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Hit With Andy Murray At Wimbledon!

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2020

Hit With Andy Murray At Wimbledon!

Win a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the All England Club

The opportunity to play with two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray at the All England Club would make anyone’s dream come true. Now, that dream can become a reality.

Through a charity auction, Murray is offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hit with him at The Championships in 2021. Proceeds will go towards members of the ATP Coach Programme, whose ability to work has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, and the global COVID-19 relief fund. Learn More & Bid

“I am personally very happy to be involved. So many areas of our sport have been affected throughout the Tour suspension, including coaches,” Murray said. “It’s important we help each other where we can. I think everybody involved has done a great job in creating something unique for fans that also supports a worthy cause.”

ATP Coach Programme

The winning bidder and one guest will get to spend one hour on court with the former World No. 1 before enjoying a private lunch in the members’ enclosure at the All England Club. Additionally, they will receive two tickets to the 2021 Wimbledon men’s singles final.

There are six additional ultimate tennis experiences up for grabs, including a private session with Stan Wawrinka and his team (Magnus Norman and Daniel Vallverdu) at an ATP Tour event in Europe or the Americas between January and July 2021. Toni Nadal is offering two hours on court at the 2021 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

You can also enter a prize draw for your chance to win a frame of signed racquets from each of the Big Four: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Murray.

“There are some fantastic new experiences up for grabs that I hope fans will be excited by,” Murray said.

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A Titannic Clash In Djokovic & Nadal's Record Rivalry

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2020

A Titannic Clash In Djokovic & Nadal’s Record Rivalry

Relive Djokovic and Nadal’s 2018 Wimbledon semi-final

Novak Djokovic faced a massive test in the 2018 Wimbledon semi-finals. The Serbian underwent a ‘small medical intervention’ earlier that year on his right elbow after the Australian Open, and later suffered his first three-match losing streak since 2007. In June, he fell to No. 22 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, his lowest standing in more than a decade.

But the Serbian had a golden opportunity against one of his greatest rivals, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, to prove he was back in form by reaching the final at The Championships. Nadal had just won his 11th Roland Garros title, and after battling past Juan Martin del Potro in a quarter-final thriller, he was keen to advance to the championship match at SW19 for the first time since 2011.

If Djokovic was going to make a splash on the London grass, he’d need to find his very best tennis in his record 52nd ATP Head2Head clash against Nadal. That’s exactly what the Serbian did in a memorable 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-8 win over five hours and 15 minutes.

“I’m really, really pleased. I was very emotional after the match, as well, because it’s been a long 15 months for me, trying to overcome different obstacles,” Djokovic said. “To be where I am at the moment is quite satisfying.”


Djokovic moved into his fifth title match at The Championships, earning his 250th Grand Slam victory to end Nadal’s 16-Grand Slam semi-final winning streak.

Play was suspended Friday evening due to curfew after three sets, with Djokovic leading two sets to one. There was no doubt that the Spaniard would come out swinging in the fourth set with his back against the wall. And after saving two break points in the first game of the resumption Saturday, Nadal broke Djokovic with aggressive returning, dictating play with his forehand. He won the fourth set, but it was not enough for the second seed.

“I think I played a great match,” Nadal said. “I have not much more inside me. I gave it my best, and that’s it. It’s fair to say that was a great match and he beat me. Well done for him. That’s all. That’s sport.”

ATP Coach Programme

Nadal earned five break points in the fifth set, and one opportunity at 7-7 appeared ripe for the taking. Djokovic, the 12th seed, answered Nadal’s pressure with a curling cross-court forehand passing shot winner, gesturing to the crowd to cheer. 

Five games later, Djokovic closed out his marathon victory, advancing to the final in which he beat Kevin Anderson for his fourth Wimbledon title. It was the Serbian’s first Grand Slam triumph since 2016 Roland Garros.

It was a disappointing loss for Nadal, but the Spaniard retained top spot in the FedEx ATP Rankings. That didn’t last all year, though, as Djokovic came full circle in his comeback, winning the US Open and returning to World No. 1 on 5 November, ultimately finishing as year-end No. 1 for the fifth time.

