November 25, 2015

Wawrinka Beats Murray to Reach ATP World Tour Finals Semis, Nadal Rebounds to Defeat Ferrer


(November 20, 2015) LONDON, UK – Is there such a thing as an inconsequential match? On paper, Rafael Nadal had nothing to lose or indeed gain with his final group round robin match, while David Ferrer was playing for sheer pride at the ATP World Tour Finals on Friday


At the start it actually looked like Nadal was on a mission to put his compatriot out of his misery early, but with typical tenaciousness, Ferrer scrapped and scampered his way back into the match, indeed nudging the lead once back on serve. Having reeled off four games in a row, Ferrer kept toe-to-toe with Nadal, forcing a tie-break and running away with it to take the first set off Nadal 7-6(4).


That would get the crowd sitting up, as a highly competitive second set was decided with a late break after Nadal failed to capitalize on an earlier break point.


An epic 14-minute hold at the start of the second set would help maybe speed Ferrer to a face saving win, but once more it was a late break that confirmed Nadal’s resurgence. The world No. 6 went on to win 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4.


As gritty and as dogged as Ferrer is, it was maybe unfair of him to come away with a 0-3 record, but he is as determined as he is consistent, so do not count out seeing him again this time next year.


Nadal faces three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic next.


“It is very important for me to be finishing the season like this, competing well against the best players,” said Nadal, when he was interviewed on court.


“Novak is playing almost better than impossible. He is achieving almost everything that one player can dream. I have to play to the limit of my best to have a chance.”


The straight shoot-out between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray came in the evening session. Prior to the match many felt it would come down to whichever Wawrinka showed up, but in truth while the more aggressive player got the first strike, Murray kept him in check and even built up a solid lead in the resulting first set tie-break which went to the Swiss 7-4.


Therein lay the issue – ahead and looking in control a run of basic errors cost Murray the set, with Wawrinka having to do not very much at all. He continued that streak into the start of the second set with an early break but it was the Swiss’ turn to lose the plot as he served out for the match at 5-2.


Murray looked to be clawing his way back to level terms, but he really had not left enough time, and once some errors swept in giving Wawrinka a 7-6(4), 6-4 win which sets up a rematch of the last year’s prickly semifinal with compatriot Roger Federer.


“It was important to get the first set,” Wawrinka said in his on court interview “It was a tough battle, it’s always tough against Andy. It was an amazing atmosphere, I really enjoyed it tonight.


“It’s going to be an interesting match [against Federer] for sure, we played a crazy match last year, it’s always special against him. I will try to rest and be ready for tomorrow.”


The semifinals start at 12pm GMT on Saturday.


ATP World Tour Finals – Djokovic Reaches Semis While Federer 3-0 in Group Play

(November 20, 2015) LONDON, UK – With Roger Federer installed at the top of the Stan Smith group at the ATP World Tour Finals, and a tight head-to-head with the Japanese No. 1, it would be interesting to see how this match unfurled. Federer was quick to deliver the first blow, only to be pegged right back.


Kei Nishikori may have had a slow start but he was not going to go quietly into the night, taking the initiative to put Federer on the back foot, only to lose the advantage.


It was a tight finish to the first set, with Federer finally taking it, and the momentum stayed with him as he quickly left Nishikori standing with a 4-1 lead. The comeback from the Japanese player was remarkable, winning the next five games.


Again Federer was the quicker off the blocks in the decider but there is something about that 1-4 score-line that spurred Nishikori into access once more, but this time his three-game run was as far as he would go, with Federer winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.


After the match Federer praised his opponent, who last year reached the semi-final on his debut.


Federer said: “It’s amazing what [Nishikori]’s able to produce on the court. Today was another showcase of that. It was impressive. It wasn’t easy, but somehow I got it done.”


Novak Djokovic needed just a single set to advance, having weathered a bearded Federer storm, and put the Czech Tomas Berdych under immediate pressure. While he wasn’t able to hold on to the advantage, there was always a sense that the push would come from the Serbian as he chipped away at Berdych before finally getting a break at the end of the set.


While Djokovic took the early initiative once more, he made pretty hard work for himself, giving Berdych a route back in to the match. Still it was not enough for the Czech, and he blinked first, with Djokovic closing out a 6-3 7-5 win and he will go on to face Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.


