March 26, 2017

Davis Cup: U.S. Shuts Out The Swiss – Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

DAVIS CUP: U.S. SHUTS OUT THE SWISS
Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

By Junior Williams

(February 5, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Americans Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson each posted straight sets victories in dead rubbers to give the United States a 5-0 victory over Switzerland in the Davis Cup World Group first round.

Querrey defeated lefty Adrien Bossel 6-3, 7-5 in a 73-minute match. The Californian blasted 16 aces past the 485th-ranked Bossel and faced zero break points.

It took Johnson only an hour to beat another Swiss left-hander — 20-year old Antoine Bellier — 6-4, 6-3, in a very entertaining match featuring powerful groundstrokes and strong returns. The players combined committed only 16 unforced errors for the entire match.

The U.S. now turns its attention to the quarterfinals in April, when the team will face Australia in a road tie. The Aussies will be looking for revenge after losing in the first round last year to the Americans in Kooyong.

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie. TEam USA is 26-20 versus Australia in Davis Cup play.

Switzerland will try to remain in the World Group by winning its play-off match-up September 15-17.

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The U.S. victory marks the second straight American sweep of the Swiss. The last one was a 2012 shocker on clay in Fribourg, Switzerland that included Mardy Fish defeating Stan Wawrinka 9-7 in the 5th set, John Isner beating Roger Federer in four sets – and a doubles win for Mike Bryan and Fish over Federer and Wawrinka, also in four sets.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Final results
Singles A: Jack Sock (USA) d. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
Singles B: John Isner (USA) d. Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1)
Doubles: Jack Sock/Steve Johnson (USA)
d. Adrien Bossel/Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5)
Singles C: Sam Querrey (USA) d. Adrien Bossel (SUI), 6-3, 7-5
Singles D: Steve Johnson (USA) d. Antoine Bellier (SUI), 6-4, 6-3

 

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Davis Cup: U.S. Clinches Quarterfinal Berth; Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

DAVIS CUP: U.S. CLINCHES QUARTERFINAL BERTH

Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

 

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 4, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – For the clincher, United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier called on the 2016 Olympic bronze medal doubles team.

Jack Sock and Steve Johnson delivered for the U.S. with a 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Switzerland’s Adrien Bossel and Henri Laaksonen. The win gives the Americans an insurmountable 3-0 lead in this World Group first round tie, advancing to the quarterfinals, where they’ll face Australia on the road for a second consecutive year.

Both Courier and Swiss Captain Severin Luthi switched up their originally scheduled lineups: Jack Sock replaced Sam Querrey for the Americans, while Luthi went with Laaksonen instead of Antoine Bellier. Laaksonen had an impressive return of serve during Friday’s second singles rubber, despite losing to John Isner in four sets.

The U.S. took the lead in the first set, winning a tiebreak capped by a Steve Johnson forehand winner up the sideline to go up 6-3, followed by a Johnson forehand that was hit long by the Swiss. The Americans won 85-percent of their first serve points in the set.

Serving in the first game of the second set, Jack Sock vehemently disputed a lineman’s foot fault call, but to no avail. As the game went on the U.S. found itself in a 0-40 hole, but eventually staved off those three break points and held serve. The Americans broke the Swiss in the next game, which ended with a thrilling rally punctuated by a Sock winner at net — bringing fans at the Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex to their feet.

Both teams exchanged breaks of serve later in the set, but the U.S. went on to win it on a Sock service winner. A stellar performance at the net by Johnson also a major factor contributing to the Americans’ two set lead.

Switzerland refused to go quietly. Spurred on by their fans chanting “Hop Suisse,” the Swiss team broke the U.S. to go up 3-1 in the third set on a Laaksonen overhead smash at net. But the visitors blew a golden opportunity when the Americans staved off three set points and broke Switzerland to get the set back on serve at 5-4.

The U.S. closed out the rubber and clinched the tie by winning a third set tiebreak, which ended with the Swiss at net hitting the ball past the baseline. After each team shook hands, the American team took a victory lap around the court with the U.S. flag, cheered on by the home crowd.

Despite being heavy underdogs without their top guns Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, the Swiss have given the U.S. a good fight – and will attempt to remain in Davis Cup’s top tier when they compete in the World Group Play-offs this coming September.

“If you lose, it’s disappointed that you lost,” noted Swiss captain Severin Luthi. “I mean, I’m never like happy when we lose or if I lose. Even if it’s card games or whatever, I’m never happy.

“So disappointed. But, again, I have to say the same as yesterday. It wasn’t the performance of the players at all, you know. I thought they gave everything. They were, yeah — they had chances first and third set, and unfortunately we just couldn’t make it.”

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to go back and battle those guys (Australia) again,” said U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier. “They came through pretty comfortably as well. Hugely talented team. Passionate Davis Cup nation. Had a lot of fun playing down in Melbourne with them.

“Obviously got the result we wanted which makes it a lot more fun, but they’re a knowledgeable crowd and they have won a ton of Davis Cups, so they know what it’s all about.

“It will be exciting for us to go down. We’re already talking about it, looking forward to it. We have work to do tomorrow. We’re not your overlooking the matches on Sunday. We will be ready to play tomorrow for sure, even though this thing is decided.

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re anxious to get down there and battle on. We really want to get out to the semifinals and see what we can do this year.”

Two dead rubbers are scheduled for Sunday – and we have yet to see Querrey and Bellier play in this tie.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Davis Cup: Home Cookin’ in the Deep South; Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

DAVIS CUP: HOME COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH

Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 3, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The heavily favored United States team lived up to expectations as Jack Sock and John Isner won their respective singles rubbers against Switzerland, giving the Americans a 2-0 lead in the first round of Davis Cup Cup World Group competition at Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

 

Switzerland is playing this tie without its two top players – world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer who won the Australian Open last week.

 

Isner’s victory over world No. 127 Henri Laaksonen was far from a cakewalk. It took two hours and 44 minutes for the American to win the rubber 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1).

 

In the first set, Isner’s powerful service game was blunted by Laaksonen executing solid returns and winning long rallies. Isner saved three break points to knot the set at 4-4, but the Swiss went on to win the set by breaking the world No. 23.

Isner committed 21 unforced errors during the set and backhanded numerous shots into the net.

 

The 31-year old Isner seemed to find his rhythm in the second set after breaking Laaksonen to go up 3-2, helped by a more effective service game — striking seven aces during the set and winning 84-percent of his first serve points. On the flip side, Laaksonen committed three double faults, including one that gave the U.S. a 5-2 advantage. Isner won the next game, closing it out with his 12th ace of the match.

John Isner

The American got off to a fast start in the third set. He broke the Swiss in the first game with a winning forehand passing shot as Laaksonen approached the net. Isner held in the second game, but not before staving off three break points. In this set it was Laaksonen with 21 unforced errors helping Isner cruise through the remainder of the set.

 

The fourth set was a tight affair as both players battled. Isner was visibly frustrated by the 24-year old Laaksonen’s returns and defensive play. But when tiebreak time came around, it was all Isner. After a mini-break on the first point — followed by two service winners — victory came five points later when Laaksonen double faulted. During the on-court post-match interview, Isner admitted to being nervous at times during the match.

 

“I’ll take the film of that first set and just throw it in the fire, delete that one,” Isner said in his post-match news conference. “I think more than anything I was a little bit nervous, and that was affecting my footwork quite a lot. With me being so big and when my footed work is not sharp, it can be ugly. It was in the first set.”

 

Jim stayed on me to stay positive, even though I wasn’t feeling very positive out there. I think that’s actually what tilted the match in my favor a little bit. Certainly could have been cleaner, but Davis Cup you ties throw out rankings and whatnot, it’s tough touch out there in these matches, so I’m happy to get the win.

 

In the first rubber, it took just under two hours for No. 1 American Jack Sock to defeat Marco Chiudinelli — ranked 146 in the world — 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Things were pretty even until Sock won the first set by breaking Chiudinelli with an overhead lob that was retrieved but hit just wide of the sideline.

 

“There are always few extra nerves I think playing Davis Cup,” Sock said. “When you’re playing for your country, being a part of a team, maybe at a normal event, normal tournament, you come out swinging a little bit more.

“I think I was a little hesitant at the beginning; maybe too conservative playing when obviously my game is to kind of play big and hit big forehands and be aggressive.”

Sock continued to put pressure on the 35-year old Swiss by stepping up his aggressive play, with solid ground strokes and serves with some net play in the mix. For the match, Sock had 29 total winners to Chiudinelli’s eleven. The Nebraska-born 24-year old was never broken in four attempts.

