May 26, 2017

Roger Federer Loses to Qualifier Evgeny Donskoy in Dubai

Evgeny Donskoy

(March 1, 2017) DUBAI, UAE:  Seven-time champion Roger Federer lost to 116th– ranked  qualifier Evgeny Donskoy 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6 (5) on Wednesday. It is his earliest defeat in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships since he was beaten by Andy Murray in the first round in 2008. It is also only the third time since 2007 that he has lost to a qualifier. Federer led 5-2 in the final set and lost four straight games. Federer led 5-1 in the third set tiebreak and lost the next six straight points.

 

“Maybe it wasn’t really committed enough, I think,” said Federer. “Commitment in tennis is a big thing. In the first round I was. Today I wasn’t, really. That sort of is a feeling you get and it trickles in an entire game. I thought I returned way better in the first round. Today I really struggled on the return. I didn’t quite really time it well. Yeah, timing I thought was off for me today. Legs also felt slower out here tonight. I felt tired all day. I tried to get myself in shape, and, you know, like warm up properly, do all the things I always do, regardless if it’s a first round or a final.

 

“There’s no excuses there. I just think it’s still the beginning of the comeback and gotta take the positives out of, you know, playing again a tournament where I feel I’m quite healthy and I’m happy I got over the (groin) injury I sustained at the Australian Open. Maybe didn’t allow me to practice as much as I was hoping to in Switzerland, but at the same time also needed the rest. (But) there was also no problem there, really. I came early. I was perfectly prepared. It’s just a tough loss tonight. So many chances. It was crazy.”

 

Donskoy revealed that with his coach absent this week he is being helped by former two-time Dubai finalist Mikhail Youzhny, and said, “It was really tough in the beginning, because it was too much pressure. I mean, I felt it on myself, because it’s Roger, and I never even practice with him. So it was tough. And that many people. I’m used to playing on centre court and many people, but Roger is different moment. And then, like, when you winning some games then you start to think, like, okay. I was saying to myself, like, do your legs lower, because if I stand up I getting so much mistake. That’s what I said to myself.”

 

World No. 1 Andy Murray reached the quarterfinals with an easy win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 ,6-0. But fifth seed and two-time finalist Tomas Berdych and sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut lost. Berdych lost3-6, 6-3,6-4 against Robin Haase, and Bautista Agut lost a two hour 25-minute battle with Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

 

“When I got the early break, pretty much was almost 30 minutes in and we’d only played four games. Mentally, that was important for me, you know, to be up at that stage,” said Murray. “It could have gone either way, obviously, first few games. But being up at that stage helped, and then I loosened up a bit after that and played really well.

 

“It was way better than how I played at the beginning of the year, that’s for sure. You know, playing aggressive, feeling more solid, and when I’m in position to dictate the points I’m doing it, moving forward. I hit my forehand very well last couple of matches. I served better today. It’s been a good start. Obviously matches will get tougher, but I’m much happier with how I’m playing.”

 

Fourth seed Gael Monfils was also stretched by Daniel Evans but won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, and recent Marseille finalist and number seven seed Lucas Pouille eased past qualifier Marius Copil 6-1, 6-4. Damir Dzumhur followed up his defeat of defending champion Stan Wawrinka by beating Marcel Granollers, recovering from 1-4 in the second set to take the next five games and claim a 6-3, 6-4 victory, and Philipp Kohlschreiber earned a single break in each set to defeat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Dubai, U.A.E.

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH 2016

Singles – Second Round
[1] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 60
[Q] E. Donskoy (RUS) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 36 76(7) 76(5) – saved 3 m.p.
[4] G. Monfils (FRA) d D. Evans (GBR) 64 36 61
R. Haase (NED) d [5] T. Berdych (CZE) 36 63 64
F. Verdasco (ESP) d [6] [WC] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 36 75
[7] L. Pouille (FRA) d [Q] M. Copil (ROU) 61 64
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d D. Medvedev (RUS) 64 64
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d M. Granollers (ESP) 63 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d D. Evans (GBR) / G. Muller (LUX) 76(1) 64
R. Bopanna (IND) / M. Matkowski (POL) d F. Mergea (ROU) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64

Doubles – First Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / F. Mayer (GER) d L. Pouille (FRA) / F. Verdasco (ESP) w/o (Pouille: bicep strain)
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / L. Paes (IND) d [Q] J. Cerretani (USA) / P. Oswald (AUT) 62 64

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2016

CENTRE COURT start 3:00 pm
R. Haase (NED) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)
F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [4] G. Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] A. Murray (GBR) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
[Q] E. Donskoy (RUS) vs [7] L. Pouille (FRA)

COURT 1 start 5:00 pm
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / L. Paes (IND) vs [3] D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – [4] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / F. Mayer (GER)

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No. 50 Mischa Zverev Beats No. 1 Andy Murray at Australian Open; Roger Federer Advances in Five Sets

Andy Murray

 

(January 22, 2017) World No. 50 Mischa Zverev surprised top seed Andy Murray 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Sunday. With the second- round exit of No. 2 seed and six-time winner Novak Djokovic, this marks the first time since 2002 that neither one of the top two men’s seeds reached the final eight in Melbourne.

Mischa Zverev is  the older brother of Alexander Zverev, who lost to Rafael Nadal on Saturday in the fourth round. The elder Zverev is left-handed and plays an old-school serve and volley game.

Zverev broke Murray’s serve eight times during the match. He’ll play the winner of the Kei Nishikori – Roger Federer match for a spot in the semifinals.

Zverev is the first German to defeat a No. 1 player at a major since Boris Becker did it in the semifinals of Wimbledon back in 1995.

“It’s the shots he was coming up with when he did come forward,” Murray said in his news conference. “I mean, he came up with some great pickups, you know, reflex volleys especially at the end of the match when it was tight. That was tough because I was hitting some good shots, chasing some good balls down.

“Just wasn’t meant to be. He served very well when he needed to, especially when he was behind in games. Yeah, he deserved to win because, you know, he played great when he was down, and also in the important moments.

“I was kind of behind in the last couple of sets the whole way. But the first two sets, I had chances. I was up a break I think in both of them pretty early. Couldn’t convert my opportunities.”

“Right now I’m more disappointed for myself. Obviously it’s a tough one to lose. Obviously, you know, I wanted to go far in this event. It’s the earliest I’ve lost here for, I don’t know, a long time. So I’m disappointed right now.

“Like I said, credit to him. He came up with great, great shots and played a really, really good match. You know, you always finish matches you lose with things you maybe could have done a bit better, but he played some really good stuff.”

“Yeah, definitely the best match of my life, not only because it was a best-of-five set match, it was at a slam,” Zverev said. “I don’t know. It was just incredible.”

Asked about the key to his success: “I believed in myself. I believed in my game. I believed that playing serve and volley against him and slicing a lot, trying to destroy his rhythm was going to work, which it did in the end.

“I felt comfortable going, like, three, four sets, even though it wasn’t that hot, but it was still pretty warm. I felt like I could hang in there with him, you know, sometimes rally and come in quickly. I feel like everything just worked out well.”

Zverev will move up in the rankings to No. 35.

 

Zverev will be taking on his idol Roger Federer in his quarterfinal match. Federer defeated fifth seed and 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori in five sets 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 during the night session.

 

This was Federer’s 200th win against a Top Ten player. The 35-year-old Federer is now in his 49 major quarterfinal.

At 35 years 174 days, the 17-time major winner is the oldest man to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since Jimmy Connors did it at 39 years 6 days at the 1991 US Open.

Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He took off the rest of the year after Wimbledon, returning to the tour in January to play the ITF mixed-event, The Hopman Cup before playing the Australian Open.

This will be Federer’s 13th Melbourne final eight.

“I kind of thought it was a good chance because I felt like probably he’s going to have a couple of good sets, I was going to have a couple of good sets” Federer said of his chances in the match. “If you can’t defend them, you know, it gets split, and then the match moves on, then you’re deep into the match.

“So, yeah, I mean, I didn’t expect him to play this well from the start. That put me on the back foot for the remainder of the match to some extent. But I was able to wrestle it back in my favor.

“Got into the match myself. Started to play the good sets I was talking about that I knew I could. The question was could I hang with Kei till the very end. I was able to do that, so I’m super happy.”

 

 

 

Reigning US Open champion Stan Wawrinka is in the final eight. He defeated Andreas Seppi 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 7-6(4). He’ll play the winner of the Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – Dan Evans match.

Stan Wawrinka

“Well, was a tough and close match, that’s for sure,” Wawrinka said to media. “Three tiebreak, almost three hours. Was very close.

“I think we both play really well. Tough conditions. Good conditions, but quite fast. So it was interesting to play against him.

“I think I find a good way how to be aggressive, to mix the speed on the court today on important points, important moment, and to take advantage of that.”

“I think this match was the best match of the tournament so far, that’s for sure. Again, I’m not really worry about trying to improve every match, trying to play better or not. I know that my level is there, that physically I’m feeling good. So most important is to win, to still be in the tournament.

“I’m really happy to make the quarterfinal again. It’s a big result. I’m going to enjoy tonight and get ready for the next one.”

Wawrinka will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next. Tsonga defeated Dan Evans 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

“Tsonga always been there,” Wawrinka said of his next opponent. “Always been around the top 10. He was No. 5 in the world. He made the final here. He made the semifinal in each Grand Slam.

“It’s going to be just an interesting match.”

“It’s going to be a tough match,” said Tsonga. “I know he’s playing really good. It’s going to be important for me to be good in this match and play my best level.

“I think I will be ready, so… Yeah, it’s going to be a good challenge for me to play against Stan.”

More to follow…..

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2017 Australian Open – Day 7 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 7 MEN’S NOTES

Sunday 22 January

Round of 16 Top Half

Roger Federer

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v Mischa Zverev (GER)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI)

No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

 

On court today…

 

  • A pillar of consistency at the Australian Open, Andy Murray will look to reach his 8th consecutive quarterfinal here when he takes on world No. 50 Mischa Zverev. The world No. 1 has not lost before the last 8 here since he fell to Fernando Verdasco in 5 sets in 2009, and will hope for a fairly straightforward match when he faces Zverev, having not lost to a player ranked as low as the German here since he fell to No. 51 Juan Ignacio Chela in 2006.

 

  • Murray and compatriot Daniel Evans, who plays former Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, are both bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for Great Britain. The last time Great Britain had 2 men in the singles quarterfinals at the Australian Open was in 1977, when John Lloyd and Robin Drysdale reached the last 8. Not since 1997, when Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, have 2 British men featured in the last 8 at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Andreas Seppi is looking to break new ground at the majors when he takes on No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka. A surprise win for the world No. 89 against the 2014 Australian Open champion would see him become the first Italian man to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Cristiano Caratti in 1991. Just 3 Italian men have reached the quarterfinals here in Australian Open history.

 

  • Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori are both looking to record milestone quarterfinal berths when they go head-to-head on Rod Laver Arena. A win for Federer would earn him a place in a remarkable 49th Grand Slam quarterfinal, while a victory for Nishikori would see the world No. 5 overtake Jiri Satoh and book a place in his 7th Grand Slam quarterfinal – the most in history for any Japanese player.

 

 

1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v MISCHA ZVEREV (GER)

Head-to-head: Murray leads 1-0

2015     Munich              Clay (O)            R16      Murray              62 62

 

A 2nd Tour-level meeting for the pair, but their first on a hard court and their first at a Grand Slam.

 

These 2 players also played at Juniors and Futures level early in their careers, with Murray winning all 3 of their encounters – in the boys’ singles semifinals en route to his junior US Open triumph in 2004 and at the Great Britain F10 Futures in 2003 and the Italy F8 Futures in 2005.

 

Murray has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 50 today’s opponent at a Grand Slam since losing to No. 51 Juan Ignacio Chela here in 2006.

 

MURRAY                                       v                                        ZVEREV

 

29                                          Age                                          29

1                                    ATP Ranking                                   50

44                                         Titles                                          0

179-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                       8-17

48-11                        Australian Open Record                          4-5

637-175                              Career Record                               85-125

429-114                        Career Record – Hard                           56-71

7-1                                   2017 Record                                   5-2

7-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-2

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           1-3

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                         49-54

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-3

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for the 8th straight year and move into joint-4th place with Rafael Nadal on the list for most consecutive appearances in the last 8 here.

                           No. of consecutive Australian Open quarterfinals (Open Era)

Roger Federer 11
Stefan Edberg 10
Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray??

9

8??*

Rafael Nadal 8**

*Streak active.  **Nadal missed the 2013 Australian Open with a knee injury

 

  • Murray is also looking to reach his 8th quarterfinal here and join Ivan Lendl, Nadal and John Newcombe in joint-4th place on the Open Era list for most Australian Open quarterfinal appearances.

 

                                    Most Australian Open quarterfinal appearances (Open Era)

Player Quarterfinal appearances
Roger Federer 13??
Stefan Edberg 10
Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal

9

9??

Ivan Lendl

Andy Murray

John Newcombe

8

8??

8

Andre Agassi 7

Active players in bold.

 

  • Murray is bidding to record his 49th Australian Open match-win and move ahead of Andre Agassi and Lendl on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins.

 

 

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer 83-13
Novak Djokovic 58-7
Stefan Edberg 56-10
Andre Agassi

Ivan Lendl

Andy Murray

Rafael Nadal

48-5

48-10

48-11

48-10

Active players in bold. Figures accurate through AO 3rd round

 

  • Murray advanced to the round of 16 for the 9th consecutive year – and 10th time in total – after defeating Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62, qualifier Andrey Rublev 63 60 62 and No. 31 seed Sam Querrey 64 62 64 in the opening 3 rounds.

 

  • Murray and compatriot Daniel Evans are both bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for Great Britain. The last time Great Britain had multiple representation in the men’s singles quarterfinals at the Australian Open was in 1977, when John Lloyd and Robin Drysdale reached the last 8. The last time Great Britain had multiple representation in the men’s singles quarterfinals at any Grand Slam was at 1997 Wimbledon, when Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski reached that stage.

 

  • By reaching the round of 16 here, Murray and Evans have ensured Great Britain has multiple representation in the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the first time since 2001, when Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski reached this stage.

 

  • Murray is looking to avoid suffering the earliest exit for the top seed at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt fell at this stage here in 2003 (see Preview page 9).

 

  • Murray has lost in the round of 16 here twice before – in 5-set matches in both 2007 (l. Rafael Nadal) and 2009 (l. Fernando Versdasco). He has a 23-9 career win-loss record in 5-set matches, and a 2-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • If Murray wins, he will play either No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori or No. 17 seed Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. He trails Federer 11-14 but leads Nishikori 8-2 in their previous meetings.

 

  • By winning his 3rd round match here, Murray recorded his 179th Grand Slam match-win and took sole ownership of 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins ahead of Stefan Edberg (178-47) (see Preview page 5).

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.
  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 4 Grand Slam champions through to the round of 16 here from the 6 who started the men’s main draw. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray has won 12 of his last 13 matches against lefthanders at the Grand Slams. His only defeat during that time came at 2014 Roland Garros, when he fell to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • Lefthander ZVEREV is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

 

  • By reaching the round of 16 here, Zverev has recorded his best Grand Slam performance. On his first appearance here since 2011, he defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 63 76(5) 64, No. 19 seed John Isner 67(4) 67(4) 64 76(7) 97 and Malek Jaziri 61 46 63 60 in the opening 3 rounds. This is only the 5th time he has advanced beyond the 1st round at a Grand Slam in 18 appearances at the majors.

 

  • Zverev’s 5-set win over Isner in the 2nd round was his first career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 2-3. It was his first 5-set match-win since he won his first 5-set match in qualifying at 2007 Wimbledon (d. Stefano Galvani).

 

  • Zverev’s previous best Australian Open performance was reaching the 2nd round on his debut as a qualifier in 2007 (l. Robby Ginepri). He fell in the 1st round on his 4 other appearances here – in 2008 (l. Tommy Robredo), 2009 (l. Juan Martin del Potro), 2010 (l. Lukasz Kubot) and 2011 (l. Janko Tipsarevic). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 18th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Zverev is looking to defeat a world No. 1 for the first time. He fell to Novak Djokovic in his only previous meeting with a world No. 1 in the quarterfinals at 2016 Shanghai-1000. His career-best win came against No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals at 2016 Basel – one of 5 career victories against a Top 10 player in 17 attempts.

 

  • If Zverev wins, he will play either No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori or No. 17 seed Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. He trails Federer 0-2 in their previous meetings, but has never faced Nishikori.

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Zverev reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at the US Open (d. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, l. Jack Sock). It was his first Grand Slam appearance since 2012 Roland Garros and his first Grand Slam match-win since he reached the 2nd round at 2009 Wimbledon (d. Dmitry Tursunov, Philip Petzschner).

 

  • Zverev failed to qualify for the Grand Slams on 11 occasions after his main draw appearance at 2012 Roland Garros before finally qualifying successfully at the 2016 US Open. He has successfully qualified for the majors on just 4 occasions in 21 attempts – including on his debut here in 2007. He failed in his only other attempts to qualify for the Australian Open in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

 

  • Zverev warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at both Brisbane (d. Alex De Minaur, l. Rafael Nadal) and Sydney (d. Nicolas Almagro, l. Pablo Carreno Busta).
  • Zverev climbed to No. 50 in the rankings on 9 January 2017 after reaching the 2nd round at Brisbane – his highest ranking since he reached a career-high ranking of No. 48 on 5 October 2009.

 

  • Zverev’s 2016 highlights include reaching the semifinals as a qualifier at Basel (l. Marin Cilic) and the quarterfinals as a qualifier at both Shanghai-1000 (l. Novak Djokovic) and Shenzhen (l. Richard Gasquet). He qualified for 10 Tour-level events in 2016 – the most of any player on record. He also won the title at the Sarasota Challenger (USA) (d. Gerald Melzer).

 

  • Zverev has won 2 career doubles titles – alongside Mikhail Youzhny at 2008 Halle and 2008 Tokyo. He entered the men’s doubles event here with Nenad Zimonjic – they defeated Dustin Brown/Albert Ramos-Vinolas 76(5) 62 in the 1st round, but fell to Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan 63 62 in the 2nd round on Saturday.

 

  • Zverev is coached by his father, Alexander Zverev Sr.

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 8-3

2006     Hamburg                      Clay (O)            R64      Seppi                26 76(4) 61

2006     Nottingham                   Grass (O)          R32      Seppi                76(7) 46 64

2009     Indian Wells-1000          Hard (O)           R64      Wawrinka          61 63

2009     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R64      Wawrinka          75 75

2009     Davis Cup (WG-PO)       Clay (O)            R1        Wawrinka          64 61 62

2010     Stockholm                    Hard (I)             R32      Wawrinka          62 62

2010     Valencia                        Hard (O)           R32      Wawrinka          76(2) 75

2012     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            R16      Seppi                67(1) 76(6) 76(6)

2013     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)           R64      Wawrinka          63 64

2013     Beijing                          Hard (O)           R32      Wawrinka          46 63 64

2014     Indian Wells-1000          Hard (O)           R32      Wawrinka          60 62

 

A 12th career meeting for the pair, but their first at a Grand Slam. Seppi won their first 2 meetings in 2006, but Wawrinka has won 8 of their 9 meetings since then, including all 7 of their meetings on a hard court.

 

Wawrinka also won the only best-of-5-sets-match the two have contested – the first rubber of a 2009 Davis Cup World Group play-off – in straight sets.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                         SEPPI

 

31                                          Age                                          32

4                                    ATP Ranking                                   89

15                                         Titles                                          3

122-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      48-47

34-10                        Australian Open Record                        15-11

444-253                              Career Record                              312-332

248-141                        Career Record – Hard                         143-176

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   3-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-0

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                         21-15

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

182-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                       116-148

2-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            3-2

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the quarterfinals here for a 4th time.

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the round of 16 here for the 5th straight year after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64, Steve Johnson 63 64 64 and No. 29 seed Viktor Troicki 36 62 62 76(7) in the opening 3 rounds. His 5-set victory over Klizan in the 1st round improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Wawrinka has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 89 today’s opponent at the Australian Open. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to here is No. 73 Marc Gicquel in the 2nd round in 2008, when he retired with a strained stomach muscle while trailing 62 36 76 2-1.

 

  • The last time Wawrinka lost to a player ranked as low as today’s opponent was when he fell to No. 91 Jan-Lennard Struff in the 2nd round at 2016 Paris-1000.

 

  • If he wins today, Wawrinka will play either No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Daniel Evans in the quarterfinals. He leads Tsonga 4-3 and Evans 1-0 in their previous head-to-heads.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 4 Grand Slam champions to reach the round of 16 here from the 6 who started in the men’s draw.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam for the first time.

 

  • Seppi is looking to become the first Italian man to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Cristiano Caratti in 1991. Just 3 Italian men have reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in history. The last Italian man to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam was Fabio Fognini at 2011 Roland Garros.

                               

    Italian men in Australian Open quarterfinals (all-time)

Giorgio de Stefani 1935 Australian Championships
Nicola Pietrangeli 1957 Australian Championships
Cristiano Caratti 1991 Australian Open

 

  • If he wins today and reaches the quarterfinals for the first time on his 48th Grand Slam appearance, Seppi will go 2nd in the list for the most Open Era Grand Slam appearances before reaching a quarterfinal:

 

Fabrice Santoro

Andreas Seppi??

Sam Querrey

54

48??

38

Mark Woodforde 38
Todd Woodbridge 34
Philipp Kohlschreiber 33

 

  • If he wins today and reaches the quarterfinals for the first time on his 12th Australian Open appearance, Seppi will go 2nd in the list for the most Open Era Australian Open appearances before reaching a quarterfinal:

 

Fabrice Santoro

Andres Seppi??

Gael Monfils

Mark Woodforde

14

12??

11

11

Nicolas Almagro 9
Lleyton Hewitt

Pat Rafter

9
9

 

  • Seppi is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam for the 2nd time. His only win over a Top 10 player at a major came against No. 2 Roger Federer in the 3rd round here in 2015. He has a 1-10 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the majors overall.

 

  • Seppi is bidding to end a 10-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition. He has not defeated a Top 10 player since No. 5 Kei Nishikori retired with a calf injury with Seppi leading 4-1 in the semifinals at 2015 Halle.

 

  • Seppi is bidding to defeat 2 seeded players at the same Grand Slam event for the 2nd time. He has achieved the feat once before – defeating No. 29 seed Jeremy Chardy and No. 2 seed Roger Federer here in 2015. He has a 10-26 win-loss record against seeded players at the majors overall.

 

  • Seppi advanced to the round of 16 here for the 3rd time after defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75, No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgios 16 67(1) 64 62 10-8, saving a match point, and Steve Darcis 46 64 76(1) 76(2).

 

  • By reaching the round of 16 here, Seppi has equalled his best Grand Slam performance. He also reached the round of 16 on at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Chardy) and 2015 (l. Kyrgios), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Seppi’s 2nd round win over Kyrgios here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and his 2nd 0-2 comeback at the Australian Open. He also came back from 0-2 down against Arnaud Clement in the 1st round here in 2011. He has a 22-15 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 7-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches here.

 

  • By reaching the round of 16 here, Seppi has recorded 3 straight Tour-level match-wins for the first time since he reached the semifinals at 2016 Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). His wins here are his first at Tour-level since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.

 

  • If he wins today, Seppi will play either No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Daniel Evans in the quarterfinals. He trails Tsonga 3-1 in their previous meetings but has never faced Evans.

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham. He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 

 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v NO. 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI)

Head-to-head: Federer leads 4-2  

2011     Basel                            Hard (I)             FR        Federer             61 63

2013     Madrid-1000                  Clay (O)            R16      Nishikori           64 16 62

2014     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           QF        Nishikori           36 75 64

2014     Halle                             Grass (O)          SF        Federer             63 76(4)

2014     ATP World Tour Finals   Hard (I)             RR        Federer             63 62

2015     ATP World Tour Finals   Hard (I)             RR        Federer             75 46 64

 

A 7th career meeting for the 2 players, but their first at a Grand Slam.

 

Nishikori is bidding to end a 3-match losing streak against Federer – the last time he defeated the Swiss was in the quarterfinals at 2014 Miami-1000. Federer has won their other 3 hard court meetings.

