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Shanghai 2015 Hot Shot Countdown

Shanghai 2015 Hot Shot Countdown

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2015

Watch the best hot shots from a riveting week in Shanghai. Watch live tennis at

Re-watch the best Hot Shots from Shanghai

The 2015 Shanghai Rolex Masters produced some of the best Hot Shots in recent memory. Watch Rafael Nadal’s vintage passing shot and don’t miss Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s play of the year candidate.

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Doubles Teams Qualify For Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2015

Just two spots remain in the eight-team doubles field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, as the duos of Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo, Pierre-Hughes Herbert/Nicolas Mahut, Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini and Jamie Murray/John Peers have secured their places in the prestigious season finale, to be held at The O2 in London Nov. 15-22. The world’s biggest indoor tennis tournament will feature the world’s best eight singles players and doubles teams.

Two teams had already qualified: World No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan and Wimbledon champions Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.

Melo is coming off back-to-back titles in Tokyo and Shanghai with South African Raven Klaasen. The Brazilian is now 17-18 in career finals (4-1 this season). Partnering with Dodig, he won titles in Acapulco and at Roland Garros, while reaching the final in Washington. Melo is 2-2 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals.

Dodig, meanwhile, is trying to improve his singles ranking (from No. 127) and has played four Challengers since last month. He lost in the semi-finals in a third set tie-break in Rennes, France (l. to Malek Jaziri) on Saturday.

In September, the all-French tandem of Herbert/Mahut clinched their first Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open (d. Murray/Peers). Herbert was 0-4 at the majors prior to partnering Mahut at the 2015 Australian Open, where they reached the final.

Bolelli and Fognini appeared in their fourth final of the season (1-3) at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, where they were runners-up to Melo/Klaasen, and also posted runner-up finishes at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells (l. to Vasek Pospisil/Jack Sock) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Bryan/Bryan) earlier this season. They opened the the year by capturing the Australian Open crown (d. Herbert/Mahut), becoming first Italian duo to win a Grand Slam doubles title since Nicola Pietrangeli and Orlando Sirola lifted the Roland Garros trophy in 1959. They reached semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Bryans).

Along with Herbert/Mahut, Murray/Peers — runners-up at both Wimbledon and the US Open — is one of only two teams this season to reach two major doubles finals. They have won 10 of their last 12 Grand Slam matches, and captured titles on the hard courts of Brisbane and clay of Hamburg in 2015.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.5 million fans to The O2 arena over the past six years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets can be purchased at:

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Tsonga Surges To Ninth In Race As Berdych & Nadal Punch Tickets

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2015

One month ago, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga entered the Moselle Open in Metz at No. 15 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, with a steep task ahead of him to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The Frenchman has taken the challenge to heart, hoisting the trophy on home soil and streaking to his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Sunday. Tsonga has posted a 9-2 record in that four-week span, vaulting six spots to No. 9 in his quest to return to the season finale for the fourth time and first since 2012. His best result came the year prior when he finished runner-up to Roger Federer.

Last year, Andy Murray’s mad dash paid dividends in soaring from the 11th position to fifth in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Tsonga will hope for similar results with Vienna, Basel and the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris remaining on his schedule, looking to build on 2,500 points.

“I’m No. 9 in the Race,” said Tsonga. “For me what is important today is to play good tennis. I’m really happy with the week I had. Of course, I wanted to do better against Novak. But I’m really happy about this week. It gives me energy to continue to fight for the [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals].”

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Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych have been on the doorstep of qualification in recent weeks and both broke through the threshold with deep runs in Shanghai. Nadal, who has accrued 4,330 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London, advanced to the semi-finals, while Berdych reached the quarter-finals, amassing 4,280 points. The Spaniard – winner of three ATP World Tour titles in 2015 – booked his spot at the Final Showdown for the eighth time after climbing from No. 7 to No. 5 in the last two weeks. The Czech – winner in Shenzhen two weeks ago – punched his ticket for a sixth successive year.

