2015/03/03

Rafael Nadal wins Argentina Open to Move Up to Fifth Place on All-time Open Era Titles List

(March 1, 2015) Rafael Nadal won his first title since 2014 Roland Garros to claim his first Argentina Open trophy with a 6-4, 6-1 win over friend and doubles partner this week, Argentine Juan Monaco in Buenos Aires.

World No. 4 Nadal claimed his 46th clay court tournament victory, just three titles behind the record of 49, held by tennis hall of famer, Argentina’s Guillermo Vilas, who was in the stadium watching the match.

It’s also Nadal’s 65th ATP trophy for his career moving past Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg at 64 for sole possession of fifth place on the All-time Open Era list. This is the Spaniard’s first title in Buenos Aires title, in his first tournament appearance in Argentina in 10 years.

The match was delayed for two hours to begin with then delayed again after 1-1 in the first set.

Nadal broke Monaco’s serve in the seventh game of the first set and served out the set for 6-4. Nadal strolled out to a two break lead in the second set to go up 4-0 and never looked back.

“All titles are special, but I’m really happy because I have not been a champion for a long time,” Nadal said. “Against [Monaco], I played my best of the week. That is great news for me because I’m trying to gain more confidence.”

“It was a difficult week at first, but then I took confidence and I think I’m slowly returning to my best,” said Monaco. “That’s why I leave here happy.”

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Roger Federer Beats Novak Djokovic to Retain Dubai Crown

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 28, 2015) DUBAI, UAEDefending champion Roger Federer beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 to win a seventh title at the Tennis Championships on Saturday and his second title of the year. The 17-time major champion has also notched seven title at Wimbledon and Halle.

 

“The seventh is quite unbelievable, what I hear people talking about that, announcing I’m the seven or six-time winner here in Dubai. Sounds pretty crazy,” he said. “I guess it definitely helps practicing in Dubai quite a bit. I know how the ball flies and the conditions here.”

 

The win for the Swiss marks his 84th career title. He also became only the fourth player since 1991 to hit 9000 aces in his career.

 

Reflecting on his first career ace, Federer said: “I think I remember which one it was even because I was even counting a little bit! I think it was one of the swinger wides maybe. I’m not sure. But I think it happened in the second set at some point. But clearly it is nice to get past that so now I don’t have to think about it ever again for the next 9,000 or so!”
It is the seventh straight year that either Federer or Djokovic has won the title. For 11 of the last 13 years one of the two has held up the winner’s trophy.

 

“I think the first set belonged to me, whereas the second set belonged to him more,” said Federer. “He created many more opportunities. I struggled to get into his service games more frequently. It seemed like the moment I wasn’t serving great he created chances for himself and put a lot of pressure on me.

 

“It was a huge game clearly at 5-All, 40-Love for him. I crawled my way back into the game and ended up breaking him. So that was big, but I think the break points saved were even bigger tonight.”

 

“I thought it was a good match,” said Djokovic. “I thought there wasn’t much difference, a few points decided a winner. I think in important moments maybe I could have been maybe a little bit more aggressive, but small margins, really.

 

“I thought he just was too good in the points where maybe I had a chance, break points. He served well. He aced. Then, you know, maybe a volley that hit the line. I congratulate him. He deserved it.

 

“I thought it was a good week overall. I played some terrific tennis. I’m happy with the result here and moving into now Davis Cup and, of course, the hard court season at Indian Wells, Miami, which is going to be tough obviously. But I look forward to it. I actually do feel good about how I played and how I feel physically, and I’m motivated. So I just hope I can continue to maintain that level of high performance throughout the season.”
Federer is now 20-17 lead over Djokovic in their head-to-head series.

 

The doubles title went to Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor, defeated Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4 6-1. It is their second title of the season and their second together. It’s Nestor’s 87th career men’s doubles title.

 

“I think we played a really solid match,” said Bopanna. “I think we stuck to our strengths playing aggressive tennis and a high percentage of first serves, which I think was the key. Put a lot of pressure on them.”

“We have had a good start,” Nester commented. “We have beaten a lot of good teams, which is good. Obviously our goal is to win the Grand Slams. The next few weeks are big tournaments. We have to really be ready. But if we play like we are playing and stay positive and keep working hard, we should be all right.”

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Lucie Safarova Claims First Win over Victoria Azarenka to win Doha Title

Safarova

(February 28, 2015) Lucie Safarova beat Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-3 to win the Qatar Open on Saturday for her first Premier-level championship and sixth career WTA title, her first since Quebec City in 2013.

