(July 25, 2016) Coming off the Junior Boys’ singles title at Wimbledon, 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov received a wildcard into the Rogers Cup in Toronto, his home tournament. The youngest player in the tournament made good use of his entry by upsetting 11th seed Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3 in the first round on Monday night.
The winner could hardly believe that he won the match when he spoke to media.
“Nick is an incredible tennis player,” he said. “He’s top 20 in the world. Maybe even future No. 1 in the world.
“So obviously I didn’t expect to win. But like I said before, I’m just going to go fight for every point. That’s what I did. The outcome was very good today.”
“My whole family was there, my whole team, my sponsor, my physio. Couple of very close friends to me were there.”
“On the on-court interview, this girl, she was interviewing me and she asked me, Do you want me to pinch you?”
“I said, Yeah. Frankly I actually didn’t feel the pinch. I might be dreaming still. Yeah, it’s still hitting me. It’s going to be crazy, but there’s a next match and I have got to get ready for tomorrow.”
“I just didn’t play great,” Kyrgios said.
“He played well. You know, obviously he was excited playing in front of his home crowd. I know what it feels like obviously to come off one of your biggest junior results and then play in one of your home tournaments. I know that feeling. It’s great. I hope he enjoys it and rests up and does well.
“Yeah, I’m not going to tell you what I did or didn’t do to prepare for this match,” the eleventh seed said to reporters. “I just played pretty bad, but he played great and he earned it.”
Shapovalov said that he made the request to play on Centre Court.
“I thought it would be fun with all the fans,” he said. “I love playing on a big stage. I love, you know, impressing people. So, yeah, it was very fun for me.”
“So, you know, they really helped me a lot. And I think just the atmosphere really carried me forward today.”
Shapovalov will face former Top Ten player Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the second round. “Tournament is not over,” Shapovalov commented. “I could celebrate my win from Nick after the tournament but now I’m going to focus for Dimitrov.”
RESULTS – MONDAY, 25 JULY 2016
Singles – First Round
 J. Isner (USA) d D. Sela (ISR) 46 63 62
[WC] D. Shapovalov (CAN) d  N. Kyrgios (AUS) 76(2) 36 63
 B. Tomic (AUS) d [Q] A. Gonzalez (COL) 64 76(1)
 J. Sock (USA) d D. Kudla (USA) 62 62
G. Muller (LUX) d [PR] D. Tursunov (RUS) 76(5) 61
[WC] P. Polansky (CAN) d [Q] T. Smyczek (USA) 46 63 60
[Q] R. Harrison (USA) d A. Kuznetsov (RUS) 63 61
B. Coric (CRO) d I. Dodig (CRO) 57 64 62
S. Querrey (USA) d [WC] F. Dancevic (CAN) 76(5) 64
G. Dimitrov (BUL) d Y. Sugita (JPN) 57 76(5) 64
K. Anderson (RSA) d V. Troicki (SRB) 76(4) 63
[WC] S. Diez (CAN) d K. Edmund (GBR) 36 63 62
M. Youzhny (RUS) d S. Robert (FRA) 63 76(6)
Doubles – First Round
G. Dimitrov (BUL) / S. Wawrinka (SUI) d L. Pouille (FRA) / D. Thiem (AUT) 46 76(2) 12-10
T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) d F. Martin (FRA) / J. Sousa (POR) 61 36 11-9
All photos by Nida Alibhai
Rogers Cup, Montréal, July 24, 2016 – On Sunday, Tennis Canada announced that Serena Williams is withdrawing from Rogers Cup.
The world no.1 holds three Rogers Cup titles and reached the semifinals at the last two editions of the event.
“Due to inflammation in my shoulder, I unfortunately must withdraw from the Rogers Cup. I was looking forward to competing in Montreal and I look forward to returning soon,” said Serena Williams.
