May 5, 2016

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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“Fedal” Part 34 – Roger Federer Snaps Five-Match Losing Streak Against Rafael Nadal to Win Seventh Basel Title

 

Federer-Nadal by Rosemary Nardone

(November 1, 2015) In their first match-up since the 2014 Australian Open semifinals, Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Swiss Indoors final 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in Basel. For the Swiss competing in his 10th straight Basel final, the win which gave him his seventh trophy in his hometown, broke a five-match losing streak against the 14-time major champion Nadal. This was Federer’s 12th Basel final. Nadal leads their overall head-to-head record 23-11.

“It was a very special day,” said Federer, who was once a ballboy at the tournament. “Probably it was my best victory here in Basel.”

“I lost but I was close to winning, very close,” said Nadal.

Federer hit 12 aces, 44 winners with 32 unforced errors going 3 for 7 on break points during the two-hour and two minute match.

“It was one of my best weeks in Basel, considering everything I’ve done throughout my career here,” Federer said after the match. “I thought the match was close. I had my chances in the second, but he fought back well, like he’s done throughout the week really. Overall I was really happy how I played.
“I know I’ve had better backhand days and he’s had better forehand days than today, but the match was high quality and it was entertaining and exciting for both of us as well. The confidence is good, no doubt about that. It’s good to get back into the mood of winning after Shanghai… I think the body’s gotten used to match play again after all these weeks of not playing.”

 

This 88th overall tennis title for Federer, now marks the fifth tournament which he has won at least seven times – Halle (8), Wimbledon (7), Dubai (7) and Cincinnati (7).

This is the sixth championship trophy he’s collected this year, adding to this titles in Brisbane, Dubai, Istanbul, Halle and Cincinnati.

Despite the loss in the final, Nadal had good week, taking down former Top 10 players Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and Richard Gasquet all in a row to reach the final. He will see his ranking move up from No. 7.

“It’s good news for me,” said the Spaniard. “Today I have been very competitive against one of the best players in the world. And on the toughest surface for me.”

“My goal is to get back to my level and be competitive against the top players again and today I was very competitive against one of the best players in the world,” Nadal said. “The match wasn’t far away from me. He played well and I played well too. The match was very close to win, but I think he served very well in the third. I want to congratulate him for the victory and I had a lot of quality things in my game and mental side to take away from the week.”

Next stop for both men will be the Paris Masters Series event, followed by the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

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Stan Wawrinka Claims Japan Open for Career-Best Fourth Title of the Year

(October 11, 2015) French Open champion Stan Wawrinka beat Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-4 to win the Japan Open for his fourth title of the year. The top seed won the match in 65 minutes to secure a personal best in number of singles titles in a season.

“I feel great, it’s been a really good week for me to win a title again, something always special. You don’t win a title every week,” said the Swiss.

“It’s always difficult when I play a good friend like Benoit. I knew before the match he was struggling a bit physically, but I saw the doctor who told me Benoit was ready to play.

“I played my best game today. I felt the ball well and was aggressive. I am very happy to have the trophy tonight.”
“It was not easy, when I woke up this morning as I could not walk,” said the Frenchman who was nursing a foot injury. “I was not sure if I could play today. One hour before the match it was very painful, so I asked: ‘What can we do?’ I spoke with the doctor and physiotherapist and we made something for my left foot.

“I couldn’t feel anything in my foot, but I tried to do all I could to play the match and win. Stan played a very good match and congratulations to him. It’s back luck for me.”

In addition to Roland Garros, Wawrinka’s other titles this year have come at Chennai and Rotterdam.

Third seeds Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo teamed up for the first time this week to win the doubles title.
Wawrinka took home a check for $306,200 dollars for the ATP World Tour 500 event. The last playing from Switzerland to win the Tokyo title was Roger Federer in 2006.

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Robby Ginepri Retires from Tennis

Robby Ginepri

(August 27, 2015) McLean, Va. – American Robby Ginepri announced his retirement from tennis on Thursday after 14 years on the ATP World Tour.

Ginepri won three titles on the ATP World Tour and reached a career-high singles ranking of 15 in the world. In 2005, Ginepri recorded a personal high in match wins (37) and had a run to the semifinals of the US Open where he won three consecutive five set matches before going the distance and losing to Andre Agassi. During his career, the Kennesaw, Ga. resident reached the fourth round or better at all four majors and represented the U.S. in Davis Cup (2004 and 2009) and in the Olympics (2008).

 

“Although every athlete knows this day will eventually come, it doesn’t make the decision to retire any easier,” said the 32-year-old Ginepri. “To play tennis as a profession and compete on the biggest stages around the world is a privilege, and I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity.”

