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Nitto ATP Finals Welcomes More Than 2.5 Million Fans Across 10 Years In London

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2018

Nitto ATP Finals Welcomes More Than 2.5 Million Fans Across 10 Years In London

More than 240,000 tennis fans visit The O2 for the 10th straight year

The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 in London brought a close to another spectacular season on the ATP World Tour, as 21-year-old Alexander Zverev defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to capture the biggest title of his career to date. Americans Mike Bryan and Jack Sock clinched a thrilling doubles final, saving one championship point on route to a 5-7, 6-1, 13-11 (Match Tie-Break) win over the French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.

By winning the prestigious title, Zverev became the youngest winner of the season-ending tournament since Djokovic in 2008 (Shanghai), and the first German to win the title since Boris Becker in 1995 (Frankfurt). The German, who won four out of his five matches across the eight days, collected a total of $2,509,000 in prize money and 1,300 ATP Rankings points to finish the season at No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, behind Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

The 2018 season-ending tournament attracted 243,819 spectators across the eight days of competition, bringing the tournament’s cumulative attendance since 2009 to 2,561,084 across 150 sessions. This year’s attendance at The O2 brings the total attendance across the ATP World Tour’s 64 tournaments in 2018 to 4.57 million fans, the second highest number in the Tour’s history, behind 2017. The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals also attracted record audiences online, with more than 200 million impressions on ATP’s digital platforms.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “This year’s Nitto ATP Finals will be remembered for the moment that Alexander Zverev truly arrived and delivered on one of the biggest stages in tennis, in the final match of the ATP World Tour season. At just 21 years of age, he is leading the charge and to follow his career in years to come will be fascinating for tennis fans across the world. Full credit as well to Novak for his incredible comeback this season, which saw him finish as year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for a fifth time. And, finally, on behalf of the ATP, we would like to thank the fans that came out to support and who continue to play such a big part in making our season-ending event so successful in London.”

The Nitto ATP Finals has a rich history dating back to the birth of the Masters in Tokyo in 1970. The tournament will be held at The O2 in London though 2020.

BY THE NUMBERS:
• 202,577,553 – number of impressions across on ATP digital platforms (ATPWorldTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, live scoring apps, and social media platforms, and Tennis TV) throughout the event.
• 36,678,342 – number of video plays on ATP digital media platforms, including ATPWorldTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, ATP & Tennis TV social media platforms.
• 5,069,586 – number or interactions (likes, comments, retweets, replies etc.) on ATP and Tennis TV social media platforms throughout the event
• 8,500,000 – amount of prize money (US$) on offer at the 2018 season finale.
• 4,571,625 – number of fans that attended the 64 tournaments on the ATP World Tour in 2018, the second highest on record, behind 2017.
• 2,561,084 – cumulative attendance at the season-ending tournament across 150 sessions since it moved to London in 2009
• 2,509,000 – amount of prize money (US$) that Alexander Zverev won by capturing the title.
• 890,000 – number of streams on Tennis TV the ATP’s official live streaming service, with each viewer watching an average of 178 minutes per day.
• 358,472 – number of people to pass through The O2 site in 2018, including the restaurants, bars and shops, during the eight days of the tournament.
• 243, 819 – attendance inside The O2 arena across the eight days.
• 28,700 – amount of money (GBP) donated by ATP to help Unicef protect children in danger around the world (£100 per ace – 287 aces in total).
• 20,000 – number of re-usable plastic cups used by fans as part of ATP’s sustainability initiatives throughout the tournament.
• 110 – the largest number decibels measured inside The O2 arena through the Infosys ATP Fan Meter, on the opening evening’s match between Federer and Kei Nishikori.
• 36 – the number of different countries to have media accreditation at the event.

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Roger Federer: Rafael Nadal's ex-coach says the Swiss won't win a Grand Slam in 2019

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2018

Roger Federer will not win a Grand Slam next year, according to the uncle and former coach of long-time rival Rafael Nadal.

Federer, 37, and Nadal, 32, have dominated Slam tournaments over the past 14 years, along with Novak Djokovic, 31.

