June 23, 2017

Former Champions Cilic, Dimitrov and Querrey Advance at Queen’s Club

Marin Cilic

By Wendy M. Grossman

 

LONDON (June 22, 2017) The last couple of days have been dominated by the weather.

 

Britain doesn’t know what to do with itself when the sun comes out. In mid-winter, a touch of the yellow stuff can be enough to make people eat outside. On Wednesday, however, when the temperature officially hit 90F, they just wilted. On the court, despite the grass, it was even hotter, since no shade is provided. A day later, the temperature had dropped 15 degrees and there was cloud cover.

 

Tennis players are supposed to be able to cope – but this is part of why grass requires adaptability. On Tuesday, Milos Raonic noted after losing to Thanasin Kokkinakis that heat changes grass courts: “When it’s a little bit hotter, the court gets a little bit harder, and it sort of bounces up a bit, more like a hard court,” he said. “And it’s a little bit easier to move on, as well.” Not that it helped him.

 

The week’s pattern of rout-the-seeds continued on Wednesday as Gilles Muller’s big left-handed serve eliminated former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who seemed philosophical and said that for Wimbledon, “I think I have to put maybe a little bit more energy in my game.” This week has been favoring the guy who’s been on grass the longest, and here Tsonga was playing his second grass-court match of the season, while Muller beat Ivo Karlovic last week to take the Rosmalen title.

 

But a week can only take so much excitement. In the rest of Wednesday, Donald Young beat Viktor Troicki 6-3,6-4; Grigor Dimitrov took out qualifier Julien Benneteau 4-6,6-3,6-4; and Tomáš Berdych restored something like normal service by beating qualifier Denis Shapovalov in the tightest and most watchable match of the day, 7-6,6-7,7-5. At 18 and two months, Shapovalov looks hugely promising for the next few months at least: he entertains with his shots, not his antics, and while he doesn’t smile as hugely, he radiates enjoyment reminiscent of Gustavo Kuerten’s breakthrough in 1997. Ranked 193 coming into the event, his two qualifying wins and first round dismissal of Kyle Edmund netted him 45 points; these should move him up into the high 160s. He’s basically been set loose on the tour with nothing to lose. This could be fun.

 

On Thursday, past form continued to assert itself. Marin Cilic defeated qualfier Stefan Kozlov 6-0,6-4; Feliciano Lopez beat Jeremy Chardy 6-1,7-6; Daniil Medvedev beat Raonic conqueror Thanasin Kokkinakis 6-2,6-2; and Sam Querrey took care of Andy Murray’s unexpected toppler, lucky loser Jordan Thompson 7-6,3-6,6-3.

 

And so, left in the draw after all the drama are three of the draw’s original former champions – Dimitrov (2014), Cilic (2012), and Querrey (2010), though only one – Lopez – of its four former finalists (the others were Tsonga, Raonic, and Mahut, who lost in the first round to Medvedev).  Helpfully, these four players are all in separate quarters. Querrey meets Muller; Cilic faces Young; Dimitrov plays Medvedev; and Lopez, in what ought to be the day’s best match-up, takes on Berdych, who hasn’t made much of a showing here in any of his three appearances – but was the 2010 Wimbledon finalist.

 

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Chizkovka Arena in Minsk To Host U.S. vs. Belarus Fed Cup Final November 11-12

 

CHIZHOVKA ARENA IN MINSK TO HOST U.S. VS. BELARUS

FED CUP FINAL IN NOVEMBER

 

USTA – WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (June 22, 2017) – Belarus will host the United States on an indoor hard court at Chizkovka Arena in Minsk, Belarus, in the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final, Nov. 11-12. Chizhovka Arena hosted Belarus’ two other home ties earlier this year.

The U.S. Fed Cup team made its last appearance in the Final in 2010, when a team featuring CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands lost to Italy, 3-1, in San Diego. The U.S. won the last of its record 17 Fed Cup titles in 2000. Belarus will be competing in its first-ever Fed Cup Final.

U.S. Captain Kathy Rinaldi, who is in her first year as captain, follows Mary Joe Fernandez to make it back-to-back U.S. captains to reach the Fed Cup Final in their debut year.

Earlier this year, the United States swept Germany, 4-0, in the World Group First Round in Maui, Hawaii, then posted a 3-2 semifinal win in April over defending champion Czech Republic in a fifth-and-decisive doubles rubber in Tampa Bay, Fla. Belarus defeated the Netherlands, 4-1, in the World Group First Round, then defeated Switzerland, 3-2, in the semifinals.