 

Ginepri will continue to stay involved with the game through the Ginepri Performance Tennis Academy, located at the Olde Towne Athletic Club in Marietta, Ga.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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David Ferrer and Timea Bacsinszky Win Acapulco Titles

Ferrer wins Qatar

(February 28, 2015) David Ferrer and Timea Bacsinszky took home Abierto Mexicano Telcel titles on Saturday in Acapulco.

 

Ferrer won an ATP best third tournament this year with the title and lifted his record to 18-1 with the 6-3, 7-5 win over top seed Kei Nishikori. For the 32-year-old Spaniard, it was his fourth title in Acapulco and his 24th career ATP crown. He won the previous three Acapulco titles on clay, this year’s event was played on hardcourt.

“Tonight I played my best match this week,” said Ferrer. I played very aggressive, without mistakes. I’m very happy. To win here a fourth time is a dream.

“I tried to play my forehand to his forehand and with more energy. In important moments, he made more mistakes and I took my chances. I feel very confident with my tennis now. I’ve won three tournaments this year and we’ve only began the season.”

“There were too many unforced errors,” said Nishikori. I tried to be aggressive but I was missing too much. Especially with this slower surface, he gets everything. I knew I had to step in a little more, but it wasn’t my day.

“I fought hard from 0-3 (in the second set) and tried to come back, but he was too good. It was definitely a great week, I had some tough matches and it’s always a great feeling coming through to a final.”

Just six days ago he captured the title in Rio de Janeiro and in January won the crown in Doha. The world No. 9 took home $343,000 in prize money.

 

Despite the loss, Nishikori, will reach career-high World No. 4 ranking on Monday.

Almost out of tennis, fifth seeded Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland won her second WTA Tour title, beating third seed Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-0. Dealing with multiple injuries from 2011-2013, she fell as low as 578 in the world. She said that she almost stopped playing the sport in 2013.

“I almost stopped playing in 2013,” said the Swiss. “When I decided to play again, at the French Open in 2013, I got a new team around me – a new coach, new fitness coach, I’ve been working a lot with Swiss tennis. The road was long, and it’ll still be long, but I’ve been working hard. I wasn’t just expecting the results to come right away, I was patient. I knew I needed time to build everything up. I’m really proud. And knowing what I’ve been through, I’m even prouder.”

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Rafael Nadal Reaches Argentina Open Final

Rafael Nadal

(February 28, 2015) Rafael Nadal defeated Carlos Berlocq on Saturday 7-6 (7), 6-2 to reach the final of Argentina Open, where he’ll face Juan Monaco. Should Nadal win the title, he will tie Guillermo Vilas for the most Open era clay court titles with 46. This will be Nadal’s first final of 2015.

World No. 4 Nadal came close to losing the first set against the Argentine Carlos Berlocq, when the Spaniard fell behind 1-6 in the first set tiebreak. The 14-time major champion won eight of the next nine points to shut down the set.

“Evidently, when you recover five points (in a row) as well as playing well you have to have some luck, you can’t do it without luck. Carlos was playing bravely and serving well,” Nadal said to media.

“In the end I managed to be more dynamic and aggressive and place my shots well.”

Earlier in the week, Monaco was Nadal’s doubles partner and close friend, but on Sunday he will be his opponent for the title. The Argentine will be looking for his second title at the Argentina Open, he knocked out Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-4 in 2 hours and 28 minutes.

“I’m happy for Pico, who had long since reached a final,” said Nadal to media. “It’s a joy to play this decisive match against a friend and for me it is also very important to play my first final of the year here in Buenos Aires, a place where I feel the affection of the people.

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Semi-Finals
[1] R. Nadal (ESP) d C. Berlocq (ARG) 76(7) 62
J. Monaco (ARG) d N. Almagro (ESP) 63 67(6) 64

Doubles – Semi-Finals
J. Nieminen (FIN) / A. Sa (BRA) d [WC] F. Delbonis (ARG) / A. Molteni (ARG) 26 62 10-6
P. Andujar (ESP) / O. Marach (AUT) d C. Berlocq (ARG) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) 63 62

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, MARCH 1 2015

ESTADIO BILLOCH CARIDE start 12:00 noon
DOUBLES FINAL – J. Nieminen (FIN) / A. Sa (BRA) vs P. Andujar (ESP) / O. Marach (AUT)
Not Before 2:00 pm
SINGLES FINAL – [1] R. Nadal (ESP) vs J. Monaco (ARG)

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ATP Announces Increase in Prize Money at Challengers

 

(January 8, 2015) The ATP has put out a news release announcing that ATP Challenger events will see an increase in prize money. Bellow is the official announcement:

 

News Release

www.ATPWorldTour.com

8 January 2015

PRIZE MONEY AT ATP CHALLENGERS SET TO INCREASE

LONDON — The ATP announced today significant efforts to enhance the ATP Challenger Tour, including further increases in prize money. The ATP Challenger Tour comprises approximately 150 tournaments each year and serves as a springboard for players to compete on the ATP World Tour.

