February 19, 2017

Angelique Kerber and Andy Murray named 2016 ITF World Champions

Angelique Kerber

(December 13, 2016) The ITF announced today that Andy Murray of Great Britain and Angelique Kerber of Germany are the 2016 ITF World Champions. This is the first year that either player has received this honour.

 

In an historic year for the Murray family, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares of Brazil become Men’s Doubles World Champions, while French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic are Women’s Doubles World Champions. This is the first time that two brothers have been named as men’s singles and men’s doubles World Champions in the same year.

 

Gordon Reid becomes the third British player to be honoured in 2016, being named as ITF Wheelchair World Champion, with Jiske Griffioen of Netherlands becoming women’s World Champion for the second year running. Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia and Anastasia Potapova of Russia are named ITF Junior World Champions.

 

The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the 2017 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 6 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros. Nine of the ten players are being honoured for the first time.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray sealed the year-end No. 1 ranking in the final match of the season after defeating his great rival Novak Djokovic to win the ATP World Tour Finals. He won a total of nine titles during a milestone year, including his second Wimbledon triumph, and became the first player in history to win two Olympic singles gold medals with victory over Juan Martin del Potro at Rio 2016.

 

Murray said: “It means a lot to me to be named ITF World Champion. I have had such a memorable year, winning again at Wimbledon, retaining my Olympic title, and clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking in the last match of the season. It is particularly special with my brother Jamie also becoming World Champion.”

 

Angelique Kerber becomes Germany’s first World Champion since Steffi Graf received the last of seven awards in 1996. The 28-year-old enjoyed a stunning season, defeating Serena Williams to capture her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, before going on to win the US Open. She was also a silver medallist at the Olympic Tennis Event and runner-up at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals.

 

Kerber said: “I’m truly honoured to be named ITF World Champion and to line up with all these past champions. This year was by far the best of my career with so many unforgettable experiences and emotions. I am grateful for the recognition and I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”

 

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares clinched the year-end No. 1 team ranking in the very last event of 2016 at the ATP World Tour Finals. The British-Brazilian duo enjoyed a breakthrough first season together, capturing their first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, and going on to win the US Open. These were the first major men’s doubles titles for both players.

 

Murray said: “We are very proud to receive this award. It’s been an incredible year for us, winning two Grand Slams and finishing as the No. 1 team in just our first season together.”

 

Soares said: “As a new team coming into the season there is a lot of expectation and belief, but also some doubts and uncertainty, so for us to finish the year as the No. 1 team winning two Slams was amazing. It gives us a lot to look forward to in the future.”

 

Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic also enjoyed an outstanding first season together to end 2016 as the No. 1-ranked team, and help France reach the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final. They captured their first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, and went on to reach the final at the US Open. This is the second honour for Mladenovic, who received the ITF Junior World Champion award in 2009.

 

Garcia said: “We really had an exceptional year with great victories on the court, even though we only started playing together at the beginning of 2016. Winning Roland Garros at home was definitely the culmination of the year. It is an incredible success to finish the No. 1 team in the world, and an honour to receive this ITF trophy.”

 

Mladenovic said: “It is a great achievement for Caroline and I to win this trophy after having played only one season together. The highlight of the year was definitely winning the French Open in our own country. We get on very well both on and off court and are looking forward to more success next year.”

 

ITF President David Haggerty said: “Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber have both been rewarded for their hard work and dedication with exceptional years that see them worthy recipients of the ITF World Champion awards. Our two doubles World Champions, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, and Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, have shown impressive teamwork in their first season together. All these players have taken great pride in representing their country, and are fine ambassadors for our sport.”

 

The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Olympic Tennis Event, Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.

 

Gordon Reid had an outstanding year to become the first British player to become Wheelchair World Champion. The 25-year-old won his first two Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and was also runner-up at Roland Garros. He went on to win singles gold at the Paralympic Tennis Event, before clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking by reaching the final of the NEC Masters.

 

Reid said: “It’s a great honour for me to complete the best year of my career by finishing year-end No.1 for the first time. I can’t thank all of my coaching team, family and friends enough for all their dedication and support, which was a vital part of my 2016 successes.”

 

Jiske Griffioen is the only repeat ITF World Champion in 2016, collecting the women’s wheelchair honour for the second year. The 31-year-old captured two of the three Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and went on to win two gold medals at the Paralympic Tennis Event. She finished 2016 with victory at the NEC Masters and held the No. 1 ranking throughout the year.

 

Griffioen said: “It was an incredible year for me! To win two Grand Slam titles, the Masters and be on top of the rankings for the whole year is something I’m proud of for sure. And my dream of winning two gold medals at the Paralympics in Rio came true. All the hard work paid off.”

 

Miomir Kecmanovic is the first Serbian player to be named ITF Junior World Champion following a triumphant end of season. The 17-year-old from Belgrade enjoyed an 18-match winning streak in winning the titles in Mexico City, the Eddie Herr tournament and Orange Bowl to seal the year-end No. 1 ranking. He won a total of four singles and two doubles titles, and was runner-up at the US Open.

 

Kecmanovic said: “It is great news to be named 2016 Junior World Champion. I also understand that this is just one important milestone on a difficult trip. I am focused on the long road ahead of me, and will do my best to reach the top with the support of my family and a great team around me.”

 

Anastasia Potapova becomes Junior Girls World Champion in her first full season on the ITF Junior Circuit. The 15-year-old from Russia reached the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slam tournaments, winning her first major title at Wimbledon. She was also a semifinalist at Roland Garros, and captured a total of three singles and one doubles title.

 

Potapova said: “I’m very pleased to finish the year as ITF Junior World Champion. After I won Wimbledon, the next goal for me and my team was to become No. 1 in the ITF ranking, and I am very happy that we’ve managed to succeed. They key to achieving this was hard work, desire and passion for what you do.”

 

ITF President David Haggerty said: “The list of 2016 ITF World Champions reflects an exciting year of change in our sport, and I would like to thank all the players for their contribution to another memorable tennis season.”

