Dennis Novikov Serves Way to Sixth Pro Circuit Title At USTA Men’s Pro Championships of Calabasas

Novikov Serving

(March 29, 2015) CALABASAS, Calif.– It was all about the serve Sunday in the final of the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas.


Former UCLA star and No. 2-seeded Dennis Novikov did it just it just a little bit better on Sunday to beat unseeded Francis Tiafoe, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6), to capture his sixth USTA Pro Circuit Futures championship at the USTA $15,000 Pro Circuit Futures event played at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.


Novikov’s serve was never broken and he rocketed 13 aces, double faulted just once and only faced a break point against him once the entire match. Tiafoe also served strong with nine aces, two doubles faults, and never lost his serve while saving two break points.


“It was a little bit warm out here so the conditions really suit serving,” said Novikov, who will break into the ATP World Top 200 when the rankings are releases on Monday. “It was just a battle of serves today. Like Sampras against whoever …. (Ivo) Karlovic or (Mark) Philippoussis.”


Novikov will get his name placed on a banner just like former champs Karlovic and Philippoussis, and has a goal to be in the top 100 by the end of the year.


Novikov led 5-4 in the first-set tiebreaker but was able to get two mini-break points against Tiafoe’s serve to close out the set, 7-4. The second set was much of the same story with Tiafoe unable to get close to breaking Novikov, but serving well enough to extend to another tiebreaker.


“That was tough,” said the 17-year-old Tiafoe, who has not turned pro yet. “I stayed cool and kept holding and I was serving great. I was returning OK but wasn’t able to get the break.”


Novikov made $2,160 prize money and gained 27 valuable ATP World ranking points while Tiafoe earned $1,272 for the week and 12 ranking points. “So far it’s been a good year for me,” Tiafoe said. “I took the fall off and in January I played better than I thought I would.”


Added Novikov: “I like warmer conditions and played well at Indian Wells qualifying there a few weeks ago.”


In the doubles final on Saturday night, Fabian Matthews and Hunter Nicholas beat Adrian Forberg Skogeng and Wil Spencer, 6-1, 2-6, 10-6.


To keep up with all the USTA Pro Circuit news and scores, don’t forget to download the Pro Circuit App. Search procircuit in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play.


Sunday’s Final Singles Scores

Dennis Novikov, U.S., (2) def. Francis Tiafoe, U.S., 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6)


Saturday’s Final Doubles Score

Fabian Matthews, U.S. / Hunter Nicholas, U.S., def. Adrian Forberg Skogeng, Norway / Wil Spencer, U.S., 6-1, 2-6, 10-6


By Steve Pratt


Rafael Nadal Upset by Fernando Verdasco in Miami

Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco

(March 29, 2015) Rafael Nadal’s quest for a first Miami Open title was stopped by countryman No. 24 Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the third round on Sunday.

It’s Verdasco’s second straight win over the current world No. 3, with the last victory coming back in 2012 at the Madrid Masters. Verdasco lost to Nadal 13 straight times before that.

“Of course is a huge victory, and it’s always really nice to feel, you know, in a packed stadium or almost packed stadium in a very important tournament like this one and playing against one of the best players in history,” Verdasco said

“Today was a good day. I played good and I won… I’m very happy, and now I just need to try to rest and be ready for the next one.”


Rafael Nadal Miami

“I played some good games at the beginning, bad games at the end of the second set; some good games on the second; not bad at the beginning of the third,” Nadal said.

“But he played well the third, so he deserved to win more than me without any doubt tonight. Just congratulate him for the victory.”

“Today my game in general improved since a month and a half. But at the same time, still playing with too much nerves for a lot of moments, in important moments, still playing with a little bit of anxious on that moments.”

Verdasco had 29 winners breaking Nadal’s serve three times. Nadal was 3-12 on break points with 32 unforced errors with 18 winners.

“Obviously always beating a player like Rafa is the same like if you beat, I mean, (Andy) Murray or (Roger) Federer or these guys,” Verdasco said. Is one of the biggest victories that you can have in tennis.