“Of course, we are disappointed that Serena will not play in the tournament this year. The fans really enjoyed the time she spent in the city in 2014,” said Eugène Lapierre, tournament director of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank. “Because this is an Olympic year, the players have very full schedules. Sometimes your body needs rest. We hope that Serena will recover quickly and wish her much success for the rest of the season.”
🏆 1️⃣ what an amazing week!! pic.twitter.com/zDRI3emy5z
— Steve Johnson (@SJohnson_89) June 25, 2016
(June 25, 2016) American World No. 38 Steve Johnson has won his first ATP World Tour singles title after beating Uruguayan second seed Pablo Cuevas 7-6(5), 7-5 at the Aegon Open Nottingham, where Brit Dom Inglot and Daniel Nestor also claimed their maiden doubles crown as a pairing on Saturday.
No. 6 seed Johnson, who also reached the quarter-finals at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club last week, dropped only one set throughout the tournament and ousted top seed Kevin Anderson en route to victory at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
The 26-year-old becomes the second consecutive Aegon Open champion to win a maiden ATP World Tour title in Nottingham after Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin did so in 2015.
“This is definitely the highlight of my career so far, no doubt,” Johnson said. “It feels really good. I’ve had some ups and downs so far this year, some rough patches, and to find my groove here on the grass has been fantastic.
“I had a good week at Queen’s last week and felt pretty comfortable on the grass before coming here. I won the Challenger here in 2013 that got me into Wimbledon for the first time, so Nottingham has a soft spot in my heart.”
Johnson, who lost out to Spaniard David Ferrer after being a set up in his only other ATP World Tour final in Vienna last year, added: “Any time you can be the last guy standing at a tournament, it gives you lots of confidence. I’ve probably tried 80 times and this is the first time I’ve come out a winner, so it’s definitely a great feeling. I’m super happy and pretty tired emotionally – just from stopping and starting in the last couple of days.
“I’ll sleep well tonight and then on Monday comes Wimbledon, so there’s no time to relax. There’s another big tournament right around the corner.”
Johnson goes on to face Tunisian World No. 60 Malek Jaziri in first round of The Championships, Wimbledon next week.
Earlier in the day, Davis Cup-winning squad member Inglot and Canadian veteran Nestor lifted their first trophy together in only their second event as a pair, after they took down top seeds Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig 7-5, 7-6(4) in a rain-interrupted final.
The second seeds dropped a match point at 7-5 5-4 moments before play was suspended due to rain, but managed to close it out in dominant fashion to record Nestor’s 89th career ATP World Tour title and Inglot’s second on home soil.
Inglot, 30, said: “It doesn’t get much tougher than playing these guys, so to get a win, against that calibre of team before Wimbledon, was a big confidence-booster.
“We did well to hang in there, especially after the match point and coming out after the rain delay. We came out very fast and that was big for us.”
Nestor, who is the only doubles player to have won over 1000 matches on the Tour, added: “It’s important to get matches in before a big tournament like next week and that was our goal before coming here. It’s great that we were able to do that, and we feel a lot better about our game heading into Wimbledon now.
“We have a tough draw, but we beat some very good teams here and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same there. This was a great tune-up before Wimbledon.”
AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM, GBR
19-25 JUNE 2016
RESULTS – JUNE 25, 2016
Men’s Singles – Final
 S. Johnson (USA) d  P. Cuevas (URU) 76(5) 75
Men’s Doubles – Final
 D. Inglot (GBR) / D. Nestor (CAN) d  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 75 76(4)
From the LTA
(June 24, 2016) Steve Johnson of the USA will face Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas in the Aegon Open Nottingham final after defeating Italian No. 7 seed Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4 on a rain-interrupted day that started with Johnson completing a quarter-final win over top seed Kevin Anderson.
No. 6 seed Johnson – who overcame World No. 10 Richard Gasquet on his way to the quarterfinals at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club last week – had to win two matches on Friday due to darkness suspending the match with Anderson at 7-6(6), 5-7, 3-4 on Thursday night.
Johnson said: “To come out today and finish the match from yesterday, get the win over Kevin and then come out against Andreas and have a rain delay wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. Fortunately, I came out with good starts in both and was able to get back in the swing of things.”
In his only other ATP World Tour final, Johnson lost out to Spaniard David Ferrer after being one set up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna last October.
Ahead of facing World No. 25 Cuevas, Johnson added: “I’m going to feel more comfortable. I’m definitely feeling confident, but Pablo’s played an outstanding tournament as well. It’s hopefully going to be a great match and I’m going to be a bit more comfortable in my second final than I was in my first.”
Earlier in the day, Cuevas also reached his first ATP World Tour final on grass after he came from a set down to beat Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 in two hours and two minutes.
It is the third time in the tournament that Cuevas has played a three-set match, having come from a set down against Brit Dan Evans and saving a match point against Marcos Baghdatis in previous rounds.
Cuevas, who has won five career ATP World Tour singles titles including back-to-back crowns on clay earlier this year, said: “I’m so happy to reach my first final on grass. I have played every match with more confidence and today I beat an excellent player on grass. Hopefully tomorrow I will enjoy it too.
Having won only two matches on grass before this week, the 30-year-old added: “I always play more comfortably on clay. I was born playing on clay but this is my first time playing with confidence on grass. Now, having played four matches here, the feeling is good.”
Both men hope to reach milestones on Saturday – Johnson hopes to win his first ATP World Tour title, while Cuevas wants to take home his first grass court trophy.
From the LTA
From the LTA: (June 23, 2016)Top seed Kevin Anderson and fellow big-hitter Steve Johnson have been made to wait to decide who clinches the last remaining semi-final place at the Aegon Open Nottingham, after bad light forced the suspension of play on Thursday night with the players on serve at 6-7(6) 7-5 4-3.
Their match will resume at 12 noon on Friday, with the winner going on to face No. 7 seed Andreas Seppi later in the day to decide who plays in Saturday’s final at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Already through to the last four in the other half of the draw are eighth seed Gilles Muller and World No. 25 Pablo Cuevas, who has reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final on grass after beating Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 4-6 7-6(8). The second seed Uruguayan saved one match point and came back from 4-0 down in the final set tie-break to prevail over last year’s Aegon Open semi-finalist after almost two and a half hours.
“I’m so happy to win today,” the 30-year-old said. “It was an amazing match. I’ve seen Marcos play a lot on this surface and he’s a big player. I’m happy to reach my first grass court semi-final at this level.”
Earlier in the day, World No. 41 Muller defeated fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 6-4 to continue his fine form on grass, having reached the last eight at the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club last week and the final of ‘s-Hertogenbosch the week before.
Luxembourg’s Muller, 33, said: “Today was my best performance of the tournament. If you take aside the start of the second set when I got broken after playing a pretty bad game, the rest of the match was very solid. I didn’t give him many chances to break and I had plenty of chances to break, so overall, it was a good performance.
On his opponent in the last four, Muller added: “Pablo doesn’t like the grass too much but still he is a great player. He’s doing very well, he came back from a big injury two or three years ago, and has been in the top 50 since. It’s going to be a very tough match.”
Meanwhile, Seppi will be waiting to find out the identity of his semi-final opponent after the Italian beat Dudi Sela of Israel 5-7 6-4 6-4 after two hours and two minutes.
On his victory, which seals his place in an ATP World Tour semi-final for the first time in 2016, Seppi said: “It wasn’t easy, especially at the beginning. It was difficult to find the rhythm and there were a lot of mistakes. I think I improved as the match went on and we had some good rallies in the last couple of games. It’s good to win many of them, especially in the end.”
Elsewhere, 2015 Davis Cup squad member Dom Inglot is the last remaining Brit at the Aegon Open as he reached Saturday’s doubles final alongside Canadian Daniel Nestor, getting past Robert Lindstedt and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 7-6(4) 6-4.
AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM, GBR
19-25 JUNE 2016
RESULTS – JUNE 23, 2016
Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
 P. Cuevas (URU) d  M. Baghdatis (CYP) 64 46 76(8)
 G. Muller (LUX) d  A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 63 64
 A. Seppi (ITA) d D. Sela (ISR) 57 64 64
Men’s Doubles – Semifinals
 D. Inglot (GBR) / D. Nestor (CAN) d S. Gonzalez (MEX) / S. Lipsky (USA) 76(4) 64
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Qureshi (PAK) 63 67(4) 10-5
ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
 K. Anderson (RSA) vs  S. Johnson (USA) 67(6) 75 43
 G. Muller (LUX) vs  P. Cuevas (URU)
Not Before 2:00 pm
 K. Anderson (RSA) or  S. Johnson (USA) vs  A. Seppi (ITA)
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA)
(June 22, 2016) Second seed Pablo Cuevas survived Great Britain’s Dan Evans 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-4 to set up a Aegon Open Nottingham quarterfinal against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, while top seed Kevin Anderson is also through to the last eight.
Baghdatis, a semifinalist at the Nottingham Tennis Centre last year, came from a set down and saved two match points before beating 2015 Aegon Open runner-up Sam Querrey 1-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.
Baghdatis, 31, said of his comeback win over Querrey: “I’m really happy I turned it around. I had a very bad first set with a lot of negative things going through my mind. I was feeling very tired and I thought it wasn’t my day out there.
“But I got a bit more positive and started playing better tennis. I’m very happy I found my mindset on court in the second and third sets. I think that’s a big step, and I’m happy that it happened today and not at Wimbledon.”
AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM, GBR
19-25 JUNE 2016
RESULTS – JUNE 22, 2016
Men’s Singles – Third Round
 K. Anderson (RSA) d  F. Verdasco (ESP) 63 76(6)
 P. Cuevas (URU) d D. Evans (GBR) 67(4) 76(5) 64
 A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d [Q] F. Dancevic (CAN) 63 75
 M. Baghdatis (CYP) d  S. Querrey (USA) 16 76(8) 64
 S. Johnson (USA) d  V. Pospisil (CAN) 76(4) 76(1)
 A. Seppi (ITA) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 62 63
 G. Muller (LUX) d M. Youzhny (RUS) 67(4) 76(4) 63
D. Sela (ISR) d B. Becker (GER) 63 26 64
Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
 D. Inglot (GBR) / D. Nestor (CAN) d N. Monroe (USA) / A. Sitak (NZL) 64 76(6)
O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) d  T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 57 10-5
S. Gonzalez (MEX) / S. Lipsky (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / J. Sousa (POR) 63 67(9) 10-8
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d [WC] J. Marray (GBR) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 63 62
ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2016
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
 G. Muller (LUX) vs  A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
 M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs  P. Cuevas (URU)
D. Sela (ISR) vs  A. Seppi (ITA)
 K. Anderson (RSA) vs  S. Johnson (USA)
COURT 4 start 12:00 noon
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Qureshi (PAK)
S. Gonzalez (MEX) / S. Lipsky (USA) vs  D. Inglot (GBR) / D. Nestor (CAN)
COURT 2 start 11:00 am
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – S. Riffice (USA) vs R. Storrie (GBR)
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – J. Mcnally (USA) vs A. Gray (GBR)
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – U. Blanch (USA) vs R. Storrie (GBR)
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – J. Clarke (GBR) vs J. Mcnally (USA)
COURT 3 start 11:00 am
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – J. Wolf (USA) vs J. Clarke (GBR)
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – A. Canter (GBR) vs U. Blanch (USA)
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – A. Gray (GBR) vs J. Wolf (USA)
LTA JUNIOR CHALLENGE TROPHY – A. Canter (GBR) vs S. Riffice (USA)