But after Alexander Zverev, 21, beat both Federer and Djokovic at the ATP Finals, Toni Nadal feels the new generation of players have made a “quality leap”.

“I find it hard to see Federer raising another Grand Slam trophy,” he said.

Federer won the Australian Open in January to extend his all-time men’s record to 20 Slam victories, but the veteran Swiss struggled to maintain that form throughout the rest of 2018.

  • Alexander Zverev winning ATP Finals is a big moment for tennis, says Boris Becker

“I do not say it for his game, although I do say it for the toughness of the five-set tournaments,” Nadal added in his El Pais column.

“I have to confess that I said that on other occasions and the Swiss, repeatedly, surprised me.”

Federer and Nadal were both world number one this year, before Djokovic won Wimbledon and the US Open to finish 2018 on top.

Zverev is back up to fourth after the weekend, when his performances forced 57-year-old Nadal – who retired as his nephew’s coach at the end of the 2017 season – into a rethink.

“For some time I had my doubts about whether the youngsters would be able to overcome the game of Federer on grass, the one of Djokovic on fast courts and the one of Rafael on clay,” he said.

“And I had the impression that the change would be caused rather by the decline of some than by the attack of others. The final in London has made me think about it.

“For now, for the coming year, I trust in the full physical recovery of Rafael. I feel new episodes of his rivalry with Djokovic and, in general, a more open panorama with the definitive incorporation of the new generation.”

  • Andy Murray: How the Scot is using handstands to gear up for the new season

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Handstands and paddling without a canoe – meet the man making Murray 'normal' again

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2018

When Andy Murray published a video of a recent gym session during which he did a handstand, fellow tennis player Nick Kyrgios responded: “I see you’ve lost your marbles without me.”

It seemed an unorthodox way to prepare for the new season, as the Scot continues his long road back from hip surgery last January.

But the coach making Murray leap and bound all over his Philadelphia gym has become a go-to man for sportspeople returning from serious injury.

Bill Knowles was one of the first people to text Danny Welbeck after he broke his ankle last month, having previously worked with the England footballer.

Callum Wilson – another England player – had so much faith in Knowles’ methods he missed the birth of his second child.

So why do the stars seek the American’s wisdom, and why is he seemingly turning them into acrobats?

Handstands, trampolines and ‘athletic normal’

Murray posted the video of his gym session on Instagram with the caption “never grow up” – and given he played in just six tournaments this year, you can hardly blame him for having some fun.

Bounding off trampolines and performing cartwheels may look like a scene from a soft-play centre, but gymnastics is a key part of getting the likes of Murray back to what Knowles describes as ‘athletic normal’.

Knowles, who calls himself a “reconditioning specialist”, says he is setting physical puzzles for the body, in the same way a crossword keeps the brain in shape.

“Athletic normal is a place where you can express all types of movement literacy – such as jumping, skipping, falling, stepping or lunging – without reservation and especially without pain,” the 53-year-old told BBC Sport.

“You could push weights above your head to build shoulder strength or core stability, but a handstand does all of those things and there is still a level of apprehension that we try to break down.

“The approach is a lot of fun and when you’re in good spirits and excited about training, you move better, anticipate pain less and recover faster. It’s very motivating.”

Judy Murray – who saw Knowles in action during her son’s seven-week stay – agrees.

“Andy was learning so many new things and I’ve never seen him do a handstand or a cartwheel before,” she told BBC Radio 5 live. “That gets you street cred with your kids, doesn’t it?”

The injury or sport doesn’t matter

Knowles says he works on “fundamental principles of sports movements”, which mean the injury “and to a large degree” sport do not matter.

Among his previous clients are ex-England footballers John Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen, and World Cup-winning former England rugby union player Jonny Wilkinson.

Unlike some fitness specialists, he works in conjunction with physiotherapists and sports scientists already in place to get the athlete back on track.

Knowles, who also works with the youth teams at MLS side Philadelphia Union, said: “It’s really about building confidence to a point where they can express the skill that has made them world-class.”

