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Borg & McEnroe: Meet The Laver Cup Captains

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2023

Borg & McEnroe: Meet The Laver Cup Captains

Pair leads teams at sixth edition of Laver Cup

Legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe know each other all too well. The pair enjoyed a fierce rivalry between 1978 to 1981, facing off 14 times on some of the biggest stages on Tour.

There was little to separate them on court, with the Swede and American locked at 7-7 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series. They met four times in major finals, with McEnroe triumphing at the US Open in 1980 and 1981 and at Wimbledon in 1981. Borg defeated the American in five sets in the Wimbledon final in 1980, a match widely considered one of the most compelling in the sport’s history.

Fast forward 42 years from their last meeting and both will battle for bragging rights again this weekend at the Laver Cup in Vancouver, Canada, where Borg captains Team Europe and McEnroe leads Team World.

Borg and McEnroe have helped spearhead the Laver Cup since its formation in 2017, captaining the teams at all five of the previous editions. Team Europe captain Borg has overseen four victories in the past, while McEnroe was at the helm for Team World in 2022 when they triumphed.

The pair were in a relaxed mood on Wednesday ahead of the latest event, sharing jokes with Australian great Rod Laver.

<a href=John McEnroe/Rod Laver/Bjorn Borg” style=”width: 100%;” />
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Ahead of the sixth edition of the Laver Cup, looks back at each of Borg and McEnroe’s careers.


Wimbledon Record Breaker
Borg was the first man since 1886 to compete in six consecutive Wimbledon finals. He lifted the trophy in 1976, ‘77, ‘78, ‘79 and ’80 and lost in the final in 1981 against McEnroe. This was a record that was eventually surpassed by Roger Federer’s seven consecutive title matches at SW19 from 2003-09.

Swedish Star
Borg is the only Swede, male or female, to win over 10 majors. Alongside his five Wimbledon triumphs, he lifted the trophy at Roland Garros six times, holding a perfect record in finals at the clay-court Slam.

Borg The ‘Ice Man’
Borg’s nickname, “Ice Man”, reflected his attitude on the court: he seemed to have his emotions under control at all times. His game style, which involved heavy topspin and a two-handed backhand, was revolutionary and would be copied all around the world.

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Singles & Doubles Specialist
McEnroe is the only player in history to hold the No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking in singles and doubles at the same time. Stefan Edberg also attained No. 1 in both singles and doubles, but not simultaneously.

Nitto ATP Finals Success
The American won the Nitto ATP Finals singles crown three times (1978, ’83, 84). He holds a 19-11 record at the prestigious year-end event, leaving him ninth in the all-time match wins leaders. He also won the doubles title a record seven times, triumphing alongside Peter Fleming in 1978, 79’, 80’, 81’, 82’, 83’ and 84’.

Fourth Youngest World No. 1
McEnroe is the fourth youngest player to rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The American was aged 21 years and 16 days when he rose to top spot for the first time in March 1980. Only Carlos Alcaraz, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin have climbed to the top younger.

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On The Comeback Trail In Zhuhai, Khachanov ‘Burning Inside To Compete’

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2023

On The Comeback Trail In Zhuhai, Khachanov ‘Burning Inside To Compete’

Top seed excited about the return of ATP Tour to China

As Karen Khachanov assessed the timing of a debilitating injury that left him struggling to walk after Roland Garros, the resurgent star weighed how best to approach the problem.

The 27-year-old was arguably in the best form of his career, having reached three consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals, and felt close to claiming “the cherry on the pie” in a major tournament. But a fracture in the sacrum bone in his back, along with significant pain in his pelvis, derailed him shortly after he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the last four in Paris in June.

“The tendons, all the attachments, the bone itself, it was also kind of a stress fracture. Both things were connected,” Khachanov said. “It all started from Australia. I had been playing well. I kept pushing. But then it got to the moment where I literally could not walk after the Roland Garros match with Novak.

“It was time. I could push to a certain moment, but it was a clear sign when I had pain to walk. That is when I had to stop.”

