UK Tennis Live News
Challenger Vault: Sascha Zverev
Wed, 23 May 2018 20:07:00 Z
In this edition of the Challenger Vault, Alexander Zverev reflects on the title that moved him into the Top 100, when he prevailed on home soil in Heilbronn, Germany, in 2015.
Fritz, Isner Lead American Charge In Lyon
Wed, 23 May 2018 19:01:00 Z

#NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz picked up his second win of the season against compatriot Jack Sock, No. 15 in the ATP Rankings, to reach the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon quarter-finals on Wednesday. Fritz hit eight aces and swept the third-seeded Sock 7-6(6), 6-2 in 92 minutes.

The 20-year-old Fritz also beat Sock at the clay-court Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship last month en route to his second ATP World Tour semi-final. Fritz is in fourth place in the ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan. The eighth player will be determined by an all-Italian qualifying tournament.

Fritz will look to reach his third ATP World Tour semi-final on Thursday when he faces Serbian Dusan Lajovic. The Mutua Madrid Open quarter-finalist (l. to Anderson) beat qualifier Filip Horansky 6-4, 7-5 to notch his 10th tour-level match win this season.

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Second seed John Isner overcame a tough second-round challenge to battle past Radu Albot 7-6(3), 6-3. The Miami Open presented by Itaú champion saved a set point at 5-6 (30/40) in the first set, before taking a one-set lead and clinching the only break of the second set to advance after one hour and 37 minutes. The 33-year-old now leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Albot 2-1, having split their two previous encounters in the U.S. earlier this year. 

Isner will face Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals. The 22-year-old won 83 per cent of first-service points to defeat Germany’s Maximilian Marterer 6-1, 6-4 in 61 minutes.

Did You Know?
This week, Isner is bidding to reach his fourth ATP World Tour final on clay. The American won his only clay-court title at the 2013 Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship (d. Almagro) after finishing as runner-up in 2012 (l. to Monaco). Isner reached his first final on clay in 2010, losing to countryman Sam Querrey in Belgrade.

Uncovered: The Tour Born From Tragedy
Wed, 23 May 2018 17:10:00 Z
Emilio Sanchez Vicario and Feliciano Lopez join ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot to explain the creation of the 2018 Casper Tour, a series of junior tennis events being held to honour the life of Casper Fernandez, a former student of Sanchez Vicario's academy and Lopez's father.
Jared Donaldson: My Story
Wed, 23 May 2018 13:43:00 Z
American Jared Donaldson talks about the decision he made to move his training base to Argentina at the age of 14 and how it proved instrumental in developing his game in this edition of My Story, delivered by FedEx.
Polmans Making Strides On ATP Challenger Tour
Wed, 23 May 2018 04:09:00 Z
Get to know Australia's surging #NextGenATP star Marc Polmans, as the 21-year-old continues his ascent on the ATP Challenger Tour.
Best of ATP Stars 2018
Tue, 22 May 2018 23:47:00 Z
#NextGenATP Opelka Fights To See Another Day In Paris
Tue, 22 May 2018 21:04:00 Z

#NextGenATP American Reilly Opelka moved to within two wins of qualifying for Roland Garros for the first time on Tuesday. The 20-year-old right-hander beat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the second round of qualifying.

Opelka won his first clay-court title on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Primrose, an ATP Challenger Tour tournament in Bordeaux, France. He lost in the final round of Roland Garros qualifying last year. The 6'10” Opelka will next meet 25-year-old Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia, who beat 30th seed Alexey Vatutin of Russia 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.

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Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who beat Roger Federer en route to the 2014 Roland Garros semi-finals (l. to Djokovic), also advanced on a rain-shortened day of qualifying in Paris. Gulbis beat French veteran Stephane Robert 7-5, 6-4.

Last week gave me some confidence, making the semis in Bordeaux [l. to Opelka], so maybe now I can show some better tennis in the majors again,” Gulbis told RolandGarros.com.

Sixth seed Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil beat Christian Garin of Chile 7-6(6), 6-4; 28th seed Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland beat American Bradley Klahn 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4; and Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo, who captured his first title at any level in five years on Sunday at the Lisboa Belem Open, an ATP Challenger Tour event, fell to 20th seed Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-4, 6-4.

