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Five Things To Know About Stefanos Tsitsipas

  • Posted: Jun 10, 2020

Five Things To Know About Stefanos Tsitsipas

Learn about the Greek’s on-court success, passion for YouTube and more

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the No. 6 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings and the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion. looks at five things you should know about the 21-year-old.

1) He Triumphed On The Next Gen Stage
At the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017, Tsitsipas made a cameo appearance as a tournament alternate during an exhibition match against Alexander Zverev. Twelve months later, the Greek returned to Milan as the top seed after a breakthrough 2018 ATP Tour season.

Tsitsipas topped his group with a 3-0 record, before surviving a five-set semi-final clash against Andrey Rublev. In the final, the recently crowned Stockholm champion rallied to beat second seed Alex de Minaur 2-4, 4-1, 4-3(3), 4-3(3).

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2) He Made A Seamless Transition At The Nitto ATP Finals
One year after his success at the Next Gen ATP Finals, Tsitsipas captured the biggest trophy of his career on his tournament debut at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

Tsitsipas entered the tournament with a 50-24 record in 2019, highlighted by title runs in Marseille and Estoril. The Greek finished top of Group Andre Agassi with a 2-1 record and beat Roger Federer in straight sets to advance to the championship match.

In a thrilling three-set contest, Tsitsipas captured his third title of the year with a 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4) victory against Dominic Thiem after two hours and 36 minutes. It was only the fourth time in 50 editions of the tournament that the champion had been decided by a final-set tie-break (also 1988, 1995 and 2005).

3) He Is Raising Money For COVID-19 Relief
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19, Tsitsipas launched the ‘Beyond 100 Support’ auction. The initiative raises money for the Player Relief Programme, which will provide much-needed assistance to the players who are particularly affected during the suspension of professional tennis.

“As the youngest player in the Top 10, I feel responsible to help the future of tennis,” said Tsitsipas. “I understand how critical it is for the sustainability of both ATP and WTA players ranked beyond the Top 100 and how difficult it is to make a living from professional tennis, especially with no tennis events going on for an undefined period of time. Through the creation of ‘Beyond 100 Support’, I hope to start a movement that my fellow players will follow suit.”

Tsitsipas donated several items to the auction, including autographed racquets and match kits. The ATP has donated Nitto ATP Finals, Next Gen ATP Finals and ATP Cup experiences.

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4) He Is A Proud Greek
As the first Greek to crack the Top 5 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Tsitsipas is flying the flag for his country on the ATP Tour. Ahead of the inaugural ATP Cup in January, the 21-year-old shared his national pride during a visit to Brisbane’s Greek community.

“With Greeks, [passion and energy] is in the culture. We feel very connected to one another. It is almost like a family. They put a lot of energy in when they are out on the court chanting and giving their best for us. It just feels good to be Greek. There are so many benefits that I can take from that,” said Tsitsipas.

Following his triumph at the Nitto ATP Finals last year, Tsitsipas was named Best Male Athlete of 2019 at Greece’s Panhellenic Sports Press Association Awards.


5) He Has His Own YouTube Channel
When Tsitsipas is not on the court, you may spot him filming footage for his YouTube channel. The Greek has 169,000 subscribers, with his most successful video achieving more than 400,000 views.

During the 2019 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Tsitsipas took time out from his busy schedule to visit the international broadcast compound and learn more about the art of video editing. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion is also passionate about photography and has a separate Instagram account dedicated to the hobby.

Read more in our ‘5 Things To Know’ series

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Kecmanovic's Love For Serbia: 'It Gave Me Everything'

  • Posted: Jun 10, 2020

Kecmanovic’s Love For Serbia: ‘It Gave Me Everything’

Learn about the #NextGenATP star’s upbringing in Belgrade

Miomir Kecmanovic’s left Serbia for the United States at 13 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional tennis player. However, the #NextGenATP star keeps his home country close to his heart.

