ABOUT THE PLAYERS
ABOUT THE PLAYERS
(April 15, 2016) Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal posted decisive victories and will play each other in the semifinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Saturday. Roger Federer returning to the court for the first time since his knee surgery in February fell to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Tsonga will play fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils in the other semifinal.
No. 5 Nadal dominated No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 while No. 2 Murray destroyed Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0.
“If I play like I did today, I’ll have a chance,” said Murray.
“Rafa, especially on this court, he plays great on clay obviously, but on this one in particular, his record is incredible. I think he’s maybe only lost one or two matches in his life here. So, yeah, it’s a great test for me this early on in the clay season.
“I’ll go into the match with confidence having managed to win against him in Madrid on the clay last year, and having played a really good match today.
“I look forward to it.”
“I’ll have to play a great match, but also a smart match as well,” Murray explained. “I need to be intelligent on the court, go in with a very good idea of what I want to do in the points.
“So, yeah, that’s the most important thing, to have a good game plan and be smart on the court. Against Rafa on this surface, he has the ability to get you to sort of play – I don’t know what the word is – but he gets you to go for more than you should because he’s so consistent.
“He hits a lot of height on the ball, a lot of spin. He can make you go for winners from uncomfortable positions. You have to not allow that to happen. You need to try and stay calm, be patient. I’ll try to do that.”
Nadal broke Wawrinka’s serve four times to reach his 11th Monte-Carlo semifinal. The Swiss broke his racquet in the fifth game of the first set to the boos of spectators. Wawrinka said he was disturbed by all of the noise coming from the restaurant above the court.
“You wonder whether people are coming to have lunch or to watch tennis. I don’t believe they saw a lot of the match. I think they also drank a lot of alcohol.” Wawrinka said. “When you don’t play well and you’re not in your match, it can bother you.”
“Anyway, it was not a good day for me today,” Wawrinka said. “I really need to work on two or three things that I want to improve. I have two weeks, or a bit more, before I go to Madrid. I will try to prepare well during that period.”
“I believe today it was more of a concentration issue or mentally that I had a problem. I struggled. I rushed at the beginning. This is something you pay for against Rafa.”
“The real thing is every day is a different story,” Nadal said. “Yesterday I played against an opponent that he was playing so good, in my opinion. Is true that my serve probably was a little bit better today than yesterday. But both days I think I played good, no?
“Stan today, I think the last three games of the first set, that’s the only moment that he didn’t play well. Obviously he played with too many mistakes.
“But in the beginning of the match and in the second set was a good match, in my opinion. Both played good points.
“I think he played with more mistakes than me. But is true at same time he is going more for the shots all the time. When you want to play this way, very aggressive, you can have mistakes.
“I think I played good. I defended well. I moved well. When I had the opportunity, I was trying to have the control of the point with my forehand and with my backhand, too.”
Nadal plays Murray for a place in the final. The Spaniard has a 16-6 record against the Scot.
“He played a great match today,” Nadal said. “We’ll see. I need to be ready to play the way I am playing the last two matches. If I am able to do it, I hope to have my chances.
“He always was a good clay court player, no? He played semifinals of French Open twice or three times, I don’t know.”
Federer was two points away from defeating Tsonga at 6-3, 2-6, 5-4 with the Frenchman serving, but could not close.
“Yeah, I mean, I think it had definitely some twists and turns,” said Federer. “I’m not sure how come. Maybe we were both a bit up and down. We had a couple of games here and there that we kind of gave each other on the serve. Kind of hung onto it, me in the first, him in the second.
“Third was close all the way through. Maybe had a small chance the first game maybe. The game I got broken is a tough game to get broken on because I think I had three forehands that I’m in good position, and I end up losing all three points. It’ll a tough break to get.
“You know, it was a good tournament, a good match, exactly what I was hoping for and more, so I’m very happy.”
“It was a good match. It was nice to play an intense match. I’m happy how the body reacted. So many good things this week. It’s all positive for me.
“I know where I’m at now. I hope my knee and my body is going to be okay the next couple of days. If I’m good, I might go practice tomorrow as well just to get the body into maybe a rhythm of playing maybe four days straight at a very intense level. If I feel like I need a break, the team tells me to rest, I’ll do that tomorrow.
“Things are really good right now. Of course, it was unfortunate because I had my chances. But this tournament, really doesn’t matter at all if I missed or not those chances.”
“It’s always special to play against him, especially on court, because you have all the crowd against you,” said Tsonga. “Wherever you play, if it’s in France or not, it’s tough to play against him because you have him, the crowd and all the monument around him.
“Yeah, it’s always special to win against Federer.”
“I was expecting a difficult match, and that is exactly what happened. He was very reactive, he was running well. From the start, I thought he was very fast.
