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Fed Cup: Great Britain to face Kazakhstan in play-offs

  • Posted: Feb 12, 2019

Great Britain will play Kazakhstan at home in April’s Fed Cup World Group II play-offs.

It is the fifth time in eight years GB have reached this stage, but the first time they have been handed a home tie as they look to reach the World Group for the first time since 1993.

British number one Johanna Konta beat Aleksandra Krunic to seal a 2-0 win against Serbia in the last round.

The tie is expected to be played at London’s Copper Box Arena.

Kazakhstan’s number one Yulia Putintseva is ranked 43 in the world, four places behind British number one Johanna Konta.

Britain’s number two Katie Boulter, is ranked 13 places above opposite number Zarina Diyas.

Putintseva has reached the French Open quarter-finals twice in the past three years, although GB captain Anne Keothavong will not choose to play the tie on clay.

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Lorenzi Upsets Sandgren In New York

  • Posted: Feb 12, 2019

Lorenzi Upsets Sandgren In New York

Tomic advances on Monday

Paolo Lorenzi of Italy opened up main draw action on Monday at the New York Open by scoring the first upset of the tournament, earning a marathon 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-4 win over No. 8 seed Tennys Sandgren of the United States.

Both players won 106 points on the day, but it was the Italian who prevailed in the most crucial moments. He scored the lone break of the match at 1-1 in the final set and rode the momentum to victory after two hours and 32 minutes.

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The win gives the 37-year-old his first main draw victory since the 2018 US Open. He has primarily competed on the ATP Challenger Tour over the past six months, but qualified for the main draw this year at ATP Tour events in Doha and Cordoba.

Next up for Lorenzi is the winner between Ryan Harrison of the United States and Peter Polansky of Canada.

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Bernard Tomic also picked up his first ATP Tour main draw win of 2019 with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 victory over Lukas Lacko in just 53 minutes. The Aussie will next face top seed John Isner.

The final singles match on Monday’s schedule features No. 7 seed Jordan Thompson of Australia taking on wild card and hometown favourite Noah Rubin.

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Marterer's Next Task In Buenos Aires: Beat Thiem

  • Posted: Feb 12, 2019

Marterer’s Next Task In Buenos Aires: Beat Thiem

German advances in straight sets on Monday

Germany’s Maximilian Marterer will try to do what no man has done before at the Argentina Open: beat Dominic Thiem. The left-hander secured a second-round meeting with Thiem after dismissing local qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 6-2 on Monday evening in Buenos Aires.

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Marterer broke in the third game and sailed the rest of the way, never facing a break point against the 28-year-old, No. 148 in the ATP Rankings. Thiem and Marterer faced off at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in 2017, a 7-5, 6-3 win for Thiem. The top-seeded Austrian is 9-0 in his two appearances in the Argentine capital, including a semi-final win over Rafael Nadal in 2016.

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Elsewhere on Monday, Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego upset sixth seed Nicolas Jarry, the 2018 Brasil Open finalist, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3. Sonego, 23, will play Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena or Taro Daniel of Japan for a place in the quarter-finals.

Christian Garin of Chile rallied from down a set and a break to outlast #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. His reward is a battle with third seed Marco Cecchinato of Italy in the second round. Fittingly, their only previous meeting came four years ago in the qualifying rounds at Buenos Aires, a match won by the Italian in straight sets.

Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist (l. to Nadal), ended Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva’s run 6-3, 6-4. Ramos-Vinolas will meet either countryman David Ferrer or eighth seed Malek Jaziri.

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Naomi Osaka: World number one splits with coach Sascha Bajin

  • Posted: Feb 11, 2019

World number one Naomi Osaka has split with her coach Sascha Bajin 16 days after winning the Australian Open.

The Japanese 21-year-old, whose win in Melbourne sealed back-to-back Grand Slam titles, worked with the German for just over a year.

“I will no longer be working together with Sascha,” Osaka tweeted. “I thank him for his work and wish him all the best in the future.”

Bajin was named WTA coach of the year for 2018.

He is a former hitting partner of Grand Slam champions Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

Bajin thanked Osaka and said he wished her “nothing but the best”.

“What a ride that was,” he tweeted. “Thank you for letting me be part of this.”

Under Bajin, Osaka rose from world number 72 at the start of the 2018 to the summit of the rankings little over a year later.

No reason has been given for the split, which comes less than six months after he said he was in it for the long haul.

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Wawrinka Battles Past Paire In Rotterdam

  • Posted: Feb 11, 2019

Wawrinka Battles Past Paire In Rotterdam

Seppi, Kukushkin advance into R2 on Monday

Stan Wawrinka got the better of his good friend Benoit Paire in a match of power-hitting on Monday night at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

“It was difficult to play against a good friend and we played some good shots. Winning the first set was the key and I played with confidence in the second set,” said Wawrinka. “Being back in Rotterdam is great. There is a great atmosphere here and [tournament director] Richard Krajicek is doing a great job to keep improving the tournament.”

