|Lopez/Murray Draw Top Seeds Cabal/Farah At Queen's Club|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 20:48:00 Z|
Andy Murray was handed the toughest of challenges on his return to ATP Tour action, alongside Feliciano Lopez, in the Fever-Tree Championships doubles draw on Saturday.
Competing for the first time since undergoing right hip surgery on 28 January, Murray and Lopez will face top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in one of many blockbuster first-round clashes at the Queen's Club.
Joining Murray and Lopez in the top quarter of the draw are #NextGenATP talents Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex de Minaur, who face Daniel Evans and Ken Skupski. Juan Martin del Potro is also featuring in the doubles draw, partnering fellow Argentine Horacio Zeballos against defending champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the first round. Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, who made their tour-level team debut at the Libema Open, open against Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
In the bottom half of the draw, second seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares will meet Lucas Pouille and Stan Wawrinka. Five-time champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, bidding to lift the trophy for the first time since 2013, face wild cards Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara. The winner of that match will meet defending singles champion Marin Cilic and partner Ivan Dodig or the winning team from the doubles qualifying draw in the second round.
Kubot/Melo Bid For Third Straight Title In Halle
Second seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus are aiming to end a 16-month title drought, dating back to last year's Open 13 Provence. The pair has reached two ATP Tour championship matches this season, with runner-up finishes at the ASB Classic and Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Third seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor will be hoping to add to their title collection, after lifting their first trophy as a team at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April.
|Cilic Joined By Modric & More Croatian Stars At Successful Charity Event|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 20:13:00 Z|
Game, set and match, Croatian children. The Marin Cilic Foundation hosted ‘Game, Set, Croatia’ on 12 June, bringing together 30 of Croatia’s most celebrated athletes for a charity tournament at Zagreb’s Šalata Sports Complex — the birthplace of Croatian tennis — to raise funds to build a multi-functional sports playground for children from Tordinci Elementary School, who currently have neither an indoor gymnasium nor an outdoor playground.
“The idea came about last summer while I was training on Korčula. Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić were there and we joked how we were missing a fourth player for a doubles match. I posted a photo on Instagram and invited Dejan Lovren and Šime Vrsaljko to join us,” Cilic said. “A flood of messages came from athletes and that is how the story began.”
Footballer Mario Mandžukic and his doubles partner, 14-year-old Croatian junior player Patrik Jurina, beat Čilić and footballer Luka Modrić in the final, which was live streamed by a Croatian national television network. But for all of the tennis stars and other Croatian athletes in attendance competing, it was about raising money to support the children.
“We want to give our kids in Croatia a chance to experience the joys of sport,” Cilic said. “The project ‘Game, Set, Croatia’, which I hope will be held every year, will help build sports courts in the most crucial regions.”
"This one [wasn’t for tennis] but I feel it’s the most prestigious one. It’s the one I’m going to value the most,” Cilic said at the time. “It’s something that we all love to do… to give back to the community, especially to children.”
Through education, sport and encouragement programs, the Marin Čilić Foundation seeks to provide children and youth with the space and financial support to explore their passions and turn their dreams into reality.
Croatian Athletes In Attendance
|Thompson Serving For First ATP Tour Final, Play Suspended In 's-Hertogenbosch|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 18:34:00 Z|
Both Libema Open semi-finals were on the verge of completion Saturday evening, but rain pushed them back to Sunday.
Aussie Jordan Thompson was serving for a spot in his first ATP Tour final with a 7-5, 5-3 30/40 lead against defending champion Richard Gasquet when play was suspended in ’s-Hertogenbosch.
Thompson, who eliminated third seed Alex de Minaur in the quarter-finals, had never made a tour-level semi-final before this event. But he is just three points from defeating the former World No. 7. Thompson has struck 11 aces and earned 13 break points against the French veteran, converting three of those opportunities. The World No. 62 has broken serve 16 times this week.
The other semi-final between second seed Borna Coric and Frenchman Adrian Mannarino was suspended during a final-set tie-break, with Mannarino leading 3/2. Coric won the first set 6-4 before Mannarino took the second 6-3.
Coric saved one match point en route to a final-set tie-break victory in the quarter-finals against Cristian Garin, and he has saved two match points on his own serve against the Frenchman.
Mannarino increasingly frustrated Coric in baseline rallies, earning two match points at 5-3 in the decider with the Croat serving. But Coric played aggressively to fend off those chances, breaking in the next game.
If Mannarino and Thompson both advance to the championship match, that would guarantee that there will be a first-time ATP Tour champion in 's-Hertogenbosch. Mannarino is 0-6 in tour-level finals.
Did You Know?
|Krajicek/Inglot Lift 's-Hertogenbosch Trophy|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 17:20:00 Z|
Austin Krajicek and Dominic Inglot claimed their first team trophy on Saturday at the Libema Open, beating Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof 6-4, 4-6, 10-4.
"I was really happy with the win today," said Inglot. "The last month or so has been a difficult time for me, I haven't had a lot of wins, but this was a first tournament playing with Austin and I thought this tournament we really gelled well."
Competing for the first time as a team this week, Krajicek and Inglot won 74 per cent of first-serve points (31/42) and saved four of six break points to edge Daniell and Koolhof in 85 minutes. Inglot and Krajicek also needed a Match Tie-break in their 5-7, 6-3, 10-3 second-round victory against top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.