Khachanov, who will play his second tournament on the comeback trail this week at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships, was mindful the enforced break could be beneficial. The No. 15 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, who had returned to the Top 10 after his semi-final run at Roland Garros, was absent from the Tour until the US Open.

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Rather than lamenting his misfortune, Khachanov seized the chance to spend more time with his family, with his second son born in July.

“It was kind of a setback, in a way, because I was in really good form and getting closer and closer and I proved it with my results. Most of all, I proved it to myself,” he said. “I was really feeling that I was getting closer to the cherry on the pie. But these things, sometimes you cannot control them, so you have to just accept it and make the best out of it. What could I do? Okay, ‘I (will) have an unexpected vacation with my family’.

“I have been a family man since a young age and I am just really happy that I have already had two kids, two sons. I just kind of loved this moment.”

<a href=Karen Khachanov” />

Khachanov meets children at a local school in Zhuhai. Photo Credit: ATP Zhuhai Championships

Winner at the Rolex Paris Masters in 2018, Khachanov was not at his best when he returned to the Tour at the US Open in New York, where he was beaten in the first round by Michael Mmoh. But he has since spent another three weeks training and is confident in his ability to regain his best form, saying the enforced break only heightened his motivation to succeed.

As the top seed in Zhuhai, he will play the winner of a clash on Thursday between Diego Schwartzman and Alex Bolt at the Hengqin International Tennis Center.

“I’m really pumped. I’m really burning inside to compete again,” Khachanov said. “At the same time, I need to keep my body in shape and know that I don’t have any pains with any movement, so that I can be fully practising at 100 per cent.

“Lately, that’s what has been happening. It’s a good sign that I don’t have any setbacks from that moment. I need to take a little time to get the form which I had before. I don’t know how much time it will take … but at the same time, I know that if I did it before, why not do it again?”

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Khachanov, who won his first ATP Tour title in China in Chengdu in 2016, feels comfortable playing in the Asian region and is excited to make his debut in Zhuhai.

“It’s really great to be back here. I missed this Tour,” he said. “I like to play in Asia … and every year, it’s special to come back to China. Really, I am burning inside to compete again. I just hope my body feels well and then I hope I can start to bring the form back which I had before the injury.”

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China Open 2023: Draws, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2023

China Open 2023: Draws, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

All about the ATP 500 in Beijing

The China Open in Beijing, played at the site of the 2008 Olympic Games, has seen previous champions such as Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the tournament in the Chinese capital:

When is the China Open?

The ATP 500 event will be held from 28 September to 4 October. The hard-court tournament will take place at the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Centre, a site built for the 2008 Olympics. The tournament directors are Alfred Zhang and Lars Graff.

Who is playing at the China Open?

Carlos Alcaraz will make his Beijing debut. Daniil Medvedev, Holger Rune, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas are also among the field.

When is the draw for the China Open?

The China Open singles draw will be made on Tuesday 26 September at 2:30 p.m. local time.

What is the schedule for the China Open?

* Qualifying: Tuesday, 26 September – Wednesday, 27 September at 11 a.m.
* Main Draw: Thursday, 28 September – Wednesday, 4 October, starting at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, 3 October play begins not before 3 p.m.
* Doubles Final: Wednesday, 4 October at 5 p.m.
* Singles Final: Wednesday, 4 October not before 7:30 p.m.

What is the prize money and points for the China Open?

The prize money for the China Open is US $3,633,875 and the Total Financial Commitment is US $3,798,915.

Winner: $679,550 / 500 points
Finalist: $365,640 / 300 points
Semi-finalist: $194,860 / 180 points
Quarter-finalist: $99,560 / 90 points
Round of 16: $53,145 / 45 points
Round of 32: $28,345 / 0 points

DOUBLES ($ per team)
Winner: $223,210 / 500 points
Finalist: $119,050 / 300 points
Semi-finalist: $60,240 / 180 points
Quarter-finalist: $30,110 / 90 points
Round of 16: $15,590 / 0 points

How can I watch the China Open?

Watch Live On Tennis TV
TV Schedule

How can I follow the China Open?

Hashtag: #chinaopen
Facebook: China Open
Twitter: @ChinaOpen
Instagram: @chinaopen

Who won the last edition of the China Open in 2019?

Dominic Thiem won the 2019 China Open singles title with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship match. Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek lifted the doubles trophy in Beijing with a 6-3, 7-6(4) triumph against Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the final.

Who holds the China Open record for most titles, oldest champion, youngest champion and more?

Most Titles, Singles: Novak Djokovic (6)
Most Titles, Doubles: Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (3)
Oldest Champion: Rafael Nadal, 31, in 2017
Youngest Champion: Rafael Nadal, 19, in 2005
Highest-Ranked Champion: No. 1 Novak Djokovic in 2013-15, Rafael Nadal in 2017
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 34 Nikoloz Basilashvili in 2018
Last Home Champion: None
Most Match Wins: Novak Djokovic (29)

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

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Novak Djokovic, The Ageless Wonder

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2023

Novak Djokovic, The Ageless Wonder

The Serbian is 12-3 in Grand Slam finals in his 30s

Is Novak Djokovic better than ever at age 36? With his recent statistics at the Grand Slam tournaments, there is a case to be made that the Serbian is a stronger player in his 30s than he was in his 20s. No matter your opinion on that particular debate, Djokovic is certainly not slowing down despite his advancing age.

Following his latest triumph at the US Open, Djokovic has now won 12 major singles titles in both his 20s and 30s. His 12-3 record in Slam finals in his current decade trumps his 12-9 mark in his 20s. While he has won three majors in a calendar year four times—twice in his 20s and twice more in his 30s—he has twice in the past three years come within one match of winning all four majors in the same season.

Djokovic won three Slams in 2011 and 2015, with Roland Garros the only missing trophy both years. He was beaten in the Paris semis in 2011 (l. to Federer) and in the final in 2015 (l. to Wawrinka). More recently, Djokovic’s final losses at the 2021 US Open (l. to Medvedev) and at Wimbledon in 2023 (l. to Alcaraz) kept him from a clean major sweep.

The 2021 season is the only one in which Djokovic won the first three Slams in succession. In the 2021 US Open final, the Grand Slam was on the line.

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Questions about retirement are inevitable for any player as he approaches his 40s. But with the sort of success Djokovic has enjoyed in recent years, why would he leave? 

“Occasionally [I’m] asking myself, why do I need this still at this stage after all I have done? How long do I want to keep going? I do have these questions in my head, of course.” Djokovic said at the US Open. “But knowing that I play at such a high level still and I win the biggest tournaments in this sport, I don’t want to leave this sport if I’m still at the top, if I’m still playing the way I’m playing.”

For comparison, Pete Sampras — whose 14 major singles titles were the record when Djokovic began his career — won just one of those crowns after turning 30. That came in the final tournament of the American’s career, when he won the 2002 US Open at age 31. Sampras also reached the final at his home major the year prior, one month after his 30th birthday.

While Sampras went out on top with one final blaze of New York glory, he was No. 17 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings entering the 2002 US Open and had reached the quarter-finals or better at just two previous tour-level events that season.

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In contrast to Sampras’ 27-17 record in his final year, Djokovic is 46-5 in 2023. The Serbian has won five titles this year, including his record-extending 39th ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati. This follows a 2022 season that ended with Djokovic lifting his record-tying sixth Nitto ATP Finals trophy.

While even Djokovic accepts that he will inevitably have to take his final bow on the ATP Tour, he does not see that farewell coming any time soon.

“Players come and go. It will be the same kind of destiny for me. Eventually one day I will leave tennis in about 23, 24 years,” he joked. “There is going to be new young players coming up. Until then, I guess you’ll see me a bit more.”