Johnson Escapes In Upset-Filled Day In Geneva
Tue, 22 May 2018 18:25:00 Z

Houston champion Steve Johnson avoided the upset bug on Tuesday, a day filled with them at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. The sixth-seeded American beat Romanian Marius Copil 7-6(4), 6-3.

Johnson hit 11 aces and escaped danger regularly on his serve, saving eight of nine break points. Johnson will face Czech right-hander Lukas Rosol in the second round. Rosol saved two match points to beat countryman Jiri Vesely 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4). The 32-year-old trailed by a set and 4/6 in the second-set tie-break before rallying to victory in two hours and 15 minutes.

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German Peter Gojowczyk picked up his 15th win of the season by beating fourth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4. Gojowczyk hit eight aces and saved both break points his Spanish opponent created during the 75-minute match. The German will meet Italy's Andreas Seppi or Spain's Bernabe Zapata Miralles for a place in the semi-finals.

Marton Fucsovics of Hungary also defeated seeded opposition from Spain, racing past fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-2. Fucsovics won 70 per cent of first-serve points and saved all five break points he faced in the 80-minute first-round clash. The Hungarian No. 1 will meet #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Two-time defending champion Stan Wawrinka was scheduled to make his return to Geneva on Tuesday against Jared Donaldson of the U.S., but rain postponed their second-round match until Wednesday.

View Wednesday's Geneva Schedule

Thiem Breezes Through Lyon Opener
Tue, 22 May 2018 17:33:00 Z

Dominic Thiem notched his 26th victory of the season on Tuesday to start his Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon. The top-seeded Thiem beat Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena, Ecuador Open titlist, 6-2, 6-4 in 71 minutes.

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Thiem won 80 per cent of his service points and didn't face a break point in the second-round matchup. The Austrian and nine-time ATP World Tour champion will next meet another Spaniard in Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who beat France's Calvin Hemery 7-6(4), 6-3 to reach his third tour-level quarter-final of the season.

Garcia-Lopez, who also reached quarter-finals on clay in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, won 81 per cent of service points and saved all three break points faced to advance.

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Slovakian qualifier Filip Horansky secured his maiden ATP World Tour victory, upsetting Millennium Estoril Open champion Joao Sousa 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The World No. 334, competing in his first ATP World Tour main draw, converted five of his six break points to beat the Portuguese No. 1 in one hour and 52 minutes. Horansky will face Serbia's Dusan Lajovic for a spot in the quarter-finals.

#NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz continued his fine form this season, notching his ninth win of the season to reach the second round. Fritz, in fifth place in the ATP Race to Milan, beat Aussie Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-2 in 55 minutes. The 20-year-old will meet third seed Jack Sock for a place in the quarter-finals. Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin also progressed to the second round, beating wild card Gregoire Barrere 6-2, 6-3 in 72 minutes.

Pavic Becomes New World No. 1
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:22:49 Z
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot takes a look at Mate Pavic's rise to World No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings.
Innovation To Continue At 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:22:48 Z
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot looks ahead to the second edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. ATP Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode and ATP Chief Player Officer Ross Hutchins share their thoughts on the inaugural event and future innovations.
Auger-Aliassime Leads #NextGenATP Charge In Roland Garros Qualifying
Mon, 21 May 2018 22:09:00 Z

Judging by their performance in the first round of Roland Garros qualifying, a slew of #NextGenATP players are ready to make their mark in Paris.

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime was one of nine #NextGenATP competitors to notch a win in the French capital on Monday, defeating South African Lloyd Harris 6-4, 6-3. The 17-year-old became the first player born in the 2000s to compete in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event earlier this year at the BNP Paribas Open, where he earned his maiden tour-level victory against compatriot Vasek Pospisil.

Since, Auger-Aliassime has gained even more momentum by advancing to the quarter-finals at two ATP Challenger Tour events in Portugal.

“Sometimes you expect to be nervous, to be tight, to not play your best tennis. But I think from the first game I was serving well, so that helps a lot because against good players, to help out physically, it’s always good to serve well,” Auger-Aliassime said according to RolandGarros.com. “At the start of the year I played well at Indian Wells, now I’m playing good on clay. I won two [ATP Challenger Tour] titles on clay last year, so I really think I can play well on any surface.”

The Canadian, who is the youngest competitor in the draw, will face another #NextGenATP player in the second round: Spaniard Jaume Munar. The 21-year-old beat No. 11 seed Tim Smyczek 6-3, 7-5 to set a rematch of a first-round match at the Barletta, Italy, Challenger earlier this year, in which he beat Auger-Aliassime after two hours, 51 minutes.

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Munar, who is at a career-best No. 155 in the ATP Rankings, is getting plenty of attention from someone who knows a thing or two about climbing that ladder. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal watched his younger compatriot play in person during Australian Open qualifying earlier this year.

The seven other #NextGenATP players who progressed are Jay Clarke, Hubert Hurkacz, Miomir Kecmanovic, Duckhee Lee, Casper Ruud, Akira Santillan and Carlos Taberner.

Tennis With A View: Ferrer & Querrey Enjoy Geneva Sights
Mon, 21 May 2018 20:35:00 Z

Sam Querrey and David Ferrer are the first and fourth seeds, respectively, at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open this week in Switzerland. But before they begin their campaigns at the ATP World Tour 250-level event, the pair took to a smaller court for some pre-tournament fun.

Querrey and Ferrer played mini-tennis at the Cité du Temps, a square in the centre of Geneva that offers a view of Lake Léman, a jet d’eau and the Rhône River. The American is playing in Geneva for the third time, and he says that the decision to return was an easy one.

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“I love this city and the tournament. The conditions are perfect here and I always enjoy playing here,” said Querrey, who faces Guido Pella in the second round. The Argentine beat him in Houston earlier this year in a third-set tie-break.

“My fiancée is coming in today because I’ve told her so many good things about Geneva.”

Ferrer Querrey

After Querrey hit with some ball kids, Ferrer — who plays German Peter Gojowczyk on Tuesday — jumped on the court for a doubles exhibition with tournament director Thierry Grin against the top seed and tournament sponsor Eric Sturdza.

“I’m happy to be back in Geneva,” said Ferrer, who welcomed his first child, Leo, earlier this month. “It’s a very nice tournament and I’m looking forward to playing here again.”

Nadal Surges Ahead of Djokovic On 'Big Titles' Leaderboard
Mon, 21 May 2018 20:12:00 Z

Two down, one more to go.

Rafael Nadal may have stumbled in his bid to sweep all four “Big Titles” on clay, a feat he accomplished in 2010 when he won the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Mutua Madrid Open, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and Roland Garros. Nadal fell to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid quarter-finals earlier this month.

But the 31-year-old Spaniard has still added two more Big Titles – a combination of Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Nitto ATP Finals crowns – to his haul as the European clay-court season enters its final three weeks.

Winning Two Out Of Three Masters 1000 Titles On Clay

Player

Year(s)

Rafael Nadal

2005-09, 2012-13, 2017-18

Novak Djokovic

2011, 2015

Thomas Muster

1995-96

Gustavo Kuerten

1999

Andrei Medvedev

1994

*Madrid transitioned from hard court to clay in 2009

Nadal won Masters 1000 title No. 31 in Monte-Carlo last month, and on Sunday, the Spaniard celebrated his 32nd Masters 1000 crown, beating Alexander Zverev in the Rome final 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. Nadal's eighth Rome crown further padded his lead against Novak Djokovic (30) and Roger Federer (27) on the all-time Masters 1000 titles leaderboard. Before the clay-court swing began, Nadal and Djokovic were even at 30 all.

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Nadal also has snuck ahead of Djokovic in two other areas: his overall Big Title count and his improved Big Title conversion rate. Nadal now has 48 Big Titles to Djokovic's 47, and the Spaniard has won one Big Title every 3.47 opportunities, while Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in the Rome semi-finals, has won an average of one Big Title every 3.51 chances.

