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Lights, Camera, Action For Tsitsipas, Medvedev & Co. In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2022

Lights, Camera, Action For Tsitsipas, Medvedev & Co. In Indian Wells

ATP, WTA players join forces for annual super shoot

Before they get down to the serious business of competing for the BNP Paribas Open title, ATP Tour stars including Stefanos Tsitsipas and World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev are early this week suiting up for the annual ATP photo shoot on the grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Held in recent years at the Australian Open, the shoot was postponed last year due to Covid-19. So players are sporting extra wide smiles with their new kits this week as they join their WTA colleagues in preening for photographic, video and social media content. About 150 players will participate across four days.

An early arrival in Indian Wells, Tsitsipas was among the first players in front of the cameras Monday, along with Hubert Hurkacz, Jannik Sinner, Taylor Fritz and Alex de Minaur. WTA stars on deck Monday included Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Ajla Tomljanovic.

<a href=''>Taylor Fritz</a>

Medvedev will head ATP players on duty Tuesday, joining the likes of Andrey Rublev, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Carlos Alcaraz, Gael Monfils and Nick Kyrgios.

Main-draw play at the BNP Paribas Open begins Thursday. Due to the pandemic, this is the first time since 2019 that the tournament has been held in its traditional March dates. Medvedev leads 19 of the World’s Top 20 players in action.

Garbine Muguruza

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Kokkinakis: 'You're Only One Week From Turning Your Career Around'

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2022

Kokkinakis: ‘You’re Only One Week From Turning Your Career Around’

Aussie, battling back to his best, competing in Indian Wells qualifying

Thanasi Kokkinakis’ struggles with injury and illness have been well-covered. The Australian has admitted there have been plenty of doubts about whether he would ever reach his potential.

But with the biggest breakthrough of his career in January — winning his first ATP Tour singles title in Adelaide and triumphing in the Australian Open doubles with Nick Kyrgios — Kokkinakis has changed the narrative.

“I proved that the mind is probably the most important thing. Obviously you’ve got to have some skill and a work ethic to balance it out, but if you’re strong with your mind and you keep pushing, you never know,” Kokkinakis told “The fortunate thing with tennis is you’re only a week away from turning your career around, so that’s the biggest thing.”

<a href=''>Thanasi Kokkinakis</a>
Thanasi Kokkinakis celebrates his first ATP Tour singles title in Adelaide. Photo Credit: Tennis Australia.
Kokkinakis first cracked the Top 100 in the ATP Rankings in May of 2015, just after his 19th birthday. But since then, the Australian has had his fair share of ups and downs, suffering injuries to his shoulder, abdominal and pectoral just to name a few. He also missed all of 2020 due to mono.

Last year, Kokkinakis mostly spent his days on the ATP Challenger Tour. He began this season at World No. 171.

“It seemed far even in December,” Kokkinakis said of a big breakthrough. “I knew I was capable of winning a couple of matches. I knew what I could play like [at my] top level, but to back it up and have that consistency, that’s been the most impressive part.”

Now Kokkinakis is back in the Top 100 for the first time in six years and he will look to continue his surge at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. The fan favourite believes there is a lesson others can take from his journey.

“I think it’s just not going to happen overnight. There are a lot of steps that need to be done and keeping the faith, keeping the hope a little bit [is important],” Kokkinakis said. “It can seem very, very far away, but a lot of the time if you put some good days together, some good weeks and some good months together and keep going slowly, that’s the way forward.

“Hopefully they saw the story of what the past few years have been like for me and if that gives them some positivity, that’s perfect for me.”

<a href=''>Thanasi Kokkinakis</a> and <a href=''>Nick Kyrgios</a>
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios lift the Australian Open doubles trophy. Photo Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.
The 25-year-old has had little time to celebrate. Kokkinakis departed Australia on 1 March. He was able to enjoy himself by taking in a basketball game between the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets, later catching up with Nets player Patty Mills, who is also Australian. But after tournaments in Delray Beach and Acapulco, he is back to business.

“There’s not really much time to reset as a tennis player. For something that big to happen to me in January, a lot of other sports that’s like winning the championship, you have a lot of time off and celebrate for a while, refresh and go again,” Kokkinakis said. “In tennis you don’t really have much time for that and if you do, you risk getting left behind. That’s the tricky thing. I’ve just got to find a way and get myself going again.”