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Skupski Meets Liverpool Stars Salah, Van Dijk: ‘I’ll Cherish It For The Rest Of My Life’

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2023

Skupski Meets Liverpool Stars Salah, Van Dijk: ‘I’ll Cherish It For The Rest Of My Life’

Doubles star also speaks to manager Klopp

Neal Skupski is enjoying a memorable year on and off the court. The Briton partnered Wesley Koolhof to win the Wimbledon title in July and on Tuesday, Skupski was a special guest at Liverpool Football Club’s AXA Training Centre.

A Liverpool native, Skupski enjoyed watching the team practise alongside his brother, Ken Skupski, who retired from pro tennis last year. They met the players including Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and manager Jürgen Klopp.

“It was an amazing experience for me and Ken, obviously being lifelong Liverpool fans and coming from Liverpool,” Skupski told “The opportunity came about and it was a bucket-list moment to tour the training [centre], meet the whole team, especially the manager, Jürgen Klopp, who we’ve idolised since he arrived at Liverpool some years ago.”

Video courtesy of Liverpool FC
Despite constantly being on the road competing on the ATP Tour, the 33-year-old Skupski carves out time to watch Liverpool. On Tuesday, the football stars were not just on TV — they were shaking hands with the 15-time tour-level titlist.

“It was very special. It was great to meet the people I watch all hours of the day travelling the world. To watch them train, pick their brain, it was a very special thing to do,” Skupski said. “It’s not often someone gets to go behind the scenes and see how other sportsmen work, especially the team that I’ve dreamed of watching for many years now.

“I was very nervous at the start, but the whole team and the manager were very welcoming and made us feel right at home from the very minute we walked through the door. It’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

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Great Britain vs. Serbia Headlines Davis Cup Final 8 Draw

  • Posted: Sep 20, 2023

Great Britain vs. Serbia Headlines Davis Cup Final 8 Draw

Australia faces Czech Republic

Great Britain will clash against Serbia in a blockbuster Davis Cup Final 8 meeting, it was announced Tuesday.

Following their dramatic victory against France on Sunday, when Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski saved four match points to survive a deciding doubles match, Great Britain became the last team to seal their Final 8 spot by winning Group B. The winner of Great Britain and Serbia will meet Italy or The Netherlands.

In the top half of the draw, defending champion Canada will battle against first-time quarter-finalist Finland in the Final 8. The winner will face the Czech Republic or last year’s runner-up Australia.

The Davis Cup Final 8 Knockout Stage, which will be held in Malaga, Spain, runs from 21-26 November.

Davis Cup Final 8 Draw:
Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group D
Canada vs. Finland

Winner Group C v Runner-up Group B
Czech Republic vs. Australia

Runner-up Group A v Winner Group D
Italy vs. Netherlands

Runner-up Group C v Winner Group B
Serbia vs. Great Britain

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‘It Is Crazy To See’: Kovacevic Among ATP Stars Wowed By Whale Sharks In Zhuhai

  • Posted: Sep 20, 2023

‘It Is Crazy To See’: Kovacevic Among ATP Stars Wowed By Whale Sharks In Zhuhai

Emerging American enjoying off-court fun ahead of China debut

Earlier this season at Roland Garros, Aleksandar Kovacevic thrived when tasked with the opportunity of tackling Novak Djokovic, the now-24-time major champion, on his Grand Slam debut. The American showed impressive firepower against the record-breaking legend, taking the eventual champion in Paris to a third set tie-break when beaten 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(1).

Ahead of his ATP Tour debut in China on Thursday at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships, Kovacevic took some time to marvel at a giant of a different kind as he watched whale sharks during a day of thrills at a nearby theme park. Along with fellow main-draw competitors including Sebastian Korda, he visited the world’s biggest ocean-themed resort, the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.

The 25-year-old Kovacevic is a nature-lover who integrated outdoors activities, including hiking and sky diving, into his training routines at the behest of his former University of Illinois college coach Brad Dancer.

“I used to go hiking a lot when I was training in California. I was in Sacramento, and there was not much to do around there, so I had to find ways to have fun,” he said. “We used to drive to some of the coasts and find some random places to hike, and it was always nice, but seeing things like this is almost a step above that.”