The United States holds a 1-0 record over Belarus in Fed Cup competition. The U.S. swept Belarus, 5-0, in the World Group II First Round in February 2012 in Worcester, Mass. The U.S. team for that tie was comprised of Serena and Venus Williams. New world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka was named to the Belarus team for that tie but had to withdraw due to a lower back injury after winning the Australian Open a week prior.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with approximately 100 nations taking part each year. The U.S. holds an overall 148-36 record in Fed Cup competition, with a 108-30 record in away and neutral ties.

 

 

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Novak Djokovic Takes Wildcard Into Eastbourne Tournament

Novak Djokovic

NOVAK DJOKOVIC ACCEPTS AEGON INTERNATIONAL EASTBOURNE WILDCARD

 

(June 21, 2017) Three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic will take to the grass courts of Devonshire Park for the Aegon International Eastbourne, 23 June-1 July, having accepted a main draw wildcard.

 

World No.4 Djokovic comes into the event as the tournament’s top seed ahead of No.2 Gael Monfils (FRA), No.3 John Isner (USA) and No.4 Steve Johnson (USA). It’s the first time the former world No.1 has played a grass court event between Roland Garros and Wimbledon since 2010.

 

“This will be my first trip to Eastbourne, I have heard great things about the tournament,” said 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic. “I am looking forward to fine tuning my grass court game there ahead of Wimbledon.”

 

Tournament director Gavin Fletcher said he was delighted to welcome Djokovic to the Aegon International.

 

“The quality of the men’s and women’s entries is already incredibly high, and the addition of Novak will take the event to an even higher level,” said Fletcher.

 

Djokovic joins an already star-studded line-up that includes world No.15 Gael Monfils, two-time Eastbourne champion Feliciano Lopez, 2010 Wimbledon hero John Isner, and a hat-trick of British stars; Kyle Edmund, Aljaz Bedene and Dan Evans.

 

The Aegon International men’s ATP 250 event runs in parallel to the women’s WTA Premier tournament which this year boasts seven of the world’s top 10 ranked players including world No.1 Angelique Kerber, world No.3 Karolina Pliskova, 2016 champion and world No.6 Dominika Cibulkova, 2009 champion and world No.7 Caroline Wozniacki, and Eastbourne’s own world No.8 Johanna Konta.

 

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Topsy–Turvy Tuesday Sees Top Three Seeds Murray, Wawrinka and Raonic Lose at Queen’s Club

Andy Murray

By Wendy M. Grossman

LONDON (June 20, 2017) Many seemingly easy finishing shots are missed in tennis because the player is thinking a split-second ahead to its safe landing. That fractional percentage point of lost concentration can make the difference between the tournament winner and the first-round loser. The smart tennis player learns to focus as much as possible on the now, taught to be mindful before it was a thing.

 

This makes for a serious mismatch between players and the journalists who cover them. Journalists this week are vying to read the tea leaves for prospective Wimbledon winners, while the players are just trying to get through their first-round matches here at Queen’s.

 

By tea time on Tuesday journalists’ ideas had collapsed. Aljaz Bedene withdrew with a wrist injury, leaving Andy Murray to play lucky loser Jordan Thompson, an Australian player so obscure that no one knew anything about him; Milos Raonic, last year’s Queen’s and Wimbledon finalist, was up against Thanasin Kokkinakis, freshly returned from injury; and Stan Wawrinka was facing 2014 Queen’s finalist Feliciano “the grass Spaniard” Lopez.

 

On Sunday, Stan Wawrinka said he wanted only to think about adapting to grass in time for this match, his first round here at Queen’s. But no: how did he think about his chances of becoming the ninth player in history to have won all four Grand Slam titles in a couple of weeks’ time? Wawrinka felt that was a long way away: “To win a Grand Slam is very tough. There are many things to do.” Or becoming number one? That, he suggested, is an even longer way away and much more difficult, if you look at the Race numbers. And then this, re Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray haven’t been displaying particularly good form this year so far, and Rafael Nadal is complaining about his knees…so a better opportunity?

 

“And Roger?” Wawrinka asked, laughing? Um, well, he lost first round at Stuttgart, right? Wawrinka finally conceded that the draw might be more open this year, while still downplaying it as a better chance for him personally.