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Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber Lead Australian Open Fields as Acceptance Lists are Announced

 

(December 8, 2016) The world’s top 99 men and 99 women are confirmed for Australian Open 2017 in January.

 

The two new world No.1s – defending Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and five-time finalist Andy Murray – will be top seeds in Melbourne, a sign of the changing of the guard in world tennis.

 

The all-star player field will also feature six-time champion, No.2 Novak Djokovic, who’ll be aiming to hoist the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for a record seventh time. Six-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams (USA) also has an eye on the record books as she begins her campaign for a 23rd Major singles title, to surpass Steffi Graff and set a new record for the Open Era.

 

The only name missing from the women’s draw is two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who in July announced she was expecting her first child.

 

Players expected to use protected rankings include former world No.2 Tommy Haas (GER), Dmitry Tursunov (RUS), Jerzy Janowicz (POL) and Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis.

 

On the women’s side Karin Knapp (ITA) and Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) will enter on protected rankings.

 

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley is looking forward to welcoming the world’s best players to Melbourne in January.

 

“We have an exceptionally strong field for Australian Open 2017, and it’s exciting to welcome two new world No.1s, and two new top seeds in Angie [Kerber] and Andy [Murray].

 

“We have been in regular contact with Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] and both are ready and excited for the Aussie summer, with Roger heading to Perth and Rafa to Brisbane for the first time.

 

“Like all the players, they can’t wait to get to Melbourne and start the year off well. We’re very excited about the changes onsite, and as always we have a few more surprises.

 

“The players already appreciate how close Melbourne Park is to the city, and how easy it is to get around. With the new bridge in place, and the whole precinct now facing the CBD, it’s even more convenient and I have no doubt all the players and fans will have a great time,” Tiley continued.

 

There will be 16 male qualifiers and 12 female qualifiers added to each draw, along with eight wildcards.

 

 

Women’s main draw wildcards (as at 8 December 2016)

 

US reciprocal: Kayla Day (USA)
French reciprocal: Myrtille Georges (FRA)
Asia Pacific Play-off: Luksika Kumkhum (THA)
Discretionary: Lizette Cabrera (AUS)
Discretionary x 4: TBC

 

 

Men’s main draw wildcards (as at 8 December 2016)

 

US reciprocal: Michael Mmoh (USA)
French reciprocal: Quentin Halys (FRA)
Asia Pacific Play-off: Denis Istomin (UZB)
Discretionary x 5: TBC

 

 

Men’s main draw acceptance list

 

ATP Rank First Name Last Name Nation
1 Andy Murray GBR
2 Novak Djokovic SRB
3 Milos Raonic CAN
4 Stan Wawrinka SUI
5 Kei Nishikori JPN
6 Marin Cilic CRO
7 Gael Monfils FRA
8 Dominic Thiem AUT
9 Rafael Nadal ESP
10 Tomas Berdych CZE
11 David Goffin BEL
12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga FRA
13 Nick Kyrgios AUS
14 Roberto Bautista Agut ESP
15 Lucas Pouille FRA
16 Roger Federer SUI
17 Grigor Dimitrov BUL
18 Richard Gasquet FRA
19 John Isner USA
21 David Ferrer ESP
22 Pablo Cuevas URU
23 Jack Sock USA
24 Alexander Zverev GER
25 Gilles Simon FRA
25* Tommy Haas GER
26 Bernard Tomic AUS
27 Albert Ramos-Vinolas ESP
28 Feliciano Lopez ESP
29 Viktor Troicki SRB
30 Pablo Carreno Busta ESP
31 Sam Querrey USA
32 Philipp Kohlschreiber GER
33 Steve Johnson USA
34 Gilles Muller LUX
35 Martin Klizan SVK
36 Marcos Baghdatis CYP
37 Marcel Granollers ESP
38 Juan Martin del Potro ARG
39 Nicolas Mahut FRA
40 Paolo Lorenzi ITA
41 Federico Delbonis ARG
42 Fernando Verdasco ESP
43 Joao Sousa POR
44 Nicolas Almagro ESP
45 Kyle Edmund GBR
46 Andrey Kuznetsov RUS
47 Benoit Paire FRA
48 Borna Coric CRO
49 Fabio Fognini ITA
50 Florian Mayer GER
51 Mischa Zverev GER
52 Diego Schwartzman ARG
53 Karen Khachanov RUS
54 Stephane Robert FRA
55 Jiri Vesely CZE
56 Facundo Bagnis ARG
57 Mikhail Youzhny RUS
57* Tommy Robredo ESP
58 Malek Jaziri TUN
59 Robin Haase NED
60 Adrian Mannarino FRA
61 Thomaz Bellucci BRA
62 Alexandr Dolgopolov UKR
63 Jan-Lennard Struff GER
64 Yen-Hsun Lu TPE
65 Juan Monaco ARG
66 Daniel Evans GBR
67 Kevin Anderson RSA
68 Gerald Melzer AUT
69 Jeremy Chardy FRA
70 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ESP
71 Horacio Zeballos ARG
72 Dustin Brown GER
73 Paul-Henri Mathieu FRA
74 Illya Marchenko UKR
75 Adam Pavlasek CZE
76 Taylor Fritz USA
77 Damir Dzumhur BIH
78 Pierre-Hugues Herbert FRA
79 Jordan Thompson AUS
80 Guido Pella ARG
81 Gastao Elias POR
81* Thanasi Kokkinakis AUS
82 Thiago Monteiro BRA
83 Renzo Olivo ARG
84 John Millman AUS
85 Konstantin Kravchuk RUS
86 Steve Darcis BEL
87 Andreas Seppi ITA
88 Donald Young USA
89 Mikhail Kukushkin KAZ
89* Dmitry Tursunov RUS
90 Ryan Harrison USA
91 Santiago Giraldo COL
92 Ricardas Berankis LTU
93 Dusan Lajovic SRB
94 Nikoloz Basilashvili GEO
94* Jerzy Janowicz POL
95 Carlos Berlocq ARG
96 Dudi Sela ISR
98 Rogerio Dutra Silva BRA
99 Daniil Medvedev RUS