“But I was able to turn it around. He dropped his level a little bit and I was able to come back into the match and end up winning. It’s good for me.”
As for playing fellow Frenchman and friend Gael Monfils next: “You feel a bit more worried against him. Before, he had his own way. Now, he changed. But it’s still him.
“He’s certainly improved in a number of things, but it’s still him. I don’t really know what to expect. I’ll go on the court doing what I’m used to doing: trying to be aggressive, serving well. Gael is just the way he is. He is him. It’s good.”
“There’s not a real favorite (in the match), “ Tsonga said. “It’s going to be an interesting match. It’s difficult to say who will be the favorite.”
“It’s going to be a big match for several reasons,” Monfils said. “First, Jo has a game that I have trouble with. I was able to beat him once, but he was coming back from an injury.
“Another time I beat him, too. He was injured in Montpellier. I can’t say I really beat him.
He gives me many problems. It’s always the case when I play against very aggressive players. There are different kinds of aggressive players. A real aggressive player is difficult for me.
“Tomorrow the match will be different. I will need to find a solution to push him back and to try to stop him dominating the rallies.
“I’m sure 100% that he will try to be very aggressive. He will not want long rallies. He will want to use his forehand as much as he can, and he will be very aggressive on my second serve.
“So if I have a slight advantage in this match, it’s because I know what he’s going to do. He’s going to play aggressively. I don’t believe I’m wrong.”
“I think it’s going to be explosive.”
RESULTS – FRIDAY, 15 APRIL 2016
Singles – Quarter-finals
 A. Murray (GBR) d  M. Raonic (CAN) 62 60
 J. Tsonga (FRA) d  R. Federer (SUI) 36 62 75
 R. Nadal (ESP) d  S. Wawrinka (SUI) 61 64
 G. Monfils (FRA) d [LL] M. Granollers (ESP) 62 64
Doubles – Quarter-finals
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 64
 P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) 64 36 12-10
 J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d  R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) 62 63
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 64
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 16 APRIL 2016
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
 J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
Not Before 1:00 pm
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
Not Before 3:30 pm
 G. Monfils (FRA) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs  P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
(April 15, 2016) The ITF has announced the draws for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, and World Group and World Group II play-offs taking place on 16-17 April.
Three Fed Cup Zone Group events are also taking place this week: Asia/Oceania Zone Group II in Hua Hin, Thailand (11-16 April); Europe/Africa Zone Group II in Cairo, Egypt (13-16 April); and Europe/Africa Zone Group III in Ulcinj, Montenegro (11-16 April).
The four winners of the World Group play-offs will qualify for the 2017 World Group, with the losers contesting 2017 World Group II. The four winners of the World Group II play-offs will qualify for 2017 World Group II, with the four losers contesting the 2017 Zone Group I events. The draw for the 2017 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas will be held at the ITF AGM in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday 20 June.
WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS
SWITZERLAND v CZECH REPUBLIC
Venue: Messe Luzern, Lucerne, SUI (hard – indoor)
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) v Barbora Strycova (CZE)
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) v Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) v Barbora Strycova (CZE)
Timea Bacsinszky/Martina Hingis (SUI) v Denisa Allertova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
FRANCE v NETHERLANDS
Venue: Arena Loire, Trélazé, FRA (clay – indoor)
Caroline Garcia (FRA) v Kiki Bertens (NED)
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED)
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v Kiki Bertens (NED)
Caroline Garcia (FRA) v Richel Hogenkamp (NED)
Alize Cornet/Pauline Parmentier (FRA) v Cindy Burger/Arantxa Rus (NED)
WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS
RUSSIA v BELARUS
Venue: Small Sports Arena “Luzhniki”, Moscow, RUS (clay – indoor)
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) v Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) v Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)
Elizaveta Kulichkova/Elena Vesnina (RUS) v Olga Govortsova/Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)
SPAIN v ITALY
Venue: Club de Tennis Lleida, Lleida, ESP (clay – outdoor)
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) v Sara Errani (ITA)
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Roberta Vinci (ITA)
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) v Roberta Vinci (ITA)
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) v Sara Errani (ITA)
Anabel Medina Garrigues/Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) v Karin Knapp/Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
ROMANIA v GERMANY
Venue: Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, ROU (clay – indoor)
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) v Angelique Kerber (GER)
Simona Halep (ROU) v Andrea Petkovic (GER)
Simona Halep (ROU) v Angelique Kerber (GER)
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) v Andrea Petkovic (GER)
Alexandra Dulgheru/Monica Niculescu (ROU) v Annika Beck/Julia Goerges (GER)
AUSTRALIA v USA
Venue: Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, AUS (clay – outdoor)
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) v Madison Keys (USA)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Christina McHale (USA)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Madison Keys (USA)
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) v Christina McHale (USA)
Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA)
WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS
SERBIA v BELGIUM
Venue: Aleksandar Nikolic Arena (Pionir Hall), Belgrade, SRB (clay – indoor)
Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Jovana Jaksic (SRB) v Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) v Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Jovana Jaksic (SRB) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Ivana Jorovic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) v Ysaline Bonaventure/An-Sophie Mestach (BEL)
SLOVAKIA v CANADA
Venue: AEGON Arena, Bratislava, SVK (clay – indoor)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Francoise Abanda (CAN)
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) v Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) v Francoise Abanda (CAN)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)
Jana Cepelova/Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Sharon Fichman/Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN)
POLAND v CHINESE TAIPEI
Venue: ORiR Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, Inowroclaw, POL (hard – indoor)
Paula Kania (POL) v Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE)
Magdalena Frech (POL) v Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE)
Paula Kania (POL) v Lee Ya-Hsuan (TPE)
Magdalena Frech (POL) v Hsu Ching-Wen (TPE)
Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Katarzyna Kawa (POL) v Chan Chin-Wei/Chuang Chia-Jung (TPE)
UKRAINE v ARGENTINA
Venue: Campa Tennis Club, Bucha, Kiev, UKR (hard – outdoor)
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v Maria Irigoyen (ARG)
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) v Nadia Podoroska (ARG)
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) v Maria Irigoyen (ARG)
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v Nadia Podoroska (ARG)
Lyudmyla Kichenok/Olga Savchuk (UKR) v Maria Lourdes Carle/Guadalupe Perez Rojas (ARG)
(April 14, 2016) Andy Roddick defeated John McEnroe 6-3 in the one-set final of the Champions Classic St. Louis Thursday at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, the third event on the 2016 PowerShares Series tennis circuit.
“St. Louis is a great stop for us,” said Roddick after his victory. “This has always been a great tennis town.”
The win was Roddick’s 12th career title on the PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. Roddick, 33, has won 12 of 15 career PowerShares Series events since he ended his ATP World Tour career at the 2012 U.S. Open. He dominated the PowerShares Series in 2015, winning a single-season record eight titles. In his debut year on the Series in 2014, he won two of the three tournaments he played. Last Saturday in Charleston, S.C., Roddick won his debut event of the 2016 season with a 6-1 final-round win over Andre Agassi.
Earlier Thursday night, Roddick beat in his former Davis Cup teammate James Blake 6-2 to advance to the final. McEnroe defeated Jim Courier 7-6 (5) in the other semifinal.
“It’s always a pleasure to play James and Johnny Mac is still playing well,” said Roddick. “It’s a blast for me to play these events.”
Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.
The remaining 2016 PowerShares Series schedule with player fields are listed below and ticket, schedule and player information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com;
April 22 Memphis (Landers Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
April 23 Tulsa (BOK Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
July 17 Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, James Blake + 2 Players TBA
August 21 Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish
August 25, 26 New Haven (Yale University) – Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, James Blake, Mardy Fish
November 4 Portland, Oregon (Moda Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish and TBA
November 5 Denver (1stBank Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake and TBA
December 1 Orlando (Amway Arena) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
December 3 New York (Barclays Center) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Mark Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.
(April 14, 2016) World No. 2 Andy Murray rallied from a set and two breaks down to beat Benoit Paire 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Thursday. Also advancing were No. 3 Roger Federer, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Rafael Nadal, No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 Milos Raonic, No. 13 Gael Monfils, and unseeded Marcel Granollers.
“It was a big win is what it was,” Murray said. “You know, to win from 6-2, 3-0 down, two breaks, when you’re not playing particularly well, it’s a great effort.
“You know, those matches are important. It would have been easy to lose today and get down on myself. But I kept fighting right the way through to the end.
“Definitely, you know, the second set was sort of ups and downs. I didn’t feel like in the third that was the case so much. I mean, I think I broke him twice, he broke me once.
“But, yeah, it was a good one to get through because I could have easily lost today. Fought well, good effort.”
“I think he played a bad game at 3-0 in the second to give me one of the breaks back,” the Scotman noted as the turning point in the match. “I felt like I was in with a chance then. That was really the point of the match where it turned a little bit for me. I mean, there was still a lot of work to be done at that stage. Obviously he served for the match in the third.”
“I made a bad dropshot and a bad volley that wasn’t too difficult,” Paire said. “I lost the game. It was 3-1. I started wondering. It allowed him to get back into the match. I wasn’t playing the simple tennis I was playing from the start. I was no longer waiting for the right shot to come.
“I think I should have won that match and I’m extremely disappointed.”
“I’m playing good matches. I have good results. I’m close to the top players.
“What happened today, I was a bit stressed when it was at the point of trying to close out the match. I made a mistake. I should have just put the ball back into play, for example. I have many regrets.”
Federer had straight forward 6-2, 6-4 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.
“I felt as good as in the first match, or maybe not as good, because I felt a bit tired,” said the world No. 3. “I can feel it in my body right now. I feel a bit soft, without energy.
“But as the match progressed, I felt better and better. Once I made the break, I was able to relax a little more. Bautista Agut, it was the first time I played him. I wasn’t sure whether he would stay far behind or make dropshots. I saw him do that against Chardy. I was playing in a way he couldn’t make those dropshots, so it was a good match.
“I felt good. In the beginning of the second, I could have made more breaks. So it could have gone my way very early.
“I’m happy with what I did. He’s a good player.”
Nadal had to come back from a break in the first set to oust Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3. The Spaniard overcame 15 of 16 break points against him in the first set.
“The good thing, in my opinion, the best thing is he didn’t play bad the breakpoints,” said Nadal. “It was more that I played well in the breakpoints than he played bad.
“So happy for that because that mean that I was ready to find and take the right decisions in the most important moments. I was able to fight all the moments, no? I never give up in all these tough moments that I had in the first set. So very happy for that.
“I think I played a solid match in general. That’s why I’m in the next round, because the opponent was very hard.”
“I think I played a good match. In terms of level of tennis, was great I think. In terms of fighting spirit and attitude and being ready to accept the mistakes, the good points, the tough moments, was similar way that I played in Indian Wells.
“That was a great continuation against a very tough player. I think he played a great match, too. Was a very good victory for me. Very happy for that.”
Next match for Nadal will be Stan Wawrinka, who beat Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. “Stan, he’s always very dangerous opponent and he’s a great player,” said the 14-time major champion. “I know when he’s playing well, it’s difficult to stop him because he’s able to hit so hard the ball from every part of the court. He’s able to serve so good, too.
“We’ll see. Will be a tough one. I only can think about myself. I have to continue the same way than today, fighting for every point, playing with my strategy. We’ll see if I am able to play like today or maybe little bit better. Let’s see.”
“I will have to play well if I want to have a chance to keep winning,” Wawrinka said about his next match. “Rafa is always tough to play on clay. He’s a left-hander. It’s always complicated to play against him.”
Novak Djokovic’s conqueror has been conquered. Jiri Vesely, who stunned tennis’ top player in the second round lost to Gael Monfils in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
RESULTS – THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016
Singles – Third Round
 A. Murray (GBR) d  B. Paire (FRA) 26 75 75
 R. Federer (SUI) d  R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 62 64
 S. Wawrinka (SUI) d  G. Simon (FRA) 61 62
 R. Nadal (ESP) d  D. Thiem (AUT) 75 63
 J. Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] L. Pouille (FRA) 64 64
 M. Raonic (CAN) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 63 46 76(5)
[LL] M. Granollers (ESP) d  D. Goffin (BEL) 76(1) 64
 G. Monfils (FRA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 61 62
Doubles – Second Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d  J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 62 63
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) 76(4) 62
 P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d [WC] R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) ret. (Verdasco – calf)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d  B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 64 63
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 15 APRIL 2016
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
 M. Raonic (CAN) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
 R. Federer (SUI) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
 G. Monfils (FRA) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)
COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
 R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs  J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
After Suitable Rest –  P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR)
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
(April 13, 2016) World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost his first completed match since November on Wednesday, at the Monte-Carlo Maters falling to No. 55 Jiri Vesely 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round.
“There is a proof nobody’s unbeatable,” Djokovic said to media. “Happens so many times in my career that I lose a match. It’s not a first time.
“Obviously it’s not easy to lose the match in terms of accepting it, you know, right after exiting the court. But I have to congratulate my opponent. I think he played very solid. He was serving very big. He was playing tactically good and aggressive.
“On the other hand, for me, there were just very few things I could take out from today’s match as a positive. I was playing really, really bad.
“But, you know, nothing taking away from my opponent’s performance. He deserved to win. When he was break up in the third set, he was playing bravely. He was coming in, dropshots, big serves. He was going for it. He deserved to have it.”
“I’m just very, very happy,” Vesely said. “It’s something amazing actually. When I went on court, I had completely different thinking, like I hope to win a game or I really hope to do well. But I really had no idea that I really would be able to beat Novak today.
“So for me it’s just something what I still can’t believe it really happened.”
This was the Czech first win over a Top ten player.
“I hope it will give me a lot of confidence, a lot of self-belief,” said the 22-year-old Vesely. “I think I’ve struggled pretty much the last few months where I really didn’t play good tennis. Obviously last week was the first week of the year where I played a little bit in good form and in good shape.
“I was definitely today in a better form than a couple weeks ago. But, you know, yesterday I was actually 3-6, 3-5 down. It could go bad yesterday and nothing would happen today.
“I’m just amazing happy the way I fought today and the way I finished the match.”
“I think Novak wasn’t at his best level, that’s for sure,” he continued. “He did a lot of mistakes from the beginning on. I think that was something that gave me actually a little bit more confidence and I was more passionate, was a little bit more creating the rallies. I wasn’t in a hurry, I wasn’t in a rush to end up the rally soon.
“From my side, I think I didn’t give him too much rhythm. I was just trying to change the rhythm all the time and not play the same game every single ball because I think otherwise he would get in the rhythm and, you know, start to play better and better.
“I’ve had a lot of dropshots. I was obviously serving very well. I think, yeah, I just got it somehow done. I don’t know how.”
This was Djokovic’s worst loss since June 2010 when he was beaten by No. 74 Xavier Malisse in the Queens Club tournament.
Since last January, the Serb had reached 19 out of 21 tournament finals and had won nine of his last 10 events.
Since January 2015, Djokovic had reached 19 finals in 21 tournaments, winning 15 – and the Serb was 28-1 on the year heading into Monte Carlo, having not dropped a set when winning the Miami Masters two weeks ago.
In terms of ranking, this was Djokovic’s worst since June 2010, when he lost to 74th-ranked Xavier Malisse on grass in the third round at Queens.
Earlier in the day, eight-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal beat Aljaz Bedene of Britain 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. Nadal was asked about his performance: “is obvious that I have been practicing little bit better than what I played today. But at the same time is true that I have been playing good for moments, some mistakes in other moments.
“But it’s fine, no? It’s the first match. It’s important to be through. Especially after what happened in Miami, it’s never easy. The first match again.
“Happy for the victory. I know that I have to improve for tomorrow. But I have confidence because I have been practicing very well these weeks. Let’s see if I am able to play the way that I was practicing. Tomorrow is going to be a tough match against a difficult opponent.”
The Spaniard will take on Dominic Thiem in third round.
“He has a great serve and a great forehand,” Nadal said of his next opponent “I need more victories to be 100 percent confident.”
Other upsets on the day included last year’s finalist, No. 6 Tomas Berdych who lost to No. 99 Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3 and No. 9 Richard Gasquet lost to fellow Frenchman, wild card Lucas Pouille 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 13 APRIL 2016
Singles – Second Round
J. Vesely (CZE) d  N. Djokovic (SRB) 64 26 64
 S. Wawrinka (SUI) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) 76(2) 75
 R. Nadal (ESP) d A. Bedene (GBR) 63 63
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) d  T. Berdych (CZE) 64 67(1) 63
[WC] L. Pouille (FRA) d  R. Gasquet (FRA) 46 75 61
 M. Raonic (CAN) d P. Cuevas (URU) 75 26 76(5)
 D. Goffin (BEL) d [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP) 76(2) 26 76(1) saved 1 m.p.
 D. Thiem (AUT) d [Q] T. Daniel (JPN) 46 62 60
 G. Monfils (FRA) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 62 64
 B. Paire (FRA) d J. Sousa (POR) 64 63
[LL] M. Granollers (ESP) d A. Zverev (GER) 64 46 63
Doubles – Second Round
 R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Peya (AUT) 75 75
D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) d  E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 26 63 10-5
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d  L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 76(3) 63
Doubles – First Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 63 62
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 63 64
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
 B. Paire (FRA) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs  D. Thiem (AUT)
 R. Federer (SUI) vs  R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
[WC] L. Pouille (FRA) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
 G. Simon (FRA) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
J. Vesely (CZE) vs  G. Monfils (FRA)
 D. Goffin (BEL) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)
COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
 J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs  B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
 P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [WC] R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP)
NEW YORK, N.Y. (April 13, 2016) – A return to one of tennis’ most iconic venues will kick off the 2016 regular season of Mylan World TeamTennis as the New York Empire make their debut against the 5-time defending champion Washington Kastles on Sunday, July 31 at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.
The action-packed two week Mylan WTT regular season, which runs July 31 through August 13, also includes former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, top Americans John Isner and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan, former US Open champion Andy Roddick and the WTA’s top doubles star Martina Hingis among those seeking to lead their team to the King Trophy, named after league co-founder Billie Jean King. Other marquee names on board for the 2016 season include American standouts James Blake and Mardy Fish.
Wozniacki returns to the league for the first time in a decade to play two matches for the Philadelphia Freedoms. She starts the season on the road in New York on August 1 before making her home debut in Philadelphia on August 2.
Some of America’s most successful and popular American men also hit the multi-colored Mylan WTT courts this summer. The 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick will help introduce the league’s newest entry, the New York Empire, to Mylan World TeamTennis. Roddick, a former world No. 1, returns for his 9th season with a home match on August 9 and a road match in Philadelphia on August 10. Roddick is joined on the Empire by Christina McHale who was the top overall roster player selection in the 2016 Draft. McHale, who is a resident of nearby Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is playing her first season.
John Isner, the top-ranked American male on the ATP World Tour, returns for his second consecutive season with the Springfield Lasers and his 6th season overall. Isner will play in Springfield on August 11 when the Lasers host the San Diego Aviators.
Mardy Fish, a former world No. 7 standout, will play the entire season for the Kastles. In the first week of the season, his Kastles teammates will include current world No. 39 Sam Querrey, and three of the sport’s greatest doubles players, Bob and Mike Bryan (August 1) and WTA world No. 1 in doubles Martina Hingis (August 1-2).
Former world No. 4 James Blake also kicks off the season for the San Diego Aviators with a home match on July 31 against their Southern California rival Orange County Breakers.
The top two teams from the regular season advance to the Mylan WTT Finals presented by Citi on Friday, August 26 at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club. The Kastles won a record fifth consecutive title in 2015, their sixth overall championship. Washington will be looking to rewrite the record books in 2016 by winning a record seventh Mylan WTT title.
For the full schedule and links to ticket information, visit www.WTT.com/schedule.
Mylan World TeamTennis – 2016 schedule
Sunday, July 31
Washington @ New York
Philadelphia @ Springfield
Orange County @ San Diego (James Blake-SAN)
Monday, August 1
Philadelphia (Caroline Wozniacki-PHL) @ New York
Springfield @ Washington (Bob & Mike Bryan/Martina Hingis-WAS)
San Diego @ Orange County
Tuesday, August 2
Springfield @ Philadelphia (Caroline Wozniacki-PHL)
New York @ Washington (Martina Hingis-WAS)
Orange County @ San Diego
Wednesday, August 3
Springfield @ New York
Philadelphia @ Washington
San Diego @ Orange County
Thursday, August 4
Springfield @ Philadelphia
Friday, August 5
New York @ San Diego
Washington @ Orange County
Saturday, August 6
Philadelphia @ Springfield
Washington @ San Diego
New York @ Orange County
Sunday, August 7
Springfield @ San Diego
Philadelphia @ Orange County
Monday, August 8
New York @ Washington
Philadelphia @ San Diego
Tuesday, August 9
Washington @ New York (Andy Roddick-NYE)
Springfield @ Orange County
Wednesday, August 10
New York (Andy Roddick-NYE) @ Philadelphia
San Diego @ Washington
Orange County @ Springfield
Thursday, August 11
Orange County @ New York
Washington @ Philadelphia
San Diego @ Springfield (John Isner-SPR)
Friday, August 12
San Diego @ New York
Orange County @ Philadelphia
Washington @ Springfield
Saturday, August 13
San Diego @ Philadelphia
Orange County @ Washington
New York @ Springfield
Mylan WTT Finals presented by Citi:
The top two teams from the regular season advance to the Mylan WTT Finals presented by Citi at 4:00 pm ET on Friday, August 26 at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.
(April 12, 2016) Roger Federer made his return to the court on Tuesday at the Monte-Carlo Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 second round victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Federer had been off the tour since reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on February 3. He was to have played at the Miami Open, but withdrew from the event prior to his first match due to a stomach virus.
“The knee felt really good, like in practice,” Federer said to media. “Felt like I didn’t have to worry about it. I could just go freely. I think I’m at a point now where, you know, I’m looking more forward in the sense that whenever I can dig out a good point, I did good movement, I just kind of went for the dropshot without having second thoughts. It’s only building on my confidence now, which is great.
“It’s been like that for at least, I’d say, over a week now. Yeah, I was very pleased how I felt, even how I played. I mean, he did kind of go for his shots, but we had longer rallies in the beginning of the first set.
“I think in a way it was a perfect match. It was close in the beginning, then I was able to go on a roll. Points were cut short by virtue of me serving better and returning better, getting second serves, taking advantage of that fact.
“At the end, again, I had to fight for it. I went through different phases in the match. Also emotionally. I was excited and tense in the beginning just because it’s a first round. It’s my first match back. So it was nice to go through all these emotions.
“At the end he’s a guy that knows how to close out, knows how to play points on clay. It was a great win for me. I said beforehand, it was always going to be a winning result today, regardless of winning or losing essentially. I’m just very happy I’m back on the tour again.
“I think I got what I needed. So we’ll see how I feel tomorrow, tonight, the next day. Sometimes after a match, you can feel it for two days. At this point I’m pretty confident I’ll feel fine.”
The 17-time major champion was asked if he was afraid during the process of having surgery and not being 100% on the court, he said: “For me, the toughest moment was the two hours after waking up. I couldn’t feel my knee, my leg. I could hardly move my toes. It was hurting a little. This is when I was a bit afraid about the future. Suddenly I thought that I needed to really go for it if I wanted to be a professional tennis player. I was wondering.
“But then my father came to visit me in the hospital. Mirka was there, too. The first evening things were already better. We were joking again with my doctor. It was good to see everybody there.
“The next day or two days later I had a meeting with the whole team to talk about our plan, our schedule, how we were going to do the rehabilitation process, what tournament I could start playing again. From there, it became a lot more pleasant because I was able to be much more positive mentally. I knew we had a plan.
“Once you have a plan, it’s better. You have to wait until the surgery is over to know how the surgery went. Then it was good talking with the doctor who told me what I could expect for the next 10 days, the next three weeks, et cetera. So there was a slight possibility of me playing Miami.
It’s always good to have a goal. So the goal was Miami. In the end, I was very satisfied to say I was ready to play for that tournament, but unfortunately the virus stopped me from doing that.”
World No. 2 Andy Murray had a few serving hiccups in his win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in his second-round match in Monte-Carlo.
“I’ve definitely been a little bit flat since the Davis Cup really,” said the Scot. “I don’t know exactly why that’s been the case. But in a lot of my matches, it’s been that way, you know, some good stuff mixed in with some pretty bad stuff.
“The norm is bad just now, so I need to kind of improve on that. You know, even when I’m not playing my best, play more solid, make it more difficult for my opponents.
“When I’ve been playing well, I’m actually hitting the ball very clean. But just the consistency has not been there, maybe not as sharp as I could be mentally. Concentration’s not been so good.”
ATP World Tour Masters 1000
Monte-Carlo, Monaco (+2 hours GMT)
10-17 April 2016 Surface: Clay
RESULTS – TUESDAY, 12 APRIL 2016
Singles – Second Round
 A. Murray (GBR) d [Q] P. Herbert (FRA) 62 46 63
 R. Federer (SUI) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 63 64
 J. Tsonga (FRA) d P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 76(1) 76(5)
 R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d J. Chardy (FRA) 63 57 75
 G. Simon (FRA) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) 64 63
Singles – First Round
 D. Goffin (BEL) d F. Lopez (ESP) 75 60
J. Vesely (CZE) d T. Gabashvili (RUS) 36 75 75
P. Lorenzi (ITA) d F. Fognini (ITA) 26 60 61
[WC] F. Verdasco (ESP) d F. Delbonis (ARG) 60 63
[Q] T. Daniel (JPN) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 63 64
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d B. Coric (CRO) 64 64
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) d R. Haase (NED) 62 60
P. Cuevas (URU) d [Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 76(2) 67(2) 76(4)
J. Sousa (POR) d I. Karlovic (CRO) 63 76(4)
Doubles – Second Round
 J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE) 67(5) 76(9) 14-12
Doubles – First Round
D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / D. Thiem (AUT) 76(5) 76(4)
SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 13 APRIL 2016
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs A. Bedene (GBR)
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs J. Vesely (CZE)
P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs  G. Monfils (FRA)
COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
 T. Berdych (CZE) vs [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH)
Not Before 1:00 pm
P. Cuevas (URU) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
 R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [WC] L. Pouille (FRA)
A. Zverev (GER) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)
COURT 2 start 11:00 am
 B. Paire (FRA) vs J. Sousa (POR)
[Q] T. Daniel (JPN) vs  D. Thiem (AUT)
 D. Goffin (BEL) vs [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP)
 R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Peya (AUT)
COURT 9 start 11:00 am
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)
D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) vs  E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
COURT 11 start 2:00 pm
 L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
— US Men’s Clay Court (@mensclaycourt) April 10, 2016
(April 10, 2016) Juan Monaco rallied past an ailing defending champion Jack Sock 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win his second U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Sunday. The Argentine also won the tournament in 2012. Just nine months ago, Monaco had wrist surgery, and back on the tour for only two months and now holding a trophy.
“I didn’t expect this so fast,” Monaco said during the trophy presentation. “No words to describe this moment.”
“It’s amazing, amazing to hold the trophy again in only my fourth tournament back, after three years” said the 32-year-old. He last won a tournament in 2013. “It’s almost like a dream come true for it to happen so fast. The hard work really paid off.”
“Today was a quick movie of my life.”
This is Monaco’s ninth career ATP World Tour title.
The 23-year-old American Sock suffered from problems with his right arm and cramps, which was evident in the final set.
“I felt great all week. I’m not exactly sure what happened with my body,” Sock said after the match. “Last night, I didn’t feel great. I was sweating in a very air-conditioned room, so maybe possibly coming down with something. But that doesn’t take away from battle and fight today. It came down to the wire. I tried my best and put it all out there.”
By Steve Pratt
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (April 10, 2016) – One current and a former USTA Midwest Section player took home the top prize as the big winners on Sunday on the final day at the 49th Annual ASICS Easter Bowl as a longtime former Illinois resident Gianni Ross, and Westerville, Ohio, native Alexandra Sanford both won prestigious ITF singles titles.
In the Boys’ ITF final, the unseeded Ross beat his former doubles partner and friend John McNally, the No. 4-seed, from Cincinnati, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Ross, whose family moved to Florida in September, joins recent boys’ champions Gage Brymer (2013), Marcos Giron (2011) and Bjorn Fratangelo (2010) to win the title as an unseeded player.
In the Girls’ ITF singles final, the No. 8-seeded Sanford took out No. 13 Ellie Douglas of McKinney, Texas, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1. All four players were awarded $750 travel voucher checks by tournament director Lornie Kuhle, who has pioneered the idea with approval from the ITF to pay the players and helping to defray the high cost it takes to travel to junior tournaments like the ASICS Easter Bowl, held for the third consecutive year at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, site of the BNP Paribas Open.
In winning his first ITF singles title, Ross, 17, didn’t show tons of emotion and was humble in accepting the first-place trophy. After taking the first set against McNally, he fell down a break at 5-4 and McNally serving for a set point. But Ross got “lucky” on a drop shot at his feet and then took advantage of a net cord eventually converting the break to swing it to 5-all and the momentum back on his side. On break point, he hit a backhand down the line for a winner. “I was fortunate in that game,” he said. “I had a lucky game.”
McNally, 17, admitted he didn’t serve well, and if he would have converted on the second-set set point, that he would have won the match. “I thought I was going to win today, but that’s how it goes.”
McNally held a 2-0 lead in the tiebreaker but hit several unforced errors to go down 2-5. “And you can’t do that against a player like him,” McNally said.
Ross joined recent former USTA Midwest Section players Chase Buchanan (2008) and Evan King (2009) on the champions list. He said he hopes he can remember this special victory, “Whenever I have any bad moments.”
McNally said he will get ready for the Europe junior Grand Slams and that his junior tournaments are numbered. “I’m looking forward to a really fun summer and hope I can tear it up.”
Sanford, who won the Torey Fretz / Jackie Cooper Sportsmanship Award along with yet another USTA Midwest player, J.J. Wolf of Cincinnati, on Saturday, said accepting that award didn’t stop her from some audible “Come Ons” during the match.
Like Ross, Sanford was not very demonstrative in her actions immediately after the win. “It was more on the inside,” she said. “I felt a lot of emotion out there on the court today, and when I put away that backhand (on the final point), it was just kind of a relief. I was so happy on the inside, but I just didn’t show it.
“To be able to win the Easter Bowl, I’m pretty excited.”
Sanford, 17, thanked her mother and her USTA coach Henner Nehles, who was on hand all week and who she has worked with since the beginning of the year.
She said she lost some focus after winning the tight first set. “I may have relaxed a little bit,” she said. “In the second set I got too comfortable.”
The 15-year-old Douglas said she was hurt by some “dumb errors that cost her early in the third set. “I feel like I had several chances and many, many game points I didn’t convert on,” she said. “My serve was really off today. I just need to go home and get some rest and then practice some more. That’s how tennis goes.”
Douglas added: “I think I played too short and she served out wide very well and it was very consistent. I wish I would have played a little bit better today.”
Playing for the first time as a team, Nathan Ponwith and Jake Van Emburgh topped the unseeded team of Vasil Kirkov and Sebastian Korda, 2-6, 7-5, 12-10. Ponwith, who also won the Carson ISC doubles title last week with Will Blumberg, and Van Emburgh battled back saving match points in the second set down 4-5. The pair led the super tiebreaker 9-6 and then again at 11-10, finally converting on the fifth match point to win the ITF doubles title.
In the another thrilling doubles final on the girls’ side, the unseeded team of Elysia Bolton and Chiara Lommer took out the No. 6-seeded team of Victoria Emma and Sofia Sewing, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8.
Boys’ ITF Singles (Finals)
Gianni ROSS (USA) def. John MCNALLY (USA)  def. 6-4, 7-6 (3)
Boys’ ITF Doubles (Finals)
Nathan PONWITH (USA) / Jake VAN EMBURGH (USA)  def. Vasil KIRKOV (USA) / Sebastian KORDA (USA) 2-6, 7-5, [12-10]
Girls’ ITF Singles (Finals)
Alexandra SANFORD (USA)  def. Ellie DOUGLAS (USA)  6-4, 1-6, 6-1
Girls’ ITF Doubles (Semifinals)
Elysia BOLTON (USA) / Chiara LOMMER (USA) def. Victoria EMMA (USA)  / Sofia SEWING (USA) 4-6, 6-2, 10-8