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                       FEDERER

 

27                                          Age                                          35

5                                    ATP Ranking                                   17

11                                         Titles                                         88

63-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                     310-51

23-7                         Australian Open Record                        83-13

307-143                              Career Record                             1083-245

217-100                        Career Record – Hard                         667-135

6-1                                   2017 Record                                   3-0

6-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-0

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                         24-20

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                        10

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                       396-215

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for the 4th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Nishikori is bidding to reach his 7th Grand Slam quarterfinal and take sole ownership of 1st place ahead of Jiri Satoh for the most major quarterfinals reached by a Japanese man. Satoh (6 quarterfinals) and Zenzo Shimizu (3) are the only other Japanese players to reach multiple quarterfinals at a major.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the round of 16 for the 6th straight year after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62, Jeremy Chardy 63 64 63 and qualifier Lukas Lacko 64 64 64 in the opening 3 rounds. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s 1st round victory against Kuznetsov maintained his record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • The Australian Open is Nishikori’s most successful Grand Slam in terms of match-wins. He has a 23-7 win-loss record here compared to 18-8 at the US Open, 11-6 at Roland Garros and 11-7 at Wimbledon.

 

  • Nishikori has won just 4 of his last 5 matches against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams. His only win in that time came against No. 2 Murray in the quarterfinals at the 2016 US Open. He has a 9-18 win-loss record against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams overall.

 

  • If he wins today, Nishikori will face either No. 1 Murray or Mischa Zverev in the quarterfinals. He trails Murray 2-8 in their previous meetings but has never faced Zverev.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining today’s opponent, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • 4-time Australian Open champion FEDERER is bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for the 13th time and extend his record for most Australian Open quarterfinals.

 

                                    Most Australian Open quarterfinal appearances (Open Era)

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer 13??
Stefan Edberg 10
Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal

9

9??

Ivan Lendl

Andy Murray

John Newcombe

8

8??

8

Andre Agassi 7

Active players in bold

 

  • Federer is bidding to reach his 49th Grand Slam quarterfinal. By reaching the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon, he took sole occupancy of 1st place for the most Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances in the Open Era ahead of Connors.

Most Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances (Open Era)

Player No. of appearances
Roger Federer 49??
Jimmy Connors 41
Novak Djokovic 37
Andre Agassi 36
Ivan Lendl 34

 

  • The Australian Open is Federer’s 2nd most successful Grand Slam event in terms of matches won and quarterfinals reached:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titles won Win-loss record Quarterfinals reached
Australian Open 4 83-13 12
Roland Garros 1 65-16 11
Wimbledon 7 84-11 14
US Open 5 78-11 11

 

  • Federer advanced to the round of 16 here for the 15th time and extended his record for most appearances in the round of 16 at the Australian Open in the Open Era after defeating qualifiers Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 and Noah Rubin 75 63 76(3) and No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych 62 64 64 in the opening 3 rounds.

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the oldest man to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since Jimmy Connors (39 years 6 days) at the 1991 US Open.

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the oldest man to reach the quarterfinals at the Australian Open since Arthur Ashe (35 years 177 days) in 1978.

 

  • If he wins today, Federer will face either No. 1 Andy Murray or Mischa Zverev in the quarterfinals. He leads Murray 14-11 and Zverev 2-0 in their previous meetings.

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Murray 63 64 76(11)).
  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of the 4 Grand Slam champions through to the round of 16 here from the 6 who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

 

 

 12 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA (FRA) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Tsonga’s last defeat to a player ranked outside the Top 50 came in a 5-set defeat to No. 78 Lukas Rosol in the 2016 Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals. His last defeat to a player ranked outside the Top 50 at a major came at 2016 Roland Garros, when he retired with an adductor injury when leading No. 80 Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the opening set.

 

Tsonga has never lost to a player ranked outside the Top 50 at the Australian Open. The lowest-ranked player to defeat him here is No. 46 Alexandr Dolgopolov in the 3rd round in 2011.

 

Evans has won his last 2 matches against Top 20 opposition – defeating No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals at Sydney prior to coming here to end a 9-match losing streak against Top 20 opposition, and No. 7 Marin Cilic in the 2nd round here. He has a 3-10 win-loss record against Top 20 players overall, with his only other win against a Top 20 player coming against No. 12 Kei Nishikori in the 1st round at the 2013 US Open.

 

                          TSONGA                                       v                                         EVANS

 

31                                          Age                                          26

12                                   ATP Ranking                                   51

12                                         Titles                                          0

111-35                     Career Grand Slam Record                        9-7

33-9                         Australian Open Record                          3-1

393-181                              Career Record                                28-35

263-117                        Career Record – Hard                           20-23

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   7-1

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              7-1

15-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

183-135                      Career Tiebreak Record                         19-19

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            3-1

 

  • 2008 Australian Open runner-up TSONGA is bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2013.

 

  • Tsonga is bidding to reach his 5th quarterfinal here and overtake Sebastien Grosjean for the most Australian Open quarterfinal appearances by a Frenchman. Grosjean is the only other Frenchman to have reached 4 Australian Open quarterfinals.

 

  • Tsonga is through to the round of 16 here for the 8th time. He defeated Thiago Monteiro 61 63 67(5) 62, Dusan Lajovic 62 62 63 and No. 23 seed Jack Sock 76(4) 75 67(8) 63 in the opening 3 rounds.

 

  • Tsonga has lost in the round of 16 here on 3 occasions – in 2012, when he lost to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets, in 2014 (l. Roger Federer) and 2016 (l. Nishikori). Tsonga has a 15-9 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 3-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
  • If Tsonga wins today, he will play either No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka or Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinals. He trails Wawrinka 3-4 but leads Seppi 3-1 in their previous meetings.

 

  • By defeating Thiago Monteiro in the 1st round here, Tsonga claimed the record for the most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman ahead of Jean Borotra (108-23). He has a 111-35 win-loss record at the majors.
  • Tsonga’s best Grand Slam result to date is a runner-up finish at the 2008 Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic). He defeated three Top 10 players (Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal) en route to the final. This is his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tsonga warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha, where he lost to Tomas Berdych in straight sets. He also played a match at the Kooyong Exhibition Event, defeating Borna Coric 63 76.
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Tsonga reached the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon (l. Murray) and the US Open, where he retired with a left knee injury while trailing Djokovic 63 62. He reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros, where he retired with an adductor injury when leading Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the first set.
  • Away from the Grand Slams, Tsonga’s best result in 2016 came at Vienna, where he reached the final
    (l. Murray). He also reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and Monte Carlo-1000
    (l. Gael Monfils). Last year was the first year he did not win a title since 2010.
  • Tsonga is a former Top 5 player. He reached a career-high No. 5 in the world in February 2012 and plays here at No. 12.
  • Tsonga has played Davis Cup for France since 2008. He has played a total of 17 ties, achieving an 18-7 win-loss record in singles and a 24-8 win-loss record overall. France take on Japan at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo in the 2017 World Group first round on 3-5 February.
  • Tsonga is coached by Thierry Ascione.
  • EVANS is bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time.

 

  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61, No. 7 seed Marin Cilic 36 75 63 63 and No. 27 seed Bernard Tomic 75 76(2) 76(3) to record his first Australian Open match-wins. His win over No. 7 Cilic was his career-best win and his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Evans is bidding to become the first British man other than Andy Murray to reach the quarterfinals at the Australian Open since John Lloyd fell in the last 8 here in 1985. Tim Henman is the last British man other than Murray to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal – when he reached the semifinals at the 2004 US Open.

 

  • Evans and Murray are both bidding to reach the quarterfinals here for Great Britain. The last time Great Britain had multiple representation in the men’s singles quarterfinals at the Australian Open was in 1977, when John Lloyd and Robin Drysdale reached the last 8. The last time Great Britain had multiple representation in the men’s singles quarterfinals at any Grand Slam was at 1997 Wimbledon, when Henman and Greg Rusedski reached that stage.

 

  • By reaching the round of 16 here, Evans and Murray have ensured Great Britain has multiple representation in the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the first time since 2001, when Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski reached this stage here.

 

  • By reaching the round of 16 here, Evans has become the first British man other than Murray to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Henman in 2002.

 

  • By reaching the round of 16 here, Evans has recorded his best Grand Slam result. His previous best result at a major is reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Evans is bidding to record 4 straight Tour-level match-wins for the 2nd time in his career. The only time he has recorded 4 consecutive Tour-level match-wins was in finishing runner-up at 2017 Sydney (l. Gilles Muller) prior to coming here. By reaching the round of 16 here, he has recorded 3 straight Tour-level match wins for the 3rd time in his career having also reached the semifinals at 2014 Zagreb (l. Tommy Haas).

 

  • If Evans wins today, he will play either No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka or Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinals. He trails Wawrinka 0-1 in their previous meetings, having missed a match point in a 5-set defeat at the 2016 US Open, but has never faced Seppi.

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here – in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney. He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

*** Statistics provided by the Australian Open Media team and the International Tennis Federation.

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2017 Australian Open – Day 5 Men’s Preview

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 5 MEN’S NOTES

Friday 20 January

3rd Round Top Half

 

Kei Nishikori

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v No. 31 Sam Querrey (USA)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v No. 29 Viktor Troicki (SRB)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v (Q) Lukas Lacko (SVK)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI)

No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v No. 23 Jack Sock (USA)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

Steve Darcis (BEL) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Mischa Zverev (GER) v Malek Jaziri (TUN)

 

On court today…

 

  • After Novak Djokovic’s surprise defeat on Thursday, world No. 1 Andy Murray is looking to avoid an upset of his own when he takes on Sam Querrey. The American, who ended an 8-match losing streak against world No. 1s to end Djokovic’s title defence at last year’s Wimbledon, will hope to cause another surprise and defeat Murray for only the 2nd time in their 8th meeting. A win for Murray would be his 48th at the Australian Open, which would see him equal Andre Agassi and his coach Ivan Lendl in joint 4th-place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins.

 

  • Tomas Berdych is seeking to end a 5-match losing streak against Roger Federer as the pair meet for a 23rd time in the night session on Rod Laver Arena. This is the pair’s 7th meeting at a Grand Slam – but the first time that they have met before the round of 16 at a major. Berdych has won 2 of their 6 previous Grand Slam encounters, but has not beaten the Swiss in any of their 3 meetings in Melbourne.

 

  • Querrey and Jack Sock, who takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, are both looking for a place in the round of 16 here. The last time as many as 2 Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • Mischa Zverev and younger brother Alexander Zverev are the first pair of brothers to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Byron and Wayne Black reached this stage here in 1998. Mischa takes on Malek Jaziri on Show Court 2 today.

 1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v NO. 31 SAM QUERREY (USA)

Head-to-head: Murray leads 6-1

2006     Newport                        Grass (O)          R16      Murray              75 62

2008     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)           R32      Murray              76(3) 61

2008     AMS Paris                    Hard (I)             R32      Murray              62 64

2010     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R16      Murray             75 63 64

2010     Los Angeles                  Hard (O)           FR        Querrey             57 76(2) 63

2012     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)           R32      Murray              62 64

2014     Davis Cup (WG-1R)       Clay (O)            R4        Murray              76(5) 67(3) 61 63

 

An 8th career meeting for the 2 players, and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Querrey’s only victory over Murray came in winning the title at 2010 Los Angeles.

 

Murray has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 32 Querrey at a Grand Slam since losing to No. 38 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 1st round here in 2008 – one of only 4 occasions he has lost to players ranked outside the Top 30 at a major.

 

MURRAY                                       v                                      QUERREY

 

29                                          Age                                          29

1                                    ATP Ranking                                   32

44                                         Titles                                          8

178-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                      41-39

47-11                        Australian Open Record                        11-10

636-175                              Career Record                              287-236

428-114                        Career Record – Hard                         198-151

6-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

6-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                          4-10

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                       143-143

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-1

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to record his 48th Australian Open match-win and equal Andre Agassi and his coach Ivan Lendl in joint 4th-place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins. Rafael Nadal could also record his 48th match-win here if he reaches the round of 16 here. [NB written prior to Nadal’s 2nd round match on Thursday.]

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer 82-13
Novak Djokovic 58-7
Stefan Edberg 56-10
Andre Agassi

Ivan Lendl

48-5

48-10

Andy Murray

Rafael Nadal

Pete Sampras

47-11
46-10*45-9

Active players in bold. *Figures accurate prior to Nadal’s 2nd round match here.

 

  • Murray is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 9th straight year. He defeated Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62 in the 1st round and qualifier Andrey Rublev 63 60 62 in the 2nd. He is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray is bidding to record his 179th Grand Slam match-win and take sole ownership of 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins ahead of Stefan Edberg (178-47) (see Preview page 5).

 

  • Murray is looking to avoid suffering the earliest exit for the top seed at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt fell in the 1st round here in 2002 (see Preview page 9).

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • QUERREY is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time.

 

  • Querrey advanced to the 3rd round after defeating wild card Quentin Halys 67(10) 76(4) 63 64 and wild card Alex De Minaur 76(5) 60 61 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Querrey is one of 2 Americans through to the 3rd round here along with Jack Sock. The last time multiple Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here for the 5th time, Querrey has equalled his best Australian Open result. He also reached the 3rd round on his debut here as a wild card in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), and as a direct acceptance in 2008 (l. Novak Djokovic), 2013 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2014 (l. Fabio Fognini). This is his 11th Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Querrey is bidding to record his 2nd career match-win against a world No. 1. He ended an 8-match losing streak against No. 1 ranked players by defeating Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round at 2016 Wimbledon in his most recent meeting with a No. 1 player. It was his first victory against a No. 1 player.

 

  • Querrey’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). His victory over then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round saw him become the first American to beat a world No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals in 1985. He was the first American to beat a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals at the 2002 US Open.

 

  • Querrey fell in the 1st round at the other 3 Grand Slams in 2016. He retired with cramping at 2-sets all against Dusan Lajovic in the 1st round here, before falling to Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros and Janko Tipsarevic at the US Open.

 

  • Querrey warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the 1st round. He finished as runner-up in the doubles event with Gilles Muller, falling to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson.

 

  • Querrey won his 8th career-singles title at 2016 Delray Beach (d. Rajeev Ram). 6 of his 8 career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he reached the semifinals at Memphis (l. Kei Nishikori), Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Querrey is a former Top 20 player, having recorded a career-high ranking of No. 17 in January 2011. He plays here at No. 32.

 

  • Querrey has entered the men’s doubles event here with Donald Young. They defeated defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares 63 76(5) in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Querry is coached by Craig Boynton, who also works with Steve Johnson.

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v NO. 29 VIKTOR TROICKI (SRB)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 7-0

2009     Monte Carlo-1000          Clay (O)            R64      Wawrinka          62 63

2010     Belgrade                       Clay (O)            QF        Wawrinka          75 67(3) 76(6)

2015     Shanghai-1000             Hard (O)           R32      Wawrinka          76(3) 63

2015     Paris-1000                    Hard (I)             R16      Wawrinka          64 75

2016     Roland Garros            Clay (O)           R16      Wawrinka         76(5) 67(7) 63 62

2016     St Petersburg               Hard (I)             QF        Wawrinka          75 62

2017     Brisbane                       Hard (O)           R16      Wawrinka          76(5) 64

 

An 8th career meeting between these 2 players and their 2nd at a Grand Slam.

 

Troicki is looking to end a 7-match losing streak against Wawrinka, who has dropped just 2 sets in his 7 previous encounters with the Serb.

 

Wawrinka has won all 4 of their hard court meetings in straight sets, most recently in the 2nd round at Brisbane earlier this month.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                        TROICKI

 

31                                          Age                                          30

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            35

15                                         Titles                                          3

121-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      45-31

33-10                        Australian Open Record                         11-8

443-253                              Career Record                              262-224

247-141                        Career Record – Hard                         171-140

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                         17-14

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         92-94

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the round of 16 here for the 5th straight year.

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday and Steve Johnson 63 64 64 in the 2nd round on Wednesday. His 5-set victory over Klizan in the 1st round improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka has not lost as early as the 3rd round at the Australian Open since 2012, when as No. 21 seed he fell to Nicolas Almagro at this stage. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • TROICKI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 9th Australian Open and his 32nd Grand Slam appearance.

 

  • Troicki advanced to the 3rd round here after winning consecutive 5-set matches for the 2nd time in his career. He defeated Damir Dzumhur 64 64 26 26 63 and Paolo Lorenzi 63 16 76(3) 36 63 in the opening 2 rounds to improve his career 5-set win-loss record to 18-14. He also won his first 2 matches at 2012 Wimbledon in 5-sets, defeating Marcel Granollers and Martin Klizan.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Troicki has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 3rd round here in 2011 (l. Djokovic), 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych) and 2016 (l. Milos Raonic).

 

  • Troicki’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 on 5 occasions – at Roland Garros in 2011 (l. Andy Murray), 2013 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and 2016 (l. today’s opponent), and at Wimbledon in 2012 and 2015 (l. Vasek Pospisil).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, as well as reaching the round of 16 at Roland Garros and the 3rd round here, Troicki fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas) and the US Open (l. Jared Donaldson).

 

  • Troicki’s other highlights in 2016 included defending his title in Sydney (d. Grigor Dimitrov) and finishing runner-up at Sofia (l. Roberto Bautista Agut). He also reached 2 semifinals – at Winston-Salem (l. Bautista Agut) and Chengdu (l. Karen Khachanov) – and 3 further quarterfinals.

 

  • Troicki warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 3 seed at Sydney (l. Gilles Muller), after falling in the 2nd round at Brisbane (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Troicki has won just one of his last 10 matches against Top 5 opponents. His only win in that time came in the 2nd round at 2016 Shanghai-1000 when he defeated No. 5 Rafael Nadal. Overall, he has a 3-38 win-loss record against Top 5 opposition and has never beaten a Top 5 player at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Troicki has entered the men’s doubles here with Dusan Lajovic. They defeated Renzo Olivo/Guido Pella 64 36 63 in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Troicki was a member of the ITF Junior Touring Team in Europe and North America in 2004, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

 

  • Troicki is coached by Jack Reader.

 

 

 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v (Q) LUKAS LACKO (SVK)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

2012     Miami-1000       Hard (O)           R64      Nishikori           63 63

2014     Washington       Hard (O)           R16      Nishikori           62 26 63

 

A 3rd meeting for these 2 players, and their first at a Grand Slam.

 

Nishikori has not lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 since he lost to No. 179th-ranked qualifier Daniel Evans in the 1st round at the 2013 US Open. His defeat to Evans at the 2013 US Open was also his only defeat to a qualifier at a major. He has a 6-1 win-loss record against qualifiers at the majors.

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                         LACKO

 

27                                          Age                                          29

5                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            121

11                                         Titles                                          0

62-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      13-28

22-7                         Australian Open Record                          7-8

306-143                              Career Record                               80-118

216-100                        Career Record – Hard                           63-79

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                           7-7

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                         48-41

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 6th straight year. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday and Jeremy Chardy 63 64 63 in the 2nd round on Wednesday.

 

  • Nishikori’s 1st round victory against Kuznetsov maintained his record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • Qualifier LACKO is bidding to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time. This is his 9th appearance in Melbourne and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Lacko has equalled his best Grand Slam performance. He also reached the 3rd round as a qualifier at the 2012 Australian Open (l. Rafael Nadal) and at Wimbledon as a direct acceptance in 2012 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and as a qualifier in 2016 (l. Marin Cilic).
  • Lacko advanced to 3rd round after defeating No. 26 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 46 75 16 64 63 in the 1st round on Monday and Dudi Sela 26 63 62 64 in the 2nd round on Wednesday. His 5-set win over Ramos-Vinolas improved his 5-set win-loss record to 7-7. He has a 3-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
  • As No. 10 seed, Lacko defeated Jeremy Jahn (GER) 62 63, Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) 46 62 62 and No. 18 seed Denis Kudla (USA) 62 62 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here.
  • Last year here, Lacko fell in the 1st round of qualifying (l. Frank Dancevic). Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, he reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Ernesto Escobedo). He did not attempt to qualify at Roland Garros.
  • Lacko won just 4 Tour-level matches in 2016. As well as reaching the 3rd round at Wimbledon, he reached the 2nd round at Houston (d. Dmitry Tursunov, l. Feliciano Lopez) and Washington (d. Denis Shapovalov, l. Jack Sock).
  • Also in 2016, Lacko reached the final at the Guangzhou Challenger (CHN) (l. Nikoloz Basilashvili) and reached the semifinals at 4 other Challenger events – Manila (PHI) (l. Mikhail Youzhny), Seoul (KOR) (l. Yen-Hsun Lu), Tashkent (UZB) (l. Denis Istomin) and Brescia (ITA) (l. Luca Vanni).
  • Lacko is bidding to record his first win against a Top 5 player He has lost all 10 of his previous meetings with Top 5 opponents. His career-best win came against No. 17 Sam Querrey at 2011 San Jose, the only time he has beaten a player ranked in the Top 20.
  • Lacko is a former Top 50 player. He ended 2012 with a career-best year-end ranking of No. 50, peaking at No. 44 in January 2013. He plays here at No. 121.
  • Lacko was ranked 3 in the junior rankings in 2005. He reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at 2005 Roland Garros (l. Antal Van Der Duim) and the quarterfinals of the boys’ singles at the 2005 Australian Open (l. Sergei Bubka).
  • Lacko is coached by Karol Kucera

 

10 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE) v NO. 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI)

Head-to-head: Federer leads 16-6  

2004     Olympic Tennis Event, Athens    Hard (O)           R32      Berdych            46 75 75

2005     AMS Hamburg                          Clay (O)            R32      Federer             62 61

2006     French Open                             Clay (O)            R16      Federer             63 62 63

2006     Halle                                         Grass (O)          F          Federer             60 67(4) 62

2006     Wimbledon                              Grass (O)         R16      Federer            63 63 64

2007     Davis Cup (WG-PO)                   Carpet (I)          R4        Federer             76(5) 76(10) 63

2008     Australian Open                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer            64 76(7) 63

2008     Beijing                                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer             63 76(4)

2009     Australian Open                       Hard (O)           R16      Federer            46 67(4) 64 64 62

2010     Miami-1000                               Hard (O)           R16      Berdych            64 67(3) 76(6)

2010     Wimbledon                              Grass (O)         QF        Berdych           64 36 61 64

2010     Toronto-1000                             Hard (O)           QF        Federer             63 57 76(5)

2011     Cincinnati                                  Hard (O)           QF        Berdych            62 76(3)

2011     Paris-1000                                 Hard (I)             SF        Federer             64 63

2012     Madrid-1000                              Clay (O)            F          Federer             36 75 75

2012     US Open                                  Hard (O)           QF        Berdych           76(1) 64 36 63

2013     Dubai                                       Hard (O)           SF        Berdych            36 76(8) 64

2014     Dubai                                       Hard (O)           F          Federer             36 64 63

2015     Indian Wells-1000                      Hard (O)           QF        Federer             64 60

2015     Rome-1000                               Clay (O)            QF        Federer             63 63

2015     ATP World Tour Finals               Hard (I)             RR       Federer             64 62

2016     Australian Open                       Hard (O)           QF        Federer            76(4) 62 64

 

A 23rd career meeting for the 2 players, who first met over 12 years ago when Berdych upset top seed Federer in the 2nd round at the 2004 Olympic Tennis Event. This is their 7th meeting at a Grand Slam and 4th at the Australian Open.

 

Berdych is bidding to end a 5-match losing streak against Federer – the last time he defeated the Swiss was in the semifinals at 2013 Dubai.

 

Berdych has beaten Federer at a Grand Slam on 2 previous occasions – at 2010 Wimbledon, when he went on to reach his first, and, to date, only, Grand Slam final and at the 2012 US Open. This is the first time that the pair have met as early as the 3rd round at a major.

 

On hard courts, Federer leads the head-to-head 9-5. He has also won both of their previous meetings in Melbourne – in the round of 16 in both 2008 and 2009, when he recovered from 0-2 down to win, and in straight sets in the quarterfinals last year.

 

                         BERDYCH                                      v                                       FEDERER

 

31                                          Age                                          35

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            17

13                                         Titles                                         88

132-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                     309-51

40-13                        Australian Open Record                        82-13

586-304                              Career Record                             1082-245

366-193                        Career Record – Hard                         666-135

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                         24-20

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                        10

202-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                       396-215

3-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year.

 

  • Berdych advanced to the 3rd round when he defeated Ryan Harrison 63 76(6) 62 on Wednesday. In the 1st round, Luca Vanni retired with a groin strain after Berdych had won the first set 61.
  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to today’s opponent 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated today’s opponent in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.
  • FEDERER is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 15th time and extend his record for most appearances in the round of 16 at the Australian Open in the Open Era.

 

  • Federer advanced to the 3rd round for the 18th consecutive year after defeating qualifiers Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 and Noah Rubin 75 63 76(3) in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Federer’s earliest exit in Melbourne is falling in the 3rd round on 3 occasions – on his debut here in 2000 (l. Arnaud Clement), in 2001 (l. Clement) and in 2015 (l. Andreas Seppi).