The victory snapped Azarenka’s 14-match winning streak in Doha, which included two titles. I was also the Czech’s first win against the Belarusian.

“I’m really excited and happy about it, because it took me quite a few years to get to this point,“ Safarova said. “I hope it’s not a finish point and I can still improve. I’m playing more consistently. My game improved a lot throughout the last couple of years. I think we did the great job together with my coach, Rob, on my game and it’s just hard work and also maturing a little bit.  I think it’s everything together.”

“There’s a lot of progress this week, a lot of good things happened. I played a lot of great matches, and that’s especially what I was looking for,“ Azarenka said. “Obviously I’m disappointed for today, but I just have to move on quickly. There is going to be another tournament in a week, so I have to prepare for that.  But I can be satisfied with the progress that I made.”

Safarova will move up to a career-high ranking of No.11 in the new rankings, while Azarenka is projected to return to the Top 40.

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to Face-off in Dubai Final Again

 

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 27, 2015) DUBAI, UAE – In a rematch of last year’s final No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on defending champion No. 2 Roger Federer in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic defeated fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 while Federer had a much easier time with lucky loser 18-year-old Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes.

“Even after the first set that went as perfectly as possible and when I was break up I knew that the match is not over,” said Djokovic. “I just wanted to stay on that level, but it was hard.

“I started making some unforced errors, backed up a little bit, less first serves in. Then he stepped in. From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”

“From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”

“I don’t know his game very well. Maybe I was a bit tentative in the beginning,” Federer said of being broken early in the match, “But I was still able to get off to somewhat of a good start, not being broken early, then breaking him right away. I felt like after five games I knew more or less what to expect, and I realized what had worked until that point and what had not.”

“I can see why he has so far caused difficulties for some of the top guys and he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game,” said Federer. “He does a really good job for a big guy. It’s unbelievable how in the past 10 years we have seen so many big guys moving well from the baseline. I think he returns very well, especially off second serves, and that’s such a huge part of today’s game, I believe.”

“Yeah, I was. I was. I was nervous,” Coric said. “I knew that it’s going to be very tough, you know. But when you come on the court and actually feel the ball and feel the pressure which he’s making, it’s actually been tougher than when you’re watching it on the sofa in front of the TV.

“You know, he was just way too good for me. I was feeling so rushed. I didn’t have any time to play my game plan. I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I can, and it was basically only thing what I could do.”

For the 33-year-old Federer, it will be his ninth final, he’s won the tournament six times. Djokovic is trying to win Dubai for the fifth time.

Between Djkokovic and Federer they have claimed the Dubai trophy in 10 of the last 12 years dating back to 2003, with only Rafael Nadal in 2006 and Andy Roddick in 2008.

“When you play Roger, it’s always a great challenge,” said Djokovic about the final against Federer. “If you want to win you have to play your best tennis, especially against Roger in the final of any event, but here particularly. Because I feel like this is the kind of a surface and conditions that it suits his game the best.”

Federer holds a 19-17 career edge over Djokovic. The final will be their fourth meeting in Dubai and second in the final.

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [4] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 57 64
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d [LL] B. Coric (CRO) 62 61

Doubles – Semi-finals
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 46 76(9) 11-9
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) 67(2) 64 11-9

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN)
Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

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Lucky Loser Borna Coric Stuns Andy Murray to Reach Dubai Semis

Borna Coric

Borna Coric

(February 26, 2015) DUBAI, UAECroatian teenager and lucky loser Borna Coric upset world No. 3 Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday to become the youngest player ever to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships semifinals.

The 18-year-old was beaten in the qualifying rounds, but received a place in the main draw when 2014 semifinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to illness.

“I was just trying to maintain the level and stay in the rally as long as I can, which I was doing really good, you know. I was also running very good,” said Coric currently ranked No. 84.

“I think I was really lucky with Kohlschreiber pulling out. That’s the life. Sometimes you’re going to get lucky. Maybe next tournament I will have match point and I’m not going to take it. That’s tennis. One week you gonna play good, you gonna be lucky, and it’s those kind of days for you to take opportunities.”

Last year Coric stunned Rafael Nadal in Basel, and caught the eye of Novak Djokovic, who has since practised with him both in Australia and Dubai.

“I try to help him because I see, in a way, myself through him,” said Djokovic. “I’ve never felt that way when I practice with somebody as I felt with him. It’s like playing myself. Very similar game. Great fighting spirit, disciplined, focused, committed, confident, very young but confident, which is important.”