 

The U.S. can clinch the tie by winning Saturday’s doubles match-up — scheduled to be Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson versus Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier and Adrien Bossel. Bellier’s heroics kept the Swiss in the top tier of Davis Cup, courtesy of his 2016 World Group play-off win in the deciding rubber against Uzbekistan back in September.

 

Team USA is not taking anything for granted. They had a 2-0 lead back in July and lost in the quarterfinals to Croatia.

 

Jack Sock

 

“I think as a whole, as a team, like I said, we’re not taking anyone lightly,” Sock noted. “But at the same time, we’re confident in our squad and our four guys in the matchups this weekend.

“We’re going to go one match at time and get one point at time.”

 

A victory would earn the Americans a quarterfinal trip to Australia — a rematch of last year’s first round tie won by the U.S. at Kooyong. Australia clinched their tie against the Czech Republic with a doubles win to give them a 3-0 lead.

 

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EXTRAS:

 

John Isner notched his 500th Davis Cup ace during the fourth set of his match against Henri Laaksonen.

 

Isner was not aware of this upcoming milestone: “I was wondering, because I heard them say 500. I was wondering what that was. Thank you for clarifying that. I had no idea I was close to that in Davis Cup play.

“You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play in a lot of singles matches on the Davis Cup team. I guess that’s a pretty cool number to achieve.

“More than anything, I’m just happy I was able to get the win today. I thought the crowd was great, and we’re up 2-0. We’re in a pretty good spot.”

 

“But Davis Cup anything can happen. You see it every year. Every tie almost you see some kind of crazy things happen.”

 

Unusual for a Davis Cup tie in the U.S. to have a serve speed clock deliver results in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour. Fans in the stands were trying to guess the actual MPH.

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Sock to Lead Off for USA Against Switzerland in Davis Cup; Courier Reflects on Team USA’s Past and Future

(February 2, 2017) In celebration of Groundhog Day, “Birmingham Bill” of the Birmingham Zoo picked the first match-up of the draw for the U.S. vs. Switzerland Davis Cup World Group First Round tie in Birmingham, Ala. on Thursday.

 

Day one will pit the No. 1 singles of their respective teams versus the No. 2 players on the other team.

American Jack Sock ranked No. 20 in the world will take on Marco Chiudinelli, ranked No. 46, followed by No. 23 John Isner against No. 127-ranked Henri Laaksonen. Sock is 3-2 in Davis Cup Singles play, while his opponent is 6-12. Isner beat Roger Federer when the U.S. shutout Switzerland 5-0 in the cup tie in Fribourg back in 2012.

 

Here is the lineup for the weekend tie:

 

Friday, February 3, 3:00 p.m. Central

Singles A: Jack Sock (USA) vs. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

Singles B: John Isner (USA) vs. Henri Laaksonen(SUI)

 

Saturday, February 4, 2:00 p.m. Central

Doubles:

*Sam Querrey/Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Adrien Bossel/Antoine Bellier (SUI)

 

Sunday, February 5, 11:00 a.m., Central

Singles C:Jack Sock (USA) vs. Henri Laaksonen (SUI)

Singles D: John Isner (USA) vs. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

 

*Team captains may substitute the doubles team up to one hour before the match.

 

December will mark ten years since the United States won Davis Cup. With the Bryan brothers retiring from Davis Cup play and former star Andy Roddick about to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the USA Captain reflected about the current team carrying American tennis forward since that group of players won the cup in Portland in 2007.

 

“First of all, we’ve been unbelievably lucky to have a great generation of Davis Cup players in Andy (Roddick) and James (Blake) and Mardy (Fish) and Bob and Mike Bryan that did great things for this country,” Courier said.

 

“They’ve passed that baton now off to these guys. It’s the turn and the privilege of these four players I’m sitting with right now to carry American tennis fans and the American flag for us.

 

“They’re ready for it. These guys are battle-tested, they’re veterans on tour, and they’re ready for this responsibility. It’s a great privilege to go out there and play for the United States. These guys are anxious to do that. They’ve answered the call every time they’ve been asked to play for the U.S. I expect that will continue to be the path.

 

“So it’s an exciting new time for us as a team. There’s no doubt that we’re indebted to the great service of Bob and Mike Bryan. I hope they continue to play great as long as they’re still on tour. We’ll miss them on this team, but I feel confident in the group we have assembled here and their capabilities both in singles and doubles.

 

“We have a lot of options at our disposal now, where you’re a little bit more limited when you go with two doubles players and two singles players from an injury standpoint.

 

“There are pluses and minuses. Fortunately we never got into a position with Bob and Mike where we had an injury issue that impacted us as a team. But we’re looking forward to what this year will bring. 2017, we’re excited to start at home. We need to get off to a good start obviously. We won’t take anything for granted. We’ll be ready to play, as I mentioned. But it’s a new page, a new chapter in the U.S. Davis Cup team. It starts right here, right now.”

 

As to the future of American men’s tennis, Courier sad: “You’re looking at the present and the future of it right here, for starters. The even better news is that we have a cluster of 18, 19 and 20-yearolds that are starting to make their way onto the tour, starting to get through the challengers, move up to tour level.

 

“I was lucky enough to come through a generation that pushed each other. We had a cluster back then. We were able to push each other to great heights.

 

“It can only benefit American tennis if we have this young group here. I know these guys are very proud of their positions that they’ve earned in the sport. They’re not going to let those youngsters come up and take them easily either. That will be fun, I think, to see everyone pushing in the same direction, to try to get a few more names on the sports pages for American tennis. That would be a good thing, for sure.

 

“But there’s a lot of work ahead of those youngsters, too. I’m fortunate enough to get a chance to see a lot of it down in Orlando at the new home of American tennis. A lot of them are training there. Jack has been there, as well, to check it out. We’re in the beginning stages of seeing some nice transition from juniors to professional tennis from a big group of players. That will be very fun to watch.”

 

Team USA holds a  3-1 record against the Swiss in Davis Cup play, with the the two countries’ last meeting in Birmingham, winning 4-1 win for the U.S. in the 2009 World Group First Round at the same venue – Legacy Arena.

 

The winner of this tie moves into the World Group Quarterfinal, April 7-9, and will play either the Czech Republic or Australia. The losing country will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, to try and stay in the World Group in 2018.

 

Related Articles:

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U.S. Davis Captain Jim Courier on Tie Against Switzerland: “We don’t expect it to be easy”

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U.S. Davis Captain Jim Courier on Tie Against Switzerland: “We don’t expect it to be easy”

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

(January 31, 2017) The United States Davis Cup team will face off in the first round of World Group against Switzerland at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Alabama.  The Swiss team will be without their top players – world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer, who won the Australian Open on Sunday for his 18th major.

The U.S. team will consist of No. 20 Jack Sock,  No. 23 John Isner, No. 27 Sam Querrey and No. 31 Steve Johnson. Representing team Switzerland will be No. 127 Henri Laaksonen, No. 146 Marco Chiudinelli No. 485 Adrien Bossel and No. 598 Antoine Bellier.

Back on 2009, the U.S. also played Switzerland in Birmingham.

Both teams took part in pre-draw news conferences on Tuesday.

Playing Switzerland without their top two players, looks like an easy task for team USA this weekend, but USA Captain Jim Courier says there are no “gimmies.”

“Now, rankings don’t mean anything,” he said. “Once you get on the court, the ball doesn’t care what your ranking is. You have to hit the shots and win the points.

“We come in ready to play and ready to fight for every point. We don’t expect it to be easy.”

We’re confident that we have four great players here ready to go to battle in five matches,” Courier continued.

“It’s nice to play at home, of course. Nice to have a facility that we like, like this, a court that we like, like this. It’s not always the case.”

Swiss Captain Severin Luthi acknowledged that this weekend won’t be an easy task without Wawrinka and Federer.

“We have the best players behind them here, he said. “We’re going to try to do our best and give 100%. We’ll also try to improve this week. All the rest really doesn’t matter for us.”

“I think one of our strengths is really that the players we have here, especially Marco and Henri, who played more matches already in Davis Cup, they’re always playing well. They give all the time 100%. They’re ready to fight. Yeah, they had good results in Davis Cup. I think that’s one of our big strengths.

“With Antoine, we have a rather young player who is playing the first time last year and helped us staying in the Group. With Adrien also we won the doubles there.

“Obviously we’re completely outsiders here, but as I said, we’re going to try our best and give 100%.”