Murray said: “Bill is very out the box and has an American can-do attitude. He has no fear of trying new things and has worked with so many top athletes, so even though he may not have ever rehabilitated a tennis player before, he researched Andy and what tennis would demand.”

‘It’s like trusting the disc brakes on your car’

When Welbeck broke his ankle during Arsenal’s Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon, Knowles sent him a text which included a picture of the 27-year-old at peak fitness following a knee operation in 2016.

“It was a reminder that he will get this quality back,” Knowles said.

Welbeck has admitted he was left low by a period between 2015 and 2017 when knee problems meant he missed 70 games for the Gunners.

As he gears up for another long round of rehabilitation, he might draw inspiration from Wilson, who suffered cruciate-ligament injuries to both knees in the space of 16 months.

Wilson admits he rushed back from his first injury in 2015, but took his time when bad luck struck again.

Sixteen months after visiting Knowles, he scored on his England debut last Thursday.

The 26-year-old said: “I spent two weeks out there and did a lot of sprint work. I actually missed the birth of my second child.”

Knowles recognised the type of non-impact injury Wilson suffered twice can “be in your head quite a bit” so built a programme which improved Wilson’s confidence to “decelerate, stop or change direction and then accelerate again”.

“It’s like trusting the disc brakes on your car,” Knowles added. “It starts from the brain, it goes down through the butt and the hips, your legs, ankle and foot, and then it goes right back to the brain again.

“In Callum’s case, making the England team is purely from his own perseverance and it’s super-exciting that he’s showing his talents.”

‘Strength training is under-applied in UK’

Knowles says his methods have helped Philadelphia Union’s academy teams have “dramatically low” injury rates.

“We spend close to 30% of our total contact time with athletes of all ages without a ball,” he says. “They are doing gymnastics-type moves, body-weight strength development and athletics track-style drills.

“Much of this is done with our MLS senior team, which has not had one ACL injury in nine or 10 years.”

While he accepts the number of games played and club budgets are factors in injury prevention, he says British teams could lean more on strength training.

Knowles adds: “There are a lot of very talented sports science, strength coaches and physios but I believe that, in the UK, the concept of strength development in-season is a bit under-appreciated and under-applied.

“In America our sports are a lot more accepting of it as are many, many teams in Europe.”

If that advice seems at odds with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri – who has banned weight training for his players – Knowles disagrees.

“I am not going toe-to-toe with any manager, but remember weight training is only one form of strength development,” he says.

“I use a lot of body-weight work and we do a lot of explosive plyometrics in the water, so you don’t need big gym sessions in order to influence strength as an athlete.”

Murray pictured paddling in a pool without a canoe has certainly smashed that perception.

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Best Grand Slam Matches Of 2018: 2 To 1

  • Posted: Nov 21, 2018

Best Grand Slam Matches Of 2018: 2 To 1

ATP World Tour Season In Review: Best Grand Slam Matches

Continuing our Season In Review series, ATPWorldTour.com looks at the two best Grand Slam matches of the 2018 season.

2. Novak Djokovic def. Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon, Semi-finals – 14 July 2018 (Match Stats)
There are epic matches, and then there are epic moments; clashes during which you lose track of the score and are simply mesmerised by sensational tennis. Classic rallies feel like they will never end — to nobody’s dismay — and fans’ roars build up between points until they’re unleashed after a tremendous shot.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon semi-final felt like one of those moments, one that will play centre stage in books about the sport for years to come. Neither player was going to be left unscathed, leaving it all out on the court, no matter what it took. And after a titanic five hours and 15 minutes in the pair’s record 52nd FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, Djokovic beat Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-8 to reach his 22nd major final.

“If I show you my feet, you would understand,” Djokovic said of the toll an epic against Nadal could take. “He’s probably the greatest fighter ever to play this game. I mean, he battles every single point like it’s his last… That’s why you put in ‘X’ amount of hours on the practice court, preparation, trying to be as professional as you can, because you need to compete with a guy like Nadal. He does the same.”