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How Edberg Went From Worst Bed To Wimbledon Champ

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2020

How Edberg Went From Worst Bed To Wimbledon Champ

Edberg and Wilander provide exclusive insight into 1988 Wimbledon

Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg grew up together, hailing from the same state in Sweden. They were close enough as juniors that at a national tournament they shared a tiny room in which there were only two bunk beds stacked atop one another.

“He always had to take the worst bed!” Wilander said.

Little did they know that at 1988 Wimbledon, as professionals, one of their losses would allow the other to break through.

Wilander, who was like an older brother to Edberg, arrived at the All England Club that year with plenty of momentum. He was the first man to win the first two Grand Slams of the year since Rod Laver, who captured all four Grand Slams in 1969. Grass was never the second seed’s best surface, but given his form, he had a chance to continue his path toward the calendar-year Grand Slam.

For a while, it appeared Wilander’s dream of winning all four majors in 1988 was becoming increasingly realistic. He did not lose a set en route to the quarter-finals, and if he reached the semi-finals, he would face Edberg. In the last eight, Wilander played Miloslav Mecir, against whom he won two of his past three ATP Head2Head matches.

“I knew that we possibly were going to play each other,” Edberg recalled. “We always kept an eye on the scoreboard, because it would have been nice to play in the semi-finals.”

That was when Wilander’s pursuit of history came to a screeching halt. Mecir crushed the second seed 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

“It was the worst defeat,” Wilander said. “But it only lasted for 48 hours.”

Edberg’s introduction to Wimbledon came in 1976, when he watched his idol, Bjorn Borg, beat Ilie Nastase for the title on television. He remembers in 1983 taking a bus from Richmond to the historic venue, walking over a hill where he was able to view all of SW19.

At that same event, Edberg had a chance to avenge his good friend’s loss. But Mecir appeared primed to spoil the Swedish party, sprinting through the first two sets of their semi-final 6-4, 6-2.

“Mecir had a good year… I was pretty much down and out in that match. He was up two sets to love, 3-3, 0/40 on my serve,” Edberg said. “That was the crucial match at that Wimbledon in 1988.”

Edberg rallied behind his aggressive serve-and-volley play – which differed from Wilander, who thrived from the baseline — for a 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win to reach his first final at The Championships. That helped soothe the pain of Wilander’s loss.

“I was really bummed out,” Wilander said. “I realised, ‘Hold on, hold on. Stefan is making the final here! We are from the same state’,” Wilander said. “I was a big brother, so I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s winning, so thank God.'”

My Point: Get The Players' Point Of View

In the first of three consecutive Wimbledon championship battles between Edberg and Boris Becker, the Swede emerged victorious, triumphing 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-2.

“Winning Wimbledon the first time is always going to stand out,” Edberg said. “It’s a fantastic feeling, being on Centre Court and lifting the trophy.”

“More importantly, no one ever asked me about my loss,” Wilander joked. “They called Stefan and asked him about his win.”

Although it was disappointing at the time, Wilander went on to win the US Open that year, so the Swedes who grew up together combined to win all four majors in 1988.

Did You Know?
Only two players have won the first two Grand Slams of the season since Wilander did it in 1988. Jim Courier accomplished the feat in 1992, and Novak Djokovic did it in 2016. No man has won the Calendar Slam since Laver in 1969.

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Andre Agassi: From Rebel To Philosopher

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2020

Andre Agassi: From Rebel To Philosopher

American enjoyed multiple runs atop FedEx ATP Rankings

In the 12th profile of a series on the 26 players to rise to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, looks back on the career of Andre Agassi. View Full List

First Week As No. 1: 10 April 1995
Total Weeks At No. 1: 101
Year-End No. 1: 1999

As No. 1
Agassi first became No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 10 April 1995, unseating Pete Sampras and staying there for 30 weeks. Sampras took back the top spot on 6 November 1995 and finished that season as the year-end No. 1. Although Agassi became No. 1 again for a two-week run beginning on 29 January 1996, the remainder of his time leading the rankings wouldn’t come for several more years.