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.
  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

 

 

 

 12 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA (FRA) v NO. 23 JACK SOCK (USA)

Head-to-head: Tsonga leads 2-0

2015     Madrid-1000      Clay (O)            R32      Tsonga             63 16 76(4)

2016     US Open          Hard (O)           R16      Tsonga             63 63 67(7) 62

 

A 3rd career meeting for the pair, and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Tsonga has won both of their previous encounters, including a 4-set win at the US Open last year.

 

                          TSONGA                                       v                                          SOCK

 

31                                          Age                                          24

12                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            20

12                                         Titles                                          2

110-35                     Career Grand Slam Record                      24-16

32-9                         Australian Open Record                          4-2

392-181                              Career Record                               121-82

262-117                        Career Record – Hard                           84-60

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-0

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-0

15-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           4-1

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

182-134                      Career Tiebreak Record                         53-47

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • TSONGA is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 8th time. This is his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tsonga advanced to the 3rd round here after defeating Thiago Monteiro 61 63 67(5) 62 and Dusan Lajovic 62 62 63 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • By defeating Thiago Monteiro in the 1st round here, Tsonga claimed the record for the most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman ahead of Jean Borotra (108-23). He has a 110-35 win-loss record at the majors.
  • Tsonga is bidding to avoid his earliest defeat at the Australian Open since he fell in 5 sets to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the 3rd round here in 2011. Tsonga has a 15-9 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 3-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
  • Tsonga is on a 10-match winning streak against American opposition at the Grand Slams. Andy Roddick is the only American to defeat Tsonga at a major – at 2005 Roland Garros and at the 2007 Australian Open.
  • Tsonga’s best Grand Slam result to date is a runner-up finish at the 2008 Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic). He defeated three Top 10 players (Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal) en route to the final.

 

  • Tsonga warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha, where he lost to Tomas Berdych in straight sets. He also played a match at the Kooyong Exhibition Event, defeating Borna Coric 63 76.
  • Last year here, Tsonga reached the round of 16 for the 7th time, losing in straight sets to Kei Nishikori.
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Tsonga reached the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon (l. Murray) and the US Open, where he retired with a left knee injury while trailing Djokovic 63 62. He reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros, where he retired with an adductor injury when leading Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the first set.
  • Away from the Grand Slams, Tsonga’s best result in 2016 came at Vienna, where he reached the final
    (l. Murray). He also reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and Monte Carlo-1000
    (l. Gael Monfils). Last year was the first year he did not win a title since 2010.
  • Tsonga is a former Top 5 player. He reached a career-high No. 5 in the world in February 2012 and plays here at No. 12.
  • Tsonga has played Davis Cup for France since 2008. He has played a total of 17 ties, achieving an 18-7 win-loss record in singles and a 24-8 win-loss record overall. France take on Japan at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo in the 2017 World Group first round on 3-5 February.
  • Tsonga is coached by Thierry Ascione.
  • SOCK is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.
  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Sock has recorded his best Australian Open result. He defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 64 76(4) 63 and Karen Khachanov 63 64 64 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Sock’s previous best Australian Open result is reaching the 2nd round on his debut here in 2014 (l. Gael Monfils) and in 2016 (l. Lukas Rosol). He missed the 2015 event here after undergoing hip surgery at the end of 2014.

 

  • Sock’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 2 occasions – at 2015 Roland Garros (l. Rafael Nadal) and at the 2016 US Open (l. today’s opponent). This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 17th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Sock reached the 3rd round at both Roland Garros (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas) and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic).

 

  • Sock is bidding to defeat a Top 20 player at a Grand Slam for the 3rd time. His only wins over Top 20 players at the majors came against No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov at 2015 Roland Garros and No. 9 Marin Cilic at the 2016 US Open. He has a 2-6 win-loss record against Top 20 players at the majors overall.

 

  • Sock is on a 4-match Tour-level winning streak against Top 20 opposition. He has not lost to a Top 20 player at Tour-level since losing to today’s opponent at the 2016 US Open [NB. He lost to No. 18 Richard Gasquet at the Hopman Cup].

 

  • Sock is one of 2 Americans through to the 3rd round here along with Sam Querrey. The last time multiple Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • Sock’s best results in 2016 are finishing runner-up at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut), Houston (l. Juan Monaco) and Stockholm (l. Juan Martin del Potro). He also reached the quarterfinals at Masters-1000 events at Shanghai (l. Gilles Simon) and Paris (l. Isner), and at Washington (l. Ivo Karlovic).

 

  • Sock warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his 2nd career title at Auckland (d. Joao Sousa), adding to his victory at 2015 Houston (d. Querrey). He also represented USA at the Hopman Cup, finishing runner-up to France alongside CoCo Vandeweghe.

 

  • Sock has improved his year-end ranking every year since 2010, finishing 2016 at No. 23. He plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 20 following his title win at Auckland last week.

 

  • Sock is a former Wimbledon men’s doubles champion. He and Vasek Pospisil defeated Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan in the final at 2014 Wimbledon, becoming the first team to win a Grand Slam title in their first tournament together since Lleyton Hewitt/Max Mirnyi won the 2000 US Open. Sock has won a total of 8 career doubles titles with 5 different partners. He also won the mixed doubles title at the 2011 US Open with Melanie Oudin. He did not enter the men’s doubles event here.

 

  • Sock has played Davis Cup since 2015, compiling a 3-2 win-loss record in singles. He helped USA reach the quarterfinals last year, where he recorded his first career-comeback from 0-2 down to defeat Marin Cilic in the 1st rubber before losing to Borna Coric in the decisive 5th rubber in a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in Portland. USA will play Switzerland in the World Group first round in Birmingham on 3-5 February.

 

  • As a junior, Sock won the boys’ singles title at the 2010 US Open (d. Denis Kudla).

 

  • Sock is coached by Troy Hahn and mentored by former world No. 4 James Blake. His fitness trainer is Kyle Wolf.

 

 

 

 

27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: tied 1-1

2013     US Open                      Hard (O)           R64      Evans             16 63 76(4) 63

2015     Davis Cup (WG-SF)       Hard (I)             R2        Tomic               63 76(2) 67(4) 64

 

A 3rd Tour-level meeting for these 2 players and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Evans won their only previous meeting at a Grand Slam at the 2013 US Open.

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                                         EVANS

 

24                                          Age                                          26

27                                   ATP Ranking                                   51

3                                          Titles                                          0

39-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                        8-7

17-8                         Australian Open Record                          2-1

161-140                              Career Record                                27-35

116-87                         Career Record – Hard                           19-23

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-1

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-1

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

94-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 4th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Tomic advanced to the 3rd round here for the 6th time after defeating Thomaz Bellucci 62 61 64 and Victor Estrella Burgos 75 76(4) 46 76(5) in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Tomic best Australian Open performance is reaching the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer), 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych) and 2016 (l. Andy Murray). This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is the only Australian man to reach the 3rd round from the 11 Australian men to start the men’s main draw here [NB Written prior to Jordan Thompson’s 2nd round match with Dominic Thiem on Thursday night]. He was also the only Australian man through to the 3rd round here in 2013. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of the 3 former Australian Open junior singles champions who reached the 3rd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw here [NB Written prior to Marcos Baghdatis’s 2nd round match with Rafael Nadal on Thursday night – if Baghdatis wins, that figure will be 4 of 7]. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010, compiling a 17-4 singles win-loss record. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • EVANS is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61 and No. 7 seed Marin Cilic 36 75 63 63 to record his first Australian Open match-wins. His win over No. 7 Cilic was his career-best win and his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Evans is bidding to become the first British man other than Andy Murray to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Tim Henman in 2002. Kyle Edmund is the last British man other than Murray to reach the round of 16 at a major – at the 2016 US Open.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Evans has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3 round as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Evans is bidding to record 3 straight Tour-level match-wins for the 3rd time in his career. The only time he has recorded 3 consecutive Tour-level match-wins was in finishing runner-up at 2017 Sydney (l. Gilles Muller) prior to coming here, and in reaching the semifinals at 2014 Zagreb (l. Tommy Haas).

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here – in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney. He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

 

 

 

STEVE DARCIS (BEL) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: first Tour-level meeting

2011     Mons Challenger (BEL)              Hard (I)             QF        Seppi    36 75 60

 

A first Tour-level meeting for the pair.

 

                           DARCIS                                        v                                         SEPPI

 

32                                          Age                                          32

71                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

2                                          Titles                                          3

13-25                      Career Grand Slam Record                      47-47

2-5                          Australian Open Record                        14-11

94-102                               Career Record                              311-332

47-55                          Career Record – Hard                         142-176

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

2-7                           Career Five-Set Record                         21-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

54-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-148

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • DARCIS is bidding to reach the round of 16 here and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Darcis recorded his first match-wins at the Australian Open after defeating wild card Sam Groth 36 63 62 62 and Diego Schwartzman 63 63 26 64 in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Darcis has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round as a qualifier at 2011 Roland Garros (l. Gael Monfils). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 27th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Darcis lost to Guido Pella in 5-sets in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round here in 2008 (l. Lleyton Hewitt), 2009 (l. Sebastien De Chaunac), 2012 (l. Florent Serra) and 2013 (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber). He failed to qualify here in 2006, 2010 and 2015.

 

  • Darcis is bidding to record 3 consecutive match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time since he defeated Xavier Malisse, Denis Istomin and Andy Roddick to reach the quarterfinals at 2012 Winston-Salem (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Darcis has recorded back-to-back match-wins at Tour-level for the first time since he reached the quarterfinals at 2015 Bastad (l. Pablo Cuevas).

 

  • Darcis contested just 5 Tour-level tournaments in 2016 after missing 3 months of the season from mid-February to May with a wrist injury. His best results were reaching the 2nd round as a qualifier at both Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic) and the US Open (l. John Isner) and as a wild card at Antwerp (l. Marius Copil). His only other Tour-level victory in 2016 came against Thomaz Bellucci in Belgium’s 4-0 Davis Cup victory over Brazil in September.

 

  • Also in 2016, Darcis won 3 Challenger titles – at Lyon (FRA) (d. Thiago Monteiro), Trnava (SVK) (d. Jordi Samper-Montana) and Eckental (GER) (d. Alex De Minaur). He finished runner-up in 3 further finals at Blois (FRA) (l. Carlos Berlocq), Liberec (CZE) (l. Arthur De Greef) and Budapest (HUN) (l. Copil).

 

  • Darcis reached a career-high ranking of No. 44 in May 2008. He ended 2016 at No. 86 for the 2nd year in a row but plays here at No. 71.

 

  • Darcis warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Chennai (d. Nikola Mektic, Albert Ramos-Vinolas). He also reached the semifinals at the Canberra Challenger (AUS) (l. Jan-Lennard Struff).

 

  • Darcis has won 2 career titles – on clay as a qualifier ranked No. 297 at 2007 Amersfoort (d. Werner Eschauer) and on a hard court at 2008 Memphis (d. Robin Soderling).

 

  • Darcis has a 2-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches with his only 5-set wins coming at the US Open – against Dmitry Tursunov in 2011 and Jordan Thompson in 2016. He has lost both of the 2 five-set matches he has played at the Australian Open.

 

  • Darcis is currently playing without a coach.

 

  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here and equal his best Grand Slam performance. He defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75 and No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgios 16 67(1) 64 62 10-8, saving a match point, in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • Seppi’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Jeremy Chardy) and 2015 (l. Kyrgios), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Seppi’s 2nd round win over Kyrgios here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and his 2nd 0-2 comeback at the Australian Open. He also came back from 0-2 down against Arnaud Clement in the 1st round here in 2011. He has a 22-15 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 7-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches here.

 

  • Seppi’s opening round win over Mathieu here was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 

 

MISCHA ZVEREV (GER) v MALEK JAZIRI (TUN)

Head-to-head: first Tour-level meeting

2011     Geneva Challenger (SUI)           Hard (O)           FR        Jaziri     46 63 63

2014     Dallas Challenger (USA)            Hard (I)             R32      Jaziri     61 62

 

A first Tour-level meeting for these 2 players. Jaziri won both of their previous encounters at Challenger level.

 

                           ZVEREV                                        v                                         JAZIRI

 

29                                          Age                                          33*

50                                   ATP Ranking                                   56

0                                          Titles                                          0

7-17                       Career Grand Slam Record                       8-13

3-5                          Australian Open Record                          4-2

84-125                               Career Record                                72-82

55-71                          Career Record – Hard                           37-50

4-2                                   2017 Record                                   3-2

4-2                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-2

1-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

49-54                        Career Tiebreak Record                         23-33

2-3                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

                                                                                   *Celebrating his birthday today

 

  • Lefthander ZVEREV is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Zverev advanced to the 3rd round on his first appearance here since 2011 after defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 63 76(5) 64 and No. 19 seed John Isner 67(4) 67(4) 64 76(7) 97 in the opening 2 rounds. His 5-set win over Isner in the 2nd round was his first career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 2-3. It was his first 5-set match-win since he won his first 5-set match in qualifying at 2007 Wimbledon.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Zverev has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round at 2008 Wimbledon, where he retired with a right hamstring strain while trailing Stan Wawrinka 75 61. This is only the 5th time he has advanced beyond the 1st round at a Grand Slam in 18 appearances at the majors.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Zverev has recorded his best Australian Open result. His previous best performance here was reaching the 2nd round on his debut as a qualifier in 2007 (l. Robby Ginepri). He fell in the 1st round on his 4 other appearances here – in 2008 (l. Tommy Robredo), 2009 (l. Juan Martin del Potro), 2010 (l. Lukasz Kubot) and 2011 (l. Janko Tipsarevic).

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Zverev reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at the US Open (d. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, l. Jack Sock). It was his first Grand Slam appearance since 2012 Roland Garros and his first Grand Slam match-win since he reached the 2nd round at 2009 Wimbledon (d. Dmitry Tursunov, Philip Petzschner).

 

  • Zverev failed to qualify for the Grand Slams on 11 occasions after his main draw appearance at 2012 Roland Garros before finally qualifying successfully at the 2016 US Open. He has successfully qualified for the majors on just 4 occasions in 21 attempts – including on his debut here in 2007. He failed in his only other attempts to qualify for the Australian Open in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

 

  • Zverev warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at both Brisbane (d. Alex De Minaur, l. Rafael Nadal) and Sydney (d. Nicolas Almagro, l. Pablo Carreno Busta).

 

  • Zverev climbed to No. 50 in the rankings on 9 January 2017 after reaching the 2nd round at Brisbane – his highest ranking since he reached a career-high ranking of No. 48 on 5 October 2009.

 

  • Zverev’s 2016 highlights include reaching the semifinals as a qualifier at Basel (l. Marin Cilic) and the quarterfinals as a qualifier at both Shanghai-1000 (l. Novak Djokovic) and Shenzhen (l. Richard Gasquet). He qualified for 10 Tour-level events in 2016 – the most of any player on record. He also won the title at the Sarasota Challenger (USA) (d. Gerald Melzer).

 

  • Zverev has won 2 career doubles titles – alongside Mikhail Youzhny at 2008 Halle and 2008 Tokyo. He entered the men’s doubles event here with Nenad Zimonjic, defeating Dustin Brown/Albert Ramos-Vinolas 76(5) 62 in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Zverev is coached by his father, Alexander Zverev Sr.

 

  • JAZIRI is bidding to become the first Tunisian player – man or woman – to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Jaziri advanced to the 3rd round after defeating qualifier Go Soeda 63 64 63 and qualifier Alexander Bublik 62 63 75 in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Jaziri has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round on his debut here in 2015, when he became just the 2nd Tunisian player – man or woman – to reach this stage at a Grand Slam. Mustapha Belkhodjia is the only other Tunisian player to reach this stage at a major – at Roland Garros in 1961 and 1963 and at 1961 Wimbledon.

 

  • Jaziri is bidding to record 3 straight match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time since he reached the quarterfinals at 2016 Barcelona (l. Benoit Paire). He has recorded 3 straight wins at Tour-level on just 2 other occasions – in reaching the semifinals at both 2012 Moscow (l. Andreas Seppi) and 2015 Winston Salem (l. Kevin Anderson).

 

  • Jaziri is bidding to defeat a Top 50 opponent at a Grand Slam for the first time, having lost all 8 of his previous meetings with Top 50 opponents at the majors. The highest-ranked player he has defeated at a major is No. 51 Mikhail Kukuskin in the 1st round at the 2015 Australian Open.

 

  • Jaziri has won just one of his last 9 matches against Top 50 opposition. His only win over a Top 50 opponent in that time was at 2016 Shenzhen, where he recorded his career-best win against No. 14 David Goffin.

 

  • Last year here, Jaziri fell to Tommy Robredo in 5-sets in the 1st round. He has a 4-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches, and a 1-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open. This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 14th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, Jaziri reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (d. Florian Mayer, Tomas Berdych) but fell in the 1st round at both Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson) and the US Open             (l. Ricardas Berankis).

 

  • Jaziri’s best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching 3 quarterfinals – at Barcelona (l. Paire), Metz (l. Gilles Simon) and Shenzhen (l. Janko Tipsarevic). He also won 3 Challenger titles – at Guadalajara (MEX) (d. Stephane Robert), Le Gosier (GUD) (d. Stefan Kozlov) and Istanbul (TUR) (d. Dudi Sela).

 

  • Jaziri warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Auckland (d. Diego Schwartzman, l. John Isner) after a 1st round defeat at Doha (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber).

 

  • Jaziri broke into the Top 50 in October 2016 after reaching the quarterfinals at Shenzhen, becoming the first Arab player in 12 years to be ranked in the world’s Top 50. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 49 a week later after reaching the 2nd round at Beijing (d. Guido Pella, l. Milos Raonic), but plays here at No. 56.

 

  • Jaziri entered the men’s doubles event here with Stephane Robert. The pair lost to No. 9 seeds Ivan Dodig/Marcel Granollers 63 64 in the 1st round.

 

  • Jaziri has played on Tunisia’s Davis Cup team since 2000 and is the nation’s most successful singles player with a 27-14 win-loss record. He played 15 sets (the maximum possible for one individual) in Tunisia’s Europe/Africa Zone Group II 1st round defeat to Bosnia/Herzegovina last year, but helped his nation remain in Group II with a 3-2 victory over Bulgaria. Tunisia will play Sweden in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II first round on 3-5 February.

 

  • Jaziri was a member of the 1998 African 14 & Under ITF Touring Team in Europe, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund. He was awarded a GSDF travel grant in 2001 and 2002 to play junior world ranking events. He didn’t contest any junior Grand Slams.

 

Jaziri is currently playing without a coach.

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Murray, Federer, Wawrinka and Nishikori Reach Third Round of Australian Open

Andy Murray

(January 18, 2017) Top seed Andy Murray survived a fall in the third set in which he injured his ankle, to easily beat Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 to reach the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday.

In the third game of the third set, the Scot’s right shoe caught on the court’s surface. Post match Murray said that the ankle was sore but he could still move around the court well.

Murray will take on 31rst seed Sam Querrey in the third round on Friday.

Four-time Australian Open champion and 17th seed Roger Federer has reached the round of 32. The veteran beat qualifier Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(3), coming back from a 2-5 deficit in the final set.

“I definitely got lucky winning that third set. He had a couple of set points on my serve,” Federer said.

“Tricky third set, of course. I had to save a couple of set points. I know it could have gone different. I’m happy there.

“I think I was a bit more consistent than in the first match against Melzer, where I ended up losing that second set after leading. I think I had a little bit better concentration.

“Yeah, like I said, I didn’t know much about Noah Rubin going in except the info I got from my coaches. I was prepared. I was ready to battle. I was able to get the win, so I’m very happy.”

 

The third round will be a test for the Swiss as he’ll match up with 10th seed Tomas Berdych. Berdych had a 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over American Ryan Harrison.

No. 5 Kei Nishikori advanced to the third round with a  6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Jeremy Chardy.

“There was many up and downs in second set and also third set, too,” he said. “I think I was focused when I need the game.

“Yeah, it was a good match for me.”

No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka beat American Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 over Steve Johnson, and No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Upsets on the day on the men’s side included 2014 US Open champion, seventh seed  Marin Cilic who lost to Brit Dan Evans, No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgios and 19th seed John Isner.

 

More to follow…

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2017 Australian Open – Day 3 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 3 MEN’S NOTES

Wednesday 18 January

2nd Round Top Half

 

Stan Wawrinka

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v (Q) Andrey Rublev (RUS)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Steve Johnson (USA)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Jeremy Chardy (FRA)

No. 7 Marin Cilic (CRO) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Ryan Harrison (USA)

No. 14 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI) v (Q) Noah Rubin (USA)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)

No. 31 Sam Querrey (USA) v (WC) Alex De Minaur (AUS)

 

On court today…

 

  • Andy Murray could reach a Grand Slam match-wins milestone today. A victory over qualifier Andrey Rublev would see the 3-time Grand Slam champion record his 178th match-win at the majors and equal Stefan Edberg in 8th place on the list for the most Grand Slam match-wins in the Open Era. World No. 156 Rublev, who recorded his first career victory at a major in the first round here, will be hoping to make life difficult for the world No. 1 as he looks to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at Tour-level.

 

  • Roger Federer is looking to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here when he takes on qualifier Noah Rubin. World No. 200 Rubin faces a daunting task – the Swiss has not lost in the 2nd round at a major since falling to Sergiy Stakhovsky at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kei Nishikori lives to fight another day after being taken to 5 sets by Andrey Kuznetsov in his opening round here. The world No. 5, who has a perfect 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park, will hope for a smoother ride against Jeremy Chardy as he aims to record a 4th straight victory over the Frenchman and earn a place in the 3rd round for the 7th year in a row.

 

  • Alex De Minaur will hope to continue his dream Grand Slam debut when he takes on Sam Querrey for a place in the 3rd round. Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur will become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open if he can find a way past the big-serving American.

 

 1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v (Q) ANDREY RUBLEV (RUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Murray has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 156 Rublev at Tour-level, with his worst Tour-level defeat coming against No. 154 Jean-Rene Lisnard at 2006 AMS Monte Carlo.

 

The lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at a Grand Slam is No. 91 Arnaud Clement at the 2005 US Open – the only qualifier to have defeated Murray at a major. Murray has a 10-1 win-loss record against qualifiers at the majors overall.

 

MURRAY                                       v                                        RUBLEV

 

29                                          Age                                          19

1                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            156

44                                         Titles                                          0

177-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                        1-1

46-11                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

635-175                              Career Record                                13-19

427-114                        Career Record – Hard                           10-12

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                          6-8

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. He defeated Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62 in the 1st round. He is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray is bidding to record his 178th Grand Slam match-win today and equal Stefan Edberg (178-47) in 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins (see Preview page 5).

 

  • Murray is bidding to extend his 12-match winning streak against qualifiers at Tour-level. He has not lost to a qualifier at Tour-level since falling to Santiago Giraldo at 2014 Madrid-1000.

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Ivan Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • Qualifier RUBLEV is bidding to reach the 3rd round on his Australian Open debut.

 

  • Rublev recorded his first Grand Slam match-win by defeating Yen-Hsun Lu 46 63 76(0) 63 in the 1st round here.

 

  • Rublev defeated Max Purcell (AUS) 64 67(6) 61, Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 64 76(2) and Peter Polansky (CAN) 64 46 63 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.

 

  • This is Rublev’s 2nd Grand Slam appearance. He fell in the 1st round in his only other appearance at a major as a qualifier at the 2015 US Open (l. Kevin Anderson). He failed to qualify in his 4 other attempts to qualify for a Grand Slam – at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016, and at both Roland Garros and the US Open in 2016.

 

  • Rublev is bidding to record back-to-back match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time. As well as reaching the 2nd round here, his career-best Tour-level results are reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Delray Beach, Miami-1000, Istanbul, Geneva and Valencia in 2015, as a qualifier at 2015 Barcelona and as a wild card at both 2016 Chennai and 2016 St. Petersburg.

 

  • Rublev’s 1st round win over Lu here was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the 2nd round at St. Petersburg in September (l. Joao Sousa), when Mikhail Kukushkin retired with a right arm injury with Rublev leading 63 4-1. Rublev won just 2 other Tour-level matches in 2016 – reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Chennai (d. Somdev Devvarman, l. Stan Wawrinka) and defeating Robin Haase in Russia’s 4-1 Davis Cup victory over Netherlands in September.

 

  • Rublev won his first Challenger title in his first final in 2016 as a qualifier at Quimper (FRA) (d. Paul-Henri Mathieu) and ended his season with a runner-up finish at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (d. Julien Benneteau). He also reached the semifinals at the Orleans Challenger (FRA) (l. Norbert Gombos).

 

  • Rublev is bidding to defeat a Top 30 player at any level for the first time. The highest-ranked player he has defeated is No. 32 Pablo Andujar in the 5th rubber during Russia’s 3-2 Davis Cup victory over Spain in the 2015 World Group play-offs. The highest-ranked player he has faced is No. 4 Stan Wawrinka at 2016 Chennai, where he fell 63 62.

 

  • Rublev plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 152.

 

  • Rublev is a former junior world No.1 having topped the boys’ rankings for the first time in June 2014 after winning the boys’ singles title at 2014 Roland Garros. He finished runner-up in the boys’ doubles with Stefan Kozlov at 2014 Wimbledon and won two medals at the Youth Olympic Tennis Event in Nanjing later that year, winning boys’ singles bronze and boys’ doubles silver with Karen Khachanov. He was named 2014 ITF Junior World Champion.

 

  • Rublev has played Davis Cup for Russia since 2014, compiling a 4-2 win-loss record in singles and 4-0 in doubles. He helped Russia earn promotion back to the 2017 World Group, where they will play Serbia in Nis in the first round on 3-5 February.
  • Rublev is coached by Sergey Tarasevich.

 

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v STEVE JOHNSON (USA)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 1-0

2015     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            R32      Wawrinka          64 63 62

 

A 2nd career – and Grand Slam meeting – between these 2 players, but their first meeting on a hard court.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                       JOHNSON

 

31                                          Age                                          27

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            30

15                                         Titles                                          1

120-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      15-18

32-10                        Australian Open Record                          5-4

442-253                              Career Record                                96-96

246-141                        Career Record – Hard                           70-66

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         55-63

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka has lost in the 2nd round at the Australian Open twice before – on his debut in 2006
    (l. David Nalbandian) and in 2008 (l. Marc Gicquel), the only occasions in which he has lost before the 3rd round in his 11 previous appearances here.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • JOHNSON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Johnson advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Federico Delbonis 63 63 64 in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Johnson’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round in 2015 (l. Kei Nishikori) and 2016 (l. David Ferrer). This is his 5th Australian Open appearance and his 19th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Johnson’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). Elsewhere at the majors last year, he reached the 2nd round at the US Open (l. Juan Martin del Potro) but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Fernando Verdasco).

 

  • Johnson is bidding to defeat a Top 10 opponent for the 3rd time. His career-best wins came against No. 10 Richard Gasquet at 2016 Queen’s and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 2016 Cincinnati-1000. He has a 2-16 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall. The highest-ranked player he has defeated at a Grand Slam is No. 24 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in 5-sets in the 1st round at 2015 Roland Garros.

 

  • Johnson has lost both of the 2 five-set matches he has played here, falling in 5-sets in the 1st round in 2013 (l. Nicolas Almagro) and 2014 (l. Adrian Mannarino). He has a 4-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Johnson’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Tour-level title at Nottingham (d. Pablo Cuevas). He also reached the semifinals at Washington (l. Ivo Karlovic), reaching a career-high ranking of No. 21 afterwards, and 4 further quarterfinals. He plays here ranked No. 30.

 

  • Johnson won the men’s doubles bronze medal alongside Jack Sock at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after the pair defeated Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil in the play-off for 3rd place. He also reached the quarterfinals of the singles event, narrowly missing the chance to play for a medal after losing to Andy Murray in a decisive set tiebreak.

 

  • Johnson won his first Tour-level doubles title in 2016, winning the title at Geneva alongside Sam Querrey (d. Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Johnson reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Sock) after a 1st round defeat at Brisbane (l. Grigor Dimitrov).

 

  • Johnson has played one Davis Cup tie for USA, helping them to a 3-1 victory over Uzbekistan in the 2015 World Group play-offs. USA will host Switzerland in the World Group first round in Birmingham on 3-5 February.

 

  • Johnson played college tennis. He was NCAA singles champion in 2011 and 2012, and became the first player in NCAA history to lead his school, USC, to a 4 consecutive NCAA team titles.

 

  • Johnson is coached by Craig Boynton.

 

 

 

 

  1. 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v JEREMY CHARDY (FRA)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

2011     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R128    Nishikori           76(5) 62

2012     Acapulco                      Clay (O)            R16      Chardy              16 76(8) 60

2013     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            R32      Chardy             64 61

2014     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           QF        Nishikori           64 62

2015     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             R32      Nishikori           76(4) 67(6) 61

2016     Barcelona                     Clay (O)            R16      Nishikori           63 75

 

A 7th encounter for the pair, who have met once a year in each of the past 6 years, but their first at a Grand Slam.

 

Nishikori has won all 3 of their previous meetings on a hard court.

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                        CHARDY

 

27                                          Age                                          29

5                                    ATP Ranking                                   72

11                                         Titles                                          1

61-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-35

21-7                         Australian Open Record                         10-8

305-143                              Career Record                              208-211

215-100                        Career Record – Hard                         108-118

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                          10-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                       103-115

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th straight year. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory maintained Nishikori’s record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • CHARDY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Chardy progressed to the 2nd round after Nicolas Almagro retired with a calf strain while trailing 4-0 in their 1st round match on Monday.
  • Last year here, as No. 30 seed, Chardy lost in the 2nd round to Andrey Kuznetsov.
  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Chardy reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros (l. Stan Wawrinka), but fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson) and the US Open (l. Grigor Dimitrov).
  • Chardy’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the quarterfinals here in 2013 (l. Andy Murray). He upset 7th-ranked Juan Martin del Potro in 5 sets in the 3rd round – one of his 3 career victories against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams. He also defeated No. 7 David Nalbandian at 2008 Roland Garros and No. 8 David Ferrer at the 2015 US Open. He has a 3-13 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the majors overall.
  • Chardy’s highlights in 2016 were reaching 4 Tour-level quarterfinals – at Doha (l. Illya Marchenko), Sydney (l. Gilles Muller), Delray Beach (l. Del Potro) and Umag (l. Carlos Berlocq).
  • Chardy warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Auckland (l. Jack Sock) after a 1st round defeat to Murray at Doha.
  • Chardy has won 6 of his last 7 five-set matches. His only defeat in that time came in his most recent 5-set match against Grigor Dimitrov in the 2nd round at the 2016 US Open. He has a 2-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open and a 10-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.
  • Chardy had a successful junior career. He won the boys’ singles at 2005 Wimbledon (d. Robin Haase) and also finished runner-up at the 2005 US Open. He achieved a career-high junior ranking of No. 3 in September 2005.
  • Chardy is coached by Magnus Tideman. His fitness trainer is Frederic Lefevre and his physio is Jean Jacques Peyroutou.

 

 

  1. 7 MARIN CILIC (CRO) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Cilic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 51 Evans at the Australian Open since falling to No. 126 Ilija Bozoljac on his debut here as a qualifier in 2007.

 

CILIC                                          v                                         EVANS

 

28                                          Age                                          26

7                             ATP Ranking (16 Jun)                            51

16                                         Titles                                          0

84-34                      Career Grand Slam Record                        7-7

20-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-1

392-211                              Career Record                                26-35

251-123                        Career Record – Hard                           18-23

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   5-1

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-1

25-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

5                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

144-128                      Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • CILIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th time. He advanced to the 2nd round by defeating Jerzy Janowicz 46 46 62 62 63 in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Cilic’s 5-set win over Janowicz in the 1st round here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 6-2 at Melbourne Park and 25-12 overall. It was his first 0-2 comeback since Croatia’s 2014 Davis Cup Europe/Africa 2nd round tie with Poland, when he also defeated Janowicz.

 

  • Cilic is making his 9th Australian Open appearance and his 37th at a Grand Slam Last year here he fell to Roberto Bautista Agut in the 3rd round.

 

  • Cilic won his first major title at the 2014 US Open, defeating Kei Nishikori in the final. He was the first Croatian to win a Grand Slam title since Goran Ivanisevic at 2001 Wimbledon. He is one of the 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here.

 

  • Cilic’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 14 seed here in 2010 (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Croatian man to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the history of the championships. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time as a result.

 

  • Cilic warmed up for the Australian Open at Chennai, where he fell to Jozef Kovalik in the 2nd round after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Cilic reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the 3rd straight year, falling to Roger Federer despite holding a 2-0 lead. He reached the 3rd round at both the Australian Open and the US Open (l. Jack Sock), but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Marco Trungelliti) – his first loss in the 1st round at a major since 2011 Wimbledon.

 

  • Cilic’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Masters-1000 title at Cincinnati (d. Murray), where he extended his streak of winning at least one title every year since winning his first at 2008 New Haven. He also won the title at Basel (d. Nishikori) and finished runner-up at both Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios) and Geneva (l. Stan Wawrinka). He reached 3 further semifinals at Queen’s, Tokyo and Paris-1000.

 

  • Cilic compiled an 8-3 win-loss record in Davis Cup rubbers to help Croatia reach its 2nd Final in 2016. He was just a set away from clinching the title for Croatia in the fourth rubber, before Juan Martin del Potro recovered to win in 5 sets as Argentina went on to complete a 3-2 comeback victory in the Final in Zagreb. Croatia will host Spain in the Davis Cup World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.

 

  • Cilic is coached by Jonas Bjorkman, who reached the singles quarterfinals here in 1998 and 2002 and won the doubles title in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

 

  • EVANS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61 in the 1st round to record his first Australian Open match-win.

 

  • Evans’ best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round on 3 occasions – as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney (l. Gilles Muller). He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

  • Evans is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player for the 2nd time. He recorded his first career victory over a Top 10 player by defeating No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals at 2016 Sydney, ending a 4-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition.

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

 

 

10 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE) v RYAN HARRISON

Head-to-head: Berdych leads 1-0

2016     Toronto-1000     Hard (O)           R16      Berdych            64 67(2) 64

 

Berdych has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 82 Harrison at a Grand Slam since falling to No. 109 Gael Monfils in 5 sets in the 1st round at 2013 Roland Garros.

 

                         BERDYCH                                      v                                      HARRISON

 

31                                          Age                                          24

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            82

13                                         Titles                                          0

131-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                       9-20

39-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-6

585-304                              Career Record                               76-107

365-193                        Career Record – Hard                           58-76

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

201-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                         40-49

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year. He advanced to the 2nd round after Luca Vanni retired with a groin strain after Berdych had won the first set 61.

 

  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to Roger Federer 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.
  • HARRISON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 7th Australian Open appearance and his 21st Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By defeating Nicolas Mahut 63 64 62 in the first round here, Harrison has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 2nd round here in 2013 (d. Santiago Giraldo, l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Harrison’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at the 2016 US Open (l. Marcos Baghdatis). He recorded a career-best win – and his 2nd career victory over a Top 10 opponent – by defeating No. 6 Milos Raonic in the 2nd round. His only other win against a Top 10 player came against No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov at 2015 Acapulco. He has a 2-26 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.

 

  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Harrison fell to Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round here, and failed to qualify at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

 

  • Harrison is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since the 2016 US Open. He recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins on just 2 other occasions in 2016, reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at both Washington (l. Steve Johnson) and Toronto-1000 (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Harrison reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at Auckland (l. Jack Sock). He lost in the 1st round of qualifying at Brisbane.

 

  • Harrison reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2008 Australian Open. He was also a quarterfinalist in the boys’ singles at the 2005 US Open and reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 7.

 

  • Harrison is coached by Peter Lucassen.

 

 

 

 

 14 NICK KYRGIOS (AUS) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: Kyrgios leads 2-0

2014     US Open                      Hard (O)           R64      Kyrgios             64 76(2) 64

2015     Australian Open            Hard (O)           R16      Kyrgios             57 46 63 76(5) 86

 

A 3rd career meeting for the pair. Both of their previous meetings have come at a Grand Slam, with Kyrgios winning on each occasion.

 

The last time the pair met, in the round of 16 here in 2015, Kyrgios recovered from 0-2 down for the 2nd time in his career to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time.

 

Kyrgios has only once lost to a player ranked outside the Top 30 at a Grand Slam – when he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61 in the 3rd round at the 2016 US Open.

 

                          KYRGIOS                                       v                                         SEPPI

 

21                                          Age                                          32

13                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

3                                          Titles                                          3

26-14                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-47

8-3                          Australian Open Record                        13-11

76-45                                Career Record                              310-332

44-25                          Career Record – Hard                         141-176

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

4-1                           Career Five-Set Record                         20-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         4

52-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-147

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • KYRGIOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year. He defeated Gastao Elias 61 62 62 in the 1st round. This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 15th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Kyrgios reached the 3rd round, falling to Tomas Berdych. Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, he reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Andy Murray) and the 3rd round at both Roland Garros
    (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open, where he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61.

 

  • At the 2015 Australian Open aged 19 years 280 days, Kyrgios equalled his best Grand Slam result by reaching the quarterfinals (l. Murray). He became the youngest man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Andrei Cherkasov in 1990. He was the first Australian to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and only the 3rd Australian man to reach the quarterfinals here as a teenager after Brad Drewett and Pat Cash.
  • Kyrgios also reached the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). Ranked No. 144, he defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the 3rd round at 1992 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios won his first 3 career titles in 2016 – winning at Marseille (d. Marin Cilic), Atlanta (d. John Isner) and Tokyo (d. David Goffin) to become the first Australian to win 3 or more titles in a year since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004. He reached 3 further semifinals – at Dubai, Miami-1000 and Estoril – and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 13 on 24 October. He plays here at No. 13.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Kyrgios played at the Hopman Cup, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez 63 64 and Adam Pavlasek 75 64 before falling to Jack Sock 62 62.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. Kyrgios won the junior title in 2013, defeating compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final.

 

  • Kyrgios was ranked 1 in the Junior rankings in January 2013 after winning the title at the Junior Australian Open. He also won the boys’ doubles title with Kokkinakis at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of the 11 Australian men who started this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most to start in the main draw here since 2003 when there were also 11. The last Australian man to win the title here was Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Kyrgios entered the men’s doubles event here with Daniel Evans. The pair will play Dusan Lajovic/Viktor Troicki in the 1st round.

 

  • Kyrgios has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2013. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Kyrgios is currently without a coach. His fitness trainers are Will Maher and Matt James.

 

  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 4th time.

 

  • Seppi advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.

 

  • Seppi’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Jeremy Chardy) and 2015 (l. today’s opponent), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

  • Seppi has lost 17 of his last 18 matches against Top 20 opposition. His only victory over a Top 20 player in that time was against No. 14 David Ferrer at 2016 Halle.

 

  • Seppi has lost 8 of his last 9 matches against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams. His only win over a Top 20 opponent in that time came at the 2015 Australian Open, when he defeated No. 2 Roger Federer to record his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v (Q) NOAH RUBIN (USA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Federer has not lost to a player ranked as low as today’s opponent since losing to No. 249 Sergio Bruguera at 2000 Barcelona. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 154 Mario Ancic at 2002 Wimbledon and the lowest-ranked player he has lost to at the Australian Open is No. 54 Arnaud Clement on his debut here in 2000.

 

FEDERER                                       v                                         RUBIN

 

35                                          Age                                          20

17                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            200

88                                         Titles                                          0

308-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                        2-2

81-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-1

1081-245                             Career Record                                  3-7

665-135                        Career Record – Hard                            3-6

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

24-20                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

10                        Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

395-215                      Career Tiebreak Record                          5-4

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • FEDERER is bidding to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here. He defeated qualifier Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round on Monday night.

 

  • Federer’s 1st round win over Melzer improved his win-loss record against qualifiers at the Grand Slams to 25-1. His only defeat to a qualifier at a major came against Mario Ancic in the 1st round at 2002 Wimbledon.

 

  • Federer has not lost in the 2nd round at a Grand Slam since 2013 Wimbledon, when he fell to Sergiy Stakhovsky to suffer his earliest defeat at a major since losing in the 1st round at 2003 Roland Garros.

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

  • Qualifier RUBIN is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Rubin equalled his best Grand Slam result by defeating fellow qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo 67(4) 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round here. It was his first career 5-set match.

 

  • Last year here as a wild card, Rubin recorded his best Grand Slam result on his Australian Open debut by reaching the 2nd round (d. Benoit Paire, l. Pierre-Hugues Herbert). He fell in the 1st round on his only other Grand Slam appearance as a wild card at the 2014 US Open (l. Federico Delbonis).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Rubin fell in the final round of qualifying at the US Open (l. Karen Khachanov) and in the 1st round of qualifying at Roland Garros (l. Dennis Novikov). He didn’t attempt to qualify at Wimbledon. This is the first time he has qualified for a major in 5 attempts.

 

  • Rubin defeated Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 57 64 64, Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 64 36 62 and Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 62 64 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.

 

  • Rubin is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time. By defeating Fratangelo in the 1st round here, Rubin recorded his 3rd career Tour-level match-win. His only other Tour-level match-wins came in reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at both the Australian Open and Delray Beach (d. Sam Groth, l. Jeremy Chardy) in 2016. He fell in the 1st round in all 5 of the other Tour-level events he has contested.

 

  • Also in 2016, Rubin reached the final at the Stockton Challenger (USA) (l. Frances Tiafoe) and the semifinals at the Maui Challenger (USA) (l. Di Wu). He reached 2 further Challenger quarterfinals at Sarasota (USA) and Tallahassee (USA) and also finished runner-up at the USA F8 Futures.

 

  • Prior to coming here Rubin played at the Noumea Challenger (CAL), where he reached the 2nd round (d. Mats Moraing, l. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras).

 

  • Rubin is bidding to defeat a Top 20 player for the 2nd time. He won his only previous meeting with a Top 20 player when he defeated No. 18 Paire in the 1st round here last year.

 

  • Rubin reached a career-high ranking of No. 166 on 6 June 2016. He plays here at No. 200.

 

  • Rubin reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 6 in January 2013. He won the boys’ singles title at 2014 Wimbledon, defeating Stefan Kozlov in the final, and also reached the quarterfinals at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Filip Peliwo). He never contested the boys’ singles event here.

 

  • Rubin is coached by Stan Boster and former US Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri, who reached the round of 16 here in 2004.

 

 

 27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v VICTOR ESTRELLA BURGOS (DOM)

Tour-level head-to-head: Tomic leads 1-0

2014     Rome-1000 Qualifying   Clay (O)            R32      Estrella Burgos             75 63

2014     Bogota                         Hard (O)           SF        Tomic                           76(2) 67(5) 76(5)

 

A 2nd Tour-level for the pair and their first at a Grand Slam. Tomic won the pair’s only previous Tour-level meeting, in 3 tiebreak sets, at 2014 Bogota.

 

Tomic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 103 Estrella Burgos at a Grand Slam since he lost to No. 179 Daniel Evans in the 2nd round at the 2013 US Open. The last time he lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 was at 2015 Newport, when he fell No. 156 John-Patrick Smith in the 1st round.

 

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                              ESTRELLA BURGOS

 

24                                          Age                                          36

27                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            103

3                                          Titles                                          2

38-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                       5-11

16-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-2

160-140                              Career Record                                78-64

115-87                         Career Record – Hard                           33-36

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           6-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         34-24

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 6th time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic advanced to the 2nd round with a 62 61 64 victory against Thomaz Bellucci in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Last year here, Tomic equalled his best Australian Open performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Andy Murray). He also reached the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • ESTRELLA BURGOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Estrella Burgos recorded his first Australian Open match-win by defeating Aljaz Bedene 76(2) 75 06 63 in the 1st round here.

 

  • Estrella Burgos’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the 3rd round on his US Open debut in 2014 (l. Donald Young).

 

  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since winning the title at 2016 Quito (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Last year here, Estrella Burgos fell to Daniel Brands in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round on his debut here in 2015 (l. Jurgen Melzer). This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 12th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Estrella Burgos reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (d. Illya Marchenko, l. Feliciano Lopez), but lost in the 1st round at both Wimbledon (l. Marcel Granollers) and the US Open (l. Joao Sousa).

 

  • Estrella Burgos’s 2016 highlight was defending his title at Quito, a year after becoming the first player from Dominican Republic to win a Tour-level title at 2015 Quito (d. Feliciano Lopez). He also reached the final at the Cali Challenger (COL) (l. Darian King) and 2 other Challenger quarterfinals.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to end an 11-match losing streak against Top 30 opponents. His last victory over a Top 30 player came at 2015 Barcelona, when he defeated No. 9 Marin Cilic. He has a 4-15 win-loss record against Top 30 players overall but has never beaten a Top 30 opponent at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is a former Top 50 player. He broke the Top 50 for the first time after winning the Morelos Challenger (MEX) in 2015 and reached a career-best ranking of No. 43 in June 2015. He ended 2016 at No. 102, the first time since 2013 that he has finished a year outside the Top 100.

 

  • Estrella Burgos holds multiple Davis Cup records for Dominican Republic. He has played in 45 ties, won 41 singles rubbers, 21 doubles rubbers and played for 18 years – all records for Dominican Republic players. In 2015, he helped Dominican Republic into the World Group play-offs for the first time, where the team lost 4-1 to Germany. Dominican Republic hosts Chile in Santo Domingo in an Americas Zone Group I first round tie on 3-5 February.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is currently without a coach. His fitness trainer is Matias Rizzo.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 31 SAM QUERREY (USA) v (WC) ALEX DE MINAUR (AUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Querrey has not lost to a player ranked as low as De Minaur at Tour-level since he fell to No. 315 Daniel Munoz-De La Nava at 2010 Madrid-1000.

 

                         QUERREY                                      v                                     DE MINAUR

 

29                                          Age                                          17

32                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            301

8                                          Titles                                          0

40-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                        1-0

10-10                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

286-236                              Career Record                                  2-2

197-151                        Career Record – Hard                            2-2

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

4-10                          Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

142-143                      Career Tiebreak Record                          2-0

  • 2017 Tiebreak Record                                    2-0

 

  • QUERREY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 5th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Querrey’s best Australian Open result is reaching the 3rd round here on 4 occasions – on his debut here as a wild card in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), and as a direct acceptance in 2008 (l. Novak Djokovic), 2013 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2014 (l. Fabio Fognini). This is his 11th Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Querrey’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). He defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round to become the first American to beat a world No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals in 1985. He was the first American to beat a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals at the 2002 US Open.

 

  • Querrey fell in the 1st round at the other 3 Grand Slams in 2016. He retired with cramping at 2-sets all against Dusan Lajovic in the 1st round here, before falling to Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros and Janko Tipsarevic at the US Open.

 

  • Querrey warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the 1st round. He finished as runner-up in the doubles event with Gilles Muller, falling to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson.

 

  • Querrey won his 8th career-singles title at 2016 Delray Beach (d. Rajeev Ram). 6 of his 8 career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he reached the semifinals at Memphis (l. Kei Nishikori), Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Querrey is a former Top 20 player, having recorded a career-high ranking of No. 17 in January 2011. He plays here at No. 32.

 

  • Querrey has entered the men’s doubles event here with Donald Young. They will play defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares in the 1st round.

 

  • Querry is coached by Craig Boynton, who also works with Steve Johnson.

 

  • Wild card DE MINAUR is bidding to reach the 3rd round here on his Grand Slam debut.

 

  • Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur is bidding to become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open. By reaching the 2nd round here, De Minaur is the youngest man to reach the 2nd round at a major since Borna Coric (17 years 298 days) at the 2014 US Open.

 

  • De Minaur advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Gerald Melzer 57 63 26 76(2) 61 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his 2nd career Tour-level match-win and his first 5-set match.

 

  • De Minaur warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Sydney, where he defeated Benoit Paire for his first Tour-level match-win before retiring against Andrey Kuznetsov with an abdominal strain. He also qualified at Brisbane, where he fell to Mischa Zverev in the 1st round.

 

  • Last year here as a wild card into qualifying, De Minaur fell to Kimmer Coppejans in the 1st round of qualifying. It is his only attempt to qualify for a Grand Slam. He entered the junior event here, reaching the semifinals of the boys’ singles (l. Jurabek Karimov) and winning the boys’ doubles title with Blake Ellis.

 

  • De Minaur’s best result in 2016 was reaching his first Challenger final as a qualifier at Eckental (GER) (l. Steve Darcis). He also reached the quarterfinals at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (l. Peter Gojowczyk) and finished runner-up at 2 Futures events in Spain.

 

  • De Minaur climbed over 1000 places to raise his ranking from No. 1551 at the end of 2015 to No. 354 by the end of 2016. He plays here at a career-high ranking of No. 301.

 

  • De Minaur reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 2 in February 2016. He finished runner-up in the boys’ singles event at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Denis Shapovalov) and reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2016 Australian Open. He was part of the Australian team that finished runner-up at the 2013 World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, losing 2-0 to USA in the final.

 

  • De Minaur lives in Spain with his family after his parents closed their business in Sydney. He returns to Australia each year for the summer tournaments.

 

  • De Minaur is coached by Adolfo Gutierrez.

All statistics courtesy of the Grand Slam Media team, Australian Open Men’s Information Team and the International Tennis Federation.

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In First Major Match as No. 1, Andy Murray Moves Into Second Round of Australian Open

(January 16, 2017) Coming into a major for the first time in his career as the No. 1 seed, Andy Murray had to hold off a game Illya Marchenko of Ukraine a 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.

