May 26, 2017

2017 Australian Open – Day 6 Men’s Preview

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 6 MEN’S NOTES

Saturday 21 January

3rd Round Bottom Half

 

Gael Monfils

Featured matches

 

No. 3 Milos Raonic (CAN) v No. 25 Gilles Simon (FRA)

No. 6 Gael Monfils (FRA) v No. 32 Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)

No. 8 Dominic Thiem (AUT) v Benoit Paire (FRA)

No. 9 Rafael Nadal (ESP) v No. 24 Alexander Zverev (GER)

No. 11 David Goffin (BEL) v No. 20 Ivo Karlovic (CRO)

No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) v No. 21 David Ferrer (ESP)

No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) v No. 18 Richard Gasquet (FRA)

No. 30 Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) v (WC) Denis Istomin (UZB)

 

On court today…

 

  • Denis Istomin will be looking to continue the momentum from his upset victory over 6-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic when he takes on No. 30 seed Pablo Carreno Busta today. Istomin is aiming to record 3 consecutive Tour-level match-wins for the first time since he won his first career title at 2015 Nottingham.

 

  • Alexander Zverev will hope to join older brother Mischa, who defeated Malek Jaziri on Friday, in the round of 16 when he takes on Rafael Nadal on Rod Laver Arena. If he defeats the 2009 champion – which would be his 4th consecutive win against a Top 10 opponent – the Zverevs would become just the 3rd pair of brothers to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam in the Open Era, after Gene and Sandy Mayer at 1979 Wimbledon, and Emilio and Javier Sanchez at the 1991 US Open.

 

  • Zverev is also one of 3 Germans to reach the 3rd round here along with brother Mischa and Philipp Kohlschreiber, who takes on No. 6 seed Gael Monfils on Margaret Court Arena. It is the first time as many as 3 German men have reached the 3rd round at the Australian Open since 2010, when Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas and Florian Mayer reached this stage. The last time Germany had multiple representation in the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2006 (Haas and Nicolas Kiefer).

 

  • Eight of the 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round here are in action today. This is the most 30-somethings through to this stage at the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

 3 MILOS RAONIC (CAN) v NO. 25 GILLES SIMON (FRA)

Head-to-head: Raonic leads 3-1

2011     Estoril                           Clay (O)            QF        Raonic              76(4) 46 63

2014     Roland Garros             Clay (O)           R32      Raonic             46 63 26 62 75

2014     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           SF        Raonic              61 64

2015     Queen’s                        Grass (O)          QF        Simon               46 63 75

 

A 5th career meeting between the 2 players, and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Raonic won their only Grand Slam meeting at 2014 Roland Garros and their only hard court meeting at 2014 Tokyo, but Simon won their most recent clash at 2015 Queen’s.

 

                           RAONIC                                        v                                         SIMON

 

26                                          Age                                          32

3                                    ATP Ranking                                   25

8                                          Titles                                         12

60-23                      Career Grand Slam Record                      74-42

21-6                         Australian Open Record                        22-10

263-121                              Career Record                              407-283

186-76                         Career Record – Hard                         241-161

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

8-5                           Career Five-Set Record                         19-12

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

163-102                      Career Tiebreak Record                       130-136

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-2

 

  • RAONIC is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 5th time. This is his 7th Australian Open appearance and his 24th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Raonic advanced to the 3rd round here after defeating Dustin Brown 63 64 62 and Gilles Muller 63 64 76(4) in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Last year here as No. 13 seed Raonic recorded his best Australian Open result by reaching the semifinals (l. Andy Murray). He was the first Canadian man – and only the 2nd Canadian player after Eugenie Bouchard – in history to reach the semifinals here.

 

  • Raonic recorded his best Grand Slam result at 2016 Wimbledon when, as No. 6 seed, he became the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam final, falling to Murray 64 76(3) 76(2). Elsewhere at the Grand Slams last year, he reached the round of 16 at Roland Garros (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas) but fell in the 2nd round at the US Open (l. Ryan Harrison).

 

  • Raonic won his 8th career title at 2016 Brisbane (d. Roger Federer) to maintain his record of winning at least one title every year since winning his first at 2011 San Jose. All 8 of his career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he finished runner-up at Indian Wells-1000 (l. Novak Djokovic) and fell to Murray in the final at both Queen’s and Wimbledon. He reached 5 further semifinals.

 

  • Raonic reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 on 21 November 2016 after reaching the semifinals at the ATP World Tour Finals, where he fell to Murray in the longest 3-set match in the tournament’s history at 3 hours 38 minutes. He plays here on the same ranking of No. 3.

 

  • Raonic warmed up for the Australian Open as top seed and defending champion at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals.

 

  • Raonic became the first Canadian to be seeded in the men’s singles at a Grand Slam event in the Open Era at 2011 Roland Garros. He plays here seeded No. 3 – his highest Grand Slam seeding.

 

  • Raonic was born in Montenegro but moved to Canada in 1994. He started playing tennis aged 8.

 

  • Raonic started working with former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, who reached the semifinals here in 1992, ahead of the 2017 season. He is also coached by Riccardo Piatti.

 

  • SIMON is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for 4th time. He is contesting his 11th Australian Open and his 43rd Grand Slam.

 

  • Simon advanced to the 3rd round after defeating wild card Michael Mmoh 61 63 63 in the 1st round and Rogerio Dutra Silva 64 61 61 in the 2nd round.

 

  • Simon is looking to record his 23rd match-win at the Australian Open and surpass Fabrice Santoro in joint 4th place on the list for most Australian Open match-wins by a Frenchman in the Open Era. Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils, who are also through to the 3rd round here, are also attempting to climb the list.

 

                  Most Australian Open match-wins by a Frenchman (Open Era)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 33
Sebastien Grosjean 25
Gael Monfils 23
Fabrice Santoro

Richard Gasquet

Gilles Simon

22

22

22

                Figures correct through the 2017 AO 3rd round and include Tsonga’s 3rd round win on Friday

 

  • Last year here, Simon reached the round of 16, losing to Novak Djokovic in 5 sets. Simon has a 19-13 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 7-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Simon reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros (l. Viktor Troicki), but fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Grigor Dimitrov) and the US Open (l. Paolo Lorenzi).

 

  • Simon’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals here in 2009, when he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal, and at 2015 Wimbledon, where he lost to Roger Federer. He is contesting his 11th Australian Open and his 43rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Simon’s 2016 highlights included reaching the semifinals at both Metz (l. Dominic Thiem) and Shanghai-1000 (l. Andy Murray), and the quarterfinals at Miami-1000 (l. David Goffin), Estoril (l. Pablo Carreno Busta), Nice (l. Alexander Zverev) and Stuttgart (l. Juan Martin del Porto).

 

  • Simon warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he lost in the 1st round to Lucas Pouille.

 

  • Simon has won just one of his last 12 matches against Top 5 opposition. The only Top 5 player he has defeated in that time is No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the 3rd round at 2016 Shanghai-1000.

 

  • Simon has won just one match against a Top 5 opponent at a Grand Slam. He defeated No. 5 David Ferrer in the 3rd round at the 2014 US Open. Overall he has a 1-11 win-loss record against Top 5 players at the majors.

 

  • Simon is a former Top 10 player having reached a career-high ranking of No. 6 in January 2009. He plays here ranked No. 25. He has won 12 career singles titles and is the joint-3rd most successful Frenchman in the Open Era with Tsonga in terms of titles won (behind Yannick Noah with 23 and Gasquet with 14).

 

  • Simon is one of 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round This is the most through to this stage of the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

  • Simon is coached by Jan de Witt. His fitness trainer is Paul Quetin.

 

 

 

 

6 GAEL MONFILS (FRA) v NO. 32 PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)

Head-to-head: Monfils leads 12-2

2008     Vienna                          Hard (I)             SF        Monfils             64 57 76(2)

2009     Metz                             Hard (I)             FR        Monfils             76(1) 36 62

2010     Davis Cup (WG-1R)       Hard (I)             R1        Monfils             61 64 76(5)

2011     Halle                             Grass (O)          SF        Kohlschreiber    63 63

2011     Davis Cup (WG-QF)      Clay (O)            R2        Monfils             76(3) 76(5) 64

2011     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)           R16      Monfils             62 62

2012     Madrid-1000                  Clay (O)            R64      Monfils             75 67(2) 63

2012     Metz                             Hard (I)             QF        Monfils             67(3) 64 64

2013     Doha                            Hard (O)           R16      Monfils             64 26 64

2013     Stuttgart                       Clay (O)            QF        Kohlschreiber    64 64

2015     Davis Cup (WG-1R)       Hard (I)             R2        Monfils             64 75 76(4)

2015     Stuttgart                       Grass (O)          QF        Monfils             75 36 63

2015     Umag                           Clay (O)            QF        Monfils             46 76(5) 64

2016     Rotterdam                     Hard (I)             SF        Monfils             63 62

 

A 15th career meeting for the pair – but their first at a Grand Slam. They have, however, played best-of-5-set matches on 3 previous occasions, with Monfils winning all 3 of their Davis Cup encounters in 2010, 2011 and 2015 in straight sets.

 

Kohlschreiber is bidding to end a 4-match losing streak against Monfils, having not defeated the Frenchman since their quarterfinal meeting at 2013 Stuttgart. Monfils has won all 8 of their previous meetings on a hard court.

 

Monfils and Simon are 2 of the 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round here. This is the most through to this stage of the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

                          MONFILS                                       v                                KOHLSCHREIBER

 

30                                          Age                                          33

6                                    ATP Ranking                                   33

6                                          Titles                                          7

84-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                      62-49

23-11                        Australian Open Record                        20-11

393-221                              Career Record                              396-304

248-133                        Career Record – Hard                         195-161

2-0                                   2017 Record                                   5-1

2-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-1

15-12                         Career Five-Set Record                         16-10

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

158-110                      Career Tiebreak Record                       161-153

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-2

 

  • MONFILS is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 3rd time. This is his 12th appearance at the Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Monfils is looking to record his 24th match-win at the Australian Open and close the gap on Sebastien Grosjean in 2nd place on the list for most Australian Open match-wins by a Frenchman in the Open Era. Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon, who are also through to the 3rd round here, are also attempting to climb the list at the Australian Open this year.

 

                  Most Australian Open match-wins by a Frenchman (Open Era)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 33
Sebastien Grosjean 25
Gael Monfils 23
Fabrice Santoro

Richard Gasquet

Gilles Simon

22

22

22

Figures correct through the 2017 AO 3rd round and include Tsonga’s 3rd round win on Friday

 

  • Monfils advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Jiri Vesely 62 63 62 and Alexandr Dolgopolov 63 64 16 60 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Monfils’ 1st round victory here was his first Tour-level match win since he defeated Kevin Anderson in the 2nd round at 2016 Shanghai-1000 (l. David Goffin). He had previously not played a Tour-level match prior to his opening match here since withdrawing with a rib injury after losing his opening 2 round robin matches at the ATP World Tour Finals.

 

  • Last year here Monfils reached the quarterfinals for the first time on his 11th Australian Open appearance, moving him into joint-2nd place with Mark Woodforde on the Open Era list for the most attempts before reaching the last 8 here. He fell to Milos Raonic 63 36 63 64.

 

  • Monfils’ best Grand Slam result is reaching the semifinals at 2008 Roland Garros, where ranked No. 59 he lost to Roger Federer 62 57 63 75, and at the 2016 US Open (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Monfils withdrew from Roland Garros with a virus and fell to Jeremy Chardy in 5 sets in the 1st round at Wimbledon. He has a 15-12 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 3-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Monfils’ 2016 highlight was winning his 6th career title at Washington (d. Ivo Karlovic). He also finished runner-up at both Rotterdam (l. Martin Klizan) and Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Rafael Nadal) and reached 3 further semifinals.

 

  • Monfils reached a career-high ranking of No. 6 on 7 November 2016 and ended the year inside the Top 10 for the first time. He plays here ranked No. 6.

 

  • Monfils is a 2-time Davis Cup finalist, having helped France to the finals in 2010 (l. Serbia) and 2014
    (l. Switzerland). France will play Japan in the World Group first round in Tokyo on 3-5 February.

 

  • Monfils narrowly missed out on achieving the Junior Grand Slam in 2004 after winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. His preparation for the junior US Open that year was hampered by a knee injury and he lost in the 3rd round to Viktor Troicki. He was named 2004 ITF Junior Boys’ World Champion. He is one of 6 former junior Australian Open champions to reach the 2nd round from the 7 who started the men’s main draw here.

 

  • Monfils is coached by former world No. 39 Mikael Tillstrom, who reached the quarterfinals here in 1996.
  • KOHLSCHREIBER is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 4th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Kohlschreiber advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili 64 36 76(2) 64 and Donald Young 75 63 60 in the opening 2 rounds here for the first Grand Slam match-wins since the 2015 US Open. This is his 12th Australian Open and his 50th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Kohlschreiber is one of 3 Germans through to the 3rd round here along with brothers Alexander and Mischa Zverev – the most at the Australian Open since 2010, when Tommy Haas, Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer reached this stage. The last time Germany had multiple representation in the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2006 (Haas and Nicolas Kiefer). There has never been as many as 3 German men in the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

 

  • Kohlschreiber’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the round of 16 on 3 previous occasions – on his debut in 2005 (l. Andy Roddick), in 2008 (l. Jarkko Nieminen) and in 2012 (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Kohlschreiber broke through to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at 2012 Wimbledon (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga). It was his 33rd Grand Slam appearance which put him in 4th place for the most Grand Slam appearances before reaching his first quarterfinal at the majors.

 

  • Kohlschreiber’s 1st round victory here ended a 5-match losing streak at the Grand Slams. He fell in the 1st round at all 4 majors in 2016 – losing to Kei Nishikori at the Australian Open, Nicolas Almagro at Roland Garros, Pierre-Hugues Herbert at Wimbledon and at the US Open, where he retired with a right foot injury while trailing Nicolas Mahut 63 75 1-0.

 

  • Away from the Grand Slams, Kohlschreiber’s best results in 2016 were winning his 3rd title at Munich (d. Dominic Thiem) and finishing runner-up at Stuttgart (l. Thiem). He also reached 3 semifinals – at Rotterdam (l. Gael Monfils), Barcelona (l. Rafael Nadal) and Moscow (l. Fabio Fognini) – and 4 further quarterfinals.

 

  • Kohlschreiber has won 7 career titles. Only one of his titles has come on hard court – 2008 Auckland (d. Juan Carlos Ferrero).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Kohlschreiber reached the quarterfinals at Sydney, where he gave a walkover with a back injury to Viktor Troicki. after a 2nd round defeat at Doha (l. Almagro).

 

  • Kohlschreiber is bidding to end an 8-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams. His last victory over a Top player at a major came in the 3rd round at the 2012 US Open, when he defeated No. 10 John Isner in 5 sets. Overall he has a 3-18 win-loss record against Top 10 players at the Grand Slams.

 

  • Kohlschreiber is a former Top 20 player. He reached a career-best ranking of No. 16 in July 2012 and finished that year ranked at No. 20 – the only time, to date, that he has ended a year in the world’s Top 20. He plays here at No. 33.

 

  • Kohlschreiber is coached by Stephan Fehske.

 

 

 

 8 DOMINIC THIEM (AUT) v BENOIT PAIRE (FRA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

THIEM                                         v                                         PAIRE

 

23                                          Age                                          27

8                                    ATP Ranking                                   47

7                                          Titles                                          1

22-12                      Career Grand Slam Record                      25-24

5-3                          Australian Open Record                          5-5

126-84                               Career Record                              127-140

58-51                          Career Record – Hard                           66-77

4-2                                   2017 Record                                   5-2

4-2                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-2

3-2                           Career Five-Set Record                           9-4

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

52-51                        Career Tiebreak Record                         58-63

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-1

 

  • THIEM is bidding to become the first Austrian to reach the round of 16 here since Jurgen Melzer in 2011.

 

  • Thiem advanced to the 3rd round here for the 2nd straight year after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 46 64 64 63 and Jordan Thompson 62 61 67(6) 64 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Thiem has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 3rd round here last year as No. 19 seed, defeating Leonardo Mayer and Nicolas Almagro before falling to David Goffin. This is his 4th straight Australian Open and his 13th consecutive Grand Slam.

 

  • Thiem recorded his best Grand Slam performance by reaching the semifinals at 2016 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic). He became the 3rd Austrian man in history to reach a Grand Slam semifinal after Thomas Muster and Jurgen Melzer. He also broke into the Top 10 for the first time at No. 7.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Thiem reached the round of 16 at the US Open, where he retired with a right knee injury while trailing Juan Martin del Potro 63 3-2, but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Jiri Vesely).

 

  • Thiem won 4 titles in 2016 – at Buenos Aires (d. Almagro), Acapulco (d. Bernard Tomic), Nice (d. Alexander Zverev) and Stuttgart (d. Philipp Kohlschreiber). He was the only player other than Andy Murray to win titles on clay, grass and hard court in 2016. He qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time, defeating Gael Monfils in the group stage but losing to Djokovic and Milos Raonic.

 

  • Thiem warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at both Brisbane (l. Grigor Dimitrov) and Sydney (l. Daniel Evans) after receiving 1st round byes.

 

  • Thiem has never lost a 5-set match on a hard court. He has a 3-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches played on a hard court, and a 3-2 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall. He won both of the 5-set matches he contested in 2016, defeating Gastao Elias in the first rubber of Austria’s Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I 2nd round tie against Portugal and John Millman in the 1st round at the US Open.

 

  • Thiem is seeded No. 8 here – his joint-highest seeding at a Grand Slam. He was also seeded No. 8 at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

 

  • Thiem has played Davis Cup for Austria since 2014. Austria has been given a first round bye in Europe/Africa Zone Group I this year and will play the winner of the tie between Belarus and Romania in the 2nd round on 7-9 April.

 

  • Thiem is a former junior world No. 2. He reached the boys’ singles final at Roland Garros as No. 14 seed in 2011, losing to Bjorn Fratangelo 36 63 86 and won the 2011 Orange Bowl (d. Patrick Ofner).

 

  • Thiem is coached by Gunter Bresnik.

 

  • PAIRE is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Paire advanced to the 3rd round after Tommy Haas retired with illness while trailing 76(2) 64 in the 1st round, before defeating Fabio Fognini 76(3) 46 63 36 63 in the 2nd. They were his first match-wins at the Australian Open since 2014.

 

  • By defeating Fognini in 5 sets in the 2nd round here, Paire improved his 5-set win-loss record to 9-4. He is on a 5-match winning streak in 5-set matches, having not lost a 5-set match since falling to Roberto Bautista Agut in the 2nd round at 2015 Wimbledon.

 

  • Paire’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 at the 2015 US Open (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 25th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Paire has equalled his best Australian Open result. He also reached the 3rd round here in 2014 (l. Roberto Bautista Agut).

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Paire reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Teymuraz Gabashvili), Wimbledon (l. John Millman) and the US Open (l. Marcos Baghdatis). He fell in the 1st round at the Australian Open (l. Noah Rubin).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Paire reached the semifinals at Chennai (l. Bautista Agut) but fell in the 1st round at Sydney (l. Alex De Minaur).

 

  • Paire’s best results in 2016 were reaching 4 semifinals – at Chennai (l. Stan Wawrinka), Marseille (l. Marin Cilic), Barcelona (l. Kei Nishikori) and Estoril (l. Pablo Carreno Busta). He also reached the quarterfinals at Washington (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Paire has lost 6 of his last 7 matches against Top 10 opposition. His only win over a Top 10 player in that time came against No. 4 Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals at 2016 Marseille. He has a 5-22 win-loss record against Top 10 players overall.

 

  • Paire is one of 5 Frenchmen through to the 3rd round here from the 13 that started the men’s draw – the 2nd straight year 5 Frenchmen have advanced to this stage here. The all-time record for Frenchmen through to the round of 16 at the Australian Open is 4 – in 1965, 1973, 1998 and 2013. The highest number of Frenchman to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam event is 10 at 1946 Roland Garros.

 

  • Paire entered the men’s doubles event here with his fellow Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. The pair lost to Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan 63 60 in the 1st round.

 

  • Paire is coached by Thierry Champion.

 

 9 RAFAEL NADAL (ESP) v NO. 24 ALEXANDER ZVEREV (GER)

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 1-0

2016     Indian Wells-1000          Hard (O)           R16      Nadal                67(8) 60 75

 

NADAL                                         v                                        ZVEREV

 

30                                          Age                                          19

9                                    ATP Ranking                                   24

69                                         Titles                                          1

205-31                     Career Grand Slam Record                        8-6

47-10                        Australian Open Record                          2-1

810-175                              Career Record                                64-48

385-118                        Career Record – Hard                           32-26

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

17-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           3-2

3                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

200-131                      Career Tiebreak Record                         27-26

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • 2009 Australian Open champion NADAL is bidding to record his 48th Australian Open match-win and move into joint 4th-place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins. Andy Murray recorded his 48th match-win here when he defeated Sam Querrey in the 3rd round on Friday.

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer 82-13
Novak Djokovic 58-7
Stefan Edberg 56-10
Andre Agassi

Ivan Lendl

Andy Murray

48-5

48-10

48-11

Rafael Nadal 47-10
Pete Sampras 45-9

Active players in bold. Figures include Murray’s 3rd round win against Querrey

 

  • Nadal is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 10th time. This is his 12th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 47th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nadal advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Florian Mayer 63 64 64 and Marcos Baghdatis 63 61 63 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Nadal is bidding to win his 2nd Australian Open title and become the first man in the Open Era – and only the 3rd man in history – to win each of the 4 Grand Slam titles twice. Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only players to have won each Grand Slam on two or more occasions [see Preview page 3].
  • Last year here Nadal lost in the 1st round for the first time in his career, falling to Fernando Verdasco in 5 sets. It was just the 2nd time that he had lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam, having also lost his opening match at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Steve Darcis).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Nadal reached the round of 16 at the US Open (l. Lucas Pouille), but gave a walkover in the 3rd round at Roland Garros and missed Wimbledon due to a left wrist injury.

 

  • Away from the majors, Nadal’s best results in 2016 came during the clay court season when we won back-to-back titles at Monte Carlo-1000 (d. Gael Monfils) and Barcelona (d. Kei Nishikori). It was his 9th title at both events, and took his career total to 69 titles. Nadal also reached the final at Doha (l. Novak Djokovic) and the semifinals at 5 other tournaments.

 

  • Also in 2016, Nadal won his 2nd gold medal at the Olympic Tennis Event after clinching the men’s doubles title alongside Marc Lopez at Rio 2016. He narrowly missed out on a medal in singles, falling to Kei Nishikori 62 67(1) 63 in the bronze medal play-off.

 

  • Nadal is looking to win his 15th Grand Slam title and close the gap on Roger Federer in the list of all-time Grand Slam title holders. He is currently joint-2nd with Pete Sampras on the list behind Federer (17). He is one of the 4 Grand Slam champions through to the 3rd round from the 6 who started this year’s men’s main draw.

 

  • Nadal’s best performance at the Australian Open is winning the title in 2009 (d. Federer). He also reached the final in 2012, losing to Djokovic in the longest men’s Grand Slam final on record at 5 hours, 53 minutes, and in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka).

 

  • Nadal is aiming to win his first hard court tournament in over 3 years. He has not won a hard court tournament since defeating Monfils to win 2014 Doha. His total of 16 hard court titles is the 4th highest among active players (behind Federer, Djokovic and Murray).

 

  • Nadal warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Brisbane (l. Milos Raonic). It was his first tournament since October, when he lost to Viktor Troicki at Shanghai-1000, after he pulled out of Basel, Paris-1000 and the ATP World Tour Finals with a wrist injury.

 

  • Nadal is one of 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round This is the most through to this stage of the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

  • Nadal has been coached by his uncle, Toni Nadal, for his entire career. He added former Australian Open finalist Carlos Moya to his team ahead of the 2017 season. His fitness trainer is Rafael Maymo.

 

  • ZVEREV is bidding to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time.

 

  • Aged 19 years 284 days, Zverev is looking to become the youngest man to reach the round of 16 here since Nick Kyrgios in 2015. Just five teenagers have reached the round of 16 here in the last decade – Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in 2007, Marin Cilic in 2008, Bernard Tomic in 2012 and Kyrgios in 2015.

 

  • Zverev’s brother, Mischa, is already through through to the round of 16 here. He defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, No. 19 seed John Isner and Malek Jaziri in the opening 3 rounds here. The Zverevs would be just the 3rd pair of brothers to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam in the Open Era – after Gene and Sandy Mayer at 1979 Wimbledon, and Emilio and Javier Sanchez at the 1991 US Open.

 

  • Zverev is one of 3 Germans through to the 3rd round here along with brother Mischa Zverev and Philipp Kohlschreiber – the most at the Australian Open since 2010, when Tommy Haas, Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer reached this stage. The last time Germany had multiple representation in the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2006 (Haas and Nicolas Kiefer). There has never been as many as 3 German men in the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

 

  • Zverev advanced to the 3rd round here after defeating Robin Haase 62 36 57 63 62 and qualifier Frances Tiafoe 62 63 64 in the opening 2 rounds for his first Australian Open match-wins. His 5-set victory over Haase in the 1st round improved his win-loss record in 5-set matches to 3-2.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Zverev has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round on his debut at Roland Garros (l. Dominic Thiem) and on his 2nd appearance at Wimbledon (l. Tomas Berdych) in 2016. Also in 2016, he reached the 2nd round at the US Open (l. Daniel Evans). This is his 7th Grand Slam appearance.

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut, Zverev fell to Andy Murray 61 62 63 in the 1st round. He failed to qualify here in 2015.

 

  • Zverev is bidding to extend his 3-match winning streak against Top 10 opposition. He has won 4 of his last 5 matches against Top 10 opponents, with his only defeat in that time coming against No. 9 Berdych at 2016 Wimbledon. He has a 4-9 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.

 

  • Zverev’s best Tour-level result in 2016 was winning his first Tour-level title at St. Petersburg, where he defeated No. 9 Berdych in the semifinals and No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the final to become the youngest Tour-level champion since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori at 2008 Delray Beach. He went on to defeat No. 10 Dominic Thiem in the 1st round of his next tournament at Beijing to become the first teenager to defeat three Top 10 players consecutively since Boris Becker defeated 4 in a row at the 1986 year-end championships.

 

  • Also in 2016, Zverev finished runner-up at Nice (l. Thiem) and Halle (l. Florian Mayer), where he defeated Roger Federer in the semifinals to become the youngest player to defeat the Swiss since today’s opponent at 2005 Roland Garros. He reached 4 further semifinals at Montpellier, Munich, Washington and Stockholm.

 

  • Zverev reached a career-high ranking of No. 20 on 17 October. At 19 years 6 months, he was the youngest man to reach the Top 20 since No. 13 Novak Djokovic in November 2006. He plays here at No. 24.

 

  • Zverev warmed up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup, where he won 2 of his 3 matches – defeating Federer 76(1) 67(4) 76(4) and Daniel Evans 64 63 but losing to Richard Gasquet 75 63.

 

  • Zverev is a former junior world No. 1. He was named 2013 ITF Junior World Champion and went on to win the boys’ singles title at the 2014 Australian Open (d. Stefan Kozlov). He also finished runner-up in the boys’ singles at 2013 Roland Garros.

 

  • Zverev is one of 3 former junior Australian Open champions who have reached the 3rd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era.

 

  • Zverev is coached by his father, Alexander Zverev Sr. His fitness trainer is Jez Green and his physio is Hugo Gravil.

 

 

 11 DAVID GOFFIN (BEL) v NO. 20 IVO KARLOVIC (CRO)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

A first Tour-level meeting for the 2 players, but they did come up against each other at the Kooyong Exhbition Event earlier this month, where Goffin defeated Karlovic in a single set, 76.

 

GOFFIN                                        v                                      KARLOVIC

 

26                                          Age                                          37

11                                   ATP Ranking                                   21

2                                          Titles                                          8

27-18                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-49

6-3                          Australian Open Record                        12-13

145-105                              Career Record                              335-288

94-65                          Career Record – Hard                         215-181

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-1

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-1

8-4                           Career Five-Set Record                          8-15

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         3

40-46                        Career Tiebreak Record                       347-330

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            4-1

 

  • GOFFIN is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 2nd straight year and equal his best Australian Open result. He defeated qualifiers Reilly Opelka 64 46 62 46 64 and Radek Stepanek 64 60 63 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Goffin is bidding to become the first Belgian man to reach the round of 16 here on multiple occasions. Xavier Daufresne (1994), Christophe Rochus (2000) and Olivier Rochus (2005) are the only other Belgian men to have reached the last 16 at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Last year here, Goffin recorded his best Australian Open result by reaching the round of 16 (l. Roger Federer). This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 19th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By defeating Opelka in 5 sets in the 1st round here, Goffin improved his 5-set win-loss record to 8-4. He has won 6 of his last 7 five-set matches, with his only defeat in a 5-set match in that time coming against Milos Raonic at 2016 Wimbledon. He has a 1-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Goffin’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Roland Garros (l. Dominic Thiem). He was just the 2nd Belgian man to reach the last 8 at Roland Garros after Filip Dewulf (1997-98) and only the 3rd Belgian man in the Open Era to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal after Dewulf and Xavier Malisse (2002 Wimbledon). He rose to a career-high ranking of No. 11 as a result – and plays here on the same ranking.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Goffin reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon, where he fell to Milos Raonic in 5 sets, but lost in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Jared Donaldson).

 

  • Goffin’s best results in 2016 are finishing runner-up at Tokyo (l. Nick Kyrgios) and reaching 4 further semifinals, including at back-to-back Masters-1000 events at Indian Wells (l. Raonic) and Miami (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Goffin warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Doha (d. Robin Haase,             Fernando Verdasco). He also played at the Kooyong Exhbition Event – defeating Bernard Tomic 62 64 and winning a single set against today’s opponent 76.

 

  • Goffin has played Davis Cup for Belgium since 2012. He helped Belgium reach its first Davis Cup Final since 1904 in 2015, which they lost 3-1 to Great Britain in Ghent. Belgium will play Germany in the World Group first round in Frankfurt on 3-5 February.

 

  • Goffin was taught to play tennis by his father, who is a tennis coach at the Barchon Club in Liege.

 

  • Goffin is coached by Thierry Van Cleemput and trains with the Belgian Tennis Federation in Mons.

 

  • Aged 37 years 336 days, KARLOVIC is the oldest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Jimmy Connors (aged 39 years 6 days) reached the semifinals as a wild card at the 1991 US Open. He is the oldest man to reach the 3rd round here since Bob Carmichael (38 years 183 days) and Ken Rosewall (44 years 62 days) reached that stage in 1978. [NB a 64-draw was used prior to 1982]

 

  • Karlovic is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 2nd time and equal his best Australian Open result. His best performance here is reaching the round of 16 in 2010 (l. Rafael Nadal).

 

  • Karlovic defeated Horacio Zeballos 67(6) 36 75 62 22-20 and wild card Andrew Whittington 64 64 64 in the opening 2 rounds

 

  • Karlovic’s victory over Zeballos in the 1st round was the 2nd longest match in Australian Open history in terms of time at 5 hours and 15 minutes. It was the longest 2nd longest 5th set in terms of games at a Grand Slam and the longest Australian Open men’s singles match in total number of games (84) since the introduction of the tiebreak in 1971. Karlovic served an Australian Open record of 75 aces during the match.

 

  • By defeating Zeballos in 5-sets in the 2nd round, Karlovic improved his win-loss record in 5-set matches to 8-15. It was his first 5-set match at the Australian Open since he fell to Ivan Dodig in 5-set here in 2011, and improved his 5-set win-loss record here to 2-3.

 

  • Karlovic’s best result at a Grand Slam is reaching the quarterfinals at 2009 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). He defeated No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 8 Fernando Verdasco on his way to the last 8 – 2 of his 9 career victories against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams. He has lost his last 3 meetings with Top 20 players at the majors, with his last win coming against Tsonga at 2015 Wimbledon.

 

  • Last year here Karlovic retired with a knee injury while trailing Federico Delbonis 76(4) 64 2-1 in the 1st round. This is his 14th Australian Open appearance and his 50th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Karlovic reached the round of 16 at the US Open (l. Kei Nishikori), the 3rd round at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) and the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Lukas Lacko).

 

  • Prior to coming here Karlovic reached the quarterfinals at Doha (l. Fernando Verdasco). He also played at the Kooyong Exhibition Event – defeating Gilles Simon 64 67 10-7 but losing a single set against today’s opponent.

 

  • Karlovic’s 2016 highlights were winning the titles at Newport (d. Gilles Muller) and Los Cabos (d. Feliciano Lopez). He also finished runner-up at Washington (l. Gael Monfils) and reached the semifinals at Istanbul, ’s-Hertogenbosch and Vienna.

 

  • 4 of Karlovic’s 8 career titles has come on hard courts. He is a former Top 20 player having reached a career high ranking of No. 14 in August 2008, but plays here at No. 21.

 

  • Karlovic is one of 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round This is the most through to this stage at the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

  • Karlovic played Davis Cup for Croatia from 2000-2012, before coming out of international retirement to play in the 2016 Davis Cup Final. He was the oldest man to play singles in a Davis Cup Final since Australian Norman Brookes (aged 43 years 48 days) in 1920, but lost both of his singles rubbers in the final, including the decisive 5th rubber to Federico Delbonis, as Argentina won 3-2 in Zagreb.

 

  • Karlovic is coached by Petar Popovic and his fitness trainer is Slaven Hrvoj.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 13 ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT (ESP) v NO. 21 DAVID FERRER (ESP)

Head-to-head: Ferrer leads 2-0

2013     Wimbledon       Grass (O)          R64      Ferrer    63 36 76(4) 75

2013     US Open          Hard (O)           R64      Ferrer    63 67(5) 61 62

 

A 3rd career meeting for the 2 players, who have only ever met at the Grand Slams.  Ferrer won both of the pair’s previous meetings in successive Grand Slam events at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2013.

 

This is just the 2nd all-Spanish 3rd round clash in the Open Era at the Australian Open after Felix Mantilla defeated Albert Costa in 5 sets at this stage in 2003, but the 27th all-Spanish clash in the men’s singles event at the Australian Open in the Open Era overall.

 

Bautista Agut and Ferrer are Davis Cup teammates. Spain will travel to Croatia in the 2017 Davis Cup World Group first round on 3-5 February.

 

BAUTISTA AGUT                                 v                                        FERRER

 

28                                          Age                                          34

14                                   ATP Ranking                                   23

5                                          Titles                                         26

33-17                      Career Grand Slam Record                     142-55

10-5                         Australian Open Record                        41-14

170-109                              Career Record                              696-335

112-72                         Career Record – Hard                         328-178

6-0                                   2017 Record                                   3-2

6-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-2

7-3                           Career Five-Set Record                         21-11

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         4

57-43                        Career Tiebreak Record                       155-144

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • BAUTISTA AGUT is bidding to reach the round of 16 here and equal his best Australian Open – and Grand Slam – performance.

 

  • Bautista Agut advanced to the 3rd round here for the 3rd time after defeating Guido Pella 63 61 61 and Yoshihito Nishioka 62 63 63 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Bautista Agut’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 6 occasions – here in 2014 (l. Grigor Dimitrov) and 2016 (l. Tomas Berdych), at the US Open in 2014 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Novak Djokovic), at 2015 Wimbledon (l. Federer) and at 2016 Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 18th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Bautista Agut warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his 5th career singles title at Chennai (d. Daniil Medvedev). 3 of his 5 career titles have come on a hard court.

 

  • Bautista Agut is bidding to end a 4-match losing streak against Top 30 opposition at the Grand Slams. His last win over a Top 30 player at a major came against No. 13 Marin Cilic here in 2016. He has a 4-14 win-loss record against Top 30 opposition at the majors overall, with his best win coming against No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro in the 2nd round here in 2014.

 

  • Bautista Agut’s best results in 2016 were winning the titles at Auckland (d. Jack Sock) and Sofia (d. Viktor Troicki). He also finished runner-up at Winston-Salem (l. Pablo Carreno Busta) and in his first Masters-1000 final at Shanghai (l. Andy Murray), and reached the semifinals at St. Petersburg (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 5 further quarterfinals.

 

  • Bautista Agut reached a career-high ranking of No. 13 in October 2016 after reaching the final at Shanghai-1000. He plays here at No. 14, but seeded No. 13 – his joint-highest Grand Slam seeding. He was also seeded No. 13 here in 2015.

 

  • Bautista Agut has 7-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches. 6 of his 10 five-set matches have come at Melbourne Park. He has a 4-2 win-loss record in 5-set matches here.

 

  • Bautista Agut has played Davis Cup for Spain since 2014. Spain won promotion back into the World Group in 2016 after a two-year absence. They will play Croatia in the World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.

 

  • Bautista Agut is coached by Tomas Carbonell and Pepe Vendrell.

 

  • FERRER is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 7th straight year.

 

  • Ferrer advanced to the 3rd round after defeating wild card Omar Jasika 63 60 62 and qualifier Ernesto Escobedo 26 64 64 62 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Ferrer has not lost before the round of 16 here since 2010, when as No. 17 seed he lost to Marcos Baghdatis in 5 sets. He has lost in the 3rd round here once before, when he lost to Marin Cilic as No. 11 seed in 2009. He is contesting his 15th successive Australian Open and his 56th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Ferrer is one of 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round This is the most through to this stage of the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

  • Ferrer sits in 9th place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins with a 41-14 win-loss record here. He is looking to close the gap on Pete Sampras (45-9) in 8th place.

 

  • Ferrer has lost 6 of his last 7 matches against Top 20 opposition. His only win against a Top 20 player in that time came against No. 19 Pablo Cuevas at 2016 Beijing.

 

  • Ferrer’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the final as No. 4 seed at 2013 Roland Garros, where he lost in straight sets to Nadal. At 31 years 68 days, he was the 5th oldest man to reach the Roland Garros final.

 

  • Ferrer’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 7 seed in 2011 (l. Andy Murray) and as No. 4 seed in 2013 (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Last year here Ferrer reached the quarterfinals, losing to Murray. Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Ferrer reached the round of 16 at Roland Garros (l. Tomas Berdych), the 3rd round at the US Open (l. Juan Martin del Potro) and the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Ferrer warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Brisbane (d. Bernard Tomic, Jordan Thompson) but lost to Robin Haase in his opening match at Auckland after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • Ferrer failed to reach a Tour-level final in 2016 – the first year he had not reached a final since 2004. His best results were reaching 6 semifinals – at Auckland (l. Jack Sock), Buenos Aires (l. Nicolas Almagro), Geneva (l. Marin Cilic), Bastad (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas), Beijing (l. Murray) and Vienna (l. Murray).

 

  • Ferrer dropped out of the Top 10 for the first time since October 2010 after falling to Lucas Pouille in the 3rd round at 2016 Rome-1000. He ended 2016 at No. 21 in the rankings – the first year he had finished outside the Top 20 since 2004. He plays here seeded at No. 21 but ranked at No. 23.

 

  • Ferrer has a 27-4 singles win-loss record in Davis Cup. He helped Spain win promotion back into the World Group in 2016 after a two-year absence, winning both of his singles rubbers in a 5-0 victory over India in September’s World Group play-offs. They will play Croatia in the 2017 World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.

 

  • Ferrer is coached by Francisco Fogues.

15 GRIGOR DIMITROV (BUL) v NO. 18 RICHARD GASQUET (FRA)

Head-to-head: Gasquet leads 5-1

2011     Dubai                          Hard (O)           R32      Gasquet            62 64

2012     Roland Garros            Clay (O)           R64      Gasquet           57 75 62 63

2012     Bangkok                       Hard (O)           R16      Gasquet            57 75 64

2013     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            R32      Gasquet            64 64

2015     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R32      Gasquet           63 64 64

2016     Shanghai-1000              Hard (O)           R64      Dimitrov            64 64

 

Dimitrov is looking to record his 2nd career-win against Gasquet, having broken a 5-match losing streak against the Frenchman in their most recent meeting at Shanghai-1000 last year.

 

Gasquet has won both of the pair’s meetings at the Grand Slams – at 2012 Roland Garros and at 2015 Wimbledon.

 

Dimitrov has won 4 of his last 5 meetings against Top 20 opposition, with his only defeat in that time coming against Novak Djokovic at 2016 Paris-1000. He has a 4-12 win-loss record against Top 20 players at the Grand Slams.

 

Gasquet is bidding to end a 6-match losing streak against Top 20 opposition at Tour-level. He has not defeated a Top 20 player since defeating No. 19 Nick Kyrgios and No. 6 Kei Nishikori in back-to-back matches at 2016 Roland Garros. He has a 13-20 win-loss record against Top 20 players at the majors.

 

DIMITROV                                      v                                      GASQUET

 

25                                          Age                                          30

15                                   ATP Ranking                                   18

5                                          Titles                                         14

35-25                      Career Grand Slam Record                      97-47

13-6                         Australian Open Record                        22-12

223-142                              Career Record                              459-262

136-91                         Career Record – Hard                         272-159

7-0                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

7-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

5-5                           Career Five-Set Record                         11-13

0                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-76                        Career Tiebreak Record                       159-131

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • DIMITROV is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 3rd time.

 

  • Dimitrov advanced to the 3rd round after defeating wild card Christopher O’Connell 76(2) 63 63 in the 1st round on Tuesday and Hyeon Chung 16 64 64 64 in the 2nd round on Thursday.

 

  • Dimitrov’s best Australian Open result is reaching the quarterfinals here as No. 22 seed in 2014 (l. Rafael Nadal). Last year here he fell to Roger Federer in the 3rd round. This is his 7th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 26th major overall.

 

  • Dimitrov’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the semifinals at 2014 Wimbledon. He defeated defending champion Andy Murray in the quarterfinals before losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time afterwards at No. 9.

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Dimitrov reached the round of 16 at the US Open (l. Andy Murray) and the 3rd round at both the Australian Open (l. Federer) and Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson). He fell to Viktor Troicki in 5 sets in the 1st round at Roland Garros. He has a 5-5 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 2-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Dimitrov’s best results in 2016 were runner-up finishes at Sydney (l. Troicki), Istanbul (l. Diego Schwartzman) and Beijing (l. Murray). He reached 4 further semifinals – at Delray Beach, Cincinnati-1000, Chengdu and Stockholm.
  • Dimitrov reached a career-high ranking of No. 8 in August 2014. He dropped as low as No. 40 on 18 July 2016 – his lowest ranking since February 2013 – but has since climbed back up the rankings and plays here at No. 15.

 

  • Dimitrov warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his 5th career title – and first since 2014 Queen’s – at Brisbane (d. Kei Nishikori). 3 of his 5 career titles have come on a hard court.

 

  • Dimitrov finished 2008 as 3 in the ITF Junior Rankings after winning the boys’ singles titles at Wimbledon (d. Henri Kontinen) and the US Open (d. Devin Britton).

 

  • Dimitrov has played Davis Cup for Bulgaria since 2008. He has a 16-1 singles win-loss record in Davis Cup and a 20-4 overall win-loss record. Bulgaria will host – and compete in – the Europe/Africa Zone Group III event in Sozopol in April.

 

  • Dimitrov was part of the ITF 14 & Under European Team in Europe in 2004-05 and the ITF 16 & Under European A Team in Europe in 2006, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

 

  • Dimitrov started working with Dani Vallverdu, former coach to Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych, in July 2016. His physio is Azdine Bousnana.

 

  • GASQUET is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 5th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Gasquet is looking to record his 23rd match-win at the Australian Open and surpass Fabrice Santoro in joint-4th place on the list for most Australian Open match-wins by a Frenchman in the Open Era. Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, who are also through to the 3rd round here, are also attempting to climb the list.

 

                  Most Australian Open match-wins by a Frenchman (Open Era)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 33
Sebastien Grosjean 25
Gael Monfils 23
Richard Gasquet

Fabrice Santoro

Gilles Simon

22

22

22

                Figures correct through the 2017 AO 3rd round and include Tsonga’s 3rd round win on Friday

 

  • Gasquet advanced to the 3rd round after defeating qualifier Blake Mott 64 64 62 in the 1st round on Tuesday and Carlos Berlocq 61 61 61 in the 2nd round on Thursday.

 

  • Gasquet’s best Australian Open result is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), 2008 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), 2012 (l. David Ferrer) and 2013 (l. Tsonga). This is his 13th Australian Open appearance and his 49th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Gasquet’s Grand Slam highlight is reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2007 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Novak Djokovic), and at the 2013 US Open (l. Rafael Nadal).

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Gasquet reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray), where he claimed the record for the most attempts before reaching the last 8 in Paris by reaching the quarterfinals for the first time on his 13th appearance. He reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon, where he retired with a back injury while trailing Tsonga 4-2 in the opening set, but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Kyle Edmund). He missed the Australian Open with a back injury.

 

  • Gasquet’s best results in 2016 are winning the titles at Montpellier (d. Paul-Henri Mathieu) and Antwerp (d. Diego Schwartzman). He also finished runner-up at Shenzhen (l. Tomas Berdych). 8 of his 14 career titles have come on a hard court.

 

  • Gasquet warmed up for this year’s Australian Open by winning the Hopman Cup for France alongside Kristina Mladenovic. He won 3 of his 4 singles matches in Perth, defeating Alexander Zverev, Daniel Evans and Jack Sock but losing to Federer.

 

  • Gasquet is one of 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round This is the most through to this stage of the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

  • Gasquet has played Davis Cup for France since 2005, compiling a 15-11 overall win-loss record and helping his nation reach the Final in 2014 (l. Switzerland). France will travel to Japan in the 2017 World Group first round in Tokyo on 3-5 February.

 

  • Gasquet was named ITF Junior World Champion in 2002 after winning the boys’ singles at Roland Garros (d. Laurent Recourderc) and the US Open (d. Marcos Baghdatis). He reached the semifinals of the 2002 Australian Open boys’ singles, losing to Todd Reid.

 

  • Gasquet is coached by Sergi Bruguera, who reached the round of 16 here in 1993, and Thierry Champion.

 

 

30 PABLO CARRENO BUSTA (ESP) v (WC) DENIS ISTOMIN (UZB)

Head-to-head: Carreno Busta leads 2-0

2016     Marrakech         Clay (O)            R16      Carreno Busta   63 76(5)

2016     Barcelona         Clay (O)            R64      Carreno Busta   75 75

 

A 3rd career meeting for these 2 players, but their first at a Grand Slam and first on a hard court.

 

CARRENO BUSTA                                v                                        ISTOMIN

 

25                                          Age                                          30

31                                   ATP Ranking                                  117

2                                          Titles                                          1

9-13                       Career Grand Slam Record                      32-34

2-3                          Australian Open Record                         9-10

78-85                                Career Record                              196-209

36-36                          Career Record – Hard                         110-127

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

2-4                           Career Five-Set Record                          13-7

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         3

34-35                        Career Tiebreak Record                        101-86

1-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • CARRENO BUSTA is bidding to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time.

 

  • Carreno Busta recorded his first match-wins at the Australian Open after lucky loser Peter Polansky retired due to illness while trailing 60 36 36 62 3-0 in the 1st round, before defeating Kyle Edmund 62 64 62 in the 2nd.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Carreno Busta has equalled his best Grand Slam performance. He also reached the 3rd round at the US Open in 2014 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and 2016 (l. Dominic Thiem).

 

  • Carreno Busta fell in the 1st round on all of his 3 previous appearances here – in 2014 (l. Julien Benneteau), 2015 (l. Gilles Muller) and 2016 (l. Nick Kyrgios). He has lost in the 1st round at 8 of the 14 Grand Slams he has contested.

 

  • Carreno Busta warmed up for the Australian Open at Sydney, where he reached the quarterfinals (l. Andrey Kuznetsov) after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • Carreno Busta’s best Tour-level results in 2016 were winning his first 2 Tour-level titles at Winston-Salem
    (d. Roberto Bautista Agut) and Moscow (d. Fabio Fognini) and finishing runner-up at Sao Paulo (l. Pablo Cuevas) and Estoril (l. Nicolas Almagro). He reached the semifinals as a wild card at Los Cabos and 5 further quarterfinals.

 

  • Carreno Busta also won his first 2 Tour-level doubles titles in 2016 – alongside Guillermo Duran at Quito (d. Thomaz Bellucci/Marco Demoliner) and with Rafael Nadal at Beijing (d. Jack Sock/Bernard Tomic).

 

  • Carreno Busta entered the men’s doubles event here with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The pair defeated Alex De Minaur/Max Purcell 64 62 in the 1st round and will play Matthew Barton/Matthew Ebden in the 2nd.

 

  • Carreno Busta reached a career-high ranking of No. 30 in November 2016 after reaching the 2nd round at Paris-1000 (l. Milos Raonic). He plays here at No. 31.
  • Carreno Busta is coached by Samuel Lopez and Cesar Fagueras. His physical trainer is Walter Navarro.

 

  • Wild card ISTOMIN is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Istomin advanced to the 3rd round here after defeating qualifier Ivan Dodig 61 64 36 75 in the 1st round for his first Australian Open match-win since 2014, and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic 76(8) 57 26 76(5) 64 in the 2nd.

 

  • Istomin’s 2nd round win over Djokovic saw him become the lowest-ranked player to defeat a No. 2 seed at the Australian Open. It was just his 2nd victory over a Top 10 opponent in 34 attempts and his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Istomin’s 2nd round win over Djokovic improved his win-loss record in 5-set matches to 13-7. It was his first 5-set match-win at the Australian Open, having lost both of his previous 2 five-set matches here to Andreas Seppi in 2013 and 2015.

 

  • Istomin’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 at 2012 Wimbledon (l. Mikhail Youzhny) and the 2013 US Open (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Uzbek player (man or woman) to reach the last 16 at a Grand Slam.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Istomin has equalled his best Australian Open result. He also reached the 3rd round here in 2010 and 2014, losing to Djokovic on both occasions. He is contesting his 11th Australian Open and his 35th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Istomin is bidding to record 3 consecutive Tour-level match-wins at one event for the first time since he won his first career title at 2015 Nottingham (d. Sam Querrey).

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Istomin has recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since he reached the 3rd round at 2016 Wimbledon (l. David Goffin). The only other time he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016 was in winning 2 rubbers in Uzbekistan’s 3-2 Davis Cup World Group play-off defeat to Switzerland. He ended a 7-match Tour-level losing streak at the start of the year by reaching the 2nd round at Miami-1000 (l. Andy Murray), and also reached the 2nd round at Marrakech (l. Pablo Carreno Busta), Madrid-1000 (l. Tomas Berdych) and Geneva (l. David Ferrer).

 

  • Also in 2016, Istomin finished runner-up at Challengers in Tashkent (UZB) (l. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Astana (KAZ) (l. Yoshihito Nishioka).

 

  • Istomin dropped out of the Top 100 for the first time since January 2010 after losing in the 1st round as defending champion at 2016 Nottingham. He dropped as low as No. 144 in October – his lowest ranking since July 2008 – but plays here ranked No. 117.

 

  • Last year here Istomin fell to Bernard Tomic in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round at both Roland Garros (l. Juan Monaco) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal).

 

  • Istomin is one of 16 men aged 30 or over to reach the 3rd round This is the most through to this stage of the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977. The record for 30-somethings through to the last 16 here is 12 in 1977.

 

  • Istomin warmed up for the Australian Open at the Bangkok Challenger (THA), where he fell to Christian Garin in the 2nd round.

 

  • Istomin broke his leg in a car accident in 2001 while travelling to a Futures event in Tashkent. He spent 3 months in hospital and did not touch a racket in 2 years, with doctors doubting he would ever play competitive tennis again.

 

  • Istomin has received support from the Grand Slam Development Fund, receiving travel grants in 2004.

 

  • Istomin is coached by his mother Klaudiya Istomina.
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Argentina Rallies to Win First Davis Cup Title

 

 

(November 27, 2016) Argentina rallied from a 1-2 deficit going into the final day to beat Croatia 3-2 to win their first Davis Cup title on Sunday in Zagreb.

In reverse singles, world No. 38 Juan Martin del Potro came back from two sets down for the very first time in his career to beat No. 6 Marin Cilic 6-7 (4), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 in four-hours and fifty-three minutes to level the tie in the opening match at 2-2.

Frederico Delbonis clinched the title for Argentina with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 two-hour and nine-minute win over No. 20 Ivo Karlovic in Arena Zagreb.

This was the fifth Davis final in which Argentina participated. They lost in 1981, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Croatia was trying to win their second title. They were victorious in 2005.

Argentina is only the third team since the World Group began in 1981, to come back from a 1-2 deficit to win the title.

The southpaw, No. 41 Delbonis said “This is fabulous.” “We somewhat felt we could do it despite trailing after the doubles.”

“We played with our heart and tried to do the best.”

 

 

“I was calm, I hoped all the time that I could win and I did it,” said Del Potro to media.  The 2009 US Open champion injured his pinky in the fifth set. “I’m very happy to hand my team a chance of a victory.”

“It is very difficult to lose such an important match,” Cilic said of the almost five-hour match. “I feel a lot of disappointment.”

“After losing the third set, I was still confident I could win as he looked tired,” Cilic said. “I started pushing a bit too hard, handing him a chance for a comeback.”

 

“We did what we had to do,” said Argentina’s Davis cup coach Daniel Orsanic. “We could have lost, but the guys were amazing today. Juan Martin won an incredible match and Federico played the best match of his life. I dreamed for this so many times.”

DAVIS CUP
2016 World Group Final
CROATIA 1, ARGENTINA 1
Venue: Arena Zagreb, Croatia

Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Federico Delbonis (ARG) 6-3, 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-2
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5
Ivan Dodig / Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Leonardo Mayer / Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-3
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d. Marin Cilic (CRO) 6-7 (4), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
Federico Delbonis (ARG) d. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

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Serena and Venus Williams Cruise into Fourth Round; Murray, Wawrinka Also Advance at US Open

(September 3, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Serena Williams moved into sole possession of most match wins at majors at 307 over Martina Navratilova when she defeated Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-1 in a third round match at the US Open on Saturday.

Williams is seeking her 23rd major title and seven US Open title. She came into the tournament with questions about the health of her shoulder. Those questions have seemed to have been answered by her dominant play.

“Definitely feels solid,” Williams said of her shoulder. “I’m doing a lot of work on it so I can keep it in this position. Definitely not going to stop doing all the rehab and therapy, so I don’t want to go down. It’s pretty good.”

The world’s top player will play No. 52 Yaroslava Shvedova, who beat Zhang Shuai 6-2, 7-5.

Venus Williams opened up the evening session with a display of dominance over No. 26 Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-2.

“I’m happy with putting wins under my belt,” Venus said. “I’m always in search for perfection. If it’s not perfect, I’m back to the drawing board, so…

“Today was a more straightforward win, but not perfect. So I’ll be working on perfection.”

Venus will play her fourth round match on Monday against big server No. 10 Karolina Pliskova.

“Each match is different,” Venus said. “I approach them differently. We play kind of a similar game. So it’s about one of us playing that game better.

“I haven’t played her that often. So go out there and put the ball in the court, try to win.”

I’ve had the experience of playing her. There’s people, like today I never played Laura. You never know what to expect. You have to see what happens. You never quite know what to expect.”

Match ups for the other women playing the fourth round on Monday include: No. 5 Simona Halep against No. 11 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska versus Ana Konjuh.

On the men’s side of the draw No. 2 Andy Murray had to battle in the first two sets against Paolo Lorenzi 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 to move into the round of 16.

“He’s ranked 40 in the world,” Murray said. “He’s pretty good. So I expected a tough match. I expected long rallies. I’m just disappointed with the amount of errors I made. I was quite impatient at times. That cost me in the first and second sets.

“When I did sort of play like I was planning on when I went out there, to be more patient, wait for the right balls to go for, you know, played much, much better, dictated more of the points. I wasn’t going for too much.

“The unforced errors came down significantly and the winners went up. The third and fourth sets were comfortable. Obviously the first two were extremely, extremely tough.”

Murray will play No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Juan Martin del Potro came back from 2-5 down in the first set to beat No. 11 seed David Ferrer 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-3. The 2009 US Open champion, a wild card entry in the tournament, ranked 142nd, last played the US Open in 2013 due to wrist surgeries.

“Well, I got stronger mentally after the first set,” said Del Potro. “Against David you never know when is going to finish the match. He never give up. He’s a really fighter. Also it’s a pleasure to play against him because he puts me all the time in pressure. I should play my best tennis today. I think I did really well in the second and the third one.

“I’m so glad to be in the second week on the Grand Slam after three or four years. That’s means a lot of good things to myself. Of course, I’m looking forward to keep winning. But my next opponent will be really difficult.”

Del Potro will take on No. 8 Dominic Thiem, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

Stan Wawrinka won the most dramatic match of the day, coming back from two set to one and saving a match point in the fourth set tie break to beat Dan Evans 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(8), 6-2.

“I was frustrated, for sure, to be down two sets to one because I wasn’t playing my best tennis,” Wawrinka said. “But still had a chance. So I was trying to find the right way, how to keep fighting, how to stay in the match, and how to make it break.”

“In general, I think the second tiebreak was a little bit better from both sides. He was coming a lot to the net to try to finish the point. I had to play better, be a little bit more aggressive, more tough with myself. And I took it. I was, for sure, happy to took it.

“But I had the feeling in the fourth set that I was starting to play a little bit better. He was starting to be down a little bit, but still playing really well in those important points, still being there, still being tough.

“It wasn’t easy to stay calm with myself. But in general I think that was the key for the match. Was tough condition, windy against a talented player who is playing really well, who was pushing me a lot. He was coming with the right shot in the right moment.

“Yeah, the court was a little bit faster than normally, than the other big court. So I’m happy to get through. It’s an important win for me.”

Wawrinka will play next face llya Marchenko who was leading 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 when Nick Kyrgios retired with a hip injury.

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Montreal Rogers Cup Day 2 – Bursting Montreal’s Bubble

 

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 02: Bursting Montreal’s Bubble

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

 

(August 11, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – The crowd in Montreal is notorious for its emotional and vocal cheering of the local players. In the past few years, players like Frank Dancevic, Stephanie Dubois, Aleksandra Wozniak and Vasek Pospisil have used that energy to cause upsets and reach latter stages of the tournament. But with this attention also comes pressure: many will remember Eugenie Bouchard’s surprising loss in her opening match last year, and in a year’s time, one might reflect similarly on Milos Raonic’s early exit to Ivo Karlovic in this year’s edition.

 

Raonic, seeded 8th, wasn’t coming to the tournament in optimal shape: the top-ranked Canadian had been sidelined for most of the past few months by a nasty foot injury, which even required surgery to repair a pinched nerve. He had skipped the French Open and Davis Cup and admitted to playing through pain in Wimbledon. His rust was apparent Tuesday night, while his opponent, Ivo Karlovic, gave a serving masterclass in his 7-6(1) 7-6(1) win.

 

The Croat, No. 2 in player in career number of aces, never faced a break point and served 22 aces. During the match, he became only the second player in history to reach the 10,000 aces mark, and is well on his way to surpass his countryman Goran Ivanisevic. “Of course it is my goal, Karlovic admitted. I would hope that it happens this year, if not it will be next year. Hopefully I will be healthy enough to do it soon.”

 

Despite being 0 for 12 in break points throughout the match, Karlovic was flawless in the two tiebreaks, only conceding one point to Raonic. The Canadian, who usually thrives in these situations, was spraying uncharacteristic unforced errors. On the other hand, Karlovic, who stands tall at 6-foot-11, was covering the court surprisingly well for his size: “I was moving unbelievably well this evening, everything was going my way. This win means a lot to me.” It was Karlovic third top 10 win of 2015.

Milos Raonic 1

Asked whether his foot injury was a factor, Raonic replied with a smirk: “No, it wasn’t. I’ve been feeling something sort of in my back. I think I’m subconsciously protecting my foot. So, therefore, compensating, just finding different injuries at different times of the day.” Optimistic, he concluded: “A poor week this week doesn’t mean a poor week next week. I’ll just try to turn that around.”

 

This loss by Raonic means that Vasek Pospisil is the last Canadian standing. In his first round, Pospisil handled Yen-Hsun Lu for the second week in a row, this time in two sets. And, like last week, big-serving John Isner is next, as the American won a tight three setter against Benjamin Becker. “We’ve played four times already, five times including Hopman Cup, Pospisil said. I know what to expect, and so does he. I’d say it’s a pretty open match.”

 

While Raonic’s loss was a sure disappointment for the crowd, it wasn’t the only bubble that burst today.

 

While play started about one hour late due to rain on all outside courts, fans had to wait an extra hour to see Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco step out on Center Court. The reason? Some air bubbles popped up under the surface, most likely from water infiltration from the torrential rain, and made the court unplayable. The technical crew had to carefully remove the air in order to keep a smooth surface and consistent bounce.

 

Other winners of the day included first seed Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (10), David Goffin (13), Grigor Dimitrov (14), while 12th seed Kevin Anderson was upset by Lukas Rosol. Andy Murray’s match against Tommy Robredo, which started way past 10pm, had to be suspended due to rain with the Scot serving at 4-all. Match will be postponed until Wednesday.

 

MONTREAL RESULTS, TUESDAY AUGUST 11, 2015 /

Singles Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 63 76(4)
I. Karlovic (CRO) d [8] M. Raonic (CAN) 76(1) 76(1)

Singles First Round
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) d B. Coric (CRO) 64 64
L. Rosol (CZE) d [12] K. Anderson (RSA) 76(2) 76(4)
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) d S. Johnson (USA) 62 62
[14] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d [Q] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 64 75
[16] J. Isner (USA) d B. Becker (GER) 64 67(6) 63
J. Sock (USA) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 62 26 76(5)
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d D. Thiem (AUT) 36 76(8) 61
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d F. Verdasco (ESP) 63 46 64
[WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) d [Q] Y. Lu (TPE) 64 63
J. Chardy (FRA) d [LL] N. Mahut (FRA) 61 75
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) d V. Troicki (SRB) 63 75
P. Andujar (ESP) d [WC] F. Dancevic (CAN) 62 64
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [PR] J. Tipsarevic (SRB) 63 64

Doubles First Round
M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) d [WC] P. Bester (CAN) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 63 64
G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] L. Hewitt (AUS) / N. Kyrgios (AUS) 75 64

MONTREAL ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 12, 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
P. Andujar (ESP) vs [4] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
T. Robredo (ESP) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR) 44

Not Before 6:30 pm
[WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) vs [16] J. Isner (USA)
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) vs [9] G. Simon (FRA)
[15] G. Monfils (FRA) vs G. Muller (LUX)
[Q] D. Young (USA) vs [5] T. Berdych (CZE)
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [10] J. Tsonga (FRA)
P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

COURT 9 start 12:30 pm
J. Sock (USA) vs [14] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
[6] M. Cilic (CRO) vs B. Tomic (AUS)
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [8] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

COURT 5 start 12:30 pm
J. Chardy (FRA) vs L. Mayer (ARG)
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) vs S. Querrey (USA)
L. Rosol (CZE) vs [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT)
M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) vs [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA)
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs D. Goffin (BEL) / D. Thiem (AUT)

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Thirty-Somethings David Ferrer, Ivo Karlovic, and Gilles Simon Claim ATP Titles This Week

Ferrer wins Qatar

(February 22, 2015) It’s been said in the past few years that 30 has become the new 20 on the ATP tour with 20 of the top 100 players at least 30-years-old or older. This was very evident as all this week’s winners on the ATP World Tour were at least 30-years-old – Gilles Simon (30), Ivo Karlovic (35) and David Ferrer (32).

Gilles Simon

Gilles Simon

Thirty-year old Frenchman Gilles Simon won his 12 career title on Sunday, defeating countryman Gael Monfils 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4) to win the Open 13 tournament in Marseille.

Simon is now No. 2 on the list for most titles won by a Frenchman in the Open Era, behind French Open winner Yannick Noah, who won 23 titles in his career.

“It was a great week, but a tough one physically,” Simon said. “I left a lot of energy against [Borna] Coric (in the second round) and then it was hard to recover from this one. I’m happy I won here since I won my first tournament in Marseille. I hope it won’t be the last one.” Simon spent almost nine hours on the court during the tournament.

Monfils is now 5-17 in ATP finals “I’m disappointed,” said Monfils. “It was a great match and we both played really well.”

Ivo Karlovic

In Delray Beach, just six days shy of his 36th birthday, Ivo Karlovic beat Donald Young 6-3, 6-3 to win his sixth ATP World Tour title and become the oldest ATP singles champion since Jimmy Connors won the Tel Aviv tournament back in 1989 at the age of 37.

The almost seven-foot Croatian Karlovic did not lose his serve throughout the tournament.

“It is unbelievable.” said Karlovic. “It was really satisfying also for me to do this at my age, and it gives me a boost of confidence when I go into the other tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami.”

David Ferrer claimed his second tournament trophy for 2015 winning the Rio Open for his 23rd career ATP World Tour title. Ferrer dismissed Fabio Fognini on Sunday 6-2, 6-3 in 83-minutes. Fognini upset Ferrer’s Spanish countryman, top seed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals on Saturday night.

Ferrer kept his record perfect against Fognini at 8-0 with the win.

“It was my best match of the tournament and I’m very happy having won two tournaments this season,” said Ferrer.

“I’m really happy. It’s my 23rd tournament win and I never won here before in Rio. I’m very happy for that. I had the chance to be in the Carnaval this week and all the facilities are good. This week is very special. I have a lot of confidence with my game. I won two tournaments this year. It’s very important for me being with the best players in the world.”

“When you lose in a final, you’re always disappointed,” said Fognini. “It’s a big week for me. Yesterday I beat Rafa. It’s a big tournament and I’m happy because I put in a lot of work mentally and physically. To be 100 per cent against David, it is difficult.”

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Djokovic is Stunned by Karlovic at Qatar Open

Ivo Karlovic

(January 8, 2015) Croat Ivo Karlovic earned his second win over a No. 1 player on Thursday when he rallied past Novak Djokovic 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach the semis of the Qatar Open on Thursday.

Karlovic, who surpassed the 9000 ace mark earlier in the week, fired 21 aces past his Serbian opponent, along with 49 winners. His career ace count is now up to 9,062.

“It was unbelievable,” said Karlovic in an on-court interview. “When I arrived here, I didn’t expect that one. He wasn’t able to show his full range because it was windy. I just focused on my game and in the end I was a little luckier.”

Karlovic last defeated a No. 1 player back in 2008 when he stopped Roger Federer at the Western & Southern Open.

Karlovic will face off against David Ferrer in his semifinal.

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The US Open Series Begins this Weekend in Atlanta

 

BB&TAtlantaOpen

By Herman Wood

(July 17, 2014) ATLANTA – Preparation for the US Open is underway.  The BB&T Atlanta Open gets things started on Saturday, July 19th for the men.  Qualifying begins at 10 AM.  The BB&T Atlanta Open is an ATP 250 event, with a 28 player draw, four of which come from the qualifying tournament.  The qualifying field will have 32 players.  The doubles draw is a 16 team field.  Last year’s champ, John Isner, is returning, along with fellow Americans Sam Querrey, Wimbledon doubles champ Jack Sock, and Donald Young.  Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Radek Stepanek, Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Dodig, Lleyton Hewitt, and the other half of the Wimbledon doubles championship team, Vasek Pospisil, are also expected in the tournament.  The tournament aspires to be a mini US Open, with the venue set among the skyscrapers of downtown Atlanta at Atlantic Station.  Atlantic Station is a community within downtown that provides homes for 10,000 people integrated with shopping, restaurants, and retailers that make it a hit with the players.  Besides the attractive venue, players will get a jump on the US Open Series Bonus Challenge, where nearly $40 million in prize money is up for grabs.  This is the third year the tournament has been held at Atlantic Station.

It is a familiar place for Americans, with Isner winning last year, Roddick in 2012, and Fish in 2011.  It has also been comfortable for big man tennis- last year Isner, at 6’10”, overcame Kevin Anderson at 6’8” in three tiebreaks.  Fans in the first couple of rows certainly had to pay attention with the huge serves coming their way.  It is especially familiar for Isner, who competed collegiately just an hour down the road for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, leading the team to a national championship and winning every possible team title in 2007.  He’s usually a fan favorite, with at least a couple of barks from Georgia fans in his favor at each match.  Isner may not be the only recipient of barks; University of Georgia player Austin Smith has accepted a wild card into the main draw. The sophomore from Cumming, Georgia excelled this season as the Bulldogs captured the 2014 SEC Championship. Smith finished with a 35-12 record, and went 9-1 in SEC matches. He has won four USTA Pro Circuit matches. A tournament qualifier in 2011, Smith will be playing his debut ATP main draw match.

Another American, Jack Sock, could very well get on a roll at this tournament.  After winning doubles with Pospisil at Wimbledon, he rolled into Newport and eliminated Isner in the Newport Hall of Fame event on grass just a week ago.  Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t able to keep that momentum and was eliminated by the veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who went on to win the tournament.  Hewitt’s feisty shouts of “C’mon!” have endeared him to the Atlanta fans in past years.  Fresh off his renewed success at Newport, he could very well win Atlanta.  The main draw was just rounded out with the addition of Ryan Harrison and Robby Ginepri.  “We’re ecstatic to welcome back two of our fan favorites in Ryan Harrison and Atlanta metro resident Robby Ginepri,” Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez said. “One of our goals is to highlight American talent and both of these players are great examples of the fine players this country has produced.”  Harrison won the doubles last year, partnering with Matthew Ebden.  Ginepri appears for the fourth time, with a onetime ranking of fifteen.  He is a graduate of Wheeler High School, just a few miles north of Atlantic Station.  He currently resides in Kennesaw, another couple of miles north.

The draw will be finalized over this weekend with the completion of the qualifying tournament.  Promising American junior Francis Tiafoe has accepted his first tournament qualifying wild card. Tiafoe, 16, is a talented young prodigy who rose to No. 2 in the world junior rankings this spring. Georgia Tech’s Nathan Rakitt and Alabama’s Becker O’Shaughnessey have also accepted qualifying wild cards. Rakitt, a Marietta native and All-ACC selectee, is competing again for the second year. O’Shaughnessey of Macon, Ga., led the Crimson Tide in singles wins (22) this season.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.

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Third Final is the Charm for Lleyton Hewitt in Newport

Photo by Ben Solomon

Photo by Ben Solomon

By Dave Gertler

 

(July 13, 2014) NEWPORT – Lleyton Hewitt held off big-serving Ivo Karlovic for his 30th career title at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.

 

The final was a tight affair, with Karlovic’s potent serve-volleying a close match-up with Hewitt’s counter-attacking and ability to return well and chase down shots that other players wouldn’t get to. “I think my passing shots and returns are probably as good as anyone’s out there,” said Hewitt after the match, “They are two massive strengths of my game, and, playing Ivo, who was always gonna serve-volley first and second serves, I knew I was gonna have to do that well.”

 

The match was also the longest of the tournament, at 2 hours and 30 minutes. Hewitt broke early in the first set, capitalizing on Karlovic’s low first-service percentage, and often making the return passing shot look easy. “My service games, I was just trying to play clean tennis as much as possible,” said Hewitt, who would not face a break point in the first set, closing it out with a second break for 6-3, “But obviously from the baseline I was able to adjust to the wind a fair bit better than him.”

 

Karlovic, who served 26 aces to Hewitt’s 5 in the course of the match, would be the first to break in the second set. “He returned really well,” said Karlovic, who served 10 double faults to Hewitt’s 6, “He almost didn’t miss any balls. I didn’t serve as good as normally, because it was a lot of wind, and I didn’t feel it.”

 

Hewitt, having thrilled Newport over the last two years, had the firm support of the crowd going into his third consecutive final. During the second set, in which both players would be broken twice, Karlovic appealed to the crowd for support, singling out one person high in the stands and thanking them for cheering for him. “Even though I didn’t play my best,” said Karlovic, who would win the second set tie-break, taking the match to a deciding sert, “I was fighting, I was trying to turn it around and I was able to do that. I’m a little bit disappointed, but overall it was a good week.”

 

Hewitt faced three break points in the final set, but neither player would get the upper hand until the third-set tie-break, which Hewitt would seal, along with his second title of the year. Hewitt was battling the odds against Karlovic, having only won one of their five career matches, saying he felt, “Obviously relief. It’s an important tournament. It’s not a grand slam, by no means, but for me, I’ve come here the last three years and I’ve put myself on the line and come awfully close the last two years, so it was nice to get rewarded today.”

 

Hewitt was still to add to his achievements by taking the doubles title with Davis Cup partner Chris Guccione 7-5, 6-4 against Rajeev Ram and Jonathan Erlich. “First time I’ve been able to win singles and doubles at the same tournament. It was good to win with Gooch as well. We’ve never won a title together before. We’ve played so many matches in Davis Cup. It was a really important one for us to win and, yeah, pretty pumped about it.”

 

With the win, Hewitt will edge closer to the top 40. “On these grass courts, it’s not easy to turn up every time and play consistently and beat guys,” said Hewitt, “That’s probably something I’m more proud of – the way that I’ve been able to beat some of the best servers in the game, Isner and Karlovic, on these courts. So that still shows that I’m able to match it with the best guys on grass, obviously.”

 

For Karlovic, who now flies to Bogota as the defending champion of the Claro Open hard court ATP 250 event, the final appearance in Newport will take him inside the top 30 for the first time since April 2010.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering Newport for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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Veterans Hewitt and Karlovic Reach Newport Final

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(July 12, 2014) NEWPORT – Lleyton Hewitt has not yet had to face one of the big-serving grass-courters that marked out the draw, but on Sunday, that’s set to change, as his opponent in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championship final, Ivo Karlovic, awaits.

 

Karlovic, who stands at 6’11”, has made it to the Newport final without dropping a single set the whole tournament, and while Hewitt has only dropped one – his first of the tournament against Ryan Harrison on Tuesday – he can’t rely on his own serve in the way his opponent in the final will be able to.

 

Karlovic led the tournament ace count with 44, going into his semifinal match against Australian Sam Groth, who was coming in second at 42, and he would add 9 more to that count during a match in which he broke Groth once in each set, winning it 6-4, 6-4 – the first time this tournament Karlovic has played a match without a tie-break. The match was predictably chess-like; “Wasn’t a lot of rallies out there,” said Groth after the match, “You’re not gonna get many chances on his serve. He came up with a couple of winners to break me in the first set and then all of a sudden the pressure’s back on me.”

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After 21-year-old American Jack Sock’s upset victory over compatriot and No.1 seed John Isner in yesterday’s quarterfinal, 33-year-old Hewitt proved a much tougher challenge for Sock, who was broken four times by Hewitt, eventually going down 6-1, 6-2. “I felt like his biggest weapon was obviously his first serve and his forehand,” said Hewitt, “And I was able to nullify those right from the start. Then he was sort of searching for answers. He was trying to go out of his comfort zone to try and change up and win points other ways, which I felt was playing into my hands.”

 

This will be the 33-year-old Australian’s third consecutive final at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championship, and while 35-year-old Karlovic has never been to a final in Newport, Rhode Island, he has now reached four finals on grass, and has won two. Hewitt, on the other hand, won 7 consecutive finals on grass, stretching back to 2000 where he beat Pete Sampras at Queen’s Club, all the way to 2010 when he beat Roger Federer in Halle.

 

When Hewitt walks onto Center Court at Newport on Sunday – the younger of the two oldest finalists there ever – he takes into the match a losing 1-4 record, the only win coming on clay in 2009.

 

While Karlovic’s confidence, focus and potency on serve seems to have grown throughout the tournament, Newport’s spectators at the Hall of Fame have been given daily reminders as to why the former world No. 1’s style of play still gives him a chance to take out his 30th ATP title on Sunday, even against an in-form Karlovic, but as Hewitt said of his preparation for the final, “There’s not a lot I can do until I get out there and play. I’m not gonna find 7-foot guys to come and serve at me.”

 

Hewitt will also be contesting the doubles final on Sunday with Davis Cup partner Chris Guccione. The last player to win both singles and doubles titles at an ATP tournament was last year’s Hall of Fame champion, Nicolas Mahut.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering Newport for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

 

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Groth Takes Out Defending Newport Champ Mahut

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By Dave Gertler

 

(July, 10, 2014) NEWPORT – Lleyton Hewitt has made the final in Newport two years running, and is scheduled to play his quarterfinal match on Thursday, but the biggest story of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Wednesday was lesser-known Australian, Sam Groth. After defeating reigning champion Nicolas Mahut in straight sets in front of a packed Center Court stadium, Sam Groth has won through to his first ATP tournament semifinal, and will also break into the top 100 for the first time, achieving a lifelong career goal.

 

“I really had nothing to lose,” said the big serving 26-year-old, “I had a hell of a lot to gain. First time in a semifinal, first time probably in the top 100, first time direct entry into a grand slam. I went out there confident, and I really wanted to do all those things. I thought I played really well.”

 

Groth managed to break Mahut early in the first and second sets, using his remarkable serve – known as the fastest on tour – to hold his way through to a straight-sets upset victory over the former world No. 37, 6-3, 6-4.

 

“People have always thought of me as just a serve,” said Groth, who cracked a 146mph ace to seal the first set, “But I don’t think you get to top 100 being just a serve. My serve probably has gotten better, I’m hitting my spots better, and I think I’m volleying better than I ever have. I’m making it tough for guys to break me and I think that builds a lot of pressure.”

 

Closing out the match was hard, said Groth. Once gaining the break in the second set, “For the first time in the match,” said Groth, “Everything became a little bit real, and everything came to the front of my head, and I had a couple of shaky games there.”

 

Mahut admitted to being fatigued from a busy grass season, but gave full credit to Groth, saying, “I was not feeling great, but the thing is him, he played well. To win, I have to play my best tennis, and that’s not the case today, so I just have to congratulate him. He was just too good for me today.”

 

Groth will now face another big server, Ivo Karlovic, in the semifinal on Saturday, after Karlovic held off Israel’s Dudi Sela 7-6, 7-5 on Center Court. “It’s tough to play against Ivo on all surfaces,” said Sela, “If he hits a good percentage of the first serve, you have no chance, nobody (does). I held my serve pretty good, and I tried to play well in the tie break, but in the beginning, I had an easy mistake that I made and I let him run away.”

 

Karlovic agreed that his potent serve-volley strategy on grass is a tough to match, saying, “I feel like if I lose my game on my serve, it is always because I do it; because I do double faults, because I do easy volley. I don’t feel like it’s the other guy ever.” The semifinal match-up between Karlovic and Groth, both possessing potent serve-volleying games, is set to be a tight affair. Karlovic professed that, “He also is going to hit a lot of aces. So, there will be also a couple of tiebreaks, so it can always go either way.”

 

The 35-year-old Croatian, who will appear in his first semifinal in Newport, opened up to press after his match, talking about what it’s like being a professional tennis player as well as the father of a young daughter. “It isn’t easy always to go, to leave her at home. I would like to be a lot more home now, but this is what I do, this is where I earn my money, and I do it for her also. But after this, I will go a little bit home, and that’s it.”

 

The tournament’s biggest names, top seed John Isner and multiple grand slam winner Lleyton Hewitt, will both take the court tomorrow in their separate quarterfinals against up-and-coming American men, in what promises to be an equally exciting order of play. Hewitt, the spearhead of what has been a strong tournament for Australians in Newport, will take on American Steve Johnson, while Jack Sock will try to usurp his training partner, No. 1 seed John Isner, who is gunning for his third title on the Newport grass courts.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering Newport for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

 

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