Tennis News

From around the world

ATP Legacy: Jim Courier Reflects On Reaching No. 1

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2022

Jim Courier is an American tennis legend who accomplished plenty during his illustrious career. Thirty years ago on 10 February 1992, he hit perhaps his highest mark when he climbed to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time.

Courier positioned himself for a shot at No. 1 when he won his first Australian Open title in 1992. Two weeks later, he reached the final in San Francisco to earn his spot atop the men’s tennis mountain.

“I remember feeling incredible amounts of stress in each match, trying to get there. Because you look at the rankings and you realise, ‘This is a real shot.’ If I get to the finals I’m going to get to No. 1,” Courier said. “But there’s also a chance that I never get there. Because it wasn’t clear what Stefan [Edberg] and what Boris [Becker] were going to do. And they could have run away from me and I could have never touched it, so I was feeling a lot of pressure to get there. And then, a lot of relief and excitement when I finally did.”

Watch Video Feature:

The American spent a total of 58 weeks at World No. 1 and finished atop the year-end ATP Rankings in 1992. Only 11 men have held the top spot longer than Courier.

Current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has spent a record 358 weeks in the prestigious position. But World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, the recent Australian Open finalist, has been charging hard for the No. 1 spot.

“Medvedev has proven himself to be right there as far as the best hard-court players in the world. He and Novak clearly separated themselves last year. It was a lot of work for him to get up there, and he’s done a great job,” Courier said. “His next step in his evolution now is to maintain on the hard courts, and then add a little bit more on the grass, which I think he can especially prosper in. And then also on the clay, it’s going to be more challenging.

“But you need that all-around game and the all-around opportunities to gain points on all surfaces, I think, to really be a No. 1 with longevity.”

Another player who entered the year in the No. 1 conversation is Alexander Zverev, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion. The German lost in the fourth round at the Australian Open, but he remains World No. 3.

“I think Sascha’s second half of the season was incredible. Once he got lift-off in the Olympics and didn’t let go from there, he just kept on putting big tournaments in his pocket. It was really impressive,” Courier said. “And he’s got an all-court game, he’s got an all-surface game. And he’s got the mindset, I think, to just stay tough and roll with the punches. And he’s going to be a real factor in the No. 1 conversation in the years to come.”

Rafael Nadal also made a statement to start the season by winning a record-extending 21st major title at the Australian Open. The legendary lefty, now World No. 5, is plenty familiar with the top spot.

“Rafa I think, if he’s healthy, he’ll certainly get himself back in contention for it,” Courier said before the Spaniard’s run at Melbourne Park.

The American is one of only 26 players who have held No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. He added that it does not get easier once you reach the top of the mountain.

“There’s no doubt that the No.1 player carries a huge target,” Courier said. “That’s a big scalp for any player in the locker room to try and get a win against. It’s a badge of honour also, and it’s something that gives a lot of confidence when you carry it.”

Source link

Zverev Bounces Back With McDonald Win In Montpellier

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2022

Alexander Zverev bounced back from a disappointing fourth-round defeat at the Australian Open on Thursday when he eliminated Mackenzie McDonald 6-2, 7-6(5) to reach the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France.

The German is now 8-1 at the ATP 250, where he lifted the trophy on his most recent appearance, in 2017. The top seed will next play in-form Frenchman Adrian Mannarino for a place in the last four.

“I’m going to give myself the best chance to do well in this tournament. But obviously, I’m happy to be back here. This is a place I really enjoy coming back [to],” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “After the Australian Open that I had, I wanted to play tournaments before my scheduled tournaments in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami. I said Montpellier is the perfect fit for that and I’m happy to be here.”

For most of the match, it seemed the World No. 3 was in full control. But leading by a set and a break, McDonald was able to raise his level and get back on serve.

In the second-set tie-break, the American surged to a 4/2 lead, but untimely errors proved his undoing. Zverev converted his first match point when McDonald launched a forehand long.

“I think he was going for his shots, he was trying to play extremely aggressive and I was happy to win in two sets,” Zverev said. “I left a lot of chances out there in the second set, but in the end I won, so that’s the most important thing.”


