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Shanghai 2015 Scene Set ATP World Tour Uncovered

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2015

ATP World Tour Uncovered goes behind the scenes at the 2015 Shanghai Rolex Masters, featuring interviews Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray.

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Emirates ATP Race To London Heating Up

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2015

ATP World Tour Uncovered looks at the Emirates ATP Race To London with two singles spots left up for grabs at next month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

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Ten Questions For Taylor Fritz

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2015

For many of the game’s rising stars, the Challenger circuit serves as a springboard to success on the ATP World Tour. It’s safe to say Taylor Fritz’s springs have been well oiled in recent weeks. Armed with an unflappable serve and stoic demeanor, Fritz is keeping his cards close to his chest as he continues his dramatic ascent up the Emirates ATP Rankings.

The 17 year old from Rancho Santa Fe, California, is in the midst of one of the most impressive starts to a pro career after capping his junior career with a US Open title last month. He has not lost a match since, saving a combined 47 of 51 break points in capturing back-to-back crowns on the ATP Challenger Tour in Sacramento and Fairfield. His formidable form has put him in elite company, becoming the ninth player to win multiple titles while under the age of 18, joining the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych. He is only the second player to do so in consecutive weeks, with the late Horst Skoff.

The youngest American titlist on the Challenger circuit since Donald Young in Aptos 2007, Fritz has enjoyed a staggering rise from World No. 694 to No. 232 in just two weeks. He is also one of 12 teens to win a match on the ATP World Tour this year, having ousted Pablo Carreno Busta on the grass of Nottingham in June.

Watch: Meet Taylor Fritz

With his sights set on a third consecutive Challenger title this week in Las Vegas, Fritz talked to, reflecting on his dominant run of form and revealing his ambitions for the coming months.

You had mentioned that the US Open was the perfect ending to your junior career and winning in Sacramento was the perfect beginning to your pro career. How did you adjust going from facing players your age to those at the professional level?
I just worked really hard [at the USTA training facility] in Carson for a couple weeks after the Open. The biggest thing was keeping my focus up the whole time at the Challengers and playing the big points with lots of urgency.

It proved to me that I’m fitter than I used to be. Even in juniors, I’ve never played two tournaments without getting tired or fatigued. I just went back to back at the Challenger level, which is more draining on the body when you’re playing this type of players. It proved to me that my physical level is getting a lot better and the confidence I have from winning all these matches is helping me a lot knowing that I should be here. It’s reassuring because I had a tough decision to make between turning pro and going to college.

Have you had time to digest what you’ve accomplished in recent weeks? You’re in elite company.
It’s been a really good two weeks and it’s a really big accomplishment, but I need to stay humble. I’m only No. 240 now [in the Emirates ATP Rankings] and I need to keep my head down and keep working hard. Hopefully I can keep it going.

You said you originally had a two-month training block planned after Fairfield, but have decided to cut that down and enter more Challenger tournaments. Why did you make that decision?
It’s probably best because while I had those two great results, I have no points to defend until this time next year. I still want to get my ranking up, so when it comes around next year I’m not so dependent on these points.

You saved 47 of 51 break points faced these two weeks and while you want to avoid putting yourself in those situations, how much confidence does your strong serve give you?
I don’t feel much pressure when I’m down break points. Obviously you don’t want to get into those situations, but I feel like I’m always saving something that I haven’t done that I can do on a break point. I try and play it how I would play any other point and make the person beat me. If they can play a big point and beat me then it’s just too good.

Will you pull out something different with your serve on a break point and try to mix up the pace and location?
I might. I definitely don’t want them to predict what I’m going to do on break points. I’ll change it up based on what I think they are thinking. There are a lot of mind games that go into my shot selection on break points.

You are part of a special group of rising Americans and you all seem to be close friends. While you are tight off the court, how do you push each other to be even better?
We all push each other because when one of us does well, the rest of us think that we could do that too. And we want to do that. It’s all friendly competition. We all want to do better than each other. I know the other guys want to come back and do the same thing when one of us does well. That’s going to help us all become better players in the end.

Tell us more about who Taylor is off the court. What are your interests outside of tennis?
I like to spend a lot of time with friends and play video games, especially FIFA. I like to go to the beach too. I’m from San Diego so going to the beach and hanging out with friends there is a lot of fun when I’m home.

With your parents both having played professional tennis, how much of an influence have they been and what is the most important lesson you’ve picked up?
All these things on the court my dad has drilled into my head since I was a little kid. Usually when I miss a ball I know what I’m doing wrong because I’ve heard it a million times. They’ve helped me so much with scheduling and decision making along the way because they’ve been there. They have also taught me to have fun with it because there are no expectations and pressure.

