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2023 Tel Aviv Watergen Open Cancelled

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

2023 Tel Aviv Watergen Open Cancelled

Decision taken with player, staff and fan safety in mind

The ATP regrets to confirm the cancellation of the 2023 Tel Aviv Watergen Open (scheduled 5-11 November) due to security concerns following the outbreak of war in the region.

“The violence and acts of terror witnessed in Israel are beyond comprehension. We strongly condemn any form of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives across this conflict. We hope and pray for peace in the region,” said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman.

The decision to cancel the ATP 250-level tournament was taken in close consultation with security experts, with the safety of players, staff and fans as a priority.

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Coric Builds Perfect Player With Strokes That 'Cannot Miss'

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Coric Builds Perfect Player With Strokes That ‘Cannot Miss’

Croatian selects mix of past and present stars

Borna Coric dreamed up a well-rounded creation when he sat down with ATP Uncovered to build his perfect player.

He began with two ground strokes that “cannot miss” — Juan Martin del Potro’s forehand and Novak Djokovic’s backhand — citing the dependable power of Del Potro and the unmatched control of Djokovic. “The last time he missed it was probably 10 years ago,” he said of the Serbian’s backhand.

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Coric selected a mix of past and present stars, including legends of the sport when looking at net play and the serve.

Of one International Tennis Hall of Famer, Coric said: “I was always looking up to him… He was my idol.”

Which star was Coric talking about? Find out who in the video below.

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Remembering Dick Leach, USC's Legendary Coach

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Remembering Dick Leach, USC’s Legendary Coach

American earned a program record 540 wins

Former ATP Tour player and University of Southern California coach Dick Leach passed away Tuesday, 10 October at the age of 83. Leach led USC to four NCAA men’s championships as the head coach of his alma mater, where he also achieved All-American honours as a player.

Leach earned a program record 540 wins in his 23-year USC coaching career from 1980-2002. He won four NCAA championships, including three in four years (1991, 1993 and 1994) and ended his USC coaching career with a national title in 2002. During his tenure, the Trojans collected three NCAA doubles titles and two NCAA singles crowns.

A three-time ITA Coach of the Year, Leach was inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003. His USC teams won seven conference championships, with Leach earning five Pac-12 Coach of the Year honours.

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A post shared by Prakash Amritraj (@prakashamritraj)

A memorable moment came when Leach’s two sons, Rick and Jon, contributed to USC’s success under their father’s tutelage. A four-time All-American, Rick won two NCAA doubles titles (1986 and 1987) and Jon, who was a two-time All-American, was a fixture on his father’s first three national championship teams.

Before his coaching career started, the California native Leach earned a 12-11 record on the ATP Tour. Leach was a three-year letterwinner at USC (1959-61) under former head coach George Toley.

Leach resided in Laguna Beach, Calif., with his family after his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, his sons, Rick and Jon, and his daughters, Tammy and Mindy.

Player Tributes:
Prakash Amritraj: “Coach, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for giving me a place to learn the start of my journey to becoming a man. Thank you for leaving only after making me a champion. Thank you for all the laughs in your pre-practice speeches. Thank you for all you have given to me and all the other men you have given your blood, sweat and tears to throughout your life. You will always have an absolutely special place in my heart for the rest of my days here. Rest beautifully with God, Coach Leach.”

Jorge Lozano: “Coach Leach was always very concerned about us as individuals, he worried about our well being and also about our competitiveness as tennis players. I will always be grateful to him for the opportunity he gave me at USC. He was always successful as a tennis coach and loved by many. Rest in Peace, Coach.”

Matt Anger: “I owe Coach Leach and his family so much. He helped me not only transition into college, but onto the Tour, and again after playing into coaching.”

Dick Leach led USC to four NCAA championships.
Dick Leach with David Ekerot. Credit: USC

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Federer A Gym Rat In Retirement? Sort Of…

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Federer A Gym Rat In Retirement? Sort Of…

The Swiss icon checks tennis scores almost daily

After an illustrious 24-year career on the ATP Tour, how is Roger Federer adapting to life in his first 12 months away from the court? The 20-time major champion is relishing time with family and maintaining a busy schedule while also staying in shape and keeping tabs on the sport.