Zverev’s next opponent, Mannarino, defeated defending champion David Goffin 6-4, 6-2 earlier in the day. The tricky lefty advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open with wins against James Duckworth, Hubert Hurkacz and Aslan Karatsev.

The German leads their ATP Head2Head series 6-0, but expects a tough clash.

“Every time I’ve played with him, it was always very, very long and very hard and very physical. He’s playing extremely well,” Zverev said. “In Australia he was playing extremely well. Here he’s playing well, so I’m looking forward to the match. It’s not going to be an easy one, I think.”

Source link

Federer & Nadal To Compete In 2022 Laver Cup, Hope For 'Fedal' Comeback

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2022

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will compete in this year’s Laver Cup, to be held from 23-25 September at The O2 in London, the event announced on Thursday.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back into competition later this year and Laver Cup is very much part of my plan,” Federer said according to the Laver Cup website. “It’s no secret that I love the event and I’m super excited to be returning to The O2 and to London, one of the greatest cities in the world.”

This will be the third time that Federer and Nadal have been on Team Europe in the same year. They played a doubles match together in Prague in 2017.

“Rafa is an incredible person and an inspiration to me and countless others around the world. He messaged me on social media after the Laver Cup in Boston last year suggesting we play doubles in London,” Federer said. “I am definitely up for a Laver Cup ‘Fedal’ comeback!” 

Nadal added that the Laver Cup “is such a unique event and I’ve loved competing in it”. The Spaniard is also hoping to play doubles again with Federer.

“I suggested to Roger we should play doubles together in London and he seems keen, so now we just need to persuade our captain Bjorn!” Nadal said of Team Europe Captain Bjorn Borg. “Roger has been a huge part of my career, a big rival and also a true friend. To be part of Team Europe together is great and if we’re able to possibly share the court one more time as a doubles pairing, then this would be a truly special experience for us both at this stage in our careers.”

Nadal is fresh off winning a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, where he rallied past Daniil Medvedev in a gripping five-setter in the championship match to lift the trophy.

Source link

Gasquet Extends Strong Montpellier Record

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2022

Richard Gasquet’s love affair with the Open Sud de France continued Thursday. The Frenchman downed Soonwoo Kwon 7-5, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals in Montpellier for the ninth time.

The World No. 75 has triumphed on home soil at the ATP 250 event three times, lifting the trophy in 2013, 2015 and 2016. In a solid performance, Gasquet won 15 consecutive points on serve in the first set to clinch the opener before he broke at the start of the second set to gain further control.

“I was solid on the court,” Gasquet said in his on-court interview. “I didn’t make many mistakes, which was the key in the match. I played well and I didn’t lose my serve. When playing indoors the court is fast, so I had to serve well and I did. I am really happy to win because he is a great player.”

The 35-year-old, who also advanced to the final in Montpellier in 2014, 2017 and 2018, has now recorded a leading 28 match wins at the tournament after his one-hour, 40-minute triumph against Kwon. Gasquet will face third-seeded countryman Gael Monfils or Swede Mikael Ymer in the last eight.

In other action, Frenchman Adrian Mannarino maintained his strong form, moving past defending champion David Goffin 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals.

The World No. 58 arrived at the ATP 250 event on the back of his best-ever run at the Australian Open where he reached the fourth round, earning Top 20 victories against Hubert Hurkacz and Aslan Karatsev.

Mannarino played with consistency from the baseline throughout against the eighth seed as he dictated the rallies with his flat groundstrokes to advance after 90 minutes. With his win, the 33-year-old has improved his ATP Head2Head record against the Belgian to 2-5. Mannarino will next play top seed Alexander Zverev or World No. 56 Mackenzie McDonald.

Qualifier Damir Dzumhur advanced to his first tour-level quarter-final since last July (Umag), upsetting fourth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in one hour and 38 minutes. The World No. 152 meets fifth seed Filip Krajinovic in the last eight.