 

Raonic, who said on Sunday that he needed to be “more exertive energy-wise” when playing last year’s Wimbledon final, dropped his first set in a tiebreak after failing to take advantage of eight break point chances. Twelve games later, he had three set points, the first two on the Kokkinakis serve. The first disappeared into a wide-serve/down-the-line combination, the second to a service winner. At 6-5, on his own serve, Raonic slapped the third set point into the net. It took Kokkinakis three tries to fashion a match point on his own serve – and that one he took to win 7-6,7-6.

 

Despite the vastly different result, Raonic commented afterwards that he didn’t think this match was much different from his first-round match last year. In that match, too, he struggled to take advantage of his opportunities, though he managed to find a path through in a way he didn’t this year. “I wasn’t efficient in those moments,” he said, explaining this. Overall, “I was a bit too passive.” Kokkinakis, jubilant over the “best win of my career”, said his strategy was simple: “Get on top of the point before he can.” Also, he admitted, “A lot of it is hoping  he misses first serves, and he did a couple of those when it mattered.”

 

We were hearing a lot more about Kokkinakis a couple of years ago. Since then, the list of injured body parts reads like an ER inventory of a crash victim: “Obviously the shoulder was the big one. I tore my oblique, I had osteitis pubis, I tore my pec, I had an elbow issue, and I’m still dealing with my groin and shoulder issues, and my back is stiff.” His injury count dates back to the juniors: he missed seven months at 15, and another seven months at 17. A player of this fragility will struggle to win seven best-of-five matches in a row, as Kei Nishikori could tell him. Kokkinakis’ fellow Australian, Nick Kyrgios, similarly dropped his first set to Donald Young after an alarming slip-and-fall, and then retired with a wrist injury.

 

Wawrinka faced the toughest customer, as Lopez was fresh off the Stuttgart final two days ago. Lopez won in two tight sets, 7-6,7-5. Afterwards, Wawrinka said he thought he was serving well, and that for a first match on grass it “wasn’t that bad”.

 

But, Murray! Bidding for his sixth title here, three-time defending Queen’s champion, number one in the world, and defending Wimbledon champion…playing a guy ranked number 90  in the world who only got into the draw by signing in and hanging around just in case. On Sunday, Murray had been talking about how valuable he finds the week between the French Open and Queen’s that debuted last year after 20 years of negotiation.

 

“It’s so much better having the extra week to let your body get used to grass again,” he said. His game, he said, is better now than it was before the French Open but is still far from where he wants it to be. “You have to be doing everything well to win Slams.”

 

Thompson, however, seemed to view the occasion as an exciting lottery win and went all out to celebrate with aces, service winners, and solid play. Murray, who appeared to be in a somewhat sour mood, meanwhile obliged by knocking forehands long, not returning as well as he can at his best, and never taking charge for more than a point or two in a row. Once Thompson took the first set tiebreak, he stayed in charge, winning the contest 7-6,6-2.

 

Murray called the loss “a big blow”. When asked what happened, he said, “He played better than me.”

 

While the loss of the top three seeds leaves giant holes in the draw, it doesn’t leave it without serious grass contenders. There are still three former Queen’s champions left: Sam Querrey (2010), fourth seed Marin Cilic (2012), and Grigor Dimitrov (2014), plus (besides Lopez) former finalists Nicholas Mahut (2007) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2011, also a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist), and 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomáš Berdych. All of their next matches appear to be winnable; the most interesting are Querrey, who plays Thompson next, and Berdych, who faces this season’s dark horse, Denis Shapovalov.

 

It might be worth keeping your eye on that one. Shapovalov is last year’s Wimbledon junior champion. Just two months past his 18th birthday, he has a big serve and a wicked one-handed backhand. Against 44th-ranked Kyle Edmund, he was able to place serves that kicked so high that Edmund, 6’2″, couldn’t reach them. Queen’s is only his fourth ATP tournament, and the first where he qualified instead of getting a wild card – so he’s already won three matches in a row on a surface he never had the opportunity to play on growing up in Canada.