He reclaimed the No. 1 for three weeks after 1999 Wimbledon before dropping his position to Patrick Rafter, then regained it immediately following that year’s US Open and stayed there for 50 weeks. Sampras once again took over after the 2000 US Open.

One day before turning 33, Agassi returned to No. 1 on 28 April 2003 and became the oldest player at that time to sit atop the rankings. He followed that two-week reign with a final run at No. 1 later that year, holding the top spot for 12 weeks beginning 16 June 2003. He spent 101 weeks at No. 1, putting him at No. 9 on the all-time list.

Grand Slam Highlights
The American is one of only eight male players in history to achieve the Career Grand Slam. His maiden crown at a major championship came at Wimbledon, a tournament he skipped from 1988-1990. In 1992, Agassi outlasted Goran Ivanisevic in a five-set thriller to clinch the title and dropped to his knees in disbelief. He also finished runner-up at the All England Club in 1999 (l. to Sampras).

The American endured a pair of heartbreaking losses in the 1990 (l. to Gomez) and 1991 (l. to Courier) Roland Garros finals, but finally had his day in 1999 by rallying from two sets down to defeat Andrei Medvedev. The victory completed his Career Grand Slam and made him only the fifth man at the time to accomplish the feat.

Although Agassi didn’t compete at the Australian Open until 1995, he quickly made up for lost time and prevailed in his debut appearance (d. Sampras). He also took the title in 2000 (d. Kafelnikov), 2001 (d. Clement) and 2003 (d. Schuettler), compiling a 48-5 record Down Under.

But the US Open is the Grand Slam that Agassi is most synonymous with after 21 consecutive appearances from 1986-2006. His first New York triumph in 1994 (d. Stich) made him the first man to win the tournament as an unseeded player. Agassi prevailed again in 1999 (d. Martin) and clinched the top spot in the FedEx ATP Rankings for his efforts. The American also finished runner-up in 1995, 2002 (both l. to Sampras) and 2005 (l. to Federer), and fittingly ending his career at this event in 2006.

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From Rain To A Locker Room Dash: How Agassi Completed His Career Grand Slam

Nitto ATP Finals Highlights
Agassi competed 13 times at the season-ending championships, debuting in 1988 and making his last appearance in 2005. He prevailed in 1990 at Hanover, gaining revenge over a round-robin defeat to Edberg by defeating the Swede in the championship match.

The American also finished runner-up  in three different cities: Frankfurt (1999, l. To Sampras), Lisbon (2000, l. to Kuerten) and Houston (2003 (l. to Federer). Agassi advanced out of round-robin play on six occasions and compiled a career 22-20 record at the final event of the year.

ATP Masters 1000 Highlights
The baseliner racked up 17 ATP Masters 1000 titles, putting him at fourth on the all-time list. Fourteen of those victories came in North America and all but one was on a hard court.

Agassi consistently brought his best tennis to the Miami Open presented by Itau, winning his first Masters 1000 title there in 1990 (d. Edberg) and prevailing on five other occasions (1995-96, 2001-2003). He also won the the BNP Paribas Open in 2001, marking the lone year that he achieved the “Sunshine Double”.

His success seamlessly translated to other hard-court Masters 1000 events. Agassi became the first man to complete the Canada-Cincinnati double in 1995, completing a hat trick at both the Rogers Cup (1992, 1994-95) and the Western & Southern Open (1995-96, 2004). He also prevailed in two of his six appearances at the Rolex Paris Masters (1994, 1999) and won the 2002 Mutua Madrid Open (on hard court) in its debut year.

Although Agassi often struggled at clay-court Masters 1000 tournaments, his dominant week at the 2002 Internazionali BNL d’Italia (d. Haas) is the only time he won a title at this level without dropping a set.

