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2020 Australian Open To Offer Record Prize Money

  • Posted: Dec 27, 2019

2020 Australian Open To Offer Record Prize Money

First-round losers will receive significant pay increases

The players competing in the 2020 Australian Open aren’t just battling for Grand Slam glory. They’re also playing for record prize money that includes sizable boosts for all participants.

The first Grand Slam of the year is offering AUD $71 million (USD $49,564,735) in prize money, a 13.6 per cent increase from last year’s event. The prize money in Melbourne has nearly tripled from AUD $25 million (USD $17,452,371) in 2011.

First-round losers in the singles main draw will receive AUD $90,000 (USD $62,828), up 20 per cent from last year. Doubles teams that exit in the first round will receive a 19 per cent pay increase and split AUD $25,000 (USD $17,451). Players who fall in the first round of qualifying will take home AUD $20,000 (USD $13,960), up 33 per cent from last year.

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“We have long been committed to improving the pay and conditions for a deeper pool of international tennis players,” said Craig Tiley, Tournament Director. “This year, as we do every year, we worked with the tours to establish the weighting for prize money increases round by round, and we pushed to reward players competing early in the tournament in both singles and doubles.

“We strongly believe in growing prize money at all levels of the game and we will continue to work with the playing group to create viable career paths in the sport and enable more players to make more money.”

Defending singles champion Novak Djokovic looks to keep his title and earn the winner’s check for AUD $4,120,000 (USD $2,875,952). The winning doubles team splits AUD $760,000 (USD $544,476).

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Salisbury Loves Australia's Fun & Sun

  • Posted: Dec 27, 2019

Salisbury Loves Australia’s Fun & Sun

Brit competes in Group C in Sydney

Joe Salisbury consolidated his standing as one of the world’s best doubles players in 2019, breaking into the Top 20 for the first time and finishing the year at No. 22 after making his debut (with American Rajeev Ram) at the Nitto ATP Finals. He won titles in Dubai and Vienna.

After beginning last season by reaching the final at the Brisbane International, he’s hoping to reproduce that good early season form to help Great Britain make a deep run at the inaugural ATP Cup.

Which countrymen did you watch growing up?
I remember watching Tim Henman play at Wimbledon. It’s probably not a great memory for Tim but I remember him playing Ivanisevic when he was up two sets to one and they had the rain delay. Everyone was behind him, hoping he was going to get to the final. And obviously Andy Murray. It seems like I have been watching him for a long time.

If you could take a stroke from anyone on your team, what would that be?
It would have to be Andy’s returns. He is one of the best returners in the world. So if I could add that to my game, that would obviously be a big boost.

Who are the funniest guys on the team?
Andy likes to joke around a lot. He’s got a dry sense of humour. ‘Evo’ [Dan Evans} as well. He likes to have a laugh and a bit of banter. He’s definitely a bit of a louder character.

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What are the things you love about Great Britain?
I like the people. We are very down to earth and honest, with a good sense of humour. I love London; it’s a great city although I’d like to give it a bit more sun.

What do you like about Australia?
Definitely the weather. I enjoy being in the sun. 2019 was my first visit. I went to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and they are all great places. I like to surf and did that a couple of times there. I love being by the sea and the beach.

What are the first three Australian animals that come to mind?
Kangaroo, koala and a shark.

Growing up, did you play team sports?
I loved all sports when I was younger and played a lot of them at school. I played football, cricket, rugby, squash, swimming. I always enjoyed being part of a team and that’s why I’m excited to be playing ATP Cup.

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Felix Begins ATP Cup Preparations In Brisbane

  • Posted: Dec 27, 2019

Felix Begins ATP Cup Preparations In Brisbane

Canadian hits the court on Friday

Felix Auger-Aliassime wasted no time getting to work when he arrived in Brisbane for the inaugural ATP Cup.

The #NextGenATP Canadian went straight to Queensland Tennis Centre for a Friday practice session on Pat Rafter Arena. Auger-Aliassime said he’s eager to kick off the 2020 season and hopes to help lead Team Canada to victory.

