join the show. The episode will premiere Friday on the ATP Tour’s Facebook page at 2 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CEST.

Djokovic and Muguruza discuss their breakfast routines with co-host Vasek Pospisil as Muguruza prepares a Spanish omelette live mid-interview. Djokovic discusses his plant-based diet, which he has followed for five years.

“I grew up on the opposite side of the spectrum,” Djokovic says. “I was eating meat three times a day every day, so I changed that. I like it the way it is [now].”

After Pospisil and co-host Bethanie Mattek-Sands look at the social clips of the week, Djokovic and Muguruza rejoin the show to reflect on their “firsts”. The Serbian reveals that he cried multiple times at his first tournament.

“The first tournament I ever played in my life, the first competition I had officially, I was eight, I won [the] first match ever, [an] 8-8 tie-break, 10/8,” Djokovic recalls. “I was really obviously filled with joy and everything, but I was very exhausted. My mom was there. She hugged me, and when she hugged me, I started crying.”

Djokovic remembers that he lost his next match 0-9 against good friend Viktor Troicki, and he shed tears again. Muguruza revealed that when she was six, she won her first tournament in Venezuela.

Also on this episode, Mattek-Sands catches up with former doubles World No. 1 Sania Mirza.

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Five Things To Know About Andrey Rublev

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Five Things To Know About Andrey Rublev

Learn about the 22-year-old’s journey on the ATP Tour

Andrey Rublev is a four-time ATP Tour titlist and he currently sits at a career-high No. 14 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. looks at five things you should know about the Russian.

1) He Reached The US Open Quarter-Finals In 2017
Just more than a month after lifting his maiden ATP Tour trophy at the 2017 Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, Rublev achieved the best Grand Slam finish of his career so far at the 2017 US Open. The 19-year-old advanced to the quarter-finals in New York, beating two Top 15 players to become the youngest US Open quarter-finalist since Andy Roddick in 2001.

The 6’2” right-hander beat recently-crowned Cincinnati champion Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin — both men reached the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals championship match — in straight sets en route to the last eight. Rafael Nadal, who went on to claim his third of four US Open trophies, ended Rublev’s run.


2) He Faced A Setback In 2018
After ending a breakthrough 2017 season with a run to the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals championship match, Rublev’s hopes of continuing his rise up the FedEx ATP Rankings were derailed by injury in 2018.

Rublev began the 2018 ATP Tour season in impressive form, reaching his second ATP Tour final at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (l. to Monfils) and back-to-back quarter-finals in Montpellier and Rotterdam. But a lower back stress fracture forced the Russian to miss three months of the year and spend three hours a day at a clinic doing magnetotherapy. He said the rest of his day was spent eating lunch and sitting on the sofa.

“That time was really tough for me,” said Rublev. “I remember I didn’t watch any tennis matches… all the guys were playing and competing. They were on Tour and I was there on the sofa doing nothing.”

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3) He Wasted No Time Against Federer In Cincinnati Last Year
“It’s my biggest and the most emotional win.”

At last year’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Rublev recorded the quickest victory against Roger Federer in more than 16 years.

Competing at No. 70 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, the two-time Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier earned a 62-minute win against Federer with consistent forehand aggression. It was the fastest win any player had recorded against the 20-time Grand Slam champion since Franco Squillari defeated the Swiss in 54 minutes to advance to the second round at 2003 Sydney. (No times are available for Davis Cup matches and 2000 and 2004 Olympic matches.)

4) Injuries Have Helped Him Appreciate The Sport
After missing three months of 2018 with a lower back stress fracture, Rublev also missed six weeks of the 2019 ATP Tour season with a right wrist injury.

At his comeback event, the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle, Rublev struggled to find his form in a third-set tie-break loss to Mats Moraing in the first qualifying round. But, after all his time away from the court, he had learned to find joy from competing rather than results.

“I appreciated everything I had after the second injury… I remember after that match I was a little bit disappointed, but not as much as before,” said Rublev. “But I said, ‘Finally, I’m playing’. Even though I was playing badly, I enjoyed that moment. Even playing like that, I wanted to play. After that I appreciated what I had. I won one round at Wimbledon and took steps forward, little-by-little. I finished the season well.

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5) He Made A Stunning Start To 2020
In the first two weeks of the 2020 ATP Tour season, Rublev entered the history books. The 22-year-old became the first player since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to win two trophies in the opening two weeks of a season, claiming titles in Doha and Adelaide.

