Tennis News

From around the world

Cuevas Claims Rio 2016 Crown

  • Posted: Feb 23, 2016

Cuevas Claims Rio 2016 Crown

Source link

Djokovic Back With A Bang In Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

Djokovic Back With A Bang In Dubai

Serb sweeps into second round

He’s spent the past three weeks relaxing with his family after capturing his 11th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, but Novak Djokovic picked up exactly where he left off as he returned to action with aplomb on Monday evening in Dubai.

The Serb advanced to the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in just 66 minutes, sweeping aside Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-2.

Djokovic surrendered just seven points on serve in the dominant display, breaking Robredo four times from 13 opportunities.

“Obviously playing my first match in three weeks, different conditions, I didn’t know how I would start, whether or not I would execute the game plan as I prepared myself to,” said Djokovic. “But everything went well. Very few things went wrong.

“I was putting constant pressure on his serve. I returned very, very well. Served solid and was aggressive from the back of the court. I cannot be happier with this performance.” 

The 28-year-old Djokovic is now just one win away from claiming his 700th career victory. The Belgrade native will face Malek Jaziri for that honour as he bids to reach the quarter-finals.

“Every milestone is very special, of course. I wish that I make the 700th win in this tournament, obviously,” said Djokovic. “But it’s not going to affect too much my preparation for the next match. It’s not going to change too much the way I approach the next match or this tournament. Of course I’ll be very pleased if it happens here.

“Jaziri told me he had a great off-season and it pays off. He won a couple of matches in Australia and here. Let’s see what happens. He plays quite different from Robredo. He’s standing closer to the line, he has flat shots and better serve. Got to be ready for it.”

Djokovic is a perfect 13-0 at the start of 2016, having triumphed in Doha (d. Nadal) before winning his sixth Australian Open trophy in Melbourne (d. Murray).

The right-hander is chasing his fifth title at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in Dubai, where he lifted the trophy in 2009 (d. Ferrer), 2010 (d. Youzhny), 2011 (d. Federer) and 2013 (d. Berdych).

Canada’s Vasek Pospisil notched his second win of the season as he battled past Lucas Pouille 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes. The 25 year old goes on to face Marcos Baghdatis, who defeated Viktor Troicki 7-6(2), 6-2 in 90 minutes.

Source link

Tennis bodies to be questioned by MPs

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

MPs will put questions to tennis officials on Wednesday about match-fixing claims in the sport.

Nigel Willerton, director of the Tennis Integrity Board, and Chris Kermode, who heads the Association of Tennis Professionals, will both be quizzed.

Tennis authorities are already conducting an independent review into the sport’s anti-corruption practices.

It follows a BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered suspected illegal betting in tennis.

A culture, media and sport select committee “will explore how the governing bodies of tennis address match-fixing, and any weaknesses in the governance of the game, nationally and internationally”.

The joint investigation by the BBC and BuzzFeed uncovered files showing that, over the past 10 years, 16 players who were ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions their matches were targeted.

All of the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing.

TIU chairman Philip Brook said he remains “totally confident” in the work of his organisation in catching cheats, while Kermode accepted there is the need to “be as open and transparent as possible”.

He added: “Having lists of suspicious betting patterns do not mean corruption. They are a red flag and that is not evidence.”

Last week, sports gambling watchdog Essa produced a report which said tennis accounted for nearly three-quarters of all suspicious betting alerts flagged in 2015.

Source link

Wawrinka Ready To Soar In Dubai

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

Wawrinka Ready To Soar In Dubai

Swiss enjoys zipline fun before tournament begins

World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka enjoyed the ride of his life on Sunday as he visited the popular Dubai XLine ahead of his first-round match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Wawrinka leaped 90 metres off the W1 Tower in Downtown Dubai and flew 558 metres over the Dubai Fountains, taking in the views of the iconic Burj Khalifa and Downtown area.

The 30-year-old Wawrinka is back at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament for the first time since 2008. The Swiss is chasing his second title of the year, after lifting the trophy in Chennai in the first week of the season.

Seeded second behind World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Wawrinka will open his Dubai title bid against Sergiy Stakhovsky on Tuesday.

Read Wawrinka Preview

Source link

Swan hopes for Wimbledon wildcard

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

British world number 512 Katie Swan says she hopes to earn a wildcard entry into the main Wimbledon draw this year.

The 16-year-old beat Anne Keothavong’s record as the youngest British player to play in the Fed Cup in February.

Swan won her first two titles on the second-tier ITF tour in 2015, and made her WTA debut at Birmingham in June.

“There’s a few big grass tournaments before Wimbledon so I’m hoping I get to play in some of them, whether it’s qualifying or main draw,” she said.

“There’s a chance I might get a Wimbledon main draw wildcard, but I’m not sure about that yet.

“Definitely I’ll keep working towards that and it’ll be amazing if I can make my Grand Slam debut this year.”