“Of course is a huge victory, and it’s always really nice to feel, you know, in a packed stadium or almost packed stadium in a very important tournament like this one and playing against one of the best players in history.

“You know, at the end you just try to enjoy the moment also. Not even winning or losing. You always try to win, but enjoy the moment.”


Serena Williams Sails Past Bellis at Miami Open; Murray Wins 499th Match

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(March 29, 2015) Seven-time Miami Open winner Serena Williams moved into the round of 16 with a 6-1, 6-1 thrashing of 15-year-old countrywoman Cici Bellis in 41 minutes.

Bellis upset 2014 Australian Open finalist and the No. 12 player at the time Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of last year’s US Open.

“It wasn’t like, Oh, I’m so happy to win this match,” Williams said.

“Yeah, it was tough. I think, you know, she’s young and her being an American and her just doing so well, you want to see people like her do well. So when you’re up against them you have to kind of put that aside. Even though I’m always cheering for her. Otherwise I have to put it aside and play the match.”

“I was pretty nervous,” said Bellis. “I mean, she’s No. 1 in the world and like the best of all time for a reason.

“I think it was just a really good experience for me for the future and I’m glad I got to do it, but she’s a lot better than me for right now.”

Next up for Williams in will be 2006 Miami Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova who beat No. 13 Angelique Kerber 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Last weekend’s Indian Wells winner, No. 3 Simona Halep has reached the fourth round by besting No. 30 Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5.

“It’s first time when I’m in fourth round here in Miami,” Halep said. “I like to play here. You know, I come from Indian Wells where I won a title, and I have more confidence now to win matches.

“I’m just trying to keep my mind very focused and to recover my body every day and with good work, because I need it. I feel a little bit tired, but it’s normal. I have to accept this.

“I’m just looking forward to improve more in my shots, and I just want to hit the serve better and better day by day.

“I’m working, and, you know, I just want to go on court to fight for every chance.”

Mubadala World Tennis Championship

Andy Murray is a victory away from joining the 500-win club. The No. 3 seed at the Miami Open moved into the fourth round on Sunday defeating Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s nice, because when you see, you know, the list of the players that have won that many matches, you know, there isn’t loads,” Murray said. “I think there is only 40 or so players that have done it.

“Hopefully I can win some more throughout my career. I mean, maybe it doesn’t happen in a couple of days; I hope it does. But if not, then, you know, I’m sure at some stage I will get there.

I obviously want to try and win more, and hopefully still have quite a few years ahead of me left to add to that number.

Yeah, it’s a lot of wins. It’s not easy these days to win that many matches, so that’s a good sign.”

Next Murray hopes to become the ninth active man to reach 500 wins when he takes on Kevin Anderson on Tuesday.

Murray said it will be a “tough match.”

“He’s a big server. He plays predominantly from the baseline. Yeah, when his game is on, he’s very tough guy to play against, because he can hold serve.

“He obviously is used to these conditions here. He lives 45 minutes away, so he obviously plays and practices in this weather a lot. I won’t have as much of an advantage against him as maybe some of the guys, because he’s used to the conditions here.

“So it will be a tough match.”


Miami Open – Saturday Results, Sunday Schedule


USD 5,381,235.00 (ATP)
USD 5,381,235.00 (WTA)
23 MARCH – 5 APRIL 2015



Singles – Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d M. Klizan (SVK) 60 57 61
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d M. Youzhny (RUS) 62 61
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d T. Gabashvili (RUS) 61 64
[6] D. Ferrer (ESP) d F. Delbonis (ARG) 61 61
[9] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 62 62
[11] J. Tsonga (FRA) d T. Smyczek (USA) 64 36 63
[12] G. Simon (FRA) d M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 63 67(5) 60
J. Janowicz (POL) d [13] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 16 64
J. Monaco (ARG) d [14] E. Gulbis (LAT) 62 64
A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d [16] T. Robredo (ESP) 67(1) 63 75
[17] G. Monfils (FRA) d [Q] F. Krajinovic (SRB) 36 62 76(4)
[18] D. Goffin (BEL) d B. Coric (CRO) 60 64
T. Bellucci (BRA) d [19] P. Cuevas (URU) 26 62 75
[Q] A. Falla (COL) d [20] I. Karlovic (CRO) 64 62
J. Sock (USA) d [21] F. Fognini (ITA) 76(4) 61
[22] J. Isner (USA) d [WC] A. Rublev (RUS) 63 64
[26] L. Rosol (CZE) d [Q] A. Zverev (GER) 76(0) 63
[28] A. Mannarino (FRA) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 64 36 62
[29] F. Verdasco (ESP) d [Q] J. Duckworth (AUS) 46 62 61
[Q] S. Darcis (BEL) d [30] G. Muller (LUX) 64 67(2) 63
[31] J. Chardy (FRA) d J. Melzer (AUT) 64 61
[32] V. Troicki (SRB) d S. Bolelli (ITA) 75 36 64