Source link

Bopanna/Ramanathan Stay Perfect In Pune

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2022

Indian pair Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan continued their perfect start to the season on home soil Thursday, edging Alexander Erler and Jiri Vesely 7-6(3), 7-6(4) to reach the semi-finals at the Tata Open Maharashtra.

The second seeds hammered 17 aces and saved all three break points they faced, advancing after 87 minutes to improve to 7-0 on the season as a team.

Bopanna and Ramanathan triumphed together at the Adelaide International 1 in January and are now two wins away from capturing their second tour-level title this year.

They will next face Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul after the Frenchmen battled back to defeat Italians Federico Gaio and Lorenzo Musetti 3-6, 6-3, 10-2 in 77 minutes. Doumbia and Reboul are aiming to win their first tour-level title as a team in Pune, having lifted nine ATP Challenger Tour trophies together.

Top seeds Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith survived a scare to move through, overcoming Indians Mukund Sasikumar and Saketh Myneni 3-6, 7-5, 10-3. The Australians will play N.Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan in the semi-finals. The Indians received a walkover from Gianluca Mager and Emil Ruusuvuori.

Erlich/Roger-Vasselin March On In Montpellier

Third seeds Jonathan Erlich and Edouard Roger-Vasselin booked their spot in the semi-finals at the Open Sud de France with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over French duo Fabrice Martin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Erlich and Roger-Vasselin are teaming for the first time this week and are yet to drop a set in Montpellier. They saved both break points they faced to advance in 65 minutes.

Jonny O’Mara and Hunter Reese also advanced in Montpellier, clawing past Roman Jebavy and Alex Molcan 6-1, 4-6, 10-5. The British-American duo converted five of their six break points in their 74-minute win. They will meet Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara in the last four.

Source link

Ymer Stuns Karatsev In Pune

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2022

Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer earned his first Top 20 win Thursday at the Tata Open Maharashtra, shocking top seed Aslan Karatsev 6-2, 7-6(3) to reach the quarter-finals in Pune.

In a dominant performance, a pumped-up Ymer was strong on serve as he fired 10 aces and won 80 per cent (24/30) of his first-serve points to capture the biggest victory of his career after one hour and 36 minutes.

“It is my highest win ever,” Ymer said in his on-court interview. “I am really happy. It is big for me. I have been fighting a lot and I was serving amazing today. I hope to keep it going. I am so happy to finally get this win.”


It is the first time the World No. 163 has advanced to the last eight at a tour-level event since 2016, when he reached the quarter-finals in Gstaad. With his triumph, it is just the second time Ymer has defeated a Top 50 opponent, with his only other success coming against then-World No. 41 Nick Kyrgios in Barcelona in 2015.

Ymer, who is making his debut in Pune, held his nerve in the second-set tie-break against the World No. 15, sealing his win with an ace. The 25-year-old will next face eighth seed Stefano Travaglia after the Italian overcame Indian Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes.

In other action at the ATP 250 event, fourth seed Jiri Vesely moved past Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-3, 6-4 as he looks to retain his title in Pune.

The World No. 80 lifted the trophy at the Tata Open Maharashtra in 2020 and set the wheels in motion for another deep run, breaking the 25-year-old four times to advance after 90 minutes.

Vesely will next play sixth seed Emil Ruusuvuori in the quarter-finals after the Finn downed Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva 6-3, 6-3 in their first ATP Head2Head meeting. Ruusuvuori has enjoyed a strong start to the season, having advanced to the last four at the Melbourne Summer Set last month.

Source link

Medvedev Withdraws From Rotterdam

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2022

Daniil Medvedev has withdrawn from the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament following his run to the Australian Open final, the tournament announced Thursday.

“Unfortunately I will not play in Rotterdam this year,” Medvedev said. “I just got back from Australia and am not ready to compete. Rotterdam is one of the favourite stops on the Tour and Richard does a great job for the players there. I look forward to coming back in the future.”

The World No. 2 lost to Rafael Nadal in a five-set thriller in his fourth Grand Slam championship match last week in Melbourne. The Russian has competed in Rotterdam four times, with his best result a run to the semi-finals in 2019.

Source link