Kokkinakis admitted that there “definitely feels like a weight off my shoulders” following his big effort Down Under. But with that, there is extra pressure, which is something he eventually wanted. The World No. 94 understands every week will likely not be as successful as his runs in Adelaide and Melbourne, but that will not stop him from trying.

“I think you want to make the most of the opportunity I’ve given myself. You want to see how far you can push it,” Kokkinakis said. “It was a little tough trying to get myself going again after the January I had. I felt like I was playing for a whole month every day, every other day. [It is about] trying to get myself mentally into a spot where i’m like, ‘Hang on, there’s a lot more work to do’ and try to get the most out of myself.”

One of the most difficult things for Kokkinakis was actually leaving Australia. He returned home last November, but said during the preseason it is tough to spend quality time with friends and family because of training. Although it was tough for him to head back on the road, he hopes to make the most of his momentum.

“It’s been a pretty crazy start to the year,” Kokkinakis said. “It’s not something I expected, but it’s definitely something I worked really hard for.”

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Tennis Plays For Peace: Governing Bodies Unite To Support Ukraine

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2022

Tennis Plays For Peace: Governing Bodies Unite To Support Ukraine

ATP, WTA, ITF and the four Grand Slams will make a joint charitable donation of $700,000

The ATP, WTA, ITF, and the four Grand Slams — the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open — have announced today a new initiative to support the humanitarian relief efforts for the war in Ukraine.

Following unified condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a statement issued by the seven organisations on 1 March, further efforts to support those affected by this crisis will take place as part of the newly created Tennis Plays For Peace campaign over the coming weeks.

Today each of the seven entities has donated $100,000 USD to the humanitarian relief efforts, with donations supporting Global Giving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund, which will provide immediate help on the ground across the region, as well as the Ukraine Tennis Federation.

The seven bodies will also signal support via their social and digital platforms by prominently featuring the Ukraine ribbon icon, with everyone in the tennis ecosystem encouraged to use the hashtag #TennisPlaysforPeace. In addition, physical ribbons will be distributed for ATP & WTA players to wear at the upcoming BNP Paribas Open tournament in Indian Wells.

Ukrainian tennis players Elina Svitolina and Sergiy Stakhovsky, who has himself returned to Ukraine to join the reserve army, have produced a powerful and emotive short video with a message of hope for their country.

Tournaments and tennis federations across the world, along with the entire playing spectrum — from juniors, seniors and wheelchair athletes — will be sent a digital toolkit to further drive awareness and support the relief efforts.

All seven organisations thank players, tournaments, staff and fans for their incredible efforts already, and further plans for Tennis Plays for Peace will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Click here to make a donation to Global Giving in support of the humanitarian relief efforts.

Watch Tennis Plays For Peace on YouTube

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ATP Completes Review Of Zverev Acapulco Incident

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2022

ATP Completes Review Of Zverev Acapulco Incident

World No.3 receives eight-week suspension and additional fine of US$25,000, deferred across probation period 

The ATP’s Senior Vice President of Rules & Competition, Miro Bratoev, has completed his review of Alexander Zverev’s conduct in Acapulco, Mexico, where the player was withdrawn from the tournament for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. The review determined that Zverev committed Aggravated Behaviour under the Player Major Offense section of ATP Rules.

As a result, Zverev has been issued an additional fine of US$25,000 and a suspension for a period of eight weeks from any ATP-sanctioned event. However, the fine and suspension are withheld on the condition that, over a probation period ending 22 February 2023 (one year from the incident), the player does not incur a further Code Violation that results in a fine for:

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct based upon an act, such as disrespectful or aggressive behaviour directed towards an official, opponent, spectator, or other person during or upon conclusion of a match
  • Verbal or Physical Abuse of an official, opponent, spectator, or any other person while on-court or on-site

If the conditions are met, the penalties will be formally dismissed following the completion of the probation period. If the conditions are not met, the penalties will be invoked after any appeal process is exhausted.

Zverev already received a total of US$40,000 in on-site fines for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct in Acapulco. He also forfeited full prize money of $31,570 (singles and doubles), as well as all ATP Rankings points from the event.

Per ATP Rules, Player Major Offense determinations are made solely by ATP’s Senior Vice President of Rules & Competition, and independently of ATP Management and Board. Zverev has until Friday 11 March to appeal against the outcome of the investigation.

