December 11, 2016

Nick Kyrgios Wins Open 13 for First ATP World Tour Title

 

(February 21, 2016) Nick Kyrgios captured his first career ATP World Tour title defeating fourth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the Open 13 final in Marseille on Sunday.

This was Kyrgios’ second final, he lost to Richard Gasquet in the Estoril title match last year.
The 20-year-old Australian did not lose a set or his serve during the tournament. He closed out the match with an ace. He beat three top 12 players in succession – No. 10 Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals, No. 8 Tomas Berdych in the semifinals and No. 12, the 2014 U.S. Open champion Cilic in the final.

He is the first player under of 21 to defeat two Top Ten players in consecutive matches since Juan Martin del Potro did it at the 2009 U.S. Open  when the Argentine beat Rafael Nadal in the semifinals and Roger Federer in the final.

“I played my first final last year and was looking for my first title,” Kyrgios said. “But I didn’t really expect to win this title this week after having a couple of weeks off. But from the first round I started playing really well and just gained confidence as I kept winning matches.

“I think I served really, really well again. I was serving really well all week. I didn’t get broken once. That was the main thing that was good. And I was able to put pressure on my opponents’ serves a lot when I was going through my service games really quickly.”

“I felt I was getting much closer in that second set,” said the 27-year-old Croatian finalist. “Every game was becoming a little more intense. I felt also that he was becoming a bit more frustrated, which was good for me. I had a chance at the end of the second set to get the break, but he managed to play well.

“I think he played really, really well today. He served amazing. It was difficult also from the back of the court. I think he was returning well, making a lot of returns in the first set. I didn’t adjust well enough on the balls that were coming back.

“But I’m really satisfied with the week. It’s really good moving forward and it’s important for me. Nick was playing high-level tennis in the end, but I wasn’t playing too bad either and that’s something good I can take from the match.”

Kyrgios, who is ranked No. 41 in the world will see his ranking move into the low thirties.

Related articles:

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 4 – KyrgiosGate

“The Journey Starts Today” An Interview with Nick Kyrgios

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Juan Martin del Potro Makes a Winning Return at Delray Beach; ATP Results

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

(February 16, 2016) Juan Martin del Potro made his long awaited return back to tennis on Tuesday at the Delray Beach Open, when he defeated Denis Kudla 6-1, 6-4 in a first round match on Tuesday night.

 

The 27-year-old Argentine, who won the 2009 U.S. Open is making his first appearance at a tournament since March last year, sidelined by left wrist surgery. He’s had multiple wrist surgeries since 2009. Del Potro only played two tournaments in 2015 – Sydney and Miami. The former World No. 4 is currently No. 166 in the world.

 

 

ATP World Tour 250

Delray Beach, U.S.A. (-5 hours GMT)
15-21 February 2016   Surface: Hard

 

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2016

Singles – First Round
A. Krajicek (USA) d [1] K. Anderson (RSA) 76(3) ret. (shoulder)
R. Ram (USA) d [2] B. Tomic (AUS) 76(3) 61
[5] J. Chardy (FRA) d M. Ebden (AUS) 62 61
[6] S. Johnson (USA) d J. Millman (AUS) 63 57 76(8) – saved 1 M.P.
[7] D. Young (USA) d M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 76(3) 30 ret. (leg)
S. Querrey (USA) d T. de Bakker (NED) 46 63 64
[WC] T. Smyczek (USA) d T. Fritz (USA) 63 63
[WC] J. Del Potro (ARG) d D. Kudla (USA) 61 64
[WC] N. Rubin (USA) d S. Groth (AUS) 64 46 76(6) – saved 3 M.P.
[Q] T. Ito (JPN) d [Q] D. Novikov (USA) 62 64
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d R. Berankis (LTU) 64 62
B. Becker (GER) d [Q] R. Albot (MDA) 64 61
I. Marchenko (UKR) d M. Granollers (ESP) 63 64

Doubles – First Round

O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) d R. Berankis (LTU) / A. Mannarino (FRA) 64 62
SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2016

STADIUM start 11:00 am
M. Fyrstenberg (POL) / S. Gonzalez (MEX) vs [3] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[6] S. Johnson (USA) vs B. Becker (GER)
Not Before 2:30 pm
I. Marchenko (UKR) vs R. Ram (USA)
Not Before 6:00 pm
D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [4] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs J. Millman (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am