Bob and Mike Bryan announced their retirement from playing Davis Cup last week during the Australian Open.

“We were blessed to have Bob and Mike on our team for so many years,” Courier said. “They’re incredible. We’ll miss them for sure.

“I have a lot of confidence in these guys. Any combination of these four players would be a very, very good doubles team.

“It is different to not have Bob and Mike here. I wouldn’t say it’s better, but I would say that we feel comfortable that we have great options at our disposal for all of the matches.”

Swiss Captain Luthi was asked if the absence of the Bryan brothers was advantage to his team: “Honestly, I don’t think that it’s a big advantage because they have more flexibility like that for singles also. When they had the brothers in the team, you knew which players are going to play singles.

“Now, like I mentioned, I think all four players can also play doubles. They can change. They can wait and see how the matches on Friday went.

“I don’t think that it’s an advantage for us.”

The draw ceremony will take place on Thursday at the Birmingham Zoo at Noon.

The Davis Cup ties takes place  this weekend February 3-5, on an indoor hard court. Singles play begins at 3:00 p.m. CT on Friday, February 3. Doubles play begins on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. CT. The final two singles matches will be held on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. CT. Tennis Channel will broadcast daily coverage.

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinals to be played April 7-9, against the winner of the Czech Republic vs. Australia tie. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, for the right to remain in the World Group in 2018.

 

For information on the tie from the USTA .

Related Articles:

Isner, Sock, Johnson and Querrey Named to U.S. Davis Cup Team

Bryan Brothers Retire From U.S. Davis Cup Team

Friendly Fribourg; The Swiss City Did Itself Proud As a Davis Cup Host

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Isner, Sock, Johnson and Querrey Named to U.S. Davis Cup Team

 

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 24, 2017 – The USTA and United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier today announced that world No. 19 John Isner, No. 20 Jack Sock, No. 30 Steve Johnson and No. 32 Sam Querrey will represent the U.S. in the 2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round against Switzerland. The best-of-five match series will be played on an indoor hard court at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), Feb. 3-5, in Birmingham, Ala.

 

Swiss Davis Cup Captain Severin Luthi nominated No. 128 Marco Chiudinelli, No. 133 Henri Laaksonen, No. 488 Adrien Bossel and No. 612 Antione Bellier to his team.

 

Play begins on Friday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m. CT with two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule begins at 2 p.m. CT and features the pivotal doubles match. And the final day of play on Sunday starts at 11 a.m. CT and features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off, followed by the No. 2 players. All matches are best-of-five tiebreak sets; the first country to win three matches wins the tie. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.

 

Tickets are available in the upper and lower bowls and may be purchased by visiting www.usta.com/daviscup or by calling 888-484-USTA (8782). Prices for single-day tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday range from $25 to $175 per day. The USTA has partnered with Bruno Events Team and The City of Birmingham to bring this event to Birmingham.

 

The U.S. holds a 3-1 record over Switzerland in Davis Cup, last meeting in the 2012 World Group First Round in Fribourg, Switzerland. The U.S. swept that tie, 5-0, with Isner upsetting Roger Federer and Mardy Fish beating Stan Wawrinka before Bob and Mike Bryan secured the win for the U.S. The U.S. hosted Switzerland in Birmingham in 2009 in the World Group First Round at the BJCC. In that tie, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Switzerland, 4-1. The U.S. also squared off against the Swiss in 1992 and 2001, with Switzerland’s only win coming in 2001.

 

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinals, April 7-9, and will play either the Czech Republic or Australia. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, for the right to remain in the World Group in 2018.

 

In addition, the USTA announced yesterday a long-term and wide-ranging agreement with Deloitte, one of the world’s leading professional services organization. As part of the agreement, Deloitte will sponsor both the U.S. Davis Cup and U.S. Fed Cup teams. As a sponsor of Davis Cup and Fed Cup, Deloitte’s logo will be featured on U.S. team warm-up jackets; Deloitte will also support U.S. Team Events in markets where the competitions are being held.

 

Isner, 31, is ranked No. 19 in the current world rankings and will be competing in his 13th Davis Cup tie; he is 11-10 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. His last Davis Cup appearance came last year in the quarterfinal in Beaverton, Ore., where Isner went 1-1 in singles play. His biggest Davis Cup victory came in 2012, when he defeated Federer in the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first-round win at Switzerland. The tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history at 6-foot-10, Isner made his Davis Cup debut in the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia, where he became the first U.S. player since 2003 to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie. He also represented the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Federer. Isner turned pro after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior. He holds 10 career tour singles titles, the last of which came in Atlanta in 2015. In 2016, Isner reached the final in Atlanta and at the Masters 1000 event in Paris and reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and French Open.

 

Sock, 24, is ranked a career-high No. 20 in the world after taking the title in Auckland earlier this month for his second career ATP title. He made his Davis Cup debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan, where he won both of his singles matches. Sock also competed in both Davis Cup ties for the U.S. in 2016, in Australia and Portland, Ore.; he now holds a 3-2 singles record in Davis Cup competition. Sock won his first ATP singles title in 2015 in Houston, and he has also reached four additional ATP finals (Stockholm, Houston and Auckland in 2016; Stockholm in 2015). Sock has also thrived in doubles, winning the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title with Vasek Pospisil and capturing the gold medal in mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In 2011, Sock won the US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Melanie Oudin. Sock peaked at a career-high No. 6 in the individual doubles rankings in May 2015.

 

Johnson, 27, is ranked No. 30 in the world. He is playing in his second Davis Cup tie after making his debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan; there, he won his doubles match with Querrey after the duo advanced to the US Open doubles semifinals together, but lost his singles match in five sets to Denis Istomin. Johnson started 2017 strong by reaching the semifinals in Auckland, losing to Sock. In 2016, he won his first career ATP singles title in Birmingham, Great Britain. Also in 2016, he advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time, the semifinals of the Citi Open in Washington D.C., and captured the bronze medal in men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics with Sock. Johnson, who peaked at No. 21 in the world in July 2016, turned pro in 2012 after completing an outstanding college tennis career at USC, winning the 2011 and 2012 NCAA singles championships and leading the Trojans to team titles all four years he played for the school. Following the end of his collegiate career, he reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, becoming the first reigning NCAA champion to advance to the third round of the men’s singles since 1995.

 

Querrey, 29, is ranked No. 32. He is competing in his first Davis Cup tie since September 2015 and his 10th tie overall. He made his Davis Cup debut in 2008, where he faced Rafael Nadal in his first-ever match. Querrey holds a 6-8 record in Davis Cup singles play and is 1-0 in doubles. Querrey also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2016, Querrey advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, upsetting Novak Djokovic in the third round and becoming the first American to beat the No. 1 seed at a Grand Slam since 2002. Also last year, Querrey won his eighth ATP title in Delray Beach and reached three additional ATP semifinals. In addition, he holds five ATP doubles titles, including two with Isner (Memphis in 2010 and Rome in 2011) and one with Johnson (Geneva in 2016). Querrey peaked at No. 17 in the world in January 2011.

 

Additionally, Courier announced that college standout Ryan Shane will be the practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team. Shane, 22, graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 after a stellar collegiate career. In his junior season, he won the NCAA singles title and ended that season as the No. 2-ranked collegiate player in the country. Shane was also a part of three NCAA championship teams with Virginia, winning the team title in 2013, 2015 and 2016. He earned All-America honors during his junior and senior years, finishing his collegiate career with a 103-36 record in singles play. He holds two USTA Pro Circuit singles titles and one doubles title.

 

Founded in 1900, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis and is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with approximately 135 nations competing each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles. The U.S. holds a 216-70 all-time Davis Cup record and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989. For more information, including access to player and historical Davis Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/daviscup or www.daviscup.com. Follow the U.S. Davis Cup team on Facebook @USTA, on Twitter @USTA, and on Instagram @USTennis. Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Deloitte is the official team sponsor of the U.S. Davis Cup Team for the first time in 2017.

 

 

 

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2017 Australian Open – Day 5 Men’s Preview

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 5 MEN’S NOTES

Friday 20 January

3rd Round Top Half

 

Kei Nishikori

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v No. 31 Sam Querrey (USA)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v No. 29 Viktor Troicki (SRB)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v (Q) Lukas Lacko (SVK)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI)

No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v No. 23 Jack Sock (USA)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

Steve Darcis (BEL) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Mischa Zverev (GER) v Malek Jaziri (TUN)

 

On court today…

 

  • After Novak Djokovic’s surprise defeat on Thursday, world No. 1 Andy Murray is looking to avoid an upset of his own when he takes on Sam Querrey. The American, who ended an 8-match losing streak against world No. 1s to end Djokovic’s title defence at last year’s Wimbledon, will hope to cause another surprise and defeat Murray for only the 2nd time in their 8th meeting. A win for Murray would be his 48th at the Australian Open, which would see him equal Andre Agassi and his coach Ivan Lendl in joint 4th-place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins.

 

  • Tomas Berdych is seeking to end a 5-match losing streak against Roger Federer as the pair meet for a 23rd time in the night session on Rod Laver Arena. This is the pair’s 7th meeting at a Grand Slam – but the first time that they have met before the round of 16 at a major. Berdych has won 2 of their 6 previous Grand Slam encounters, but has not beaten the Swiss in any of their 3 meetings in Melbourne.

 

  • Querrey and Jack Sock, who takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, are both looking for a place in the round of 16 here. The last time as many as 2 Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • Mischa Zverev and younger brother Alexander Zverev are the first pair of brothers to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Byron and Wayne Black reached this stage here in 1998. Mischa takes on Malek Jaziri on Show Court 2 today.

 1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v NO. 31 SAM QUERREY (USA)

Head-to-head: Murray leads 6-1

2006     Newport                        Grass (O)          R16      Murray              75 62

2008     AMS Cincinnati              Hard (O)           R32      Murray              76(3) 61

2008     AMS Paris                    Hard (I)             R32      Murray              62 64

2010     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R16      Murray             75 63 64

2010     Los Angeles                  Hard (O)           FR        Querrey             57 76(2) 63

2012     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)           R32      Murray              62 64

2014     Davis Cup (WG-1R)       Clay (O)            R4        Murray              76(5) 67(3) 61 63

 

An 8th career meeting for the 2 players, and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Querrey’s only victory over Murray came in winning the title at 2010 Los Angeles.

 

Murray has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 32 Querrey at a Grand Slam since losing to No. 38 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 1st round here in 2008 – one of only 4 occasions he has lost to players ranked outside the Top 30 at a major.

 

MURRAY                                       v                                      QUERREY

 

29                                          Age                                          29

1                                    ATP Ranking                                   32

44                                         Titles                                          8

178-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                      41-39

47-11                        Australian Open Record                        11-10

636-175                              Career Record                              287-236

428-114                        Career Record – Hard                         198-151

6-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

6-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                          4-10

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                       143-143

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-1

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to record his 48th Australian Open match-win and equal Andre Agassi and his coach Ivan Lendl in joint 4th-place on the Open Era list for the most Australian Open match-wins. Rafael Nadal could also record his 48th match-win here if he reaches the round of 16 here. [NB written prior to Nadal’s 2nd round match on Thursday.]

 

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

48-5

48-10

Andy Murray

Rafael Nadal

Pete Sampras

47-11
46-10*45-9

Active players in bold. *Figures accurate prior to Nadal’s 2nd round match here.

 

  • Murray is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 9th straight year. He defeated Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62 in the 1st round and qualifier Andrey Rublev 63 60 62 in the 2nd. He is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray is bidding to record his 179th Grand Slam match-win and take sole ownership of 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins ahead of Stefan Edberg (178-47) (see Preview page 5).

 

  • Murray is looking to avoid suffering the earliest exit for the top seed at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt fell in the 1st round here in 2002 (see Preview page 9).

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • QUERREY is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time.

 

  • Querrey advanced to the 3rd round after defeating wild card Quentin Halys 67(10) 76(4) 63 64 and wild card Alex De Minaur 76(5) 60 61 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Querrey is one of 2 Americans through to the 3rd round here along with Jack Sock. The last time multiple Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here for the 5th time, Querrey has equalled his best Australian Open result. He also reached the 3rd round on his debut here as a wild card in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), and as a direct acceptance in 2008 (l. Novak Djokovic), 2013 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2014 (l. Fabio Fognini). This is his 11th Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Querrey is bidding to record his 2nd career match-win against a world No. 1. He ended an 8-match losing streak against No. 1 ranked players by defeating Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round at 2016 Wimbledon in his most recent meeting with a No. 1 player. It was his first victory against a No. 1 player.

 

  • Querrey’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). His victory over then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round saw him become the first American to beat a world No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals in 1985. He was the first American to beat a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals at the 2002 US Open.

 

  • Querrey fell in the 1st round at the other 3 Grand Slams in 2016. He retired with cramping at 2-sets all against Dusan Lajovic in the 1st round here, before falling to Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros and Janko Tipsarevic at the US Open.

 

  • Querrey warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the 1st round. He finished as runner-up in the doubles event with Gilles Muller, falling to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson.

 

  • Querrey won his 8th career-singles title at 2016 Delray Beach (d. Rajeev Ram). 6 of his 8 career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he reached the semifinals at Memphis (l. Kei Nishikori), Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Querrey is a former Top 20 player, having recorded a career-high ranking of No. 17 in January 2011. He plays here at No. 32.

 

  • Querrey has entered the men’s doubles event here with Donald Young. They defeated defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares 63 76(5) in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Querry is coached by Craig Boynton, who also works with Steve Johnson.

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v NO. 29 VIKTOR TROICKI (SRB)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 7-0

2009     Monte Carlo-1000          Clay (O)            R64      Wawrinka          62 63

2010     Belgrade                       Clay (O)            QF        Wawrinka          75 67(3) 76(6)

2015     Shanghai-1000             Hard (O)           R32      Wawrinka          76(3) 63

2015     Paris-1000                    Hard (I)             R16      Wawrinka          64 75

2016     Roland Garros            Clay (O)           R16      Wawrinka         76(5) 67(7) 63 62

2016     St Petersburg               Hard (I)             QF        Wawrinka          75 62

2017     Brisbane                       Hard (O)           R16      Wawrinka          76(5) 64

 

An 8th career meeting between these 2 players and their 2nd at a Grand Slam.

 

Troicki is looking to end a 7-match losing streak against Wawrinka, who has dropped just 2 sets in his 7 previous encounters with the Serb.

 

Wawrinka has won all 4 of their hard court meetings in straight sets, most recently in the 2nd round at Brisbane earlier this month.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                        TROICKI

 

31                                          Age                                          30

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            35

15                                         Titles                                          3

121-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      45-31

33-10                        Australian Open Record                         11-8

443-253                              Career Record                              262-224

247-141                        Career Record – Hard                         171-140

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                         17-14

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         92-94

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the round of 16 here for the 5th straight year.

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday and Steve Johnson 63 64 64 in the 2nd round on Wednesday. His 5-set victory over Klizan in the 1st round improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka has not lost as early as the 3rd round at the Australian Open since 2012, when as No. 21 seed he fell to Nicolas Almagro at this stage. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • TROICKI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 9th Australian Open and his 32nd Grand Slam appearance.

 

  • Troicki advanced to the 3rd round here after winning consecutive 5-set matches for the 2nd time in his career. He defeated Damir Dzumhur 64 64 26 26 63 and Paolo Lorenzi 63 16 76(3) 36 63 in the opening 2 rounds to improve his career 5-set win-loss record to 18-14. He also won his first 2 matches at 2012 Wimbledon in 5-sets, defeating Marcel Granollers and Martin Klizan.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Troicki has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 3rd round here in 2011 (l. Djokovic), 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych) and 2016 (l. Milos Raonic).

 

  • Troicki’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 on 5 occasions – at Roland Garros in 2011 (l. Andy Murray), 2013 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and 2016 (l. today’s opponent), and at Wimbledon in 2012 and 2015 (l. Vasek Pospisil).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, as well as reaching the round of 16 at Roland Garros and the 3rd round here, Troicki fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas) and the US Open (l. Jared Donaldson).

 

  • Troicki’s other highlights in 2016 included defending his title in Sydney (d. Grigor Dimitrov) and finishing runner-up at Sofia (l. Roberto Bautista Agut). He also reached 2 semifinals – at Winston-Salem (l. Bautista Agut) and Chengdu (l. Karen Khachanov) – and 3 further quarterfinals.

 

  • Troicki warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 3 seed at Sydney (l. Gilles Muller), after falling in the 2nd round at Brisbane (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Troicki has won just one of his last 10 matches against Top 5 opponents. His only win in that time came in the 2nd round at 2016 Shanghai-1000 when he defeated No. 5 Rafael Nadal. Overall, he has a 3-38 win-loss record against Top 5 opposition and has never beaten a Top 5 player at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Troicki has entered the men’s doubles here with Dusan Lajovic. They defeated Renzo Olivo/Guido Pella 64 36 63 in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Troicki was a member of the ITF Junior Touring Team in Europe and North America in 2004, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

 

  • Troicki is coached by Jack Reader.