"It was a big help to get an early break before the rain in the first set but then all the rain delays made it very tricky to get that momentum and keep going... In the second set, those guys really upped their level and it just came down to a [Match] Tie-break and who put a few extra returns in court," said Inglot.
"In that [Match Tie-break] we managed to just be a little bit more consistent and step up a little bit more when we needed to. I think we are both really happy and that will give us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the grass-court season with Halle and Wimbledon coming up."
Inglot has now won 12 doubles crowns from 22 tour-level championship matches. It is Krajicek's second tour-level title, following his maiden triumph alongside Rajeev Ram at the VTB Kremlin Cup last year.
”It was great to get a win today,” said Krajicek. “Obviously, starting with a new partner, it is really good to start off that way. I think we did a lot of things well this week that we can build off of, but it feels really good to be back on the grass.”
Daniel and Koolhof were bidding to pick up their second team title of the season. The unseeded pairing, which defeated second seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in the second round, earned its first team trophy at the Brisbane International in January.
Krajicek and Inglot gain 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €35,960 in prize money. Daniell and Koolhof earn 150 points and share €18,430.
Bopanna/Shapovalov Pass Aussie Test
Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov advanced to their first ATP Tour doubles final as a team at the MercedesCup. The unseeded duo, which defeated Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the first round, needed just 48 minutes to move past Nick Kyrgios and Matt Reid 6-3, 6-4.
Bopanna and Shapovalov entered the event with a 3-2 team record, having competed together at the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open presented by Itau in March. The Indian-Canadian tandem will meet top seeds John Peers and Bruno Soares in the championship match.
|Del Potro To Face Shapovalov Test At Queen's Club|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:12:00 Z|
You won't have to wait long for the first blockbuster match at the Fever-Tree Championships this year.
Third seed Juan Martin del Potro will face #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov in his opening match of the 2019 grass-court season. The World No. 12 , making his fifth appearance at the Queen's Club (5-4), will be aiming to take the lead in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Shapovalov for the first time. The Canadian upset Del Potro in their first meeting at the 2017 Coupe Rogers, en route to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, before Del Potro levelled the series at the 2018 ASB Classic.
Del Potro and Shapovalov share the second quarter of the draw with sixth seed Milos Raonic and 2017 winner Feliciano Lopez. Raonic opens against Marco Cecchinato, while Lopez will meet Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.
Headlining the top half of the draw with Del Potro is top seed and World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas. The #NextGenATP Greek will meet British No. 1 Kyle Edmund for a spot in the second round. Tsitsipas will be aiming to regain sole ownership of the lead for most wins on the ATP Tour this week, a mark he currently shares with 12-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal. They both own 32 victories this season.
In Tsitsipas' quarter, #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, seeded eighth, faces a tough opening test against 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov. Auger-Aliassime will arrive in London with confidence, after reaching his third ATP Tour championship match of the season at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart. Nick Kyrgios and Jeremy Chardy also feature in the top quarter of the draw.
In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Kevin Anderson will end his three-month absence from the ATP Tour, due to a right elbow injury, against British No. 2 Cameron Norrie. The South African, who last competed at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March, owns an 8-2 record from his opening three tour-level events of the season. The World No. 8 opened his 2019 campaign by lifting his sixth ATP Tour trophy at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune (d. Karlovic).
Another seeded player facing British opposition in his first match is Stan Wawrinka. The 2014 semi-finalist (l. to Dimitrov) will face Daniel Evans in the first round of an ATP Tour event for the second time this year. At the BNP Paribas Open in March, Wawrinka recovered from a set down to overcome Evans 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3.
Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev and defending champion Marin Cilic both feature in the third quarter. Medvedev opens against 2011 quarter-finalist Fernando Verdasco and Cilic will meet two-time ATP Tour titlist Cristian Garin. Last year, Cilic saved one championship point to defeat Novak Djokovic in the final.
The doubles draw marks the return of five-time singles champion Andy Murray. The former singles World No. 1 is not immune to the theme of British players facing seeded opposition, as he and partner Feliciano Lopez open against top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. Murray has not appeared on the ATP Tour since the Australian Open in January, after undergoing right hip surgery on 28 January.
|Federer Trying To Set Personal Record In Halle|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:41:00 Z|
Roger Federer can make personal history next week at the NOVENTI OPEN. The nine-time titlist in Halle can lift his 10th trophy at an ATP Tour event for the first time.
Federer has triumphed nine times at both the NOVENTI OPEN and the Swiss Indoors Basel, which is his home event. Last year, the Swiss superstar was just one set from accomplishing the feat in Halle, but he fell in the final against Borna Coric.
Federer's Most Titles By Tournament
The 37-year-old owns a 63-7 record in Halle, and the last time he did not reach the semi-finals was 2001. This will be his 15th appearance since then. In the 16 times he has competed on the Halle grass, Federer has always advanced to at least the quarter-finals.
Six of the seven players Federer has lost to at this ATP 250 event have cracked the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings in their careers.