Who have you looked up to the most over the years and modeled your work ethic after?
If we’re talking tennis, it’s Pete Sampras. He’s my favourite player of all time for sure. The way he played and everything he did on and off the court, there was a lot to like. For work ethic, I’d say Cristiano Ronaldo.

What are your immediate goals for the rest of 2015 and moving forward next year?
After I lost in US Open qualifying I said that next year I want to be there off of my ranking and now we’re only a month past that. I want to be Top 150. I think that’s doable and I’ll go from there. I just got here so I don’t really know what tough goals are that are doable.

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Agassi Foundation Leads Las Vegas Challenger Revival

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2015

The year was 1997 and Andre Agassi was battling back from a wrist injury that sidelined him for much of the season. His position in the Emirates ATP Rankings dipped from the top spot to World No. 141 and the American would embark on a late-season ATP Challenger Tour campaign, seeking to rediscover his elite form and return to prominence. A local resident of Las Vegas, Agassi entered his home Challenger as the fifth seed and he would reach the final, eventually falling to Germany’s Christian Vinck.

The tournament would later disband after the 2000 season and 15 years later is a welcome addition to the Challenger calendar. Tennis in Las Vegas is close to Agassi’s heart and with the Andre Agassi Foundation’s support, the tournament’s revival has become a reality.

“The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education was thrilled to be asked to be the partnering charity for the 2015 Las Vegas Tennis Open,” said foundation CEO Steve Miller.  “Although the Agassi Foundation is primarily involved in educational activities, it also has a long history with local tennis events. We were pleased to learn the event was coming back to our community and Andre’s hometown.”

Top seed Austin Krajicek, a recent quarter-finalist at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Tokyo, leads a strong field in Las Vegas that also includes rising American teens Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Michael Mmoh and Jared Donaldson. Nine different players in the draw have won ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2015, including Krajicek, Fritz and Donaldson.

View Draw

The tournament, held on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, is following a familiar recipe for success, with a multitude of off-court activities and entertainment on display to further engage the fans. A player party on the iconic Las Vegas strip, a kids day with over 100 children from the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, as well as circus and acrobatic shows are among the highlights.

The Andre Agassi Foundation seeks to transform public education and works to provide children in Las Vegas with a first‐class education to prepare them for excellence in college and beyond. Through state and national advocacy, the Foundation strives to increase investment in, and accountability for, public schools. To support the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education or to obtain additional information, please visit

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Bryan/Johnson Outdueled By Murray/Peers

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2015

No. 2 seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers defeated Americans Mike Bryan and Steve Johnson 7-6(8), 6-3 in Vienna on Monday. The British-Australian duo secured the win in 71 minutes after saving a set point in the first set tie-break and squandering a match point on their opponents’ serve at 5-2 in the second set.

It was a milestone match for Bryan, who was playing with fellow Californian Steve Johnson for the first time. In fact, Bryan had not taken to the doubles court at a tour-level event (excluding Davis Cup) with anyone other than his twin brother Bob Bryan since winning the Long Island title with Mahesh Bhupathi in August 2002. Bob is home with wife Michelle, as the couple is expecting the birth of their third child.

Seeds Advance In Moscow, Tight Battles In Stockholm

At the Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow, No. 4 seeds Rameez Junaid/Igor Zelenay moved into the second round with a 6-4, 6-2 win over the all-Russian pairing of Evgeny Donskoy/Konstantin.

At the If Stockholm Open, Chris Guccione/Andre Sa teamed up for a tight 6-1, 6-7(3), 10-5 decision over Swedes Isak Arvidsson/Fred Simonsson. Also moving on to the second round were Mate Pavic/Michael Venus, 1-6, 6-4, 10-5 winners over Argentines Federico Delbonis/Leonardo Mayer.

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Gabashvili Advances In Moscow

Gabashvili Advances In Moscow

  • Posted: Oct 20, 2015

© Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow

Teymuraz Gabashvili moves into the second round in Moscow.

Russian sets up Troicki battle

Teymuraz Gabashvili needed just 63 minutes to get past wild card Cem Ilkel in the first round of the Kremlin Cup By Bank Of Moscow on Monday. The Russian won seven games in a row from 2-2 in the first set and secured the win on his second match point. Gabashvili will face No. 3 seed Viktor Troicki in the second round, and will attempt to overcome a 0-3 FedEx Head2Head record against the Serb.

Russian Andrey Kuznetsov will join his compatriot in the second round. The 24 year old saved two of three break points faced to defeat Moldova’s Radu Albot 6-4, 6-2 in 79 minutes.

Daniel Gimeno-Traver ousted No. 7 seed Joao Sousa 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-5 after two hours and 14 minutes to move into the second round. The Spaniard saved a break point at 5-5 in the deciding set, then broke the Portuguese’s serve minutes later to secure the win.

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Zverev Survives Ymer In Stockholm

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2015

Alexander Zverev, aged 18, had never faced a player younger than himself on the ATP World Tour coming into this week. But on Monday at the If Stockholm Open, the German was given all he could handle by 17-year-old Mikael Ymer before winning 7-6(9), 6-7(5), 6-4. The Swedish wild card, ranked No. 617, kept pace with the World No. 83 for two and a half hours before succumbing.

“Ymer played unbelievably from the beginning, and I wasn’t expecting that,” said Zverev, who capitalised on the lone break point of the deciding set to earn the win “He just needs to keep working hard and he’ll be someone to look out for in the future. I don’t think he was nervous at all today. In the second set, I was in control but he fought back well. It was an interesting match in the end.”

In the second round, Zverev will take on top seed Tomas Berdych.

Elsewhere, ATP Comeback Player Of The Year candidate John Millman maintained his form by taking out Benjamin Becker 7-6(2), 6-3. Millman, ranked 76th in the Emirates ATP Rankings, saved four of five break points in the 95-minute win.

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Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers: Nole And The All-Important Second Serve

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2015

After a tough US Open semi-final win over Richard Krajicek in 2000, Pete Sampras famously observed: “You’re only as good as your second serve.”

So true. Today, there’s perhaps no better example of that than Novak Djokovic, who has no peer when points begin with a second serve. As you’ll see in the chart below, the streaking Serb is ranked No. 1 in second-serve points won at 60 per cent (1,469 of 2,571) in 2015. But this is no one-off. Djokovic has consistently ranked among the ATP World Tour leaders in second-serve points won throughout his career. In fact, since his historic run of 2011, the first time he won three majors and five ATP World Tour Masters 1000s in one season, he has never ranked outside the Top 5 in that category.

2015 60% 77 1
2014 56% 69 3
2013 60% 76 1
2012 56% 87 T5
2011 56% 75 T3
2010 52% 79 T21
2009 54% 97


2008 57% 81 3
2007 54% 87 T6
2006 53% 58 T11

What’s truly remarkable is that Djokovic is just as potent on the second serve when it comes to his return game. In 2015 he tops the charts on second-serve return points won at 58 per cent (1,317 of 2,289), and he’s been a Top-10 mainstay in that category in this year-end Infosys ATP Scores & Stats category dating back to 2007. Djokovic’s return game dominance was on display during his run to the Shanghai Rolex Masters title. Not once in his five rounds at the Qizhong Tennis Center did the World No. 1 register a losing percentage on his own second serve, and not once did an opponent enjoy a winning percentage on their second serve.

2015 57% 77 1
2014 58% 69 1
2013 55% 76 T2
2012 56% 87 T1
2011 58% 75 1
2010 54% 79 T4
2009 54% 97 T4
2008 53% 81 T9
2007 53% 87 T9
2006 51% 58 T26

As far as career numbers are concerned, Djokovic ranks right up there with the best, too. He has won 55 per cent of his second-serve points in 788 career matches (fifth overall), and his second serve return points won are on par with one of the greatest returners the sport has ever seen: Andre Agassi. In 1,108 matches, the Hall of Famer won 16,704 of 29,909 second serve return points (56%). Djokovic, by comparison, has won 13,857 of 25,276 (55%).


Djokovic left China with two more titles, winning the China Open in Beijing for the sixth time and the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the third time. He won all 10 matches in straight sets. Here’s a look at several InfoSys ATP statistical categories in which Djokovic ranks among the Top 10 in 2015, compared to averages in each tournament:

1st Serve %
Beijing 73%
Shanghai 68%
2015 75%
1st Serve Points Won
Beijing  76%
Shanghai  74%
2015  75%
2nd Serve Points Won
Beijing  55%
 Shanghai  68%
 2015  60%
Service Games Won
Beijing  95% (37 of 39)
 Shanghai  91% (39 of 43)
 2015  90% (5th best on Tour)
Break Points Saved
 Beijing  83% (10 of 12)
 Shanghai  56% (5 of 9)
 2015  70% (3rd)
 Points Won Returning 1st Serve
 Beijing 47%
 Shanghai 35%
 2015 33% (3rd)
Points Won Returning 2nd Serve
 Beijing 66%
 Shanghai 70%
 2015 57% (1st)
 Return Games Won  
 Beijing  59% (23 of 39)
 Shanghai  50% (21 of 42)
 2015  34% (2nd)
 Break Points Converted  
 Beijing  70% (23 of 33)
 Shanghai  39% (21 of 57)
 2015  44% (6th)


Over the past four years Djokovic has compiled an outstanding 66-2 match record after the US Open, capturing 12 titles in 14 tournaments played:

   W-L  Titles
 2015  10-0  2
 2014  17-1  3
 2013  24-0  4
 2012  15-1  3
TOTAL 66-2 12

Note: In 2011, when Djokovic finished No. 1 for the first time, he had a 6-4 post-US Open record.

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