Doubles – Second Round
[WC] R. Harrison (USA) / R. Ram (USA) d [7] N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 75 76(4)

Doubles – First Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d B. Becker (GER) / S. Lipsky (USA) 62 76(3)
[4] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) 64 62
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 76(4) 63
S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / L. Paes (IND) 64 62


Singles – Third Round

[4] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d K. Kanepi (EST) 46 61 63
[7] A. Radwanska (POL) d [31] I. Begu (ROU) 62 46 62
[8] E. Makarova (RUS) d [26] E. Svitolina (UKR) 60 64
[9] A. Petkovic (GER) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 60 62
[12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [22] A. Cornet (FRA) 60 64
[14] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [WC] P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) 75 61
[16] V. Williams (USA) d [23] S. Stosur (AUS) 64 76(3)
[WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS) d K. Nara (JPN) 60 76(5)
Second Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d M. Niculescu (ROU) 63 61
[Q] T. Maria (GER) d [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) 60 76(4)
[11] S. Errani (ITA) d A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 76(5)
[13] A. Kerber (GER) d H. Watson (GBR) 75 36 64

Doubles – Second Round

[PR] V. Dushevina (RUS) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d J. Goerges (GER) / A. Groenefeld (GER) 76(2) 36 10-7
First Round
[4] S. Hsieh (TPE) / F. Pennetta (ITA) d [WC] A. Cornet (FRA) / E. Svitolina (UKR) 61 63
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d O. Savchuk (UKR) / M. Torró-Flor (ESP) 63 62
[8] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [WC] M. Puig (PUR) / H. Watson (GBR) 63 63
K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Klepac (SLO) d [PR] K. Bertens (NED) / T. Maria (GER) 75 64
M. Niculescu (ROU) / A. Panova (RUS) d L. Raymond (USA) / S. Stosur (AUS) 62 63
H. Chan (TPE) / J. Jankovic (SRB) d A. Parra Santonja (ESP) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 75 64
[WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) / K. Knapp (ITA) d [WC] A. Dulgheru (ROU) / S. Halep (ROU) 75 63


STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [27] S. Giraldo (COL) vs [3] A. Murray (GBR)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [15] F. Pennetta (ITA)
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [WC] C. Bellis (USA)
ATP – [29] F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [2] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [27] S. Lisicki (GER) vs [5] A. Ivanovic (SRB)
Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – J. Monaco (ARG) vs [23] G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
WTA – [3] S. Halep (ROU) vs [30] C. Giorgi (ITA)
ATP – [7] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs [28] A. Mannarino (FRA)
ATP – [17] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [11] J. Tsonga (FRA)
ATP – [8] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [25] B. Tomic (AUS)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Lindstedt (SWE) / J. Melzer (AUT)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [15] K. Anderson (RSA) vs [24] L. Mayer (ARG)
ATP – J. Sock (USA) vs D. Thiem (AUT)
WTA – [11] S. Errani (ITA) vs [21] G. Muguruza (ESP)
WTA – J. Larsson (SWE) vs S. Stephens (USA)
ATP – A. Begemann (GER) / E. Gulbis (LAT) vs J. Isner (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [7] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)
WTA – [24] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [13] A. Kerber (GER)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – B. Bencic (SUI) vs [Q] T. Maria (GER)
ATP – S. Giraldo (COL) / M. Klizan (SVK) vs [3] M. Melo (BRA) / B. Soares (BRA)
ATP – L. Mayer (ARG) / G. Muller (LUX) vs [2] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA)

