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Enjoy A Private Lesson With Grigor Dimitrov!

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2020

Enjoy A Private Lesson With Grigor Dimitrov!

Spend court time with the former World No. 3 and 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champ

Grigor Dimitrov is one of the most exciting players on the ATP Tour, with his all-court game drawing ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ throughout the world. Now one lucky auction winner will hit with the Bulgarian while supporting members of the ATP Coach Programme in need.

Former World No. 3 Dimitrov, who won the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals, and his coaching team will spend one hour on court with an auction winner and their guest at an ATP Tour event in Europe or the Americas between January and July 2021. The auction ends on 27 July.

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ATP Coach Programme

This auction is one of several fan experiences featuring top ATP players and coaches, with funds raised being allocated by the ATP Coaches Committee to support coaches whose ability to work has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the proceeds will be donated to a global COVID-19 relief fund.

“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,” said Dani Vallverdu, an ATP Coach who used to work with Dimitrov. “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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Other fan experiences available include an hour on court with Feliciano Lopez, who has cracked the Top 20 in the FedEx ATP Rankings and the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings, at the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open. The winning bidder will also receive two premium tickets for the men’s singles semi-finals and exclusive access to the ATP Masters 1000 event’s VIP village.

Former World No. 1 Carlos Moya will spend an hour on court with the winning bidder and a guest at 2021 Roland Garros. The Spanish legend is currently a member of Rafael Nadal’s coaching team.

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The Battle Within The Battle: Federer's Second Serve v Nadal's Return

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2020

The Battle Within The Battle: Federer’s Second Serve v Nadal’s Return

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers looks at a key component of their rivalry

One of Rafael Nadal’s greatest strengths is to maul an opponent’s second serve until it’s unrecognisable.

For 11 straight years from 2004 to 2014, Rafael Nadal lacerated Roger Federer’s second serve to build a 23-10 lead over the Swiss star in their ATP Head2Head series, during the prime of Federer’s career. Federer was ranked No. 1 in second-serve points won for seven seasons during this period and was never ranked below fifth-best in this category.

For over a decade, Federer’s second-serve metrics against the rest of the Tour were from another planet. But against Nadal, the Spaniard surgically moved Federer’s second serve from the asset to the liability column.

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Ready To Serve? Hope Nadal Isn’t Across The Net!

This rivalry exists in two stanzas – the first 11 years (2004-14) when Nadal built a 23-10 lead, and the past five years from 2015-2019, when Federer won six of seven clashes, including five on the trot. The canary in the coal mine has been Federer’s second-serve performance.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the vaunted Federer vs. Nadal rivalry identifies second-serve performance as a critical factor when these two titans faced off. From 2004-2014, Federer’s second-serve performance was exceptional against all players on Tour – Nadal excluded – winning a jaw-dropping 58 per cent of second-serve points. Nobody else put up such lofty second-serve numbers over that period of time.

But when Federer faced Nadal from 2004-2014, the Spaniard racked up 23 wins while yielding just 10 losses by knocking Federer’s second-serve win percentage below the 50 per cent mark.

2004-2014: Federer Second-Serve Points Won

•Against Nadal = 48.7% (589/1209)
•Against Everyone Else = 58.3% (13,593/23,302)

Nadal was especially ruthless on clay during this period against Federer’s second serve, where the Swiss only won 44.3 per cent (259/585) of second-serve points. Federer never won more second-serve points than he lost against Nadal at any of the five clay-court tournaments they competed in.

2004-2014: Federer Second-Serve Points Won v Nadal On Clay

•Hamburg = 40.7% (33/81)
•Monte Carlo = 42.6% (49/115)
•Roland Garros = 43.1% (88/204)
•Rome = 46.2% (42/91)
•Madrid = 50.0% (47/94)

In 2008, Nadal won all four finals they squared off in (Monte Carlo, Hamburg, Roland Garros, Wimbledon). The Roland Garros final, which Nadal won 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, was particularly brutal in this specific area. Nadal won a head-turning 65 per cent (11/17) of his second-serve points, while Federer managed to win just 21 per cent (5/24).

But how did Nadal’s second serve stand up against Federer during this 11-year period? Actually, just fine. While Federer struggled to win 48.7 per cent against Nadal, the Spaniard won a healthy 55.9 per cent (337/603) of second-serve points against the Swiss.

Overall, Nadal and Federer sit at the very pinnacle of second-serve points won since 1991, when official statistics were first recorded.

Career Second-Serve Points Won (1991-2020)

1. Nadal = 57.4% (15,308/26,664)
2. Federer = 56.8% (24,303/42,760)

Federer sits second on the all-time list, winning 56.8 per cent of second-serve points. But his career second-serve points won from 40 matches against Nadal sits at 49.7 per cent (707/1423). His record just against Nadal would have Federer sit at No. 177 on the list.

2015-2020: Federer Second-Serve Revival
After winning only 10 of their first 33 meetings, Federer has won six of seven encounters from 2015-2019, including five in a row. Federer also won the last time they played, squeaking by the Spaniard 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the 2019 Wimbledon semi-finals and winning 62 per cent (23/37) of second-serve points to Nadal’s 48 per cent (22/46).

A massive part of Federer’s recent revival against Nadal is moving his second-serve win percentage back into positive territory. Federer has won an impressive 55.1 per cent (118/224) of second-serve points from 2015-2019 against Nadal, while Nadal has dropped off slightly to win 54.1 per cent (96/214).

When analysing overall performance in this area, part of the focus needs to be on the quality (depth, direction, speed, spin) of the second serve and the Serve +1 groundstroke that immediately follows it, along with the ensuing tussle for control for the rest of the point.

Drilling down into data tables sheds light on where players really forge their advantage. The second-serve battleground repeatedly takes centre stage when looking at what matters most to winning at all levels of our sport and begs the question: Have you worked on your second serve lately?

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Berrettini's Gstaad Breakthrough: 'I Played The Best Week Of My Life'

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2020

Berrettini’s Gstaad Breakthrough: ‘I Played The Best Week Of My Life’

Italian captures maiden ATP Tour title at 2018 event

Matteo Berrettini started the 2018 Swiss Open Gstaad without a tour-level quarter-final to his name. He finished it with a clean sweep to secure his first ATP Tour singles and doubles crowns.

“I played the best week of my life, easily. I hope this will be the first step in a great career for me,” Berrettini said.


The 22-year-old Italian, then-No. 84 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, was ranked well outside the Top 100 at the start of the season. His powerful baseline game was creating plenty of buzz in the locker room and he was starting to harness it, leading to breakthroughs including a third-round finish at Roland Garros and his first Top 15 win against Jack Sock at Wimbledon.

Berrettini faced a challenging draw in Gstaad, but breezed through it without dropping a set. After moving past tricky Moldovan Radu Albot 6-4, 6-2, he blitzed fourth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-3 for his first ATP Tour quarter-final. Embolden by the milestone moment, Berrettini battled past eighth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-3 before scoring a 6-4 7-6(6) victory against Estonian qualifier Jurgen Zopp.

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His run to the final also secured a slice of national history. At 22 years and three months, Berrettini became the youngest Italian to reach an ATP Tour final in 15 years (Filippo Volandri, 2003 Umag).

Awaiting him in the final was Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who had already captured two titles that season in Auckland (d. Del Potro) and Dubai (d. Pouille). Berrettini saved two set points in the opening set before cracking two forehand winners at 9/9 in the tie-break to grab a commanding lead. He secured the lone break of the match in the final game by crunching a forehand return to prevail 7-6(9), 6-4.

Berrettini then completed his perfect week by taking the doubles title with fellow Italian Daniele Bracciali. The unseeded pair defeated Denys Molchanov and Igor Zelenay 7-6(2), 7-6(5), making Berrettini the first player to capture both titles at the same tour-level title since Alexander Zverev (2017 Montpellier).

“Of course I dreamed about this, but it is so far [away]. When you start, you have to think about the small things to reach,” Berrettini said. “Last year, I won first ATP Challenger Tour title. Now, I am here with a tour-level trophy.”

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Marcelo Rios: The First South American No. 1

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2020

Marcelo Rios: The First South American No. 1

The gifted Chilean reached the top spot at junior, professional and senior levels

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

First week at No. 1: 30 March 1998
Total weeks at No. 1: 6

At World No. 1
Rios became the first South American to claim the World No. 1 position in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 30 March 1998. Having opened the year with a title run in Auckland and a runner-up finish at the Australian Open, the Chilean completed the ‘Sunshine Double’ to leapfrog Pete Sampras and Petr Korda into the top position. Rios dropped just two sets across 11 matches in Indian Wells and Miami, claiming the top spot with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Andre Agassi in Key Biscayne. Following that victory, the Santiago native returned to his hometown to celebrate his achievement with then-Chilean president Eduardo Frei. Rios waved to huge crowds from the balcony at La Moneda Presidential Palace, where he was given a hero’s welcome. “There were a lot of people waiting for [me]. They want to be with you and, after that, [I] became more like an idol in Chile because of becoming No. 1,” said Rios. The left-hander maintained the position for four weeks and once again overtook Sampras later that year to return to the top spot for a further two weeks on 10 August.

Grand Slam Highlights
Rios’ best Grand Slam result came at the 1998 Australian Open, when the Chilean advanced to the championship match. Rios entered the event after winning the ASB Classic in Auckland and extended his winning streak to 11 matches by reaching the final in Melbourne. The 22-year-old earned wins against Thomas Enqvist and Alberto Berasategui en route the championship match, where he was beaten in straight sets by Korda. Rios reached back-to-back Roland Garros quarter-finals in 1998 and 1999 and also reached the last eight at the US Open in 1997. At Wimbledon, Rios’ best run came in 1997 when he fell to three-time champion Boris Becker in the Round of 16.

Tour Highlights
Rios captured 18 tour-level trophies from 31 finals during his career. In May 1995, the artistic Chilean lifted his first ATP Tour title in Bologna. “It was one of the best moments of my career, winning my first ATP [Tour title],” said Rios. Two years later, Rios clinched his first Super 9 title [now named ATP Masters 1000] at the 1997 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The World No. 10 did not drop a set in the Principality and beat three Spanish players — Albert Costa, Carlos Moya and Alex Corretja — en route to the title. Rios won a further four Super 9 crowns, including three triumphs at the level in 1998. Two months after his famous ‘Sunshine Double’ run to reach No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in March 1998, Rios also claimed the Internazionali BNL d’Italia title in Rome. With wins against Felix Mantilla, Mark Philippoussis and Andre Agassi, Rios also won the 1998 Grand Slam Cup. The Chilean claimed his final ATP Tour trophy in Hong Kong in 2001.

Biggest Rivalries
Between 1995 and 2002, Rios contested 10 ATP Head2Head encounters against former World No. 2 and two-time Roland Garros finalist Alex Corretja. With five wins apiece, Rios and Corretja were evenly matched on the court and the pair also split their only two final meetings. Entering the 1997 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final, Rios and Corretja were level at 2-2 in their rivalry. Rios produced a dominant display to take the title, firing an overhead winner to complete a straight-sets victory in the Principality. Three weeks later, Corretja gained revenge with a straight-sets win of his own to clinch his maiden Super 9 trophy at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

Rios also finished tied in his ATP Head2Head rivalry with fellow left-hander Korda (4-4). Rios and Korda contested each of their eight encounters at Grand Slam and ATP Masters 1000 events, with the Czech winning their only final meeting at the 1998 Australian Open. Rios won three of five clashes against Korda on hard courts and also triumphed against the former World No. 2 in their only clay-court meeting at Roland Garros in 1996.

As the first South American to reach World No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Rios remains an inspiration to players from the region. The 5’9” Santiago native possessed incredible feel and opened the court with unrivalled creativity to achieve success throughout his relatively short career. Rios achieved his best results at the end of the 20th century, finishing in the year-end Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings from 1997 to 1999. Leg and back injuries forced the 18-time tour-level titlist to retire from the sport at the age of 28 in 2004, but Rios soon returned to action on the ATP Champions Tour two years later. At the Senior level, Rios won six tournaments and achieved the No. 1 Ranking. He is the only player to ever rank No. 1 as a junior, professional and senior.

Overall Match Win-Loss Record: 391-192
Overall Titles/Finals Record: 18-13

Memorable Moment
In March 1998, Rios followed in the footsteps of Americans Jim Courier (1991), Michael Chang (1992) and Sampras (1994) to become only the fourth man to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’ in Indian Wells and Miami. It was a run that led Rios to World No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Arriving in Indian Wells as the World No. 7, Rios trailed No. 1 Sampras by 939 points and took advantage of the American’s early exits at both events. Chasing his 11th straight victory, the talented Chilean earned a milestone win after one hour and 57 minutes as Agassi failed to find the court with a backhand return. Rios threw his racquet into the crowd and began waving a Chilean flag in celebration. “Sampras had been No. 1 for a long time, most of the past five years, so it was a big achievement to win two Super 9 [titles] in a row beating great players,” said Rios. “Beating Agassi in Miami, his own country, was obviously one of my best matches that I always will remember.”

Moya on Rios
”He was a different player, you could see that from the first moment you saw him on court. He was probably the most talented player I ever saw. You could enjoy watching him a lot. He was great for tennis, had a different style of playing and was very talented.”

Rios on Rios
”I think it was a big step going from junior to professional, but in my first year I already broke into the Top 100 and aged 22 I became No. 1. Everything was really fast.”

Broadcaster/Journalist Graeme Agars
Rios was highly respected as a player with so much natural talent that he made the game look easy. When in full flight, the left-hander could frustrate and challenge any player in the world. His talent, combined with a hard work ethic on the practice court, made him a formidable opponent.

The pity of it was that his career was cut short in what should have been his prime and, by the age of just 27, his troublesome back finally forced him out of the game. The Chilean’s last major appearance came at Roland Garros in 2003.

Rios’ greatest achievement was becoming the first player from Latin America to reach the No.1 position in the FedEx ATP Rankings in March 1998, resulting in a massive public celebration in the streets of Santiago. He was later named as Chile’s ‘Best Athlete of the 20th Century’.

It wasn’t the only time Rios had been on top of a ranking list, having also been the best junior player in the world before turning pro in 1995. At the age of 30, he won six ATP Champions Tour events in a row to finish 2006 on top. In doing so, Rios became the only man to have been the top-ranked player in the junior, professional and senior categories.

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Inside Medvedev's Rise: 'You Need To Break These Guys Mentally'

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2020

Inside Medvedev’s Rise: ‘You Need To Break These Guys Mentally’

ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot relives Medvedev’s ascent

Daniil Medvedev remembers how close he was to letting slip his first ATP Tour title at the 2018 Sydney International. The Russian led home favourite Alex de Minaur 4-0 in the deciding set and served for the trophy at 5-4, watching both leads disappear before ultimately triumphing 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.

“Probably two years [before that] I would have just said, ‘I don’t want this anymore’, and I would lose 7-5,” Medvedev said on ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “But I managed to win it, my first title.”

ATP Coach Programme

Ever since, Medvedev has been a man on a mission, rapidly climbing the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Russian learned the importance of mental resilience, proving to be one of the most difficult players to beat on the ATP Tour the past two seasons. Since the start of 2018, he has 110 tour-level wins.

“Every one-on-one sport is all about mentality. Every tournament that you play, to win it you need to win five matches against five real guys. All of them want to win this tournament. You need to be stronger than them,” Medvedev said. “You need to break each of these guys mentally every match and that’s really tough, especially in [the] semi-finals and finals where you play top players and they try to break you and they are better at it. It’s only you against your opponent.”

Medvedev arrived in Sydney two years ago as World No. 84 and he had never ascended higher than World No. 48.

“I managed to win my first title and I think it gave me a big push in the year,” Medvedev said. “The push was not straight away, but I think this meant a lot for the season.”

The Moscow-born Medvedev won three titles in 2018, including an ATP 500 breakthrough at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, where he only lost five service points in the final against Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori.

Last season proved even better. Medvedev, who won a Tour-leading 59 matches, at one point reached the final in six consecutive tournaments he played, claiming his first two ATP Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai. Last September, he reached a career-high World No. 4 after making his first Grand Slam final at the US Open.

“The past two-and-a-half years I tried to be really professional in everything I do. I dedicated my life to tennis, the small details,” Medvedev said. “I want to be better, I want to play better. I want to win more matches than I win even now. That’s my goal and that’s what I’m working for.”

My Point: Get The Players' Point Of View

Medvedev doesn’t have one particular shot that blows people away. He could have a great serving match and trouble opponents with his flat two-handed backhand. But like he saw first-hand playing De Minaur in the 2018 Sydney final, a competitive spirit could be just as useful as a forehand or backhand. The whole ATP Tour knows to beat Medvedev, you need to earn it. He doesn’t believe his dream 2019 run was lucky.

“Winning so many matches is not just luck. If I would have won one tournament in Cincinnati and then lost everything in the first round, then we can say, ‘Okay maybe I was just lucky [to be in] good shape in Cincinnati,’” Medvedev said. “I am happy to maintain my level and hopefully I can do it for many more months and years.”

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