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Draper's Domination: Get To Know The 20-Year-Old Setting The Challenger Tour Ablaze

  • Posted: Mar 08, 2022

Draper’s Domination: Get To Know The 20-Year-Old Setting The Challenger Tour Ablaze

Jack Draper leads the ATP Challenger Tour with three titles in 2022

The setting: Centre Court at Wimbledon. The opponent: Novak Djokovic.

It’s an incredible opportunity for any player. For Great Britain’s own Jack Draper, making his Grand Slam debut on home soil in front of friends and family, it couldn’t have been more surreal.

With the world watching, a 19-year-old Draper was thrust into the spotlight as he opened the 2021 Championships. It would have been understandable for the teenager to succumb to nerves, but this Brit is built differently. Just as he did two weeks prior, when he stunned Jannik Sinner and Alexander Bublik on the lawns of The Queen’s Club, an ATP 500 event, Draper embraced the moment.

The Sutton native used the pressure as fuel, sprinting out of the gates and snatching the opening set from the World No. 1 on the hallowed grounds of the All England Club. As he says, these moments are precisely why he decided to pursue a professional career.

“For some people, I guess it’s money. For some people, it’s maybe proving to themselves that they can do it. For me, I just love winning. To be honest, I love to put in the work and then gain the rewards from it. I enjoy how tough it is and I live for the big moments,” said Draper.

“Sometimes when you least expect it, you do great things. Sometimes where you’ve done all the right things, it can totally go against you. It’s just trying to keep that line of consistency so that you’re not on these massive ups and downs. The opportunity to perform and shine and do great things in tennis are there every week. Just trust the process, even when it gets really hard and you get down and you’re maybe not on a good run. My goal is to fulfill my potential of where I can go and just enjoy the process.”


Eight months later, that process has seen him take his talents to new heights on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2022. Draper would claim his maiden title on the indoor hard courts of Forli, Italy, and added two more crowns in February. At 20 years and two months, he became the youngest British player to lift three Challenger trophies. Moreover, an impressive 17-2 record has triggered a significant boost in the ATP Rankings, rising to a career-high No. 146. He is also third in the ATP Race To Milan, with an (early) eye on the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals.

Having missed most of the second half of his 2021 campaign due to a ruptured ligament in his ankle, his early-season success in 2022 is even more special.

Draper attributes his approach to his mother, Nicky, who introduced him to the game at the age of three, and the team at the National Tennis Centre in London, who helped cultivate these values. Nicky was a former top junior in Great Britain and provided a young Jack with valuable exposure, while working as a tennis coach in their hometown. He recalls going with her to the local club from an early age and playing against the wall. And that soon evolved to hitting with his brother, Ben, a future scholar-athlete at the University of California-Berkeley.

As he says, “I just picked up a racquet and we’d hit with each other. It wasn’t serious, but we enjoyed the sport and were developing skills without knowing it. I definitely developed a love for the game that way.”

Youngest Brits To Win Three Challenger Titles

Player Age Third Title Won
Jack Draper
20 years, 2 months
Forli 2022
Kyle Edmund 20 years, 10 months Buenos Aires 2015
Alex Bogdanovic 21 years, 6 months Shrewsbury 2006
Cameron Norrie 22 years, 1 month Stockton 2017

As Draper’s love for tennis began to blossom, he did not commit to the sport until he was 16, when he reached the boys’ final at Wimbledon. A multi-sport athlete, which also included football, cricket and swimming, the Brit was unsure of how good he could be as a tennis professional and was reluctant to relinquish his life outside the court during his teenage years.

He says his family was instrumental in guiding him through the process, as he eventually turned pro in 2018. And from there, Draper credits his emotional and physical development to the team at the NTC, including coaches James Trotman and Ryan Jones and fellow British stars Cameron Norrie, Andy Murray and Daniel Evans.

“I definitely believe that in terms of my level of tennis, that I can beat pretty much anyone,” Draper added. “I’m lucky to practise at the National Tennis Centre with Murray, Norrie and Evans when they’re there. I know that when I go to Challengers, there’s going to be some great players I’m facing, so I’m lucky to have good practices like that at the NTC to prepare me. They are all very supportive of us younger players. It helps that there’s a good buzz in British tennis at the moment. Whenever there’s a chance hit with those guys, we always take advantage of it because they want to push us and they want to help us get to that level.