Marchenko hit 46 winners to 62 unforced errors in the match to Murray’s 25 winners and 27 errors, but the winner broke his opponent’s serve six times.

The Scot has never won in Melbourne, but has been a finalist five times including the last two years.
Marchenko made 62 unforced errors, compared with Murray’s 27.

“I don’t think it was the best match, to be honest,” Murray said. “You know, the conditions there were pretty different to what we’ve been practicing. Last week’s been pretty cool. A lot of days, it’s been overcast. The temperature of the court is much cooler. When it’s like that, the ball is bouncing a bit lower, a bit easier to control the ball. I was a bit tentative because of that.

“And, yeah, didn’t serve that well either. So you end up having to work really hard on a lot of your service games when it’s like that.
“It just was tough.”

“I didn’t move that well,” he explained. “That’s how it felt anyway. But sometimes that can also be down to the conditions, as well. The ball’s flying through the air a little bit quicker, so the ball is coming onto you faster than what it was the last few days. Maybe wasn’t reacting as quickly as I would have liked.

“But, yeah, maybe also nerves there first round as well. It’s maybe normal to feel a little bit slow on your feet or a bit heavy-legged in the first round.”

Murray, recently receiving a knighthood by the Queen of England, on top of becoming No. 1 in men’s tennis, talked about his feeling about being on top of the tennis world.

“It’s been great. I think because it’s taken me so long to get there, obviously I want to try to stay there, but also I feel like I’m mature enough now to handle it. Maybe, you know, if it happens when you’re very young, you might feel extra pressures, the responsibilities might feel a bit much. But I think because I’m much older and more mature, it’s been good.”

Next up for the World No. 1 is qualifier Andrey Rublev.

“I know a little bit about him,” Murray admitted. “I never hit with him or played against him, but I’ve seen him play before and he goes for it. He doesn’t hold back. You know, he hits a big ball.”

“I saw him play a couple of years ago at the US Open against Youzhny. I watched a bit of his match there. I thought he was very good. Clean ball-striker. Like I said, goes for it.

“Obviously when you get out there, things look a little bit different than they might on the TV or on the video. But try to watch a bit the next couple of days and hopefully go in with a good strategy. I’ll need to work some things out myself when I’m out there.”

 

Kei Nishikori

Fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori had to battle for a five-set win over Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-2 in 3 hours and 34 minutes.

The man from Japan had a 5-2 lead in the fourth set tiebreak, but Kuznetsov won the next four points and won the set to sent the match to a fifth set. Nishikori dominated the final set by breaking his opponent’s serve twice.
“I think I let him come back fourth set,” said Nishikori. “I should have finished that set. Especially I was up tiebreak, but I think he played well from the beginning. Fifth set I start playing much better. Yeah, it was tough, really tough match.”

Nishikori will not be playing in the first round of Davis Cup for Japan when they host France.

“I’m not playing because the schedule, it’s gonna be too tight. Going South America, Rio and Buenos Aires, and if I play Davis Cup, that’s way too much, you know, for my body and Indian Wells and Miami is coming up after. So I just decided not to play.”

Murray was also asked about Davis Cup:
“I think tennis needs a great team competition. Davis Cup has been there. I think almost everyone I know, like, in the media, all of the tennis players, everyone seems to be in agreement that the format needs to change.
“I sat in a room with all of the guys on the player council, and nobody was for the neutral venue. There were many things discussed that could change Davis Cup, we thought for the better. A lot of players agreed upon. None of that’s been done yet.

“The only thing that I think has been agreed is a neutral final, which I don’t know many people that think that’s a good idea.

“So, yeah, I do think it needs to change. If the top players aren’t playing, the event loses value. So, yeah, we’ll see what happens in the next 18 months or so, see if there’s anything we can do to make it better.”

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2017 Australian Open – Day 1 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 1 MEN’S NOTES

Monday 16 January

1st Round Top Half

 

 

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v Illya Marchenko (UKR)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Martin Klizan (SVK)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS)

No. 7 Marin Cilic (CRO) v Jerzy Janowicz (POL)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v (Q) Luca Vanni (ITA)

No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Thiago Monteiro (BRA)

No. 14 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Gastao Elias (POR)

No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI) v (Q) Jurgen Melzer (AUT)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

 

On court today…

 

  • World No. 1 Andy Murray and 4-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer open their 2017 Grand Slam campaigns today. Murray, who this year will bid to avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major after 5 runner-up finishes at Melbourne Park, takes on world No. 93 Illya Marchenko in the third match on Rod Laver Arena, before Federer headlines the night session with his first Tour-level match in over six months against qualifier and fellow 35-year-old Jurgen Melzer.

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will look to maintain his record of never having lost in the 1st round here when he opens the night session on Margaret Court Arena against Martin Klizan. A surprise win over Wawrinka would give lefthanded Klizan his first Grand Slam match-win since the 2015 US Open and see him end a 9-match losing streak at Tour-level.

 

  • Nick Kyrgios will hope to maintain his record of always reaching the 2nd round at the Australian Open when he faces Gastao Elias in the last match on Hisense Arena today. Along with Alex De Minaur, James Duckworth, Sam Groth and Bernard Tomic, Kyrgios is one of 5 Australian men in action today from the 11 who start the main draw here – the most since 2003.

 

  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is looking to record his 109th Grand Slam match-win today, which would see him move ahead of Jean Borotra at the top of the list for most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman.

 

1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v ILLYA MARCHENO (UKR)

Head-to-head: Murray leads 1-0

2011     Australian Open            Hard (O)           R64      Murray              61 63 63

 

Murray won the pair’s only previous meeting, a 2nd round clash here 6 years ago.

 

Murray has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 93 Marchenko at Tour-level since falling to No. 118 Alex Bogomolov Jr. at 2011 Miami-1000. The lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at a Grand Slam is No. 91 Arnaud Clement at the 2005 US Open.

 

                          MURRAY                                       v                                    MARCHENKO

 

29                                          Age                                          29

1                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             93

44                                         Titles                                          0

176-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                       8-15

45-11                        Australian Open Record                          2-5

634-175                              Career Record                                57-78

426-114                        Career Record – Hard                           48-54

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-1

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           2-5

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

183-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                         36-32

3-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-2

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray has not lost a 1st round Grand Slam match since the 2008 Australian Open (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Ivan Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • MARCHENKO is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the first time since 2011 and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Marchenko’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 2nd round on his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier in 2010 (d. Carlos Moya, l. Nikolay Davydenko) and as a direct acceptance in 2011 (d. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Marchenko’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on his last appearance at a major at the 2016 US Open (l. Stan Wawrinka). He broke into the Top 50 in September 2016 as a result and reached a career-high ranking of No. 49 on 26 September. He plays here ranked No. 93.

 

  • Marchenko has lost in the 1st round in 10 of his 16 Grand Slam appearances – including at the Australian Open as a qualifier in both 2012 (l. Sergiy Stakhovsky) and 2015 (l. Milos Raonic) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Omar Jasika). He didn’t attempt to qualify here in 2013 and failed to qualify in 2014. This is Marchenko’s 6th appearance at the Australian Open.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Marchenko lost in the 1st round at both Roland Garros (l. Victor Estrella Burgos) and Wimbledon (l. Julien Benneteau).

 

  • Marchenko warmed up for the Australian Open at Doha, where he fell to Ivo Karlovic in the opening round. He also fell in the first round of qualifying at Sydney (l. Christopher O’Connell).

 

  • As well as reaching the round of 16 at the US Open, Marchenko’s best results in 2016 were reaching the semifinals at Doha (l. Rafael Nadal) and the quarterfinals at Acapulco (l. Bernard Tomic). He also won the title at the Recanati Challenger (ITA) (d. Ilya Ivashka) and finished runner-up at the Segovia Challenger (ESP) (l. Luca Vanni).

 

  • Marchenko is playing against a player ranked No. 1 for the first time today. He has a 1-7 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition, with his only win coming against No. 7 David Ferrer in the first round at 2016 Doha.

 

  • Marchenko has played Davis Cup for Ukraine since 2008. He helped Ukraine reach the World Group play-offs last year, where they lost 5-0 to Japan. Ukraine were handed a bye in the 2017 Europe/Africa Zone Group I first round.

 

  • Marchenko is coached by Tibor Toth.

 

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v MARTIN KLIZAN (SVK)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 1-0

2010     Casablanca       Clay (O)            R16      Wawrinka          64 06 64

 

A 2nd career meeting between the 2 players, but their first on a hard court and first at a Grand Slam.

 

                        WAWRINKA                                     v                                         KLIZAN

 

31                                          Age                                          27

4                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             35

15                                         Titles                                          5

119-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      14-20

31-10                        Australian Open Record                          3-4

441-253                              Career Record                              106-108

245-141                        Career Record – Hard                           54-61

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-2

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-2

24-19                         Career Five-Set Record                           4-7

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         52-45

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA has never lost in the 1st round here. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • The last time Wawrinka lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam was at 2014 Roland Garros, when as No. 3 seed he was defeated by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. He was the first reigning Australian Open champion to lose in the 1st round of the subsequent Roland Garros since Petr Korda in 1998.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka has a 24-19 win-loss record in 5-set matches, but a 1-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • Lefthander KLIZAN is looking to record his first Grand Slam match-win since the 2015 US Open and end a 5-match losing streak at the majors.
  • Klizan is also looking to end a 9-match Tour level losing streak. He has not won a Tour-level match since defeating Enrique Lopez-Perez in the 1st round at 2016 Umag (l. Andrej Martin).
  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Klizan fell in the 1st round at the Australian Open (l. Roberto Bautista Agut), at Roland Garros, where he retired with neck pain while trailing Taro Daniel 36 46 75 64 3-0, at Wimbledon (l. Mikhail Kukushkin) and at the US Open (l. Mikhail Youzhny). His last match-win at a major came at the 2015 US Open, when Florian Mayer retired from their 1st round match due to cramp.
  • Klizan’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 at the 2012 US Open (l. Marin Cilic). He recorded his first win over a Top 10 player when he defeated No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2nd round.
  • Klizan’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round as a lucky loser in 2014
    (l. Stephane Robert). This is his 5th straight Australian Open appearance and his 21st appearance at a major.
  • Klizan’s best results in 2016 were winning the titles at Rotterdam (d. Gael Monfils) and Hamburg (d. Pablo Cuevas). He also reached the semifinals at Sofia (l. Viktor Troicki). He missed 10 weeks of the year after retiring from his 1st round match at Indian Wells-1000 with a foot injury, returning at Roland Garros, and dropped to No. 51 in the rankings on 6 June – his lowest ranking since September 2014.
  • Prior to coming here, Klizan lost his opening match at Chennai (l. Aljaz Bedene) and retired with a foot injury while trailing Andrey Kuznetsov 26 61 3-0 in the 1st round at Sydney.
  • Klizan is bidding to end a 7-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition. He has not defeated a Top 10 player since defeating No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals at 2014 Beijing. He has a 3-13 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.
  • Klizan was ranked 1 in the ITF Junior Rankings in 2007 and won the boys’ singles title at 2006 Roland Garros (d. Philip Bester). He contested the boys’ singles event here in 2007, losing in the 3rd round as top seed to eventual champion Brydan Klein.
  • Klizan is coached by Martin Hromec. His fitness coach is Ivan Trebaticky.

 

 

 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v ANDREY KUZNETSOV (RUS)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 2-1

2010     Eastbourne                   Grass (O)          R32      Kuznetsov         64 3-1 ret. (hip injury)

2016     Roland Garros             Clay (O)            R64      Nishikori          63 63 63

2016     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R32      Nishikori          75 63 75

 

A 3rd Grand Slam meeting between the 2 players, who twice met at the majors last year. Nishikori has won both of their Grand Slam meetings – at Roland Garros and Wimbledon – in straight sets.

 

This is their first meeting on a hard court.

 

                         NISHIKORI                                      v                                    KUZNETSOV

 

27                                          Age                                          25

5                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             48

11                                         Titles                                          0

60-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      17-15

20-7                         Australian Open Record                          5-3

304-143                              Career Record                                66-77

214-100                        Career Record – Hard                           38-37

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   3-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-2

14-5                          Career Five-Set Record                           3-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

91-63                        Career Tiebreak Record                         27-27

1-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • This is NISHIKORI’S 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori has lost in the 1st round at the Australian Open once before – on his debut here in 2009 (l. Jurgen Melzer).

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • KUZNETSOV is bidding to maintain his record of always reaching the 2nd round here.

 

  • Last year here, Kuznetsov recorded his best Grand Slam performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Gael Monfils). He was the first Russian man to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Nikolay Davydenko in 2010.

 

  • Kuznetsov is contesting his 4th Australian Open and his 16th Grand Slam overall. He reached the 2nd round on both of his other appearances here in 2013 (d. Juan Monaco, l. Kevin Anderson) and 2015
    (d. Albert Ramos-Vinolas, l. Novak Djokovic). He was ranked too low for direct entry here in 2014 and didn’t attempt to qualify.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams last year, Kuznetsov reached the 3rd round at both Wimbledon (l. today’s opponent) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal), and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Kuznetsov warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals at Sydney (l. Daniel Evans). He also played at Doha, where he fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 1st round.

 

  • As well as reaching the round of 16 here, Kuznetsov’s 2016 highlights include reaching 5 quarterfinals – at Doha (l. Nadal), Marseille (l. Marin Cilic), Barcelona (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber), Geneva (l. Lukas Rosol) and Winston-Salem (l. Pablo Carreno Busta). He climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 39 after reaching the quarterfinals at Barcelona and plays here at No. 48.

 

  • Kuznetsov is on a 3-match winning streak in 5-set matches, having not lost a 5-set match since falling to Dudi Sela at the 2013 US Open. He has never played a 5-set match at the Australian Open and has a 3-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Kuznetsov won the boys’ singles title at 2009 Wimbledon, defeating Jordan Cox 46 62 62 in the final. He won 6 singles titles and 4 doubles titles as a junior, reaching a career-high junior ranking of No. 3 in 2009.

 

  • Kuznetsov has won just one of his last 13 matches against Top 10 opposition, defeating No. 4 Stan Wawrinka in the 2nd round at 2016 Miami-1000. He has a 2-14 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.

 

  • Kuznetsov has been coached by his father, Alexander, since 1997.

 

 

7 MARIN CILIC (CRO) v JERZY JANOWICZ (POL)

Head-to-head: Tied 1-1

2012     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             R32      Janowicz           76(6) 62

2014     Davis Cup (EA1-2R)       Hard (I)             R4        Cilic                  36 67(5) 64 61 63

 

A 3rd hard court Tour-level meeting for the pair, but their first clash at a Grand Slam. Cilic recovered from 0-2 down to defeat the Pole in 5-sets in their most recent meeting – in Davis Cup in 2014.

 

Cilic has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 278 Janowicz at Tour-level. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at Tour-level is No. 221 Marius Copil at 2012 Beijing. The lowest-ranked player Cilic has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 168 Thierry Ascione as a qualifier at 2007 Roland Garros.

 

                             CILIC                                          v                                      JANOWICZ

 

28                                          Age                                          26

7                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             278

16                                         Titles                                          0

83-34                      Career Grand Slam Record                      21-16

19-8                         Australian Open Record                          6-4

391-211                              Career Record                                95-89

250-123                        Career Record – Hard                           64-56

0-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-0

0-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-0

24-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           7-5

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

144-128                      Career Tiebreak Record                         57-48

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • CILIC is making his 9th Australian Open appearance and his 37th at a Grand Slam

 

  • Cilic has lost in the 1st round at the Australian Open once before – on his debut here as a qualifier in 2007 (l. Ilija Bozoljac).

 

  • Cilic won his first major title at the 2014 US Open, defeating Kei Nishikori in the final. He was the first Croatian to win a Grand Slam title since Goran Ivanisevic at 2001 Wimbledon. He is one of the 6 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s main draw here.

 

  • Cilic’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 14 seed here in 2010 (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Croatian man to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the history of the championships. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time as a result.

 

  • Cilic warmed up for the Australian Open at Chennai, where he fell to Jozef Kovalik in the 2nd round after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Cilic reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the 3rd straight year, falling to Roger Federer despite holding a 2-0 lead. He reached the 3rd round at both the Australian Open (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and the US Open (l. Jack Sock), but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Marco Trungelliti – his first loss in the 1st round at a major since 2011 Wimbledon.

 

  • Cilic’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Masters-1000 title at Cincinnati (d. Murray), where he extended his streak of winning at least one title every year since winning his first at 2008 New Haven. He also won the title at Basel (d. Nishikori) and finished runner-up at both Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios) and Geneva (l. Stan Wawrinka). He reached 3 further semifinals at Queen’s, Tokyo and Paris-1000.

 

  • Cilic has lost 3 of his last 4 five-set matches, despite having won the first 2 sets in all 4 of those encounters. He has won 5 of his 7 five-set matches at Melbourne Park and has a 24-12 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Cilic compiled an 8-3 win-loss record in Davis Cup rubbers to help Croatia reach its 2nd Final in 2016. He was just a set away from clinching the title for Croatia in the fourth rubber, before Juan Martin del Potro recovered to win in 5 sets as Argentina went on to complete a 3-2 comeback victory in the Final in Zagreb. Croatia will host Spain in the Davis Cup World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.

 

  • Cilic is coached by Jonas Bjorkman, who reached the singles quarterfinals here in 1998 and 2002 and won the doubles title in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

 

  • JANOWICZ is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win since 2015 Roland Garros and end a 5-match losing streak at the majors.

 

  • Janowicz is looking to record his first Tour-level match-win since reaching the 2nd round at 2015 Vienna (d. Dominic Thiem, l. Steve Johnson). He missed 6 months of the 2016 season with a knee injury and played just 3 Tour-level events last year, falling in the 1st round at the Australian Open (l. John Isner), the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event (l. Gilles Muller) and at the US Open (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Janowicz played mainly on the Challenger circuit in 2016, taking part in 6 Challenger tournaments. His best results were winning the title at the Genova Challenger (ITA) (d. Nicolas Almagro) and reaching the quarterfinals at the Meerbusch Challenger (GER) (l. Clement Geens) – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back match-wins at any level in 2016.

 

  • Janowicz is a former Top 20 player, having reached a career-high ranking of No. 14 in August 2013. He dropped to No. 282 in the rankings in December 2016 – his lowest position since June 2010. He plays here at No. 278, but using a protected ranking of No. 94.

 

  • Janowicz’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round – on his Australian Open debut in 2013 (l. Almagro), in 2014 (l. Florian Mayer) and in 2015 (l. Feliciano Lopez). This is his 5th straight Australian Open appearance and his 17th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Janowicz’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 24 seed at 2013 Wimbledon
    (l. Andy Murray). He was the first Polish man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Janowicz fell in the 2nd round of qualifying for Auckland (d. Krisjanis Stabins, l. Michael Mmoh). He also played at the Kooyong Classic Exhibition Event – defeating Yoshihito Nishioka 76 76 and Tommy Haas 57 64 10-4.

 

  • Janowicz is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam for the first time. He has a 5-14 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at Tour-level, with his last win over a Top 10 player coming against No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov at 2014 Cincinnati-1000.

 

  • Janowicz is currently playing without a coach.

 

 

 

 10 TOMAS BERDYCH v (Q) LUCA VANNI (ITA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

The last time Berdych lost to a player ranked as low as No. 160 today’s opponent at Tour-level was at 2009 Rotterdam when he fell to No. 478 Grigor Dimitrov. The lowest-ranked player Berdych has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 140 Stephane Robert in the 1st round at 2011 Roland Garros.

BERDYCH                                      v                                         VANNI

 

31                                          Age                                          31

10                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             160

13                                         Titles                                          0

130-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                        0-2

38-13                        Australian Open Record                          0-0

584-304                              Career Record                                 5-14

364-193                        Career Record – Hard                            1-6

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-0

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-0

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

201-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                          7-6

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the 2nd round at the Australian Open for the 12th straight year. He has lost in the 1st round here just once before, in 2005 (l. Guillermo Coria).

 

  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to Roger Federer 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.

 

  • VANNI is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win on his Australian Open debut.

 

  • Vanni came through qualifying here after defeating Federico Gaio (ITA) 57 62 63, Alexander Sarkissian (USA) 36 63 62 and Jan Satral (CZE) 46 64 64.

 

  • Vanni is making his 3rd Grand Slam appearance. He fell in the 1st round on his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at 2015 Roland Garros (l. Bernard Tomic) and as a lucky loser at 2015 Wimbledon (l. James Ward).

 

  • Vanni lost in the 1st round of qualifying at all 4 Grand Slam events in 2016, falling to Daniel Evans at the Australian Open, Daniel Gimeno-Traver at Roland Garros, Grega Zemlja at Wimbledon and Alejandro Gonzalez at the US Open. He has failed to qualify on 7 of his 10 attempts to qualify for the majors – including at the Australian Open in 2015 (l. Maxime Authom) and 2016.

 

  • Vanni plays predominantly on the Challenger circuit. He won 3 Challenger titles in 2016 – at Segovia (ESP) (d. Illya Marchenko), Brescia (ITA) (d. Laurynas Grigelis) and Andria (ITA) (d. Matteo Berrettini).

 

  • Vanni is bidding to end a 5-match Tour-level losing streak and record his first Tour-level match-win since reaching the 2nd round at 2016 Chennai (d. Jan-Lennard Struff, l. Aljaz Bedene).
  • Vanni’s career-best result is reaching his first Tour-level final as a qualifier at 2015 Sao Paulo (l. Pablo Cuevas). He has recorded a Tour-level match win at just 2 other events – reaching the 2nd round at both 2015 Madrid-1000 (d. Bernard Tomic, l. Simone Bolelli) and 2016 Chennai.

 

  • Vanni reached a career-high ranking of No. 100 in May 2015 after reaching the 2nd round at Madrid-1000. He plays here at No. 160.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Vanni fell in the 1st round of qualifying at both Doha (l. Nikoloz Basilashvili) and Sydney (l. Gastao Elias).

 

  • Vanni is coached by Fabio Gorietti. His physical trainer is Gianfranco Palini.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA (FRA) v THIAGO MONTEIRO (BRA)

Head-to-head: Monteiro leads 1-0

2016     Rio de Janeiro   Clay (O)            R32      Monteiro           63 36 64

 

Monteiro upset Tsonga in 3 sets in the pair’s only previous meeting, on clay in Rio de Janeiro last year.

 

                          TSONGA                                       v                                      MONTEIRO

 

31                                          Age                                          22

12                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             83

12                                         Titles                                          0

108-35                     Career Grand Slam Record                        0-0

30-9                         Australian Open Record                          0-0

390-181                              Career Record                                  6-9

260-117                        Career Record – Hard                            0-5

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-2

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-2

15-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

182-133                      Career Tiebreak Record                          1-3

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • TSONGA is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the 9th time. This is his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • If he wins today, Tsonga will move ahead of Jean Borotra at the top of the list for most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman. He is currently tied in first place with Borotra (108-23), with a 108-35 win-loss record at the majors.
  • Tsonga has lost in the 1st round here just once before, on his Australian Open debut as a wild card in 2007. He lost in 4 sets to Andy Roddick, in a match that included the longest tiebreak in Australian Open history, with Roddick winning the first set tiebreak 20-18.
  • Tsonga’s best Grand Slam result to date is a runner-up finish at the 2008 Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic). He defeated three Top 10 players (Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal) en route to the final.