Roger On Grass
Did You Know?
|Federer Handed Tough Path In Quest For 10th Halle Trophy|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 13:56:00 Z|
Roger Federer will have the chance to gain revenge in his opening match at next week's NOVENTI OPEN in Halle.
The nine-time champion's campaign for a 10th title at the ATP 500 event will begin against John Millman, the man who ended his 2018 US Open campaign with a gruelling four-set victory under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Federer will be looking to add to his 63-7 record at the grass-court tournament, following an impressive run to the Roland Garros semi-finals (l. to Nadal). The World No. 3 is aiming to lift his first title in Halle since 2017, after losing to Borna Coric in three sets in last year’s championship match.
If Federer overcomes Millman for the second time in three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, his path to the trophy does not get any easier. The 37-year-old would meet former World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or in-form Frenchman Benoit Paire in the second round.
Tsonga has defeated Federer in six of their previous 17 FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters, which includes a five-set comeback victory in their only previous clash on grass at Wimbledon in 2011. Paire also arrives in Halle in good form, after winning two ATP Tour titles on clay this year in Marrakech (d. Andujar) and Lyon (d. Auger-Aliassime).
Federer shares the top quarter of the draw with seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut and former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet. Bautista Agut has reached the quarter-finals or better in both of his previous two appearances in Halle, while Gasquet owns three ATP Tour trophies on grass, including last year's Libema Open title (d. Chardy).
There will be no repeat of last year's final after defending champion Coric landed in the same half as Federer. The World No. 14 dropped only one set en route to the title last year, which included victories against Federer and second seed Alexander Zverev. Coric opens against Jaume Munar of Spain and headlines the second quarter of the draw alongside fifth seed Gael Monfils.
Second seed Alexander Zverev will meet Robin Haase in his opening match. The two-time runner-up (2016, 2017) will be hoping to earn his first win on grass this year after falling in his opening match at the MercedesCup to Dustin Brown in three sets. Zverev is joined in the bottom quarter by eighth seed Guido Pella, David Goffin and 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The third quarter of the draw sees third seed Karen Khachanov and sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili open against players who have enjoyed success on grass. Khachanov will meet last year's Turkish Airlines Open Antalya winner Damir Dzumhur, while Basilashvili will face MercedesCup finalist Matteo Berrettini.
|Berrettini To Play Felix In Stuttgart Final|
|Sat, 15 Jun 2019 13:44:00 Z|
Matteo Berrettini had never reached an ATP Tour semi-final on grass before this week’s MercedesCup, but you’d never know it by his play.
The No. 2 Italian defeated home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday to reach his third championship match of the season and his first-ever on this surface. Berrettini has held all 39 of his service games this week. And although he faced his first two break points of the ATP 250 tournament, he was not phased.
“This week I’m playing really well. I’m feeling really comfortable on the court,” Berrettini said. “Since last year I think I’ve improved a lot on grass. Last year I didn’t like it so much. That was the key.”
Berrettini will play #NextGenATP Canadian sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime for the title after former World No. 3 Milos Raonic withdrew before their semi-final due to a lower back injury. In their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, Berrettini will try to lift his third ATP Tour trophy and Auger-Aliassime will attempt to capture his first in his third final of the year.
“He’s a great player. He’s in his third final this year and for sure he’s playing really well,” Berrettini said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen. I never played him, I just practised once [with him] here for the first time. I think it’s going to be a great game and I’ll try to do my best.”
Berrettini faced a tough test in Struff, who was fresh off a run to the fourth round at Roland Garros. The German has also earned three of his five Top 10 wins this year. But the Italian won all but four of his first-serve points (33/37) to set the tone, breaking once per set to secure his triumph after one hour and 14 minutes.
Berrettini also reached the final in Munich on clay earlier this year, and he will try to lift his first trophy in Germany on Sunday.
“I like Germany. This is my second final here this year,” Berrettini said. “The crowd was for sure helping [Struff], but it was helping me also. I really enjoyed it.”
Auger-Aliassime will try to win his first ATP Tour title when he faces the Italian, having fallen just short in the Rio de Janeiro and the Lyon finals.
"It’s just tough to see Milos having to withdraw. He’s one of the best guys on Tour. He’s always been great to me since I first arrived on Tour when I was a junior," Auger-Aliassime said on court. "It’s tough to see him go out that way but at the same time it is what it is and I have to try and get ready for tomorrow’s final as best as I can.
"It’s been an unbelievable week for me. I’ve been playing good tennis. I got through on the edge yesterday and to be in another final, it’s unbelievable. So I think I’ll try to enjoy it and give everything also because it’s obviously my third final this year, so I’ll try to give it my all to maybe get my first title."
Raonic was disappointed to not be able to compete, and he apologised to the crowd on court.
"I’m very sorry and apologetic that I’m unable to compete today. I was hoping for the best after my match yesterday," Raonic said. "I woke up this morning not feeling my best. I wanted to come out here and give it a try. And after looking at it very diligently with my team, and the way I was feeling with my back, I found it was not possible for me to compete without taking any greater risk."
Did You Know?
|Coric Saves 1 M.P. To Reach 's-Hertogenbosch Semi-finals|
|Fri, 14 Jun 2019 21:05:00 Z|
Borna Coric lived to fight another day on Friday when he saved one match point to edge into the Libema Open semi-finals. The second-seeded Croatian recovered from 2-5 down in the third set to knock out seventh seed Cristian Garin of Chile 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(6) in two hours and 30 minutes.