Swan also said she hopes to improve her results in Junior Grand Slam tournaments in 2016.

The Bristol-born player is ranked number 12 in the world at junior level, and reached the final of the Australian Open junior tournament in 2015.

“My goal this year in juniors is to try to do really well in the Grand Slams. I’d like to aim to win a Grand Slam, which would obviously be amazing for me,” she continued.

“On the women’s tour, I just want to keep working on my ranking and try to do the best I can in all those tournaments, and maybe be able to get into qualifying for the Australian Open next year.”

Source link

VIDEO: Swan hoping for Junior Grand Slam title

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

Katie Swan tells BBC Points West that she is targeting a first Junior Grand Slam title in 2016, having lost in last year’s Australian Open final.

The 16-year-old, who became the youngest British player in Fed Cup history in February, is ranked number 12 in the world at junior level.

Source link

Konta climbs to 26th in world rankings

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

Australian Open semi-finalist Johanna Konta has jumped one place to a career-high 26th in the WTA world rankings.

The British number one plays in the Mexico Open first round on Monday in her first match since losing to Angelique Kerber in Melbourne.

Heather Watson has also climbed a place to 83rd while fellow Briton Naomi Broady has risen three places to 93rd.

Serena Williams remains top of the rankings and Kerber, who beat her in the Australian Open final, is second.

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska has moved up to third with Romania’s Simone Halep slipping one place to fourth.

David Ferrer’s failure to reach the final of the Rio Open has seen his men’s world ranking fall two places.

Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych moved ahead of Spain’s Ferrer, who has dropped to eighth.

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is still the number one, with Britain’s Andy Murray second.

Source link

FedEx Performance Zone: Best Top 10 Records

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

FedEx Performance Zone: Best Top 10 Records

ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at Top 10 records over the past 52 weeks, using the FedEx ATP Performance Zone.

A true measure of greatness is how a player performs against Top 10 rivals in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Over the past 52 weeks, Novak Djokovic has been pre-eminent compiling a 33-5 record (.868) to lead the FedEx ATP Win-Loss Index.

Roger Federer (2015 Dubai, Cincinnati, Barclays ATP World Tour Finals), Stan Wawrinka (Roland Garros) and Andy Murray (Montreal) have registered wins against the Serbian, who is competing at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. He has won titles at 13 of his past 17 finals and stands one title match from equalling Ivan Lendl‘s record of 18 straight in 1981-82.

“I think the biggest part of your mental strength is not just training, but what you do off the court, the way you lead your life, in a positive environment,” said 28-year-old Djokovic in Dubai. “I try to surround myself with positivity and encouragement in order to get that comfort and inner piece, when I need it in a match. The first player that breaks down, will likely lose. I was that player for some time, but I managed to learn and improved. When you reach it, you don’t have it forever. I do observe daily techniques in order to improve and maintain my mental strength.”

Djokovic is second only to Bjorn Borg in career performances against Top 10 opponents (since 1973). Borg went 63-27 (.700), while Djokovic is 163-80 (.671) and Federer is third placed at 198-104 (.656).

Visit FedEx ATP Performance Zone

Success on the ATP World Tour is attributed to playing consistently well on multiple surfaces as a result of physical fitness and mental prowess.

“He’s dominating tennis for sure, playing a different level,” said Stan Wawrinka in Dubai. “He’s No. 1 by far and has started the year the way he ended it last year. The year is long and I’m sure there will be some opportunities to beat him. He can play on every surface, so he will be tough to beat.”

Richard Gasquet says that members of the Top 10 are, “physically, mentally stronger and their tennis skills are more consistent. That is why they win a higher number of matches. The Rankings don’t lie.”

Federer has compiled a 15-7 (.682) record against Top 10 opponents over the past 52 weeks, while Murray is third place with a 12-10 (.545) mark.

Source link

Cuevas Outlasts Pella, Rain For Rio Title

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

Cuevas Outlasts Pella, Rain For Rio Title

Pablo Cuevas claims his fourth ATP World Tour title

Pablo Cuevas won his first ATP World Tour 500 title early Monday morning, dodging rain drops to defeat a dogged Guido Pella 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the final of the Rio Open presented by Claro.

Toppling Rafael Nadal seems to be the blueprint to winning a clay-court title in 2016, after Cuevas sprung the upset in Saturday’s semi-finals and Dominic Thiem did so en route to the Buenos Aires crown a week ago. It was the 30-year-old’s fourth ATP World Tour title overall and first since lifting the Sao Paulo trophy exactly one year ago. Cuevas, who became the first player in history to oust five straight left-handed opponents in clinching a tour-level title, takes home $303,300 in prize money and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points.

A big opportunity awaited both players in the final, but the weather would not cooperate in the early stages. After letting two break points slip in the fourth game, Pella edged ahead at 3-3 30/0 when the skies closed above the Jockey Club Brasiliero. A three-and-a-half hour rain delay would ensue, leaving both players to reassess their strategies in the locker room.

