Tennis News

From around the world

Five Things To Know About Diego Schwartzman

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2020

Five Things To Know About Diego Schwartzman

Learn about the Argentine’s greatest achievements, gaming skills and more

Diego Schwartzman is a three-time ATP Tour titlist and the No. 13 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings. looks at five things you should know about the 27-year-old.

1) He Claimed His Biggest Title In Rio de Janeiro
Schwartzman captured the biggest title of his career at the 2018 Rio Open presented by Claro. The Argentine did not drop a set en route to the trophy in Brazil, beating Gael Monfils, Nicolas Jarry and Fernando Verdasco in consecutive matches.

The victory marked a milestone moment for Schwartzman in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Following the event, the 25-year-old cracked the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time at No. 18.

“I never thought before the week that I [was] going to be here with the trophy,” said Schwartzman. “It’s an amazing week for me. Everything was perfect; every match, every set was perfect for me, playing my best tennis.”

2) He Is Named After A Sporting Legend
Schwartzman is named after football legend Diego Maradona. Considered one of the greatest players of all-time, Maradona captained Argentina to the 1986 World Cup trophy and won the Golden Ball award as the best player of the tournament.

“I have a good relationship with Maradona,” said Schwartzman. “He says what he feels and he keeps it ‘real’ so to speak. What you see is what you get with Maradona. He’s an asset to all Argentinian athletes.

“He’s got a sense of humour, too. Before, he’d say ‘hey Dieguito [little Diego], say hello to big Diego.’ When I reached the quarter-finals at the US Open [in 2017], he told me I no longer go by Dieguito. From that point on, I’m also big Diego.”

Watch Live

3) He Enjoyed His Best Season In 2019
Schwartzman put together the best season of his career in 2019. The 5’7” right-hander, nicknamed ‘Peque’, reached three tour-level championship matches. Schwartzman defeated Taylor Fritz to claim his third ATP Tour crown in Los Cabos and finished runner-up in Vienna and Buenos Aires.

Schwartzman achieved his best ATP Masters 1000 result last year, beating Kei Nishikori to reach the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semi-finals in Rome. The Argentine also matched his best Grand Slam result by reaching his second US Open quarter-final. Schwartzman finished the year at World No. 14, his best year-end position.

<a href=Diego Schwartzman hits a forehand in Los Cabos 2019″ width=”100%” src=”” />

4) Through Gaming, He Has Supported COVID-19 Relief Efforts
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Schwartzman has been busy using his gaming skills to support relief efforts.

Alongside Juventus striker Paulo Dybala, the World No. 13 organised the ChamPlay Solidaria charity event in April. The two-day FIFA 20 tournament raised more than $275,000 for the Argentine Red Cross and was broadcast on DirecTV and TYC Sports. The competition included Dominic Thiem, former Top 10 star Juan Monaco and a number of fellow sports stars and celebrities.

The Los Cabos champion also participated in the inaugural Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro, where he topped his group with a 3-0 record and defeated Fabio Fognini to reach the semi-finals. Tournament winner Andy Murray split his prize money equally between the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) and the Player Relief Programme. Additionally, the tournament donated €50,000 to Madrid’s Food Bank.

You May Also Like:

Resurfaced: Why Height Doesn’t Define Me

5) He Is A Strong Charades Partner
During episode five of Tennis United, Schwartzman impressed co-hosts Vasek Pospisil and Bethanie Mattek-Sands with his skills during a game of charades with teammate Dennis Novak. With two minutes on the clock, the Argentine acted out a series of tennis phrases for Novak to guess. The pair achieved eight correct answers, beating their rivals Pospisil and Thiem by two points to take the win.

Source link

When Coric Shocked Federer For The Halle Title

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2020

When Coric Shocked Federer For The Halle Title

Look back at the Croatian’s biggest victory yet

Borna Coric showed flashes of brilliance early in his career, defeating Rafael Nadal when he was 17 and Andy Murray when he was 18. But the Croatian’s biggest breakthrough came at the 2018 NOVENTI OPEN in Halle.

Coric arrived in Germany with a 2-10 grass-court record at all levels, and he’d leave with his biggest title.

The 21-year-old faced a tough draw in the first round against World No. 3 Alexander Zverev. Just three months earlier, the German defeated the Croatian in straight sets in the Miami quarter-finals. Zverev was also a two-time Halle finalist.

Watch Live

However, Coric won 49 per cent of his return points in an impressive 6-1, 6-4 victory.

“The past few years haven’t been maybe the best that I’ve had on the grass,” Coric said. “Hopefully this year it can be very good.”

