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Bring On Nowitzki! Zverev Challenges NBA Legend

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2020

Bring On Nowitzki! Zverev Challenges NBA Legend

#NextGenATP stars Nakashima and Seyboth Wild also appear on Tennis United

It normally wouldn’t be a good idea for Alexander Zverev to challenge fellow German Dirk Nowitzki to a game of one-on-one. Nowitzki is one of the best NBA stars of his generation.

But on this week’s episode of Tennis United, Zverev skips the basketball and puts his thinking cap on to test his countryman in a different type of one-on-one: a quiz. In the segment, which debuts Friday on the ATP Tour’s Facebook channel, find out who knows more about one another’s career.

Is Zverev taller than Steve Nash and Luka Doncic, shorter than them both, or in between? What team was Nowitzki originally drafted by?

“You don’t even need to give me the options. I know straightaway,” Zverev says.

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How Harnessing The Fire Within Is Paying Dividends For #NextGenATP Seyboth Wild

#NextGenATP stars Brandon Nakashima and Thiago Seyboth Wild also join the show, playing a game of ‘Truth or Dare’.

One truth Nakashima answers: What are three wishes he’d request from a genie?

“Be No. 1 in the world,” Nakashima says for one of them.

Find out what other wishes the American has and what Seyboth Wild, this year’s Chile Dove Men+Care Open champion, adds to the game.

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Roberto Bautista Agut: 'I Can't Wait To Return'

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2020

Roberto Bautista Agut: ‘I Can’t Wait To Return’ speaks exclusively to the World No. 12 about the return to tennis

Roberto Bautista Agut last played an ATP Tour match on 25 February at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. A few weeks later, the world came to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Five months later, in this interview with, Bautista Agut looks back at everything he has done during this exceptional period before returning to the Tour at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

It was difficult to imagine something like this happening looking back five months, which is practically the period for which the ATP Tour has been suspended due to the pandemic.
On a social level I’ve been very on top of everything that has been happening, helping with various local and national initiatives. It has been a difficult time, but if sport teaches you anything, it’s the ability to overcome. I am sure we will come out of this stronger.

Now, finally, the return of the Tour is on the horizon at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. How excited are you?
I can’t wait to return to competition. After so much training, I feel that the wait is getting a little long for me. In the end, what you want is to get back to the courts as soon as possible.

Perhaps this period has been like an unusual preseason, just longer than normal?
The main difference has been that this time we’ve had many more weeks of training than usual. A ‘normal’ preseason is much shorter, three or four weeks, which means they are more intense than what this return to the courts after isolation has turned out to be. We’ve had three months on top of the preseason, so we’ve had to take breaks and be patient.

Have you worked on any specific part of the game with your team?
We’ve been able to work calmly on my net game. Also, [we have put] more emphasis on the physical side of things than normal because we didn’t have any tournaments in the short term. The on-court work is the most similar to normal, working in the same way as before isolation. The main difference has been that the training time before the tournament is bigger, so there’s been time to work on all aspects on court: the serve, return and the net game.

If this break has benefitted a certain type of player in any way, would it be the veterans or the young players?
It doesn’t help us veterans, because we have less of our career left. We’ve been practically a year without playing. In the end, I think that the best players will be back at the top as always and everyone will have to fight for their position, their new [FedEx ATP] Ranking.

Has this situation had any positive sides for you?
I would say the biggest thing is that I’ve been able to better combine training with life off the court, to enjoy being at home, sleeping in my bed, things that you miss during the season.

Has it meant more time for doing other things?
Not exactly. When I train, I do long sessions both on court and in fitness training. I have very little time the rest of the day for other things beyond tennis and I’m already pretty tired from training. So all I can do is be at home and rest.

Where have you been able to train during these months?
In Castellon. I’ve also managed to train in other parts of Spain like Alicante, at Juan Carlos Ferrero’s Academy in Villena and in Valencia. Above all, it’s been on clay. This week I made the switch to fast courts.

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In this time have you played with various ATP Tour players?
In Spain in general, and in the Valencian community in particular, there are a lot of very good tennis players. I’ve trained with Pablo Carreno Busta, Carlos Alcaraz, Alex de Minaur, Pablo Andujar, Jaume Munar and Carlos Taberner, among others. They’re very good players, and I’m able to complete demanding training sessions with them. 

How has this situation affected your goals?
All I want is to return to competition. From there, I think that the ATP’s points system is a very good one. It’s pretty logical and fair with everyone. We will have to see exactly how many tournaments we’ll be able to play. The more tournaments we can, the better.

Is there anyone on the Tour that you would like to meet up with that you haven’t been able to because of the pandemic?
Of course, many of my peers I’m with in my daily life in competition. You are often with them. We’re used to living this kind of life 80 or 90 percent of the year and of course you miss it. I’ve also missed the tournaments.

Did it hurt not being able to play any one specifically?
All of them. I’m a player that doesn’t have favourite weeks. I like playing everywhere, I find something to like in every surface and at every tournament. Everywhere is unique.

Is there anything you haven’t missed?
The airports [laughs]. The travel time, the stress and pressure of competition. Tennis is a very demanding sport and being able to be at home, with peace of mind, has been good for me.