*Denotes protected ranking

 

 

Women’s main draw acceptance list

 

WTA rank First Name Last Name Nation
1 Angelique Kerber GER
2 Serena Williams USA
3 Agnieszka Radwanska POL
4 Simona Halep ROU
5 Dominika Cibulkova SVK
6 Karolina Pliskova CZE
7 Garbiñe Muguruza ESP
8 Madison Keys USA
9 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS
10 Johanna Konta GBR
11 Petra Kvitova CZE
12 Carla Suárez Navarro ESP
14 Elina Svitolina UKR
15 Timea Bacsinszky SUI
16 Elena Vesnina RUS
17 Venus Williams USA
18 Roberta Vinci ITA
19 Caroline Wozniacki DEN
20 Barbora Strycova CZE
21 Samantha Stosur AUS
22 Kiki Bertens NED
23 Shuai Zhang CHN
24 Caroline Garcia FRA
25 Daria Gavrilova AUS
26 Daria Kasatkina RUS
27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS
28 Timea Babos HUN
29 Irina-Camelia Begu ROU
30 Ekaterina Makarova RUS
31 Laura Siegemund GER
32 Monica Puig PUR
33 Yulia Putintseva KAZ
34 Anastasija Sevastova LAT
35 Sloane Stephens USA
36 Coco Vandeweghe USA
37 Yaroslava Shvedova KAZ
38 Monica Niculescu ROU
39 Alison Riske USA
40 Misaki Doi JPN
41 Alizé Cornet FRA
42 Kristina Mladenovic FRA
43 Belinda Bencic SUI
44 Jelena Ostapenko LAT
45 Christina McHale USA
45* Karin Knapp ITA
46 Eugenie Bouchard CAN
47 Ana Konjuh CRO
48 Naomi Osaka JPN
49 Sara Errani ITA
50 Johanna Larsson SWE
51 Annika Beck GER
52 Katerina Siniakova CZE
53 Julia Goerges GER
54 Jelena Jankovic SRB
55 Andrea Petkovic GER
56 Viktorija Golubic SUI
57 Lesia Tsurenko UKR
58 Yanina Wickmayer BEL
59 Shelby Rogers USA
60 Kristyna Pliskova CZE
61 Lauren Davis USA
62 Lucie Safarova CZE
63 Ana Ivanovic SRB
64 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL
64* Galina Voskoboeva KAZ
65 Kirsten Flipkens BEL
66 Lara Arruabarrena ESP
67 Anna-Lena Friedsam GER
68 Louisa Chirico USA
69 Kateryna Bondarenko UKR
70 Pauline Parmentier FRA
71 Danka Kovinic MNE
72 Qiang Wang CHN
73 Madison Brengle USA
74 Oceane Dodin FRA
75 Catherine Bellis USA
76 Heather Watson GBR
77 Cagla Buyukakcay TUR
78 Kurumi Nara JPN
79 Vania King USA
80 Sorana Cirstea ROU
81 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni CRO
82 Kristina Kucova SVK
83 Camila Giorgi ITA
84 Shuai Peng CHN
85 Saisai Zheng CHN
86 Evgeniya Rodina RUS
87 Carina Witthoeft GER
88 Nicole Gibbs USA
89 Varvara Lepchenko USA
90 Naomi Broady GBR
91 Denisa Allertova CZE
92 Sabine Lisicki GER
93 Irina Khromacheva RUS
94 Nao Hibino JPN
95 Magda Linette POL
96 Risa Ozaki JPN
97 Maria Sakkari GRE
98 Irina Falconi USA
99 Jana Cepelova SVK
100 Donna Vekic CRO
101 Kateryna Kozlova UKR
102 Francesca Schiavone ITA
103 Ying-Ying Duan CHN
104 Mandy Minella LUX
105 Marina Erakovic NZL
106 Sara Sorribes Tormo ESP
107 Patricia Maria Tig ROU

*Denotes protected ranking

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Andy Murray Beats Novak Djokovic to Claim ATP Year-End Title and World No. 1

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(November 20, 2016) Andy Murray reached two milestones on Sunday in London’s O2 Arena – he beat Novak Djokovic to win his first ATP World Tour Finals title and sealed the No. 1 spot for 2016.

The three-time major champion beat Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4. It marked the first time in ATP World Tour history that the No. 1 ranking was on the line for both players in the final match of the ATP Tour’s season.
It was also the first time since Lisbon in 2000 that the year-end No. 1 ranking was decided in the final when Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten beat Andre Agassi in the final to finish at No. 1 ahead of Marat Safin.

“I would like to try and stay there, obviously,” Murray said of his top ranking.  “It’s taken a huge effort the last five, six months to get there. I would obviously like to stay there. I’m aware that’s going to be extremely difficult because I had a great year this year. I only managed to do it by one match. To repeat that again next year is going to be extremely difficult.

“But now that I’ve got there, I obviously would be motivated to try and stay in that position. But yeah, I mean, the majors are what gets me working hard and what really, really motivates me.

“When I go away in December to train, I’m training with the Australian Open in mind. Because of the best-of-five-set matches, they’re the ones you have to really put in the extra work for and the extra training for. That’s what motivates me.”
The 29-year-old spot leapfrogged Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking on November 7, when he won the Paris Masters event.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

“I expected him to play on a high level, said the 29-year-old Serb. “As I said yesterday after my semifinals, I didn’t expect him to be too tired.

“But I just played very poorly, made a lot of unforced errors from the backhand side. It just wasn’t my day. On the other hand, credit to Andy for being mentally tough and playing the right shots, making me play extra shots in every rally. He definitely deserved to win.”