Read: Nadal & Berdych Qualify For London

Six of the eight places are now occupied at the season finale, with Race leader Novak Djokovic surging to a jaw-dropping 14,285 points haul with his third Shanghai title. Murray, Federer and Stan Wawrinka have also qualified for the ATP World Tour’s signature event.

Kei Nishikori and David Ferrer round out the elite eight in the latest standings, with both contenders looking to rebound following early exits in Shanghai. The Japanese sits ahead of the Spanish veteran by 500 points, with Ferrer holding a near-1,000 point advantage over Tsonga. Richard Gasquet and Kevin Anderson also have slim hopes of crashing the party, currently sitting at No. 10 and No. 11, respectively. Gasquet is seeded second in Stockholm, while Ferrer and Anderson lead the field in Vienna.

Read: Four Doubles Teams Qualify For London

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.5 million fans to The O2 arena over the past six years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets to the tournament, which takes place from 15-22 November, can be purchased at:

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – The Contenders
Based on the calendar-year Emirates ATP Race To London standings as of Monday, 19 October 2015. The top eight eligible players will qualify.


 YTD Points

 In Action This Week?

(1) Novak Djokovic



(2) Andy Murray



(3) Roger Federer



(4) Stan Wawrinka



(5) Rafael Nadal


(6) Tomas Berdych  4,280  Stockholm
(7) Kei Nishikori  3,945  No
(8) David Ferrer  3,445  Vienna
(9) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  2,500  Vienna
(10) Richard Gasquet  2,445  Stockholm
(11) Kevin Anderson  2,385  Vienna
(12) John Isner  2,315  Vienna

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Nole Playing His ‘Best Tennis Ever’

Nole Playing His ‘Best Tennis Ever’

  • Posted: Oct 18, 2015

Red is perhaps the most important color in China. It dominates the nation’s star-emblazoned flag. It’s omnipresent during the Chinese New Year. You see it on the gift-bearing envelopes that are passed around during holidays and other special occasions. It symbolises fortune and joy.

How apropos for Novak Djokovic.

The reigning World No. 1 is on a 38-1 run in China, including seven combined titles in Beijing and Shanghai, where on Sunday he put the finishing touches on his ninth title of 2015 and the 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 triumph of his career, a 6-2, 6-4 decision over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Fortune? Joy? This Serb has plenty of it.

“I think in terms of the two tournaments in back‑to‑back weeks, this has been the best two weeks of my life, my career,” asserted Djokovic, who has now won 17 straight matches and 22 consecutive sets. “I think I’ve played the best tennis ever in these two weeks in terms of back‑to‑back.  Honestly, that’s how I felt.

“Only one set where I got a tie-break in two weeks is quite incredible,” he continued. “So I’m very, very pleased with the way I’ve played. That’s something that encourages me to keep on going and hopefully maintain that high level of performance.”

Djokovic crossed the 70-win barrier (73-5) this week for the fifth time in his career, and he is now 10-0 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals in China. It seems that whatever his opponents throw at him these days, he always has an answer.

“That’s the kind of position you want to be in on the court,” he explained. “When you’re playing top players, requiring from you your best tennis, knowing that I can cover the biggest part of the court from each side allows me to gain more confidence in terms of when we get into the rally. Of course, I can’t expect to win every single rally, but percentage‑wise I have a very good chance against anybody because I know I can adjust to anybody’s game: players who are coming to the net or players who are staying back, playing flat or spin. I’ve played so many times against so many players, over the years you develop this kind of ability to adjust. But also I think specifically this year what I’ve done very well is I haven’t waited for other players to take initiative. I’ve taken initiative first. So the quality of my first shots has been better this year than I think ever been before.”

“It’s really difficult to do,” said Tsonga of Djokovic’s dominance in 2015. “He’s able to do it. Not many guys are able to do that. It’s really impressive. He’s playing a lot better than everybody, I think. He’s really consistent. You have to be in your best shape to beat him anyway, and everybody knows that it’s not easy to play your best tennis every match.”