“I have tried to go to the gym four times a week, which I can’t believe I’m actually doing,” Federer said. “At home, I put some machines in that I got literally the week after the Laver Cup in London. So it was like after my career, I finally had a gym. A little bit weird to have it once I was retired, so now I have to use it. So I do that well. I don’t play so much tennis anymore so I have to be a little bit more careful what I eat and stuff. I’d still like to play some exhibitions down the road. So I want to stay in shape.

“I just do everything. Cardio, some weight training. Then more core exercises, a lot of that, which is also good for the back. You have to be careful. I think when you move less, the body hurts more. So I think moving a bit is always good. It makes me feel better for sure.”

Federer retired at last year’s Laver Cup, where in his final match he partnered longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. Despite not competing anymore, the Swiss remains close to the Tour.

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“I follow results almost daily. I like to see what’s going on out there,” Federer said in his extended interview with Ursin Caderas of ATP Media. “Mostly highlights, I maybe go on YouTube and check four or five minute highlights to get a bit of a feel for the match a bit more. It’s hard for me to sit through matches, just because I don’t have the time to be honest. With the children and all the stuff that’s going on in my life, it’s hard to say like, ‘Okay, on that day, I will watch that match.’

“Like the Wimbledon final, I literally only saw a couple games that day because we’re running around with the kids and doing stuff. Then at one point I quickly checked in just to say like ‘Okay, I saw the Wimbledon final a little bit.’ Of course I was curious, I was checking the scores from time to time, but for me to sit down is hard. I was happy that the match was as great as it was and I love when great stories come out of the game.”

A 103-time tour-level titlist, Federer was honoured Friday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where he was presented with an Icon Athlete Award in a ceremony that also featured home WTA legend Li Na and the No. 1 Chinese player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Zhang Zhizhen.

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Federer Honoured At On-Court Ceremony In Shanghai

Federer, who twice claimed the title in Shanghai (2014, 2017), has fond memories of playing at the Chinese ATP Masters 1000 event, including the fans’ unwavering support often displayed through gifts.

“In the past, I usually had one suitcase full of stuff I would usually take back because sometimes we [received] these paintings and all these things that take loads of space,” Federer said.

“They can wait for you anywhere. At the club, at the hotel, in the basement of the hotel. They’re everywhere and they don’t mind waiting. I will never forget when I was here the first few times, I would not come out of the hotel until 4 p.m. and Mirka would go out and grab coffee and she would tell them, ‘Roger is not going to be here until 4 p.m., so you don’t have to wait in front of the hotel.’ They’re like, ‘No, no, no, he’s only here once a year so we’re happy to wait!’
They would wait and wait so I think the following here is pretty cult like and it’s very intense.”

The Shanghai fans even sent Federer off with songs as he left Asia following a disappointing early exit in 2015.

“I will never forget when I lost first [match], everybody was super sad from my team, my fans, the tournament,” Federer said. ‘Everybody was like, ‘What a pity you came here all this way lose first round.’ I went straight to the airport and there must have been like 100 people at the airport all waiting for me and singing a song like, ‘We hope to see you next year, we hope to see you again!’ and like tears in their eyes. So I think there’s been a really special connection with the Chinese fans over here.”

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Federer Honoured At On-Court Ceremony In Shanghai

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Federer Honoured At On-Court Ceremony In Shanghai

Swiss legend lifted trophy twice at ATP Masters 1000 event

Even in retirement, Roger Federer’s popularity in China shows no sign of waning.

The former World No. 1 and 103-time tour-level titlist was honoured Friday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where Chinese fans had the chance to pay tribute to the Swiss great for the first time since his retirement in September 2022.

Federer was presented with an Icon Athlete Award in a ceremony that also featured home WTA legend Li Na and the No. 1 Chinese player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Zhang Zhizhen.