 

  • Tsonga warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha, where he lost to Tomas Berdych in straight sets. He also played a match at the Kooyong Exhibition Event, defeating Borna Coric 63 76.
  • Last year here, Tsonga reached the round of 16 for the 7th time, losing in straight sets to Kei Nishikori.
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Tsonga reached the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon (l. Murray) and the US Open, where he retired with a left knee injury while trailing Djokovic 63 62. He reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros, where he retired with an adductor injury when leading Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the first set.
  • Away from the Grand Slams, Tsonga’s best result in 2016 came at Vienna, where he reached the final
    (l. Murray). He also reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and Monte Carlo-1000
    (l. Gael Monfils). Last year was the first year he did not win a title since 2010.
  • Tsonga is a former Top 5 player. He reached a career-high No. 5 in the world in February 2012 and plays here at No. 12.
  • Tsonga has played Davis Cup for France since 2008. He has played a total of 17 ties, achieving an 18-7 win-loss record in singles and a 24-8 record overall. France take on Japan at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo in the 2017 World Group first round on 3-5 February.
  • Tsonga is coached by Thierry Ascione and Nicolas Escude.
  • Lefthander MONTEIRO is making his Grand Slam debut today.
  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Monteiro lost in the 1st round of qualifying at Roland Garros (l. Ruben Bemelmans), Wimbledon (l. Julian Reister) and at the US Open (l. Daniel Brands) – the first occasions in which he had attempted to qualify for each major. He was ranked too low to enter qualifying for the Australian Open last year.
  • Prior to coming here, Monteiro lost to Daniil Medvedev in the 1st round at Chennai before falling to Daniel Evans in the 1st round as a qualifier at Sydney.
  • Monteiro’s best results in 2016 include reaching his first Tour-level quarterfinals – as a wild card at Sao Paolo (l. Pablo Cuevas) and as a qualifier at Gstaad (l. Robin Haase). He also won his first Challenger title at Aix En Provence (FRA) (d. Carlos Berlocq) and reached further Challenger finals at Lyon (FRA) (l. Steve Darcis) and Santos (BRA) (l. Renzo Olivo).
  • Monteiro broke into the Top 100 on 15 August 2016 and reached a career-high No. 80 in October after reaching the semifinals at the Santiago Challenger (CHI). He climbed over 300 places in the rankings during the previous 8 months, having started 2016 ranked No. 463. He plays here at No. 83
  • Monteiro has a 1-1 win-loss record against Top 20 opposition. He defeated No. 9 today’s opponent in the 1st round at 2016 Rio de Janeiro but lost to No. 14 David Goffin in the opening rubber during Brazil’s Davis Cup World Group play-off defeat to Belgium last September.
  • Monteiro made his Davis Cup debut in September 2016, losing in straight sets to Goffin as Belgium defeated Brazil 4-0. Brazil will play the winner of the Americas Zone Group I first round tie between Ecuador and Peru in their next Davis Cup tie on 7-9 April.
  • Monteiro is coached by Carlos Matos and Joao Zwetsch.

 

 

 

14 NICK KYRGIOS (AUS) v GASTAO ELIAS (POR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

                          KYRGIOS                                       v                                          ELIAS

 

21                                          Age                                          26

14                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             81

3                                          Titles                                          0

25-14                      Career Grand Slam Record                        0-5

7-3                          Australian Open Record                          0-0

75-45                                Career Record                                22-38

43-25                          Career Record – Hard                            4-17

0-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-2

0-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-2

4-1                           Career Five-Set Record                           0-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

52-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                         10-11

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-1

 

  • KYRGIOS is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the 4th straight year. This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 15th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Kyrgios reached the 3rd round, falling to Tomas Berdych. Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, he reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Andy Murray) and the 3rd round at both Roland Garros
    (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open, where he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61.

 

  • At the 2015 Australian Open aged 19 years 280 days, Kyrgios equalled his best Grand Slam result by reaching the quarterfinals (l. Murray). He became the youngest man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Andrei Cherkasov in 1990. He was the first Australian to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and only the 3rd Australian man to reach the quarterfinals here as a teenager after Brad Drewett and Pat Cash.
  • Kyrgios also reached the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). Ranked No. 144, he defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the 3rd round at 1992 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios won his first 3 career titles in 2016 – winning at Marseille (d. Marin Cilic), Atlanta (d. John Isner) and Tokyo (d. David Goffin) to become the first Australian to win 3 or more titles in a year since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004. He reached 3 further semifinals – at Dubai, Miami-1000 and Estoril – and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 13 on 24 October. He plays here at No. 14.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Kyrgios played at the Hopman Cup, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez 63 64 and Adam Pavlasek 75 64 before falling to Jack Sock 62 62.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of 7 former Australian Open junior singles champions to start in the men’s main draw. Kyrgios won the junior title in 2013, defeating compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final.

 

  • Kyrgios was ranked No. 1 in the Junior rankings in January 2013 after winning the title at the Junior Australian Open. He also won the boys’ doubles title with Kokkinakis at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. The last Australian man to win the title here was Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Kyrgios has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2013. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.
  • Kyrgios is currently without a coach. His fitness trainers are Will Maher and Matt James.

 

  • ELIAS is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win on his Australian Open debut.
  • This is Elias’ 6th Grand Slam appearance. He lost in the 1st round on all 5 of his previous appearances at the majors – at Wimbledon in 2013 (l. Alexandr Dolgopolov) and 2016 (l. Radu Albot), as a qualifier at Roland Garros in both 2014 (l. Diego Schwartzman) and 2015 (l. Benoit Paire) and as a direct acceptance at the 2016 US Open (l. Sergiy Stakhovsky).
  • Last year here Elias fell to Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the 1st round of qualifying. He also fell in the 1st round on his only other attempt to qualify for the Australian Open in 2015 (l. Peter Torebko).
  • Elias’ 2016 highlights include reaching back-to-back semifinals at Bastad (l. Fernando Verdasco) and Umag (l. Fabio Fognini). He also reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier at Sao Paulo and as a direct acceptance at Stockholm.
  • Elias warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round as a qualifier at Sydney
    (d. Christopher O’Connell, l. Dominic Thiem) after a 1st round loss to Jozef Kovalik at Chennai.
  • Elias’ best surface is clay. He has a 16-19 Tour-level win-loss record on clay, compared with 4-17 on hard courts and 0-2 on grass.
  • Elias is bidding to record his 3rd career win over a Top 20 opponent. His career-best win came against No. 7 Gael Monfils at 2016 Stockholm. He has a 2-5 career-win loss record against Top 20 opposition overall.
  • Elias has never won a 5-set match. He has lost all 4 of the 5-set matches he has contested.
  • Elias was a member of the International 18 & under Junior team to Europe 2007, supported by the Grand Slam Development Fund.
  • Elias is coached by Fabian Blengino. His physical trainer is Cassiano Costa.

 

 

17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v (Q) JURGEN MELZER (AUT)

Head-to-head: Federer leads 3-1

2010     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R16      Federer            63 62 63

2010     US Open                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer            63 76(4) 63

2010     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             QF        Federer             61 76(4)

2011     Monte Carlo-1000          Clay (O)            QF        Melzer               64 64

 

A 5th career meeting between the 2 players, who grew up in juniors together, and their 3rd at a Grand Slam. This is their first meeting in almost 6 years, with Melzer defeating Federer for the first time in their most recent meeting at 2011 Monte Carlo-1000.

 

Federer has won both of their Grand Slam meetings – and both of their hard court meetings – in straight sets.

 

Federer has never lost to a player ranked as low as today’s opponent. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at Tour-level is No. 249 Sergio Bruguera at 2000 Barcelona. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 154 Mario Ancic at 2002 Wimbledon and the lowest-ranked player he has lost to at the Australian Open is No. 54 Arnaud Clement on his debut here in 2000.

 

FEDERER                                       v                                        MELZER

 

35                                          Age                                          35

17                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             296

88                                         Titles                                          5

307-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                      59-52

80-13                        Australian Open Record                        14-12

1080-245                             Career Record                              348-332

664-135                        Career Record – Hard                         178-171

0-0                                   2017 Record                                   0-0

0-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-0

24-20                         Career Five-Set Record                         17-19

10                        Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

395-215                      Career Tiebreak Record                       146-157

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • FEDERER is bidding to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).
  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Milos Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • Federer has never lost in the 1st round here in his 17 previous appearances; the last time he fell at this stage of a Grand Slam was as No. 5 seed at 2003 Roland Garros (l. Luis Horna).

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions to start in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

  • Qualifier MELZER is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win since the 2015 US Open and reach the 2nd round here for the 9th time.

 

  • Melzer is bidding to record his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the 2nd round as a wild card at 2016 Vienna (d. Roberto Bautista Agut, l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas).

 

  • Melzer came through qualifying after defeating Joris De Loore (BEL) 62 36 63, No. 13 seed Taro Daniel (JPN) 63 62 and No. 20 seed Rajeev Ram (USA) 62 36 63 in the 3 rounds of qualifying.

 

  • This is Melzer’s 13th Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall. His best result at Melbourne Park is reaching the round of 16 in 2011 (l. Andy Murray).

 

  • Melzer’s best Grand Slam result is a semifinal finish at 2010 Roland Garros. He upset No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic 36 26 62 76 64 in the quarterfinals for his first-ever comeback from 0-2 down, before losing to Rafael Nadal 62 63 76 in the semifinals.

 

  • Melzer underwent left shoulder surgery on 27 November 2015 and did not play between September 2015 and May 2016, returning in qualifying at the Poprad-Tatry Challenger (SVK). He dropped as low as No. 550 in the rankings on 19 September 2016 – his lowest position since he first earned a professional ranking in December 1999. Melzer is a former world No. 8 but plays here ranked No. 296.

 

  • Melzer played just 4 Tour-level events in 2016. His best result was reaching the quarterfinals as a wild card at Kitzbuhel – ending a run of 10 straight defeats against Top 20 opponents with victory over Dominic Thiem, before losing to his brother Gerald Melzer. He reached the 2nd round as a wild card at Vienna and defeated Illya Marchenko in 5-sets during Austria’s 3-2 Davis Cup defeat to Ukraine, but fell in the 1st round as a qualifier at Moscow (l. Pablo Carreno Busta). He also reached Challenger quarterfinals at Mons (BEL) and as a wild card at Eckental (GER).

 

  • Melzer missed 3 of the 4 Grand Slams in 2016 but did attempt to qualify at the US Open, where he defeated Tennys Sandgren (USA) but fell to Guido Andreozzi (ARG) in the 2nd round of qualifying.

 

  • Melzer warmed up for the Australian Open by attempting to qualify at Chennai. He defeated Steven Diez (CAN) but fell to Hyeon Chung in the 2nd round of qualifying.

 

  • Melzer is coached by Markus Hipfl, who reached the 2nd round at the Australian Open in 2002.

 

27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v THOMAZ BELLUCCI (BRA)

Head-to-head: Bellucci leads 2-1

2012     Stuttgart                       Clay (O)            R16      Bellucci             76(6) 63

2013     Indian Wells-1000          Hard (O)           R128     Tomic               64 63

2016     Shenzhen                      Hard (O)           QF        Bellucci             62 62

 

A 4th career meeting for the pair but their first at a Grand Slam. The pair have split their 2 meetings on a hard court.

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                                      BELLUCCI

 

24                                          Age                                          29

27                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             62

3                                          Titles                                          4

37-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                      22-31

15-8                         Australian Open Record                          5-8

159-140                              Career Record                              185-192

114-87                         Career Record – Hard                           65-98

0-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-1

0-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-1

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           8-7

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         94-87

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the 2nd round at the Australian Open for the 8th time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Last year here, Tomic equalled his best Australian Open performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Andy Murray). He also reached the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of 7 former junior Australian Open champions in the draw. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • Lefthander BELLUCCI is bidding to reach the 2nd round and equal his best Australian Open result.
  • Bellucci’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 2nd round in 2010 (l. Andy Roddick), 2011
    (l. Jan Hernych), 2012 (l. Gael Monfils), as a qualifier in 2014 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Steve Johnson). This is his 9th consecutive appearance at Melbourne Park and his 32nd Grand Slam overall.
  • Bellucci’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 as No. 24 seed at 2010 Roland Garros
    (l. Rafael Nadal). He was the first Brazilian to reach that stage of a major since Gustavo Kuerten at 2004 Roland Garros.
  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Bellucci reached the 2nd round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon
    (l. Sam Querrey), but fell in the 1st round at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open
    (l. Andrey Kuznetsov).
  • Bellucci’s best result in 2016 was reaching the final at Quito (l. Victor Estrella Burgos) and the semifinals at Shenzhen (l. Tomas Berdych). He also reached the quarterfinals at both Moscow (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber) and at the Olympic Tennis Event in Rio de Janeiro (l. Nadal).
  • Prior to coming here, Bellucci lost to Nicolas Mahut in the 1st round at Sydney.
  • Bellucci is a former Top 30 player, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 21 in July 2010. He has won 4 Tour-level titles, all of which have come on clay, at Gstaad in 2009 (d. Andreas Beck) and 2012 (d. Janko Tipsarevic), at 2010 Santiago (d. Juan Monaco) and at 2015 Geneva (d. Joao Sousa). Clay is the only surface on which he has a positive win-loss record.
  • Bellucci has played Davis Cup for Brazil since 2007, compiling a 19-15 singles win-loss record. Brazil will play the winner of the Americas Zone Group I first round tie between Ecuador and Peru in their next Davis Cup tie on 7-9 April.
  • Bellucci was a member of the ITF International Junior Touring Team in 2004, supported by the Grand Slam Development Fund.
  • Bellucci is coached by Joao Zwestch.

 

**** All statistics courtesy of the Grand Slam Media Team at the Australian Open and the International Tennis Federation.

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Australian Open 2017 – In Their Own Words – Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Others in Pre-Tournament News Conferences

(January 14, 2017) Top-ranked players at the Australian Open held pre-tournament news conferences on Saturday. Here are the transcripts of the conference from the interview section Australian Open tournament website.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Q. How does it feel to be the top seed at a slam?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t feel any different really to normal, to be honest.

Q. What are your feelings coming into this tournament? Was the preparation this winter as good as you wanted?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it went pretty well. Doha went well. Played some good stuff, especially at the end of the event. Yeah, I mean, the off-season, I would have liked to have been a couple weeks longer. But, you know, I made sure I got enough rest. You know, I’ll get hopefully a bit of time in February as well.

But, yeah, I did some good training over in Miami. There’s a lot of good players over there for practice. It went well.

Q. You’re playing in the middle of the afternoon on Monday when the forecast is pretty hot. Would you have preferred to have had a bit more practice time in hotter conditions?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but there’s not really much else you can do about it. I mean, obviously in Doha, the conditions were pretty cool. You’re playing most of your matches in the evening. Also, if you do well here, you’ll often play at least three matches in the evening, sometimes four.

So, you know, it’s good practice for that. But obviously the day matches here can get, you know, brutally hot. I think maybe the Hopman Cup is probably where you get the best conditions or most similar conditions to here to start the year.

But, yeah, I’ll just have to deal with it, just like all of the other players will.

Q. Have you been impressed with Dan’s effort this week?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I haven’t seen loads of the matches. I saw the end of his match yesterday. I saw the first set and a little bit of his match with Thiem. But obviously he turned that match around kind of after I went out for dinner.

Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously a great week for a lot of Brits actually. Obviously Jo winning, as well, was great. My brother’s in the final. Yeah, it will be probably, you know, the best week that Britain’s had at tour level forever probably.

Q. When you practice, how much does the fact that Djokovic is normally looming in the latter stages of not just the slams, but tournaments like Doha, how much does that feature in the way you go about things?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of the way I practice or…

Q. Tactical awareness, preparing for big matches.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, in terms of tactical awareness, I sort of study, watch video, to learn about things that I could do better or things that have worked well. Obviously, don’t do so much of that on the practice court. But there’s certain patterns of play that you practice that hopefully will help against certain players. Then also there’s things that are extremely important to your game and what makes your game effective, you know, not just against one player, but against the whole tour.

I feel like my movement and my speed around the court is a very important part of my game. That’s something that I try to work on all of the time without thinking about, you know, other players.

But, of course, there’s certain things you would practice, what would help you against the top guys, for sure.

Q. Not all the players have been able to beat you lately. David Goffin was one of them in Abu Dhabi, in the exhibition there. What do you think of him and do you think he could cause one or two upsets here?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think he’s a really, really good player, obviously. He’s very quick around the court. He’s made improvements most years really, last few years. But as you get closer to the top, it becomes harder and harder to do that.

So, you know, it will be an interesting year for him. He works hard. I practice with him quite a lot, as well. He’s a good guy. Down-to-earth. Very quiet and relaxed.

Yeah, I hope he does well. But he’s, yeah, a very, very good player.

Q. What do you make of your opponent? You played him a few years ago.
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t remember loads about that match. We played on Margaret Court. I don’t remember too much about that match. I saw him playing a bit at the US Open. He had a good run there a few months ago. Also had a very tight match with Wawrinka there.

You know, he’s not easy. He fights very hard. He’s got a great attitude. Plays predominantly from the back of the court and moves well. He doesn’t give you too many free points.

But, I mean, I’ve only played him once. I’ve never practiced with him. And that match, it was a long time ago. It would have been, I don’t know, 2008, ’09, something like that.

Q. Roger was asked earlier if he could remember what it was like when he gained the No. 1 ranking. He said he felt that other people treated him differently. Is that something that you’ve experienced? Have you had any feelings like that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. I don’t think so. I mean, yeah, I haven’t really noticed it. It kind of happened for me right at the end of the year, so I haven’t been kind of on the tour much as the No. 1 player. Just one week really in Doha. So I haven’t noticed it yet.

I don’t know if that will come over time, if I’m able to stay there or not. But, yeah, I mean, it’s only been really a few weeks around the tour with that ranking. I haven’t noticed much change.

Q. Looking back 12 months now, how much what was going on at home with Kim affecting you during the tournament here?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tough tournament. Yeah, obviously the situation with, you know, Kim and the baby coming was tough. Then with what happened with Nigel kind of during the event made it really kind of awkward because there was times where I was thinking, like, you know, I want to go home. But then also my father-in-law was here and in hospital.

It was, like, I want to be at home for the birth, but then I’m not just going to sort of leave whilst my father-in-law is also in hospital.

Yeah, it was tough, and certainly not a position I would want to put myself in again, or my wife, or any of my family really.

Q. How close did you come to withdrawing before you lost?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a few times. I mean, I don’t know how to say how close. But, yeah, it was certainly something that was talked about a lot, especially the second week of the event.

Q. Just get your reaction to Michael Downey resigning. Were you surprised to hear the news?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I wasn’t really surprised. I think everyone kind of thought that’s always what was going to happen there. It’s disappointing really, because it’s just another change for British tennis. Someone new will come in with a different direction for another three, four years, then it will change again.

I think for a system that’s — maybe everyone would say that’s not really worked for quite a long time, for change to happen, you need someone or a team in there that’s going to be in it for the long haul and not just a few years.

So I really hope the next appointment is something long-term. You can’t expect results, obviously, immediately. I don’t think there should be loads of pressure on that person to get stuff done straightaway. But, yeah, I’d like to see a long-term appointment so that there’s actually, you know, a chance for change to happen, but then stick. I think if you just do three years, then another three years, just keep switching all the time, it’s not good for anyone.

Q. In that you think it wasn’t going to be for the long haul?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, in terms of him moving back to Canada. I don’t think many people expected it to go longer than the term that he was signed up for.

But, yeah, I mean, I just hope that we get a long-term replacement. Don’t want it to be just a few years.

Q. Roger and Novak used to say that once you’ve reached the No. 1, you have to work double as hard to stay there. Do you see it like this?
ANDY MURRAY: I hope not (laughter). I hope not.

Well, yeah, I mean, I do think it is a mindset thing, because I think it could be quite easy that once you get to No. 1 that you think, Well, actually, I just need to keep doing what I doing.

The reality is, in sport, that things obviously keep moving on, the game will get better, I’ll obviously get older, the young guys will continue to improve, and also Novak and Roger and Stan and Rafa and all the guys at the top are still going to be wanting to get there. So that’s why having someone like Ivan on my team who has been in that position before and knows what that’s like has been important. I need to continue to improve. I for sure need to keep working hard.

I don’t think necessarily working harder than I have in the past, but just having the mindset I need to keep getting better and try to improve my game. Any weaknesses that are in my game, to try to get rid of them.

So, yeah, that’s how I feel about it.

Q. Your record here is really good. You haven’t actually won the thing. Do you feel like you’re in a really good position right now to go one step further?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, I obviously feel pretty confident after the way that last season finished. I do love it here. I love the conditions. I have played really well here over the years, and just haven’t managed to obviously get over the final hurdle.

But, yeah, I think I’m in a decent position, for sure, to do it. I think I have a chance to win here. Obviously nothing’s guaranteed. But, yeah, why not? I’m playing well. Practice has been good. I feel healthy. I’ll give it a good shot.

Q. Any other players called you Sir yet, Andy?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but not genuinely, I don’t think (smiling).

Q. The host broadcaster is going to refer to you as Sir Andy. How does that make you feel?
ANDY MURRAY: I’m more than happy just being Andy. That’s enough for me. Yeah, if they call me Andy, that’s cool, I’d be happy with that (smiling).

 

Novak Djokovic

Q. You obviously had a bumpy at times second half of the last year. With the off-season, title in Doha, beating Andy there, do you feel more or less back on track? Is it that quick a fix or is it more a process still going?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I feel that already in London, World Tour Finals, I played very well, comparing to the three months, four months before that, where I was, you know, kind of struggling to find that right level in quality of tennis.

But, you know, I’ve worked very hard as I guess most of the players in the off-season, trying to get myself in a right state of mind, in a right shape and form. I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season, saving some match points in the semifinals, playing a really exciting match against Verdasco, then the next day against Andy. You know, thrilling final. It was great.

I got a lot of match play. Arriving to Melbourne, really excited to compete.

Q. You have a quite brutal first round against Verdasco again. How do you see that one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I hope I will not get to the stage where I have to defend match points.

Again, you know, Fernando is a very complete player on any surface. In a given day, if things go right, he can beat really anybody on any surface, as I said. Nadal last year in five sets, he won first round. He has won against most of the top players. He’s not overwhelmed by, I guess, the occasion of playing on center court. He has had that experience many times.

So, again, a lot depends, of course, on how I feel, how he feels. It’s the first match of the Grand Slam. We both need to start with the right intensity, of course. We’re going to be obviously striving to do so.

But I’m expecting a tough one, there’s no doubt about it.

Q. Can you run us through your coaching team at the start of the season, let us know whether you’re thinking about bringing somebody else in.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m not thinking of bringing anybody in. This is the coaching team that there is, yeah.

Q. Marian Vijda?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. And Dusan Vemic is the second coach.

Q. It’s going to be hot in a few days. Do you relish the heat or do you struggle?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t know still a player that enjoys playing in 40 plus or 35 plus. It’s same for everybody, you know. It’s not easy, obviously. In the end of the day, that’s what you expect. You come to Australia during the summertime, and the conditions can get quite challenging and extreme.

But, as I said, you’re preparing for that. Same for you and your opponent.

Q. On the Verdasco draw, people have called it a nightmare. Do you consider it a nightmare draw or…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I still haven’t had in I nightmares, so I can’t call it a nightmare draw. I just see it as a huge challenge. I hope I’ll be able to deliver.

Q. Do you see yourself as being in sort of a similar position to where you were three years ago, where you’re having to reestablish the air of invincibility?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I never had an invincibility, although I thank you for the compliment. Nobody is invincible. I never thought of myself as a superior player on the court, even though of course at times I was very confident, I was winning a lot of matches.

But, you know, knowing how it feels on the court, if you get overconfident, that’s why I don’t want to get into that kind of state of mind. I still want to put myself in a position where I’m quite even to other players, fight for this trophy as anybody else, even though I’m defending champion.

The fact that I’ve done so well in Melbourne Park the last 10 years of my career basically, it’s been the most successful Grand Slam that I’ve had, of course gives me a lot of thrill, a lot of confidence and excitement to approach it.

Q. Putting aside invincibility, do you feel there’s similarities to where you were three years ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I can’t compare, really, the seasons. I’ve been saying this before. Every year brings a new challenge personally and as a player. You’re just a different, different person. Every cell in your body every day changes.

It’s hard to really compare any kind of year. I just see it as a learning curve, as a process of developing into a more mature player, person, trying to get the best out of, you know, the circumstances, the live conditions that you’re in in the moment.

Q. The prospect of the seventh record-breaking title, does that sit in your mind, even at this stage?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Honestly, one of the reasons I’m here is to try to win every match that I play on, and eventually the title. I’m not the only one that is sitting here and talking about the title.

I love playing this sport. I love competing. I came in here as all the other 127 players to fight for this trophy, to enjoy competing. Of course, it’s an incentive, it’s motivation.

Q. Is there any specific reason as to why you do so well here? You do well everywhere, but especially here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, one of the reasons is probably because it’s beginning of the year. I personally feel, I see many players feel very inspired and motivated to play their best tennis. They have been through a period of five, six weeks with no official matches. They recharge their batteries. They’re eager to get back on the court and play the sport.

It’s so early in the season, and we already have a first Grand Slam, one of the four biggest events in sport. I think that’s enough motivation for you to start off the season in best possible fashion.

Conditions play their role, for sure. I mean, I love playing on hard courts. Especially night matches play a bit slower, which I like. I guess it’s a combination of things.

Q. When you announced that you and Boris were going to go your separate ways, Boris did an interview in which he said that perhaps you haven’t been working as hard in the recent months as you had earlier on in your career. Do you think that is accurate? If so, do you think that has changed now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Boris and I have had an incredible three years. I can’t be more grateful to him, to our partnership, to our relationship, than I am. We’ve had amazing success. It’s all I can say.

I don’t want to go back and comment on anything. I kept a very friendly relationship with Boris. We just went separate ways.