“I was not thinking about [this statistic], but it’s an amazing feeling… I’m really happy. I hope I keep working. I hope I keep improving, and we’ll see what’s going to happen,” said Rublev.

The Russian did not drop a set en route to the trophy in Doha, before surviving three-set battles against Daniel Evans and Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the Adelaide final. In the championship match, he needed just 56 minutes to charge past Lloyd Harris and earn a 12th straight tour-level victory. The Russian extended his winning run to 15 matches at the Australian Open, before Alexander Zverev beat him in the fourth round.

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Federer Tops Ronaldo, Messi On Forbes List

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Federer Tops Ronaldo, Messi On Forbes List

Swiss finished second on the Forbes list in 2013

Roger Federer made history in a new way on Tuesday when he became the first tennis player to top Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes. Forbes estimated Federer’s annual earnings at $106.3 million.

The Swiss just edged football stars Cristiano Ronaldo ($105m) and Lionel Messi ($104m), who were the only other athletes to surpass the $100m milestone.

Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes – Top 5

 Athlete  Total Earnings
 1) Roger Federer  $106.3 million
 2) Cristiano Ronaldo  $105 million
 3) Lionel Messi  $104 million
 4) Neymar  $95.5 million
 5) LeBron James  $88.2 million

View Full Forbes List

On the Forbes website, Kurt Badenhausen compares Federer to basketball legend Michael Jordan: “Call it the Jordan playbook, the blueprint for global domination chronicled in ESPN’s 10-part documentary on the basketball great, The Last Dance: Command a sport with a global audience for years; appeal to both men and women; stay out of trouble; add in a dose of swagger and a dash of charisma.”

Badenhausen quoted David Carter, a sports business professor at USC Marshall School of Business, as saying Federer’s “brand is pristine”. The Swiss has endorsements with 13 brands, including pasta and luggage companies.

Three other ATP players made the list, with each of them ranking inside the Top 40.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came in 23rd with $44 million in total earnings, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal was second at $40 million, and Japanese star Kei Nishikori was 40th at $32.1 million.

Federer has earned nearly $130 million in career prize money.

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Andy Murray to play in charity tournament for NHS organised by brother Jamie

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Andy Murray will play in a tournament organised by brother Jamie that will raise money for NHS Charities Together.

‘Schroders Battle of the Brits’ will take place behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton from 23-28 June.

The tournament, which will have singles and doubles champions, will feature the likes of Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans and will be shown on Amazon Prime.

It is hoped the event will raise at least £100,000 for the NHS charities.

“The last few months have been incredibly challenging times for everyone and we see this event as our way of giving back,” said Jamie Murray.

“A lot of work has gone in to make sure this could happen and we are excited to be able to bring an action-packed week of tennis, while raising valuable funds for NHS heroes to say thank you for the amazing work they have done.”

He added: “I’m really excited to be, for the first time, bringing together the current generation of British male players to compete against one another while raising significant funds for charity.”

Andy Murray has not played since November’s Davis Cup Finals because of a bruise on his pelvic bone, but had been contemplating a return to the ATP Tour in Miami in late March when professional tennis was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Flashback: Kuerten Shocks World No. 1 Federer In 2004

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Flashback: Kuerten Shocks World No. 1 Federer In 2004

Brazilian was making first appearance since suffering hip injury in Barcelona

Editor’s Note: But for the COVID-19 pandemic, Roland Garros would now be underway. During the next two weeks will look back on memorable matches and happenings at the clay-court Grand Slam, which tournament organisers are now hoping to stage in September

After maiden championship victories at Wimbledon in 2003 and the Australian Open earlier in the year, Roger Federer arrived at Roland Garros in 2004 seeking his third Grand Slam trophy in 11 months.

The World No. 1, who entered the event fresh from lifting his second Hamburg European Open trophy, avoided a third-straight first-round loss at the clay-court Grand Slam championship with back-to-back straight-sets wins against Kristof Vliegen and Nicolas Kiefer.

But in the third round, the Swiss’ title bid came to an abrupt end against three-time champion Gustavo Kuerten.

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The Brazilian, who underwent arthroscopic right hip surgery in 2002, was competing for the first time since retiring from his Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell quarter-final showing with a hip injury. Kuerten began the tournament with a five-set battle against Nicolas Almagro, before moving past Gilles Elseneer to book a date with the World No. 1 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Supported by regular chants of ‘Guga! Guga!’, Kuerten played with aggression from the baseline and found consistent success on serve. Despite dropping his serve early in the first set, the Brazilian did not face a break point in any of his remaining 14 service games to complete a memorable two-hour, four-minute victory.

“I came here in bad shape, playing bad. But every time I go on the court, it seems something special happens with the love and passion I have for the tournament. That brings the best out in me,” said Kuerten.

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Kuerten’s victory extended his streak of fourth-round appearances at the tournament to six years. The 2000 year-end World No. 1 ultimately advanced to the quarter-finals in Paris, where he was beaten in a fourth-set tie-break by World No. 8 David Nalbandian.

With Federer adding a second Wimbledon trophy and a maiden US Open crown to his resume later in the year, Kuerten was the only man to defeat Federer at a Grand Slam event in 2004.

“The last three years haven’t been the best for me here,” said Federer. “I just didn’t play like I can. This is a little bit of a disappointment for me. I can play better.”

Federer soon proved that he could achieve greater success on the Parisian terre batteu. The Swiss has reached the Round of 16 or better in each of his 12 appearances at the event since his loss to Kuerten. Federer has made five final appearances in Paris and, with his 2009 final victory against Robin Soderling, the Swiss became the sixth man to complete the Career Grand Slam.

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Why Agassi Was Robredo's Secret Weapon In Hewitt Upset

  • Posted: May 29, 2020

Why Agassi Was Robredo’s Secret Weapon In Hewitt Upset

Spaniard shares an intriguing anecdote from Roland Garros in 2003

Editor’s Note: But for the COVID-19 pandemic, Roland Garros would now be underway. During the next two weeks will look back on memorable matches and happenings at the clay-court Grand Slam, which tournament organisers are now hoping to stage in September.

Saturday, 31 May 2003 was a special day for Tommy Robredo. He had just turned 21 and was facing the biggest challenge of his career so far at Roland Garros: defeating a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam.

His opponent was Lleyton Hewitt, who took the first two sets 6-4, 6-1. However, the Australian would not be the man to claim the victory that day.

Playing in the third round of a Grand Slam was nothing new to the Spaniard. It was not even the first time he had met — and defeated — a Top 5 player at a Grand Slam event, as he had previously overcome Juan Carlos Ferrero at the 2001 US Open. But, in Paris, he produced the best victory of his career until that point.

“Until now I had always remembered my 2001 win over Ferrero in the US Open. But today’s surpasses that by a distance,” said Robredo.

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So, what happened that day on the French clay? David brought down Goliath. And he did so by coming back from two sets down in a total of three hours and 24 minutes to win 4-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

“The important thing was keeping a good head. I didn’t care about going two sets down, or losing 0-3 in the fifth. I kept fighting, convinced that I could beat him,” said Robredo.

Sixteen years later, Robredo revealed something intriguing that happened to him before the match against Hewitt. The day after beating Jonas Bjorkman in the second round, the Spaniard went to the physio room for his treatment. In just 24 hours he had to face the World No. 1 and he wanted to be as prepared as possible. Andre Agassi was close by and he quickly asked him for some advice.

”Hey, Andre, tomorrow I’m playing with Hewitt,” said Robredo. “What tactics should I use?

“I’m not the kind of person that asks a lot of questions, but I thought I’d ask Agassi,” said Robredo. “It was very interesting. He suddenly got up off the bed. He sat down. And he started explaining the tactics to me.”

They spoke of Hewitt’s tactics, his cross-court backhand, his solid forehand and that on his second serve and on break points he tended to aim at the ‘T’.

“Agassi kept talking and I remember that the match was exactly as he had told me,” said Robredo.

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Robredo progressed to the fourth round, along with his countrymen Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Felix Mantilla and Carlos Moya. The next day, he returned to the same room he had spoken to Agassi in. And the US player was there once more.

“He got up and gave me a hug and said, ‘I watched the whole match and you honestly played incredibly. You applied all the tactics we talked about perfectly. I’m really glad.’ Nobody had ever given me tactics for a match as elaborately and clearly as he did. Everything he said was right. I knew exactly how Hewitt played and how you had to play him,” said Robredo.

After the evident success, the then-World No. 31 did not hesitate, “Hey, tomorrow I’m playing Kuerten, maybe you can give me some tactics. And he did it again for me,” said Robredo.

The result? Robredo reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final by beating the Brazilian 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.

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