“It’s been great to see tennis grow in China. One icon is standing here and a future superstar in the making there,” said Federer of Li and Zhang, the latter of whom this year became the first home player to reach the fourth round at Shanghai’s Masters 1000 event.

Zhang Zhizhen/<a href=Roger Federer/Li Na” />

Zhang Zhizhen, Roger Federer and Li Na on Friday in Shanghai. Photo Credit: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

As well as taking selfies with excited fans from the middle of the court, Federer also took to the microphone to discuss his delight at returning to an event where he racked up a 23-6 record and won the title in 2014 and 2017.

Federer beat his great rival Rafael Nadal in the championship match to claim the second of his Shanghai crowns, the third time the pair had clashed in the Chinese city. Federer also overcame the Spaniard at the 2006 and 2007 editions of the Nitto ATP Finals, then held in Shanghai and known as the Tennis Masters Cup. Federer went on to win the season-ending event in both years.

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“I played Rafa on so many occasions, not in every tournament I played but almost in all the big matches around the world and I’m happy we could do it here, not just once but three times,” reflected Federer when asked about his 6-4, 6-3 final win in 2017. “It’s even more special if it’s in a final. I thought I played extremely well in that match… I played a fantastic tournament and a fantastic year when I came back [after] my knee problem.

“For me it was a dream year and I believe it was the last time I won the Rolex Shanghai Masters, so of course it’s forever special. It was a terrific week, and I loved the battles I had with Rafa. I’m happy I won the final here that year.”

Federer’s popularity in China was demonstrated early in his career when he was given the honour of opening the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, home to the Shanghai event, in 2005. He famously also surprised a group of Shanghai commuters in 2017, when he hopped onto a Metro train to travel to the Masters 1000 event.

“Ever since I showed up here as a teenager in 2002, maybe I even had a ponytail, I looked different, I played different, but I got so many fans, I feel like, from the first moment I came,” said Federer. “I feel like I got the most incredible support here in Shanghai and in China. I’ve been very fortunate to play here for so many years.”


Federer rides the Shanghai Metro in 2017. Photo Credit: Mike Frey/Shanghai Rolex Masters

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Rublev Rolls Into Shanghai SFs

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Rublev Rolls Into Shanghai SFs

25-year-old chasing second Masters 1000 crown

Andrey Rublev moved to within two wins of capturing his second ATP Masters 1000 title on Friday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

The World No. 7, who is the highest-ranked player remaining in the draw, defeated Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals in China and further boost his Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances.

Rublev played on the front foot throughout the one-hour, 31-minute clash, striking his flat groundstrokes with power to push Humbert deep. He also recovered from a squandering a break advantage in the second set, winning the final four games to improve to 3-2 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Humbert and avenging his defeat to the Frenchman in Beijing earlier this month.

“The match in Beijing, both of us played great tennis and I had chances. I was serving for the match. He was playing really well that match and I tried to analyse what I did wrong that match,” said Rublev, who struck 14 winners. “I tried to not make the same mistakes today and I did really well. I am happy to win in straight sets. I played a great match and I am happy to win today.”

Rublev now holds a 17-6 record at ATP Masters 1000 events in 2023, highlighted by his title run in Monte-Carlo. Into his sixth semi-final at this level, the 25-year-old will next meet Grigor Dimitrov as he continues the pursuit of his third title of the year.

“It is going to be a tough match,” Rublev said looking ahead to his semi-final against Dimitrov. “He is a friend and I like him and he is a really great player. It is really tough to beat him when he is in this form. This week he is playing really well.”

Rublev’s deep run in Shanghai has also boosted his chances of competing at the Nitto ATP Finals for the fourth consecutive year. He is currently fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, 1,160 points clear of ninth-placed Taylor Fritz. The Top 8 players in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin qualify for the prestigious year-end event, to be held from 12-19 November.

Humbert was competing in his second Masters 1000 quarter-final, having reached that stage in Paris in 2020. The 25-year-old Frenchman, who upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round for his ninth Top 10 win, is up five spots to No. 29 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

Did You Know?
If Rublev wins the title, he will rise to a career-high No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday, 16 October 2023.