 

“Well, right now the goal is just to rest a little bit,” Djokovic said in his post-match news conference. “It’s been a long season, a very nice year, a lot to reflect on, a lot to take in. But, you know, it’s time to leave the racquet aside for a little bit, just recover, then I’ll start thinking about next season.”
The last five, six months have not been ideal. Surely, you know, I could have maybe done slightly better in some tournaments. Nevertheless, I played finals of US Open, finals here. It’s still pretty good playing finals. Even though I set a high standard for myself, especially the last couple years, I’m very grateful to have had the career that I’ve had.

“But, you know, sometimes it’s just normal, I guess, to experience, to live these kind of things, not to have the half seasons as well as you want them to be, as well as they’ve been in the last three, four years. That’s all, you know.

“Surely there were things I could have done better on the court. I know that. It was also a tough season considering there were Olympic Games. I’ve just been through so much emotions in the first six months with Roland Garros in place. I needed some time to really take it all in, digest it. But I didn’t have that time. I had to a few weeks later be on the court right away. I guess that all had its toll.

“Right now I’m actually looking forward to have a month and a half with no tournaments. That’s something that is a luxury in the men’s tennis.”

 

For Murray, it’s been a career year, winning a second Wimbledon title, defending his Olympic gold and claiming three Masters Series titles. He was victorious in 8 finals and now has a total of 44 career titles. He’s on a 24-match win streak. He completed the year at 78-9.
“It’s a very special day, playing against Novak in a match like this,” said Murray. “We’ve played in Grand Slam finals, Olympics and matches like this – it’s been a tough rivalry. I’ve lost many of them, but I am happy to have got the win today to clinch the year-end No. 1. It’s very special, it’s something that I never expected. My team and family have been a great help, making a lot of sacrifices for me and my tennis. I’d like to congratulate Novak on everything he has achieved this year.”

Andy’s older brother, Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares claimed the year end No. 1 doubles ranking as a team. This marks the first time in the history of the official ATP rankings that two brothers have finished year-end No. 1 in singles and doubles in the same season.
“These next few years, obviously I want to try and make them the best of my career, yeah, try and win as much as I can,” Murray said. “But it’s going to be tough because as you get older, you know, the young guys are going to keep improving and getting better. There’s some really good young ones now.

“It’s going to be hard, but I’ll try to keep going.”

 
ATP WORLD TOUR YEAR-END NO. 1 HISTORY
Year    Player
2016    Andy Murray (Great Britain)
2015    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2014    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2013    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2012    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2011    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2010    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2009    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2008    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2007    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2006    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2005    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2004    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2003    Andy Roddick (U.S.)
2002    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2001    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2000    Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)
1999    Andre Agassi (U.S.)
1998    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1997    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1996    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1995    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1994    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1993    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1992    Jim Courier (U.S.)
1991    Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1990    Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1989    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1988    Mats Wilander (Sweden)
1987    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1986    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1985    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1984    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1983    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1982    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1981    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1980    Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1979    Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1978    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1977    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1976    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1975    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1974    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1973    Ilie Nastase (Romania)

 

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Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares Clinch Year-End No. 1 ATP Doubles Team Ranking

Approach Shots –  Judy Murray Q & A Part One

Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part Two

Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part Three

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Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic Set Up Showdown for Year-End No. 1 in ATP Finals

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(November 19, 2016) Semifinal wins by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have set up a showdown for year-end No. 1 in the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in London’s O2 Arena on Sunday. This will mark the first time that the two top players will play for the year-end No. 1 spot in the last match of the season.

“I must say that I’m very honored to be part of the history,” Djokovic said. “I hear this is the first time in the history of the ATP that the two best players are deciding the rankings in the last match. That is something we should all be conscious of.

“I’m excited to go out on the court and battle.”

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Top seed Murray won another marathon match, this time 3 hours and 38 minutes and saved a match in his 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(9) win over Milos Raonic. This was the longest ever three-set match at the ATP World Tour Finals. It will be the first time that the Scot has reached the year-end final.

I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow,” Murray said. Obviously tired just now because it was a really hard match. It wasn’t just that it was physically hard, it was mentally a tough match, too. It was pretty stressful.

“I was quite far behind obviously in the second set. A set and a break down, managed to turn it round. Then it was back and forth in the third set.

“The physical side, obviously the body is a bit sore after such a long match, but mentally it was tiring, too.”

I think it was pretty dramatic. Both of us had chances. In the tiebreak, I think we played some pretty good stuff in the tiebreak. I don’t think it was, like, bad points that we were losing or bad shots we were losing. As points, I think we played some good stuff in the breaker.

“But, yeah, I mean, it was one of the tougher matches I played this year. For sure it was not easy, for the reasons I gave, obviously with it being very long, but also mentally tiring as well. The nature of it was very up and down.”

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

“I have to be proud that I finished the year with giving it every ounce of energy I had,” said the Canadian. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to feel like crap tomorrow.

“I’ll look back at 2016 with a lot of good moments, a lot of pride, a lot to be proud of.”

 

The best match I’ve ever competed, yes,” explained Raonic. “I don’t know necessarily playing-wise. I don’t think I necessarily served phenomenal throughout the match, these kinds of things.

“But the way I was constantly trying to stay positive, keep my energy up, trying to fight through, that’s definitely the most significant thing I’ve done today.”

Raonic will finish the season at a career high No. 3.

 

 “Well, I fought really hard today, yeah,” Murray said. “I fought hard. I fought very hard this week. I have also the last few months, too.

“It would have been easy today when I was behind to have gone away a little bit, but I didn’t. I fought hard. Even after serving for the match twice, having a bunch of match points in the tiebreak, still stayed tough, chased balls down, fought as best as I could. It was enough to get me the win.”

The victory extended Murray’s winning streak to 22.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

No. 2 Djokovic’s task was much easier. The Serb needed only 66 minutes to dismiss Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1. The man from Japan could only hold his serve once during the match.

Yes, I mean, the best performance of the tournament came really at the right time,” he said. “Everything kind of clicked together tonight.

“I felt really well. I started with a great pace, great concentration, dictating the play, mixing up the pace. Everything was going well. I must be very pleased. I enjoyed myself.