Against Tsonga, Djokovic was appearing in his career-high 13th straight final since falling in the Doha quarter-finals to power-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic. The last player to reach 10 or more consecutive finals in a season was Djokovic’s longtime rival, Roger Federer, who strung together 11 straight in 2006. This is the second time in his career that the Belgrade-born baseliner has won five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in a season. The last time he did it? In 2011. At the time, no one thought he’d ever surpass a season in which he prevailed in his first 41 matches, finished at 70-6 (.921) and came within a Roland Garros of the calendar-year Grand Slam. But he insists he’s done just that in 2015.

“It’s the best year of my life, no question about it,” he said at the Qizhong Tennis Center. “Everything is working great. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be able to play this well, to be successful. I don’t want to get carried away by success because I want to be playing on this level for many more years to come. I know that one of the things that you have to do in order to keep playing on a high level is stay committed and stay determined to this lifestyle that is not easy, traveling all the time. Now that I’m a father, that makes it a little bit more difficult. I have the support of the close ones, my wife, the most important one, but my brothers, my team.  Everybody is behind me on the quest of being the best I can be.”

Now we know why the 28-year-old so often donned a red shirt these past few weeks in Beijing and Shanghai, his familiar gear striking a chord with the Chinese people. When you’ve got good fortune on your side, run with it.

Said Djokovic, “It’s my lucky charm.”

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Nadal And Berdych Qualify For Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

  • Posted: Oct 18, 2015

LONDON – Just two spots remain in the eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych have secured their places at the Final Showdown.

Nadal and Berdych will compete alongside Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka at the prestigious season finale. The world’s biggest indoor tennis tournament, featuring the world’s best eight singles players and doubles teams, will be played 15-22 November at The O2 in London.

Nadal qualified for the season finale for the 11th consecutive season after reaching the semi-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, one week on from a runner-up showing at the China Open in Beijing (l. to Djokovic). His performances in China over the past two weeks saw him leapfrog Kei Nishikori and Berdych to rise to fifth in the Emirates ATP Race To London.

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The Spaniard reached the final in London in 2013 and 2010. He missed last year’s tournament after undergoing a late-season appendectomy. (Nadal was also forced to miss the season finale through injury in 2005, 2008 and 2012).

In 2015, Nadal has captured titles at Buenos Aires (d. Monaco), Stuttgart (d. Troicki) and Hamburg (d. Fognini). He has also reached finals in Madrid (l. to No. 3 Murray) and Beijing. He boasts a 52-17 match record on the season.

In beating Wawrinka in the Shanghai quarter-finals Friday, Nadal notched his 300th match win at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level. His 83% winning percentage at the ATP World Tour’s elite tournament level exceeds that of Djokovic (82%) and Federer (77%).

The 30-year-old Berdych will make his sixth consecutive appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Czech reached the semi-finals in London in 2011 (l. to Tsonga).

Berdych, who reached the quarter-finals in Shanghai (l. to Murray), has compiled a 51-18 match record on the season, highlighted by winning his 11th ATP World Tour title in Shenzhen (d. Garcia-Lopez) and reaching three other finals in Doha (l. to Ferrer), Rotterdam (l. to Wawrinka) and at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Monte-Carlo (l. to Djokovic).

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.5 million fans to The O2 arena over the past six years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets can be purchased at:

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Djokovic Completes Shanghai Treble, Secures 25th Masters 1000 Title

  • Posted: Oct 18, 2015

Novak Djokovic has been the king of the ATP World Tour in 2015 and the World No. 1 would hoist a ninth trophy in his sparkling season, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-4 at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Djokovic further extended his lead atop the Emirates ATP Race To London standings, eclipsing the 14,000-point threshold to bring his haul to 14,285. The Serb brings home a third Shanghai title in four years, having defeated Andy Murray in the 2012 final and Juan Martin del Potro a year later. The win gives him 25 trophies at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, pulling to within two of Rafael Nadal’s record of 27. Overall, it was the Serb’s 57th victory in tour-level finals.

Djokovic improved to 14-6 against Tsonga in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, exacting revenge after the Frenchman dominated their most recent meeting on the hard courts of Toronto last year. In addition, he extended his ruthless run in finals on Chinese soil to a combined 10-0 with the 78-minute win. He fired 18 winners, including three aces, while converting on four of 13 break chances.