Djokovic

There was a lot on the line for both players. Nadal, the No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings at the time, was trying to reach his first final at SW19 in seven years. Then there was Djokovic, who was seeking a breakthrough against one of his greatest rivals.

While the Serbian had won the tournament three times, he arrived in London as the World No. 21 after struggling due to a right wrist injury. Djokovic reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and had match point to win the Fever-Tree Championships, but the former World No. 1 was missing an ‘I’m back’ win. This was an opportunity to not only make a statement to the field, but reaffirm his belief in himself.

Part of the drama stemmed from the day’s first semi-final, as Kevin Anderson beat John Isner 26-24 in a fifth set, pushing back Djokovic and Nadal’s start time so that they had to break after the third set for the evening due to curfew. 

And after the fifth set went past 6-6, the match appeared to be a sheer battle of wills. Nadal consistently attacked Djokovic’s forehand, but the 31-year-old’s neutralising and at times offensive defence consistently bent without breaking. These two warriors didn’t limp to the finish line, either. At 4-3, deuce in the decider, Djokovic raced to the net for a drop shot, soared straight into the air for a high backhand volley, and Nadal still managed to cut off the Serbian’s sharp angle with a rifled forehand winner right over the net post, from outside the court.

It felt like tennis’ version of, “Anything you can do, I can do better.” After staving off a strong push from Nadal at 7-7, Djokovic found his first match point at 8-7. But even then, there was no end in sight, as he couldn’t quite retrieve a masterful drop shot carved by Nadal.

“It was one of those moments where I think time stopped for me. Match point, I saw him coming in, I played a relatively solid shot. It was a moment of decision-making for him, knowing whether he was going to go for a drop shot or just smack the backhand. When I saw him changing the grip, I started running,” Djokovic said. “But the drop shot was just too good. I was too far away. But I did try to, like in ‘Space Jam,’ with Michael Jordan, when he was trying to stretch, that’s probably something that comes to my mind to describe it.”

Read Match Report

Eventually, Nadal could not hold off any longer, as at 0/40 while serving at 8-9, the Spaniard hooked a cross-court forehand a couple of feet wide, and all Djokovic could do was look at his box and smile after taking a 27-25 lead in his series against the Spaniard.

Nadal

“Normally I am very critical with myself,” Nadal said. “I hit great shots. I played aggressive. I missed balls, not too many, but I missed some ones. When you play with that intensity, with that level of risk, that level of passion, sometimes you go over. [I have] nothing to complain [about]. I think I played a great match. I have not much more inside me. I gave it my best, and that’s it.” 

1. Rafael Nadal def. Dominic Thiem, US Open, Quarter-finals – 4 September 2018 (Match Stats)
Rafael Nadal’s victory against Juan Martin del Potro in this year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals was an all-time classic between two of the titans of the sport. Yet, however high of a moment that was for him, losing in the semi-finals against Djokovic was equally as devastating.

But just two months later, Nadal found himself in yet another tussle to remember. Dominic Thiem gave the top-seeded Spaniard everything he had during his first trip to the last eight at Flushing Meadows. But Nadal summoned his best tennis to outlast the Austrian 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(5) in four hours and 49 minutes. 

You May Also Like: A Night To Remember: Nadal Survives Thiem In Classic

That first-set scoreline is not a typo. Nadal won just seven points in the opening set. Seven points for Rafael Nadal in an entire set! And while the Spaniard was not at full throttle, a lot of credit has to go to Thiem for coming out swinging.

One of the biggest hitters on the ATP World Tour began the match as if he were the Hulk wielding Thor’s hammer as a racquet, completely controlling play. Thiem hit 13 winners to just two unforced errors straight out of the gate. His 6-0 romp over Nadal in the opener was the first bagel-set the Spaniard had lost at the US Open since losing to Andy Roddick in straight sets 14 years ago.

“[It was] very demanding in all aspects. [It was] a very tough start for me,” Nadal said. “After that first set, then the match became more normal. Tough match against a great opponent.”