COURT 7 start 1:00 pm
WTA – [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) / K. Knapp (ITA) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)
Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [5] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs [WC] T. Bellucci (BRA) / J. Souza (BRA)


Francis Tiafoe to Face Dennis Novikov in USTA Men’s Pro Championships of Calabasas Final on Sunday


(March 28, 2015) CALABASAS, Calif. – Francis Tiafoe didn’t officially announce he was turning professional on Saturday after advancing to the final of the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas. But he did remind that it’s only a matter of time before that happens.


“I’m going to turn pro,” the 17-year-old unseeded Tiafoe, still an amateur, said after beating Jason Jung in the semifinals, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, at the USTA $15,000 Pro Circuit Futures event being played at the Calasbasas Tennis & Swim Center. “I’m not sure when it’s going to happen, but it’s only a matter of time.”


Tiafoe is on a nine-match win streak after winning his first ITF Futures title last weekend in Bakersfield. He will face former UCLA star and No. 2-seeded Dennis Novikov in the 1 p.m. final on Sunday, with a pro doubles exhibition starting at noon.


Jung won the toss but elected to receive Tiafoe’s serve, which he promptly broke quickly. “I came out flat, but got the break back but then gave up the first set,” Tiafoe said. “I was just trying to find my range on both sides. I was serving extremely well and my best shot my forehand started working for me in the second set.”


Tiafoe said he still plans to play the remaining Junior Grand Slams, and that he has improved tremendously from one year ago when he was No. 7 in the world ITF junior rankings. He was a finalist at the Carson USTA Spring International Championships and won the ASICS Easter Bowl. Both mega junior events take place over the next two weeks.


Earlier this month, Tiafoe was named as a practice partner for the United States Davis Cup team that lost to Great Britain in Scotland. “I worked hard in the off-season and at Davis Cup I gained a lot of confidence,” he said. “My serve is 10 times better and off the ground I’m so much better.”


Novikov, 21, lost the first set to McDonald, 4-6, but used his big serve to take advantage of the match over the final two sets, 6-3, 6-2.


In the doubles final on Saturday night, Fabian Matthews and Hunter Nicholas beat Adrian Forberg Skogeng and Wil Spencer, 6-1, 2-6, 10-6.


Follow along on Twitter at http://twitter.com/calabasastennis. For more information check out the official website, calabasasprotennis.com. Don’t forget to download the Pro Circuit App. Search procircuit in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play.


Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Scores

Francis Tiafoe, U.S., def. Jason Jung, U.S., (6) 5-7, 6-1, 6-4

Dennis Novikov, U.S., (2) def. Mackenzie McDonald, U.S. (q) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2


Saturday’s Final Doubles Score

Fabian Matthews, U.S. / Hunter Nicholas, U.S., def. Adrian Forberg Skogeng, Norway / Wil Spencer, U.S., 6-1, 2-6, 10-6

By Steve Pratt


Serena Williams Wins Easily in Opening Match at Miami Open

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(March 28, 2015) Seven-time champion Serena Williams extended her winning streak at the Miami Open to 13 after winning her opening match over Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-1.

The two-time defending champion and world No. 1 just last weekend withdrew before her semifinal match at Indian Wells with a right knee injury. The 19-time major champ did not appear to be hindered by her injury.

“It was a little sore in practice, but it was OK today,” she said in regard to her knee.

Williams just defeated the Romanian two weeks ago at Indian Wells.

“It was definitely easier today,” Serena Williams said of playing her slicing and dicing opponent. “I knew what to expect. I still got a little frustrated, but overall was able to stay calm more than the last time I played her.”

No. 1 Williams, who is on a 16-match winning streak will take on 15-year-old Cici Bellis in the third round on Sunday.

“This one I think I played a lot smarter” – Cici Bellis Defeats Zarina Diyas in Miami for some U. S. Open Revenge

Serena’s sister Venus was also a winner on Saturday.