“I had my first practice today. It’s a beautiful venue,” Auger-Aliassime said to “I can’t wait to play for the first time in front of the Brisbane fans.”

Auger-Aliassime is the second-ranked singles player on Team Canada, behind Denis Shapovalov. They’re in a challenging Group F that includes Germany, Greece and Australia. The top three #NextGenATP players in the ATP Rankings are all in the group, with Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime joined by Aussie Alex de Minaur. Former top-ranked #NextGenATP players Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) and Alexander Zverev (Germany) will also headline action in Brisbane.

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The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime finished this year at No. 21 in the ATP Rankings. He reached his first three ATP Tour finals in Rio de Janeiro (l. to Djere), Lyon (l. to Paire) and Stuttgart (l. to Berrettini), in addition to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Miami.

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Greatest moments of the decade – 'I was there – Murray wins Wimbledon'

  • Posted: Dec 27, 2019

On 7 July 2013, Andy Murray ended Great Britain’s 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men’s singles champion. In the latest in a series recalling some of the greatest sporting moments of the decade, former BBC tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend, who was commentating on the winning moment, describes what it was like to be there.

When I look back at that men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the top two seeds, my mind races, helplessly stuck on fast forward.

It races through the build-up, the walk-ons and the knock-up. Fast forward.

It dashes through the first game (Murray the first three points), the first set (Murray 6-4) and the second set (Murray 7-5, from 4-1 down). Fast forward.

It even swiftly spins through the third set with Murray again recovering from a break down to sensationally conjure a 5-4 lead. And pause.

Andy Murray, 26, from Dunblane in Scotland, was about to serve for the Wimbledon title after almost three hours on centre court and I think it hit us all.

“It” hit us. That very unique sporting sensation. You’ve felt it, right? The abstract sense of the imminent unknown. “It” had most definitely arrived.

What on earth was about to happen?

The noise at the changeover was incredible. Words can’t do justice to noise at great sporting venues, you need to hear it, you need to feel it. This, from the Centre Court Chorus, was a cacophony of support, elation and fear.

  • Archive: Murray beats Djokovic to win Wimbledon
  • Archive: Andy Murray column
  • Download: The Day We Won Wimbledon

That noise, in those 90 seconds, will never ever be heard again. So loud, so impassioned, it was like Murray was about to play the final game of his life.

I couldn’t talk in the commentary box, needing to gather my thoughts. John Lloyd and Richard Krajicek shuffled anxiously beside me. “Time!” bellowed Mohammed Layani from the umpire’s chair, playing up to his role, increasingly-exuberant calls laced with a similar sense of anticipation.

Time, indeed.

“Andy Murray of Great Britain is serving for the Wimbledon title…”

I first met Andrew Murray when he was 16 and vividly remember his first Davis Cup trip in 2004, juggling tennis balls with both feet to the amusement of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in a Luxembourg leisure centre. It was immediately obvious this was a story, as a journalist and commentator, you dreamed of reporting.

Things moved quickly the following year; an extraordinary Wimbledon debut, bravely qualifying and winning a round at the US Open, a first ATP tour final in Bangkok, a victory over Henman in Basle to become British number one. Yet domestic dominance was of no interest. He wanted to take on the world and we witnessed, as we started to get to know him, that incredibly single-minded ambition first hand.

With a small bunch of the British media following his every turn, the story was building. The ranking climbed, attention grew, pressure intensified. At times it was tricky to tell the story from the frontline because we could see his faults – and with every defeat came analysis of the faults – yet we could see they were far outweighed by his strengths.

We knew this was a story of lifetime. There were ups and downs in the player/journalist relationship but one desire remained constant; to tell this story through to a logical conclusion.

And that conclusion was the Wimbledon title.

So here we are, back on Centre Court. Gone 5pm. The noise, the nerves, the moment. Serving for the title. The sun still raking down.