Q. Obviously titles, preferably a Grand Slam, is most important to you. How essential is it to you to get back to that No. 1 ranking?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As a consequence of the results, if I become No. 1, that’s great. Of course, that’s what I want. But it’s not my main priority, let’s say. I really would like to take one tournament at a time and try to win as many matches as possible. Then, as I said, as a consequence to that, if I become No. 1, I’ll be thrilled.

Q. A word of the comeback of Roger Federer. What do you expect from him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t expect anything, and everything. With Roger, you can always see a top level and quality of tennis. I mean, that’s what he brings. He brings this aura of a champion on and off the court. The sport definitely missed him.

It’s great to see him back, no question about it. From a colleague/player perspective and point of view and fans, everybody loves to see Roger. He’s one of the most important people that ever held the racquet. Of course, for our sport it’s great to see him.

Q. What do you think is the most challenging part for a comeback after a half-year absence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think he’s going to answer that question better. But the fact he was absent because of his injury, I think that’s obviously going to be the concern, maybe, or to see how that’s going to play out.

But he didn’t seem to have any issues playing in Perth. He’s fit. I’m sure he’s very motivated because he hasn’t played any official tournament ever since Wimbledon, I think.

With all his experience, talent, everything he has achieved in his life, I don’t think it’s going to take too much of a time for him to really get back into that kind of competitive zone.

Q. Yesterday we noticed you were blowing your nose during practice. You appeared to have something with your eyes as well. Any lingering health concerns at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No (smiling). It was probably the only time I blew my nose, when you saw it. I’m a human being, as everybody else. No, it’s all good.

Q. Last year’s Australian Open was also associated with some revelations about match fixing. 12 years on, what are your reflections how far the sport has come, where we are on that journey, if you like? Anything more on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ideally, we don’t want to see any kind of match fixing occurrences and situations. But unfortunately they do occur from time to time.

I don’t think there are too many. I mean, we haven’t experienced too many, even though every time something surfaces, of course everybody, especially media, makes a great deal about it.

But generally, you know, looking I think ATP and all the authorities are doing a good job in kind of tracking down those kind of potential match fixing matches. I haven’t had chance to see too many cases. Yes, there are some. On a lower level, as well, lower category of the professional tournaments.

 

Serena Williams

Q. You said in Auckland how windy it was there, wasn’t a great chance to assess how you were playing coming into Melbourne. Do you feel now that you’re here, you have a better sense of how you’re feeling under court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt great going into my last event. Hopefully I can improve on that. Well, I can’t get worse, so that’s also very exciting. Hopefully I’ll be able to improve on that.

Q. Does it feel good to be back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Or you’re so occupied on what you were doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve been spending so much time on the court, so… But it feels really good to be back, just hitting on Rod Laver, hitting on all the stadiums, it’s a good feeling.

I love it here. It’s such a great tournament for me, so… Feels really good.

Q. In general, is there something in your game, because of the time off, you feel you really need to improve quite a bit to be back to where you were?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always go in every off-season trying to improve pretty much everything all around. There’s things that I definitely focus on more than others. But for the most part… I don’t really talk about those things. For the most part I go off, try to do better in a lot of things.

Q. This winter when you sat down with the team, did you talk about a different approach for this season? What was the mindset coming into 2017?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely wanted to work on some things, like I just said. Every season I always sit down with Patrick, I have a conversation on what I want to improve on. We work towards that.

Q. How do you view last season? We never really had a chance to get your opinion. Obviously Wimbledon I think is the highlight.
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, it wasn’t a great season. I think for other people it would have been wonderful. For me, it wasn’t.

It was what it was. I’m still hitting.

Q. Health permitting, how much do you want to play this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely don’t want to play a lot, but I don’t think I’ve played a ton throughout the past. I’ve played a lot. I’ve always been super consistent the past five, six years. I definitely want to play probably around… Maybe not as many events.

If I can keep my consistency, that’s all.

Q. The reason I ask is last year you weren’t able to play that much, partly because of injury.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. You mentioned it wasn’t a great year by your standards. Is there a certain amount you feel you do need to play in order to still find your best?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think actually last year’s schedule would be perfect for me. But I was injured a lot last year, especially after Wimbledon. My year basically ended after that, so… If I could have played the tournaments that I would have played, I think that would have an ideal, perfect schedule for me.

Q. When you talk about last year and how injuries kind of interrupted it at different segments, with the time off, do you think you were able to kind of let your body heal up in terms of the things that were bothering you last year, or was it still a little bit of an issue during the off-season or pre-season training?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I got a lot better. I had a little bit of a problem initially in the pre-season. Just did a ton of therapy, exercises. I was able to get a lot better.

I felt that if I hadn’t of taken that time off, could have been bad for me.

Q. Have you seen the forecast for Tuesday, the warm weather, how that will affect things?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t seen it. Is it supposed to be hot?

Q. 38.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uh. Okay, better be ready.

Q. You’re playing Belinda, someone that has beaten you before. Thoughts about playing against someone as good as her right out of the gate?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it will be good for us both. I don’t know if she played here last year. Was it last year? She was quarterfinals, I think. I’m getting my years mixed up. Anyway, she’s done well here before.

So, yeah, she’s had a good win over me. It’s never easy for me. So I always go out there, and all I can do is do my best. I didn’t come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all. If I can play the way I’ve been practicing, it will be fine.

I know she’s been playing well, so it will be good for both of us.

Q. In the six months that Roger was unable to play the sport because of injury, he spoke about a glimpse of life without tennis, but he still kept in touch with it, he still has the passion for it, it helps to motivate him for this year. Do you keep across the sport when you’re unable to play? Does that give you extra motivation, refresh you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t really keep up with it as much. I feel like when I take a break, I just need to really take a complete break, both physically and mentally. I definitely kind of take a step back.

But tennis is a sport that I absolutely love, that I definitely see myself — it’s my life, you know, for the rest of my life, whether I’m playing or whether I’m not playing. It’s definitely something that has made an incredible impact in my life.

Q. A few weeks ago you posted some personal, exciting news. Can you tell us a little bit about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, can you elaborate (smiling)?

Q. You said you were engaged.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh.

Q. That, remember?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’m just kidding (smiling).

Yeah, it’s been really great. I’ve said from the beginning, I just didn’t want to think about it until after Australia because I was, like, Grand Slams mean a lot to me. I was, like, Well, I’m not going to think about it.

It’s almost a little unreal right now because I haven’t taken it in. I’m being rather selfish and focused on my career.

Q. You made it sound like it was a very romantic moment.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was. It was. I’m actually just a really good writer, so… If you guys want any tips, I’m around (laughter).

Q. Does it feel different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Again, not really because I don’t think I’ve had an opportunity to, like, let everything sink in. I won’t allow it to sink in because I’m so focused. It was right in the middle of pre-season. I’m really focused training, cardio, all kinds of stuff.

Now I’m on the road, already back at work. I don’t want to get too happy because I want to stay focused (smiling).

Q. The record, moving past Steffi, been around for a while. These days does it mean anything to you? What are your thoughts on that opportunity?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I’m not talking about that. I’m just here to play and to win obviously, but just to play.

Q. I know you said you don’t want to get too happy. Do you feel like you need a certain amount of anger or something, a drive or focus, to switch on to full gear?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn’t call it anger, but I would definitely say drive and focus. What’s the word? Sacrifice? Yeah, sacrifices that you definitely have to have, so…

 

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Q. How does it feel to be sitting in that chair? Were there any moments in the last 12 months when you wondered whether you might not be sitting in that chair right now?
ROGER FEDERER: No, 12 months ago I was always going to come back because my knee wasn’t so bad, so I never thought to miss the Australian Open a year later. But, of course, after Wimbledon, the race was on for Australia really, trying to make it for here.

I mean, I knew I had plenty of time. Probably in actual fact, if I would have kept everything short, it would have taken me four months then. That was pushing it. I would have had to take chances, test the knee earlier than what would have been good. But by giving myself six months, I had enough time, except if I had some setbacks. I never had that. So actually at the end I had plenty of time.

But so I always felt like I was going to be here. I’m happy I’m here, though. That means the job was well done. I can thank my team for that.

Yeah, was an interesting last six months, to say the least.

Q. What did you miss most?
ROGER FEDERER: Miss most? From here, you mean?

Q. Generally, when you were out. What was it about tennis that you missed?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, from tennis.

I guess you do miss the matches at some point. You miss the feeling of winning, walking onto a stadium, seeing the guys. You know, it’s like an extended family to some extent anyway. You walk around here, it’s probably the same for you. You see faces you haven’t seen in a while. It’s just nice to see everybody again.

Plus I have a lot of friends on the tour, you know, because I’m the returning guest for like 20 years everywhere I go. It feels good to see those familiar faces every single year. It’s something I couldn’t quite enjoy the last six months. That’s probably what I missed the most.

Q. Are you happy how the body has reacted, the preparation, you feel everything is in order?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s under control. I felt great. I felt Hopman Cup was great preparation. We’ll see if it was perfect or not. But conditions felt virtually identical to me. Center court in Perth was sort of similar size. Court speed felt the same. Obviously same continent, all that stuff.

It felt really good. Then practice was more about just managing, maintaining, not overtraining, but nevertheless still play enough to get used to the conditions here again, even though it’s the same. You know how it is, you just have to put down the hours, play the sets. I did that.

Yeah, it’s just more quiet now, whereas in Dubai I was really forcing the issue. I was training extremely hard. I don’t have to do that anymore this week, so I feel like it’s been a light week.

Q. How do you know you’re going to be able to handle the long four or five sets that the Australian Open brings up?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it’s slightly the unknown. You could then argue that it’s the same for everybody. We don’t play four-setters, five-setters every single week. You only play them in Davis Cup now and in Grand Slam play. I went through a year where I didn’t play any five-setters, an entire year.

You could think that’s a good thing for longevity, but it’s not a good thing because you don’t know how it feels to play a five-setter anymore. Yeah, a lot of guys haven’t played four-setters or five-setters in a long time, or never in their life. From that standpoint, I don’t feel like it’s a huge advantage or disadvantage for them.

I trained as hard as I possibly could, so I will be ready for it. I did numerous sessions where I trained over two and a half, three hours. I feel I’m ready.

But, like I said, it is the unknown. It’s the part that I can only once I’ve been there.

Q. There’s a lot of unknown for you in your draw because you play a qualifier, then another qualifier. Does any of you sneak out today to watch the qualifying matches, guys you don’t know, or is it not worth scouting until you know?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean Severin and Ivan, my coaches, are out and about checking it out.

Yeah, it would be good to know who I play. I guess I could tell you what I think. Like this, I’m waiting to find out. Once it’s out, it’s actually a good thing because then you can start actually mentally preparing for the Aussie Open. Is it a lefty, a righty? It’s a big deal. Is he a big server, a grinder? A bit of an unknown here the first round because that’s the part of the draw I care most about because of having not been playing.

Q. Do you feel you have to play catch-up having missed six months, more new faces you’re unfamiliar with than usual?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, I don’t think. I’ve never known all the guys in qualifying. There’s always new faces coming up every season. The guys, a lot of them, who played futures or challengers a year ago may be 300, next thing you know they’re in the top 100. It’s nice to see those new faces. It’s nice to see the changes. It’s no different this year, I don’t feel.

Q. You will remember what it was like to first become world No. 1, which is what Andy is obviously experiencing this week. Does it feel any different? Do you get looked at differently, do you feel? Do you have a different sense of perception?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think it definitely feels different, yeah, because everybody comes up to you and says, You’re the best. You start walking around a bit differently. Just feel more confident overall in your shots without having had to play. It’s a good thing. Usually when you win, you know, it solves everything.

From that standpoint, there’s only one virtually the last four months. I’m sure things have been very smooth for him in his life, family, everything is great. What is there to talk negative about? The negativity goes out of the door a little bit, which is a good thing in tennis. When you can think and feel positive, that rubs off into match play.

Then I guess you come to a point when you just can’t let it affect you, you just have to remind yourself how hard you had to work to actually get there. It’s going to require that plus more to stay there.

But I feel like because Andy is not 18 years old. He knows all about that. I don’t think the ranking in this regard changes him in a big way. I think he’s too laid back for him to also change in terms of attitude towards us.

Yeah, like I said, I’m super happy for him. He deserves it. He’s been in there for a long time. He’s had some tough losses, some great wins over the year. He never kind of strung it together that it would pay off. This time it did, so it’s great for him, great for the sport.

Q. From your perception, somebody who played the role of No. 1 player in the world, dominated many years, in many ways this year you’re kind of an underdog. You talked about the unknown. Are you looking forward to being that, the underdog?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, why not for a change? I mean, I prefer to be the favorite. Underdog is okay. Yeah, no, it’s fine. As long as I’m healthy and I feel like I can go four, five sets, I can go many matches in a row, then I think it’s going to be fun. If I feel like I’m in pain in the matches, then obviously it’s no fun. Then it doesn’t matter what your seeding or ranking is, it’s always the same.

But, no, it’s a great draw because I’m in the draw. So for me I’m super pleased that I made it here, that I have an opportunity to win matches. How many rests to be seen. I’m cautious myself. So, yeah, clearly an underdog this time around.

Q. Do you like the new logo of the Australian Open?
ROGER FEDERER: It’s okay (smiling).

Q. You were here last year when the headlines about match fixing were in the news.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought we were going to finish on a good one (smiling).

Q. There’s been 12 months of debate, a lot of people calling for money even in the qualifying of Grand Slams. What do you think of that notion? Is there anything left undone, something else we could be doing to address the problem?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, some guys who have been called for match fixing are ranked extremely low. That’s at the very beginning stages, I mean you can’t be offering — I don’t know how much prize money is there. You’re playing in futures or tournaments they’re playing in.

I think it’s important that the tournament does the utmost. The Integrity Unit is analyzing the situation. I think we’re going to get a report back in a couple months, what I heard, which I think is great. That’s going to change the sport for the better.

Clearly we have no space for that kind of behavior in our sport. The good thing is that it’s really only zero point something percent of players that actually have done something over the course of so many matches and so many players. I think we’ve done actually okay.

Like you said, there can always be more done. But I think also through experiences, you learn through those mistakes, whoever did them, the tour, the player, the Federation, I don’t know. It’s tough. But I think important is to support players and educate them the right way to make them aware of the dangers potentially, also what lies ahead as a player you don’t know. That’s where it’s good to have a mentor, older brother on the tour you can lean on and ask for advice.

I felt I was lucky early on in my days that I had that. I had a great coach who was on the tour before. I had guys like Marc Rosset, former players that I could always ask for advice, sound advice, because they’d been on tour for 10 years. Or just ask my parents. But they didn’t have a tennis background, so it’s more tricky there. Maybe the Federation, as well. I think it’s very supportive in a tough environment sometimes.

 

 

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

Q. What’s your mindset going into this tournament after winning the most recent Grand Slam?
STAN WAWRINKA: I’m happy to be back, like every player probably. I think I’m work well in the off-season. Started well in Brisbane. I think my level is there. I’m ready to start the tournament. Excited to start the first Grand Slam of the year, first one against Klizan, a tough player that I played only a few years ago, but is a really dangerous player.

It’s going to be interesting to see the first match.

Q. What is the most dangerous aspect when you play against a lefty?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, depends who you play. For sure, if you play Rafa, if you play Klizan…

I think for me, I don’t have really problem because he is a lefty player. I’m quite confident with my backhand, so it depends all about me, the way I’m going to start, the way I’m going to play.

Q. Last year you started the season in India. Now you move starting the season in Australia. Is there a special reason to do that?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. I’ve been playing India for nine years in a row. I always enjoy there. I always liked it there.

But I heard a lot of good things about Brisbane. Roger played also. He always told me was a great tournament. I wanted to change a little bit to see some new city, some new tournament. It’s also good mentally. So I took the decision to start here in Australia.

I think was a great week. I really enjoy there, the city, the people at the tournament, the fans. Was a lot of fans. Think was a perfect start of the year.

Q. You said you wanted to change a bit. Did you also change something in the preparation? What was the special focus in this off-season for you?
STAN WAWRINKA: Didn’t really change anything big. I had good time. I’m happy the way I did my off-season. Was some good quality fitness-wise and tennis. Keep improving, keep trying to find what I can improve in my game, keep pushing myself.

I’m really happy with the level I’m playing right now. I know that if I can keep pushing during the year, keep doing the right thing, the big result will come.

Q. I saw you and Roger are already out of Davis Cup in the U.S. Is that an easy decision for you, having to go to a different continent?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, schedule-wise it’s really tough after one month in Australia to go back to States, to come back to play in Europe, then go back to States after. It is never easy to not play Davis Cup, but with that schedule, was really tough for me to be available for the team.

Q. The local reaction to the draw, forecasting past round one?
STAN WAWRINKA: Not really, because it can be in the fourth round. I’m not there yet. He’s not there yet neither. For me it’s all about focus, what we do the first round. If I won the first round, then it’s going to be the second round.

We all know how the draw is. We all look the draw, full draw, we all see what can be the draw for after. But at the end the focus, it’s in the first match because if you don’t pass it, you never get to that match.

Q. Last year you had Richard Krajicek for the grass court season. Do you plan to have another coach?
STAN WAWRINKA: For the season or for the grass?

Q. The grass court season.
STAN WAWRINKA: Grass is really far away from where I am right now, so… Not really, no. I focus on everything we have before starting the first Grand Slam now. That’s the main focus.

 

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

Q. You’re in the same quarter as Murray and Federer. After your Brisbane performance, how confident are you that you can go deep in the Australian Open?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was great run last week in Brisbane. First time to get a final. So I’m really happy with my start of the year. Yeah, we’ll see. Have a tough first round. Try to play one match at a time. Yeah, hope I can make to second week.

Q. How are you feeling physically at the moment? Obviously you have an off-season. It’s an unusual schedule in a way that you finish your long year, have a break, then suddenly you have one of the biggest events of the year straightaway.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, feeling pretty good. I had a good off-season. I rest a lot before I do the training session. Had a good off-season, you know. Good training, good practicing. I thought I, you know, started well this year.

So, yeah, it’s going to be really important how I do here to get a lot of confidence for start of the season. Yeah, feeling pretty good after I hurt in Brisbane in the final, but I feeling pretty good.

Q. You’ve obviously been a top-10 player now for quite a long time. What do you think you’re still capable of doing in this sport?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s been three years now maybe to be in top 10. Well, I got really mentally strong. I think I’m more consistent and much more mature for everything, you know, even off the court, on the court too.

Yeah, everything is getting better now.

Q. Do you think you can win one of these tournaments? You reached a Grand Slam final. From what you’ve seen of your level, and everybody else’s level, do you think you can win a Grand Slam?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, that’s what I believe in myself. I hope I can get a Grand Slam title sometimes. But I haven’t get big title yet, even the Masters tournaments. That’s something what I need for my confidence and experience.

Yeah, my goal this year is to win a big tournament.

 

 

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

Q. Why did you change your coach to Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: It was just a timing of how things went. I feel like for me to make the steps I want, especially forward, specifically with that focus, you have these two guys that move very well laterally. I don’t think I’m ever going to be the best guy from the baseline by any means, especially not against them. If I’m going to take it to them, it’s by coming forward. So I wanted to improve in that aspect.

Q. Why did you add Richard Krajicek to your staff?
MILOS RAONIC: That’s the same exact question.

No, it’s really to help me be more efficient going forward. I believe you have these two guys that are phenomenal right now at the top of the game covering the baseline. It’s really hard to get by them, especially with the way they move. I can’t expect to move like they do. I think I’ve got to be at least 20, 25 pounds heavier than them. It’s going to be about moving forward.

I think Richard could really help me in being more aggressive, more forward orientated, and more efficient when I’m able to get myself coming in.

Q. With regard to that, a year ago here you seemed to be doing a lot of that. You were going to the net a lot this time last year. You got to the semifinals. You were one set away from the final here. Do you think you need to be up there even more? Does Richard think you need to be up there?
MILOS RAONIC: I wouldn’t say even more. I think it’s about the consistency of it. When I was here last year, I was very efficient at coming forward. I did a lot of things well.

It could be because of the sort of injury. After that I didn’t have really the capacity to train properly. It sort of drifted away. It had come time to March in Indian Wells, Miami, I wasn’t coming in as much. Obviously on clay, it’s its own situation. Wimbledon and through the grass, obviously the situation did help me come forward more. But then through the rest of the summer and fall, I didn’t do it that much.

With those lapses of consistency, it’s really hard to make the true progress. So that goal is to some days it’s going to be more efficient than others. But if I’m able to put myself in that situation more consistently, I will continue to improve.

Q. Is it something that comes naturally to you psychologically, or do you have to actually remind yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: It depends on what the scenarios are. Sometimes against guys that are lower ranked, I can get away with staying further back. Sometimes I’m not disciplined enough, or attention focused on that specific thing in those situations.

Then obviously, you don’t want to be arriving to a quarterfinal or a semifinal in these big tournaments and expect yourself to be efficient coming forward. So it’s about obtaining that perspective, that command within myself to do it from the beginning of the tournament, so that when it does get to later stages where it’s not very optional, it’s something I need to do if I want to give myself the best opportunity to win. It’s been already tried, tested and true by then.

Q. How do you feel game-wise coming into the tournament after the few matches you had since the start of the tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: I feel good. Obviously this year is a lot different than last year. Last year the first matches of the year were the most important to me because I didn’t play at the end of 2015. So I really needed to get an understanding of where I was at. Right now I have a much better understanding of where I’m at, and now it’s really about I know what I can get out of myself. It’s more important to be mentally prepared, sort of grit my way through and get that out of myself. Some days I’ll be successful, some days not. But if I’m mental able to really be on top of myself, I’ll give myself a chance to win, and hopefully progress throughout the tournament.

Q. You are world No. 3 right now. Could you catch up Novak and Andy? Do you have confidence?
MILOS RAONIC: I definitely do have that confidence. But it’s going to take some time. They’re significantly ahead of anybody as far as points go and as far as results over the past 12 months.

Q. Have you changed anything in your preparation physically to try to get rid of the injuries you got last year?
MILOS RAONIC: We focus on different things. I think sort of the hours spent on court, we did that a little bit less in the off-season. Most of my injuries do tend to be in the lower half of my body. There was two focuses. Obviously spending less time pounding my lower body on concrete. Spent more time in the gym, sort of changed around that ratio a little bit.

Obviously the off-season was as long as previous years as well. Then focused on losing a little bit of weight, refocusing on that. Something that can help me throughout the year. Obviously those hours spent with a few extra pounds here and there can make a difference.

Q. What are your experiences with Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: They’ve been very positive. We spent somewhere close to I believe now eight to ten days together. We spent the last week of the off-season together. We spent Abu Dhabi together. It’s been very positive.

We’ve focused on a lot of things, especially obviously coming forward being the main thing. Last year there was a few things that I did well. There was two specific matches I was — two important matches I was able to get ahead a set and a break. I gave that away. We focused on in those situations I could take better care of my serve. Then we focused a little bit technically on cleaning things up at the net so I can be a little bit more efficient, where I position myself, how I cover the net, so forth.

Q. Is he now your head coach or is there no difference between the two coaches?
MILOS RAONIC: Virtually there’s really no difference. Richard is going to be doing mostly tournaments with me, where he’s going to help me getting the best out of myself. Ricardo is more doing the weeks when I sort of go home, do the training weeks, these kind of things.

I think both of them have equally as important a role as the other.

Q. You mentioned you focused on when you’re a set and a break ahead, that kind of situation that you had with Andy.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, there were two situations. There was the situation in Queen’s and obviously in the semifinals there.

You can’t really put yourself in that situation through practice. You got to deal with those situations. There was attention put into what do I need to do differently or what can I expect in those scenarios that I look for.

I believe obviously the situation in Queen’s was quite different from the one in the O2 because the one in Queen’s, it came down to one or two points, whereas in the O2 it was 4-4, I had mistakes, I believe. It’s how to manage those situations, being a little bit more aware of them.

Q. What is the conclusion?
MILOS RAONIC: The conclusion is sometimes I have to take more time. Sometimes I’d veer off what I was doing to get myself to that point. It’s being more disciplined, remembering those things, sort of sticking to that, no hocus-pocus.

Q. I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to lose weight over Christmas personally.
MILOS RAONIC: Thanksgiving, as well. That wasn’t easy (smiling).

No, it’s something that actually I started preparing for all the way in September, after the disappointment at the US Open, just being aware of that. I knew I can’t really expect too much from myself, especially changing habits while I’m playing.

The grunt part of it, the main focus of it was done in those three, four weeks that I had.

Q. Did you change your diet completely?
MILOS RAONIC: To some extent, you know. I think it’s more before I have what I can and cannot eat, then just manage it. Now it’s I have what I should eat and how much of it I should eat.