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'I Feel Like This Is The End': Murray's 3 A.M. Washington Marathon

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2020

‘I Feel Like This Is The End’: Murray’s 3 A.M. Washington Marathon

Copil provides exclusive insight into their memorable Citi Open match

If there’s one match that shows how much tennis means to Andy Murray, it might be his third-round battle against Marius Copil at the 2018 Citi Open. After the match, which ended at 3:02 a.m., the former World No. 1 sat in his chair and broke into tears.

That January, Murray had undergone hip surgery, but he was nowhere near full health. The three-time Grand Slam champion mustered all the energy he could to defeat the big-serving Copil 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4) after three hours and two minutes.

“I told him I’m happy that he’s back and it’s great to play against him again,” Copil told “I really enjoy playing against him. He always brings the best out of me. I was happy that he came back to the Tour. When we went back to the locker room we spoke again and he was still crying, maybe because he had the pain in his hip.”

<a href=Marius Copil, Andy Murray” />

A couple hours later, Murray laid in his hotel bed and recorded a video message on his phone at 5:09 a.m., as seen in the documentary ‘Andy Murray: Resurfacing’, which came out last year.

“I feel like this is the end for me,” Murray said. “I really want to keep going, but my body is telling me no.”

Murray told reporters that evening that his tears simply came from the emotions of a long match finishing late in the evening, but the former World No. 1 had more on his mind. His Romanian opponent didn’t realise it at the time.

“When I watched the documentary, I felt something in my stomach, it was weird. It was a weird feeling, because I know it was tough for him,” Copil said. “I respect Andy so much because he’s a really great fighter and warrior and this is something to admire and for a lot of sportsmen to look up to. The way he fights is just unbelievable.”

Many people will remember the moment because of Murray’s emotions, but the match itself was memorable, too. Copil crushed 20 aces and won three more points than Murray in their clash, which was suspended by rain, leading to the late finish.

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“It was a crazy match. We both played well and when we finished, we just had 200 to 300 people watching us, maybe less,” said Copil, who has lost each of his three ATP Head2Head matches against Murray, with two of those going to a deciding set. “Normally when you play against Andy it’s a full stadium, and that time when we played there were not many people left.

“I saw by the way he was walking that I thought he had something, but during the match I thought he moved well. I cannot say his level was lower. I think he played well against me, but I didn’t think about his injury and that his level could be lower because he is one of the top four guys who will remain in history [from this era]. His level, even if he’s not 100 per cent, is still very, very high.”

Copil sliced a backhand into the net on match point to give Murray the victory. While the Brit was recording his video in the early hours of the morning, the Romanian was still awake trying to find a flight to Toronto, where he had to play Rogers Cup qualifying about 31 hours later.

Copil couldn’t find any direct flights, so he was forced to fly to a city in the United States — he can’t remember where — and then ride in a car for more than five hours, arriving in Toronto at around 6 a.m. the morning of his 12 p.m. qualifying match against Yoshihito Nishioka. After winning the first set easily, he was too tired to maintain his level, falling in another final-set tie-break, just like he did against Murray. That completed a wild two-day stretch for Copil.

“I was sad because I finished [against Murray] with a backhand slice into the net. I was just disappointed at that particular shot. The rest of the match I played really well. I liked the way I was playing and the attitude I had. It was a great match,” Copil said. “One guy has to lose and I was the guy who lost.”

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When British Legends Murray & Rooney Met In Washington

  • Posted: Aug 07, 2020

When British Legends Murray & Rooney Met In Washington

Rooney was at SW19 when Murray won Wimbledon title in 2013

Editor’s Note: is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 28 July 2018..

It’s not often that you find two iconic athletes from different sports on the same court. But on Friday, British stars Andy Murray and Wayne Rooney met at the Citi Open for a short hit and game of football-tennis.

“He’s obviously had an incredible career, one of the best players ever in English football history,” said Murray, whose grandfather played for Scotland’s Hibernian F.C. “It’s nice to finally meet him. I’ve never met him before, so it’s very cool.”

Rooney, the leading goal-scorer in England National Team and Manchester United history, currently plays for local club D.C. United of Major League Soccer, so he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to meet Murray. The football legend was in the stands when the Scot captured his first Wimbledon title in 2013 to end Great Britain’s 77-year wait for a home champion.

Rooney Murray

“It was incredible, a real achievement, and [Novak] Djokovic at the time looked unbeatable, so it was a great victory and a great experience to be there,” Rooney said. “It was the first time I was at Wimbledon, and [it was] history for Britain, so it was a fantastic moment to be there.”

Murray, who was joined by brother Jamie Murray — the fourth seed in the doubles draw with Bruno Soares at the Citi Open — on Stadium Court, grew up playing football and follows the Premier League as he travels the world. Rooney hasn’t been able to pick up a tennis racquet much, but he says he loves watching the sport. His game was put to the test when the pair rallied, and Murray hit some serves to the football star.

Murray Rooney

“It was decent. Forehand was alright, he almost returned a couple serves. But yeah, not bad. Backhand needs a bit of work,” Murray joked. “He did alright for someone who doesn’t play much. It was good.”

Murray will now turn his attention to the ATP World Tour 500-level tournament in Washington D.C. The 31-year-old will face American Mackenzie McDonald in the first round, and could face compatriot and fourth seed Kyle Edmund in a second-round blockbuster.

Rooney Murray Murray

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