 

Murray’s, Wawrinka’s, and Raonic’s losses all have one thing in common: all pitted top players in their first competitive grass-court match since last year’s Wimbledon against players who had already found this year’s footing. Thompson lost in the second round of qualifying, but he won four matches (the first over Shapovalov) last week at the Surbiton Challenger, where he lost in the final and he’d played (and lost) a qualifying match at ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Shapovalov lost first round in the main draw at Surbiton, but had won three qualifying matches to get there, plus a qualifying match he lost at Nottingham. The same might be said of Federer’s second-round loss to Tommy Haas at Stuttgart: Haas had to play and win his first round, where Federer had a bye.

 

So, two comments. First, Berdych, playing Shapovalov next, has already played two grass-court matches this year, losing to Lopez in the second round at Stuttgart. If Shapovalov wins this match it may really mean something. Second, don’t write off any of these top guys come the first week of Wimbledon. The year so far appears to be Federer’s and Nadal’s, but you can bet neither of them is thinking that far ahead.

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Sneak Peek – Frances Tiafoe Profiled on Tuesday’s REAL SPORTS on HBO

 

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, debuts TUESDAY, JUNE 20

(10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO

(Frances Tiafoe speaking with Mary Carillo photo courtesy of HBO)

 *American Dream.  It has been 14 years since an American man hoisted a tennis Grand Slam trophy, but a revival looks to be underway with nine U.S. players ranked in the ATP’s Top 100, none more promising than the youngest person on that list, 19-year-old tennis star Frances Tiafoe. The son of refugees who escaped a war-torn Sierra Leone, Tiafoe’s family made a new home in Maryland. When Frances was still a toddler, his father took a job as a maintenance man at a local tennis academy. It proved fateful, as Frances would spend countless hours at the club, quietly picking up the sport. Before long, the maintenance man’s son was beating the academy’s top talent and winning national tournaments.

 

REAL SPORTS correspondent Mary Carillo goes one-on-one with the Hyattsville-native as he prepared for the French Open to find out how he is dealing with the pressure of bringing American tennis back to the forefront.

 

Producer: Chapman Downes.

 

The executive producers of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL are Rick Bernstein and Joe Perskie.

 

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With Andy Murray Seeking a Sixth Queen’s Club Crown, Tournament Expands Capacity

By Wendy M. Grossman

 

LONDON, England (June 18, 2017) Tournament infrastructure tends to follow champions. As the percentage of American top players has fallen so has the number of United States-based tournaments. This may seem counter intuitive because three of the year’s biggest events are still held in the US, but the many middle-tier events that used to populate the calendar have been traded to Asia and Eastern Europe, where the game is growing. Similarly, several tournaments with long histories vanished from post-Becker/Graf Germany, Somehow, Queen’s survived despite the 77-year wait for a British Wimbledon champion – or a British Queen’s Club champion. The shortness of the grass season and the proximity of Queen’s Club to Wimbledon means this tournament has never wanted for top players. Even so: the principle is arguably visible here: the tournament, which was upgraded to a 500 event while shrinking the draw from 56 to 32 in 2015, has added 2,500 seats this year that will accommodate fans wanting to see Andy Murray, the winningest player in Queen’s history, win his sixth title.

Besides Murray there are four other British players in the singles draw: Aljaz Bedene and Kyle Edmund are in by virtue of their rankings, and James Ward and Cameron Norrie were granted wild cards. At least one of these five will be eliminated before the second round: Murray opens against Bedene. Probably at least one more will exit, since the first round pits Norrie against Sam Querrey, Ward against qualifier Julien Benneteau, and Edmund against qualifier Shapovalov. In the doubles draw, Kyle Edmund shares a wild card with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Domoinic Inglot does the same with Nick Kyrgios, and Jamie Murray appears with Bruno Soares, fresh off their title win in Stuttgart, as the third seeds.

In the singles, Murray is of course the top seed; with Nadal’s withdrawal Wawrinka (whose best showing here is the 2014 semifinal) is second, Raonic (last year’s finalist) third, and Cilic (a two-time former finalist) fourth.

Increasing seating capacity by about a third is an interesting trick for a tennis club situated in the middle of one of London’s more expensive districts. Years ago, Wimbledon, facing a similar problem, was able to expand by annexing adjacent Aorangi Park. Queen’s, like Miami (for legal reasons), the French Open, and many other events, has no such option. Homeowners in London facing such a conundrum have lately been upsetting their neighbors by burrowing underground to create the enlarged spaces they crave. Tennis players prefer open skies. They might be equally resistant to being asked to play on courts stacked like 3D chess boards, although for us it would be a fascinating spectacle. So growth, if it’s going to happen, will have to be squeezed into the existing premises.

