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Mikael Ymer: 'It Doesn't Matter Where You Come From'

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2020

Mikael Ymer: ‘It Doesn’t Matter Where You Come From’

ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot enters the mind of the #NextGenATP Swede

 

“I’m playing for myself, I’m playing for my family, I’m playing for my country, but I also think I’m playing for the next generation,” Ymer told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “That’s something I think about a lot. Not only the next generation of tennis [players]. I’d be very happy if I can also affect normal kids in Sweden to fight or have a dream and go for it, to believe that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what your background is or your economics. It’s that you can take a risk and go for it.”

Both of Ymer’s parents emigrated to Sweden from Ethiopia. His father, Wondwosen, works at a dairy company and his mother, Kelem, is a doctor. The entire Ymer family now lives in Stockholm, and something they share is a hard-working mentality.

“I think you have a mentality [as a tennis player] a little bit [where you are] thinking about yourself, but one of the most important things for me is to be remembered as a good guy,” Ymer said. “That’s very important for me, to have been nice to everyone.”

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor has already shown signs that he is a future star, winning four ATP Challenger Tour titles last year. Ymer is improving quickly, too.

Last November in Milan, eventual champion Jannik Sinner beat Ymer 4-0, 4-2, 4-1. This February in Montpellier they played again on an indoor hard court, with Ymer emerging victorious 6-3, 6-4. The Swede also lost against Frances Tiafoe at the Next Gen ATP Finals, getting his revenge this January in Auckland.

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The 21-year-old is humble when it comes to his success, taking after former World No. 1 Stefan Edberg, one of his idols.

“The way he carries himself and how humble he is after being one of the biggest legends is inspiring for me,” Ymer said last year. “He treats everyone the same, and he’s always been so nice not only to me, but to my family.”

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#NextGenATP Ymer: Why Edberg Is ‘The Coolest’

Ymer has an older brother, 24-year-old Elias Ymer, who has climbed as high as No. 105 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Mikael is currently World No. 68, one spot off his career-high standing. He hopes to earn big results on the ATP Tour, but he’ll always have the example he is setting in the back of his mind.

“I’m only 21, so I think it would be a little bit surprising if I knew everything today. These are the things I’m working on when I’m not on court and trying to figure out exactly what kind of role model [I want to be],” Ymer said. “There are of course some basic things that I live by, but hopefully I can leave tennis being more than just a guy who came and hit yellow balls. Exactly how, I’m not sure yet, it will take some time of course to figure out. But the main thing I would say is being a man of the people.”

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Croatian Stars Ivanisevic, Cilic A Part Of Umag History

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2020

Croatian Stars Ivanisevic, Cilic A Part Of Umag History

Learn more about the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, an ATP 250 event

The Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag is the only Croatian stop on the ATP Tour calendar.

The ATP 250 would have been held this week if not for the Tour suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about the event.

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Three Decades Of History
Situated on the Adriatic coast, Umag has welcomed the stars of the ATP Tour since 1990. The clay-court event, which begins play each day in the late afternoon, has crowned many high-profile champions. Former World No. 1s Thomas Muster, Carlos Moya and Marcelo Rios have all lifted the trophy in northwest Croatia.

The tournament, which celebrated its 30th edition last year, is also where Rafael Nadal won his maiden ATP Tour doubles title. The Spaniard dropped just one set in four matches alongside countryman Alex Lopez Moron to clinch the crown as a 17-year-old in 2003.

“It is a tournament that grew unbelievably in 30 years,” said former World No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic. “It became one of the most favourite tournaments among players. [It has a] great atmosphere. Everything is good.”

Moya Magic
Moya owns the record for singles titles (5) and match wins (44) at the ATP 250. The 6’3” right-hander clinched his first crown at the event in 1996, dropping just 24 games across five matches to lift the trophy. Moya won three straight titles in Umag between 2001 and 2003, beating Jerome Golmard, David Ferrer and Filippo Volandri in the championship matches.

The Mallorcan earned his 20th and final tour-level trophy without dropping a set in 2007. Moya beat Stan Wawrinka, Pere Riba, David Ferrer, Guillermo Canas and Andrei Pavel to claim the trophy. Across 14 appearances, Moya reached the semi-finals or better in Umag on 10 occasions.

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A Home Champion
Twenty two years after Goran Prpic overcame Ivanisevic in the tournament’s maiden championship match in 1990, fans in Umag were able to celebrate a second Croatian titlist in 2012. Competing as the second seed, Marin Cilic recorded back-to-back wins against Top 25 players Alexandr Dolgopolov and Marcel Granollers to claim his first ATP Tour title on clay without dropping a set.

Cilic has lifted five of his 18 tour-level trophies in Croatia. The 2014 US Open champion also won four titles in Zagreb between 2009 and 2014.

<a href=Marin Cilic captured his first ATP Tour title on clay at the 2012 Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag.” />

Stadium Honour For Ivanisevic
As the highest-ranked Croatian player in FedEx ATP Rankings history, former World No. 2 Ivanisevic is an inspiration to many in his home country. The 2001 Wimbledon champion was honoured by the tournament in 2016, when the event’s main court was renamed ATP Stadion Goran Ivanisevic. Andre Agassi and Juan Carlo Ferrero joined the
Croat to celebrate the occasion, taking part in an entertaining exhibition event in front of a packed crowd.

“It is a great honour and responsibility,” said Ivanisevic. “It is just unbelievable to have a stadium named [after you]. It is great. It is really something big.”

Ferrero, Agassi, Ivanisevic

Rublev’s Maiden Title
When Andrey Rublev arrived in Umag in 2017, the Moscow native was aiming to advance beyond the quarter-finals of an ATP Tour event for the first time. His hopes of achieving that feat appeared to be over before main-draw action had even began, following a straight-sets loss to Attila Balazs in the final qualifying round.

But Rublev received a second chance, entering the main draw as a lucky loser following the withdrawal of home favourite Borna Coric. The Russian made the most of his opportunity, stunning defending champion Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals to reach his maiden ATP Tour semi-final.

With further wins against Ivan Dodig and Paolo Lorenzi, Rublev lifted his first ATP Tour title and became the youngest champion in tournament history. The 19-year-old also became the first lucky loser to win a tour-level event since Rajeev Ram captured the Newport trophy in 2009.

Rublev

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Los Cabos: Find Out What Makes This ATP 250 'Pretty Special'

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2020

Los Cabos: Find Out What Makes This ATP 250 ‘Pretty Special’

Learn more about the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex, an ATP 250 event

The Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex in Los Cabos is one of two Mexican events on the ATP Tour, alongside the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco.

The Los Cabos tournament, which made its ATP Tour debut in 2016, would have been held this week if not for the Tour suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about the ATP 250 event.

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The Perfect Preparation
After months of competition on clay and grass, the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex offers ATP Tour stars their first opportunity to compete on hard courts during the North American hard court season. The ATP 250, held at the Solaz Tennis Center, has welcomed former Top 5 stars Juan Martin del Potro, Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych across its opening four editions.

“It could be my favourite part of the year… It is a good tournament for preparation for [Canada], Cincinnati and the US Open,” said Del Potro.

The event is also popular with players and fans for its off-court activities, including sky diving and jet skiing. Los Cabos is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Mexico, attracting more than two million visitors per year.

“You always love coming back to tournaments that you have done well at in the past,” said 2017 finalist Thanasi Kokkinakis. “Obviously in a place like this, where it feels like you are on a holiday more than playing tennis, [it] is pretty special.”

Querrey’s ‘Mexican Double’
Sam Querrey arrived in Los Cabos in 2017 in top form, making his first appearance since a semi-final run at Wimbledon. The American, who defeated Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal en route to the Acapulco trophy earlier in the year, was aiming to complete the ‘Mexican Double’ by claiming his 10th ATP Tour trophy.

After surviving a final-set tie-break in his opening match against Evan King, Querrey notched victories against Vincent Millot, Damir Dzumhur and Kokkinakis to lift the trophy and finish the year with a 9-0 record in Mexico.

“It’s really exciting to win here. I felt like I played really well,” said Querrey. “This tournament only keeps getting better… I think the past couple of months have been the best I’ve played.”

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Fognini’s Lucky Hairdo
At the start of his debut appearance in Los Cabos in 2018, Fabio Fognini posted a photo on Instagram of his latest hairdo. The ATP Tour’s Instagram page challenged the Italian to maintain the interesting style throughout the week if its own post received 20,000 likes.

The Italian agreed to the challenge and kept his new style after the post exceeded 25,000 likes. Fognini’s new hairstyle proved to be a good luck charm, as the Italian cruised to the title with victories against Quentin Halys, Yoshihito Nishioka, Cameron Norrie and Del Potro.

 

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Hey @fabiofogna, if we get 20k likes on this photo will you keep the new ‘do for Wednesday’s match at @abiertoloscabos? 😜

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The Wait Is Over
For the first time since 1995, a Mexican player lifted an ATP Tour title on home soil in 2018.

Mexico’s Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela and El Salvador’s Marcelo Arevalo dropped just one set across four matches to claim the doubles trophy in Los Cabos, beating Taylor Fritz and Kokkinakis in the championship match. It was the first home triumph by a Mexican player on the ATP Tour since Leonardo Lavalle and Javier Frana’s title run 23 years earlier in Mexico City.

Los Cabos Doubles Title

‘Cherry On Top’ For Schwartzman
After picking up trophies on clay in Istanbul in 2016 and Rio de Janeiro in 2018, Diego Schwartzman achieved a milestone moment in Los Cabos last year. Competing as the tournament’s third seed, the Argentine raced through to the semi-finals and won a three-set battle against Guido Pella to reach his second championship match of the year.

In the final, Schwartzman saved three consecutive set points against Fritz at 5-6, 0/40, in the first set to reach a tie-break. The 5’7” right-hander held his nerve in the tie-break and broke serve late in the second set to lift his maiden ATP Tour title on hard courts.

“It was really important for me to come here and win big matches against the big guys,” said Schwartzman. “The title is like the cherry on top for me.”

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Gstaad: Where Federer Has Collected More Than Trophies

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2020

The Swiss Open Gstaad, founded in 1915, is one of three Swiss events on the ATP Tour calendar.

The ATP 250 would have been held this week if not for the Tour suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about the event.

A Talented Honour Roll
Situated near the mountains of the Swiss Alps, the Swiss Open Gstaad is home to one of the most picturesque backdrops of any tournament on the ATP Tour calendar. The Swiss event, a two-time ATP 250 Tournament of the Year, also boasts an impressive list of former champions.

Five former World No. 1 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings — John Newcombe (1971), Ilie Nastase (1973), Stefan Edberg (1986), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1995) and Roger Federer (2004) — have lifted the trophy in south-western Switzerland. Spaniards Sergi Bruguera and Alex Corretja own an Open Era-record three singles titles at the event.

David Rikl owns a record four doubles trophies, leading a strong tradition of Czech doubles champions in Gstaad. Sixteen editions of the doubles tournament have featured a Czech champion, including a consistent period of success between 1996 and 2008 when only two winning doubles teams did not feature a Czech player.

[COACHES]

Federer’s Cows
Following his maiden Grand Slam title run at Wimbledon in 2003, Federer quickly returned to Switzerland to compete in Gstaad the following week. In a special on-court ceremony to mark his Wimbledon victory, the Swiss was presented with a cow.

Federer fell to a five-set defeat against Jiri Novak in the final that year, but 12 months later he claimed the trophy. When the Basel native returned to the event after a nine-year absence in 2013, he was once again gifted a cow on court.

Berrettini’s Breakthrough
When Matteo Berrettini arrived in Gstaad in 2018, the Italian had never reached a tour-level quarter-final or won an ATP Tour doubles match. But that didn’t stop the Italian from winning nine matches across singles and doubles to take home both trophies.

Then World No. 84, the Italian defeated three consecutive seeded players to take the singles title without dropping a set. Following his singles final win against Roberto Bautista Agut, the 22-year-old returned to the court later in the day to clinch the doubles trophy alongside Daniele Bracciali.

“[Gstaad was an] unbelievable week. I won singles and doubles there and I had never won an ATP Tour doubles match, so it was all in a rush. I will never forget that week,” said Berrettini.