“He didn’t make many errors,” said Murray. “He played very solid and he moved well, made a lot of balls, made it tough. I made way too many mistakes from the beginning of the match right through to the end, early in rallies, rushing points. I don’t think I’m being wrong in saying that I made a lot of basic errors, especially early in the rallies. I don’t know exactly why that was the case.”

Murray made 55 errors with only 15 winners.

Novak Djokovic stopped Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan 6-1, 6-1.

“He lacks a little bit of experience and confidence on being in the big stadium. That’s where I used my opportunity from the start,” said Djokovic. “I made double break, and I felt like I was in control of the match. I didn’t allow him to get into the groove. So it was a good performance.”

Roger Federer was on court for only 20 minutes as Richard Gasquet retired with a back injury after losing the first set 6-1.

“I think I played well. I served well,” he said. “Then again, you know, the test was so short that it’s tough to judge on a 20-minute match. But I think I was hitting the ball well again like yesterday. I felt able to play aggressive and do what I was hoping to do, so I was very pleased, actually.”

Tomas Berdych was stretched to three sets winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Sergiy Stakhovsky.

“I think especially in the second set, end of the second set, he come up with some great shots,” said Berdych. “But that’s how it is. You know, you have to know how to deal with those situations. Again, it’s very good that I handled the third set how I did, two breaks.”

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) 61 61
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 ret. (lower back pain)
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d [3] A. Murray (GBR) 61 63
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 46 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) d [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 76(6) 26 10-8
[2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-7
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [Q] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 75
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Rosol (CZE) 61 62

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 2:30 pm
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) vs [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [4] T. Berdych (CZE)
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

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Top Four Seeds Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Berdych Reach Dubai Quarters

Djokovic thumbs up-001

(February 25, 2015) DUBAI, UAEThe four top seeds moved into the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday, with wins for Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic defeated Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-2.

“More comfortable than yesterday, that’s for sure,” said Djokovic. “Basically I didn’t have as much pressure from the opponent’s serve as I did last night. Having one match under my belt helped to feel a bit more comfortable to move around on the court quicker, and I tried to take away the time from my opponent today. I tried to be aggressive, step in.”

223 Dubai Federer in press-001

No. 2 Federer beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3. At 1-4 down in the first set, Federer won 20 straight points.

“I’m very happy how the match went,” said Federer. “I think it was a good quality match from my side. I think Fernando played well for spells, but I think I was quite consistent. Fernando is a shot maker and he takes it out of your racquet sometimes. So I’m still very, very pleased the way I played out here tonight.”

 

Murray in press-001

Murray had an easy time with Joao Sousa winning 6-0, 6-2 in 57 minutes.

The Scot won the first eight games against Sousa, giving up just 10 points in the opening set.

“I thought I just picked the right shots and played the right way when he was struggling,” said Murray. “I didn’t give him any free points. I didn’t make, you know, just sort of needless errors. He was getting more frustrated because he couldn’t get any free points and then was going for more and more shots and obviously making more errors because of it.”

 

Berdych2

Tomas Berdych worked hard to claim his 500th career singles victory with a 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-0 win over Simone Bolelli.

“It was a hard day in the office,” said Berdych. “Yeah, it was not easy at all, but then in the end after two sets which were very close, then I took my chances and started to play finally my game and get a bit more to the rhythm, start to serve better. So I need to take the positives from the match, which was definitely the third set. It’s another win.”

Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan, had the upset of the day, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over sixth seed Feliciano Lopez.

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Djokovic, Murray and Berdych Advance in Dubai

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 24, 2015) Dubai UAEThe top seeds advanced into the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday, with wins for Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.

 

This week not only is Djokovic, looking for a fifth Dubai title, he is aiming for his 50th career singles crown. The 8-time major champion defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.

 

“Well, first match since Australian Open final, so still looking for that rhythm on the court,” said Djokovic. “But I managed to stay mentally tough. Patient in rallies, I thought. As soon as we get through the rally, I have a better chance of winning. He’s a very flashy player, aggressive, goes after his shots. I just utilized my opportunities.”

 

Andy Murray held off a game Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5.

“I made him work very hard I think on his service games. That was something I wanted to try to do from early on in the match,” said Murray. “I think the end of both sets I didn’t serve so well, but apart from that I didn’t give him any opportunities really. I thought I played a fairly high quality match.”

 

Tomas Berdych stopped Jeremy Chardy 7-6(2), 6-4. Chardy had a chance to serve out the first set, but failed.