 

 

 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v (Q) LUKAS LACKO (SVK)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

2012     Miami-1000       Hard (O)           R64      Nishikori           63 63

2014     Washington       Hard (O)           R16      Nishikori           62 26 63

 

A 3rd meeting for these 2 players, and their first at a Grand Slam.

 

Nishikori has not lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 since he lost to No. 179th-ranked qualifier Daniel Evans in the 1st round at the 2013 US Open. His defeat to Evans at the 2013 US Open was also his only defeat to a qualifier at a major. He has a 6-1 win-loss record against qualifiers at the majors.

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                         LACKO

 

27                                          Age                                          29

5                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            121

11                                         Titles                                          0

62-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      13-28

22-7                         Australian Open Record                          7-8

306-143                              Career Record                               80-118

216-100                        Career Record – Hard                           63-79

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                           7-7

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                         48-41

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 6th straight year. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the 3rd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday and Jeremy Chardy 63 64 63 in the 2nd round on Wednesday.

 

  • Nishikori’s 1st round victory against Kuznetsov maintained his record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • Qualifier LACKO is bidding to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time. This is his 9th appearance in Melbourne and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Lacko has equalled his best Grand Slam performance. He also reached the 3rd round as a qualifier at the 2012 Australian Open (l. Rafael Nadal) and at Wimbledon as a direct acceptance in 2012 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and as a qualifier in 2016 (l. Marin Cilic).
  • Lacko advanced to 3rd round after defeating No. 26 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 46 75 16 64 63 in the 1st round on Monday and Dudi Sela 26 63 62 64 in the 2nd round on Wednesday. His 5-set win over Ramos-Vinolas improved his 5-set win-loss record to 7-7. He has a 3-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
  • As No. 10 seed, Lacko defeated Jeremy Jahn (GER) 62 63, Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) 46 62 62 and No. 18 seed Denis Kudla (USA) 62 62 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here.
  • Last year here, Lacko fell in the 1st round of qualifying (l. Frank Dancevic). Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, he reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Ernesto Escobedo). He did not attempt to qualify at Roland Garros.
  • Lacko won just 4 Tour-level matches in 2016. As well as reaching the 3rd round at Wimbledon, he reached the 2nd round at Houston (d. Dmitry Tursunov, l. Feliciano Lopez) and Washington (d. Denis Shapovalov, l. Jack Sock).
  • Also in 2016, Lacko reached the final at the Guangzhou Challenger (CHN) (l. Nikoloz Basilashvili) and reached the semifinals at 4 other Challenger events – Manila (PHI) (l. Mikhail Youzhny), Seoul (KOR) (l. Yen-Hsun Lu), Tashkent (UZB) (l. Denis Istomin) and Brescia (ITA) (l. Luca Vanni).
  • Lacko is bidding to record his first win against a Top 5 player He has lost all 10 of his previous meetings with Top 5 opponents. His career-best win came against No. 17 Sam Querrey at 2011 San Jose, the only time he has beaten a player ranked in the Top 20.
  • Lacko is a former Top 50 player. He ended 2012 with a career-best year-end ranking of No. 50, peaking at No. 44 in January 2013. He plays here at No. 121.
  • Lacko was ranked 3 in the junior rankings in 2005. He reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at 2005 Roland Garros (l. Antal Van Der Duim) and the quarterfinals of the boys’ singles at the 2005 Australian Open (l. Sergei Bubka).
  • Lacko is coached by Karol Kucera

 

10 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE) v NO. 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI)

Head-to-head: Federer leads 16-6  

2004     Olympic Tennis Event, Athens    Hard (O)           R32      Berdych            46 75 75

2005     AMS Hamburg                          Clay (O)            R32      Federer             62 61

2006     French Open                             Clay (O)            R16      Federer             63 62 63

2006     Halle                                         Grass (O)          F          Federer             60 67(4) 62

2006     Wimbledon                              Grass (O)         R16      Federer            63 63 64

2007     Davis Cup (WG-PO)                   Carpet (I)          R4        Federer             76(5) 76(10) 63

2008     Australian Open                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer            64 76(7) 63

2008     Beijing                                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer             63 76(4)

2009     Australian Open                       Hard (O)           R16      Federer            46 67(4) 64 64 62

2010     Miami-1000                               Hard (O)           R16      Berdych            64 67(3) 76(6)

2010     Wimbledon                              Grass (O)         QF        Berdych           64 36 61 64

2010     Toronto-1000                             Hard (O)           QF        Federer             63 57 76(5)

2011     Cincinnati                                  Hard (O)           QF        Berdych            62 76(3)

2011     Paris-1000                                 Hard (I)             SF        Federer             64 63

2012     Madrid-1000                              Clay (O)            F          Federer             36 75 75

2012     US Open                                  Hard (O)           QF        Berdych           76(1) 64 36 63

2013     Dubai                                       Hard (O)           SF        Berdych            36 76(8) 64

2014     Dubai                                       Hard (O)           F          Federer             36 64 63

2015     Indian Wells-1000                      Hard (O)           QF        Federer             64 60

2015     Rome-1000                               Clay (O)            QF        Federer             63 63

2015     ATP World Tour Finals               Hard (I)             RR       Federer             64 62

2016     Australian Open                       Hard (O)           QF        Federer            76(4) 62 64

 

A 23rd career meeting for the 2 players, who first met over 12 years ago when Berdych upset top seed Federer in the 2nd round at the 2004 Olympic Tennis Event. This is their 7th meeting at a Grand Slam and 4th at the Australian Open.

 

Berdych is bidding to end a 5-match losing streak against Federer – the last time he defeated the Swiss was in the semifinals at 2013 Dubai.

 

Berdych has beaten Federer at a Grand Slam on 2 previous occasions – at 2010 Wimbledon, when he went on to reach his first, and, to date, only, Grand Slam final and at the 2012 US Open. This is the first time that the pair have met as early as the 3rd round at a major.

 

On hard courts, Federer leads the head-to-head 9-5. He has also won both of their previous meetings in Melbourne – in the round of 16 in both 2008 and 2009, when he recovered from 0-2 down to win, and in straight sets in the quarterfinals last year.

 

                         BERDYCH                                      v                                       FEDERER

 

31                                          Age                                          35

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            17

13                                         Titles                                         88

132-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                     309-51

40-13                        Australian Open Record                        82-13

586-304                              Career Record                             1082-245

366-193                        Career Record – Hard                         666-135

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                         24-20

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                        10

202-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                       396-215

3-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year.

 

  • Berdych advanced to the 3rd round when he defeated Ryan Harrison 63 76(6) 62 on Wednesday. In the 1st round, Luca Vanni retired with a groin strain after Berdych had won the first set 61.
  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to today’s opponent 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated today’s opponent in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.
  • FEDERER is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 15th time and extend his record for most appearances in the round of 16 at the Australian Open in the Open Era.

 

  • Federer advanced to the 3rd round for the 18th consecutive year after defeating qualifiers Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 and Noah Rubin 75 63 76(3) in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Federer’s earliest exit in Melbourne is falling in the 3rd round on 3 occasions – on his debut here in 2000 (l. Arnaud Clement), in 2001 (l. Clement) and in 2015 (l. Andreas Seppi).

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.
  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

 

 

 

 12 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA (FRA) v NO. 23 JACK SOCK (USA)

Head-to-head: Tsonga leads 2-0

2015     Madrid-1000      Clay (O)            R32      Tsonga             63 16 76(4)

2016     US Open          Hard (O)           R16      Tsonga             63 63 67(7) 62

 

A 3rd career meeting for the pair, and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Tsonga has won both of their previous encounters, including a 4-set win at the US Open last year.

 

                          TSONGA                                       v                                          SOCK

 

31                                          Age                                          24

12                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            20

12                                         Titles                                          2

110-35                     Career Grand Slam Record                      24-16

32-9                         Australian Open Record                          4-2

392-181                              Career Record                               121-82

262-117                        Career Record – Hard                           84-60

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-0

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-0

15-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           4-1

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

182-134                      Career Tiebreak Record                         53-47

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • TSONGA is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 8th time. This is his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tsonga advanced to the 3rd round here after defeating Thiago Monteiro 61 63 67(5) 62 and Dusan Lajovic 62 62 63 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • By defeating Thiago Monteiro in the 1st round here, Tsonga claimed the record for the most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman ahead of Jean Borotra (108-23). He has a 110-35 win-loss record at the majors.
  • Tsonga is bidding to avoid his earliest defeat at the Australian Open since he fell in 5 sets to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the 3rd round here in 2011. Tsonga has a 15-9 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 3-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
  • Tsonga is on a 10-match winning streak against American opposition at the Grand Slams. Andy Roddick is the only American to defeat Tsonga at a major – at 2005 Roland Garros and at the 2007 Australian Open.
  • Tsonga’s best Grand Slam result to date is a runner-up finish at the 2008 Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic). He defeated three Top 10 players (Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal) en route to the final.

 

  • Tsonga warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha, where he lost to Tomas Berdych in straight sets. He also played a match at the Kooyong Exhibition Event, defeating Borna Coric 63 76.
  • Last year here, Tsonga reached the round of 16 for the 7th time, losing in straight sets to Kei Nishikori.
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Tsonga reached the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon (l. Murray) and the US Open, where he retired with a left knee injury while trailing Djokovic 63 62. He reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros, where he retired with an adductor injury when leading Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the first set.
  • Away from the Grand Slams, Tsonga’s best result in 2016 came at Vienna, where he reached the final
    (l. Murray). He also reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and Monte Carlo-1000
    (l. Gael Monfils). Last year was the first year he did not win a title since 2010.
  • Tsonga is a former Top 5 player. He reached a career-high No. 5 in the world in February 2012 and plays here at No. 12.
  • Tsonga has played Davis Cup for France since 2008. He has played a total of 17 ties, achieving an 18-7 win-loss record in singles and a 24-8 win-loss record overall. France take on Japan at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo in the 2017 World Group first round on 3-5 February.
  • Tsonga is coached by Thierry Ascione.
  • SOCK is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.
  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Sock has recorded his best Australian Open result. He defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 64 76(4) 63 and Karen Khachanov 63 64 64 in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Sock’s previous best Australian Open result is reaching the 2nd round on his debut here in 2014 (l. Gael Monfils) and in 2016 (l. Lukas Rosol). He missed the 2015 event here after undergoing hip surgery at the end of 2014.

 

  • Sock’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 2 occasions – at 2015 Roland Garros (l. Rafael Nadal) and at the 2016 US Open (l. today’s opponent). This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 17th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Sock reached the 3rd round at both Roland Garros (l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas) and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic).

 

  • Sock is bidding to defeat a Top 20 player at a Grand Slam for the 3rd time. His only wins over Top 20 players at the majors came against No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov at 2015 Roland Garros and No. 9 Marin Cilic at the 2016 US Open. He has a 2-6 win-loss record against Top 20 players at the majors overall.

 

  • Sock is on a 4-match Tour-level winning streak against Top 20 opposition. He has not lost to a Top 20 player at Tour-level since losing to today’s opponent at the 2016 US Open [NB. He lost to No. 18 Richard Gasquet at the Hopman Cup].

 

  • Sock is one of 2 Americans through to the 3rd round here along with Sam Querrey. The last time multiple Americans reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open was in 2010, when Andy Roddick reached the quarterfinals and John Isner fell in the round of 16.

 

  • Sock’s best results in 2016 are finishing runner-up at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut), Houston (l. Juan Monaco) and Stockholm (l. Juan Martin del Potro). He also reached the quarterfinals at Masters-1000 events at Shanghai (l. Gilles Simon) and Paris (l. Isner), and at Washington (l. Ivo Karlovic).

 

  • Sock warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his 2nd career title at Auckland (d. Joao Sousa), adding to his victory at 2015 Houston (d. Querrey). He also represented USA at the Hopman Cup, finishing runner-up to France alongside CoCo Vandeweghe.

 

  • Sock has improved his year-end ranking every year since 2010, finishing 2016 at No. 23. He plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 20 following his title win at Auckland last week.

 

  • Sock is a former Wimbledon men’s doubles champion. He and Vasek Pospisil defeated Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan in the final at 2014 Wimbledon, becoming the first team to win a Grand Slam title in their first tournament together since Lleyton Hewitt/Max Mirnyi won the 2000 US Open. Sock has won a total of 8 career doubles titles with 5 different partners. He also won the mixed doubles title at the 2011 US Open with Melanie Oudin. He did not enter the men’s doubles event here.

 

  • Sock has played Davis Cup since 2015, compiling a 3-2 win-loss record in singles. He helped USA reach the quarterfinals last year, where he recorded his first career-comeback from 0-2 down to defeat Marin Cilic in the 1st rubber before losing to Borna Coric in the decisive 5th rubber in a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in Portland. USA will play Switzerland in the World Group first round in Birmingham on 3-5 February.

 

  • As a junior, Sock won the boys’ singles title at the 2010 US Open (d. Denis Kudla).

 

  • Sock is coached by Troy Hahn and mentored by former world No. 4 James Blake. His fitness trainer is Kyle Wolf.

 

 

 

 

27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: tied 1-1

2013     US Open                      Hard (O)           R64      Evans             16 63 76(4) 63

2015     Davis Cup (WG-SF)       Hard (I)             R2        Tomic               63 76(2) 67(4) 64

 

A 3rd Tour-level meeting for these 2 players and their 2nd at a Grand Slam. Evans won their only previous meeting at a Grand Slam at the 2013 US Open.

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                                         EVANS

 

24                                          Age                                          26

27                                   ATP Ranking                                   51

3                                          Titles                                          0

39-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                        8-7

17-8                         Australian Open Record                          2-1

161-140                              Career Record                                27-35

116-87                         Career Record – Hard                           19-23

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-1

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-1

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

94-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the round of 16 here for the 4th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Tomic advanced to the 3rd round here for the 6th time after defeating Thomaz Bellucci 62 61 64 and Victor Estrella Burgos 75 76(4) 46 76(5) in the opening 2 rounds.

 

  • Tomic best Australian Open performance is reaching the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer), 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych) and 2016 (l. Andy Murray). This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is the only Australian man to reach the 3rd round from the 11 Australian men to start the men’s main draw here [NB Written prior to Jordan Thompson’s 2nd round match with Dominic Thiem on Thursday night]. He was also the only Australian man through to the 3rd round here in 2013. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of the 3 former Australian Open junior singles champions who reached the 3rd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw here [NB Written prior to Marcos Baghdatis’s 2nd round match with Rafael Nadal on Thursday night – if Baghdatis wins, that figure will be 4 of 7]. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010, compiling a 17-4 singles win-loss record. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

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

 

  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61 and No. 7 seed Marin Cilic 36 75 63 63 to record his first Australian Open match-wins. His win over No. 7 Cilic was his career-best win and his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Evans is bidding to become the first British man other than Andy Murray to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Tim Henman in 2002. Kyle Edmund is the last British man other than Murray to reach the round of 16 at a major – at the 2016 US Open.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Evans has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3 round as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Evans is bidding to record 3 straight Tour-level match-wins for the 3rd time in his career. The only time he has recorded 3 consecutive Tour-level match-wins was in finishing runner-up at 2017 Sydney (l. Gilles Muller) prior to coming here, and in reaching the semifinals at 2014 Zagreb (l. Tommy Haas).

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here – in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney. He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

 

 

 

STEVE DARCIS (BEL) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: first Tour-level meeting

2011     Mons Challenger (BEL)              Hard (I)             QF        Seppi    36 75 60

 

A first Tour-level meeting for the pair.

 

                           DARCIS                                        v                                         SEPPI

 

32                                          Age                                          32

71                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

2                                          Titles                                          3

13-25                      Career Grand Slam Record                      47-47

2-5                          Australian Open Record                        14-11

94-102                               Career Record                              311-332

47-55                          Career Record – Hard                         142-176

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

2-7                           Career Five-Set Record                         21-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

54-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-148

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • DARCIS is bidding to reach the round of 16 here and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Darcis recorded his first match-wins at the Australian Open after defeating wild card Sam Groth 36 63 62 62 and Diego Schwartzman 63 63 26 64 in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Darcis has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round as a qualifier at 2011 Roland Garros (l. Gael Monfils). This is his 6th Australian Open appearance and his 27th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Darcis lost to Guido Pella in 5-sets in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round here in 2008 (l. Lleyton Hewitt), 2009 (l. Sebastien De Chaunac), 2012 (l. Florent Serra) and 2013 (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber). He failed to qualify here in 2006, 2010 and 2015.

 

  • Darcis is bidding to record 3 consecutive match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time since he defeated Xavier Malisse, Denis Istomin and Andy Roddick to reach the quarterfinals at 2012 Winston-Salem (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Darcis has recorded back-to-back match-wins at Tour-level for the first time since he reached the quarterfinals at 2015 Bastad (l. Pablo Cuevas).

 

  • Darcis contested just 5 Tour-level tournaments in 2016 after missing 3 months of the season from mid-February to May with a wrist injury. His best results were reaching the 2nd round as a qualifier at both Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic) and the US Open (l. John Isner) and as a wild card at Antwerp (l. Marius Copil). His only other Tour-level victory in 2016 came against Thomaz Bellucci in Belgium’s 4-0 Davis Cup victory over Brazil in September.

 

  • Also in 2016, Darcis won 3 Challenger titles – at Lyon (FRA) (d. Thiago Monteiro), Trnava (SVK) (d. Jordi Samper-Montana) and Eckental (GER) (d. Alex De Minaur). He finished runner-up in 3 further finals at Blois (FRA) (l. Carlos Berlocq), Liberec (CZE) (l. Arthur De Greef) and Budapest (HUN) (l. Copil).

 

  • Darcis reached a career-high ranking of No. 44 in May 2008. He ended 2016 at No. 86 for the 2nd year in a row but plays here at No. 71.

 

  • Darcis warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Chennai (d. Nikola Mektic, Albert Ramos-Vinolas). He also reached the semifinals at the Canberra Challenger (AUS) (l. Jan-Lennard Struff).

 

  • Darcis has won 2 career titles – on clay as a qualifier ranked No. 297 at 2007 Amersfoort (d. Werner Eschauer) and on a hard court at 2008 Memphis (d. Robin Soderling).

 

  • Darcis has a 2-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches with his only 5-set wins coming at the US Open – against Dmitry Tursunov in 2011 and Jordan Thompson in 2016. He has lost both of the 2 five-set matches he has played at the Australian Open.

 

  • Darcis is currently playing without a coach.

 

  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the round of 16 here and equal his best Grand Slam performance. He defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75 and No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgios 16 67(1) 64 62 10-8, saving a match point, in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • Seppi’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Jeremy Chardy) and 2015 (l. Kyrgios), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Seppi’s 2nd round win over Kyrgios here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and his 2nd 0-2 comeback at the Australian Open. He also came back from 0-2 down against Arnaud Clement in the 1st round here in 2011. He has a 22-15 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 7-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches here.

 

  • Seppi’s opening round win over Mathieu here was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 

 

MISCHA ZVEREV (GER) v MALEK JAZIRI (TUN)

Head-to-head: first Tour-level meeting

2011     Geneva Challenger (SUI)           Hard (O)           FR        Jaziri     46 63 63

2014     Dallas Challenger (USA)            Hard (I)             R32      Jaziri     61 62

 

A first Tour-level meeting for these 2 players. Jaziri won both of their previous encounters at Challenger level.

 

                           ZVEREV                                        v                                         JAZIRI

 

29                                          Age                                          33*

50                                   ATP Ranking                                   56

0                                          Titles                                          0

7-17                       Career Grand Slam Record                       8-13

3-5                          Australian Open Record                          4-2

84-125                               Career Record                                72-82

55-71                          Career Record – Hard                           37-50

4-2                                   2017 Record                                   3-2

4-2                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-2

1-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

49-54                        Career Tiebreak Record                         23-33

2-3                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

                                                                                   *Celebrating his birthday today

 

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

 

  • Zverev advanced to the 3rd round on his first appearance here since 2011 after defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 63 76(5) 64 and No. 19 seed John Isner 67(4) 67(4) 64 76(7) 97 in the opening 2 rounds. His 5-set win over Isner in the 2nd round was his first career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 2-3. It was his first 5-set match-win since he won his first 5-set match in qualifying at 2007 Wimbledon.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Zverev has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round at 2008 Wimbledon, where he retired with a right hamstring strain while trailing Stan Wawrinka 75 61. This is only the 5th time he has advanced beyond the 1st round at a Grand Slam in 18 appearances at the majors.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Zverev has recorded his best Australian Open result. His previous best performance here was reaching the 2nd round on his debut as a qualifier in 2007 (l. Robby Ginepri). He fell in the 1st round on his 4 other appearances here – in 2008 (l. Tommy Robredo), 2009 (l. Juan Martin del Potro), 2010 (l. Lukasz Kubot) and 2011 (l. Janko Tipsarevic).

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Zverev reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at the US Open (d. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, l. Jack Sock). It was his first Grand Slam appearance since 2012 Roland Garros and his first Grand Slam match-win since he reached the 2nd round at 2009 Wimbledon (d. Dmitry Tursunov, Philip Petzschner).

 

  • Zverev failed to qualify for the Grand Slams on 11 occasions after his main draw appearance at 2012 Roland Garros before finally qualifying successfully at the 2016 US Open. He has successfully qualified for the majors on just 4 occasions in 21 attempts – including on his debut here in 2007. He failed in his only other attempts to qualify for the Australian Open in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

 

  • Zverev warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at both Brisbane (d. Alex De Minaur, l. Rafael Nadal) and Sydney (d. Nicolas Almagro, l. Pablo Carreno Busta).

 

  • Zverev climbed to No. 50 in the rankings on 9 January 2017 after reaching the 2nd round at Brisbane – his highest ranking since he reached a career-high ranking of No. 48 on 5 October 2009.

 

  • Zverev’s 2016 highlights include reaching the semifinals as a qualifier at Basel (l. Marin Cilic) and the quarterfinals as a qualifier at both Shanghai-1000 (l. Novak Djokovic) and Shenzhen (l. Richard Gasquet). He qualified for 10 Tour-level events in 2016 – the most of any player on record. He also won the title at the Sarasota Challenger (USA) (d. Gerald Melzer).

 

  • Zverev has won 2 career doubles titles – alongside Mikhail Youzhny at 2008 Halle and 2008 Tokyo. He entered the men’s doubles event here with Nenad Zimonjic, defeating Dustin Brown/Albert Ramos-Vinolas 76(5) 62 in the 1st round on Thursday.

 

  • Zverev is coached by his father, Alexander Zverev Sr.

 

  • JAZIRI is bidding to become the first Tunisian player – man or woman – to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Jaziri advanced to the 3rd round after defeating qualifier Go Soeda 63 64 63 and qualifier Alexander Bublik 62 63 75 in the opening 2 rounds here.

 

  • By reaching the 3rd round here, Jaziri has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 3rd round on his debut here in 2015, when he became just the 2nd Tunisian player – man or woman – to reach this stage at a Grand Slam. Mustapha Belkhodjia is the only other Tunisian player to reach this stage at a major – at Roland Garros in 1961 and 1963 and at 1961 Wimbledon.

 

  • Jaziri is bidding to record 3 straight match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time since he reached the quarterfinals at 2016 Barcelona (l. Benoit Paire). He has recorded 3 straight wins at Tour-level on just 2 other occasions – in reaching the semifinals at both 2012 Moscow (l. Andreas Seppi) and 2015 Winston Salem (l. Kevin Anderson).

 

  • Jaziri is bidding to defeat a Top 50 opponent at a Grand Slam for the first time, having lost all 8 of his previous meetings with Top 50 opponents at the majors. The highest-ranked player he has defeated at a major is No. 51 Mikhail Kukuskin in the 1st round at the 2015 Australian Open.

 

  • Jaziri has won just one of his last 9 matches against Top 50 opposition. His only win over a Top 50 opponent in that time was at 2016 Shenzhen, where he recorded his career-best win against No. 14 David Goffin.

 

  • Last year here, Jaziri fell to Tommy Robredo in 5-sets in the 1st round. He has a 4-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches, and a 1-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open. This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 14th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, Jaziri reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (d. Florian Mayer, Tomas Berdych) but fell in the 1st round at both Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson) and the US Open             (l. Ricardas Berankis).

 

  • Jaziri’s best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching 3 quarterfinals – at Barcelona (l. Paire), Metz (l. Gilles Simon) and Shenzhen (l. Janko Tipsarevic). He also won 3 Challenger titles – at Guadalajara (MEX) (d. Stephane Robert), Le Gosier (GUD) (d. Stefan Kozlov) and Istanbul (TUR) (d. Dudi Sela).

 

  • Jaziri warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round at Auckland (d. Diego Schwartzman, l. John Isner) after a 1st round defeat at Doha (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber).

 

  • Jaziri broke into the Top 50 in October 2016 after reaching the quarterfinals at Shenzhen, becoming the first Arab player in 12 years to be ranked in the world’s Top 50. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 49 a week later after reaching the 2nd round at Beijing (d. Guido Pella, l. Milos Raonic), but plays here at No. 56.

 

  • Jaziri entered the men’s doubles event here with Stephane Robert. The pair lost to No. 9 seeds Ivan Dodig/Marcel Granollers 63 64 in the 1st round.

 

  • Jaziri has played on Tunisia’s Davis Cup team since 2000 and is the nation’s most successful singles player with a 27-14 win-loss record. He played 15 sets (the maximum possible for one individual) in Tunisia’s Europe/Africa Zone Group II 1st round defeat to Bosnia/Herzegovina last year, but helped his nation remain in Group II with a 3-2 victory over Bulgaria. Tunisia will play Sweden in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II first round on 3-5 February.

 

  • Jaziri was a member of the 1998 African 14 & Under ITF Touring Team in Europe, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund. He was awarded a GSDF travel grant in 2001 and 2002 to play junior world ranking events. He didn’t contest any junior Grand Slams.

 

Jaziri is currently playing without a coach.

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Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt added to BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Andy Roddick

New York, NY (January 16, 2017) – Tennis legends Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt will join the star-studded lineup for the 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown on Monday, March 6, it was announced today.   Roddick and Hewitt will join Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock in the annual tennis showcase at Madison Square Garden, which coincides with “World Tennis Day” activities.

 

Hewitt, who announced his retirement from the professional tour last January, is back to renew his rivalry with fellow veteran Roddick who retired after the 2012 US Open.  The two former World No. 1 players have produced a combined 62 tournament wins which includes Hewitt’s Grand Slam titles at the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon Championships, as well as Roddick’s Grand Slam victory at the 2002 US Open.

 

“I played the World Tennis Day event in Hong Kong a few years ago and love the concept of a worldwide celebration of tennis,” said Hewitt.  “I am really excited about playing Andy at Madison Square Garden which is one of the great venues for our sport. Should be an exciting night for everyone.”

 

“Playing at Madison Square Garden is a bucket list item for any entertainer, especially for a tennis player … that’s normally saved for rock stars and basketball players,” added Roddick.  “To play Roger there in 2012, it was such an amazing atmosphere … when I got the invite to come back, I was going to do everything I could to make that a reality.”

 

The two are tied at seven wins each in head-to-head competition.  Hewitt will make his Madison Square Garden debut while Roddick returns to the BNP Paribas Showdown for the second time.

 

Roddick and Hewitt will square off in an action-packed night that also features del Potro, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist taking on No. 5 Nishikori, while former world No. 1 Venus Williams squares off against French Open champion, Muguruza.  Kyrgios and Sock will provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for tennis fans when they take to the Garden court.

 

Over the course of its decade at Madison Square Garden, the BNP Paribas Showdown has become a must-see event, from superstar Pete Sampras showing a younger Roger Federer he can still play in the inaugural matchup in 2008, to last year’s electrifying performances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.  The event has also hosted a who’s who in the world of tennis, including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.

 

The 10th anniversary BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and GF Sports. Tickets start at $35.00 and are currently on-sale. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of nationwide activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.

 

 

 

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Jack Sock Wins Auckland Crown

Jack Sock

(January 14, 2017) Fourth seed, American Jack Sock won the ASB Tennis Classic in Auckland beating Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 on Saturday. Last year Sock had to withdraw from the final due to illness. For the 24-year-old, it’s his second career ATP World Tour title. Sock becomes the first American to claim the Auckland title since John Isner in 2014. Isner also won the title in 2010.

Sock led off the year, playing Hopman Cup last week in Perth, Australia.

“Coming from Perth I played a lot there so I felt good coming into this week but you never know how your first tournament of the year can go,” Sock said.

“I lost the second set today and I had to regroup and buckle down. In the off-season we worked a lot on that, regrouping and putting a lot of things behind you.”

“Anytime you can take a title, it feels really good,” Sock said. “I’ve had it once before. I’ve had chances. I’ve lost in a few finals. Winning the whole tournament is definitely a massive confidence booster.

“I was able to put in a lot of work in the off-season and I think it paid off. I was able to make lots of gains and lots of strides forward. I think it really showed this week.”

“I think I didn’t play a great match, said the losing finalist. “He was very confident and he serves very well, and I think that was the key of the match.”

With his success this week, Sock will see his ranking rise to No. 20 in the world.

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Venus Williams, Muguruza, del Potro, Nishikori, Kyrgios and Sock to play BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

 

CELEBRATION OF TENNIS TO HIGHLIGHT 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF

BNP PARIBAS SHOWDOWN AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON

MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2017

 

EVENT TO FEATURE JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO,

KEI NISHIKORI, VENUS WILLIAMS, GARBIÑE MUGURUZA,

NICK KYRGIOS AND JACK SOCK

 

TICKETS ON-SALE MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2016

 

New York, NY (October 26, 2016) – The 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown will bring past, current and future stars to the Madison Square Garden court for a night of tennis on Monday, March 6, The Madison Square Garden Company and GF Sports announced today.   Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock and a legends matchup to be named later, will square off in the 10th anniversary edition of the annual tennis showcase.

 

Del Potro, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist will take on world No. 5 Nishikori, while former world No. 1 Venus Williams will square off against reigning French Open champion, Muguruza.  Kyrgios and Sock, two exciting young stars on the rise, will provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for tennis fans.

 

Over the course of its decade at Madison Square Garden, the BNP Paribas Showdown has become a must-see event, from superstar Pete Sampras showing a younger Roger Federer he can still play in the inaugural matchup in 2008, to last year’s electrifying performances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.  The event has also hosted a who’s who in the world of tennis, including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and GF Sports. Tickets start at $35.00 and will go on-sale Monday, October 31. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.  The event will start at 7:00 pm on Monday, March 6.

 

“Since 2008, playing the Showdown at The Garden has become a ‘must’ amongst the biggest stars in the game, and as we celebrate the 10th Showdown we’re looking forward to another special night of tennis,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events/Operations, The Madison Square Garden Company.  “The Showdown has continually entertained thousands of tennis fans and provided many lasting moments.  And, how can we forget Ben Stiller, Rory McIllroy and Redfoo taking to the Garden court? You never know what or who you’ll see when tennis comes to The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

 

“It is incredible to think this will be our 10th Showdown,” said Showdown creator, Jerry Solomon. “We have been fortunate to have had just about every tennis superstar of the last 30 years play at Madison Square Garden, and this year will be no different, with our compelling slate of great players spanning eras. And we’ll also be including some twists on the traditional tennis format that will allow fans to see more action than ever before in a more compact schedule. On March 6, the BNP Paribas Showdown and The Garden will once again be the place to be for the most exciting tennis.”

 

Nishikori, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, is the only male Japanese player to ever be ranked in the top 10.  He has compiled 11 singles titles and was a finalist in the 2014 US Open, making him the first Asian player to compete in a Grand Slam singles final.

 

2009 US Open champion del Potro returns to Madison Square Garden for his second appearance at the BNP Paribas Showdown.  The 6’-6” Argentine, who is playing strong and blazing the comeback trail after three wrist operations that sidelined his career, is currently ranked No. 42 and just recently captured the Stockholm Open for his first ATP Tour title since 2014.

Williams, arguably one of the greatest female players of all time, is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, five-time Wimbledon Champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and winner of 49 singles titles.  She is currently ranked No. 15 and will be making her third Showdown appearance.

Current world No. 6 Muguruza beat Serena Williams in the finals of the 2016 French Open to capture her first Grand Slam title.  She holds 10 career singles titles and was runner up at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships. She will make her Madison Square Garden debut as she tries to beat Venus Williams for the first time in four attempts.

 

Two rising ATP Tour stars, Sock and Kyrgios, will compete in their first ever match-up at Madison Square Garden.  Kyrgios, ranked No. 13, was listed as the No. 1 World Junior in 2013, and has already recorded several top 10 wins, including against world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament earlier this year.  He will play Sock, one of the top-ranked American players at world No. 22.  Sock is a former junior US Open champion and has been in three finals on the ATP Tour.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown will apply several new innovative formats currently being experimented in the world of tennis to help speed up the game.  The format enhancements will make the Showdown an even more fast-paced, exciting event for the fans.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of worldwide activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with kid-friendly efforts including smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.

 

Additional information on the event will be released at a later date.

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