Most of the expansion appears to have extended the seating upwards around the Centre and Number 1 Courts. The price seems to be narrower passageways. On Court 5 this afternoon, where Stefan Kozlov was playing a qualifying match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, spectators were limited to a between-courts walkway so narrow that a steward was heard to fret because someone had deployed a folding seat.

Watching qualifying matches is always instructive, and a wise parent with children who aspire to become tennis pros would do better to take them to watch events on the lower rungs of the ITF circuit and qualifying events than to stake them to seats at Grand Slam finals. This week, Kozlov is the 150th-best person in the world at what he does and Herbert is 75th – and yet there they are, having spent their own coin to get here, trying to produce their best stuff to get into this tournament in front of perhaps 30 people. And these guys are the lucky ones. Hundreds of others have practiced just as much and aspired just as much and been repaid with much *less* success.

Years ago, Alicia Molik attributed her rise from the top 30 to the top ten to realizing that every match turned on just a few points. Win those, and…and in this afternoon’s error-strewn match Kozlov seemed to prove this contention. Serving at 3-5 in the first set, Herbert double-faulted to give his opponent two break points, and although he went on to save three set points you had the sense that Kozlov had, very slightly, the edge in holding his nerve. At 5-4, Kozlov had to save a break point, but three points later took the set with a service winner and another shot long from Herbert. Not much later, the match was over, 6-4,6-2 to Kozlov, who now gets to play Steve Johnson, probably on Tuesday.

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Donna Vekic Beats No. 8 Johanna Konta for Nottigham Title

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 18: Donna Vekic of Croatia lifts the trophy after victory in her Women’s Singles Final match against Johanna Konta of Great Britain during day 7 of the Aegon Open Nottingham at the Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 18, 2017 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA)

(June 18, 2017) World No. 70 Donna Vekic of Croatia came from a set down to beat No. 8 Johanna Konta 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 in the Aegon Open Nottingham final and collect her second WTA title.

 

The 20-year-old Vekic upset the WTA International tournament top seed and British No. 1 in just under two-and-a-half hours.

 

After lifting the Elena Baltacha Trophy, which is named after the late former British No. 1, Vekic said: “It is something I have been dreaming of since I got my first title and something that kept me going, because this feeling is amazing. There’s no way to describe it. It just keeps me motivated to work even harder.

 

“To be honest, I really didn’t expect to win today. I was just hoping to get into the match, especially after the first set because I was struggling to find rhythm. I was just trying to focus on myself, serve as well as I can and try to be aggressive.”

 

“It’s pretty amazing. I’m really happy. The last time I won a final, I wasn’t allowed to have champagne.”

 

“Credit to her for playing incredibly well, especially at the end,” Konta said. “I’m very happy that I got to play five great matches on the grass. We just want to get as much time on the surface as possible heading into Wimbledon. I’m really happy that I got to come back and play here in Nottingham.

 

“Overall, I think I fought and played the best that I could today. There are things that I would have liked to have done better, but I think the majority of the credit has to go to Donna. She continuously raised her level as the match went on. She served better and better so I do think she definitely won it in the end.”

 

For Vekic, it’s her second WTA tournament title. She won her first back in 2014 in Kuala Lumpur. It’s also her second win over a Top Ten player.

 

Brits Laura Robson and Jocelyn Rae lost 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 in the WTA International doubles final to Australians Monique Adamczak and Storm Sanders.

 

In the ATP Challenger singles final, Israeli third seed Dudi Sela came from a set down to defeat fourth seed Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

 

In the Netherlands, unseeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia won her first title on the WTA tour, beating Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-2, 6-3 to win the Ricoh Open at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The win moves her ranking up to No. 36, a career high for her.

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Nadal Withdraws From Aegon Championships At The Queen’s Club

Nadal Withdraws From Aegon Championships At The Queen’s Club

(June 13, 2017) Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club after taking the advice of his doctors to rest.

Nadal, who won a 10th Roland Garros crown on Sunday after titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid over the past two months, said:

“I am very sorry to say that I am not going to be able play Queen’s next week. I am sad to make this decision because I love Queen’s, I won the tournament in 2008 and every time I reached the Wimbledon final it was after playing Queen’s.  I was hoping to take some days off and then be ready, but at 31, and after a long clay court season with all of the emotions of Roland Garros, and after speaking to my team and doctor, I have decided my body needs to rest if I am going to be ready to play Wimbledon. Sorry to all the great fans in Britain and to the tournament organisers. I hope to see you at Queen’s next year.”

