October 27, 2016

Rafael Nadal to Play Brisbane

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(August 23, 2016) From Tennis Australia – Fourteen-time major champion Rafael Nadal (ESP) will commence his season in Australia for the first time when he joins the field at Brisbane International presented by Suncorp this summer.

The Spanish ace has traditionally favored the Middle East to start his new year campaign, but will break with tradition in January for his maiden appearance in the Sunshine State.

“It’s going to be the first time in my career that I’m going to play in Australia the first week of the season and I’m really excited about it,” Nadal said.

“I think this is something I have to do during my career and I think at the same time it’s going to be a great preparation to be in Australia early. Everybody who has been in Brisbane has told me very beautiful things about the tournament and the place so I want to try it.”

Nadal completes a clean sweep of the ‘Big Four’ to step out at Pat Rafter Arena, with fellow men’s tennis stars Roger Federer (SUI), Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Andy Murray (GBR) all having competed at previous editions of the event.

Earlier this month Nadal teamed with compatriot Marc Lopez to win gold in the men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics and narrowly missed a medal in the men’s singles event, capping a remarkable return to form.

Brisbane International Tournament Director Geoff Quinlan said the world No.5 would be a sure-fire favourite with fans this summer.

“We’re thrilled to announce Rafael Nadal will start his season in Brisbane in 2017 and can’t wait to welcome him to Queensland Tennis Centre,” he said.

“The Brisbane International has a reputation for attracting the biggest names in world tennis and we’re really excited our fans will have the chance to see Rafa in action this summer. We’ve been in talks with Rafa for a number of years about competing in Brisbane, he’s seen the event get bigger and better every year and we’re ecstatic he’s decided to join the field in 2017.

“Rafa is a legend of the sport and one of the most exciting players to see live so I’m sure fans will be counting down the days to January.

“This is just the start of a very exciting line-up of players we will announce over the coming months as we look ahead to Brisbane International 2017.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said securing Nadal was a win for the tournament and Queensland tourism.

“In 2016 we welcomed legend Roger Federer for a third time, and it’s fantastic to now add Rafa to the list of champions to play in Queensland’s premier tennis tournament,” Minister Jones said.

“Securing marquee players like Rafael Nadal provides a big drawcard for the Brisbane International and boosts the reputation of this world class Queensland event.”


Milos Raonic Reverses Last Year’s Result Against Roger Federer to Win Brisbane International


(January 10, 2016) Milos Raonic exacted some revenge on Roger Federer on Sunday. In a rematch of last year’s Brisbane International final, the Canadian reversed last year’s loss to claim the title 6-4, 6-4 over the Swiss. This is just Raonic’s second win over the 17-time major champion in 11 meetings. It’s Raonic’s eighth career ATP title.

“It feels great,” said Raonic. “It feels great considering how the past nine months have been. It adds a sort of cherry on top to all that. [The win] does great things. For myself it signifies within the team how concrete and good the work we’re doing is.

“At the same time, with the difficulties I’ve had last year, it’s maybe a good way for me to show the other guys I will face going in to Melbourne that I’ve got my stuff back together and I can play some good tennis again.

“Against him it’s always about who can dictate. I felt that other than maybe one service game where I double faulted three times, I was staying quite a bit ahead on my serve and always close on his, except for one that I lost at love. I felt like most of the other ones I was getting to 30. I was giving myself opportunities and then was able to capitalize twice.”

“I definitely didn’t play my best, because when you play a big sever first you focus on your own game, and then see what you can do on his game,” Federer said. The No. 3 player postponed his opening match of tournament due to the flu. “Both sides were not really happening. I was struggling on the serve. Quite inconsistent. He’s a good aggressive player. It was just not happening.

“Considering the week I’ve had, I’m actually quite happy. That’s why I’m not down or anything or disappointed. If I would’ve known I would’ve made the finals five days ago I would’ve been unbelievably happy.”

In an ironic twist, Raonic’s former coach is now a part of Federer’s coaching team – Ivan Ljubicic. Ljubicic was with Federer this week.

The 25-year-old Raonic, after parting with Ljubicic late last year, has added former No. 1 Carlos Moya as part of his team which includes Riccardo Piatti.

The Canadian starts off the year positively, wiping away the end of last year when he was sidelined with injuries during parts of the year. He missed the French Open with a foot injury. He was forced completely off the tour for the last three weeks with a back problem.

“(The win) it does great things – it signifies within the team how concrete and good the work we’re doing is.”

“At the same time, with the difficulties I’ve had last year, it’s maybe a good way for me to show the other guys I will face going in Melbourne, you know, I’ve got my stuff back together and I can play some good tennis again.”

“Hopefully, a better year this year than last,” said Raonic. “Every single year until now my ranking had been going up. That’s the thing I was most proud of. To see that slip was hard to accept and also very motivating.”


Victoria Azarenka Victorious in Brisbane for 18th WTA Title


(January 9, 2016) Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka won her first tournament since Cincinnati in August of 2013 by capturing the Brisbane International. The woman from Belarus dominated the fourth seed, German Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1. This is the 18th career WTA title for Azarenka and the second time she has won this event. She last captured the crown in 2009.

“Every time I play in front of this crowd I couldn’t be happier,” said the champion to the crowd after the match. “My dreams come true whenever I step on the court, and I want to thank you all for showing up, motivating us so much and inspiring us so much.”


The beginning of the tournament saw top seeds withdraw with injuries in Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova. The unseeded Azarenka who has dealt with injuries to her left leg and foot over the past two years, seeing ranking slip to No. 22, lost a mere 17 games en route to the tournament victory. That ties her with No. 1 Serena Williams in least games surrendered during the tournament.

Azarenka hit 23 winners to 9 unforced errors in her match against Kerber. She is now 6-0 against the German.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013 has now won 35 out of her last 39 matches down under dating back to 2012.


Roger Federer Begins 2016 with Decisive Win in Brisbane

(January 7, 2016) Brisbane International defending champion Roger Federer began his season on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over qualifier Tobias Kamke. The top seed and world No. 3 asked tournament organizers to delay his match by a day as he along with his family are battling the flu.

Federer took advantage of five break point chances to defeat his opponent in 55 minutes in his first match of 2016.

Federer’s win puts him the quarterfinals against Grigor Dimitrov who rallied to beat Viktor Troicki 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-2. Federer is 3-0 against Dimitrov.

On the women’s side, injuries have knocked out the top seeds earlier in the week, but two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka demolished Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals. Azarenka has suffered foot and leg injuries over the past few years.

Azarenka will take on surprise semifinalist U.S. qualifier Samantha Crawford, ranked No. 142 who beat Andrea Pektovic 6-3, 6-0. Crawford, who won the 2012 US Open Junior Girls’ title, became the first female qualifier in tournament history to reach the semifinals of the event


Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[4] A. Kerber (GER) d A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 64 64
[6] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d V. Lepchenko (USA) 46 64 75
V. Azarenka (BLR) d [8] R. Vinci (ITA) 61 62
[Q] S. Crawford (USA) d A. Petkovic (GER) 63 60

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) d [3] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) 26 76(8) 10-7
[WC] A. Kerber (GER) / A. Petkovic (GER) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Cornet (FRA) 62 63

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[1] R. Federer (SUI) d [Q] T. Kamke (GER) 62 61
[4] M. Raonic (CAN) d [Q] I. Dodig (CRO) 67(2) 61 64
L. Pouille (FRA) d [6] D. Goffin (BEL) 76(5) 46 63
G. Dimitrov (BUL) d V. Troicki (SRB) 57 76(6) 62

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[4] D. Inglot (GBR) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) d [WC] M. Reid (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) 76(0) 62

PAT RAFTER ARENA start 11:00 am
ATP – L. Pouille (FRA) vs [4] M. Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [7] B. Tomic (AUS) vs [2] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – [4] A. Kerber (GER) vs [6] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [1] R. Federer (SUI) or [Q] T. Kamke (GER) vs G. Dimitrov (BUL)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [Q] S. Crawford (USA)

SHOW COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [4] A. Klepac (SLO) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS)

Not Before 4:30 pm
ATP – [3] M. Cilic (CRO) vs [8] D. Thiem (AUT)
WTA – A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [WC] A. Kerber (GER) / A. Petkovic (GER)


Azarenka and Nishikori Advance in Brisbane


(January 6, 2016) Garbine Muguruza joined the Brisbane injury list on Wednesday. The Spaniard retired in her match with a left foot injury after trailing 7-6, 1-0 to Varvara Lepchenko. She joins Maria Sharapova and second seed Simona Halep on the sidelines.

USD 1,000,000.00
1-10 JANUARY, 2016

Women’s Singles – Second Round
V. Lepchenko (USA) d [2] G. Muguruza (ESP) 76(9) 10 Retired
[4] A. Kerber (GER) d M. Brengle (USA) 63 60
[Q] S. Crawford (USA) d [7] B. Bencic (SUI) 75 75
V. Azarenka (BLR) d [LL] Y. Bonaventure (BEL) 63 62
A. Petkovic (GER) d E. Makarova (RUS) 75 64

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d B. Bencic (SUI) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 63 46 10-6
[4] A. Klepac (SLO) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) 76(5) 60
First Round
[3] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d M. Gasparyan (RUS) / A. Panova (RUS) 63 60

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[2] K. Nishikori (JPN) d M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 63 64
[3] M. Cilic (CRO) d H. Chung (KOR) 75 76(3)
[7] B. Tomic (AUS) d [PR] R. Stepanek (CZE) 76(6) 46 76(4)
[8] D. Thiem (AUT) d D. Kudla (USA) 63 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
G. Dimitrov (BUL) / K. Nishikori (JPN) d [1] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) 46 61 10-7
[2] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d I. Dodig (CRO) / S. Groth (AUS) 76(2) 63
[WC] J. Duckworth (AUS) / C. Guccione (AUS) d [3] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 36 63 10-4

Doubles – First Round
[4] D. Inglot (GBR) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) d E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) 76(5) 46 10-7
[WC] M. Reid (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) d M. Pavic (CRO) / M. Venus (NZL) 76(1) 64

PAT RAFTER ARENA start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [4] A. Kerber (GER)
WTA – A. Petkovic (GER) vs [Q] S. Crawford (USA)
ATP – [Q] I. Dodig (CRO) vs [4] M. Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [8] R. Vinci (ITA)
ATP – [1] R. Federer (SUI) vs [Q] T. Kamke (GER)

SHOW COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [WC] M. Reid (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) vs [4] D. Inglot (GBR) / R. Lindstedt (SWE)
ATP – [6] D. Goffin (BEL) vs L. Pouille (FRA)
ATP – V. Troicki (SRB) vs G. Dimitrov (BUL)

Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [6] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs V. Lepchenko (USA)
WTA – [WC] A. Kerber (GER) / A. Petkovic (GER) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Cornet (FRA)

SHOW COURT 2 start Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – after suitable rest – A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [3] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)


Lleyton Hewitt Upsets Roger Federer for Brisbane Title



(January 5, 2014) For the first time since the Halle in 2010 Lleyton Hewitt has won a tournament. In a battle of 32-year-olds, Hewitt stunned No. 1 seed Roger Federer 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to win Brisbane International.

The former No. 1 who have been playing each other on tour since 1999 were playing their 27 match against each.

In the first set, Hewitt came out as the Hewitt of old, breaking Federer three times with Federer hitting 22 unforced errors.

The momentum swung in Federer’s favor in the second set after fighting back to even the match.

The third set was a tale of missed opportunities for the 17-time major champion. Federer failed to take advantage of seven break points within the Australian’s first three service games. Overall Federer was 1 for 10 in break point chances on the day.

The first game of the final set lasted 16 minutes with Hewitt saving 4 break points. In turn, Federer was broken in the fourth game and Hewitt held on to win.

“Playing the best players in the world and finals of tournaments, always it’s exciting,” Hewitt said. “That’s why you still play the game. For me, it was motivation enough just to try to get the win out there and obviously win another title. It’s been a couple of years. So I was just ready for the challenge today.

“I played great obviously at the start, really well. It took Roger a little bit of time to get into the match. Then I just had to fight hard at the start of the third set.

“It means a lot with the calibre of players here as well in this tournament. It’s not an easy tournament to win. I wasn’t one of the top four seeds, so I had to win all five matches to get through. There are pleasing parts and massive positives to take out of it.”

“I didn’t play great today which is a bit unfortunate, but also Lleyton was the best player I played this week,” Federer said. “He made it toughest on me. So I have a clear idea what I need to work on, and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is that… I’m very hungry and eager to attack the Australian Open next week.”

For Hewitt,  who is now 7-2 in finals in Australia, it’s his first tournament win on home soil since he captured Sydney in 2005. He raises his record against Federer to 9-18. The victory will move him up in the rankings from No. 60 to around No. 43. The last time Hewitt was in the top 50 was in October 2010.