Venus Williams served for the match three times in the second set before closing out Sam Stosur 6-4, 7-6 (3).

“I think I served for it a few times, but the second set didn’t go exactly as I wanted,” Venus said. “But I put myself in a good position, and that was good.

“It was so interesting, because once I got to the tiebreaker, that’s when I really started to feel a lot more rhythm in my game. I think she did, too.

“So I think just playing extra games actually helped me. I think I’m going to be feeling a lot better once my next rounds come around.”

Serena told media that she and her sister plan on playing Fed Cup next month when the United States travels to Brindisi to take on Italy in the World Group Playoffs in an attempt to try move back into World Group in 2016.

“We deserve to be back in,” Serena said. “We have some of the best players in the world. We should be in the World Group A and competing for the title.”

Venus Williams will tackle No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki, in the fourth round, Wozniacki came back to stop Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

“We played a really competitive match early this year,” Venus said. “I can’t remember the score in the last set, but it was tough. I was just so happy to win that match, so I’m going to try to learn from that.

“I would love to win that match in two sets, but it’s going to take some work.”

The upset of the day on the women’s side came when German qualifier Tatjana Maria, ranked 113, stunned Wimbledon finalist No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard 6-0, 7-6 (4).

For the German, it was her second victory over a top ten player. Her first came against Li Na in 2010.


Miami Open – Friday Results, Saturday Schedule



23 MARCH – 5 APRIL 2015


Singles – Second Round
[2] R. Nadal (ESP) d [PR] N. Almagro (ESP) 64 62
[3] A. Murray (GBR) d D. Young (USA) 64 62
[7] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d C. Berlocq (ARG) 67(9) 75 62
[8] T. Berdych (CZE) d [WC] H. Chung (KOR) 63 64
D. Thiem (AUT) d [10] F. Lopez (ESP) 76(4) 46 63
[15] K. Anderson (RSA) d S. Querrey (USA) 67(5) 76(3) 64
[23] G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d J. Struff (GER) 64 64
[24] L. Mayer (ARG) d J. Nieminen (FIN) 64 76(5)
[25] B. Tomic (AUS) d [Q] A. Krajicek (USA) 76(6) 75
[27] S. Giraldo (COL) d [Q] R. Haase (NED) 62 36 60

Doubles – First Round
[7] N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 01 ret. (Bautista Agut – left eye)
R. Lindstedt (SWE) / J. Melzer (AUT) d [PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) 64 36 10-7
[WC] R. Harrison (USA) / R. Ram (USA) d E. Butorac (USA) / S. Groth (AUS) 16 64 10-4


Singles – Second Round
[3] S. Halep (ROU) d [WC] N. Vaidisova (CZE) 64 26 61
[5] A. Ivanovic (SRB) d [Q] I. Falconi (USA) 75 67(4) 63
J. Larsson (SWE) d [10] L. Safarova (CZE) 76(5) 62
[15] F. Pennetta (ITA) d T. Pironkova (BUL) 67(1) 63 63
S. Stephens (USA) d [17] M. Keys (USA) 64 62
V. Azarenka (BLR) d [20] J. Jankovic (SRB) 61 61
[21] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [Q] S. Karatantcheva (BUL) 61 63
[24] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d A. Riske (USA) 62 62
[27] S. Lisicki (GER) d J. Goerges (GER) 76(1) 67(5) 64
[WC] C. Bellis (USA) d [29] Z. Diyas (KAZ) 62 61
[30] C. Giorgi (ITA) d [Q] A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) 63 62
B. Bencic (SUI) d [32] C. Dellacqua (AUS) 62 46 62

Doubles – First Round
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d [Alt] E. Bogdan (ROU) / N. Melichar (USA) 61 60
[2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 62 26 10-4
[7] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d K. Date-Krumm (JPN) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 62 67(5) 13-11
[9] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d S. Aoyama (JPN) / R. Voracova (CZE) 75 46 10-5
G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Tomljanovic (CRO) 76(3) 63


Saturday March 27, 2015 – Order of play

STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – K. Kanepi (EST) vs [4] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
T. Smyczek (USA) vs [11] J. Tsonga (FRA)
[1] S. Williams (USA) vs M. Niculescu (ROU)
ATP – [9] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs M. Klizan (SVK)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [7] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [31] I. Begu (ROU)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
ATP – [4] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs M. Youzhny (RUS)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [9] A. Petkovic (GER)
ATP – [WC] A. Rublev (RUS) vs [22] J. Isner (USA)
Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [16] V. Williams (USA) vs [23] S. Stosur (AUS)
ATP – T. Gabashvili (RUS) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)
ATP – [19] P. Cuevas (URU) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [12] G. Simon (FRA) vs M. Kukushkin (KAZ)
[21] F. Fognini (ITA) vs J. Sock (USA)
ATP – F. Delbonis (ARG) vs [6] D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – A. Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [16] T. Robredo (ESP)
WTA – [14] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs [WC] P. Badosa Gibert (ESP)
ATP – [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs B. Becker (GER) / S. Lipsky (USA)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
[Q] T. Maria (GER) vs [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) 00
[17] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [Q] F. Krajinovic (SRB) 00
ATP – [31] J. Chardy (FRA) vs J. Melzer (AUT)
ATP – [18] D. Goffin (BEL) vs B. Coric (CRO)
ATP – S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / L. Paes (IND)

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
ATP – [26] L. Rosol (CZE) vs [Q] A. Zverev (GER)
[29] F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [Q] J. Duckworth (AUS) 10
ATP – [Q] A. Falla (COL) vs [20] I. Karlovic (CRO)
ATP – [Q] S. Darcis (BEL) vs [30] G. Muller (LUX)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
WTA – [22] A. Cornet (FRA) vs [12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [28] A. Mannarino (FRA) 46 63 11
[14] E. Gulbis (LAT) vs J. Monaco (ARG)
WTA – K. Nara (JPN) vs [WC] D. Gavrilova (RUS)
ATP – J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
WTA-TBA After Suitable Rest – L. Raymond (USA) / S. Stosur (AUS) vs M. Niculescu (ROU) / A. Panova (RUS)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
WTA – [8] E. Makarova (RUS) vs [26] E. Svitolina (UKR)
Not Before 12:00 noon
[11] S. Errani (ITA) vs A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 41
ATP – S. Bolelli (ITA) vs [32] V. Troicki (SRB)
ATP – J. Janowicz (POL) vs [13] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – [7] N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [WC] R. Harrison (USA) / R. Ram (USA)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
WTA – H. Chan (TPE) / J. Jankovic (SRB) vs A. Parra Santonja (ESP) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
Not Before 12:00 noon
H. Watson (GBR) vs [13] A. Kerber (GER) 57 00
ATP – [4] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – [WC] A. Cornet (FRA) / E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [4] S. Hsieh (TPE) / F. Pennetta (ITA)
WTA – [8] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [WC] M. Puig (PUR) / H. Watson (GBR)

COURT 10 start 1:00 pm
WTA – [PR] V. Dushevina (RUS) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) vs J. Goerges (GER) / A. Groenefeld (GER)
WTA – [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) / K. Knapp (ITA) vs [WC] A. Dulgheru (ROU) / S. Halep (ROU)
WTA – O. Savchuk (UKR) / M. Torró-Flor (ESP) vs [5] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Klepac (SLO) vs [PR] K. Bertens (NED) / T. Maria (GER)


“I’m at a great place now” – Novak Djokovic Meets the Media in Miami

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

(March 27, 2015) Defending Miami Open champion and world No 1 Novak Djokovic met the media on Friday ahead of his first match singles match, after losing in his doubles match with countryman Janko Tipsarevic. Robert Lindstedt and Jurgen Melzer edged the Serbian pair 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.

The former No. 8 Tipsarevic had been sidelined with a foot injury since fall 2013.

“The opportunity to play with him today was very special for me as a friend, and I cared very much to win this match today,” said Djokovic. “I got very tight in the super tie-breaker, I have to say, because it was a very tough match. We lost to two of the great, very good doubles players.

“But we talked after the match, and he appreciated the fact that he can actually play; just feel that match play, have that sensation of how it feels and what it takes to be on the court.

“Seventeen months is a long time for injuries, and he’s also not young. You know, he’s now 31 this year. But he’s eager to play. He’s motivated. He right now has been practicing for a couple of weeks 100%, and he decided actually it’s better to skip this tournament in singles because he needed a little bit more time to get into it.

“Hopefully this doubles match today can help him. When he plays now in Houston after Miami he can perform his best. He can relax. He has the quality to go back to where he was. You know, that’s top 10. I really wish him that”

The eight-time major champion is seeking his fifth Miami title.

Djokovic reflected on this 2015 year so far: “I started the season very well with winning Grand Slam (Australian Open), and that definitely helps my confidence level. I finished the 2014 season in a great form winning Paris (Masters) and London (ATP World Tour Finals) back to back and then winning Australia and playing finals Dubai, Davis Cup, and then Indian Wells.

“Of course I’m at a great place now. I try to enjoy and take the best out of the feeling that I have on the court right now.

“Hopefully I can have another great week in Miami. The record that I had in last, you know, eight, nine years I have been coming back to Miami and playing the tournament is really good. Some of my best tennis I have played here in these courts.

“That can hopefully help me to get far in the tournament. We are here in United States for, you know, some of the biggest events we have in sport, Indian Wells and Miami for four weeks, playing best of three, and it’s well spread.”


On his mindset coming off a big win at Indian Wells:

“Playing more matches and spending more time in the highest level in tennis allows you to understand, you know, how you need to approach and have the healthy approach to every tournament.

“Back in 2011 when I had the best season so far in my career and became No. 1 of the world, I was so much blown away and so happy by those terrific achievements that, you know, it was difficult for me the year after to kind of face all those challenges, to defend points, and was a little bit carried away by a lot of distractions, I would say, you know, off the court.

“But it allowed me ‑‑ those kind of experiences allowed me to grow and to become stronger mentally, you know, as a tennis player and as a person, and to find the right balance between the private and professional life, to enjoy the life that I have, to really embrace everything that life is presenting to me.

“But yet again, stay professional discipline, committed to the sport that I love.

“So I think right now I found the right balance, and I’m at the peak of my career and my abilities. Hopefully I can maintain that for the time to come.”


On social Media:

“I think the best thing about the social media and social platforms is the fact that you can interact with the people that follow and you support you.”

“So this is one of the ways to give them back, not just on the court by playing good tennis, but also you interact with them and feed them with some video or picture content that would give them a different look at your personality. Not just what they see on the TV when you’re playing tennis, but something else, to present yourself as a person.

“Everything has its borders, obviously, but I try to, you know, kind of post ‑‑ most of the content I post is something that is fun, something that is different. You know, sometimes I have to show them that I’m working in the gym or on the tennis court, that I am preparing myself.

“But mostly some other fun stuff for people that I get to meet along the way.”

On his life now as a husband and a father: “Right now I’m a complete person and really fulfilled in every aspect of my life. Became a husband and a father in last 10 months, and that’s a very important milestone for me that has definitely contributed in a positive way to my tennis, as well.

“I’m not taking things for granted. I am very grateful for the opportunity to play the sport that I love, and still kind of fulfill my parental duties and, you know, be, I would say, accomplished as a husband and a father.

“I cannot complain. It’s a great place in my life where I am at the moment, and trying to take the best out of it.”

“I really appreciate the fact that I’m playing tennis. Probably the childhood that I had, the circumstances in life that I had to face and overcome to be where I am at this moment allowed me to observe things in life in a different way, in a more humble way, I would say.

“The fact that I come from a very small country, the fact that I overcame some challenges that seemed impossible at the time with the war and sanctions and all these things and arrived to where I am, that has shaped me as a person and my character, and helps me now to have this kind of approach that I believe is the right one.”

Djokovic begins his quest for another Miami title on Saturday evening when his faces Martin Klizan.