“On the other hand, you know, Kei was not obviously close to his best. The fact that he played late last night, it’s been a long year for him, long tournament, so he was probably a little bit tired.

“Nevertheless, I tried to make myself present on the court, make him feel that I’m playing till the last shot, which I did. Even 6-1, 5-1, I was really committed.

“All in all it was a really good performance. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s final.”

Kei Nishkori

Kei Nishkori

“I think Novak played pretty awesome,” said Nishikori. “Well, nothing I can complain. But I wasn’t ready to play against Novak I think physically.

“Well, yeah, I tried to play good tennis, but I couldn’t today.”

The 2014 US Open finalist will end the year at No. 5

I think it was one of the best year for me. Play a lot of matches, you know, beating those top players this year a lot. I get a lot of confidence this year.

“Maybe this is not the finish what I wanted to finish, but still I think it was good year.”

As I said at the beginning of this tournament, concerning the rankings situation, I actually have things in my hands,” Djokovic said. “I don’t need to depend on anybody else. That’s all I’ve been focusing on, to be honest, really building my game, getting myself to a higher level, quality level of tennis in each match. As I progress through the tournament, that’s what’s happening. Hopefully I’ll be able to stick with it and perform as well as I did in last couple of matches tomorrow.

“Andy, you cannot take anything away from what he did in the last four, five months. Yes, we haven’t played against each other, but his level was phenomenal. He deserves to be in the situation where he is at the moment. He’s No. 1 of the world, and deservedly so.

“He’s had 20-plus matches won. He got himself out of trouble today because of that confidence. He really has been winning a lot.”

“I’m sure, even though he has had a couple of very long matches in the last couple days, I doubt that he’s going to feel tired. I know that he’s very fit. He’s committed to the working ethics. He’s going to do everything to recover and to be ready for tomorrow.”

Djokovic goes into Sunday’s final having won 22 of 23 matches in the O2 Arena.

“I’ve had lots of success on this court in the last five, six years,” said the 12-time major winner. “Every time I step on the court, I relive certain kind of memories from the years before. 80% of the guys that I get to play year after year are more or less the same. That gives me that comfort. But it’s not something that decides the match. I’ll say it that way.”

Djokovic leads in the head-to-head record against Murray 24-10. The Serb is seeking his sixth year-end title, while Murray is in the final for the first time.

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Andy Murray Reaches Semifinals of ATP World Tour Finals

 

(November 18, 2016) Andy Murray finished a perfect 3-0 in the John McEnroe group on Friday at the ATP World Tour Finals, beating Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2.

“I weathered the early storm a little bit,” said Murray. “Stan came out hitting the ball huge. He was hitting a lot of winners, a lot of aces.”

“But once I got through the early part of the match, I started to create chances in most of his service games. I served very well myself, got a lot of free points with my serve. That allowed me to also dictate a lot of the points, whereas at the beginning of the match I wasn’t able to do that.”

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

“I think he was serving really well, especially playing good after the serve,” said Wawrinka. “He didn’t give me many chance, especially at the beginning.

“Yeah, he make me hesitating a little bit with my game, when to go, when to stay back. That’s why he’s so good. That’s why he’s No. 1. He’s in full confidence. He’s playing the right things.”

The Scot who advances to the semifinals against Milos Raonic, keeps his hopes alive for trying to end the year as the top player for the first time. Novak Djokovic is trying to end the season as No. 1 for the fifth time in six years. The Serb will play Kei Nishikori in the other semifinal.

“It’s a big match, obviously,” Murray said of his semifinal against the Canadian. Milos, you know, he obviously serves big, goes for his shots. He moves forward when he has the chance. I think he probably likes the conditions here. It’s a little bit quicker.

“Yeah, you don’t normally get loads of opportunities against the big servers. Then it comes down to when you do get those chances, whether you take them or not. And this year when I’ve played him, I’ve created a few opportunities in the matches. When they’ve come, I’ve been pretty clinical. I’ll need to be the same tomorrow if I want to win.”

Should Djokovic lose to Nishikori, and Murray beats Raonic, the Murray will finish as No. 1. If Murray loses in the semifinals and Djokovic wins, the 12-time major champion will finish the year at No. 1.
Earlier in the day, Murray’s brother Jamie along with his doubles partner Bruno Soares clinched top spot in doubles for the year.

“They had an amazing year,” said Andy. “Only started playing with each other in January. Won the two slams, you know, which is fantastic. Jamie had not won a slam before this year, a men’s doubles slam. Bruno neither.

“They obviously complement each other’s games very well. They’ve played I think really good in most of the big competitions. They deserve it. They’ve obviously played extremely well this week. They knew pretty much what they were going to have to do. Yeah, won all three of their matches here.

“It’s a great achievement for both of them. Very proud of Jamie.

“I think my mum is here. My grandparents came earlier in the week. They went home on Thursday. My dad was here for the first few days, and he went home on Tuesday morning. He saw me and Jamie play one match each.

“But, no, I mean, obviously, the whole year has been fantastic for both of us. Obviously, yeah, we would like to finish it perfectly if we can. Still there’s a good chance that doesn’t happen. Yeah, regardless of what happens over the weekend, we can look back on this year and be very proud of what we’ve done as a family.”

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Novak Djokovic 3-0 in ATP World Tour Finals Group, Suggests Round Robin Format for Olympics and Davis Cup Changes

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(November 17, 2016) Novak Djokovic in his quest to end the year as No. 1, dismissed David Goffin 6-1, 6-2 to complete a perfect 3-0 round robin record at the ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday. Goffin, from Belgium, was an alternate for Gael Monfils who withdrew with a rib injury.

Djokovic, who says he likes the round robin format, thinks it should be used for the Olympics.

I think this format is exciting,” said the Serb. “I mean, look, it’s the only tournament in the year that we have this kind of format. I like playing in the round-robin system.

“To be honest, I think certainly events, maybe like Olympic Games, should have this format. I guess you play more matches. The people like to see the top players being at least for a couple matches, two, three matches, in the tournament. It gives more value to the event.

“Of course, it makes you feel also more, I guess, at ease because you know you’re going to play at least three. Even if you lose a match, you can have a chance to qualify for the knock-out stage.”

 

The 12-time major champion also talked about changing the Davis cup format and added his suggestions:

“This format is not working for the top players, especially for the top players, because it’s just completely at the wrong time in the schedule. If you go back five years, let’s say five, six years, you see the amount of the top players that played at the later stages of the Davis Cup, you see that it lost value.

“Of course, they have to change. They need to have the format, in my opinion, the only way to work, is once a year, one or two weeks, two weeks, have a round-robin format, four, five, six groups, have teams play in different locations, then come together in one location and play a knock-out stage, quarterfinals, semifinals, final four, whatever.

“It’s a no-brainer. I’m not the only one to have this kind of opinion about it. Many of the players have been talking about this format and the schedule, top players especially, because it just comes right after Grand Slams, right after World Tour Finals.

“Playing over three days, best-of-five… I think they should cut it down to two days, best-of-three. Have two singles and one doubles, those kind of things.

“In tennis, it’s a bit confusing with the ITF, ATP, Grand Slams. Everybody is a separate entity. You have to consider different sides and negotiate.

“ITF owns Davis Cup. ITF hasn’t been really very helpful with the players’ demands. The only thing that they wanted to change is the neutral final, I think for next year or the year after that, which talking to all the players on the council, most of the players also around the tour, nobody agrees with that. Again, you’re taking away from the players the one thing that players love about Davis Cup, which is the home tie, the home crowd.

“Yeah, I don’t know how the future of Davis Cup will look like. I mean, I respect that competition. It has a long history. I love playing for my country. This is the only official team competition we have in our sport.

“But there is definitely something radically that has to change. I don’t know if they realize, but they’re losing a lot of value in terms of commercial perspective, marketing perspective, whatever.

“People don’t know the format of the competition, the system, how it works, who plays who, until it gets to the finals. Even the finals is not as attractive in some countries anymore.”

 

Djokovic qualified for the semifinals on Tuesday. Milos Raonic defeated Dominic Thiem 7-6(5), 6-3 to clinch the second semifinal spot from the group.

Raonic become the first Canadian to reach the singles semifinals of the year-end event.

Friday will determine the other two semifinal spots. Right now Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori remain in contention.

Djokovic, leader of the Ivan Lendl group will play the the second place finisher in the John McEnroe group. Raonic will play the leader of the John McEnroe group.

 

 

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Andy Murray Survives Kei Nishikori in Three-Set Battle to go 2-0 at ATP World Tour Finals

Andy Murray fh

(November 16, 2016) World No. 1 Andy Murray survived a three-hour and twenty-minute struggle against Kei Nishikori to win 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4 to go 2-0 in round robin play at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on Wednesday.

The match set an ATP World Tour Finals record as the longest three-set match in time.

Murray is in the top position in his group to qualify for the semifinals of the year-end event for the first time since 2012. This is the first time since 2009 that the Scot has won his first two matches at the event.

Murray has won 21 straight matches.

“Especially the first set, beginning part of the second set, he was dictating almost all of the rallies,” said Murray. “At one stage they put up the graphic on the screen in the first set, said I made 96% of returns, which at that stage means maybe I missed one. There wasn’t any quick points on his serve. There was a lot of rallies one after another.

“Often on a surface like this, you’ll play some quicker points where you maybe get aced or don’t make returns. But it was kind of every point there was rallies, and you’re having to play four, five shots.

“It’s tough. Like you say, he does move the ball around extremely well, better than anyone maybe. So, yeah, it was physically tough. Thankfully I was getting quite a few free points on my own serve, which helped.

“It wasn’t easy because I wasn’t able to dictate many of the points, it felt. More so in the third set I was able to. But not in the first couple sets. I was having to run, fight, get as many balls back as I could.”

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

“Well, it’s never feel good, you know, after losing the match,” Nishikori said. “I know it was close. I mean, definitely disappointed. But there’s much is coming into this, so try to be ready for that.”

“He’s tough player, so… Think it was great match, both of us. Also for me, played really consistent, playing with good energy.

“Well, I’m sure he’s going to qualify for the group. I try to aim for the second spot.”

It could all come down to a battle for year-end No. 1 against Novak Djokovic later in the tournament

“It could come down to a match between me and Novak,” Murray said. “Who knows what’s going to happen the next few days. Just from my side, concentrate on trying to win my own matches, get through as many as I can, make it as tough as possible for Novak to jump me.”

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils has withdrawn from the year-end event with an 0-2 group record. He’s still suffering from a rib injury he’s had since the Stockholm event.

“Definitely I can’t play for tomorrow because I still feel worse and worse, my ribs, that I had lately,” Monfils said in a news conference. “Yeah, I feel that even yesterday was tough in the game. I feel unfortunately today I couldn’t be feeling great and couldn’t practice, so I just decide that I couldn’t play tomorrow.”

“I hurt myself in Stockholm tournament. From then, you know, I just start to practice last Monday.

“You know, I knew it’s going to be six weeks, they told me, of rest. I try to make it. I couldn’t really make it.”

“I’m very happy first to be here in the top eight. I think it’s the greatest season I ever done. I can say also I missed quite a lot. Big occasion to play.

“It give me more hope for next year. Definitely, I had a lot of big change for me. I think for the new season I will have new changes and hopefully I can be even stronger next year.”

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Novak Djokovic First to Qualify for ATP World Tour Finals Semis

Novak Djokovic

(November 15, 2016) Novak Djokovic earned the first semifinal spot at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday, when he defeated Milos Raonic 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) to go 2-0 in group play at London’s O2 Arena.

“Two tiebreaks against a big server is a great win and great confidence boost,” said the world No. 2.

“Well, it was a very close match. I think very few points separated us tonight. It really could have gone either way.