Overall Match Record: 870-274
Overall Titles/Finals Record: 60-30

The rivalry between Agassi and Sampras is widely considered to be one of the premier rivalries in tennis history. Their sharp contrast in playing styles and personalities made their matches must-see viewing throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s.

Agassi trails 14-20 in their ATP Head2Head series and often came up short in their biggest matches, prevailing in just one of their five Grand Slam finals. But the brash baseliner did defeat his rival to win the 1995 Australian Open and dominated their clay-court battles (3-1). His most dominant period against Sampras came in his late-career resurgence as he went on a four-match winning streak from 1999-2001.

Agassi also produced numerous epic battles with fellow American Michael Chang, leading 15-7 in their ATP Head2Head series that spanned three decades. He swept the first and last four matches of their rivalry, but little separated them in many of their clashes throughout the ’90s.

Other prolific rivalries throughout Agassi’s career include those with Boris Becker (10-4), Patrick Rafter (10-5) and Roger Federer (3-8).

Agassi’s three-decade evolution from teenage rebel to wise sage captivated fans worldwide. He burst on the scene as a 16-year-old wearing denim shorts and sporting a mullet, with his aggressive baseline game just as loud as his fashion. He told reporters that “image is everything,” a tagline that stuck with him throughout his career.

After alternating throughout the next decade between dizzying highs like his singles gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and shocking defeats, Agassi turned a new leaf at the end of 1997 and tirelessly devoted himself to his craft. His relentless dedication to fitness led to producing his most consistent run of top-level tennis in his 30s, when many of his peers had long since retired.

Agassi became a philanthropist in his post-tennis career and desired to empower kids with the academic education he never had. He created the Andre Agassi Foundation and launched the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in 2001, a public K-12 charter school that serves at-risk youth in his hometown of Las Vegas.

Memorable Moment
After his FedEx ATP Ranking fell to No. 141 in November 1997, Agassi finished that year by playing a pair of ATP Challenger Tour events. Having been No. 1 just two years earlier, he now had to pick up his own balls and manually change the scoreboard during matches. But while some critics viewed his appearance at this level as a low point, Agassi saw it as the start of a comeback.

“Fans laugh and yell things. A high-ranking official says that my playing a Challenger is like Bruce Springsteen playing a corner bar. What’s wrong with Springsteen playing a corner bar?” Agassi wrote in his autobiography Open. “Sportswriters say I’m humbled. They love saying this. They couldn’t be more wrong… I’m just glad to be out here.”

The drop proved to be what Agassi needed. He finished the year with a Challenger title in Burbank and, 12 months later, had climbed all the way back to No. 6 in the rankings.

Agassi On Agassi

“The great part about tennis is that you can’t run out the clock… As long as we were still playing, I had a chance.”

”I can live with losing. I can’t live without taking my chance.”

Sampras On Agassi

“We always had really tough matches and brought out the best in each other. Our rivalry transcended the sport. When people ask me who my great rival is, I always tell them Andre.”

Broadcaster/Journalist Graeme Agars
From the first moment he hit the headlines on the Tour, it was obvious Andre Agassi was not going to be just a tennis player. His career can be seen in two distinct halves. The first “image is everything” chapter cast him a rebel, breaking all the rules bringing a new energy and flamboyance to the game of professional tennis.

From his long blond locks to his flashy attire, Agassi moved the game into a new age of celebrity, marrying movie star Brooke Shields. From 1990 to 1995 Agassi reached seven Grand Slam finals, but won only three, prompting some to criticise him for being more about image than winning. By 1997 he’d had enough and by November that year his ranking slumped to 141.

Then came chapter two: a newly dedicated, focused and supremely fit Agassi, who climbed all the way back, reaching the No. 1 ranking in April of 2003, claiming five more Slam titles and completing his career Slam of all four majors. His rivalry with Pete Sampras was a highlight of his era, and it was perhaps closer than the 20 to 14 winning record Sampras established.

Off the court Agassi has been a true standout. A prolific fundraiser through numerous organisations including the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, the Andre Agassi Boys and Girls Club and the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, he, along with his superstar wife Steffi Graf, have been major movers in the Las Vegas community. The two have also invested in many businesses that range from restaurants to nightclubs.