The World No. 34 defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andreas Seppi in straight sets. In the semi-finals, he advanced when Roberto Bautista Agut retired after five games due to an unfortunate slip on the grass.

Coric’s toughest test awaited in the final against Roger Federer, who at the time was a nine-time Halle champion. The Swiss had won their two previous ATP Head2Head meetings, including a three-set victory at the BNP Paribas Open three months earlier.

But Coric, whose forehand delivered in the big moments, shocked Federer 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2 to win the title.

“[I am] just really surprised,” Coric said. “I had not even dreamed of this.”

The Croatian snapped Federer’s 20-match grass-court winning streak, saving three of the four break points he faced en route to his second ATP Tour trophy.

Watch My Story: Coric On His Halle Win

Federer, who had won his first three tie-breaks of the tournament, earned a 6/4 lead in the first-set tie-break against Coric. At 6/5, the Swiss hit a backhand chip return that landed on the baseline and took a funky bounce. Coric stumbled and barely got his racquet on the ball, but somehow managed to win the point, and he never looked back.

“It is the most unbelievable feeling, [to beat Federer],” Coric said. “I looked up to him when I was younger, watching his matches back at home with my mum, my dad and my sister. Just playing him here today was a very special moment and beating him just makes it even bigger for me.”

Federer was disappointed to fall short of his 10th Halle crown, but he commended the first player to beat him on grass since Tommy Haas at 2017 Stuttgart.

“[Coric played] quality tennis at the very end of that first set and then in the third… He never really dropped his level and that was it,” said Federer. “So, it was an unfortunate match for me but credit to Borna to really come out and play a tough match today.”

Source link

Eight Straight: Hewitt & Roddick's Queen's Club Dominance

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2020

Eight Straight: Hewitt & Roddick’s Queen’s Club Dominance

Look back at Hewitt and Roddick’s Queen’s Club reign from 2000-2007

Andy Murray holds the record for most Fever-Tree Championships titles with five. But before the Scot began his reign at The Queen’s Club, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick dominated the grass-court event.

The two rivals combined to win eight consecutive trophies at the Fever-Tree Championships from 2000-2007. Hewitt and Roddick are tied with Boris Becker and John McEnroe for second-most triumphs at The Queen’s Club in the Open Era.

In the 1999 semi-finals, when Hewitt was only 18, he suffered a heart-breaking defeat against Pete Sampras in a final-set tie-break. But in 2000, Hewitt would not be denied. Despite losing his first three ATP Head2Head matches against Sampras, who at that point was a six-time Wimbledon champion, Hewitt cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 win against him in the final. That was the 19-year-old’s biggest title yet.

Watch Live

In 20001, Hewitt played Sampras at The Queen’s Club for the third consecutive year, rallying from a set down for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 semi-final triumph. Hewitt then defeated home favourite Tim Henman 7-6(3), 7-6(3) for his second straight trophy at the event.

Hewitt advanced to his third consecutive final at The Queen’s Club in 2002 without dropping a set. But the Aussie’s winning streak came under fire in the final against Henman. The British star took the first set 6-4 before Hewitt battled back to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 for his 15th straight victory at the tournament.

“I just about feel at home here,” Hewitt said. “I hope to carry this form into Wimbledon.” 

Hewitt won his lone Wimbledon title that year, becoming one of only seven players to complete The Queen’s Club-Wimbledon title double in the same season in the Open Era. The others are McEnroe (1981, ’84), Jimmy Connors (’82), Becker (’85), Sampras (’95, ’99), Rafael Nadal (2008) and Murray (2013, ’16).

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

In 2003, Sebastien Grosjean upset Hewitt in the quarter-finals, allowing a new player to take The Queen’s Club’s throne: Andy Roddick.

In the semi-finals, the young American overcame a lopsided ATP Head2Head rivalry with countryman Andre Agassi, who returned to World No. 1 the Monday after the event. Roddick struck 27 aces in a 6-1, 6-7(5), 7-6(6) victory to upset Agassi. He then defeated Grosjean 6-3, 6-3 for the title, and he went on to win his lone Grand Slam title later that year at the US Open.

In 2004, Roddick arrived at The Queen’s Club on the back of a disappointing second-round loss at Roland Garros against World No. 125 Olivier Mutis. But he had to find his best form on the London grass, facing three-time champion Hewitt in the semi-finals. In their first of two battles at the Fever-Tree Championships, Roddick beat Hewitt 7-6(7), 6-3, reportedly hitting 153 mph on the radar gun with his serve.