“Today the key was to get as many serves back into play to Jo because he has one of the biggest serves in the game,” said Djokovic. “He has shown that in the second set, with some break points early in the set. He came up with some aces, some big serves.

“Generally I felt always in control of the match. I felt like I’ve done everything right. I’ve won many of my service games very comfortably. I didn’t allow him to get into the rhythm, get into the match. Today’s match, and overall the tournament, it’s gone incredibly well for me.” 

The Belgrade native would bump his overall winning streak to 17 straight matches, capturing 22 consecutive sets during his dominant run. He was in cruise control from the first ball on Sunday, breaking Tsonga in the opening game of the match as the Frenchman netted a backhand volley. The World No. 1 raced to a double break lead at 3-0, but would hand the break back in the next game.

That would prove to be his lone hiccup. Tsonga clawed back from a 0/40 hole, saving four set points, at 5-1, but Djokovic would claim the first set a game later. He would relinquish just one point on serve in the second, securing the decisive break in the ninth game and serving it out to love for the victory, turning aside a spirited effort by the Frenchman.

“The first set went quick,” Tsonga said. “It’s not easy to stop him. He is really consistent on his return. Today I didn’t serve well enough, especially in the first set. After that, in the second, I served a little bit better, and it gave me the opportunity to have a chance on his serve. But finally I was not able to do it, and he broke me at 4-all.

“I’m very satisfied. To come back at your best level, it’s always a long process. I’m happy today to be back really close to the Top 10. Like I said just before, it gave me energy to continue to work hard and try to achieve other good things.”

Tsonga, who was bidding to hoist his third Masters 1000 trophy in four finals, fell to 12-10 in tour-level title matches. He takes home $448,000 and 600 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London, having vaulted to No. 9 in the standings with his run to the final.

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Back-to-Back Titles for Klaasen/Melo

  • Posted: Oct 18, 2015

The South African/Brazilian pairing of Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo claimed its second straight doubles title on Sunday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, topping the all-Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3 at the Qizhong Tennis Center.

Klaasen/Melo were teaming up for the second week in a row after capturing the Tokyo title (d. Cabal/Farah).

“The last two weeks have been great,” said Klaasen. “We’ve played some really goodtennis together. I’ve enjoyed my time with him on the court. It’s been a lot of fun on and off the court. When you win this much, it’s good out there.”

“For sure I expected us to have good results,” said Melo. “But I have to be honest, I never expected to win two tournaments at this level. I think we combine really well together. Raven has a really good volley and he knows how to cover a lot of the net. I also have a good volley, so passing us at the net is not that easy. We have fun and that’s the most important thing for me.” 

The No. 5-seeded Bolelli/Fognini tandem came out firing, opening the match with a break and a subsequent consolidation to go up 2-0. However, a loose service game from Fognini would allow his opponents to bring the match back on serve at 2-all. Klaasen/Melo, who would convert five of their seven break-point opportunities on the afternoon, held on to that momentum, breaking for 5-3. The pair then saved three break points to serve out the set in a mere 30 minutes.

Fognini took out his frustration on his racquet between sets. The brief show of emotion seemed to spur his side on, and the Italians were once again out to an early 2-0 advantage in the second set. But just as in the first set, Klaasen/Melo battled back to level the stanza at 2-2. With Bolelli/Fognini serving to stay in the match down 3-5, Klaasen/Melo would notch their fifth and final break of the match to close it out.

“We actually got off to a shaky start,” said Klaasen. “I lost my serve straight out the gate. We managed to get a break back early and that kind of settled me down. Marcelo’s pretty experienced, he’s good in these situations. Once we got our momentum going, we felt good out there. We’re very happy with the result today.”

Australian Open champions Bolelli and Fognini were appearing in their fourth final of the season (1-3) and were seeking their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title after runner-up efforts in Indian Wells (l. to Pospisil/Sock) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Bryan/Bryan) earlier this season. They also reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Bryan/Bryan). Their other career titles came in Umag in 2011 and Buenos Aires in 2013.

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