“I was fortunate to get through the first set tiebreaker. I was down very early in both tiebreaks tonight. But I just managed to stay committed and put pressure on his second serves. I had couple looks on his second serves midway through, towards the end of both tiebreaks, which helped obviously to get into the rally. I knew once I get into the rally, I have a better chance to win the point.

“But I should have done my job earlier, to be honest. I’m not very pleased to drop my serve twice against Milos, especially the second time. I was 4-3, 30-Love, then just four pretty bad unforced errors.

“Credit to him for really hanging in there, putting pressure, being aggressive, especially from the forehand. But, you know, I think I should have done better there.”

88 Raonic

“I believe all the breakpoints, except for maybe the set point at the end, he put in a first serve every single time,” Raonic said of his night session match. “I believe when he had his breakpoints, I didn’t put in one.

“I think it’s those little things that make a difference. I think he’s probably winning over 75% of his first serve points and I’m probably doing the same. Those moments he stepped up and played well. I just maybe hesitated a little bit too much.”

Raonic is now 1-1 in round robin play. He’ll face Dominic Thiem on Thursday.

 

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem

The Austrian Thiem, seeded eighth pulled off a three-set win over France’s Gael Monfils 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to go 1-1 in the group. The Frenchman double faulted three times in the final game of the match.

 

“Today I had a good start,” Thiem said. “I tried to avoid the mistake I did in the first match: to drop a little bit. Didn’t really happen that good.

“But I was trying to stay tough in the third set. At the end, of course, he helped me a little bit with the three double-faults.

“But I’m very happy with the win.”

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils

Monfils, dealing a rib injury said: “It was a tough one. I think today was tough one. Dominic was better than me. I think I didn’t play a great match, but I gave everything I had.”

Monfils is still debating whether to play his final round robin match against Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

 

Order of Play – WEDNESDAY, 16 November
Afternoon Session 12:00 PM Group John McEnroe & Group Fleming/McEnroe

[5] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)

[7] R Klaasen (RSA) / R Ram (USA)

ANDY
MURRAY

[1] (GBR)

KEI
NISHIKORI

[5] (JPN)

Evening Session 6:00 PM Group John McEnroe & Group Fleming/McEnroe

[1] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)

[4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

STAN
WAWRINKA

[3] (SUI)

MARIN
CILIC

[7] (CRO)

ATP World Tour Results
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Andy Murray Wins First Match As No. 1 at ATP World Tour Finals

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

 

(November 14, 2016) Andy Murray began the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Marin Cilic to mark his first match win as world No. 1.

Murray who moved into the top spot last week, was warmly welcomed by the British crowd at the O2 Arena in London in his first round robin match during the evening session. Murray and second seed Novak Djokovic will be battling it out for year-end No. 1 this week.

“It was a great reception obviously,” Murray said. “A really, really good atmosphere tonight. Yeah, it was obviously nice to play in that stadium with the crowd like that. It obviously helps.

“After a long kind of few months, it’s nice to know that I’m going to be finishing the year, you know, playing in that sort of atmosphere. It helps you get up for the matches a bit more, as well.”

Murray was asked about if he’s thinking about the No. 1 ranking: “I’ve not been thinking about that really. Sort of the day it happened and also the day of the final in Paris, it was definitely on my mind, you know, quite a lot. Then I had a lot of message on the Monday.

“The last few days, I haven’t thought about it too much. It didn’t change much for me.”

Questioned in regard to seeing Novak Djokovic after he reached No. 1, the Scotsman said: “No, it wasn’t strange. I mean, we’ve known each other for such a long time. I think both of us have been kind of used to congratulating each other over the years. I mean, we bump into each other every week after he’s won an event the last few years, and it’s become quite a normal thing to congratulate him on winning tournaments and everything he’s achieved. It’s quite normal.

“We don’t go, Congratulations, and talk about it for 10 minutes. We talk about our families and other stuff. We don’t discuss it much.”

Despite giving up a mere five games, the match was closer than the score indicated. Murray had to fight to hold his serve early in the match.

 

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

Despite the loss, No. 7 seed Cilic still felt upbeat about the match:

“I think I felt I started quite well. I had first game two breakpoints, then lost my serve, came back and was a little bit at the beginning not serving that well. That I think was one thing that helped Andy to be in the rallies.

“Obviously we played quite a lot in the rallies in the first five, six games. They were quite long games, quite long rallies.

“I had also on his third service game a few chances, 15-40 I think again. Just felt that maybe in a few I made just wrong decisions. When I need to step in, I didn’t. When I need to wait a little bit longer, I wasn’t waiting.

“Overall I felt I was not playing too bad, just obviously maybe a different pattern of the balls. The hitting could have been better. Yeah, a little bit unfortunate to go 6-3, 6-2 down, where it felt it was much, much closer in the first set. Beginning of the second, I had couple chances as well.

“Unfortunately, that’s the way it is. Obviously tougher to start straightaway with matches like these against the best guys. I’m not so used to it. That’s something I guess quite new for me. Most of the tournaments I’m playing them third, fourth round at least. It’s a little bit different to start straightaway in the match.

“But I’m quite positive with the way I was playing. Just saying it could have been some better decisions.”

Murray is now 1-0 in his group.

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

No. 5 seed Nishikori stopped third seed Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3 during the day session.

Nishikori has a chance to end the year at No. 3 with a good tournament this week.
“I’m not thinking too much about rankings, but would be nice if I could finish 4 or 3,” said the top Japanese player. “I see good chance to be there if I can play good this week. That’s one of my goal this week. Also next year I hope I can stay No. 4 or No. 3, try to catch up Andy and Djoko.”

Asked about playing the top seeded Murray later this week, Nishikori said: “This year we played three, four times. I had a tough loss in Rio. But US Open and Davis Cup, we played, you know, some good match. I feel more chance, you know, to win the match against Andy.

“Obviously it’s the toughest match maybe in this group. Yeah, for sure I have to play well and play hundred percent to beat Andy. This match will help, for sure, for next match.”