Coric fought back and saved one match point with his 16th ace of the match at 5/6 in the deciding-set tie-break to set up a clash against Adrian Mannarino of France.
“It was obviously a very, very tough match as I was 2-5 down in the third set, a double break,” Coric told ATPTour.com. “I was packing my bag on the changeover, but then I maybe relaxed and played a little bit better. I turned the match around somehow. I’m not too tired and now I have 20 hours to recover.”
Almost 12 months ago, Coric lifted his second ATP Tour trophy with victory over Roger Federer in the Noventi Open final in Halle. The 22-year-old reached the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals in February and is now 19-10 in 2019.
The 23-year-old Garin was unable to convert two break points on Coric’s serve at 5-5, 15/40, but won six of the first seven points in the tie-break and eventually closed out on his fourth set point. Two groundstroke errors from Garin saw Coric break twice — at 3-3 and 3-5 — in the second set, before the World No. 32 bounced back to lead 5-2 in the decider. Coric then won 16 of the next 21 points to lead 6-5.
In a little more than four months, Garin has risen from No. 95 in the ATP Rankings on 4 February to a career-high No. 32. He has compiled a 22-9 match record in 2019, including two ATP Tour titles at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship (d. Ruud) and at the BMW Open by FWU (d. Berrettini). He also reached the Brasil Open final in Sao Paulo (l. to Pella).
Mannarino recorded his first win over fifth-seeded Belgian David Goffin 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the pair’s fifth meeting, which lasted two hours and 26 minutes. Goffin, who won the first four games of the match, was unable to convert one break point at 5-5 in the second set.
Elsewhere, Jordan Thompson advanced to his first ATP Tour semi-final with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over fellow Australian Alex de Minaur, the third seed, in just under two hours. De Minaur had recorded wins over Thompson in the first two weeks of the season at the Brisbane International and at the Sydney International.
Having gone 1-11 at tour-level in 2018, the 25-year-old is already 18-11 on the season with his third Top 30 victory of 2019, which includes wins over Karen Khachanov and Grigor Dimitrov at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March.
Defending champion Richard Gasquet needed to play two matches on Friday. The eighth seed first beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3 in 84 minutes, starting with a 6-4, 1-2 lead carried over from Thursday night. The Frenchman then returned six hours later to knock out Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 7-6(8), 6-4 for a place in the semi-finals. He saved three set points at 5/6, 6/7 and 7/8 in the first set tie-break.
|Raonic Ousts Fucsovics, Struff Beats Pouille In Stuttgart|
|Fri, 14 Jun 2019 17:04:00 Z|
Former World No. 3 Milos Raonic missed the entire clay-court season due to a right knee injury. But the Canadian has shown no rust at the MercedesCup.
The sixth seed beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes on Friday to reach his second tour-level semi-final of the season in his first tournament since the Miami Open presented by Itau in March. The Canadian won all but four of his first-serve points to set a meeting in the last four against his #NextGenATP countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime, who defeated German qualifier Dustin Brown.
"I got a little bit lucky to start off well and luckily my serve was there for me after that. It's good for me to be playing on grass and to be back here with good memories from last year," said Raonic, who reached the 2018 final in Stuttgart. "It's the grass. It helps me out a lot. I've played really well on it the past four or five years and it's a part of the season that I really look forward to and I'm fortunate to be able to have another chance to play again tomorrow."
Raonic's only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Fucsovics also came in Stuttgart last year. The 28-year-old, who is pursuing his first ATP Tour title of the year, has won all four of their sets by a margin of 6-4 or greater.
In this battle, the 2016 Wimbledon finalist struck 12 aces and saved the only break point he faced. Fucsovics worked hard to stay in contact with the Canadian, but the Hungarian was only able to win 41 per cent of his second-serve points, which proved costly.
Raonic won his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting at last year's BNP Paribas Open. But that was before Felix found the form that has him knocking on the door of a Top 20 breakthrough in the coming weeks.
"It's going to be exciting. He had a very exciting match today. It was very impressive how he turned things around towards the end," Raonic said. "But it's going to be a tough match tomorrow. He's been playing well over these first six months and hopefully I can have a chance to find the solution to the Felix problem."
In other action, Jan-Lennard Struff was dominant on serve against 2017 champion Lucas Pouille in a 6-4, 6-4 victory over 70 minutes. The German, who recorded his first win in four FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Pouille, is through to his first ATP Tour semi-final since January 2019 at the ASB Classic in Auckland (l. to Norrie).
Struff will now play Karen Khachanov’s conqueror, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who won 90 per cent of his first-service points to beat American Denis Kudla on German soil for the second time this season. Berrettini won 6-3, 6-3 in 72 minutes, one month on from their BMW Open by FWU Open second-round encounter.
Did You Know?
|Fever-Tree Championships: When Is The Draw & More|
|Fri, 14 Jun 2019 16:45:00 Z|
The Fever-Tree Championships, the ATP 500 Tournament of the Year in 2018, has been staged for more than a century at The Queen’s Club in London.