<a href=Sebastian Korda” />

Sebastian Korda was among the group who spent the day at the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom. Photo Credit: ATP Zhuhai Championships.

Kovacevic, who peaked at No.101 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in April, was raised in New York and has spent time living in Florida, Illinois and California. The World No.116, who will play Kimmer Coppejans in his first round match in Zhuhai, was astonished by the variety of marine life on display at the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.

“It is wild seeing them in person. In our day-to-day lives, you forget that nature produces some of these amazing animals. It is crazy to see,” he said.

Kovacevic, who has posted strong results on the ATP Challenger Tour since turning professional in 2021, is no stranger to meeting champions. As a 10-year-old he hit with former US Open winners John McEnroe and Andy Roddick at a World TeamTennis Match in New York. the two-time All American collegiate player also had the joy of meeting Djokovic early in the champion’s career in 2005, before the opportunity to play him presented 18 years later.

After winning ATP Challenger Tour titles in Cleveland and Waco early in the season, and also winning a round as a qualifier in Miami, Kovacevic wants to finish the season strongly. Having reached the semi-finals in Seoul last September after coming through qualifying, he feels confident in his ability to succeed in Asia.

“This is my first time in China. I was in Korea last year and I actually like Korea a lot,” he said. “It has been amazing so far. The hotel, I think, is the nicest hotel I have stayed in in my entire life.

“Just overall, the hospitality has been great. The tournament site is great and this experience today has been great, so nothing but good things to say so far.”

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Ohio State Buckeye Cannon Kingsley Making Challenger Strides

  • Posted: Sep 20, 2023

Ohio State Buckeye Cannon Kingsley Making Challenger Strides

The 22-year-old is a recipient of the ATP/ITA Accelerator Programme

When J.J. Wolf turned pro in 2019 following a standout career at Ohio State University, American Cannon Kingsley was just settling into college life in Columbus.

Fast forward to this season, Kingsley is now a three-time ITA All-American entering his fifth year at OSU, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in sport industry this spring. The 22-year-old is hoping to follow in the footsteps of World No. 51 Wolf.

“I’ve known J.J. for about four or five years now. He’s still based out of Columbus so he trains with some of the guys when he’s home playing. I’ve trained with him a decent amount,” Kingsley told at this year’s NCAA Championships.

“It’s great having a guy like that who came out of the programme. It’s an inspiration for guys like me who are trying to transition into pro tennis after school, so getting to see him and how he works and how he trains is a pretty cool thing. The fact that he was a Buckeye is awesome.”

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Through the ATP/ITA Accelerator Programme, Kingsley will receive up to eight qualifying spots at select ATP Challenger Tour events in the next year. “That’s a huge opportunity. It’s a good motivator for me,” he stated. The Northport, New York native is one of 21 students to benefit from the new programme, which aims to increase the development pathway for top players in the American collegiate system.

Kingsley puts great value on his time in Columbus, where under the tutelage of longtime coach Ty Tucker, he has been named to the Big Ten’s All-Conference team the past four seasons (2020-23). His freshman year, Kingsley made a dream start to his college career, becoming the first player in programme history to be named ITA Rookie of the Year.

“There’s just so much that you learn when you’re in college. Physically, I’ve grown so much. I think I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve gotten mentally tougher as well,” Kingsley said. “I think just playing for something bigger than yourself is another factor that people don’t really learn who just go straight into pro tennis. And I think playing for a bigger purpose is something that really motivates me on the court.”

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Kingsley was given a wild card into last month’s Lexington Challenger, his first tournament of the season at the level. Though he was not using an Accelerator spot, he reached the semi-finals.

In action this week at the Columbus Challenger, Kingsley will feel right at home on the scarlet and grey indoor courts of Ohio State. After reaching the semi-finals last September in Columbus, Kingsley will aim for another deep run behind his first-strike firepower.

“I have a big serve, kind of a one-two punch with that,” said Kingsley, who is No. 449 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “First ball, looking for forehands. I think that that is probably my game, aggressive baseliner.”

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