Thiem

In a way, the tennis became like a boxing match with two athletes trading jabs and sporadic uppercuts while remaining in the pocket the entire time. There are players who might be able to attack Nadal for two sets, or sometimes even three. But it’s rare that the left-hander has found an opponent who could match his physical output on the court for a five-set marathon. 

It was Thiem’s first match to last more than four hours, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell. The Austrian kept taking massive cuts at the ball, ultimately leading to 74 winners. And he was not shy about stepping up when it counted, saving 12 break points in the match.

As the clock approached 2 am local time, both players had fans rising to their feet point after point as if they were members of each athlete’s box. It was fitting the pair went to a deciding tie-break, but Thiem launched an overhead long off of a scrambled lob by Nadal to end the affair at 2:04 am.

“I played against a great opponent. He played a good match. Sorry for him. He’s a top guy, being honest. He’s one of the best guys on Tour,” Nadal said. “I’m sad for him because when we arrived at this moment, he did all the things well to win the match. Me, too, I think. I fought until the end. [It] was a question of a little bit of luck at the end, and it was for me.”

Nadal

Thiem was so close to one of the biggest wins of his career in the best Grand Slam match of the season. But the Austrian was sent packing.

“It’s cruel sometimes, tennis, because I think this match didn’t really deserve a loser. But there has to be one. And I would say if we skip the first set, it was a really open match from the beginning to the end,” Thiem said. “The way it ended up in the fifth set tie-break, there it’s 50/50. He made one more point than me.”

Nadal, the only player to advance to the quarter-finals at all four Grand Slams in 2018, actually won five fewer points than Thiem. But the last one was what counted, and Nadal advanced.

“It’s going to be stuck in my mind forever,” Thiem said. “Forever I’m going to remember this match.”

Thiem is not alone there.

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Nadal Paced The Tour In These Two Categories In 2018

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2018

Nadal Paced The Tour In These Two Categories In 2018

Infosys ATP Beyond the Numbers analyses the difference between winning and losing on the ATP World Tour

Imagine losing almost 50,000 points and 160 matches and calling it one of the best seasons of your life.

That’s exactly what the Top 10 combined to produce in the 2018 season, earning them north of $64 million in prize money in the process.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the Top 10 players in the ATP Rankings at the completion of the 2018 season sheds light on all the winning and losing that go hand-in-hand with reaching the pinnacle of our sport.

Total Points Won / Lost
The Top 10 combined to lose 48,501 points in the 2018 season. They averaged winning just 53.0 per cent (54,424/102/925) of total points, highlighting that their real advantage is not as much as we perceive. Kevin Anderson won the most points (6151) and also lost the most points (5726) of the Top 10 in the 2018 season.

Top 10: 2018 Season – Points Won & Lost / Prize Money

Ranking

Player

Points Won

Points Lost

Total

Win %

Prize Money

1

N. Djokovic

5796

4832

10628

54.5%

$12,609,672

2

R. Nadal

4281

3447

7728

55.4%

$8,663,347

3

R. Federer

5097

4280

9377

54.4%

$7,599,233

4

A. Zverev

5998

5356

11354

52.8%

$7,726,914

5

J. M. Del Potro

5167

4514

9681

53.4%

$5,917,766

6

K. Anderson

6151

5726

11877

51.8%

$4,922,699

7

M. Cilic

5427

4877

10304

52.7%

$4,727,148

8

D. Thiem

5969

5465

11434

52.2%

$4,556,745

9

K. Nishikori

5156

4850

10006

51.5%

$3,784,388

10

J. Isner

5382

5154

10536

51.1%

$3,746,875

TOTAL / AVERAGE

54424

48501

102925

53.0%

$64,254,787

Rafael Nadal = Best Win Percentage
Rafael Nadal finished at No. 2 in the ATP Ranking- in the 2018 season, but he actually had the highest win percentage of points won at 55.4 per cent, which was his second best performance in the past four seasons.

Rafael Nadal 2015-2018 – Percentage Of Points Won
• 2018 = 55.4% (4281/7728)
• 2017 = 55.5% (6519/11743)
• 2016 = 53.7% (3733/6947)
• 2015 = 53.4% (6517/12215)

Nadal also had the best match-record winning percentage of Top 10 players in 2018, at 91.8 per cent (45-4).