Francis Tiafoe Continues Win Streak with Straight-Set Win At USTA Men’s Pro Championships of Calabasas

Francis Tiafoe-001

(March 27, 2015) CALABASAS, Calif., – Francis Tiafoe moved one stepped closer to a second-straight USTA Pro Circuit Futures singles title as he beat No. 8-seeded Mitchell Krueger in the quarterfinals on Friday at the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Calabasas.


Tiafoe, a 17-year-old from College Park, Md., won his eighth consecutive match taking out the No. 8-seeded Krueger, 21, of Aledo, Texas, 7-5, 6-4, in the $15,000-level event being played at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.


“Yeah, I guess it is eight straight but I’m not really thinking about that number,” said Tiafoe, who won three consecutive three-setters in the first three rounds last week in claiming his first Pro Circuit title. “I’m just focusing on continuing to play good tennis in Cali and want to put on a good show for the fans who come out tomorrow.”


He had never faced Krueger before, but the two have practiced together all week, and Tiafoe said he was able to get familiar with his game.


Tiafoe will face 25-year-old former University of Michigan star Jason Jung in one of Saturday’s semifinasl. Jung beat 17-year-old wild card Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals on Friday, 6-3, 6-3. Fritz had his chances early on, squandering 15-40 and love-40 games on Jung’s serve in the first set.


“Sure, he hits a big ball, but I was just better today,” said Jung, as he rested in preparation for an evening doubles semifinal. Jung also beat Fritz in the USC Pro Circuit Futures semifinals during the first week of the year.


In the other semifinal on Saturday starting at 3 p.m., it will be an all UCLA affair as No. 2-seeded Dennis Novikov will play either qualifier and current UCLA sophomore Mackenzie McDonald or former Bruin and wild card Clay Thompson, who played in the late match Friday.


Earlier on Friday, Novikov downed Ecuador’s Giovanni Lapentti, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.


Follow along on Twitter at http://twitter.com/calabasastennis. For more information check out the official website, calabasasprotennis.com. Don’t forget to download the Pro Circuit App. Search procircuit in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play.


EVENTS: USTA Junior Team Tennis Kid’s Day with a Tennis Carnival is Saturday, March 28, from 1:30 p.m. till 3 p.m.


Friday’s Quarterfinal Singles Scores

Jason Jung, U.S., (6) def. Taylor Fritz, U.S., (wc) 6-3, 6-3

Dennis Novikov, U.S., (2) def. Giovanni Lapentti, Eucador, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3

Francis Tiafoe, U.S., def. Mitchell Krueger, U.S., (8) 7-5, 6-4

Mackenzie McDonald, U.S. (q) def. Clay Thompson, U.S., (wc), late


Friday’s Semifinal Doubles

Jason Jung, U.S. / Raymond Sarmiento, U.S., vs. Fabian Matthew, U.S. / Jeremy Hunter Nicholas, U.S., late

By Steve Pratt


Miami Open – Official Statement from Tournament Director Office Regarding Tickets


Official Statement from Tournament Director Office

Friday, March 27, 2015 – Session #8 – Night Session

The following policy applies to Opening Weekend Packages and/or individual session tickets purchased for Session 8, Friday, March 27th Evening Session.  Please note that this policy does not apply to packages purchased for the duration of the Tournament in the 100 level (Box), 200 level (Suite) or 300 level (Series).  The Miami Open cannot guarantee ticket availability, exchange of equal value or comparable seat location. All ticket exchanges are final, and there will be NO REFUNDS OR CREDITS.  In addition, patrons are advised that the Miami Open schedule of play is subject to change for all sessions. Tickets are not eligible for refund or exchange due to one or more changes in the Miami Open schedule of play.

Session 8, Night Session, March 27th of the 2015 Miami Open has been cancelled due to inclement weather.  Guests with Session 8 tickets may exchange them for:

Session 9 – Saturday, March 28th, Day Session – GROUNDS PASSES ONLY

Session 12 – Sunday, March 29th, Evening Session @ 7:30pm

Session 14 – Monday, March 30th, Evening Session @ 7:30pm

To exchange your tickets, please visit the Front Gate Box Office, located at the Crandon Park Tennis Center beginning at 9:00 am ET.