Kevin Anderson and Andy Murray will make their return to the competitive action, respectively in singles and doubles, at Queen's. Anderson, who has been sidelined since March, will be the second seed behind Stefanos Tsitsipas. Meanwhile, five-time singles champion Murray will compete in doubles alongside Feliciano Lopez as he makes his comeback from hip surgery. The field will also feature Juan Martin del Potro, defending champion Marin Cilic, Stan Wawrinka, British No. 1 Kyle Edmund and the Canadian trio of Milos Raonic, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.
Here's all you need to know about The Queen's Club tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more.
Tournament Dates: 17-23 June 2019
Tournament Director: Stephen Farrow
Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 15 June
Schedule (View On Official Website)
Venue: The Queen's Club
Prize Money: €2,081,830 (Total Financial Commitment: €2,219,150)
Tickets On Sale: Buy Now
Honour Roll (Open Era)
Did You Know... Seven different players have completed The Queen's Club-Wimbledon title double in the same year: John McEnroe (1981, '84), Jimmy Connors ('82), Boris Becker ('85), Pete Sampras ('95, '99), Lleyton Hewitt (2002), Rafael Nadal (2008) and Andy Murray (2013, '16).
|NOVENTI OPEN: When Is The Draw & More|
|Fri, 14 Jun 2019 16:44:00 Z|
The newly renamed NOVENTI OPEN, formerly the GERRY WEBER OPEN, is one of two ATP 500 tournaments on grass, along with the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen's Club in London.
Roger Federer, who has won a record nine Halle titles from 12 finals (63-7 match record), will make his 17th tournament appearance this year. The 37-year-old Swiss will be joined in the 2019 field by fellow Top 10 stars Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov, as well as defending champion Borna Coric. The Croatian recorded Top 5 wins over Zverev and Federer in the semi-finals and final last year to claim his biggest career title.
Here's all you need to know about the Halle tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more.
Tournament Dates: 17-23 June 2019
Tournament Director: Ralf Weber
Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 15 June at 2:00pm
Venue: Gerry Weber Stadion
Prize Money: €2,081,830 (Total Financial Commitment: €2,219,150)
Tickets On Sale: Buy Now
Honour Roll (Open Era)
Did You Know... Officials in Halle, Germany, paid tribute to Roger Federer by naming a street in his honour in 2012. ‘Roger-Federer-Allee’ leads to the main stadium, Weststrasse.
|Felix Saves Match Point, Battles Past Brown In Stuttgart|
|Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:38:00 Z|
Entering 2019, #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime was outside of the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings and he had never made an ATP Tour semi-final. But on Friday, the 18-year-old saved a match point en route to defeating German qualifier Dustin Brown 7-6(3), 6-7(2), 7-6(2) to reach his fourth tour-level semi-final as he continues his pursuit of a maiden ATP Tour title at the MercedesCup.
"A lot of emotions during the match, so many ups and downs, so many good points. Yesterday we were talking about [it being] an exciting match. I think we got it right," Auger-Aliassime said. "It was pretty unbelievable, I don't know how I made it through."
Auger-Aliassime, who struck 30 aces, will play sixth seed and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic for a spot in his third tour-level final. The teenager reached the championship match at the Rio Open presented by Claro and the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon, which both are played on clay. Felix is the youngest player to reach the semi-finals or better on three different surfaces in a season since 1999 when Lleyton Hewitt did it on four surfaces.
"There were moments when it was frustrating but at the end my best chance to get the win was to stay composed and try to find a way to win," Auger-Aliassime said. "That's what I tried to do until the end and it worked, so I'm happy that I was able to stay calm and focussed."
The seventh seed was projected to face reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev in the last eight. But Brown, the athletic, shotmaking qualifier upset the top seed on Thursday. And the German did not make it easy on Auger-Aliassime, serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set.
But Brown let slip his one match point when he missed a high forehand volley wide. And on his seventh break point of the match, Felix chased down a lob, quickly turned around and whipped a forehand past the German to earn his first service break.
And that was all the momentum Felix needed. Auger-Aliassime earned two quick mini-breaks in the final-set tie-break — Brown missed a forehand volley long, and the seventh seed then crushed a backhand passing shot for a winner — en route to a 5/0 lead, and he never looked back.
"I had a lot of chances in the second set, but didn't play a good tie-break and he played better, he served good," Auger-Aliassime said. "In the third set I think he was almost better than me. He had break points almost every game. I don't know, I managed to stay together and I was a bit lucky. It went my way."
Not only did the #NextGenATP star win 83 per cent of his first-serve points, but 46.9 per cent of the first serves he made resulted in an ace.
Brown began the week without having won a tour-level match since the 2017 US Open, and he was trying to make his first ATP Tour semi-final since Gstaad in 2016.
Did You Know?
|Zverev, Thiem & Fognini To Play For Team Europe In 2019 Laver Cup|
|Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:50:00 Z|
On Friday, the Laver Cup announced that Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem, World No. 5 Alexander Zverev and Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini will join Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on Team Europe at the Laver Cup this September in Geneva. Only one spot on the team remains.