Murray wins the first three points only to lose the next three. Fizzing anticipation almost blows, but not quite.

They were match points, by the way, championship points, history points.

40-15, 40-30, deuce, advantage Djokovic. Four points in a row. Djokovic thought he had him. Sneaky grin. Bond villain time.

A ridiculous sequence of see-sawing ensued.

The deuce points were fine, pressure off. Even the break points for Djokovic were manageable. Murray played some of his finest tennis at those key moments. Joy and relief all round.

We were all feeling it. As a commentator, you’re neutral. But I was willing him over the line because, like everyone else, I knew this was it. He had to win it here.

The hardest point to win is the last, so the maxim goes, and I firmly believe the closest Murray came to defeat was when he lost a third match point.

Imagine, just imagine how that must have felt. On the brink of victory yet also the brink of defeat. Make no mistake that’s where he was.

Match points lost, mind racing, body rushing, arm shaking. His racket arm literally shaking before his sweat-masked eyes, the peak of his baseball cap protecting him from the glare of 16 million people, one serve from greatness.

And that’s why this story is such a compelling one, the achievement so great. Not so much the history, the 77 years, the ghost of Fred Perry. Very simply how, Andy Murray – how on earth – did you win that match in that insanely frazzling situation?

After a nerve-defying serve to the Djokovic backhand, the ball flew up defensively and the crowd gasped collectively. Some yelped, as if stung. “Here it is, here it is” I remember saying. “Murray forehand, Djokovic backhand… into the net! Murray’s the Wimbledon champion!” It was such a relief to utter those words.


Ever the dull professional journalist, I’d only ever shaken Murray’s hand after victory. Even after his first Grand Slam title at the US Open 10 months earlier. “Well done, congratulations.”

Not this time. There was delirium tinged with disbelief behind the scenes. The champion emerged around a corridor corner in a white tracksuit, looking ready for sets four and five.

“Do I get a hug for that?” he said with his usual sarcastic drawl. Sure thing. He then insisted on holding my microphone for a photograph. It wasn’t plugged in, he wanted to hold it anyway. We were all a bit doolally by that stage.

Murray won Wimbledon again, in 2016, but nothing will ever pierce our emotions in the same way as that day.

I suppose if he were to do it a third time, with a metal hip, having recovered from multiple near-career-ending surgeries, I’ll revise my judgement. He’s such an incredible human, anything’s possible.

But even then, would it surpass the first time? That time?

Sunday, 7 July 2013 will be forever etched in British sporting history. The day of the decade, perhaps, and for men’s tennis the day of seven decades, plus.

It was the day we all bonded over a dream and a celebrated together as a nation. The day sport truly touched our souls. The day we all felt like winners.

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The Best Rivalries Of The Decade

  • Posted: Dec 27, 2019

The Best Rivalries Of The Decade continues its best of the decade series

The Big Four didn’t just dominate this decade individually. Their battles against each other also created some of the most compelling storylines throughout the past 10 years. looks at how the FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalries featuring Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray helped shape the 2010s.

Novak Djokovic v. Roger Federer (Djokovic leads 21-14 this decade)
The tussle for dominance in Federer and Djokovic’s FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry had been brewing for years, but it appeared that the Swiss had gained the upper hand at the start of the decade. He won four of their five clashes in 2010, but Djokovic’s lone victory in that year’s US Open semi-finals created a divide that continues to this day.

The Serbian saved two match points in the fifth set to prevail against Federer, then shockingly replicated the feat the following year as he rallied from two sets down. A dejected Federer reflected afterwards that, “It could be worse. It could be a final.”

Eight years later, Djokovic did the unthinkable once again by saving two match points against Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon final. Their historic match was the first championship clash at The All England Club to use a final-set tie-break at 12-12.

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Djokovic’s victory embodied his decade-long trend of prevailing in tight matches against the Swiss. After scoring his first New York comeback against Federer, he went on to win nine of their next 11 matches that went to a deciding set.

