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#NextGenATP Stricker, Shang One Win From US Open Main Draw

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

#NextGenATP Stricker, Shang One Win From US Open Main Draw

Hsu defeats Paire

#NextGenATP lefties Dominic Stricker and Shang Juncheng secured US Open qualifying wins Thursday to move one step closer towards making their maiden main-draw appearance at the season’s final major.

The Swiss Stricker survived fellow #NextGenATP star Pablo Llamas Ruiz 6-7(2), 6-4, 7-6(13-11) in a dramatic two hours, 41 minutes. Stricker and the Spaniard were locked at 9/9 in the Match Tie-break when rain stopped play for nearly three hours.

When players returned to court, the 22nd seed Stricker put the finishing touches on the victory, converting his third match point, to set a meeting with Argentine Thiago Agustin Tirante, who ousted American Brandon Holt 7-6(4), 6-3.

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Shang, 18, downed home hope Patrick Kypson 6-4, 7-6(2) after winning 81 per cent of his first-serve points to set a meeting with 28th seed Finn Otto Virtanen. 

The 21-year-old Stricker is 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Race to Jeddah, while Shang is 17th. This year’s Next Gen ATP Finals, which hosts the season’s best 21-and-under players, will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Stricker is aiming for a second consecutive appearance at the event. The Chinese star Shang is seeking his maiden qualification.

In other action Thursday at Flushing Meadows, Chinese Taipei’s Yu Hsiou Hsu escaped 20th seed Benoit Paire 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Third seed Federico Coria cruised past American Martin Damm 6-3, 6-2. Fourth seed Taro Daniel defeated South Korean Seongchan Hong 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

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Peniston, Ambassador For Young Lives Vs. Cancer: 'I Want To Inspire Kids'

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

Peniston, Ambassador For Young Lives Vs. Cancer: ‘I Want To Inspire Kids’

The 27-year-old won his first Challenger title last week

When Ryan Peniston was one, he faced an immense challenge for which no family wishes.

The Briton was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer found in children, forcing him to have surgery to remove a tumour before undergoing an extensive period of chemotherapy in London. Now the 27-year-old Peniston, who has been cancer-free since his toddler years, wants to impact families who are walking that same difficult path.

Since last summer, Peniston has been an ambassador for the charity organisation Young Lives vs. Cancer.

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“They help kids and their families that are going through cancer and all the troubles that it brings, the costs, the hardships,” Peniston said. “They do some great work and I’m just happy to be a part of it and to try and spread awareness and help in any way.

“It’s hugely important to me, mainly because of my history, I had cancer myself as a young child. So I definitely relate to what the families are going through and what the kids are going through. I want to try and inspire the kids if I can and just help show them that it’s possible to get better and still live out your dreams.”

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Peniston Opens Up On Cancer Battle: ‘It Gives Me A Lot Of Strength’

On a much smaller scale than battling cancer, Peniston recently enjoyed a significant milestone on court. The Essex native captured his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title last week at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger presented by MBuilds, where he defeated #NextGenATP Swiss Leandro Riedi in the championship match.

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Despite falling short in his previous three Challenger finals, Peniston stayed focussed in a deciding set against Riedi to lift the trophy.

“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s something I’ve worked towards for a while now,” Peniston said. “And to come away with the title feels great.

“It came into my head that I’ve made three finals before and I obviously didn’t want to lose another final. And then you think about, ‘What if I never win one?’ But I managed to keep thinking positive, keep talking positive to myself, and I managed to get over the line in the end.”

At World No. 208 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, the former University of Memphis standout will next look to maintain his form at the Cassis Challenger, which runs from 4-10 September.

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Fils, Shelton Lead #NextGenATP Stars At US Open

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

Fils, Shelton Lead #NextGenATP Stars At US Open

Quartet chasing wins to boost Next Gen ATP Finals chances

Arthur Fils and Ben Shelton lead a quartet of #NextGenATP contenders at this year’s US Open, where the young stars will aim to earn standout wins to boost their chances of qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals as Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, prepares to host the event for the first time.

The 19-year-old Frenchman Fils, currently fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Jeddah (908 points), is making his debut in New York and begins against 24th seed Tallon Griekspoor, who has won two tour-level titles this season.

Shelton, 20, made his debut at the hard-court major last year, falling to Nuno Borges in the first round. The American will hope to go deeper this fortnight, starting against Argentine Pedro Cachin. Shelton is fifth in the Live Race To Jeddah (735 points), having advanced to the second round in Toronto and Cincinnati earlier this month.

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Jeddah To Host Next Gen ATP Finals From 2023

Shelton’s Countryman Alex Michelsen enjoyed a breakthrough run on home soil in Newport in July when he advanced to his first tour-level final. The 18-year-old, who is seventh in the Live Race To Jeddah (447 points), plays Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. Michelsen is making his Slam debut and reached the third round in Winston-Salem this week.

The American could face fellow #NextGenATP star Luca Van Assche in the second round. The Frenchman, 19, meets 23rd seed Nicolas Jarry. Van Assche is sixth in the Live Race To Jeddah (587 points), with his best result this season a run to the quarter-finals in Hamburg.

