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Bedene reaches Chennai Open last four

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

British number two Aljaz Bedene is into the Chennai Open semi-finals after a 6-7 6-4 6-3 victory over India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Slovenia-born Bedene defeated the world number 248 in two hours and 18 minutes.

He will face Croatia’s Borna Coric or Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the last four of the £290,000 tournament.

The 26-year-old, ranked a career-high 45th in the world, lost to Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in the final last year.

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Thiem Ready For Federer In Brisbane Semis

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

Thiem Ready For Federer In Brisbane Semis

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Thiem Awaits Federer Or Dimitrov In Brisbane SFs

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

Thiem Awaits Federer Or Dimitrov In Brisbane SFs

Young Austrian battles into the last four

Dominic Thiem awaits the winner of Roger Federer or Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the final of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.

Eighth seed Thiem, who lifted three ATP World Tour titles in 2015, knocked out third seed Marin Cilic 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 on Friday in two hours. He converted one of his eight break point opportunities in the final game.

“[It] was a very good match from me,” said Thiem. “Today [was] a big test. [A] bad first set where he destroyed me, but then I’m really happy about the win.”

Thiem finished last year as the youngest player (22) in the Top 20 Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 20. He was also the first Austrian to place in the Top 20 since Jurgen Melzer (at No. 11) in 2010.

Top seed and defending champion Federer has a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage against Dimitrov. The pair met in last year’s Brisbane semi-finals.

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ATP Honours Qatar ExxonMobil Open

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

ATP Honours Qatar ExxonMobil Open

Now in 24th year, 250-level tournament among players’ favourites

Novak Djokovic isn’t the only one taking home trophies these days. Following his quarter-final win on Thursday in Doha, the World No. 1 presented a trophy to Qatar ExxonMobil Open Tournament Director Karim Alami in recognition of his event being named among the Tournaments of the Year in the 2015 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon.

The Qatar ExxonMobil Open (ATP World Tour 250 category) is joined by the BNP Paribas Open (1000), Aegon Championships (500) and St. Petersburg Open (250) as the most favoured ATP World Tour events in their respective tournament categories. It marks the first time since 2004 and the fourth time overall (since 1986) that two events have been named joint winners in the ATP World Tour 250 category.

“The Qatar Tennis Federation and I feel very proud and honoured to receive this award,” said Alami. “Our aim is always to make a great event where players can feel relaxed and at home, where they can perform at their best, where they want to return year after year. We are always listening to the opinions and feedback from the organisation and from the players and trying to learn from our mistakes and past experiences to keep improving and to keep raising the bar every year.”

The Tournament of the Year awards, voted annually by ATP players, recognise the leading standards set across the three tournament categories on the Tour. The Qatar ExxonMobil Open is hosting its 24th edition this week, boasting a field that includes four Top-10 players: Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer.

Visit the official ATP World Tour Awards section on

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Murray and Watson whitewash Germany

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

Britons Andy Murray and Heather Watson registered singles wins on a sweltering day in Perth to help give Great Britain a 3-0 Hopman Cup whitewash of Germany.

On a morning when temperatures rose to 36 degrees, Watson beat Sabine Lisicki 6-3 6-4 before Murray overcame Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-4.

The pair then teamed up for a 6-3 6-4 win in the mixed doubles.

Britain still need France to beat Australia Green in the last group game to reach Saturday’s final.

For Watson and Murray, the competition is useful preparation for the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on 18 January.

“It’s great to get matches in,” said Murray. “It is nice to play during the day to get used to the hot weather.

“Hopefully it’s not that bad in Melbourne.”

Easy does it for Andy

An early break in each set was enough for Murray, 28, to ease home against his teenage opponent, ranked 83 in the world.

Murray wore Zverev down by keeping him on the move and targeting his opponent’s inconsistent forehand.

The Scot did lose his serve once in the second set, letting a 5-2 lead slip as Zverev had break points to level at 5-5.

But Murray quickly recovered to seal victory on his next service game after a big serve down the middle.