Federer is capable of winning quickly against his longtime rival, though. He hadn’t beaten Djokovic in four years heading into last month’s Nitto ATP Finals, but produced a masterful performance to prevail in 73 minutes and score his fastest non-retirement victory against the Serbian.

Their 35 matches throughout the decade topped any other rivalry on Tour in the 2010s.

Novak Djokovic v. Rafael Nadal (Djokovic leads 21-12 this decade)

The contrast in Djokovic and Nadal’s playing styles and personalities has always made their clashes must-see viewing and their compelling matches throughout the decade have made their rivalry one of the greatest of all-time.

Their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting of the decade saw Nadal snatch his maiden US Open crown in the 2010 final, but the Serbian quickly shifted the momentum in his favour. They competed in seven tour-level finals from March 2011 to January 2012 and Djokovic won all of them, including three consecutive Grand Slam championship matches.

Djokovic completed the hat trick in a grueling 2012 Australian Open final, which remains the longest Grand Slam final in history at five hours and 53 minutes. Both men were so worn out from the brutal baseline rallies that chairs were brought out for them during the trophy ceremony. Djokovic also defeated Nadal in the title match at the 2013 Nitto ATP Finals.

The Serbian compiled another seven-match winning streak from April 2015-May 2016 and became the second player to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros with his 2015 quarter-final victory. Djokovic is the only player to go toe-to-toe with Nadal on clay throughout the decade, splitting their 14 matches on the surface.

However, there were also plenty of times when Nadal held the momentum. He racked up a pair of three-match winning streaks against Djokovic in 2012 and 2013, including the 2012 Roland Garros and 2013 US Open finals. The Spaniard continues to impose himself against Djokovic and won their most recent meeting this May in the championship match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Neither player has had a clear upper hand in their rivalry during the past three seasons. With both men continuing to elevate their games, fans can expect more enthralling tussles between Djokovic and Nadal. 

Nadal Djokovic rivalry

Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal (Nadal leads 11-9 this decade)

The demand for Federer-Nadal matches has continued to intensify. Ticket prices on Stubhub started at nearly US $9,000 for their most recent FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting in this year’s Wimbledon semi-finals.

Both men traded blows early in the decade, with Federer taking the title match at the 2010 Nitto ATP Finals and Nadal gaining revenge in the 2011 Roland Garros final. But beginning in 2013, their rivalry produced drastic shifts in momentum.

Nadal won all five of their clashes in 2013 and 2014, four of which took place in 2013. The Spaniard used his powerful forehand to attack Federer’s backhand and consistently gain the upper hand in their baseline exchanges.

Federer’s switch to a bigger frame in 2014 would pay dividends. He was far better able to counter Nadal’s relentless attacks to his backhand and hit with greater topspin to take charge of more points. He broke the losing streak against Nadal with his own five-match run and swept all four of their clashes in 2017. Federer’s dramatic five-set victory in that year’s Australian Open final that gave him his first Grand Slam title since 2012 Wimbledon.

Although Nadal dominated the Swiss on clay (5-0) and Federer won their lone grass-court meeting (1-0), they remained nearly even on hard courts (Nadal leads 8-6). Another epic hard-court battle between them in Australia would be a fitting way to open the new decade.

Federer Nadal rivalry

Novak Djokovic v. Andy Murray (Djokovic leads 21-8 this decade)

There are times when a single match can alter the course of a rivalry. For Djokovic and Murray, the 2012 Rolex Shanghai Masters final can be seen as the catalyst for the Serbian’s dominance.

Murray was riding high after defeating Djokovic to clinch his first Grand Slam at the 2012 US Open, but the Serbian responded in Shanghai with one of his greatest comebacks. He broke Murray as the Brit served for the title at 5-4 in the second set, then saved five match points in the second-set tie-break before going on to complete his Houdini act.

Djokovic has since posted a 17-4 record against Murray in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including winning 14 of their 15 hard-court matches. He also prevented Murray from making a push to achieve a Career Grand Slam by defeating him in four Australian Open finals (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016) and the 2016 Roland Garros final.