Thiem’s Triumphant Return
One year after a straight-sets loss to Viktor Troicki on his tournament debut, Dominic Thiem returned to Gstaad in 2015 in peak form. The Austrian made a quick journey from Umag, where he had just lifted his second ATP Tour title, to make his second straight appearance at the Swiss ATP 250.

Following a straight-sets win against Federico Delbonis, Thiem battled past Spaniards Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez to reach his second final in as many weeks. In a repeat of the 2014 Kitzbühel final, Thiem gained revenge against David Goffin to lift his third tour-level crown of the year after 86 minutes.

Thiem

Federer, Safin Claim Doubles Title
Three years before his singles title run in Gstaad, Federer captured the doubles trophy alongside Marat Safin. The pair, which contested the 2004 Australian Open singles final, dropped only one set in three matches to book a final meeting against Michael Hill and Jeff Tarango.

Unfortunately, the rain-affected championship match didn’t last long. After claiming the first game, Hill was forced to retire from the contest due to a leg injury, handing the trophy to Federer and Safin. It was the only time Federer and Safin, who had both lost their opening singles matches, competed as a doubles team.

“Winning like this is kind of strange,” said Federer. “But it seems like it was just meant to happen. We’ve played good doubles this week and I’m happy to have been able to make the crowd happy again after my first-round exit in the singles.”

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Gstaad: Where Federer Has Collected More Than Trophies

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2020

Gstaad: Where Federer Has Collected More Than Trophies

Learn more about the Swiss Open Gstaad, an ATP 250 event

The Swiss Open Gstaad, founded in 1915, is one of three Swiss events on the ATP Tour calendar.

The ATP 250 would have been held this week if not for the Tour suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about the event.

A Talented Honour Roll
Situated near the mountains of the Swiss Alps, the Swiss Open Gstaad is home to one of the most picturesque backdrops of any tournament on the ATP Tour calendar. The Swiss event, a two-time ATP 250 Tournament of the Year, also boasts an impressive list of former champions.

Five former World No. 1 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings — John Newcombe (1971), Ilie Nastase (1973), Stefan Edberg (1986), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1995) and Roger Federer (2004) — have lifted the trophy in south-western Switzerland. Spaniards Sergi Bruguera and Alex Corretja own an Open Era-record three singles titles at the event.

David Rikl owns a record four doubles trophies, leading a strong tradition of Czech doubles champions in Gstaad. Sixteen editions of the doubles tournament have featured a Czech champion, including a consistent period of success between 1996 and 2008 when only two winning doubles teams did not feature a Czech player.

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Federer’s Cows
Following his maiden Grand Slam title run at Wimbledon in 2003, Federer quickly returned to Switzerland to compete in Gstaad the following week. In a special on-court ceremony to mark his Wimbledon victory, the Swiss was presented with a cow.

Federer fell to a five-set defeat against Jiri Novak in the final that year, but 12 months later he claimed the trophy. When the Basel native returned to the event after a nine-year absence in 2013, he was once again gifted a cow on court.

Berrettini’s Breakthrough
When Matteo Berrettini arrived in Gstaad in 2018, the Italian had never reached a tour-level quarter-final or won an ATP Tour doubles match. But that didn’t stop the Italian from winning nine matches across singles and doubles to take home both trophies.

Then World No. 84, the Italian defeated three consecutive seeded players to take the singles title without dropping a set. Following his singles final win against Roberto Bautista Agut, the 22-year-old returned to the court later in the day to clinch the doubles trophy alongside Daniele Bracciali.

“[Gstaad was an] unbelievable week. I won singles and doubles there and I had never won an ATP Tour doubles match, so it was all in a rush. I will never forget that week,” said Berrettini.

Thiem’s Triumphant Return
One year after a straight-sets loss to Viktor Troicki on his tournament debut, Dominic Thiem returned to Gstaad in 2015 in peak form. The Austrian made a quick journey from Umag, where he had just lifted his second ATP Tour title, to make his second straight appearance at the Swiss ATP 250.