“I’ve played him so many times on different surfaces, two or three on this very court,” he said after his victory. “Hopefully I’ll be able to perform my best, that’s what’s needed to compete against him.”


With all eyes on the evening match on Friday, it is a straight shoot out between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray for a place to fight Federer.


Play will start for the final day of round robin matches at 12pm.


Rafael Nadal Reaches ATP World Tour Semifinals with Dominant Victory over Andy Murray


(November 18, 2015) LONDON, UK – Despite a promising start for the Andy Murray with an immediate break, any signs of nerves from either player was eradicated once Rafael Nadal broke back, and then proceeded to take charge on Day four of the ATP World Tour Finals.


In a slightly more competitive first set, the pair stayed toe-to-toe with each other, but it was always the Spaniard who was hustling more, while Murray at times looked very bothered about everything.


Not even giving himself a haircut could change Murray’s momentum in the match. The Brit gave himself a little trim during a changeover in the first set.

“I had some hair in my eye, and I just wanted to get rid of it,” said Murray. “That literally took two seconds. That was it.”


The non-stop commentary to himself, his team, and engagement with the umpire all served to distract him from the fact that Nadal was very much in control of the set.


With a poor first serve percentage in the first set, things continued to slip away from the Brit rapidly, as nothing seemed to work. The odd occasions he did try to come forward did yield some hope, but it just was not consistent enough and Nadal rightly punished him royally for it soundly defeating Murray 6-4, 6-1, clinching the second spot in the semifinals.


He admitted: “He was hitting the ball extremely well from the back of the court, but I didn’t really help myself. I served poorly at the end of the first set and all through the second. That’s not going to be good enough against him when he’s playing that well.”


It leaves Murray with a dilemma, as all depends on the outcome of the night match against Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss had been listless against Nadal, barely trying at times, with a shocking amount of errors leaking from every point on his racquet, it could make for an entertaining encounter between Wawrinka and Murray on Friday as they make their last bids for semifinal place.


Wawrinka defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 in the night session, rallying from 2-5 down in the first set. Nadal qualified for the semifinals when Wawrinka claimed the first set.


In all honestly Nadal would look to be coasting towards a 3-0 lead at the head of Group Ilie Nastase and based on Ferrer’s abilities and his having pushed Murray to two tight sets in the opener, it would look to be a straight fight between the elder Spaniard and Murray for the No. 2 spot in the group, earning most likely a semifinal berth against Roger Federer.


He assessed his performance for the media after the match: “It’s an important victory because it puts me in a good position to try to be in the semi-finals, and at the same time I have a big day against a great player on a tough surface.”


Play continues with the final group stages for Group Stan Smith with the opening doubles matches starting at 12pm GMT


Roger Federer Stops Novak Djokovic’s Winning Streak at ATP World Tour Finals

(November 17, 2015) LONDON, UK – The World No. 3 Roger Federer became the first player to book his place in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals as he stopped the three-time defending champion and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 in the evening session at the O2 Arena.


While everyone expected another three-setter, as rallies clocked over 20 shots, there was nothing between them until a lapse from the defending champion to hand Federer the break for the first set.


Surrendering an early break in the second set to the Serbian gave fans hope that a comeback was on the cards, but an immediate break back, and two others to boot, pushed Djokovic down the table, and gave Federer his semi-final berth.


Not even a bold challenge on the second match point could save Djokovic, who now faces Berdych on the verge of a 0-3 drubbing in the group stages when they reconvene on Thursday.


Djokovic said: “The court is playing a little bit slower than maybe US Open or Cincinnati, the last couple times we played against each other. I think that’s where he felt maybe he can spin the ball and wait for a shorter ball from my side and come in, which he did. He tactically played well.”


Even Federer was not expecting the win, even allowing for how competitive he is.


“I wouldn’t have picked it maybe before the tournament, you know, just because of his really good record on the indoors, the year he’s had, especially with the run he’s been on. I focused more on beating (Tomas) Berdych and (Kei) Nishikori and let’s see what happens against Novak.”


The victory by the Swiss halted a number of the Serbian’s streaks – 38 indoor match wins, 23 overall match wins and 15 straight victories at the year-end championships.


Federer has taken back the lead in his head-to-head record against Djokovic at 22-21.


Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

The day session featured the first three-set singles match of the event when No. 8 Kei Nishikori defeated No. 6 Tomas Berdych 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.


Ironically a match with the two players yet to win a round robin match in Group Stan Smith turned out to be one of the most entertaining Singles matches after a couple of says of straight-forward wins.


Both Berdych and Nishikori were searching for their first wins of the tournament, and with the prospect facing them of Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer respectively, a win was absolutely vital.


Certainly the first set was even, with perhaps Nishikori playing a bit more aggressively, nibbling away at the Berdych service game until he was finally rewarded with a timely break at the end of the first set.


It actually looked as though that had broken Berdych’s spirit as he quickly succumbed to another break at the start of the second set, but just as fast picked up momentum after a sloppy game from Nishikori allowed the Czech back in.


Into the first three-set match of the tournament in the Singles, and the pair were evenly matched in the final set, but once more it was Nishikori who was able to make good on his chances for a break point, getting his much needed win on the board.


The Japanese player admitted that everything had been working far better than in his opener against Novak Djokovic.


He said: “It was much better than first match. My serve went in much better than first match. Had a more good percentage for my first serve. Strokes, too. I thought I was being very aggressive. These courts are really slow, have more time to step in. I thought there were many good shots for me. I mean, I had a bad game in second set at 2-1, and after that he started playing better. That was kind of my fault that I give him little bit chance to come back for the match. Third set I tried to stay there all the time, more consistency, less unforced errors for me. Very happy with my game today.”



Play begins on Day 4 at 12pm GMT.


ATP World Tour Finals – Andy Murray a Victory Away From Securing Year-End No. 2

(November 15, 2015) LONDON, UK – On day two of the ATP World Tour Finals, the question was whether Andy Murray would make that transition from his clay court preparations to the indoor hard court against an opponent that can be a large thorn in anyone’s side.


Facing David Ferrer for the second time in as many tournaments, it was clear that the Spaniard was up for making this a grueling encounter, putting Murray under pressure immediately.


Chances came and went for Murray later in the set, as he squandered three opportunities to gain an advantage, instead opting for breaking Ferrer for the set.


It is never as clear cut as that with this pair, as Ferrer took off at a sprint at the start of the second set, breaking the Brit, and consolidating easily. Murray was not easily put away though, breaking the Spaniard before repeating his feat from the first set, breaking to win 6-4, 6-4.


This puts him within a win of securing the year end No. 2 spot for the first time in his career.


He said to media, after the match: “First couple of games my timing was a little bit off. But I got it back pretty quickly, which was pleasing. You know, if you’re looking for a little bit of rhythm, he’s also a guy who makes you hit a lot of balls. The rallies are often quite long, so you can get into a rhythm against him. So that was good.”

Murray who will play the Davis Cup final next week against Belgium, was asked about the Paris attacks and if he had any concerns about going to Belgium. “I think everybody right now is concerned about things,” said the Scotsman. “But I do think the best thing that we can do is to live our normal lives, not change too much, because then the terrorists are the ones that are winning.”

“We need to go out there and do what we always do and try not to change too much. That’s all we can do.”

“I don’t want to live my life in fear each time I step on a tennis court. So that’s what I’ll do.”


There were high hopes that the night session match would deliver the first three set singles match of the tournament. There was disappointed because despite an early break by Stan Wawrinka, it was all about Rafael Nadal.


Having been quite defensive pre-tournament about his year, even going so far to reiterate that his slide down the rankings has not been because of injury but down to ‘playing badly,’ or rather a lack of confidence, Nadal looked to exploit an ill-at-ease Wawrinka, whom many thought to be a real contender.


While the first set was at least competitive, a mammoth hold at the start of the second set marked the tone for the remainder of the match. Nothing Wawrinka could do was right, as he sprayed errors thick and fast from his racquet.


Sure Nadal regained some of his trademark swagger, but it was as much about an apparent self-destruct from Wawrinka that set the Spaniard alongside Murray with a win against his name, 6-3, 6-2.


Wawrinka could do little else but acknowledge that he had played poorly, saying: “Just disappointed in general. I don’t think was great level, was great match. You know, when something goes wrong today, everything went wrong. Just everything went the wrong way.”