‘The fittest I’ve ever been’

British women’s number two Watson, 23, earlier secured an impressive straight-sets win over former Wimbledon finalist Lisicki.

Lisicki, ranked 32 in the world, made a strong start on serve in the first set only for Watson to make the decisive break at 4-3 and serve out the set to 15.

The second set was more comfortable for world number 55 Watson as she broke Lisicki twice to seal a third career win over her former training partner.

“It was a really good match,” Watson said. “She’s a tough opponent and a great server, so I knew that holding serve would be very important.

“I did a shorter off-season, but more intense, this year,” she added. “I feel like this is the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been.”

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Raonic Into Brisbane Semis

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

Raonic Into Brisbane Semis

No. 4 seed semi-final-bound for second consecutive year; will next face Tomic

No. 4 seed Milos Raonic is into the Brisbane International semi-finals for the second consecutive year after downing 78th-ranked Lucas Pouille of France 6-4, 6-4 on Friday in Pat Rafter Arena.

A day earlier, after putting the wraps on a three-set comeback against qualifier Ivan Dodig, the Canadian had spoken of his new alignment with coach Carlos Moya, of what he hoped the ‘98 Roland Garros champion might add to his arsenal. The 25-year-old said that with the Spaniard’s help he hoped to mix things up on his serve, come in more and put more mid-court balls away, find ways to open up the court with his forehand.

In other words, he’s looking to be more aggressive.

He put that into practice on Friday, putting pressure on his opponent from the very start. He surrendered just three points on his serve in the 36-minute opening set (20 for 23), a break at 1-all the difference.

Pouille, at 21 the youngest of 10 Frenchmen in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, fell behind early in the second set, too. Raonic registered breaks in the first and seventh games, and wrapped up the match with his 12th ace of the afternoon. In all, he won 27 of 29 first-serve points (93%).

“I think yesterday I was being aggressive and coming forward,” said Raonic of his win over Dodig. “Today I thought I came forward as well, but I was probably more efficient.”

Up next for Raonic is Bernard Tomic, who upset No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori in three tough sets.

Tomic once said that if he played Nishikori 10 times, he might beat him once, maybe twice. Well, the 18th-ranked Australian finally broke through on Friday in Brisbane, getting his first win over the Japanese star in three FedEx ATP Head2Heads 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

With the two-hour upset, the No. 7-seed avenged a loss to Nishikori at this same tournament in the very same round in 2015.

Nine of Tomic’s 14 aces came in the first set alone, but Nishikori managed to level the match in the lopsided second set, capitalising on two of three break-point chances. But Tomic would secure two breaks of his own in the third set at 1-0 and 2-1 to put the match out of reach. In all, he saved eight of 11 break points and won 45 of 62 (72%) first-serve points.

“I didn’t play my best tennis today, but I think he played good tennis, too,” said Nishikori. “He served really well. He saved many important points with his serve. He was running side to side and he got so many balls back, so it was really tough. First tournament of the year, so I’m not that worried.”

Tomic is now 7-32 versus Top-10 competition after snapping Nishikori’s streak of seven straight wins over Australian opponents.

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Wawrinka, Djokovic, Federer Kick Off 2016 In Style

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

Wawrinka, Djokovic, Federer Kick Off 2016 In Style

It hasn’t all been about tennis for players this week. provides a recap of the highlights.

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori came together from around the globe to bring fans a very special message to launch the 2016 ATP World Tour. Watch

Qatar ExxonMobil Open

Djokovic and Nadal visited the Museum of Islamic Art Park for a quick hit on a sand court overlooking the Doha skyline. Watch

Jeremy Chardy took over our ATP social channels on Monday. See more in MyATP

Brisbane International presented by Suncorp

Federer toured Brisbane on the new Citycat transport system ahead of the tournament. Read & Watch

Federer, Radek Stepanek and Bernard Tomic participated in Kids’ Day activities. Watch

Is Federer a re-gifter? The Swiss lets attendees at ‘A Summer Night’ in Brisbane in on a little family secret. Watch

Milos Raonic made a visit to the Treasury Hotel. View Photo

Steve Johnson and Dominic Thiem were taken to McDonald’s “Create Your Taste” on Tennis Central to cook a burger, take photos and sign autographs.