 

Garbine Muguruza

GARBINE MUGURUZA

Q. I was watching the tournament in Brisbane, watching some of your matches there. You seemed super motivated. You seemed really excited to be back out on the court. Do you feel a little bit different this year, maybe refreshed from the off-season and so forth?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I don’t feel very different. I think it’s just like the continuation, I don’t know if it makes sense, of the last year.

I know it’s a new start. Like you said, I’m very motivated. I think I’m in a great position to be, and looking forward to play, try to find my best level, hopefully more weeks.

Yeah, that brings me a lot of motivation.

Q. Have you done anything different in your off-season this time compared to previous years?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Not really something different. I think I did a good preparation with my team. We focus a lot my kind of weak parts of the body, just to not get injured, or to be more days more prepared for the matches.

I spend a lot of time on the court. But I think it’s part of the pre-season, you know, schedule.

Q. Since Brisbane, what have you been up to in terms of trying to get your body as fit as possible for the tournament?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, when I stop Brisbane, I just rest actually for a lot of days. Like rest, did nothing, no tennis, no fitness. I just trying to recover with my physio until I arrived here, and I started playing again. You know, just refreshing my body from those difficult matches to try to be here 100%.

Q. How have things been feeling for you on court physically and rhythm-wise?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I think good. I had enough off days to prepare. I think it took me long than I thought to recover from those matches.

But, yeah, I feel good. I’ve been training here for the past three days. Yeah, I feel ready.

Q. I imagine this tournament has some pretty fond memories for you. It’s probably the first time I really became aware of your potential, the matches you had here two or three years ago. What is it like to play here compared to the other slams for you?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I remember this was the first Grand Slam — was it first one? Was not the first one that I played the main draw, but was the first one that I win a match in the main draw. I was very happy. So it brings me a lot of memories, you know, getting into more level matches. I remember playing on Rod Laver and Hisense. Like you said, very good matches that make me more, you know, self-confidence.

I think I always play well here, so I’m very happy to be back. It’s one of our favorite tournaments, Australian Open. They improve a lot of things every year, which is amazing for us. My manager still remember the first match he saw me here. It was 14-12 the third set, so is funny (smiling).

Q. Every slam offers different challenges, like specific things to the US Open or the French or Wimbledon that make it difficult. At the Australian Open, what are the particular challenges of playing this tournament and trying to win it?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I usually fight with the heat. I mean, I think not only me, everybody fights against the heat. Sometimes is very tough. I know when you play in the beautiful center courts, there’s air-conditioning. But we all started in the outside courts, you know, where you have to fight. It’s 40 degrees. You’re exhausted.

So I think that’s the most harder. But I think there’s a lot of good things here. I think I feel when I come to Australia there is like a tennis month. It’s like crazy. I’m okay, tennis month. I put the TV, everybody is watching tennis. The fans, they’re so involved in this month because of the tennis.

Q. I remember a match you played at the US Open against Johanna Konta a couple years ago. She won that match. It was incredible. She’s gone on from there to be a top-10 player. She just won in Sydney. Is that a surprise to you, that she’s managed to go from the player that beat you that day? Did you expect her to be as high as she is right now?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, before we played that match, I knew her before. She used to train sometimes in Spain. I remember that match. It was like five-hours match. It’s true that since that year, kind of, she went very like this, up.

I think she’s just a very good player, and she’s showing it. I mean, everybody takes their moment and their timing to start climbing. But she’s definitely showing a lot of consistency since last year. She’s improving, improving. I saw little bit in Sydney.

So, yeah, she’s playing great.

Q. When you think back to those early days when you would play here at this tournament on the outside courts, nobody knew who you were, your manager is walking around outside taking a look, how different was it to play a first-round match when you were a little bit less known, a little bit more anonymous, compared to what is the feeling like nowadays as a top player playing the first match as a Grand Slam? Mentally and emotionally, how different is that?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Is different but is not that far away. Okay, like, five years ago I came here, I’m like, I’m in Australia. It’s a Grand Slam. I walking through the rooms and I see all these top-10 people. Amazing, I follow them and stuff. You are so nervous, so nervous.

But now you come and you’re so nervous, too, for different reasons. Is a very important tournament, you work so hard to go out there and play good and perform well. It’s different, but at the same time emotionally it takes a lot of energy.

 

 

 

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios

Q. The knee update, please?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s feeling really good. I’ve done four or five treatments on it. Got one more tomorrow. Yeah, it’s feeling a lot better since I last competed, which was in Perth. So I’ve had massive improvements in my knee.

Q. And the treatment is?
NICK KYRGIOS: Just putting, like, patches on my knee. It’s another way to insert some cortisone in my knee.

Q. Happy about the Hisense situation?
NICK KYRGIOS: Definitely. I think Hisense is one of my favorite courts, if not my favorite. I feel confident on that court. I love the way it looks. I like the dimensions of it. It’s a great serving court. Yeah, I like playing there.

Q. When you played the Fast4 just a few days after Perth, you looked pretty good. Were you feeling pain-free?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, a couple, two days. I think I played four days after. Yeah, I had a couple treatments. I had to test it out there. If I wasn’t able to play Fast4, I probably wasn’t going to look good to play a best of five match. I had to test it out there. It was still giving me some pain, but definitely feeling some improvement already.

Q. How do you feel about your draw?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think it’s very good. Obviously you get rewarded with a good draw the higher your seeding is. I played well last year. Got my ranking to top 30 in the world. I’ve been awarded with a pretty good draw.

Saying that, Elias can play some pretty high-level tennis. Everyone in the draw can, can beat anyone on the day. I got to go out there and not expect to win the match. I got to go out there and just play and we’ll see how it goes.

Q. What are your expectations, Nick, coming in here, given obviously you haven’t played a regular tour event for a while, and the knee? Where are you setting the bar?
NICK KYRGIOS: You know, I’m never been a player to play many tournaments before a Grand Slam. I like to come in pretty fresh. So my expectations are high. I still feel like I can do some major damage and get to the second week and really cause some upsets, so…

My expectations are still pretty high.

Q. Do you get a sense from the Australian public, there’s been some rocky moments lately, do you get a sense that everyone is behind you and wants to see you play to your full potential?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I thought in Perth everyone was behind me. In the Fast4, as well. I think it would be silly not to. We got two players in the top 30 that can do really well and go deep in the draw. We got a lot of guys in the draw that can do well, younger guys. Jordan Thompson is playing well now. It’s exciting. It’s an exciting time for Australian tennis. Yeah, I think everyone should just get behind everyone because we all can play well.

Q. Did you do much different in the off-season this year compared to previous years?
NICK KYRGIOS: I had a bit more of a schedule this year. I had a strength conditioner. We’ve been working pretty hard. Yeah, I guess it was a couple weeks where I didn’t have him this year. I kind of did my own thing. I think that’s how my knee started flaring up a little bit. Live and learn, hopefully next year I’ll get it right.

Q. Do you feel a different player than last year when you sat in that chair?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I feel like last year I was an established top-hundred player. I hadn’t beat top guys on a consistent basis. I feel like now I know what I can do on the court. Last year I was pretty consistent throughout the year. Won three titles. Got to 13. I feel more comfortable on the court. I know what my game is, I know how to play it. I know I can beat anyone on the day.

 

Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic

Q. How would you sum up your preparations?
BERNARD TOMIC: Pretty good. I was practicing very well. And, yeah, I got a bunch of exhibitions in, so it was important for me get matches regardless of win/loss.

I’m feeling pretty confident. I play a tough player first round here, so it’s going to be a tough match. He’s not easy to play for me, so I have to get ready for this match with all my effort.

Q. You expect he’ll make you work pretty hard? Is that the way he goes about it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he’s very intense. He’s beaten a lot of top players. I think he’s reached almost top 20 in the world, won multiple titles. For me he’s a top 10, 15 player on clay. It’s going to be tough.

His ranking now is 60, 70. He’s one of those players, where he’s playing well, he’s not an easy player to play.

I have to come into this match 100% from the first point. That’s going to be very important for me, you know.

Q. What do you make of your draw more generally?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I saw the first two matches potentially. It’s tough. Everybody in the first round can play. I don’t look any more further ahead. The times I’ve looked further ahead, I’ve sort of lost. I think you have to respect everyone. Everybody can beat everybody here. It’s a Grand Slam. Everyone is playing to win, playing for themselves at the best level. They’ve prepared at their best.

For me this first round is important. After that I’ll see who I play, but I really don’t care.

Q. It’s going to be hot, Monday and Tuesday.
BERNARD TOMIC: It’s not going to be easy. I just have to deal with it. It’s going to be the same for everybody on that day. Tuesday is going to be tough. I have to be hydrated, ready. We’ve seen many times here at the Open where people are not physically ready, have to withdraw. It gets sometimes out of hand sometimes with the heat. It’s something you have to play, not just the opponent, but the heat. I guess I have to be ready for this.

Q. There’s been a lot spoken about your fitness. Where would you rank it out of 10?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think honestly, if I can say there are 50 people fitter than me outside of the top 70 to 150 in the world. There are some players not as fit as me inside the top 10, 15 in the world.

Will fitness help them? I don’t think so. I feel obviously the big servers, Isner, Raonic, Kyrgios, Karlovic are there. I don’t think fitness can help them. Fitness has got me… I’ve based my sport, what I’ve got in my career, with my serve, my ability to play tennis.

I think there are many fitter players than me that are outside the top 100 in the world. I think we can skip this question.

Q. Has your weight stabilized?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’m not going to answer that.

Q. How would you describe your sort of hunger or desperation for bigger and better things this year, at this tournament, and in 2017 generally? How high of goals do you set for yourself, what is success, what is failure?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, top 10 is my goal. Top 20, because my goal two years ago, a year and a half ago. I achieved that from being 130 in the world prior to two surgeries from that. Now my goal is to get to top 10 and stay there many years. You have to work for this. It’s not going to happen overnight.

I think my year last year was pretty solid. I didn’t play many tournaments. I think I pulled out of two Masters Series. I think I only play two Masters Series out of the nine. My ranking ended 26 at the end of the year, from a start of 17, 18. I think I did reasonably well last year compared to the tournaments I missed.

Yeah, this year I have to play all the Masters Series and try to do well at them. I’m looking forward to this year.

Q. Are there big steps between you and the top 10 or are you already doing everything right?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think there are a lot of good players in the top 20, top 30 that are top-10 players. You got to get there. You got to earn it. Whether it comes like that or in four, five years, you know, you obviously are going to get your chance. If you’re consistent, you work hard, do the right things, you have a big chance at this.

There are, like I said, many, many players from top 20, 30 in the world that are amazing tennis players, potentially play better than some of the guys in the top 10. But it’s a different game. You have to be more consistent, you have to work for this. It takes a year. It doesn’t take three tournaments.

Q. You’ve been pretty consistent here throughout the years. Is that because it’s at home, the time of year? How do you explain that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think this is my ninth Australian Open. I’m 24, just turned. This is my ninth Australian Open. It’s crazy to think how long it’s been. I obviously played my first match year at 16, where I think I won the youngest match. It’s gone pretty quickly. I always played well. Always made a lot of third rounds, fourth rounds. I’d like to go a step further, play better.

But, yeah, it’s obviously a tough draw. It’s going to be tough. I think I’ve got to use the moment, use the crowd. Obviously the fans get behind me, I’m sure they will. They always get behind our Australian players and support them to their limits. I think that’s what makes us play really good in Australia.

Q. When you say you’re not looking at the wins and losses, other people are saying it’s not great preparation. What make you more confident, what makes you shrug this off?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, yeah, I think I chose to play a few different events as opposed to playing Sydney like I played in the past four, five years. So I feel like, yeah, Brisbane I lost to a former world No. 3. It was a tough match. I take a lot from it. I went down to Sydney, played the exhibition. Same as Kooyong. Different sort of matches, I was working on a few things. I don’t really rate these matches as winning or losing, Sydney and Kooyong. That’s not important to me. What’s important for me is to get out on the court, do my thing and work on a few things I needed to do. And just to be ready mentally for the Open. I played very good in my past here where I haven’t been prepared for tournaments. Sometimes it happens just like that. Sometimes I prepared well and not been as ready.

But that’s tennis. Players work hard, try their ass off, sometimes you lose. Sometimes you’re less prepared, and you do well.

Q. You’re looking forward to the fans getting behind you? To 10,000 Aussies. Be put out on Hisense?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think Hisense is an amazing court. It’s huge. The atmosphere builds there. Everybody is behind everybody. It’s a good court.

Regardless of where I play, I think I’m going to have huge support. It’s an amazing feeling to see people supporting in a Grand Slam the Australian players. It’s very motivating. I hope the fans can all support us.

 

Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic

Q. How did you find out about your first-round opponent? What was your reaction?
BELINDA BENCIC: Twitter (smiling). My Twitter was blowing up. I was like, What’s going on? That’s when I saw it.

My first reaction was actually, like, really happy. So I think I’m super pumped, like excited I get to play on the big court, I guess.

Yeah, like everyone is like, Oh, bad luck with the draw. Me, I’m, like, pretty happy and excited about it.

Q. Why do you think it’s not bad luck?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, I think we’re going to play on the big court. It’s a big match, playing against Serena Williams. It’s what everyone’s working for. To play Australian Open, of course like first round, but that’s how it is. I’m just pumped about it, yeah.

Q. What are your memories of that match at the Rogers Cup against her?
BELINDA BENCIC: Memories, like, they never go away. They’re always there. The best ones, for sure.

I still remember, like, the last game, like every point, everything. It was, for sure, my biggest win until now.

I hope I can take this memory and put it to positive energy to be, like, super confident on the court, and play good.

Q. Do you remember thinking after that match or when you talked to your father, whoever, about what exactly you thought you did well in that match to get that win?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yes, I think I did very well that I always, you know, even though she killed me the first set, I always stayed there, putting the balls back, playing, trying the best. I always was there.

At some point she also got a little bit, like, down in the match. That’s where I kind of could take the overhand and get to the third set, yeah.

Q. It seems as though you’ve had a tough time in the last year or so physically. How do you feel right now? If we were to look at 100%, where are you right now?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, exactly, last year was very tough. I got one injury, then it was a circle into the next one. I just didn’t stop. I was really happy about it. I came back, didn’t play very good.

Now I think I’m really motivated to play, first of all. I’m so happy to be here.

Physically I have nothing that bothers me, except this thing in Sydney. No, I think I’m pretty close to 100%.

Q. People see you as a dangerous floater, somebody who can cause trouble. Do you feel yourself that way? Do you feel like somebody that Serena should be not afraid of, but somebody that can possibly make some noise here?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, of course I want to see myself that way. I think I had good result when I was playing. Of course I was injured. It was not that great. But first of all, every first-round opponent is a dangerous floater, so you have to be careful with everyone.

But, I mean, we played each other two times already. We both know what to expect now. I think it will be, for sure, a good match, yeah.

Q. How is the toe?
BELINDA BENCIC: It’s good. It fell off (laughter). If you want to see a video or something.

No, no, it’s okay. The physio take good care of me, they tape it for the match, for the practices. When I stop, it’s not that bad. I made a hole into my shoe, so I don’t put it like this.

But it’s a common tennis injury. It’s the first time I had.

Q. Can you talk through your pre-season a little bit. Where did you do it? What was the main priority, especially given your last season? What was the main thing you were working on?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I practice in Florida, at Evert Academy. We flew straightaway to Perth. I think the main priority was for sure to stay healthy. I didn’t practice that much like I’m used to. I didn’t work that much on fitness, that much on tennis. My priority was to stay healthy, to always feel good on the court.

I think we did pretty well. Then I had a great first tournament in Perth, so that help me a lot to get the matches again. It was amazing. Put me in a positive mood from the first tournament in the year.

Q. Do you remember what sort of game plan it was that worked against Serena last time? Are you already thinking, I know it worked, I can do that again?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, for sure I remember. I’m going to try to do that again. I’m not going to tell you now what exactly because then she will know (smiling).

Q. Quick turnaround from Sydney over to here. How are you feeling with all of the matches in your body through the first two weeks of the season?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, I feel very good. I think much better than in China after the first couple matches. Of course, losing the match rhythm, your body not used to the matches last two months…

I feel good. Of course, losing finals always disappointing. But still a good week. Couple great matches against top players. So hoping I can play the same good tennis here in Melbourne.

Q. Your opponent in round one is a former world No. 31. She actually beat you in your last meeting in the French Open. What was your reaction when you saw she was your first-round opponent?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, it’s a tough draw for sure. We played so many times. Obviously in Paris the last time, but we had a lot of good three-set matches I think on every surface.

Well, the draw is the draw. We’ll see after the match.

Q. Your performance in Sydney, you said yourself you couldn’t have played any better. You must be pretty confident heading in.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, I’m very confident. I really hope I can play the same tennis, even the tennis I played in the final.

Well, of course, every tournament is different story. Especially in the tough first round. Well, I still have two days to practice here, adjust to surface and conditions. We’ll see.

Q. Pironkova can be a tricky opponent. Does it help you kind of having the string of wins and the matches? It’s almost like you’re mid tournament form instead of going in completely cold.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, for sure, tournament like Sydney is helping a lot. Playing pretty much two, three days later against a good player for sure is better than playing as a first match.

So, like you said, Pironkova is a very tricky opponent. I’m expecting everything from her side. For sure it’s going to be a lot of running. I’m going to really have to work on each point.

Q. Have you had a chance to hit on these courts yet?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Not yet. I just arrived like two hours ago.

Q. With the heat in Sydney, it was a hot week there, how does that make you feel heading into the tournament? Does that make you feel more confident with the conditions?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I was the lucky one playing in the evenings. But it was still very humid and hot. But, yes, well, that was for sure a very good warmup before here. I know it’s going to be hot as well here next week.

We’ll see the schedule. Of course, playing second or third match isn’t going to be easy.

Q. Most people talk about your chances of winning Wimbledon, but you’ve had good success here in the past, semifinals last year. What helps you in your game here at Melbourne Park? What has been the challenge of making the final here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, every Grand Slam is different. We can see even different top seeds, different opponents.

What is helping? I really feel good on this center court. I like to play here. I like Australia. I’ve been always playing good tennis here. Two semis. Of course, that’s always very close till the end. Hopefully I can do one step forward and play seven matches here.

Q. Does Kerber and everything she did last year play on your mind at all in terms of being a player of that generation, being able to have that very unexpected breakthrough? Do you think of that at all? Is it a separate thing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think this is big inspiration for everyone. Winning two Grand Slams the same year, other couple big finals. That’s for sure something amazing. She really played unbelievable tennis whole season. She just proved that she can do it. I mean, two Grand Slams just from pretty much nowhere.

But, well, I think in moments that’s going to happen. I think she just proved that last year, that she can really play great tennis, beating even Serena in the final.

 

Karolina Pliskova

Q. You had the week off. How are you feeling after Brisbane? How is the body feeling fitness-wise and all that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I took just two days off, then I’ve been practicing here since Tuesday. Even yesterday. I had three days off.

But I’ve been feeling good so far. Yeah, I was even ready for Monday start, but will be ready even for Tuesday.

Q. How are the courts playing for you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was practicing few times on the outside courts, which I think is pretty fast. Obviously the bigger courts are not that fast, I would say, but still fast.

I like it. So let’s see.

Q. Has your life changed very much in the Czech Republic after being in the US Open final?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Not much. It was already kind of before the same. When we won the Fed Cup final, then it changed, I would say. I don’t know how many people are following this tournament in Czech. But Fed Cup is just the biggest thing in Czech.

So little bit, and now it’s still about the same, so… It’s not that bad, but like people recognize me a little bit.

Q. Do you mind that? Do you care that people recognize you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t need this, to be honest, no. I’m fine with that. I just know it. It cannot get any other way than this. But I don’t need it, definitely not (smiling).

Q. Has your preparation for Grand Slams changed over the years or is it pretty much the same preparing for the Open, as it was in New York, other slams before that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this week is similar to New York actually with the playing. I won Cincinnati, then I would withdraw from New Haven. I’m trying to be 100% ready, even if I feel something a little bit after that week in Brisbane. If you’re playing well, have a lot of matches, I don’t see any reason to play another tournament which is ending Saturday, then you would have to still play on Monday, which I think it’s tough, especially in these conditions here in Australia.

That’s what I did in New York, as well. So I just did it here.

I don’t know if it’s going to worked. But I just want to leave everything in this tournament, in this Grand Slam. For me the main goals are Grand Slams. So I want to be ready for it.

Q. Which Grand Slam do you think you have the best chance to win?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I should now say US Open because I was in the final there. But, yeah, I think I have chance little bit everywhere. It’s smallest I would say obviously the clay, French Open.

Q. Do you consider yourself as one of the favorites to win this year, after winning Brisbane and playing so well over there?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would definitely not take me as a favorite of this tournament. It’s a big draw. There is a lot of players. I just take it step by step.

I just know my opponent from the first round. I want to pass this one. Then we can talk about the next one.

There is still I think many more players better than me. I guess everyone is in shape and everyone is excited to play this Grand Slam. It’s the first Grand Slam of the year. Everyone was working hard in the off-season, so it’s tough to say. We will just see after few rounds here.

Q. You just got a new coach. What do you want from a coach?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I just want him to believe in me and just to prepare me for the tournament which I want to play the best tennis, which are all the Grand Slams, like I said. Just to be ready and give me the advices which I need, just to know little bit about me, my game. I want him to go the way where I want to go. We both decided we definitely want to play aggressive tennis. He’s just pushing me this way, to be better player than I am now.

Q. What do you like from on-court coaching? How can he help?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: So far with my new coach I did it just once in Brisbane. Was not that needed there. So let’s see in the next tournaments.

But, yeah, it’s more about maybe tactics, what to play. Obviously you call coach when you are losing, it’s about the same. He sees it definitely different from the place where he’s sitting than me on the court. Maybe he can just give me few advices, what to play, what not to play, where she’s better or not. Also little bit to motivate.

You have one minute. You cannot say much.

Q. What’s the primary memory you have when you won the junior title here?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It’s seven years now, so… I still remember, of course I do. But, yeah, it was my first Grand Slam what I’ve played. So obviously the final, what I was playing on Rod Laver, it was huge for me. I was small and scared, and then I won. So was a big thing, first big result what I ever had.

Q. What do you make the vibe of the Melbourne? You did so well at the US Open. That’s a tournament that’s very New York. It’s crowded, loud, hot, traffic. Melbourne is very different from that. Does this environment suit you during your off time?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this is little bit better place for me than New York. But I don’t want to compare. Every city is different. Here you have time. Doesn’t take you one hour to get to the hotel, which is nice. Even the weather I would say it’s quite similar. Can be colder. Can be also more hot here.

Yeah, every Grand Slam is different. I think this can be the place where I can play my best tennis as well, because the courts suit me. The weather as well, the balls as well. Why not here?

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Singles Draws Made at Australian Open

 

(January 13, 2017) Friday saw the singles draws made for the first major tournament of the tennis year, the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Top men’s seed Andy Murray will open his campaign to try and win his first major down under against Ukrainian Illya Marchenko. Second seed, defending champion and six-time winner Novak Djokovic faces a tricky opponent in Fernando Verdasco. The Serb beat the Spaniard in Doha last week, saving five match points. Verdasco upset Rafael Nadal in the first round of last year’s Australian Open.

Third seed Milos Raonic will play German Dustin Brown, while fourth seed Stan Wawrinka faces Slovakian Martin Klizan.

Men’s Singles Draw

Potential round of 16:

Andy Murray-Lucas Pouille

Tomas Berdych- Kei Nishikori

Stan Wawrinka-Nick Kyrgios

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga- Marin Cilic

Gael Monfils- Rafael Nadal

Roberto Bautista Agut – Milos Raonic

Dominic Thiem- David Goffin

Grigor Dimitrov- Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer, the 17th seed could meet Tomas Berdych in the third round.

 

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In the women’s draw, top seed and defending Angelique Kerber drew Ukraine’s  Lesia Tsurenko, to open her title defense. Serena Williams, the No. 2 seed and six -time Australian Open champion, who is seeking her 23rd major, faces a challenge from former Top Ten player Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

Third seed  Agnieszka Radwanska plays Tsvetana Pironkova, who upset her at last year’s French Open. Fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania, matches up against American Shelby Rogers.

Women’s Singles Draw 

Potential round of 16:

Angelique Kerber- Roberto Vinci

Carla Suarez Navarro-Garbine Muguruza

Simona Halep-Venus Williams

Elina Svitolina- Svetlana Kuznetsova

Karolina Pliskova-Timea Bacsinszky

Elina Vesnina- Aga Radwanska

Dominika Cibulkova-Johanna Konta

Barbora Strycova-Serena Williams

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