[4] E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) vs J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Paes (IND)
[8] A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [Q] T. Ito (JPN)
O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) vs D. Kudla (USA) / D. Young (USA)
After Suitable Rest – C. Guccione (AUS) / B. Tomic (AUS) vs S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)

 

ATP World Tour 250
Marseille, France (+1 hour GMT)
15-21 February 2016   Surface: Hard

 

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2016

Singles – First Round
T. Gabashvili (RUS) d [5] G. Simon (FRA) 36 63 76(7) – saved 3 M.P.
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d F. Lopez (ESP) 63 26 76(5)
A. Kuznetsov (RUS) d L. Pouille (FRA) 76(1) 64
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 64 64
E. Gulbis (LAT) d [Q] K. De Schepper (FRA) 64 67(6) 76(2)
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) d [WC] R. Ramanathan (IND) 62 75
[WC] A. Zverev (GER) d [Q] J. Benneteau (FRA) 76(4) 75

Doubles – First Round
R. Haase (NED) / A. Qureshi (PAK) d [1] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 76(0) 76(6)
[2] M. Pavic (CRO) / M. Venus (NZL) d [PR] L. Dlouhy (CZE) / S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 61 26 10-7
A. Bury (BLR) / I. Zelenay (SVK) d [4] W. Koolhof (NED) / M. Middelkoop (NED) 63 62
J. Erlich (ISR) / C. Fleming (GBR) d [PR] T. Bednarek (POL) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 76(0) 62

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2016

COURT CENTRAL start 11:30 am
[6] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [Q] M. Zverev (GER)
Not Before 2:00 pm
N. Mahut (FRA) vs [Q] V. Millot (FRA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
[WC] Q. Halys (FRA) vs [LL] D. Guez (FRA)
Not Before 6:30 pm
[1] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
Not Before 8:30 pm
[4] M. Cilic (CRO) vs R. Haase (NED)

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm

[WC] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs M. Kowalczyk (POL) / A. Siljestrom (SWE)
Possible Court Change – [3] N. Mahut (FRA) / L. Pouille (FRA) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS) / N. Kyrgios (AUS)
R. Junaid (AUS) / J. Marray (GBR) vs A. Bury (BLR) / I. Zelenay (SVK)

ATP World Tour 500
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (-3 hour GMT)
15-21 February 2016 Surface: outdoor clay

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2016

Singles – First Round
[1] R. Nadal (ESP) d P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 61 64
[2] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [WC] N. Jarry (CHI) 63 76(3)
[5] D. Thiem (AUT) d P. Andujar (ESP) 63 64
F. Delbonis (ARG) d [6] J. Sock (USA) 75 61
[7] F. Fognini (ITA) d A. Bedene (GBR) 75 63
A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d [8] T. Bellucci (BRA) 67(3) 75 62
N. Almagro (ESP) d D. Munoz de la Nava (ESP) 61 36 64
I. Cervantes (ESP) d [Q] T. Daniel (JPN) 36 75 62
P. Cuevas (URU) d [Q] F. Bagnis (ARG) 62 60
P. Lorenzi (ITA) d M. Cecchinato (ITA) 64 36 61
[Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP) d J. Monaco (ARG) 52 ret. right shoulder
S. Giraldo (COL) d [Q] G. Elias (POR) 64 76(5)
D. Schwartzman (ARG) d [WC] J. Souza (BRA) 63 62
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 34 ret. left foot

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2016

QUADRA GUGA KUERTEN start 2:15 pm
ATP – [3] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [WC] T. Monteiro (BRA)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [5] D. Thiem (AUT) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)
Not Before 6:30 pm
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [2] D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – S. Giraldo (COL) vs G. Pella (ARG)

QUADRA 1 start 2:30 pm
WTA – [Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) vs F. Schiavone (ITA)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [7] F. Fognini (ITA) vs [Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
ATP – [1] M. Melo (BRA) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [WC] F. De Paula (BRA) / O. Luz (BRA)
ATP – After suitable rest – A. Bedene (GBR) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs T. Bellucci (BRA) / M. Demoliner (BRA)