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Celebrating Braunschweig On The ATP Challenger Tour

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2020

Celebrating Braunschweig On The ATP Challenger Tour pays tribute to the five-time Tournament of the Year award winner

In December, four tournaments were recognised for excellence in standards set across the global ATP Challenger Tour and for their steadfast commitment to growing the game. These integral events in Puerto Vallarta, Heilbronn, Braunschweig and Szczecin have become player and fan favourites for their dedication to providing a world-class experience both on and off the court.

This week would have been the 27th edition of the Sparkassen Open, which earned Tournament of the Year honours for the fifth time since 2014. Despite being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Braunschweig remains one of the more historic and idyllic locales on the circuit.

One of the more popular Challenger destinations since its inception nearly three decades ago, Braunschweig has boasted an impressive winners’ circle over the years. Five of its champions would feature in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings – Alexander Zverev (2014), Tomas Berdych (2004), Gaston Gaudio (2000), Alberto Berasategui (1996) and Magnus Gustafsson (1995). And current ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi lifted his ninth Challenger trophy at the Braunschweiger Tennis Club in 2001.

Braunschweig has also witnessed a slice of history in recent years, becoming just the second Challenger event with multiple 17-year-old champions. Both Zverev and Nicola Kuhn were sitting outside the Top 500 when they captured their maiden titles in stunning fashion.

In 2014, Zverev would use Braunschweig as a launching pad for his burgeoning career. The eventual World No. 3 and Nitto ATP Finals champion earned his first professional title in front of the home fans. And just three years later, Spain’s Kuhn replicated the feat. Competing in just his second Challenger main draw, he would reel off seven wins in eight days as a qualifier to lift the trophy. He became the youngest Spanish champion on the circuit since Rafael Nadal in 2003.

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A fifth Tournament of the Year honour is representative of Braunschweig’s steadfast commitment to growing the game in a world-class environment. Under the watchful eye of tournament director Volker Jäcke, the tournament has greatly evolved and is considered a top destination for players and fans. The Sparkassen Open founded the concept of ‘Tennistainment’, which refers to the notion that premier tennis and off-court entertainment create a first-rate experience with a festive atmosphere. It continues to be the soul of the tournament, with nightly concerts on the grounds.

The event began with a small Centre Court and one catering tent, and the main stadium has since been upgraded to hold a capacity crowd of 2,000 patrons, with a big stage for the concerts and over 50 concession tents for catering and exhibitions. But while the tournament’s famous entertainment scene has garnered much attention, it is its rich and storied history that is arguably its most intriguing aspect.


The Sparkassen Open is played on a large expanse of public land, but many centuries ago, it was the sprawling home of Duchess Augusta, wife of Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand. The estate included the duchess’ residence, known as Schloss Richmond (Richmond Castle) and the tennis courts. The wall that enclosed the city was removed and in 1901, the park opened to the citizens of Braunschweig and the tennis club was officially founded.

“This was the missing link at the time, to open the city and make the Burgerpark for all the citizens of the city to come and rest,” said club president Ralf Hinrichs. “It’s an open space with different flowers and trees. They took different types of trees from all over the world and brought them here. They make it a very special place for the citizens of Braunschweig. It’s a gift to the people here. That was in 1900 and the club was founded a year later.”


During World War II, Braunschweig became a stronghold for the Nazis and the city was destroyed. The club partially survived the bombings, as the front gate, two small cabins on either side of the gate and many stone statues that lie around the main entrance and inside the club remain. So does the front facade of the former castle, with a series of Roman-style columns left undamaged from the time of the duke and duchess. The unique rococo style of the 1700s remains a constant reminder of pre-war Germany, when an architecture movement swept through the country.

After the war ended, for more than 50 years, the German National Championships were hosted at the Braunschweiger Tennis und Hockey Club, featuring a teenage Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, before the ATP Challenger Tour staked its claim to the historic venue in 1994. The Sparkassen Open was born.

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