Although Murray’s victories over Djokovic have been less frequent, he’s made them count. The Brit prevailed in the 2013 Wimbledon final and the title match at the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals, which was also a winner-takes-all battle for the coveted year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking.

They haven’t squared off since the 2017 Doha final (won by Djokovic), in part due to injuries that have largely prevented both men from being healthy at the same time. But now that they’re back to full strength, fans are hopeful that the new decade will see them resume their rivalry.

Murray Djokovic rivalries of decade 2019

Rafael Nadal v. Andy Murray (Nadal leads 10-5 this decade)

Numbers can be deceiving. Although Nadal won the bulk of his FedEx ATP Head2Head matches with Murray, his lone stretch of dominance against the Brit took place during a 10-month span at the beginning of the decade.

Their epic clash in the semi-finals of the 2010 Nitto ATP Finals saw Nadal prevail in a third-set tie-break. He rode the momentum to his longest winning streak against Murray (5), prevailing four times in 2011 that included semi-final victories at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Murray adjusted his tactics against Nadal, changing the height of the ball more frequently in rallies and primarily hitting second serves to the Spaniard’s forehand. He broke his losing streak in the title match at the 2011 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships and has kept pace with Nadal since then, winning three of their past seven matches.

The Brit’s past two victories over his rival have surprisingly come on the clay courts of the Mutua Madrid Open. Murray stunned Nadal in the 2015 final for his first ATP Masters 1000 title on clay and followed up with another win in the 2016 semi-finals.

Nadal and Murray have only played each other five times since 2012 and haven’t met since their 2016 Madrid clash, but they’ve always brought out the best in each other. Another Nadal-Murray clash would still be just as compelling to watch.

Nadal Murray rivalries

Roger Federer v. Andy Murray (Federer leads 10-5 this decade)

The intensity of Federer and Murray’s matches, combined with the mutual respect and admiration they show for each other, made their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry one of the most intriguing to watch throughout the decade.

Both men traded body blows from 2010-2012. Federer beat Murray in the 2010 Australian Open and 2012 Wimbledon finals, but Murray became a national hero for Great Britain by winning their gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics. The Swiss handily defeated his rival in round-robin play at the 2010 and 2012 Nitto ATP Finals, while the Brit swept all three of their matches at Masters 1000 events in straight sets.

After losing to Murray in their lone five-set clash in the 2013 Australian Open semi-finals, Federer took firm control and has won their past five matches. The Swiss swept their three battles in 2014, including a 6-0, 6-1 drubbing during round-robin play at the 2014 Nitto ATP Finals. The defeat remains the most one-sided loss of Murray’s career. Murray chalked the losses up to being part of his recovery from back surgery the previous year, but when Federer prevailed two more times in 2015, he simply tipped his hat to the Swiss.

Although they haven’t played in four years, Murray has said that facing Federer again is an opportunity he’d relish. It’s safe to say that their fans would relish it as well.

Murray Federer rivalries

Roger Federer v. Juan Martin del Potro (Federer leads 12-5 this decade)

The rivalry between Federer and Del Potro opened the decade as brutally one-sided in favour of the Swiss, but closed it with the Tower of Tandil making firm inroads in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The duo produced the rivalry of 2012 by facing off eight times. Federer won their first six clashes of that year, which included his two biggest comebacks against the Argentine in back-to-back matches. He rallied from two sets down to defeat Del Potro in the Roland Garros semi-finals, then prevailed in a 3-6, 7-6(5), 19-17 tussle two months later in the semi-finals of the London Oympics. The final set alone took two hours and 43 minutes. 

But Del Potro was inching closer to another win against his adversary and broke through in a thrilling title match in that year’s Swiss Indoors Basel, then closed out his 2012 season with another three-set win in the Nitto ATP Finals. The Argentine’s pair of victories marked the first time in 10 years that a player had scored consecutive wins indoors against Federer.