“Being part of Team Europe at Laver Cup in Prague was an unbelievable experience. It’s so unique being on the same team as the players you are usually fighting against across the net,” Thiem said. “When we played together in Prague (in 2017), Rafa and Roger cheered me on from the side of the court and gave me tactics for the matches. It was cool to have such legends of the game supporting me. I’m really looking forward to experiencing the Laver Cup again.”
Zverev, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, triumphed in Geneva in May for his first ATP Tour title of the season.
“Laver Cup is one of the most fun weeks of my year,” Zverev said. “Winning in Prague and Chicago as part of Team Europe has been unbelievable. There’s a team spirit and team atmosphere that’s unlike any other. I can’t wait to get together again and defend our title.”
Fognini, who cracked the Top 10 in the ATP Rankings this week to become the oldest player to do so for the first time since 1973, will compete at the Laver Cup for the first time.
“I’m very excited to be playing the Laver Cup in September,” Fognini said. “Playing as part of a team is special in tennis, where we are more used to having a one-on-one battle every match. I’m looking forward to competing alongside all the great players on Team Europe.”
Team Europe Captain Björn Borg, is looking forward to working with his team.
"I’m delighted to have Dom (Thiem) back in the team. He was a great player for us in Prague and his form is outstanding, as we saw recently in his run to the final at Roland Garros,” Borg said. “Sascha (Zverev) is not just one of the rising stars of the game, [but] he’s a great team player and loves this competition. Fabio is renowned for his passion and has had an incredible season and I have no doubt he’ll make a great contribution to the team.
“This talented group of players, alongside Rafa and Roger, two of the greatest players of all time, gives us an incredibly strong team and I believe we are in a very good position to win the title for a third time.”
The third edition of the Laver Cup will take place at the Palexpo, Geneva, from 20-22 September 2019. Team Europe hoisted the trophy at the inaugural event in Prague in 2017 and in Chicago in 2018. Team World Captain John McEnroe will announce his first team members in the coming weeks.
|After Zverev Win, Brown On Back Injury: 'It’s Just Something That I Have To Live With'|
|Thu, 13 Jun 2019 19:48:00 Z|
On Thursday afternoon, the Stuttgart crowd was treated to a ‘Dustin Brown moment’. At 5-6 in the second set of his second-round MercedesCup match against reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, the 34-year-old Brown faced set point when he leapt across the court — seemingly freezing in the air mid-dive — to successfully reach a forehand volley, allowing himself to stay in the set. The World No. 170 quickly leapt back up, turned around and let out a massive roar to celebrate.
Few players would dare try such a shot. But that is the type of player Brown — who upset the top seed in three sets for his first tour-level win since the 2017 US Open and the fifth Top 10 victory of his career — is, and that’s why he’s earned countless fans throughout the world during his career. What people may not know is that just more than two years ago, he suffered a serious back injury.
At 2017 Montpellier, after defeating then-World No. 7 Marin Cilic, Brown had to retire after one game in his quarter-final against Benoit Paire due to back pain. Brown would later find out it was a herniated disc. He still is dealing with the subsequent nerve damage.
“It’s just something that I have to live with now and try to manage and try to get through it and work on it,” Brown told ATPTour.com. “There are a lot of players out there who have had injuries, had surgeries that they have to manage to try to keep on playing well. But it’s not an ankle that you tear and after six weeks or two months everything is fine again.”
But that makes moments like Thursday’s victory even more special. When Zverev could not put a final Brown backhand volley back into play, the qualifier dropped his racquet and pulled his shirt over his face out of joy.
“I guess that [moment of happiness] is everything that’s going through my mind, just ending up pulling it off. I’m just happy that I’m still in the tournament, still have chances to get more points, and that I’m playing very good tennis," Brown said.
That moment was close to not coming to fruition. At 5-5 in the second set, Brown had a good look at a backhand volley that, if he made it, would have allowed him to serve for the match. But the veteran hit the volley into the net. It would have been easy to let the match slip from there against last week’s Roland Garros quarter-finalist. But the German did not panic.
“At that point you’re not thinking about the past. You’re thinking about the volley or certain parts in the match, but not about things that have happened,” Brown said. “I was playing the No. 5 in the world. I won the first set, had a chance there to maybe serve for it, too. But at the end of the day, either way, it’s still a positive thing, so I just tried to stay calm and kept playing, trying to wait on another chance.”
Brown continued playing aggressively and without hesitation. The German stretched down to touch his toes before match point. But otherwise, based on his play, it’d be tough to tell that Brown is dealing with a back injury, especially with his athletic, high-flying game.
“You just try and find ways to manage it. I guess it took a while to figure out and I think it’s also healing and getting better and it’s maybe not as bad as it used to be,” Brown said. “It’s just a process. I try and manage it and a lot of players have things that they have to deal with with their body. It’s just part of the game.”
Brown isn’t getting too far ahead of himself after defeating Zverev. He knows a tough challenge is ahead in #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 18-year-old has reached two ATP Tour finals and is pursuing his first tour-level title this week.
“It goes round by round. If I go on the court tomorrow, whoever I play, no one cares. It doesn’t make a difference if I have won against Alex. Even if I’ve won four matches, you still need to go out there and do your job that day,” Brown said. “Obviously I’ll just try to get my body ready and try to concentrate and play a good match tomorrow.”
It has not been the easiest two years for Brown, both physically and on the court. But the 34-year-old knows that on his day, especially on grass, there is no reason he can’t compete against the best players in the world. And regardless of his current ATP Ranking, Brown is focused on improving.
“You try to keep working,” Brown said. “Things get better.”
|Jarry Stuns Tsitsipas At The Libema Open|
|Thu, 13 Jun 2019 18:53:00 Z|
The challenge system rewarded Nicolas Jarry a lifeline, and the Chilean took full advantage to earn one of the biggest wins of his career against No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Libema Open on Thursday.
Serving at 3-3, 30/40 in the third set, Jarry appeared to have double faulted. He challenged the call, but he had little hope. He and Tsitsipas both walked to their chairs for the changeover.
The call, however, was overturned, and Jarry held, putting the pressure back on Tsitsipas. Greece's #NextGenATP star, who hadn't faced a break point since the first set, struggled with heavy winds while serving at 4-5 and double faulted twice in his final service game to give Jarry a break point, which the Chilean converted behind an aggressive return, advancing 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
“It's a very, very good win. I'm very happy for the way that I played Stefanos, one of the best players right now. He's so young and he's doing great this year,” Jarry said.
The 6'6” right-hander improved to 4-3 against Top 10 players and is picking up on the grass in 's-Hertogenbosch where he left off on the clay. Jarry made his second ATP Tour final last month at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open, falling to Alexander Zverev after having two match points in the final. At Roland Garros, Jarry fell in a tough first-round draw to Juan Martin del Potro.
The 23-year-old Chilean will next face France's Richard Gasquet or Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Their match was suspended because of rain on Thursday with Gasquet leading 6-4, 1-2.
In another upset, Frenchman Adrian Mannarino beat fourth seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Mannarino will next face fifth seed David Goffin, the 2015 finalist, who hit 13 aces to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 31 minutes. The Belgian took a 3-0 lead in the first set, then recovered from 1-3 down in the second set.
Elsewhere, seventh-seeded Chilean Cristian Garin completed a 7-5, 7-5 win over Robin Haase of The Netherlands in one hour and 45 minutes. The second-round encounter was carried over from Wednesday due to rain with Haase serving at 3-2, 40/0 in the second set. Garin has lifted two ATP Tour trophies this year at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship (d. Ruud) and at the BMW Open by FWU (d. Berrettini).
|Done & Dustin: Brown Topples Zverev In Stuttgart|
|Thu, 13 Jun 2019 15:44:00 Z|
Dustin Brown continued a day of upsets at the MercedesCup on Thursday when he reached the quarter-finals with victory over top seed Alexander Zverev.
A couple hours after second seed Karen Khachanov bowed out in Stuttgart, the 34-year-old qualifier knocked out fellow German Zverev 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3 in only his second tour-level match of 2019.
“I am very, very happy,” said Brown. “I didn’t have a good grass-court swing last year and just wanted to come and play very good tennis. Stuttgart is a little bit at altitude and I think that helped my game. I’ve won three very good matches, two in qualifying and one against [John] Millman. The court played a little slower today and it was tough especially against Alex, who is a very good returner. So I had to make a lot of first serves and the break in the first set helped me to gain confidence.”
Brown recovered from 2-5 down in the second set and missed out on an opportunity to break Zverev at 5-5, when the World No. 170 hit a backhand volley into the net. He later needed to save three break points at 3-3 in the deciding set.
It was only the fourth Top 10 win of his career, and the first since February 2017 when Brown beat then No. 7-ranked Marin Cilic in the Open Sud de France second round. He also beat Rafael Nadal on grass courts at 2014 Halle and 2015 Wimbledon.
Brown, who had not recorded a tour-level win prior to this week since the 2017 US Open, now challenges seventh-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is currently second in the ATP Race To Milan for a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals in November. Auger-Aliassime hit 15 aces to beat Gilles Simon of France 7-5, 6-4 in 90 minutes.
“I try to play match by match,” said Brown. “I try and play my own tennis, aggressive and I know that I am dangerous on this surface, particularly when I come into the net a lot. So far it’s worked very well.”
Zverev double-faulted at 30/40 in the third game of the first set, one of his 14 double faults in the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. While Zverev took a 2-0 lead in the second set, Brown’s courtcraft at 3-5 reaped rewards, but he did not hit a first service into court in the tie-break, which ended with a forehand error.
Having saved three break points at 3-3 in the decider, Brown was inventive in the next game to get Zverev on the move. A forehand volley winner sealed a 5-3 lead and he went on to close out to 15. Brown saved 13 of 14 break points, with Zverev winning 82 per cent of his first-service points and hitting 21 winners.
Last week, both Zverev and World No. 9 Khachanov, who lost to Matteo Berrettini in Stuttgart on Thursday, reached the Roland Garros quarter-finals. Zverev, who captured the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon trophy prior to the clay-court Grand Slam championship in Paris, is now 23-12 on the season.
|Felix Growing In Confidence On Stuttgart Grass; Berrettini Upsets Khachanov|
|Thu, 13 Jun 2019 13:04:00 Z|
Felix Auger-Aliassime struck 15 aces in a confident display on Thursday against the experienced Frenchman Gilles Simon at the MercedesCup. The 18-year-old Canadian, competing in his first tour-level grass-court tournament this week, won 7-5, 6-4 in 90 minutes to set-up a quarter-final against German qualifier Dustin Brown, who knocked out top seed Alexander Zverev earlier in the day.
Three years ago, Auger-Aliassime partnered Denis Shapovalov to the 2016 Wimbledon junior doubles final (l. to Raisma/Tsitsipas), which, prior to this week, was the last time the World No. 19 played a grass-court event. In a breakthrough 2019, Auger-Aliassime has compiled a 22-12 match record, which includes two ATP Tour final appearances at the Rio Open presented by Claro (l. to Cuevas) and at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (l. to Paire).
Matteo Berrettini caused an upset when he beat Karen Khachanov, one week on from the Russian competing in the Roland Garros quarter-finals. The 22-year-old Italian recorded his second Top 10 win of the year over second seed Khachanov 6-4, 6-2 in 69 minutes. Last month at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Berrettini beat World No. 5 Alexander Zverev 7-5, 7-5 in the second round.
“I played a great match, served really well and did well with my slice,” said Berrettini. “Tomorrow will be a tough match against Denis [Kudla], as he played well today against Gael. I will have to do my best.”
Berrettini, who is now 20-12 on the season, broke Khachanov at 3-3 with terrific anticipation at the net in the first set and then in the first game of the second set when the Russian struck a forehand long of the baseline. Berrettini took a 5-2 advantage with a low forehand volley winner, then closed out the match with a 60-second service hold – finishing with a backhand drop shot winner.
Khachanov, who reached his first Grand Slam championship quarter-final last week in Paris (l. to Thiem), broke into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings on Monday at a career-high No. 9. He is now 14-14 on the season.
Berrettini will next face American Denis Kudla, who completed the biggest win of his career over World No. 16 Gael Monfils, the ATP 250 tournament’s fifth seed, 6-5, 6-7(3), 7-6(3) in two hours and 19 minutes.
“I’ve always been comfortable on grass, and to beat Gael on any surface is a big win,” said Kudla. “Today was a really big test physically, mentally and I thought I passed it. I was up a break, but he doesn’t give you any rhythm. It’s very tough to stay focused and it came down to the wire.”
Kudla, who had led by a set and 4-2 before 2010 finalist Monfils fought back, previously recorded his best match win (according to the ATP Rankings) over No. 19-ranked Lucas Pouille 7-5, 6-7(6), 7-6(5) in August 2018 in the 2018 Citi Open third round.
|Murray Optimistic About Return To Singles Action This Season|
|Wed, 12 Jun 2019 22:21:00 Z|
Get ready to see more of Andy Murray this season. The former World No. 1, who could be spotted practising at The Queen’s Club on Wednesday ahead of his return next week at the Fever-Tree Championships, is planning on playing doubles through Wimbledon and hopes to back in singles action later this year.
“I’d like to try and play every week if I can, but I sort of want to wait and see. I feel good just now. I’ve been practising, playing doubles sets and stuff, and doing fine,” he said in an interview from The Queen's Club. “But obviously once you get back on a match court, that’s when you can really test yourself. I’d imagine after here I’d get a better idea of where I’m at.
“Providing everything goes fine, I’ll try and play through the grass in doubles. And then after that, I won’t just finish playing doubles at Wimbledon and then [go] straight onto the singles court. I still need time to build up again and do another block of rehab and training to get myself in that position, but I’m looking forward to it.”
The 32-year-old Scot underwent hip resurfacing surgery in late January, following a brave five-set battle against Roberto Bausista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open. Prior to the tournament, an emotional Murray had questioned whether it might be his final event, but now “pain-free”, he is hopeful of returning to singles action again.
“With the way things are progressing just now, I’m optimistic about being able to do that,” he said. “I don’t know when exactly. I’ll just keep doing the right stuff. Doubles is a middle ground between what I have been doing and getting on the singles court, so hopefully things keep progressing the right direction and maybe later this year I’ll get there.”
Murray, a five-time singles champion at The Queen’s Club, will take the first step in his return when he plays alongside 2017 titlist Feliciano Lopez next week at the ATP 500 grass-court tournament.
|Watch: Freakish Net Post Ricochet At Kazakh Challenger|
|Wed, 12 Jun 2019 22:01:00 Z|
If you believe you've seen everything on a tennis court, think again.
Sometimes a stroke of luck is greatly appreciated on the ATP Challenger Tour. Look no further than what transpired on Wednesday in Shymkent, Kazakhstan.
Fourth seeds Evan King and Hunter Reese benefited from a slice of good fortune in the first set, en route to their first-round victory over Tunisians Malek Jaziri and Skander Mansouri. Leading 4-3 15/40, the Americans secured the decisive break thanks to a freakish ricochet.
When King framed a Monsouri first serve, the return hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity, before somehow descending on the net post. The ball deflected off the Tunisians' side of the post and dropped back in. The Americans would win the point and eventually the match, but not before a 10-minute delay ensued due to the confusion.
"Possibly the weirdest point I've ever been a part of," Reese posted on Instagram.
King and Reese would advance after taking the first set 6-3, when Jaziri retired due to illness. They are bidding for a third doubles title together, having won on home soil in Sarasota and Cary last year.