The increases will take place at the lowest category of tournaments, with minimum prize money levels increasing from $40,000 + Hospitality (paid hotel accommodation for main draw players) to $50,000 + Hospitality by 2017. In addition, and with immediate effect, the ATP is offering all current minimum prize money tournaments a subsidy to move up to $50,000 + H from 2015.

The latest increases mean that prize money at the lowest ATP Challengers is set to increase by 100% inside 10 years. In 2007, minimum prize money levels on the Challenger Tour were $25,000 + H. Minimum levels were already increased from $35,000 + H to $40,000 + H in 2014.

“Men’s professional tennis is enjoying one of the most successful periods in its history, however it is essential that we see growth across all levels of the game,” said Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President. “Almost every player earns their stripes on the Challenger Tour before they make it on the ATP World Tour and every bit of extra prize money helps as they look to forge a career in men’s professional tennis. The ATP is committed to making that career path as viable as possible.”

The enhancements at Challenger level come following an extensive strategic review by the ATP’s internal Challenger Tour Management Committee, formed at the beginning of 2014 and led by Alison Lee, ATP Executive Vice President of the International Group region.

“The success and growth of the ATP Challenger Tour is critical to the overall health of our sport and we need to ensure that the lower levels of the professional game do not get left behind,” said Lee. “The enhancements announced today indicate the ATP’s commitment in reinvesting into the lower echelons of the game and supporting these events. It is a delicate step-by-step process, and our strategy is aimed at raising the lower levels of more than 50% of Challenger events, gradually and with assistance until 2017. Prize money is just one part of the equation. We are also pleased with a number of other enhancements set to take place this year, related to calendar flow, medical services, player development, officiating and marketing, all of which will improve the services we are able to provide players at this level.”

The ATP will also provide additional ATP umpires, ATP physiotherapists and Player Relations staff across a number of tournaments, as well as continuing its focus on ensuring that more tournaments are staged in regional swings which complement ATP World Tour tournaments, enabling players to reduce costs and travel time.

Among other enhancements, branded nets will also begin to be featured at ATP Challenger tournaments from 2015. With the majority of Challenger tournaments live streamed across the globe, the net branding will create a unified look for the circuit globally.

“We need to get the right Challenger events in the right weeks, reducing travel costs and improving the medical services, player education, officiating and marketing at these events,” added Kermode. “We are taking a holistic approach as we look to make the time players spend at the Challenger level more sustainable.”

The ATP is also working closely with the ITF relating to planned enhancements at Futures tournaments to ensure a seamless pathway for players from Futures to Challenger level.

ATP CHALLENGER TOUR FACTS:
•    2014 total prize money on the ATP Challenger Tour was $9.2 million.
•    Currently, the different levels of prize money for Challengers are $40,000 + H through to $125,000 + H.
•    Total on-site attendance across Challengers in 2014 was 682,980.
•    The lowest-level Challenger tournaments must provide player hotel accommodation.
•    2014 Challenger breakdown by region: Europe 47%; Asia 21%; South America 19%; North America 13%
•    The Association of Tennis Professionals (prior to the formation of the ATP Tour in 1990) began Challenger tournaments in 1985 with 41 tournaments. (32 events at $25,000, 4 events at $50,000 and 5 events at $75,000). Total prize money was $1.225 million.

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ATP Announces Prize Money Increases Topping $100 Million in 2015

ATP

(December 12, 2014) ATP tour prize money will top $100 million for the first time in 2015. The ATP prize money will increase over the next four years and reach $135 million by 2018.

The Masters 1000 tournaments will see the biggest increases with an overall 14-percent hike over the next four years, while the 250 events will go up by an average of 3.5 percent.

The official ATP news release on the increases:

 LONDON — The ATP has announced significant increases over the next four years that will see overall player compensation on the ATP World Tour reach US$135 million by 2018. Player compensation at ATP World Tour events in 2015 will exceed US$100 million for the first time.

The increases at ATP events are a testament to the sustained success of men’s professional tennis, as well as demonstrating the ATP’s confidence in the strength of its product and projected growth in future years.

The biggest increases in player compensation come at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 category, with tournaments providing annual increases of 11%, and with the ATP contributing a further 3% increase, resulting in a 14% annual increase in that category through to 2018. Player compensation at the ATP World Tour 250s is set to increase at an average of 3.5% per year during the same period.

The latest decisions at Masters 1000 and 250-level mean that player compensation is now confirmed across all three ATP World Tour tournament categories for a four-year period. Player compensation for a five-year period for the ATP World Tour 500 category was decided at the end of 2013.

In addition to establishing player compensation levels on the Tour, the ATP will soon be releasing its 2016-18 calendars, meaning both these key issues will be accounted for over the next four-year period.

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