Nadal may have settled any nerves he had with that performance. He said: “I had a good week of practice here. I think I played the way that I wanted to play. I played aggressive. I played with not many mistakes. Just the thing I can do a little bit better is serving. For the moment I didn’t serve as good as I was doing in the previous days. But for the rest, all the shots worked well: backhand, forehand, good volleys, good smash, no missing the smashes today. So that’s good.”


Nadal and Murray will play in the next round, with Wawrinka and Ferrer each looking to salvage their chances on Day 4.


Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Open ATP World Tour Finals with Decisive Victories

(November 15, 2015) Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer secured easy opening round robin match wins on Sunday at London’s O2 Area on the first day of the ATP World Tour Finals.

The event began with a minute’s silence for the victims of Paris attacks before play got underway between Djokovic and Nishikori. More than 129 people are dead and hundreds wounded due to Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Security measures have been heightened in the O2 Arena.


In the Stan Smith group, three-time defending champion Djokovic extended his winning streak at the year-ending event to 15 with his easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Kei Nishikori. It’s the world No. 1’s 23rd straight match victory overall.

The Serb lost a mere nine points on his own serve, hit 17 winners with only 14 unforced errors and never faced a break point in the 65-minute win.

“Obviously I didn’t make any first serve today,” Nishikori said. “So that cause lot of pressure that he always have a good return. I thought didn’t play bad. I had great points with groundstrokes. I think my serve was the key. Both sets I lost my first service game.”

“I was feeling very comfortable on the court, feeling like I could get most of the balls back,” Djokovic said. “I served efficiently. I mixed up the second serves as well. Didn’t give him really the same look twice. I always tried to change. The tactics worked very well.”

Djokovic, having a career year, winning three out of the four majors and six Masters Series titles, is seeking to become the first to win four consecutive year-end tournaments.

Djokovic was awarded his ATP No. 1 trophy for 2015 after the match.

In the night match, third seed and six-time ATP World Finals champion Roger Federer rebounded from a slow start to defeat sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. Berdych opened the match leading 2-0, but the Swiss regrouped to take control.

Federer, competing in his 14th straight year-end competition, hit 20 aces past the Czech in the 69-minute match.

“I think what I underestimated a little bit in some ways was that it was a first round. I think I was playing very well in practice,” said the Swiss. “I had a very good idea with Severin and Stefan how I should play the match. When I came in, I kind of forgot it was a first round. I do have to be a little bit careful as well at times. I was a bit sluggish coming in. I don’t want to say too overconfident, but I thought it was going to be easier than that. It was a good lesson for me to learn. But now I’m in the second round, so that’s a good thing.”

The 17-time major champion received the ATP Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award and the Fans’ Favourite trophy after the win.


In the doubles competition, top seed Bob and Mike Bryan lost in their first round robin match in the Arthur Ashe/Stan Smith group to eighth seed Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-4, 6-3. The Bopanna/Mergea team broke the Bryans’ usually reliable serves five times during the match.

The victory, which gives them a 1-0 record in group play, places them in a tie with Jamie Murray and John Peers at the top of the Group. Fourth seeds Murray and Peers defeated fifth seeds Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 3-6, 11-9 in one hour and 42 minutes, in a match held before the Djokovic – Nishikori contest.




Groups Announced for ATP World Tour Finals; London Will Host event Through 2018

ATP World Tour Finals

(November 12, 2015) The ATP World Tour Finals in London held the official group draws ahead of the Sunday start. Top seed Novak Djokovic seeking a fifth year-end crown is in the Stan Smith group along with (3) Roger Federer, (6) Tomas Berdych and (8) Kei Nishikori. The Illie Nastase group consists of (2) Andy Murray, (4) Stan Wawrinka, (5) Rafael Nadal and (7) David Ferrer.

This year the singles and doubles groups have been named after former champions of the year-end event, including Stan Smith, the 1970 winner at Tokyo in 1970, and four-time winner Illie Nastase. Arthur Ashe and Smith won the first doubles title in 1970 while Peter Fleming and John McEnroe won the crown eight consecutive times.

The singles and doubles groups are listed below as well as the order of play for Sunday and Monday.