Little has separated Federer and Del Potro throughout much of the decade and the pair have split their past 10 matches. Their battles have also consistently gone down to the wire, with 10 of their past 12 matches reaching a deciding set.

Their most recent clash in the 2018 BNP Paribas Open is a microcosm of the gripping drama they deliver. Del Potro let slip a championship point in the second-set tie-break, but saved three championship points with Federer serving at 5-4 in the third set and ultimately prevailed 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(2).

Even after their most epic battles, the pair regularly embrace each other at net afterwards and have maintained a warm relationship. The camaraderie and intensity of their rivalry is something that fans will hope to see more of in the new decade.

Federer Del Potro 2018

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Video Review To Be Used At ATP Cup

  • Posted: Dec 26, 2019

Video Review To Be Used At ATP Cup

Hawk-Eye technology will be implemented for all matches 

After being successfully implemented at the Next Gen ATP Finals, Video Review will be used by officials at the inaugural ATP Cup, held throughout Australia from 3-12 January.

“The job for officials is to get things right in a match, so here’s another tool for that,” said Gayle David Bradshaw, Executive Vice President, ATP Rules & Competition. “There could be a lot riding on a judgement call. If they make a bad judgement and there’s a clear way to correct it, we’re all for it.”

The Video Review is delivered using Advanced Hawk-Eye technology. Players will be able to challenge judgement calls from the chair umpire such as Not-Ups, Foul Shots, Touches, Invasion, Through and Hindrance.* Each player is limited to three incorrect challenges during a set, but will receive an additional challenge if a set reaches 6-all.

When a reviewable call is challenged, the VR operator uses all available camera angles to find the best view of the incident. They will then send the video to a screen attached to the chair umpire’s chair. If the line review system is unable to make a determination, the chair umpire may review the call for clear evidence that confirms or overturns the call on the court. If there is no clear evidence, then the original decision stands.

Although Bradshaw expects the video review to be used sparingly in matches, he believes it’s a crucial component to ensure that incorrect calls don’t disrupt the flow of a match.

“Last year at Wimbledon, there was a point that a player won twice and ended up losing that point,” Bradshaw explained. “There was a double bounce that wasn’t called and then his opponent actually missed the shot he hit. They’re showing it on the television replays and you can clearly see that it was two bounces. In that case, having Video Review would have solved the whole issue.”

Video Review was in place, but not used by players, at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals. This past November in Milan, Casper Ruud called for the first-ever Video Review adjudication during his round-robin match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The historic moment took place at 30-all in the opening game, when chair umpire Fergus Murphy stopped the point and declared that Ruud’s lob touched the bottom of the jumbo screen. The Norwegian challenged the call, but the review showed that the call was correct.

Ruud’s challenge was played out in real time to spectators at the Allianz Cloud on a large video board, in addition to fans watching the match on broadcast. Bradshaw believes that using technology to bring fans closer to the action will only help the sport in the future.

“[Umpires are] used to being under pressure, but now the spectators are seeing in real time the same video that the official sees to make the decision. This has huge potential for entertainment value for the fans,” said Bradshaw. “You don’t have that in American football or in soccer stadiums. We’ve taken it to another level in fan engagement.”

In addition to the ATP Cup, Video Review will be used in 2020 at the Next Gen ATP Finals and Nitto ATP Finals.

Examples of incidents that would be subject to video review at the ATP Cup are:

• Not-Ups – double bounces

• Foul Shots – deliberate double hits or carry; or hitting the ball before it has passed the net; the ball, prior to bouncing, hits a permanent fixture; or the racquet is not in the player’s hand when touched by the ball.

• Touches – ball skimming racquet, clothing or body; or if a player, or anything he is wearing or carrying, touches the net, net posts/singles sticks while the ball is still in play.

• Invasion – when the player, or anything he is wearing or carrying, touches the opponent’s side of the court while the ball is in play.

• Hindrance – decisions on whether a point should be awarded or the point should be replayed. The most common use of this would be a call corrected from out to good and whether the player had a play on the ball.

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Krawietz/Mies: Becker Influence The Key At ATP Cup

  • Posted: Dec 26, 2019

Krawietz/Mies: Becker Influence The Key At ATP Cup

Great rapport built up quickly between German duo

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies will be part of the German team at the inaugural ATP Cup, to be held from 3-12 January. They will join Alexander Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff and Mats Moraing in Group F in Brisbane. caught up with Krawietz and Mies, who successfully transitioned from the ATP Challenger Tour to Roland Garros success and Nitto ATP Finals qualification in 2019.

What are you most looking forward to about the ATP Cup?
Krawietz: It’s great to be a part of the team and the team feeling, travelling around the world and following results of other German players. It’s great that former German players remain involved in the sport, such as Boris Becker, who will be the captain in Brisbane, plus Tommy Haas, Michael Kohlmann. It’s a big thing for us.

Who were your idols growing up? What shot would you like from a compatriot?
Krawietz: Roger Federer was one of the biggest for us, but also Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt for their style of play and personalities. If I could take one shot of a compatriot, it would be the Becker serve. Such power and placement.

Mies: My idol was Becker growing up, but I liked watching Roger, Haas, and the German guys. I’d certainly take the one-handed backhand of Haas, which was so smooth.

What is your favourite thing about Australia?
Mies: I like how relaxed Australia is. I went to Melbourne this year and I felt that the people were very nice. It’s completely different to Germany, where things are strict and people are stressed. Australia is more relaxed.

Krawietz: For me, Australia has great weather and beautiful cities.

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Which German player do you find funny?
Krawietz: Struffi is funny, even when he doesn’t try to be. Kohli can have a dry and ironic sense of humour.

Mies: We’re Germans, we don’t joke! No, no, we like to joke around and have a lot of laughs. I once took a German player’s car key, and he was so stressed, looking around non-stop.

What are the things you love most about Germany?
Krawietz: When I come back, I always realise Germany is so structured and organised, that everything is on time. But I also see that people are stressed. I also like the football.

What sports did you play growing up?
Krawietz: I started playing tennis, football and a little bit of basketball, then I had a decision to continue with two sports.

Mies: Growing up, I played a lot of football, that was probably my main hobby until 10-11, when my parents said they couldn’t drive me four times per week for tennis and football. So I had to decide. I tried athletics and swimming too, but I stuck to tennis.

When did you first meet, and subsequently play together?
Krawietz: We met during Futures tournaments together. I was playing junior tournaments, then in 2017, I was looking for a fixed partner, as we were both changing partners a lot. We said let’s try it out.

Mies: I graduated from Auburn University in 2013, with an international business degree, and returned to Germany that summer. We played against each other a few times in doubles, then in December 2013, we played against each other in singles of the German Championships. Kevin won 7-6 in the third set and it still hurts, he was 5-1 up in the third set and I got to 6-5. He smelled the victory and beat me.

We played our first tournament in Meerbusch, a Challenger, and won. I was injured a bit after that for a few months, then we started playing full-time in 2018 and here were are.

How did your life change after you won your the Roland Garros title?
Krawietz: It was a special moment after Roland Garros. The walk from the Halle practice court to the hotel normally takes just a few minutes, but this time it took 30 minutes because we were signing so many autographs. We were very grateful and humbled. We helped conduct the singles draw and there were 200 people watching us. It was a great feeling.

Mies: Life has changed since then for sure, playing smaller events and the ATP Challenger Tour. It was a big surprise, even for us. There was a lot of attention all of a sudden, as it was 82 years since the last all-German pair (Gottfried Von Cramm and Henner Henkel) won a Grand Slam championship in 1937. There was so much attention in the first few weeks and we didn’t sleep very much the first few days as our phones were going off so much. Going to Halle and having so much attention, we weren’t used to it.

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Paes Announces 2020 Will Be His Final Season

  • Posted: Dec 25, 2019

Paes Announces 2020 Will Be His Final Season

Indian star won his first ATP Tour doubles trophy in 1997

Leander Paes, the 46-year-old Indian who has amassed 767 tour-level doubles wins and 54 tour-level doubles titles during his illustrious career, announced Wednesday that 2020 will be his final season.

“I am looking forward to the 2020 tennis calendar where I will be playing a few select tournaments, travelling with my team and celebrating with all my friends and fans around the world. It is all of you who have inspired me to become me and I want to take this year to say ‘Thank you’ to you,” Paes wrote on social media. “2020 is going to be an emotional one and I look forward to seeing all of you out there roaring with me.” 

Paes won his first ATP Tour doubles title at 1997 Chennai, nearly 23 years ago, before the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Denis Shapovalov and Alex de Minaur were born. He lifted at least one tour-level trophy every year from 1997-2015, with his most recent triumph coming at 2015 Auckland. Paes, who first reached No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings in 1999, won the bronze medal in singles at the 1996 Olympics and captured his lone ATP Tour singles title at 1998 Newport.

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“I’m playing for a lot of passion now. I really love my life and travelling the world,” Paes told in July. “When I was younger, I was playing to put bread and butter on the table. I still am, but now I’m playing because I get a lot of happiness out of playing tennis.

“Every morning, I put on [tennis clothes] and have fun… [tennis is] a beautiful sport to bring happiness to a lot of people.”

Did You Know?
Paes has won eight men’s doubles and 10 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

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Mahut Eyeing Sydney Finish For France At ATP Cup

  • Posted: Dec 25, 2019

Mahut Eyeing Sydney Finish For France At ATP Cup

Veteran looking forward to inaugural event

Veteran Nicolas Mahut will play on a stacked French team at the inaugural ATP Cup, to be held 3-12 January. Mahut, along with countrymen Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Benoit Paire and occasional doubles partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin, will look to outplay Serbia, South Africa and Chile in Group A in Brisbane.

Mahut talked with about his French pride and his hopes for next month’s ATP Cup.

Which French players did you watch growing up as a kid and what did you like about them?
I started to watch tennis and really became a tennis player when I watched the Davis Cup final in 1991 with Guy Forget and Henri Leconte. They were my heroes at the time.

If you could take one stroke from any of your ATP Cup teammates and add it to your game, what would you take?
I would say Benoit Paire’s backhand. He can hit winners from everywhere. I would take Gael Monfils’ athleticism. He is the best athlete on Tour for me, one of the best. I would [also] take his serve.

If you were to have a team dinner, which player would most likely be late?
Definitely Gael. Or it would be a contest between Gael and Benoit, but I would say Gael.

What is your favourite thing about Australia?
The people. I love Australian people… It is funny because when you arrive from Europe and you arrive at the security, you know you are in Australia already. The weather, of course, but if I had to pick one I would say the people.

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What are the things you love most about France?
Wine, food and I think in France you can stay in every part. You have mountains, you have sea and you have big cities. Paris, of course.

What are your memories of playing in teams, and what do you like about being part of a team?
I played in all the teams since I was 14 in France. I played under-14, under-16 and under-18. To me, French teams are really important. When you play tennis you are mostly alone on the court or sharing good or bad moments with your coach. For once a year, you are with your teammates wanting to achieve the same goal. It is what I like in team sports.

What are you most looking forward to about the ATP Cup?
It is a brand-new competition. I am really excited that we are going to have a new captain that will be Gilles Simon. I am really excited to be on the court, with him on the bench. That will be a really good experience. We will start in Brisbane and hopefully finish in Sydney. I want to see how this works. I am really excited about this competition.

Do you like hearing from a captain who can give you tips on the court during a match?
I like being on court with a captain, especially Gilles, who is a good friend of mine. Tactically, he is really strong. He can see quick on the court and I really look forward to it.

Can you sing 100 per cent of your national anthem?
Of course. When you grow up in France, this is something you learn at the beginning at school. Every French [person] knows the national anthem.

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