The Aegon Championships field will be led by the World No.1 and defending champion Andy Murray, the reigning US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, 2014 winner Grigor Dimitrov, and last year’s runner-up Milos Raonic. Juan Martin del Potro, Nick Kyrgios, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych are also part of the field.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund has gained direct entry into the draw for the first time after the withdrawal of Diego Schwartzman through injury. Edmund, ranked 44, had previously been awarded a wild card.

Earlier this year, Murray made a career-commitment to play in the Aegon Championships, and the BBC announced that they will cover the tournament until at least 2024.

Last year, the Aegon Championships was voted ATP-500 Tournament of the Year by the players – the fourth successive year that the event has received a tournament of the year award.

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Rafael Nadal First To Qualify For ATP World Tour Finals

INTERNATIONAUX DE FRANCE – ROLAND GARROS 2017 – PARIS (FRA) – REMISE DE PRIX – SIMPLE HOMMES – FINALE – WAWRINKA/NADAL – NADAL Rafael (ESP) ET SON PERE NADAL Sebastian – PHOTO : PHILIPPE MONTIGNY / FFT

NADAL FIRST TO QUALIFY FOR 2017 NITTO ATP FINALS

ATP World Tour: (June 13, 2017) LONDON – Rafael Nadal will look to add the Nitto ATP Finals trophy to his impressive collection when he returns to The O2 this November. The Spaniard becomes the first player to clinch a berth at the prestigious season-ending tournament, to be staged 12-19 November in London, after winning his record 10th Roland Garros title on Sunday in Paris.

“I’ve had a great season so far and I am happy to have already qualified for London,” said Nadal. “I could not play last year because of injury so I look forward to returning in November.”

Since first qualifying in 2005, Nadal has earned a place in the elite eight-man field for 13 straight seasons. He achieved his best results in 2010 and ‘13, when he finished runner-up to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic respectively.

This season, Nadal has compiled an ATP-best 43-6 match record with four titles. In addition to becoming the first player in the Open Era to claim 10 titles at a single Grand Slam tournament, he joined Novak Djokovic at the top of the all-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title leaders list, taking his haul to 30 with his triumphs at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and Mutua Madrid Open. He also won the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell title and reached three other finals, at the Australian Open, Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Federer at both) and Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

Six-time champion Federer – winner of the Australian Open, BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open titles – is next in line to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals and returns to action this week on grass at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart. Dominic Thiem stands third in the Emirates ATP Race to London, and is followed in the standings by Stan Wawrinka, Alexander Zverev, Djokovic and defending champion Andy Murray.

The Nitto ATP Finals welcomes more than 250,000 fans to The O2 arena each year, as well as generating a global TV viewership of more than 100 million, as the ATP’s best eight singles players and doubles teams compete over eight days at the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world.

 

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“La Décima” – Rafael Nadal Wins Tenth French Open for 15th Major Title

(June 11, 2017) Rafael Nadal became the first man or woman in the Open Era to win one major ten times. The Spaniard dismissed No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to win his tenth Roland Garros title on Sunday in Paris.

 

The victory gives Nadal his 15th major title – he now stands alone in second place on the all-time list jumping ahead of Pete Sampras at 14, just three majors behind Roger Federer.

 

“I play my best at all events, but the feeling here is impossible to describe. It’s impossible to compare it to another place,” Nadal said. “The nerves, the adrenaline, I feel on the court are impossible to compare to another feeling. This is the most important event in my career.”

 

“He’s playing the best he’s ever played. That’s for sure,” said Wawrinka.

“Nothing to say about today.” “You were too good.”

“It was the Rafa I was expecting. We saw how he has been playing since the beginning of the season, fit, aggressive, his level has been incredible,” said the 32-year-old Wawrinka.

 

Nadal is an amazing 79-2 at the French Open.

 

Nadal completed the tournament without losing a set, and losing only 35 games. Only Bjorn Borg winning in Paris in 1978 lost fewer -32.

Nadal will move up in the rankings to world No. 2 and Wawrinka will remain at No. 3.

 

More to follow..

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