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Dimitrov Blunts Jarry Power For Shanghai SF Berth

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Dimitrov Blunts Jarry Power For Shanghai SF Berth

Bulgarian will play Rublev or Humbert in last four

Grigor Dimitrov backed up his upset of Carlos Alcaraz in style on Friday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where the Bulgarian downed Nicolas Jarry 7-6(2), 6-4 to reach the semi-finals for the first time at the Chinese ATP Masters 1000 event.

The 18th-seeded Dimitrov delivered a rock-solid display in the face of a big-serving barrage from Jarry to advance to the last four in Shanghai for the first time in seven attempts. He made just three unforced errors in his one-hour, 39-minute victory, frequently showcasing his high-quality movement around the court and delighting the crowd inside Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena with some breathtaking hand skills.

“I think there were many components going the right way today,” said Dimitrov, who himself dropped just four points behind first serve in the match. “For me, he is one of the best servers right now. I’ve played him a couple of times, and I feel like every time it gets tougher and tougher to return against him. In the most important moments, I was able to be just solid, nothing else.

“I don’t think I did anything crazy in those moments, I just kept on believing in my game, kept going after my shots. You don’t get many opportunities against him, especially in the beginning it’s very difficult because he doesn’t give you any rhythm… I was trying to apply pressure with the hope that he might make a few mistakes, and he did.”

Dimitrov had notched his biggest win of the season by beating World No. 2 Alcaraz in the fourth round in Shanghai, but he entered Friday’s match with Jarry having lost both of the pair’s previous Lexus ATP Head2Head clashes. He appeared the more settled throughout, however, as he dominated the first-set tie-break before claiming a decisive break in the seventh game of the second set. It was just the second time the Chilean had dropped serve all tournament.

Now into his fifth ATP Tour semi-final of the season, Dimitrov is 35-18 as he looks to add another Masters 1000 title to his 2017 Cincinnati triumph. He acknowledged that Wednesday’s win against top seed Alcaraz, his first against a Top 5 opponent since 2021, had given him a boost heading into the Jarry encounter.

“[Beating Alcaraz] helps confidence-wise, but also it was just another match, if you think about it,” said Dimitrov. “I didn’t have much time to overthink it, I just had a little bit of a chat with the team and tried to see what I did pretty good, what worked, what didn’t, and what I could do better in the next round.

“We didn’t have much time to think about that but of course I take all the positives out of it because you need to feed off this every single round. I think so far things are good and I need to keep on going.”

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Dimitrov has now reached the semi-finals at seven of the nine Masters 1000 events. He will try to reach his second championship match at that level on Saturday, when he faces fifth seed Andrey Rublev or 32nd seed Ugo Humbert.

The Bulgarian is also up three spots to No. 16 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings as a result of his run in China so far. Dimitrov could rise as high as No. 11 in Monday’s update of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings by lifting the Shanghai trophy, which would be his highest position since October 2018.

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Granollers/Zeballos Surge Into Shanghai Final

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Granollers/Zeballos Surge Into Shanghai Final

Pair is chasing fifth ATP Masters 1000 crown together

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos’ red-hot run at the Rolex Shanghai Masters continued Friday. The Spanish-Argentine pair eased past Rinky Hijikata and Cameron Norrie 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final at the ATP Masters 1000.

The seventh-seeded Granollers and Zeballos converted four of seven break points they earned in a 63-minute triumph inside Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena. They have now won all eight sets they have played this year in Shanghai, where they are seeking their fifth Masters 1000 title as a team and their first since Cincinnati in 2021.

Granollers and Zeballos’ Shanghai run has already boosted their hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals for the fourth straight year. They have risen two spots to fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings as a result of their exploits so far in China.

Standing in their way in Sunday’s championship match will be the winner of Saturday’s semi-final clash between fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna/Matthew Ebden and Sadio Doumbia/Fabien Reboul.

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