Following a straight-sets win against Federico Delbonis, Thiem battled past Spaniards Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez to reach his second final in as many weeks. In a repeat of the 2014 Kitzbühel final, Thiem gained revenge against David Goffin to lift his third tour-level crown of the year after 86 minutes.

Thiem

Federer, Safin Claim Doubles Title
Three years before his singles title run in Gstaad, Federer captured the doubles trophy alongside Marat Safin. The pair, which contested the 2004 Australian Open singles final, dropped only one set in three matches to book a final meeting against Michael Hill and Jeff Tarango.

Unfortunately, the rain-affected championship match didn’t last long. After claiming the first game, Hill was forced to retire from the contest due to a leg injury, handing the trophy to Federer and Safin. It was the only time Federer and Safin, who had both lost their opening singles matches, competed as a doubles team.

“Winning like this is kind of strange,” said Federer. “But it seems like it was just meant to happen. We’ve played good doubles this week and I’m happy to have been able to make the crowd happy again after my first-round exit in the singles.”

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Want Wawrinka's Backhand? Take A Lesson From Stan The Man & His Coaches!

  • Posted: Jul 20, 2020

Want Wawrinka’s Backhand? Take A Lesson From Stan The Man & His Coaches!

The trio will offer this dream experience at an ATP event in Europe or the Americas between January and July 2021

Ever wished you could play with one of world’s best tennis players or learn from two of the world’s best coaches? You can do both at the same time!

Stan Wawrinka and his coaches, Magnus Norman and Daniel Vallverdu, will provide a two-hour lesson to the winner of an auction and their guest to support members of the ATP Coach Programme affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The lesson will take place at an ATP Tour event in Europe or the Americas between January and July 2021

Learn More & Bid!

Norman, a former World No. 2 who has worked with Wawrinka for all three of his Grand Slam titles, is excited to spend time with the auction winner.

“They can expect to get the same one-handed backhand as Stan Wawrinka, basically,” Norman joked on ATP Tennis Radio. “I’m going to do basically the same drills. A couple of hand-feeding drills, a couple of racquet-feeding drills, some live-ball [situations] and try to get my knowledge when it comes to technical work across to the player. It’s going to be a fun experience for sure. A fantastic initiative from Dani Vallverdu, who put this together. It’s a fantastic thing.”

There are several auctions and prize draws currently up for grabs until 27 July. A hit with Andy Murray headlines a dream experience at Wimbledon, Toni Nadal will spend two hours on court with an auction winner at the 2021 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and Severin Luthi will give a two-hour lesson at the 2021 Swiss Indoors Basel. The first round of auctions raised more than USD $90,000, including a USD $19,000 winning bid for a US Open VIP Package and coaching session with Ivan Lendl.

“I think it’s great because a lot of the top coaches, they work with top players and it’s maybe another financial situation if you work with top players [compared to] lower-ranked players,” Norman said. “I think especially during these times, lower-ranked players, they cannot afford to pay the salary of a coach when they’re not working together. So obviously the coaches are really struggling at the moment.

“I think it’s great that the top coaches are coming together… it’s incredible, just the things we are doing together. It’s a great thing and it can help a lot of coaches that have been without salary for months now.”

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Norman has greatly enjoyed his time as a coach, and he looks forward to giving back to his colleagues when he works with Wawrinka and Vallverdu to put together a special lesson for their package’s winning bidder.

“I’m going to give it everything I have. When the player comes on court I’m going to try to make the player as good as possible,” Norman said. “I think it will be a great experience… It’s going to be a great session and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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Wawrinka is excited to support the cause. Funds raised will be allocated by the ATP Coaches Committee. In addition, a part of proceeds will be donated to a global COVID-19 relief fund.

“Our sport owes a lot to coaches and I would not have become the player I did without their help over the years,” Wawrinka said. “I want to thank everyone involved for their support.”

Vallverdu, who has spearheaded these auctions, has been thrilled by the response.

“It has been really exciting to see the response the initiative has received so far. It’s fair to say it has exceeded all our expectations and will go a long way to help coaches,” Vallverdu said. “I want to thank everyone for their generous contributions and look forward to fans enjoying the incredible experiences lined up in the second round.”

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