 

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

 

Wawrinka was not happy with his performance on Monday. “It was not a great match compared to what I can do, that’s for sure,” said the Swiss. “I don’t think I find anything on the court today. I was a little bit slow on everything. I was hesitating a lot with my game, my movement.”

“I’m sure I still have something inside me to play some great tennis before the end of the year, so I’m going to try everything for that in the next match,” noted the three-time major champion. “I’m going to do what I need to do tomorrow to get ready for trying to play better in two days.”

 

 

Order of Play – TUESDAY, 15 November
Afternoon Session 12:00 PM Group Ivan Lendl & Group Edberg/Jarryd

[2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

[3] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

GAEL
MONFILS

[6] (FRA)

DOMINIC
THIEM

[8] (AUT)

Evening Session 6:00 PM Group Ivan Lendl & Group Edberg/Jarryd

[6] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

[8] T Huey (PHI) / M Mirnyi (BLR)

NOVAK
DJOKOVIC

[2] (SRB)

MILOS
RAONIC

[4] (CAN)

 

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Novak Djokovic Rallies To Win Opening Match at ATP World Tour Finals

05-Djokovic yell

(November 13, 2016) Still in the hunt for the year-end top ranking, No. 2 Novak Djokovic was forced to rally to win his won his opening match at the ATP World Tour Finals beating Dominic Thiem 6-7 (10), 6-0, 6-2 on Sunday in London’s O2 arena.

Djokovic had a set point chance in the topsy-turvy first set tiebreak at 9-8. The Austrian Thiem, making his year-end final debut served for the set at 6-3 in the tiebreak, double faulted twice in a row, hit a backhand error to make it 6-6. Four set points later Thiem finally closed out the set 12-10.

The entire match changed after the first set. The 12-time major champion won twelve of the next fourteen games to close the match.

“It felt very good,” Djokovic said of the win. “Even though I lost the first set, I thought I didn’t do too many things wrong. It was just the very high quality of his game that prevailed in the first set.

“Yeah, a thrilling tiebreaker. He was 6-3 up, two double-faults. I had I think only one set point. He just played a good point. I was in the rally, but he just was going for his shots. In the end he managed to win that very long first set.

“I knew after that, the first opening couple games of the second set would be crucial for me to start with a break up, which I did. I felt more comfortable. I started swinging more freely in the second set. Obviously made him play an extra shot. He started making more errors, which I used.

“I was on top of his second serves, putting a lot of pressure. I thought I played very well in the second set especially, but the third as well.”

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem

“It was a very good and very intense first set,” said the 23-year-old Thiem. After that, I lost a little bit of energy, which is required against a guy like Novak to play close and good sets.

“I came back obviously. I had the energy. But the beginning of the third set, I was trying again to get that match. He was playing well. I couldn’t quite keep the level up from the first set. Yeah, that’s why I lost in three.”

“There are so many things to improve,” said the Austrian who is the eighth seed in London. “I think there were too many unforced errors in the first few shots, in the rallies. Yeah, other things were good, other things were bad. There are many things what I’m looking to improve.”

“Of course, I want to play two more good matches, then I will see what the outcome is. But first of all, it’s a very good experience for me to play three matches against top-10 players. Compared to the last few tournaments, it was a very good match for me today.

I just look to keep that up, and I will see what happens in the next matches.”

Djokovic lost his No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray last week and has a chance to get it back this week. The Serb is seeking to earn the year-end top spot for the fifth time in six years, while Murray is trying to earn the top spot for the year for the first time.

Milos Raonic and Gael Monfils

Milos Raonic and Gael Monfils

In the evening match, fourth seed Milos Raonic defeated sixth seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4. The Canadian fired 10 aces past the Frenchman in his first ever round robin victory at the ATP World Tour Finals.

“I came here with not even a week of practice,” Monfils said. “I came here with three, four days for real practice. Even when you’re 100%, it’s tough to beat those guys. He’s 4 in the world. With three, four days’ practice, it’s really tough.

“I was really happy to lost with just a break in each set.”

“This guy (Raonic), he played very good today, like, with confidence. When you hurt for more than two, three weeks, you not play like that, guarantee you.”

“I didn’t feel any pain to the injury I had,” said the Canadian. “I think other muscles might be overworking to maybe compensate for that. I can feel them a little bit more fatigued and sore than they normally would be.

“But the injury is good. I feel like this is an ideal way to start considering the doubts that I was having. Some of the things I heard in the diagnosis were not the most positive, so this was a great way to turn around.”

Next up for Raonic is Djokovic.

“It’s going to be a difficult task that I have ahead of me,” Raonic said. “I feel like I’m doing some things well. I feel like I can do some things better.

“I was quite proficient on returning today. I took care of my serve like I hoped to. That’s what my game depends on. I hope I can keep moving forward.”

In doubles action, the third seeded Bryan Brothers defeated sixth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 7-6(3), 6-0 in the day session.

In the night session second seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares stopped eighth seeds Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi 6-4, 7-5.

Jamie Murray and Soares are just 375 points behind No. 1 Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

“Our goal is just to try to win when we step on the court this week,” Murray said. “If it ends up that we’re the No. 1 team, that will be a huge achievement for us. If it doesn’t work out that way, we’ll still have had a great year, lots to be proud of, lots to look forward to going into 2017.”

 

Next up for the No. 2 is the Bryan Brothers.

 

“Yeah, it’s always exciting to play against them,” said the older brother of Andy Murray. “I mean, they’re clearly the best team in history with the amount of titles they won. They always bring a great energy to the court. You know, we all look up to them. We all aspire to kind of get to their level.

“Of course, probably they’re starting to kind of decline a little bit. But, I mean, that’s always going to happen when you’ve won so much, and time has taken on.

We’re really fired up to play against them. Should be a great match, I think. Well, I’m looking forward to it. I hope Bruno is, as well.”

“I am,” said a smiling Soares.

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