“It means everything. It gave me everything. It gave me a life,” Kecmanovic told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot about Serbia. “I definitely don’t take it for granted. It’s exciting to just have this experience.”

Scattered throughout his family’s apartment are countless trophies he won at local junior events, international junior tournaments, and even the award he claimed for competing at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals. The apartment remains the way it was when he was growing up. Belgrade is still home.

“It was fun growing up in Serbia. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m usually here during the summer, during the French Open, Wimbledon, when everything’s in Europe. My family is here and everybody I know is here. It’s always cool to come back here and have fun,” Kecmanovic said. “I think it’s beautiful, honestly. You have amazing food, amazing sights. You’ve got some pretty cool stuff here.”

Kecmanovic brought the ATP to a lakehouse his father built. Newspaper articles about the Serbian hang on the walls. His biggest accomplishments are written on a whiteboard. The most recent entries note his 2019 BNP Paribas Open quarter-final and runner-up finish at the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya later that year.

The 20-year-old rowed a boat through the water by the lakehouse, marvelling at the sights along the way.

“There are a bunch of places like this in Serbia,” said Kecmanovic, who this past off-season practised at the Kalemegdan Fortress for the first time. “Obviously the city is fun, but this is also exciting and calm.”

Kecmanovic’s grandfather, Jovan Pavlov, recalls taking a young ‘Misha’ to meet a coach for the first time. Kecmanovic and his family didn’t have a racquet or balls, but the coach provided them.

“[He] showed Misha how to play the forehand and backhand,” Pavlov said. “After that he showed a great desire to play every day. As soon as we woke up, he would immediately say, ‘Grandpa, let’s not be late for tennis!’”

Ivan Petkovic, one of Kecmanovic’s childhood coaches, remembers how professional the Serbian was at a young age.

“He was already at a very early age living and practising like a small pro. We think that these harsh conditions and difficult conditions to train and to work [under] only make you stronger,” Petkovic said. “If something manages to bloom in the desert, and you put it in the ideal situation, it will for sure bloom into what he is today.”

Kecmanovic, who moved to Florida to train at the IMG Academy, is the second-youngest player in the Top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings (trailing only Felix Auger-Aliassime). However, the World No. 47 maintains strong relationships in his native Belgrade, where his former coaches, including Veliko Barjaktarovic, are like family.

“For the coaches [and] for the kids who want to play tennis, now they know that they can achieve success,” Barjaktarovic said. “He inspired a lot of people.”

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Baking, Schoolwork & UNO: Quarantine For 41-Year-Old Ivo Karlovic

  • Posted: Jun 10, 2020

Baking, Schoolwork & UNO: Quarantine For 41-Year-Old Ivo Karlovic

Learn how the Croatian has been staying busy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ivo Karlovic is used to serving aces. He’s hit more of them than anyone else in history with 13,599. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 41-year-old Croatian has been serving something new: dessert.

Karlovic, who is in Florida with his wife and two children, has ventured into the kitchen for the first time in decades. His eight-year-old daughter Jada started showing him recipes, and it has snowballed from there.

“We’ve been cooking at home, which I never used to do,” Karlovic told “I was maybe cooking 20 years ago when I was living alone in Paris or somewhere at an academy.

“We cooked a lot of cakes: banana, chocolate cakes, raspberry cake. We made homemade ice cream, homemade yoghurt, chicken nuggets. Almost every day she would find another recipe and we would do it. At first it was really difficult for me mentally, to prepare all the ingredients and everything. But then once you get into it it’s fun, easy and delicious.”

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Those experiences, like baking with his daughter, have been the highlight of Karlovic’s quarantine. In recent years he has greatly missed his family while travelling to tournaments, so spending an extended period of time at home has been nice.

“That was a little bit new for me, because usually we always travel. To be home for three months now, it’s been awesome,” Karlovic said. “I was spending a lot of time with my kids and with my wife, and it was great. I cannot say that I really miss travelling that much.”

Karlovic has even attempted to put his professor cap on, as his daughter finished her school year online due to the virus.