“It’s not much to look at, but it’s still attached, so that’s good,” Roddick said of his serving arm.

Roddick defeated three Top 15 opponents from the quarter-finals on, beating Grosjean in the final 7-6(4), 6-4 to retain his trophy. The American then made his first Wimbledon final, losing to Federer in a four-set championship match.

My Point: Get The Players' Point Of View

The American completed his own three-peat in 2005 by beating Ivo Karlovic 7-6(7), 7-6(4) in the final. Only McEnroe, Hewitt and Roddick have won three straight titles at The Queen’s Club.

“I absolutely love playing here, and to be part of history here now is incredible,” Roddick said.

James Blake snapped Roddick’s 18-match Fever-Tree Championships winning streak in the 2006 semi-finals, leaving the door open for Hewitt to earn his fourth trophy at the tournament, which he did with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Blake.

Roddick tied his rival by claiming his fourth trophy at The Queen’s Club in 2007, saving championship point in the second set of a 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(2) victory against Nicolas Mahut.

“This was the toughest one by far,” Roddick said.

Hewitt and Roddick played once more at The Queen’s Club, with the American winning 7-6(2), 7-6(4) in 2009. Neither man lifted the Fever-Tree Championships trophy again.

Source link

Boris Becker: From Wunderkind To World No. 1

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2020

Boris Becker: From Wunderkind To World No. 1

The energetic German was one of the sport’s greatest fast-court players

In the latest profile of a series on the 26 players to rise to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, looks back on the career of Boris Becker. View Full List.

First week at No. 1: 28 January 1991
Total weeks at No. 1: 12

At World No. 1
Becker, nicknamed ‘Boom Boom’, became the ninth player to reach World No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 28 January 1991, after capturing the Australian Open title. The German spent an initial three weeks at the summit, at a time when he and his great rival, Stefan Edberg, dominated. Following his run to the 1991 Wimbledon final, Becker returned for a further nine weeks at the top of the sport on 8 July 1991. As World No. 1, Becker won 12 of 15 matches and reached one championship match, losing to Pete Sampras in the Indianapolis final.

Grand Slam Highlights
Becker clinched six major championship trophies, including three Wimbledon titles. In 1985, as a 17-year-old ‘Wunderkind’, he flung himself across the grass of Centre Court to become the youngest man — and first unseeded player — to capture the Gentlemen’s Singles trophy at The Championships. The powerful German reached seven finals at Wimbledon (3-4) and called the sport’s cathedral — Centre Court — “his living room”. Competing as a two-time defending champion in 1987, Becker fell to Peter Doohan in the second round at Wimbledon, famously remarking afterwards, “I haven’t lost a war. No one got killed. I just lost a tennis match.” Becker won his third title at SW19 in 1989. The German also claimed two Australian Open trophies, beating Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang to lift the trophy in 1991 and 1996, respectively. Becker reached the semi-finals or better at the US Open four times, clinching the 1989 crown with a four-set win against World No. 1 Lendl. Between 1987 and 1991, Becker advanced to the semi-finals at Roland Garros on three occasions.

<a href=Boris Becker captured three titles from seven final appearances at Wimbledon.” />


Nitto ATP Finals Highlights
Becker made 11 appearances at the Nitto ATP Finals from 1986, when the event was held at Madison Square Garden in New York, to 1996 in Hanover. He triumphed at the elite eight-man event for the first time in 1988, when he won a fifth-set tie-break against Ivan Lendl in the final. “Beating Ivan in the [1988] final gave me even more satisfaction. He was incredibly dominant and an inspiration,” said Becker. “I was playing some of the very best tennis of my life. Physically, it was one of the hardest matches of my life.” Becker also captured the trophy in 1992 and 1995, beating Jim Courier and Michael Chang, respectively. Becker was a runner-up on five occasions (1985-‘86, ’89, ’94 and ’96). In 1996, Becker and Sampras contested one of the finest finals in ATP Tour history over five sets. He finished his career with a 36-13 record at the tournament.

Tour Highlights
From his very first ATP Tour title in June 1985 at The Queen’s Club, a precursor to what would happen at Wimbledon three weeks later, Becker amassed 49 singles trophies from 77 finals. Prior to the establishment of the ATP Tour in 1990, Becker had a winning rate of 24-9 in finals. In the 1990s, Becker won five Super 9s from 11 finals [now named ATP Masters 1000s], including three trophies in Stockholm. Stockholm was one of three events that Becker won on four occasions (also 1988), alongside The Queen’s Club and Milan. He also won the 1996 Grand Slam Cup and the doubles gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with compatriot Michael Stich.