Wawrinka, the 2015 champion, was ultimately more consistent, saving three set points in the first set en route to a 7-6(4), 6-1 victory in 71 minutes. He will next face fourth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic or Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.

“I feel good in general. I had a good off-season and took the time to get back in shape,” said Wawrinka. “I now need matches to build my confidence, but I have to be patient with that. It was a long year to get back physically, but now I’m playing well.”

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Paire broke serve for a 4-3 advantage, courtesy of consecutive groundstroke errors from Wawrinka, but the Swiss wild card saved a set point with an ace two games later at 30/40. Two further opportunities went begging for Paire on serve at 5-4 — a backhand error, and a clever play by Wawrinka that opened up the court for a winner.

In the tie-break, Wawrinka stepped inside the baseline to gain the momentum. After losing the opening game of the second set, he won the next six games to close out the match.

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Monday’s evening session also saw No. 9 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili rally from down a set and a break to defeat Hyeon Chung 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2. Although the Georgian was unable to serve out the second set at 5-3, he raised his level in the tie-break to even the match. The final set saw Basilashvili go on a five-game run and eventually wrap up the win after two hours and 17 minutes. 

Awaiting Basilashvili in the next round is the winner between Martin Klizan of Hungary and Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, who finished runner-up last week in Sofia (l. to Medvedev).

Other first-round matches on Monday saw Andreas Seppi survive a mid-match surge from qualifier Peter Gojowczyk to prevail 7-6, 3-6, 6-2, while Mikhail Kukushkin didn’t drop serve in his 6-2, 7-6(4) win over home favourite Robin Haase.

Tuesday’s night session features top seed Kei Nishikori of Japan squaring off against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, followed by second seed Karen Khachanov of Russia taking on local wild card Tallon Griekspoor. Raonic and Kohlschreiber open up the day session.

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Tickets On Sale For 2019 Nitto ATP Finals

  • Posted: Feb 11, 2019

Tickets On Sale For 2019 Nitto ATP Finals

Secure your tickets today to the elite season finale in November

Tickets to the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals are now on public sale, the ATP announced on Monday. From today, fans can secure their place at the prestigious season-ending showdown from 10-17 November at The O2 in London, featuring only the best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams, by purchasing tickets at

Just over a month into the 2019 ATP Tour season, all eight qualification spots in singles and doubles remain up for grabs as players continue to battle throughout the season for a chance to compete for the last title of the year at the showpiece event in London.

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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal lead the current ATP Race to London standings in first and second place respectively, with 20-year-old reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in third place following his impressive run to the Australian Open semi-finals in January. In doubles, the all-French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut lead the race for qualification following their title run in Melbourne, which saw them complete the Career Grand Slam.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “Since 2009, the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 have provided a spectacular finish to each season on the ATP Tour, and we expect this year’s tournament to be as exciting as ever. We would like to thank the 2.5 million fans who have come out in such great numbers to support the world’s best players at The O2 over the past 10 years in London, and we look forward to another successful event in 2019.”

To mark the launch of public ticket sales, the ATP has unveiled a ‘Pick Your Eight’ contest in which fans can select the eight singles players they believe will qualify for the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals. The lucky winner will receive a VIP prize for two, including tickets for the semi-finals and final of the tournament. The prize includes hospitality, a backstage tour to meet a player and a tournament gift basket, featuring a full Lacoste tennis outfit, a Tecnifibre racquet, a box of Dunlop ATP tennis balls and a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. Visit to pick your eight players.

The 2018 season-ending tournament welcomed more than 240,000 fans across the eight days of competition as 21-year-old Alexander Zverev produced a breakthrough performance to defeat World No.1 Djokovic to capture the biggest title of his career to date.

This year’s tournament will offer a record breaking US$ 9 million in prize money. The season-ending event has been contested in major cities around the world with a rich history dating back to The Masters in 1970 in Tokyo. Since 2000, the event has taken place in cities such as Lisbon, Sydney and Shanghai, before moving to London in 2009 where it will be held through 2020.

The Nitto ATP Finals is the year-end climax to the men’s professional tennis season, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams as they battle it out for the last title of the season. Players compete for ATP Rankings points throughout the season in a bid to earn one of the eight coveted berths and a chance to win the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world. Played using a round-robin format, each player plays three matches as they compete for a berth in the knockout semi-finals and beyond. The prestigious tournament has been contested in major cities around the world with a rich history dating back to the birth of The Masters in 1970 in Tokyo. Since 2000 the event has taken place in cities such as Lisbon, Sydney, and Shanghai. In 2009 the tournament was moved to London, where it will be played through 2020.

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