“Cam does all the right things. He’s very professional. There is never a bad training session with him. Even when it’s not going right, he’s not letting his head drop. He’s making sure that his training is good. He’s not getting disheartened. So I think it’s a good example that maybe if things aren’t going your way, just work at it and you’re going to do fine.

“And then the same with Andy as well in terms of the injuries he’s had, to keep on wanting to find a way, find a solution to be better and to keep himself out there. I think it’s quite important because obviously every athlete deals with injuries, especially in tennis. And it’s how you react to certain situations. Those are lessons I learned from those guys.”

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Challenger First-Time Winner: 10 Questions For Jack Draper

Whether it be recovering from a ruptured ankle ligament or rallying from 0/5 down in the deciding tie-break of a Challenger final, Draper credits those experiences at the NTC with his maturation both on and off the court. It was in his most recent Challenger title match in Forli that he recovered from such a deficit, saving four championship points to battle past Alexander Ritschard and lift the trophy.

“I had some good wins against Sinner and Bublik on the grass last year and obviously playing Djokovic at Wimbledon. Since then, I’ve gone in the right direction, aside from the injury. You never expect to win three Challengers so quickly in the year, but it’s about putting all the pieces together – both mentally and physically with my body. It gets to the point where you go from the Futures to the Challengers and you see how good these guys are and every little percent makes a massive difference.

“I try to make them play their best game and make them beat me. That’s a big thing. Falling down 0/5 in the tie-break, I know he’s going for his first Challenger title and I know if I mentally reset, I will be able to go again for each point. If they are to beat me, they need to repeat this over and over. If they do it, then too good. But I think if I’m engaged on every point and I have an awareness of what’s going on down the other end of the court as well, it’s a big thing and that’s where I’ve improved a lot.”


Draper, a fan of Manchester United on the football pitch and Conor McGregor in the UFC octagon, is prioritising a well-rounded life off the court. An integral piece of that equation includes continuing his education via online studies. He recently got involved in ‘Open University’ in the U.K., where he is in the second of a six-year course, studying a different subject each term.

With his dream job being a detective, it’s no surprise that he explored the subject of criminology in his first year. Now, Draper says he is studying an introduction to business and finance. He attributes his interest in criminology to watching detective mystery TV shows with his brother as a child.

“If I’m just at home, I have a local, greasy English cafe I like to go to. Living such an abnormal life, I try to make it as normal as possible. I like being at home with my dog and just chilling out with friends. I have an Australian miniature labradoodle. It’s amazing to come home and see him. It’s important to not get too involved with making it all about the tennis.

“I quickly realised after a couple of years that tennis is something that is amazing, but it occupies a lot of my life. I think it’s important to keep the brain occupied and keep learning, of course, because one day my tennis career will come to an end and it would be nice to have learned quite a bit along the way as well. Taking classes is a tough challenge but I’d be pretty proud of myself if I come away with getting something out of it.”

Get To Know Jack
Tennis idol: When I was younger, I was lucky to see Murray in his prime. I always looked forward to seeing Andy play. I always thought he was invincible.

Memorable off-court experience: Last year, I went to the Euro (football) semi-finals with my brother at Wembley Stadium. Watching England make the final, there’s many middle-aged men that have never seen that and they’ve been waiting their whole lives. It brought the country together. It’s something that will stick with me for a while.

Biggest phobia: Swimming in the sea, just for the fear of sharks. Maybe watching ‘Jaws’ when I was younger did that to me. I just don’t like the sea because I don’t know what’s in it.

Favourite food from home: Chicken pie. And from a restaurant it would probably be something like Indian food.

Favourite music: Pretty much everything. I like a lot of the stuff that comes out of the U.K. The rap and grime music. But also any of that British pop era stuff, like Oasis and the Stone Roses. Those older bands from the 90s. Their music is pretty timeless.

Two things you can’t travel without: It would have to be a speaker. Sometimes you’re in your hotel room and just want to crank it up a bit and listen to some music. I’d also say a pair of jeans. There are so many athletes that wear a tracksuit all the time. When you’re away from the court, it’s important to have a little bit more about you than that. Casual clothes that you can go out with and just show that you’re not all about the tennis.

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