“It means a lot to win in Rome here again,” Nadal said.

Both Nadal and Djokovic remain ahead of the all-time Big Titles leader, Roger Federer, with their superior conversion rates. Federer has won one Big Title every 4.1 opportunities.

Current and Former Champions' Big Titles Won (Records Since 1990) 

Player

Grand Slams

Nitto ATP Finals

1000s

Total (Avg)

Roger Federer

20/72

6/15

27/129

53/216 (4.1)

Rafael Nadal 16/51 0/8 32/110 48/167 (3.5)

Novak Djokovic

12/52

5/10

30/103

47/165 (3.5)

Pete Sampras

14/52

5/11

11/83

30/146 (4.9)

Andre Agassi

8/61

1/13

17/90

26/164 (6.3)

Andy Murray

3/46

1/8

14/96

18/148 (8.2)

Boris Becker*

2/26

2/6

5/51

9/83 (9.2)

Thomas Muster

1/29

0/4

8/53

9/86 (9.6)

Gustavo Kuerten

3/33

1/3

5/67

9/103 (11.4)

Jim Courier

4/38

0/4

5/71

9/113 (12.6)

Stefan Edberg**

3/28

0/4

1/24

4/56 (14)

Marcelo Rios

0/26

0/1

5/56

5/83 (16.6)

Michael Chang

1/50

0/6

7/86

8/142 (17.8)

Marat Safin

2/41

0/3

5/87

7/131 (18.7)

Andy Roddick

1/46

0/6

5/75

6/127 (21.2)

* Becker's four other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.
** Edberg's three other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.  

The next – and final – Big Title up for grabs on clay this year will be Roland Garros, which begins Sunday. Nadal will be going for his 11th Roland Garros title and his 17th Grand Slam crown.

But don't count out Djokovic, who won Roland Garros in 2016 to become the eighth man to win the career Grand Slam and the third man to hold all four major championships at once. The Serbian reached his first quarter-final and semi-final of the season in Rome before falling to Nadal 7-6(4), 6-3 during their 51st FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

Read & Watch: Nadal Survives Battle Against Djokovic

I don't think that there was too much of a difference, which is great news for me. Because Rafa is, of course, the best player ever to play tennis on clay courts. And he's in great, great form,” Djokovic said after losing to Nadal in Rome.

I've played four matches here. I didn't really expect anything coming into this tournament, when it comes to results, because I didn't have many great results in the last period. So I'm pleased with how I've played the last three days, very pleased. And hopefully Roland Garros can be just a continuation of this run.”

Q: Have You EVER Seen A Point Like This? A: No!
Mon, 21 May 2018 19:43:00 Z

Joran Vliegen has seen it happen in practice, but never in an actual match.

Competing in the doubles semi-finals at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Heilbronn, Germany, with Sander Gille, the Belgian pulled off a magical act of improvisation. Facing eventual finalists Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, Vliegen hit one of the rarest shots in tennis, bringing the crowd at the Neckarcup to their feet.

The 24-year-old's fast hands were on full display, as a Mies stab volley struck the net twice before Vliegen's quick instincts took over. As the ball - laden with backspin - hit the net on his side of the court, he incredibly carved it cross-court before it could bounce twice. Vliegen hit a terrific short angle to keep the point alive, all with the presence of mind to avoid scraping the net with his racquet.

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"I didn’t really think about it, I just wanted to get the ball back over the net," Vliegen said. "I've never seen this before in an actual match, but it often happens in those mini tennis games you play with four people. I guess playing those finally paid off! Honestly, after watching it again I thought the point was over when the ball hit the net on my side. I didn’t know about the rule, but I definitely learned something that day!"

And the point wasn't over! Krawietz sprinted to retrieve Vliegen's shot, scooping the ball over the net with the smallest of margins. The German's winner was just as stunning as the improbable shot that preceded it. Krawietz and Mies would win the point and the match 6-1, 7-6(6), before finishing runner-up in Sunday's championship.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Hot Shot: A Once In A Lifetime Rally In Heilbronn
Mon, 21 May 2018 18:25:00 Z
Now that's something you don't see everyday. Quick thinking and fast hands were on display at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Heilbronn.
Monfils Falls In Lyon Debut
Mon, 21 May 2018 17:14:00 Z

Gael Monfils arrived in Lyon attempting to get back on track following consecutive 3-6, 1-6 losses in Madrid and Rome. 

But the No. 6 seed let slip a 6-2, 4-3 lead in his debut on Monday at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon. German Maximilian Marterer eliminated the Frenchman 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting after one hour, 50 minutes. It is the second year in a row that Monfils has lost three consecutive matches ahead of Roland Garros. In 2017, the former World No. 6 advanced to the Round of 16 in Paris before falling in straight sets against Stan Wawrinka. 

Marterer, whose only previous win against a player sitting higher in the ATP Rankings than Monfils came against World No. 16 Diego Schwartzman in Munich this year, impressively won 42 per cent of first-serve return points in the second and third sets to advance to the second round. The 22-year-old will face Britain's Cameron Norrie, who beat Dominican Jose Hernandez-Fernandez 7-6(5), 6-1 in a battle between two former college tennis players.

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Guillermo Garcia-Lopez notched his 10th tour-level win of 2018, upsetting fifth seed Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. Garcia-Lopez, who reached the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro on clay in February, converted six of his 18 break point chances to advance after one hour, 51 minutes.The 34-year-old will face France's Calvin Hemery, who earned his second tour-level win on Sunday, for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Ecuador Open champion Roberto Carballes Baena took three hours and five minutes to book his place in the Round of 16, edging Laslo Djere 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 6-3. The Spaniard won 77 per cent of first-serve points and saved seven of eight break points en route to the triumph, earning him a second-round meeting against top seed Dominic Thiem.

Lucky loser Federico Coria came from a set down to secure his first ATP World Tour win in his first tour-level match, defeating compatirot Nicolas Kicker 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. The World No. 335 was just 2-5 on the ATP Challenger Tour this season. But nevertheless, the Argentine won 73 per cent of second-serve return points and broke his 25-year-old compatriot on six occasions to clinch his milestone victory.

Did You Know?
Federico Coria owned just one Top 100 triumph before beating Nicolas Kicker on Monday, which came against World No. 100 Renzo Olivo at the Campinas Challenger in October 2016.

Donaldson Sets Wawrinka Clash In Geneva
Mon, 21 May 2018 14:56:00 Z

Stan Wawrinka has won back-to-back titles at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. But a 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier will look to knock the home favourite off his throne in the second round this year.

Jared Donaldson ousted Uzbek Denis Istomin 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 in one hour, 48 minutes, snapping a five-match losing streak to set a clash against the Swiss superstar, who is the No. 3 seed. The American pushed Wawrinka to three sets two years ago in Cincinnati in their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, and will look to even the series for a spot in the quarter-finals.

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Speaking of young Americans, Donaldson was not the only one to move on in Switzerland. This time last year, #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe had just two tour-level wins on the season, and four in his career. But the 20-year-old notched his 16th victory of 2018 on Monday, coming back to defeat compatriot Ryan Harrison 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.

Tiafoe trailed 2-5 in the second-set tie-break, but reeled off five consecutive points to force a decider. He will face No. 5 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Hungarian Marton Fucsovics as he seeks his fourth quarter-final of the season.

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Another American, Tennys Sandgren, raced into the second round after a slow start, beating Andreas Haider Maurer 1-6, 6-1, 6-0 to snap a five-match losing streak of his own. The Houston finalist (l. to Johnson) hit 11 aces and, after dropping the first set, won 91 per cent of his first-serve points (20/22). 

Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles needed just 55 minutes to clinch a win in his first tour-level match, upsetting Germany's Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2. The 21-year-old will meet seventh seed Andreas Seppi in the second round.

Did You Know?
Bernabe Zapata Miralles was one of two players to clinch a win in his first tour-level match on Monday. Federico Coria also accomplished the feat in Lyon.

Lyon 2018
Mon, 21 May 2018 13:11:00 Z
Geneva 2018
Mon, 21 May 2018 12:57:00 Z

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