“Some of the things were a little bit on my side that I made it complicated a bit more than usual, but the outcome, it’s important that I won the last point of the match and get through it,” said Berdych. “Not every day it’s going to be perfect.”

 

Sixth seed Feliciano Lopez and seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut both won, but eighth seed David Goffin was upset 6-2, 7-5 by wild card Marcos Baghdatis. The Cypriot defeated the Belgian for the second time this year, winning the in second round of the Australian Open.

Rising ATP star lucky loser Borna Coric survived Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. He’ll face Baghdatis next.

DUBAI RESULTS – TUESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – First Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 64 64
[3] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Muller (LUX) 64 75
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) d J. Chardy (FRA) 76(2) 64
[6] F. Lopez (ESP) d [Q] J. Ward (GBR) 64 64
[7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d D. Thiem (AUT) 63 62
[WC] M. Baghdatis (CYP) d [8] D. Goffin (BEL) 62 75
[Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) d [WC] A. Zverev (GER) 61 76(4)
S. Bolelli (ITA) d [Q] L. Pouille (FRA) 63 63
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d L. Rosol (CZE) 46 61 64
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d M. Jaziri (TUN) 57 63 63
F. Verdasco (ESP) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 75 61

Doubles – First Round

[2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d [WC] R. Federer (SUI) / M. Lammer (SUI) 64 76(12)
J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Rosol (CZE) d S. Bolelli (ITA) / A. Seppi (ITA) 60 61
R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) d [LL] A. Golubev (KAZ) / D. Istomin (UZB) 76(11) 36 10-6
SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
J. Sousa (POR) vs [3] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) vs S. Bolelli (ITA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs A. Golubev (KAZ)
F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm
[7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs R. Gasquet (FRA)
[Q] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / L. Paes (IND)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / J. Sousa (POR)

COURT 2 start 3:00 pm
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs D. Istomin (UZB)

COURT 3 start 3:00 pm
[WC] M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs [LL] B. Coric (CRO)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[3] V. Pospisil (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
[Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) vs [6] F. Lopez (ESP)

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USA and Great Britain Name Teams for Davis Cup First Round Tie in Glasgow March 6-8

USDavisCup

(February 24, 2015) The oldest rivalry in the history of Davis Cup will continue the weekend of March 6-8, when Great Britain plays host to the United States in Glasgow, Scotland for a first round tie in the Emirates Arena.

On Tuesday both countries named their teams. Team USA will consist of world No. 20 John Isner, No. 45 Donald Young, and the world’s No. 1 doubles team of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

World No. 3 Andy Murray will lead Great Britain’s team in his native Scotland which includes his brother Jamie, James Ward and Dominic Inglot.

Great Britain’s Captain Leon Smith said: “From a selection point of view we’ve been able to choose our strongest possible team which is of course spearheaded by Andy Murray who is significantly ahead of where he was 12 months ago. The tie will be a huge deal for him personally as he returns to play in Scotland for the first time since winning Wimbledon in 2013. In James Ward we have somebody who has already proven himself against the US Davis Cup team, and I’d back him again to put in another excellent performance after some consistent recent form has seen him on the verge of cracking the top 100 for the first time. I’ve selected our top two doubles players in Jamie and Dom, and again they’ve showed real consistency this year to earn their place in the team. As a group, all the guys deserve this opportunity and I know we’re all excited to get together in Glasgow and get the tie underway.”

Last year, Murray carried his team to a 3-1 victory over the U.S. in the first round last year in San Diego.

For the best of five series, play begins each day at 1 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET). Friday, March 6, will include two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule features the pivotal doubles match. And the final day of play on Sunday features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off followed by the No. 2 players meeting each other in the final match. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches the tie. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.

In the Davis Cup competition dating back to 1900, the U.S. is 11-8 all-time against Great Britain

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinal, July 17-19, and will play either France or Germany. Should the U.S. defeat Great Britain, it will travel to Germany or host France. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 18-20, for the right to play in the World Group in 2016.

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After Opening Win in Dubai, Federer Says He Plans to Skip Davis Cup in 2015

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 23, 2015) DUBAI, UAE – No. 2 Roger Federer told media in Dubai after his first round 6-3, 6-1 win over Mikhail Youzhny, that he will be taking a pass on playing Davis Cup this year.

Federer and teammate Stan Wawrinka led Switzerland to its first Davis Cup title in 2014. Switzerland will face Belgium in the first round of the World Group March 6-8.