Top 10: 2018 Season – Matches Won & Lost

Ranking

Player

Matches Won

Matches Lost

Total Matches

Win %

1

N. Djokovic

53

12

65

81.5%

2

R. Nadal

45

4

49

91.8%

3

R. Federer

48

10

58

82.8%

4

A. Zverev

58

19

77

75.3%

5

J. M. Del Potro

47

13

60

78.3%

6

K. Anderson

47

19

66

71.2%

7

M. Cilic

42

20

62

67.7%

8

D. Thiem

54

20

74

73.0%

9

K. Nishikori

43

21

64

67.2%

10

J. Isner

34

22

56

60.7%

Total / Average

471

160

631

75.0%

The Top 10 averaged to win right at 75 per cent (471/631) of their matches in the 2018 season, with Alexander Zverev winning the most matches with 58 victories, including capturing the biggest title of his career by winning the Nitto ATP Finals in London on Sunday.

Reaching the Top 10 is one of the most prized goals in our sport. It’s important to consider that they still lose, on average, one out of every four matches and are only able to create a separation of just six points out of every 100 (53% won / 47% lost) from their opponents.

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Much At Stake In Challenger Season Finale

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2018

Much At Stake In Challenger Season Finale

Tournaments in Andria, Italy and Pune, India conclude the ATP Challenger Tour season

On Sunday, the Nitto ATP Finals celebrated its newest champion under the bright lights of The O2 in London. Alexander Zverev gave the tennis world a fresh glimpse into the future as he claimed his biggest title.

Zverev’s victory marked the conclusion of the ATP World Tour season, but one week remains on the ATP Challenger Tour. Players have one last opportunity to jockey for position in the year-end ATP Rankings, with a handful continuing their quest for coveted Top 100 spots.

A pair of $50,000 tournaments cap the season on the Challenger circuit, with the carpet courts of Andria, Italy and outdoor hard courts of Pune, India thrust into the spotlight. The Andria e Castel del Monte Challenger is back for a sixth straight year, maintaining its traditional season-ending spot on the calendar. And in Pune, the KPIT MSLTA Challenger ends a two-week Indian swing, marking a celebration of tennis in the country.

View ATP Rankings

Ugo Humbert leads a strong field in Andria, which also includes home favourites Lorenzo Sonego and Paolo Lorenzi, as well as fellow #NextGenATP stars Corentin Moutet and Liam Caruana. Caruana is coming off an appearance in the Next Gen ATP Finals after winning the Italian wild card competition.

The 20-year-old Humbert will be one to watch in 2019 after registering a dominant second half of the season. He earned a nomination for Newcomer of the Year in the 2018 ATP World Tour Awards Presented By Moët & Chandon. The top seed in Andria, he enters the week at No. 100 in the ATP Rankings and will be looking to finish the year as the youngest Frenchman in the Top 100.

Humbert is one of three players vying for Top 100 finishes in Andria, with No. 107 Sonego and No. 109 Lorenzi needing to win the title to achieve the feat. Defending champion Uladzimir Ignatik is also back and could face Humbert in the second round. 

View Andria Draw

Meanwhile, in Pune, No. 102 Radu Albot is the top seed and bidding for a third straight year-end Top 100 berth. He is joined by freshly minted Indian No. 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who is coming off a title in nearby Bengaluru. Just one month ago, Gunneswaran was sitting at No. 170, but a 12-3 stretch has since moved him to the precipice of a Top 100 breakthrough, soaring to No. 110. He needs to win the title in Pune to have a chance.

Albot and Gunneswaran are accompanied by last year’s runner-up Ramkumar Ramanathan, who reached his first ATP World Tour final earlier this year in Newport, as well as 18-year-old Spaniard Nicola Kuhn, 20-year-old Brit Jay Clarke and rising Aussies Marc Polmans and Max Purcell.

View Pune Draw

Watch free live streams of all the action from Andria and Pune at ATPChallengerTour.com.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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