“It was fun. I was helping her out, especially in the beginning. I noticed the less I was helping her, the more she was into it. The more she was doing lessons that she wanted to do was when I was helping her less. I guess maybe she didn’t want to be told always also how to do it,” Karlovic said. “At first it was stressful a little bit because I wanted to do everything perfectly. I wanted to explain to her everything, but I am not a teacher, so I definitely realised how teaching in school is a difficult job. All those teachers that are working every day with the kids are amazing people. It’s definitely not easy.”

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Playing games like UNO and running around with the kids in the backyard has provided plenty of fun moments

“It’s definitely nice. It’s a lot more calm life, less stress,” Karlovic said. “Almost no stress compared to travelling and matches and the competition and everything that goes with tennis. Definitely a lot easier life.”

Karlovic has recently returned to training, and he’s waiting for news on when play might resume to gear his efforts towards that. At 41, he is still No. 124 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and the Croatian feels that he still has the game to return to the Top 100.

“I am not that far away. I’m No. 124. To be in the main draw of a Grand Slam, you need to be around 100, 104, so I don’t think I’m that far,” Karlovic said. “Maybe not for this year… but I can get my ranking up and then we’ll see from there. Either way I’m pretty okay with continuing or not continuing. Either way is good. I’m set up good either way.”

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Rafael Nadal's Last Grass Title Is…

  • Posted: Jun 10, 2020

Rafael Nadal’s Last Grass Title Is…

Quick trivia question: What was the last grass-court title Rafael Nadal won?

Rafael Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion, lifting the trophy at The Championships in 2008 and 2010. But the Spaniard’s most recent grass-court title came at the 2015 MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

It was an important event for the Spaniard, who entered the tournament without winning a European clay-court title for the first year since 2004. The lefty was World No. 10, his lowest standing in the FedEx ATP Rankings since 2005.

But after a tough first two matches, Nadal rounded into form to win his fourth tour-level grass-court crown.

“My level has always been there, I’ve not forgotten how to play tennis,” Nadal said. “But now things are coming together for me.”

In his first two matches, Nadal rallied from second-set hiccups to overcome tricky grass-court opponents Marcos Baghdatis and Bernard Tomic. Then the top seed beat fourth seed Gael Monfils in 79 minutes to earn a shot at glory.

“Thanks for coming to Stuttgart!”

That was a sign one fan waved in the stands as Nadal took the court to face big-serving Serbian Viktor Troicki for the trophy. The Spaniard received plenty of support from the German fans throughout the week, and he used that to his advantage in a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory.

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“All the titles are emotional. All the titles are important. At the end of your career, what’s still there is the number of titles that you have,” Nadal said. “To add another one is very important for me, especially to confirm that I am playing better and better the past couple of months. It’s important to have victories, important to have titles for the confidence, for calm, for everything.”

Nadal struck 11 aces against Troicki, winning 86 per cent of his first-serve points. He was not broken in the final. 

It was Nadal’s third Stuttgart title. The 2015 tournament was the event’s first on grass after switching from clay. He emerged victorious on clay in Stuttgart in 2005 and 2007.

“The tournament has been great,” Nadal said. “On clay it used to be a fantastic event and now on grass it’s a fantastic event, too.”

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Federer Announces Right Knee Procedure, To Return In 2021

  • Posted: Jun 10, 2020

Federer Announces Right Knee Procedure, To Return In 2021

The Swiss previously underwent surgery on his right knee in February

Roger Federer announced Wednesday that he recently underwent a “quick arthroscopic procedure” on his right knee, and he will not play until 2021.

“A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee,” Federer tweeted. “Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100 per cent ready to play at my highest level. I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly. But, I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season.”

Federer underwent surgery on the same knee in February. The Swiss’ initial plan following that surgery was to return during the grass-court season.

The 38-year-old’s lone tournament of 2020 came at the Australian Open, where he reached the semi-finals. Eventual champion Novak Djokovic defeated him in straight sets.

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