Upon resumption of play, it was Cuevas who would draw first blood, showing great discipline from the baseline in snatching the first break for 5-4. He would close out the set a game later. Cuevas was ruthlessly efficient on serve throughout the encounter and even steadier when engaged in extended rallies from the back of the court. The second set would end in a tie-break, where the Uruguayan had the match on his racquet, serving with a 5-4 lead. But Pella would reel off three straight points to force a decider and send the match past midnight.

In the third set, they remained on serve until the 10th game, where Cuevas pounced, claiming victory on his first match point when a Pella forehand found the net. He fired 14 aces and 29 winners in total, converting two of three break chances to prevail after two hours and 15 minutes on court.

The battle of unseeded players was the first in a 500 level final since Valencia 2011, when Marcel Granollers beat Juan Monaco. With the win, World No. 45 Cuevas became the lowest-ranked champion at an ATP World Tour 500 event since 46th-ranked Leonardo Mayer won in Hamburg in 2014.

Pella, meanwhile, was bidding to claim his first ATP World Tour title in his first final. The Argentine, who saved three match points in his opening encounter against John Isner, vaults to a career-high Top 50 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings despite the loss.

Source link

Chiudinelli Back In Winners’ Circle With First Title In Seven Years

  • Posted: Feb 22, 2016

Chiudinelli Back In Winners’ Circle With First Title In Seven Years

Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to who’s in action in the week to come

A LOOK BACK
Wroclaw Open (Wroclaw, Poland): Injuries cannot stop Marco Chiudinelli. After a slew of physical ailments, including arm and shoulder issues, kept the former World No. 52 outside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings in recent years, he is now flying high with a title run on the indoor hard courts of Wroclaw. The 34 year old downed Jan Hernych 6-3, 7-6(9) on Sunday, notching his first ATP Challenger Tour title since 2009 and third in total. The Swiss has risen to the occasion in pressure moments, extending his streak of tie-breaks won to an impressive 10 straight. Also the runner-up in Manila last month, he is soaring to inside the Top 150 after starting the year at World No. 282.

Chiudinelli’s journey to merely enter the Wroclaw main draw is astounding. After losing his quarter-final the week prior in Bergamo, he found himself just outside the cut line for Wroclaw and was forced to rely on the result of another match to get in. When Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Peter Gojowczyk in the Bergamo quarters at 11:00pm on that Friday, it gave the Swiss entry as an alternate into Wroclaw. If Herbert would have lost, Chiudinelli would not be standing with the trophy.

Morelos Open (Morelos, Mexico): Two years ago, Gerald Melzer was the last man standing on the hard courts of Morelos, claiming his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title. On Saturday, Melzer once again reigned in the Mexican city, notching a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Alejandro Gonzalez for his fourth Challenger crown. The Austrian continued his push to crack the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, rising 20 spots to a career-high World No. 116. He added to January titles won in Mendoza, Argentina and Bucaramanga, Colombia, improving to 18-3 overall this year.

Delhi Open (New Delhi, India): Third seed Stephane Robert dominated the New Delhi final on Sunday, needing just 56 minutes to turn aside home hope Saketh Myneni 6-3, 6-0. It was the first ATP Challenger Tour final to finish in under an hour since Peter Gojowczyk dismissed Amir Weintraub in 51 minutes in Nanchang, China last September. Robert did not drop a set all week, winning his first Challenger title in five years, since lifting the trophy in Ostrava in 2011. A seven-time titlist on the circuit, the Frenchman is not slowing down at age 35. He recently reached the third round of the Australian Open as a qualifier, one of his best showings in a Grand Slam.

What The Players Said
Chiudinelli: “It was such an amazing week for me. It’s a great start to the year and I hope to keep it up in the coming months. My goal is to re-enter the Top 100 and I’m very happy that after a few years with plenty of physical problems, my body finally feels great again since last autumn. I feel fitter and more competitive than I did in the last few years.

“I love playing on the Taraflex surface, but unfortunately there are not many of those weeks left on the calendar.”

WHAT’S AHEAD
Tournaments in Kyoto, Japan and Cherbourg, France dot the calendar next week. The top three seeds in Kyoto are Japanese hopefuls, with Yuichi Sugita winning there in 2010, Tatsuma Ito in 2012 and Go Soeda in 2008. Meanwhile, at the Challenger La Manche, in Cherbourg, eighth seed Kenny de Schepper seeks a second title on home soil (2014). Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic leads the field.

View Draws & Watch Free Live Streams

ATP CHALLENGER TOUR ON TWITTER: New in 2016, the ATP Challenger Tour has launched a dedicated Twitter account for the latest news and information about players and events. Follow @ATPChallengerTour at twitter.com/ATPChallengerTour.

Source link