Federer said that it wasn’t a difficult decision for him and noted that by finally winning it he can do what he pleases.

“It’s been a big burden for me throughout my career and one of the things that have caused more difficulties in my life than many other things, I must say,” Federer said to press.

“I always feel there is so much guilt put on you from the federation or from the ITF more so than anybody else. So I’m happy I was able to finally tick that off and do it altogether.”

Federer improved his record against Youzhny to 16-0 in his first round 56 minute win.

Fifth seed and world No. 14 Ernests Gulbis is still winless in 2015. He fell to Denis Istomin 7-5, 6-2.

RESULTS – MONDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – First Round
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d M. Youzhny (RUS) 63 61
D. Istomin (UZB) d [5] E. Gulbis (LAT) 75 62
A. Golubev (KAZ) d [Q] F. Martin (FRA) 75 64
J. Sousa (POR) d [WC] J. McGee (IRL) 61 62
R. Gasquet (FRA) d A. Seppi (ITA) 64 67(1) 64

Doubles – First Round

[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [WC] L. Djere (SRB) / N. Djokovic (SRB) 62 75
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) d F. Lopez (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) 76(3) 76(5)
SCHEDULE – TUESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) vs J. Chardy (FRA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
G. Muller (LUX) vs [3] A. Murray (GBR)
Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
F. Verdasco (ESP) vs G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm

S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs L. Rosol (CZE)
[Q] J. Ward (GBR) vs [6] F. Lopez (ESP)
Not Before 5:00 pm
Possible Court Change – [WC] R. Federer (SUI) / M. Lammer (SUI) vs [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)
R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs [LL] A. Golubev (KAZ) / D. Istomin (UZB)

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Thirty-Somethings David Ferrer, Ivo Karlovic, and Gilles Simon Claim ATP Titles This Week

Ferrer wins Qatar

(February 22, 2015) It’s been said in the past few years that 30 has become the new 20 on the ATP tour with 20 of the top 100 players at least 30-years-old or older. This was very evident as all this week’s winners on the ATP World Tour were at least 30-years-old – Gilles Simon (30), Ivo Karlovic (35) and David Ferrer (32).

Gilles Simon

Gilles Simon

Thirty-year old Frenchman Gilles Simon won his 12 career title on Sunday, defeating countryman Gael Monfils 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4) to win the Open 13 tournament in Marseille.

Simon is now No. 2 on the list for most titles won by a Frenchman in the Open Era, behind French Open winner Yannick Noah, who won 23 titles in his career.

“It was a great week, but a tough one physically,” Simon said. “I left a lot of energy against [Borna] Coric (in the second round) and then it was hard to recover from this one. I’m happy I won here since I won my first tournament in Marseille. I hope it won’t be the last one.” Simon spent almost nine hours on the court during the tournament.

Monfils is now 5-17 in ATP finals “I’m disappointed,” said Monfils. “It was a great match and we both played really well.”

Ivo Karlovic

In Delray Beach, just six days shy of his 36th birthday, Ivo Karlovic beat Donald Young 6-3, 6-3 to win his sixth ATP World Tour title and become the oldest ATP singles champion since Jimmy Connors won the Tel Aviv tournament back in 1989 at the age of 37.

The almost seven-foot Croatian Karlovic did not lose his serve throughout the tournament.

“It is unbelievable.” said Karlovic. “It was really satisfying also for me to do this at my age, and it gives me a boost of confidence when I go into the other tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami.”

David Ferrer claimed his second tournament trophy for 2015 winning the Rio Open for his 23rd career ATP World Tour title. Ferrer dismissed Fabio Fognini on Sunday 6-2, 6-3 in 83-minutes. Fognini upset Ferrer’s Spanish countryman, top seed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals on Saturday night.

Ferrer kept his record perfect against Fognini at 8-0 with the win.

“It was my best match of the tournament and I’m very happy having won two tournaments this season,” said Ferrer.

“I’m really happy. It’s my 23rd tournament win and I never won here before in Rio. I’m very happy for that. I had the chance to be in the Carnaval this week and all the facilities are good. This week is very special. I have a lot of confidence with my game. I won two tournaments this year. It’s very important for me being with the best players in the world.”

“When you lose in a final, you’re always disappointed,” said Fognini. “It’s a big week for me. Yesterday I beat Rafa. It’s a big tournament and I’m happy because I put in a lot of work mentally and physically. To be 100 per cent against David, it is difficult.”

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