Biggest Rivalries
Across 35 ATP Head2Head encounters between 1984 and 1996, including three straight Wimbledon finals (1988-1990), Becker and Edberg pitted power against finesse. Becker won 25 of their meetings and had the edge 11-5 in finals, but Edberg claimed victory in two of their Wimbledon championship matches (1988 and 1990) and their 1989 Roland Garros semi-final. “He was my toughest rival… We had three consecutive Wimbledon finals, we had the Davis Cup final twice. Pretty much on all the big stages, we played and we had tough matches,” said Becker. “He was a tough competitor, but he was a nice guy. I think we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. There wasn’t a moment that I could say, ‘I don’t like this guy.’ It was tough on the court, I wish I would have won more, but he is a good guy.”

Across 12 sparkling years, Becker helped elevate the sport to new heights and the era of superstar tennis, finishing in the year-end Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings on 11 occasions (1985-‘92, ’94-‘96). Becker introduced his brand of power tennis to the sport with his dramatic arrival in 1985 and, together with Ivan Lendl, the German took athleticism in the sport to new levels. He once said, “Tennis is a psychological sport, you have to keep a clear head. That is why I stopped playing.” As one of the sport’s greatest fast-court players, he is best remembered for his trademark diving volleys, heavy serve and forehand. Never far from the spotlight as a player or in retirement, the 2003 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee was coach to current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic between 2014 and 2016, helping the Serbian to capture 25 tour-level trophies, including six majors and 14 Masters 1000 crowns. During this period, Djokovic also became only the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam trophies at the same time.

Overall Match Win-Loss Record: 713-214
Overall Titles/Finals Record: 49-28

Memorable Moment
After falling to Mats Wilander in the second round at Roland Garros in 1985, Becker quickly turned his attention to what would be a life-changing grass-court season. The 17-year-old travelled to Beckenham, where he gained valuable match practice with a run to quarter-finals. Bidding to capture his first ATP Tour trophy, Becker then made the short trip across London to The Queen’s Club. The 6’3” right-hander beat Pat Cash, Paul McNamee and Johan Kriek in consecutive matches to lift the trophy and crack the Top 20 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time in his career. In his second appearance at SW19, Becker-mania spread as the unseeded German battled through several close encounters. The 17-year-old won back-to-back five-set encounters against Joakim Nystrom and Tim Mayotte, before overcoming Henri Leconte and Anders Jarryd in four sets to reach his maiden Grand Slam final against Kevin Curren. After three hours and 18 minutes of action on Centre Court, Becker fired a huge serve out wide to complete a 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-4 victory against the American. “I only experienced nerves at 5-4 in the fourth set, when I was shaking and sweating as I sat in my chair prior to serving,” said Becker. “I could barely toss the ball up and hit two double faults, including one at 40/15. When I won, it was all a blur. It was only later that I realised what I had achieved.” To this day, Becker is the youngest Gentlemen’s singles champion in the history of The Championships.

Edberg on Becker
“I think the rivalry with Boris has been very good for both of us, because that’s really what’s important in tennis. We’ve been fighting through Wimbledon and we’ve been fighting for the No. 1 spot and looking at each other’s results. Connors and Borg and McEnroe and Lendl had this thing going, and Boris and I had it going for a little while.”

Becker on Becker
“I am most known for my first Wimbledon title, because that put me on the map. For me, personally, my second Wimbledon title was the most important one because it confirmed my position in the world of tennis. Most importantly, for myself, after [my second title at] Wimbledon I felt like I belonged.”

Broadcaster/Journalist Graeme Agars
Boris Becker burst onto the tennis scene as a flamboyant 17-year-old, stunning the game’s establishment with an outrageous victory at Wimbledon in 1985. He rode two key assets to success at the All England Club that year: a powerful and well-placed serve that earned him the nickname “Boom Boom” and some of the most acrobatic performances ever seen at the net.

Becker spent almost as much time horizontal to the court as he did perpendicular, with some amazing lunges that could almost have qualified him for an Olympic diving spot. That hugely enjoyable style saw him win three times at Wimbledon, making the most famed center court in the game his own “back yard” during the latter half of the ‘80s.

Combined with the stellar career of fellow German Steffi Graf, Becker saw Germany rise to the top of the tennis world. He wore his heart on his sleeve when he played, making him a magnetic character to watch and no matter where he played, he drew a large and appreciative crowd.

He was also a photographer’s favorite, a compliment he returned when he surprisingly gave his winning racquet to a courtside snapper after he won the US Open in 1989.

Source link