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RF In Your Area? Federer Meets K-Pop Stars Blackpink At Paris Fashion Week

  • Posted: Jan 30, 2023

RF In Your Area? Federer Meets K-Pop Stars Blackpink At Paris Fashion Week

Recently retired Swiss also took to the ski slopes for first time in 15 years

He may have stepped on court as an ATP Tour competitor for the final time, but Roger Federer is finding plenty to keep himself busy in retirement.

Last week, the Swiss great attended Paris Fashion Week, where he rubbed shoulders with some fellow global icons, K-Pop stars Blackpink.

Blackpink, a four-piece musical group from South Korea, has rocketed to international fame since releasing their debut album in 2016. It is unclear how familiar Federer is with their work, however, as the Swiss great admitted it was his children who had prompted him to post about the encounter on Instagram. “My kids said this was a definite IG post,” he wrote.

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Some of his younger colleagues from the tennis world were quick to respond. “Hahaha yessss” commented World No. 27 Denis Shapovalov on Federer’s post, while WTA star Coco Gauff enquired whether the 103 tour-level titlist now considered himself a ‘Blink’, the nickname commonly used for fans of the K-Pop giants.

Another post from Federer last week demonstrated a further benefit of his more relaxed schedule away from the ATP Tour. The 41-year-old shared a video of himself skiing with the comment: “It’s been 15 years, it feels so good to be back on the slopes.”

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The former World No. 1 subsequently received praise from an illustrious source for his technique, despite all the years away. “YES Rog!!!! Like riding a bike,” wrote former Olympic Downhill gold medallist Lindsey Vonn.

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‘Grateful’ Djokovic Poses With Trophy For Australian Open Champion Photoshoot

  • Posted: Jan 30, 2023

‘Grateful’ Djokovic Poses With Trophy For Australian Open Champion Photoshoot

Serbian returned to World No. 1 with record-equalling 22nd major title

After the ecstasy and emotion of Novak Djokovic’s record-extending 10th Australian Open triumph on Sunday, celebrations of the Serbian’s historic achievements rolled over to Monday morning in Melbourne.

Djokovic lifted his 22nd Grand Slam crown to tie Rafael Nadal’s record of major titles with a straight-sets victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Rod Laver Arena. Just hours after fulfilling his media duties deep into the night, Djokovic headed to the gardens of Government House, the official residence of the Governor of Victoria, for the 2023 champion’s photoshoot with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

“The morning after always feels great,” Djokovic said on Instagram. “Holding this wonderful trophy once again, for the 10th time, I’m very grateful for all the support that I’ve been getting over the past few weeks, here in Melbourne but also around the world.”


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Although Djokovic is now a 10-time champion at the Australian Open, he said it was just the second occasion that some members of his family had been with him for a Melbourne triumph.

“I’m really glad to be able to share some nice moments, the morning-after victory, with my parents, with my brother, [who] were here the first time I won a Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2008,” he said. “So it’s been a wonderful journey, 15 years, and just to have them there makes this win even more special.

“I hope to be performing at my best again in Australia, as I have fortunately over the course of my career, next year as well, and let’s celebrate tennis even more.”

Djokovic on Monday began a record-extending 374th week as No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The 35-year-old returned to top spot for the first time since last June as a result of his Melbourne run, ending Carlos Alcaraz’s 20-week reign.

Novak Djokovic

Photo Credit: Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

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Books, Psychologist, & Challenger Tour Play Role In Mmoh’s Top 100 Return

  • Posted: Jan 30, 2023

Books, Psychologist, & Challenger Tour Play Role In Mmoh’s Top 100 Return

The American is at a career-high 83

Michael Mmoh was one game away from qualifying for the 2022 US Open. Although he’d already played at Flushing Meadows three times, this was still another opportunity to compete in the main draw at his home Slam. But things suddenly went south after Mmoh was up 6-2, 5-2 on Gilles Simon. The American won just one more game and suffered a heartbreaking 6-2, 5-7, 1-6 loss.

Despite the defeat, Mmoh turned it into a lesson learned. After his loss to the Frenchman, Mmoh won 13 of his next 14 ATP Challenger Tour-level matches and was crowned champion at the Cary and Fairfield Challengers. The 25-year-old claims he sought after books and a psychologist to help him gain a new perspective.

“I think I put pressure on myself to do well during that US Open hard-court swing,” Mmoh told “I thought I was playing well at certain moments but I just wasn’t winning matches. Against Simon, I was up 6-2, 5-2, probably played the best two sets of the whole year to that point. Then things went completely sideways. That was probably one of the toughest losses of my career.

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“It forced me to explore everything and anything that could make me better. I started to look at myself in the mirror and find out ways I can improve. I was reading books, talking to psychologists, just trying to learn more about myself. I started switching that perspective to be more positive and optimistic, even when things weren’t going well. I tried to re-channel my energy in the right way.

“There’s a psychologist that used to be the head of mental conditioning at IMG Academy, he recently got hired by the Tampa Bay Rays. I just reached out to him. Whenever you want to have a conversation or text him about something, you just drop in and it’s much more organic than just meeting with him weekly. A lot of it comes down to how you respond in the moment, but you want to bounce ideas, bounce different perspectives. You learn more about the situation, what went wrong, what could’ve been better.”

Mmoh’s new mindset proved to be effective. The American reached another Challenger Tour final, in Drummondville, Canada, to close out the 2022 season. But things didn’t stop there.

After earning a Lucky Loser spot at the Australian Open, Mmoh defeated 12th seed Alexander Zverev en route to a third-round appearance. In the opening round, Mmoh had to dig out of a huge hole to stay alive.

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“I was down two-sets-to-love, [Laurent Lokoli] was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set. Maybe before I started exploring some of these other things, maybe I would’ve lost that match. But I tried to focus my energy on things that would actually help me win the match, like some of the books I read, and some of the people I talked to really helped me with that.

“The more time you dwell on why you’re in a certain situation or what went wrong for you to be down a set and a break, the match is over. If you shift your focus to ‘Ok, I’m down a set and a break, what am I going to do?’ You have a much higher chance of getting yourself out of that hole.”

On Monday, Mmoh entered the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since October 2018. After dealing with a shoulder injury that forced his career to be ‘stop-start’, reaching a career-high 83 was a welcomed sight.

American Michael Mmoh claims the Cary Challenger.
Michael Mmoh in action at the 2022 Cary Challenger. Credit: Sameer Cheema

“A year ago, I dropped to like 270 and things weren’t looking good,” Mmoh said. “I was questioning a lot of things. To be at a career-high now, a lot has changed. I’m happy that I’m finally healthy for a continued period of time.”

Paying attention to the minute details has paid off the American, who was born in Saudi Arabia. While many fans only see the on-court presentation that players provide, their work behind-the-scenes is unmatched. Mmoh, who is a seven-time Challenger champion, turned a crushing US Open defeat into motivation to find solutions.

“All of [the off-court training] has a great impact on how you perform on match day,” Mmoh said. “All the exercises you do, all the conditioning you do makes a difference. Nothing guarantees success but you have to put yourself in the best position and do everything possible that will help you.”

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Djokovic Returns To No. 1, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Jan 30, 2023

Djokovic Returns To No. 1, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 30 January 2023

The 2023 Australian Open saw a host of thrilling storylines play out, from Novak Djokovic capturing a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title to #NextGenATP American Ben Shelton reaching the quarter-finals on tournament debut in Melbourne.

Now the dust has settled, looks at the movers of the week in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings following the first Grand Slam of the season.

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No. 1 Novak Djokovic, +4 (Joint Career High)

The Serbian has returned to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since last June after he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to win a record-extending 10th Australian Open crown. The 35-year-old’s rise from World No. 5 to World No. 1 is the biggest jump to the top of the men’s tennis mountain in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (since 1973).

If Djokovic remains World No. 1 through the week of 20 February, he will tie Stefanie Graf’s record for most weeks as World No. 1 in history (men and women) at 377. If the Serbian maintains top spot through the week of 27 February, he will break Graf’s mark. Read Australian Open Final Report & Watch Highlights.

No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, +1 (Joint Career High)
The 24-year-old has risen one spot to No. 3 after advancing to his second Grand Slam final at the Australian Open. The Greek overcame seeds Jannik Sinner and Karen Khachanov en route to the championship match. However, he was unable to move past Djokovic, with the Serbian improving to 11-2 in their ATP Head2Head series.

No. 13 Karen Khachanov, +7
The 26-year-old produced some of his best tennis in Melbourne to reach his second major semi-final, having advanced to that stage at the US Open in September. Khachanov dispatched seeds Frances Tiafoe, Yoshihito Nishioka and Sebastian Korda before being stopped by Tsitsipas. The four-time tour-level titlist reached a career-high No. 8 in 2019.

No. 19 Tommy Paul, +16 (Career High)
The Americans delivered at the Australian Open, with Tommy Paul, Korda and Shelton all reaching the quarter-finals. It marked the first time since 2000 that three American men had advanced to the last eight in Melbourne — and the first time at any Slam since the 2005 US Open.

Tommy Paul went the furthest, reaching his first major semi-final. The 25-year-old defeated countrymen Jenson Brooksby and Shelton along with seeds Roberto Bautista Agut and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina en route to the last four.

No. 39 Jiri Lehecka, +32 (Career High)
The 21-year-old Czech has leaped 32 spots after soaring to the quarter-finals. The 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up, who arrived in Melbourne holding a 0-4 record at majors, upset seeds Borna Coric, Cameron Norrie and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

No. 44 Ben Shelton, +45 (Career High)
One year ago, the 20-year-old was outside the Top 500 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and had never been outside of the United States. Now the American is up to a career-high No. 44 after reaching the quarter-finals in Melbourne. With his lefty serve and fierce forehand, Shelton earned two five-set wins, marking his first trip abroad in style.

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Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 5 Andrey Rublev, +1 (Joint Career High)
No. 8 Taylor Fritz, +1 (Joint Career High)
No. 9 Holger Rune, +1 (Career High)
No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz, +1
No. 15 Frances Tiafoe, +2 (Career High)
No. 26 Sebastian Korda, +5 (Career High)
No. 41 David Goffin, + 9
No. 48 J.J. Wolf, + 19 (Career High)
No. 83 Michael Mmoh, +24 (Career High)
No. 86 Ugo Humbert, +20
No. 90 Alexei Popyrin, +23
No. 93 Denis Kudla, +15

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Three Top-100 Players Claim Challenger Titles

  • Posted: Jan 30, 2023

Three Top-100 Players Claim Challenger Titles

Barrere downs Fils in all-French final

David Goffin, Gregoire Barrere, and Federico Coria were all crowned champions during this week’s strong competition on the ATP Challenger Tour. From the indoor hard courts of Western Europe to the clay courts of Chile, all three Challenger winners on Sunday were players from the Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

In Belgium, home favourite Goffin dropped just one set all week to capture the BW Open. The former World No. 50 made the best possible use of a wild card after suffering an illness in Melbourne that forced him to miss the season’s first Slam. In the championship match, the top seed converted six of 13 break points to down World No. 69 Mikael Ymer 6-4, 6-1.

“Winning in Belgium is so nice for me,” Goffin said. “I know that I’ve won big tournaments but winning at home is so special… This final had a great level, similar to an ATP 250.”

ATP Challenger Tour 

Goffin and Ymer’s clash marked the first Challenger final with two Top-70 players since Phoenix 2019, when the-then No. 43 Matteo Berrettini defeated No. 57 Mikhail Kukushkin.

Goffin’s last Challenger title before rising to a career-high No. 7 in 2017 came three years prior in Mons (2014). The 32-year-old has won the past eight Challenger finals in which he’s competed in.

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In Quimper, France, second seed Barrere captured his sixth Challenger title by taking down countryman Arthur Fils 6-1, 6-4 in the final.

Barrere, 28, has earned all of his Challenger titles on home soil. The Charenton-Le-Pont native has enjoyed great success in Quimper, where he has made four Challenger finals and collected a pair of titles.

<a href=''>Gregoire Barrere</a> is crowned champion in Quimper.
Gregoire Barrere is crowned champion at the Challenger 125 event in Quimper. Credit: Nicolas Averty

After rallying from a set down in his opening match, Barrere didn’t give up a set the rest of the week to claim the Open Quimper Bretagne Occidentale. The title lifts the Frenchman to a career-high 76 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

The 18-year-old Fils was riding a nine-match winning streak heading into Sunday’s final. The #NextGenATP star, who is the youngest Frenchman in the Top 200, captured his maiden Challenger crown two weeks ago in Oeiras, Portugal.

At the Challenger Dove Men+Care Concepcion in Chile, top seed Federico Coria captured his fifth Challenger title. In the final, the Argentine defeated Kazakhstan’s Timofey Skatov 6-4, 6-3.

“I’m very happy,” Coria said. “Concepcion will always remain in my memory because it is one of the five titles I’ve won. It is a very important tournament and I’m grateful to the city and to ‘el Pulga’ [Horacio de La Peña] for organising such a great tournament.”

<a href=''>Federico Coria</a> in action at the 2023 Concepcion Challenger.
Federico Coria in action at the 2023 Concepcion Challenger. Credit: Challenger Dove Men+Care Concepcion

Following a record-setting 23 Challenger titles in 2022, players from Argentina are off to fast start to surpass their own milestone, claiming four titles in as many weeks. Coria joins Andrea Collarini and Juan Manuel Cerundolo as Argentine Challenger champions this year. Cerundolo, 21, won two titles in Tigre to open the season.

This past season, Coria reached a career-high 52 after a semi-final appearance at the ATP 250 event in Marrakech (l. Goffin). The 30-year-old was a five-time Challenger semi-finalist in 2022 and won the Milan Challenger without dropping a set.

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