The Next Gen ATP Finals will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from 28 November-2 December.

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US Open Draw: Alcaraz Could Meet Sinner In QFs, Djokovic Learns Path

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

US Open Draw: Alcaraz Could Meet Sinner In QFs, Djokovic Learns Path

Hard-court majors run from 28 August-10 September

Reigning US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin his title defence against Dominik Koepfer and could meet sixth seed Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals in what would be a rematch of their epic 2022 New York clash, following the release of the draw Thursday.

The top seed Alcaraz, who is chasing his third major title at the hard-court Slam, arrives in New York off the back of a final run at Cincinnati. The 20-year-old is seeded to face 16th seed Cameron Norrie in the fourth round and is in the same half as third seed Daniil Medvedev, who would be a semi-final opponent.

The 27-year-old Medvedev lifted his maiden major title at the US Open in 2021. He opens against Attila Balazs and could meet Toronto finalist Alex de Minaur in the fourth round. Long-time friend Andrey Rublev is a potential quarter-final opponent.

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In the bottom half, record 23-time major champion Novak Djokovic faces Frenchman Alexandre Muller in the first round. The 36-year-old Serbian, who is a three-time champion in New York, is in the same quarter as seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who could meet American Taylor Fritz in the fourth round. Tsitsipas opens against former World No. 3 Milos Raonic.

Djokovic is seeded to meet Laslo Djere in the third round and 2021 semi-finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.

Last year’s finalist Casper Ruud is also in the bottom half and is seeded to face fourth seed Holger Rune in the quarter-finals. If Djokovic advances to the last four, he is seeded to face the winner.

Norway’s Ruud is currently 10th (2,580 points) in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and will want a deep run in New York to boost his Nitto ATP Finals chances. Rune, who is aiming to make his debut at the prestigious year-end event, is seventh (3,045 points).

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The 2020 finalist Alexander Zverev, currently eighth in the ATP Live Race To Turin (2,670 points), is in the top quarter of the draw. He opens against Aleksandar Vukic and could meet Sinner in the fourth round.

American Fritz plays countryman Steve Johnson, while last year’s semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe takes on American wild card Learner Tien. The 2012 champion Andy Murray faces Corentin Moutet and could face 19th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.

#NextGenATP stars Arthur Fils, Ben Shelton and Luca Van Assche will be hoping to boost their chances of qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Fils begins against 24th seed Tallon Griekspoor, while American Shelton faces Pedro Cachin. Van Assche plays 23rd seed Nicolas Jarry.

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Rafael Nadal, The Numbers Behind His Dominance

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

Rafael Nadal, The Numbers Behind His Dominance

Review of Spaniard’s best seasons

To celebrate Rafal Nadal becoming a global brand ambassador for Infosys, ATP’s digital innovation partner, looks at the evolution of Rafa’s game and the Spaniard’s key stats during his record-breaking career.

Rafael Nadal exploded onto the global tennis scene in 2005, winning 11 ATP Tour tournaments, including five ATP Masters 1000 events and his maiden Roland Garros title. He started the year ranked No. 51 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and finished No. 2.

A star was born.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Nadal’s illustrious career identifies how champions evolve by continually adding to their game – and also changing the game along the way.

Let’s start at the beginning.

2005 Season (79-10)
The 18-year-old Spaniard got hot in April and May, going on a 17-match win streak to capture titles in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros. He would finish with 11 titles, representing the most prolific year of his career.

What powered this sudden rise to stardom? An insatiable appetite to devour return points. He won a staggering 45 per cent of all return points in 2005, which was the best of his career. His specific area of expertise was facing second serves, where he won 57 per cent of return points. That was a personal record he equaled in five other seasons.

Nadal made a seismic splash onto the tennis scene in 2005, but it was only beginning. He kept adding to his game season after season.

2010 Season (71-10)
Nadal has described this season as the best of his career, and the trophy haul is something to behold. Nadal owned the clay court season with titles in Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros. He then backed up that dominant performance with victories at Wimbledon and the US Open.

It was Nadal’s serve that stood tall in this spectacular season. He saved 71 per cent of break points, which was the best in any season of his career. He also served fewer double faults (59) in any season (excluding 2023). Until 2010, he was a nightmare from the returning side of the equation. He evolved his game to a whole new level to dominate when serving as well.

Nadal also converted more break points (49 per cent – tie with 2020) and set a personal single-season record for the most 1st serve return points won (38 per cent).

2013 Season (75-7)
After only three titles in 2011 and four in 2012, Nadal roared to prominence with ten titles in 2013, including ATP Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, Canada, and Cincinnati. He added Roland Garros and the US Open to his dazzling 2013 resume.

Nadal won 91.5 percent of his matches, the highest win percentage of any season where he won 50+ matches.

2017 Season (68-12)
After three seasons from 2014-16 that only produced one Grand Slam title, Nadal bounced back with a vengeance in 2017 to capture Roland Garros and the US Open, along with ATP Masters 1000 titles in Monte-Carlo and Madrid.

Nadal tied his best season for total points won (56 per cent) and service points won (70 per cent).