Singles – Group Stan Smith 
[1] N Djokovic (SRB)
[3] R Federer (SUI)
[6] T Berdych (CZE)
[8] K Nishikori (JPN)
Singles – Group Ilie Nastase
[2] A Murray (GBR)
[4] S Wawrinka (SUI)
[5] R Nadal (ESP)
[7] D Ferrer (ESP)
Doubles – Group Ashe/Smith 
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)
[4] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS)
[5] S Bolelli (ITA) / F Fognini (ITA)
[8] R Bopanna (IND) / F Mergea (ROU)
Doubles – Group Fleming/McEnroe
[2] J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU)
[3] I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA)
[6] P Herbert (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA)
[7] M Matkowski (POL) / N Zimonjic (SRB)


Order of Play – Sunday, 15 November
Afternoon Session 12:00 PM Groups Stan Smith & Ashe/Smith
(4) J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) (5) S Bolelli (ITA) / F Fognini (ITA)
(1) (SRB)
(8) (JPN)
Evening Session 6:00 PM Groups Stan Smith & Ashe/Smith
(1) B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) (8) R Bopanna (IND) / F Mergea (ROU)
(3) (SUI)
(6) (CZE)
ATP World Tour Results
Order of Play – Monday, 16 November
Afternoon Session 12:00 PM Groups Ilie Nastase & Fleming/McEnroe
(2) J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU) (7) M Matkowski (POL) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
(2) (GBR)
(7) (ESP)
Evening Session 6:00 PM Groups Ilie Nastase & Fleming/McEnroe
(3) I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) (6) P Herbert (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA)
(4) (SUI)
(5) (ESP)

Berdych, Ferrer and Cilic Take ATP Titles

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

(October 25, 2015) Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Marin Cilic won singles titles on the ATP World Tour this week.

Tomas Berdych claimed the Stockholm Open for a third time besting American Jack Sock 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the final. Bedych came back from a break down in the first set.

It’s Berdych’s 12th ATP World Tour title. The Czech, who has already qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

“I’ve definitely built up a good history here, which always helps,” Berdych said. “The tournament does a really good job taking care of us, making us feel at home. Sometimes you find a place in the world that suits you well, and it’s the case here. I’m glad to be able to add to my titles here.”
Later in the day, Sock and Nicholas Monroe won their first team doubles title as a team against Mate Pavic and Michael Venus. For Sock, this was his third doubles title of the year.

“My goal is always to do the best I can in singles,” Sock said. Doubles I play for fun and to get some more practice during the week, so singles is definitely my priority. (Berdych) is top-five, top-seven in the world for a reason. He stays in every game.”



David Ferrer

David Ferrer


David Ferrer made strides to reach the ATP World Tour Finals in London next month when the Spaniard won his 26th career title coming back from a set down to beat American Steve Johnson 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to win the Erste Bank Open in Vienna on Sunday. The top seed and world No. 8 won his fifth title of the year. He won titles in Doha, Rio de Janeiro, Acapulco and Kuala Lumpur.

“It was a very tough match and difficult to beat Steve, who has a good serve and played aggressively throughout the match,” Ferrer said. “I waited for my opportunity and my experience counted. He also had his chance to win the tournament. Steve is playing very well, he’s beaten a lot of good players this week.”

“He just had a bit more experience,” said first-time ATP finalist Johnson who is ranked 47th. “I had some looks at 5-4 [in the third set], then at 5-5 he played a couple of incredible shots. I had an awesome week and am super-proud about how I played. I’m not going to be sad about this week and I look forward to the rest of the year. I have gained a lot of confidence and will work hard in the off season, because I know I can beat these guys.”
In the doubles final, first-time partners Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo came back from a set and a break down to win the final 4-6, 7-6(3) 10-6.

With the win, Melo will move up to No. 1 in the doubles rankings on November 2.

“I’m living the dream, playing three tournaments and winning 500, 1000 and 500 [Emirates ATP Rankings] points again,” Melo said. “There was a lot of pressure on my shoulders to become No. 1, this is a tough achievement. I am a really lucky guy to [soon-to-be] No. 1 with the Bryans still around.”

“It’s an amazing feeling, following surgery in May and the decision to focus solely on doubles,” Kubot said. “I couldn’t find a permanent partner this year, after I came back, so I am very happy to have won one of my favourite tournaments. I’m glad they got [ATP World Tour] 500-level status, because they really do deserve it as an indoor tournament. It’s my fourth title of the year, with my fourth different partner on four different surfaces. I am very happy to have played with Marcelo, maintaining his momentum. Our opponents had everything under control, but we took our chances and won the last point.”


Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

In a case of what the late Hall of Fame baseball player Yogi Berra would have said, it was déjà vu all over again as Marin Cilic defended his title at the Kremlin Cup, in a repeat of last year’s final beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 – the same score as last year.

For the 2014 US Open champion, it’s his 14th career crown and his first final since last year’s Moscow final.

“Maybe the first four or five games I didn’t feel so confident, but then it got better,” said the Croatian. “I’m glad the result was repeated. Last year was emotional for me. Of course, this year’s a little different. I felt very comfortable and relaxed on the court. Perhaps the victory this year is special in the sense that it is usually more difficult to defend than to win the tournament for the first time. The Kremlin Cup has become special for me and I can’t wait to come back here again.”


David Ferrer Wins Malaysian Open, Huey and Kontinen Take Doubles Title


(October 4, 2015) In an all-Spanish final, No. 1 seed David Ferrer won the Malaysian Open defeating Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday in a little over 90 minutes.

“I feel very happy, because I have never played so well at this tournament,” said the 34-year-old. “I played my best match of the week in this final, and my sensations after my elbow injury are now very good. Feliciano is a good tennis player, but an even better person. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”

“I think I did what I needed to do in order to beat David, which is to play aggressively,” Lopez said. “After I got the break in the first set, I got broken right away serving with the new balls, which was unusual. David played a lot more consistent after that, and made it difficult for me to win points, to shorten the points.”
With the win which gave him his 25 career ATP World Tour title, Ferrer became the first man from Spain win the Malaysian Open.

In the doubles, second seed Treat Huey and Henri Kontinen won the doubles title over top seed Rajeev Ram and Raven Klaasen  7-6(4), 6-2.

“Despite the score, the match was very close,” Huey said. “Henri hit an unbelievable return for us to come back in the first set. It came down to one or two points and we played well on points that mattered in the end. At some point we will lose a match, but it’d be pretty cool to go undefeated forever.”

For the Filipino-Finnish team, it’s their eighth consecutive win and second title in as many weeks. They captured the title in Saint Petersburg.
“It’s definitely not what we expected when we teamed up two weeks ago,” Kontinen said. “We have been playing well and it’s very important to get along on and off the court.”

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Baghdatis Takes Down Top Seed Ferrer in Nottingham Opening Round

marcos Baghdatis-001

(June 23, 2015) Marcos Baghdatis knocked out top seed David Ferrer at the Aegon Open Nottingham on Tuesday.

Baghdatis said after beating 2013 French Open finalist Ferrer: “The best thing is that I’m feeling good on court. It was his first match on grass and at the beginning he didn’t have much rhythm. I think I played it smart not to give him any rhythm. I’m very happy about my win today but I have to keep my feet on the ground. There’s still a long way to go. But I feel good here, there are a lot of good vibrations, good vibes, positive energy.”

Ferrer admits that he was second-best on his return to the grass surface. He said: “Marcos was better than me. He played more hours on court and had more confidence in his game. For me, the first set was difficult because it was the first set back on grass. I didn’t have too many days of practice on this surface. I hope next year I’ll have more days here. It’s important to play more matches. Now I have to focus before Wimbledon. I will have four or five days of practice and I hope to play better.”

Third seed and two-time winner of the Aegon International at Eastbourne Feliciano Lopez also reached the third round beating junior World No. 1 Taylor Harry Fritz 6-3 6-3. He will be joined by second seed Gilles Simon who came through a three hour epic to defeat Spaniard Marcel Granollers, 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-7(0).

Meanwhile, world No. 16 Lopez knows that he faces a tough task to get past Lu and reach the last eight.Lopez said: “He’s a great player who can do very well on grass. He’s dangerous. I’ll try to play my game, be aggressive and hold serve. This is the way I have to play.”“Grass court season is good for me. It has been good for the last 10 years. It’s the surface where I play my best tennis, so I take advantage of that. My game is good for the grass, so hopefully I can have a great run here and also at Wimbledon next week.”