QUADRA 2 start 2:30 pm
WTA – [5] P. Hercog (SLO) vs [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU)
Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – S. Rogers (USA) vs V. Cepede Royg (PAR)
ATP – P. Mathieu (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [4] N. Monroe (USA) / J. Sock (USA)
ATP – After suitable rest – D. Lajovic (SRB) / D. Thiem (AUT) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR) / D. Munoz de la Nava (ESP)

QUADRA 4 start 2:30 pm
ATP – F. Delbonis (ARG) / P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs M. Gonzalez (ARG) / A. Sa (BRA)
WTA – To be finished – [1] A. Rodionova (AUS) / S. Vogt (LIE) vs B. Haddad Maia (BRA) / T. Pereira (BRA) 76(5) 00
WTA – T. Moore (GBR) / C. Perrin (SUI) vs [2] M. Erakovic (NZL) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
ATP – After suitable rest – [3] P. Cuevas (URU) / F. Fognini (ITA) vs [WC] R. Dutra Silva (BRA) / J. Souza (BRA)

QUADRA 5 start 2:30 pm
ATP – M. Daniell (NZL) / A. Sitak (NZL) vs [2] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – [Q] C. Burger (NED) vs [Q] E. Kostova (BUL)
ATP – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs [Q] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / D. Marrero (ESP)
Not Before 5:30 pm
WTA – After suitable rest – [4] V. Cepede Royg (PAR) / M. Irigoyen (ARG) vs P. Goncalves (BRA) / S. Marand (USA)

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Kei Nishikori Four-Peats at Memphis Open

nishikori memphis

(February 14, 2016) Kei Nishikori captured his fourth straight Memphis Open title on Sunday beating 18-year-old American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-4. The man from Japan now joins Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors as the only four-time winners of the event. In addition, Nishikori joins Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in winning a single tournament four times.

“It’s amazing to win four in a row,” Nishikori said. “I tried not to think about it too much this week. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure. It was a tough start again today, but I managed it better. I played better tennis as the match went on and I’m happier with the second set. I only gave him a few points on my serve in the last few games.

“We practiced five or six times the past few years in California, so I know how he plays. I never beat him before, so I was happy to beat him in a match. I tried different tactics to make him move more. He has very good reach so it’s not easy to hit winners, especially on these slow courts. I had to finish the points strong with my legs. He was tough to play.

“I felt a lot of support even here in the US against an American. A lot of Japanese came out today.”
 
“I definitely didn’t expect to get to a (ATP World Tour) final so quickly,” Fritz said. “It’s a great accomplishment to get here despite losing in the final. I had a great week and I have to be happy with the result. I have a lot of confidence moving forward. I need to get my body stronger and I can continue to play at this level.

“He started off a little tentative and was leaving some balls for me to step in and hit. He was making some mistakes, but he loosened up and started playing much better. After a couple games, the balls get heavier and are tough to put away. Kei’s such a fast player and incredible from the baseline and when I don’t have that to put the ball away, he got extremely tough.”

This is Nishikori’s 11th ATP World Tour title.

For the young American Fritz, it was a career week playing in just his third ATP tour-level event. The teenager will move into the top 100 after becoming just the fifth 18-year-old American to reach an ATP World Tour final in the past 30 years joining Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Andy Roddick, and Pete Sampras.

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Dominic Thiem Captures Argentina Open

 

(February 14, 2016) Austrian Dominic Thiem came back from a break down in the final set to beat Spain’s Nicolas Almagro of Spain 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (4) to win the Argentina Open on Sunday for his fourth ATP World Tour singles title.

Thiem reached the finals beating defending champion and 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal in semifinals, saving a match point.

“It’s the best of my titles so far because the tournament draw was so strong,” said the Austrian.

“It’s tough to stay focused and ready mentally. All the players who play here have a lot of experience. It’s something you cannot simulate. You just need to be in that situation to become strong mentally. I’m a bit older, more experienced. Even if you beat Nadal in the semis, you still want to win in the final. I didn’t think much about the victory yesterday and focused on the final today.

“You have to be aggressive against these great players. If you let them dictate, you’ll always be second best.”

The world No. 19 now has four tournament trophies, with all of his titles coming on clay courts.

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Martin Klizan Beats Gael Monfils for Rotterdam Crown

Martin+Klizan+Miami+Open+Tennis+Day+6+1qWEZ9N_z2Sl From Zimbio

(February 14, 2016) Slovak Martin Klizan did not need to save any match points, but still had to rally past fifth seed Gael Monfils 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-1 to win the Rotterdam tournament on Sunday.

The southpaw saved five match points to stun sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinals and held off three match points in his semifinal win over Nicolas Mahut.

“I cannot believe that it happened,” Klizan said. “It was my dream to be on the board with these unbelievably great players. It’s an amazing feeling. Every day I was just fighting. Most of the time I had three-hour matches every day, so the only thing I could do was fight. In the end I saved so many match points. I still cannot believe it.

“In tennis you play best-of-three or best-of-five, so there is always the chance to win the match. So I just tried to fight until the last point and it was a good option.

“This is the best result in my career so far. I’m very, very proud of it. Also in our country, maybe I can be a motivation for the young players. I’m very happy for that.”
“Martin played a very good match,” Monfils said. “I think he just played a brilliant match today, better than me, so well done to him. I had good matches, but still it’s tough to lose in the final.”

For Klizan, it’s his four ATP World Tour title. He is 4-0 in finals, also capturing St. Petersburg in 2012, Munich in 2014 and Casablanca in 2015.

Nicolas Mahut and Vasek Pospisil won their first ATP World Tour doubles title together as they defeated Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya 7-6(2), 6-4.

“It’s my second 500 title and my second time here, so I think it’s a great tournament for me,” Mahut said. “I’m really proud of the week and I’m really happy to share it with Vasek; he’s a really good guy. We were a little bit disappointed last year to lose in the first round. This year we tried again and we’re really happy to hold the trophy.”

“We played a really good match,” Pospisil added. “We didn’t make any mistakes and we didn’t give them too many looks on our service games, which was key. We were serving well and putting a lot of pressure on them. Obviously, it helps to have a great partner so I think I got lucky there as well this week! We’re thrilled we got the win today.”

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Gasquet, Estrella Burgos and Bautista Agut Win ATP Titles

Richard Gasquet

(February 7, 2016) Richard Gasquet, Victor Estrella Burgos and Roberto Bautista Agut claimed titles on the ATP World Tour on Sunday.

Gasquet defended his Open Sud de France title with a 7-5, 6-4 victory against French countryman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

“It was great for me to win another title,” said Gasquet of his 13th tournament crown. “I am very proud to win my third title here, because it was a great match against a good friend. He had nothing to lose, so it was great to win.”
estrella burgos 1

Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic defended his title in Quito, making a comeback to defeat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 at the Ecuador Open. Both of his ATP World Tour tournament victories have come on the clay courts of Quito.

“I can’t describe the feeling when I saw the last ball go out,” Estrella said. “It was an unbelievable moment, to win back-to-back in Quito. Last year I was very nervous. I could barely breathe serving on match point. This year I was much more relaxed closing out the match.

“The conditions were difficult. It was sunny and so windy. It was impossible to return [Bellucci’s] serve in the first set.”

The 34-year-old is now 10-0 in Ecuador.

“It was a difficult day,” Bellucci said. “The wind did not allow me to maintain a good level. I was dominating and I had options to win the match, but I wasted them. In the third set, I lost my rhythm on serve and he raised his level. I’m happy to have reached the final, but sad because I could have won.”

 

Roberto Bautista Agut-001

Bautista Agut defeated Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4 in 82 minutes to win the inaugural Sofia Open for his fourth career title.

 

The Spaniard Bautista Agut won the Auckland event last month.
“It is always special to win a title,” said the 18th ranked player. “I have to be happy about this start to the season, the way I play. I am enjoying to be on the court. I just can’t be happier.

“I used drop shots a lot today because he is a great defender and sometimes he stays very far from the baseline. I needed to find a way to break the rhythm and drop shots gave me a lot of points today. To beat Viktor you have to work a lot. He is a very tough opponent. He runs a lot, he makes you play a lot of balls, he defends really well. We played a lot of rallies today and I like that as a Spanish player.”

“He was playing better – more offensive, more aggressive, took more risks,” Troicki said. “He also didn’t’ miss many balls. I felt like the better I played, the better he played. I had a long match yesterday. I needed to be 100 per cent fit to win. He started the season very well. He played great the last four tournaments. So I congratulate him. He deserved the win.

“It was still a good week for me. I reached the final again in four weeks. It is a great start to the season. I hope to keep it up with the good results. That is the only way to make it to the Top 10 which is my goal. I have to achieve it this year.”

The Latin American clay-court swing will set foot in Buenos Aires with the Argentina Open next week. The top four seeds will be top seed Rafael Nadal, Spanish countryman David Ferrer, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and American John Isner is No. 4.

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ATP Announces 2017 and 2018 Calendars

ATP-Logo

From the ATP World Tour: (January 13, 2016)LONDON – The ATP has released its 2017 and 2018 calendars on the back of a record-breaking season in 2015 that attracted a global broadcast audience of 973 million viewers, a 10% growth on the previous year.

Combined with the ATP’s weekly magazine show, ATP World Tour Uncovered, which drew a viewership of 60 million, ATP events attracted in excess of 1 billion viewers globally in 2015. The 2015 season also saw an all-time on-site attendance record, with 4.5 million fans attending ATP events across the season.

The 2017 & 2018 calendar represent a continuation of the current calendar, underpinned by the nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, 13 ATP World Tour 500s, and 40 ATP World Tour 250s, with all roads leading to the spectacular season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

“Our current structure of tournaments, as well as this phenomenal generation of players, has generated a significant growth in audiences in recent years,” said Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President. “We’re delighted to have seen that trend continue in 2015, and to confirm our calendars through to 2018 as we look to ensure a period of stability and sustained growth for the Tour.”

While the cornerstones of the calendar remain the same, the ATP World Tour is set to expand into new markets, as early as 2016, reaching a total of 32 countries:

–    Bulgaria (Garanti Koza Sofia Open) will host its first ever ATP World Tour tournament in February following the relocation of the tournament in Zagreb, Croatia, to Sofia.
–    Mexico (Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos) will host a second ATP World Tour tournament following the relocation of the tournament in Bogota, Colombia, to Los Cabos.
–    Belgium (European Open) will host an ATP World Tour event for the first time since 1998 following the relocation of the tournament in Valencia, Spain, to Antwerp.
–    From 2017, a second grass court tournament will be held the week before Wimbledon, alongside Nottingham. A separate announcement relating to this tournament will follow in due course.

An updated 2016 ATP World Tour calendar, as well as the 2017 & 2018 calendars can be found here.

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Indian Wells, London-Queen’s, Doha and St. Petersburg Voted 2015 ATP World Tour Tournaments Of The Year

From the ATP World Tour: (January 7, 2016) LONDON – The ATP has announced the Tournaments of the Year in the 2015 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon, with the BNP Paribas Open and Aegon Championships joined by the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and St. Petersburg Open as the most favored ATP World Tour events in their respective tournament categories.

The Tournament of the Year awards, voted annually by ATP players, recognise the leading standards set across the three tournament categories on the Tour. Indian Wells repeats at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, while The Queen’s Club in London wins in its first year as a 500 tournament. In the 250 category, first-time winners Doha and St. Petersburg share honors.

Visit the official ATP World Tour Awards section on ATPWorldTour.com

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “Many congratulations to these four tournaments for setting the standard in their respective categories in 2015. They are each outstanding events in their own right, and this is a fitting recognition, as voted by the players, for all the hard work and dedication that goes into putting on these world class tournaments.”

The BNP Paribas Open retains its title as the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year. The tournament received the distinction for the first time in 2014, following the debut of its state-of-the-art Stadium 2, additional practice courts and a new shade structure.

In 2015, the BNP Paribas Open continued its on-site improvements, unveiling a newly renovated player restaurant with expanded dining options and free Wi-Fi throughout the site. The tournament welcomed more than 450,000 fans through the gates over the fortnight.

“It is very rewarding for the BNP Paribas Open to be recognized as the 2015 Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year,” said Tournament Director Raymond Moore. “Our event is focused on improving each and every year in all areas and aspects, and receiving this award for the second year in a row is another validation that our actions – such as providing Hawk-Eye electronic line calling technology on every match court – are being appreciated by the players. It only intensifies our desire to reach new heights in 2016 and ensure that the experience at the tournament is nothing short of exceptional.”

The Aegon Championships receives a Tournament of the Year award for a third straight season. It won at the 250 level in 2013-14 before its re-categorisation as an ATP World Tour 500 event for 2015. The Aegon Championships ends Dubai’s seven-year reign at this level.

“To win ATP World Tour 500 tournament of the year in our first year in the category is a huge thrill, a magnificent achievement, and a credit to our tournament team, The Queen’s Club, our sponsors – particularly Aegon, and our broadcast partners,” said Tournament Director Stephen Farrow. “We were up against some of the finest and most popular tournaments on the ATP World Tour, and I am immensely proud that our efforts have been recognised by the players in this way.”

For the first time since 2004 and the fourth time overall (since 1986), two events have been named joint winners in the ATP World Tour 250 category. The Qatar ExxonMobil Open hosts its 24th edition this week, boasting a field that includes four Top 10 players: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer. The St. Petersburg Open, held in September, celebrated its 20th edition in 2015 as it returned to the ATP World Tour calendar following a one-year hiatus.

“Our aim is always to make a great event where players can feel relaxed and at home, where they can perform at their best, where they want to return year after year,” said Karim Alami, Tournament Director of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. “We are always listening to the opinions and feedback from the organisation and from the players and trying to learn from our mistakes and past experiences to keep improving and to keep raising the bar every year. To achieve the recognition of the players for these efforts and be selected by them as the best ATP World Tour 250 tournament for the year 2015 makes us all very proud and gives us the strength and motivation to continue improving and making our event better and better.”

Mikhael Mirilashvili, owner of the St. Petersburg Open, said: “In 2015, the St. Petersburg Open Tournament was revived after a year’s break. That was a landmark event in the sporting life of the city and the country. We are proud that the work of our big renewed team was appreciated on such a high level. I am sure that in the future the level of the tournament will continue to grow and reach new professional heights.”

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Andy Murray and Milos Raonic Among ‘ATP Aces for Charity’ Grant Recipients

From the ATP World Tour: (January 5, 2016) LONDON – The Milos Raonic Foundation, and Unicef, supported by Andy Murray, have been selected among nine recipients in the ATP ACES For Charity grant program for 2016. Grants of $/€15,000 will be awarded to a total of nine charitable causes, nominated by ATP World Tour players, tournaments and alumni.

In addition to Murray and Raonic’s causes, respectively supporting children affected by the conflict in Syria and teens with cerebral palsy, a total of seven grants will benefit youth through programmes worldwide: Santi Giraldo’s Foundation in Colombia, ACEing Autism in the United States, the TJOMMIE Foundation in South Africa, the Ronald McDonald House in Australia, and the Japan Wheelchair Tennis Association.

ATP ACES For Charity grants have also been awarded to the Paul and Carolyn Flory Fund, created in memory of the long-time Cincinnati Tournament Director, in the fight against cancer, and to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to assist those affected by the recent flooding in Chennai.

Entering its sixth year in 2016, the ATP ACES For Charity program is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP World Tour events are played, as well as recognising and supporting tournament, player and alumni charitable initiatives. Since 2011, the grant programme has awarded 67 grants totalling more than $800,000 in donations.

The recipients of the 2016 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:

Santiago Giraldo: Santi Giraldo’s Foundation supports children from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds, with a goal of inspiring them to learn sport values, pursue their dreams and live decent lives. Founded in 2014, the project is based on the platforms of sport and education, and aspires to expand beyond Pereira to the rest of Colombia and Latin America. The ATP ACES For Charity Grant will be used to sponsor players with equipment, training and at tournaments.

Ivo Karlovic: ACEing Autism, nominated by its ambassador Ivo Karlovic, operates under the tagline of “Connecting Kids Through Tennis”. It aims to provide meaningful benefits to children with autism, their families and communities by utilising unique tennis programmes, including Kids’ Day clinics at ATP World Tour events. ACEing Autism currently impacts more than 500 children in 35 cities across 16 U.S. states, and aspires to double the number of children served by overseeing 75-100 program sites.

Andy Murray: Unicef, the world leading children’s organisation, promotes the rights and wellbeing of children around the world and runs programmes to advocate for lasting change. Andy Murray, a Unicef UK supporter for the past two years, has participated in a variety of campaigns, including Unicef UK’s #BeatDisease appeal to raise awareness and funds to keep children safe from disease. Since September 2015, Murray has supported Unicef’s work for children in emergencies, spurred on by the child migrant and refugee crisis.

Milos Raonic: The Milos Raonic Foundation, founded by the Canadian and his family in 2012, has a mission to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds in order to remove economic, physical and other barriers that might prevent them from becoming healthy, production member of society. The foundation is currently targeting its support to programmes for children with disabilities. The Foundation will match the ATP ACES For Charity grant, donating $30,000 to support the Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s SportFit programme aimed at teens with cerebral palsy.

Jacco Eltingh & Paul Haarhuis: The former World No. 1 doubles players are ambassadors of the TJOMMIE Foundation. Founded in 1999 in The Netherlands, it aims to provide poor and vulnerable South African children with support, motivation and inspiration so that they can fully develop themselves and become more resilient. The foundation reaches at least 10,000 children and their families through its cooperation and support of children’s projects of the NGO Ndlovu Care Group, which provides both medical care and socio-economic help in the Limpopo and Mpumalange Province.

Brisbane International presented by Suncorp: Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland (RMH SEQ), the Brisbane International’s Charity of Choice, provides accommodation and support services for seriously ill children and their families who live more than 50km from the treating hospital in Brisbane. Funds from the ATP ACES For Charity grant, along with a $250 donation for every ace served on Pat Rafter Arena during this week’s tournament, will help fund the new Ronald McDonald House South Brisbane, anticipated to open by mid-2016.

Aircel Chennai Open: The Aircel Chennai Open aims to do its part in assisting those affected by the recent flooding in Chennai, with the ATP ACES For Charity grant going towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The Chief Minister’s Relief Fund organises flood relief measures for the distressed in Chennai and across the State of Tamil Nadu. Its wide scope of rehabilitation work includes housing and infrastructure development; provision of food, medication and essential relief materials; free medical check-ups; and compensation for losses.

Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati): The Paul and Carolyn Flory Fund, which operates under the motto “It Started With Tennis, It Ends With a Cure”, was created in memory of the long-time Cincinnati Tournament Director and his wife, who together orchestrated more than $10 million in giving toward fighting cancer. The Flory Fund directly benefits the Barrett Cancer Center at the University of Cincinnati. The ATP ACES For Charity donation will assist with hiring and retaining key medical personnel, acquiring advanced diagnostic equipment, and funding research retreats for top doctors and researchers.

Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo): Through the Japan Wheelchair Tennis Association and Shingo Kunieda, the World No. 1 wheelchair player, the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships aims to introduce children to wheelchair tennis and start a junior tournament. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will be used for the cost of courts and balls, as well as to buy and repair wheelchairs for tennis.

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Novak Djokovic Three-peats at Paris Masters for Tenth Title of the Year

(November 8, 2015) Novak Djokovic claimed his third straight Paris Masters title, a record fourth overall for his 10 tournament victory of the year when he beat Andy Murray 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday.

The World No. 1 now has 58 titles in his career, 26 in Masters Series 1000 events, two behind record holder Rafael Nadal. The 10-time major champion has set a record for winning six ATP Masters events in a season. He is currently on a 22-match winning streak.

“There was couple of games in the second set where Andy started turning things around, so things could have gone different way as they did maybe yesterday against (Stan) Wawrinka at same stage,” Djokovic said. “But I managed to stay tough. It was, all in all, the best performance of the week, and it came at the right time.”
“Congratulations to Novak,” Murray said after the match. “It’s been a great year for him. It’s been a great week for me – first time past the quarterfinals. That’s progress and I hope to be back next year.”
“I think I was very solid from the very first point, really protecting the baseline, trying to be the one that dictates the play,” said the Serb who is having a career year. “I think in terms of physical and mental ability, I have reached my peak.”

Djokovic is now 21-9 against Murray overall. He’s won 10 of the last 11 head-to-head battles.

Next stop for both Djokovic and Murray will be The O2 Arena in London for the ATP World Tour Finals.

“I’m hoping that I can repeat the kind of performances and success I have had (at the ATP World Tour Finals) in previous years,” Djokovic said. (The O2 Arena) is a great stage for a tennis tournament.”

The ATP World Tour year end event begins on November 15.

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