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2019 Season (58-7)
Two Grand Slam titles (Roland Garros/US Open) and two ATP Masters 1000 titles (Rome/Canada) delivered the No. 1 ranking back to the Spaniard at the end of the 2019 season. He held onto it for 12 weeks, moving into the start of 2020.

The 2019 season delivered several personal best statistical markers for Nadal, evidence of a champion taking his game to a new level. This time, the focus came back to his serve. He won more first serve points (76 per cent) and second serve points (60 per cent – tie with 2010) than any other season of his stellar career. He also put up personal best numbers for service games won (90 per cent – tied with 2010) and service points won (70 per cent – tied with 2010 & 2017).

2022 Season (39-8)
Nadal got off to a flyer, winning 21 straight matches, including the Australian Open, and would add a 14th Roland Garros title later in the season. Unfortunately, multiple injuries (foot, rib, abdomen) cut his season short when he appeared to be playing as good, or better, than at any time since 2005.

Nadal has cleverly evolved his game over the years, partly in response to developing the necessary tools to defeat the player on the other side of the net and from pushing himself to break through existing boundaries to redefine what’s possible in our sport.

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Eubanks & WTA Stars Visit Hamilton, Meet Lin-Manuel Miranda

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

Eubanks & WTA Stars Visit Hamilton, Meet Lin-Manuel Miranda

Eubanks enjoys famous Broadway show for the third time

The Christopher Eubanks show will soon begin at the US Open. But off the court, the American star paid a visit to a different kind of show.

Eubanks joined WTA players Beatriz Haddad Maia and Alycia Parks for a behind-the-scenes tour of Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in Manhattan. The players were showed around the stage, the music pit and even met several members of the cast.

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One of the actors they met was Euan Morton, who plays King George in the musical. One of the most special moments of the visit came when the creator of the show, tennis fan Lin-Manuel Miranda, spoke to the players.

Eubanks, who had previously seen Hamilton twice, watched the first act in the music pit. It was a memorable experience before the season’s final major begins.

“Just seen Hamilton for the third time live. Just as good as it was the first time,” Eubanks said. “The cast was unbelievable. I got to watch the first act from the music pit, which was a pretty unique experience in itself. But again, the play is incredible.

“The entire cast was so welcoming and warm. I thank them, thank Lin-Manuel Miranda for the invite and I’ll probably look forward to coming back again.”

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ATP & Sense Arena Partner To Launch Virtual Reality Tennis Training Platform

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

ATP & Sense Arena Partner To Launch Virtual Reality Tennis Training Platform

Sense Arena Named Official VR Tennis Training Tool of the ATP Tour

The ATP and Sense Arena, the world leader in virtual reality (VR) tennis training, have announced a new multiyear partnership that will see Sense Arena become the Official VR Tennis Training Tool of the ATP Tour.

Together, the partners will launch ATP Tour Sense Arena. The cobranded platform, operated via a Meta Quest 2 Headset paired with a haptic racquet, will offer groundbreaking VR training applications to tennis players of all levels worldwide. Additionally, the ATP’s Top 100 singles players and Top 25 doubles players will receive complimentary access to train with Sense Arena’s best-in-class VR technology.

The revamped ATP Tour Sense Arena platform will feature a new integration called Master Your Return, which will be powered by real match data and analytics from pro players on the ATP Tour and Hologic WTA Tours. This revolutionary feature will enable users to analyse and return true-to-life serves in VR from the top ATP and WTA players in the world. Additionally, Master Your Return will integrate match data from recreational players, allowing users to face accurate serves from virtual opponents of their equal skill level. The new feature will complement Sense Arena’s existing serve integrations from ATP pro Jack Sock, who had his serve replicated in Sense Arena earlier this year.

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ATP Chief Business Officer Daniele Sano, ATP player Casper Ruud, WTA player Daria Saville and Sense Arena Founder and CEO Bob Tetiva. Photo: ATP Tour.
The ATP will in parallel collaborate with Sense Arena on the continued development of its training platform by designating advisors from its Medical Services, Technology and Business teams. The organisations will also work together to produce content to educate the wider tennis community about the benefits of mental training.

“Whether it’s on the ATP Tour or at any level of the game, the difference between winning and losing often comes down to mental fortitude and preparation,” said ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli. “Sense Arena is on the cutting edge of tennis training and we’re proud to lend our resources and expertise to advance a VR platform that will not only help our players, but tennis players of all ages and abilities across the globe.”

“Our goal is to change the game of tennis by elevating athlete performance through mental, tactical and visualisation-based training,” said Sense Arena Founder and CEO, Bob Tetiva. “Over the last few years, we have built Sense Arena for Tennis by working with the most respected names in the industry and this new opportunity to collaborate with the ATP will help us take our tennis training platform to the next level.”

ATP Tour Sense Arena is backed by International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova and is being used by some of today’s top players including Jack Sock, Jennifer Brady, Brenda and Linda Fruhvirtova, Miomir Kecmanovic, Emil Ruusuvuori, Liudmila Samsonova, Hunter Reese, Daria Saville, Luisa Stefani and more.

To get started with ATP Tour Sense Arena, download the app on the Meta app store and subscribe by visiting

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