Thiem, John Peers and Ben Mitchell signed autographs at the Nova Stage.

Aircel Chennai Open 

Vasek Pospisil, Santiago Gonzalez, Oliver Marach, Fabrice Martin and Nicholas Monroe showed off their style on the catwalk for the annual Chennai Open fashion show. Martin joked: “Maybe I will start a career as a model now.”

Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez took part in a cocktail mixing contest, making Long Island Iced Tea which was then tested by a jury.

Roberto Bautista-Agut tested his chef skills at a cook-off.

Ramkumar Ramanathan participated in Emirates and FedEx sponsor visits while Wawrinka also visited the Emirates suite. 

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Klaasen/Ram Fight On In Chennai

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

Klaasen/Ram Fight On In Chennai

Top seeds into Chennai semi-finals

Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram continued their quest for the Chennai title with a 7-5, 7-6(5) win over Lukas Rosol and Igor Zelenay on Thursday. The tournament is a meaningful one for Ram, as his parents were born in India and the American captured his maiden ATP World Tour doubles title in Chennai seven years ago (w/ Butorac).

In the bottom half of the draw, second seeds Marcel Granollers and Indian doubles legend Leander Paes were forced to withdraw against Austin Krajicek and Benoit Paire due to Granollers’ illness, giving the American-French duo a free pass into the final four.

Top Seeds Clash In Doha

Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, the No. 1 team in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, were upended 7-6(5), 6-2 by fourth seeds Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya. Facing the German-Austrian tandem in the final will be third-seeded Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, who needed a Match Tie-break to overcome Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 3-6, 6-3, 10-5.

Home Favourites Felled In Brisbane

No. 4 seeds Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt ended the run of Aussie wild cards Matt Reid and John-Patrick Smith 7-6(0), 6-2. The locals broke serve in the opening game of the match, but dropped serve while serving for the first set and were unable to make further inroads against the British-Swedish team. The winners will face Finn Henri Kontinen and Aussie John Peers in the semi-finals.

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Nadal Battles Into Doha SFs

  • Posted: Jan 08, 2016

Nadal Battles Into Doha SFs

Novak Djokovic downs Leonardo Mayer during the night session

Rafael Nadal will meet Ilya Marchenko for a place in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final on Friday after the second seed came through a three-set battle.

Nadal, the 2014 champion, converted five of his 10 break point opportunities in a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory over No. 79-ranked Andrey Kuznetsov in a two-hour and eight-minute encounter.

“Kuznetsov played some amazing shots, so it was difficult to control the match,” Nadal said. “It’s true that I missed my serve more than I wanted to, but I really only played one bad game, at 4-3 in the second set. His returns were amazing and his level was very high. Fortunately I played a great third set, with a lot of intensity.”

Marchenko withstood 12 aces to beat seventh seed Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 7-6(3) in one hour and 35 minutes for a place in his third ATP World Tour semi-finals. Marchenko, who beat World No. 7 David Ferrer, is through to the last four of a tour-level event for the first time since 2010 St. Petersburg (l. to Kukushkin).

Afterwards Marchenko admitted, “The most important match after you beat David is the next one. It’s really difficult to handle the stress. Honestly, it was bad night for me. I couldn’t sleep much.”

Joining Nadal and Marchenko in the semi-finals is World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who was made to work against Leonardo Mayer before winning 6-3, 7-5. The Argentine broke the Djokovic serve in the first game of the second set and served for it at 5-4, but the Serb swept the last four games of the match to advance. He will face Tomas Berdych, who defeated Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-2, in the semi-finals.

“[Mayer] started better in both the first and second sets,” Djokovic said. “He was going for his shots and he’s a very complete player. The second set was close. It could have gone either way, but I stayed tough and fought through it. It was a good test and I’m glad to get through in straight sets.”

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Federer v Kamke Highlights Brisbane 2016

  • Posted: Jan 07, 2016

Federer v Kamke Highlights Brisbane 2016

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