Fritz had already beaten World No. 66 Pablo Carreno Busta earlier in the day in what was his ATP World Tour main draw debut. “He was not shy at all,” Lopez said. “The fact that he won his first match this morning gave him a lot of confidence and he went in with nothing to lose – he’s 700th in the world, I’m 16th – so it’s a great match for him to play. I think he has a great future.”

First on Centre Court was British No. 4 Ward, who resumed his rain-interrupted first round match up by one set against American Tim Smyczek but lost 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-1, before sixteenth-seed Czech Jiri Vesely defeated Smyczek 6-1, 6-3 in less than an hour in the second round.

On the outside courts, 18-year-old former junior world No. 1 Alexander Zverev came from a set down to beat Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4 and set up a third round meeting with Baghdatis. Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, who toppled Rafael Nadal at The Queen’s Club last week, overcame 11th seed Spaniard Pablo Andujar in 2 hours 20 minutes 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-4, while world No. 23 Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas got past Dudi Sela of Israel in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. Cuevas will next face big-serving American Sam Querrey, who took down Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 7-6(4), 6-4.


Results for June 23, 2015

Singles – Second Round
M. Baghdatis (CYP) d [1] D. Ferrer (ESP) 62 76(4)
[2] G. Simon (FRA) d M. Granollers (ESP) 46 76(3) 76(0) – saved 3 M.P.
[3] F. Lopez (ESP) d [WC] T. Fritz (USA) 63 63
[4] L. Mayer (ARG) d H. Chung (KOR) 63 61
[5] P. Cuevas (URU) d [Q] D. Sela (ISR) 75 64
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d [6] V. Troicki (SRB) 64 62
[7] D. Thiem (AUT) d M. Jaziri (TUN) 63 61
[8] A. Mannarino (FRA) d A. Bedene (GBR) 76(4) 64
D. Istomin (UZB) d [9] J. Monaco (ARG) 61 62
S. Bolelli (ITA) d [10] M. Klizan (SVK) 63 67(4) 61
A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d [11] P. Andujar (ESP) 76(5) 67(5) 64
[12] S. Querrey (USA) d S. Giraldo (COL) 76(4) 64
[WC] A. Zverev (GER) d [13] T. Bellucci (BRA) 67(7) 63 64
[14] J. Sousa (POR) d S. Groth (AUS) 67(5) 63 76(3)
Y. Lu (TPE) d [15] A. Seppi (ITA) 64 63
[16] J. Vesely (CZE) d T. Smyczek (USA) 61 63

Singles – First Round
T. Smyczek (USA) d [WC] J. Ward (GBR) 16 76(3) 61
Y. Lu (TPE) d [Q] R. Bemelmans (BEL) 64 64
[WC] T. Fritz (USA) d P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 61 64
S. Groth (AUS) d [Q] M. Zverev (GER) 76(1) 76(3)

Doubles – First Round
[2] P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) d P. Andujar (ESP) / O. Marach (AUT) 63 64
[Alt] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d [4] D. Inglot (GBR) / J. Murray (GBR) 64 62
C. Guccione (AUS) / A. Sa (BRA) d J. Monaco (ARG) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) 64 76(3)
[WC] E. Butorac (USA) / C. Fleming (GBR) d M. Fyrstenberg (POL) / S. Gonzalez (MEX) 63 62
[WC] K. Skupski (GBR) / N. Skupski (GBR) d G. Duran (ARG) / L. Mayer (ARG) 61 64
R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Sitak (NZL) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 36 76(5) 10-8

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs [WC] A. Zverev (GER)
[5] P. Cuevas (URU) vs [12] S. Querrey (USA)
[14] J. Sousa (POR) vs [2] G. Simon (FRA)
Y. Lu (TPE) vs [3] F. Lopez (ESP)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
S. Bolelli (ITA) vs [8] A. Mannarino (FRA)
[4] L. Mayer (ARG) vs [16] J. Vesely (CZE)
[1] M. Granollers (ESP) / L. Paes (IND) vs T. Huey (PHI) / S. Lipsky (USA)
S. Bolelli (ITA) / A. Qureshi (PAK) vs [WC] E. Butorac (USA) / C. Fleming (GBR)
After Suitable Rest – R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Sitak (NZL) vs [2] P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon

D. Istomin (UZB) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
[WC] K. Skupski (GBR) / N. Skupski (GBR) vs [Alt] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
[7] D. Thiem (AUT) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR)